May 2022 Rundown

You should try Sababa the next time you are in Anaheim/Little Arabia area

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Zankoi’s toum is fantastic. I’m never driving to LA again without bringing back a few pints.


On my list but that’s a bit further south than we usually go in Little Arabia and kind of a limited menu. But it looks great.

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Excellent bite from Simon Tan of Marden’s Chicken Rice.

Kueh Pie Tee with bamboo, jacama, and tofu filling


Ceviche craft (Del Mar). This is the second build your own ceviche type place that I know of to open in SD. It was very reminiscent of the poki bowl places that proliferated a few years ago. It was better than I expected but just fine.


Yesterday while birding at Bolsa Chica wetlands in Huntington Beach, I happened to see @JLee’s IG story about Thanh Restaurant in Westminster and was “influenced”. Now I’m obsessed with their delicious com tam and super crispy tau hu ky.

Com tam tau hu ky bo nuong (broken rice with fried tofu skin stuffed with shrimp paste, bbq beef, and a fried egg added):

Com tam bi cha thit nuong trung chien (broken rice with bbq pork, shredded pork skin, steamed pork cake, and fried egg):


My favorite Com Tam spot in Little Saigon!


But only some of them, correct? :frowning:

I tried the TJ toum recently for the first time thinking it would be the same. Nope. Although adding some freshly pressed garlic did the trick.


Forgot to take a pic but tried The Win-Dow in Silver Lake for the first time. Damn that was a tasty burger. The crust/char on the thin patty was so pronounced. I loved it. And the bun they use is significantly better than your average burger joint.


Nothing worse than waiting a long time for bad tacos, and that’s what I did at Pablito’s NoHo the other day. Took forever despite not being that busy so I was primed to not really like it but even so I was disappointed.

Bland except for the asada which was blasted with charcoal, and their ‘Peruvian green sauce’ seemed to be mayo the color of a shamrock shake. Best thing was the veggie taco, which actually had some salt and acid. Really wanted to like the lomo saltado taco. Oh well.

Went to Angel’s the next day to compare - more crowded, faster service, better tacos. Still not top tier, but in my neighborhood and more than serviceable.

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The best thing at Plabito’s is the coffee


As you are a cook, and green garlic will soon be in season, Traditional Toum (Lebanese Garlic Sauce) Recipe. I find it better than Zankou’s.


Bavel over the weekend.

Also got the lamb neck schwarma, which was really good. Best dish I thought was the farmer cheese. Service was a little slow; place was packed both inside and out.


Colpasta is still great. I know next to nothing about how to describe wines, so I can only say that I enjoyed this:

Special dessert was a licorice budino.

Server specifically said that customers who aren’t normally fond of licorice have really enjoyed it, and that applied to me, too. :slight_smile: I don’t know what a “normal” budino texture is. I thought this was quite (enjoyable) loose and light. I actually didn’t get much licorice flavor at all; it seemed to have more a very gentle, savory caramel-y flavor to me. Just yummy.

FYI, they are doing a tiny amount of indoor dining, too.

Lobster and Beer in Santa Monica last night for the first time:

This was really good. The seafood combo was ~$25. The folks at the neighboring table thought the portions were on the smaller side for the price but that the food was very good. I actually think the portion size (esp given the area) is fine for the price. The items in the seafood combo were very unadulterated, which is exactly how I like my seafood.

Lobster was nice and “crisp,” and the shellfish was quite good (aside from a little silt in one clam). The broth initially tasted SUPER salty, but that didn’t affect the seafood at all. Didn’t taste much in the way of wine, so not sure what the prep is.

Partner thought it was reminiscent of going to a New England seafood shack (they plop the food on your table in a to-go container). I don’t really know where else you’re getting reasonably priced seafood in a super casual environment that isn’t also a tourist trap, so I’m pretty happy.

Nachos (w/ an add of short rib) were a messy but surprisingly elevated delight. There actually seemed to be a bechamel at the bottom of the container, so this isn’t the stuff you normally expect at a bar. Served w/ a side of sour cream and 2 salsas (not pictured). The avocado salsa had a nice heat to it.

Partner thought rosé was fine for $9 (which was actually one of their more expensive choices!).

Only demerit is that the food took SO LONG. We were there for nearly 90 mins altogether. There are 2 cooks and 1 person doing what seems to be manager/cashier/serving. Manager did come out to check on us b/c the food was taking so long. We live close by and weren’t in a rush, so we were fine w/ the wait.

I hope this place can keep up the quality b/c I think it could be great.


that’s always my favorite there.

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This wasn’t all this month, but whatever.


My friends wanted steaks and we ended up at Matu having heard some interesting things. I’m not a big steakhouse guy, but really enjoyed this. So much so that I’d probably return here specifically if we’re in that mood again.

The best way to do it is start with the set course menu (when we went the only option was 5 courses, but looking at their website it seems like they’ve also now put on a 3 course option and increased the price of the 5 course) and then add anything additional from there. There were 6 of us and we all did the 5 courses–some courses came as individual plates and others (the steaks and the pasta) were family style.

Beef Broth

Baby Iceberg Lettuce with “Japanese” Caesar Dressing

Hand-cut Tartare Piemonte Style - parmigiano and lemon

Fazzoletti - braised beef ragu and parmigiano (addition)

Braised Beef Cheek - celeriac puree

Center Cut Filet with “47” Salad

"Baby Cauliflower" - garlic, red pepper flakes, and fonduta


NY Strip


Jon & Vinny’s

Another large group dinner so we were able to get a bunch of dishes–as is the move at Jon & Vinny’s.

Gem Lettuce - calabrian chili dressing, parmigiano, bread crumbs

Burrata - grilled gjusta ciabatta, sea salt, olive oil

Chicken Parmesan - pomodoro, mozzarella

Wood Grilled Broccolini - golden raisin, almond, chili vinaigrette

Bronx Bomber - fennel sausage, tomato, mozzarella, onion, garlic, oregano

“White Lightning” - mozzarella, ricotta, garlic, onion, oregano, pickled jalapeño

Spaghetti - six hour bolognese, parmigiano

Spicy Fusilli, - vodka, basil, parmigiano

Warm Strawberry Bread Pudding - soft whip

Soft Serve (twist, duh)

Bar Moruno


Minerva Skinless Sardines in Spicy Tomato

Decent tinned fish brought down by terrible bread.

Anchovy Matrimonio - anchovies lemon, shaved butter, garlic confit, pickled red onion

Too much acid, terrible bread again.

Chorizo Scotch Egg

Incredibly salty. Thankfully no bread.

Roasted Sweet Potato - cashews, sesame seeds, brown butter, honey, sumac

The best dish we had!

They forgot to bring the pan con tomate we ordered, but we decided it was best to tap out after that.


That’s a shame, 'cuz I thought that was Bar Moruno’s best dish…


Wtf? That’s not pan con tomate. Looks pretty good tho :joy:


Not that it’s what I"d expect, but that is literally pan con tomate.


That’s like calling this mac and cheese because it’s literally macoroni and cheese