Phoenix Bakery (Chinatown Los Angeles, CA)

bakery

   

Too cute not to take a pic 😉

  
I wasn’t aware of this place till recently when i volunteered to pick up a Strawberry Shortcake for a friend’s b-day–she LOVES their shortcake. Drove from the San Fernando Valley just for this cake… My first thought, “this cake better be/must be awesome,” haha! I wouldn’t have made the drive but when it’s for a good friend’s b-day… 🙂

   

I’m more of a dense/rich cake kind of gal; so, I had an idea already that it wasn’t going to be all that great for me (and it wasn’t for me, so…). I did get a couple of their pastries–that’s more up my alley. Got a Coconut Butterly and a roll that has cheese and pineapple (or guava) inside (reminded me of Porto’s). Pastries were tasty! 

   
    
 
Well, it comes as no surprise, I didn’t care for the cake–too dry and plain to me, nothing special to it, tastes like most other Strawberry Shortcakes I’ve had. 
Their service was friendly and nice… That’s ALWAYS a plus 😀

  

Overall, I wouldn’t come back here unless somebody had a special request. Though I may not care for it, it seems to be a go-to/staple in many people’s lives–especially considering that it’s been open since the early 1900s (if I’m not mistaken). Go just to say you’ve tried it–that’s all it was for me… Well, unless you LOVE yourself some Shortcake 😀

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Grandma Kim’s Family Diner (Canoga Park,CA)

Korean

One of our GO-TOs!! Local’s definitely need to go at least one… And then you’ll probably go many times after that! 😀 
From the very first day, we saw patrons coming and going; and most of those were regulars (can tell by the interaction). 

  

  
 They have KBBQ but everything is grilled in the kitchen–personally, I prefer that since it doesn’t get my whole being all smoky smelling. I don’t have to rush home to shower and wash my hair, haha!

 

Unlimited Sides

  

Kimchi Tofu w/ Pork

   

Spicy Brisket Soup

 We’ve had a variety of deliciousness here… Can’t really go wrong. Their BBQ is on the slightly sweet side (I’m more of a savory BBQ gal), so I don’t order their BBQ. Do love their hot pots, bibimbap, and ramen. Just wish they would have pork dumplings–they only have beef dumplings, boo…
Their sides are tasty, too! I prefer their sides over most other Korean places–maybe I’m just accustomed to it. 
Overall, definitely check it out!! Local or not, stop by and have a meal!

Poké Bar (Studio City, CA)

Fast Food, Hawaiian

  

Went in on a MLK day (a Monday) around 12:30 PM… It was surprisingly empty but in the time that my friends and I were there, there was a steady flow of patrons coming and going. 
I’ve been to the location in Arcadia–didn’t know this was in the Valley till my friend suggested it… Yay! 

  
What’s great about poké, in general, is that it’s light, tasty, and healthy! Just right up my alley! 
Upon entering, it’s ALWAYS nice to see the place and food area clean (should be a given but not always the case 😕). It has a minimalist style to it–makes it modern/trendy. I also like the orange color of their theme 😊

  
It’s not a huge space, it’s the typical fast food (i.e. Subway) dining size. Again, I appreciate that it was clean! Haha!
In terms of the food, it tasted/looked fresh. The seafood didn’t have a smell at all. This is PERFECT for those on the go and wanting something healthy for a reasonable price!

  
The only reason I gave this place 4 stars is because the guy that was serving me was new and wasn’t too helpful in letting me know how the ordering process goes (what’s included, what’s not included, etc)–basically, I had to take the initiative to ask about the whole process. I also didn’t appreciate him answering me in such a way that made it seem as though why am I asking him…?? 
Also, about 1/3 through my friend’s meal, we realized that she didn’t get the seaweed salad and crabmeat (included w/ the price) because she wasn’t aware and nobody told her 😒 they can improve on that by letting diners know what’s included and what’s not. 
I’d definitely go back… Just hope that if I get that young guy again, that I won’t have to ask about everything. 

Brent’s Delicatessen & Restaurant (Northridge, CA)

Deli

 

I’m surprised by this…

 
Hmm, I’m a little surprised this place has high of a review as it does. 

Upon walking in, I was transferred back to the 70s/80s… It needs some updating, a bit dingy-like. But I can tell that it’s a local’s place; a place that’s been in somebody’s life for a long time. Basically, it’s a favorite by their vast loyal patrons. 
It’s pretty much an outdated Jerry’s Deli. Not a fan of Jerry’s prices, but I’d rather go there. 
The food wasn’t memorable, just remember thinking that I wish we had gone to a different place for our meal o_O
In the books as one of the few times that Yelp ratings failed me :-/

Young-Dong Tofu Restaurant (Arcadia, CA)

Korean

Decided to eat here since it was on the list of top 10 places to eat in Arcadia. 
It’s not a hole-in-the-wall by any means, but you can see it’s a family owned biz… I like it 🙂

 

Yay for hot tea instead of water 🙂

 
Their menu is on their placemat–clever, simple, and straight to the point. 
They sat us at a table right in front of a door with a sign that said the area in front of the door should be clear by 36 inches o_O thank goodness nothing exploded while we were seated there, haha!
I ordered the seafood tofu and the BF ordered the pork tofu. As usual, they provided the unlimited sides–they were okay, we’ve had better. One of their sides was something with sliced hot chili peppers–that was tasty! A little salad was also provided to the both of us–simple iceberg salad mix (kind you can get out of a bag) with their house sauce (THAT was tasty!). 

 

Unlimited sides… it was okay…

 
 

Plain salad mix w/ tasty house sauce

 
My seafood tofu was decent, nothing special. They’re serious about it being seafood–meaning they gave me while, unpeeled shrimp (made me think of Boiling Crab, haha). 

  
BF’s pork tofu was the same other than the pork–that was bland to me… Glad I got my seafood one. 

  
  
We were both given rice inside stone pots where the edges of the rice gets crispy–yum! 

  
Overall, it was decent. Wouldn’t be the place I’d think of going the next time we’re in the area. But if we wanted something familiar, we’d go 🙂

Peppers Thai Cuisine (Palm Springs, CA)

Thai

 

Front patio seating


 

Main room

 

Hmm… Having come from LA (plethora of delicious, reasonably priced Thai restaurants), initially, it was hard for me to see the slightly higher prices. 

The atmosphere is not completely casual, more like the higher end of casual (hope that makes sense). 

The clientele is definitely more non-Thai (non-Asian, in general). The flavoring is more toned down and spicy factor was almost nonexistent. Thank goodness our server was Thai (a couple other servers weren’t Thai), I was able to speak to him in Thai hoping that our food would come out more Thai-like, haha. 
After our food arrived, I asked for a side of the traditional Thai chili peppers in fish sauce–even that wasn’t spicy. I’m assuming that might be because they don’t use much Thai chili peppers–they had mixed in Serrano chili. 
As for the food, we ordered Thai chicken fried rice and yellow curry w/ soy meat (don’t ask, haha). For where we are and their usual clientele, the food was decent. Does make me appreciate LA’s Thai food more now, though 😀
   
 Also, what’s nice is that they have the option of substituting soy meat for any of their dishes, yay! So, no worries to all you vegetarians out there! 😀
The staff are all very friendly, nice, and professional! That always adds to the experience. 
Overall, even though the food was just okay and a bit more pricey than I’m used to (compared to better tasting Thai food), I still give them a 4 out of 5 taking into consideration the location and great service–it’s not always about the food 😀

Sam Woo (Van Nuys, CA)

Uncategorized

Been coming to this place for YEARS! It’s one of those places when you want to eat out and not have to worry if it’s going to be good. 

Any dish that I’ve tried here have always been “okay” to “delish.” Nothing’s ever been “bad” to us. 

Of course, when Eli and I both come together, we usually order the same thing–he’s not usually that adventurous. There’s been times that I’ve come here on my own and I’ll try something COMPLETELY outside of our usual. And, again, never been dissatisfied with anything. The only thing that I wish that was slightly different is the table chili oil/sauce. It needs a bit of flavoring to it–like a saltier taste but I’m not saying they should add salt to it (I know, confusing). 

Though, we have our usual dishes, I only remembered to take pictures of 2 of them 😑

   
String Beans: better eaten at the restaurant rather to have it sitting in a styrofoam box while you’re driving home. It’s wilted and no longer looks this green by the time I get home 15 minutes later. I ❤️ the minced pork–gives it flavor and a bit of a salty taste to it, good balance. While the string beans are ALWAYS stir-fried to the perfect crispness! 

 BBQ Pork: a dish that can be enjoyed at the restaurant or at home! Can be ordered from their to-go section. Can never go wrong w/ this dish! Definite staple! Though there’s sometimes fattier parts to it, there’s plenty of meaty portions. Just looking at this pic is making me hungry again, haha! 

In the future, I’ll do more posts of other dishes that we have–since I know we’ll continue to always go to Sam Woo for great Chinese food in the Valley. 

OVERALL

Sam Woo is a MUST!! Especially in the Valley where good Chinese food is hard to come by–have tried other Chinese restaurants in the Valley and have been disappointed more than not. As I mentioned earlier, you can’t really go wrong–nothing’s ever been bad to us, only variations of good 😁 Yay, I heart you Sam Woo!