Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Sick Woman's Craving

I was home sick yesterday with a sore throat, achy body and a head so congested I thought it was going to explode. All I wanted was a bowl of hot, steaming Pho Ga (aka Chicken Pho) from Hoan Kiem, which I tried for the first time three weeks ago. It's days like these that I wish my superpower is the ability to make any food appear in front of me! Being sick and not having energy to get up and cook is no fun.

By the way, do not boast that you haven't gotten sick all Winter season because it's inevitable that you'll jinx yourself and get sick!

Hoan Kiem's Pho Ga has a very nice, savory chicken broth with a generous serving of rice noodles, slices of fresh dark and white meat chicken and if you want, they can add chicken gizzards and livers to your bowl. The soup is so delicious you'll want to drink all of it.

Hoan Kiem also has Banh Cuon. It's a sheet of rice noodle which is rolled with minced pork and "wood ear" mushrooms and you dip the roll in their special garlicky fish sauce. They make that fresh when you order it so the rice noodle is still slightly warm when its served. I love that.

Hoan Kiem's specialty is their Pho Ga and Banh Cuon. These two things are pretty much the only things on the menu unless you count the Vietnamese Iced Coffee or you can get the chicken with rice but why would you do that?!

Hoan Kiem
727 N. Broadway, Suite 130
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tues-Fri: 10am to 6pm
Sat-Sun: 9:30am to 6pm

Sunday, February 14, 2010

One Chinese New Year Resolution

I set quite a few resolutions for 2010 back on December 31st and some are coming along and some not so much...
  • French class is progressing painfully - I have no talent for this language but I don't feel too bad because at least I speak and read Chinese so that's a BIG population I'm able to communicate with. I'll just bring a good phrase book with me if I get to Paris this year.
  • I didn't get my reservation to El Bulli for this year - what a surprise, right?
  • Core Performance continues to kick my butt (in a good way!). My goal will be reached.
  • Dance class and dragon-boating are on the horizon...this month or next month I hope.
My one resolution for the year of the Tiger is simple - Be happy. Here are just a few things that make me happy.

Eating rambutans and wearing heart-shaped sunglasses in Hawaii.

Puppies falling asleep in my arms. Sadly, this is not my puppy.

Learning new recipes involving bacon. Bacon Apple Pie. Bacon Ice Cream. Really, I can go on and on.

Roasting whole a pig! I think my friends are planning a whole lamb roast for the Spring. I can't wait.

Playing this card game called "500" with my cousins, Andrew and Stephanie...and winning! Oh, and getting packages from Stephanie that includes fun, plastic rings that say "Miso Hot" and "My Name is You Can't Afford Me." Hahaha.

Buzz Saved Me from LA Street Food Fest

I was halfway to the LA Street Food Fest around 11:30am yesterday and the 10 Fwy slowed to a crawl as I got near downtown. Sensing something was not right, I checked Google Maps on my phone and saw several Google Buzzes from people who were already at the Fest and they were complaining about lines snaking around the block and the estimated time to get in the venue was hours!

My friends and I immediately changed plans and went to Wurstkuche instead where we met a lot of fellow refugees from the Street Food Fest. Wurstkuche is in the historic Arts District near Little Tokyo and it has a delicious (and exotic) selection of sausage sandwiches, Belgian fries with an array of finger-licking sauces and a variety of mostly German and Belgian beers (draft and bottled).

I got a Bockwurst (veal, pork & spices) and a Hot Italian (pork & spices - nice spicy kick!) sandwich and topped it with a of cold Belgian beer called La Chouffe. The sandwiches were awesome but I didn't like the beer so much; it had a weird "stale" aftertaste. (Sorry, no food pictures as we were starving; plus, it was too dark inside to take pictures and I hate using flash.)

Anyway, I'm so glad I didn't have to stand in line for hours yesterday. My friend said it best - Google Maps and Buzz totally revolutionized our Saturday.

Came upon this truck while strolling the Arts District after our delicious lunch.
We couldn't stop laughing.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Victory Kalbi

I'm not very good at trivia but pride and a small competitive streak in me compelled me to place a side bet with a friend on an opposing team that I would win Hollywood movie trivia at work last Friday. I seriously thought I would lose but thanks to my team's expertise on Star Wars and general Oscar and movie quote knowledge and my ability to name Meryl Streep's Oscar-nominated movies (Can you name all 16 and tell which one she actually won for and what role she played?), we won Second Place. Heh, Second Place was good enough to win my opponent....and the prize? All-I-Can-Eat Kalbi at Park's BBQ! Oh, victory is sweet.

Kalbi is delicous but "Victory Kalbi" is heavenly. The meat at Park's superb. Check out that well-marbled fat!

I love that Park's primes their grills with a cube of beef fat.

Okay, so my plan to eat plates and plates of kalbi didn't really happen but it was fun to trash-talk and make my friend nervous. I bet he hit the ATM hard before he came to dinner. He still insists that no man should have to be able to name 16 Meryl Streep movies, Oscar or no Oscar, but I counter that no woman should have to name 16 Bruce Willis movies either. And I can't believe he'd equate Bruce with Meryl!