Monthly Archives: December 2009

Hail to 2009

Let me close this year with an homage to my addictions (whether hole in the wall or not):

-Thank you Savoy for your Hainan chicken and rice. I hope to eat it more than once this 2010.

-Thank you Kogi for the innovation and the creativity that is Mexi-Korean. It is the pioneer in you that really made me interested in chasing your truck and craving it every week. Thank you for parking in Eagle Rock, it does make my satisfaction a much easier conquest.

-Thank you Coral Reef. It may not be in my blog but it has become a recent favorite for a VERY cheap lunch location. Ow those pork chops are just the death of me. Keep it away or keep them coming-the dilemma.

-Thank you Rambos for being there when we need a late night meal, status post alcoholic bouts.

-Thank you Gyu Kaku for our happy hour moments and the cheap beer, can’t beat paying a .99c for a glass. And the food is not that bad either, bbq and beer=fun.

-Thank you Full House (Arcadia) for my dimsum fixes. As soon as I start trembling, you were never too busy for me and always satisfying.

-Thank you Din Tai Fung for your handmade dumplings. You many not be cheap but you are definitely good. Your steamy containers will forever haunt me in my dreams.

-Thank you Tofu Village. Another cheap place that serves me some good comfort food. Soondubu and your dollar domestic beers are always a good find for early HH moments. I wonder when will you have cold noodles again?

-Thank you Conrad’s for always being patient in accommodating the tennis team. It may not have the best of food but it has been the connecting point of many conversations and controversy. The half fried chicken’s not that bad either.

Ooooo, I have so much more to be thankful for. I may not have mentioned it but I will find a way to honor your greatness by continuously supporting you and eating my way through the menu of your establishment.

Goodbye 2009 and Hello 2010. I shall have more offerings, I hope. I’ll wipe my salivating palate and type away my satisfied belly once more this coming year. Ahhhh….what can i say? This is my life with food.


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Noche Buena na

Noche Buena clearly is something I miss. For some reason, we’re famous for creating celebration and parties out of anything under the sun. What can I say, we love our food, our LOOONNNNGGG and loud talks, and our strong drinks that go on ’til the clock wakes up the rest of the world.

But noche buena is such a tradition that really brings the family together during the holidays. It may not be an expensive feast for some but the gathering is more important rather than the food. Aww, I miss my family and I miss the food. Crispy lechon(whole roasted pig), some sort of pasta (usually spaghetti or baked macaroni), pancit, my dad’s roasted chicken, Arroz Caldo (porridge/Filipino congee with chicken), my mom’s pineapple spareribs, fruit salad, some rice dessert, and my brother’s favorite chocolate cake. Yummy.

It saddens me that here in LA, to the rest of the blogging and culinary world, Filipino food is shunned and not as mainstream. It’s thought of as too oily, salty, exotic, an acquired taste. UGH UGH UGH. But for most of us, our food is built around tradition, around moments shared with family and friends where laughter and stories are endless, together with the never-empty chafing dishes. So next time you get asked to go to one of our parties, go ahead and indulge. It won’t hurt to try. I am sure as hell, you will not be disappointed.

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Who’s the dummy now?

I am now a proud owner of Cocktails for Dummies (pocket edition). YES, I am. We went to Target yesterday and there they were: IPhone for Dummies, Twitter for Dummies, Blackberry for Dummies, and Cocktails for Dummies. I simply had to get one, a newbie at this dummy thing I was all giddy going back home.

For only $1 you will have the pleasure of serving your most favorite and most complicated drinks at your next holiday party. 56 glorious pages of alcohol at its finest. And even on one chapter called Methods to the Madness, it teaches the dummy in us on how to slice a lime or an orange. NICE. I’m not a fancy hostess (well, to a certain a point) so a simple excess of alcohol is enough for me. When they have the cranberry or OJ in place next to the Grey Goose then my part is done. The rest will all fall into their specific glasses. But it is relieving to know that if someone asked me make a Bellini then I would know to muddle a peach in a champagne glass, add simple syrup, and plenty of champagne. Or if someone wanted an Irish Buck then I would know to hand him/her whiskey and ginger ale and call it a day. Or that if someone shouts out Nervous Breakdown it may just mean vodka, Chambord, soda, and a splash of cranberry mixed together. Do NOT call 911.Boo yah.

In conclusion, buying ________ for Dummies may not necessarily mean that you’re a dummy. It just means there are certain things that you are not so familiar about. Take it from me. I am a self-confessed expert on anything above 5%alc but I did not know before tonight that Buttery Nipples exist (Irish cream, vodka, and Butterscotch Schnapps).


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Kogi, Anywhere in Southern Cali

It started with a mere rumor that became an interest that became a goal then finally a chase. I didn’t really chase the Kogi truck everywhere but I did follow it on twitter, if only to put a notch on my belt and say…”yah foos, I just did kogi”. I was actually more annoyed at the fact that for a proud foodie, I was last in Southern Cali to have one. UGH. Fudge that.

4374 Eagle Rock blvd., YES, it was in my neighborhood. As we pass the “Roja” Kogi truck, all that was running around my tiny brain space was PARKING SPACE!!! But luckily we parked near Rambo’s (another famous late night taco truck), got out, and went in line. Surprisingly it was not as bad as I expected. It was slightly a family affair, even mothers taking pictures of their kids in line and in front of the Roja truck that just parked. We had a conversation going with a former Korean local that has a Mexican restaurant in Vegas (how ironic, huh). We were both in line to try the hype, to test the popularity, and to taste the fad. So here we go.

“Azul” (the truck-in-training) pulls up, parks, and the prep time begins. Roja did start taking orders first and the menu was simple enough. If you have twitter, they do post the specials of the day including dessert. Yum. I was surprised that parking to prep to order and service was not a wait at all, in fact we did wait longer in line than to order and get our food. Short rib tacos, spicy pork tacos, kimchi quesadillas, and tofu burrito. I will come back in line for the Kogi sliders (short rib burgers with a spicy sauce) and the Kogi dog (hotdog, mexi-korean style). Those made my mouth salivate and my tummy rumble a little bit. But I wanted to try their popular and more interesting dishes first.The food comes unpacked, if you want it to-go (as we did) pull a couple of pieces of foil, get a bag, take your utensils, which are all available at the front of the truck and bag the food yourself. I didn’t really mind. They were nice enough to give us extra radish, lime, and orange wedges. So off we went.

The short rib tacos were tender, a little spicy with a little bit of tang. It was a little too much on a tiny piece of tortilla but I didn’t mind. I picked up fallen pieces of short rib on my plate and enjoyed the moment. The spicy pork taco was not spicy at all, given the mexi-korean style I was expecting explosion and an immediate need for a diet coke extinguisher, but was disappointed. The pork was tender and mild at best. Both tacos came with the same veggie slaw and sauce, which were alright. Slightly different from the original Mexican flavor but did work well with the meat. The kimchi quesadilla was a nice surprise. Interesting but in a very, very good, delicious way. The tortilla was perfectly cooked, the kimchi was excellent, the sauce was a little spicy but not to complain about. But my best bite so far was the tofu burrito. Silky tofu, melted cheese, a sweet yet somewhat spicy sauce inside a huge tortilla, definitely worth more than the 5bucks I paid for it. I can’t wait to go to Costco one day to find these in the frozen section, ready for my microwave otherwise I would like to petition for Kogi to follow me everyday just in case the craving hits.

The tacos did under deliver, probably because the hype made me expect so much that the disappointment was very much expected. I would order the short rib again, but only because of the “I waited in line for Kogi so I better get a taste of it anyway”. But the highlights were the quesadilla and the burrito. So next time I wait, I know what my purpose would be. Not for the rumor, the interest, the chase, or the hype but more of the food. I mean, really now, isn’t that what we should be after in the first place?

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