krystle920's Profile

Title Last Reply

Where to buy Buffalo Wings for Super Bowl party?

Where do you buy reasonably-priced Buffalo Wings (take-out) for a Super Bowl party? So far, I found the following.

Wingstop - $69.99 for 100 pieces
Wingstreet - $32 for 48 pieces
Buffalo Wild Wings - $67.99 for 80 pieces

Any suggestions are welcome!

Indian buffet, but for dinner

Indian lunch buffets are pretty ubiquitous, but where can you find an Indian dinner buffet in the greater Los Angeles area?

Haveli in Tustin has one, but where else?

Jan 11, 2015
krystle920 in Los Angeles Area

Oahu and Maui - where to eat? Coming from LA

Thanks for the suggestions.

Big City Diner is open on Christmas which is a plus. Any thoughts on Home Bar and Grill? I tried calling them but no one is answering.

Also, do you guys have any suggestions for good happy hours for tropical drinks with a view overlooking Waikiki? So far, it seems Hula Grill and Mai Tai Bar (in Alo Moana) is doing it. I called Duke's too but they said they do not offer happy hour.

Dec 24, 2014
krystle920 in Hawaii

Oahu and Maui - where to eat? Coming from LA

Thanks, it seems that Big City Diner is open as well on Christmas.

For NYE, we will be in Kihei. Monkeypod seems like a good option.

Yeah, we're debating whether to do RTH since it mixed reviews. Would you recommend just exploring upcountry Maui and towns like Paia, Makawao, etc?

Dec 24, 2014
krystle920 in Hawaii

Oahu and Maui - where to eat? Coming from LA

We will be in Oahu from December 25th to 28th, and Maui from December 28th to January 1st. We are actually arriving in HNL on Christmas Day around 330 pm. What do you think would be open that day for a late lunch, and dinner that evening? Anything near Kailua for dinner?

Yes, we will have a car in both islands so that gives us flexibility in moving around.

Also, do you have any suggestions for New Year's Eve? We are okay with spending a bit more, maybe around $50 a person.

We are considering going to Hana and Haleakala National Park in Maui. Do you have any recommendations for upcountry restaurants?

Thanks for the tip on Paia Fish Market. I think we'll skip it then if it's more similar to a traditional mainland seafood shack.

Dec 24, 2014
krystle920 in Hawaii

Oahu and Maui - where to eat? Coming from LA

We just booked a last minute trip to Hawaii for the holidays. We are staying 3 nights in Kailua (Oahu), 2 nights in Lahaina (Maui), and 2 nights in Kihei (Maui).

We are looking for reasonably priced, local food with an emphasis on Hawaiian cuisine. Coming from LA, we are not sure if it's worth trying any Japanese (maybe Okinawan?), Korean, or Vietnamese (The Pig and the Lady), given what we already have.

So far, our list is as follows. Any additional suggestions are welcome!

-Uncle Clay’s
-Agnes Portuguese Bake Shop
-Paalaa Kai Bakery
-Diamond Head Cove – kava
-Fiji Kava – kava
-Kona Abalone
-Tamashiro Market
-Duke's for happy hour drinks

-Geste Shrimp Truck
-Eskimo Candy
-Paia Fish Market
-Da Kitchen Café
-Local Food
-Foodland Farms
-Maui Fresh Streatery
-Poi by the Pound
-Sugar Beach Bake Shop
-Maui Grown Coffee - to buy coffee to take home
-Maui Coffee Roasters - to buy coffee to take home

Aloha Mixed Plate, Star Noodle, and Gazebo all have mixed reviews, but given the lack of other dinner options in Lahaina, we're not sure if we should consider those.

It would be great if you also have suggestions for the best of the following dishes.
-loco moco
-plate lunch
-lau lau
-lomi salmon
-kalua pork

Thanks in advance!

Dec 23, 2014
krystle920 in Hawaii

Signs of a NOT Authentic Chinese Restaurant

Speaking of service, for me, another sign is having non-Chinese servers.

Sep 12, 2014
krystle920 in General Topics

Signs of a NOT Authentic Chinese Restaurant

I love Chinese food (primarily HK style Cantonese) and having lived in the East Coast and now in LA, I thought I'd share my red flags for spotting a NOT Authentic Chinese restaurant. Here goes.

-Pu Pu Platter
-Yang Chow Fried Rice that is brown
-serving crispy fried noodles with duck or mustard sauce before the meal
-Crab Rangoon

Sep 11, 2014
krystle920 in General Topics

Milwaukee - typical dishes? And what does Milwaukee do better than anyone?

so where do you get the best fried cheese curds in milwaukee? or wisconsin?

Aug 29, 2014
krystle920 in Great Lakes

Coming from LA - what to eat in San Diego?

Craft beer is definitely on our list. We have visited Stone before so thinking of dropping by Lost Abbey or Alesmith. Seems like those are the highly rated places on Beer Advocate. Another option is to go to a craft beer bar instead.

Aug 20, 2014
krystle920 in San Diego

Coming from LA - what to eat in San Diego?

We are visiting San Diego for the weekend, and trying to figure out what to eat that's a unique strength of the area. My initial thought is to focus on more specific Mexican food not widely available in LA. Mariscos German might be a good option (to compare with Ricky's Fish Tacos and Mariscos Jalisco in LA) - which location would be on the way to San Diego?

Aqui es Texcoco seemed interesting but I guess they just opened a branch in LA so no need to go there. Super Cocina seemed promising, but the consensus seems to be that it's just solid home cooking, and not mind blowing. Carnitas Shake Shack seems popular but not sure if it's really that flavorful/authentic or just a cool concept.

Thoughts? We are open to any type of cuisine. We are staying at Del Mar so probably looking to have lunch and dinner around San Diego on Saturday night, and just have brunch around Del Mar or surrounding beaches for lunch on Sunday.

Aug 19, 2014
krystle920 in San Diego

Where to buy coffee beans?

Yeah, probably would't want to roast the coffee myself. Should have clarified that I would want whole bean - ready to grind coffee. =)

Jul 22, 2014
krystle920 in Greater Seattle

Where to buy coffee beans?

Looking for a good source for reasonably priced, high quality coffee beans. Thinking of something like Porto Rico in NY. No nonsense coffee where you can get Ethiopian Yirgacheffe for $9.99/lb. It seems that most of the hipster brands sell their coffee for more like $15-20/lb because of the branding. Any suggestions?

Jul 22, 2014
krystle920 in Greater Seattle

Where would you eat in Vancouver if you were visiting from LA?

Vij's and Vij's Rangoli both look pretty interesting. Is Vij's worth the cost? My benchmark for fine dining Indian is Rasika in DC where you feel that the food is really a step up from your standard Indian. Vij's Rangoli is cheaper but not sure if it's harder to get to without a car.

How many dishes do you need to order in Pidgin to get full? Are dishes small? The pork belly rice bowl is only $15 so not sure if it's possible to just order 3 dishes total for 2 people.

Sherman Oaks dining 'renaissance' - will it draw Angelenos?

the problem is it's all gastropubs.

AYCE Sushi in 2014

It seems a lot of AYCE sushi places have closed. We're looking for AYCE sushi within 20-30 minutes of downtown LA that doesn't have a time limit. (1 hour seems a bit rushed). So far, I found Yoshino Sushi in San Gabriel, but nothing else, which is odd considering the popularity of the concept. Any suggestions? It would be for 6 people so places that limit it to the sushi bar are also out of the question. Thanks in advance!

Jul 10, 2014
krystle920 in Los Angeles Area

Where would you eat in Vancouver if you were visiting from LA?

We are visiting Vancouver for 6 days in August, and we were wondering where we should eat considering we are from LA. I know Vancouver is particularly known for excellent Chinese, but LA certainly has enough as well. Are there any unique regional Asian cuisine that is better in Vancouver than in LA? Should we focus on Pacific Northwest with a touch of Asian influence?

I've done some initial research, and Kingyo and Pidgin seem interesting. Our budget is around $15-20 a person before tax and tip.

We are staying in the downtown (Coast Coal Harbour and Rosewood Hotel) and would not have a car so probably nothing in the suburbs, but we can take public transportation within the city.

Why are "Westernized" restaurants so much more expensive than ethnic places?

It's a shame there's not more of these types of Chinese restaurants in the US. It would really elevate the perception of the cuisine. Not the white table cloth, single serving, Western-format style, but the family style, chandelier, plush carpeting type restaurant that serves super fresh seafood, sharks fin soup, etc.

Dec 30, 2013
krystle920 in General Topics

What food is so much better during lunch or during dinner?

I was just thinking - it seems there are certain foods that are really so much better during either lunch or dinner. For me, they are as follows.

Better during lunch:
-lobster roll

Better during dinner:

Dec 29, 2013
krystle920 in General Topics

Why are "Westernized" restaurants so much more expensive than ethnic places?

I've always eaten at ethnic places and fortunately, haven't really encountered dirty food. I think it's a matter of getting used to. Same reason why a lot of Americans get sick when they eat food in Asia or South America.

Dec 29, 2013
krystle920 in General Topics

Why are "Westernized" restaurants so much more expensive than ethnic places?

I feel like you can't really compare getting a tuna sandwich or chicken wrap with what you get at an ethnic place. At a Chinese takeout, for $5-6, you get a full beef with broccoli serving complete with white or fried rice. It's hot food that may be eaten for both lunch or dinner. I feel like paying $5 for a cold tuna sandwich isn't really the same. It's really more of a lunch thing and you probably still need to get a side of chips for $2. Not as filling in the end too.

Dec 29, 2013
krystle920 in General Topics

Why are "Westernized" restaurants so much more expensive than ethnic places?

By Westernized, I meant either typical restaurants that serve American/New-American/Continental type food or even restaurants that serve Asian food but are owned by Western people. Examples that come to mind are Khe Yo, Uncle Boons, Red Farm in NYC. Places where you probably find the exact or similar dish at an ethnic place for $10-15, while their restaurants serve it for $25.

In terms of wages, don't most places (even fancy ones) pay their servers the $2 or so minimum then have them rely on tips? That doesn't like much compared to what authentic ethnic places pay. Even if it's $0, that's only a $2 difference.

In terms of ingredients, I agree there are many awesome restaurants out there that are sourcing from farmer's markets or nearby farms. But then again, I would bet a lot of them still source from convenient Sysco.

At the end of the day, I agree it's really what people are willing to pay. As long as there is a class of people willing to spend $30-40 a head per meal on a regular basis, owners looking to earn more would always try to aim for this slice of the pie vs the high volume immigrant market. I certainly know enough people willing to pay this mark up instead of eating at a white-lights place even if the food is exactly the same or even better. Just makes me sad.

Dec 28, 2013
krystle920 in General Topics

Why are "Westernized" restaurants so much more expensive than ethnic places?

That is interesting. I wonder though if the workers would prefer to get paid the $2 or so minimum instead and just rely on tips which I assume isn't much for a Chinese buffet. Considering they already get free housing and food with this arrangement, I wonder if they can afford to live on their own without this arrangement. Sure, they can always find another job or work several jobs but since they're new to the country, it seems that it would be very difficult. All I'm saying is that when you add the value of the food and housing, maybe it's just the same or better than getting $2 and a few tips every now and then while still having to provide your own food and housing. No safety net of social services too since they don't have papers.

Dec 28, 2013
krystle920 in General Topics

Why are "Westernized" restaurants so much more expensive than ethnic places?

Lol, I wonder if I can bargain at a Chinese takeout.

Dec 28, 2013
krystle920 in General Topics

Why are "Westernized" restaurants so much more expensive than ethnic places?

True, but given the overall portion size of Asian food, I would argue that the overall meat content is pretty much the same as a Westernized meal. It's just broken into many smaller pieces or chunks.

Dec 28, 2013
krystle920 in General Topics

Why are "Westernized" restaurants so much more expensive than ethnic places?

That is an interesting insight. Japanese restaurants are almost always expensive, especially when it's run by Japanese people. Even when it is run by Chinese people, these restaurants are still more expensive than Chinese restaurants.

It doesn't make sense but there seems to be an agreed upon price for things. I.e.

Chinese takeout - ~$5 lunch specials, $5-8 dinner

Indian places - $10 lunch buffet, $15-20 dinner entrees

Thai places - $10 lunch special, $10-15 dinner entrees

Chinese owned sushi places - $10-15 lunch special, $15-20 dinner

I agree it's really based on what people are used to and what they are willing to pay for. There is no reason we can't have ubiquitous Indian takeouts serving $5 meals especially when their food can just sit and stay just as good in huge containers, vs. Chinese food that really need to be cooked for each order.

Dec 28, 2013
krystle920 in General Topics

Why are "Westernized" restaurants so much more expensive than ethnic places?

In general, it seems "Westernized" restaurants are always so much more expensive than ethnic eats. Whether these restaurants serve American/European food or whether they offer a "Western" take on Asian or Latin food, it seems that there is a universal minimum of how much each person has to spend at these types of places. In an ethnic place, it is easy to get out spending less than $20 and feeling full. Nowadays, it's very difficult to get out of a gentrified type restaurant without spending at least $30 a person and that's with choosing items in the menu that are hopefully filling.

The first thing people would say is different would be the atmosphere. It costs money to have some sort of atmosphere. Next thing would be marketing costs. Then that leaves rent which may be more expensive if these restaurants are in prime neighborhoods, but doesn't explain restaurants in less gentrified areas of Broooklyn or Queens. One could argue that food quality may be slightly better too. In terms of wages, these restaurants pay the same minimum too and just have servers count on tips. Considering that in ethnic places, servers don't get as much in tips, it could even be that they need to get paid more wages.

With all these differences, though, it is still hard to justify the significant cost difference. Is it just because people are willing to pay more for these places? Is it because owners of "Westernized" restaurants demand a higher net income for themselves than owners of ethnic places?

I was just thinking too that a factor could be turnover in that places with nicer atmosphere experience a lower turnover. Can this problem be solved then by offering the same prices as ethnic places with the same nice atmosphere but just setting a one-hour time limit for diners?

Dec 27, 2013
krystle920 in General Topics

New Year's Eve - not prix fixe, classy atmosphere

I'm looking for recommendations on a restaurant for New Year's Eve. Planning to arrive around 930 pm or so and stay until midnight. Don't want to do an overpriced prix fixe so looking for a place that offers their regular menu. We do want to dress up though so it would be nice if it had great ambiance - somewhere where you can wear a jacket for men and nice dress for women, and not feel overdressed.

I've been doing tons of research and so far the few places I can find are: Locanda Verde (all booked already), Delmonico's in Financial District (not sure if there would be anyone there), Keen's, Strip House (in GV but only 1115 pm left), Porter House. Seems like mostly steakhouses so far though. We would prefer to stay away from Midtown and ball drop area. Oh, and it would just be for 2 people.


Dec 14, 2013
krystle920 in Manhattan

"Serious" Coffee Shops in Japan

This may be a stupid question, but are any of these coffee shops open in the morning for to-go coffee? It seems that a lot of these coffee places are sit down places. We are just looking for a place where you can get a cup of coffee to go, but not Starbucks.

Oct 15, 2013
krystle920 in Japan

Kyoto - what food am I missing?

We are going to be in Kyoto for 3 nights, then heading over to Tokyo afterwards for another 3 nights. I have created a tentative Kyoto food itinerary, but I am missing a dinner, ideally around the Gion district. We are coming from the Fushimi district for sake tasting before that. My itinerary so far is as follows. It would be great to get your recommendations. Somewhere in the $15-25 per person range is ideal. We would be eating more ramen, tonkatsu, and tempura in Tokyo so those are out. Maybe o-banzai homestyle Kyoto cuisine or something unique to the area? We are already doing a tofu lunch so not sure if a vegetarian dinner is too similar. Omen seems interesting but it seems it's closer to Ginkakuji.

November 4
-arrive at KIX
-late night dinner - Wachi or Gogyo - thoughts on which one?

November 5
-lunch - Issen Yoshoku and/or Izuju
-dinner - Giro Giro

November 6
-lunch - Kaneyo
-dinner - ??

November 7
-lunch - Komameya Nijyo
-snacks - Nishiki Market
-train to Tokyo

Oct 15, 2013
krystle920 in Japan