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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Smash Burger

Smash Burger
602 W Huntington Dr
Monrovia, CA 91016

Smash Burger is a Colorado based burger chain, that has come into the crowded Southern California burger market.  I don't know their concept and don't want to google them either.

Smash Burger in Monrovia is located in a shopping center that is filled with other chain restaurants!   Smash Burger offers burgers made with beef, there are two sizes available, chicken, or a black bean.  You can create your own or order from their selection of burgers.

There is ample seating inside and a patio with about eight tables with umbrellas!  They need to put more trash cans!!  After we finished eating, I couldn't find any trash cans on the patio and had to walk to the left of the front counter to find a trash can.  I know it wasn't a long walk to the front counter but come on put a trash can on the patio or at least by the door!

Avocado Ranch Black Bean Burger, $6.39, fresh avocado, pepper jack, lettuce, tomato & ranch dressing on a multi-grain bun.  This was a great burger!!!  The black bean patty was thin, which is good, because it didn't fall apart like many bean burgers.  The texture was great and perfectly seasoned.  The toppings were fresh.  A very good and filling burger.

I also got an regular order of fries, $1.99.  I was surprised at how thinly sliced the fries were, but they were good.

Service was good.  The people are nice and friendly.

I would go back to Smash Burger again.  I black bean burger is a very good vegetarian option!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Citrus Kitchen

Citrus Kitchen
10431 Lemon Ave Suite H
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737

David Allen reviewed Citrus Kitchen back in September 2014, and it's been on my bucket list of places to try.   I finally went to Citrus Kitchen and felt I was going Back to the Future!!  Why?  Because this restaurant used to be Chef Tim's and Gerald Willhite's Spices BBQ.  I understand after Chef Tim's the location was a Chinese restaurant and at one time used to be an Indian restaurant.  I found it interesting that there are two pizza places in this shopping center, a national chain and a mom and pop's.  On a side note, this is the second time this year I went Back to the Future!  The first time was Jay's Pizza, which used to be Joe's Pizza.

Citrus Kitchen is a small place, with a two tables and two sets of counter seating, one facing the window, another facing the prep area!!  It was fairly busy on a Saturday night.  

The ordering system at Citrus Kitchen is choice of protein, then one side with a snack portion, or two sides with a meal portion.  Then a choice of sauce.  Seafood and beef items are about 50 cents higher for the snack portion.  I got two snack portions and two different sides to get a variety.  I got my order to go.  While waiting for my order, a woman, who was dining in, asked for a plate.  The guy behind the counter said they do not have any plates!!  Now, I'm not sure if that means they ran out of plates or no longer serve food on plates!  In the pictures from David Allen's review, the food was served on plates.

Blackened salmon, $7.99.  Perfectly cooked, but lacked flavor!!  Very little spices and seasonings! 

Citrus shrimp, $7.99.  Very well cooked and seasoned!!  Didn't even need the limes!  I would order this again!

Vegan black beans.  A very good sided portion for a side!  Beans were cooked perfectly and they were full of flavor with a nice kick.  Though I'm not sure what spice they used to get that heat.

Mac and cheese.  As well cooked as the black beans were, the macaroni was undercooked!!  But, the cheese was great; lots of it, creamy and nice flavor.  If the macaroni was cooked properly this would have been great!!

Service was friendly.  The order took about ten minutes to prepare, which is fine.  But, I got my order to go, and they didn't put napkins or utensils in the bag!

I was disappointed in Citrus Kitchen.  I thought the food, especially the salmon, was going to be much better.  

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Dilliwala Indian Kitchen

Dilliwala Indian Kitchen
303 S Diamond Bar Blvd
Diamond Bar, CA 91765

Dilliwala Indian Kitchen has been open for about 8 months, in what used to be Papa G's Pizza.  While I thought Papa G's served up great pizza, the interior had not been updated since the 1980's.  Now, the interior of Dilliwala is very inviting.  There are about 10 tables with some bench seat along the walls. 

Aloo Samosa, $4.95, crispy fried savory pastry stuffed with spiced potatoes.  While very flavorful, with a good amount of spices, this wasn't worth the price.  Two fairly small sized samosa for about $5???

Dal Tardka, $9.95, chickpea lentils tempered with ginger, garlic, tomatoes, onions, green chillies.  This was a fantastic dal/lentils.  Very flavorful, while the green chillies stood out, they didn't overpower the flavor. 

Service was very good.  Nice and friendly people.  Food was ready quickly.

Dilliwala Indian Kitchen is better than the other Indian restaurant in Diamond Bar, Diamond Palace.  I would go back to Dilliwala anytime, but wouldn't order the samosa because of the price.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana

Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana
625 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101

Having gone to DeSano Pizza Bakery recently, I remembered Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana, in Pasadena, has been on my bucket list of places to try.

As the name says, Settebello is a Neapolitan style pizza.  A fairly large restaurant with a huge bar to the right of the entrance and tables scattered around the bar.  The noise level is fairly loud for a busy Saturday dinner, but not so loud you have to scream at the person across the table from you. 

Margherita, $12, Crushed Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Basil, Parmigiano Reggiano, Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  The crust was almost great, but too many burnt areas.  The none burnt areas had a very nice texture-chewy yet very soft.  The sauce was balanced and flavorful.  They could have put more cheese on the pizza, but otherwise a very good pizza.  It would have been better if they pizza chef had moved the pizza before it was charred.

Service was quick but very inattentive.  While our server came by often, he didn't notice we needed refills.  At most restaurants you don't have to ask for refills on water or soda.   Yes, I could have asked, but a couple times when the server came by I was talking to my friend and just didn't ask for a refill. 

Overall my experience at Settebello was good, but not great and didn't live up to the hype.  For a place that has been open for a long time, they shouldn't serve charred pizza!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

DeSano Pizza Bakery

DeSano Pizza Bakery
4959 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029

DeSano Pizza Bakery has been on my bucket list of places to try for a long time.  I was going to go to Village Pizzeria, but on the way there I drove past DeSano!  A quick U turn and I parked in DeSano's huge free parking lot.  Desano's is a Neapolitan style pizza like Bollini's in Monterey Park.

From the parking lot there are two doors, one to the dining room and the other to where you place your order.  The dining room has huge ovens where the pizza magic happens!

Charleston Pizza- 11 inch, shrimp, broccolini, peppers, and buffalo mozzerella, $16.  The Charleston is a special, normally it's only available at their Charleston, South Carolina location.  But, I'm glad they brought it to Los Angeles!  This was a great pizza!  The crust is great, soft, but with a great chewy texture!  The toppings plentiful and fresh.  All the flavors worked very well.  The sweetness of the sauce helped the bitterness of the broccolini.  A great pizza! 

Service was very good.  Nice helpful lady at the counter.  And the lady who brought the pizza to my table, was very nice too.  She quickly changed the channel to the baseball, instead of some stupid racing.  The other TV had that stupid kickball game at the Rose Bowl, that caused a ton of traffic on the 210 freeway!!

I hope DeSano keeps the Charleston Pizza on their Los Angeles menu, but I will go back and try their other pizza!!  A great place for Neapolitan style pizza.  Yes, while I haven't been to Bollini's in a long time, DeSano is better!!

Saturday, July 18, 2015


13547 Telegraph Rd
Whittier, CA 90605
(562) 944-8803

I have been to the Pizza Mania in Long Beach, and liked the pizza and sandwiches.  I saw that there was a Pizza Mania in Whittier and I was in the area and dropped by.  I forgot to ask if the two locations are related.

The Whittier location is huge, with a separate room, where you placed your order and a huge dining area.  This place has to be very popular with the little league kids in the area.


Medium mushroom and jalapeno pizza, $16.57.   The sauce had a mild flavor.  The mushrooms were fine, but the jalapenos were pickled and just too salty.  I would prefer fresh jalapenos or pickled jalapenos that were less salty.  But, the crust was off.  Cripsy on the outside and way too bready in the inside.  The pizza was heavy and it's all crust.

Service was very good.  Mostly teenagers working, who were nice and helpful.  The pizza came out in about ten minutes.  They were pretty busy for a rainy Saturday afternoon.

I wouldn't go back to Pizzamania in Whittier, the crust just isn't up to par.


14230 Chino Hills Pkwy
Chino Hills, CA 91709

Rokuan is in the Stater Bros. shopping center, the same center as Oh Queso is located! The sign outside says Sushi, and on the door is Rokuan.   It's a small restaurant, with minimal decorations.  It has about eight seats at the sushi bar, another five long bench seating and a couple tables to the left of the front door. 

I got there early for lunch, about 11:45am, and got seated quickly.  But, within 20 minutes, every table was filled and about three people waiting for a table. 

Shrimp sushi, $4.95 and lobster sushi, $5.95.

The shrimp was good.  Nice and fresh and good quality.  The lobster was amazing, even though it was more of a lobster salad than lobster.  They cut up pieces of lobster and mixed with the some mayo and other ingredients and it was damn good!!  

Spicy tuna hand roll, $5.15.  Again, fresh and tasty. 

Crunchy roll, $9.95.  Shrimp tempura a California roll.  Pretty good, even if the shrimp tempura wasn't that crushy.

Service was very good and attentive!

I would happily go back to Rokuan.  The exterior isn't that inviting, but the sushi is very good!