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Mole @ Rocio’s | Sun Valley, CA

Rocio's Mole De Los Dioses

after having delicious mole experiences (here and here), we (i kid. its only me. kyle hates mole.) have been on the search for great mole in our hood.  if you search “mole in los angeles”, rocio’s mole de los dioses comes up.  actually, rocio’s was listed as #1 in laweekly’s blog.  we came here one saturday for lunch.  so. excited. two things they are known for: the variety of moles and cactus tortillas (pictured above).

Rocio's Mole De Los Dioses

since there were so many different kinds of mole, we decided to start with the mole sampler to help us make our decision on our main entrée.  the max was 5 moles or salsa of your choice for $10.  our waiter said he would do 6 for us since it was our first time (we later found out that he ended up charging us $15 for 6.  not a good deal at all).  our sampler standouts (commentary to follow):

  • mole oaxaqueno – this was their famous one. an award winner.
  • mole mancha-manteles – this was their smoky flavored one.
  • mole verde – we got this because it was supposed to be spicy.  
  • mole poblano – the mole you usually find in restaurants.

Rocio's Mole De Los Dioses

we got a complementary soup as a starter.  it’s a shrimp/lime broth.  it was light.  i thought it was ok. nothing spectacular. based on the waiters recommendation, we got two drinks:  the horchata and the pineapple cactus agua fresca.  the horchata is definitely different.  it was topped with pumpkin seeds and is not your regular cinnamon drink. my pineapple cactus agua fresca… eh.  we weren’t huge fans of the drink recommendations.

Rocio's | Sun ValleyRocio's Mole De Los DiosesRocio's Mole De Los DiosesRocio's Mole De Los Dioses

onto the mole:  they were good.  not great or near the best.  my favorite was the poblano and kyle liked the verde (it is pretty spicy). the oaxaqueno was good.  i actually thought the cactus tortillas took away from the mole…

since everyone has been raving about this place, i was expecting to be blown away.  i do give it to rocio.  there are a lot of varieties of mole.  more so than any other restaurant.  but not all of them are great.  and the few that are good, either compare to other places or rate slightly below.  we actually got full off the sampler so decided not to order an entrée.

Rocio's Mole De Los DiosesRocio's Mole De Los DiosesRocio's Mole De Los Dioses

  • parking:  easy street parking
  • service:  was ok.  i was surprised when the waiter said he could add on another mole to our 5-mole sampler and then charged us $15 for 6 when it was $9 for 5.  that was a turnoff.
  • atmosphere:  we opted for outdoor seating.  decor was ok.  nothing you will fall in love with.  when we came for lunch, it was not close to crowded.  it was just us and another couple.
  • overall: i have to start off by stating the bad. we noticed a few ants on our mole tray as the waiter put the food down. ugh. i know. complete turnoff because it is a little unsanitary.  our waiter saw them but didn’t wipe them off or acknowledge them.  but we thought, not biggie it’s just ants. however, since the mole was short of amazing, putting up with ants on our plate was not worth it.  you know what i’m saying?  i know a lot of people love this place… maybe we just came on a bad day. will we be back?  probably not.

Rocio’s Mole De Los Dioses
8255 Sunland Blvd
Sun Valley, CA 91352
Neighborhoods: Sun Valley, North Hollywood

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By |July 6th, 2013|Food, Photography, Restaurants|2 Comments

Slaters 50/50 | Pasadena, CA

Slater's 50/50

i have been waiting to try you, slaters 50/50.  a few people have recommended that i come here since i love burgers.  50% bacon, 50% beef…obviously we are in.  next great thing, they are in pasadena! so close!

Slaters 50/50 | PasadenaSlater's 50/50Slater's 50/50

what we ordered:

  • the 6-app plate: fries, sweet potato fries, fried dill pickle chips, beer battered onion rings, beer battered jalapenos, fried bacon mac ‘n cheese balls
  • the flamin’ hot – beer battered jalapenos, fire roasted green chilies, pepper jack cheese and chipotle adobo mayo on a white brioche.
  • peanut butter & jellousy – bacon, peanut butter and strawberry jelly on a honey wheat bun.  apparently this is one of the popular ones and is award winning.  obviously we had to get this!
  • fire 50/50: it was their special.  all i know is that it had habaneros in it… so spicy!

Slater's 50/50 Slater's 50/50

so i knew but didnt know how much they love bacon here… they have bacon salt.  bacon salt. oh and did you know they also have bacon ketchup?  kyle’s version of heaven.

Slater's 50/50 Slater's 50/50Slater's 50/50Slater's 50/50

we got a tremendous amount of appetizers since we were all indecisive.  the apps came piled high…and deeply fried.  oh, and each came with their own sauce!

  • bacon ketchup w/the fries:  i thought this was ok.  i still like good ol’ ketchup.  is there such a thing as too much bacon? 
  • pumpkin sauce w/the sweet potato fries:  not a fan of this sweet pumpkin sauce…too sweet w/ the sweet potato fries.
  • original mustard sauce w/fried dill pickles:  going to be honest for the fried dill pickles, i just used the tapatio ranch.
  • house-made bbq w/everything:  yep. this was my favorite sauce!  a great, great sweet bbq sauce.  so good.
  • cilantro-lime sour cream w/fried jalapenos:  pretty yummy.
  • tapatio ranch:  great with everything as well.

Slater's 50/50Slater's 50/50

the fire 50/50.  it was very good.  spicy, juicy, great bun.  a very good burger. the flamin’ burger was just ok.  i definitely liked the fire 50/50 better.  it was more flavorful and a lot hotter.  did i mention that these burgers are huge?!

Slater's 50/50

the peanut butter & jellousy. i was skeptical about this one.  but it actually went well together.  flavors were great and texture didnt weird me out.  its like the maple bacon donut…you are weirded out at first but then you realize the ingredient compliment each other.  this is that case.  however, would i get it for myself?  probably not.  it was nice to have my own fire 50/50 and take a bite of the peanut butter & jellousy burger.

Slater's 50/50

  • parking: metered street or parking structures available in old town pasadena.
  • atmosphere:  this place gets packed for dinner.  good thing we came slightly earlier than the normal dinner crowd.
  • service:  pretty efficient.  food came out quickly.  water service was good too (i needed this since i was eating habaneros)
  • overall:  so this is more of a bj’s / counter feel.  this is not your average gourmet burger joint.  but i enjoy that and i would come here again.  i definitely dont see myself getting the 6-apps again because that was a little much but i was a huge fan of the bbq sauce. maybe next time get it on my burger? yes!

a few tips:

  • all burgers are weighed after they are cooked.
  • they give you the option of making your own burger. (like the counter)

Slaters 50/50
61 N Raymond Ave
Pasadena, CA 91103
Neighborhood: Pasadena

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By |July 4th, 2013|Food, Photography, Restaurants|6 Comments

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

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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

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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
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