Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fuddrucker's, Buena Park, CA

So with the typical Tuesday Eating crew, we went to Fuddrucker's in Buena Park. I haven't been here in a while so I wanted to have a good burger again.

Wild Boar Burger

Wild Boar Burger with Grilled Onions, Bacon, Pepper Jack Cheese, Bleu Cheese with Chili Cheese Wedge Fries

Judgment: The burger was surprisingly healthier than the regular burgers there. I thought being Wild Boar, it'd be a burger full of piggy goodness so I added some bacon for that double piggy goodness. The taste is similar to a turkey burger but again with a slightly different edge to the flavor. The meat was a little more dry than beef as well. The chili fries were not much to write home about, although just hearing that it was an option made it tempting to order. Don't get tricked like I was. 7 / 10

Conclusion: The restaurant is just as I remembered it and for some reason, I had a yearning for some Garlic Parmesan Fries. Curse you Red Robin!

The Restaurant gets a B.

Bonus Material: Here's a Strawberry Shake my buddy Tony ordered. It looked SO good, I had to take a picture of it. I wish I had ordered one as well but I imagine it would've been WAY too filling.

Calbi Truck, Stanton, CA

So it was Saturday and I was showing my car at the CarZ Collision Course Car Show and they called the Calbi Taco Truck to show up at the show to sell food. This truck basically is borrowing from the idea of the Kogi Truck and selling daring new cuisines.

The Truck. The Calbi network actually has 5 trucks going around.

Beef Short Rib Burrito

The Burrito consists of Beef, Korean style Salad, Eggs, green onions and sauce

Judgment: The burrito was good and definitely a change of pace from your regular Carne Asada burrito. The key difference here from the Kogi version is that they use lots of eggs in lieu of potatoes. Definitely a good and healthier point here. The salad reminds me of the salad you get at typical korean bbq places with the slightly sweet and tangy flavor. 7 / 10

Conclusion: The truck is basically another food trucks going around and people lining up for foods. This truck actually has combo deals where you can get 2 tacos and a drink, a burrito and a drink or a quesdilla and a drink for special prices. All in all, it's what you'd expect it to be.

The Truck gets a B.

Bonus Material: I took home Best VIP at this car show so here's a picture of me collecting my trophy(ies).

Also my car at the show with the beautiful Amy Fay.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Class 302, Rowland Heights, CA

Once again, I find myself back in school. Oh wait, it wasn't school, it was Class 302. Mio had told me she wanted to eat Shaved Snow again and I forgot that we were really close to a place that served it when we went to Kogi last time. So once again, I get to hang out with Mio and Mikan of AniMaid Cafe again.

Mikan & Mio rushing to Restaurant.

The restaurants decor really reminded you of an elementary school in Taiwan, all the way down to the desks and the textbooks I found in them.

Popcorn Chicken

Seasoned Chicken fried to order with basil

Judgment: This dish was actually pretty good. It's hard to find places that will do a proper salt & pepper fried chicken nugget. Typical tapioca drink places will make some version that isn't really flavorful, but more like just something thrown together. The chicken they had here was cooked to order and it was quite delicious and well seasoned. 8 /10

Sweet Potato Fries with Plum

Sweet Potato Fries seasoned with salt, pepper and a hint of plum

Judgment: You can really taste the Asian style cuisine in these fries. They are definitely different from your typical sweet potato fries at a high end burger place like The Counter or Slater's 50/50. Both good places as well. This batch was lightly seasoned with a plum flavor that kind sneaks up on you. I felt it was pretty good. 8 / 10

Grilled BBQ Corn

Corn on the Cob grilled and basted with Bar Be Que Sauce

Judgment: The Corn was flame grilled and heavily basted with the sauce. The corn was ok. I might have enjoyed it more without the bbq sauce and just seasoned with salt but all in all it was alright. Mio asked me if I liked this one more or the one at Boiling Crab. I'd have to give it to Boiling Crab. 6 / 10

Taiwanese Sausage with Garlic

Sliced Grilled Taiwanese Sausage with Fresh Sliced Garlic

Judgment: The sausage here was great. It was sweet and slightly salty like how it should be and they didn't over cook it where it becomes super tough and chewy. The garlic was fresh and flavorful to eat by itself as well. All in all, one of my favorites. 9 / 10

Old School Lunch Box

Chicken Leg with Rice

Scrambled Egg with Scallions & Boiled Vegetables

Pork Leg with Peanuts

Judgment: This dish has so many components and I felt that it was a bit overwhelming. Especially with all the appetizers I already ordered and then was convinced by Mikan and Mio to order the lunch box. Then again, I love eating animals, so pigs and chickens look out! The Pork Leg portion was just OK. I wished it was a bit saltier and marinated in the soy sauce a bit longer. The chicken leg portion was pretty good. A tiny bit on the dry side, probably because I let it sit too long, but it was still good. The scrambled egg portion was over cooked. I did not like it at all. The vegetables in the dish just average, a little salt wouldn't have hurt. 6 / 10

Mango Mochi Shaved Snow

Mango infused snow with Condensed Milk, Fresh Mangoes, and Mochi

Judgment: This was superb. Mio made a great decision ordering this one. I like mango, and there was mango infused into the snow. I dug myself a nice tunnel and hid some mochi in there from Mio but she found them. The flavors might be a little overwhelming because it is condensed milk with mango and more mango. However, I'm a mango lover so this was great. 10 / 10

Strawberry Shaved Snow

Milk Infused Shaved Snow with Fresh Strawberry Slices, Condensed Milk

Judgment: Mikan chose this one because she
loves strawberry shaved ice. The shaved snow is definitely a different experience than shaved ice. The milk was plentiful and the strawberry was there to add a slight tart bite to it. Very delicious. At this point, I had wondered what the Strawberry & Mango Shaved Snow tasted like. All in all another good dessert. 9 / 10

Conclusion: As you might have read from other popular food review blogs and sites, this place is very well known for their desserts and drinks. We didn't get any drinks but I can imagine them being good. The food I would call average to pretty good but I think there are better food places near by. The parking lot is a little bit steep so you might scrape a little bit if you're low like my car. Also, the closer spaces to it are all compact, so I ended up parking a bit further away so I could find a spot that there wouldn't be anyone knocking their doors into my car. In the end, Mikan commented that we chose the coldest day to go eat shaved snow, and we STILL had a great time. You know we'll be back.

Until next time

The lovely Mikan and Mio who joined me for this adventure

This restaurant gets an A

Monday, April 19, 2010

Japanese Food Festival, Costa Mesa, CA

So this weekend was the Japanese Food Festival in Costa Mesa, CA. The event was sponsored by Bridge USA. The event was $10 at the door but if you reserved your ticket ahead of time, it was $7. They also had a Sake battle where 50 different types of sake were there for you to sample and later for you to grade and choose a winner. They also had a food competition where restaurants presented a dish or three and you picked which dish was the best. I went on this adventure with Kchan, Kyosuke and J. Kchan's favorite restaurants there and she was excited.


Served Tonkotsu Ramen and Inari Sushi

Shin Sen Gumi

Shin Sen Gumi had Yakitori with Yakitori Sauce

Ota no Takoyaki

Catering Service for Takoyaki

Onto the food reviews!


Octopus Ball

Judgment: The battered mixture is freshly prepared and the cooks had pretty strict standards when they served it on site. I watched them flip and maybe throw away at least a dozen from a batch. The attention to quality control paid off and they were good. 8 / 10

Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee 2 Ways

Judgment: The brulees were very mild and sweet tasting. The top one was your typical Vanilla Creme Brulee. The bottom one was Green Tea Creme Brulee. Both of them had the actual consistency that resembled pudding rather than flan-like. It was quite delicious despite the gooey texture. 8 / 10

Crab Cake

Cucumber Wrapped Soft Crab Cake

Judgment: The cake was prepared warm and covered with Teriyaki and Sriracha Sauces. The Crab to rice ratio was amazingly biased towards the crab and the dish came together nicely. 9 / 10

Stewed Beef Curry

Beef Curry over Rice

Judgment: The curry was served warm rather than piping hot, but that might have been due to me taking a food break and drinking 6 rounds of sake for taste testing. All in all I wished the sauce was spicier but for the average eater, I think it was well prepared. It reminded me of that instant curry in a can that I discovered the other month at a different Japanese food festival. The bowl was okay, and it was definitely filling because it was mostly rice. 6 / 10

Kirin Beer

The fine folks handing out Kirin Beer for the people that participated in the Sake Battle.

Vegetable Okonomiyaki

Vegetable Okonomiyaki

Judgment: if you remember a couple posts ago I posted up about Okonomiyaki. The same restaurant that I went to eat it at was selling them on site at the fair. Prepared by their professional cooks, they definitely came out nicer than the ones we tried to cook ourselves. The Okonomiyaki was cooked piping hot and they put on a light coat of the Okonomi sauce with a generous helping of the dried fish flakes. I asked them not to put them on mine because I actually like it better without it. Along side, they offer a packet of mayonnaise to go with it. 8 / 10

Cajun Seared Tuna Roll

Tekka Maki Wrapped with a slice of seared tuna

Judgment: This sushi was not that enjoyable and I wish I did not order it. The seared tuna tasted gritty and the texture just seemed a bit off. All in all the flavor was not working too well. I didn't understand what made it Cajun because there isn't any New Orleans style seasonings or anything but that's just what they decided to call it 4 / 10.

Conclusion: All in all, it was a good experience. For anyone who wanted to get a sampling of japanese cuisine that expanded past raw fish and teriyaki chicken, this is definitely worthwhile for you. A lot of the restaurants that represented there were fairly local. You won't have to drive too far to get the real deal at their home bases.

The food gets a B.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Double Down @ Kentucky Fried Chicken

So ever since hearing of the Double Down at Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), of course I was tempted to try it! My friends tell me to try it and report back, others tell me I'm crazy, while others tell me it's disgusting! Other people said "Don't die while you're eating it" because it pretty much IS a heart attack in itself. However, what people don't notice is that this "Sandwich" is actually a bit healthier than a Big Mac from McDonald's. Ok, so it's not THAT healthy at 1200 calories but still, it has less carbohydrates. At any rate, it was an experience. That is all.

The Double Down

Whole Sandwich

Judgment: Holy cow, this sandwich is SALTY. Then again, it's to be expected because it is literally 2 fried chicken breasts (sorry, no dark meat), Bacon, Cheese and Mayonnaise (KFC's Special Blend). Every bite required something to ease off the salt. However, the flavor reminded me of a Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwich, except instead of ham, you have bacon. Pretty much the same thing. 7 / 10

"Sandwich" Cross Section

Conclusion: I think I would feel disgusted if I had eaten the whole thing, it was a lot of salt. Surprisingly the 1/2 sandwich I shared with my lovely co-worker Erica was pretty filling. I still have to reiterate, the sandwich was very salty, although it's not the saltiest thing I've ever eaten because I have eaten a bowl of salt. That's another story to share.

The sandwich gets a C.

Curry House, Cypress, CA

My aunt has been living at my house and she's been bugging me about eating together, so we met up with my cousin and his family for a family dinner at Curry House. Man, having a baby in your party makes the dining experience quite interesting...

Corn Potage

Corn Cream Soup

Judgment: This corn potage was the very first one I ever tried, and that was maybe 15-16 years ago. To this day, Curry House still kept the same recipe and it's still quite delicious. The mild sweet flavor of the corn is accented by the minced chives they top the dish with. 8 / 10

Hamburger Steak

Seasoned Hamburger Steak topped with Shredded Daikon, Alfalfa Sprouts, covered in a Garlic Sauce.

Judgment: The dish in the menu is presented with French Fries but clearly in the photo there aren't any. But the Roasted Red Potato makes an excellent substitute because it takes the garlic sauce really well. The steak itself is tender and you can eat it with just a fork. The daikon kind of neutralizes the garlic a little bit but I'm a garlic lover so i push that aside a bit. Overall the dish is a little bit on the salty side but I guess that's what the plate of rice that accompanies it is for. 9 / 10

Conclusion: Curry House is the type of place that I would go to if I didn't know what to eat on a random weeknight. Granted it's not somewhere I go too often but it's always in the back burner as a backup plan to get dinner. The only thing I dislike about the restaurant is that it closes around 9 PM or at least they stop seating people at 9 PM.

This restaurant gets an A-Rank.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Lua Bistrot, Garden Grove, CA

Decided to go out to dinner with my regular crew and the addition of Kchan and Kyosuke from AniMaid Cafe. The restaurant was chosen by my friend Tony who did a simple search for Creme Brulee in Orange County.

Passion Mango

Passion Fruit & Mango Juice

Judgment: The juice is very simple. Just a blended mix of Passion Fruit and Mango Syrups with water. 6 / 10

Filet Au Poivre

Filet Mignon with Veal Sauce. Grilled Shrimp, Steak Fries and Fresh Salad.

Grilled Shrimp

Grilled Marinated Shrimp

Judgment: The shrimp was seasoned with a sweet soy marinade and grilled. It was actually pretty good and I wish the portion was bigger. 8 / 10

Fresh Salad

Cucumbers, Red Onions, Carrots, and Vinegar

Judgment: As mentioned by my friend Tony, this mix of vegetables is typically what you find in a Vietnamese sandwich. It was quite fresh and the cucumbers had a good crunch to it. 8 / 10

Steak Fries

Thick Cut Potato Fries

Judgment: The fries were lightly seasoned with salt and some garlic herbs. The taste was mediocre because they should have been seasoned a bit better. I ended up eating them dipping in the steak's sauce. 6 / 10

Filet Mignon

Filet Mignon with a Black Pepper Sauce and Veal Sauce

Judgment: I was extremely disappointed with my main course. The meat was well seasoned and the sauce was exquisitely prepared. The problem is that the chef couldn't cook it properly. The steak came to me medium well when I had requested medium rare. In fact, I had the steak re-done and they literally just seared another piece of beef. Tony confirmed it after I had cut into it, it was blue. Disgusting. 2 / 10

Re-fired steak. It's still Mooing.

Creme Brulee

Basic Creme Brulee

Judgment: The dessert was a simple creme brulee. It was served with a great price of FREE! You heard me, Free Dessert. It was actually ok, although, I like my creme brulee with more vanilla in it. 7 / 10

Conclusion: The restaurant's experience was rather mixed. My friends had a good time, but my experience was terrible. The Head Chef came to discuss with me what was wrong with the steak and he still insisted it was cooked to correct temperature. He offered to make another and in the end showed his childishness. I mean, really, Medium Rare, and he brings me a blue steak.

The Restaurant gets a D-Rank.