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La Feria de Big Buy Foods-Boyle Heights

hmmm interesting. regarding the quesadillas, it was maybe 3 years ago that i had them. she had her cart outside la placita on the street, by other folks selling hotdogs and snacks after mass.

regarding non-gdl jalisciense diaspora, would one correctly guess then, that chicago's community has a greater proportion of people from guadalajara, since there seems to be greater frequency of carne en su jugo?

Apr 29, 2009
ken ivorous in Los Angeles Area

Leavenworth/Ellis new Tenderloin Yucatecan?

mdub, did you ever get to try mr licea's cochinita pibil? i remember that when i asked about it they said they were not ready to start serving that either. did he end up moving on somewhere else? and is abe still involved this current incarnation?

pb, a bit hard to 'splain it - as it would be trying to explain what a song sounds like, or successfully describing, say, a queensbridge accent. it would prolly best be absorbed by doing a bit of participant-observation in the city's public schools. it's just shorthand to refer to a somewhat blurrily demarcated subset of san franciscans; mostly native, mostly working class, primarily public school alums, mainly nonwhite (as anyone who's ever tried playing find-the-caucasian-kid in an sfusd school can attest, which is otherwise quite diverse). the words "hella", "mainy", "errrrry" may figure sparsely to frequently in one's speech. this subset of frisco residents don't generally find anything objectionable about the word "frisco" (an aversion that generally marks those san franciscans of a certain class, and different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds). well ricky, hope that helps lol.

kaoneow cafe lao-thai re open today

>>>ever had "Jaew Mak Gok"
think so maybe .. dark green with skin in it right, and very "refreshing"?

non sequitur: ran outta kiap moo, ran outta kao niao, but still a bit jeow mak len left .. hmm some leftover tortilla chips? that's right, killed it lol.

might you happen to have a kapoo recipe i would be able to play with?

La Feria de Big Buy Foods-Boyle Heights

sgla, en, just wondering if there are spots with quesadillas estilo df on offer here? also was interested if you know if there's still a woman who makes them from a cart at la placita off olvera after mass? it's been rather long since i've gotten to go, and am hoping to head down soon.

are there some neighborhoods with concentrations of folks that hail from jalisco? i was hoping to poke around for places for carne en su hugo and other fun stuff. thank you in advance yall.

Apr 29, 2009
ken ivorous in Los Angeles Area

Leavenworth/Ellis new Tenderloin Yucatecan?

is this same place as twin cafe? if so, are they different folks from the old ones that were running it just awhile ago?

if this is the same place, it got slightly gussied up in the last 6-12 months, right? but a little before that it was shared half-half yucatec & american-run-by-ethiopean (kinda like a shared kfc/ taco bell). there was a stockily-built very young guy (early 20's) with goatee and a frisco accent and mannerisms working, and 2 or 3 women in the back who didn't seem very english fluent, at that time i recall that the nicely greasy empanada stood out to me.

post-gussy up (fall 2008?) tried to order taco de pavo, but they said they didn't have it YET and offered tacos de pollo at that time. the guy that was taking orders and handling money was thin built, younger guy (20's/30's), with very light spanish accent. is this place a different lineage now?

is there any word the ethiopean owner from before, abe? every time i came for kitfo he kept telling me he was going to start making ethiopean stuff on fridays - still need to try his kitfo.

Best place for Nan Gua Bing

i had the cat ear in october or november 2008. wow if the cat ears are the worst ones on they do, then i'm very very impressed; i thought they were chao'ed really nicely. can't wait to come back and have everything there.

sorry i haven't done my homework yet, but i'm curious how many main chefs do they have at peaceful? do they have, say, 1 for chao, 1 for mian & baozi, etc? do you happen to know about the chefs' names? i apologize if this has already been talked about - please let know if it has and i'll go dig for it. thanks in advance

Tung Hing - Banana ..erm.. beignet?

thanks much! that sounds really good right now

kaoneow cafe lao-thai re open today

thanks again for all your advice. been able to get into it because i've had access plus i'm a tad obsessive with food which leads into obsessing about language, culture, demography, history, politics, etc. - someday maybe i'll finally try learning tigrinya or hindi or russian, etc, knock on wood. i like the southeast bbq place on elanor st a few blocks from norwood. and if you go up norwood a few minutes the market near the hmong video place and across from the park stocks some nice stuff pre-packed-prepped with more on the weekend and i've had good specific produce from there - it's smaller than the market on 65th near-ish stockton and it doesn't have the hot prepped food area, but i kinda like it. on a different note there's also a hmong market down elanor that has packaged pre-prepped food on shelf but haven't gotten around to checking it yet. lemme know if you need to do a jeow shootout at some point and if i'm in the area i'll grab some. i'm still extremely impressed with the kaeng keung nai you advised, that's some excellent stuff. btw, when you make jeow padek and tam mak hong what brand padek/kapoo/kapi do you use? you use pantanaraisingh, other?

kaoneow cafe lao-thai re open today

>>>Your last name doesn't sound Lao, but are you Laotian by any chance?

haha, bo bo .. khon jin. khopjai, appreciate the complement but i'm still a beginner trying to learn a lil bit. btw, that's not my government name - just my "nom de guerre" lol; ya know .. for when i'm out rockin the cape and battling the forces of evil and such .. that and for when i'm out stuffing my face.

today i thought to check out your recs since i was gonna be in the east bay. so i made a big bunch of khao niao this morning, slung the basket over my shoulder, headed out the door and skipped along the road till i got to san pablo and went to that luang market. well, something like that.

thank you! finally satisfying laab in the bay. i got laab dip, gaeng keung nai, tongue, tam mak hung and container of jeow padek and jeow mak len. laab dip was really good, the cook is strong with this one, real good balance. different style, they use hella more mint than the other places that i like but it's cool too. this laab is a competitor - much better than those other bay area ones i've been dealing with. this one might even compete with my fave when i get myself acclimated to the cook's style. only itsy bitsy, minor nitpicks, not sure if the man heard me when i asked for khoom or if the cook just tends to go less strong, and it mighta been just a touch heavy on the khao koa, just a tiny bit .. maybe. but it sure was hella good. i was gonna get gaeng gao lao but the man suggested gaeng keung nai when i asked for it, and i'm real happy i went with what you and him said. flavor was clear and subtle with a couple of nice creamy, fatty pieces in there. tongue, i just like in general, any way shape or form - i think they have room to take it up a lil notch, but hey i'm not gonna complain. tam mak hong was good, i don't think it's the cook's strong dish though. not quite sure what, maybe it wants a little more kapoo flavor? i dunno .. i think there are better booths at the wat for new years and stuff.

the jeow padek was pretty good too .. only had a little bit so far though. it has a little less kha taste to it .. i think i might still prefer vientian's for it, gotta have some more later. the jeow mak len was very nice but not super special. for $5 a tub i think i'll just make my own .. even though i'll prolly end up doing jeow mak kua more anyway. too bad i got no jeow padek skills though ..

went by rose garden just to see how their laab dip stands up. it was not bad. much better than khaoneow cafe in any case, but a little lacking in soul. i think i might prefer it just barely compared to vientian's, but i think it's just cause vientian's style is a little too liquidy to me.

when i went to green papaya they said they didn't have the laab leut ped right now. (did you ever have vientian's, back when they used to make it? that dish i thought they did pretty good, too bad no more.) i got mok pa instead. still good as i remember, when i have it, it just evokes "home". but it seems kinda pricey, $16 for that little thing, i coulda sworn it was cheaper.

you should check out sacto sometime. if the timing is right, sometimes you might find really excellent seen hang or kiap moo and whatnot at store too.

Best place for Nan Gua Bing

thanks! btw i did get to try the sheng jian bao at the food court and i thought they were quite good .. except for the part where i spilled vinegar all over my pants.

i would imagine that peaceful, as pointed out by kirkj, would do an outstanding job based on how good the xinjiang style yang rou with flat bread was when i tried it (mmm, and the cat ear noodles too).

Tung Hing - Banana ..erm.. beignet?

wow fmed, that was quite speedy! i hope it was tasty. looks like you got some bo luo bao's too. are those good there. do they compare well with those from lido?

No Reservations: Laos

no, sure sounds good though. where did you have it? i might make out for the SEAgames this winter. that would be great to try some.

Apr 25, 2009
ken ivorous in Food Media & News

Thai Street Food Vendors

whatup erik m. i chanced across your posts on this board, and seems like you're in la now. i dunno if you recall but i had asked for help on the LTH board a couple years back and you guys really took care of me. i remember you even very generously offered to show me the ropes with the secret thai menus out there! just wanted to say thanks again.

are you still unearthing the secret menus in la? i'm doing an la eating trip in about a month - lemme know if i can hook you up a basturma sandwich of gratitude or something lol. later bro.

Apr 23, 2009
ken ivorous in Los Angeles Area

Best place for Nan Gua Bing

on my too-short trip to vancouver i was only able to sample nan gua (jian) bing from a couple of places. just wondering if i missed better renditions elsewhere.

nan gua bing (mandarin), or naam gua beng (cantonese) are those pan-fried, red-bean-paste-filled, orange colored discs about the diameter of your finger. found in shanghai- or northern-focused places.

i had them at shanghai shanghai in richmond at aberdeen center's food court stall #3010. they were very very good.

i also had them at shanghai wonderful restaurant in richmond. they may have been called nan gua yuan or something like that at this place, because they were ball-shaped. they were good but significantly inferior to the shanghai shanghai stall - and more expensive too.

does anyone know of any stands, food courts, restaurants, etc. that make these particularly well? (and also for sheng jian bao if you happen to know) thanks for the help!

Tung Hing - Banana ..erm.. beignet?

i went to tung hing bakery several months ago to pickup banh mi in the never-ending search for the best one(s). and while it was perfectly decent, serviceable, better-than-average and even perdy good, it didn't quite make it as a top seed for the title of "best". but while i was there i also happened to pick up a banana-filled fried bao-type nibble whose memory has been haunting me ever since. it was a disc about 2.5cm thick, about the size of my palm, deep-fried to a golden brown, and filled with banana (or plaintain, or something similar). and it was really really good. fragrant, not too sweet, nice textural balance, yummy! it was even good a day later and reheated.

does anyone know what this beignet-like object is called in vietnamese (preferably) and/or in chinese? are there other places that make this? if so, who do any of them make it better? thanks!

kaoneow cafe lao-thai re open today

interesting if the staff is thai? i went in a couple sundays ago on the way back from wat rio linda to get a bit more food for new year munching .. and it was the only place still open. the person there was a middle-aged woman and i think i remember she said sabaidee when i came in (which i suppose is nothing definitive but..) anyhoo, they ran out of tongue so i ordered gaeng gao lao, kao niao, and laap dip (khoom/ pet) - though she kept pushing the laap sook instead. when the food came i asked for some jeow, to which she asked what kind - i didn't ask what she could make since i had been craving some jeow bi, but apparently she had a few already made. i concur with your shrug-ness about the food .. except for the jeow bi which i thought was very nice. but yeah, the gaeng gao lao didn't taste quite right, i think it needed more celery going on, and the beef coulda been a more fat-layered cut. the laap was a generous portion but didn't taste balanced out right; i think they ran out of bi though. overall i thought it's a bit so-so.

thanks for hooking up that list of places you like. i'm not too into champa garden, however i like the kao poon at vientian, their sausage is quite good, and i actually like their jeow padek quite a bit; i've been defaulting to their laab dip around here but am still looking for something more satisfactory - thanks for you advice on that btw! green papaya's mok pa is definitely a standout, but not really feeling their laab deep too much. i'll check out tlk's soon though!

have you eaten at any sacramento places like the bbq place on elanor, or the asian cafe on norwood, or the market on 65th? if you have how do you think tlk compares? i really like the laap dip at the bbq place, as well as their kao piak.

i was wondering if you might be able to help me with a few questions i've been trying to figure out: are there any bay area places that make laab leut ped or laab hoi? have you heard anything about a sausage-maker that moved from sacramento to fresno?

and do you know anything about a guy in hayward that makes som pa?

thank you bro, really digging your posts.

No Reservations: Laos

khopjai bro. yeah it's been WHILE since i had the energy to make it ... i feel tired just thinking about all that chopping right now :)

Apr 23, 2009
ken ivorous in Food Media & News

Hmong in Fresno: House of Food?

happy lao new year melanie. i've been having food cravings in the spirit of the occasion, and keep forgetting to follow up about your trips to fresno and your hmong/lao sausage findings. i was wondering if you found a specific, distinct looking sausage when you checked out the fridge and freezer section of the lao and hmong stores?

there's a sausage maker (who is a lao or hmong guy, i forget now) i've been trying to track down who made the best lao sausage (sai oua type) i've had by miles. people speak with reverence about sausage at vientian in oakland, or from the place on east 14th around 3rd/4th - they're good but this guy's sausage made those seem like vienna weenies in comparison (ok maybe a slight exaggeration - but not by much).

last time i found The Sausagemaker's sausage was around fall 2007 in a lao store in sacramento. i wasn't able to find his product in oakland even when sacramento still had them - though the above store owner thinks that some store(s) in richmond might have sold them. the store owner didn't have contact info for him but said he had moved somewhere near fresno after he left sacramento or stockton - i forget which.

i'm curious if you might have seen them when you were down there? they were sold uncooked in the fridge/freezer section. it's the only one i've seen that was maybe 18" long and "home" packed in, i believe, a Ziploc quart-size bag, in a flattened corkscrew/spiral/helix type shape. did you happen to spot anything like this? they were so good!

are you planning to check out any new year events? the 2 temples in sac are winners but not sure if they're doing events this weekend, next, or the following. i think there's gonna be something at civic center in sf this saturday. i'm curious if they're planning to make it white-tourist-friendly or real-deal. i won't be able to check it out since i'll be in sacramento. however if you decide to poke around sacto this weekend feel free to get in touch if you wanna check out some spots.

Apr 08, 2009
ken ivorous in California

No Reservations: Laos

hi SaoLao. this seems like an older post, but i was wondering if you can help? i usually been getting jeow bong from a store up in sacramento and jeow padek from vientian's in east bay. i like how they make them but always looking for even tastier. who do you think think makes the best ones? and do you know any place around the bay area to get som pa (or homemade looking som moo)?

i haven't had a real satisfying laap diip in the bay so far .. guess it's ok but not all that. between the video place on east 14th near 4th (?), and champa garden, and vientian - i go for vientian, but just ok-ish. i like it nicely khoum but theirs seems really liquidy somehow. sadly vientian stopped making their laap ped (which i liked more) about a year ago, and don't know where else you can get it .. they said it was too expensive to keep bringing in the guy that made it. other places i've asked only make laap sook version. anyway thanks if you can help, and happy new year.

Apr 08, 2009
ken ivorous in Food Media & News

Bay Area Shamrock Shake sightings?

On 3/17, tried to score at the Bayshore & Oakdale location on and they'd run out. I also checked at Ocean Ave. near City College, as well as South Airport Blvd near the SFO Costco. They had also sold out. Then finally broke the 3 - 4 year shamrock drought at the Gellert Blvd location across the street from Serramonte Center .. and had another one today too. Hopefully the fact they are selling out quickly will have them stocking more next year.

Quick notes from a poorly planned excursion to the Mission Dist.

cool, sounds like a solid, solid run. much props, seems like you have a real good nose. i'm sure you've put in some serious work back east. have you checked out much around 125th and outer boroughs? just curious, how's the state of restaurants for the community of folks from puebla? nice work, hope you enjoyed sf.

Armenian Food in Fresno?

boy things are looking a bit different around here eh, eek! btw, somehow i have a feeling that haig's might be selling bastirma supplied from ohanyan's - there's some vague memory from many moons ago that i can't quite fully recall, and i think i remember the soujouk sandwich at haig's being pretty blech.

updates: i think i might've found my platonic ideal of a chaan bao this month, and strangely enough it's a roll they gave me with my combo at a fried chicken joint in seattle called ezell's (specifically, the 23rd ave location). to contextualize it, my favorite in sf is the one they give you with a meal (but they won't let you get separately) at gaa fe siu guun restaurant (next to their bakery side - where they ought to sell the restaurant-style chaan bao's) on noriega. gotta go back to seattle to confirm though. and the chicken was just fine, sides were okay.

in chicken, i can't really remember the last time i had fried chicken i liked this much - got it from sandra dee's in sacramento (on a friday early lunch) - thinly crusted, extremely moist dark meat pieces, and even the white meat was pretty acceptable.

vancouver, bc has a place called peaceful restaurant that does northern-y chinese very, very well. i was impressed by the touch their cook(s) have. ridiculous good xinjiang lamb on flat sesame bread sammich, and excellent touch of wok hei when i had the fried cat ear noodles. definitely want to try as much of the menu as possible next time i get out that way.

portland's apizza scholl's actually is very good. now i guess i don't have to go all the way to new york in a pinch. except they let their dough rest wrapped in plastic wrap - i suppose i am a bit attached to the stash-it-in-the-drawer thing. sausage and peppers is excellent, so is the truffle oil, as well as the house cured pork on margherita. their sicilian-style on sundays is also excellent. slight personal preference to the neapolitan though. well that's enough for now.

and a heads up, i wanted to email you a question i had that i was hoping you might have info about.

Oct 29, 2008
ken ivorous in California

Armenian Food in Fresno?

hey melanie, sounds like a good trip. is it just me, or is ohanyan's bastirma and soujouk a bit underwhelming. just curious how you feel it compares to sahag's down in la?

did you get to try any hmong, lao, khmer, s.e.a., etc. food?

Oct 28, 2008
ken ivorous in California

Fresno Visalia strengths - Hmong, Lao, Mex, Mien?

Cool, thanks. There's a lao place i get it from too and they were calling it khao feun. Also my coach was saying people call it liang feun, or kao liang feun too. What spots do you like to get it from? Btw, i kinda figured out it wasn't literally tofu when i used to buy it back in the day lol, but appearance-wise i figured people would know i'm describing it kind of looks like. Just curious, do you find any decent khao soi, or khao poon at oakland or richmond restaurants? Thanks again!

May 02, 2008
ken ivorous in California

Fresno Visalia strengths - Hmong, Lao, Mex, Mien?


sai oua
khao poon
khao feun !!!
khao soi

grocery/cafe, n. court:
laab dip - maybe not as good as down two doors
khao niao

Nov 16, 2007
ken ivorous in California

Big Bear Update (Summer '07)

i really dig the burgers at Get-the-Burger, they quite effortlessly surpass in-n-out's by at least several lightyears. i get serious cravings for them suckers, and unfortunately it's a rather long trip from the bay area to big bear. definitely ordered "raccoon style" and whatever their special lingo is for "spicy"; it's one the nicer burgers i've met. on an absolute scale i might kinda edge toward a burger from slow club in sf. but then again they're two rather different animals; Get-the-Burger is more in the in-n-out, murder/redrum burger kinda vein. too bad it's not closer to norcal.

Aug 29, 2007
ken ivorous in California

sam-gyeop sal (aka Korean Bacon) in SF?

just to follow up on the jokbal - i had to satisfy the cravings recently and so i got some at the soju-n-spicy-chicken place in the TL (on taylor? i think), and also that spot on noriega close to the beach (the one that looks like someone's inlaw unit on the outside). the TL spot was actually quite good; the noriega one wasn't so great, but better than nothing if it's late and you need to clog some arteries in a jiffy.

sam-gyeop sal (aka Korean Bacon) in SF?

hmmn, i don't remember if i've had it in the bay or not. where do you think they do a good job ... or bad job with it?

what jokbal (jok bal) joints do you think are good? and how about places with haek dwaeji?

How do the Cemitas taco trucks rate?

on the issue of cemita trucks vs cemita shops: do you find that generally the trucks turn out sammies with better bread than the shops do? my sample size hasn't been big enough to figure out if this is really a trend or not.

also where do you buy good papalo leaves?

Mar 29, 2007
ken ivorous in Los Angeles Area

shamrock shakes in SF?

okay, laugh it up good, but i been jonesing for a mickey d's shamrock shake. problem is i can't find one and march is almost over, eek. is there a mcdonald's in or near san francisco where they have em? maybe one on the way to tahoe?

these mcd's locations don't have it:
* stonestown
* ocean ave (near ccsf)
* daly city (between kukje market and in-n-out)
* mission st (between daly city and boosvoni & pollo supremo) - strangely they did still have the eggnog shake which i bought in desperation (not very eggnoggy but it did taste sorta french vanilla-y in a mcd's kinda way).

(this won't have to be split this into 3 different threads or something, will it?)