Friday, April 27, 2012

The Derby

A historical spot in Arcadia...the menu even features Seabiscuit's favorites.

Came here for birthday lunch for coworker's 30th!  It was just a nice pleasant group of us girls, no guys!

We all ate healthy, even if some of the dishes had the option of fries, we all got fruit!

I got the Derby bacon was...crunchy.  I was impressed they toast the buns as it was rather warm.  But aside from that it seemed to lack in some flavor.  I prefer the burgers at Cafe on 2nd for a few dollars less.  The plus is that they don't smother the burger in ketcup or mustard as I hate both.

My other coworker got a turkey sandwich with cranberry, which she enjoyed.  And many of the other girls got the salad which they said was good.

The restaurant is decorated with lots of horse memorabilia.  The majority of the diners were white American senior citizens.  My super loves this place!  We went for lunch once before, last year- I got the mushroom ravioli back then and didn't like the pungent cheese.

While the service was excellent and they were flexible in what you wanted (there was a vegan who ordered a ahi tuna edamame salad, but wanted it without the tuna), I'm not sure I would return on my own.

Also parking is valet only.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Golden Deli

Wow...the platform here changed...

Coworker was feeling like Pho so I suggested Golden Deli which is a new location at Temple City.  I have been to the San Gabriel one, and honestly did not like it that much, but maybe because it is San Gabriel and always got crowded, stuffy and stinky fast.

Coworker was in doubt as she was happy with our usual Pho-licious.  But I convinced her to be adventurous and go.  Temple City to her sounded soo far, but it is really along the same route as Pho-licious, but instead of making a left on Live Oak to Las Tunas, you just make a right on Las Tunas, past Baldwin, crossing the border immediately to TC and right there is Golden Deli.

Parking is a bit tricky as there isn't much of a lot, and someone stole my spot.  At the same time construction blocked off 2 precious spaces.  I managed to find street parking and we were immediately stuck in a line at the door.  But the line moved quickly.  I got the rice dish with grilled pork and baked egg.  My coworker got Pho with chicken broth, which also had a crab claw.  I don't remember the full name of it.  She also was tempted to get their banana strawberry cupake and coacoa cupcake.  They were just made that morning and she said they were divine.  She was also impressed with the avocado smoothie.

The setup of this joint is different in traditional places as in you have to get in line to order and pay first before they get the food out.  The good thing about this is that you can decide what you want in line and don't have to bother waiting for the check later.

I only got a side of beef broth that was yummy.  The pork on the rice was kind of fatty and I prefer Pho-licious BBQ pork fried rice in that it is fried with egg, lots of egg.  I hate looking at plain white rice with fat on it. 

I would come back for the Pho and try the cupcakes next.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


This is an Indian restaurant in Monrovia. I've never been a fan of Indian food, but my coworker really wanted to try something different. While I don't like the main spicy dishes typical of Indian, I do appreciate the fried appetizers and naan bread I have had.

They have lunch specials. My coworker got the Tandoori chicken. It comes with rice and veggies and plain naan. I got the assorted appetizers, which Samosas, kabob like meat and what looked like Tandoori chicken cutlets. At the bottom was some lettuce leaves for presentation. The lettuce leaves tasted like there was some plum sauce on it.

The best thing about the appetizers was that they came out fresh, they were very hot! If they had merely nuked it in the microwave, I wouldn't have known. Inside the samosa were potatoes and mushy veggies. The outside was very doughy and hard though. The chicken was a tad dry and the kabob kinda had a funky taste...I'm not sure if it might have been goat or lamb, in which I'm not used to. It came with a green sauce and tamarind sauce, neither of which I was a huge fan of. The garlic naan was good, though I tasted mostly cilantro. I can't say that the lunch was all that healthy for me.

Service is good. It seemed like there were only 2 people serving, the owner and what looked like the owner's mother, constantly making sure your water glasses are full. Decor is pleasant. And entertainment is the TV featuring cheezy Indian romance films shrill Hindi singing.

There were 3 other tables occupied. The table next to us looked like another pair of coworkers. The man was going on about how he had lived in India with his parents and when he was 16 years old he had the run of the house; his parents were always travelling the world and he was free to have house parties with a hot tub and experiment with things generally frowned upon in the Hindi culture. I was not looking at them at first but when the man got up to take an outside call, he was much older than I would have expected. He sounded rather arrogant, some man in his 40s talking about his life in his teens.

I'm not a fan of Indian food. On the other hand, I know I don't hate Indian food, because I have still been thinking about the Himalyan place in Big Bear. Therefore, this Indian joint might not be up to par with my standards, though it is not all bad. If I were to rate it, I would rate it 7 out of 10, due to lack of taste. It is clean though, you don't smell that wierd spicy smell you get at some Indian places. And service was pretty good, though the place was not crowded at all. I would not go to eat by myself, but would be willing to accompany anyone who is interested.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Newport Seafood

Newport has to be my favorite Cantonese style restaurant in San Gabriel. It never gets old.

It's got fried tofu, clams, lobster, crab, mongolian beef, peppered pork, you name it they got it.  Service is fast and friendly...

We came here for dad's 67th birthday and it was about 9pm when we arrived.  It was a good time, as it is usually packed during lunch with a long wait and no parking.

You are given fresh oranges after your meal.  The tea is hot and fresh.

I don't know what else to say about this place other than it is good and it can't be beat!

Monday, April 2, 2012


We had lunch at the most amazing steakhouse ever called Chamonix in Taiwan. It is French style, yet still fits the taste of the discriminating Taiwanese palette.

We started off with appetizers, a mango dollop, beautifully glowing yellow like a honey dew. The other- salmon with some leafy greens, each fitted to a spoon like plate, perfect for just one delicate bite.

Next, the salads. I got the salmon, its delicate slices sandwiched between papaya layers, topped with black caviar. Amazing.

The soup I selected was the seafood chowder...this is the best seafood soup I have had since the one I had in Oban, Scotland. Fresh ingredients, its buttery aroma tantalizing and warm enough to melt the soul. I was a little worried about ordering the seafood chowder as since Oban, I have had the impulse of ordering seafood chowder wherever whenever I see it, only to be disappointed with a mushy red color, slimy texture and a rotten fishy taste...this time I was happy with my selection. The Seafood Chowder ought to be called 10 minutes of that was where my heart felt it was. I have never been more in love with a soup as then. It was perfect the way it was, but they had to top it off with a cheese stick...I have never seen anything more perfect...on the other hand, the one thing you may have reservations on about the chowder is that as you are halfway through, you see a whole shrimp staring at you. The shrimp is juicy and tasty though if one does not mind the whole head and eyes still on.

Then the main course- I got the applesmoked pork; the cooks cook your meats in front of you. They ask you how you like it cooked, and provide you a sample of your meat to make sure it is exactly the way you want it. That is customer satisfaction.

My cousin got the chicken which also came with some kind of a shrimp or fish. The wonderful thing about the way the cooks make it is that they give you your meal in parts; not all at once. This way it prevents you from stuffing yourself too quickly; additionally, your food does not sit out and get cold. I love it!

As part of the course, you also get fried rice. It had little bits of dried shrimp and the rice was so full of flavor.

They also serve sparkling wine and this grape juice with a lemon slush. Unlimited refills! In fact, you are being attended to every second, getting refills without even asking for it. I felt like a queen!

The thing I did not like so much is that they ask you to go to another section of the restaurant for the desserts and tea. But I suppose that is just me being lazy. I got the creme brulee. It tasted more like an egg pudding and it was not bruleed at the top. And I got the kiwi juice, which was a bit too tart.

My cousin got the mint tea, which I almost got. I'm glad I didn't, because it was nothing more than mint leaves in a glass of hot water, served with a tiny pitcher of honey. It was more visually appealing than it was to the palette, I was told. However, it is more on the healthy side.

I had a taste of the hot chocolate in ice cream that my other cousin got...ooh it was amazing!!! The hot chocolate IS actually hot. And it was dark and just all velvety and lovely. In the States, when you get served hot fudge sundaes, the hot fudge is not really that hot by the time it hits the ice just ends up being a goopy lukewarm slimy mess...but this...indescribable!

The restaurant is good for large gatherings. In fact, I think you do need a minimum of 8 people to be served the steak and full meals.

I had not seen my cousins for more than 2 years. I did not think I would miss them that much as we are quite distant...but they are really nice people and it was really good to see everyone. And of course I am really lucky to have relatives with such refined taste!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cucina Alessa

Cucina Alessa in Huntington Beach is an authentic Italian restaurant.

I first came here January 2011 for my friend's birthday. Well last night I went for my friend's engagement dinner party. I am really happy for him. He is a really nice genuine guy and the girl he proposed to is super nice too. I know because she got me a Hello Kitty mug on my birthday and I had only ever met her three times and she didn't have to at all.

The food is really good as in not too cheezy or anything, though they will go around asking if you would like more cheese.

Last time I got the meatballs on the side. They were tasty. This time I got the Tortellini Carne, which is braised ribs stuffed pasta with walnut sauce on top. It was very yummy. I tried to share it with my friend but she did not like it as much because she did not like mushrooms; apparently the pasta is also stuffed with mushrooms. Truffles perhaps. Well, I loved it! I have had something similar at other places and there is a wierd aftertaste with the meat, like it had just been defrosted or something like that. So I was quite pleased with the dish.

My friend loved the fried calamari so we had started off with that for appetizers. I just thought that was ok, as it wasn't fried so that it was crunchy, but it was still tasty, topped generously with green onions and it tasted fresh.

The guests to my right had pizza; and the pizza is thin crust and it looked yummy. Well my friend sitting next to me got a salad, but it was not the type of traditional salad with lettuce. There were slices of tomato and a piece of pizza crust...she thought they made a mistake, but they said it was the salad.

And for desert, i got the tiramisu. I think I should have just stuck with my normal creme brulee. I don't like the tiramisu only because I'm not a huge fan of cream. It looked like a scoop of ice cream, but it was cream with layers of the sponge cake in between. And I'm not that fond of coffee either, to I was not too crazy about the taste. But I think for being tiramisu, it was pretty good, not super sweet or anything. Other people liked it anyway. My friend got the ice cream with chocolate lava cake. I liked that one, though the cake was a bit rich, but I liked the texture, a bit gritty, it was quite lovely.

I am really happy for my friend. They make a really good couple, even though they have just been dating for barely 2 years. I guess when you know, you really know! You don't want it to go over that long, there would just be no point in the relationship otherwise. I am really happy for him, he has a great job he's been with for over 5 years; he just bought a condo, he has his luxury car, and now he's got his girl! Everything seems to be in place, like a complete puzzle.

A restaurant with superb food means you do need to make reservations in advance. The place gets very packed.

Of course, what makes a meal great are the great people you dine with! Enjoy the food with good dialogue and special friends!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hop Li

This Cantonese style restaurant also calls itself a seafood restaurant. It has a generous selection from scallops to lobsters. They are very good for special meal events such as Thanksgiving lunch and the like with good service at a reasonable price.

Tonight I called to order their fried rice (they have quite a selection).I asked for the Fried Rice with Diced Taro, Chicken, & Dry Scallop.

I added that it was #163 on the takeout menu but it confused him even more. He said that it doesnt go up that high. Eventually I got the order in.

This dish is on the pricey side, over $17 with tax! The portion is very large though, could definitely split it with several buddies or have it for 2 days worth of meals.

The reason I am attracted to this dish is that there are very few places where you can get taro in your meal. It has a homey feel to it I guess, like reminding me of childhood. There is no egg in this dish though, which is a small disappointment, and it would have been nice with green onions and some other spices added. Otherwise it is quite a hearty dish, though could use some improvement on the taste.

This is the review for just the one dish. The place is accommodating to many, and great for hungry night owls, usually open til 2am.

The disadvantage is that it is on a very busy street, and next to KFC.

I do recommend this place and encourage you to explore their many dishes.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Harmony Gold Theater

Guess who is the happy girl who saw Mike Shinoda?

He just completed his first score to a movie called The Raid: Redemption.

Well I just got off work and traffic along Sunset Blvd. was a complete nightmare. It took me a good 20 minutes to go 2 miles. But I arrived at around 6:30pm and was hoping they had a concession stand...and they didn't!

In fact food is not allowed. I had a chicken sandwich in a plastic bag with sour patch kids and the staff would not let me in. I had to leave the food in the counter. But at least they let me leave it on the counter instead of just tossing it out or stuffing it in my stomach like some theaters.

The theater seats about 350 people but I think they would do better with less seats if they made them larger and therefore more comfy. The seat in front of you is literally on top of your leg and every time someone in the row in front of you moves or is talking to the person next to them, it just seems very claustrophobic.

I don't think I would pay to see a movie here; I'm just fine with the free tix I got. And Mike Shinoda was lovely!!

Watch The Raid at a theater near you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Save the Date 3/27/12 for Free Dinner

Enjoy FREE dinner on March 27th courtesy of BBC America’s new cooking adventure series No Kitchen Required!

BBC America will be hosting the weekly Santa Monica food truck event with free food, drinks, desserts and t-shirts. Plus at 7pm enjoy an early screening of No Kitchen Required.

2612 Main St (corner of Main St and Ocean Park)
Santa Monica, CA
Get Directions

About: BBC AMERICA’s new original adventure cooking competition series, No Kitchen Required, follows three chefs as they are dropped into the most exotic and remote places on earth. There they must work with the locals to hunt, fish and forage for ingredients to create locally-inspired meals that will be judged by the communities. The three fearless chefs are Michelin-starred New York restaurateur Michael Psilakis, first ever Chopped Grand Champion chef Madison Cowan, who has roots in London, Detroit and Jamaica, and elite personal chef from New Zealand, Kayne Raymond. The trio leave the comforts of their kitchens as they are dropped into ten locations around the world including Dominica, New Zealand, Belize, Fiji, Chiang Dao – Thailand, Koh Lanta – Thailand, Hawaii, New Mexico, Louisiana and Florida. The series is hosted by British presenter Dr. Shini Somara (BBC’s The One Show, BBC World News’ The Health Show), who joins the chefs on the adventure. BBC AMERICA’s No Kitchen Required premieres Tuesday, April 3, 10:00pm ET/PT.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cafe on 2nd - revisited

I didn't mess up this time at all. I played the same songs: Tears in Heaven, Collide and Shadow of the Day; and this time Joaquin was there!

My old coworker showed up with his date too which was nice. I was really happy they came. He provided some valuable feedback; that he felt that I sang too softly...after all this time no one else had ever said that. On the other hand he has been to lots of heavy metal concerts and loud I don't know if it is really me or him. But I have recorded myself and have felt the same, though I thought it was because I didn't have a microphone.

Well the producer was there again. He said the show I premiere in will be in 2 weeks. I'm not excited about that one since I messed up so badly. I am most excited about this recent one. He said he would make a DVD for me, so I am wondering if this is something I can put on my resume??

Once again, he wanted to interview me. He asked me what Tears in Heaven meant to me, and of course I had to talk about old Whisk. He asked my opinion of some of the other members; and it kind of caught me off guard, I don't know why; everyone is great, they have their own style and they are confident in what they do and they are very entertaining; I wish I said all that, but instead I was just like....'um they're good, lol'. He also admitted he wanted to come check up in 2 weeks...he was going to have a 'work in progress' segment on me. I guess I'm ok with that. I know I'm not good, but everyone has to start somewhere.

I think I may have caught the TV bug. I don't think I have a great TV presence, but I do know people enjoy watching that is something to be proud of; I just wish I had the confidence!!

Slaw Dogs

In Pasadena,a quaint joint; it's got a ton of stuff on the menu. $4.50 lunch specials which come with fries and a drink. However you cannot mix the specials with any deals like Living Social coupons which my coworker had.

She got "the Picnic" which had a potato salad and onion rings; another coworker got the "thai" one which has peanut sauce and the slaw; and I got the Mac N Cheese dog. It looked exciting...but the mac n cheese was kinda bland. Bacon bits were thin and dry, not tasty, crunchy or toasty or anything. The bread was cold and brittle.

I'm not a fan enough to want to return. My coworker however got some kind of an icecream sandwich which salted caramel inside. I may like to try that though.

One coming soon in the City of Duarte, closer to work, so may check that one out instead of the Pasadena one next time.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A & J Restaurant

This is a Taiwanese joint located on Live Oak, the same shopping plaza as Rite-Aid.

It is a small joint with slow service. It appears only 2 people are serving regardless of how many people are lining at the door.

The food is just ok. I do like how their noodles are thick, that is just my personal preference. My sister got the beef noodle, which was well spiced. Mom got the fried pork noodle, its broth very bland, nothing more than water in noodles.

They also got the little pork dumplings; its skin is thicker than that from Din Tai Fung; its meat inside was decent; they skimp on the ginger.

The name of the place, lack of customer service, and quality of food completely puts the Taiwanese to shame.

I'd rather go elsewhere.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cafe on 2nd

This is a cafe I started going to April of 2011. It is quite unique in that it has live music, Thursdays being its open mic night from 7 to 11pm.

I was feeling really down about losing Hogmany after losing Whiskie...and had been listening to music to try to cheer myself up...and I also really wanted to write something to be able to convey all the mixed feelings I had inside but didn't know the best way to go about it. I had googled open mic and the name of this cafe showed up. So I drove there one day and well it didn't seem to be quite as I had expected. I told myself to at least walk by it and if I didn't feel comfortable to go home. So I slowly walked by it and well there was a guy standing out front and he invited me inside. He seemed so nice and warm and everything. He handed me a menu and I found that I was somewhat hungry...I hadn't been eating right at that time. I got a steak pannini which comes with salad. It turned out he was the host of the open mic and he also played the piano til late/ early morning. He asked if I played anything and I said that I did, but I wasn't really good and I just wouldn't be able to in front of people and he said that I should really give it a try one day.

I first tried to play Tears in Heaven in 2008. I could play it pretty well til I get to the part "time will bring you down...." I just couldn't get it right...well I went back and looked at several tabs and covers on Youtube; I musta looked at at least 2 dozen and mixed and matched various styles and finally got the whole song down. So it took me about 3 years to get the song and I must say it is pretty rewarding. I messed up really badly the first 6 times I played but eventually I got it right. And I followed it up with Teardrops on My Guitar and When You Say Nothing At all.

Well on 2/16/12, when I went, a cable TV producer for a show was there. He created a series called Searching for Open Mic night and it would only be on channel 28 in Torrance. Jon texted everyone giving them a heads up he might be there and I wasn't sure if I wanted to go...but I decided that I might as well...there was a girl who did this cabaret like song and dance; she was pretty cute and all the guys loved her...and then there was me about 10 acts later...I started off with When You Say Nothing At All, but I was so nervous with the camera right there and the lights brighter than normal I couldn't get my fingers to strum properly, they just kept on shaking....and then once I got them under control, I forgot the was quite horrible...although I think I got the chorus down right...I didn't really want to, I wanted to do Tears in Heaven, but the plucking of strings can be quite tricky, so I decided to do Teardrops on My Guitar next...I changed the lyrics a bit by with "you" in place of "Drew" as I didn't think it made much sense considering I didn't know any Drews. But then I messed up one line with the wrong pronoun...and I finished my performance off with LP's Shadow of the Day with Jon on the piano and Joaquin on percussion....I think we did pretty good....well the producer's friend said that he really enjoyed the last one, and that it sounded like I really sang from the soul...I'd never heard anyone say that to me before! And whether or not he meant it, it made me really happy.

They wanted to interview me and I was really nervous about it...they asked what made me start doing open mic and how long I have been playing....I didn't want to say anything too all I said was that I've had a guitar for about 5 years but never played it much...and decided that I should start picking it up again...and that I'd been coming in for a few months....a year really...and that I woke up one day and told myself to think of something I wouldn't normally do...and do it. It's funny because the friend said to go deep diving...and I told him I already got my SCUBA certificate the other year...then they asked what my favorite store at the mall is and I said Borders...but they went out of business, so I don't really have one anymore. What a geeky thing to say...I wish I had said Potato Corner...I'm addicted to the tots...but maybe that would have sounded stupid too.

The real story about my guitar is that I first got one of those acoustic Fender packages in summer of 2005; had lessons for 3 months, didn't want to pay for lessons anymore and figured I could play with the chords I learned and the Romanza song my instructor taught me with a few riffs including Sweet Home Alabama. Then in spring 2008, I got an electric because the acoustic strings were hurting my fingers. In September 2009, I sold my Fender acoustic as I just wasn't playing it anymore and liked my electric a lot more. Well after I sold it, I missed the sound of the acoustic. Also the bridge on my electric broke, so I bought an Ibanez acoustic/ electric hybrid summer of 2011. I am in need of someone to fix my Fender electric. I had met someone who said he would fix it and charge me only for parts but the weeks after, he stopped going. Anyway, I love my Ibanez!!

I didn't go the following week. I was sick with something in my throat. I went this past Thursday- 3/2/12...and he was there again! He asked me if I remembered He kept asking if I was next...and that he was going to have to get me on film...and I said but he got me last time....he said he wanted to interview me before I go he asked me what goes on in my head before I go on and that I didn't seem too happy when I did the Alison Krauss song last time...and I told him that it should have been a really simple song and I just kept messing up so yes I was disappointed in myself. He asked me what that song meant to me and I told him it was When You Say Nothing At All and it reminds me of animals...and he laughed....I said that they didn't have to say anything at all and yet they could convey so much meaning and emotion...and I just really like animals. Then he asked me about the Taylor Swift Song, what it meant...and I just told him it didn't mean anything, I just like to play it because of the very simple chords over and over again and it was very easy to play...then he asked me what everyone should expect from me that night. I told him that I was known as the girl that plays "Tears in Heaven". People get my name wrong, they ask "you're but you're the girl that plays Tears in Heaven..." and I had not been wanting to play it; I wanted to put all the Tears in Heaven and Teardrops on My Guitar behind me and move on to something new....but they have been asking about it, so I am going to play it tonight! After that, I told him I felt silly...and he said I shouldn't....but we will see what the final edit looks like...well I wouldn't be surprised if he puts captions or thought bubbles coming out of they do on that show Blind Date.

I was really nervous about Tears in Heaven...once again the camera made me really nervous...I kept wondering why he wanted to film me again?? Well then I told myself it was gonna be ok...but then I heard sniffling...and I worried if I may have made someone cry?? And it was awfully quiet, normally I hear people talking...and there was just silence...just me and my was just really scary!! But when I got to the end, everyone was really nice with smiles on their faces and I played Howie Day's Collide...and it went really well til the last stanza, I messed up...I lost track and messed up the lyrics and the chords....but it was the first time I ever played it on stage...and then I ended with LP's Shadow of the Day with Jon. Well I think I messed up the rhythm...I wish Joaquin had been there...but everyone seemed to have enjoyed it regardless, they were smiling...unless they were just relieved I was finished.

So it is a fun venue. You meet lots of interesting musically inclined people...some not so musically inclined but creative all the same. It's quite a mixed bag on different nights.

I really do recommend it. The food is good, though a bit expensive but it is a small privately owned place and I am all about supporting your local noncorporate businesses. And service is kinda slow so I don't recommend going if you are ravenous but just if you are looking to have a snack with no rush. Also some nights they have fried oreos and $1 tacos.

Come eat and entertain or be prepared to be entertained.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Bun Bun Tea House

Looking for Genki Living? Look no more. The former Asian crepe place has been turned into a Taiwanese burger joint. The food served tastes better than the name sounds.

Mom ordered the Black Pepper beef rice bun which is more like a pita pocket bread. They even added an egg. My sister got the Spicy Chicken burger which also had an egg and a peanut butter spread. I got the Peanut Butter Cheeseburger with no ketchup and it was also amazing. I love how they put a fried egg in each one cooked just right so that the yolk doesn't get all over the place but at the same time is not overcooked.

The burgers come with fries and one potato ball. You could substitute for something else for 50 cents extra.

We went the other day to get an order of potato balls. One order comes with 6 and they were buttery and delicious with a dollop of cheese in the middle. Well today, the potato ball seemed to be missing flavor of any kind, no butter, just the cheese in the middle.

Their drinks are also delicious. I got the iced green tea with no sugar. And my sister got some coffee tea with freshly made boba, so fresh, it was still warm in the icy drink.

The atmosphere is pleasant. It is served by 2 Asian dudes. They are friendly but sometimes is hard to get their attention, especially if there are other customers. The place is really big enough to hold about 6 tables. You also have a choice of sitting on a sofa with a low coffee table. Flip through old Asian magazines on a shelf while waiting.

They have a tip jar. They were not coming over when we wanted the check so I gave them the money on the counter. They came over to give the change. And I was walking over to the tip jar on the counter as they came by to clean the table. They collected the tray the bill was on and gave me a funny look but looked relieved just as I put the tip in the jar before I left.

The only disadvantage of the place is that it's CASH ONLY!

99 Ranch

I am typically skeptical about the fast food sold at supermarkets, but the breakfast 99 Ranch offers is the best.

You have a nice selection of Taiwanese type breakfast items such as steamed pork-veggy buns, preserved duck egg pork porridge, rice roll with a crispy crueller inside and an egg wrapped inside a tortilla, and more.

The porridge is light yet filling, not greasy like a McDonald McMuffin; the rice roll is one of the best, much tastier than what J.J. Bakery offers. The turnip cake comes with a yummy sauce, similar to soy sauce but thicker with a hint of sweetness.

Each item is made with care, pleasing to the eye and tastbuds. And for those who do not like Taiwanese style foods, they also offer egg rolls and chicken wings to the discriminating American palette.

The staff is quick and efficient with your order. The only problem is arriving early to avoid crowds and getting good parking. Hungry customers can become rude and pushy.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Stacked Sandwiches

My coworkers and I went to Stacked Sandwiches quite by accident. We were wanting Boiling Point but the line was too long so we left.

They have interesting burgers such as Agent Orange, Chicken Little's Big Brother, and the Wacked Stacked Burger.

I got the Rev Pablo Pastor sandwich which as pineapples. It is generously stacked with a good cut of meat, lettuce, tomatoes and on the very top freshly sliced pineapples. It even has bacon! However, it was also very spicy. Their fries are deliciously seasoned.

The staff is very attentive, wiping clean the counter tops where we chose to sit even though it was not visibly dirty and even taking the time to get paper towels to wipe them dry immediately. Every 10 minutes or so they would ask how we were doing.

The type of customers are mostly construction workers, which shows how filling the food is. One burger averages out to be approximately $7, but they are made with a lot of care. Even though filled from patty to patty, one can eat a burger without getting it all over the place, which proves Carl's Jr. wrong that a good burger does not necessarily need to be a messy burger.

Additionally, they provide a water dispenser with paper cups in the back corner.

I also love the decor. There is a drawing of a Buddha holding the world in his hands on the wall.

2 thumbs up for sandwiches and burgers!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Hard Rock Cafe- Guam

It is across from the DFS Galleria in Tamuning, not too far a walk from hotel row.

My Navy buddy was crazy about this pull pork sandwich from another Hard Rock Cafe and he wanted to try it again. When I went to the one in Houston, it had a pretty good mac and cheese.

The other Navy buddy got the pull pork too. It was just as the other one remembered it. I got the side of mac as I didn't feel too hungry. The mac was good, though a little spicier than I would have expected. I was glad I only got the side and not the whole entree which would have been $18.

I was disappointed with the Haagen and Daz at our hotel. It looked like quite a large shop but it had only three boring flavors- vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. So I was tempted to look at the dessert menu and got the Creme Brulee. Well the Creme Brulee here is the worst I have ever tasted. It came in a good sized shot glass instead of the typical shallow round or oval ramkins and it was nothing more than overly sweet goopy cream. The only thing they did right was the brulee part but everything below that was pure disgusting I could only force myself to eat no more than half the glass. When the waitress came and asked how it was I told her "terrible". She asked what was wrong with it I told her it tasted only of sugar, no other flavor and she said that she hears that is what it is supposed to be. I tell her no, the ones I've had are so much more than that and she asked me where I had it. I tell her that I've had them mostly in California but they are pretty authentic. And she tells me that they would be more authentic than Guam...but it just seems like the way the Creme Brulee was made was so sloppy and careless. Would it kill them to add a vanilla bean or a hint of something special like taro or something?? Even the green tea creme brulee I've had at Shin Sen Gumi tasted better.

My Navy buddy left to buy souvenirs for his kids downstairs. I thought about getting a magnet and it was like $13, so overpriced. I was happy with the Hard Rock in Houston; the server was friendly and helpful, but the one here in Guam was terrible and completely loopy like she must have been smoking something funny before she got to work that night. She kept passing my our tables but not checking on us. And when she collected our payment, she collected the one behind us too, but when she brought them out again, she did it one by one which was kind of annoying, as in she returned the card of the guy behind us first. Then she went back inside to return ours, but it would have been more time efficient to just bring both of ours back. And when I asked for the Creme Brulee she stared at the other 2 for a while and one of my buddies had to finally say they didn't need anything else and she laughed.

I do not recommend this Hard Rock at all. For regular American food, the prices are terrible; it is clearly targeted for tourists. You are better off going to TGIF across the street next to the DFS.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ban Thai

This is the best Thai food I've had. First time around I had the pineapple fried rice. Second time I got the Drunken Noodle. They also have a mango fried rice, which I was curious about.

My buddy got the Pad Thai. He loved it so much he ordered it again to go for lunch the next day. And he ordered it again to take away a few days later. He shared some of that Pad Thai to 2 others who loved it as well.

Their Thai tea is good, not too sweet like some places. The only down side would be they do not serve iced coffee.

The place is full of Japanese tourists. In fact, the first night we went, they played Japanese music. 2nd time it was Thai music. We sat inside the first time. Outside the last time. The service is relatively good given the number of diners. If you are Asian, they may think you are Japanese and give you a Japanese menu. They gave us Japanese menus the first time and I thought that the owners were perhaps Japanese and didn't think about asking for English menus. The second time I asked them in English to have us seated so the server must have realized I needed English menus.

The food is freshly cooked. I really can't think of anything negative to say. If I ever return to Guam I would come back to this restaurant.

It is within easy walking distance from hotel row at Tumon Bay, a little past Route 66 and before the Hard Rock Cafe.

Look for a coupon for free Thai iced tea with purchase of dinner entrees in those recreation books such as from rental car centers.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Big Fish Shrimps Fish Grill

My coworkers and I have been talking about going to this place for a while but have been delaying it thinking it was going to be a big fancy sitdown sea food restaurant.

Well it turns out it is actually more of a fast food place. Most of the platters are about $10, either fried or grilled. I ended up getting the grilled cat fish. It was OK. It's nothing to rave home about but I think that if you like fish and want it fast, this place might be for you.

I don't have anything bad to say about it, but I wasn't terribly impressed either.

My coworker ended up paying for me since I was going on leave for 17 days. She also had a Groupon which helped.