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Hy Mart Sandwiches | North Hollywood, CA

if you ask me, hy mart has some sexy sandwiches.  how lucky are we that this is in our neighborhood?!

Hy Mart Sandwiches | North Hollywood Hy Mart Sandwiches | North HollywoodHy Mart Sandwiches | North Hollywood

this place is pretty low profile… but do not underestimate the very simple menu and simple decor.

we always go for ben’s pastrami (aka pastrami ben’s way). get ready for pastrami, provolone, jalapenos, basil, and ben’s sauce (which they claim is spicy but i did not find this spicy at all).  ben (the owner we assume) knows his sandwiches.  sauce is a winner but the bread is an even bigger winner.  crunchy and doesnt fall apart while you eat it. #winning

a weird side note: i do wish that i tasted more basil but it is still great, every time.

Hy Mart Sandwiches | North Hollywood Hy Mart Sandwiches | North Hollywood

  • food: we love getting sandwiches here! we always want to branch out but we always just order the same thing.
  • parking: small, shared lot. we haven’t had any problems when we come here for lunch.
  • ambience: casual. not too many seats available but we have never had a problem finding a place to sit since people are usually in and out of here.
  • service: owner is super friendly! this is the type of place where you order, pay and wait for someone to bring your food out to you. sandwiches come out pretty quickly!
  • overall:  if you are looking for a quick, delicious lunch spot, head to hy mart! sandwiches are bomb.  bread is perfectly crunchy and the sauce (not too spicy) will leave you happy!

Hy Mart Sandwiches
4795 Vineland Ave
North Hollywood, CA 91602
Neighborhood: North Hollywood

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By |February 6th, 2014|Food, Photography, Restaurants|0 Comments

Philz Coffee | Berkeley, CA

while visiting a friend in norcal for the weekend, we went to philz coffee since she knew i twitch without my coffee in the morning.  she made me drink the mint mojito iced coffee.  i will not lie.  i had reservations since i usually associate mojito with insanely sweet.

Philz Coffee | Berkeley

nope.  it was freaking amazing!! refreshing, perfectly sweetened with a nice mint kick. i love mint. i daydream about this little cup of heaven pretty often.  (every day)  i just had to post this since it’s too good not to share.

Philz Coffee
1600 Shattuck Ave
(between Cedar St & Lincoln St)
Berkeley, CA 94709

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By |January 27th, 2014|Coffee, Tea, & Bakeries, Food, Restaurants|0 Comments

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

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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

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