April 2019 Weekend Rundown

Yes, like 20X bigger. I could inhale that stuff every moment of every day.

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You need to introduce them to the joys of Del Taco!

I remember when I was a kid I was Team Bell but I am proud to say I am faithfully Team Del


I just can’t stay away… Shunji, second night in a row:

Nigiri assortment…

Nishin (herring)… An unusual choice, but definitely in the height of its season right now. I don’t recall ever being served nishin nigiri in the U.S. before until today. The flavor of herring is not as oily as say, kohada, but nevertheless this member of the hikarimono family is downright delicious!

Dessert: Truffle ice cream, umeboshi (sour plum) sorbet, honey ginger ice cream, assorted seasonal fruits (with dueling mulberries!)…


I know! But they wanted Taco Bell, it is famous apparently. :slight_smile: (Movies?)

I am definitely taking them to Los Anya before they go, though.


Hi @J_L,

Beautiful assortment all in 1 photo. :slight_smile: Is the reason Shunji served these in 1 big plate because you had a larger group not at the bar? Just curious.

I’ve had different experiences at different locations. Valley in La Puente (started going there in the early '90s) and Alondra in Bellflower are great, but Azusa and La Habra have been hit or miss for me. YMMV.

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Bigger group style plating by Shunji…

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Office lunch by Hi-Fi Kitchen…

Sweet spaghetti (sweet & savory tomato sauce, seared beef franks, homemade meatballs), chicken afritada (pan-seared chicken thigh, sautéed beef franks, roasted potatoes, sautéed veggies, savory tomato stew, house atchara, with add-on easy egg), lumpia, & popcorn chicken…


Cosa Buona. Great pizza with curly pepperoni cups. Ordered a 2nd. Not pictured our favorite chopped salad (better than Mozza) and mozzarella sticks in the city. Nice chilled medium bodied natural wine from Slovakia.


Souffle Pancake with Strawberry sauce at Sweethoney Dessert in Alhambra

Super light, jiggly, and eggy. Excellent!


Goddamn that pizza looks so proper.



My third night in a row at Shunji Japanese Cuisine…

Malabar spinach ohitashi, with tai (sea bream) & seeds… Clean, savory, and fresh!

“Whipped” ankimo (monkfish liver) on nori… One of the best-tasting presentations of ankimo I’ve yet come across.

Botan ebi (sweet prawn)… This juicy sucker was gigantic!

Shirauo (icefish), with nikiri… A truly unique texture, and not a common sight here at sushi bars in the States.



Great start heading into Golden Week!

Il Palco (Buena Park)
On the top floor of The Source, a few scant blocks away from Knott’s, is a French-Italian bistro that’s tastefully trimmed in Italian marble and gold. Walking up, the outdoor bar and patio area looks as if it should belong in Beverly Hills or Newport Beach. But it’s in The Source OC.
Upon walking in, our group was met by the hostess. It was about 4:45PM, so the restaurant wasn’t busy at all. The hostess had to check if they had room to accommodate us. We had requested to sit on the back patio since it was such a nice day, but it seemed as if there was a senior staff meeting taking place so they sat us inside. One thing I will point out, it seemed a bit pretentious of the hostess to tell us upfront that they were completely committed with reservations for the night before she went back to consult the GM. My take is that if you’re booked out, why would you even attempt to fit in another group? There was something about the vibe she was giving off that I didn’t appreciate. She was gone for about 5 minutes before she came back saying they could accommodate us. I’ve had this happen before at other establishments, and the impression wasn’t the least bit off-putting as this.
Once we were seated, we were met by our awesome server, Sabrina. Whatever vibe I felt from the hostess was swept away by how great Sabrina was. Welcoming, knowledgeable about the menu, and really astute in observing our table. She explained that Il Palco (“The Stage”) was based off the location in Lyon, and the chef was from that location. Some of the menu items are direct from France and most of the menu items were developed for the American/Buena Park location.
House bread service is their pizza dough, baked to a puffy, pita-like perfection and served with olive oil and Balsamic vinegar. The bread was surprisingly good, I particularly enjoyed the charred spots throughout…our kids loved it. We were out to dinner with friends before a movie, so there it was harder to take photos.
Thanks to @hppzz for introducing me to Kieu Hoang wines via their IG feed. They had the 2012 Cab in stock, and I have to say it was quite nice. They served it a bit warmer than I particularly like…I seem to taste more flavors when my wine is slightly chilled…at room temperature, the flavors become so strong that it’s hard for me to detect anything. At room temperature, I enjoyed the velvety feel and some of the spiced berry flavor. Cocktails were also good…juices are fresh-squeezed.
The Caesar salad we shared to start was quite large, dressed well, and had an interesting component of salty-sweet candied bacon…but by no means, as impressive as @PorkyBelly 's Chi SPACCA salad.
We got a mix of pastas, pizzas, and entrees. The chowpups went for the Di Mare Pomodoro…lots of well-cooked seafood in a tomato sauce with spaghetti, the potato & bacon pizza (candied bacon was used here, too…the underskirt char was not too shabby here), and the spaghetti and meatballs (wish I could tell you how they were but it was on the other side of the table and I couldn’t reach it). The chowpups consumed everything. The oldest even took the (refilled without request) bread and stuffed it with sauce and seafood to make his own seafood pasta pocket…said it was the best thing he’s ever invented in a restaurant. I had the Parisian Gnocchi (a dish from the OG location)…I was a huge pan of the pan-seared gnocchi…crispy and delicate dumplings with fried wild mushrooms, pancetta, and a fancy Emmental espuma served tableside by the chef. I loved the gnocchi, but was not a fan of the fried and stringy mushrooms…I thought it took away from the potential of what the dish could be…the mouthfeel and texture was slightly unpleasant to chew. The husband had the “Fish & Chips” (also from the OG location) where the sea bass was pan-seared and “crusted” with a potato chip scale…like the crispy chips were tweezered to replicate the scales. Fish was seasoned and cooked well and served with an herbed sabayon, roasted cauliflower and sauteed pea shoots and snow peas. I thought it was really good. The dish was beautiful…and not exactly what my husband expected because he did not thoroughly read the menu.
We also tried a couple of desserts. The husband liked his creme brulee. I tried the chef’s house made Hay ice cream…yes, Hay ice cream. The flavor reminded me of a sweetened barley tea with milk. While the flavor was good, the ice cream was super icy…like it had been over-churned. I didn’t mind terribly, since it was $6.
Service was really great. Attentive. Sabrina picked up on the fact that the husband did not enjoy his entree and had it taken off the bill. We were checked in on just the right amount. Sabrina offered to change out my wine when I mentioned it was a bit warmer than I usually like, and offered to change out the fish and chip after picking up on my husband’s response. Didn’t have to ask for refills for water or bread. It was in line with some of the best service we’ve had at Republique…I love the service there.
Would we go back? We sure would. Especially before a movie at the CGV theater there. Sitting outside patio/bar area would be a pretty nice way to spend a lovely southern California day, too.


Sipan Bakery, Glendale.

This was described to me as a Lahmajoun omelette. It ate more like the most amazing breakfast taco I’ve had in my life.

At $5.50 tax included, one of the highest QPR items I’ve consumed in recent memory (especially after looking up Konbi prices).


Izakaya by Katsuya in Manhattan Beach. Go to Kagura instead. The roll was so sloppily made. Very mediocre in every way possible.

Wow. This looks amazing.

Olson’s Delicatessen on Pico Blvd

Continuing to eat our way thru the United Nations of 90019. This time? Scandinavian. I’d been casually on the lookout for some tasty Scandinavian food, but after having these tasty bites at a Danish friend’s Christmas party I started obsessing.

Homemade Smørrebrød (open-faced sandwich)

There’s probably a million versions of these tasty little sandwiches on thin sliced, buttered rugbrød (dense, dark rye & grain bread). My friend’s was ham w/mayo, sour cream, lemon, scallions, capers, peas, radish. It looked a little odd & drippy and I almost passed. :heart_eyes: Obsessed!

Frikadeller (danish meatballs)


(internet photo) Again with the “No thank you… Well, okay, just one.” :blush: Very similar to Swedish meatballs except made with pork (danes love their pork) instead of a combination of meats. And idk if it’s just my friend’s version but they seem to have more breadcrumbs, making them cakier than meatballs, in a good way. The pork does make them oilier, but lighter & fluffier.

It ain’t Christmas in Scandinavia without a sighting of the mischievous, little Nisse…

Okay, onto the present. Olson’s

Nisse bearing godis (candy)

Double Espresso 2 Scoops of Foam

It arrived prettier than this. How was it? “Pretty good!”

Olson’s Cardamom Latte

Very good, strong enough to hold up to the ice. I’m asking for more cardamom next time.

Shrimp Skagen - Greenland Shrimp, Golden Caviar, Crème Fraiche, Dill, Shallots, Mayo, Brioche Bun

Very happy. :blush:

Swedish Meatball Sandwich - Pickled Beet Salad, Crispy Onions, Brioche Bun

I only had a bite, but these also seemed a little more cake-y than meatballs I’m used too. Maybe my observations are because they’re not in sauce. Anyway, I like it. They’re not dense, very rich, a tad salty, but quite tasty.

The food is quite hearty and rich. Both dishes were on the salty side, but not overwhelming and probably not salty at all to most. But they’re so receptive I feel I could mention it next time. I :heart: their Pickled Cucumbers! Definitely buying some for home next time.

The deli case is stocked with European delicacies.

Godis :heart:

They’re such sweet people. If I inquired about anything they immediately gave me a taste. We bought this Remoulade - no ingredient list, but I tasted mayo, sour cream or crème fraîche, curry, ground mustard, capers, maybe dill, no tarragon (thankfully). :yum:

Made Chicken Cheese Burgers w/Egg, Grilled Onions & Remoulade. It’s delicious on Salmon Croquettes too.

Although it seems like an odd place for a Scandinavian deli, Olsen’s has been open since 1948 when there was a tight-knit, little Scandinavian community in the neighborhood. A lot of the vintage appliances are from the original shop and the new owners worked hard at restoring it to the delightfully, retro spot you see today. Such a fun & tasty little spot!