Monday, June 23, 2008

Fisherman's Outlet (5th and Central)

L.A. Brain Terrain took me there for Downtown's own fruits de la mer for the ordinary people, civil servants, hawkers, janitors, writers, unemployed, etc. Okay, no, the seafood is not as good as let's say, right on the beach in Ko Samui in Thailand or Cape Cod in Boston but for $9 a plate of fresh fish and shrimp, this's definitely a returnable joint, especially for somebody with a non-existent travel budget. I'd even go by myself hidding with a book and a cup of Starbucks there when it's not as windy on a summer afternoon, ah, is it a weird loner plan again?

Tasty Garden (Garfield and Valley, Alhambra)

From top to bottom: taro tapioca pudding, red bean coconut cakes, daikon and curry fish balls, red ginger and preserved eggs, Portuguese seafood rice.

Not sugary but still nicely sweet, the tapioca pudding should very well be their trademark: taro, coffee, mango, durian, green tea... Oh geez, why do we even need Pinkberry?

Fish balls were crispy and rightly flavored. Slightly sweet red ginger was perfect on a hot summer day after some shopping spree in the Asian grocery stores in San Gabriel Valley.

Finally, here we go with the end-of-last-century colonial highlight: authentic Macau Portuguese yellow sauce is always a nice alternative for people that can't eat curry. Forget Japanese curry. That's for kids.

Every time I'm here I'm like a kid in a candy store. In fact, Joe came here and bought walnut shrimp takeout to surprise me after a super long day. Every girl has a weakness and Downtownchick's was totally cracked.

Mandarin Noodle Deli (Last Tunas and Primrose, Temple City)

This place has gotten a shitty English name. Doesn't anybody know any Chinese places calling themselves Mandarin whatever or Thai places calling themselves Thai whatever are usually bad? That theory is widely used among foodies but with which Mandarin Noodle Deli does not conform.
Their hong you chao shou (紅油抄手) the famous Sichuan Chengdu dish was the best I had ever had even among other restaurants in Asia. Strangely, I can't find its picture. It's a special kind of dumplings in red oil with vegetables and meat that just tastes so very differently and seriously good. We also ordered the fish dumplings. The fish still tasted fresh. The beef briskets were tender and not greasy.
Only about 10 miles away from DT, the Chinese food out there is just so on another level, so much better. Makes me eat mostly yogurt and granola over here everyday. Sad.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Le Pain Quotidien (Manhattan Beach and Valley, Manhattan Beach)

Um, yeah, there's no good bread in Downtown. As a carb addict, Downtown Chick had candidly advocated this neighborhood issue many times before. The closest I could get was Beverly Hills Le Pain Quotidien. But then we might as well just snap a quarter of the sourdough to make homemade partines after a breakfast in Manhattan Beach.

Rikyu (Second and San Pedro, Little Tokyo)

Life is just tiring. I'm sick. So, this place on the top floor of Weller Court gets the job done. Much better than the grossly heavy vulgar-spicy adolescent Orochon. Quiet. Non-trendy. Not hyped. Super cute Asian waiter. This is a real Japanese restaurant for real adults. Mild curry soup vegetables udon is even not good for only winter if with a beer. Makes the end of a long day so much better... This is home...