Monthly Archives: January 2012

Yi Mei Deli Co

18414 Colima Rd
Rowland Heights, CA 91748

(626) 854-9246



This is my favorite place for Taiwanese-style breakfasts.  It’s really authentic and has a lot of variety.  Everything, from the buns to the soymilk,  is made fresh daily.  Located in the HK Shopping Plaza on Colima, parking is usually a breeze.  It gets very packed during the weekends, with a long line out the door.  Yi Mei does not have much seating, so make sure you hunt for a table before you order.

Yi Mei also sells frozen items that you can buy and just reheat at home.  I recommend getting the frozen steam bao (xiao-long-bao) or the dumplings.  At home, you can just steam it and it’ll be ready to eat in minutes.  Convenient and yum — much better than the supermarket versions!


The menu in Chinese and in English – one side is more of the lunch menu 


The breakfast menu


Egg omelet – One of my favorite breakfast items at Yi Mei.  This is kinda like a Taiwanese breakfast burrito.  It’s eggs with scallions wrapped in a flour tortilla.  Dip it in the garlic soy sauce!  $3


Radish cake is also really good here.  Slightly crispy on the outside yet soft on the inside. $3.05


Taiwanese rou-yuan.  Glutinuous rice wrapped with meat and vegetables.  Nice texture and the accompanying reddish sauce is good.  $2.50


Wa-gui – almost like a rice pudding, it’s steamed and then topped with minced meat & shitake mushrooms and covered in a sweeter soy sauce.  Tasty! $2.50


Beef sandwich – marinated beef slices and pickeled vegetableswrapped in flaky bread  $3.25


Sweet bean curd, or what I like to call sweet tofu pudding.  $2.20


Soy milk – available hot or cold, sweet or salty.  This is the hot sweet soy milk $1.70

Al Watan Halal Restaurant

13619 Inglewood Ave
Hawthorne, CA 90250

(310) 644-6395

In my opinion, this is hands down, the best Indian food restaurant in LA! Even though this place is just down the street from me, up until a few years ago, I didn’t realize its existence until I saw an article in the LA Times about cops’ favorite dining places. Since it really is literally just down the street, I went and have been hooked ever since.
This place is a hole in the wall. That being said,  don’t be daunted by the simple decor and fluorescent lights.  The food will make you wish you knew about this place sooner!  Al Watan serves some of the best tandoori and mango lassi I’ve ever had. Prices are really reasonable and the portions are of a decent size, meant to be shared.  Also, the restaurant sometimes participate in the gift certificates, so be sure to check and get an even better deal!
This is what I ordered on a recent visit, for 2 and we still ended up with left-overs!
Start off with the complimentary salad after you order, with a very light cucumber dressing
Aloo palak – potatoes and spinach  $5.99
Neehari – spicy beef curry.  Chunks of slow cooked beef in a spicy curry sauce. This is one of their specialties.  It is very spicy but the beef is so tender!  $7.99
Dal makhani – lentils.  Mild and creamy, it is a perfect dish to cool off the spiciness of other dishes.  $5.99
Plain basmati rice – the dishes we ordered do not come with rice, so we ordered a la carte.  The rice is very light and fluffy.  $3.99
Garlic naan – their naan and garlic naan are both huge and freshly made!  Great with the veggie dishes.  $1.99
Cool off with a glass of mango lassi!  This is a mango flavored yogurt drink, yummy!  $2

Blockheads Shavery

11311 Mississippi Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Neighborhood: West Los Angeles

(310) 445-8725


Finally, there is a Taiwanese snow shaved ice place in West LA!  No more trekking to Rowland Heights to Class 302 just to satisfy more cravings.  ^ ^  Thanks to Connie H for posting the pics on FB and spreading the word!  This place just opened a little over 2 months ago and there’s a long line out the door every time I’ve been!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Taiwanese snow shaved ice, the ice itself is flavored (yes, so it’s a block of flavored ice being shaved) and the texture is smooth, like snow (hence the name).  You’re then free to choose toppings like mochi rice cake, pudding, red bean etc.  To finish it off, condensed milk or other kinds of syrup is drizzled on top.

At Blockheads Shavery, you start off by choosing the flavor of the ice, followed by the 30+ different topping choices, then the drizzle. For those of you who are overwhelemd by all the choices, there are some popular combos listed under the “Favorites” section.

Word of warning – they do run out of flavors and toppings, so do your best to get there early.  I’ve tried the green tea, black sesame and strawberry (tastes just like strawberry ice cream!) are all excellent.  Recommended toppings:  boba, rice cake, egg pudding.  I think all three are made fresh daily.  Portion size is pretty big.  One regular size shaved ice can be easily split among 2-3 people.


The menu – the flavors and toppings change depending on the day


Green tea shaved ice with red bean and rice cake, drizzled with condensed milk.  $4.50


Black sesame shaved ice with rice cake.  The black sesame flavor is so good!  And I’ve only seen it here.  🙂   $4

Han Bat Sul Lung Tang

4163 W 5th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020
Neighborhood: Koreatown

(213) 383-9499


I’ve been meaning to try this place ever since I’ve seen it on KJ’s food blog.  However, everytime I’m in K-town, I’m always lured away by K-BBQ or soon-tofu.  Finally, one day recently, I couldn’t think of anything to eat, so decided to pick a place from my “to try” Yelp list and voila!

The place is easy to miss – it’s located in a strip mall next to a Carl’s Jrs.  It was relatively easy to find street parking at the time that I went, there are meters all around.  The menu is simple – you get 2 choices, either beef soup or the boiled beef.  From then on, you choose which meat you want for your soup.  As it was my first time there, I didn’t want to be too adventurous, so I picked the brisket beef soup to be safe.  Next time I think I’ll try either the beef tongue or the mixed.  Not sure what boiled beef is actually…will have to ask one of my Korean friends.


The simple menu.  $8.28 per order = $9 after tax


Each order comes with rice and banchans (kimchi and spicy radish).  The kimchi and spicy radish are both really good!  Feel free to ask for refills!  🙂




The waiteress brings a tub of scallions with the beef soup, that you can add at your leisure.  Scoop as much as you want into the soup.  Really adds to the flavor.


The soup is bland and not seasoned, so make sure to season it with salt yourself! The broth is very mild, but tastes like it’s been stewed for hours. The meat is so tender! Such a great meal for cold winter days or when you’re not feeling well.

DineLA Restaurant Week starts soon!

DineLA is celebrating its 5th year, wow, time really flies!

This year, the winter restaurant week runs from Sun 1/22 – Fri 1/27 and then again from Sun 1/29 – Fri 2/3.  Don’t worry, for those of you who can’t catch it this time, there’s always restaurant week in the fall too.

Here’s the link for the participating restaurants and menus Let the decisions begin!  ^ ^

[San Francisco] Hog Island Oyster Co

1 Ferry Bldg
Shop 11
San Francisco, CA 94111
Neighborhood: Embarcadero

Hog Island Oyster Co has locations in SF and Napa.  The oysters all come from its farm in Tomales Bay, about an hour north of SF.  For those of you willing to make the trek, the oyster farm is actually pretty fun, with its own picnic area right next to the bay. You can even buy oysters by the dozens and shuck your own oysters!  I think reservations are required for the picnic area.  When I went in July, there were so many families there – people bring huge ice chests filled with booze and marinated meats, and just sit around and barbeque the whole day!
The one in SF is less rustic than the farm, but easier to access.  It’s right inside the Ferry Building at the Embarcadero.  Go early since it’s a small place, lines queue up fast!  For faster service, sit at the bar and watch your oysters being shucked.
The place
The menu with fresh and baked oysters to choose from.  Order size for raw oysters is 1/2 dozen+.
Fresh bread is served!  Crusty and chewy, nom nom nom…
1/2 dozen kumamoto oysters – light & refreshing!  $18
1/2 dozen Hog Island Sweetwater oysters – plump & juicy with a smooth finish.  $15
My brother highly recommended the clam chowder, so we all got a bowl.  Each is made fresh when ordered.  The chowder is not thick like normal clam chowder, it’s more of a clam soup.  The clams are super fresh.  And all the juices is absorbed into soup, great to eat and to dip bread in.  YUM!  $14

[Hawaii] The original Roy’s Restaurant

6600 Kalanianaole Hwy
Honolulu, HI 96825
I’ve tried a few Roy’s but never visited the original, which was started in 1988 in Hawaii.  One of my Hawaiian friends told me that the original Roy’s offers exclusive Hawaii menu items.  And I wanted to see the birth place of the chain.  So on my way back from Hanauma Bay, I stopped by for dinner.  Reservations are recommended as the restaurant fills up fast.
As usual, the servers bring a dish of seasoned edamame once you’re seated
Appetizer:  escargot.  Baked in pesto sauce, the escargot was succulent and flavorful. Already de-shelled, so you don’t have to worry about plucking! $13
About 10 escargots per order.  Use the bread to soak up the garlicky pesto sauce.  Yum!
Appetizer #2:  sizzling ahi poke – cubed tuna mixed with onion and seaweed in a soy-based sauce.  Eat it before the tuna becomes fully cooked! $15

Appetizer #3: blackened ahi — not really what the name suggests, it’s more of a sashimi.  The ahi was really good, not so much with the sauce though.  $16
Confit mushroom salad — break open the egg in the middle and mix everything together!  $12
Selecting the dessert was a bit of a challenge since I love the famous souffle. However, since I was in Hawaii, I figured I’d try something native, Roy’s Milk and Cookies – milk shake with freshly baked white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.  The combination was great – I could’ve easily eaten half a dozen cookies just by themselves! $7.50