Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Timely Boon

If someone told you to go ahead and jump, would you? probably not. If someone told you to jump and you knew the consequences would be nonfatal and maybe even delicious, what then? way more likely. Such is the hype that surrounds Golden Deli in San Gabriel. On one hand, an establishment that's widely heralded to have the best bun and pho in the SGV doubtlessly (just by sheer numbers) won't. On the other hand, popularity does bring a consistency that will usually be somewhere near the net. With that in mind, I piloted K and Mr. Style down from San Moreno (after a relaxing amble in the park) to have a closer look. After a short wait, we were planted in a nice booth where we unanimously decided on bowls of bun accompanied with a plato of goi cuon (rice paper rolled with camrones, pork, mint, and lechuga). K chose bun cha gio & bi (egg roll, shredded puerco, rice stick), Mr. Style smoothly opted for bun chao tom & thit nuong & cha gio (shrimp paste, bbq pork, egg roll, rice stick), and I had bun thit nuong & cha gio (bbq pork, egg roll, rice stick). I know it's meaningless to include the Vietnamese names without the accents, but seeing as how they're near impossible to pronounce I decided to add some international flair anyway. All bowls came with a muy delicioso house version of nuoc cham sauce, which always adds pungent life to this functional dish. The fresco rolls not only had an excellent peanut sauce, but also maintained a pleasant citrus sabor on top of the choice ingredients. The comida here is nothing to shake a stick at, and in this case maybe the people's voice does ring true. However, there are dozens of potential spots I have my ojos on in the valley. For some, this place is it. For me, until I know for sure, it will have to remain Silver Deli.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Oh, Hell Yeah

I woke up on Sabado feeling that I have been needlessly putting off a Roscoe's CCB entry for quite awhile now. After all, I realized, this place was one of my initial comida inspirations. I quickly fell out of bed, while shaking K from a pleasant snooze, and we promptly headed to hazy Hollywood for some chicken and waffles. While the exact origins of this dish have been (and will be) disputed by scholars for decades, I do know for a fact that Harlem native Herb Hudson brought his version of soul food to Los Angeles in 1976. After entering into Roscoe's rustic (lit like a wild west brothel) interior, we studied the menu and came up with flying aces. K ordered numero 19: thigh, leg, long grain arroz, gravy, and a biscuit; while I opted for the Carol C. special: suculento breast, syrup, big ass waffle. This hot piece of pollo frito is truly some of the best in the west (or maybe even the south), crispy and flavorful outside and muy tierno on the inside. Pull apart, heap onto buttery waffle, enjoy. The surgeon general may want to stamp a warning on those instructions, but they sure make for a damn fine desayuno.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Alternative Medicine

For the past 22 days I have been plagued with one tedious enfermedad after another. First came a brutal case of stomach poisoning contracted on my last night in Panama City, followed by a cold (sore throat variety) undoubtedly caught due to a weak immune system, couple that with some achy teeth from a dental procedure, then add the most recent cold (cough variety) and the outcome is misery. Not to bore you with my whining, but unable to work today, and tired and swilling NyQuil and chomping ibuprofen, I decided to get out of bed and nip this shit in the bud. Fortunately for me, I was on the comida side of the 'feed a cold, starve la fiebre' adage, so I took the short space jump down to Astronaut Ellison S Onizuka Street, home terminal of Chin-Ma-Ya of Tokyo. There are many of these Sichuan inspired eateries sprinkled throughout Japan, but only a couple exist here across the Pacifico. The concise menu revolves around two dishes: Chin-Ma Han (basically Mapo tofu): organic tofu, scallions, chives, ground carne, Sichuan pepper, chile oil, miso paste. And Tan-Tan Men (an amazing Japanese version of dan-dan noodles): ramen noodles in a rich pork and pollo broth flavored with sesame paste, Sichuan spices, topped with ground carne and espinaca. I made use of the handy spinach salad combo: Tan-Tan Men (medium spicy) and mini salad (spinach, boiled huevos, pepinos, mizuna greens, scallions, cold Cha-shu puerco with a muy rica citrus mustard dressing). Nice handiwork, I gotta say that I'm feeling better already and can't wait until next time to slurp of the mighty Tan-Tan Men. (cough, cough, sniffle).

PS: Next time came sooner than I expected with K now out sick from work too. We both sped to the noodle infirmary for a healthy dose of spicy elixir. They had a new item on the menu as well: Pako Tan-Tan Men (same soup with sliced pork katsu on top). Somehow I think this double treatment is just what the doctor ordered...