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Monday, July 29, 2013

Silverlake Ramen

Silverlake Ramen
2927 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles

Silver Lake has a wide variety of cuisines but Asian restaurants isn't a strong point.  So when I walked into Silver Lake Ramen, I wasn't expecting a lot.

Located on the corner of Sunset Blvd and Parkman/Silver Lake Blvd., in a very dated shopping center, Silver Lake Ramen is a small sized restaurant with seating for about 20 people.  It wasn't too crowded when I walked into the restaurant.

I know ordering sushi at a ramen restaurant is the ideal way of reviewing that restaurant, but I'm not a fan of ramen.  But, the gorgeous woman I was with loves ramen and wanted to try Silver Lake Ramen.  Who am I to say no?

Cucumber crab salad-cucumbers, crab, seasame flake, with house vinegar dressing-$3.95.  This was fresh, light, refreshing, but a complete rip-off.  First, the good part.  All the veggies were fresh, cucumbers tasted as they they were on the vine the day before.  The dressing added to the salad, not overpowered it.  But, there was barely any crab-very thinly cut round pieces, and I'm pretty sure it was imitation crab! 

Spicy tuna hand roll, $3.50.  The thing about the hand rolls here is that the seaweed paper was so tough!!  I don't know if they are using bad quality or just old seaweed paper, but I needed a knife to cut through the paper!  You should be able to take a bite of the roll without too much effort. 

Anyways the sushi was fresh, and the rice very good.  Something about the rice made this roll good despite the toughness of the seaweed paper.

Shrimp tempura roll, $4.95.  Besides the seaweed paper, this was a very good roll.  The shrimp tempura was cooked perfectly and the other ingredients were fresh.  I like this roll and it was a very good value, considering the large size.

Service was good.  The server was nice and friendly, though she did forget my friend's salad. 

Again, I know judging a ramen restaurant on their sushi is like judging a steakhouse on their vegetarian items.  But, overall I was fairly impressed with Silver Lake Ramen's sushi.  My gorgeous friend loved her ramen.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


801 S LA Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA

Rascal is across La Brea from the original, though now closed, Umami Burger- which is now a Tru Burger,  and just one block south of the now closed New York BBQ,  which was first replaced by  Obo Burger and is now a Mo Better Burgers.   A Battle Burgers on La Brea maybe in the works!

Rascal is a neighborhood gastropub with a nice beer selection and good menu.  It's a fairly good sized bar, but the noise level is really loud here.  It wasn't too crowded on the Friday night I came here.

Seared Tuna salad, $14, avocado, tomatoes, mixed greens, scallions, and wasabi mayo dressing.  The seared tuna was fresh but served a little too rare for my tastes, they could have stayed on the grill for a minute or two longer and they would have been perfect.  But, they were fresh and tasty.  The greens and avocado were all fresh.  The wasabi mayo was pretty mild, I was expecting more heat, but was a nice touch to this salad.  While the salad was good, it wasn't great and not worth the $14 price tag.  I know ahi tuna isn't cheap and they put a good sized portion in the salad, but $14 for this?  Not worth the price.

Service was good.  The server was nice and friendly.

I know people don't usually get a salad at a gastropub, you go for comfort food.  While the salad was good, it wasn't outstanding.  The burgers looked good, so if I come back here, I will give them a try.  Overall a good place to have a beer but I say the salad is overpriced.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Huarache Azteca Restaurante

Huarache Azteca Restaurante
5225 York Blvd
Los Angeles
(323) 478-9572 

Huarache Azteca Restaurante is between two restaurant that I already reviewed,  west of Maximiliano  and east of The York.  Even though I've passed by  Huarache Azteca, I never noticed it.

A good sized restaurant with seating in the front and back, Huarache Azteca,  specializes in the huarache, a fried masa dough, topped with red sauce, cilantro, queso fresco cheese and any meat.  This was the first time I've had huarache and I was really looking forward to it.

Grande huarache, $4.99 with chicken.  Wow was this good!!  The huarache was nicely fried and crisphy.  But, most important, it held up to all the toppings.  The red sauce was flavorful but not spicy at all.  The chicken was grilled perfect with lots of flavor.  The queso fresco cheese really added a cool taste to the dish.  There was too much cilantro for my tastes, but overall what a great dish.

Service is friendly but below average.   When I walked in, there was a line, so I figured out that's where I had to order.  But, there were menus on the tables, so people maybe confused on their system.  But, remember to order at the cashier.  We then sat down, but my order took forever!  Not sure why.  People at our table who ordered after me, got their food much quicker than I did.  After eating, you go back to the cashier and pay.  They need to fix this weird and confusing system.  If I didn't see the line, I would have sat down at an open table.

I was very impressed with the huarache at Huarache Azteca Restaurante and would love to go back again.  But, the service leaves a lot to be desired, so I won't rush back.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Four Seasons Seafood Restaurant-Closed

Four Seasons Seafood Restaurant Dim Sum & BBQ
18558 Gale Ave

When I go for dim sum, I usually only eat three things; shu mai, chao siu bao and har gow.  So, when I see places like Seafood Village Dim Sum, where it's fast and to go, I'm all over it.  I found out about Four Seasons while driving on Gale Ave.  I thought about going into the restaurant, but when I saw the Dim Sum and BBQ To Go, next door, I went there instead.

A small sized place with steam tables for dim sum, entrees, and roasted duck and BBQ pork hanging in the display case.  For dim sum, all orders are $1.83 Mon-Fri and over $2 on the weekends.  Just like Seafood Village Dim Sum-I wonder if they are owned by the same people?  Anything left over at 3pm, Mon-Fri is every further discounted to $1.33.  But, that also means the items have been sitting at the steam table for a very long time.

Har gow-shrimp dumpling.  This was bland, dry, and not appealing.  The shrimp was ok, but the dumpling wrap was too dry.  Add soy sauce or hot sauce to this to add flavor.  I wouldn't order this again!

Pork shu mai with shrimp- A very good example of pork shu mai.  Tender, flavorful, well seasoned pork, wrapped in a thin wrapper.  The shrimp was on point and tender.   A steal, even at the weekend prices.

Chao siu bao-though they are fairly small, the BBQ pork is well cooked with lots of flavor.  I would prefer a fluffier, lighter bun, but overall a good chao siu bao.

Service is good.  The lady is friendly, nice and helpful.

I would go back to Four Seasons any time.  If I had to pick between Four Seasons and Seafood Village, they would be a tie for the shu mai, but Four Season wins the chao siu bao.

Update Dec 7, 2013

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza

Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza
667 E Colorado Blvd

What do you get when you combine Subway's business model in the pizza industry?  You get Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza!  A chain with locations in about ten states and Washington DC, Blaze opened in a prime location on Colorado Blvd in Pasadena.

Even on a Friday of a holiday weekend, Blaze was packed.  We waited in line for about 15 minutes before we got our order.  When we got to the front of the line, the workers asked us what we wanted on our pizza.

They have one price for all their pizza, signature or build your own-$7.45. 

We decided to split two of their signature pizzas-Veg Out-zucchini, mushrooms, red onion, mozzarella, gorgonzola, red sauce dollops and BBQ Chicken-grilled chicken, mozzarella, red onion, pepperoncini, gorgonzola, bbq sauce drizzle.  On the Veg Out, I asked for n zucchini because I hate zucchini!

First the crust, amazing!  Light, crispy, and holds up well to the toppings.  The veg out was my favorite with the gorgonzola adding a lot of flavor to the pizza.  I liked the BBQ chicken too, with it's contrasts of flavors.

Service is friendly and fast.

I don't like chains and prefer to go to mom and pop, hole in the wall type places.  But, Blaze is damn good pizza and if I'm in Pasadena I would have no problems going back!