January 31, 2010

Do monkeys like bananas or coconuts better?

Anyone from Rowland Heights and the surrounding area knows about Banana Bay and Coconut Bay. Why these two restaurants have pretty much the same menu, I can only guess, hearing rumors raspily whispered by the alcoholic bum who sleeps next to the noraebang on Nogales after I gave him a dollar and a butterscotch candy or the gussied up goose church womenfolk gossipers who have nothing better to do than gab about other people's lives. Whatever it is, I really don't care. All I know is that while they may not be the best or authentic Thai joints in town, prices are cheap, the food is plentiful, and the live music brings a mixed crowd of thugs, lovers, haters, and kids who love to jerk. So without further ado, here is my take on the two behemoths of R.H.

Lodi dodi.
First up was Coconut Bay:
I shared a Thai Jerky with some friends ($7.95).
Deep fried marinated beef served with a spicy dipping sauce. I thought it was a little too dry, but otherwise okay.
For the main course, I went for the Sukiyaki, thai style ($7.95).
Bean thread noodles, egg, squid (lots of it as you can see), shrimp, chicken, and assorted vegetables in a spicy red tofu paste flavored soup. The soup was actually mild and was served with a side of some sweet spicy sauce, which tasted a lot like Korean gochoojang and vinegar. I added this into my soup, and it helped to give it a little kick.
Secret menu: spicy bbq chicken? A friend tried ordering it here, saying that they would make it spicy if she asked them, but the server had no idea what she was talking about.
Overall, the food was ok. Service was quick, and it wasn't hard to flag down the help. They gave us a 15% coupon for our next visit as we left. It seems that they often have happy hour here for football games or when the Lakers play. There is a bar section with some pool tables (could you add a ping pong table please?) along with big flat screen tvs put up everywhere to stare at when the table conversation takes an awkward turn.
A few weeks later, the Tritons crew met up at Coconut's older sister's joint, Banana Bay.
I hadn't been here in a few years, but what I did remember was that the service had been horrible. And surprise surprise....
Service was wonderful this time.
*A short blurb on service and the dining experience. While the Bolsheviks love to sing about how service is on the same level as food, other radicals embrace the philosophy that the dining experience is solely about the food, and service and the extras are things that matter little. If the food's good, it doesn't matter that I'm treated like doo doo because it's worth the abuse baby(see soup nazi)! Personally, I'm on the fence about this issue. Damn me and the rest of us wishy washers that are bringing down this country. I just thought in this particular case, the service was worth writing about because I found myself saying this shit is BANANAS! (fast forward to 3:15) at the 180 they did*
We were treated to a basket of shrimp chips with some kind of (hoisin?) sauce as we sat down. Never had these before, but they were nice to munch on while we waited for the rest of the party to arrive and get rowdy.
While the Banana Bay Pad Thai special looked tempting (my friend who ordered it was very disappointed), I went for the BBQ Pork Noodle Soup. It had egg noodles, and I asked if they could add vegetables to it, which they gave me me a generous helping of without an additional charge.
I was a little offset by the pink broth color, which was attributed by the bbq pork, but I got over it. The broth had some sweetness to it, so I added a bunch of jalapenos and chilis to give it more of a kick. Overall not bad.
Secret menu try 2: I asked for the bbq chicken spicy for the same friend, and after some haggling, the waiter understood what I wanted and the kitchen complied. (+1 star)
But the main occasion of the evening was that it was the young up and coming Jomo's bday, so we had to celebrate. We ordered him some ice cream atop some banana egg rolls while the live band sang happy birthday to Camp Snoopy's very own Linus.
The rest of the night was celebrated at the noraebang as we sneakily snuck in a box of wine, which caused me to crack up with glee every time someone else or I proceeded to waterfall from the bag. Holla!
Banana Bay: 18230 Colima Road Rowland Heights, CA 91748
Coconut Bay: 18922 Gale Ave Rowland Heights, CA 91748

January 25, 2010

Freebie #15: Free Bagel & Shmear

at Einstein Bros.

Courtesy of Slickdeals.net


January 20, 2010

crab people


shortly after, I took the BART to SF to meet w/ my cousin and in-law, and they took me out for some dungeness crab at a Vietnamese joint. They put bibs on you, which reminded me of Boiling Crab...
We ordered two crabs:
Drunken crab. Sweet, strong alcohol taste to it.
I forget what the other crab was (roasted?), but equally delicious.
Always need some veggies to go along with the meal.
Asparagus with oyster sauce and garlic.
Sauteed eggplant with garlic and basil leaves

Garlic noodles. Buttery and addicting. Along with some white rice, I was in heaven. Def. the best meal of the trip.
Everything was so damn good, and (as usual) I ate way too much. Thanks once again for the meal and your hospitality Y&T!

January 17, 2010

Ode to Top Dog

Whenever I go up to north, I always try to make an obligatory trip (or two) to Top Dog.

A list, where everything is 3 bucks.
I opted for the lemon chicken, a favorite of mine.
I should have ordered two. Aw shucks.

January 12, 2010

Soup in Berkeley

What do you like the next day for your hangover?

I like my soup, and I like it hot. After a night in SF, I met with my sister, who took me to a Thai temple in Berkeley, where a bunch of food stands were erected against the gloomy, cloudy weather.
Beef noodle soup: meatballs and slices of beef with your choice of thickness of noodle. I went with medium. In between the cold weather and hangover, this was a godsend, warming me from my head to toes.
I also shared a papaya salad. It was more sweet than spicy. Is it supposed to be crisp? I always imagined it to be, and I've had it twice before, but can't remember. It was a refreshing complement to my hot soup.
Lastly, I saw some ladies working the griddle and got some of these things.
Some kind of taro cake and khanom krok, a kind of pudding pancake that just melts in your mouth, made with coconut milk and? I didn't like these too much as I found the addition of gren onions overwhelmed everything else, but I still ate them all =)
Overall, I was happy with the food. The dilemma I always face when I go to a Thai place is whether to get pad thai or go for something new. And for the past few times, I've been able to hold out and be adventurous. But man, I love pad thai and pad see ew too much. There's a Thai temple near my house. I wonder if they do this too?
I thought the interview overall went okay, and regardless of my negative dwellings on some parts of it, it was a good experience for me. Part of me still couldn't believe that I had made it this far and was there. The people were very friendly, and I would love to have the chance to go there. Just have to wait and see now. Thanks for your encouragement!

January 8, 2010

another mountain to climb

If you remember from a past post during the summer, I tried to go up Mt. Baldy w/ a few friends but was not able to complete it. This time, I was more careful in selecting people who were in better shape and able to make it to the top =)

The last mile or so. Definitely the hardest part of the hike.
Made it.
The hike took a good 8 hours or so, and we were starving by the time we got down. We quickly decided on whatever was nearest that urbanspoon directed us to and came along this place.
A Japanese fast food joint.
We ordered some hand rolls: spicy tuna, salmon, and tuna.
I got the chicken teriyaki plate that came with the choice of two salads. The first was with some stale dry noodles in a vinegar based dressing with red onions and cucumbers.
The other was some Thai style slaw with some peanut and sesame dressing.
The food wasn't that great, but having had trail mix and granola bars all day, I wasn't about to complain.
Mikuni Japanese Grill
263 Foothill Blvd
La Verne, CA 91750
And then we got Yogurtland for dessert. I think I conked out around 7 or 8 that day.
By the time you read this, I will be flying high in the air. I'm off to Kansas for an interview. Hopin to nail it. It's gonna be freezing!

January 3, 2010

Another Pie Post

Apple pie this time, and again, it was a recipe given to us by our dad's manager.

I liked this double crust recipe because I'm not a fan the dry and flaky crusts. But we made the bottom part thin and the top part thick, so I'll have to remember to adjust for next time.
The apples used were Jonagold. I never had one until that day, and I found them soft like a Gala. There's so many different apples out there, so it should be fun, trying them all out and seeing which tastes best to me. The apples weren't as firm as I'd like them to be, but that may be fixed by slicing the apples thicker or using a different type of apple. What are your favorite apples to use?
We opted to use a pyrex baking pan because it'd be easier, and the pie pan we had might have been too small.
Dotting it with butta (sorry blurry picture)
My sad attempt at trying to make a flower/Mitsubishi sign on the crust.
Once again, the presentation was ugly, but it tasted pretty damn good. I'm going to give it another shot next week with different apples.

Happy new year to everyone! I'm off to do some running. First work out of the year. Lost all control over the break...too many baked goods!

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