Insatiable Girl

some damn really good food.

Posted in Uncategorized by sue on March 6, 2009

i’m currently reading this book by anthony bourdain (love him) and i just finished this story about selected restaurants in new york which inspired me to write this.

here is a compilation of the best food i’ve ever had (in random order):

french fries jerry’s (new york, new york)
it was once located in soho, right next to j. crew and the apple store. too bad this place closed. it had amazing shoestring fries drizzled with truffle oil. i don’t think i’ve found a place that can compare yet.

steak fogo de chao (los angeles, california)
brazilian barbecue at its finest. i chose this place because there’s just so much to choose from here and they are all good. i’ve been to mortons and lawrys, but why settle for just one kind of meat if you can have many? the garlic infused one is my favorite.

korean bbq chosun (los angeles, california)
in all honesty, the best korean bbq i’ve had was in, of course, seoul. there’s a place near the lotte plaza, near the two outback steakhouses that are so oddly close to each other, that has mouth-watering spicy kalbi. but since seoul is a bit out of reach for me, i always opt for chosun as a substitute and it is a damn good one. chosun is my first stop after i go back to la and my last stop when i leave la if i time it well enough. i always get their kalbi (beef short ribs), sangyapsal (like bacon), and kejang (raw spicy crab)– always.

salad chop’t (new york, new york)
i’m still thinking about this one actually, but it was the first place that came in mind. you can make your own salad or you can choose from one of their versions. i remember i used to get their steak salad whenever we ordered from here back when i worked at terry hines (my warner bros. gig).

soup au bon pain (new york, new york)
i’m sure you are shaking your head. au bon pain??? yes, au bon pain. i have always loved their tomato basil, wild mushroom bisque, and butternut squash. nothing beats their soup on a cold winter day in new york.

cuban sandwich cafe habana (new york, new york)
drizzled with the green habanero sauce. need i say more?

sushi go sushi (torrance, california)
this little hole in the wall has been better than any of the places i’ve been to japan (yes, i have been to tokyo and beyond) and for all you new yorkers better than yasuda and blue ribbon (i have yet to go to nobu). it’s small and there’s no wait. there’s a small counter top, but i recommend getting their omakase even if the price can set you back. the chef places just the right amount of everything in front of you. if you don’t like wasabi, he’ll leave it out. if you don’t like it raw, he’ll even sear it for you. and he’ll even tell you which pieces to dip into soy sauce (and how much to dip) and which pieces you should eat as is.

corn cafe habana (new york, new york)
anyone who has been here knows what i am talking about. even my mom’s convinced and she’s a corn aficionado! she doesn’t even like cheese! their corn is covered in cotija cheese and chili powder with a lime slice on the side. it comes two per order at the restaurant, but you might want one order for just yourself. if you can’t deal with the wait, go around the corner to get it to go where an order just comes with one corn on the cobb.

dim sum seafood restaurant in la (alhambra, california)
man, i wish i knew what the name was. i’ll find out on my next trip back home (in june/july- sorry!). this place is far from traditional. there are no carts, just a menu so i hope you know the names of your favorite dishes or you’re just willing to try whatever sounds good and/or whatever sounds interesting. i remember my favorite dish here was their spicy jellyfish.

peking duck peking duck house (new york, new york)
i have been to the famous one in beijing- the one that has multiple floors and pictures of mao zhe dong (the name currently escapes me), but i still like the duck in new york better. this place is the nicest, cleanest, and most expensive restaurant in new york’s chinatown, but it is well worth it. the duck is cut up in front of you. the meat is juicy, the skin is crisp; but it doesn’t stop there, make sure you ask them to use the bones for a soup.

pork sakagura (new york, new york)
i grew up eating this kind of pork. my mom makes a delicious one as well, but it is no where near half as succulent as the one found at sakagura. it just melts in your mouth. if you plan on going to try it out, make dinner reservations. this dish isn’t served during lunch, so don’t even bother going until dinnertime.

beef noodles grandpa chan’s (taichung, taiwan)
my mom’s beef noodles are hands down the best i have ever had, however unless you are my very good friend and happen to be in hacienda heights, chances are you will never get to try it. so in a FAR second comes grandpa chan’s. the broth is good with just a hint of spiciness and the noodles are just right. the major downfall in grandpa chan’s noodle in comparison to my mom’s is the meat. my mom uses usda choice ribeye for hers and let’s be honest what kind of restaurant would spend that much money on beef for beef noodles? grandpa chan’s meat is still tender, but just not as tasty.

taiwanese food outside of taiwan ban mu yuan (irvine, california)
ban mu yuan is famous in taiwan as well, so there’s no surprise that it made its way into southern california. and this place keeps to its original menu- ones just like its counterparts in taiwan. while they also have great beef noodles, the thing to get is their shien bing which is a thick beef patty wrapped inside a thin flour pancake. be careful when you eat it as the hot soup inside will get everywhere.

soondubu sokongdong (los angeles, california)
this is a small shop with a small, but good menu. it’s not commercialized like bcd so it sticks to the original soondubu dishes (i.e. kimchi, seafood). there’s no curry or omelet ones here, so if that’s what you are into don’t come here. i always get their kejang (raw crab… yes, i really love this stuff) and kimchi soondubu with pork.

chicken flor de mayo (new york, new york)
although i am one of the biggest fried chicken fans you will ever met (when i first moved to taiwan, i had fried chicken practically everyday for the first two months!), flor de mayo holds a special spot in my heart for their half roasted chicken with their house special fried rice. their chicharrones de pollo (fried chicken!) is also good, but the roasted one is the way to go. i’ve tasted other people’s dishes while we’re at flor de mayo– everything else has been good too, but i just can’t go here without eating their chicken. this place has huge portions, but stays on the cheap.

fried rice fely j’s (manila, philippines)
it’s kinda crazy eh? a chinese girl from la who went to school in new york and then moved to taiwan yet i write a place in the philippines? you would think there would have been a better chinese place in any one of those places, but no… fely j’s hands down. this place was so good, nathan and i went here multiple times in the week we were in manila. everything here was amazing, but their sisig fried rice is a must.

pizza california pizza kitchen (everywhere)
ok, i know what you are thinking… california pizza kitchen??? yes, i love cpk. i love the different, unique pizzas they offer and i love that no matter where you have cpk you can always expect it to taste the same. my personal favorites are their bbq chicken, mushroom, and carne asada pizzas. haha, i also like their kung pao spaghetti.

wings bon chon (new york, new york)
as i said earlier, i am a big fan of fried chicken and i’ve had my fair share, but this korean version has been the best i have ever tasted. it’s not drenched or dripping in oil. the skin is at the right crispiness. and, the best part, it’s spicy. however, that’s pretty much the only good thing on the menu. their sushi, noodles, and corn are things that are not to be desired, but their wings are worth the long wait.

hot dogs crif dogs (new york, new york)
i was never a big fan of hot dogs until i went to crif dogs. their bacon wrapped hot dogs leave even me wanting to go back for more. my favorites are the good morning (topped with an egg and cheese) and the spicy redneck (which has cabbage, chili, and jalapenos). it’s a good lunch or late night, after club/bar snack. also, if you go through the phone booth you’ll enter their “secret” lounge bar known as pdt. funny how it’s not a secret though…

shabu shabu shabu shabu house (los angeles, california
my family has been going to this place for years. the food, space, and staff have remained the same, but the customers have not. the customers have doubled if not tripled throughout the years! so if you go, expect at least an hour wait unless you are really lucky. you are probably wondering what’s so special about this place and how’s it different from other shabu shabu joints located throughout los angeles– it’s their meat and sauce. the meat is fresh and carved on the spot. the sauce is not too sweet, not too salty. there’s no one taking your table reservation at the front, so make sure when you enter to go to the right side near the rice cooker and sign your name in yourself; if not, you’ll be waiting for a while…

hot pot hero tan (taichung, taiwan)
i love spicy hot pot and being in taiwan, i’ve had my fair share of all the big name joints but hero tan has to be my favorite. unlike most places that offer the “yin-yang” style hot pot (two soups side by side in a pot split down the middle or in a yin-yang shape), hero tan’s pot has two concentric circles (in other words, a small circle in the middle of the pot). i always get their spicy broth on the outside and their duck egg and cilantro broth in the inside. although hero tan is an all you can eat place, not everything on their menu is all you can eat. for example, intestines (a personal favorite, don’t cringe) can only be ordered one share per person; if you want more, you have to pay an extra NT$280 for a plate. that being said, i still think it’s worth it. the broths are better than most as well as the quality of all their meats and vegetables. it may be small portions, but it is all you can eat so just order more!

okay, now i am finally done with my post. i hope that you’ll try some new restaurants after reading this! any comments/suggestions, feel free to let me know.

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One Response

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  1. Robin said, on August 18, 2009 at 6:08 am

    hi could you please tell me where go sushi is in torrance. i tried searching on yelp and i cannot find it.


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