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REVIEW: Take a Bao, Century City

I got the fries at the Stand, and judging from others' orders, should have stuck with the chips.

Anyway, good when I am nostalgic for NYC food (they have the potato knishes too).

Oct 22, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

REVIEW: Giang Nan, Monterey Park

I've never eaten at Green Village, and I know that a few months ago someone else was lamenting that both Green Village were closed and the doors padlocked.

Guess what? The Green Village at Rowland Heights (Diamond Plaza) appears to have opened again. The neon sign with 'open' is on, and there were people eating there. I still haven't gone yet (went to Red Ant instead).

Oct 21, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

REVIEW: Take a Bao, Century City

Quite creative review, and I agree. We shall all 'Bao Out'. It wasn't disgusting, but wasn't tasty either. It was like $4 for a standalone bao.

I like the carvey prime rib platter. More like $15 though.

Otherwise there is "The Stand" near the Craft's. Open weekdays only. It's not the best dogs, but it's decent and you can get a semi-good approximation of the new york style onions (diced in tomatoey sauce) and their kraut's not bad. There were other fast food places around the Stand but I didn't check them out.

Oct 21, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

Cool Restaurants in Pasadena

I am sure everyone's definition of cool is different - in terms of unique atmosphere, music, entertainment, clubby, etc?

We went to gyu-kaku (http://www.gyu-kaku.com) at Old Town Pasadena last weekend, and it's better than I expected. Kind of fun, sort of pricey, and tasted good (but not as good as the korean version). The cool part is the make it yourself smores. I don't know why, but cooking your own food over hot coals is kind of calming and relaxing for me.

Sep 30, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

Take a Bao - new restaurant Century City

I tried the miso beef bao ala carte. Kind of pricey for 3 bites of food at $5. It's not inedible, but really not that good when you compare to the real thing.

But I guess it'll appeal to the same crowd that like the sanitzed chinese food from PF Chang's.

Sep 17, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

JJ Bakery - Recommendations?

My son loves the hot dog bun there also. I don't know why, but I like the egg salad sandwich (triple decker, with cucumbers on the other side).

Other favorite is the cheesecake topped with blueberries in puff pastry. They used to put a little brownie bit in the center underneath the cheesecake, but last time I got a vanilla square instead. Second their peanut mochi as well.

Sep 17, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

poke in l.a.?

A little off topic, but when we went 4 years back I didn't notice any poke bar? We did get some poke that's packaged in a tray there (though I don't think they are as good as the F&E ones). That costco has a lot of good local hawaiian gift items.

Sep 14, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

PROBLEMS AT PALATE FOOD + WINE "REVIEW" W/ PICS

I didn't have a good experience when we went a month back either. Some of the problem is financially related - they charged us the wrong price for a quartino of rose ($20 instead of $13), didn't apologize, then I noticed that the house filtered water is $6. That's free at Mozza...

Unfortunately half the food is good, half is not very, so no incentive for me to go back. The service was OK when we went. I never really ask for the server's advice on what to order anyway.

Sep 11, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

poke in l.a.?

Not sure why this thread is revived, but strangely enough Fresh & Easy has pretty good poke. Just use 1/2 the packet of sauce provided and add a touch of sweetener of choice to taste.

Sep 11, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

WSJ: "Why Chinese Food Isn't Hip"

I don't think Mission 261 comes close to the service you get at a truly upscaled chinese restaurant you'll find in Hong Kong. Come to think of it - Michelin doesn't cover China/Hong Kong, but is there even any restaurants that have a Michelin star that's at least chinese-fusion?

Sep 11, 2008
notmartha in Food Media & News

WSJ: "Why Chinese Food Isn't Hip"

I don't know about the author's definition of hip, as it seems to be defined either by use of chinese ingredients/techniques in fushion food, and upscale chinese dining.

I think there's a fair amount of fusion in some ways in cantonese foods by melting in foreign ingredients that's not really native to China, like the use of pineapple, mayo and the like. Sea Habour in LA has a 'foie gras' wontons, Elite has 'diced veal in grapefruit sauce', scallops w/ mango. Is it not hip just because the people applying the fusion happens to be chinese chefs and not celebrity TV chefs?

On the other criteria about upscale chinese dining - I think maybe there just isn't a market here in the US. In other words, people aren't willing to pay that kind of money for slighter better chinese food served in a fancier setting and better service. In some ways the chowhound expectation is that when you walk into a chinese restaurant the service will not be there, the decor may be bad, but as long as the food is good all is forgiven. That's certainly a demand for good service and upscale surroundings in Hong Kong, where we went to a superbly fancy chinese restaurant Yan Toh Heen with 4 star service.

Sep 10, 2008
notmartha in Food Media & News

Hong Kong Supermarket Going Down?

I heard about HK market a while back, but since I never liked the market it wasn't that big of a loss. There's a newer market (SF) right across the street, and for selection and quality H Market in Diamond Bar had them all beat.

Sorry to hear about Marnie though. I used to like it a lot but didn't have a chance to go for the last 1/2 year. Does Happiness Restaurant have the same menu at all?

Only restaurant we go to at that plaza is Shau May - for cheap and homestyle takeouts when I am too busy to cook or eat out properly.

Sep 10, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

Dim Sum on Weekdays

Probably too late, but we went to Elite last Wednesday at 12:30PM and had a 15 minute wait. When we walk out about 1:30 the line seems a little longer. The weekday wait is definitely a lot shorter than weekend (12:30PM wait during weekend was more like 1.5 hours last time we went).

Sep 10, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

Why do brussels sprouts have a bad rap?

The first time I liked brussel sprouts was when I tried cooking them by removing all the leaves individually and lightly microwaving, then topped with lots of pepper and butter.

Now that I am used to the taste, I don't even mind whole ones as long as they are not super mushy. But I think I've trained my mind to ignore the bitterness, just as I trained to tolerate eating cilantro without gagging.

Sep 05, 2008
notmartha in General Topics

Son a freshman at Pomona College

There were some good reports on 3 Forks, but I've never been. My brother went to school at Pomona, and we used to drove back to Rowland Heights for food when we took him out. ;)

Happy Harbour's the best order off the menu dim sum place in Rowland Heights. Hong Kong Palace has the cart style. If you go there at noon expect a long wait.

I drive another 25 minutes and go to Elite at Monterey Park for dim sum, even though I can probably walk to Hong Kong Palace.

Sep 04, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

My lunch at Patina

Because most think of the Patina Group restaurants as 'gourmet' fare and it's more well known. They've also got the concert halls market cornered.

Many years ago when I didn't know any better we went to a few Pinots, and Patina. It's not bad, but rather uninspiring food for what you pay for.

Craft also serves good quality loose leaf tea in individual pots.

Sep 04, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

Elite Restaurant in Monterey Park.

They were so busy yesterday our dirty dishes were only cleared once and I had a tough time flagging them down even for a check.

I'll have to do that next time because a lukewarm egg tart is not as good.

On unusual stuff, my parents (visiting from NYC) remarked that they have a little twist on even traditional dishes. It's kind of subtle - for instance peanuts with chicken feet, yam? with steamed pork ribs, taro with beef ribs, and asparagus in the shrimp rice noodle. My brother was kind of dismayed when he thought he's getting street food style fried rice cruller with noodles (#43) and there's shrimp paste in them.

I am not sure why, but I like #35 - it's kind of a sweet chewy pancake, but with bits of chinese sausage thrown in. My hubbie can't fathom the texture and the sweet and savory at once, but it's kind of interesting. I don't think I've seen it anywhere else.

We also like the panfried turnip cake with XO sauce.

Sep 04, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

Elite Restaurant in Monterey Park.

I can still taste the leaf even with the wax paper. I found the rice a little too mushy when we ordered it a while back, although it was pretty tasty with the bits of abalone thrown in.

Sep 04, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

Elite Restaurant in Monterey Park.

That's #3 on the menu.

Sep 04, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

Elite Restaurant in Monterey Park.

I guess I have to try that. Just don't want to hassle with locating the waiter mid-way through the meal. We went today, and they served the egg tarts first! I always over order, not under.

Sep 03, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

Any rec's for a great dinner in Brea, Ca?

Taps (mentioned above) has crab legs. I had them a few years ago and they are good. I don't know your definition of 'moderately priced' as I think they were like $25?

They also have a promotion of 3 courses "Taste of Taps" for $25.

Aug 30, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

Elite Restaurant in Monterey Park.

That's why I can never bring myself to the push cart dim sum places anymore. If I go early at those places there's not much selection, if I go at prime time the wait is 1-1.5 hours, and then I am at the mercy of the push cart ladies. Plus I like the fried food to be fresh hot out of the fryer, and it's hard to get that there.

The only gripe I have on Elite and Sea Harbour is that you would think that they will try to serve the sweet stuff last, as a dessert, but sometimes the tarts arrive mid point through the meal and by the time we get around to eating them it's not as hot (still good, but I really like my food really hot).

That is funny. I dunno, I think we were kind of stuffed then so we didn't mind something light like a jello instead of a cake.

Aug 30, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

What are the best appetizers at Pizzeria Mozza?

True, but a lot of things there are rich too, like the burrata, the proscuitto, and the butterscotch budino.

I couldn't eat more than 1 piece of the marrow. It was real good with the parsley and roasted garlic, but so rich it's like eating butter.

Aug 29, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

Elite Restaurant in Monterey Park.

Thanks for the review. I have been going to Elite instead of Sea Harbour for a while. Sea Harbour is good, but I don't think it is as innovative in putting little twists to traditional dim sum as Elite. I just find Elite's dim sum consistently good, and it's about the only restaurant that I will actually endure 1/2 hour or more wait. I guess I don't really watch the price at all, not when the food is good. I only gripe (a lot) if it's mediocre food and expensive prices.

The first few times we went the shui mai actually have 1/4 pieces of fresh scallops on top. I noticed that they were gone the last time we went. It doesn't really detract much, as it was still very good.

I don't understand the threads about bad services in chinese restaurants. I never have rude services in any of the chinese restaurants, just sometimes indifferent or slow ones. Not bad enough to deter me from going, anyway.
I don't know if having a kid in the party helped.

Aug 29, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

Elite Restaurant in Monterey Park.

Oh - we actually liked the blue mountain coffee jello. It was kind of unique, but our must have dessert is also the egg tarts, and we order the macau roast pork every time also.

Agree about the shau mai. Most places (even Sea Harbour) we pass on those, but somehow Elite's version is so savory...

Been there a lot for dim sum. So what else are good for dinner besides the Peking Duck?

Aug 28, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

What are the best appetizers at Pizzeria Mozza?

Squash blossoms and the bone marrows (if you don't mind fat). The squash blossoms can be very delicately flavored though, and there's a hint of nutmeg in the ricotta/mozzarella mix that's inside. I can always taste the blossoms anywhere, whether in italian or mexican cuisines, but if you are into strong flavors, better stick to something more robust.

Oh - most also opt for the salame/proscuitto, but I've never tried them.

Aug 28, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

Poll: What restaurants do you eat in most often?

I queried my handy dandy Quicken, and Quicken doesn't lie.

Surprisingly, it's In-N-Out, Taco Nazo, CPK (to appease the kiddie), No 1 Noodle/Kyochon/CeFiore (same plaza).

Oh - and awful lot of Burger King, but I blame it on Germany...

Aug 27, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

Name of the asian cajun seafood place in Diamond Plaza in Rowland Heights

A while back they have a banner that said 'happy crab' where the old cafe at Life Plaza used to be. I don't know if that's what the OP had in mind. If it is, it's just a seafood joint, not cajun seafood ala Boiling Crab.

Aug 27, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

Patina or Sona or Melisse

I didn't try Sona or Melisse, but did go to Patina a few years ago. It wasn't bad, but it just wasn't that memorable to justify the cost. I enjoyed Craft a whole lot better, but then I just like great ingredients, prepared simply but executed perfectly. Not so impressed with foams and tall impossible piles of food.

Aug 27, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area

Road food for Vegas Trek?

That's a thought, you can always do drive-through from Original Tops at Pasadena, right off 210, easy on/off. I think the pastrami sandwich shouldn't be too messy.

We usually stop at Barstow for In-N-Out and a pit stop.

There's a restaurant week at LV 9/2 on.

Aug 27, 2008
notmartha in Los Angeles Area