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So far vivilinh has created 129 blog entries.

Banana Pudding @ Magnolia Bakery | Los Angeles, CA

Magnolia Bakery Los Angeles

i have heard so many good things about this so-called banana pudding at magnolia bakery.  twice i tried to go there and try it but one time they were closed and the other time they were closed for a private baking class.  but, my awesome friend picked some up for me to try! score! (thank you, christine!)

Magnolia Bakery Los AngelesMagnolia Bakery Los Angeles

the pudding:  this is what heaven tastes like…for sure. lots of bananas, lots of wafers… fluffy pudding.  i know it doesnt look good but it will blow your mind. ugh. i am so in love. i obviously could not help myself and had take a few bites before taking a picture of it.

if you come here, the banana pudding is all you need to know.  i was not a fan of the cupcakes here (they were dry and a little too sweet for my taste).

we will definitely meet again, banana pudding.

8389 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Neighborhood: Mid-City West

Magnolia Bakery on Urbanspoon

By |July 2nd, 2013|Coffee, Tea, & Bakeries, Dessert, Food|5 Comments

Little Siam Thai Food | West Hills, CA

little siam is a great little thai spot on the west side of the valley.

Little Siam West Hills

the one dish that makes it stand out from the rest of the thai joints is definitely the exotic spicy fried rice (pictured above).  it’s spicy and extremely flavorful (basil makes everything great).  so when we come here…the waitress already knows what are going to order.  hence this picture of my family reading the menus is just ridic.  what are we even reading?

Little Siam West HillsLittle Siam West Hills

the other great things we always order:

  • pad see ew (beef) – great dish here.
  • pad thai – it is good here (definitely better than a lot of other places in town.  my pet peeve is when the noodles fall apart because it was over cooked or when the pad thai color is not slightly orangish).  however, i wouldnt say it is the best thing they have to offer.
  • thai tea (large) – they arent joking when they call this thing large. ($3.50 no bad).

Little Siam West HillsLittle Siam West HillsLittle Siam West Hills

on special occasions we order:

  • siam fish – white fish fillets dipped in batter and deep-fried topped with special chili sauce.  this is a great, great dish. its under manager’s special. ($11)
  • red curry / or yellow curry
  • thai bbq

Little Siam West HillsLittle Siam West HillsLittle Siam West Hills

relatively small place with friendly service.   they remodeled a few years ago so decor is a little more up-to-date and very clean.  pretty cheap, reasonable portions.  they did reduce their serving size since i first started coming here but it will still fill you up.

Little Siam | Canoga Park

i love this place.

Little Siam
22811 Saticoy St
West Hills, CA 91304

Little Siam on Urbanspoon

By |June 29th, 2013|Family, Food, Restaurants|0 Comments

Murray’s Bagels | New York City

Murray's Bagel New York

the bagel:  we got the onion bagel (my fav), lox, red onions, tomato, (no capers).  love. best bagel ever.  why?  the bagel itself is uh-mazing!  i dont know what it is.  it’s fresh.  great texture (i dont think fluffy is the right word…a cloud of heaven?).  i normally like my bagels toasted but (i) they dont toast their bagels and (ii) its so fresh, you dont need it toasted. mind blown. ugh. how did i live without you?

notes:  they have lots of different bagels but now that i have the perfect combo, i dont know how i eat anything else.  they also have tons of different cream cheeses.  go cray.

Murray's BagelsMurray's Bagels New YorkMurray's Bagels New York

  • service:  fast.  you get in and get out. 
  • atmosphere:  small. limited seating.  you are surrounded by lots and lots of bagels and cream cheese.
  • overall:  this is my favorite bagel.  ever.  we have been to this location in chelsea and the one in greenwich village (made us hooked).  i do have to say that the bagel at the greenwich bagel was a little more loaded (aka more cream cheese, more lox, more onions!)…and they cut it in half for us there.  so i think if i had to choose between the two locations, i would choose the greenwich village one but again, best bagel we have had.  los angeles has nothing compared to new york bagels.

242 8th Ave
(between 22nd St & 23rd St)
New York, NY 10011
Neighborhood: Chelsea

Murray's Bagels on Urbanspoon

here is the info for the greenwich village location:

500 Ave of the Americas
New York, NY 10011
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

Murray's Bagels on Urbanspoon

By |June 28th, 2013|Food, New York, Restaurants, Travel|2 Comments

Empanada Mama | New York City

thanks to our awesome friend, lauren, we were introduced to empanada mama!  (if you asked her what is your go-to place in manhattan, she would say this place).  at first i was skeptical since i didnt see how you can just eat empanadas for dinner… arent they just an appetizer?!

Empanada Mama New York
Empanada Mama New York

we ended up at the express version because we were already on the lower east side and wandering around hungry and tried from our walk.  we ordered:

  • spicy chicken – chunks of chicken breast slowly cooked in mama’s special picante sauce.  oh, its special alright.  bomb.
  • cheese and spinach – mozzarella with sauteed spinach
  • cheeseburger – round beef cooked in traditional latin spices with cheddar cheese.  oh yeah, we did.

all were delicious but the spicy hockey definitely stood out.  they give you two sauces to dip (one red and one green)…delicious!  in love with the green sauce (maybe a chimichurri sauce?).

Empanada Mama New YorkEmpanada Mama New YorkEmpanada Mama New York

each empanada is $3.00 each.  a little pricey considering you need a lot to get full…but still very very worth it.  i could eat 1,000!

  • service:  i’m going to go ahead and say that since this is express… you shouldn’t really expect the greatest service.  But i didn’t mind.  we were just in and out without much interaction.
  • atmosphere:  this place is small.  there are a few high chairs and a table or two.  dont expect to roll deep here.
  • overall: highly recommend this place!  loved the empanadas!  next time, i want to go to the full service one in midtown and try the bajillion other flavors!

189 E Houston St
New York, NY 10009
Neighborhoods: Lower East Side, Alphabet City

Empanada Mama Express on Urbanspoon

763 9th Ave
(between 51st St & 52nd St)
New York, NY 10019
Neighborhoods: Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown West, Theater District

Empanada Mama on Urbanspoon

some pictures from our walk!

NYCIMG_2462aIMG_2456aIMG_2472a
By |June 27th, 2013|Food, New York, Restaurants, Travel|3 Comments

Stout | Studio City, CA

i have heard that stout has an amazing burger.  i was pretty glad to find out that one popped up in studio city.

Stout | Studio CityStout | Studio CityStout | Studio City

the burger:  i got the shu burger.  beef patty, light bell sauce and a spicy chipotle sauce.  it was good but not great.  i still like umami better. ugh I know.  i’m annoying.

bun was soft. temperature was good.  it was just missing that umph.

we also ordered the stout burger (i did not personally get the stout burger because i don’t like blue cheese).  kyle liked his burger more than my burger since it had more flavor.  regardless, he still thought it was just ok.  the stout burger comes with blue cheese, gruyere, bacon, caramelized onions, horseradish, and roasted tomatoes.

just a note:  like most new places now, there are no substitutions allowed (so that the original integrity of the burger is not compromised… we get it).  they do allow you to take things out but not add items in (if you want this option, you should go to the counter).

Stout Studio City

i got two of the side sauces to go with our side of fries and onion rings:  chipotle and lemon basil aioli.  50 cents extra.  i hate when sauces are extra but i really love sauces so i swallowed the extra cost of a dollar.

Stout | Studio City

all burgers are $10 and do not come with fries.  pretty average compared to other burgers in the “gourmet burgers” category.

  • parking:  valet only unless you luck out and get a metered spot.  sucks.
  • service:  helpful, friendly and fast.
  • atmosphere:  this place is pretty small.  few tables “indoors” along with seats at the bar.  a few tables outside.  it was nice sitting outside the day we went but (i) i can see how it gets a little hot and (ii) you cant see the tv (in case you are going there to see a game).
  • overall:  would i come back?  i’m on the fence about this one.  this burger was good but not great but we still enjoyed ourselves…plus i can’t eat umami every day.  i do see a deterrent being the limited parking situation.  it’s at a bend on ventura blvd and street parking isn’t the easiest.

Stout
11262 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604

Stout on Urbanspoon

By |June 22nd, 2013|Food, Restaurants|6 Comments