Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Some Food for Thought If You Are Going To Los Angeles

I've been contemplating on whether or not to blog my LA trip, since I didn't want to make anyone cry because of the lack of really great Asian food in Columbus. But I figured it would be a good comparison if people actually tried the stuff that I blog, so, here's my LA food trip for this passed weekend.

First, I went to a great Japanese restaurant called Restaurant Kiyosuzu that served great quality fish with a touch of home-made taste. The restaurant had delicious yellowtail and scallop sashimi. The best sushi restaurant in Columbus that I've tried was in Kooma and Kihachi. Even the yellowtail scallop sashimi in Kooma had a little watery taste to it due to defrost process. But this was something that couldn't be avoided because there's no ocean close to Columbus. There were also tons of "specialty items" that was posted on the cupboard. If you have not tried the Toro Steak, you have not tried great Japanese food! (The Toro Steak was marinated with miso and other seasoning and grilled to perfection. Served with white rice, oh my god, it's just heavenly!) Toro, for those unfamiliar, is the best part of the tuna, the very fatty section, and thereby the most flavorful. Their Grilled Yellowtail Collar was also fabulous. The meat was perfectly grilled, and unlike Yoshi's yellowtail collar, which can be fatty and greasy, Restaurant Kiyosuzu's yellowtail was tender and sweet. And it also serves original desserts (none of that green tea ice cream crap!) The pineapple sorbet contained pureed pineapple and tasted a little creamy, not from cream or milk, but from the texture of the ice freezed itself. It's served in a hollowed pineapple half shell and it was just devine. Sometimes the chef also made Strawberry Icy with Sake, and talk about a dessert that packs a punch! It's sweet and delicious with an aroma of floral sake. I really had no words for it, you just had to had to try it.

This trip we also tried a Korean BBQ restaurant called Han Yang. This time we ordered pure meat with no marinade. The meat was grilled perfectly and the quality of the meat was awesome. There's no seasoning needed because the natural marbling from the beef melted and turned the BBQ into a delicious, tender, and truly great feast! The BBQ also came with rice paper or cured daikon wrap that you can wrap the meat in, and the combination was just amazing! At the end of the meal, we also ordered a Korean cold buckweed noodle, which is a Korean summertime dish. The dish was served cold, with floating ice and pear in the soup. The cold noodle was so refreshing at the end of the meal, it worked even better than dessert!

Whenever I go back to LA, a trip to a Dim Sum restaurant was not to be skipped. This time my parents took us to a new place called Mission 261 Fine Dining & Banquet for their dim sum. The dim sum served there used great ingredients and the chef really understands the seasoning and essence of the Cantonese food. The vegetarian fried bean curd spring roll was perfectly fried, it's not even greasy! Their pan fried turnip cake was creamy and delicious as well. The chinese sausage inside the turnip cake provide a little extra smokiness to the dish. Their sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf was a definite must-try, because the sticky rice and fillings were infused with the fragrance of the lotus leaf, which has a little floral scent. Their steam spare rib with X.O. sauce were also great. You would not have tried any spare rib more sucullent than this. If you still had stomach for dessert, their sweeten tofu pudding was a must-try. The sweet syrup was infused with ginger, and the pudding just melted in your mouth. It's truly a great dish to round out the entire meal.

Lastly, we tried a Shabu restaurant called Wahoo. A shabu restaurant was sort of like Japanese fondue. What makes and breaks a shabu dish is the quality of meat and the soup seasoning. Wahoo had great quality meat, and also a great price. We had beef and lamb for the shabu, and both types of meat were tender and delicious. I've always been a big shabu fan, and I've always wanted to find a shabu restaurant in Columbus but have not succeeded yet. Since shabu was cooking next to a hot pot, it would make such a perfect winter meal too!

I realized that I have been cruel on sharing this restaurant information, but I just had to get these great restaurants out in the open and make all of you realize that you just need a food trip to LA! I have these restaurants' information below. There's nothing feels better than the true happiness of your tummy, and these restaurants would definitely fulfilled your happiness!

1. Restaurant Kiyosuzu, 921 S. Baldwin Ave. Suite B. Arcadia, CA 91007.
2. Han Yang Korean BBQ, 3423-3429 W. 8th St., Los Angeles, CA 90005.
3. Mission 261, 261 S. Mission Dr., San Gabriel, CA 91776. www.mission261.com (they even have english version of their menu!)
4. Wahoo Shabu Shabu, 111 N. Atlantic Blvd. #248, Monterey Park, CA 91754.


Tim J. said...

What kind of soup or broth did the cold Korean buckwheat noodles have?

What is X.O. sauce? Kiss and hug?

Angry Asian Food Critic said...

The soup was chicken based soup but it wasn't greasy at all. X.O. sauce has dried scallop, shrimp, chili pepper, and some other seasoning. I think it's called X.O. sauce was because the ingredient was so abundent and it's like opening up a bottle of X.O. whiskey.