January 2017 Weekend Rundown


#142

It’s Loco Moco. Bad loco moco is still pretty good, and even the best loco moco is still just basically a salisbury steak on a bed of rice topped with a fried egg.


#143

Go Get Em Tiger (Los Feliz)

I’m not a big Coffee connoisseur, but I’ve heard much about Go Get Em Tiger’s new opening in Los Feliz (next door to McConnell’s Ice Cream).

49th Parallel Ethiopia Kayon Mountain:

This was the heavier of the 2 types of Coffees we ordered. It was more bitter, but had some interesting aromatic notes.

49th Parallel Honduras La Benedicion:

The Honduras Coffee was much lighter, having an almost lightly “sweet” finish (even though there’s no sugar added). Like some of the more hardcore Coffee specialists in town, there’s No Cream and No Sugar anywhere to be found for self-serve.

Go Get Em Tiger
4630 Hollywood Blvd.
Loz Feliz, CA 90027

http://gandb.coffee/

Beijing Restaurant

The generically-named Beijing Restaurant looks like a mess of a menu: There are Northern Chinese dishes, Szechuan, Cantonese dishes, and just an overwhelming amount of menu items overall.

Eggplant in Garlic Sauce:

Sweet, tart, salty. The Eggplant was soft, but the flavors tasted rather underwhelming.

Braised Pork Neck Bone with Rice Noodle:

Note that this is supposed to be a Noodle dish. The Noodles (as you can see) were completely saturated in oil (so you could see the translucency of the oil-soaked Noodles). :sweat: It was also overcooked and dried out (in parts). This was really oily, and a pretty bad Noodle dish.

Doornail Meat Pie:

I have no idea why the English name is so wacky, LOL, but these were crispy Meat Pies of Marinated Ground Pork and Chinese Chives. They were pan-fried, so it had the texture of a Green Onion Pancake. The ones we had at Beijing Pie House were better, but these were decent.

Beijing Roast Duck:

I haven’t had Peking Duck in years, so it was nice to see it on a menu. Not hearing about this place being a specialist in Peking Duck made me wary, but our friends wanted to try it as well.

The actual Peking Duck skin had a surprisingly decent crispness to it. I think Duck House in Monterey Park was better (and that wasn’t that great), when we had it a few years ago on our last visit. The Duck meat was tender and moist still.

The weirdest part, however, was their serving style: They brought us what looked like only half of the Peking Duck. When we tried to ask if this was the whole Duck, the server (who seemed to barely speak English), nodded, and we shrugged and started eating.

45 minutes later, as we asked for the bill and had finished, they bring us the other half of the Duck! :expressionless: Someone else there spoke better English and claimed that “it was their way to prepare” the Duck. But in hindsight, we noticed a table next to ours getting half a Duck as well, within a few minutes of ours. I think they just screwed up and gave them half the Duck to make them happy or something?

Either way, this was so-so Peking Duck.

They also said we could have the Duck Bones (and remaining meat) cooked as a Soup or Sauteed. We chose the Duck Saute:

This was a heavy, salty Saute of Duck Bones with Cumin and Soy Sauce.

Sauteed Pork Kidney:

Completely overcooked and dry. :frowning: It also tasted rather one-note: Just mainly Soy Sauce.

Stewed Pig’s Trotters:

This was probably the best dish we had (which wasn’t saying much), Stewed Pig’s Trotters were soft and gelatinous, but it came out lukewarm(!) and it tasted just like the Pork Kidney dish we had (the exact same sauce, but with Chili Oil added). :frowning:

Their service was also really bad. Two of our tea cups had food stains on them(!), and when we asked the waitress to get new ones, she just looked at them, picked them up and left (no apologies or even surprise). She never came back with replacements. The rest of the meal had them never check in on the table even once, and we just had to flag down help if we needed it.

In the end, we should’ve listened to @ipsedixit and skipped this place.

Beijing Restaurant
250 W Valley Blvd, # B2
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Tel: (626) 570-8598

Bestia

Bestia is one of those restaurants that doesn’t feel like it lives up to its ridiculous bookings and wait times. Trying to find a table for 4 at a normal dinner hour of 7:30 - 8:00 p.m. or so means, you need to book usually 2+ months in advance(!). Trying to walk in and get a seat for 2 - 4 people on the weekends is also crazy (for their first come, first serve section). The wait was 2.5 hours, so we ended up splitting up and waiting for seats of 1 or 2 and we all got seated separately, but it still took a while.

Emilia (Orange Aperitivo, Quinine Americano, Lambrusco, Lime, Seltzer, Served Long Over Ice):

Fizzy, citrusy, refreshing. This was pretty good, but nothing outstanding.

Roasted Marrow Bone (Spinach Gnocchetti, Crispy Breadcrumbs, Aged Balsamic):

We’ve had this before, but it had been a while since our last visit. It is still one of their better dishes, as you scoop out the Bone Marrow into the Spinach Gnocchetti, and then mix it all up. You get a luscious, bovine fattiness coating each bite of the Pasta. :slight_smile:

Clam Pizza (Burrata, Mozzarella, Clams in Escabeche, Chili Flakes, Fresh Oregano, Paprika, Garlic):

Like Terroni, Bestia decided it was cooler / hipper / lamer(?) to serve the Pizza Uncut. As introduced by our server in the most pretentious, absurd way possible (to sell how upscale the restaurant was), “Our pizza is a fork and knife affair. Our kitchen feels this is the best way to enjoy pizza.” :unamused: :expressionless: :rage: Seriously?

So you cut the Pizza yourself, with a fork and knife (which is a mess).

Their Pizza is their own style of super doughy, soft crust. It’s almost a very soft rubbery texture. There is no firm crust anywhere, and it’s very wet in the middle. We’ve had Neapolitan Pizza before at Settebello many times, and think it’s better.

Either way, the actual taste was OK. The Clams were completely lost (you couldn’t taste them at all). :frowning: What you mainly tasted was Chili Flakes, Garlic and Mozzarella. Which was spicy and fragrant, but we ordered a Clam Pizza for a reason (not for Chili or Garlic).

In the end, some people like this style, but as a Pizza and at their prices, I’d rather eat at DeSano, Settebello or Sotto easily.

Agnolotti alla Vaccinara (Cacao Pasta Parcel, Braised Oxtail, Burro Fuso, Grana Padano, Pine Nuts, Currants):

Their Housemade Agnolotti were OK. Cooked beyond al dente to a very soft pliable consistency, the Oxtail was completely overpowered by the Currants, the Cacao infusion and Pine Nuts. :frowning: We’ve never been a fan of Bestia’s pastas and this dish just reinforced it.

Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 21 Year Old Kentucky Straight Whiskey:

Our friend treated us to a shot of the Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 21, which had a fiery, spicy bite on the initial sip, and then it finished up really smooth. I don’t like hard liquor at all, but it was a good experience trying this out.

On this weekend visit, Bestia is just a loud, insane party: People were yelling (we could hear them across the dining room), 2+ hour waits for walk-ins, club goers in crazy outfits, hamsters, families, and there was a line for the bathroom 15 people deep. :expressionless:

We couldn’t carry on a conversation without yelling at each other and our other friend sat alone to eat (to lessen the wait times). With absurd reservation times 2+ months in advance (for a normal dining hour) (or you could pay for the privilege of a reservation (since Bestia sells them via one of those reservation apps)), super loud dining, and hit-or-miss food, we’re not going back to Bestia anytime soon.

Bestia
2121 E. 7th Place
Los Angeles CA, 90021
Tel: (213) 514-5724

http://bestiala.com/


#144

Ha ha, I know Sakuraya was only a few doors down, but I unwisely spent all my cash at Chikara. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: I was a bit too greedy. You bet I’ll do a taste test soon, @Chowseeker1999!

I still haven’t been to Rahel’s even though I eat a lot of vegan food. I don’t know why, but I can fall into routines pretty easily, despite being a pretty adventurous eater. I always end up at Buna, which is across the street from Rahel. Buna isn’t strictly vegan, but they have a really good vegetarian platter. It’s really comforting food for me, but definitely on the rich side. Okay, I vow to break out of my rut and try Rahel - which I’ve been meaning to for so long.


#145

Guess it was a bad weekend. Sorry to see @Chowseeker1999.

Well, look on the bright side, at least this will be the last weekend rundown for January.

Onward and forward!


#146

I was at duck house today.


#147

Had Guerilla tacos today for the first time in a while. Was excellent, but I noticed one big change: good tortillas. They had a handmade texture. Are they now making their own tortillas? The good tortilla brought it to another level for me.


#148

Wish you had confirmed that. Would really inspire me to return after not going for a while because of the tortilla issue.


#149

Hi @Ns1,

Nice! How was the visit to Duck House? Better or worse than previous times?


#150

y’know, it was actually a lot better than I remembered. They probably could’ve done a better job scraping the fat off the skin from some of the pieces, but overall quite good. A serious mountain of duck meat.

It was my parent’s first time having uh…non-immigrant peking duck, ie sam woo style peking duck with buns. Dad prefers the buns over the pancake, but mom admits the mountain of meat was very, very good.


#151

Hi @Ns1,

Wow, that sounds encouraging. :slight_smile: I’ll keep it in mind the next time we’re feeling like Peking Duck.

Did you end up choosing the Duck Soup or Duck Stir-Fry for the alternate course? How was that? Thanks!


#152

I actually only got the duck 1 way, because I don’t like the other 2 ways at all, esp for the additional $20 markup. So it was only ~$45 for the duck + accouterments.


#153
  1. best noodle house lived up to the glowing reviews on this board. very tasty food and the “auntie” who takes your order is totes adorbs.

  2. brunch at saddle peak. the food’s o.k., i guess. big portions. my ramos fizz was decent. havent been for ages, but remember dinner being much better and more interesting than this.
    that said, i hate fucking brunch.


#154

imho, rahel’s lunch buffet is the best food deal around.

it’s on my regular rotation.


#155

From the past two weekends…

ST. PATISSERIE (Costa Mesa)
Finally made it down to try 'em out for the first time. They taste as good as they look.

Millefeuille

Exotic

Also got an almond croissant for later (the car ride), which was quite the treat and subsequently put me into a three year coma.

GUNWHALE / BARLEY FORGE BREWERIES (Costa Mesa)
I didn’t realize how many breweries have popped up down in the OC. Both of these (right across the street from each other) were solid. I probably preferred the saisons of Gunwhale. Barley Forge had some good beers too, but it was heaving with a huge birthday party. I saw some Barley Forge six packs at BevMo though, so that’s kewl dude.

CHUBBY RICE (Hawthorne)
That giant eggroll is worth the price of admission (not the one that comes as a side - the one that is a side itself). I’ve never had one like it. The General Tso’s is always great, as are the owner/operators.

MAYURA (Culver City)
Yessss. Went this past Friday night, and they had a good crowd, which was nice to see. We stuck with the Kerala dishes and had the Chicken Curry with Appam, Avial (mixed veggies cooked with cocount & spice) and Venpongal (rice with lentils, cashew, cumin seeds & pepper in melted butter). I really enjoyed each of the dishes. Love the texture of the appam - reminiscent of injera. The Venpongal’s texture was almost like mashed potatoes. I always enjoy going to Mayura.

GOOD MORNING VIETNAM (Mar Vista Farmer’s Market)
I had their pork banh mi and added fried egg. It was a fine banh mi, but it lacks the pop and depth of others - like the one I had recently at OC Poultry & Rotisserie. I’m not sure I’ll get another soon, but they’re not bad. Also, double any wait time they give you. Better to order then roam the market and come back vs. hanging out waiting for your order.


#156

Wait. So the one that is sold separately on the menu is different than the one in the combo? I was told they were the same, just smaller.

–Dommy!


#157

The filling may be the same, but it’s definitely a different experience eating the larger one. At least to me. Might be that the larger one that’s sold separately has a better ratio of filling to crunch. I found some yelp images to show the difference in size, which is pretty dang significant.

Plus, then you can get the rice and chow mein as your sides.




#158

Anyone ever had the crab rangoon at Chubby Rice? Is it legit?

One thing I miss from my time living in Boston is places with huge boxes of monstrous crab rangoon that was so effing good… West Coast stuff has never compared. They look better than average at least in the photos, but wonder if anyone has tried them first hand.


#159

agree
the best


#160

The Crab Rangoon was pretty good at Chubby Rice. Not quite as good as the east coast. the closest thing we have found ironically was the frozen rangoons from Target.

Yeah. I must be crazy. There is something about the filling of the eggroll in Chubby Rice. Too much Pepper and Fennel. And I love both! I think elementary school eggrolls messed up my expectations on what egg rolls should be…

–Dommy!


#161

Well, that’s good to know, thanks! Do you usually just deep fry them at home in a pot of oil or something (the ones from Target)?