Pork kidney is also a fixture in Shandong cuisine.
I haven’t had the chicken but it does look similar. The crab was coated and deep fried making the shell edible and addicting.
Stinky Tofu King…
Got the Pork/Mushroom Braised Rice. Excellent. Great braise flavor and fatty.
The egg also great. I get that Lao Tao and Pine and Crane are trying to do a lighter version but this is soul food.
The beef noodle is good, too. This is very rich.
And for dessert…
This might be my most favorite dessert place right now. Got the number one, warm.
Here is the menu:
Get the warm or hot grass jelly before anything else.
Grass jelly, boba, sweet potatoe balls, and taro balls with cream.
Pretty damn good lunch!!
Cafe Gratitude (Downtown L.A.)
Worthy (Apple, Carrot, Beet, Chard, Lemon, Ginger):
This was OK. Pretty fresh, but a bit earthy as well. Loved the spiciness of the Ginger.
Thriving (Kale, White Bean, Carrot Soup):
Hearty, warming, and nicely seasoned.
Devoted (French Lentil and Butternut Squash Loaf, Smashed Heirloom Potatoes, Shiitake Gravy, Sauteed Greens, Brazil Nut Parmesan, Creamy Coleslaw, Pickled Beets, Chopped Scallions):
This was a nice way to sample a variety of tastes. My favorite was the Smashed Heirloom Potatoes, Shiitake Gravy, and Sauteed Greens.
Fresh (Grilled Asparagus, Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Avocado, Wild Arugula, Hempseed Hollandaise):
Really refreshing, the Hempseed Hollandaise thankfully didn’t overpower the veggies.
Inspired (Asparagus Risotto, Gremolata, Cashew Creme Fraiche, Red Onion, Brazil Nut Parmesan):
This was pretty tasty. Considering there’s no dairy, it was impressive in its creaminess, a balance of salinity and a touch of tart.
Community (Warm Spinach Artichoke Terrine, Grilled Slow-Fermented Sourdough Crostini):
Another surprising dish in its creaminess and cheesy qualities (considering it’s Vegan). The Sourdough Bread was nicely toasted. We’d order this again.
Mucho (Mexican Bowl, Black Beans, Guacamole, Pico de Gallo, Nopales, Salsa Verde, Cashew Nacho Cheese, Spicy Pepitas, Romaine, Sprouted Probiotic Brown Rice):
It sounded pretty good, but the execution was a bit off. Just a lot of heavy, earthy flavors. It’s filling, and I loved the Spicy Pepitas, Nopales and Brown Rice, but everything else added in started to overwhelm.
Almond Butter Cup:
Tried a few of their (pricey) Vegan Chocolates. Our favorite was the Almond Butter Cup. Like a healthier version of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
Cafe Gratitiude (Downtown L.A.)
300 S. Santa Fe Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Tel: (213) 929-5580
Some friends felt like trying Shanghai food and took us to the generically-named “Shanghai Restaurant.”
Tofu and Vegetable Cold Dish:
This was surprisingly delicious! Small chopped up bits of Marinated Tofu, and a Pickled Vegetable (Mustard Greens?), some Sesame Oil. Excellent.
Yam with Gee-Tsai:
This certainly didn’t taste like the commonly found “Yams” here in the U.S., but regardless, this was pretty good as well. The Wood Ear Mushrooms, the crisped Yams (yet still tender), and the “Gee-Tsai” all combined together nicely.
Steamed Spareribs with Rice Flour:
This was a bit gummy, and the Spareribs weren’t tender enough. It was decent, but something we wouldn’t order again.
The Poached Chicken was tender enough, although the other versions of this dish are lighter (not as doused in Soy Sauce as this one). It was OK.
Sauteed Water Spinach with Garlic:
Delicious. I love Water Spinach, and it’s just harder to find this in some areas around L.A. Lightly salted, fragrant from the Garlic.
In hindsight I wish we didn’t listen to the waiter’s recommendation: This “Western Lamb” was essentially a Black Pepper Lamb, like those found in a HK Cafe. It was really sweet and salty, and peppery, but the worst was the Lamb itself. Stringy, chewy, filled with gristle. It was awful.
This version of Tea Smoked Duck was milder, less salty than most versions we’ve tried. The smokiness was there (but not as deeply infused as we’d like). But overall, quite tasty.
Shanghai Fried Pork Buns:
Shanghai Restaurant’s Sheng Jian Bao had a nice crust on the bottom. The Marinated Pork filling was fine, but the overall dough was a bit too dry and a little chalky at times.
Having our friends take us to Shanghai Restaurant, it reminded me: Where are all the great Shanghai cuisine eateries in L.A.? I think Shanghai No. 1 Seafood was mixed, and the decor doesn’t help. Shanghai Restaurant felt OK. Some dishes were fine, others, not so much.
140 W. Valley Blvd., Suite # 211
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Tel: (626) 288-0991
Still in Shanghai.
The diaspora from Shanghai to SoCal has sort of petered out. Yu Garden was good, but it’s no longer around.
Nowadays, I suppose Southern Mini Town and Chang’s Garden are old standbys that can scratch the Shanghai food itch.
LA still has to work out of its system all those Sichuan (dry hot pot joints included) restaurants out of its restaurant occupancy quota before extending to another Chinese specialty.
Skibbley looking shrimp.
Got a full chicken + sides from El Pollo Unico in Pasadena.
I’m not sure if it was the godly cornish game hen I had the day before, or the super tender pollo a la brasa the day before that, but on this day El Pollo Unico did not deliver. The best part of the meal was the tortillas and salsa. Hopefully today’s dark meat fares better…
Oude Tart with Cherry from the Bruery might come close to satisfy the craving for Cuvee de Tomme.
I like that beer but it’s somehow not the same as CdT. I like the Bruery though.
Yeah, the base beer of cdt is better than oude tart to me as well
Hit up Intelligentsia this morning, and they had a fully new pastry program from Mr. Holmes bake house. I couldn’t resist and ordered a cornflake cookie and a “chocolate pudding cruffin.” The cruffin was tasty but just way too rich for me. I had about a third of it. The cornflake cookie was really nice.
I will be back to try more.
Ceviche Pescado, Baja Taco (shrimp + fish), Consommé "Manta"
Good flour tortillas, fresh, tasty food. Very popular, casual place, and they have a tv for the NFL playoffs.
4749 Artesia Blvd,/Inglewood Ave.
Sun Nong Dan
Supposedly NY Chef David Chang’s (Momofuku) favorite Korean restaurant when he visits L.A. We had heard so much about this place, and finally decided to go.
Their complimentary Banchan is pretty sparse, but tasty. They were all fine, but nothing really stood out.
This was really weird. Compared to most Pajeon (Korean Pancakes) we’ve tried in the past, this one was strangely dry(!), slightly soft, and not really crisped at all. At least it wasn’t very oily. We wouldn’t order this again.
Galbi Jjim (Braised Beef Short Ribs):
And the item that Chef Chang, J. Gold and others freak out over, Sun Nong Dan’s Galbi Jjim is a giant pot of bubbling, oil spewing madness: Hefty chunks of Slow-Braised Beef Short Ribs that is spicier and zestier than other Galbi Jjim that we’ve tried.
Even ordering it “Mild” it packs a decent heat to it, and is much spicier than the other famous one from Soban. While Sun Nong Dan’s version tastes bolder - a bit more sweet, a bit more salty, a bit more spicy than Soban’s - it’s good, and the Braised Short Ribs are tender and meaty, but I think we prefer Soban’s version more:
Soban’s is $35 (pictured above), while Sun Nong Dan’s is larger overall, it runs $46, and it has way more filler: It’s loaded with Potatoes and Rice Cakes, so it feels like Soban’s version gives you more meat (or at least the same amount), and you can skip the excess Rice Cakes and Potatoes.
In addition, the servers never stopped by, nor gave us any instruction, so we didn’t really stir the pot, which resulted in the bottom layer of this dish being burnt.
We liked their Multi-Grain Rice:
Overall, it’s pretty tasty, but I think given the price and crazy wait times, and taste, we prefer Soban’s version. And at Soban you get their ridiculous selection of complimentary Banchan as well (reason enough to go!):
Sun Nong Dan
3470 W. 6th Street, Suite 7
Los Angeles, CA 90020
Tel: (213) 365-0303
Sun Nong Dan
927 E. Las Tunas Dr.
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Tel: (626) 286-1234
Some friends wanted to go, so off we went. It’s been chilly so it was good to get something soup-like and spicy.
Hot & Sour Soup:
This was a solid rendition of Hot & Sour Soup. Clean, tart, peppery, warm.
Beef with Potato:
A new dish added to the menu, it’s essentially a lightly spiced, Beef & Potato Stew. The Beef was slow-cooked, with lean and fatty chunks, and the sauce was delicious. Went great with some Brown Rice.
Dongpo Pork Hock (Pork Hock Braised in a Savory Ginger Sauce, with Choice of Mild or Spicy Flavoring):
This was a standout from the last time, so we had to get it again. This large hunk of slow-cooked Pork, with a bit of the Szechuan Spicy Sauce, was pretty fantastic! Succulent, tender pieces of Pork, nicely seasoned and lightly spicy. Perfect for the chilly weather.
Sole Fillet with Scallions (Sole Fillet Boiled in Sichuan Peppercorns Spiced Broth and Topped with Scallions):
This wasn’t as good as Chengdu Taste’s version, but one of our friends wanted to order it, so that was fine. Lightly stewed pieces of Sole in a slightly numbing (Szechuan Peppercorn) Sauce.
Meizhou Dongpo (Century City)
(Inside the Westfield Century City Mall)
10250 Santa Monica Blvd. #200a
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Tel: (310) 788-0120
Meizhou Dongpo (Arcadia)
(Inside the Westfield Santa Anita Mall)
400 S. Baldwin Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91007
Tel: (626) 538-4580
For the Soups / Stews DOTM, it was time for another visit to Luv2Eat.
Phuket Style Fish Curry Kanomjean (Vermicelli Rice Noodle with Fish Curry, served with Hard Boiled Egg, Pickled Carrots & Papaya):
Even on “Mild” this was pretty spicy. But this is the famous Curry that takes 72 hours to prepare(!), and it is as fantastic as the last 2 times we ordered it. Extremely nuanced, with lots of interesting flavors and spices, it was another great way to warm up in the chilly weather.
Stir Fried Mixed Vegetables (Cabbage, Bean Sprouts, Chinese Broccoli, Broccoli, Carrots, Celery, and Mushrooms):
Kua Gling (with Pork Spareribs, Southern Thai Style , with Hot & Spicy Turmeric Herb Curry Paste) + Sator:
The one disappointment on this visit, unlike last time’s sublime version, the Pork Spareribs tasted old, like leftovers. Otherwise the actual Turmeric Curry Paste was fantastic.
Green Curry Chicken:
Their Green Curry had a subtle nutty, creamy, tropical taste with the Coconut Milk, Housemade Green Curry base and slivers of Bamboo Shoots and Red Bell Peppers. It was comforting enough to be a “stew” of sorts, and was one of the better Green Curries we’ve had recently. I liked it more than their Massaman Curry.
Garlic and Pepper Pork:
Their Garlic and Pepper Pork was another new item we hadn’t tried before. It was pretty straightforward, but also tasty for what it was: A stir-fried dish of Pork, Garlic and Black Pepper, along with Shredded Cabbage, in a light Soy Sauce.
Luv2Eat Thai Bistro
6660 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Tel: (323) 498-5835
The chilly weather and Stews for Dish of the Month meant a visit to another favorite of ours, Mirak, and their famous Black Goat Stews!
Boiled Goat Ribs:
Their Black Goat Stew is the dish to order here, but one other dish they have is a Boiled Goat Ribs dish that we’ve never ordered before. Sadly, this wasn’t close to the greatness of their Stew: The Boiled Ribs were chewy, tough, and just not very good.
Black Goat Stew:
But then it was time for the real purpose of our visit, their Black Goat Stew. Like the other visits, a huge pot is brought to the table and it begins cooking down (via a tableside burner).
The Black Goat Stew is wonderful in its subtle gaminess, super tender, Stewed Goat, and the Soup / Stew is fantastic! Warming, delicious, lightly salted, and with ample amounts of cooked down Veggies like Chinese Chives, Green Onions, and various herbs.
Their Dipping Sauces really enhance the Stewed Goat:
And at the end of the meal, something even greater than the Black Goat Stew…
Goat Stew Fried Rice:
As fantastic as before! The combination of the distilled down Black Goat Stew with some Seaweed, Green Onions, Kimchi, Rice and other seasonings makes this one of the best Fried Rice I’ve ever had in K-Town!
1134 S. Western Ave., Suite A2
Los Angeles, CA 90006
Tel: (323) 732-7577
Holiday weekends really bring out the best of this city, eh? Or maybe all weekends. Why aren’t all weeks weekends?
Big thanks to @Aesthete for the tip on this place. Stopped by before Disneyland and was not disappointed. Still thinking about that spätzle. So good - strangely squeaky and addicting. I didn’t love the potato pancake (prefer it a bit crispier like they do at Red Lion). Overall, just a very fun, comfortable, satisfying experience. Nothing to drive out of your way for, but if you’re sorta close, why not?
I would love to know if there is a better corn dog than this hot-link version.
THE TRAILS (Griffith Observatory)
After a lil hike, stopped by The Trails. Fine enough coffee and good vegan blueberry/banana muffin. I’d skip the egg sandwich or any sandwich. Always a line but plenty of tables.
ADANTE COFFEEHOUSE (Echo Park)
A really nice, no-fuss coffee shop for the area. The honey latte is great, but the iced matcha latte is my favorite.
At around 3pm, ordered ahead for pick-up, and it was estimated to be around 20min, which was pretty accurate.
- Tagliatelle w/ Arrabiata
- Pappardelle w/ Porcini & Cream
- Mortadella w/ Pistachio Cream Cheese
Everything was so solid. Out of the pastas, I probably preferred the pappardelle with the mushroom and cream. The cream was almost milky and refreshing. First Lady Mochi preferred the tagliatelle FWIW. That dang sandwich is so good, too. The strip of olive oil spread on the bread. The disolvingly soft mortadella. The nut of the cream cheese. OOF. Gimme gimme more.
GUS’S FRIED CHICKEN
After conflicting reports re: fried pickles, I had to stop by to defend my honor. And honor, I did defend. They are indeed spears! May have been chips at one point, but that is the past, my friend. Now, they are glorious, too hot to handle, spears. Get 'em while they’re hot (they’re always hot).
If you ever hit up Jagerhaus again, you should try their schnitzel, they really shine in schnitzel to me (if you area fan of super thin schnitzels, which I am personally).
Man…those brats and their homemade sauerkraut, reminding me I need to get back out there soon!
Seeing the pickle spears is also a treat, if I hadn’t been so full I would’ve gone and tried to pick some up, I guess the key is not ordering a dozen dishes at Pasta Sisters =P
Dine LA @ Church & State
Warm crusty baguette with soft salted butter and a couple gougères.
Butternut squash and chestnut soup
Flat iron steak and frites w/ béarnaise sauce ($10 supp)
Poached salmon w/ lentils, carrots, and pickled red onion
Cranberry brioche, caramel, crème anglaise
Chocolate coffee custard, vanilla chantilly
Overall, a very nice DineLA experience. We left very full and satisfied with the service and quality of food.