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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Continental Gourmet Sausage

Continental Gourmet Sausage
6406 San Fernando Rd

I heard some good things about Continental Gourmet Sausage, but I also got some wrong information about them, so it affected my review.

I was expecting a place that sold hot dogs and sausages that were prepared and you could eat there. But, Continental Gourmet Sausage is really a butcher shop that sells cold cuts, hot dogs, and sausages for you to prepare at home.

They do sell a few sandwiches, but I wanted a sausage, so I got the Polish sausage Sandwich, $4.94. The polish sausage was ok, nothing great. A decent spice profile, decent quality meats, but not worth the price for this sandwich and I don't think it was worth their price per pound, which was about $4. The bread was pretty good, with a nice chewy firm texture.

Service is ok. They don't speak or understand much English. It was like pulling teeth trying to just get a damn polish sausage or hot dog!! Again it was expecting a restaurant or at least a deli that served food, instead I got a deli that had limited experience serving food.

I wasn't impressed at all with the polish sausage at Continental Gourmet Sausage and wouldn't by the sausage by the pound. So there is no reason for me to go back there.

Friday, June 29, 2012

BBQ Bistro-Closed

BBQ Bistro
16691 Gothard St
Ste K
Huntington Beach

BBQ Bistro was the first stop on a two stop BBQ ribs taste test in Huntington Beach. My second stop was BT's Southern BBQ.

BBQ Bistro is located in an industrial area on Gothard St. There are many businesses in the area, that hopefully are keeping BBQ Bistro busy!! If you're trying to find BBQ Bistro, look for the red umbrellas on the west side of Gothard St, or if you get there early enough, follow your nose!!

Half slab of St. Louis ribs, $12.39.

I really wasn't expecting too much from BBQ in Huntington Beach. Most BBQ places in Orange County are terrible. But, I was pleasantly surprised at BBQ Bistro. These ribs were great!! They were huge, meaty, a nice bark, good smoke flavor, very little fat, and just wonderful. The ribs were smoked with hickory and apple wood and the pit master does a great job. The BBQ sauce is a tomato based sauce, pretty good but the ribs were so good, you don't need sauce at all!!

Service is pretty good. The guy who took my order greeted me when I walked in and was pretty helpful.

I would go back to BBQ Bistro anytime. The ribs were very good. They are not open for dinner, since they cater to the surrounding businesses, which, I assume, close about 5pm. My BBQ ribs taste test was off to a great start!!

BT's Southern BBQ

BT's Southern BBQ
7144 Edinger Ave
Huntington Beach

After my BBQ ribs taste test in Huntington Beach got off to a great start at BBQ Bistro, my second stop was at BT's Southern BBQ.

BT's Southern BBQ is about a mile away from BBQ Bistro, right across Edinger from Golden West College. It's a bit tough to find, but it's the same shopping center as the Toys R Us-who knew they were still in business! Once you find it, you will see a small restaurant with about 10-12 tables and a bar area inside, and two tables outside.

Full slab spare ribs, $17.95.

After a great example of real BBQ ribs, I get a bad example of real BBQ ribs. The best way to ruin real BBQ ribs, is to finish them on the grill!! Come on, the best way ruin any real BBQ by putting them on a grill!! You took the time and effort to slowly cook the ribs, but now you ruin them by putting them on a hot grill! You can see the grill marks on the ribs.

The ribs were thin, dry, lacked flavor, and just not worth it. I got more meat from the five ribs from BBQ Bistro, than I did from these 10 skinny ribs at BT's Southern BBQ.

Service is pretty good. The girl who took my order was pretty nice and helpful. When she dropped off my ribs, she told me about all the BBQ sauces they had on the table, including two sauces that were in a yellow and a red squeeze bottle, I thought they were ketchup and mustard. After a little while, she came outside and asked how everything was.

I saw many people order BBQ sandwiches, so that maybe the way to go here, but when I go to BBQ, I get spare ribs. So, I wouldn't go back to BT's Southern BBQ, especially since BBQ Bistro is only a mile away.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mario's Peruvian Seafood Restaurant

Mario's Peruvian Seafood Restaurant
15720 Imperial Hwy
La Mirada

I enjoyed my first and only Peruvain dining experience at Choza Mama, so I've been on the look out for other Peruvian restaurants. I found Mario's and many friends told me it's a must try.

The Mario's I found was in Hollywood, but I soon found that they have a location in La Mirada, so I went there. Well, I tried to go there for lunch, but on a Tuesday afternoon they were closed for the day, due to renovations. I called about 10am and nobody answered and there was no answering machine, so I just figured they weren't opened until 11am. I head down there to find a sign that said closed for the day. I really wish they had an answering machine and they left a message about the closure.

Anyways, I'm not one to hold grudges, so I went there for dinner. But, this time I called, somebody answered, so this wasn't a wasted trip!!

Jalea De Mariscos $15, fried red snapper, shrimp, and squid with onion salsa and tartar sauce. The batter for the fish and shrimp was light, yet crunchy and well cooked. The red snapper was fresh and tasty. The shrimp still had the shell, which isn't what I expected, but the shrimp was fresh.

But the batter for the squid was too thick and heavy. The squid itself was good, pretty fresh, not too chewy. But, the batter ruined it for me.

Overall I liked this dish. But, only three medium sized shrimp? Come on, either decrease the size of the shrimp and increase the portion or tell us that there is only three pieces of shrimp.

Tallarin de mariscos-$12.25, shrimp, squid, octopus and pasta, onions and tomatoes. This was a very good dish. The pasta-spaghetti was cooked perfectly, the seasoning and spices were right on. The seafood was fresh. If I had one complaint, maybe the small portion.

Arroz Chaufa De Camarones-$13, shrimp fried rice, Peruvian style. I know that Peruvain food has a lot of Asian influences and I don't know what made this shrimp fried rice Peruvian style, because it tasted like any other shrimp fried rice I've had at Chinese restaurants. It was good, fresh seafood, rice cooked perfectly, well seasoned, but again the portion size was small.

Service was pretty good. It's a big restaurant, I'm betting it used to be a Coco's, and there were about ten tables filled with hungry diners. But, I had to ask for refills on water and our server wasn't around that often.

I did like the food at Mario's but I wasn't blown away. I thought that the prices were a bit high for the portion size and even the quality of the food. I won't rush back to this Mario's or their Hollywood location.

Empanada's Place

Empanada's Place
3011 Harbor Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Empanada's Place is a few doors down from Moscow Deli is an Argentinian restaurant, that serves empanada's. Duh!! It's a cash only operation and there are a few seats, both inside and outside, for you to enjoy their great empanadas.

All empanadas are $2.99 with a dozen for $29.99.

I got two empanadas; corn-sweet cut corn with melted mozzarella cheese and white sauce; and chicken-fresh California chicken with peas, carrots, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, herbs, spices.

The first thing I noticed about these empanadas was the size- they were huge.

I loved the corn!! It had a perfect blend of sweet, creamy and salty flavors. The outside shell was buttery and flaky, just perfect.

The chicken was also good. Well seasoned, perfectly cook, moist white meat chicken, with lots of good veggies. Another winner at Empanada's Place!!

Service is very good. The ladies welcome you to their store with a smile and a warm hello!! They answer questions patiently and in a friendly way.

I would go back to Empanada's Place any time. They have a location in Culver City that I may try, if I could stand being in the snotty west side!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Maison Akira

Maison Akira
713 E Green St
Pasadena, CA 91101

A friend is moving to Boston and I wanted to take her to lunch one last time before she leaves. So, I asked her to pick a restaurant and she told me that Maison Akira is a French restaurant with a Japanese flair and only serves lunch once a week, Fridays. So we met at Maison Akira and I enjoyed one of the best meals I've ever had and got to spend time with a friend, before her move!!

I got the Special Bento Box, $22.50- Miso Marinated Chilean Sea Bass and Mixed Vegetables with Sautéed Scallop, with Wasabi Potato Mousseline, Tuna Tartare, Dungeness Crab Cake, a Cup of Soup du Jour or Miso Soup & Shrimp Chawanmushi.

The soup was butter nut squash and I loved it. Nice and creamy with a good balanced flavor.

Now onto the other part of the bento box. The sauteed scallops had a perfect sear, was fresh, and well seasoned. The chef could give seafood restaurants lessons on how to sauteed scallops. The wasabi potato mousseline was like a more creamy, finer mashed potatoes. It was perfect complement to the perfectly seared scallops.

The dungeness crab cake was really a crab mousse. But, a very good crab mousse with good flavors and good amount of crab.

Tuna tartar was very fresh, with a nice flavor and texture.

But, now onto the best part of the meal, the miso marinated Chilean sea bass!! WOW, this was so good!! It was cooked perfectly and just so buttery and melted in my mouth. Yes, Chilean sea bass is a very good fish, but a poor chef can quickly turn this into a bad tasting dish. But, a great chef can make this the best fish dish I have ever had. I will be back here for dinner soon and of course I'm will order the Chilean sea bass.

Service for lunch was below average. Our server was just going through the motions and wasn't friendly or helpful at all. She came to our table and just asked if we were ready to order. Hello, nothing about what the bento box of the day was? Nothing about what we wanted to drink? She was barely came around and when she was around, she wasn't that helpful.

Besides the service, I have no problems going back to Maison Akira.

Update June 24, 2013

Miso Marinated Chilean Sea Bass, $35.

So, I finally make it back to Maison Akira for the full order of the Miso Marinated Chilean Sea Bass.  What a treat!!  Melt in your mouth goodness.  The quinoa was perfectly cooked, but the other sides left a lot to be desired.

Service was better, but I hate servers asking loaded questions; Everything is good, right?  WTF is that.  How is everything?  is a much better answer.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Which Wich?

Which Wich?
2720 Nutwood Ave
Ste B
Fullerton, CA 92831

Which Wich? is a chain sandwich shop, that opened in Fullerton about two years ago. They are located across the street from Cal St. Fullerton and it can get pretty busy when school is in session. Which Wich? has an interesting concept-bags are marked with a number, 1 for turkey, 2 for pork/ham etc, you select which sandwich you want, then mark down what type of bread and condiments you want. That bag is the bag your sandwich will be put in, after it's wrapped in parchmont paper and aluminum foil.

I got the large #7 Italian, grinder on wheat bread with salami, pepperoni, and capicola on wheat with mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers, $8.08.

The bread was a bit stale and tough. It wasn't freshly baked, like Subway. But, the quality of meats and cheeses are better than Subway and they put more meats on the sandwich. The capicola was spicy with a good kick, the salami and pepperoni were also made of good quality ingredients. The veggies were all fresh, but they forgot to put mayo on my sandwich! It wasn't too dry because of all the veggies, but I like mayo on my sandwiches.

Service is pretty good. The people are friendly and helpful. They will explain how their system works for first timers. But, they take a bit long to make the sandwiches and as I mentioned, they forgot to put mayo on my sandwich.

I'm not big on chain restaurants, but Which Wich? isn't too bad. I wish the OC had a good Italian market, so I could get an good Italian sub.

Monday, June 18, 2012


2396 Glendale Blvd

I'm not a fan of Vietnamese food. The only Vietnamese restaurant I have reviewed is the Blue Hen, and that was about six years ago!!

I have passed by Gingergrass so many times, but never thought about eating there. So I'm in Silver Lake and trying to figure out where to eat. I threw out Tomato Pie Pizza Joint, but then our group saw Gingergrass and we decided to go there.

Gingergrass is a good sized restaurant with popular patio section. But, one of the things I noticed, there weren't any Vietnamese people working there! Interesting. But, I don't really care who is cooking my food, as long as it is good.

Wok tossed noodles, $11.95, egg noodles with chicken, bean sprouts, green onions, cabbage, and scrambled eggs. The noodles were thin and cooked perfectly. But, the chicken was well seasoned and cooked perfectly. The veggies were fresh. I didn't notice many green onions, but the caramelized onions were great. They added a sweetness to the dish. The mixture of ingredients were good, but it didn't taste Vietnamese. It tastes more like Chinese noodles.

Service was good. Our server was nice and friendly. She brought us refills on water quickly and was very attentive.

I did enjoy the food at Gingergrass, but the noodle dish I ordered did not taste like Vietnamese food. I'm sure there are other items on their menu that do taste like Vietnamese food. But, I don't like the vibe at Gingergrass. This is a popular hipster spot, so you know I hate seeing douchebags with their douche clothes and attitudes!! So, I'm not coming back to Gingergrass anytime soon.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Fix Burger

The Fix Burger
2520 Hyperion Ave
Los Angeles

I have passed by The Fix Burger in Silver Lake so many times, but never stopped in until a warm Friday night. The Fix Burger is between two restaurants that I have reviewed before, Tomato Pie Pizza Joint and Cafe Ravo.

I'll be direct and to the point, The Fix Burger is the best burger in LA. Nobody comes close. Don't believe the hype of the other gourmet burger places in LA like Umami Burger in Hollywood or Umami Burger on La Brea or Father's Office, the burgers at The Fix Burgers are the best in LA.

Onion rings, $4.99. These onions rings could have been good, but they were a bit too greasy. The batter, which has some parsley, is wonderful!! Nice, light, and crunchy. The onion were fresh. This isn't some frozen onions. They are made by fresh. But, either the oil wasn't hot enough or they were sitting under heat lamps too long, because these onion rings were too greasy.

Silver Lake Burger, $9.69, lettuce, tomato, bacon, mayo, and 1000 island dressing with a turkey pattie.

But who cares about side orders in a burger place!! I want to see how The Fix Burgers' stand up. Well, they are awesome! The best in LA. The turkey patty was juicy, flavorful and had a nice crust. The huge strips of bacon were perfectly cooked and the toppings were so fresh. The 1000 island dressing had a mild flavor and not much relish as other 1000 island dressing, but added a great flavor to the burger.

Service is good. The young lady who took my order was nice, though not super friendly. The onion rings came first, though I would have preferred to have them served with the burger. But, that's nitpicking. The burgers are great and I will be back to The Fix Burgers and try a beef pattie.