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ROC | Los Angeles, CA

ROC Los Angeles

friendship day (lauren was in town from nyc. woot woot!) led to a trip to ROC on sawtelle after a trip to the getty villas.  they are known for soup dumplings.  supposedly the soup dumplings here are better than the ones at din tai fung. dun dun dun.

there were eight of us so we called ahead of time to make a reservation. good thing we did since this place has relatively limited seating.

ROC Los Angeles ROC Los Angeles

each order of dumplings came in a set of eight and range from $7-12.  here is what we ordered:

  • pork dumplings (the most popular one)
  • crab and chicken dumplings
  • scallion pancake ($4.50)
  • chinese broccoli ($7.50)
  • shrimp & pork crispy dumplings ($10) – note that these are only available from 2:30pm to 5:30pm
  • pepper beef cubed filet mignon, red onions & bell peppers ($14.75)
  • beef roll – we ordered this after seeing it at another table.  i don’t remember even seeing this on the menu.

ROC | Los Angeles ROC | Los Angeles ROC | Los AngelesROC Los Angeles

broccoli was ok.  it is just steamed chinese broccoli.  i thought it would come with some sort of sauce or flavor…but they were just steamed.  we got it to feel healthier so i can’t really complain.

the dumplings were good!  we liked the pork ones had a lot more flavor than the chicken ones.  were they better than din tai fung? i don’t know.  i’d say these are on par.  these didn’t stand out as better or worse.  i’m not a soup dumpling expert so does this discount my opinion?

i would say one difference is that when i ate din tai fung, i burned my tongue since i didn’t know how to properly eat one of these babies.  the ones at ROC weren’t scorching hot but still warm enough. no complaints here.

ROC | Los AngelesROC Los Angeles

the scallion pancake was delicious!  crispy and had great ginger dipping sauce.  yum.

ROC Los AngelesROC | Los AngelesROC | Los Angeles

pepper beef, ugh so good.  beef was tender and had bold flavor. i would definitely get this again.  the crispy dumplings were only available during a specific period of time so we decided to order it!  so crunchy! i loved it!

ROC Los AngelesROC | Los Angeles

last to be ordered was the beef roll since we only ordered this after seeing it ordered by another party. mind blown! these were so good! i wish we ordered more! the beef inside was tender and packed with awesome flavor.  crispy outside.  (yeah, i have a soft spot for crunchy/crispy textured foods) i think everyone was a fan of this one.

IMG_6679a1ROC Los Angeles

  • service: relatively fast.  we didn’t have too much interaction with the waiter.  you mark what you want to order on a piece of paper and just hand it to your waiter… not too much interaction really needed.  water service was good and constant.
  • atmosphere: modern, clean decor.  this is one of those places that doesn’t have a sign outside so a little hard to find when you are just driving by. i would like to point out that when someone in our party went to the bathroom and found it in a less than desirable state, the manager had it cleaned right away.
  • parking:  metered street parking.  we didn’t have an issue parking but we came at an odd time.  i could imagine parking being a pain when it is prime time dinner.
  • overall: i would definitely come back here.  my favorite things: beef roll, scallion pancake, crispy dumpling, and pork dumpling… umm so pretty much almost everything we ordered! …all solid choices.

until next time, roc.

also, thank you to my amigo, lb, for taking some awesome macro photos with his new camera!

ROC
2049 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Categories: Chinese, Taiwanese

ROC Kitchen on Urbanspoon

By |January 26th, 2014|Food, Restaurants|2 Comments

Cha Cha Cha | Los Angeles, CA

Cha Cha Cha | Los Angeles

firstly, don’t confuse this place with cha cha chicken.  our friend goldman had been trying to get us to go the cha cha cha but we were hesitant because we weren’t crazy about our cha cha chicken (another popular caribbean restaurant in la) experience. this place blows cha cha chicken out the water. fo sho.

secondly, don’t judge this place by the outside (it looks like a shack).  that would just be a mistake.  so here is what we ordered:

  • ceviche guadalupe w/ dirty chips
  • guava and goat cheese quesadilla
  • jerk pork
  • plantano frito served with creme fraiche
  • paella andaluz
  • jerk chicken pizza
  • calamari frita

Cha Cha Cha | Los Angeles

ceviche was delicious!  dirty chips are pretty much crunchy, seasoned tortilla chips. uh-maze balls. don’t worry, the dirty chips aren’t too salty with the ceviche.  you should definitely order this.

Cha Cha Cha | Los Angeles Cha Cha Cha | Los Angeles

the goat cheese guava quesadilla is a popular one.  people who love goat cheese, love this.  we aren’t huge on the goat cheese scene.  but goldman told me he that the goat cheese was subtle… i still thought it tasted goaty. it just wasn’t for me but still loved by many.

Cha Cha Cha | Los Angeles

jerk pork was good. fried plantains with creme fraiche?  even better!  this was one of my favorites! great pairing.  mmm.

Cha Cha Cha | Los AngelesCha Cha Cha | Los Angeles

paella andaluz definitely did not let us down.  it was pretty freaking tasty. rice wasn’t over cooked.  packed with flavor.  would definitely order this again.

onto the jerk chicken.  this was a winner. i repeat. winner.  we ended up order another one of these because we couldn’t get enough of this! crust was great. chicken was moist and the jerk sauce was ridiculously good with a nice kick.  this definitely stood out as our favorite dish.

calamari was good.  all things fried with a creamy sauce are good.

Cha Cha Cha | Los Angeles Cha Cha Cha | Los Angeles

  • ambience:  decor is playful eclectic and casual. bright colors, random christmas lights and even more random plastic table cloths.  before i walked it, i thought this place would be very dark.  good thing there were skylights, which added a fresher feeling. you can definitely come here with a relative big group.  just call ahead for a res.
  • parking:  horrendous.  the lot is small and its valet.  we decided to do street parking, which is a pain to find.  after a solid 15 minutes, we found a spot that was pretty far away.
  • service:  friendly.  no complaints.
  • overall:  this place is a winner.  great food! standout dishes were the jerk chicken pizza, the paella, and the ceviche! we will be coming back…with a crowd so that we can order more.

thanks for the introduction, goldman.

Cha Cha Cha
656 N Virgil Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Neighborhood: East Hollywood
Category: Caribbean

By |December 15th, 2013|Food, Photography, Restaurants|3 Comments

Guisados | Echo Park

guisados caught our eye since it has been featured on a few la “best” lists (you know how we love lists).  good thing two locations are popping up (echo park location opened earlier this year and we are still waiting for the downtown location to open up).  so here is the rundown:  chalkboard menu.  you order, find your seat and wait for your name to be called. first timer?  order the taco sampler (6 tacos)!

Guisados | Echo ParkGuisados | Echo Park

we did not do the sampler.  instead we ordered 8 tacos and two drinks.  (we were pretty much trying to order every taco on the menu) this was plenty of food for two people. i repeat.  plenty.

  • steak picado – spicy. just ok.
  • bisteak en salsa roja – also spicy! so much better than the steak picado! so much more flavor.
  • tinga (chicken) – this was ok.  not the hugest fan of this one.
  • mole poblano (chicken) – mole was good.  full flavor.  fyi – mole isn’t too strong.
  • cochinita (pork) – we ordered this because it was the popular one.  kyle was a fan. it has picked onion on top.
  • pescado – the fish taco was our favorite.  packed with flavor. delicious.
  • camarones – shrimp taco was great.  it’s the sauce, man. the sauce.
  • chuleta en chile verde – this was ok.

Guisados | Echo ParkGuisados | Echo Park

for drinks, we got the cantaloupe fresca and horchata.  the cantaloupe was amazing!! very refreshing and exactly what you want after you down a ton of tacos.  the horchata was also good.  very cinnamony (just keep mixing).  each taco was $2.50-2.75.  not the cheapest but our total of $27.80 was not bad.

Guisados  Melon Fresca | Echo Park Guisados | Echo Park

this is the mole taco.  delicious! great flavor.

Guisados | Echo Park

cochinita taco (pork).  this is the popular one.  full of flavor.  kyle was a fan since it was spicy!

Guisados | Echo Park

fish taco was a definite winner!! our favorite. one thing to note is that the tortilla is very good and on the thicker side so that the taco stays in tact.  trust me, you want this since most of these tacos are on the saucy side.

Guisados | Echo ParkGuisados | Echo ParkGuisados | Echo Park

chuleta en chile verde.  this one was just ok.  nothing mind-blowing.  surprisingly not too much flavor on this one.

Guisados | Echo Park

the shrimp taco was good! presentation is awesome, right?!

Guisados | Echo Park

this is the bisteak en salsa roja. this was hella spicy. lots of flavor.

Guisados | Echo Park

this is the tinga taco (chicken).  we thought this was ok. probably would not get this again.

Guisados | Echo Park

steak picado taco was ok.  it’s spicy.  that’s about it.

Guisados | Echo Park

  • parking:  there is a tiny parking lot.  i would not rely on getting a spot in there.  it is so small, that it would be uncomfortable trying to get out of there after you do find a spot.  my suggestion is street parking.  we didn’t have any issues here.
  • ambience:  this is a very small taco joint.  the ordering area is extremely small.  there is a choice to eat indoors or outdoors.  it’s la, you always want to eat outdoors.  cute patio area.
  • service:  fast.  they are just churning out tons of tacos.  no time to chit chat.
  • overall:  tacos are delicious!  our favorite is the fish taco for sure.  notable seconds are the chicken mole, the bisteak en salsa roja, and the camarones (shrimp) taco.   oh! and don’t forget the cantaloupe fresca!  so good!  8 tacos, two drinks, two people… very satisfying.  we would come back here and order a ton of the fish tacos!

Guisados | Echo ParkGuisados | Echo Park

Guisados
1261 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Neighborhood: Echo Park
Category: Mexican, Tacos

Guisados on Urbanspoon

By |December 2nd, 2013|Food, Restaurants|3 Comments

Ohana BBQ | Studio City

Ohana BBQ | Studio City

ohana bbq is a great little hole-in-the-wall to get your hawaiian bbq / korean fix in studio city.  notable dishes:

  • beef teriyaki – this is pretty much bulgogi.  thinly sliced marinated steak.  marinade is great.  a winner.
  • beef short ribs – korean-style short ribs, marinated and charbroiled. also very good but we usually get the teriyaki since there’s not too much meat on the ribs.
  • chicken katsu – chicken breaded with panko crumbs.  very good with a tangy dipping sauce.
  • wiki wiki noodles “chap chae” – korean clear glass noodles stir fried w/ broccoli, onions and carrots in a sesame-soy sauce. great noodles in our opinion.  completely korean authentic?  probably not.  but still very good.

this little restaurant is owned by the nicest korean couple.  hence this is more of a hybrid hawaiian / korean establishment.  each main dish comes with a salad with a choice of macaroni salad (very hawaiian) or bean sprouts (very korean). we switch it up depending on what we are in the mood for.  oh, we have to point out that the kimchi is delicious here.  we don’t know why we are so hooked.  we always order an 8 oz of the kimchi as a side for $3.

Ohana BBQ | Studio City Ohana BBQ | Studio City Ohana BBQ | Studio City Ohana BBQ | Studio City Ohana BBQ | Studio City Ohana BBQ | Studio City Ohana BBQ | Studio City

  • ambience: hole in the wall.  small. not fancy.  lots of pictures of actors and actresses who frequent this joint.
  • parking: plenty of parking in the lot.
  • service:  friendly.
  • overall:  food here is definitely in the fusion category since its hawaiian / korean.  but don’t be fooled.  food is delicious, cheap and relatively fast.  note that this place is closed on sundays.

Ohana BBQ
11269 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
Neighborhood: Studio City
Category:  Hawaiian BBQ, Korean

Ohana BBQ on Urbanspoon

By |December 2nd, 2013|Food, Restaurants|0 Comments

Mendocino Farms Grand Opening | Sherman Oaks, CA

Mendocino Farms | Sherman Oaks

congratulations to mendocino farms on their brand new sherman oaks location!! mendo, which started in downtown los angeles, has now expanded to the westside, mid-wilshire area, and now the valley!

mendo is my absolute favorite place to eat lunch in downtown!  i have been going to mendo when there was only one location (california plaza)!  i am so happy that there’s more than one location now! (3 in downtown alone).  this place is a major hot spot for lunch!  i will admit that i eat here at least 3 times a week.  sometimes i’ll come here for lunch and then also order for dinner if i stay late at work.

anyway, this is my favorite sandwich place and here are my favorite things to order:

  • kurobuta pork belly banh mi – my absolute favorite sandwich (in the world)
  • “not-so-fried” chicken (as a wrap) – i choose the bbq sauce but hear the buffalo sauce is very good.
  • prosciutto chicken – on the lighter side.
  • market roasted vegetables salad – great salad.  roasted veggies, nuts, grape tomatoes with a basil pesto-balsamic vinaigrette… i die.
  • curry cous cous – delicious!  lovely kick to it.

we were so lucky to have been invited to the pre-grand opening of sherman oaks location!  this is a great spot since it is on ventura blvd!

Mendocino Farms | Sherman Oaks Mendocino Farms | Sherman Oaks Mendocino Farms | Sherman Oaks Mendocino Farms | Sherman OaksMendocino Farms | Sherman Oaks Mendocino Farms | Sherman Oaks Mendocino Farms | Sherman Oaks Mendocino Farms | Sherman Oaks Mendocino Farms | Sherman Oaks Mendocino Farms | Sherman OaksMendocino Farms | Sherman Oaks

soda fountain is always fun.  the pork belly banh mi is a must.  a little twist on a traditional vietnamese sandwich… epic.

Pork Belly Banh Mi | Mendocino FarmsMendocino Farms | Sherman OaksMendocino Farms | Sherman Oaks

kyle got the steak blt.  hearty and packed with delicious flavor.  he got extra blue cheese.

Mendocino Farms | Sherman Oaks

nat got drunk ‘n goat on highway 128.  goat cheese, brie, cranberry chutney, green apple, greens on cranberry walnut bread.  she was a fan.  she also got the kale salad.  i’m not a huge fan of kale but i did like this salad.

Mendocino Farms | Sherman OaksMendocino Farms | Sherman Oaks

ty ordered the carved steak pretzel melt since it was featured on thrillist as a sandwich everyone must eat. i didn’t try it but he thought it was pretty good.

Mendocino Farms | Sherman Oaks

  • parking: since this location is located on ventura blvd.  you will have to find metered parking.  good luck!
  • service:  mendocino always has amazing service.  everyone is super friendly and working extremely hard to get your food out as fast as possible.
  • ambience:  i love the open, airy decor of this place.  they have a tree in the middle of the restaurant and a foosball table!  very casual, happy atmosphere.  i love everything about it.
  • food:  you cant go wrong with any of the sandwiches here.  quality is what they strive for and sandwiches are their niche.  they are pretty much the bomb dot com.

Mendocino Farms
14141 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Neighborhood: Sherman Oaks

Mendocino Farms on Urbanspoon

By |December 1st, 2013|Food, Photography, Restaurants|1 Comment