Bliss in a Bowl: Chaus Kitchen

As unnapealing as it might sound, Rice Porridge is actually something very pleasant and desirable, especially when there is a couple of slices of fresh Chilean Sea Bass submerged inside. It might be the complete opposite of it’s more popular northern cousin known as Pho .

A big clay pot filled to the rim with a broth almost as clear and light as water. A subtle taste hinting of seafood notes with no greasy residue or excessive “fishyness” (MSG). Redolent with a nice, ambrosial aroma. A generous amount of rice with tiny slivers of green onion and the main attraction, a couple of slices of slices of sweet, fragile Chilean Sea Bass served only with a little nub of Fresh Ginger that you grate yourself. Blissfulness in a bowl.

Could there be any more comforting soup as light as this?

I don’t think so, especially in this excruciating “Frost of 07” that i’ve been painfully enduring.

Chaus Kitchen
107 E. Valley Blvd.
San Gabriel

Yak Momo's and Backbends: My start to a New Year

Tibet is known for it’s spiritual avail’s and great Buddhist monasteries. Food here not only nourishment the hunger of the body, but also of the mind and spirit. Being right between Asia and Tibet, the cuisine is something truly extrodinary.

Yak Momo’s are dumplings that are filled with many spices and the lean etherealness of their common protein of Yak Meat. Not as thick as the countless dumplings i’ve ate around Alhambra and served with a Mint and Chili chutney, instead of the accustomed soy/vinegar mixture. Yak meat is surprisingly meaty but without the heaviness of beef, something that must be personally sampled in order to be understood.

Their Curries are also not as heavy as Indian Curries but just as packed with flavor. Try the Arun Valley Saag for a twist on your usual take on Bok Choy. When ingesting these amazing concoctions don’t be confused by these little bursts of flavor that you’ll taste here and there, for they are just part of a handful of Fennel Seeds that are steamed in with the rice.

A new year for me, usually would mean new problems, new pressures, new worries. But with meals like these after a 2 hour session of Urdhva Dhanurasana’s (Yoga Backbends) and finally making my own path and eating at a place that HAS’NT gotten written up by Jonathon Gold, this year is suddenly looking a lot brighter.

Tibet Nepal House
36 E. Holly St.
Pasadena CA 91103

Are You Serious? Teenage Glutster in The L.A Times?

I still can’t believe it!

Yup…i’m part of big boys now. Even though i’m representing the wrong ‘hood’, but it’s still good.
Of course, it had to happen in the one week i didn’t get it!

According to The Times, I’m “A really fun post on an Alhambra teenager with great pictures and excited accounts of such milestones as his first coq au vin”.

Damn, it feels good.

This is just what i needed right now…inspiration.

Thank you “Anonymous” whoever you are for commenting me and letting me know.

It's Ahh-ssshhhheeeyy not Axe

I wanted to try Joe’s but their Prixe-Fix Menu for the day didn’t agree with my stomach. So i decided to try Axe just a couple of paces next to it. With a name like that, i was already expecting something. The place was pretty happening for a Wednesday lunch, we had to wait like 15 minutes.

The menu was pretty weird, it offered this “standard rice bowl” that had the same things as a vietnamese rice bowl and a couple of salads along with make-it-yourself salad option. The featured salads didn’t sound too appealing, so i just ordered the DIY salad and chose Hummus, Lentils and Roasted Beats as my ingredients.

My Salad was O.K, the Hummus was nothing special. The Lentils were just cooked with no special flavor. The Beets were pretty good though. When i was done, the messy tint of the Roasted Beets made my plate look like somethng the weird girl next to us could of drawn. My dad’s Spicy Chicken Rice Soup was alright if you were craving chicken. And my brothers Chicken Apple Salad was o.k also.

I guess i went in with the wrong expectations. It seems like they are just concerned with delivering the best, possible beautiful, organic produce available, without thinking too much about how they deliver it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nothing bad. It does give you the oppurtunity to taste the real flavor of the produce. Axe Restaurant is a good restaurant once you know what their goal is, but don’t expect anything amazing.

1009 Abbot Kinney
Venice, Ca

My Warm, Buttery, Flaky New Year (Europane Bakery)

Having to camp out in near freezing temperatures with my Dysfunctional Family, sleeping on the cold, uneven street, having to get up from sleeping 4 times to go to the port-a-potty that was 2 blocks away!

Of course, i didn’t get any sleep. But at least i finally had the chance to finally have a Croissant and a couple of bites of other pastries from the famed Europane Bakery. And when, i was literally sleeping a couple of paces west of the place, i had the chance to have them seconds out of the oven(6:00 AM!), still hot enough to scold your tongue. And believe me when i say that in near freezing temperatures, this crisp, steamy, flaky Croissant seemed unreal.

Flaky, where other croissants were bread like. Not too sweet, or salty. With the perfect density, hollow but not too hollow.
Well worth the calories
With a tall cup some steamed soymilk from this little coffee place across the street….
Was In Heaven?

Oh yeah, and the Rose Parade was pretty cool too.

Europane Bakey
950 E Colorado Blvd,
Pasadena, CA

Coconut Epiphany!-Courtesy of Portos

So there i was, bored on a friday night, craving something but not quite sure what, depressing myself over all these negative thoughts. I already had 2 cups of some fresh champurrado i made but unfortunately, that was not what i was craving. I still needed something, my body was still not satisfied. When out of nowhere my mom comes home and brings me just what my lanky body needed. At first i didn’t think nothing of it. But with the first bite of this crunchy dark brown object with the and the buttery moist interior in my mouth. I almost died!

I couldn’t believe how good this little thing was!!! I knew it was something with coconut(of course!!!) resembling a mexican Cocada, but 100x better. The deliciousness of it even managed to rid my mind of the stupid negative nonsense that makes teenagers kill themselves. This is why i love food everyone. In a life that sometimes seems unberable to live in or think about, especially in this stupid age with all the stupid pressures and thoughts……….food always saves me and keeps me going.

Well after a while, i found out my sister had sent them to me from Portos Bakery in Glendale. I’m guessing their the Cuban Version of Coconut Macaroon. But really, this is something truly delicious. If you’re into Coconut try these out, bust a mission just for these. I promise, they WILL BE worth it………trust.

315 North Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA 91203
tel. (818) 956-5996

Carb-ing out at China Islamic

This is one of those restaurants that isn’t open in the in-between time of Lunch and Dinner(i had to learn this the hard way!!!)
So it was really hard for us to finally have a chance to try it out. After reading the article on L.A Magazine that made their Green Onion Sesame Bread seem like some sort of bread epiphany, i was really looking forward to this place.

We went family style so we got to sample many dishes. Of course, we tried the Sesame Bread and with my love of Carbs, the thick one, not the thin one. After the first bite, i didn’t really see what the big deal was. It was at least an inch thick! And it was kind of dry. The Green Onion didn’t do that much for it. The crispy Sesame crust that had formed was probably the best part.

They seem to have an affinity for green onion seeing how almost everything we ordered had at least a little bit in it. The Steamed Dumplings were alright, a bit doughy and packed with Green Onions but still alright. The Fried Dumplings weren’t really very different other than they were a little crispy but the contents of them were still the same.

The star of the meal definitely had to be the Beijing-Style Chicken Mushu. It was chock full of noodles, both thick and thin, rice and clear. Along with the rest of your usual Mushu ingredients. And with the wrapper, it kind of looked like something my Tio Chuy would do to it. A China-China Islamic Burrito, con todo.

The Lamb Stew Warm Pot was different. Not that it wasn’t delicious in itself, but it’s just something that you have to get used to. It was heavily spiced with some sort of sharp spice, i’m guessing star anise. But it was definetely something you have to get used to. With it’s tender chunks of Lamb, Tofu, glass noodles, and onion. We ended up with more than half in left-overs so…yeah.

Final Verdict, i would come back. But next time, i’m trying the flat Sesame Bread. And not that much FooD!!!

China Islamic
7727 Garvey Ave
Rosemead, CA