Atlantic Seafood & Dimsum Restaurant

500 N Atlantic Blvd
Ste 200
Monterey Park, CA 91754

(626) 872-0388

http://www.yelp.com/biz/atlantic-seafood-and-dim-sum-restaurant-monterey-park-2

atlanticsf.weebly.com

 

This is my favorite dimsum restaurant of late.  Atlantic Seafood is conveniently located in the large shopping center, on Atlantic, where the huge AMC Theater and wide range of restaurants are located.  Free parking is easy to find in the attached parking structure.  Finding the restaurant, however, is a bit tricky.  I almost couldn’t find it, when I went the first time.  So, make your way to the 24 Hour Fitness near the corner of Atlantic and Hellman, and you’ll see the restaurant located on the second floor.

Atlantic Seafood is a huge restaurant.  However, it gets very packed during the weekends.  If you want to avoid the crowd, go before 11:30am.  Otherwise, expect at least a 40 minutes wait.  Atlantic Seafood serves traditional dim sum, served in the rolling carts.  The carts circulate pretty often and if you don’t see what you want, just ask a waiter — they’ll usually bring it around to you. Service is pretty fast and friendly, although the dimsum cart ladies are a little pushy and will try to sell as much dimsum as they can!  😉  All of the dimsum that I’ve tried at Atlantic Seafood is very tasty.  Oh, and ALL the dimsum dishes are $1.88 each on the weekends (and only $1.58 on the weekdays)!  ^ ^

 

The meat-stuffed rice cakes.  Crispy on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside.  Mmmm….

 

1. The shumai is excellent and is a little bigger than other dimsum places

2. The leaf-wrapped sticky rice (no-mai-gai) is also tasty

3.  Steamed custard buns seemed like they’ve been in the steamer for too long – the filling wasn’t runny anymore.  Maybe they would be good if they were freshly steamed?

 

Eggrolls – stuffed with bamboo inside.  Very crunchy and delicious.  Loved it!

 

Beef meatballs had pretty good flavor and texture.

 

The egg tarts were fresh and so good out of the oven!  The crust is flaky and the filling is full of yummy egg flavor.  Mmmm!

 

Other notable items that I forgot to photograph were shrimp dumplings (har-gow), tofu pudding (do-fu-hua) and the fried rice.  I can see why this place is packed during the weekends!  Give it a try if you’re in the area.  🙂

Kobawoo House

698 S Vermont Ave
Ste 109
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 389-7300
 
http://www.yelp.com/biz/kobawoo-house-los-angeles
 

I love bossam – it’s the Korean dish of sliced pork that you wrap together with pickled radish, kimchi in a napa cabbage leaf.  Kobawoo House has been on my “to-eat” list for a while, with its glowing Yelp reviews.  Finally had a chance to try it out recently!

Kobawoo House is located in a large strip mall, just past 7th Street, on Vermont.  It’s best to take advantage of the parking valet, which is $1.50, than to try to find your own parking.   The restaurant itself is medium sized, but with lots of business.  Not sure if they take reservations, so be prepared for a 20-30 minute wait.  While you wait, there’s a coffee machine by the front door that you can press for complimentary coffee, latte or hot chocolate!

 

The banchans (side dishes).  The side dishes were really tasty and flavorful.  You can ask for seconds!

 

We saw that fellow Yelpers also recommended the seafood pancake (haemul pajun), so that’s what we ordered.  It’s a huge pancake filled with shrimp, oyster, squid and crabmeat.  There was a lot of seafood, but the pancake wasn’t as crispy on the outside as I would’ve liked.  $15.99

 

We ordered the Wang Bosam, which is their special dish.  It’s basically the deluxe bosam platter.  It comes with the boiled pork, steamed skate (a fish) and glazed pork feet.  Before the bosam platter was out, the glazed pork feet came out first — it’s spicy cucumber mixed with sliced pork feet.  Very refreshing!

 

The huge bosam platter!  Kobawoo has some of the best kimchi I’ve tasted – perfectly fermented without it being overly spicy.  Just add a bit of everything to the napa cabbage leaf, and eat it like a burrito!  The kimchi was so great with the boiled pork – it took away the greasiness and porkiness of the meat.  Yum! The steamed skate (in the bowl) was good too, but the main star was definitely the pork!  $33.99

 

The bosam platter comes with rice – you can request for the purple rice, without extra charge.  It’s basically purple rice, cooked with some beans.  It’s chewier than white rice and accompanies the banchans very well.

Just a warning, portions are very generous.  Three of us shared the above dishes, and only managed to finish half of everything.  The leftovers still tasted great the next day!  ^ ^

Fishing with Dynamite

 

1148 Manhattan Ave
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

(310) 893-6299

eatfwd.com

http://www.yelp.com/biz/fishing-with-dynamite-manhattan-beach

 

Fishing with Dynamite is a very small restaurant (about 5 tables total), owned by the same chef as MB Post a few doors down.  I’ve heard that it’s very hard to snag a dinner reservation, since the restaurant is so small.  So decided to go here for lunch instead.  Lunch reservation for New Years Eve was relatively easy — just made it on OpenTable!

I wasn’t really sure what to expect — the best seafood I’ve had was in Seattle, and hadn’t had anything in LA that came close.  But the restaurant has an impressive selection of oysters and other seafood.  Everything we had was so fresh and delicious!  Parking is always a little tricky around Manhattan Beach, so make sure you’re parked at one of the longer-term parkings, like the one with the underground parking. Most of the street parking is 2 hours max and may not give you enough time.   Bring lots of coins, as most of the meters only take coins.  Try to make a reservation if you can, otherwise the wait could be horrendously long!

 

Inside of the restaurant.  Like I’ve mentioned… it is very small!

 

The oyster sampler with half a dozen oysters.  The oysters come with a little card, which says the type of oyster and the place where it came from.  We also got the live uni (a daily special)!  It was all very fresh, and naturally sweet.  My favorite oyster was the Double DD (second from the right).  The oysters were hands down, some of the best I’ve had.  Mmmm…..  $18.25 for the half dozen oyster sampler.  $15 for the live uni.

 

The oysters came with 3 different sauces:  horseradish/mignonette, cocktail sauce and the ponzu.  The horseradish and the ponzu were really great on the oysters.  Really brought out the natural taste.

 

Steamed manila clams comes in a little iron crock.  It’s steamed in tomato, vermouth and linguica, and comes with grilled foccacia bread.  The clams were really tender and flavorful.  And the foccacia was perfect to soak up the sauce with!  $15

 

The Cape Code Squash Rolls with rosemary butter were really good, but a bit on the small side.  We also used this to dip in the clam sauce.  Mmm…  $5

We’ll be back to try the oyster poboy and the mahi mahi fish tacos!  We saw that people all ordered different dishes and everything looked so good~~

Kate Mantilini

9101 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

(310) 278-3699

http://www.yelp.com/biz/kate-mantilini-beverly-hills

http://katemantilinirestaurant.com/

 

I’ve been to Kate Mantilini’s a few years ago for an alumni networking lunch and had a pretty good impression of the food.  But, since LA has so many diverse offerings, I haven’t been back until one of my friends said that she had a Groupon.  So, dinner was decided.  🙂

Surprisingly, there is ample street parking near Kate Mantilini’s.  The meters are free after 6pm.  However, for those of you squeamish about street parking, valet parking is also available. On the night that we dined, the restaurant was pretty packed, so reservations are recommended.  Service was very friendly and our waiter kept checking on us throughout our meal.  He  entertained us with the restaurant’s history, some new potential menu items and even let us sample some dessert!  It was quite a memorable meal.

 

Seafood linguini with pesto — this was one of the daily specials, so not sure how often they have this.  Since I still have a bit of shellfish allergy, I informed our waiter, who immediately said that it was not a problem.  He had the kitchen substitute the prawns with extra seafood!  There were lots of clams, salmon, mussels and squid.  The seafood was perfectly cooked and the pesto sauce was garlicky and flavorful.  Awesome!  $22

 

The hobo steak — is basically grilled meatloaf with sauteed kale and mashed potatoes.  The meatloaf tasted so good!  Our waiter even made us his secret hot sauce to accompany it.  Yum!  $18.50

 

Homemade lemon icebox pie — this was so good!  Light and tart~  $6.95

 

Our waiter treated us to this dessert – apple cobbler with cinnamon ice cream.  The warm apple cobbler had a vanilla sauce.  The cinnamon ice cream tasted like horchata.  Both were really tasty!  $8.50

Corner Place

2819 James M Wood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
 
(213) 487-0968

http://www.yelp.com/biz/corner-place-los-angeles

http://www.cornerplacerestaurant.com/

 

After hiking at the nearby Griffith Park on a hot day, a friend and I were craving something refreshing.  So we started searching for good Korean cold noodle places on Yelp.  This place came up as the #1 choice.  However, we weren’t sure if this place specialized in cold noodles, so we wanted to try other naeng myun places.  Alas, most of the naeng myun places seem to be closed on Sundays, so off we went to the Corner Place!

Corner Place is located in a corner of a small strip mall. Parking is a bit tricky — the parking lot has restricted spaces reserved for the laundromat and the market, so read the signs!  There is additional free parking at a lot across from the strip mall — you can ask the security guard to point you to the right direction.  The restaurant itself is fairly large and the customers are quite diverse.  So, unlike other Korean BBQ joints, English is understandable here.  🙂  Apparently, the signature dish here is the cold noodles aka dong chi mi gook soo.  Dong chi mi gook soo is a little different than naeng myun — naeng myun is a darker clear noodle in an icy pear broth whereas dong chi mi gook soo is a white noodle less chewier than naeng myun, in a cold fermented vegetable broth.

 

The menu — cold noodles seem to be the signature dish here!

 

The cold noodles!  Like all the Yelp reviews said, it is very refreshing!!!  Unlike other restaurants, Corner Place DOES NOT give you any condiments (hot sauce, mustard, vinegar, etc) to add to the noodles.  The soup itself is light and not as vinegary as the ones I’ve had.  Mmmm….  $4.75 for a regular bowl, portions are generous.

 

There is quite a bit of banchans / side-dishes as well!  Everything was so good and not overly spicy.

 

I wasn’t really sure how filling the cold noodles were going to be, so I ordered the rib-eye too, expecting it to be only 1 steak.  So when the order arrived, and it was 2 huge steaks, we had to double-check with our waitress that it was only 1 order.  OMG, can I just say that it was perfect marbling?  She also came by a few times to cook & cut the steak, and trimmed off the fat!  The steak is cooked with 2 pats of butter, an onion slice and some mushrooms.  So meaty, juicy and delicious. Be careful not to overcook the steaks!  $25.95 per order

I’ll definitely be back, Corner Place!!!

Lala’s Argentine Grill

7229 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046

(323) 934-6838

 

http://www.lalasgrill.com/

http://www.yelp.com/biz/lalas-argentine-grill-los-angeles

 

One of my friends has always raved about this place, especially the sangria,  So, for one of my birthday dinners, this is where we went!  🙂  Since Lala’s is located on Melrose, street parking is pretty difficult.  It was only after we got to the restaurant, that we found out valet was available.  So I’d definitely recommend the valet to save you street parking hassles (I believe it’s coins only and 2 hour limit in the immediate area).  The restaurant itself is pretty large, with inside and outside patio seating.  Since we had a large party, we went for the patio seating.  I think even without reservations, you’d be able to get seated fairly quickly.

 

The outside patio seating, perfect for large parties!

 

The bread was warm and chewy.

 

Chimichurri accompanied the bread and was the perfect dip.  Chimichurri is a typical Argentine sauce made of parsley, garlic, olive oil etc, so it is very flavorful.  It’s traditionally used with grilled meats, so try it on steak!

 

We got a pitcher of the white sangria, although it’s not exactly “white” in color.  There’s also the regular sangria.  The white sangria was not on the menu, but available upon request.  It was sweet and strong – delicious! I think 1 pitcher was $15.

 

Calamari came out in a very large platter, to our surprise.  It was very light and crispy, with marinara sauce on the side.  Yum!  $10.95

 

Large portions is the theme here, and the salad con salmon did not disappoint.  The salad arrived in a large platter, with a generous piece of perfectly cooked salmon.  The salmon is drizzled with dijon sauce, while the salad’s been tossed with balsamic vinaigrette.  It was a refreshing salad! $14.95

 

Bife encebollado – certified Angus Beef skirt steak topped with grilled onions, garlic & parsley.  Traditional Argentine steak.  Lots of great flavors, the steak was so tasty with the grilled onions, garlic and parsley.  Loved the mashed potatoes too!  $21.95

 

Entraña al ajo – certified Angus Beef skirt steak topped with sautéed garlic & parsley.  This is basically the one above, except without the grilled onions.  Don’t be fooled – the steak is a decent size — it’s just that Lala’s give out a very generous amount of mashed potatoes!  $19.95

 

Costilla – ribeye steak.  This one does not have any sauce, just a plain steak. But, it was very well cooked and you can really taste the meatiness!  Yum yum yum…. $18.95

 

We loved all of the dishes!  All of the steak was so good and satisfied all of the meat eaters in the group.  🙂  Service was prompt and friendly.  We’ll be back soon!  And next time we’ll valet.

Maruhide Uni Club 丸秀

2130 W Redondo Beach Blvd
Torrance, CA 90504

(310) 323-2864

http://www.yelp.com/biz/maruhide-uni-club-torrance

 

Maruhide Uni Club started as a store that sells uni (aka sea urchin)… many varieties of uni at that.  In order to introduce their uni to more customers, Maruhide Uni Club launched its restaurant business earlier this year, in May.  The restaurant is located in a small shopping plaza, across the way from Target.  Parking lot is a little small, so try your luck at street parking (shouldn’t be too hard to find) if the lot is full.  The restaurant itself is medium-sized, and we didn’t have much of a wait for a large party on a Saturday at noon.  However, it filled up pretty fast, and by the time we left, there were a few parties waiting.  So, best come earlier!

 

The store front

 

You can also buy the different uni choices to go!

 

From the store’s website — it’s the only factory-direct uni restaurant in the US! And now an omakase (chef’s choice) menu is offered, but must be reserved 7 days in advance.  Tempting…

 

   

The menu

 

The uni cream pasta —  one of my friends ordered this.  It tasted pretty good, there was a lot of uni and the pasta was relatively light.  However, if you like more uni flavor and stronger taste, go for the one at Marugame Monzo in Little Tokyo.

 

The rest of us opted for the nigiyaka bowl – which is basically a chirashi bowl with lots of uni!  And it came with a small side salad…

 

And a bowl of broth, which had a sliver of uni…

 

And the nigiyaka bowl itself!  There’s scallops, salmon, salmon roe, albacore tuna, sea cucumber and 4 different types of uni (fresh uni, marinated uni with squid, salted uni, and uni omelette).  Everything was fresh and the portions were really generous.  I was pretty much uni-ed out by the end of the meal.  I think I definitely prefer fresh uni!  $19.80

I think the nigiyaka bowl is a really good chirashi bowl.  However, if I’m in the mood to just eat good uni, I’d opt for the uni bowl at Nozomi!

Savoy Kitchen

138 E Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91801

(626) 308-9535

http://www.yelp.com/biz/savoy-kitchen-alhambra

 

CASH ONLY

 

All of my friends have raved about the Hainan chicken rice at Savoy.  For some reason, I just haven’t had a chance to try until recently — maybe it’s because there are simply too many food choices in the area.  Good thing I got there relatively early for lunch (around 11:30am) — the seats were all full inside the restaurant, however, outdoor seating was available.  I’ve heard that the usual wait is anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour.  There is only street parking available, and that can be a little tough to find, so be prepared.

Hainan chicken is basically steamed/poached chicken.  It is then chopped into slices and served with a side of rice.  During my time in Singapore (the birth place of Hainan chicken rice), the ones I’ve had usually had the chicken drippings mixed into the rice, to give it extra flavor.  Outside of Singapore, I’d say Savoy makes a pretty good version of Hainan chicken rice.

 

The store front.  There are benches outside for the waiting crowd.

 

Jot down your name and the number in your party on the clip board, just outside the restaurant.  Also, indicate if you’d like to be seated indoors or outdoors, or any. Then, wait to be seated.

 

 

The menu.  Lots of choices!  I will have to come back to try their other dishes.  FYI – there’s free refill on the iced tea with lemon!

 

The Hainan chicken rice.  The chicken is really juicy and tender.  Loved the ginger sauce, it complements the chicken perfectly.  And the rice was fluffy and flavorful. Yum!  $6.95

Best Chirashi Bowls in LA

Discover Los Angeles has published its top 10 chirashi bowls in Los Angeles list, found here.  I have tried the ones from Maruhide Uni Club and Morizo Sushi Kaisen.  While these are certainly good, I think the chirashi bowls from Akasaka and K-Zo are much better.  I think the author is seriously missing out….

 

Akasaka’s chirashi bowl – overflowing with seafood! What more can you ask for?

 

K-Zo’s chirashi bowl – simple yet fresh

 

Morizo Sushi Kaisen’s chirashi bowl – much more than a take-out sushi place.  The fish comes in huge chunks!

 

Maruhide Uni Club’s chirashi bowl — it’s all about the uni/sea urchin!

 

Marugame Monzo もんぞう

329 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Little Tokyo

(213) 346-9762

Mon-Sun 11:30 am – 2:30 pm

Mon-Sun 5 pm – 10 pm

http://www.yelp.com/biz/marugame-monzo-los-angeles-2

 

I first read about Marugame Monzo from Discover LA’s Best Japanese Noodles list back in July.   I was sold when I heard that they have a uni udon pasta with glowing Yelp reviews.  Even Jonathan Gold went to try it!

Marugame Monzo is right next to the well known Daikokuya Ramen in Little Tokyo.  Its small facade is certainly easy to miss.  And since it’s next to Daikokuya, you might mistaken Daikokuya’s notoriously long line with Marugame’s (although I’m sure Marugame has, by now, gathered quite a large following).  The star of the show at Marugame Monzo is the udon, fresh handmade udon.  Come early or prepare to wait.  The restaurant is small with hardly any ventilation — we arrived 15 minutes after the restaurant opened for lunch on a Saturday and was lucky enough to sit at the last empty seats, at the counter, with a front-row view of the udon-making. Street parking, as many of you know, is tough in Little Tokyo.  So, go for one of the parking lots!

 

The store front.  It’s quite small, so look for the sign.  There was a long line by the time we left.

 

 

Size of the restaurant.  Yes, it’s just a few tables and a few seats at the counter.

 

Watch udon being made!  It is really quite impressive.

 

The menu

 

Mentai bowl – spicy cod roe over rice.  The mentai was really fresh and went great with the warm rice.  $4 with any udon order.

 

Uni cream udon – it was an off-menu special, but I think it’s on the menu now.  There was so much uni in the udon, and lots of uni flavor in the cream sauce!  Loved it!  The udon was kind of al dente and went really well with the sauce.  I do have to say though, portion is generous, and by the end of my last noodle, it was a bit too rich and creamy for me. $16

 

Will definitely be back to try the traditional Japanese udon!