2560 E Amar Rd # 3
West Covina, CA 91792
Type: Japanese / sushi
Ami Sushi is a small Japanese spot located right next to Jeun Tong Tofu House in West Covina. I've been here many times before. It's not the best sushi around, but like Taquisa, I go back for proximity's sake. The prices here are also not bad. My favorite deal here is the 12 piece Shrimp Tempura Roll for only $6.95! I don't know if they've raised their prices recently, but even for a dollar more it's still a relative bargain.
On this particular day we got it to-go (cuz we didn't want to pay for tip). We got the mentioned Shrimp Tempura Roll, the Alaska Roll ($8.95), yellowtail sushi ($3.75), and albacore sushi ($2.99). The Alaska Roll is the one with raw salmon on top. It had spicy tuna inside. This one I wouldn't get again. Nothing great or good about it. The two sushis though, weren't too bad. They were good sized and had a fresh taste to them. The Shrimp Tempura Roll as always, was consistent. There's nothing bomb to crave about but it's good and the price makes it better.
Like I said, this place gets my business cuz it's close by and they got the cheap Tempura Roll. If you're not too picky about sushi, or maybe just getting into it, I would tell you you might like the place. Sushi snobs need not apply.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Buffalo Wild Wings
8188 Day Creek Blvd # 140
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739
Type: wings / American / sports bar
I don't really know what I wanna say about this place. For one thing, I'm just not a big wings/sports bar kind of guy. The other reason is I didn't jot down any notes about the place (again). So let's see....
Buffalo Wild Wings started popping up maybe a year ago or more in the Inland Empire, and I think they have one in Palmdale. This place is a Hooters competitor minus the hot girls in orange. It's not exactly where you would go for a romantic night out unless that's what you and your date are into. It's loud, there's drunk fools watching sports, tv's everywhere you turn, and fried food. A yuppie's nightmare. Unless you're a cool yuppie, that is. (??????????)
Man, I really don't remember too much about this place. I didn't drink that much I think. We went here for my homey's birthday. Went to the bar, drank, sat down at a table, drank, ordered food, drank, ate mediocre food, drank, threw up, got in a fight, blacked out, woke up, couldn't find my pants, some girl asked for her money, I didn't have any, I ran out, then drove home. Most of that didn't happen. I didn't even throw up. I'm just compensating for not having any material for you guys. Apologies.
Now on to the food-- with little to no commentary/memory:
Sampler ($10.99). I see onion rings, cheese sticks, nachos?, and saucey stuff in the back.
I ordered the shrimp basket ($7.99). When I was a kid, I thought fried shrimp/popcorn shrimp would be bomb. Overrated. I've never had any that was super bomb. This was no exception. There was some sauce but I forgot what. Remind me not to order fried shrimp/popcorn shrimp again.
hopefully my last order of popcorn shrimp
You go here for the drinks, and also the wings. I didn't eat any and I have no idea if my friends liked it. I know you can pick your sauce and maybe how hot you want it. Ummm, yeah.
6 piece chicken tenders
For me, I'm not into these kinds of places. That's because I don't eat chicken wings for the most part. If you do on the other hand, you might wanna hit this place up. I can't say it'll be bomb but some of my friends like coming here once in a while. They're wack though. Just kidding. If you want credible opinions on this place, hit up Yelp. And don't come back to this blog again!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
17855 Colima Rd
City Of Industry, CA 91748
Type: Sushi / Japanese cuisine
For some odd reason, thinking back about this place doesn't get me excited about eating here. Even though the food is good and it's actually one of the better sushi places around the area, it hasn't popped in my head to come back. Because I'm so uninspired by the place I'll make this a no thrills/frills review. Actually I'm just lazy as usual and I'm in a bad mood. My 5 day weekend is over already and I probably won't get another one til late next year, or unless I quit.
On that note, I apologize to Kamon for taking it out on them. Now let's get this over with...
Okay. First thing we ordered was a combo dinner ($18). You get to pick 2 items from the menu. We got an 8oz. salmon teriyaki and sashimi. We asked for all salmon sashimi. It was all surprisingly good. The portion was bigger than I expected. The salmon sashimi was good, fresh, sweet, and fatty. The combo also came with salad, miso soup, and some fried chicken.
Next up, we got the dynamite appetizer ($6.50). The picture is very deceiving cuz I took it real close. That mother was small. The spoons weren't regular-sized spoons. They were like the spoons you use for chilli oils at Chinese restaurants. But man was it good. Or maybe it was just psychological. Since you only got so little, you cherished and savored every bite. Sneaky.
maybe actual size
We ordered two sushis (yellowtail and cajun albacore) at $4.50 per pair. They were both good but they put wasabi on it. Damn. I gotta get used to that.
We also got a spicy scallop hand roll. It was good but we've had many that were better. Probably wouldn't get that again.
Last and least, we got a tempura roll ($5.75). I think this was ordered just as a filler and cuz it was cheap. All I put in my notes is that I wouldn't get it again.
Man, it seems like we ordered a grip of food. It was mostly me that killed it though. But anyways, Kamon is a decent place. It's a little pricey and if you check Yelp, it got mixed reviews. Some gave it 2 stars while a few gave it 5 stars. I wouldn't give it 5 for sure. Maybe 3.5 stars. I'm right. Everybody else is wrong. F******************K work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday, November 21, 2008
5C's Louisiana Seafood
1034 West Covina Pkwy
West Covina, CA 91790
Type: Cajun / Southern / Soul Food
2 in the morning. I gotta leave my house in about 4 hours to go to work. What should I be doing? Sleeping? Getting rest? No. Doing a review on 5C's Louisiana Seafood in West Covina. That's what you call dedication (insomnia).
So after having M&M's in Long Beach, I've been craving soul food every once in a while. I don't know how I found out about this place, but next thing you know there's a spot that opened up near my house by the West Covina mall. It's in the same plaza as Panera, Sizzler, and Fresh & Easy.
I've been here maybe about 3 or 4 times as of this writing. I always get their fish dishes. They have a lot of seafood choices: red snapper, catfish, sand dab, trout, sole, shrimp, and oysters. They also have jambalaya, gumbo, chicken wings, and various sandwiches.
The inside of the place is kind of small with not a lot of seating available, especially for large groups. I don't remember much about decor, but looking at the picture there wasn't too much of it. It's a regular hole in the wall spot dressed up a little. All that's important to me is the food...
Unfortunately, I didn't take notes again so I'll just base everything from my photographic memory. Ummmm...... It was good. The End. Just kidding. This particular day we got the combination plate ($12.35) which consisted of 3 jumbo shrimps, 6-8 deep fried oysters, and 3 pcs. of fish. We got the red snapper. It also came with lettuce, tomatoes, french bread and some hush puppies. The fish and oysters were tasty, but I remember the fish having lots of bones. The fried shrimp was just fried shrimp to me. We had these with different sauces but my personal favorite is tartar sauce with this kind of stuff. The lettuce and tomatoes I used as neutralizers and juicifyers(?). I'm not a fan of pickles and hush puppies.
deep fried frenzy
neutralizers and juicifyers. except the pickles and hush puppies
My friends got something similar except they just got the fish and chips ($5.50). They got the filet catfish. This was actually better than the red snapper for some reason. Maybe there wasn't as many bones.
hot sauce, tartar sauce, you're good to go.
So how does this place stack up against M&M's? If you put them side by side, I'd go to M&M's. But if you put M&M's in Long Beach, and 5C's in West Covina, I'll go to 5C's once in awhile. I mean it's not a bad spot. If you like deep fried seafood and live close by give this place a try. I read on Yelp and it got decent reviews on average. One dude gave it 5 stars. I'll be back, but I'm going to M&M's first. Actually, next week! Yay!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
15 Crystal Cove
Newport Coast, CA 92657
Type: American cuisine
Here's yet another spot to take out-of-town guests to make it seem like you're hip with the in-crowd, even though we all know you read this blog or searched the internet under "hip places to eat" to find this place. It's all good. Your secret's safe with me. I'm almost as cool as you, but I found out about this place from my girlfriend. She's a little more hip than I. She told me her dad eats at this place that's right on the beach/sand and he sometimes sees dolphins while chowing down. She also said he saw or sees Karl Malone eating here sometimes. Aight. If it's good for The Mailman, why not?
Before you decide to go to The Beachcomber, know a few things: it gets really packed on the weekends, so waiting times could go from an hour to maybe 3; you can't just pull up to the place and park in front (it's on the sand and yards from the ocean); it might be a little chilly so bring a sweater; and you can't make reservations for large groups (large being more than 4?).
That being said, my girl took me there on a weekday so we wouldn't have to wait long. We went in the morning for breakfast. Like I said, you can't just pull up to the parking lot-- unless you're handicapped and have the sticker for your car. It's kind of a little mission you go on. First, you drive up PCH in Newport Coast/Crystal Cove, then you turn onto Los Trancas away from the water. Some days you might not have to pay for parking, but expect to give the city about $10 for that, just in case. So after you park you can choose one of two things. You can walk to the spot via a tunnel which takes you to the other side of PCH, or you can wait for the shuttle and pay $1 per person. Guess what we did? Here's $2 good sir. I know walking would be the proper thing to do at the beach, but nope.
lazy ass's view
Bye! and don't forget to pick us up later, cuz I ain't walking back. Thank you!
We gave our driver a small tip cuz he was cool. The ride isn't that long, so we got dropped off at the stop and proceeded to walk to the restaurant. I didn't think to take any pictures, but there's a bunch of small houses/cottages surrounding the restaurant that you can rent. Pretty cool if you got the dough.
Luckily for us, there wasn't a wait, but the place was still packed. We decided to eat on the patio cuz it's the beach and all. There was a tent over the patio cuz I guess it was drizzling earlier, but I seen pics on the website and there's usually no tent. One other thing was it was cold. I didn't bring a sweatshirt forgetting that the beach in the morning ain't like the pictures you see on postcards. There's blankets that you can ask for though, but I was too manly to get one. Moron.
The Beachcomber serves separate breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. I don't know the exact times for each, but we were there in the morning, so breakfast it was. The menu was pretty limited. I ended up getting the Egg White Frittata ($7). I don't remember what it was exactly, but I know there was spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, and cheese. I think it was whatevers to me. Nothing wow about it. I got it with the roasted breakfast potatoes. After looking at the menu again, I realize I shoulda got their French Toast. Next time.
Frittata ain't a manly name
My girl got the Corned Beef Hash and Eggs ($10). Again, I also don't remember what she thought about it. Oh quit whining. If you read my blog often, you'll know I'm horrible at describing food anyways. If you really wanna know how it was, maybe you can read the comments and she'll have put her two cents in there. I'm guessing it wasn't super great, although on the website they claim,"The best hash served this side of the Waldorf!"
read the Comments section for comments on this dish
So after what I can't remember was decent food at somewhat pricey prices, would I go back? That is probably gonna be a yes. Although the food we ordered wasn't memorable, I read on Yelp that it's hit or miss and you might get some bomb food. But in my opinion, and many others', you come here for the surroundings. The food is just something to do between conversation and to keep you alive while enjoying the scenery. I'll take friends and family here if they're feeling somewhat touristy. If you come in the summer, don't forget your boogie board!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
2007 Foothill Blvd
La Verne, CA
As of this writing, I found out that Caribbean Gardens is no longer with us-- at least in its original La Verne location. I looked it up on Google, and they might have possibly moved to Pomona. I'll give them a call and get to the bottom of this as soon as I can. Til then, this will be just a short eulogy....
Caribbean Gardens and I were friends. We weren't close friends like me and Banana Bay, Hole Mole, or even Maxim Cafe. But we had a special relationship. I'd go there on somewhat special occasions and if I had some money to spend. I'd go all the way to La Verne just to eat there and come right back after. I found out the hard way that this place was gone. I drove all the way over there with a friend and when we pulled up in the parking lot, the name was different. My first initial thought was, "Oh. They changed their name?" But I very quickly realized that the chances of them changing their name to a Chinese restaurant-sounding place and keeping their original menu in tact was just wishful thinking.
The flag of Guyana
Really quickly, I'll try to shoot off about the food, although I don't think I can keep my composure re-living all the memories here.
This place serves Guyanese food. (Guyana is located in northern South America) What's Guyanese food? I haven't had much Caribbean food, but the name of this place pretty much says what it is. I mean they got plantains, jerk chicken--which I know is also eaten in Jamaica. They have some veggie dishes, fish dishes, and different meat dishes. I think this place has some Indian (from India) influences with their daal (lentil soup) and other things. They also have roti which is a type of flat bread from India as well. It's kind of like Cuban and Peruvian food too. Durr... they're both in the Caribbeans.
The prices here aren't that cheap but I personally didn't mind paying up once in awhile. If I could, I would've eaten there about every 2 weeks. Maybe if their menu had more selections, I would've liked to go every week. But alas.
Here's their fried fish meal ($15) nice and salty
Roti and vegetable curry with more plantains $9.25
more people should've known about this place
Why did they close down? WHY??!!!! WHHHHHYYYYYYY!!!!!?????? I don't know how many people were exposed to this place. It was a small spot in a shopping plaza. It was never packed when I came to eat here. Is it me? Do I have bad taste? I don't think so. My friends and girlfriend thought it was cool. Maybe they were being nice to me cuz they knew how happy I was to eat here. Could it be that nobody should ever listen to my recommendations and this food blog is just a waste of everybody's time? Yes. Likely. But I still refuse to believe that this place shut down cuz of less than par food.
Caribbean Gardens... wherever you are. You'll be missed. Come back to me, please. *sob* *sob* *sob*
Sunday, October 19, 2008
The Boiling Seafood
19705 Colima Rd Ste 415
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
Type: Cajun Seafood Boil
There's this new craze around So. Cal for Cajun-style seafood. You just order the type of seafood you want (shrimp, crab, lobster, or crawfish) and choose the type of seasoning. When it's done they bring you the finished product(s) in plastic bags. To eat it, you just get the stuff out of the bag, peel it, and toss it somewhere on the table (covered with butcher paper). That's it. But it gets messy.
I was a little late to this new trend-- if you wanna call it that. My friends used to rave about these kinds of places, especially a place known as Boiling Crab (review coming soon). I was put off from a similar experience when I went to San Pedro with some friends and had a similar style meal. It was just wack to me. Plain. Seasonings sucked. Never again. But it wasn't Cajun-style.
Some new place opened near the hood and my friends said it's supposed to be similar to Boiling Crab. They really really wanted to try this place out, so I dropped my past notions and joined in the hype and anticipation of trying this place.
The day of reckoning finally came. A big group of us rolled through. Luckily for us, the place was empty. Or maybe it's not so lucky for us. Not a good sign?
Since I didn't know crap about these places, my friends had to be our tour guides. First up, they ordered us 1 pound of king crab legs ($14.99). They said to get the "whole shebang" seasoning which is all their seasonings combined (rajun cajun, lemon pepper, butter). You get to choose how spicy you want it. We got medium. Next up 1 pound of shrimp ($8.99). Same deal. Whole shebang medium. We decided to get some items from the lower part of the menu. We got crispy oysters ($9.99), some corn on the cobs ($0.50 each), and some fries ($1.99).
you read their menus sideways
So first comes the side stuff. Crispy oysters and fries. You get about 10 oysters per order. They're deep fried obviously. I liked them. Nothing super outstanding, but they're cool. In my notes, I put the fries are decent and they give you a lot for 2 bucks. But having been to a few of these places now, I'm not getting fries anymore. Not that they suck. I prefer to eat the seafood with rice. What's good about this spot is you can order steamed rice, or you can probably bring your own. Yup. Do that instead.
crispy oysters and fries as a filler
(Before you get into all this mess, they give you a bib to protect part of that new, white shirt you stupidly wore)
The shrimp came next. I didn't do a great job with the picture cuz I took at an angle that makes it look plain and dry. Not the case. It's really soaked in a red sauce known as the whole-shebang. I think they had to change that name though cuz that's Boiling Crab's sauce name. I liked it. You just soak the shrimp in the sauce, remove the head, suck the head of all the juices, suck the body of whatever juices it has, peel the body, dip the peeled shrimp into the sauce again, and enjoy. No, this is not an instruction manual for a porno. But it might give you an orgasm or two. After my many experiences at these places now, I order more shrimp than anything else. For the money, it's just the best deal. I'll still order crab or whatever, but this is the staple of the meal for me.
Hi guys. Sorry you taste so good.
Alright. You gotta get some kind of crab. We always get the king crab legs cuz 1) I heard there's more to eat, and 2) it's cheaper than the dungeness. What can I say. It's crab. It's good. There's a lot more work to it than the shrimp, but the efforts are equally rewarded. Sometimes though, karma bites you in the ass when you're cracking them open and you get stabbed by the thorns on the legs. It's like I can hear the crab watching over us saying, "Take that!" But once you come out the battle field with your hostage (a fat slab of meat), I use a fat technique of pulling the pieces apart a little and soaking them back in the sauce. By pulling the meat apart, it exposes more surface area to absorb the sauce. It's a mathematical fact.
These things bite back.
somebody ordered some fried shrimp, but who cares, right?
I forgot to mention they also give you some lime, salt, and pepper that you mix together for a more citrusy flavor. It's good to have to change up the pace of whole-shebang.
bag o' goodies.
the rest of the carnage
So what's my take? For many who've tried this place and had the chance to compare it to Boiling Crab, they didn't like it. Some just straight up despise it. As of this writing, I've been to Boiling Crab about 3 times, and this place about 3 or 4 times. I've tried both, and yes, Boiling Crab is superior to this place in every way except that you can order rice just in case you forget to bring some, and it's closer to home. In all honesty, I don't mind going here again. And I probably will go here soon. I've brought people here who haven't tried B.C. and they liked it. Why spoil it? If they like it, they like it. I like it.
p.s. I heard they changed the name of this place to Michael's Cajun something or something. But for now, just look it up on Google as The Boiling Seafood. Also, don't wear anything nice. And maybe you might not want to go anywhere fancy after cuz you'll be smelling like seafood and garlic for a little bit.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
The Stinking Rose
55 N La Cienega Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Type: Californa-Italian / garlic
Being my girl's bday (back in March), she wanted to try something different from the normal special-occasion-spot of sushi, sushi, and sushi. I don't think it took long for her to decide on The Stinking Rose in Beverly Hills. When I first heard of the spot and passed by it a long time ago, I thought it was an upscale restaurant. Fortunately it wasn't as upscale as I thought.
The Stinking Rose, like Garlic Jo's is known for their garlic themed dishes. The term "stinking rose" is universally known as garlic as the website claims-- hence the name. I read that they use about 3000 lbs. of garlic a month at their San Francisco location.
Ironically the decor inside reminded me of vampires and how they would decorate their castle. There's different themed dining rooms throughout the place.
I have to make a quick confession. The notes I took about this place are almost non-existent. All I put down in my phone is "there's a separate bar area." That's it. I don't really remember what dishes are what and if it was really good or not. All I can provide for you are the professional quality pictures I took of the food:
here's one looking from the beer goggle lens
this one's a scenic pic. notice how I got the table with the lights reflecting off the glass and the silverware. The bread and that other stuff couldn't have been in better spots. Art just sometimes happens.
Ok. The next one was mine so I had a good view of it. I think it was the sea bass ($25.95). It had some kind of small pasta balls for the carbs. I think it tasted good. I don't think I got full from this one though. It's possible I'd get it again.
the sea bass in its habitat
So my girl's friends came and my friends came and we had like 20 heads in the place. Bad thing when it's your bday. You know why? Every single person is gonna try to get you a drink. What's wrong with people buying you a drink? Nothing-- when it's 1 or 2, or 3. But maybe 7 or more mixed drinks spells disaster. My girl was throwing up in the bathroom by the end of the meal. But she recovered and we went clubbing soon after.
Again I apologize for the horribler-than-usual review. The Stinking Rose is a good spot to take out-of-town visitors (unless they come from Frisco) who want something cool and different. I consider these kinds of places the go-to spots when you wanna impress visitors and make it seem like you're hip and know what's up in your city. The prices are a little high especially if you're treating. The food is good (that I vaguely remember). I'd go here again for another special occasion. I'll take notes next time.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
300 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101
Type: sandwiches / salads / pasta
Spent a little time in Pasadena a while back (in March to be exact). When I think of Pasadena, or any other city I think about, I wonder how their food culture is. Pasadena seems like a decent town for eats. So what do I do? I settle for the mall and find something there to quiet my stomach. Me being me, I at least made an attempt to skip the places I got at home (Subway and other places found everywhere). The mall is called Paseo Colorado and we end up on the second floor across the way from the movie theaters and a sushi restaurant to some spot in the corner called California Crisp.
This place didn't have exactly what I was craving for, but this particular meal was meant as a snack so we could save our appetites for something better at night. This place had sandwiches, salads, pastas, and I forgot what else. It's a healthier food place that I'm guessing caters to the yuppier crowds in Yuppiedena. Since it's a healthy spot, you know you gotta pay a little extra for those fresh ingredients. The well-to-do can afford to stay healthy, while I and many many others have to settle for heart disease, high cholesterol, and carpooling.
There was a good amount of people inside cuz I think it was lunch time for the working bunch. I remember I had a little trouble deciding what to get. Not much seemed that appetizing to me. I settled for the half veggie sandwich with one side ($6.59). I picked the pesto pasta for the side. The sandwich was cool. I don't remember much. I just know that their ingredients were fresh. Their pastas are served cold.
My girl ordered the grilled chicken breast panini and 1 side ($7.29). She said it was okay as well. I don't know where the picture is but there's nothing special about it.
This place is just okay for us. I mean if you're on the healthy tip and lived in the neighborhood, you'd probably frequent this place if you could afford it-- and you're a yuppie. Just playing. I won't go here again cuz it's just not my style. It's not nasty though. So if you need to shed some pounds, this might be a good place to start. Fatty.
Friday, September 5, 2008
19705 Colima Rd
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
Type: Japanese food / sushi
I remember the first time I had Niko Niko. That was in the beginning of my sushi career. I fell in love right away cuz their prices were decent for all the special rolls they had. I think the most expensive one is about $12. The one I tried was in La Habra. I remember one time I drove all the way from West Covina to La Habra just to get some rolls at Niko Niko!
Now, I've grown up, and I can say that I've been to a few sushi spots since then. But to this day, I still don't mind hitting up this place once in a while. Luckily, they have one closer to my stomping grounds in Rowland Heights. It's in the same plaza as Happy Wok, Boiling Seafood, and Albertson's. This time, we went here for my girl's bday. My mom treated us.
I used to love their dynamite appetizer ($7) here. I don't know what happened, but the taste for this has fallen off for me the last few times I ordered it. I probably won't get it again. It was just lacking in taste and I didn't want to finish it. When I say that, it must be ultimate wackness.
dynamite appetizer-- my ex-friend
My mom and bro got the combo meals cuz they don't eat rolls or sushi. My mom got the salmon and beef combo, and my brother got the calamari steak and salmon teriyaki combo ($10 something each?). My mom said her food was okay and my brother said the calamari didn't have much flavor. I wasn't too interested in what they ordered anyway.
I think my girl and I were extra hungry cuz-- or it might have been cuz my mom was paying, but we ordered a good amount of food. We got the Sapporo roll ($10.99). It was yellowtail on top of spicy yellowtail with crab inside. That one was good.
The baked spicy lobster roll ($10 something?) is usually a hit with me. This time around was no exception. I put "very good" in my notes so it must have been..... very good!
can't go wrong with Niko Niko's baked spicy lobster roll
Nowadays, salmon sashimi or sushi is like rice for me when I go to a sushi place. I always have to order it. The 7 piece salmon sashimi got a nod from me. It was fresh-- even though it was late night. I don't know if that really matters.
To round out our sushi selection, we got the 2 piece yellowtail sushi ($4 something) and 2 piece albacore sushi ($4 something). Both were good. The yellowtail was fresh, and best of all, they were fat pieces. The albacore had some ponzu sauce in it which luckily wasn't too tangy.
I've mentioned before that I've been here already. I think I've been to Niko Niko restaurants about 5 or 6 times. A couple times in Rowland Heights, a couple in La Habra and a few in Long Beach. They're all about the same. They're usually consistent with their stuff so I'm not worried about going to any other of their locations. It won't be my first choice, but I won't whine if we have to go there.