Friday, February 11, 2011

Pho 89

My coworker and I went to Pho 89 after realizing there wasn't an Indian place closeby from the office. It is located on Garvey in the same plaza as the dim sum place and the plaza next to Shinsen Gumi. We normally went to Pho Hyunh for Pho, but wanted to try something new.

Well, not much to say about the place. The restaurant is clean and the service was ok. I don't think it is an authentic pho place considering that there were Chinese words all over the menu. On the other hand, they might have the words to cater to the huge Chinese population in the area.

The quality of the food wasn't so good considering that it didn't exactly taste fresh as in when they brought it out and by the time I tasted it, it felt lukewarm. I got the pork on rice. Either they had it sitting around or they hadn't microwaved the dish long enough.

On the other hand, my coworker got the Pho with Chicken and his meal appeared to be piping hot and he added in his signature ice in order to eat it, it was so hot. I did notice that they don't offer as much veggies as other Pho places normally offer.

Perhaps one cannot expect too much for a dish under $6. However, you can say the same about other better places for the same price if not cheaper.

There are plenty of other Pho places to try out and revisit...I would not return to this one.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pietro's Italian Restaurant

I stopped by Pietro's on my way home from work. The place is more like a cafe as it is relatively small, though probably better for take outs. There were a few people eating there, mostly adults and their little kids. I got a Ravioli with Meat Sauce.

The customer service is rather poor. I entered to see 2 men behind the counter. They appeared to be busy preparing food, but they could have at least acknowledged my presence and I know they saw me when I walked in. One glanced at me kind of with an annoyed expression. I waited around for about 5 minutes looking at the menu and wondering where to go next if I did leave. The other man asked if I was ready to order and he said it would be just a few minutes to prepare. While I waited, I went next door to the Italian market to see what goods there were. It stank like rotten meat! I couldn't believe there were people shopping inside! I was there less than 15 seconds before I tried as calmly as I could to walk right back out.

The nice thing about Pietro's is that there are chairs placed right next to the door so one can sit and wait after ordering and once the order is ready, one can dash out quickly.

The pasta came with salad and a piece of bread. I was asked what dressing I wanted and I said none. The guy asked if I had my own dressing at home. No...I just don't like dressing because I don't like vinegar which is usually in most dressings.

The pasta was ok. Each ravioli was a pretty decent size with generous amounts of meat stuffed inside. There were approximately 8 pieces. The sauce was ok and I definitely appreciated how the dish was not drenched in cheese. You may order a meat ravioli in some restaurants but inside would predominantly be cheese and the meat would be in the form of bits and pieces found inside the sauce like an Easter egg hunt, which I find rather frustrating.

The salad was fresh; nice green leafy veggies and diced tomatoes.

The bread on the other hand was merely a chunk of a cold weight. It would have been nice if they had offered butter. But I had my own and it tasted very yummy after decorating the cold weight with buttery goodness.

Overall the Ravioli dinner was decent. On the other hand, being that the location of the place is next to a stinky market with a rather tiny parking lot and the demeanor of the staff was as cold as the bread and salad they serve, I would not return to this place, especially considering that just for a few dollars more, and 2 1/2 miles away, I could get a far better pasta cooked with care at Wild Thyme's presented with a warm smile which is priceless.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Pinocchio's Pizza

Pinocchio's Pizza is located only 0.3 miles away from me. It is on the corner of Lake Ave. and Rio Grande St. I ordered their NY thin crust pizza with eggplant for a topping.

Parking is a bit tricky as it is tough to park on Lake Ave. The restaurant has a tiny parking lot in the back, though it is hardly visible and too small to really be practical to squeeze your car in. The best plan is to park on Rio Grande which is predominantly residential.

The small pizza I ordered came out to be just under $11, which is relatively comparable to other pizzerias such as Pizza Hut or Domino's. I had a lot of tea to drink when I was at work so I stopped by their bathrooms before inquiring about my order when I arrived. The bathroom is very clean and everything is automatic- the flush, sink and soap dispenser. And for those with babies, there is also a diaper changing station.

When I arrived at approximately 7:00pm, the place was relatively empty so there were some families seated already with pastas and breads. There were 2 staff members working at the counter- a woman taking orders on the phone and a man named Armen acting as the bartender. Armen helped bring out my pizza and assisted in the transaction. However, I felt that the customer service wasn't that great, though perhaps it was because they were short on staff even though they didn't appear too terribly busy that night. There was only one elderly man at the bar watching the game. They had several good sized TVs to watch sports. There were signs everywhere about their great happy hour deals.

Even though I ordered the thin crust, the crust wasn't thin and crispy as I expected. It was like a normal crust. However, the upside would be that it isn't as cheezy and the eggplant was pretty good.

The pizza would be good enough for me to go back and order for my next pizza craving, mostly due to the convenience of it being closeby. And next time, I think I may end up walking so as not to deal with the hassle of looking for parking. And if I were to walk, I'll probably be tempted to take advantage of their happy hour.

Additionally, the interior decor is quite nice and it would be a pleasant place to sit in and have a get together with family and friends as well.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pink's Hot Dogs

This was my first time at Pink's Hot Dogs in the La Brea location. I had been to the one at the Knott's location in Buena Park. The person that took my sister's order suggested "The Monster" which was a heart attack of a mess to eat let alone to look at. It was topped with all sorts of crazy things including relish. There were screaming whiny kids with parents that left tables a complete sticky mess.

Well, the La Brea one is much much better. At first I thought it was just a stand and was surprised to see that there was sufficient seating available inside as well as outside in the back. It is well kept as staff is rather diligent in cleaning and keeping the condiments well stocked.

We arrived at approximately 10pm and there were just a few people ahead of us, not too bad of a line. Considering how I ate already and not terribly hungry and it being near bedtime, I got myself a Turkey dog with some onions. My friend got the Planet Hollywood dog topped with jalapenos with a side of fries. The Planet is a Polish dog with bacon, nacho cheese and mushrooms. I also got a coke; him a root beer. All for under $20. I think that's pretty good considering a Turkey leg and a drink is like $16 at most amusement parks and fairs and hot dogs and fries are pretty much fair foods. The line went by fairly fast and painless. The lack of screaming kids at that hour certainly helped. The customers appeared to mostly be young professionals or middle-aged couples. Next to us was a pleasant couple with the man wearing a brownish tweed suit with glasses and had a marvelous English-like accent. He recommended the Pastrami burrito if we wanted the "full Pink experience".

It appears that the person that takes your order also makes it. I think this is better than typical fast food places in which certain people take the orders and they have the cooks in the back which can sometimes cause a lot of confusion and loss of translation during the process of communicating what the order is exactly...the lady was pretty nice and attentive...she confirmed the order just as she was creating it and apologized for almost forgetting the jalapenos on the Planet. close up of the Planet

My friend had asked if I wanted sides like fries and I was kinda like "whatever"...I mean if I had fries at one place I've pretty much had them all...a fry is a fry is a there really anything special about it unless it's in a different shape- curly, crinkle, wedged, criss-cut...and I figure would a hot dog stand make really good fries? Well the fries were actually pretty good with enough seasonings to keep me wanting to munch on them til they got cold...they got cold pretty fast. They should have covered them up in aluminum foil like the do the dogs. However, I think the reason they covered the dog up is to assist in eating it cleanly, so there is a clean space to hold onto. Of course the problem with that, especially when eating a 'Planet Dog is that it is hard to stuff a Planet in one's mouth in an efficient and non-gagging manner. Especially one generously covered up in jalapenos.

Even though my Turkey dog was relatively plain, the meat was fairly tender and juicy. The buns soft and warm. Definitely beats the puny $4+ ones you get in movie theaters.

Would I recommend Pink's? Sure, quality and service is excellent. On the other hand, I'm not sure I would be interested in it enough to want to wait 3 hours for it on a hot summer's day as glamorized on TV. As for the parking situation, if you park on the streets at certain hours, you may need to input coins into the meters so make sure you are prepared with quarters.