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Thursday, February 23, 2017

My Vegan

My Vegan
633 S Arroyo Pkwy
Pasadena, CA 91105

While searching for a vegetarian friendly restaurant in Pasadena I found My Vegan!  I don't know if My Vegan has anything to do with My Vegan Gold in Silver Lake, but the names are too close.  Located in a small, but busy shopping center My Vegan is a small restaurant with about 10 tables and booths. 

Small fries, $3 with nacho cheese $2.  Well cooked fries that came out of the freezer.  The nacho cheese was flavorless and didn't taste good at all.  My Vegan Gold's version is so much better!

Buffalo wings- $8.50.  Not as good as the chicken wings at Bulan Thai-which is my standard for vegan chicken wings!  A crispy outer texture, but the inside was pretty bland.  I wasn't wish they would cover the wings in the buffalo sauce.  Instead the buffalo sauce is used as a dipping sauce. 

Chow mein with tofu-bean sprouts, cabbage, carrots, garlic, snow peas, and soy sauce.  They could cut the cabbage into small pieces!  They gave me chopsticks with this dish and there was a fork on the table, but you needed a knife to cut the huge pieces of cabbage!  Otherwise, this was a good flavorful dish!  On par with My Vegan Gold.

Service is good.

Overall I liked My Vegan, but no question it's a couple notches below My Vegan Gold.  But, I would go back if I'm in the area!

Lobster & Steak Express

Lobster & Steak Express
947 S Glendora Ave
West Covina, CA 91790

About a mile south of Johnny's Shrimp Boat, is a huge plaza of restaurants including Lobster and Steak Express.  There are other Chinese restaurants, along with Pho, Sushi, a diner, and a Mexican restaurant in the plaza!  Parking maybe tough to find on a busy night with all the restaurants.

Shrimp noodles-$6.95.  Noodles were cooked perfectly.  There weren't that many veggies, but the cabbage and carrots were fine.  The shrimp were tough and overcooked.  Portion size was a bit small.  This could be a good dish if they cooked the shrimp correctly.

Pan fried shrimp-$8.99.  I wasn't expecting peel and eat shrimp.  Again the shrimp was overcooked and tough. 

Service was good. 

I'm surprised that a place with lobster in it's name overcooks seafood.  They sell lobster for about $15/lb.  They better know how to cook lobster properly at that price.

I wouldn't go back to Lobster and Steak Express.  Maybe I'm being too tough, but there are many other Chinese restaurants in the area that can cook shrimp properly. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Johnny’s Shrimp Boat

Johnny’s Shrimp Boat
803 S Glendora Ave
West Covina, CA 91790

Johnny’s Shrimp Boat first opened up on 2nd and Main,  Los Angeles in 1945.  As the city expanded,  Johnny’s Shrimp Boat was a victim of progress.  But, they expanded and had a location in Temple City and another one on Whittier Blvd. in East LA. 

The West Covina location is in bad need of a facelift.  Missing letters on the sign, worn seats and tables, and in need of a fresh coat of paint.  It's a small restaurant with about eight or so booths.  It was surprisingly busy on a Sunday afternoon.

2 piece fish and 2 piece shrimp, with fries-$7.03.  The fish is frozen haddock, but is mostly batter.  It is also very greasy.  I got my order in less than five minutes.  I doubt these are cooked to order!  Or the fryer isn't hot enough.  There was so much oil, it made me sick to my stomach.  The shrimp was the same as the fish-mostly batter and very oily.  The fries were frozen and lacked salt.

Service is ok. Nothing special or bad.

I wouldn't go back to  Johnny’s Shrimp Boat because the fish is just way too greasy.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Anna’s Pizza

Anna’s Pizza
1240 Lakes Dr
West Covina, CA 91790

The day after National Pizza Day and I decide to look for a new pizza place.  Anna's Pizza comes up and I figured why not give them a try.  Located near the movie theaters and the now closed Chicken Box, in West Covina, Anna's is a family run pizza place.

It's a medium size place with about 12 or so tables and a small bar.  I would think many people have had a pizza and a movie!

It was mostly empty when I walked in there for lunch.  3-4 tables were filled.

Lunch special 8in two topping pizza, mushrooms and jalapeno $9.80, with salad and soda.  The pizza had way too much crust!  This is more than many pan pizza.  The dough was pretty good, nice chewy texture, but just too much!  Sauce was ok, nothing special and the cheese and toppings were fine.

Service is friendly but a bit off.  Maybe I got there right after the lunch rush, but when I got my salad- pretty standard-iceberg lettuce, shreaded mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives, the young lady said she would bring me silverware.  A few minutes later she brought a plastic fork and said they are washing the silverware and would bring me a fork when they are done.  Well, I never got a real fork, but a plastic fork works.  But, really what kind of place runs out of silverware and/or takes forever to wash them?

I wouldn't go back to Anna's because the pizza wasn't good.  There are better pizza options in the area like Red Devil Pizza.

Howlin’ Ray’s

Howlin’ Ray’s
727 N Broadway Ste 128
Los Angeles, CA 90012

For three years, from 2014-2016, I have been a pescatarian.  For 2017 I decided I would be a pescatarian for either 1% or 2% of time.  During the three years I didn't eat any meat, Nashville style fried chicken has become the hottest thing in fried chicken.  Howlin' Ray's is located in Chinatown, yes that does sound strange to me too!  The lines can be up to 2 hours long!!  I got to Howlin' Ray's  on a Saturday at about 11:40.  My wait time until I ordered was about 90 minutes.  I have heard that Howlin' Ray's has run out of food, so get there early.  They open on Saturday and Sunday at 11am.

I guess Nashville style fried chicken is adding a ton of spices to fried chicken.  At Howlin' Ray's they fry the chicken and then dip it in butter, then add the spice.

Whole chicken- half mild and half medium spice,  $28.

Rowlin' Ray's uses very good quality chicken.  The skin was very crispy and not greasy at all!  The mild wasn't spicy at all.  The breast meat was moist, juicy and flavorful.  The medium spice was maybe a 6 on a scale of 10.  The same crispiness and quality chicken.  But, the spice for the medium reminded me of shake and bake-which isn't a good thing.

Service is friendly and helpful.  The guy packing orders was just giving away things- I got a cup of extra pickles and could have gotten a cookie, but I turned it down.  But, he's kind of creepy the way he looks at the extra items the looks at you. 

Overall this is very good quality fried chicken, worth the price?  Yes.  Worth the wait?  No way!!  I would only go back if I had to wait under 30 minutes.

China Wok-Scottsdale, AZ

China Wok
2334 N Scottsdale Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85257

So I'm back in Scottsdale, AZ and before heading home I figured I should get some Chinese food.  A quick search and I found China Wok.  Located in a fairly large shopping center, China Wok was empty when we arrived.  About 2-3 people came to pick up orders during our time at China Wok.

It's a fairly standard Chinese restaurant.  You order at the counter and then they bring your food to your table.  

Shrimp chow mein,$8.25, for the large order.  Very well cooked noodles and veggies-green onions, onions, broccoli and celery.  Well seasoned, flavorful.  The shrimp were small but well cooked and plentiful-about a dozen in this dish. 

Service was good. 

I would go back to China Wok.

The Side Door Corner Store

The Side Door Corner Store
3370 N Hayden Rd Ste 126
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Sorry, for not including a picture of the store front.  But, The Side Door is basically a bar that serves food.  It caters to an older clientele, most of the people in there were in their 60's.  A good size room that filled up pretty quickly right after we got there about 6pm.  

 Fish sandwich- $8.  They use a thin piece of cod, which was fairly greasy, and the tartar sauce lacked flavor.  The bun was the only good part of this sandwich.

Four cheese mac and cheese-$5.  This wasn't really mac and cheese, but penne pasta just drowned in butter!  I love mac and cheese and even bad mac and cheese I'll eat, but I couldn't finish this dish!  The cheese sauce needs more cheese and much less butter!

Service was good.  Even after it got busy, we weren't lacking for anything.

The Side Door maybe a good place to have a drink, but I'll pass on their food!


1725 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027

I think Spitz is a chain, because I've seen others nearby.  Spitz in Los Feliz, is an interesting place.  You walk straight into the bar area.  On the right is is the dining area and you're not sure if you seat yourself, order at the bar, or just stand there!  There isn't a host and the bartender is too busy talking!

Anyways, you do order at the counter and the food is delivered to you.  Spitz has wraps with beef, chicken, falafel, and maybe lamb. 

Street car doner with falafel, $9.  Romaine lettuce, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, green peppers. While there was plenty of fresh veggies, there was just small pieces of falafel-which was pretty good-well seasoned.  The wrap was pretty cold, I was hoping it would be warm.

Service after knowing their procedure, was pretty good.  The person taking orders was nice and friendly.  But, they do need to hire a host and put a sign that says order at the bar!

I wouldn't go back to Spitz. 

Little Pine

Little Pine
2870 Rowena Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90039

Little Pine is owned by Moby, who seems to be a big deal, but I have no idea who he is.  I also don't care enough to type in four letter to search for his name.  Anyways in douchebag, I mean hipster Silver Lake, Little Pine has been a hit for all the vegan and vegetarian people!  There are much better vegan restaurants in Silver Lake like Bulan Thai and My Vegan Gold both have less douchbag factor too!

It's a very dark, romantic restaurant.  There is the dining area on one side and the other area people will pick up their orders. The menu is mostly small plates that are meant to share.  Which really means, high prices for small amounts of food. 

Vegan mac and cheese, $12.  This was very good, but not the best I've ever had.  Perfectly cooked pasta with a creamy vegan cheese.  But, the portion was very small and certainly not worth the $12 price tag.

Service is good and attentive.

I wouldn't go back to Little Pine, while the food is good, the prices are high and the portions are small.  Not a good combination!

Fonda Don Chon

Fonda Don Chon
618 E Shoppers Ln
Covina, CA 91723

Fonda Don Chon is located a few doors from the new location of Old World Deli and almost next door to the new location of Buckboard BBQ!  This is an older section of Covina with a couple other restaurants, including a Chinese and an Italian restaurant.

Fonda Don Chon actually has two connecting buildings.  The building where the sign is and the large building to the left.  They have a lunch buffet or you can order off the menu.  We decided to order off the menu.

Two fish tacos, $9.99 with rice and beans and salad.  The fish was sea bass and was fried, then topped with shredded cabbage, creama, and some tomatoes.  This was pretty good.

Salad had the standard veggies and was fresh.  The beans were pretty bland! 

Service was good.  Even though it was busy, most people had the buffet, our server was attentive and helpful.

Most full service Mexican restaurants that I have been to, do not have very good fish tacos.  Especially when you consider the higher price, you're better off going to Taco's Baja!

Irrawaddy Taste of Burma

Irrawaddy Taste of Burma
7076 Katella Ave
Stanton, CA 90680

For the longest time the only Burmese restaurant in the LA area was Golden Triangle in Whittier.  But, over the past 8-10 years a few other Burmese restaurants have popped up.  Irrawaddy maybe the first Burmese restaurant behind the Orange Curtain, I mean in Orange County.  

Located in a shopping center with a Smart & Final, Irrawaddy is a large restaurant, with tables and booths. 

Garlic butter prawns, $14 for dinner, $9 for lunch-chili and bell peppers, with race and salad.  This was pretty good.  The prawns were fresh and well cooked.  I liked the seasoning, not that spicy but it had enough heat. 

Service is good.  Nice friendly people.

I would go back to Irrawaddy, if I decide to make a trip to the Orange Curtain.