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Archive for April, 2011

Dan Sung Sah

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The Skinny:  Dan Sung Sah is a M*A*S*H themed Korean pub where all the furniture is made out of wood and people use worn out utensils that seem like they were used during the Cold War.   The place serves Korean style fried goodies, mystery meats grilled on sticks, free communal soup, and cold Makgeolli (Korean Rice Wine) that comes in a tea kettle.

The Good:  I usually always get the Dalk Dong Jib (Chicken Butt House), Chicken Wings, and Daeji Kalbi (Korean Pork Ribs).  The Dalk Dong Jib are  Chicken Gizzards fried with Garlic Cloves and sprinkled with Jalapenos and crack (MSG).   The stuff is addictive and I always get it when I go to Dan Sung Sah.

The Chicken Wings are not Buffalo style and there is no sticky sweet sauce.  They are lightly breaded, fried to perfection, and maybe sprinkled with some crack as well.  I especially like how the cartilage at the ends of each wing are fried up nicely on their own and become crunchy.

Something new I did try was the sliced grilled Pork Belly that comes with a side of Green Onion Salad.  It was very tasty and unhealthy.

The Bad:  The only Rice they serve comes in a Kimchee Roll with Cheese…..and it’s not good.

How long have you been going there? For over 10 years!

More info:  Yelp | 3317 W 6th St. Los Angeles, CA 90020 | They finally have a menu in English.

– MJ

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Casey’s Irish Bar & Grille

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The Skinny:  Went to an Irish Bar & Grille in Down Town Los Angeles for a quick dinner before a night of heavy boozing at a friend’s birthday.  Casey is a place that has a full bar, pool tables, television sets all over the place, and a menu with actual Irish food.

I got the Shepherd’s Boxty, Irish Pub Fries, and a pint of Bass Pale Ale.

The Good:  Casey’s Shepherd’s Boxty is pretty much like Shepherds Pie, but it is made with ground Lamb, celery, onions, and carrots.  It is served rolled up in a savory Pancake and with some gravy on top.  The dish itself was tasty and the subtle gaminess of the Lamb added some nice depth to the flavors and whatever seasonings they put in it.  The warm pillowy Pancake was nice too, even though it didn’t really taste like anything.

The Bad:    The Irish Pub Fries weren’t bad, but it wasn’t as crispy as I wanted them to be.  Since they were pretty big Potato wedges, I think they weren’t fried long enough and was steamed up from the inside while in the fryer.

Would you come back?  Yeah, I’d like to try the Fish N Chips that cost $16.50.

More Info:  www.caseysirishpub.com | 613 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90017 | (213) 629-2353

MJ


A Small Saturday Night Feast

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The Skinny:  My brother had a small get together over the weekend and served us some food.  From Whole Food Market, he bought Bucheron Montchevre, Mimolette Young, King Island Seal Bay Triple Cream Cheese, and Mt Sterling Smoked Goat Cheddar.   He also got us Scallops, Baby Squid, really sweet Honey Melons, and Prosciutto.

The Good:  Everything was great, especially the King Island Seal Bay Triple Cream Cheese.  It was like really good Brie because it was creamy, gooey, and had just enough saltiness.

The Bad:  The Bucheron Montchevre was a really gamey Goat Cheese and it just wasn’t for me.


The Naked and Famous @ Echoplex (04.09.11)

“Girls Like You” Via

“Youngblood” via

So after failing to see The Naked and Famous the night before, I Saw them on April 9th and had front stage view.  I was actually worried that they wouldn’t be very good live, but they turned out to be just great.

www.thenakedandfamous.com

MJ


El Flamin Taco + Xoia Vietnamese Eats

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The Skinny:  On April 8, 2011, I was suppose to go on a food crawl with some TMF247 people and end the night watching The Naked and Famous perform live at the Echoplex in Echo Park.  However, one by one, people started to drop out and so I ended up going there by myself.

While I was at Echo Park waiting for the show, I hit up El Flamin Taco Truck and Xoia Vietnamese Eats since they were close by.   I usually drive by the El Flamin Taco Truck  when I’m on Alvarado Street and on the way towards the Dodgers Stadium.  It would be my first time eating there that day.  Xoia is a fusion style restaurant that serves up Pho and Vietnamese influenced Street Tacos.

The Good:  The truck that wears “El Flamin” decals proudly all over it’s body, was quite impressive.  It had television sets playing Napoleon Dynamite, a LED lit sign greeting costumers in different languages, a rotating spitfire for their Al Pastor, and a full open salsa bar.  They obviously must be doing something right to have their colorful truck to be pimped out like that.

While I was at El Flamin Taco Truck, I ordered the Buche and Al Pastor tacos, 2 of each.  From the Salsa bar, I added the red sauce and some of the Cilantro Onion mix on all of them.  I definitely liked the Buche because it was clean tasting, had a nice texture, and was flavorful.  The red salsa was nice, but for me  it didn’t really add much to the tacos themselves.   Their hand made fresh tortillas were a first for me, but unfortunately I couldn’t really taste the difference.

At Xoia Eats, I got the 3 Chicharones Tacos combo and Vietnamese Iced Coffee.   The Chicharones Tacos were tasty and the Iced Coffee was Vietnamese style strong.  The red salsa that came on the side was a good palette cleanser.

The Bad:  First off, I’m just not a fan of Al Pastor at the moment.  I just don’t get it or at least I haven’t had some where I understand that “that is what Al Pastor is supposed to taste like!”  Not too long ago, I had some that tasted like Chinese style BBQ Pork, and I liked it.  The first Al Pastor Taco I had at El Flamin was kind of bland, crunchy from a piece of gristle, and greasy.  It reminded me of  Korean Pork Bulgogi that is void of sugar.  However, for some reason the second serving of the Al Pastor had better pieces of meat and it tasted much better than the first.  The grease became greasy in a good way and the marinated pork was tastier.   Weird.

At Xoia Eats, the Chicharones Tacos was disappointing because I was expecting pieces of Crispy Pork in it.  Instead, the Pork seemed to be regular cuts of meat fried up in a pan.  If there was Vietnamese style seasoning on the meat, I didn’t notice it.   The tortilla the Chicharones came bedded on had the texture of thinly sliced re-hydrated stale corn chips and I just wasn’t a fan of it.

The Fail:  So after killing 2 hours of time in Echo Park and waiting in line for 2 more hours for the Naked and Famous show, it turns out my ticket was for the following night.  I did see them the next day, and they didn’t disappoint as a live band.

Would you come back? Yes on both accounts.  I’m sure the taco meats and other items at both locations are worth exploring, especially since I’ll be coming back to The Echo/Echoplex for other shows.

More Info: 

El Flamin Taco Truck:  www.elflamintaco.com | yelp

Xoia Vietnamese Eats:  www.xoiaeats.com | 1801 W Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026 | Cash Only

– MJ


Salami at Claro’s Italian Market

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The Skinny: A cousin of mine gave my brother some mouth melting Salami.

The Good: The thinly sliced Salami was delicious, fatty, salty, and melted away after each chew.  It also looked cool and like something you see underneath a microscope during science class in High School.

The Bad: No clue what it’s called.

Would you eat it again? If I can find it!

More Info: My cousin found the Salami at Claro’s Italian Market.   It’s about 7 bucks a pound and the stuff is imported.  Visit the Claro’s website for store locations.

MJ


Just Winging It BBQ Ribs

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Just Winging It Ribs

I call this stuff  “Winging It Ribs” because I just went with the flow and cooked like a guy with no formal cooking experience or the common sense to research helpful tips.  I made these Ribs over the weekend and prepped it the night before the actual BBQ.

The Meat Tenderizer
A bottle of Dr. Pepper

Before packing on the dry rub, I brushed the ribs with some Dr. Pepper to tenderize them a bit.  I remember seeing it being used on a Diners, Drive-ins and Dives episode where a cook used the soda to marinate his Tri-tip Steak. Initially, I was going to only use dry rub to coat the Ribs….but I decided to use the Dr. at the last moment.

The Dry Rub
1.5 cups of Brown Sugar
1 cup of Dehydrated Garlic Chips
1 cup of Dehydrated Chopped Onions

After mixing all of these ingredients together, using a tablespoon to distribute the rub, I spread the mix onto both sides of a each rack.  I then rubbed the mix into the meat with my bare hands and wrapped each one up like a burrito in tin foil.   Following that I stored them all in my fridge for overnight.

Farmer John’s Ribs From Smart and Final
2 packages of Pork Ribs (each package contained 2 racks.) – cost about 20 bucks each.
2 packages of Baby Back Ribs. (1 rack per package) – cost 10 bucks each

Four hours before BBQ time, I placed the larger racks of tin-foiled Pork Ribs into an oven that was preheated at 350º.  After one hour had passed, I placed the smaller Baby Bag Ribs into the oven and just let them  cook for 3 hours longer.

Winging It Sauce
1 cup of Jim Beam (or Jack Daniels)
1.5 cups of Brown Sugar
1 can of Tomato Sauce
1 whole bottle of a medium size A-1 Sauce
5 spoonfuls of Asian Hot Chili Oil

In a heated pot I got all the alcohol out of the Jim Beam by lighting it on fire like how Beavis and Butthead would.  I used a single match and survived with my eyebrows still intact.  I then added the Tomato Sauce, A-1, Chili Oil, and the 1.5 cups of Brown Sugar into the mix.  On medium high heat and while stirring, I let the sugar in the sauce start to boil up before I took it off the burner.   Unfortunately, I think I made the mistake of not condensing the sauce long enough because when it was time to grill, the sauce didn’t caramelize the way I wanted it to on the ribs.   I probably should have let the sauce simmer longer because it was  too watery.

On The Grill

On a hot (gas powered) grill, I placed the meatier side of each rack on top first just to burn off  any excess wet rub.  Since the Ribs were steaming in it’s own juices underneath the foil, the dry rub and fat drippings grouped up together by the bulk.  As that happened, I painted the bone side up of each rack with my special sauce, flipped them over and did the same on the other side   Through out the process, I would flip the ribs over a few times and add more sauce in order to get the right color.  However, like I mentioned up above, I didn’t get the exact channelization I wanted…..but the ribs still came out succulent and flavorful.

The Good: The ribs were tasty, sweet, and fall-off-the-bone tender.

The Bad: The sauce didn’t caramelize the way I wanted it to on the grill and the amount of Chili Oil I added didn’t give off any heat.  During the BBQ…the weather sucked.