Showing posts from 2013

Old Skool Chinese Food - Lunch

I grew up eating chop suey, egg foo young, and bbq pork.  There aren't too many old skool places that serve this kind of food anymore.  I've passed this place many times and one night on my way home decided to stop in, saw a lot of people eating here, wanted to try their won ton soup.

See What Jay Eats at Chinese Garden Restaurant
Wor Won Ton Mein $8.50
Won tons, noodles, vegetables, bbq pork, and shrimp
It was just OK

I came back for the Lunch Specials, which I love at these old skool places.
Lunch Specials Tuesday to Saturday 11:30 am to 3 pm
Crispy Nooldes with Egg Flower Soup (part of this lunch special)

 Shrimp with Lobster Sauce and rice with an egg roll. $7.50 (including the egg drop soup, tea, and fortune cookie)
Not a bad lunch deal for $7.50 and it brought back memories.
Wasn't a fan of the egg roll tho, was more like a brick filled with meat.
They have 20 different lunch specials
or you can order from the main menu.

Fortune Cookie Time! With an upcoming lotto jackpot of over $500 Million, …

My Favorite Soba!

I was watching one of Anthony Bourdain's Japan episodes the other night, he and Chef Morimoto were eating soba at a well-known soba restaurant in Tokyo.  It's been awhile since I've had good soba, not many soba places make their own noodles.  It's hard to explain how good soba is if you haven't had a fresh noodles.
I stopped in my favorite soba shop, Otafuku in Gardena.   I was introduced to this noodle shop about 14 years ago, when their menu didn't have a lot of English descriptions and I usually ordered blind.  Today is a different story, the dining room has expanded into the next store front and the menu now has English descriptions and some pictures.  Regardless, the noodles are made fresh each day and they know how to cook them.  For me, the perfect noodle is cooked al dente.
Otafuku is hidden behind a plain store front with a nondescript sign.  Most of the regulars know that they have a small parking lot and entrance in the back of the building.
See What Ja…

Bento Box Bargain - At Home Kitchen

One thing that I don't see much anymore is good simple Japanese food.  It's hard to find a restaurant that does combinations with the classics, like tonkatsu (fried pork) and grilled salmon (without the teriyaki sauce).  
A friend introduced me to At Home Kitchen in Gardena, it's at the old Bob's Okazuya on South Vermont, between Artesia and Gardena Blvd.  For my friend to go twice in one week, I knew I had to try it.
I have to admit, the menu is a bit confusing, everything is a la carte.  The menu starts off by telling you about the set, but to go with what?
The set is an additional $3, which includes miso soup, rice, and @Home Salad, your choice of mixed vegetable tempura, seafood poke, or a 4 pc. sushi roll.  The "@Home Salad" is actually two salads, a dressed green salad with a Japanese potato salad, it's more like a mashed potato salad on top.

See What Jay Eats...

Grilled Salmon (a la carte $6.60) ordered with the $3.00 set. 
I opted for today's spicy tu…

Chengdu Taste - San Gabriel Valley

Every time I've driven by this San Gabriel Valley restaurant, I've noticed the amount of people outside waiting.  It doesn't matter what time of the day or night, there's always a line.  This tells me something must be really good AND people are willing to wait for whatever it is they're selling. 
My friend Bill mentioned that he wanted to check it out and organized a group dinner, he even went early to get in line.  Before heading over to the restaurant, I took a look at Yelp to see what people were ordering.  One of the comments I saw the most, is the wait.  Be prepared to wait an hour or two, cause they only have 50 or so seats.  The dish most talked about or ordered was the "Boiled Fish in Spicy Soup."

While we waited for our table, we decided on which dishes  to order and had a plan of attack when we were seated.
None of us had been there before and I'm sure  there are other dishes we should've tried,  but this is what we ordered.
Part of the appea…

Mutual Trading Co's Annual Japanese Food Expo - 2013

The 25th Annual Mutual Trading Co. Japanese Food & Restaurant Expo Pasadena Convention Center October 19. 2013
I've been going to the Mutual Trading Co Show almost every year since 2000, I even attended their show in the NY/NJ area.  Mutual Trading is one of the oldest Japanese food distributors in the U.S.  Based in the Los Angeles, MTC has sales offices in Honolulu, San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Boston, New Jersey, and New York.  Mutual Trading has beautiful showrooms in Los Angeles and New York City.  I should do a post on their showroom one of these days...

Ready for the breaking of the  sake barrel to open the expo

 Once inside, lots of food, beverages, equipment, knives, and products of all kinds.
With 88 vendors, 30 from Japan, this event had over 2,000 registered attendees.

At the entrance, I ran into my friend  Tommy Kosaka (chef/owner - Sushi Dragon)  and Mr. Kosei Yamamoto (President & CEO, Mutual Trading)
I look forward to seeing Mr. Yamamoto each year at the show and around…