October 2020 Rundown

Yup, that place was confusing, I didn’t know where to order or sit. The food was fine, but it wasn’t a wow factor plus that area is so dead at night. It wasn’t a destination restaurant (as in driving across LA to eat there) There are many similar options across LA.

It was a complete lack of hospitality. I remember being there when it was raining grabbing a coffee and pastry. They didn’t want you to sit inside, because that’s not the designated area. Felt like a lot of thought was put into creating a space but not how it would fit in the community

I’m sure that wasn’t the intent but that’s how it came across. It’s really too bad because i like Row DTLA it would have been nice to have a reason to go more often


It’s walkable for me, and while I did have one nice night there walking up and sitting down at the counter for “pizza” and wine, it never became a place I felt like I’d realistically frequent. I wanted to, it had a great low key vibe on a week night, but the various concepts felt inflexible for locals because you got locked into one part of the restaurant or another.

I don’t think it helped that the menu had some good ideas, but didn’t give the area anything new or give us what we all really wanted (actual Bianco pizza). I enjoyed Alameda Supper Club too, but that also felt a bit too hidden away in its own alley and was weird that you had to walk around from what appeared to be the main attraction.


it never particularly felt like the employees wanted customers to be there. I saw a lot of what looked like tours to VIPs / local chefs / food writers. A lot of no you can’t sit here. A beautiful ‘gift shop’ where everything looked too nice to touch or even browse through. Never made it out to the ASC due to early reports but I did go around back to see the entrance because I was scouting it for a possible visit. The entrance seemed like an afterthought

I really enjoy the row itself, I’ve always felt safe and comfortable strolling by myself. Love the sense of history being in the old produce mart. I don’t particularly feel like going out of my way for Tartine anymore but I do want to give them another shot & try the smaller neighborhood locations, .

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I haven’t been since January but Tartine Sycamore was always a nice time.

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King’s Hawaiian x Nozomi

A natural bang bang option post Torrance Farmers Market.

A must order at Nozomi is their negitoro which is amazing as usual. And the outdoor dining situation is really upping my photo skillz.

Can’t not get a few baked treasures at King’s Hawaiian, specifically their buttermilk crullers and the pineapple cheesecake thanks to @J_L for bringing it to my attention. The cinnamon roll was also nice, super moist, overly sweet and just how I like them. The dough was light and fluffy so it wasn’t so heavy, went great with my coffee.

Tokyo Fried Chicken

Dear lord this place was crowded, at least some places are fortunate to be thriving right now. Happy for them, they are such nice people. Chicken is nice, but I just love their dashi collard greens and the side of chicken rice they give you. The 8 piece meal is a shit ton of food.

The sides didn’t photograph too well, or I just wasn’t on my photo game at that moment, but they give you sides and chicken rice along with sauce for the chicken.


Lookin’ good! That natural light does wonders for food photography.

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Good to see a fellow FTCer that enjoys that place! Love their chicken.

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And also it’s right next to Big Softee


Jim’s Bakery is also right around the corner for their amazing dan tat and po tat. That reminds me, I need to get some ASAP and not sure why I didn’t bang bang.


Random (non-plastic) Shunji uni for scale:


OC Run Today

Ba Le Sandwiches
Grabbed a couple of banh mi and supplies to make banh mi for later in the week.

Mom made bo kho for us and we ran out of bread. Need the carbs to sop up the tomato-y broth.

The line at Cococane was ridiculous so I skipped it. Should have ordered ahead or online.

Ben Ngu
It was odd to be inside a restaurant with indoor dining. But it is the OC and Ben Ngu has a huge dining room. There were only a handful of folks eating. I ordered banh bot loc la (there’s a 25 minute wait for this dish now), banh beo, and banh canh tom cua.

I’m going to eat well this week.


Have you had the Banh Canh Tom Cua at Mai Phung?


Not yet, but I’ll put it on my list…thanks!

pizza wagon x mini kabob

chicken and beef combo

got inspired by @rlw, everything was absolutely delicious even the onions, but damn the chicken thigh kabobs are perfection.

brought me back to philly @Nemroz


(La Morra x Kismet) + Kismet Rotisserie

I decided to do some algebra today when I snagged the Kismet collab pie from La Morra with a bang bang at Kismet Rotisserie.

Quarter Chicken Plate

It has been a few months since I last had Kismet Rotisserie and I’d been craving it recently, so I was happy to make an excuse to pick it up. First off, the wedge salad is way better than it has any right to be. It’s hands down one of my favorite salads—it’s an incredibly simple mix of crisp lettuce, radish, parsley, and a chuggable poppyseed dressing. The roast chicken is solid all around: by the time I got it unpacked it had cooled off a bit, needed a bit of reheating, and was only slightly juicy still. That said, it’s a healthy portion and the skin was nice and crisp. The accompanying pickles and hummus are also a bit underrated compared with those found elsewhere, so don’t miss them.

La Morra x Kismet “pumpkin spiced” kabocha squash, Moroccan olive, and feta pie

This came a bit out of nowhere and it wasn’t until La Morra put out a last call that I decided to pull the trigger and pick this frozen pizza up. I’m a huge fan of feta on pizza but a bit meh on olives, and didn’t know if I wanted another forced “pumpkin spice” thing in my life. But hey, I’m happy that this pie was very much intentional and thought through. It was much creamier than I had anticipated, with a layer of ricotta cheese beneath the squash that gave each bite a welcome richness. The earthiness of the “pumpkin spiced” kabocha squash played nicely with the briney olives and salty feta, so I’d call it a success overall. Though I did level it up by dumping leftover chili oil and toum from my chicken plate all over it.


Chirashi mania for me this weekend, with takeout visits to Sushi Kaneyoshi (Little Tokyo) and Shin Sushi (Encino). We are truly blessed to have such great eats available “to go” during these times…

Yoshi-san’s Aburi Bara Chirashi features seared / grilled neta, and the whole box is just plain frickin’ delicious. The saba bozushi supplement was superb as well.

Take-san at Shin Sushi now offers a wonderful tofu mousse dessert with kuromitsu and mint. His usual offerings (Omakase Box, Deluxe Bara Chirashi with fisherman ebi miso soup) are excellent, as usual…


butane, binchotan, both?

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Off menu, right? What’s the best way to get my hands on this?


I believe a mixture of both, depending on the neta type. The taira-gai definitely has a hint of binchotan smokiness.

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