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! 😀


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!! 😀


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!

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Kikis Japanese Casual Dining (Denver, CO)

asian, japanese, noodles

Came here on a recommendation of a fellow foodie. 

I don’t really know what I was expecting since I saw that it didn’t have as great of a review as I would’ve thought, considering it came highly recommended. But I know that sometimes the ratings don’t really match how I ultimately feel about a place – positive or negative. 

It’s a cozy little eatery. Wish there were more images to get an idea of how some dishes are. Coming from a big metro area (LA) w/ a wide variety of noodles (that’s what I was craving), I was slightly concerned that I was going to be disappointed. Fortunately, the BF and I were not! Yay!!

I ordered the TEMPURA UDON. If you like tempura and you like udon, you will definitely enjoy this dish! The broth and noodles were on point; and the shrimp and veggie tempura batter and sauce were terrific! The tempura was much better than many others I’ve had in LA – that’s sad to me :-/


The BF ordered the BEEF CHA-PU-RU. It’s a mix of some veggies, slices of beef, and rice. It’s diff than what he’s used to but said it was okay (as are most dishes w/ him -_-) lol! 


So, w/ this restaurant, don’t let the rating fool ya! And check out their drink menu! 

ShopHouse Kitchen (Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, CA)

asian, healthy

Wish I had a better experience here. Seemed like a good concept. Unfortunately, the taste didn’t match the inviting concept–the food didn’t taste as good as the place looked :-/

Got their salad bowl w/ all the sauces and even added my own fixings… STILL tasted not good :-/ On top of that, my friend got their mango parfait dessert and that was a couple dollars down the trash–it didn’t have any flavor… What is going on here??

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I hope the other locations are better considering there are multiple locations o_O

On the upside, the staff are friendly and helpful!

With LA exploding w/ plenty of tasty eateries, I won’t be spending my hard earned money here again.

Pot on Fire (Chino, CA)

asian, noodles, soup

Went w/ a group of friends. Upon stepping in, it was obvious it’s a popular place even considering it’s still in its infancy. The shopping center it’s located in is pretty big so it felt like I was searching for a Pokemon 😜 (I don’t even play but have been in a group of hardcore players, I digress 😳 HAHA).
They have an extensive drink menu and they encourage you to customize to you liking (i.e. lessen or increase sweetener, add boba, etc). Customization is always nice 🙂 I got a green tea with boba, unsweetened, thank you! 😁
We ordered some apps–fried chick filet, takoyaki, mini fried tofu, and popcorn chicken (my fave out of the 4). 


As for the main course, I got the Thai inspired hot pot–similar to tom yum soup in Thai cuisine. I’m used to having intense flavors so I asked for additional sauces to intensify the base 😄 My friend got their kimchi hot pot–HIGHLY RECOMMEND!! It wasn’t too spicy at all! Good for those who aren’t a fan of spicy flavors but enjoy kimchi 👍 


As a note, each hot pot can be shared by at least 2 ppl–even better! 🙈👯

It’s Boba Time Cafe (Canoga Park, CA)

Cafe

It’s Boba Time Cafe is located in the Westfield Topanga Mall–I’ve passed it numerous times since they opened (less than a year, if I’m not mistaken) and have always wanted to go in. The interior set-up and color scheme is inviting! (Their designer/decorator accomplished the job!)

Lately, I haven’t been having much boba drinks even though I love it–last few times weren’t all that great and I suppose that just kind of turned me off… until now!

This place is DELISH!!!!

I was so excited to taste it, and then after tasting the awesomeness of it, I forgot to take a picture before I inhaled it, haha!

MY VANILLA SHAKE W/ BOBA (EMPTY) :/

Vanilla Shake with Boba (Empty)

Lately, I’ve been on this kick with shakes… mmm… the creaminess sweetness. Now, having boba added to it… pffffft(!!), no friggin brainer! I saw on their menu that they also offer kale smoothies, got to try that next visit! Hopefully it’s as good, if not better, than the shake I had today. On top of getting a healthier smoothie, I can get boba added to it?? That will be my go-to drink! I’ll even drive out of my way (slightly, haha) and search for parking JUST to get that! 

I realized something right now… I’m publicly fantasizing about a green smoothie with boba, hahaha! 

As I was trying to say… yes, the vanilla shake boba is a must! Made with real ice cream! Not that “healthy” junk 😛

ELI’S CHOICE OF BEVERAGE, TARO SLUSH W/ BOBA…

Taro Slush with Boba

As you can see, I was close to taking another empty cup pic, haha. 

Rating from Eli–“it’s okay.” He still prefers another boba place we go to in Van Nuys (review will be coming soon). Even though his drink was smooth–no chunky ice pieces–and started off tasty; half-way through, the taste got bland. Um… that’s not cool and kind of sucks :/ That’s too bad. It looked like it was good. I guess that’s why it took him as long as it did for him to finish… I was wondering about that while we were there. But I just thought it was because he was playing with his new Samsung Note 4…

Eli Playing with His New Samsung Note 4

Adults and our toys 🙂

CONCLUSION

I’ll definitely be going back to try other flavors (kale smoothie!!) and avoiding the taro slush. Will also see how their taro milk tea tastes–I’m assuming it’ll be good… based off of my vanilla shake experience, even though the two are completely unrelated to one another, haha.

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Little Siam Restaurant (West Hills, CA)

Thai

Eli and I first started going to Little Siam about a year ago. And now that we live way closer, we’ve been going just a tad more often. For some reason, unknown to me exactly, Eli really likes that place. To me, it’s another typical average Thai restaurant–granted, it does have a nicer atmosphere than some “hole-in-the-wall.” It feels pretty welcoming and homey, actually. So, maybe it’s for that reason that Eli enjoys going there 🙂

I do have to say that this Pad Thai was pretty yummy–not overly sweet, with the perfect combination of sweet and savory… mmm… thinking about it now is making my mouth water, haha! So, yes, I would highly recommend this dish when you go–it is definitely a must-have!

This one… WOW! This was so DELISH!!! I love grilled pork (as I’m sure 75% of the people do!), BUT (!!) what I love even more than just this grilled pork is having this grilled pork with the spicy lime sauce that it comes with!!! **Excuse me as I wipe up my drool** This sauce definitely COMPLETES this dish in the Jerry Maguire kind of way! If you’ve never been to this place, let this be one of your first dishes, please! And then let me know how much you love it ;P

At the close of our meal, we got fortune cookies… to me, it’s kind of odd since it’s a Thai restaurant, not Chinese. But I can understand them doing so since it’s such an “Asian” thing to do… even though Chinese and Thailand are completely different. Either way, I’m good with it… I get a little bit of sweetness at the end of a savory meal–that’s how my brain knows it’s the end of a meal.

I have to say, this fortune knows me pretty well, HAHA!! :p

Anywho… please do check out this restaurant because not only is it a comfy atmosphere and the food is pretty good, but the service is terrific! 🙂 Let me know what you think 🙂

California Roll & Sushi Eatery Review

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This review is based off of two trips… unfortunately, I never got a record (pictures) of our initial visit to California Roll & Sushi (located in Woodland Hills, CA).

On this particular night, Eli and I had gone to the gym for a spin class (which, btw, kicked Eli’s butt like it did me the week prior, haha). We didn’t want anything too heavy or too filling since it was getting towards the later side of the evening. I had actually wanted to go to Bistro Ka for happy hour, but after looking it up online, their happy hour was already over… boo (thumbs down)!

So, we settled on California Roll & Sushi since it was reasonably priced and it was pretty good. When we got there… lo and behold (!!), they had happy hour that evening till close, YAY!!!

We sat, I ordered four rolls off their happy hour menu and we also decided to indulge in some adult alcoholic beverages–Sapporo for him and hot sake for me =D

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Rainbow Roll – eh, it was okay… nothing exciting or special compared to other sushi eateries.

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Spicy Tuna Tempura Roll – to me, this one was more on the bland side and was just okay as well (Rainbow Roll rakes above this one); but this was one of Eli’s favorite this trip around.

 

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Caterpillar Roll – this one was not bad… I would rank this above the Rainbow Roll. Eli really enjoyed this one–he loves avocado and the sauce (sorry, don’t know what it is–shame on me!).

 

IMG_0584_FotorSalmon Skin Roll – I was really looking forward to this one when I saw it on the menu.I have had salmon skin salads at other sushi eateries and it is so DELICIOUS!! So, to have seen this in roll form, you can say that I was pretty EXCITED… unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my hopes and expectations… (sigh). Eli didn’t care for it at all–it was completely bland to him. If he says it’s bland, that’s pretty bad. As you have probably guessed, this ranked number 4 between all the rolls for this night… and it’s safe to say that we’ll probably never order this roll ever again.

As for the drinks, they did their job and was tasty… I don’t think one can go too wrong and those kind of drinks though–no mixing involved.

Even though this night’s dinner was ultimately “just okay,” we would still go back when we want something light to eat and don’t want to spend too much dollars =) I am definitely interested in trying their other rolls =)

 

Bistro Ka Initial Review

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Eli and I visited Bistro Ka at the Topanga Mall in Woodland Hills last week. We had just gone to the gym and wanted something not so heavy. Decided to head over to the mall food court since they have a good variety of dining options–keep in mind, they don’t have the staple mall food you might be thinking about (ie McDonald’s, Cinnabon, etc). They have sushi, gourmet salads and sandwiches, Korean BBQ… just to name a few.

But we didn’t even make it over to the food court. We ran into one of the Japanese restaurants there–always passed by it but never tried it before. I saw the sushi happy hour sign, so I was immediately drawn to it–usually, by the time we’re there, happy hour has already passed.

$4, $5, and $6 rolls?? Pfffft!!! Get me a seat!!! Haha!

We ended up ordering 3 rolls and Eli got a salmon teriyaki bento box. Unfortunately, I don’t remember all the names of the sushi I got… I know, lame. But whatever I did get, they were pretty tasty; and so was Eli’s food! So, I think it would be safe to say that you’ll probably end up with tasty food rather than not if you decide to check out this place.

 

Oh, and their ginger was pretty good, too! I mention that because I love getting extra ginger and there has been some BAD ginger… yuck! Fortunately, Bistro Ka passed for ginger, haha!

We’ll definitely be heading back there for more specials and their happy hour! And they have a kid’s combo as well… Sophia (my 7-year-old) isn’t very much into sushi but they have chicken options =) I need to break her into it! Can’t be having a kid who doesn’t like sushi!!