Saturday, March 24, 2012

How Tonkatsu Ruined My Taste Buds Forever

Have you ever been so happy and so angry at the same time? Happy because you just had the most amazing food, but pissed because you know that now that dish has been ruined for the rest of your life? It's hard to have had the best. 
 Story of my life... especially at Tonkichi in Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, which has the best tonkatsu. I eat katsu a lot, but my aunt called and convinced me to give this place a try. What was encouraging was that the restaurant was booked for dinner for the next week. Luckily, they had an opening for a late lunch appointment. 
 Our view outside. Nice! I also liked how we had a little booth to ourselves. 

  The sesame seeds in Tonkichi smell amazing. You get a small grinding pot, there was two different utensils - one for you to grind the sesame, the other for you to mix the Tonkatsu sauce in. In the condiment set, there was also two salad dressings - Pomelo or Sesame dressing for the shredded lettuce.
I love it. It' s like arts and crafts class. Making your own sauce for your salad. Crush the sesame seeds and add any sauce or sauces from the row of condiments on the table. 
 So if you don't know what katsu is, it's basically a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet. It's usually served with shredded cabbage and miso soup. You can choose pork fillet, pork loin, chicken, prawn and other meats. The loin was much more tender and juicer than the pork cutlet. The pork cutlet was more lean though.
So what made katsu from here so damn good? The skin!!!!!!!!!!!! The breaded layer was not oily or dry. It was moist and melted in your mouth. The best katsu ever. I will never be able to eat fried foods the same again. 
The deep-fried breaded prawns. 
 Japanese curry for our rice! 
And if you are avid readers of my blog, you know that I love Japanese steamed egg. I was so full but I just had to get it! 

Check it out at: Shop 412, Podium 4, World Trade Centre, 280 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay. 

The breaded skin will change your life!!!

Happy Eatings!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Shanghainese Food & Drunk Chinese Men

Hey there! I'm currently heading home from what's called my official last Spring Break of my academic career. Whoooo and Booo! I've been in Hong Kong for a week. Leaving in a few hours back to Los Angeles, but I'm behind on my LA posts. So Yelp.... it's a great place. I love learning about new places and checking in, but it's a tool I use to supplement my foodie research. I would never rely solely on it because we all know there's been times when Yelp was way off. Here's one example: Shanghai Village in Alhambra, CA has a whopping low 3 stars. The place is small, sketchy looking, and old Chinese men like to bring in their liquor from the supermarket two doors down. Should this turn you off? No! Don't come with a big crowd though, this restaurant can only handle a few people at a time. 
 Shredded squash. It's really good. Light seasoning, much better than salad. 
 BBQ pork. I usually don't like sauce like this. It reminds me of Panda Express gone wild, but it's quite tasty. Add a bowl of white rice and this will fill you up and put a smile on your face.
 Potstickers. Yes, potstickers are all about the skin. It needs to be crispy and thin at the same time. This place does it pretty darn good. Not the best I've had, but pretty darn good. 
Now my favorite dish is the meatball noodle soup. I love the veggies just sitting in the boiling soup. If I'm ever sick, which I foresee will happen, screw chicken soup. This is what I want. Better than congee and  there's lots of vermicelli noodles inside. Don't be fooled from this angle-this clay pot is hot and huge! Perfect for a cold day!

There's a big screen TV inside if you wish to follow the Linsanity craze. I'd rather just get in and get out though. Definitely not a place for a date, but if you dig the ambiance or lack thereof, this is a solid Shanghainese place that is worth trying. 

There! You have my endorsement.

Happy Eatings!
1281 E Valley Blvd
AlhambraCA 91801

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

French-Vietnamese Goodness

French-Vietnamese food always hits the spot for me. It's difficult to find a dependable restaurant that can do it well though. Say hello to La Vie. It sits in a shady parking lot in the San Gabriel Valley. My family has been going to this place for over 15 years or so. I kind of forgot about this place for awhile though. The last time I came, my food was a little dry so I didn't go back for around two years. This time, they were on the mark though. The best part of La Vie? All meals are around $20 each, which includes your main dish, appetizer, all you can eat bread, and soup. That's extremely cheap for French food. 

 Here's the bread. 
 Our super buttery pea soup. 
 My lobster tail. 
 My whole bowl of butter to dip my lobster in. 
I ended my night with a souffle. Yum!

You definitely don't come here for the ambiance. The place is so small that it can actually get stuffy. Not a place to impress a date, but it's good food. 

2547 San Gabriel Blvd
Rosemead, CA 91770

Happy Eatings!