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Cool Haus?

Checked it out Fri night (5/29)--they were parked outside of Wurstkuche.

An ice cream sandwich will run you $3 ($3.50 if you get it with the edible wrapper, which I did not try).

I tried the Oatmeal Cinnamoneo (oatmeal-raisin cookies with cinnamon ice cream) and it was OK. I can't say it's the best ice cream sandwich I've ever had, but the concept is cute and it was a nice, sweet treat to have after having just eaten a hot dog.

The ice cream was a bit too soft/melted; the cookie was fine... Not much else to say about it.

May 31, 2009
choysauce in Los Angeles Area

Kogi Korean Taco Truck! Wow!!

Now that I have seen all of these glowing reviews, I'd like to offer my two cents.

I visited the Kogi truck on Saturday night (12/6) at the Hollywood location. Luckily, there was no line when I got there (literally about a minute after the truck was parked), so ordered and received my food fairly quickly--BBQ beef taco, spicy pork taco, and the special, which was the BBQ chicken quesadilla w/ pomegranate.

While the tacos were good--particularly the veggies on top--they were oversauced and difficult to eat because of that.

The quesadilla was another story. The tortilla was soggy, silghtly gummy, and cold; the cheese, which I could tell had been melted at some point in the evening, was not so when I picked up my order; and the pomegranate on top seemed like an afterthought to the dish rather than a complement. The whole dish just seemed undercooked.

I do not doubt that this truck will do well, as the buzz that it has generated has been pretty amazing. I know there are still kinks to work out, especially after having just opened a few weeks ago, but based on my first experience, I would not jump at the chance to go again.

So, my suggestions to Kogi BBQ: 1) Could you consider cooking your food for just a bit longer? Though there may be lines and people waiting, I believe the quality of the food should come first and foremost--the wait will, then, be well worth it. 2) Be open to feedback, whether it's positive or otherwise. As I was leaving the truck, I heard one of the Kogi people say that he "loves criticism" and would like to know what the customers thought of the food. (He was the one standing outside of the truck encouraging passers-by to try the food.) When I approached him, wanting to let him know how our experience was, he had absolutely no interest in listening to anything I said. "Criticism" should entail both the positive and the negative, shouldn't it?

Dec 08, 2008
choysauce in Los Angeles Area

Bread pudding in LA?

I love the one at Hungry Cat because they carmelize the top (a la creme brulee) and there's plenty of chocolate to go around.

Nook comes in at a very close second.

Nov 05, 2007
choysauce in Los Angeles Area

oh wher oh where acn i find almond paste

Claro's Italian Market in La Habra... Not quite as far as Surfas for you. I was just there on Saturday and saw almond paste (among many other fantastic goodies).

101 W. Whittier Blvd.
La Habra, 90631
(562) 690-2844

I think they have multiple locations.

Oct 29, 2007
choysauce in Los Angeles Area


I don't plan to write Fraiche off... I just need some time to get over all the salt. And I will most likely give it a try for dinner. How's that for an "open mind," Carter? ;)

Oct 05, 2007
choysauce in Los Angeles Area


Finally made it to Fraiche after much anticipation. To sum it up in one word: disappointment.

Time of day: 1 p.m. on a Tuesday. Not very busy; most of the outdoor seating was empty and only about 1/3 of the indoor seats were taken.

Service: it was passable, although nobody came by to take drink orders or to deliver silverware for a good 15 minutes are we were seated. The service all-of-a-sudden improved for reasons I will mention below.

Food: The complimentary bread with small tureen of olive oil was possibly the best part of the meal, although the burrata caprese was also quite tasty. The meal, unfortunately, went quickly downhill from there.
My order: The pan bagnat sandwich, which the waiter said was one of his favorite things on the menu. The "rare" albacore that was promised? Nope... Completely overcooked. The tapenade? So oversalted that I could barely eat half of my sandwich. Once I scraped off most of the tapenade, the sandwich was tolerable.
Friend's order: salmon salad (special of the day) with fennel, mixed greens, lemon vinaigrette. Sounds promising. That, also, was so oversalted that my friend's lips began to burn after eating about 1/4 of the salad. After flagging down our waiter, [enter improved service here] she sent the order back and ordered the mushroom salad instead. Bad choice... The mushrooms tasted like they came from a jar and the salad was way too sweet. Another dish left uneaten and an appetite left unsatisfied.

Was Mr. Travi out of the kitchen that day, or is the food always that oversalted and subpar?

After all the hype about this place, I'm afraid it was a huge disappointment. You're much better off walking down to Honey's Kettle Chicken a few doors down.

Oct 04, 2007
choysauce in Los Angeles Area

The Ultimate Jerky List

There's a great place in Hacienda Heights called Prime Cuts Beef Jerky. Come on out to the SGV, folks! It's in an old plaza off of Hacienda Blvd., just south of Halliburton Rd.

The hot teriyaki beef jerky there is addictive!

Prime Cut Beef Jerky
2017 S. Hacienda Blvd., Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
(626) 333-8393

Aug 29, 2007
choysauce in Los Angeles Area

Frequently in City of Industry, So CA

That tiny taco stand is called Iguanas Ranas and their jalapeno especial taco is simply fantastic.

Corn tortilla + a grilled jalapeno pepper stuffed with carne asada and raisins + grilled cheese (literally, straight off the grill) + guacamole. All for $1.65. Pair this with their freshly-made mango-habanero salsa and you've got yourself a tasty, but incredibly spicy, treat.


Jul 27, 2007
choysauce in Los Angeles Area

Best pizza in town - informal opinion poll

Had Cafe Angelino's pizza last night and it was quite a pleasant surprise.
Napoletano Pizza (tomato sauce, mozzarella, anchovies, capers) on a paper-thin crust. So tasty--a simple pizza with just the right amount of toppings.

Judging from how clean my friend's plate was, it seems the Spaghetti with Clams is another winner.

Jul 19, 2007
choysauce in Los Angeles Area

Kejang ... anywhere else but at So Kong Dong?

There's a place called On Dal (3160 W. Olympic) that not only has decent gejang, but also has a mean spicy stew made at your table using blue crab. So tender and flavorful... yum.

Here's a link to a past Chowhound post about this place. I had a positive experience there but, unfortunately, some other hounders didn't. :(

Apr 14, 2007
choysauce in Los Angeles Area

cheese ramen? rameniac: get to work!

Re: the cheese ramen, I've heard from several different friends on separate occasions that they like to add cheese to their instant ramen at home. Some swear by it. To that, I say, "To each his/her own."

Re: the ham, sausage, cheese soondubu at BCD, it's worth trying, just because it sounds so odd. At least that's what compelled me to order it... The cheese gives the soup an odd creaminess and also takes away from the spiciness of the soup. The sausage and ham give the soondubu a nice touch, but I'd still stick to the traditional soondubus.

Apr 11, 2007
choysauce in Los Angeles Area

Best Mac and Cheese - LA

-Luna Park, no ham. Makes it too salty...
-Ketchup (surprisingly!) on Sunset - made w/ gruyere & Dungeness crab
-Cheesecake Factory, if you're into friend mac & cheese balls. Comes with marinara. I normally detest C.cake Factory, but this single dish makes it bearable.

Apr 02, 2007
choysauce in Los Angeles Area

My first Mozza experience

The winter caprese is incredibly delicious. It was the best part of the meal, and that's saying a lot since the whole meal was very tasty! [Also got the fried squash blossoms, chicken liver bruschette, oregano salami/tomato/mozzarella/hot chili pizza, pancetta/ramps/green onion/something else pizzette, b.scotch budino]
Went for the first time today (sunday, 4/1) and had no problems getting a lunch reservation about 10 days in advance. The dining room wasn't even that full--there were one or two empty tables over the course of my 1 1/2 hour meal and there were a few empty bar seats as well. Sunday afternoons are apparently the time to go!

Apr 01, 2007
choysauce in Los Angeles Area

Vegan ice cream in LA/SFV?

I second Scoops. There are at least 3 or 4 vegan flavors available at any given time, and they're usually very creative flavors.

Mar 29, 2007
choysauce in Los Angeles Area

Ketchup: a (long) review

Just went to Ketchup (the newest spawn of the hit-and-miss Dolce Group) for a friend’s birthday dinner, and here’s my take on it.

The food (most important!) for a party of 4 voracious girls--
-Onion ring tower ($11), accompanied by 5 different ketchups: regular, chipotle, maple, ranch, and mango. The onion rings were nice and crispy, and well-seasoned with parmesan and garlic. The chipotle ketchup definitely stood out… I needed a few more servings with the rest of my meal. The ranch ketchup was not that great, and the others were passable, but not fantastic.
-Sweet potato fries ($9): good, if you like soggy-ish fries. Also came accompanied by the 5 ketchups.
-“In the Raw” salad, a.k.a. tuna tartare ($14): served with tomato and avocado in a soy sauce mixture, served with basil potato chips. The plate itself was good; the chiffonade-ed basil on top really did the trick.
-Kobe sliders ($17): PASS! The meat was totally dry and the meat to bread ratio was WAY off—too much bread for the tiny amount of meat. I could barely choke that thing down, even after I smothered it in chipotle ketchup
-Momma’s meat loaf ($20): also pass. WAY too salty, although the texture of the meat loaf was OK. Accompanying veggies were also way oversalted and the mashed potatoes were unimpressive. The mushroom gravy could’ve been good if, again, they eased up on the salt.
-Mac and cheese with Dungeness crab (side dish, $12): EXCELLENT. One of the best mac and cheese dishes I’ve had and, believe me, I love mac and cheese. It was so good that I suggested to the owner to have this as a main entrée.
-Dessert: none ordered. The dessert menu didn’t seem too enticing, and this is saying a lot considering we weren’t completely full after our meal.

They give out (free!) tastes of the day’s featured martinis. The sommelier/drink specialist she called herself roams around with a cart, offering samples and making drinks for diners. The special that day was the Monarchy, which had vodka, Kool-Aid, and some other stuff. Tasted good, but I opted for “Summer Lovin’” which was a pseudo-martini and tasted very grapefruity and had a splash of champagne. Don’t remember what exactly was in it, but would recommend it if you’re into sweet drinks.

Our waiter was adorable and very nice. He came by our table often, checked up on us. In general, the waitstaff seemed very concerned with whether or not we liked the food. One of the owners came by and asked us for our honest opinion re: the food. I basically told him everything that I’ve written above. Ixnay on the meatloaf and bring on the mac and cheese!

Nice interior design, although a bit too red for me. The entire room is tinted pink or red (coming from the red lights—the walls, tables, and seats themselves are white). And there are tomato centerpieces on the tables. Maybe a bit much… Pretty loud and lively; very spacious booths. A loud, relaxed vibe. A bit too “Hollywood” for my taste.

WAY overpriced for what it is (typical comfort food). I'm sure they're still working out the kinks, since they've been open for less than 2 weeks. Might be good for out-of-town guests who are looking for something “Hollywood.” Probably a good place to people-watch. It was worth the try, but I wouldn’t pay $8 for a glass of Yoohoo and a chocolate cookie (on their dessert menu). Being that the restaurant’s name is Ketchup, they could be a lot more creative with that good ol’ American condiment.

8590 Sunset Blvd. (Just west of La Cienega)
West Hollywood, 90069

Mar 29, 2007
choysauce in Los Angeles Area

Real Mexican Tortilla used for tacos

I just went to Iguanas Ranas, and it is fantastic.

I love what they do to the cheese. The cook basically takes a small handful of cheese, puts it directly on the grill to form a sort of cheese pancake, and places that wonderful cheesy goodness in the taco.

I got 3 tacos on those great, aforementioned corn tortillas:
Jalapeno Especial (the same one mentioned above, with guacamole and grilled cheese)
Azteca, which is chorizo, beans, guac, and that same GREAT grilled cheese
Barbacoa, very tender beef with onions and cilantro

The mango salsa is HOT HOT HOT (my mouth is still burning).

In the City of Industry (I know... where?!), northwest corner of Hacienda and Valley Boulevards, next to Pizza Hut.

Mar 09, 2007
choysauce in Los Angeles Area

Best Banana Cream Pie in LA??

I think they have it everyday, but it probably sells out toward the end of the day. I believe you can also order it in a larger size (possibly 9").

Feb 16, 2007
choysauce in Los Angeles Area

Best Banana Cream Pie in LA??

No one has mentioned Susina Bakery! Definitely my favorite... a dense shortbread crust lined with thin layers of chocolate & caramel; filled with fresh bananas and custard; topped with nice, thick whipped cream & chocolate shavings. Yum.

Jan 16, 2007
choysauce in Los Angeles Area

Literati Cafe - does it have Internet access? Other internet coffee shops in Brentwood?

Not quite Brentwood, but Novel Cafe in Westwood is pretty roomy and has free wi-fi. I think there's also a branch in Santa Monica.

1101 Gayley Ave
Westwood, CA 90024
(310) 208-6410

Jan 09, 2007
choysauce in Los Angeles Area

Bad experience at Campanile "Grilled Cheese Night"

I had the same, unfortunate experience at Campanile (crappy service, non-existent waitstaff, apathetic manager). On my birthday, no less. The bogus excuse they gave me for the 1 1/2 hours it took for our food to get to our table--after I flagged down a busboy and demanded to see the manager--was that the kitchen had lost our order. Although the food is great, I will never go back there again.

Dec 15, 2006
choysauce in Los Angeles Area