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??

IMG_4857IMG_4858

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.

Advertisements

The Poké Spot (Rowland Heights, CA)

Hawaiian, healthy, poke, seafood

Though this was a bit a way’s from my home, taking a bite out of the poké burrito made me forget about the distance! 😂 I know it’s going to sounddramatic but there was an explosion of flavor and freshness simultaneously partying in my mouth, HAHA!! (Note: not sure if the burrito is on their menu yet.)

This place also have their own house sauce–DEFINITE MUST HAVE!! What’s cool w/ this joint versus others is that they have pre-marinated tuna and salmon in a sauce–delish. That’s another plus… Healthy choices of sauces to flavorize your poké to your desire!

Yes, it gets better! 

Duane (sp?), the owner, is AWESOME, friendly, personable, open to customers’ comments/suggestions (I would think this is commonplace, but it’s not), professional, and I can tell he’s a hustler (hardworking) 😁 With a demeanor/attitude like that for a boss, you know it’ll trickle down and we, the customers, will get awesome service along w/ our yummy food!! 👏

Seriously, what more can you friggin’ ask for??? 😁

Oh… Dessert! Does it end?? Thankfully not! Hehe! 😆 I guess it could also be a “snack” if you weren’t looking to eat a meal of Poké–but that’d be ree-donk-culous! 😜

DO. NOT. LEAVE. THIS. PLACE. WITHOUT. TASTING. THE. ACAI. BOWL!! 

Did I make myself clear? 😋
Acai bowl – not too sweet, just perfect! 

That’s it… I swear! Just go and you’ll be glad you did!! 😄

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 🤓
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 😕

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 🙂
Overall, check out this place for an economically priced meal that’s fresh!!! Can’t beat that combo!!! 😁👍😍

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. 

Skynny Kitchen (North Hollywood, CA)

Cafe

Purchased a Groupon for this place. 

They’ve been open for 2 years 😑 I just learned about this place a month ago… From Groupon, haha! 

As soon as we walked in, I hoped that the food wouldn’t suck. I say that because the interior was nicely set-up–modern, hipster, trendy. 

Upon looking at the menu, one can tell that it’s geared more towards healthy lifestyles. I was relieved (phew!) 😁 Let’s admit that it’s always easier to make healthy food choices when placed in a healthier setting 😁

Eli and I both eyed the Turkey Meatball Sliders; thus, we shared… ⤵️

 
Eli really liked it but I felt that it was just okay–nothing special. The pickle was good, though! 😊 Reminded me of Clausen pickles. 

ELI’S DISH:

Smoky BBQ Bison Burger ⤵️ 

 

Eli thought it was too sweet for his taste–he guesses it’s the BBQ sauce (sounds right). Next time, he’s going to try the regular Bison Burger–he’s confident it’ll be right up his alley 😊 I had the pickle, hehe… 

Oh, there was mushroom in Eli’s burger, which he quickly discarded–no mushrooms for Eli. 

MY DISH:

Arugula Salad ⤵️

 

From the description on the menu and what got to our table, didn’t quite match what I had imagined… hmm… At that point, I was afraid that I was going to be disappointed. FORTUNATELY, I was not!!! YAY!!! 

I know it looks simple, but it’s tasty! Contents included: arugula (as you could’ve guessed 😜), soft goat cheese, onion, tomato, and dried cranberries. I squeezed all the lemon slices and 1/2 of the olive oil that came with it. 

Again, it was so simple but it was so good–filling but not heavy (my fave combination)! I’m definitely going to replicate it for home meals! 😁👍

OVERALL

We will DEFINITELY be returning and trying other dishes. Oh, they also had smoothies, coffee, beer (yes, you read that correctly), and the usual restaurant drinks.

Check out the video… 

 Skynny Kitchen video snippet

Catch you guys at our next outing! 😙 

Zanos Pizza Kitchen (Woodland Hills, CA)

Italian

Zanos is a locally owned eatery that we’ve already visited a good number of times… enough for the owner (sweet lady whom I forgot her name) to deem us as one of her “regulars” and we kind of have a “usual table”… yeah, we’re cool like that 😛

We visited last week and got…

MY DISH…

Greek Salad

I’ve gained a slight amount of fat over the holidays and have made a conscious effort to eat healthier and in human size proportions, haha. I love salad, but ONLY when it’s chopped and tossed. I dislike salads that are just piled with various ingredients and I’m supposed to mix it on the same dish/bowl that I’m to eat out of? No, thanks… I can always foresee a mess and parts of my lunch/dinner on the table. 

I digress.

As soon as I took my first bite of this salad, two thoughts came to mind–first, I instantly recalled how I had one of their salads once before and wondered why I haven’t ordered another salad since; and second, this salad is practically perfect (if there were such a thing). A very good balance of romaine, feta, some kind of bean (haha, red, I think), onions, olives, and Balsamic dressing… oh, and the requested peperonicinis 😀 I LOVE me some peperonicinis, I can eat those out of the jar! 

ELI’S DISH…

Pepperoni Pizza

Okay, so, this one is pretty self-explanatory 🙂 One of America’s household food staples, pepperoni pizza! 

Eli’s report on it–he thinks it’s just okay. He says he’s had better; not a fan of the crust. This is thee only place I’ve seen him NOT finish the crust–very unusual… pizza is one of his top three food choices. 

I, on the other hand, really enjoyed this pizza… more than 95% of others I have tasted… enough to think that I don’t like pizza. After having a slice of this (minus the pepperoni, I don’t eat beef), I’m thinking that I DO like pizza, just haven’t had much of the good ones… apparently. What did it for me was that it wasn’t bland–there was flavor other than just tomato sauce and throwing cheese on there. And yes, it does taste as good as that picture depicts!

CONCLUSION

Zanos is a no-brainer for us! Definitely a place we’ll go over and over again! Not only is the food good, but the service is phenomenally friendly and warm–and not that fake kind. Sometimes, it feels like we’ve been transported to a locally-owned eatery in a quaint, neighborly town where everybody knows one another–the likes of the Andy Griffith Show.

If you enjoy our little outings around Los Angeles, please comment and subscribe! 🙂

Subscribe to Crystal & Eli Eats by Email

Angel City Cafe Initial Review

Uncategorized

Omigoodness!! I dislike it when it happens… I had already written part of this post and, poof, it’s gone!! (Sigh…) Due to my own negligence and lack of understanding of WordPress… oh, well… live and learn…

One night, got home a bit later into the evening after a photo shoot and I was pretty hungry but didn’t want to have anything too filling and heavy. Picked up Eli and headed to Angel City Cafe (literally less than a mile from our place). I used Yelp to help me find this place and decided whatever caught my attention first and had a pretty decent rating, we’ll just go there–usually, I am so indecisive when it comes to making a decision on eating. But that’s because I don’t eat very often (I follow the intermittent fasting regimen); so when I do eat, I want it to be good! Otherwise, I just “wasted” that meal, if you know what I mean. 

And, by the way, I am completely aware that Yelp is somewhat rigged… I’ve heard from business owners that there’s a fee they can pay to get bad ratings hidden or removed, something along those lines. Either way, they’re able to make their ratings look better than what they truly are… smh… 

Anyways, enough chitchat about Yelp… let’s get to the good stuff!

First off… the BREAD!!!!! I haven’t tasted bread THIS DELICIOUS in a LONG time!! Can’t even remember…

Image

 

It comes to your table so soft and warm and just the right amount of sweetness!! Next to it, is their homemade balsamic vinaigrette based dipping sauce–it was good but too vinegary for me, but Eli LOVED it! I think, altogether, we ended up getting 3 or 4 additional loaves while we were dining! Just thinking about it now makes me want to make my way over there right now just to have some of this bread! 

I didn’t order anything too exciting since I didn’t want anything heavy and have been making more of a conscious effort to avoid meats as much as possible because, in the last month or so, we’ve just been eating so much meat (chicken, turkey, pork) that I feel like my stomach is being weighed down and feeling more tired (which I attribute to my body having to digest and process all the meat intake). I ended up just getting their White Gumbo and 1/2 order of their chopped salad…

Image

I know, so not exciting, haha. The salad wasn’t anything too special but it was tasty–the PERFECT combination of ingredients including the dressing. The gumbo was okay… nothing special and didn’t taste bad. Oh, and the little hardened bread that came with the salad was so good!! Usually, I’m not a fan of those cheese crusted things, but these were delish!! Hmmm… now I’m wondering if I was just really hungry, haha! Cause you know how everything just tastes better when you’re hungry?

Eli went in with the intention of not getting anything heavy and filling either (he’s trying to lose some fat that he’s gained, haha), but I guess he couldn’t resist… 

Image

PASTA PRIMAVERA! So much for light dining, haha!! Actually, in the end, it didn’t turn out too bad for him because he said it wasn’t that big of a portion compared to some other restaurants. That’s another good thing about this place, they don’t serve quantity, they serve quality–I’d rather eat a bit of something delicious rather than a lot of something mediocre. 

Lastly… DESSERT!!

Image

So, we HAD to get this… White Chocolate Bread Pudding. We just HAD to because bread pudding is one of Eli’s most loved desserts. He can’t resist and I have a hard time passing up anything white chocolate–just the perfect dessert for both of us! =)

I thought it was going to be too sweet when it came with that chocolate sauce on the side since white chocolate is usually very sweet. BUT (!!) it was not overly sweet and just thee PERFECT amount of sweetness and portion size! Going by what I’ve written so far, this place sounds pretty close to perfect, haha! Oh, and the dessert had some blueberries in a blueberry sauce as well–didn’t have that syrupy taste either. 

If you haven’t gathered, we’ll DEFINITELY be heading back to this place in the near future!!