July 26, 2009

J & J Restaurant

Heylo. Lordy, it is hotttt. I've been overworking the Magic Bullet to make so many smoothees. To the hell with Jamba Juice's 4 buck plus smoothees when I can make my own.

Another post from a few months back...I think in March. I came here to meet with a friend who had heard some good things about this place, particularly that they made some good xiao long bao (soup dumplings). The place itself is pretty small, and tea is served in styrofoam cups. Other than that, my memory is quite hazy about this trip, so I will let my pictures do the talking.

I forget what this was, but damn this was delicious. Lots of little garlic pieces in here. Does anyone know what kind of vegetable this is?

Shanghai Noodles.

Xiao Long Bao. We ordered the crab and the pork. I didn't like the crab too much...it just didn't taste real to me. The pork was good however.

Some sesame ____ filled with red beans in a crispy shell for dessert. I wrongly assumed that these were going to be like those sesame balls. What the chinese name for those are I do not know, but it reminded me a lot of the korean chap ssal dduk...

In terms of service, the lady who took our order was a bit gruff, but helpful, and the food was good. I don't know or remember how much the total was, but I do remember that this place is on the cheap side at least compared to Din Tai Fung.

I thought overall, I liked J and J for cheap good food, but as it is a bit out of the way for me, I'm not sure when I will be coming here again.

CASH ONLY my chickadees

J & J Restaurant
301 W Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776

This is in a small plaza, and the parking isn't too great. However, I found a lot of open spots on the street on Valley a block or two away. There is a Beard Papa's in this plaza as well, and we walked over there for dessert part 2 (no pics).

The weekend is over...time to plunge back into the rat race...

July 20, 2009

Freebie #13

I know this is not a 100% freebie and I'm pretty late on posting, but for any of you Starbucks lovers who read this on time, tomorrow, you can get a free pastry with the purchase of any drink from opening to 10:30 AM.

You can print this coupon or show the barista this link on your phone.

Found on Spoofee.com

Also found one for TGI Friday's. A free Jack Daniel's Sample Platter if you fill out some party planning form on their site. Found on Slickdeals.net, which says you need a minimum party of three to use the coupon. Valid for only a few select states. I used to go here all the time down in SD...loved their JD chicken strips.

July 19, 2009


Good lord it's been hot...So what better way to cool off than with a nice brew? I have been in Irvine for the summer, so I have been going around and trying some places out.

On campus lies the Anthill Pub and Grille. What comes to your mind when you hear the word "pub" ? I think dirty grungy place where it's going down....filled with shady characters, happy drunks, and plenty of good cheer. But the APG is quite the opposite of what what I imagined. This is a pretty nice and swanky place. A friend and fellow UCSD alumni upon coming here said that this place has nothing on UCSD's Porter's Pub. I agree, but that won't stop me from coming here because they have an interesting selection of brews and it's Happy Hour 4-7 every damn day! $3 pints on ALL beers, $8 pitchers (which is 3 pints). You won't find any Bud Lite here, as they proudly advertise that the place is a "swill-free zone." No pictures of the beer, but so far I've been able to try a few
. Full list of the beer can be seen here.

And as their latter half of their name suggests, they also offer some food at fair prices. The place is open until midnight Mon-Fri for the summer, but their kitchen closes at 7 PM.

Sorry for some of the pictures. I took them with my cell phone in a dimly lit area...didn't have the camera with me.

Sweet Potato Fries with Chipotle Ranch Dipping Sauce $4. The only other time I've had sweet potato fries were at Boiling Crab, and I though those were better than here, but still, you get a good amount, and they're pretty good with the sauce.

Fire Ants - buffalo popcorn chicken w/ Louisiana hot sauce, served w/ celery sticks and blue cheese dipping sauce $5.50. A little too crispy for my liking.

French Fries $2.50. Long shoe string fries, not bad. I don't know if they normally do this, but they gave us a whole crapload of fries. This picture was taken when we had gone through about a 1/3 of the basket. Needless to say, we were sick of fries by the time we were done with this and the potato fries...

Veggie/Dip: baby carrots, celery, cucumber, and broccoli served w/ ranch dipping sauce $3.50. I was raised on a lot of vegetables, cooked or raw, so I always like some kind of veggies with my meals. I really could have used this when we had all those fries. There was no celery given even though it said so on the menu.

Hummus w/ warmed pita wedges and celery sticks $3.00. A pretty good price I think for the amount you get. Hummus was good and the pita did come out warm. Just wish they gave more celery. Those sticks were puny.

Service is friendly and helpful. The place seems to attract an older crowd, but it is summer session right now, so I'm not sure how it is during the regular year. The only thing that sucks about this place is that it's CASH ONLY. However there are ATMs that can be found next to the pub.

Anthill Pub and Grille
UC Irvine, C215 Student Center
4200 Campus Dr
Irvine, CA 92614

Across from campus in the same plaza as Lee's and In N Out is the Steelhead Micro Brewery.

Nachos for under 5 bucks. A modest portion for 4 people to share as an appetizer. The cheese was still warm when it came out. +1 star. Pico de gallo, plenty of black beans, and a scoop of guac and sour cream. Jalapenos and salsa requested on the side. I thought these were pretty dang good.

What we ordered: Some kind of brown ale, Hairy Weasel Hefeweizen, Some Cider, Oompa Loompa Chocolate Porter...or was it stout? All made there I believe. I have to start writing these things down. . I believe pints are $3.25 for happy hour. I got the Oompa loompa...it was just okay...I thought it was kind of watery.

Our server was nice, but he didn't tell us about the $1 dollar taco specials they had going on that night (Mondays). This special, which also includes $4 margaritas, starts at 6 PM to closing. It was cool though because we went to eat Korean BBQ afterwards. I ate so much I thought I was gonna die. But not before I got Yogurtland! They also have $5 individual pizzas and Happy Hour priced pints on their brews from 6 PM to closing on Tuesday nights.

An even older crowd here, but I think i might come by again to check out their tacos or pizza...so much to explore, but so little time!

Steelhead Microbrewery
4175 Campus Dr

Irvine, CA 92612

And the week begins once again...

July 16, 2009


I have a few posts that I uploaded the pics for a while back but haven't wrote about, so I'm going to try to catch up...

A coworker recommended a Ramen place, so I was off to Tamaya located on Azuza and Colima in the same plaza as Guppy's, which is diagonally across from the Puente Hills Mall.

I ordered the Miso Nikuyasai Ramen, which had pork and vegetables ($7.50). At least this is what I think I got. What I care most when I have ramen is the broth. And I didn't really like this one. Some of the vegetables had been cooked separately, (I think pan fried), and then put onto the ramen. But what I guessed happened is that a lot of the oil used for cooking also got into the broth, so it tasted very oily. The bottom of the broth was a bit better, so maybe I should have mixed it. There were a few pieces of pork around, and the noodles were just okay. Overall an average bowl of ramen.

A friend ordered the Pork Katsu Curry Ramen ($8.95). He let me try some, and I found it to just taste like watery curry. (Is that what it's supposed to taste like? I really have no idea because I've never had this before.) The katsu was cooked just right though and was good. My friend thought it was okay.

Service was friendly; nothing to complain about. Overall, a decent place, and it seems to be an alternative to waiting in long lines for Foo Foo Tei from what I've read on Yelp. Still, my search for good ramen around the area continues...

17142 Colima Road
Hacienda Heights, CA

And btw, does anyone who uses blogger know how to set a default font when writing a post? I find it annoying to have to keep changing it to Arial.

July 12, 2009

Aguas Frescas FAIL

Inspired by the cantaloupe aguas frescas in the last post, a friend decided to make his own and encouraged me to try it out. So I did.

What you'll need:

A blender/food processor, sugar, water and a ripe cantaloupe.

Slice up your cantaloupe into cubes.

Put them into your food processor/blender.

Push the button.

The only tricky part was getting the ratio right. For one whole cantaloupe, I used 2.5 cups of water and 5 tablespoons of sugar. I picked a bad cantaloupe that wasn't too ripe, so I didn't get as much juice from it as I would have liked. You can then blend the water and sugar in or stir with a wooden spoon. Lawlers. It doesn't have to be a wooden spoon obviously. I just like to hear that word in my head!

The finished product.

It wasn't too bad, but it didn't taste as good as Paisa. Definitely pulpier. I will have to choose a better cantaloupe next time to have a stronger taste/more juice. I'm such a melonhead!

July 11, 2009

Freebie #12

A bit late on the news, but in case you haven't heard, free slurpees at 7-11 today because yes...it's 7-11. So go out and get one to cool yourself down in this hot as hell weather we're having today!

July 8, 2009

SD Dinner. 1 Year Wewt!

After lunch, I headed over to La Jolla to visit some old college friends. We went to Rock Bottom for Happy Hour and then drove down to Tacos El Paisa. I didn't take too many pictures because I had already done a post on this place previously (click here to read).

Same condiments were served. 3 salsas (a spicy red, mild verde and a mild smokey). Beans and grilled onions seen in the background. Their grilled peppers were so spicy... You could feel the heat coming from the jalapeno when you took a bite from it.

Aguas Frescas: Strawberry, Horchata, Cantaloupe, Jamiaca. This time I got a small strawberry and a small cantaloupe. Both were good and fresh.

I decided to get the carne asada plate. I think it was around $6-8 bucks. The carne wasn't as good as I remembered it to be, but maybe it was because I was already full before I even arrived lol. Still, I appreciated how it was prepared. As my friend put it that day, you have to respect the animal by cooking it the right way...by grilling it!
I shoulda stuck with the tacos, but what I was hoping for was that I was just going to be served a long strip of steak. No go unfortunately. This was a lot of meat my friends. You could make many tacos with this, and you get a choice of flour or corn tortillas. The rice and beans were decent. I was on the verge of throwing up after this. No joke. I had eaten way too much that day. A short but good trip to SD. Hopefully I can make it down more often. I miss living down there.

Lastly, just saw that I've had this blog for a year now although I didn't grow the balls to take pictures until a few months later. Huzzah!

July 7, 2009

SD for Lunch: Sab E Lee

Continuing from my last post, I headed over to Linda Vista after breakfast to meet fellow food bloggers Cathy and Kirk from mmm-yoso and Carol from CAB Cooks. They were nice enough to let me pick the place, so I chose Sab E Lee, a Thai restaurant that I've been wanting to try for a while. I have to admit I was a bit nervous upon meeting everyone. I had never met them (or any other food blogger for that matter), but I had a good time. I'm not sure if you the reader feel the same way, but whenever I read a blog, I always wonder what the writer looks like...

There was a somewhat awkward moment of thinking whether or not I should take out my camera, but I remember Kirk bringing it up somehow, and the cameras were out! =)

Onto the food:

Fish cakes (what kind of fish I'm not too sure)

Pad See Ew

Duck Larb

Salted Fish Fried Rice/ part of Kirk's shirt in the background. Yum yum yum! (the fried rice that is =p )

Panang Curry

And the best for last...Koi Soi (Spicy Raw Beef). Raw?? Hell ya, and put some more on my plate, please! I had never had raw beef before, but you can bet your sweet little @ss I'll be having some more in the future. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but the meat was pretty tender

Everything was ordered medium spicy. I think if I have a chance to go again in the future, I will kick it up a notch to see how much I can handle =) There was so much food!!! I wish I had gone easy on the pancakes. I was so stuffed. But there was more. Carol made everyone Red Velvet cupcakes, and that was the end of the line for me. I didn't think to take a picture though...

Sorry for the lack of descriptions. Even though this was a few weeks ago, it feels like a lot longer than that, and I don't really remember much except that the food was good. Read the blogs mentioned above if you want to read some detailed and knowledgeable commentary.

The owner Kobe was friendly, and the place is pretty small with just a few tables. Overall, it was a good lunch and great to finally meet everyone!

Sab E Lee
2405 Ulric St
(between Eastman St & Jewett St)
San Diego, CA 9211

July 2, 2009

A San Diego Breakfast: The Original House of Pancakes

I went down to SD for a day around two weeks ago. I left around 6:30 AM to meet some friends for breakfast at The Original House of Pancakes. I was worried that we would have to wait, having gone there once and having to leave after seeing a huge line of people. But luckily, that didn't happen. Maybe because it was a weekday? As their name implies, their specialty is pancakes. And I love pancakes. I love eating out for breakfast in general just because it's something I do not do very often.

I ordered a coffee and the blueberry pancakes.

6 pancakes of assorted sizes sprinkled with some powdered sugar along with some blueberry compote on the side. The blueberries weren't very good. Overall these were okay although I found myself wishing I had gotten something else. The compote was a little too sweet for me although my friends seemed to like it. It was a good amount of food, but I had to will myself not to eat it all as I was going to meet some fellow food bloggers for lunch.

German Pancake. This is baked in an oven instead of being cooked on a griddle. Goddamn, this thing was huge and nearly falling off the plate! It was served on the side with lemon and powdered sugar. It was quite eggy and reminded me a bit of french toast.

Service was good. Coffee was constantly being refilled, and by my third cup, I was jittery.

The prices were about 8 to 9 bucks each, which is a little on the high side. It's a Oregon originated chain, and I was surprised to find out there was one sorta near my house as well. I'd come back to try out some of the other things on their menu, but I think the next time I'm craving pancakes, I'll make it myself.

3906 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111

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