Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fooding around Little Tokyo

Last post of 2010! Why not make it about one of my favorite places in LA, Little Tokyo! Last post was about Honda-Ya, which is probably one of my go-to spots in Lil Tokyo but this year I was able to try out a few spots that I've been wanting to try for awhile or an accidental discovery :]

Far Bar LA
347 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Far Bar is actually located in an alleyway. Very cool spot to check out. It's actually now one of my favorite spots in LA now. Mostly Asian fusion on the menu but they do it well. Hipster alert though!

alley & outdoor seating
It was Monday night so they had Monday Night Football on projection. Perfect.

Of course, always gotta start off with a Sapporo.

braised beef taco
Braised beef tacos. Yes, another fusion item born from the Kogi movement but wow the beef was extremely tender and uhhh just straight up delicious. Seriously. I need to braise my beef in beer now too.

Italian Samurai Burger
Italian Samurai Burger, which is apparently our waitress's favorite. It is topped with tempura onion rings and the Italian proponent of it is that they add prosciutto! With the prosciutto, it definitely adds a whole different level of flavor. The burger had such great textural contrasts as you bite through it. (Sorry for the horrible pic :[ Hard to have stable hands in low light :P)

Italian Samurai Burger
Oh man, its a beaut.

shiitake burger
I ended up getting the Shiitake Burger which had sauteed shiitake mushrooms, grilled onion, and a red pepper aioli. I love mushroom burgers and when it is shiitake, it's even better! The brioche bread is a nice touch. Not as eggy as other places but still good.

Beautiful medium rare on the patty.

ming's wings
For the wing lovers, they have Ming's wings, which is essentially wings fried with dried chili and other aromatics & seasonings you would find from a Chinese restaurant. Good flavors with a little bit of kick. The thing that impressed me the most was the size of the wings! None of that tiny tiny wings you get from most places.

wasabi fries
Wasabi fries? If you love wasabi, then this is the perfect thing for you. I'm not the biggest fan of it but it is something new and unique. They combine garlic with this wasabi dressing over the fries.


Yamazaki Bakery
123 Japanese Village Plz Mall
Los Angeles, CA 90012

yamazaki bakery
Yamazaki's definitely one of the most popular Japanese bakery in LA. Not the typical Yamazaki in Asia, the bakery focuses more on pastries, cakes, and buns rather than the bread you see in Taiwan, China, or other Asian countries.

Not much left since we went around 6pm.

apple turnover
Ended up getting an apple turnover for dessert after Far Bar. Fresh apple filling that's not too sweet.


Four Leaf Tea & Crepes
318 E 2nd StSte 8
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Recently I've been frequenting this milk tea spot called Four Leaf. Nothing beats a milk tea to wash down whatever you ate after dinner!

drink menu
They pride themselves in fresh brewing every single order, thus the higher price point. They used to have free upgrade to larges on Mondays but no more :[

pastries, cupcakes
Cupcakes & sweets if you crave any.

matcha milk tea
Matcha milk tea. Leonard's favorite. Definitely get it with half sugar or else it will be sugar overload!

osthmanthus oolong milk tea
Osmanthus oolong milk tea. My favorite. Osmanthus has a really unique flavor when brewed and it goes so well with oolong tea. As usual I get my drink with half sugar so I can taste more of the tea!


Ludo Truck
All over LA

So with the truck revolution that's sweeping LA, it only makes sense that a fried chicken truck would appear soon, which is exactly what Ludo Truck is all about! It actually started from the Ludo Bites that chef Ludo Lefbvre (named top 50 chef in the world & James Beard award winner) started around LA and eventually moved to truck form.

From the facebook page: "Chef Ludo Lefebvre with cleaver in hand brings his cutting-edge gastronomic cuisine to the streets"

Leonard and I actually accidentally stumbled upon the truck as we were on our way to Daikokuya.


Ordered the provencial pepitte aka chicken ball. Absolutely MUST GET. Boneless thighs infused with rosemary and herb de provence. Amazing flavors just having a party in your mouth.

Yum yum.

The chicken tenders. Buttermilk, flour, and chicken breast. As common as it gets but seasoned so well. For the combo it's over $10. Definitely not cheap for food trucks but gotta at least try once since I never seem to catch the pop-up Ludo Bites :[

There's still so many places in Little Tokyo that I want to visit or revisit, take pictures, and just eat, like Daikokuya, Orochon, Oomasa, Sushi Go 55, etc, so hopefully more to come!

Happy New Years and be safe ringing in the new year!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Little Tokyo: Honda-Ya Izakaya

One of my favorite izakaya in Little Tokyo is Honda-Ya, located in the shopping mall where the market resides on Alameda. Now that I think back on it, there's nothing really unique about Honda-Ya. It's just your typical izakaya with the usual offerings, and the prices are average too. I think it's the fact that everytime I've been here, I've always had good company, whether it's ordering a bottle of sake and drink my life away or catching up with a good friend.

I haven't gone to Honda-Ya in over a year but earlier this month a friend and I decided to meet up before a Yelp event. Their menu is huge, being an izakaya, so this is just a small sampling of what they offer!

Honda-Ya Izakaya
33 S Alameda Ste 314
Los Angeles, CA 90013

hot sake
Hot house sake of course! (sorry for the blurry pic! I forgot to set up the settings haha).

grilled shrimp
Ordered a few yakitori and skewer items. First to arrive, grilled shrimp skewer! That sauce is too good.

grilled chicken meatball
Ever since I had chicken meatball in Taiwan as a yakitori, it's a must now. Kinda small though :P

fried chicken cartilage
One of my favorite parts of the chicken fried, cartilage :] Love the crunch.

soy marinated yellowtail
Soy marinated yellowtail. More of this please!

cheese mochi with spicy cod roe
Spicy cod roe mochi with cheese. Yea we totally experimented with this one. Didn't really know what to expect. Spicy roe was hidden inside the mochi. Very cheesy.

fried soft shell crab
Fried soft shell crab. Can never go wrong.

kimchi pork
Another must have for izakaya, stir fry kimchi pork!!

salmon kama
Salmon fish collar. Favorite part of the fish for sure!

Honda-Ya, always a solid choice!

West LA: Bar Food

Over Thanksgiving weekend, few friends from SD were back in LA so we decided to met up. Originally we wanted to go to Father's Office since we've never been and I was craving a burger, but after some miscommunication, we ended up at another gastropub, Bar Food in West LA.

Bar Food is a gastropub on Wilshire. Of course, being a gastropub, the beer selection is pretty big and since the owner is Irish, there's also an extensive list of whiskeys as well. They even have Yamazaki, which is currently my favorite.

Bar Food
12217 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Pretty easy to spot on if you're on Wilshire.

Part of the menu.

bar pale ale
Happy hours all night so decided on the house Bar Pale Ale to go along with my...

bar burger
Bar Burger. It's essentially a bacon cheeseburger except they use bacon jam rather than bacon strips. Yes, bacon JAM. It was good but definitely needs more of that bacon jam!!

sweet potato fries
Sweet potato fries with spicy aioli. Crispy & sweet. Spicy aioli is an interesting pairing for sweet potato fries.

fish & chip
Fish & chip. I love fish & chips, especially when they have housemade tartar sauce with that fresh cod. Their take on "chips" = potato sliced thick then fried & heavily peppered. Big fan of peppery food so I love it.

cool tabs collection
They got this case full of tabs from different breweries. This was probably the coolest thing haha. If you're willing to display it like this, that's a good sign for a gastropub.

Not a bad joint. I ended up getting the burger that I was craving and with the happy hour prices of house drafts and few selection of vino, it's a good place to come and relax, and maybe grab a bite to eat. Probably wouldn't drive out here just for the food though, maybe just for the whiskey sampling :]

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Vegas: Hash House A Go Go

If you're from SD, you've most likely tried Hash House A Go Go already and know that they have ridiculous portions, and extremely extremely unhealthy food but really there is no better way to eat a truly hearty breakfast than at Hash House.

I went to cheer for a high school friend of mine who recently placed at the World Series of Poker and since it was somewhat spontaneous, we all stayed at the Imperial Palace and inside Imperial, is Hash House! Half of us all went to school at UCSD so it was a good time to pay Hash House a visit.

Hash House A Go Go
Imperial Palace
3535 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89146

located inside imperial palace
Main dining hall of Hash House. You get there by taking this ghetto elevator inside the casino to the 2nd floor haha.


Had to sit at the bar since it was so packed with tourists. Well I guess we're tourists too.. Bloody Mary anybody?

The brunch menu! What to get...

fried chicken & bacon waffle
Two of us ended up getting the Sage Fried Chicken & Bacon Waffles :]] Fried chicken and waffles then topped with hot maple caramel reduction and fried leeks. Sage gives it such a different flavor and what better way to start the day than with fried chicken??

thick waffle
The thick thick bacon waffles.

bacon bits
See that bacon integrated so well in there? Yea. Awesome.

fried green onion & aromatics
The maple reduction and fried leeks are so good just by itself. I can drink a gallon of the maple reduction and just eat a salad made of fried leeks.

The other two went for the Sage fried chicken benedict. Fried... chicken... benedict!

With fresh spinach, hardwood smoked bacon, market tomato, griddled mozzarella, chipotle cream and scrambled eggs. What a healthy way to start the day huh? Just look at that savory heart clogging hollandaise sauce :P

Of course, they give you some fruits to try to rescue your body from eating all that craziness haha.

Hash House's specialty is what it markets itself as: twisted farm food. It's nothing gourmet and definitely not the best breakfast food around but it's fun, delicious, savory, and a once in a awhile sort of place.