January 27, 2009

Mission Kogimpossible

Hey gang,

Some of you may recall a previous post of mine, or have read in blogs, yelp, or the local news about that Korean taco truck that's going around town and sometimes chased off by the popos. Well, I had to check it out. On their site, you can see where they're going to be, and they also use twitter, so you know exactly where they'll be at. They were in Rosemead until 9, so some friends and I headed over there and got there around 6:15ish.

When I got there, goddamn the line was long...The writing came out small, so you can click on the picture to see it bigger, but I just wanted to point out where we started, and how long this line wrapped around the truck...

Closer...(This was approx after 1 hour)

Almost there... (roughly 2 hours at this point, but time didn't even seem to exist upon smelling these famed and fabled tacos as our minds and hearts drifted closer and closer to achieving complete union, and the angels sang Holy Holy Holy).

And then, the heartbreaker. Whispers started running rampant as the people in front of line began to play telephone, and when the message finally got to us, it said: They ran out of food.

g f*cking g...

They did give everyone who was waiting in line(which was a lot believe me), which I thought was a nice gesture. But this was a debbie downer to all of us that night. Still, I left with a firm resolve that I would be back to get these damn tacos, and that next time, it would probably be better to come on a weekday. I've never waited this long to get food before...

A quick meeting of the heads, and we decided to head over to The Boiling Crab in Alhambra. All I wanted was those damn tacos, but I was still down since I had been wanting to try it out, after reading about it.

This place was also poppin, and we were on the top of the second page at the waiting list. A few beers(they got bud light, corona, heinie/heine light, newcastle, sam adams, wyder's apple cider, and xx) and an hour and a half later, we were finally seated. We were the last group to get a table. The waitress/hostess however was probably the most helpful/friendly person I have ever met when I went to ask her about the wait, after standing around for about an hour. The rest of the staff was grea toot: knowledgable about the menu and helpful with the selection. One of the guys tied my bib for me (+1 star).

If you aren't familiar with The Boiling Crab, or any of its doppelganger brothers/sisters, it's supposed to be a Southern Style seafood place, where you order stuff by the pound with your choice of seasoning: garlic, lemon, cajun, or the whole shebang(the three formerly mentioned). The food comes out in a big bag cooked/steamed with the seasoning of your choice, as well as the heat level (we chose medium).

Among the four of us, we got a pound of king crab legs, 2 pounds shrimp, and one pound crawfish.

The other part of the menu...we also got some corn and sausages to put put along with our seafood and some other random things...

Sweet potato fries. The flavor of the potato stood out, but I would have liked it if the fries were crispier and hotter. Still, after waiting for over three hours to eat, anything and everything sounded good.

Oysters 1/2 dozen for $7.99. I thought that was pretty cheap. I hadn't had a raw oyster since Taps, but I guess I'm over the paranoia now because I slurped this down. Not the freshest, but it was still good.

Gumbo with rice $5.99. I was pretty disappointed with this and the price was a bit too much imo. It had this strong bitter after taste to it, which reminded me of this Korean herbal "medicine" that I had to drink when I was younger. But where that tasted came from, I'm not exactly sure. But someone in the back was definitely shakin that herb bottle like a salt shaker... The broth had the trinity, and I could taste the celery in it. There were also some pieces of shrimp.

Yea it's a crappy picture, but when you're starving, survival comes first, so taking a picture of each thing was out of the question, especially when you're eating with your hands, sorry. You can see a piece of corn in there, and the rest of the stuff is the sausage, shrimp, and crawfish. I thought the spice level was right on. It wasn't something you'd be downing water with, but the spiciness would build and linger on your lips. There was a lot of garlic in the bag as well. The shrimp was good. This was my first time eating crawfish, and it was fun to eat, but as for the flavor of it, I couldn't really tell because all I was tasting was the whole shebang.

The king crab legs came out separately, and it was only two legs. For the price, it definitely wasn't worth it at all, and the meat wasn't even that great/fresh either.

Parking can suck. What's funny is how a sign on their door says parking in the back, but the actual lot can only fit around 7 cars. It's better to park in the lot next to Noodle World or try your luck on the street.

Total, including beers, came out to around $85 w/o tip. I wasn't full, but I was content.

742 W Valley Boulevard
Alhambra, CA 91803

For dessert, we stopped by a place, across the street a couple blocks down for some yogurt called Pingo Yogurt. They had 4 flavors: original, green tea, blueberry, and mango. I asked for some free samples, and wasn't very impressed with any. Plus they told us they ran out of original. I was just about ready to kill someone if I had to hear "we ran out" one more time. I got a small green tea with strawberries, blueberries and mochi, and the total came out to $5.01. It was what it was. Nothing special. They had these weird cheap plastic chairs as well that felt as if they couldn't support your weight entirely...(I'll bet some of you are reading this and thinking, that's probably because you are just a fat ass who goes around eating food and does nothing else in life...stop bitching and go join a gym. HA) Seriously though, these things were cheap.

358 W Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91801

Oh, and btw, a late by 21 minutes gung hay fat choy to ya all!

January 25, 2009

Beer Station

Mornin. Happy lazy Sunday to ya all.

Beer Station inside "Life Plaza"/Diamond Plaza in Rowland Heights. A chill place to drink and relax without having to feel like you're going to be accosted by some punk kids or bothered by indoor cigarette smoke typical of many asian drinking joints. I feel safe drinking here. A Taiwanese old time "pub" type place. I wish I took pictures of the inside decor of this place. Wooden benches and tables. An old bicycle decorated with holiday lights. A poster of Mao.

The name of the place is a bit misleading because they really don't have that big of a selection on beers. Sapporo, Kirin(sometimes), Widmer's Hef, Amber Bock, and Bud Light on tap. They've also got Taiwan Beer bottled. The last time I came here, I noticed they upped their drinking selection to soju (it didn't say what brand) and strangely enough an appletini and other drinks of that nature.

Drink menu. I took a picture because I found it funny that they only had Snapple Pink Lemonade and none of the other flavors, like Fruit Punch or Kiwi Strawberry. Do they sell boxes of just Pink Lemonade? $2.75 my god that is steep...

Complimentary "kimchi" because I don't know what else to call it. Sweet and vinegary cabbage with a sprinkle of spiciness and garlic. It's nice to munch on while drinking. If you go here and don't get any, make sure to ask for some, but be warned: the servers don't always speak the best English. Example: I once asked for it and 15 minutes later, they came out with some stir fried cabbage dish.

Small hot sake. $3.50. About 4 shots. Sometimes it doesn't come out that hot and you can ask them to microwave it for you again. haha.

Large hot sake. Around 8 shots. $6.00. I think it used to be $5.50. The small one isn't worth getting.

Cheap sake I know. But it's cheap for a reason mang. Sake bombs!

Taiwan Beer. For the longest time, I kept thinking this was Tsingtao. It's a pretty light beer with a flavor of honey and apples.

They've got a grilled menu, (skewers), as well as some other items. I haven't tried a lot of their menu. Their fried rice is okay, but nothing too special. I do recommend their three ingredient chicken. It's cooked in a clay pot with lots of garlic and has a lot of basil flavor to it. Also recommended is their beef with satay sauce. And if you're adventerous and want to go balls out, try the chicken testicles. And that's no joke kid.

Chicken skin glazed with some kind of teriyaki sauce. Crispy on the outside with a bit of chew. This was meh to me.

Grilled beef. Seasoned with cumin. Two good sized pieces for $4.

Grilled mushrooms again in that kind of sickly sweet teriyaki sauce. Not bad, but it wasn't very warm when it came out.

Food here is consistent for the most part (their yakitori style stuff at least), and it's nice place to eat while you drink. Their menu is a couple pages long. Service is friendly, and despite a small language barrier, I've never had any real complaints that I can remember. It's a nice and relaxing place to drink, and if they're closing and you still want to party, you can walk next door to the 9 P.M lounge...

(Inside Diamond Plaza, near the entrance towards your left)
1390 Fullerton Rd
Rowland Heights, CA 91748

Stay tuned for my next post, where this blogger ends his night in tears. =*(

January 20, 2009

Sakura and Mitsuwa are going bye bye

Yup in Little Tokyo. Heard H-Mart is coming to town. They're going to be closing on the 25th, so they have a 50% off sale on everything (which started yesterday). Stopped by with gramps to get some tuna for granny. Afterwards, we ate lunch at Sakura (Snack? that's what it says on Yelp, but all I saw was "Sakura" in neon lighting cursive letters), which is in the Mitsuwa Market, near the front right side where the cashiers are. Seemed like a place of cheap Japanese eats, whose menu mostly consisted of some teriyaki bowls, udon, and ramen.

Large shrimp tempura udon for $6. I didn't hear any complaints from gramps, so I can only assume he liked it.

Miso Ramen for $4.95. The broth came out hot and was mediocre. Nothing good or bad about it. It just was. Lots of green onions and sprouts. But as for the chasu, two thin pieces, as you might be able to see in the picture. It was really sad. The noodles, however, were thin, chewy, and a joy to eat. Overall, I'd have to say this bowl was pretty decent. For their udon and ramen, you can get a bowl of pork fried rice, curry, or some other thing for a buck more. They have a bunch of condiments near the pickup area, but no garlic to be seen unfortunately...

Also got an assorted platter of sushi from the market. Two diff roes, tuna, squid, shrimp, crab, tuna roll, and abalone, I think. I saw some sign above the sushi area, where the LA times said good sushi. The tuna was okay, but the squid wasn't. The rice wasn't that great either. I didn't really eat much of this nor did I want to.

Mitsuwa and Sakura
333 S Alameda St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

It seems odd to put these pictures here together with the sushi, but I made some blueberry muffins today, using a recipe from Simply Recipes, and I want to include this in the post. They turned out okay, but there was a lot of batter, and since I only made 12, the muffins came out huge. I could have cooked them a bit longer than the recipe called for because of its size, but it passed the toothpick test. They tasted good, and not too sweet, but I'm going to try out another recipe next time. This had too much butter in it, although I did like the usage of yogurt. Thinking about it now, I could have subbed it for a decreased amount of vegetable oil to see how it would have turned out...

Blueberries are delicious.

I realize the muffin looks a little messed up, but it's because the heads all merged together while baking because of their huge size. No way around it. I only got one muffin tin.

Inside view of the muffin.

Well, my four day weekend is now over. Back to reality. Damn.

Free Donut of Choice at Krispy Kreme

for inauguration day. Read the full article here.

January 19, 2009


Heylo everyone. Looking at the dumping picture from the Myung Dong post, I like how it fits in with the background color of the blog. It's the little plastic steam tray that works so well with that debbie downer blue pastel.

During the winter break, my cousins and I went to visit our cousins' new place in Pasadena, and they ended up taking us out to Gyu Kaku for dinner in Old Town. Thanks guys! I'd never been to either before, and I was kinda surprised that Old Town was just like any other. I was expecting something like Cannery Row. Gyu Kaku is a Japanese bbq place, where you cook it yourself on a grill over coals. I was pretty excited coming here because I had read and heard about Japanese bbq, but never had it before.

We went on a Sunday night, and having no reservations, we had to wait for 20 minutes or so. There is a little bar area, and so we got some Asahi Super Dry beer to start off. The weird thing was that there was a faint saltiness to it. My cousin also said the same thing. I think it was our cups...

They had some special going on, or was it happy hour? I don't know, but it was buy one, get one free on alcohol. They also gave us a free pitcher of Sapporo for not having the sake that we wanted. What this sake was called, I had no idea, but it was delicious.

One thing I don't like about Japanese places is how you have to pay for the side dishes, like the Kimchi shown here, and rice. I guess it's not that big of a deal, but when you're used to getting everything free with your meal at Korean places, it kinda sucks to have to pay.

We ordered the kalbi, ribeye, and tongue, along with the vegetable dish, which came with baby tomatoes, onions, two kinds of mushroom, corn, squash, and green pepper. It was my first time trying tongue, and it was delicious! I really liked the chewiness of it. Also not shown was steamed asparagus, which came out wrapped in foil.

Meat grilling on the charcoal.

Spicy chicken miso. I wasn't very impressed with this, and it was mediocre. Not very spicy either.

My cousin (in-law) was able to get us some free smores from our waiter. Nice. A fun way to end the meal.

My cousin's sandwich, nicely cooked.

The meat quality was good, but the portions are a bit small and pricey. The service was decently attentive, and we got some free stuff. We had some trouble with our coals (they weren't hot enough), but they replaced it for us. They've also got some specials for all you can eat, which might save you some money. How much it was though, I don't remember. You can check yourself on their website, since they got various locations.

70 W Green St
Pasadena, CA 91105

Had to stop by Pinkberry for dessert. They got some new flavor: pomegrante. It wasn't very good imo. I opted for the half and half with mochi as the topping. I kinda wished I had gotten some fruit in it though because it was too much mochi. I think their green tea is pretty good here. The self serve places are nice for their variety and cheap prices, but a lot of them don't have the recipe right for the plain or green tea.

19 S Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105

January 14, 2009

hootin and a hollerin

As some people probably know, I have a tracker for this site, whichtells me where people are coming from, how many people come per day(which isn't very many) and all that other warm gushy stuff. This month, I've found two disturbing referral hits on my site, which I suppose is one of the perks? of having a blog.

One was a person from Germany who googled "bullfrog porn." (my cousin's wedding post)

I don't even know where to begin with this one...

The other, a Texan, who searched in yahoo, "mother may i kill you," which reminded me of a story in the news yesterday about a teenager who killed his mom and shot his dad over a Halo 3 incident...creepy.

To end on a more light hearted note, here's a picture of some snickerdoodles my sister made when she came home during the break. I thought there was a little too much butter in it, but other than that, it was good.

January 13, 2009

A Christmas Story

Yup, I've been on a bit of a posting frenzy. 3 in a row, that's pretty good.

I apologize beforehand for my pictures, which were taken with my phone, so the quality isn't that great. I went to L.A. in the morning to visit my grandparents for Christmas. After a short exchange of presents, I went out with my sister, cousin, and grandpa to go eat at this Korean Chinese place he likes, but as the place was packed, we decided to head over to Myung Dong Gyoja. It's a famous kalgooksu (meaning knife cut noodles) place in Korea, and gyoja means dumplings. The place was packed as well, but we were seated within 10-15 minutes. It was a bit of a cold and windy day, and I guess people just wanted some warm soup!

The only banchan is two types of kimchi, but trust me, that's all you need when you're eating kalgooksu. This one isn't too spicy, but packs a serious garlic punch. There is a LOT of garlic in this. I would advise against eating this if you're taking a lunch break and have to go back to work, if you have a date, etc. But if you don't care, eat away. The staff patrol around the place with small buckets of kimchi andwill gladly refill your plate as many times as you'd like. I loved this garlicky kimchi (and probably because of msg), and have to get a lot each time I come here.

The prettier sister seen here is mild, calm, and washes away all your worries. This white cabbage and radish kimchi is sweet with a bit of tang from vinegar.

You have to order at least one order of the mandoo(dumplings). I think my grandpa was sad because he wanted an order for himself. Korean dumplings taste a bit diffferent from Chinese ones. These were a good size, and you dip them in a little soy sauce and vinegar.

Kalguksoo. My guess is that this broth is made from beef and anchovies. You get some little dumplings here too along with some vegetables and ground beef. The noodles are chewy and cooked well. I'm not sure if they make their own noodles. You add a soy sauce/oil mix that has some green onions into this as your salt. Hot pepper too.

My sister got the bibim gooksu (cold spicy noodles). I didn't try it, but she said it was okay.

Like many places, Myungdong is probably no exception to the fact that MSG was used (liberally) in both soup and kimchi. So if you're sensitive to it, you might want to stay away. But for me, MSG be damned, this is probably my favorite place to get kalgooksu around the area.

Mandoo and noodle soups were each around 8 bucks, and the soup is a good portion, so you definitely will get your money's worth. Holla!

Myungdong Gyoja
3630 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90010

End note: http://kogibbq.com/
I read about this in a blog a while back. Korean taco truck? omgwtfkbbq. I will definitely try this soon and sees if it lives up to the hype.

Long live Cedric Diggory!

January 12, 2009

dinny dun got himself dumped. dayam!

Been meaning to do this post for a while now, but kept delaying it.
Din Tai Fung @ Arcadia. Famous dumpling chain around the world. I went a few months back to try it, and then went again Thanksgiving weekend.

It used to be just here, next to Life Plaza, but they got themselves an expansion in the back.

It is a lot nicer/modern than its counterpart. What was funny was that I noticed a lot more Asians outside the old place than here. I've ate at both, and foodwise, nothing is different.

A look in the inside of the new place.

To the left when you enter, you can watch Mexicans (the modern Jack of All Trades) making the food.

Shanghai rice cakes. We ate family style, so it's just a small portion on my plate. I had this before for the first time here a couple months back, and I thought it was okay. It was kinda like the Korean dduk boki, but not spicy, and a lot more oily. The cakes provided a pleasant chew, and the chili sauce perked up the dish a bit. Overall, I thought this dish was okay.

Chicken noodle soup. Very simple broth of chicken and ginger. It was definitely comfort food.

Juicy Pork dumplings. Haha, like you can even tell right? Sorry, but I just don't have the patience yet to take a bite out of something, and then take another picture. But you'll just have to take my word when I say, Que sabroso! There are directions on the chopsticks wrapper on how to eat this tasty little morsel. From what I remember: 1. Take a small bite. 2. Drink the soup. Be careful now, you don't want to burn your lips! 3. Dip into the soy sauce/ginger mix. 4. Eat whole. And close your mouth when you chew!

We also ordered some other stuff, but I didn't take any pictures. We tried shrimp and also vegetable. I'm not a fan of the veggie. It's dry and makes me feel like I'm munching on tea leaves.

For dessert, red bean dumplings.

I lied. I took a bite and took a picture, just for you. Red bean sweetened with honey. A nice ender to a delicious meal.

Mom also picked up some to go for me once. Trip from Arcadia to Diamond Bar + Traffic = fail. They were still good, but you really can't beat them fresh.

Service was pretty quick, as I can imagine they got a production line going on in the back. There is a break between lunch and dinner, where the restaurant is closed, and we were waiting in line for the place to open. However, the wait wasn't that bad. When I went to this place before, we had to wait, but it was about 10 minutes at most. With the expansion opened, lines won't be as long, and I think there's a second story too in the new one because I saw some people going up some stairs.

Overall, a good place to try, but it is pretty pricey, and you'd have to pay a good amount to get full, if you're a glutton like me. I'd advise stopping by In and Out or Hot Dog on a Stick before going here if you're strapped for cash...

Din Tai Fung
1108 S Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, CA 91007

Before dinner, we stopped by the L.A. County Arboretum and Botanic Garden.

Got a shot of this beautiful caterpillar chillin and munchin on a leaf.

Man the weather has been so great lately. I wanted to take a nap on the grass in the sun today, but turns out the library has some comfortable sofas.

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