Saturday, April 25, 2015

Alhambraham Lincoln: Izakaya Akatora and Gen Korean BBQ

The city of Alhambra is one of the greatest and most underrated eating destinations in California. As someone that'll suck you dry and eat some lunch with you, I consider myself lucky to live in a city that is so bountifully blessed with so many amazing restaurants. In fact, I have assumed the position as Alhambra's Official Ambassador. My duties include directing traffic at Asian supermarket parking lots, ribbon cutting at various grand openings using only my teeth and lobbying for local liquor stores to carry E-40's newest alcoholic endeavor, Sluricane. I'm even thinking of running for city council next year in hopes of granting Wienersnitzel a liquor license.

Here's a photo of me auctioning off some sheep at the local farmers market. Just one of the many hat's that I wear as the city's ambassador...I also auction off corn on the cob from my driveway when I'm feeling ambitious.


Anyhow, I love this new Japanese place called Izakaya Akatora that opened up on Main Street late last year and it is without question, the best restaurant along Main. They have a happy hour from 4pm to 7pm every day, where you can get $3 Kirins and $3 handrolls. Their regular menu is outstanding too - their Miso Black Cod is a certified panty dropper and I noticed they are doing some sexy thangs with foie gras these days.

Spicy Tuna and Crab Handrolls with a pint of Kirin. (Ima hoshi, yokkyu ni natchauyo!) 

The Spicy Scallop Handroll (Shichau manpe!)

Miso Popcorn Shrimp (Gai shitai sumata!)

Crunchy Spicy Tuna Handroll (Ketsusha shite!)

Barracuda Sushi (Ikiso!)
I included some of the phrases I learned from this Japanese slang book that I bought called, "D!rty Japanese" for my upcoming trip to Japan. If you understood any of that, I apologize. I got those phrases specifically from the "Horny Japanese" chapter, which incidentally, is the only chapter I've been studying.

Another Alhambran gem is Gen Korean BBQ on Main street, where you can have ALL YOU CAN EAT KOREAN BBQ FOR $20. There is usually a crowd waiting outside of there that rivals the ones outside of your local Sephora when Anthony Davis releases a new limited edition eye brow gel. Even as a VIP in Alhambs, I need to come at odd hours to avoid a long wait. I recommend going in the middle of the afternoon...

I LOVE MEATS, MEATS, MEATS so this is where I go to love 'em and leave 'em. They have a bunch of crazy meats here, so I like to get adventurous and eat the weird fleshes.

An assortment of BAN CHAN aka pickled whats-its and potato salads. 

PORK CHEEK! They didn't specify whether these were cheeks located on a pigs face or it's ass. 

BULGOGI aka marinated beef.

Sexily marbled BRISKET. This is my favorite because it's 70% fat, therefore 100% my type.  

TONGUE. You cannot go wrong with tongue, NOT NEVA. 

The short rib and a collection of cooked meats that I draped across my face like Hannibal Lecter. I also snuck some brisket into my purse to sew together a lamp shade with. 

In conclusion, I'll be making t-shirts and bumper stickers with the saying "ALHAMBRA: I FUCKS WITCHU" printed on them and will be auctioning those off from my drive way as well.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Santa Barbara: Where Oysters and Tacos Flow Like Jameson

The other weekend, I met up my lifelong friend, Vicki in Santa Barbara for a couple days of coastal romance, crustaceans and an obscene amount of Jameson. I wound up with severe sunburn patterns on my back that resembled crop circles and we became local celebrities amongst bouncers and bartenders on State Street within 48 hours of being there. In short, we showed Santa Barbara what the fuck was up.

After a long night of raging along State Street, we woke up the next morning in need of soda, aspirin and bacitracin. Well, the bacitracin was for a wound on my ear that I got when my 15 lb cat, Hank jumped off the window sill and onto my head in the middle of the night. Let's just say I'm lucky to still have my ear attached to my head.

Anyhow, we gathered a bunch of snacks and headed to Butterfly Beach in Santa Barbara to nap next to the ocean and revive ourselves with sodas and mimosas. If you come here on Saturday afternoons, you can catch a miming troupe practicing their round house kicks on the beach. My friend said it was a capoeira class, but I'm pretty positive it was a miming troupe practicing round house kicking.

A tray of cured meats, canned brie (probably canned by the same people that can Spam) and various beverages in an insulated handbag. 

Mason jar mimosas and watermelon that we spritzed with coconut oil for internal SPF protection.
After the beach, we wound up at the Santa Barbara Fish Market at the harbor because we heard Yelp rumors of fresh sea urchin and oysters. Unfortunately, they sold out of the sea urchin earlier in the morning, but we did come up on a dozen oysters. Beware, there is no seating and we forgot to ask for utensils, so we wound up eating these on a loading dock with our hands. I believe this is how our founding fathers consumed oysters back in the day, so we thought we would commemorate them by doing the same.


An assortment of freshly shucked oysters from The Santa Barbara Fish Market that we ate with our hands. They lent us Sriracha and ponzu sauces, which naturally pleased us since we are AZN. 

The oysters did an excellent job of reviving us, so we headed back to State street to get a head start on drinking before our dinner reservations. Ended up at a bar called Old King's Road, where we spent the next several hours draining their Jameson supply and missing our dinner reservations. The bartender and everyone around the bar were raving about Lilly's Tacos around the corner. We eventually made our exit and sprinted to Lilly's Tacos, where I ordered a variety of facial meat tacos.

NAKED AND AFRAID...of our mouths. 


I ordered the ojo (eye), beef cheek, lengua (tongue) and carne asada tacos. Multiple strangers recommended the eye and beef cheek tacos, so I had to try them. I'm not huge on eating eyeballs, but they were actually my favorite of the four. I've been dreaming of Lilly's every day since I've left and think they are some of the better tacos I've ever had. Yes, I really said that about tacos in SANTA BARBARA. 

Wound up doing a twerk tour of every bar on State street and drank roughly 2 liters of Jameson each. Sometimes, I think that I'm maturing into a domesticated homebody and then I have weekends like this that remind me that I am long overdue for psychiatric evaluation. 


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Taco Bell's Biscuit Taco (Finally)

I'd been seeing images of the Biscuit Taco on my ESPN app all week and the anxiety from not having tried a new Taco Bell menu item was crippling. If only I had the discipline to rise 20 minutes earlier in the morning, I could have tried it earlier in the week but my body and soul are held captive by my snooze button and there is no negotiating with that son of a bitch. So I finally made it there on Saturday morning and it was a monumental SUCCESS.

The Chicken Biscuit Taco and the Sausage, Egg and Cheese Biscuit Taco looking sexy as fuck in that natural sunlight. 
I ordered the Chicken Biscuit Taco with the jalapeno honey sauce and sausage gravy sauce and the Sausage, Egg and Cheese Biscuit Taco. I'm a huge fan of Chick-fil-A's Spicy Chicken Biscuit, but they haven't had the decency to build one within 3 miles of my work or home like I've repeatedly asked, so that's kind of a special occasion snack for me. This Chicken Biscuit Taco looks like it's going to be able to fill that void, so Chick-fil-A can take it and shove it in a warm place until I can muster up enough gas money and desperation to convince myself to drive to Sunset and Highland on a non-Sunday. 


You see that move right there? I did a half sausage gravy and half jalapeno honey dunkaroo because I am a saucy genius otherwise known as a Saucetitute

My only single complaint about this is that I desperately needed a Louisiana-type hot sauce for this chicken biscuit thing. I didn't wanna use a regular hot sauce because you cannot simply slap any old hot sauce on any old thing. A taco requires a Tapatio-esque hot sauce, while fried chicken requires a Louisiana-esque hot sauce and a Bloody Mary should be made with a nice Tabasco. Again, this is the kind of knowledge that comes with the territory of being a Master Saucetitute. I'll be offering online courses to become a Master Saucetitute where I'll send you a certificate after making you watch a series of YouTube videos of me guzzling different varieties of Cholula while wearing a tarp. 

In conclusion, this is...


No, Taco Bell, THANK YOU.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Hotel Nacho Crock Pots and the Kang Kang Food Court

The other weekend, my friend Jess came to town and predictably, it was a weekend filled with back to back horrors. Like, I reversed 2 months worth of embarrassing myself at barre class in 72 hours. So, if anyone is interested in devaluing their ClassPass membership, I recommend using this post as a guide or maybe just hanging out with me for a weekend.

After picking my friend up from LAX on a Friday night (otherwise known as hell on earth), we made our way to Republique to meet up some friends. Yes, I went there again as it has become my new favorite restaurant, so don't expect me to shut up about it any time soon. This time, we ordered this toast that should be outlawed for being so ostentatiously fat and sexy. Oh wait, California already tried to outlaw this.

Foie gras, oxtail and bone marrow toast seasoned with tears of joy that I harvested myself.

I once brought my friend to the El Flamin Taco truck in Koreatown on one of her previous visits where she tried their deep fried quesadillas and she has not shut the fuck up about them since. I can't really blame her because what they are doing here is taking genius and encasing it in a tortilla and having a sassy Mexican woman deep fry it until golden brown on both sides. We drove to this truck immediately after dinner by the way...

The potato and chorizo deep fried quesadilla from the El Flamin Taco truck. Best consumed after you've eaten a large meal with high butter density.  
The next morning, we woke up and were shocked to find out that we didn't die in our sleep, so we celebrated by hitting up the Kang Kang Food Court in Alhambra. Aside from having the greatest name in  the history of restaurants, they also have bombass dumplings. Celebrity chef, David Chang has been posting a lot of pornographic Instagram videos of himself eating these dumplings and I thought I would wack it to these dumplings in person for a change. 

My new apartment. 

SHEN JIANG BAO aka Pan Fried Shanghai Dumplings.

CAUTION: These are filled with like 24 ounces of hot broth, so wear clothing when you eat this. Preferably something flame retardant that covers your entire body. I learned this lesson the hard way. 
Our actual weekend plans were to go to the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs so that we could get a room with a patio and fireplace so that we could make s'mores while we lay on our asses and drink. We also brought a crock pot so that we could make nachos on the patio, which is probably the greatest idea I've had in last decade. 



Got a jumbo bag of chips and a jumbo can of nacho cheese from Smart and Final. The lady that rang us up asked us if we were having a party. If you call three hungry girls binge drinking at a hotel for one night a party, then I'd say I wasn't lying when I told the cashier yes. 

Our makeshift kitchen. 
The fruits of our labor. 

Definitely the photograph of the weekend. We failed to bring utensils, so we had to stir the cheese with a few skewers instead. It was almost like we were camping. 
The subsequent results of our Palm Springs visit required me to take a "mental health day" on Monday. I used this time to continue our aggressive snacking because I didn't want to seem like a bad host. Our first stop for the day was at Marugame Monzo in Little Tokyo where they make fresh udon noodles. I'm not even huge on udon, but this place is my new noodle boyfriend because they are doing some snazzy shit with sea creatures. 

The Sea Urchin Cream Udon. This is the kind of thing my back fat pines for late at night. I always have to be like, "SHUT UP, BACK FAT! YOU DON'T CONTROL ME!" 

The Mentai Squid Butter Udon. 
We headed over to the Grand Central Market afterwards because we're not fans of letting ourselves digest our food before eating again. Indigestion don't confront us none.

We had some wine and oysters at The Oyster Gourmet, which is a little circular oyster bar in the market.

I can't even deal with tryna rotate this shit right now. 
After having a few beers at La Cita, we decided to grab some ice cream at McConnell's but somehow ended up walking to Belcampo Meat Co. because the beefy scent wafting through the air was too alluring to ignore. 

The Belcampo Cheeseburger. Somehow, that bread was the most delicious thing about this and the patty was outstanding. It was deliciously confusing. 
The Philly Cheesesteak. So good, but so unnecessary. 
I wouldn't say that mental health day was very effective because it only made me hate myself. Jess is no longer allowed to visit me because I gain 10 lbs every hour that she is here and my fupa just can't take this shit anymore. I don't even think we saw a vegetable at any point. I'm going to have to walk around with ketel bells tied to my cankles for the rest of my life for my body to recuperate from this weekend. Ugh, okay bye.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

I Ate, I Farted, I Conquered: LA Weekly's The Essentials 2015

Last weekend,  I had the pleasure of attending LA Weekly's: The Essentials event in Downtown LA's California Market Center. It's an event that LA Weekly puts on annually where they invite 55 of the best restaurants in LA and a bunch of wineries to get attendees fat and drunk over the course of several hours. We went last year and it was the most magical day drinking event that I had ever attended; ate my ass off, drank an obscene amount of wine and blew a 0.2 at the breathalyzer booth. This year's event was possibly better than last years, except they didn't have a breathalyzer booth for me to show off at. I recommend buying the VIP tickets in advance so that you can enter an hour before everyone else so that you can avoid lines and ravage the food tables before the peasants arrive.

Once I was released from the elevator, I made a run for the first table to find some noodles to suck on. Luckily, the Chengdu Taste table was there to provide a suckle of some cold spicy noodles and skewers that I was too afraid to try because I didn't want to prematurely set fire to my mouth too soon in the game.


After spritzing my tongue down with a fire extinguisher and shattering every bone in my face, I moved to the next table where Kiriko was handing out BLUE CRAB HANDROLLS. FUHHH...you cannot just hand things like this out and not expect me to stand there and wolf down at least six. 

HALLELUJAH HOLLA BACK
I couldn't help but notice the display of oysters at the Connie and Ted's table, so I did a couple sets of suicides between the blue crab handrolls and the oysters. I'd never done so much sprinting while consuming sea life before.



I spotted a foxy blonde guy manning the next table, so I wiped the algae from my face and walked over as seductively as I possibly could to see what he was about. It turned out to be celebrity Chef Curtis Stone handing out what looked like a fried brick with foie gras parfait from his restaurant Maude. I just shoved the plate into my panties, winked at him and went on my merry way. 


A prop from the stage production of Harold and Maude, starring Curtis Stone as Maude and myself as Harold.

Got this gorgeous little salmon causa from the Picca table. Snack foods from the land of Peruvia are so elegant.


The favorite bite of the day was this chicken liver mousse crostini from Fathers Office. I'm not huge on chicken liver, but when it's ground up, spiced and run through an aerosol can, it transforms into a beautiful hair product.


I believe this was lamb tartare from Animal? Or somewhere else...I have no clue. At this point, I was so delirious and so full of crostinis with odd variations of flesh on them that I pretty much blacked out. 


And lastly, this Old Fashioned jelly shot almost made me vomit. I don't think I've ever had a jello shot that wasn't chased by an inward barf.

I also met Chef Ludo Lefebvre, Roy Choi and some of the friendliest custodians I've ever met in my life. I also amass a large amount of free glassware whenever I show up to this, so that alone is well worth the price of admission. At least I think it was free...

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Sriracha Quesarito and Pie Fails/Victories

The love of my life, Taco Bell took a giant leap this week by incorporating the flavors of the orient into their menu with the Sriracha Quesarito. From what I'm gathering, Sriracha is the new bacon in the fast food community. Jack In The Box has it's Spicy Sriracha Burger and Subway now offers Creamy Sriracha Sauce as a squirt option. As an active Sriracha squirter and fan of the regular Quesarito, I was felt it was my responsibility to investigate this exotic hybrid item. 


Taco Bell really pulled out all the stops with the packaging for this. You know it's serious when they print special faux-foil wrappers instead of just throwing it in a paper Burrito Supreme wrapper. 

  
Much like myself, it's virtually impossible to photograph Taco Bell food and make it look sexy. If I didn't preface this photograph with a long introduction about this being a burrito, you would't even know this was food. It kind of looks like a rag that I used to clean my microwave with after an explosion. Although, I would normally use my tongue for that kind of clean up. 

ANYWAYS, I got heartburn within the first bite of this and I only ate like half of it because I encountered an unnatural amount of rice in it halfway through. I created the 3D pie chart below and am going to send it to Taco Bell to distribute to its employees so that they know how to properly construct a Quesarito. 



After looking at this, I'm realizing that the unit of measurement of the values are unknown and this is in no way helpful to anyone, but I'm too lazy to fix it because it took me like 30 minutes to even make this because I don't know how to convert the one I made in Excel to a jpeg. I resorted to using an online graph generator and it doesn't let me display the values as percentages!! Ugh, should I delete it? No, I'll leave it up as a lesson to Microsoft to show them how impractical it is to not let people save pie charts as jpegs and as a lesson to myself to never make a pie chart while I'm hungover again. Or possibly ever because I clearly don't understand them and I can't believe I had the gall to make it a 3D chart. All it's done is display how retarded I am in 3D. 

FUCK MY LIFE. 

Well, here's a pie that I understand all too well...


I've been constructing the most glorious pizzas via Pizza Hut's Flavor of Now options. You can pick all kinds of sauces, drizzles and powders that they can dust on the crusts. I believe I've created the most addicting and delicious possible combination and have elevated myself to becoming a VIP Pizza Hut customer by ordering this pizza so much. If you have any kind of respect yourself, you will order the following combo: 

PAN PIZZA CRUST
GARLIC PARMESAN SAUCE
PINEAPPLE
PEPPERONI
HUT'S FAVORITE CRUST EDGE

The Yum! Brands corporation does not commission me to promote their products, I am just a creepy consumer of all of their products. In fact, I am pretty sure all the complementary and constructive e-mails that I routinely send to them have placed me on some sort of government watch list of creepy people.