Sunday, August 30, 2009

My First Attempt at Ong Choy

After eating ong choy at Seafood Village a couple weeks ago, I've become obsessed with this "water spinach". I even ordered it again the next day at Little Hong Kong Cafe on Sawtelle. They charged $9.95 for the dish! I decided that such a simple veggie should be easy to stir fry. And boy was I right! Went to Ranch 99 today and bought a pound of it for $1.79. Score!

First, clean and trim the ong choy.

Cut into smaller pieces, making sure to toss the rough ends

Saute chopped garlic in some olive oil

Throw in the ong choy and stir fry with the garlic

Keep stir frying till the ong choy wilts down, about 5 minutes

Voila! Take ong choy off heat and transfer to a plate

Enjoy over steamed white rice if you aren't afraid of carbs

This was so good, even my daughter liked it! Yep, kids do eat veggies. As long as they taste good. It's all gone now. *rubs belly*

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Westin San Diego

My daughter's birthday was last weekend, so I booked us a room here for our lil getaway. Since I'm a AAA member, I snagged a Westin Workout room for $223 a night. Woot woot! Got me a treadmill so I could run my butt off after dinner.

Anyway, we got to the hotel at 2 pm and the room wasn't ready yet. The people in there had requested a late checkout. I was hoping that it would be ready since it took 3 hours to get to SD from LA. But, whatevs.

We went to get some lunch, then came back at 4 pm and checked in. The room was on the 21st floor with a nice view of the marina.

I had requested 2 doubles beds, but that was unavailable so we had a rollaway bed put inside.

The king bed was so uncomfortable that we both had kinks in our necks and back the next morning. Heavenly bed my ass! Also, what was up with the sheets? I felt like I was sleeping in some rough cactus shrubbery.

My kid liked her rollaway bed so I guess that's good.

Checked out the pool Sunday morning and it was quite small. There were lounge chairs around the pool though so I laid out and enjoyed the sun while my kid swam.

Some lady was swimming laps in the small ass pool and told my daughter to move. Good thing I didn't hear her cuz she would have gotten yelled at. It ain't an olympic pool biatch, move yo ass. And go pick on someone your own size.

We tried to get coffee at Starbucks in the lobby, but they closed at 11 am. WTF? That's lame. So, we had to get coffee down the street at Coffee Bean. Inconvenient.

Dual shower heads were nice. They did not have body wash in the toiletries. Boo on that.

And the kicker.. I accidentally left my Juicy sandals in the room and didn't realize it till i got back to LA. Called the hotel and reported it to Lost N "Found". Got a call back from them saying they never found my shoes. LIARS! I know for a fact that I left my shoes there. Obviously, your housekeeping staff took them. Whatever. I don't understand why someone would take some used shoes, but ENJOY! Biatch.

Won't be coming back here. I wish the W wasn't booked, because our stay with them was 100 times better.

Westin San Diego
400 W Broadway
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 239-4500

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ulysses Voyage @ The Grove

Woke up with an hankering for some Greek cuisine so we headed to the Grove. I avoid the Grove like the plague, because it is usually packed with tards and tourists, but during the weekdays, it ain't so bad.

We sat outside on the patio and it was sweltering hot. Later on, I saw that the temperature was 101. Well, shit, someone turn some fans on!

Both of us ordered ice water since nothing else seemed appealing.

Started off with the caviar hummus. Yummy as usual. How can you go wrong with caviar? I loved it, but packed the rest to go since we wanted to eat our entrees.

caviar hummus - $5.50

I had the traditional lamb gyro which came with skinny garlic fries and a green salad. The salad was meh at best, fries were decent and the gyro was pretty good. It was a hefty gyro and I could only eat 1/3 of it. The lamb was a bit overcooked, but other than that, tasty. I just polished the rest of it now for din din.

lamb gyro- $9.50

nom nom nom

My DC has the 1/2 grilled salmon salad and liked it. At $8.95, it better be good.

Service was cool, they refilled our waters this time.

All this was $26.29 before tip. Good lunch, decent price.

Ulysses Voyage
6333 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 939-9728

Monday, August 24, 2009

(Un)lucky Star Seafood Restaurant

Ever had really bad dim sum where you just want to throw your chopsticks at the people working there? That was me yesterday while dining at the "Lucky Star". More like Unlucky Star if you ask me.

We were craving dim sum after a morning of hanging by the pool. So, I went on Yelp and saw that this place had an overall rating of 4 stars. We headed over here from Downtown San Diego and were all excited to get our grub on.

It was just downhill from there. Service was lacking, if there was any. The food was not fresh, hardly warm and some of the dishes were even cold. WTF!

Shrimp dumplings (har gow)- ugh, the shrimp was hard and chewy. Granted, it was hot, but tasted like rubber.

Tripe- now, this dish I actually ate myself and finished it all. Not bad, but nothing special.

Sticky rice- Ehh.. just gross. I can't even bear to remember it.

Fried taro dumplings- COLD. ugh. Not good.

sticky rice, tripe, taro dumplings

Fried pork dumplings- Cold as well. It tasted better than the taro though. But, cold food is unacceptable.

Pork pastry- OMG. Cold again. It was hard to chew and just tasted nasty.

Yellow custard bun- Blah. My kid hated it, and she loves sweets.

yellow custard bun, fried pork dumplings, pork pastry, har gow

I ordered turnip cake from the waiter and he looked at me blanky. Umm.. ok. So, I assumed that he didn't understand. 15 minutes later, this lady comes out with a plate of turnip cake. WTH? I was in shock, but ate it anyway. It tasted okay, but it was too soft and the bottom was burnt. *SIGH*

The 3 of us left more than 50% of the food uneaten. When the waiter asked us if we wanted to take leftovers home, I immediately said no and shook my head furiously. Had to make sure he understood. He gave me a look like "why you waste food". Well, I wouldn't waste food if it was edible!

1.5 stars rounded up to 2. All this cost $35! What. Ever.

Don't come here. You will not leave with a happy tummy.

Lucky Star Seafood Restaurant
3893 54th St
San Diego, CA 92105
(619) 229-8228

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pho Show or Maybe Not

I ran my butt off on the treadmill today so I could indulge in some pho. Ok, I lied. I power walked for 30 minutes. But, I sweated tons. Does that count?

After the "run", my friend and I came here since it was down the street from her place. Located next to a Thai massage place, Pho Show stands out with its bright sign. We parked on the street and walked in eagerly for some pho.

Service was mediocre at best. The waitress barely smiled and didn't even know if the pho with white fish was good. Hmm, isn't that part of your job? Knowing how the food tastes?

I opted for the tofu pho since I'm being healthy and I love tofu. My friend got the combo pho with beef, tripe, balls and other stuff.

$6.95 each for small bowls. Pho came within 7 minutes and we started digging in.

I liked my pho, but it really only came with chunks of tofu. No veggies at all. Bummer. I added a ton of bean sprouts and basil to the mix. Cock sauce was added as well, however, I put way too much cuz my nose started running. Sheesh. I'm a wuss with that sauce.

tofu pho

My friend said her pho was okay. And, she's Vietnamese so she knows good pho.

It's about a 2.5 overall. I prefer Pho Citi in Westwood for their veggie tofu pho.

Total bill - $18 after tax and tip. Not sure I'd come back, it was just really mediocre.

Pho Show
4349 Sepulveda Blvd
Culver City, CA 90230
(310) 398-5200

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Seafood Village - All About The Ong Choy!

After a mediocre massage at Clean Foot Spa where my lady masseuse beat me up and didn't go the full hour, we headed to Seafood Village to get our Chinese food grub on.

My friend recommended this place as she and her man go here quite often. It's a traditional Chinese restaurant, complete with the tanks holding fish, lobster and crab unaware of their imminent demise. But, what else would these creatures be good for anyway?

The 3 of us sat down at a table and proceeded to order. My gf suggested we get the Fish Pot, which she said was a must have. So, we ordered that, Ong Choy with tofu, and House chicken.

Fish Pot: OMG. This was the biggest fish pot I've ever seen. It came with an entire fish, head attached, sitting in a metal pan with soup and veggies. They put the pan on top of a portable stove and said we had to wait 5 minutes for the fish to finish cooking. Dayam. That was some intricate shit.

why, hello there

I liked the fish stew. It had a nice broth to it, a bit salty, but the fish was cooked well. I didn't much care for the skin and all the bones. But, a good dish overall. It better be at $25!

Ong Choy with tofu: Yeah!!! Now, this was MY favorite dish. Stir fried ong choy (water spinach) with bits of tofu. It was greasy as hell, but that added to the flavor. I ate a bunch of it over my white rice and it blew me away. Who knew such a simple dish could taste so good? However, I did not see any tofu bits.

yummy in my tummy

House Chicken: Basically, Hainan chicken. Umm.. I had a bite and did not like it. I didn't know it was supposed to cold. Whatever. I guess I'm not THAT Asian. My friends both liked it. But, ehhhh.. to me, it was just kinda gross.

not my thang

All this food cost $58. Pretty pricey dinner, but the good company made up for it. Service was alright, but I was annoyed they kept stepping on my toes! Anyhoo.. gonna go forage in my fridge for the leftover Ong Choy and rice now.

Seafood Village
684 W Garvey Ave
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(626) 289-0088

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mama's Lu- Best Green Onion Pancakes

I was looking for a new place to eat XLB, and came across Mama's Lu from a few blogs. $4 per order of XLB instead of $8? Sounds like a deal to me!

We came here yesterday to test out the XLB, and unfortunately, they did not measure up to Din Tai Fung. Yeah yeah, I know some of you are haters, but since this is my review, I get the final say. DTF still rules in XLB!!

Since I'm the native Taiwanese, I did all the ordering. Apparently, my eyes are bigger than my stomach, cuz I ordered way too much food.

Pork belly with preserved veggies: Hmm.. this was interesting. We didn't much care for it, way too fatty. Yeah, I know it's the pig's belly, but nah, not so much. I'll pass on this.

Green onion pancake: DING DING DING!! We have a winner. This is hands down the best green onion pancake in LA! It was so crispy that when you bit down, you could hear the crunch. Mmm.. my mouth just watered. Great onion flavor with good flakiness. LOVED IT. Highly recommended. And cheap at $1.99.

best in LA

Beef noodle soup: My second favorite dish. Came with oodles of noodles, along with nice chunks of beef, a good hearty broth and a fair amount of lettuce. The only thing it lacked was spice. But, then again, I like my food with a kick.

lots of beef

and noodles

Shrimp fried rice: ehhh.. this was ordinary. I can't vouch for it, cuz I can make better rice at home. But, huge portion! My kid liked it alot, so I guess that counts for something. DTF has better shrimp fried rice, even though their portion is measly.

Juicy pork XLB: Whoa, these suckers are twice the size of DTF, but only half as good. The skin was too thick and doughy. I did not much care of these, nor did my dining companions. And we are hardcore XLB fans. Ooops.. $4 is cheap, but I'd rather pay more for better.

Service was very friendly and they waiter was kind enough to pack up all our leftovers with a smile. We had leftovers of everything. I accidentally ordered 3 orders of XLB, so he packed up 20 dumplings while teasing us. Service with a smile at an Asian place? Almost unheard of.

All this food was $40. Cheap. But, I'd only come back for the green onion pancakes. Everything else was just okay.

Mama's Lu
153 E Garvey Avenue
Monterey Park, CA 91755
(626) 307-5700

Thursday, August 13, 2009


After my last jaunt to Simbala in Rowland Heights and being highly satisfied with the deliciously wonderful Taiwanese food, I had to check out their sister or cousin restaurant, Sinbala in Arcadia.

My boy and I made the trek yesterday from the Westside to the SGV. It took about 40 minutes to get here and another 20 minutes of waiting to get a table.

Seeing all the Asians waiting outside made me feel good that Sinbala would not disappoint. It's pretty small inside, but they bust out the food quickly.

We sat at a small table next to a table of 4 women who ordered a bunch of noodles, noodle soup, oyster pancake and sausage. I was salivating just looking at their table.

I ordered in Mandarin with bits of English. What.. I don't know how to say "Pumpkin" in Chinese.

Green onion pancakes: as good as the cousin restaurant. Crispy, slightly greasy with a nice scallion flavor.

Sausage with garlic: DANG. I guess it is true. You haven't had Chinese sausage till you've had it with slices of fresh garlic. The pungent and spicy garlic really complements the sweet/salty of the sausage. Divine!

make sure you eat some mints after this dish

Pumpkin rice noodles: Awwwww hells yeah. Tasted as good as before. Love all the pumpkin bits. Huge portion too, we had to take it to go.

heaping plate of pumpkin noodles

Noodles with spicy brown sauce: We call it Ja Jiang Mein. - Clearly these noodles are for the meat and spice lover. I loved it. I thought the thin slices of cucumber gave it a nice crunch and welcome coolness.

look at all that meaty sauce

How much did this all cost? $20. I know!! What a deal! And we took leftovers home of ALL the dishes. Gotta love the SGV for cheap eats.

651 W Duarte Rd, Ste F
Arcadia, CA 91007
(626) 446-0886

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Caffe Roma

We came here today for lunch cuz I was really craving some good pasta. In retrospect, I regret not going to my first choice, Cafe Med in Weho, but whatever. We were already in BH and didn't feel like making the drive.

Sat down outside, but had to move since the umbrellas weren't covering the blazing sun. At least the service was nice because the food was not worth the price.

I had the spaghetti with langoustine special. It was salty and I thought it came with grilled veggies, but alas no veggies. WTH. It came with a small langoustine on top of my pasta, and pieces of langoustine in the pasta. $24. Yeah, not cheap or worth the $24 in my opinion.

He had the Pappardelle al cinghiale (pasta with boar) which was quite earthy and heavy. I've had better boar elsewhere. It just didn't tantalize my taste buds. Nothing popped in this dish at all. We didn't much care for it, so took a few bites and packed the rest up to go. $20.

pasta with boar.. boring

Lemonade- $4. Mostly ice. Eh.. it's Beverly Hills. That's about normal. Good thing I had ice water. I can't justify paying $8-10 for a bottle of flat water if I can get tap water for free. What? We're in a recession.

Total- $53.

Would I come back? 40%. I just have had better pasta elsewhere for a cheaper price.

Caffe Roma
350 N Canon Dr Ste 13
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 274-7834

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Last weekend, my GF and our kids came here to get our Taiwanese grub on. Boy, was I glad we did. What a way to satisfy my craving!

There was about a 15-20 min and we were starving. But, it made the food taste THAT much better. I guess anticipation really does make a difference.

Green onion pancakes: Yummy, perfectly crispy, greasy and just damn good! The kids loved them. I had once piece and the next thing I knew, they were pretty much gone. Little oinkers.

Pumpkin with rice noodles. OMG. This was heaven on a plate for me. I love Mi Fun, and this version with bits of meat and pumpkin was awesome! It came in a big portion too so I was able to stuff my face and save some for later!

Beef noodle soup: Damn, this soup was SPICY! It came with handmade noodles and big chunks of beef, along with lots of spicy pepper flakes. We were both blowing our noses. Very good hangover food. And no, I was not hangover, just sayin.

Rice with bamboo and pork: This dish looked pretty tasty, but I didn't have any. However, my friend and her son liked it so that's a good sign.

Wonton soup: Big wontons in a delicious broth with cabbage. Can't go wrong with this one. A classic soup, very good flavors.

We ordered shaved ice for dessert even though we were stuffed. The kids dug in and shaved ice is only $5 for one order. You also get to pick 5 toppings. My favorite was the rice balls. OMG. YUM.

Total for lunch was about $35. Cash only. That's the only downfall of this place. I didn't have enough cash, but my friend covered me. But, I had enough food leftover for dinner!

18489 Colima Rd
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
(626) 581-9885

Monday, August 3, 2009

Greenblatt's Deli

A-OK. My sentiments exactly.

Greenblatt's has been around forever, but today was my first visit here. My friend and I decided to check it out since we were in the area, and he was craving a tuna sandwich. I was just glad they had free parking in the back. Parking in WeHo is like finding gold in a land mine.

Btw, if you have a low car or a nice car, please be careful of the high ass incline going into the lot. Just a friendly warning.

Walking in from the parking lot, we headed downstairs and grabbed a booth by the window. The inside of Greenblatt's is pretty dim and musty, kinda reminds me of a bar like Cheers, except there was no bar. Or people who knew my name.

Alas, the waitress appeared to take our order and I decided on the beef brisket with au jus on wheat, with a side of macaroni salad. My drink of choice, Yoohoo. I haven't had Yoohoo in so long, my tummy was craving it. Weird, considering I don't really drink much milk.

brisket goodness with a side of macaroni salad

My friend had the tuna sandwich on toasted rye with swiss cheese and a side of Kettle potato chips.

Food arrives within 10 minutes to my happiness! Wooot!!! I was starving, and really wanted some macaroni.

Mmmm.. macaroni was good, kinda slippery, but had some flavors. I think they could have not put so much mayo, but hey, it's their salad, not mine.

Brisket was very tender and flavorful. I hated the au jus, since it was way salty and tasted like butt. I do not recommend the au jus at all. Just eat the brisket as is. Unless you want to see how butt tastes like, then dip away!

My friend liked his sandwich and I liked his chips. hahaha.. Wasn't in the mood for tuna today.


Overall, it's a decent place to get some food if you are in the area. But, I wouldn't drive here specifically for it. Lunch- $31. Worth it? I'll let you be the judge.

Greenblatt's Deli
8017 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 656-0606