January 2024 Rundown

happy new year


As expected, our recreation of #19 was the star of our new years brunch. Served Coleslaw and Russian dressing with Swiss and Fred’s bakery rye.

All this made sweeter by M’s victory. GO BLUE!


Hi Tieu Thanh Xuan (Westminster)

Noodles for a new year.

Dropped in for an easy lunch.

Got the house special with chewy glass/tapioca noodles dry. I love texture of these noodles and their porky tomato sauce. You get a cup of broth on the side.

I used to eat this at least once a month, but Mom stopped making it for some reason.

With tax and tip you can get out with about $12 in damage and tea is free. These folks don’t understand that I’d happily pay $20.


Woww looks so good!

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Lunch at Chubby Curry from the group behind Nikku X iirc


how’d you feel about the price point/quality of the food? i grew up eating japanese curry with vegetables – and still make it all the time as an adult – so i sort of wonder about paying $15 for their entry-level dish. curious to hear your thoughts. better than golden curry brick (or vermont curry for those unlucky few)?


I liked it, nice atmosphere plate ware. I’ve only been the once but like you I grew up on curry. The potatoes and carrots were fully cooked and in big chunks which was nice… Felt lighter / not as heavy if that makes sense def feels less industrial than you normally find. I might try the chicken katsu curry next time. Everything seems more expensive these days and considering the area nice plates and flatware prices don’t seem out of line. They have a duck curry for 2 at dinner for 55$ that has me curious, sounds like a good combination. The white wine at 11$ was better than you normally find at that price.

Maybe I miss a little of the msg and salt you get from the bricks lol. Seems like a good place to meet up with someone for lunch in the area


Whoa whoa wait

Vermont x Java

Is the best.

Vermont for the sweetness and Java for the spicy.

F ton of veggies. Throw in some Costco rotisserie chicken at the end


House of Mandi (Anaheim)

I can’t remember where I read about this from recently, but I know there’s been coverage in the past.

We decided to have a late lunch the other day, and had a really nice time. While it’s a fairly good size, it was rather cozy. They have couches on the floor to replicate a home living/dining rooms for groups wanting a family or in-home-like experience. We’ll have to try that next time.

The entire menu is completely interesting with so many items we’d have like to try but there was only 3 of us.

Mutabbal & house Yemeni bread - the bread was a cross between pita and tortilla. Crisp but a little chewy and completely fresh from the oven. The mutabbal is a chargrilled eggplant dip made with garlic, yogurt, tahini and spices…it was delightfully smoky…a friend referred to as barbecue in eggplant form. It was garnished with more olive oil and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses or vinegar. We would come back for this dish alone.

#1 Mixed dish of haneeth, Mandi lamb & Mandi chicken with Mandi rice, Yemeni sauce and cucumber yogurt - 2 types of roasted lamb and oven roasted chicken with spiced basmati rice topped with fried onions and golden raisins. It is delicious…lots of complex flavors with the spices and the proteins are just simply cooked after a marinade of their own. Both lambs were tender and unctuous with the Mandi lamb tasting more lamb-y than the haneeth. The Yemeni sauce was akin to a blended fresh tomato salsa you’d find at El Torito (but it tasted good) and the cucumber yogurt was spiced with herbs and spices.

Mandi lamb unwrapped

It’s worth noting that it was enough food for more than the 3 of us. We saw a table of 5 split the same dish and they, too, had plenty of leftovers. Very generous portions.

Not pictured: lentil soup (which was very chicken-y so it must be lentils cooked in chicken stock), fattoush salad (because greens are needed for this kind of meal) and Yemeni black tea service (a nice digestif)

Service is a little laissez faire here. They have one of those buttons for each table, but they did not really abide by them. Just be patient and don’t be in a rush and you’ll be fine.


Assuming the mutabbal is the dish next to the bread, that looks SO good. Partner is looking for a place halfway btw West LA and Laguna Beach to meet a friend. I think I’ll send him your review.


The mutabbal is indeed next to the bread. It really was so good. If the shared dish wasn’t such a showstopper, it could have easy stolen the show.

This is definitely a great place for groups. Probably the more the better, but c’est le vie. Parking looks tight, but there’s a lot hidden between both buildings in the plaza.

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House of Mandi is coming to Westwood Village (in the old El Pollo Loco space on Gayley)…


little fish echo park

come for the fish sandwich but stay for the fish congee. the congee was excellent and definitely the highlight. fish sandwich uses striped bass so was a bit denser and drier than I would like.

pro tip: arrive at 1045 to order the congee before breakfast ends at 11, then place another order at 11 for the fish sandwich.

@Clayfu review forthcoming?

brown cheese toast - bub and grandma’s sourdough, salted butter, norwegian brown cheese

crispy nori potatoes - nori salt, garlic aioli

smoked whitefish tartine - clark street rye bread, smoked whitefish salad, pickled shallots, fried capers, dill

cured trout tartine - clark street rye bread, coriander cured trout, crème fraîche, shaved onions, pickled mustard seeds, pickled fennel

fish congee - rice porridge with striped bass, chili crisp, scallions, soft boiled egg

grilled sprouting cauliflower, currant chili vinaigrette, hazelnuts

fried fish sandwich - beer-battered pacific striped bass, american cheese, kewpie mayo, dill pickles, potato bun


how did you like this???
it’s hilarious to see brown cheese seemingly having a moment in LA right now (sqrl also has a brown cheese toast) - it is sort of equivalent to kraft american in norway in its ubiquity, and when i was living there, a common conversation topic amongst expats was talking about how much they disliked brown cheese

only a matter of time before tinned mackerel in tomato sauce takes over…


Top 3 congee in LA right now and it’s not #3



This vegan mushroom one from Bé U looks good too

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Good to see Fuoco Pizzeria very crowded on a Saturday night. By the time we left at 6pm every table was occupied with a short wait.

Diavola pizza nice spicy salami

Burrata and prosciutto

Added the focaccia on the side which is basically a pizza with a little sauce

Rucola salad with lots of acidity and parm

The only downside is walking out of the restaurant and seeing 3 out of the 4 tables where each person was eating their own personal pizza. Who the heck goes to dinner with 1-3 other people and gets their own pizza. Live a little people. Get a few different pies and try a few slices. Jeez. I’ve seen this at Chinese restaurants where a person will order their own personal entree. I don’t get it.


Romans in Rome. Neapolitans in Naples.

Well we were in OC California so when in Rome does not apply here. Couple next to us each got the Neopolitan and both didn’t finish their own pie. Seems like a wasted opportunity.


I dressed up a prime pizza with mushrooms, brocolini and onions