December 2022 Rundown

Let’s finish the year strong!

Aoyama-san, happily opening up a new tray of bafun uni for us in Tsukiji…


Santouka ramen still one of the best ramens in town plus super quick and affordable. Perfect for a cold day!

Also this might belong in the hot tales thread but I’m not super into the whole tonkotsu ramen movement. Yes there are good tonknotsu broths but I like the variety and balance of less heavy broths generally. Seems like every place in LA just tries to out pork each other.


agreed! this is why I love a shio, like the one at Iki.


I think a lot of us feel the same way about tonkotsu


I love a good bowl of liquid pig every once in a while but lately I’ve much preferred shio ramen particularly from Afuri downtown.


Tacos el compita

Just like tire shop but much much closer for me. Was watching the new season of that taco show on Netflix and had to eat some.


Savida raw bar in Santa Monica. Got the lobster bisque, hamachi crudo, scallop crudo, lobster roll, and tuna shawarma. Hamachi and shawarma were the runaway favorites.


Lovely dinner at Dunsmoor the other night. Highlights for me were the chicory caesar, squash casserole and pork chop paired together and the citrus custard for dessert.

Domaine Anjou-Banessy, Côtes Catalanes Carignan Gris La Truffière

Baby Albacore - young ginger root relish, shallot

Bay Scallop - delicatessen-style, smoked trout roe


Blue Crab Salad - she crab-style

Baked Broadbent Country Ham - cane butter

Pickled & Preserved Vegetables

Quinta do Javali, Touriga Blend Cherry Tree

Sour Milk Cornbread - white cheddar, hatch chili, cultured butter, honey

Chicory Caesar - zuni dressing, breadcrumbs, blackfin tuna mojama, chive

Wood-Roasted Belon Oysters - garlic butter, bread crumbs, parmesan

Aunt Emmy’s Pork & Green Chili Stew - cheddar, flour tortillas

Butternut Squash Casserole

Mushroom-Crusted Pork Chop - smoked lard, thyme

Apple Pie

Citrus Custard


Late Lunch at Destroyer, older sibling of Vespertine in Culver City.

Arrived with a friend around 2:50 PM on Saturday to no line and decent number of empty tables outside the restaurant. Here’s what we got:

Koshihikari Rice Porridge
poached organic egg, roasted leeks, caramelized broccoli, burnt onion, puffed rice, black garlic

More like a risotto perhaps than an Asian-style porridge, this started out pretty plain for me. Didn’t help that we didn’t start eating for a bit so it got lukewarm. However, coming back later flavors and textures became more pronounced as I stumbled upon the non-“porridge” components like the little bits of broccoli. I also completely missed the egg in the center until we boxed it up. I expect I would have enjoyed this more on reheating the next day (gave the leftovers to my friend as I had plans after :smiling_face_with_tear:).

Loaded Avocado Confit
shaved speck, burrata, fried organic hen egg, confit tomatoes, arugula, puffed rice, country bread

I really enjoyed this! I wonder if this was a take on deconstructed avocado toast or something. The bread in the background was nice and when you bring all the components together on it the product was quite tasty to me. I’d get this again.

Smoked Black Cod
spun yogurt, pickled celery root, dill, savory onion granola, icelandic seeded rye bread

The black cod portion of this was nice. The rye was perhaps too different for me to enjoy. Dense, hearty, and hard. I tried to finish this but couldn’t bring myself to by the end. Would rather try combining the cod with the porridge. I suspect this is very filling as I became full much sooner than I expected given the dishes we ordered (or maybe that was the coffee lol).

Milk Chocolate
almond streusel, praline, frozen cucumber cream

Can’t go without dessert! This was quite interesting. Almost like a deconstructed cookie. You have the top layers that create a delightful crumble and a delicious smooth chocolate center. I was initially confused by the textures but came to think of it as a chocolate cookie without the crunch and/or breadiness part. I enjoyed this.

They do some neat things here. While I’m not running to go again, I think overall I was satisfied and intrigued enough that I’d give it another go eventually. Definitely seems more approachable and less pretentious than Meteora at least. It is a tad pricey with these 4 dishes and 2 coffee drinks coming out to 110 (after 20% tip) but what isn’t pricey these days? Well, besides In-N-Out. :sweat_smile:


Sea Harbour is back!

After some post-pandemic stutters they seem to be running on all cylinders. Very pleased with everything we ordered.


The de-constructed avo looks and sounds delicious. :slight_smile:

Went to Howlin’s Ray’s today. I think the line was only like 20 mins long? I still swear that the first sandwich I had there had a crunchy crust all the way throughout the sandwich.

At any rate, today’s sandwich had a nice amt of crust and flesh “outside” of the bread, and that portion was nicely crunchy. Crust within had softened but it was still overall delicious (and the sweet-ish slaw was a good accompaniment). Fries were nicely done, esp if you like crinkle-y and seasoned. I also really appreciate how professional the service is.

Not sure if I’m misremembering my first experience, or… It’s still a very fine sandwich, but it is not the mind-blowing experience I had the first time. I guess you really can’t go back home again. Worth waiting 15-30 mins for. But not worth waiting longer than that, I think. Which makes me kind of sad.

Finally tried Laroolou (“The Chip”). Partner likes this better than he does Paderia. I feel the opposite. I think I like a cake-ier cookie and darker chocolate (and a bit more salt sprinkled on top). Still quite tasty, though.

Partner stopped by Ten-Ren and got this:

It’s Pu-Erh. He had seen Richard Ayode try some fermented tea on “Travel Man” and was hoping to try some himself. Partner thinks it tastes a little bit like dirt, while I actually think it tastes the tiniest bit like prunes! Curious how differently we all perceive flavor…


Hmm I think pur eh tastes like what i imagine wash water tastes like after cleaning dirty socks! It certainly is popular now though! I’ll stick with Jasmin pearl tea myself.

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Prime Pizza always delicious, even more so when the boss orders 20 pies


Looks super yummy but this Fried Chicken Sandwich from Hungry Crowd in Toluca Lake missed the mark, probably would not get again but they have some Korean items on the menu that look pretty good

Anytime I ask the kid where he wants to eat I already know the answer, Go Go Bird in Citizen’s Public Market in Culver City. These are the crispiest and juiciest tenders we know of and the furikake fries are top notch. The biscuit is also really great.


Hah! I was doing a little reading on-line about pu-erh (I know virtually nothing about teas), and apparently there can be quite a sig difference in taste depending on the prep? And it continues to age (and change tastes) over time. I’ll let you know if taste like waste water down the line. :wink:

When I sent the pic to my HK friend (since I also can’t read Chinese characters!), he sent back a vomit emoji and said his experience w/ the tea is that its bitter and “really dark.”


One of my best friends is SUPER into it in a way that would shame the most meticulous coffee snob. But there definitely is a right way to do it.


Talk to a good Chinese friend/colleague who is interested in teas and ask him for some pur erh recommendations and let him/her make the tea the first time - it will change your perception of pur erh. (And yes, there are many crappy ones out there but also very good ones (like with many food items)


What does your friend think is the right way???

The little searching I did indicates that this is something about which people can totally geek (so I imagine there is a strong similarity to the process surrounding some people’s obsession w/ coffee prep).

Voodoo vin anyone been for dinner? Aside from pop ups?

Trying to figure out a restaurant for Friday dinner, downtown or near downtown preferred.

Currently not much available.

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Trying canh bún @Quán Bún in Garden Grove. Totally hit the spot in this weather.


love this OG spot. it’s a very traditional northern vn soup, a cousin of bun rieu.

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