February 2021 Rundown

Try Eat Joy Food.

Thanks. We ended up staying nearby instead and went to Capital Noodle Bar. The beef chow fun and dim sum dishes were much better than we remembered. My son had a steamed pork bun, a shu mai and several fried shrimp rolls. He never ate these before and we’ve been to dim sum a bunch of times. My kids said it was a comeback place, which is essentially the highest compliment.

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Otafuku - Gardena

They have reopened for sit down service in the back which is basically half their parking lot. The tables are spaced out way more than 6 feet and they are very conscious of cleanliness.

Start off with their jidori karaage, so flavorful with a blast of chicken. Add a pinch of sea salt and a splash of lemon and this fried chicken is not heavy at all.

Nothing like their amazing Seiro Soba noodles and some well executed fresh tempura. The QQ of the noodles is just fabulous and the dipping sauce is damn near perfection.

And after you finish your noodles, they give you chicken broth to slurp finish off the meal. So great and so comforting. Oh how I missed sit down service.

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Pie Room by Gwen… Aussie chef Curtis Stone is gonna give chef Nicole Rucker some serious competition!

Savory pies: These are knife & fork affairs, not hand pies.
Beef Ale & Pickled Onion: Beautiful. Beef stew in a flaky crust, really tasty.
Chicken & Leek: Lord this was delicious. The chicken and veggie filling oozed out of the perfect crust. Definitely try this one.
Cottage Pie: Minced beef with a mashed potato top from Gwen butchery. A bit heavy-handed on the salt, but quite solid.

Banoffee Cream Pie: Pure, sweet heaven. Brew some coffee to pair with this one.

Pro-tip: The sweet pie for sale by the slices weren’t ready until 11:30AM, so I had to buy the entire pie.

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Price? And how large are these pies?

I miss Maude

How’d you beat @PorkyBelly to it?

and how does one order?

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call 310-859-3418 to order or preorder.

There is this old fashioned thing called driving there, walking through their door, browsing their wares, then paying. All done in person (masked). #AncientBeverlyHillsSecret #LudditeGetsTheWormThisRound

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Each savory pies costs between $15-$25. They are dense and can be two lunch entrees.

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'Tis that time of year for Poon Choi FOMO

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This will save me time cooking from The Pie Room!

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BTW, the chicken roulade is supposed to be like drunken chicken

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Photo dump of this month’s meals so far (in reverse chronological order):

@JLee’s Poon Choi at Pearl River Deli. Extremely well-executed, and at $70 very fair given the amount of seafood.

Tray of Togetherness, also at PRD. I’ve sampled each item individually over the past few weeks as the team was testing, and I think this came together nicely. Some unique, modern touches to the standard trays you’d find at your local Asian markets, especially that Ovaltine fudge.

Amboy is doing a steak frites week that originally began as a Valentine’s Day special, with a different type of steak a day from Wednesday to Sunday this week. You choose the steak from their selection, they’ll make it in their steak of the day prep + a free side of fries at the same damn price as the steak at retail in the shop. Today’s was a Steak Diane that included some black truffles to finish.

The two new Amboy burgers: Grizzly and Royale. Guys, these are expertly executed, but at the end of the day are designed as fast burgers. We’re not trying to win any stars with plating.

And of course to round up my weekly trips to Far East Plaza is supporting the LASA team in their new Lasita concept. This chicken inasal was just perfectly cooked.

As was the lechon. Some LASA dishes will make their way back as specials, so keep an eye out.

Pastry Chef Laura Hoang (@largwa on IG) offered the sole dessert on Lasita’s menu, a riff on banana cream pie. Can never say no to a good banana cream pie.

James wanted me to try the newest version of his bento, and I really think he’s given a lot of thought to balance approachability, balance, and sourcing. And that sabazushi has reached peak form.

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Happy New Year, man. All that great bangbangin’, without having to shlep far!

(It hasn’t slipped past me that Jimmy-san is now doin’ the square mosaic thing… #MosaicSushi)

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Ah! The Turon cream pie looks delicious.
Far East Plaza could easily convert into a Chinatown Food Hall with indoor seating (when the time comes). It’s the Smorgasburg of Chinatown.

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Far East Plaza is certified by me as a foodie destination

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On my wishlist: get a legit ramen operator in the Ramen Champ space (You out there, Keizo?)

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b sweet just moved into that spot

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What fish is at 11 o’clock and 5 o’clock?
Thanks, man.
The one that’s not saba.