Insatiable Girl

LOS ANGELES: Pink’s Hot Dogs

Posted in food, los angeles, restaurants by sue on November 26, 2010

Sadly my first time trying this infamous hot dog joint was at the Los Angeles Airport, so I did not get the whole experience. Nonetheless, this is one damn good hot dog. It’s really juicy and the chili was well seasoned. I’ll definitely try the original place sometime when I get back. I still have a soft spot for Crif Dogs back in New York though; their chili dog is not only bacon wrapped, but topped off with some coleslaw and jalapeños. Yum.

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HOMEMADE: Chicken Enchiladas with Pumpkin Puree

Posted in cooking by sue on November 26, 2010

Do you see that dish in the center of the photo? The one topped with the cilantro and scallions? That’s my chicken enchiladas in pumpkin purée. It came out pretty well I think. The only thing I regret is adding five jalapeños! I found this from a cookbook, but altered it a bit for my own tastebuds. Here’s the recipe in case you want to try it yourself:

You will need: a rotisserie chicken (I suggest you get the original flavor and not lemon or rosemary flavors), green onions, garlic, salt, pepper, corn tortillas, jalapeños, water, a 29 oz can of pumpkin puree, and cheese (I used a bag of shredded cheese that was a “Mexican blend” of jack, yellow cheddar, and white cheddar). This recipe is about enough to create 12 enchiladas, depending on how big you want them, which feeds about 6-8 people.

First, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Shred the chicken and make sure to take off the skin and throw out the bones. Then mix it with some sliced green onions, salt, and pepper and set it aside. Next, take the pumpkin purée, garlic (I used about 6 cloves), jalapeños, water (take the pumpkin purée can and fill it about halfway), salt, and pepper and mix in a blender until there are no lumps. Then take a bit less than half of this mix and spread it on the bottom of your baking pan. Make sure you cover every corner. Then take your corn tortillas, fill it with the chicken mixture (and a bit more cheese if you’d like), roll it, and put it in the tray with the flaps facing down into the pumpkin mix. After you finishing rolling all of them, add the rest of your pumpkin mix and top it off with some cheese. Stick it in the oven for about 30 minutes and garnish it with some cut green onions and cilantro when it’s done if you’d like.

Ta-da! There you have it. Let me know if you like it.

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Pumpkin Creme Brulee

Posted in food by sue on November 26, 2010

Run, do not walk, to your nearest Whole Foods and get yourself their pumpkin creme brûlée. It is mind blowingly awesome.

BREA: Le Diplomate Cafe

Posted in food, los angeles, restaurants by sue on November 24, 2010

Never, ever step foot in this restaurant. I don’t care if you are starving and stuck at Brea Mall with no way to leave, eat at the food court or California Pizza Kitchen (which I love). Just do not eat here. The food was awful. By far the worst French onion soup I have had yet. (Go to Vie de France in South Coast Plaza for good French onion soup.) It was extremely salty; I couldn’t even drink the soup! I just ate the onions and a tiny bit of the bread. I got their baked chicken rolls which were also a bit salty, but weren’t even heated thoroughly! This worst part is this place is not cheap. Clearly I don’t mind paying more for good food, but when I have to pay a lot for mediocre, practically inedible food, I am just pissed.

This was a wasted lunch. I will never go here again and I highly suggest you do the same.

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BURBANK: Islands

Posted in food, los angeles, restaurants by sue on November 23, 2010

I got the Pipeline Burger (aka chili burger), pictured above. The burger was pretty good, but the fries were awful. The spinach and artichoke dip was okay, standard chain restaurant type stuff, nothing special.

FULLERTON: Molca Salsa

Posted in food, los angeles, restaurants by sue on November 23, 2010

Overall Molca Salsa is pretty good. I highly recommend their carne asada fries. Their fish tacos were decent, but Wahoo’s is still my favorite. It’s not worth a thirty minute drive, but a ten/fifteen one is fine.

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FOUNTAIN VALLEY: Tsuruhashi

Posted in food, los angeles, restaurants by sue on November 22, 2010

Tsuruhashi puts Gyu-Kaku to shame. This place was amazing. Everything we got was great: assorted kimchi, salted prime beef tongue (pictured above), Kobe beef, Harami (prime around the skirt), Asian yam wrapped in perilla and bacon (pictured below), burdock root wrapped in bacon, seafood plate, berkshire pork belly, kimchi fried rice, mango pudding, and coconut milk with green tea (last picture). My mouth is watering just thinking about it again.

It’s the best yakiniku spot I’ve been to, probably because the meat was really fresh and marinated well. It also helped that they gave you multiple sauces and the servers were nice and on top of their game. My glass never reached half full and an empty plate never stayed on our table for more than half a minute.

My favorite dishes were the Harami, Asian yam, salted beef tongue, and coconut milk with green tea. The only downsides: 1) the restaurant is pretty tiny (when we left, the wait to be seated was more than an hour) and 2) the ventilation system sucks. Two hours later, I still smell like meat. It doesn’t matter though, this place is worth the drive. Check it out.

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SANTA MONICA: Opaque

Posted in food, los angeles, restaurants by sue on November 21, 2010

There are no pictures for this place because I was dining in the dark. Yes, you read correctly, the dark. I couldn’t see anything– not my food, the utensils, my glass of water, etc. I’ve been wanting to try a place like this since one of my old roommates told me about it a few years ago, so thanks Rossana for taking me!

The whole idea of this restaurant is based on the theory that your other senses will be heightened because you lost your sense of sight. This might be true if I lost the sense permanently or if the food were much better because it was certainly not the case last night. For $100 per person, I expected great food, but instead it was just mediocre. The seared ahi tuna was still frozen in the center! Everything was rather bland minus the amuse bouche, a cherry tomato filled with goat cheese, and their mango panna cotta. I ate less than normal last night but I’m not sure if it was because of the food itself or because I couldn’t see what I was eating. I think I tend to keep eating even though I’m full because the food looks so good or because I don’t want to waste it.

It’s definitely a novel dining experience. I’m glad I went, but I would not want to do it again. It was just… strange. I picked up my fork to take a bite of my salad only to get a mouthful of air twice and Rossana stuck her hand in the butter twice! And I would rather spend the money at a crappy restaurant eating amazing food. (When I was eating my tuna, I couldn’t help but wish that I was at In N Out scarfing down a burger.)

If this entry has not dissuaded you from dining in the dark, Opaque has restaurants in San Francisco and San Diego as well. Camaje in New York offers a similar experience using blindfolds. Let me know what you think if you go!

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LOS ANGELES: Shabu Shabu House

Posted in food, los angeles, restaurants by sue on November 19, 2010

I’ve been going to this restaurant since high school (that’s at least ten years!) and it has never once disappointed me. The wait is long yes, but that’s just a testament to how great this place is, especially considering there are two other shabu shabu places nearby that are consistently empty. I’m not sure why this place is so good– is it the meat? the ponzu sauce? or both? Who knows, I just know it’s hands down the best shabu shabu place I’ve been to, throughout California, New York, Japan, and Taiwan. This restaurant is a simple concept with such a simple menu. They only serve beef, a veggie plate, and drinks. The only choices you have are whether you want a medium or large plate of meat and if you want the meat leaner or fattier. The service isn’t the best, but you hardly have to deal with them. (The waiters have been the same for the past ten or so years as well.) The only downfall, besides the long wait, is the limited amount of green onions they give you. I remember a few years ago they actually charged my mom and I for extra green onions! We use them ferociously, but come on you can get four bunches for a dollar! (Or 48 bunches for a dollar if you go to the Korean market in LA.)

MONTEREY PARK: Duck House

Posted in food, los angeles, restaurants by sue on November 18, 2010

Out of all the Chinese restaurants I have ever been to in the United States, I have to say this place is one of the better ones. Overall the food was pretty good, but what won it over for me was the cleaniness and the service. The waiters were nice and never once rude despite the number of comments my dad made. The decor is simple and not gaudy like most Chinese restaurants with the red and gold dragons or Chinese characters. The plates weren’t coated with tiny bits of food or scratch marks. The only downside is it’s kind of small, so there’s usually a wait unless you make a reservation.

Anyway, onto the food! The Peking duck was good, but the duck at the Peking Duck House in New York is better. At this Duck House, they slice off all the fat before it arrives to your table which is great for your health, but doesn’t taste as succulent. I also don’t like that they don’t take the duck out and slice it in front of you at your table– that’s a nice perk about the one in New York. The lobster and noodles dish was a hit and a miss; the lobster was cooked really well, but the noodles lacked flavor and could have done with some more salt. The shrimp wrapped in angel hair was perfectly cooked; the angel hair crumbled around your mouth with every bite. The hollow vegetables were also cooked well, but could have done with some more garlic and less salt. But the best dish in my opinion was the steamed fish. Anyone who has ever attempted to steam fish, let alone just cook fish, should know how hard it is. If you take it out too soon, it’s mushy; if you take it out too late, it becomes too dry. This fish was cooked perfectly which is extremely difficult to do for a fish that large. The meat was tough but tender and the sauce was well done. It was on par or possibly even slightly better with the steamed fish my mom makes– please don’t tell her I said that! The only dish I could have done without last night would have been the crab soup. The broth was good, but there was just no meat in the crab.

Sorry there are no pictures. We went here for dinner with one of my dad’s clients, so I thought it would be rude if I busted out my phone to take a picture. Next time I will!

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