USA Donuts & Croissants (Panorama City, CA)

Breakfast, Dessert / Sweets

Dropped by in here because a friend was craving something sweet. 

Been to other USA Donuts but don’t recall them serving Hispanic related drinks (i.e. Chamango)… What??? 

I was too full from just have late lunch and couldn’t consume that big of a fruit drink at the time, but I am looking forward to going back for some Chamango!! 

Another awesome thing about this place is that it had a TV and it was set-up in a way where ppl could be there hanging out and catch a game while having their doughnuts and and juice 😜 Reminded me of a bar but instead of alcohol, it’s doughy goodness! πŸ˜‚

We ended up just getting a glazed twist and a couple donut holes… I know, nothing special but it satisfied the craving 😁🍩

On top of everything else, the Latin/Hispanic girl that helped us was SUPER friendly and nice!! What more can one ask for in excellent customer service?? THUMBS UP!! πŸ‘πŸ‘

Kobee Factory (Van Nuys, CA)

mediterranean

Unexpected pleasant surprise!

The BF and I were just looking to grab lunch after he got a hair trim. And, of course, I jumped on Yelp and started searching (having no idea what I was in the mood for). 
When I came across Kobee Factory on the list of nearby eateries, I noticed the high rating, low pricing, and yummy looking pics… So, unsurprisingly, I was now in the mood for Mediterranean/Middle Eastern/Syrian 😜


It’s pretty much a family owned biz. Cozy and clean (bonus for the latter!)! The place is situated in a more industrial area (think, auto repair and such). There’s parking in the very front but it’s kind of snug. Might be better parking on side streets–depending how good of a parker/driver you are πŸ€“
As for the food…

FALAFEL WRAP w/ salad & hummus


FALAFEL WRAP w/ salad & hummus – that’s my meal. It was good and became better after I added more hummus to it and topped w/ chili 😁 I could do without the salad. Hummus was creamy and tasty! 

SHAWARMA BEEF w/ fries & hummus – the BF’s dish. He enjoyed his wrap. Fries weren’t anything special–reminded me of the ones from the grocery store’s frozen section. Hummus was “simple” to him (hmm, not exactly sure what that means, haha). 


BAKLAVA – um… I’ve never seen them shaped like this 😳 Looks weird to me, haha! I know, it’s silly but it doesn’t make it look appetizing. If I were to go by presentation only, I wouldn’t have touched this. But for the sake of this review, I grabbed one… It was okay, not that sweet (which says something since I find most desserts to be too sweet for my taste). I’ve definitely had better–in taste and looks πŸ˜•

As for service… They were friendly and answered our questions w/o an attitude. Came to check on us once (which is fine). 

Btw, this is the kind of place where you order and pay beforehand and they bring the food out to you.
Took a bit longer than I would expect for a couple wraps but I’m assuming that’s due to them making the food as its ordered. Yes, I prefer fresh over speed πŸ™‚
Overall, check out this place for an economically priced meal that’s fresh!!! Can’t beat that combo!!! πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ˜

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Sam Woo (Van Nuysο»Ώ, CA)

asian, Chinese

One of our go-to’s! Not only do you get more authentic Chinese food (vs the Americanized version) AND the service to match!! πŸ˜‚ Just kidding! It’s not that bad. But maybe they’re a little nicer to us because we’ve been regulars for years. If we were to go to another one of their locations, I can almost guarantee we would get that strong, cold Chinese server kind of service–they want you to eat, pay, and get out! πŸ˜³πŸ˜‘ Oh, yes, I have had that experience before at a Sam Woo in Las Vegas, NV. A group of my friends and I had dinner; we were chatting after our meal for a bit when a server came over with the bill, threw it on the table, and said “You pay! You pay now!!” πŸ˜’ Yep… (sigh)…

Anyhow, that’s not the case anymore and that was the only time–which occurred at the Vegas location where they were  generally cold and unfriendly anyhow πŸ˜‘

Back to the Sam Woo located in the San Fernando Valley in SoCal…

I’ve tried a good variety of dishes there but since having gone w/ Eli, he likes to stick to the things he knows. So, whenever we go there now, there’s not much variety. Two of our usual are the String Beans w/ Minced Pork and the Fish Filet w/ Spicy Salt. 


String Beans – not much to elaborate on… It’s tasty and healthy, period! Even my daughter loves it! I love how it has the perfect crunch to it! 


Fish Filet – I once ordered this on a whim, had an itch to try a different plate. As you might have guessed, Eli was not excited and even went about making a stink face πŸ˜’ The irony?? We’ve had it during our last 5 visits there because Eli asked for it 😳 I’m beginning to get that itch to try something different again. I’ve grown tired of this even though it’s good. 

Service – the servers are awesome! Friendly and personable as an older Chinese man can be πŸ˜‚ 

Interior – they’ve updated the place in the last couple years… Has made such a difference! Not a huge renovation or anything, just upgrades. I feel better and cleaner eating in there πŸ™Š

Overall, this is a MUST if you’re wanting Chinese and w/o the cold service. We’ll always go back… Let’s hope I’m successful in getting a different plate, haha! 

Firehouse Restaurant (Tarzana, CA)

greek


I can’t believe how long it’s taken us to eat here after driving by it so many times!!πŸ˜‘ All this time, we’ve been missing out!! 😫 Oh, well, better late than never! 😊


The interior is suiting and adds to the experience. I love how the chairs and tables are of quality… They’re heavy and sturdy! πŸ‘ I don’t come across that much these days–most tables and chairs all look the same and/or came from Ikea (nothing wrong w/ that, just nice to see something different ☺️). 

What we ordered: hummus w/ pita, fish gyro, Greek salad, and traditional gyro plate. 

All was delish! You won’t be disappointed! 


Hummus & Pita – I wish I could get this kind of hummus and pita at Trader Joe’s, but it’s never the same. Guess we’ll just have to come back sooner rather than later 😜


Fish Gyro (Sandwich) – my dish… All I can say is “YUM!” It’s probably not the first type of gyro ppl would normally order but it caught my eye. Actually, I didn’t know it was going to be battered fish–I was hesitant when server dropped it off since I don’t usually come across good battered fish. Glad this did not disappoint! The batter was pretty good, so good that I wanted to eat the batter and not picking out the fish 😜 The tahini sauce was tasty, too! I always thought I didn’t like tahini sauce but I think it’s just because I haven’t had good tahini πŸ˜πŸ‘


Greek Salad – Eli’s plate included their salad… Pretty typical. I forgot to ask for peperoncini beforehand. 


Traditional Gyro Plate (mix of beef and lamb) – Eli truly enjoyed his food! Even though it’s just fries, he mentioned how good the fries were (that doesn’t usually happen). Of course, the pita was delish! 😁 Eli liked the meats but said the lamb was a bit fatty. 

Service: server was professional and efficient, just not necessarily friendly–just straight to the point and done! Lol! I’d take this over bad service any day. 

Overall, if you couldn’t already tell, we’re definitely going back!! Writing about it now makes me want to go get some hummus! πŸ˜‹

Pho Huynh (El Monte, CA)ο»Ώ

asian, noodles, Pho, Vietnamese

When stepping in, I was expecting for a typical pho setting–white walls, minimal investment into the interior and tables/chairs. To my surprise, it was a couple steps up from that–had the restaurant name by the register on the wall in script writing (ooh, so fancy 😜), tables and chairs were decent, and interior was actually given some thought! 

From that, I assumed the food was going to be a couple steps up from the typical hole-in-the-wall pho places… It was not. It took 1 1/2 steps back 😞 NOOOOOOO! Why???

Ordered – fresh coconut, Spring Rolls, Shrimp Pho, and #2 Combination Pho (steak meat, filet mignon, and brisket). 


Fresh Coconut – tiny, took 10 sips (if that) and it was gone 😣 the meat was too tough for my liking. I prefer the coconuts from a Thai restaurant. 

Shrimp Pho – lacked flavor. There’s usually various spices and bottles of sauces that are on the table to personalize your bowl of pho. I felt I was adding too much and working to hard for it to get to where I wanted–still didn’t end up where I wanted, just settled at a point because I had put in so much already and didn’t want to overload my bowl w/ sodium 😳


#2 Combination Pho – the BF ordered this dish. Says soup was okay. He was expecting the meat to be good (especially after our intense hour of bubble soccer, I digress), but it was disappointing to find out that it was mostly too fatty for his liking. Nothing special here for him.

Spring Rolls (no pic 😫) – wasn’t tasty, tasted like nothing (kind of how I would image air to taste like). Even the mix of peanut sauce and chili paste didn’t do much. Ate only 1 of the 3 rolls πŸ˜’

Service – was okay, maybe a tad less than okay; comparable to other pho places. 

Overall… No, we won’t be coming back πŸ™ One can get better tasting food w/ the same service elsewhere, around the same amount of money. 

Mon Ramen (Woodland Hills, CA)

japanese, noodles, ramen, sushi

Hmm… I was hoping for at least a minimum from interior and food πŸ˜”

Went on a warm day and upon stepping in, it was already stuffy due to the cooking–needs better ventilation. And it’s kind of plain and blah inside. Missing decor to personalize the place πŸ˜‘ More effort would be good.


As for the food, got their Spicy Tan Tan Men combo’ed w/ Spicy Tuna Roll. The BF got the Miso Chashu Ramen. 

Spicy Tuna Roll – um, they weren’t shaped as rolls; think they might have been training somebody or were having technical difficulties…? Had a couple friends who mentioned they could’ve done a better job at home (not pro chefs). And a few gave those glances as to say “Huh?? Hmm… Okay, then…” 😐


Spicy Tan Tan Men – the broth was not as thick as I prefer but that’s my own preference. Broth flavoring could be more flavorful. Had to add soy sauce to it. The presentation wasn’t that nice, unfortunately πŸ˜•


Miso Chashu Ramen – the BF said it was good. It had more flavor than the Tan Tan Men but looked less appetizing than my ramen 😳

Overall, I won’t be coming back here anytime soon (if at all). I always hope for tasty dishes w/ nice interior decor (adds to the experience); and this place did not match either criteria 😞 With the availability of other ramen houses that are more pleasant to sit in, and where the dishes are enjoyable and tasty; this place isn’t worth the price–prices are in the same range as the better ones.