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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Cruzer Pizza-Moved

Cruzer Pizza
4449 Prospect Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Cruzer Pizza is located just off of Hillhurst, in Los Feliz.  It's a very small, most take-out place.  There is one table with two chairs and a counter with about four bar stools.  They do a huge take out business with many customers coming in to pick up orders.

It's 100% vegan, including the crust!  Some places forgot that if the crust has eggs, it is not vegan!  

Vegan Veggie Pizza-large 14 in., $17.99, with six veggies of your choice.  Dairya cheese, half olives, tomatoes, garlic, mushrooms, onions, and spinach.  The crust was outstanding!! Firm, holding up to the toppings, yet a good texture!  The daiya cheese isn't my favorite.  It's has a weird texture.  The sauce is just bland.  They need to add more spices to the sauce.  The veggies were fresh.  I should try the vegan meats!  The Philly Cheesesteak pizza will be my next order from here.

Service is good.

I wasn't blown away by Cruzer Pizza.  It was fine.  The blandness of the sauce still gets me.  But, I would go back because I think the crust is outstanding!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Happy Family Restaurant

Happy Family Restaurant
18425 Colima Rd Fl 2
Rowland Heights, CA 91748

Happy Family is on the second floor of the shopping complex where Newport Seafood and, the now closed, Four Seasons Steak House, used be.  

It's a huge restaurant with tables covering basically the entire front of the house!  It's brightly lit and the clean. 

Beef and broccoli- $11.95

This was a very good example of veggie beef and broccoli, maybe a bit heavy on the pepper, but otherwise good.  The veggie beef was a bit chewy, but very flavorful.  If you eat meat, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.  The broccoli was fresh and well cooked.  This was cooked just a little longer than most Chinese restaurants, which I like.  Still crispy but not mushy!

Celery, bean sprouts, and mushrooms-$8.95.  I wasn't that impressed with this dish.  Pieces of celery sliced julienne style.  There were a few pieces of mushrooms, but not as much to justify the price.  Celery and bean sprouts are inexpensive.  A bit under seasoned.

Service was good.

Overall I liked Happy Family and would go back.  I wouldn't order the celery, bean sprout, and mushroom dish again.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Charlie’s Stars & Stripes American Deli

Charlie’s Stars & Stripes American Deli
296 N 2nd Ave
Upland, CA 91786

Charlie’s Stars & Stripes American Deli is a sports bar in Upland, that gives recognition to men and women who served in the military.  There are two walls with pictures of service members!  On a wall near the bar, there is a picture of Pat Tillman!  Today being Memorial Day, I decided this would be a great time to do a review.

Back in 2014, I found out about Charlie's after a David Allen Restaurant of the Week mentioned they had a $5 steak night on Monday.  I wasn't eating meat at the time, but I went with a group of people.  I think I had either the fish and chips or a salad.  I can't remember.

Fast forward four years, they moved the steak night to Wednesday, and it is $7.95.  Still a steal. I read there are new owners, and they did do some renovations- they moved the wall dedicated to area service members to the back, mainly because more photos were added.  The names on the menu no longer have military themed names.  The Pearl Harbor Burger is now the Hawaiian burger.   

While it says deli in the name, it's not a deli in the classic sense.  Their menu is salads, sandwiches, burgers, and some entrees like spaghetti, salmon, and steak.

Shrimp basket-$9.99.  Charlie's is a casual bar, so I'm not expecting gourmet food.  The shrimp is fine for what it is.  This is 10 pieces of frozen shrimp. Good sized shrimp with a good crunchy outside.

Service is good.  It was slow, as the entire downtown area has very little foot traffic.  But, I didn't lack for anything.

I like Charlie's and would go back anytime.  If you do eat meat, that steak special is a steal! 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Corn Man- Food Stand

Corn Man Food Stand
2338 Workman St
Los Angeles, CA 90031

Corn Man is a very popular food stand in Lincoln Heights!  He has his own yelp page.  He has his own Instagram location- The Corn Station.  He has been written about in all the food websites!  Everyday, from about 10:30pm until he runs out, Corn Man sells Mexican style corn on the cobb and cups of corn loaded with mayonnaise, butter, chili powder & cotija cheese!  Both are $2.50 each.  I got there about 9:30 pm and there were already about 5 people in line.  By the time he arrived, about 10:45pm, the line was at least 50 people long!

The line starts at the wall of the Workman St. entrance of a public parking lot.  It's about 100 yards south of the Workman and Broadway.  The above address is the parking lot.  It's a residential neighborhood. 

This was a huge piece of corn, very fresh, hot and stayed hot for about the hour drive.  Filled with tons of mayo, butter, chili powder & cotija cheese, it was great!!  I didn't want too much topping, as I want to taste the sweetness of the corn.  But, the toppings make the corn, addicting!  I could have eaten two or three more!!

The corn cup is good, maybe a bit too much cheese, but fresh and full of flavor.  I prefer the corn on the cobb, but I would get this cup again.

Service is good.  He has a helper, his daughter, the night I was there.  They move quickly and are very friendly!

Corn Man lived up to all expectations!  It's worth the wait!  My advise, is to arrive early, 9:30pm, seems to be the time when most people suggest to arrive.  But, even at 9:30pm, there maybe 25 people already in line!!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Krimsey’s Cajun Kitchen

Krimsey’s Cajun Kitchen
12900 Victory Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 91606

A friend follows Krimsey’s Cajun Kitchen on social media.  When she told me about Krimsey's I was looking forward to giving them a try!  This maybe the first, and so far only vegan Cajun restaurant in LA.  There is a huge vegan event at the Rose Bowl today, but it costs $45 just to get in, and you still have to buy food!  So, I decided this would be the perfect day to go to Krimsey's!

Located on a very street, Krimsey's takes up the corner unit of the strip mall.  It's a huge place, with the counter on the right part of the room and tables on the left.  You order at the counter and the food is delivered to your table.

Hushpuppies-$5.79- a mixture of corn and sweet onions balls fried to perfection!  This is better than any hushpuppies I've ever had!  Every crunchy on the outside, light, and bursting with flavor on the inside!

New Orleans poboy-$11.99.  heart of palm are seasoned and battered, then fried, served on sourdough bread with mayo, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, dill pickles, and creamy spicy house sauce.

WOW, was this ever good.  The heart of palm has a very chewy texture.  It attached to the batter and it made for a great tasting item.  The bread and veggies were fresh.  The sauce is on the spicy side, maybe just below medium in spice.  But, you will get a decent kick.

Service is good.  On Saturdays, they only start serving their regular menu at 11:30am.  I'm not a big breakfast person, buy many of their breakfast dishes looked great!

I would go back to Krimsey's anytime! 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Taco King

Taco King
1317 E Foothill Blvd
Upland, CA 91786

David Allen wrote about Upland institution Taco King being put up for sale.  So, since I did a review about another restaurant that maybe closing soon, Teddy's Tacos, I decided to give Taco King a try.

King Taco is a few blocks west of the now closed-Buckboard BBQ & Grill and Red Hill BBQ,  I'm sure I've pasted by Taco King and their distinctive sign many times, but never stopped in!

There are about 10 tables as you walk inside.  You order at the counter.  There are pictures of how Taco King looked in the early 1970's! 

Bean special- bean and cheese burrito, chips and a drink-$4.85.  The bean and cheese burrito is $2.75 by itself.  I liked this bean and cheese burrito.  It was better and more flavorful than the bean and cheese burrito from the more well known, Al & Bea's Mexican Food in LA.  While this is smaller, I much preferred the bean and cheese burrito from Taco King!

Hard Shell taco- $1.90- with beans instead of ground beef.  This was a good taco, their beans are great!  Fresh lettuce and cheese.  The portion is a bit small, but the quality of the food is very good.

Service is good.

I'm glad I got a chance to go to Taco King before it closed.  Hopefully, the new owners will keep the recipes and Taco King will continue to be an Upland institution!


1253 Vine St
Los Angeles, CA 90038

In the same shopping center as Doomies Home Cookin, home of the vegan Big Mac, Cocobella is a vegan ice cream place.  The space used to be an Eastern European restaurant that closed, matter of fact, I never saw one customer in there, while I was at Doomies.  One great thing I found out, Doomies has opened their Next Mex restaurant, right next door.  It's vegan Mexican!! 

Anyways a bright, airy place with the ice cream along the back wall, and some tables in the front.

Toasted smores, $5.50.  This is made out of coconut milk and soy.  It was very tasty, but the texture threw me off.  It was very grainy!  I really don't know what causes this to be grainy.  If this wasn't grainy, I would have liked it much more.

Service is good.  The lady was very nice and helpful!

I would go back to Cocobella.  They gave samples and I tried the salted caramel, and it was good, but wasn't as grainy. They have different flavors at different times of the year.  The strawberry lemonade looked really good! That will be my choice when I come back for Doomies Next Mex!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Lily’s Tacos

Lily’s Tacos
901 N Garey Ave
Pomona, CA 91767

Lily's Tacos has been a Pomona staple since 1992.  David Allen gives a great history about the original Lily's Tacos, which was demolished to make room for another restaurant.  David also reviewed the new Lily's Tacos, which opened about two years ago.  It's a good sized place, where you order at the table.  I'm guessing there are about 10 tables in the restaurant.  Nothing fancy, but you get a good view of busy Garey Ave.

Fish taco-$1.75 with talapia fish used.  On the left side of the picture.  The batter was very salty!  The fish was fresh, as was the veggies, but I just couldn't get over the saltiness.

Shrimp taco $1.75.  The same as the fish taco, the batter is just way too salty.

While both are good sized pieces of seafood, this could be good, if the batter wasn't so salty.

Service is pretty good.  The guy was nice and pretty helpful. But, when I asked do they have another location, he just said yes.  But, he wasn't a jerk about it.  I figured most people will say where the other location is. 

I wouldn't go back to Lily's Tacos.  Maybe their other items are better, but their fish and shrimp tacos are not good.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Monstrous Pizza

Monstrous Pizza
557 N Azusa Ave
Covina, CA 91722

Just a bit north on Azusa Ave. from Sun's New Kitchen, is Monstrous Pizza; in a huge shopping center directly across Azusa from the Northwoods Inn.  It's a take out and delivery operation.  There were a ton of people working the night I went.  There were tons of pizza waiting for hungry customers on the shelve behind the register.

They had specials on one topping medium- 12 in, large 14in and XL-16 in, pizzas, starting at $6.99, with the XL priced at $9.99.  I got the large for $7.99 with mushrooms  The dough is thicker, but very soft and good.  While I generally like my dough thinner, this was good.  The cheese and fresh mushrooms were fine.  This is a solid pizza, nothing outstanding, but a good value.

Service was good.  But, the guy who helped me had such a soft voice, I couldn't hear him over all the noise in the kitchen.

If you're in the area and need a good value pizza, and Costco is closed, Monstrous Pizza is a very good option!.  I would go back!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Michael’s Pizzeria

Michael’s Pizzeria
5616 E 2nd St
Long Beach, CA 90803

Michael’s Pizzeria opened in 2013, right next door to Michael's on Naples-which is a fine dining restaurant.  Around 2014, I read that Michael's Pizzeria was the #1 pizza place in America.  I found that hard to believe, but wanted to give them a try.  But, I never got around to go to Long Beach.  But, on a cloudy Saturday I was nearby and figured I should finally try it.

Michael's Pizzeria is a like Settebello, in Pasadena, and Desano Pizza Bakery, in East Hollywood, a Neapolitan style pizza.  The pizza are baked in wood burning oven.  They are personal sized, about 10in. 

Margarita Pizza $14, with House-made mozzarella, San Marzano tomato sauce, basil, and extra virgin olive.  The sauce was a bit watery, and bland.  No flavor or seasoning at all.  The basil was charred in a few places, but the mozzarella was very good.  The crust was good, but salty.  The saltiness of the crust made up for the blandness of the tomato sauce.  The price is fair, as they use good quality ingredients, but the execution wasn't there!  They currently have a promotion; every Monday, if you buy any pizza, you get a margarita pizza free!! 

Service, I got my order to go, was good.

I was expecting a lot from Michael's and they didn't deliver.  It's a good version of  Neapolitan style pizza, but not the best! Of the Neapolitan style pizza I've tried within the past 3-5 years, I would rank DeSano #1, Settebello #2, and Michael's a distance third place.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Kura Revolving Sushi Bar

Kura Revolving Sushi Bar
333 E 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Located in the same shopping center as Oomasa, Kura Revolving Sushi Bar is very popular.  There are long wait times for a table, no matter what time you go.

All sushi on the revolving belt is $2.50.  The servers instruct you to lift and pull the plate from the belt, leaving the top cover/dome on the belt.  Many people do not listen, and try to either take the entire plate and cover or just try to open the cover/dome.  You can also have sushi made to order from their tablet.

I found all the sushi good for the price.  They were all a great value.  Was it the best sushi, I've ever had?  No, but then again I'm not expecting it to be.  Most of the sushi could have been packed tighter!  Once you picked them up, the fish would fall from the rice.  I will make notes about the sushi that stood out.

Sweet shrimp- I couldn't taste the different between this sweet shrimp and regular shrimp.  Maybe I should order sweet shrimp, but I'm always leery of paying more. 

Tuna-Good piece of tuna sushi.

Toro- for $2.50 a steal.  Good quality fish.  I've haven't had too many bad toro, but most cost at least $7 for two pieces.  Getting two plates for $5, with one piece of toro each, is a great deal!

Red snapper

Snow crab- while good, they should leave the shell off.  I doesn't do anything for the presentation!

Real crab roll-I was very surprised to find this full of crab.  A good deal.

Shrimp and avocado roll- good, but could do without the sauce on top!

Blue crab roll- this was better than the $8.95 blue crab roll I got for Ootoro!  

Crunchy roll

Vegetable roll-Just packed with fresh veggies!!  Outstanding!

Spicy Popcorn shrimp roll- The popcorn shrimp was cold, tough and chewy.  The roll was a California roll.  It could have been good if the popcorn shrimp was freshly cooked!

Service was OK.  The sushi was filled on the revolving belt, so you weren't really waiting for anything.  When you placed an order for sushi, at most you waited 5 minutes and this was during a lunch rush.  While the servers were friendly, they were slow.  I asked one of the servers for a refill on drinks and more wasabi, but never got them.  I asked another server and that took awhile to get, but at least I got it. 

I would go  back to Kura, pretty good quality sushi, and an excellent value!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Ootoro Sushi

Ootoro Sushi
1569 Fairway Dr Ste 126 B
Walnut, CA 91789

About a week ago, I was going to try Ootoro Sushi, but they are closed on Sunday. So, instead I went to Sushi Land, and loved the sushi!  Located in a shopping center that has a gate at the entrance, and is filled with high end stores that sell luxury jewelry, Ootoro is a very popular and busy place.  Even at lunch time there maybe a 15-20 minute wait for a table.

A fairly big restaurant, with the sushi bar right in front of you, as you walk in.  The back part of the space has plenty of tables, and there is a private room along the far wall. 

Blue fin tuna sushi- $8.95.  This was a very good quality sushi, though a bit too heavy on the wasabi.  But, I think the Sushi Land blue fin tuna at $7 was a better piece of fish.  At their regular $9 price, it is still better!!  I was expecting a bit more, but this is a good quality fish.

Blue crab hand roll, $8.95.  A good amount of blue crab, even though it looked like tuna fish.  But, very little mayo, and a good roll.

Halibut sushi, $7.95.  A good, fresh piece of fish.

Service is good.

There are other much more expensive fish on their menu, but I wanted to see how good less expensive pieces of fish were at Ootoro.  While good, they certainly didn't impress me enough to want to get the more expensive cuts of fish or to go back. 

Orean’s the Health Express

Orean’s the Health Express
817 N Lake Ave
Pasadena, CA 91104

Orean’s the Health Express is a vegetarian/vegan restaurant set in a fast food setting.  There are no tables at Oreans, only a drive-thru and a walk up window.  They are not vegan since they do offer regular cheese.  I've read reviews from both sides, it used to be great until the new owner came aboard.

Interesting that on this intersection of Lake Ave, all four corners have a fast food restaurant! Northeast corner has a KFC, and just north of the KFC, is Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles.  Northwest corner is Orean's.  Southeast corner is a Carl's Jr. and Southwest corner is a McDonald's that is currently undergoing a renovation.

Filet of soul burger, with vegan cheese-$3.98 + $1 for vegan cheese.  I knew they had regular cheese when the guy asked me if I wanted regular or vegan cheese.  He didn't tell me vegan cheese was $1 extra, but I did see the hand written sign on the window. This is like a filet o'fish sandwich.  Tasted pretty close to the original.  There is a soy fish pattie, pickles, tartar sauce, on a wheat bun.  This was good, not outstanding.  Maybe a bit pricey for what you get. 

Service was good.  Many reviews complained about the service. But, the guy who helped me did his job.  It wasn't rude, but then again it wasn't the friendliest service ever.

I won't go back to Orean's.  It's not bad, but nothing outstanding about it.

Monday, May 7, 2018

EMC Seafood & Raw Bar-Closed

EMC Seafood & Raw Bar
19101 Colima Rd
Rowland Heights, CA 91748

EMC Seafood & Raw Bar opened back in March of 2018.  They replaced Hong Kong Palace, which closed down sometime in 2017. EMC has a few other locations in the LA area.  They have a combination Chinese menu, with sushi, and raw seafood bar.

The sushi bar takes up the back part of the restaurant, behind there is the kitchen area.  There are tables and even a private room, on the right as you walk in.  It's a big, welcoming place.

Lobster roll, $19.  The roll was small, not that much lobster, and the worst part, there were too many bits and pieces of shell!  Also the butter had something in it.  The lobster was cold, fairly tender and sweet.  The roll was grilled and you tasted parts of char.  Not impressed with this lobster roll at all.

Toro crab roll, $18, snow crab, avocado, toro- tuna belly, and black tabiko..  A very good roll, with a fresh good tasting toro!!

Shrimp tempura roll, $7.  Pretty standard shrimp tempura roll.  Nothing outstanding, but good enough.

Service was good.  I sat at the bar and didn't lack for anything.  When I mentioned there was something in the butter, they quickly brought me a new cup of butter.  No attitude, no hassle.

While I did enjoy the toro sushi roll, I wasn't impressed with EMC Seafood & Raw Bar.  I may go back to try their Chinese menu, and I would certainly order the toro sushi again.