Tag Archives: Food

Craving Newport Seafood Restaurant

20 May

newportseafood

newportseafood2

When we’re feeling Hangry (Hungry + Angry), what is a sure bet place to eat to make us feel Fappy (Full + Happy)? I’d put my money on Newport Seafood Restaurant in San Gabriel, which is where my bf and I ate w/ our food soul mates and 3 adopted little sisters (Face’s sisters). We were all Hangry to the max, but unless we were the owner’s friend, a friend of a friend, a VIP, a frequent flyer, a high-roller or what ever title it is that usually gets our names to the top of a list, we had to wait for our number to be called. We saw dishes pass by that looked so good, we were peeking into the dining area to glimpse at all the food that we could order and to see if any tables were filled with Fappy people who were ready to make room for the Hangry ones. It was almost as if we were in Vegas right before before our 21st birthday, waiting for the second we could finally throw the dice down at the craps table. After about a half hour wait, we got seated. We ordered family style and had the clams, fresh cooked shrimp, Newport-style lobster, bean curd with black mushrooms, on choy, crab fried rice, salt and pepper pork chops, and cubed beef. The last two dishes are not pictured. The beef dish was the first thing that came out and was eaten before I even knew what happened to it. The pork dish came out in the middle of a major food devouring session and at that time, my hunger dictated that satisfying my seafood cravings was more important than taking a picture of a pork chop. Coincidentally, both are dishes I don’t eat; however, both dishes were thoroughly enjoyed by every one else just as much as all of the other dishes that were on the table. During the meal the Lazy Susan was spinning around like a roulette wheel, but instead of cashing in on some dough, we were raking in (well, more like scooping up) other riches onto our plates, the richness of amazingly good Chinese food. At the end of the meal, sure enough, we were all Fappy, a feeling which is very similar to feeling like a winner. Winner, winner, lobster dinner!

Craving Haru Sushi Cafe

16 May

harusushi

How can we tell when a restaurant is good? When it’s consistently packed, all night long on a random work night, like it was at Haru Sushi Cafe in West Hollywood. I was introduced to this Japanese restaurant by Marshall and Face and all I can say is that is Haru (the chef), you sure know how to makes some great sushi! The three of us shared the Shishito Pepper Saute Appetizer and Haru’s Organic Seaweed & Cucumber Sunomono Style Salad. I ordered the Combination Sashimi Dinner (Chef Haru’s choice of assorted sashimi) from the Sushi Bar with brown rice, served with a green house salad and miso soup and the Lotus Roll. I also tried the Island Roll (shrimp tempura and crab roll covered with salmon and avocado served with soy citrus dressing) and yes, Haru, it was delicious, thank you very much. I was very impressed with the quality of the food served. The sashimi was fresh and the texture was smooth and buttery. We can also tell when a restaurant is good when we know for sure that we’ll be coming back. The sign on the red awning out front of the restaurants reads “Modern Japanese Cuisine,” so it may be easy to miss; however, just as I was introduced to Haru, most good restaurants get introduced by recommendation. So, take it from me, a newly converted Haru Sushi Lover, it’s good!

Craving Tender Greens

13 May

tendergreens

Is there a place that you could probably eat at every week? That place, for me, is Tender Greens in Pasadena. This cafeteria-style dine-in or take-out spot, specializes in fresh, wholesome, and locally sourced food. TG uses high quality ingredients and the food is delicious. I love the Happy Vegan (Farro wheat with cranberry & hazelnuts, quinoa with cucumber & beets, green hummus, tabbouleh, and tenders greens), but lately, I’ve been ordering the the Cobb Salad without the chicken or bacon (Romaine hearts, blue cheese, egg, avocado, tomato with a sherry vinaigrette). While all of their Big Salads are appetizing, there is also the option of customizing a salad with any of the ingredients available at the counter with any of their dressings, which are made there using California oil, vinegar from Sonoma, fresh herbs, and citrus juices. The sides are also very tasty. I usually get the couscous and a side of grilled veggies. The veggies are picked at their peak and cultivated by local farmers. Their pastries are also amazing and they’re house-made with natural sugars and seasonal fruit. I don’t feel as guilty indulging in their strawberry shortcake or carrot cupcake on occasion knowing that they only use ingredients our grandmothers would recognize (except for agave).

Craving Chocboard

7 May

chocboard

When we’re in another country, isn’t it common to, at some point, crave food that isn’t typically served in all of the restaurants around town? In Manila, after having Filipino food almost every meal, I finally had the opportunity to go to Chocboard, which I had been hearing so much about. Just a block away from SM Manila Mall, in Ermita, Chocboard offers a variety of vegetarian meal options, refreshing beverages, and tasty treats. It’s a new trendy and hip cafe and bakery that breaks the mold of the run of the mill places to eat in town with cool music playing, wi-fi, and an ambiance that invites us in, and makes us not want to leave. I had tried both of the pastas on the menu, one with tomato sauce and one with white sauce, both served with yummy garlic bread. Chocboard also serves the best orange juice I think I’ve ever had. I must have ordered three glasses throughout the evening, it was that good. If it wasn’t for being being half way around the world from home, I would definitely be a regular Chocboard.

Raving About Subic Bay and Gerry’s Grill

6 May

subic

gerrysgrill

gerrysdeli2

What do most people do to get out of town and away from the hustle and bustle, the noise, and the sea of grey concrete of a big city? One option would be to head to the beach, to see the blue ocean and a backdrop of lush greenery. Subic Bay offers just that nice charge of scenery, just two hours away from metro Manila, driving on a road full of one pay toll after another. That’s where (thanks to Jax’s Dad, Mr. R) Jax, Di, their husbands and relatives, and Lin and I went to enjoy the day to relax, hang out, and ride jet skis. After a few hours on the beach and in the ocean, we ordered Filipino food from Gerry’s Grill. I had a refreshing Filipino drink called Sago’t Gulaman, and we all shared Pancit Bihon, Kangkong Ala Pobre, Green Mango with Bagoong, Calamares, and Tuna Belly. I couldn’t be in the Philippines and not leave without having Halo Halo, so I took advantage of the opportunity to order this amazing dessert topped with Ube Ice Cream. While it is considered summer here in the Philippines, we all had fun in the sun like it was spring break.

Craves and Savors from the Philippines

5 May

filipino food

aristocrat

What’s better than satisfying genuine Filipino food cravings in the Philippines? Sharing the experience with family and friends. While staying the Manila, I was able to visit my family members who I hadn’t seen for a long time, and some members who I had never even met before. Despite the distance, how well I knew my relatives, or how well they knew me, they made me feel right at home as gracious and generous hosts. One thing about Filipinos is they love it when their guests eat, and I was happy to oblige as the food continued to be placed in front of me. Filipino food has been a long awaited craving that I rarely get to satisfy, and every meal was ready and waiting, and offered with lots of love. A typical Filipino meal that I enjoyed was white rice with egg, fish, and sliced tomato in soy sauce or vinegar. Every means was also accompanied with delicious fruit like papayas, pomelos, yellow mangos, bananas, or watermelon. My uncle even took me to Jonas for dinner, where I had mami (noodle soup) and was happy to indulge my cravings of leche flan and banana bread. I loved being able to spend time with my family members before I met up with my friends and their family members, for more time spent savoring the company of loved ones, and eating more Filipino food. For lunch at Aristocrat I satisfied more Flipino food cravings: Palabok (a signature Filipino noodle dish), Pinakbet, (a signature Filipino vegetable dish), Puto (a Filipino delicacy), Garlic Rice, and I washed everything down with Buko (young coconut water). Having lunch with friends in another country, enjoying our time together in the Philippines and sharing our experiences with one another is something that should never be taken for granted. Also, being in a city of a third world country, where poverty is apparent on every block, is a truly humbling experience. Everything that I’ve eaten and enjoyed is just that much more savored and appreciated, as not every one has the luxury of constant and steady meals. Everything so far craved and Savored have been accompanied with feelings of being very blessed and thankful for all that I have in my life, and every one in it.

Craving Juk

3 May

juk

Isn’t it funny that when we’re feeling starved and scarfing down something that tastes phenomenal, sometimes, we don’t know if it is just THAT good, or if we are just THAT hungry? After a thirteen hour flight from Los Angeles, California to Seoul, Korea, I desperately needed to grab something to eat despite only having 15 minutes to get to the next gate to catch the last leg of my flight to Manila, Philippines. I was looking forward to eating Korean food since I had been anticipating an hour layover, but since waiting in line for and finally getting through the airport security checkpoint took over 45 minutes, that didn’t leave me much time for eating. On the plane, of the two meals and one snack served, there were no vegetarian options. So, I had to skip the ham sandwich snack and only ate the sides of the lunch and dinner offerings, which was kimchi with rice and a small serving of fruit. On the plane I was already running through a list in my mind of Korean food that I would want to order during my layover, but in reality, I found myself literally running through the airport, passed all of the Korean food that I wanted to order. Although I only had less than 10 minutes before boarding I couldn’t help but stop at a food court at the Shanghai Deli so I could order something to-go and eat on the plane. I ordered Juk, a Korean rice porridge, which I always crave, but hadn’t had in a while. I don’t know if it was just my cravings talking or my hunger, but the Juk was probably the best Juk I ever had. I was glad that I had stopped off despite being just in the knick of time to board, otherwise I would’ve only had one option on that 3 hour flight to Manila, kimchi with rice and a side of fruit.

Favorite Breakfast Spot: Pie ‘N Burger

28 Apr

pienburger

Shouldn’t we all have a breakfast spot, that makes a meal taste and feel home-cooked, even though we’re not at home? Pie ‘N Burger in Pasadena does just that for many locals and visitors alike. The prices are reasonable, the service is friendly, and the atmosphere is really relaxed and welcoming. Pie ‘N Burger has been around since the 60’s and when you walk in, it feels like not much has changed since then. The vintage cash register also looks like it’s been there since it’s opening, which means all of the calculations are done manually and the restaurant only accepts cash. While others rave about their famous pies and burgers, I LOVE going there for breakfast for my absolute favorite thing on the menu, the thin pancakes. They remind me of the ones my mom made for me growing up, and they are soooooo delicious, I can barely handle it. I usually start off with wheat toast and butter and a cup of fruit with cottage cheese. I like to save the bananas to eat with my short stack pancakes, spread with butter and drizzled with syrup. It can get a little busy during the weekend mornings, since there are a lot of regulars (for good reason). I doesn’t seem like any one minds the wait. For me, the pancakes end up tasting that much sweeter.

Craving Golden Deli

23 Apr

goldendeli

Sometimes, doesn’t a bowl of Pho sound soooo gooood? Pho, when pronounced correctly actually sounds like “fuh” and not “fo,” is a Vietnamese dish consisting of noodles, herbs, and a variety of ingredients to chose from in a broth. I jumped at the opportunity to meet for Pho with Marshall, Face, and Jax at Golden Deli in San Gabriel, which has the best Pho that I’ve had so far in SoCal. Every time I’ve gone this restaurant, is always packed. I’ll have to say it’s got to be the great, authentic Vietnamese food and not so much the customer service that keeps the restaurant’s tables full and it’s seats warm while, regardless of the temperature outside, the air conditioner is always set to “frigid.” I guess it makes sense since it’s usually on a cold or foggy day that I crave getting pho. I ordered my usually fresh shrimp spring rolls and in addition to the peanut sauce, I requested the nuoc mam, which is a mixed fish dipping sauce that when mixed with a little bit of red chili paste and tastes great with the spring rolls. I ordered a bowl of pho with shrimp and fish balls and added a few mint leaves, bean sprouts, fresh lime juice, and peppers, and prepped my little dish with Hoisin sauce and Sriracha to add as a topping to flavor the pho. While a bowl of pho sounds soooo gooood, eating it is actually better.

Coachella Craves

21 Apr

kogi

What can a festival goer consume while attending Coachella? With the tens of thousands that attend this annual 3 day festival, there are a lot of mouths to feed and a lot of dancing to fuel and plenty of vendors happy to supply the food and beverages to the hoards of hungry and thirty music lovers. The first night of the festival, we ordered from the Kogi food truck. While it’s supposed to be a big “LA thing,” I only get to eat at this food truck once a year at Coachella. My brother and bf love (and order) practically everything they offer, and the constant long line means there are a lot of people who agree with them. I had the tofu tacos, which I think are the only non-meat items on the menu. The Kogi truck is located in the back of the VIP section, which is located to the left of the main stage when facing it. The VIP wristbands give us access not only to better food options, but also offers easier access to the festival grounds, bathrooms with running water, shorter lines, seating, shade, and an overall contribution to an awesome Coachella experience.

organicflatbread

On the second night of the festival, we ordered from the Organic Flatbread stand. I had the all natural Tomato Sauce and 3 Cheese Flatbread, heated in a huge wood fired oven.

wickedkitchen

On the third night of the festival, we ordered from the Wicked Kitchen food truck. With names of dishes like Don’t Lose Youre Tempura, Totally Nood in Saigon, and Delhi-cious Chicken, with “Nom Nom Nom” written on the side of the truck, it definitely caught my attention. I ordered the I Pity The Tofu’l (Chinese Ma Po Tofu), which was Map inspired spicy chili tofu over jasmine rice, topped with a refreshing Thai basil slaw and a vegetable spring roll. This had to be my new favorite food truck at Coachella. The food was so good that it didn’t even need the (also) cleverly named sauces: Jalapeno Later, Bayou Butt Burner, and Willy Chilly Dilly Hot Sauce. My bf finished his bowl in what seemed like two seconds and when I asked my brother what he thought about his bowl that looked looked like it was licked clean he said, “I hated it.” I think a girl must have thought he was serious because she came up to my brother and asked if he wanted the garlic fries that she couldn’t finish.

deserts

Each night, I also couldn’t resist the sweets treats. I couldn’t say no to the churros and the coolhaus ice cream cookie food truck. The cookies are good just by themselves, the s’mores cookie was delish! But with ice cream, it’s even more of a treat. On the last night, we ordered a two story ice cream sandwich with chocolate chip cookies with vanilla and Nutella ice cream. While we were able to see Alex Clare, Social Distortion, Paul Oakenfold, Vampire Weekend, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Wu-Tang Clan, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers on day three, there was still a lot of time in between sets that allowed for eating and drinking.

coachelladrinks

In addition to the bottles of water that are necessary while in the smoldering heat, there are also other beverage options like a green tea smoothie from the Coffee and Smoothie Stand, kombucha from the Vegetarian Stand, and a berry fruit smoothie from the Organic Vegetarian Stand. The berry smoothie was the only thing I ordered outside of the VIP section during my search for something that I had a few years ago at a previous Coachella fest. While on this search I told my brother what I’d been wanting, which was a tempeh wrap. He didn’t know what tempeh was, so based on his knowledge of the two things I love the most, he asked “Is that food or clothing?” Ha! It hadn’t even cross my mind that food and beverage aren’t the only things food goers can consume.