Gumb0-style stew from scratch. I do regret not picking up the Andouille sausage, because I was lazy.
Gumb0-style stew from scratch. I do regret not picking up the Andouille sausage, because I was lazy.
After running around and doing some shopping, Michelle and I worked up an early appetite for some Korean food. We stopped into Choon Chun Chicken Kalbi in Gardena.
We arrived pretty early for dinner, so the place was pretty empty. The tables consist of hollow barrels, which house the burners for cooking at the table.
The raw ingredients come out onto the table and the worker tells you, “Don’t touch it.”
Every once in a while she will come by and stir things in a little bit and say, “Not yet.”
If you try to touch the spoons to stir the cooking yourself, she will swoop in out of nowhere and snatch the spoons from your hands, still a little bit, and repeat, “Not yet.”
Now it’s ready. This is a great meal for two.
Once you’ve taken down the original dish the same works comes around and starts round two.
With ninja like quickness she whips some rice, oil, and onions together.
If you search Choon Chun Kalbi Chicken in Gardena, you won’t find it. I have no idea why, but it must go under a different name. How Michelle found it is beyond me. I do recommend this place, so if you can find it, you won’t be sorry.
I need to learn to cook more things, but until I do I have been sticking with changing things up by adding other items I like to the mix. Meat, good. Jam, good. Meat and jam? Good! Okay maybe not quite like that.
If you make chili, make chili dogs.
Corn bread always goes well with chili.
This is actually a separate batch of chili, because I liked the first batch so much. I used ground turkey to try to keep it healthier, and in the process learned beef works better, because it doesn’t stick together as much as turkey.
It’s hard to tell what this is based on the photo. This is a Mexican stew with chicken, onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers. I can tell you that I did not like this very much to start. It tasted like watery tomatoes, so I stirred in some hot sauce and left it on low heat.
It was much better less runny. I topped it with a fried egg and called a success.
I am far from a master chef or even a mediocre cook. I don’t like following recipes, but because I don’t follow recipes I think I learn faster. Going off course I’ve learned a few things about what not to do. Here’s to many more food adventures!
I went to Memphis in Manhattan Beach, because I had one of those online coupons expiring that day. Turns out the restaurant was closing permanently in two weeks because of slow business. Unfortunately that meant the staff just bailed to take other jobs, because what’s the worst that could happen? They could get fired? There was one poor guy handling all the tables and the bar by himself. Despite the expected slow service, the food was awesome.
Pulled pork sliders.
Buttermilk fried chicken.
Memphis Po’ Boy with Blackened Shrimp.
The best part of this meal was getting the bill. We had a $40 credit for this place, but what you don’t see on the bill is our drinks. We had five drinks between two people, but pretty much everyone was getting a pass on the drinks. The place is probably open for another week if you want to try your luck at some free bar time.
While my friend and I were waiting for someone to acknowledge that we had arrived, a lot of time passed. We realized what was going on with the single server, and wondered if we should just help ourselves to the bar. My friend then had a very profound thought. People need to be controlled to some extent. Here we were, two guys realizing the restaurant wasn’t being patrolled because it was closing and thinking we should get a bottle of whiskey for ourselves. Imagine if people knew the government was going to collapse. Sheer chaos. While our government isn’t always what we want it be, you should be glad it’s there. Otherwise I might come steal your television.
Last night Michelle and I decided it was a good time to check out A-Frame. It’s a new place that is pretty popular, so we figured the rain would scare people away. On top of the weather we went at 5:30 PM, because are are an old, married couple.
Our plan to get there early worked.
Maybe it worked too well. The place was empty.
We started with some cocktails. I had the Anchorman, and Michelle had the Sevilla. These drinks are decent. Michelle’s drink was better than mine. She thinks we should tell our bartender friend in Argentina to learn this one.
The crab cakes. I wish I could tell you what these tasted like, but sadly I am allergic to crab. The looked good though.
The chicken wings don’t look like much, but they’re tasty. Each one doesn’t overwhelm you with heat, but after eating three in a row you can feel it slowly start to build up. It’s nice, but you can only eat so many. It’s very heavy.
The ribs. I’m not sure what it is about them, but they immediately make me think of a Chinese restaurant. The same thing goes for the ribs as the chicken. After eating a couple, it just feels heavy because of the sauce.
Clam chowder. This was flavorful, but it should not be called clam chowder. Clam chowder is a thick, creamy concoction that you eat at the pier in San Francisco. This is too runny, so much so that I didn’t even want to use my fake Boston accent to call it, “chowdah.”
We knew we were slowly racking up the bill, but we decided why not try some dessert. We decided on the Chu-Don’t-Know-Mang. Pound cake churros with malted chocolate milk and vanilla ice cream. This was delicious. I might come here just for this.
It totally skipped my mind that A-Frame was the creation of Roy Choi, the chef behind Kogi and Chego. He likes his food to pack a flavor punch, which I can handle only so much. I’d like to call A-Frame Saucelandia, because whether the food is plated already smothered in it or if it comes in huge dipping portions on the side, there is plenty of sauce to be had here. Like with Chego I have no desire to go back to this place for at least the next six months. It’s too much for me.
Pizza from Laventina’s Big Cheese Pizza. It’s delicious, but not quite the same when not eaten drunk and sitting on the curb with dozens of other intoxicated young adults.
Delicious sandwich from Tummy Stuffers by my office.
Ddukbokki from Western Doma Noodle.
Crab and pork dumplings from Mama’s Lu.
Pork and cabbage dumplings.
Now go get yourself some lunch, people!
Michelle and I got invited out to L.A. Fashion Week by some friends. I said I was in not because I was in to this year’s swim wear lineup but because I figured something would be free. I know. I know. It’s a shock that someone so stylish as myself wouldn’t be into fashion. Really this is my idea of fashion.
Yeah, those are my groomsmen and me, rocking the Star Wars hoodies.
I was right. The event had a hosted bar. Chevy was one of the sponsors there too, but it seemed kind of odd that they would have an open bar and ask us to test drive the Chevy Volt. “This hybrid car is crap! It crashed itself, and the cup holder spilled my beer! You owe me a new beer!”
The also had coconut water. That’s Michelle’s favorite!
Christina Milian performed at the event. Who?
Why do they always have the one Asian model with no expression? I call her Dragon Lady.
It’s a bikini. How is this special or new?
Another bikini. Again, what’s so special?
A little something for my female readership. I think I could rock this look. I mean my body looks just like this guy’s except my torso is screwed on upside down.
After the fashion show, we raced out of that place to head to Mario’s Peruvian & Seafood. We had been thinking about this place the moment we passed it on the way to the event. Michelle and I were promised the best pollo saltado ever.
We made it there in time. We ended up being the last ones in the restaurant.
I ordered an Inca Kola, probably the first soda I’ve had in half a year. It looks like Mountain Dew, but it tastes like bubble gum. I wonder if the ancient Incans actually drank anything that tasted like this.
Our friends were not kidding. The Saltado de Pollo here was good. I’ve eaten this dish at a lot of different places, but they’re generally way over salted. Mario’s manages to get it right. Top it off with some of their house green sauce and you’ve got yourself a big, delicious meal that should give you leftovers. Make sure to get some of the green sauce to go with your leftovers. It is that good. The consensus on the green sauce is that it contains crack, and based on the fact that I am willing to spend a week sleeping on the bare floor of a dirty house with no electricity as long as I get this sauce, I think I agree.
So if you’re in town next year, come for the fashion. Stay for the pollo saltado. Totally worth it.
I get a lot less done in the office than I do when I work on my own. While I think it’s important to show my face in the office so people don’t forget why I get a paycheck, I really do enjoy working from home. This is partially because I sometimes get to work with Michelle when she’s doing her freelance work at home, and we get to have lunch together.
Ludo Truck was in the area one day so we went to check it out.
They call these their Perfect Fries. If you want my opinion, they’re really bad. Don’t bother with them. They’re tasteless and have the consistency of cardboard.
Michelle opted for the 3-piece chicken and got two of the famous chicken nuggets and a wing. It seems to wrong to call this a chicken nugget, because it puts them in the same class as processed chicken products, but I don’t know what else to call it. The wing was nothing special. I always enjoy the chicken nuggets though.
I opted for the sandwich, which consists of their signature chicken nuggets in between bread with some cabbage and a mayonnaise-based sauce. Skip the bread and go straight with the nuggets.
While there’s been a lot of indifference towards Ludo chicken, I really enjoy it. So if you don’t like it, that’s fine by me. Shorter line.
I’ve been quite busy with work, so much so that the blog hasn’t gotten much attention. It’s amazing how much real work you can get done when you’re not running around in circles on the Internet.
Although its only been one full week since we started our “no white flour” diet, it seems like forever. This dinner excursion to Sazon Latin Fusion was so long ago that I don’t know if I remember what we ate that night. I’ll post the images and describe them as best I can.
Chips and guacamole. They give you more chips, but they put two in the guacamole to be decorative. Remember, it’s fusion.
Empanadas. We tried four out of the five types. These were delicious.
Pollo Saltado. I’m used to seeing this dish with bite-size pieces of chicken off the bone. I had a bite of the chicken and remember this one being really juicy.
Sazón Chicken. It’s stuffed with plantain paste and covered in mole sauce. The flavor on this was good, but it was a bit dry unless you got a bite with the sauce and plantain paste. That’s the way it’s supposed to be eaten, but the meat could have been done better.
This was Michelle’s dish. I believe this was the Machaca Plate, ordered because it was spicy. It looks the least appetizing, but it was really good. The sauce had a real nice, fresh heat to it.
Flan. The girls will tell you that this is excellent here. They would go back just for this.
Bread pudding. It’s good, but in the end it’s still just bread pudding.
Natilla. This is normally done with a consistency like dulce de leche, but here they thicken it up so it has more of a cheesecake texture. I really enjoyed this for the texture.
I would come back here, because I think this place has some good dishes. None of the main dishes we ordered were mind blowing, but the empanadas and desserts were excellent. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt to return to find a dish that I really enjoy.
Michelle and I put ourselves on a diet challenge for the last month before our wedding. No white flour. We’re not going to be overly picky about the rules. No white rice, noodles, or bread. Whole wheat is fine. For our first dinner on our diet, we went to check out Torimatsu in Gardena for some yakitori.
Beer is never off the “okay” list for any diet.
One of the things I love about Japanese food is that everything is so precise.
Salt shaker? Not on my watch!
We ordered a set of ten items that the chef picks chooses, so if you can identify or correct the names of any of the stuff we ate, please go ahead and leave a comment. I’ve seen places use electric grills to get more even heat, but there’s something really cool about doing it the original way with wood charcoal.
On the right, chicken wing. I’m not positive about what’s on the right. It has the consistency of steak, but tasted like chicken. Although this is supposedly authentic yakitori, I did see they have duck on the menu.
Gizzards. Tough, chewy, flavorful.
Stuffed lotus and stuffed bell pepper. I really like the stuffed lotus. It’s got a great crunch, and the chicken flavor comes through much more than expected.
Tofu on a stick, the non stinky variety.
Guess what? Chicken butt! I think that’s what this is anyway.
Feeling a little adventurous. Rare chicken breast. You know how they say everything tastes like chicken? Rare chicken doesn’t taste like much. It’s got a great consistency though.
I know what some of you are thinking. Rare poultry?! We tried this under the assumption that they had good source for chicken that was hopefully free range, rather than the standard 1,000 chicken crammed into a single coop. We figured the worst case scenario would be able to cut our diet short after speedy weight loss through food poisoning. None so far.
Since we had some friends with us that drove quite a ways, one food spot wouldn’t cut it. We stopped by Flossie’s for some soul food. Since we’re on a diet, we only ordered some fried chicken. No need for all the extra calories.
The chicken here is delicious, light and crispy on the outside and super juicy on the inside. Only a leg and a thigh each. Remember, we’re on a diet.