Emporium Thai (Westwood/Los Angeles, CA)

asian, Thai

This is a cozy and well-decorated restaurant–felt so classy 😏 Would be perfect to celebrate a promotion, b-day, or the like. Definitely a good date spot! πŸ˜›
What’s also nice are their drinks–they have the typical young coconut and that nature but they also serve adult drinks 🍸🍷 At our table, we had the mango and the Thai Basil drinks… tasty–not too strong, not too sweet 😊

I was fortunate to have been able to sample multiple dishes since I was part of a group–I love those types of dinners… I’m not limited to just one or two dishes, hehe!
One of my fave Thai dishes is the grilled pork slices that come served w/ a spicy dipping sauce 🀀!! That was delish, as I expected! 😍

We had two types of curries, both yellow… one was chicken and the other was tofu. I’m not too much of a fan of yellow curry (I’m a red curry lover), but they were both tasty nonetheless. 

A staple for whenever we go Thai is Pad See Ew 🀀… I’m a noodle lover and my daughter enjoys it even though she can be suspicious of foods outside her comfort box, haha! If you like stir-fried noodle dishes, get this! And if you’re into even more spiciness and enjoy salty, ask for the fish sauce w/ Thai chilis… that definitely completes each bite for me! ❀️🌢

I’m a veggie lover as I am a gym and fitness lover. So, it was great to have a stir-fried veggie dish–tasty veggies??? BRING IT ON!!! There’s not too much I can say about the mixed veggie dish since it’s pretty basic but it was tasty and healthy–can’t beat that! 

Something that I wasn’t expecting to be as FANTASTIC as it was… the 2 desserts we tried!!!! HOLY MOLY!!! 
Though I love me some Thai food, this meal ended AMAZINGLY!!! 
We had the common mango and sticky rice dessert. Don’t know if maybe it’s because I haven’t had it in a while, or it was just w/ love (hehe) but the coconut sauce and the ripeness of the mango and the texture of the sticky rice was in perfect unison!!! I’m drooling right now just thinking of it!! Oh! And I can’t believe I almost left this part out–the sticky rice came in the shape of a heart! I was hesitant to be the one to ruin the heart 😐

Then, there was the Thai Donuts (not sure if that’s the actual listed name on the menu). They looked like donut holes and they came with a dipping sauce (as I wipe my drool haha). I wanted to eat ALL of them but having to be under control, I had 2 (enter sad face). Maybe one of these days I can eat nothing and just eat 10 of those, haha!! 

Finally, there’s the service. As we all know, food can be amazing and delish like no other, but if the service lacks, continuing visits is highly unlikely. 
That is DEFINITELY not the case with this place! We got to meet John, one of the owners… so gracious, friendly, humble, hospitable, and not to mention, handsome 😏😝 (coming from Crystal haha!)… it’s no wonder his staff is! (If you’re reading this, John… Hi! πŸ‘‹ hehe!)
So, all in all, yes, this place is a must visit! πŸ‘πŸ‘

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Influenster: LIFEWTR

Drinks


Received a complimentary bottle of this pretty bottle of purified water that’s pH balanced w/ added electrolytes for taste. Thanks, @influenster and @LIFEWTR! 
The bottle reminds me of Smart Water (which I enjoy) but this one differs by the oh so pretty packaging! The design of this bottle makes me WANT to drink from this bottle… why is that?? I suppose it’s the same when it comes to beauty packaging–when it’s more pretty/cute, makes me want to reach for it (i.e. Korean beauty). 

Taste of this water isn’t quite as smooth as Smart Water (I assumed it would be) but it’s still decent. I’d definitely grab it first because if the packaging… in a total sucker for marketing ploys obviously 😳

What’s cool about the design is that they give credit to the designer…


Thanks, Jason Woodside for the design! 😁

#2017 #InspirationDrops #contest

San Tung (San Francisco,CA)

Chinese


This place is well-known for their chicken wings. Wings are moderately glazed with Asian themed flavoring–probably has hoisin and is slightly sweet but not too much. The wings are bigger than Buffalo style wings. Wings were just okay to me since I’m more of a savory kinda gal and prefer more of a dry rather than wet chicken wings.

Come to find out later, ppl spoke about their dry wings–wondering now if I was supposed to specifically ask for that? At the time, figured that if there were options, they would ask…? Oh, well…
Eli liked the wings, though. He’s okay with it being slightly wet and sweet. 
In addition to the wings, I also ordered their green beans. I’ve gotten into the habit of always ordering green beans at Chinese restaurants, I’ve come to realize. Can’t leave the place w/o a plate of them. 


For those who are into beans as well, I’d avoid the beans here and save your $$–they were bland. Have had better home cooked ones. Looking at the pic again now, they did look delicious, though–too bad the flavor didn’t match the appearance πŸ˜”

Starbread Bakery (Vallejo, CA)

bakery

Wow, Wow, Wow! This discovery was a pleasant surprise! 

Thanks to my friend, Danny N, I was able to experience amazing Senorita bread! 

If you’re in this area and love soft, buttery, slightly sweet bread–RUN to this place and get a ton! Haha!
Idk if I am glad or sad that this bakery is not by my house, haha! Glad because then there’s no temptation for me to hoard and become a fatty from eating all the wonderful bread; sad because it’s not by me for me to hoard and turn into a fatty… HAHA!!

Downtown Phully Cheesesteaks (Woodland Hills, CA)

American, burger, Deli, Fast Food, sandwiches

Decided to go here last minute. No plan, no nothin’. Sometimes those times just work out for the best. And are we glad that was the case for this eatery 😁

When Eli heard me say Philly cheesesteak, he was immediately hesitant since he DOES NOT want that usual cheesesteak greasiness… ugh πŸ˜‘

Found this place on Yelp and saw that we could get a drink or fries with a check-in. Since there was two of us, we were able to score both! Yay! Love check-in deals πŸ˜›


Got the fries and wasn’t expecting much but they weren’t too bad (only because I prefer skinny fries 😊). What really made them AWEOME was the ranch that they provided without us even asking!! Wha?? This guy just read my mind!! And they were not stingy on the portion or quality either!! One of THEE bestest ranch sauces I’ve ever had–rich and flavorful, not watered down at all! Thank you for that, Downtown Philly Cheesesteak β€οΈπŸ˜€


I’ve been on a Chicken Caesar salad kick lately; so, when I saw a hoagie version on the menu, it was a done deal! It does really taste like you just put a chicken Caesar salad into a bun–nothing fancy, just simple. It was good but not amazing. Next time, I would definitely try something else. I appreciated that the bun wasn’t soaked from grease or water from the lettuce… thumbs up, yay! πŸ‘πŸ‘


I know, this doesn’t look fancy by any means; but the flavor was fully present! Again, not greasy and not dry–it’s a winner, folks!! 

I couldn’t finished the whole thing. Saving the other 1/2 for lunch tomorrow… don’t cha love it when you get 2 meals in 1? 😜 

Another thing I must mention is the interior–though it’s more of a quick eatery type of place, they didn’t skimp on the furnishings and decor. Loved the chairs and tables! And in the back, there is a roll-up door, as though it were a warehouse but it wasn’t since it was like any other strip mall. 


I think I’m just a sucker for wood decor at the moment ☺️

We’ll definitely be back another time! 

Oh (!!), and the service was frigging AMAZING!!! Professional, friendly, welcoming, accommodating!! Can’t ask for more! πŸ‘πŸ˜

Trader Joe’s Mochi Rice Nuggets

asian, japanese, Snack


As soon as I saw this on the shelf at TJ’s, I had no other choice but to get it! Why? Because I love me some mochi!

Wasn’t sure how it would taste but had positive hopes…

Unfortunately, some things in life doesn’t work out or taste as one would hope πŸ˜” This was one of those moments…

There is a slight ‘chewiness’ to it but there’s more crunch than chewy. And the nuggets are a pretty hefty size–I was expecting something slightly bigger than a pea; this is more like a popcorn kernel size. 

Don’t expect much flavor. This is more for those who enjoy mochi in a different texture (very crunchy). 

Daglas Drive-in (Winnetka, CA)

American, burger, Fast Food

Been on a fries 🍟 kick lately. And I’m lovin’ it 😝 I don’t do fast-food chain fries though–those scare me 😳

While out at Trader Joe’s the other night, already was set on stopping by Jerry’s Deli for some fries before home; turns out they closed the particular location I had in mind πŸ˜” Heard they shut down after having been there for 40 something years 😧 Goes to show, always have to stay current and competitive. 

Anyhow…

Now that I was set on fries, I needed to find a place in a jiffy! 

When I saw the fry pics from Daglas, it wasn’t a question! 


Added bonus… it wasn’t far from where we were at, YAY!! 

Other than curly and shoestring fries, seasoned fries are my go-to! This was just meant to be! 

I’m glad to say that it was exactly how I hoped it would be–crispy, perfectly seasoned, and delish! LOVE it when food turns out as good as I hoped/imagined or better! 😍

Only thing I would change about it would be the packaging–it came in a paper bag inside of a plastic bag. With it being fresh out of the fryer and steaming, it’d be best if it was in a more flat container to let the steam release so that it wouldn’t get soggy by the time I get home to devour it πŸ˜‹ 

Lastly, the eatery itself is a bit outdated but as long as it’s clean, I’m cool with it. They’re probably able to maintain such an inexpensive menu because they don’t have to pay for the cost of renovation/updating. 

It’s a typical hamburger stand but also have salads and wraps, but mainly burgers. Will definitely go back to try their burgers… w/ a side of fries, of course! πŸ˜‰

If you’re in that area, get your butt over there and grab some grub and TASTY fries!!

BlaqHaus (North Hollywood, CA)

American, burger


Upon entering, found the concept/decor to be trendy/hip but lacked in potential due to the location of this eatery. Just wouldn’t picture a place like this in the area that its located in… would’ve been more fitting in the NoHo Arts District. 

As soon as we stepped in, we immediately noticed the layer of oil that covered the floor–similar to what one would find in the restaurant kitchen after hours of busy activity cooking up a storm. We assumed the same water was used to mop the dining area floor AFTER mopping the kitchen πŸ˜– While we were eating, we witnessed a patron slip but, fortunately, she didn’t fall. 

For the food… we were pleasantly surprised! Both of us got burgers–The Venus (vegetarian) and The Hangover (had fried egg and bacon, yum!). And both was accompanied by a side of fries and three different dipping sauces (uh, yes, please!). 

I loved how crispy the fries were, Eli thought they were slightly over cooked… choose your preference πŸ˜‹

I had gotten a Groupon voucher which made the experience okay. But don’t think I would go back to pay full price since our total came out to be almost $30 for just these two burgers that tasted good… just not THAT good. I would go back for the fries 🍟 though! Hehe πŸ˜‹

Crispy Pork Gang (Hollywood, CA)

asian, Dessert / Sweets, noodles, Thai

I have a special, SPECIAL place in my heart for NOODLES 🍜 This is definitely a good item that I can eat every day for the rest of my life and I don’t know if I could ever be tired of it 😜 As of now, I’d say I doubt it! 

My noodles of choice? Any Thai noodle soup and ramen/udon. 

On our way home from a Japanese whiskey tasting event, and Eli was craving some Thai. Since we were passing by the area, took advantage and stopped by Thai Town (Los Angeles). 

Crispy Pork Gang (may have been bought recently because the menu had a different name on it than before) was the first place that I thought of that night. Was craving noodles πŸ˜† (of course!!) and remembered the last visit was DELISH! 

Interior isn’t anything really special–they just threw some tables and chairs together and called it a day. I think what makes them profitable is their food and they’re open 24 hours… yes, 24! So, being in Hollywood and the clubs not being too far, I’m sure there are a good amount of party goers stopping by. But it’s not unusual for Thai restaurants to be open till late (typically 2 or 4 AM). Though the inside isn’t my cup of tea, the food makes up for it–I got my priorities πŸ˜‚

When I sit down at a restaurant, I usually have an immediate craving for something particular. I’ve come to learn that I have to follow that gut feeling, otherwise I end up not being fully satisfied w/ my meal. 

On this visit, first thought was Duck Noodle Soup…


Oh, man…………! It was SO GOOD!!!!! Looking at this pic makes me hungry πŸ˜³πŸ˜‚  

I knew to trust my gut! I was completely satisfied w/ this dish! Don’t you just love those kind of meals–full and satisfied? 😁 It was nice that it wasn’t too sweet, which can happen w/ this dish occasionally. 

Eli went for the Vegetable Noodle Soup w/ a side of white rice 😳 yes, the guy ❀️s his carbs πŸ˜‘ lol! 


Tasted his broth, it was a typical Thai vegetable soup flavor–better than most πŸ™‚ 

While going through the menu, I came upon one of their desserts that I’ve been craving… Bua Loy. 


Unlike the noodle dishes, I was highly unsatisfied w/ this 😣 I had ordered this to eat at home. To my surprise, when I opened the container (very little amount for $4, as compared to other places I’ve ordered from), it was NOT what I ordered!! I HATE that!! 

For those that are familiar w/ Bua Loy, the tapioca is made w/ taro (I believe) tapioca balls, not w/ the ones pictured above!! The tapioca balls above are for a different dessert!! Ugh! Do they think a person that is ordering a specific Thai dessert wouldn’t know better??? πŸ˜’  Next time, I’m most likely going to say something–let them know that patrons are t stupid πŸ˜‘

In the end, I’d go there for noodles for sure; as for their entrees and rice dishes, I can’t vouch for those. If you go, let me know how it was! 

Lucky Noodle King (San Gabriel, CA)

asian, Chinese

Came with a group of friends – love eating family style… means I get to eat more dishes and not limited to just one dish, haha!

It’s a cozy restaurant, looks family owned. When it comes to Chinese food, I’m not sure what to expect anymore–sometimes it unexpectedly delish; and other times, it’s unexpectedly terrible and super Americanized o_O

Fortunately, I am glad to say that these are non-Americanized dishes! (If i wanted Asian fusion, I’d go to one specifically advertising as such -_- )

Got their canned herbal tea (pic included, cans are different but it is the same tea inside)–better than I thought. It was slightly sweetened, but not like the commercial bottled teas that can be found in American grocery stores (think Arizona brand).


Started off w/ the chef’s special, Fish in Chili Oil–if you eat the chili, it WILL be spicy and most likely burn your throat (the unpleasant kind of burn, haha). But if you use the slotted serving spoon to get the fish, it’s great! πŸ˜€


Next, the String Beans w/ Minced Pork–I love me some string beans!! We always order this whenever we’re at a Chinese restaurant; so, it was only necessary to do so at this eatery. It was a great complementary dish to our table… but I must admit, I am biased to veggies… LOVE them!! πŸ˜€


Another veggie dish, Garlic Water Spinach–please order this!! I’m accustomed to the Thai version of water spinach but this is still a terrific (and healthy!) side dish!! I think I hogged this… or at least I tried to, haha!!


The BF was there, so, unsurprisingly, he ordered Chicken Fired Rice. It was as bland or bad as I was expecting–expectations have come by means of negative experiences at other Chinese eateries. A few of my friends didn’t much care for this but the BF and I thought it was fine–not the best, but nothing close to some ‘ugh’ ones we have had.


Service was awesome! Very friendly and personable!! If you’re in the area and are in the mood for Chinese, check it out!