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kiwonyoon's Profile

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New Mex food place in Pasadena?

I've eaten there. It's not bad. Convenient, and friendly place. It's a welcome addition to the area otherwise lacking in affordable greasy-griddle short-order choices.

Aug 22, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

Fire destroys mall @ Valley & Atlantic -- Hunan's Restaurant gone

Blaze destroys bit of history in Alhambra

A fire destroys a 75-year-old mall at Atlantic and Valley boulevards, the crossroads of L.A.'s Chinese community.

By David Pierson, Times Staff Writer
July 17, 2007

There were the Cantonese-speaking bakers on the corner, the Vietnamese-Chinese herbalist a few storefronts to the west and a mainland Chinese restaurant next door that made a pork stew named after Mao Tse-tung.

The salmon-colored stucco building in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley's Chinese business district is the story of three decades of Chinese immigration into the region — an example of how Chinese from all over the world came to these suburbs, clawed out a living side by side and survived in this ever-burgeoning and competitive community.

more here:
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-...

Jul 26, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

Dim Sum Disappointment at Sea Harbour in Rosemead...

Have you tried dim sum at Triumphal Palace? If not, it's a good point of comparison with Sea Harbour. The steamed turnip cake there is very good. The texture is almost like a mousse or thick custard, with bits of pork. Steamed vs. fried is just apples vs. oranges. You're not going to get steamed turnip to "set properly" by steaming it even more. They also have a baked turnip dish you might be interested in: pastry-like crispy shell filled with gooey turnip. Very good, but again, different texture, consistency, and flavor, and not much point trying to reference it back to fried turnip cakes you might get at NBC or 888.

Jul 11, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

Dim Sum Disappointment at Sea Harbour in Rosemead...

Sounds like the OP went in with a lot of preconceptions about how certain dishes should taste, based on personal experience. I think it's best to approach a place like Sea Harbour, especially if it's first time, with a blank slate and see it as an opportunity to conceptually reassess things -- such as what is or isn't har gow?

Personally, I think Sea Harbour is a great asset, and I feel lucky to live so close to it. Sure, it's different from trad dim sum, but once you get away from orthodoxy and just appreciate the freshness and precise execution of ideas, you'll enjoy it that much more.

It's one of those places where, whether or not you find it agreeable to your personal taste, there's not denying that the dishes are executed just as they intended them to be.

I have yet to have a bad experience there, and their har gow is my favorite out of the major LA dim sum restaurants. A whole shrimp is usually what I expect, also!

Jul 10, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

Jonathan Gold Wins Pulitzer for Criticism

Well deserved!

What I like about his work is that it has a sense of place and time. It's not frivolous food writing in vacuo. I've learned much from him over the years, not just about food, but about LA's continual evolution as a city and as a nexus of cultures and peoples. I always walk away knowing a little more about the place I live in, and with a greater curiosity for it.

I don't always agree with his assessments, but the way he captures LA's identity and personality, along with its history and possibilities, is always spot on.

Congratulations, Jonathan and LA Weekly!

Apr 16, 2007
kiwonyoon in Food Media & News

Hunan Mao Jia (535 W Valley Blvd)

Has anyone been to this place called Hunan Mao Jia, next to Yung Ho? Was there for the first time the other night on a pick-a-place-at-random visit. I thought the food was just okay -- maybe a little sloppy.

I'm curious what others think about it, if there are some recommended dishes that are worthwhile there.

Thanks,

k

---

Hunan Mao Jia Restaurant
535 W. Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 19776

Apr 10, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

Donut Man-Am I Missing Something?

Does anyone know if they've started serving the strawberry donuts yet this season?

Feb 05, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

guava anything

Wow, nice pics. And I'm so jealous of that chefs' tour! How was it organized?

Feb 05, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

guava anything

La Casita Mexicana has guava with Mexican egg nog as dessert. Pretty strong liquor component to the nog. Very tasty.

La Casita Mexicana
4030 Gage Ave, Bell, CA 90201

Cream of guava soup at Babita!

Babita
1823 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA

Feb 05, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

Gentrified porridge at Bonjuk in K-Town (review)

Hmm, okay, I'll have to give it a try. Thanks for the report. My platonic ideal for Korean juk leans towards San's version -- spartan, as you say. I'm really curious how good the pumpkin juk is.

Jan 29, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

Gentrified porridge at Bonjuk in K-Town (review)

Though I haven't been to this place, just wanted to mention that the pumpkin juk (hobakjuk) is a classic Korean dish. It's well worth seeking out a good rendition.

How does the juk compare with San's version?

Jan 29, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

Chinese lunch in Arcadia??

Taiwanese joint Sin Ba La is mere seconds from Din Tai Fung. Sausages, vermicelli noodle soup, shaved ice, etc. Very good.

Jan 29, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

Newport Seafood on Las Tunas in San Gabriel.

Spot-on recommendations, above. I can eat that scallion/chili/black pepper sauce all night (given enough rice). I don't think I've had the house style fish yet. Will try to remember on my next visit.

Any other recommended menu items that are perhaps less popular or underrated at Newport?

Jan 28, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

Best Place for Dessert in Pasadena on Saturday Night?

Bulgarini is delicious. One of the best gelati around happens to be a cart in a movie theater.

I usually avoid Old Town like the plague on weekends, but if you must, Xiomara's chocolate bread pudding souffle is worth trying. Be forewarned it's a substantial dessert -- better shared, especially after a heavy meal.

With all due respect, Mi Piace is the type of place that piss me off to no end. Bad service, mediocre food, overpriced, and worst of all they really don't seem to give a crap because, for some reason or another, they think they're all that. Incredibly annoying.

Jan 28, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

Pasadena Recs?

I second Azeen's, Tibet Nepal House, and Cafe Santorini, though these aren't exactly at the budget end of the spectrum. I've always had good experiences at Santorini, barring the occasional slow service when crowded. It's a good spot for summer evening dining on the patio, and for larger parties. Santorini is probably one of the less annoying restaurants in the Old Town area.

Saladang and Saladang Song are definitely overpriced for what it is. Your tab subsidizes the admittedly striking architecture and the bountiful display of orchids everywhere. The food is alright. For budget Thai, I like Chandra on Arroyo.

I strongly recommend Europane on Colorado. The flavors may be toned down for some palates but I love their sandwiches.

Tonny's. Definitely.

La Estrella on Fair Oaks has good tacos and fish tacos, though there are tons of other cheap Mexican food to be had above the freeway. Find your favorite. Puebla Taco on Lake is not the cheapest but they have a great chile verde burrito.

Jan 27, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

New in Alhambra

Hey there, this recent thread also had some up-to-date info on people's favorites in the San Gabriel area:

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/362311

Let us know how your restaurant visits turn out. Happy eating.

Jan 27, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

Mei Long Village

First time in a long time back at Mei Long. Had the following:

* Xiao long bao
* Wuxi spare ribs
* Leek with fresh bamboo shoots
* Eight-treasure glutinous rice

Xiao long bao was as good as I remember from last time, plump and straightforward. Reasonable people can argue about styles here but I just love Mei Long's version because -- if dumplings can be said to possess it -- it's got moxie. No complaints with the spare ribs. We were so pleased with the leek with bamboo shoots. It hit all the right notes for us -- earthy, fragrant, tender-crunchy. The missus and I struggled to finish all the food, but we got the eight-treasure rice anyway. Utensil-fight over the "treasures" ensued.

All in all, easily the most satisfying meal this month so far, handily beating out Mozza this past weekend!

Jan 23, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

San Gabriel area - NY hound a bit lost

I've been to the Rosemead Shin Sen Gumi maybe a dozen times this past year. It's addicting. Haven't been to their other locations so I can't say how it stacks up, but our visits have all been great. I'm not a ramen connoisseur by any means so take it for what it's worth, but I prefer it to anything else I've had in LA, including Daikokuya.

Jan 23, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

Coffee shops / cafes w/free wireless internet?

I know the Red Cat Lounge (SW corner of the Disney Concert Hall complex) has free wireless, but never tried it myself, nor do I know the pricing on the drinks. But a full-service bar with internet sounds pretty nice!

http://redcat.org/visit/lounge.php

Jan 23, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

Angelini Osteria

One of the best in town. Definitely worth seeking out if you're visiting. Don't forget the finish your meal with an unforgettable affogato gelato.

I've got a reservation for this Saturday... yes!

Jan 22, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

Best Chinese in San Gabriel/Monterey Park Area

Wow that sounds bad. I've had good experiences there, but I don't go there enough (maybe a couple times a year) to know how consistent it is day to day...

Jan 21, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

Best Chinese in San Gabriel/Monterey Park Area

1) Sea Harbour, Triumphal Palace, New Concept all fit your bill. I like Triumphal the best.

2) Yung Ho in San Gabriel

3) Everyone's favorite is Din Tai Fung in Arcadia, but Mei Long Village has a more substantial version of xiao long bao. Din Tai Fung is more delicate and refined.

Jan 21, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

San Gabriel area - NY hound a bit lost

Oops, I was referring to the Chung King in SG, but copied/pasted the wrong address. Yep, the SG one is the one.

Jan 21, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

San Gabriel area - NY hound a bit lost

A good banh mi is hard, if not impossible, to find in NYC. Two dependable, representative places for banh mi with differing styles:
* Ba Le - 1422 S Atlantic Blvd, Alhambra
* Mr. Baguette - 8702 Valley Blvd, Rosemead

Dim sum survey:
* Triumphal Palace - 500 W Main St, Alhambra
* Sea Harbour - 3939 Rosemead Blvd, Rosemead
* 888 Seafood - 8450 Valley Blvd, Rosemead
* New Concept - 700 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park

In addition to Green Village, for Shanghainese:
* Mei Long Village - 301 W Valley Blvd, San Gabriel

Sichuan:
* Chung King - 206 S Garfield Ave, Monterey Park

Taiwanese (sausage, vermicelli soup noodle, etc.):
* Sin Ba La - 651 W Duarte Rd, Arcadia

Indonesian:
* Indo Kitchen - 5 N 4th St, Alhambra

Innovative Mexican:
* Babita - 1823 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel

Yep, still scratching the surface.

Jan 20, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

Golden Deli in San Gabriel, Yazmin in Alhambra, Tung Lai Shun in San Gabriel, and Charming Garden in Monterey Park

Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed reply. I'll have to give Yazmin another try; maybe I've judged too quickly. I had had a long string of good meals at KL so it definitely seemed like an anomaly that time...

Jan 20, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

Need CHEAP place near Wilshire and La Brea

Maybe a little late to be useful to the original poster, but...

What about Sake House on 8th and La Brea? It's a small Japanese beer & snack type joint, with a great low-key atmosphere. I think it's a perfect place for a few friends to unwind over a pitcher and some yakitori. Easily within $20/person if you're not starving.

http://www.sakehousemiro.com/

Jan 20, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

Golden Deli in San Gabriel, Yazmin in Alhambra, Tung Lai Shun in San Gabriel, and Charming Garden in Monterey Park

Is there really not much else other than Yazmin? Been there once, and I thought it was merely okay.

Been to Kuala Lumpur many times over the years, but not since a particularly bad experience last time with a dish that was clearly over-salted. A Malay-Chinese friend at the meal considered it pretty poor. Probably a one-time mistake? I didn't know they had closed recently.

Jan 20, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

Anyone go to Hunan place called Dong Ting Chun?

Uh, the address in the original post and J. Gold's article is wrong. It's actually 140 W Valley Blvd., San Gabriel, i.e., the San Gabriel Square complex with 99 Ranch, Sam Woo, etc. Dong Ting Chun is on the second level, just above Sam Woo BBQ.

Jan 20, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

Good donuts in the Pasadena area?

How liberal are you about the definition of "Pasadena area?" The Donut Man in Glendora is worth the drive. Can't say I've had anything memorable within Pasadena...

Jan 19, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area

Date with Korean girl: K-Town - Where should I go?

modernist, thanks for the clarification!

Jan 19, 2007
kiwonyoon in Los Angeles Area