Eat This Now: Thali Lunch at Rasoi Curry Point

Categories: Eat This Now

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Edwin Goei
Come, Mister Thali Man!

It's an all-you-can-eat-buffet world out there when it comes to Tustin's Indian restaurants--not that there's anything wrong with that. Dosa Place, Haveli, and India Kitchen all put out never-ending steam-table arrays worthy of a maharajah. But for an all-you-can-eat experience that seems even more fit for a king, I prefer Rasoi Curry Point.


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Eat This Now: Roasted Cauliflower Salad from Little Sparrow

Categories: Eat This Now

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Photo by Media Chica
Delicious!

I'm still recovering from last night's epic Little María mash-up at Little Sparrow in which Taco María chef Carlos Salgado and Little Sparrow head Eric Samaniego teamed up for the finest French-Mex collaboration since the vals at a quinceañera. Following Samaniego's Santa Ana Certified Farmers Market pop-up last month, and Visalia's best product is on a roll with his magnificent cuisine.

And yet the dish that he's impressed me the most with is something downright austere: roasted cauliflower salad.


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Eat This Now: Half-and-Half Korean Fried Chicken Combo at Crazy Chi Mac

Categories: Eat This Now

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Kristine Hoang
Double-fried, twice as nice

Anaheim has plenty of Disnerds and Angels fans, but it certainly doesn't have enough Korean fried chicken; without it, what else would people chew on while downing melon bar soju? Of the few establishments bringing chi-mac (a combined term for "chicken" and "maekju"--the Korean word for "beer"--referring to late-night drunk-eating at Korean restaurants) to town, Crazy Chi Mac is the capital. Whether it's Hite, Makgeolri, or corn cheese you want with your fried chicken, this little establishment is where you'll find every necessary item in the lexicon of drunken Korean munchies.

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Eat This Now: Chicken and Pork Noodle Soup at Yu's Garden

Categories: Eat This Now

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Photo by Courtney Hamilton
A veritable Taiwanese feast.

At many restaurants, $20 buys a limp salad and a couple drinks for dinner. At Yu's Garden in Irvine, $20 buys a Taiwanese feast. (It's a $20 minimum purchase to use your credit card, because who carries cash?) Order your meal to go, and you'll choose from a buffet of ready-made hot and cold dishes that beckon with their bright colors and smells; order in, and choose from an expansive menu board that spans the length of said buffet. Menu headings list an array of seafood, beef, pork and vegetarian meals and sides, though the chicken section inexplicably contains only two (delicious) chicken preparations. Whatever and however you order, you'll get an obscene amount of cheap, no-frills comfort food.

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Eat This Now: Bò Kho at Song Long Restaurant

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Photo by The Mexican
An edible hug

Sometimes, when you're young and find yourself in Little Saigon, you don't want to go to a crawfish joint, a shaved ice spot, to Afters or any of the other hotspots second-generation Viets opened in the past five years. Sometimes, you just want to hang with the elders and do it old-school. Sometimes, you just want a bowl of bò kho at Song Long Restaurant.


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Eat This Now: Pork Belly Poutine at Bosscat Kitchen & Libations

Categories: Eat This Now

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Kristine Hoang
Poutine: not mainstream enough for hipsters

Unlike the poutine typically served in Québécois hockey arenas, cabanes à
patates
(roadside chip wagons), and cantines ("greasy spoon" diners), the poutine at Bosscat Kitchen & Libations is, quintessentially, an American-hipster remix. Instead of the dish's traditional ingredients (fries, cheese curds, and gravy), Bosscat's take features thin slices of Duroc pork belly, potato wedges, gravy, and a duck-fat fried egg on top. It's just as carb-heavy as the Canadian original, but terrifically fattier -- err, American.


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Eat This Now: El Desperado at Soho Taco

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Photo by The Mexican
Shoot 'em up!

Every month, Soho Taco chef Gabriel Zambrano offers a new creation as part of his lonchera's taco of the month. Sometimes, he goes regional: the awesome chilorio taco from a couple of months back was a specialty from Sinaloa. This month, Chef Gabe has leapt into the chile world with the appropriately named El Desperado.


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Eat This Now: Bristol Day Boat Scallops at Leatherby's Cafe Rouge

Categories: Eat This Now

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Edwin Goei
We're going to need a bigger boat.

While some South Coast Plaza restaurants have pre-theater set menus designed to feed you quickly and have you out the door before show time at SCFTA, Leatherby's Cafe Rouge is a restaurant that was expressly designed to be the dinner part of your "dinner and a show".

If you didn't know already, Leatherby's is only open during performance nights, which is often, but not necessarily every day. As such, you don't go to Leatherby's unless you have your show tickets bought and were already going to brave that labyrinthine parking structure anyway. And that's a shame, because its located in the beautiful undulating structure of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, next to the lawn--one of the most scenic venues in Costa Mesa in which to enjoy a meal. But most of all, it's a shame because Ross Pangilinan--its chef for at least the last five years--is a whiz.


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Eat This Now: Cheese Rolls from BREAD Artisan Bakery at Santa Ana Farmers' Market

Categories: Eat This Now

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Photo by The Mexican
Cheese roll of the gods

When the SanTana Farmers' Market opens Thursday afternoon, as it does every Thursday, be there at 4 p.m. More specifically, be at the basket of BREAD Artisan Bakery that's holding the cheese rolls. Do not be any later than 3:59--DO NOT. If you do, best of luck-actually, shame on you, because by then the hordes would've probably already cleared out the Farmers' Market breakout star: BREAD's cheese rolls.


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Eat This Now: Katsu Curry at Curry House CoCo Ichibanya

Categories: Eat This Now

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Edwin Goei
A curry beachhead.


At Curry House CoCo Ichibanya, curry is the lifeblood, the fuel, the liquid of choice. They have oceans of it ready in different spice levels, in shades that range from bright gold to caramel brown, but it all essentially comes from the same formula--a punchy blend of cumin and other spices that hints of India, but is all Japanese.

I ate here when it first opened years ago and wasn't initially impressed by the service. It took forever to get an order. But things have changed since then. They have electronic server-summoning buttons at the tables. This time, I didn't need it. The food came out quick, plentiful, and still roiling hot.

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