October 2020 Rundown

Hahah now you tell me. We were so full. We only ate half of the comped desserts.

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I thought you knew about the popcorn ice cream. It’s quite delightful.

anajak thai

disappointing takeout. the chicken had crispy skin but was way overcooked and dry, could barely chew through the white meat. the scallops were tiny and colorless and looked nothing like the excellent scallops I had before. and at $25 for 5 tiny scallops the qpr wasn’t there either.

there was also a very unpleasant burning oil smell that filled the dining room when I picked up, don’t know what was going on there.

maybe I need to try their thai taco tuesdays or alleyway dining, but right now I’m not seeing what all the influ-grammer hype is all about.

southern thai fried chicken

scallops, xo



Anajak Thai
14704 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403


You kinda answered your own query there…

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From the IG pics I thought this place was going to be the next big Thai restaurant to hit the scene…(actually they been around but kinda reinvent themselves via Son)

We ate at the anajak alley on a Tuesday and the fried chicken was very good and crispy and not dry. It was piping hot and just out the fryer so maybe it could be take out thing. The Thai tacos are pretty good—destination worthy? Probably not at least for us pasadena folk.

I will say this about Anajak—IG influencer hype or not, Justin is doing a fantastic job of reinventing his family restaurant in his style. Not dissimilar to what Kris yembamgroong did with night+market years back @JeetKuneBao .

Where vast majority of restaurants are struggling—I would argue he’s actually thriving. There was line half block down before he even opened at 5 pm on Tuesday night. His innovations, collabs with dry age fish guy, and @JLee tomorrow, to the support of other fellow chefs has not gone unnoticed by restaurant community.

Perhaps being raised in an immigrant family has something to do with this. They know adversity and how to survive. Similarly, the daughter of Ayara thai in the westchester has done similar innovations—pinto Thursday’s which we love, drive in Thai movies, and this up coming thai hot pot looks amazing

So in a way @JeetKuneBao, I do think anajak, Ayara and also holy basil are on to something—they are actually all doing thai that hasn’t been done before—whether it’s great sourcing, new concepts, or just bold flavors, it’s the 2nd gen leading the way.


@A5KOBE the chips at Los Toros are great


Tripp Burgers pop-up (Palms) is hitting all the right notes with a damn good Westside smashburger. All that, and a bag of Utz…

Oliboli Donuts (Tustin) celebrated their 2nd Birthday with a Golden Ticket Celebration. - Two Golden Tickets, each granting the bearer one free Oliboli donut per day for 365 days (!) were hidden inside two random boxes which could only be purchased on Thursday. Though I failed to find my Golden Ticket despite buying no less than four golden boxes, my taste buds sure won out. Their banoffee (banana+coffee), seasonal pumpkin mousse and guava cream donuts are absolutely ridiculous!

SoCal Indo Food (pre-order delivery) was spot-on yet again. Delicious tastes from Indonesia, couriered by always-smiling Aaron straight to my door. Mie goreng, dadar jagung (corn fritters with lemongrass), and pandan roll cake. Terima kasih!

Kiriko (Sawtelle Japantown) ushers in a taste of autumn. Battera (on request) is just wonderful right now. Ikura don with tamago delighted our little one (and also myself when I stole a bite from kiddo). But most importantly, Ken-san’s to-go version of matsutake no osuimono is my Bite (Slurp?) of the Week - Just a supremely-executed delicate, earthy broth with a gorgeous lingering finish. I early-harvested a yuzu from my backyard tree, squeezed in a few drops of juice and WOW! It’s as close as I’ll get to traveling to Japan this year…

That, and roasted Japanese chestnut and red beans over Kiriko’s housemade vanilla ice cream, accompanied with a cup of hoji-cha, are a perfect way to finish the meal.

Project M Matcha Café (Sawtelle Japantown) is dishing out soft serve which has become a regular treat for me. Though my serving today was a bit more anemic than usual (WTF I paid $6 for this), just a dab of azuki made it all OK again before I shot it against their Insta-wall…

Patisserie Chantilly (Lomita) offered a deal today: Six of their legendary choux for $18! I went to town on their black sesame choux. Outrageous. The pudding, pommier and marron cake (not pictured ‘cuz hungry spawn scarfed it too quickly) were quality through and through.

Stay safe, y’all.


That’s a legit haul @J_L. I would have been thrilled if you won the Oliboli golden ticket.

Gotta get my butt down to Chantilly. My wife’s birthday in 2 weeks and she has requested their cake.


Bang bang down the street at La Espanola while you’re at it. Their bocadillos are off the chain! (filete de caballa pictured)


Sorry you didn’t win the ticket! But we went down there today and agree… these Donuts are something special… Love that they have several savory options too!

I have to ask… where did you get your Yuzu tree?! I think I killed my Mini Cherry tree and now have a pot availability… LOL!!



If I lived closer I would totally grab one of these. Bourbon and burgers are a great combo.

$18 for a burger, drink and goodie bag seems very reasonable.


tacos de camaron
Crunchy snack…


Catching up on the rest of the month here with a little BBR.

Burmese Please

Tea Leaf Salad

There was only one pop-up from Chef Nicely this month, so I was really jonesing for some of that sweet sweet fermented tea leaf action.

Bar Ama

Brussel Sprouts with Cherry Tomatoes

With Baco Mercat gone, I’m so happy that Chef Centeno is carrying over some of the dishes and flavors from that restaurant to the still humming Bar Ama. While it’s not the caesar brussel sprout dish that caused me to fall in love with Chef Centeno’s cooking in the first place, these fried brussel sprouts are reminiscent of many of the flavors that made it into other dishes at Baco—fenugreek, pickled onion, a bit of cheese, and a variety of fresh herbs.

Tex Mex Corn

The proper ratio of any street style Mexican corn is 1:1 corn to butter. Here Chef Cento makes it 1 part corn, 1 part butter, 1 part cheese, and it is absolutely glorious.

Tartine Silver Lake

Persian Herb Omelette

Kuku Sabzi is up there among my personal favorite egg dishes, and while I normally see much more herbs making up the dish, I really dug the version here at Tartine. It was piping hot when I picked it up and paired with the yogurt and basically butter fried bread it was a highly satisfying meal.

Tiger and the Horse

Chef’s Choice Chirashi

The Tiger and Horse has just gone on hiatus for a little bit, so I jumped at the opportunity to get one last order of chirashi in. The variety of fish was expertly cut and presented with charred salmon belly and freshly fried eggplant tempura. The Tiger and the Horse has quietly been churning out some of my favorite chirashi bowls of the pandemic era.

Mizlala West Adams

Crispy Broccoli

Nutritional value is inversely proportional to taste.

Brussel Sprouts

I have a deep love for brussel sprouts and Mizlala’s charred and fried version is one of my favorites in the city.


Carrot Cake Cookie

In the midst of batch 3 research I stumbled on the carrot cake cookie. It’s exactly as described—your typical carrot cake flavors and elements pressed into cookie form. So there are chunks of walnut and raisin alongside slim shavings of carrot and a nice dollop of cream cheese frosting. It has the same hallmark quality of Zooie’s chocolate chip cookies, chewy, gooey, and confident.


Mochi doughnuts

These are smaller than the ones you’ll find at Modo Hawaii, so the exterior is a bit crisper on the exterior to the extent of almost being crunchy. That said, they’re all still very chewy and quite packed with sweetness. At 6 for $6, it would be hard not to put them away quickly because they’re a pretty good snacking size. At the time, they had 4 flavors: Strawberry, Matcha, Chocolate, and Glazed


It counts if it’s postmarked in October right?

Fat n Flour choco chess pie

Curry hand pie

Hayato bento

Pasjoli Hadn’t been here in a while, so it was good to revisit; everything was delicious! FYI - all takeout is fully heated except the Sunday suppers, which are “par” cooked


Ragout d’oignons (aka the onion tart)

Boeuf en Croute (aka beef wellington)

Couple items from Kim Chuy in Far East Plaza, including some fried shrimp cakes and the steamed chive buns

Thien Huong (also in Far East Plaza) does a pretty serviceable banh cuon

Laroolou Fat n Flour rightfully gets a ton of plaudits, but these pies are quite decadent and tasty

Salted Earl Grey pie

Peanut butter S’mores pie

Amboy Classic Double cheeseburger - really nicely laced and juicy, plus the fries (not shown) were amazing - tasted like a fancier version of OG McD’s fries (thanks for the tip @PorkyBelly)

Needle char siu

Fried rice - dang, this was good! Usually each of the ingredients (especially the protein) get homogenized, but not in this case; the whole worked as a great dish, but you got a pop of flavor and texture from every bite of each ingredient

Jimmy Sugishita bentos (that’s seiko gani in the bottom left)


It really depends on who you ask. :rage:

But great pics!


Crooked Gaff Kitchen (Whittier) -
Oysters + Pliny the Elder
My first Pliny and it was delicious. I enjoyed how lovely it smelled and how well it paired with the oysters…kushii, kumamoto, kumiai, and Laguna Bay. I found I did not enjoy the Laguna Bay oysters…bitter aftertaste and minerally…I had to use the mignonette sauce to help.
Also had the fish & chips while catching the first few minutes of Beetlejuice.

Clearman’s Steak N Stein (Pico Rivera) -
Cocktails and steak! Not a bad way to spend Halloween. We didn’t want to be wallowing home all night…our chowpups were close to being phased out of doing any activity and this year’s suggestion helped speed the process along. So we decided to enjoy some fun things in our neighborhood.

Worth noting that each place is really respecting distancing and county ordinances. It was also a quiet night as each place was never close to being busy even with distancing and reduced outdoor capacity.


Hi Dommy! Sorry for the late reply. I received my yuzu tree as a gift. I believe the person who gave me the tree got it from a nursery in the Montebello area. Sorry I couldn’t be more specific. What I do know, though, is that my yuzu tree is a graft.

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Thanks @J_L! Sounds like I gotta get myself on a mission…

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Looks great. What’s in the middle of the hummus?

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