Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I can see why this place is such a favorite for late nighters. A friendly environment and staff, with simple Japanese food.

My sister has been here plenty of times and was excited to have me experience the place. She ordered her usual, Chicken Katsu. I had a hard time deciding, I ended getting the Koraku Tenshin Chahan. It's basically a large shrimp omelette served over a huge mound of fried rice. It also comes with a small bowl of soup. I was told the process was to dip a spoonful of the rice and omelette into the soup. It was pretty darn good. It would been even better if I was drunk.

I don't know when I'll be back with so many options downtown. But I'm happy I was finally able to try one of my sisters favorite places.


Had to check out this place since I was thinking about hosting a party here. Really wanted to take a look at the "private room", I knew the food and beer would be decent.

We ordered the Filipino Maharlika with carmelized onions and spicy peppers. Also had fries with white truffle oil and chipotle ketchup. The sausage was good, but I thought the flavor was very subtle and overpowered by the onions a peppers.

I really like the decor of the place, it's industrial and everybody sits at long communal tables. Didn't try any of the beer, I'll be back for that.

Los Agaves

This was my second visit to Los Agaves. My friends live down the street and it's on the way to the Santa Barbara Bowl.

We got there around 5:30 and it was packed. We waited in line for about 10 mins, once you've ordered they have people that start getting your seating set-up. They've got the process down.

I ordered the special Seafood Molcajete, other items at our table included the lengua special and the Tampiquena. I prepared for my meal, by getting some salsa from the salsa bar. Some really nice salsas, the avocado sauce and habanero salsa are fantastic. As each plate arrived at our table, there was one thing missing, my meal. Some how they didn't get my order in, so I had to wait...and wait. It seemed like an eternity, but my meal finally came. It was delicious, the fish was grilled and placed on the top with sliced avocado, the clams, mussels and shrimp were in the simmering lava rock bowl. The tomato based broth had a nice spice, it reminded me of a Mexican style cioppino. Dipping the fresh tortillas into the broth with the melting cheese was great and the portion was big.

Besides the delay with the meal, everything else was on point.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Yung Ho

Okay, I must admit the only reason I ate here was because Bamboodles next door had a huge wait.

I was not familiar with the menu or any of their specialties. I took some time to peruse the menu and since I can read Chinese I was pretty much screwed. They do have English names for their menu items, but as we all know the English names don't match the Chinese names we are accustomed to.

I went with things I knew would be hard to mess up. Scallion pancakes, fan tuan (which is a sticky rice roll wrapped around different fillings), soy milk and marinated cucumbers. My server looked at me strangely as the items I ordered must have seemed like a strange combo.

The scallion pancakes were flaky and think, different than many I've had recently. Definitely a nice change of pace. The soy milk was nice and the fan tuan was decent. The cucumbers were marinated in a spicy sauce and I thought it could have been better.

Next time I will be prepared to order, but overall I thought Yung Ho had a lot of potential for a simple Taiwanese breakfast.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Kam Hong Garden

Oh man!! Chinese comfort food, I love it.

I've been stuck in a rut recently, it's been Dim Sum and Shanghainese food every time I visit the SGV. I've been craving something else.

Kam Hong Garden satisfied my craving. Spicy Beef noodle soup with knife cut noodles, pan fried buns, scallion pancakes, Zha jiang mian with hand pulled noodles, beef roll and sauteed knife cut noodles with pork and mushrooms.

The beef roll was excellent and on par with 101 Noodle Express. There was the right amount of hoison, cilantro and cucumber, combined with delicious beef and a chewy wrapper.

The knife cut noodles were great and had that great texture you get from the thickness of knife cut noodles. The spicy broth of the beef noodle soup was well balanced and slightly spicy. The beef was perfectly tender without being mushy. The sauteed noodles were good, but the soup version was the way to go.

We ordered the regular scallion pancakes, they also offer a "thick" onion cake. It was also delicious, not to greasy and comparable to Earthen. The pan fried buns were good, filled with pork and mushrooms, they were large and one order was enough for four of us.

I can't wait to come back to Kam Hong Garden to try more delicious dishes. BTW, the service was excellent, our server spoke decent English and offered great recommendations.