Tag Archives: noodles

OC Brew Ha Ha Beer Festival

I’m behind in a lot of my blog posts, because I’ve been so busy at work. My work load has grown so I have no time to write, and that requires me to play even harder so the back log of events has grown.

Two weekends ago I got the chance to go to OC Brew Ha Ha. This was really my first time going to eat and drink since my little tofu accident, and I was ready to get myself out there and consume both beer and food.

This was a great way to come back to the world of food and drink. I’m back, baby!

Time for Thai

Thai food was always something I ordered when I went to UCLA and was too lazy to go out to get my own food. It was delivered, inexpensive, and it satisfied my need for something greasy. Today that taste for Thai carries on, but I will go to get it, and I hope it’s not nearly as greasy as my college days. That’s what brought me to Renu Nakorn Restaurant in Norwalk.

Crispy rice salad. This dish is awesome. It’s very light but with full flavor and a great crunchy texture from the onions and rice.

Eggplant and tofu.

Pineapple Fried Rice. This is always a classic from my college days.

Duck Curry. I really enjoy Thai curries, much more so than Japanese or Indian style curries. Add duck to the mix, and I am a happy camper. When the fat makes its way into the already creamy sauce, it’s fantastic.

Whole fried fish.

Drunken Noodle Seafood. I never know why they call noodles drunken. Perhaps it is because you have to be inebriated to consume them. To be safe I had a couple beers while enjoying this dish.

Barbecued pork. I went to town on this dish. There is very little done to the pork and rightly so. A meat’s own fat is flavor enough, and this pork had plenty of flavor.

Holy crap! Noodles on the West Side!

Noodle Club is back! While we are still not accepting applications for membership, there is one way into the club. Be born into it.

This is Delphi, known as Noodle Baby.

Because Noodle Baby doesn’t like to be kept up past her bedtime, we stayed close to her home. We checked out the relatively new 101 Noodle Express in the Culver City Westfield Shopping Center. It’s a fast food version of an actual noodle joint in San Gabriel Valley.

The Noodle Club deciding what to eat. Unfortunately they were out of  all of their sides and seafood. This is probably only a problem in a small setup like in a mall. Still it was disappointing not to be able to try the full range of menu items.

Beef Noodle Soup.

Dan Dan Mein.

Beef Rolls.

In an area where good noodles are hard to come by, 101 Noodle Express is a welcome sight. The noodles were a bit chewy, and I have a feeling that has something to do with the fact that everything is served in disposable plastic bowls that can’t take the heat. Other than noodles being a bit chewy, I was pleasantly surprised with the food, still maintaining a flavor pretty consistent to what I’m used to in other joints that serve these same dishes. It is an odd experience though to eat Taiwanese noodles without hearing anyone speak Chinese or worrying about whether the chef was picking his nose.

If you’re trapped on the West Side, 101 Noodle Express is definitely a place I would check it. It’s not going to blow your mind, but it will definitely provide a fix for your Taiwanese noodle cravings. Plus, what other noodle joint has five shoe stores in it?

Argentina: Not just for steak.

When people find out that we’ve returned from Argentina, they immediately ask us about the steak. The steak is incredible, but I feel like Buenos Aires is starting to offer so much more. Eat steak, but here are some other things you definitely want to check out.

Azema is a restaurant, named after the head chef and owner. This place is a fusion restaurant, combining foods from his travels to Vietnam and Morocco. Michelle’s favorite part in all this is that you can tell them how spicy you want it, and it actually ends up with a good bit of heat.

Fried dumplings. They’re like Asian empanadas.

Shrimp curry. They tend to overcook their shrimp in Argentina. The shrimp were a bit softer than I’d like, but it was great to taste some different flavors.

Michelle went with a Moroccan style lamb curry, and based off the sniffles she got the spicy she had been missing.

Los Inmortales, a pizza joint that’s very popular. If you ask for it by name people know.

Pizza is a pretty big deal in Argentina. It works out well for them, because cheese, olives, tomatoes, ham, and pepperoni are regular items in their diet anyway.

Pepperoni and mushrooms. The crust on their pies is well balance. It’s light but not too doughy.

You can’t see it, but under the layer of cheese is ham, covering every square inch of the crust. The sweetness of the ham against the saltiness of the olive and cheese worked well.

We checked out Sudestada, an Asian fusion joint. I was impressed with how many people were using chopsticks.

Hopefully they recount the orders for hanging chads.

Dumplings for starters.

Chicken curry. Beautifully presented.

Pork chow fun. This dish is okay. It was nice to get some familiar Asian flavors that we were missing during our trip, but it’s nothing too special.

Michelle loves hot dogs, so even though we had just eaten a couple hours before, she had to try an Argentinian hot dog. They call them superpanchos.

They offer all kinds of toppings to garnish their hot dogs, but to Michelle’s dismay none of them were jalapenos.

Whether or not you’re a fan of beef, you should visit Buenos Aires for a food vacation. There are enough restaurants challenging the traditional standard of parrillas. They’re doing it well too, combining the leisure eating style with different types of foods. This gets a big thumbs up in my book.

Asa Ramen

Asa Ramen is another ramen bar in Gardena that I remember enjoying, but I’ve only been to this joint a couple of times. It’s only open during dinner hours, never for lunch.

Michelle ordered the Asa Ramen. This broth is a little too sweet for me to want to slurp up after I finish the noodles.

I got the special, the Shio Ramen with chashu. This was delicious, and I was scooping up spoonfuls of this broth and slurping it down.

The only down side to Asa Ramen is that the portions are not very big. When I get a bowl of noodles, I like  to hold it up to my face and have it dwarf my head. If the bowls were as large as Hataka Ramen’s bowls or if they had noodle refills for a dollars, I might be more inclined to come back here more often, but that’s probably the fat American in me talking.

Best Pho I Never Had

Michelle’s parents aren’t as adventurous as we are with food, so it surprised me when they picked a Vietnamese place for dinner. When I saw the place it made a little more sense.

This is Pho Consomme in Gardena. It’s big, well lit, clean, and it has televisions in the restaurant. It’s not the typical dirty pho joint that you’re probably used to seeing. From the outside, I wasn’t sure what to expect with the food.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the menu is huge. This is just a portion of the menu. Pho Consomme is not one of your standard pho restaurants. It’s one of those hybrid fusion places that tries to cater to everyone. I was just happy that I wouldn’t be forced to order pho.

Let me first start off by noting that the service here is terrible. I don’t think they’re trying to be rude. I just think the guy they have working is incompetent. Service was slow. Replace him and I would definitely think much more of this place. Although knowing how these Asian joints work, he is probably related to the owners of the place, meaning this place will never live up to its potential.

We ordered spring rolls to start the meal. These were refreshing.

Pork over vermicelli. Again, the fresh looking greens are always a good sign. No wilted lettuce in this place.

Michelle ordered her usual pho to which I give my usual rating of, “It’s okay for a dish that uses dirt as the base for its broth.”

I ordered the shrimp and pork wonton soup. The picture on the menu shows noodles for the non soup version. Mine did not have noodles, which was a little bit disappointing, but it was still delicious. Fish balls, imitation crab meat, and wontons that made me feel like I was eating dim sum in a soup. Delicious.

If it wasn’t for the slow service, I would suggest that everyone check it out. If you’re more patient than I am, there are lots of items on the menu that definitely need exploring. I’d love to see what someone else thinks of this place.

Hakata Ramen. Still the best.

Taste in food is always open to discussion. Who is to say that we all perceive taste exactly the same way? What may taste like a terrible meal to me (pho), may be the food you (Michelle) would want if you were stuck on a deserted island. To each his own.

Hakata Ramen is probably my favorite noodle joint. The location in Gardena was always a local favorite for Michelle and myself when we were living in the South Bay. It was convenient and delicious.

Last week we decided to check out the location in Rosemead. The ability to custom order how heavy you want your broth and how firm you want your noodles is great. I like my broth to be flavorful but not something that will make me drink gallons of water afterward. Noodles should be like a woman’s derrière, firm. If you disagree, that’s okay. You can make your bowl of ramen the way you like it.

After all that talk about the ramen, I really wish I had a better picture that actually showed the noodles. I’m still learning how to be a food blogger. I like to get the pictures, but really I just want to dig into the food.

Masago.

Spicy miso. Bet you can’t guess whose soup this went into.

Fried fish with cheese inside. Sounds like an odd combination.

But it’s so very good.

Gyoza always compliments a ramen meal well.

Fried squid. The batter they use for this is sweet and light. I like it a lot. Someone should coat everything in this batter and fry it.

There’s a lot of hype out there in the food community about different noodle joints, but after going through the rounds, Hakata Ramen is still my favorite. Waiting in a long line for Daikokuya or trying to figure out what hours Asa is actually open is something I don’t care to waste time on anymore. Hakata has it’s special place in my heart because it’s consistent and convenient, delicious food that’s always there when I need it.

Boiling Crab

One of Michelle’s friends from college was in town from Alaska, so we decided that a dinner was in order. Boiling Crab in Rowland Heights was the spot chosen. The rain made traffic terrible, but it also removed the wait that normally exists at this place.

Let me start off by saying that Asians do not know how to make money off of alcohol. I was early so I grabbed a beer at a bar in the same plaza as Boiling Crab, and the glass wasn’t a pint. It looked like it was 24 ounces. Back at Boiling Crab the beers were $3/bottle, way under what a restaurant normally charges for beer. While the businessman in me says this is poor business, the alcoholic inside of me nods in satisfaction.

I’ve said multiple times that I don’t like sweet potato fries. For some reason these are not as sweet as other places, and I like them. They’re like a hybrid between regular fries and sweet potato fries.

Fried oysters.

Hot wings. Michelle said these were hot. When she says something is hot, you steer clear of it.

Shrimp and crawfish. The main event.

Not to be stopped after a single meal, we headed to Class 302 across the street for dessert.

I always watched friends pour on condensed milk onto shaved ice in high school, like it was the antidote to the poison they took. I told them that they should just freeze the condensed milk and shave that. I think that’s what they do here.

As my regular readers know, I can’t stand the way Asians do dessert. This is not dessert!

I went ahead and ordered Railroad Style Noodles. This was very tasty. Can anyone recommend a place to eat something like this that’s not so far east?

On a last note, Class 302 was awesome except for the smell of stinky tofu that wafted through the restaurant for a short while. Seriously, how do people eat that shit? It smells like feet! You are an asshole if you order this stuff in a restaurant. People are trying to enjoy other foods and not lose their meal. So to all people that order stinky tofu, fuck you.

Damn you, trendy Vietnamese noodle shops!

Add another pho restaurant to the list of restaurants that have clever names. Pho Show in Culver City has used its name to draw in sometimes reluctant West Siders to try Vietnamese cuisine. This restaurant is different though. It doesn’t suck like most pho shops within six miles of the coast. That means a lot, especially coming from this guy who doesn’t think much of pho anyway.

Fresh ingredients for the pho. What’d you expect for a joint on the West Side? You can’t have wilted basil and limp bean sprouts. People would be up in arms.

Other pho spots in the area tend to make the broth way too salty, probably catering to over-Americanized taste buds. This broth was good, flavorful yet light at the same time.

Dumpling. Plump, juicy, and seared perfectly for a nice combination of textures.

Here’s the greatest part. You can eat pho after tossing back some cocktails at your favorite bar. They know their audience.

While this place is what I consider the “Best of the West (Side)” for pho, it doesn’t stand up to the pho joints farther east. Rent out west can’t be cheap either, so the dishes are a bit pricey. Still, it’s nice to know that I don’t have to trek thirty minutes just to get a decent bowl of pho, even at midnight.

All we want is rice and noodles!

Our ongoing quest to fit into wedding attire is quite difficult when we don’t prepare our own meals. So when we’re looking for meat only, we think Korean food. We put a twist on things and went to Korean style shabu-shabu at Seoul Garden.

That’s a lot of vegetables there, much more than I’m used to in Japanese shabu-shabu.

Now THIS is what I am used to eating.

I’m not a big fan of vegetables, but this absolutely works for me.

Couple that with the familiar side dishes and you’ve got yourself a full meal.

Of course this dish really made our night. Some sushi and greens over buckwheat noodles. Buckwheat noodles aren’t as good as rice noodles, but they were a welcome taste.

Those Koreans turn leftovers into a second meal. Why did it have to be noodles?! We regretfully pass.

Why not a third meal? White rice?! Kill us now. Pass again. *SOB*

I’m just waiting for the point until my dreams turn to biscuits, pho, and fried rice.