Friday, May 27, 2011

Go For Broke

With a house warming shindig to attend just north of adroit LAX, K and I got an early start on Sabado and went the extra mile down to Gardena specifically for some authentic Hawaiian style comida. Crammed in a tiny strip mall on Vermont Av, Bob's Okazu Ya beckons leeward travelers to have a seat and ease into Island time. Not only is Bob's possibly my new favorito place on Earth, but the food is decidedly some of the best I've had on the Mainland. In Japanese, Okazu means 'side dish' and Ya means 'shop' which in total translates to 'a take-out joint with comida ready to scoop from a steam table'. This is an excellent way to order here, 'Da Kine' plate lunch combos are both mouthwatering and affordable. Just pick your vegetables then your meat and off you go. Along with Chow Fun and Nishime (a humble root stew), some of the more amusing vegetable choices are: cabbage and onion with Kalua pork, beef tofu, and chicken long rice. As for the meat, highlights include: sweet and sour pork rib, shoyu pollo, beef curry, and Char Siu. With that said, K and I formulated a different plan and ordered from the Ono menu instead.
Looking for something crispy, K bravely chose the mammoth 'Go For Broke' special: pollo katsu, Nori wrapped chicken (muy sabroso), Chow Fun, mac salad, and rice. Ah, yeah.
I, Solo Basura, maintain a gigante soft spot for all things Poke: Ahi (Yellowfin Tuna), sea salt, Limu seaweed, Maui onion, soy sauce, inamona (roasted candlenut), and sesame oil served over shredded cabbage with mac salad and rice. After letting the juices flow together for a minute or two, I quickly pulled the trigger. If there exists in the world a mixture of flavors this electrifying I look forward to finding it, believe you me. Bob's also routinely features live music (in our case a duo strumming breezy popular standards) which is truly the syrup on the shaved ice.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hit the Bong

It's certainly not out of the ordinary to find members of mi familia quickly pairing off to split a bowl of jjambbong when closing out a meal at any number of Korean Chinese restaurants across the Southland. Today however it was just K and I, and seeing as how we had a hankering for the spicy seafood noodle sopa, we marked a plot west along Beverly to the California Market where Hong Kong Banjum shines like a bright red traffic light. There are basically two items on the menu here: jjambbong and tangsuyuk.
The version of jjambbong at HKB is nothing short of phenomenal: spicy broth (two employees wore goggles), veggies (onions, carrots, cabbage), calamares, pork, and wheat flour noodles. Served with a few slices of takuan, this stuff is a whirlwind of flavor from start to finish. Even the noodles are perfecto (an afterthought at some establishments), staying nice and firm while bathing in the steamy pastiche.
Also felt was an uncontrollable urge to order some tangsuyuk (a Korean take on sweet and sour pork): skillfully breaded puerco fried and topped with a self-administering cup of gooey sauce (wood-ears, carrots, onions with hints of plum and pineapple). Give yourself an early birthday present and come here as soon as humanly possible. While going to town on this business along the stainless steel counter, I was embarrassingly alarmed by a sudden blast of heat blown through the bullet proof kitchen glass. Fortunately for us all, K recaptured this comida sequence for the annals of history (watch the eyebrows).