Hong Kong Fishball House's Fishballs on a Stick - Rowland Heights
We don't nearly have enough foods on sticks in American cuisine. The corn dog, sure. Ice cream bars, yes. But apart from carnivals and county fairs, there isn't much of an impetus to impale or thread things onto wooden dowels or bamboo skewers for easy consumption.
There are even fewer foods with the word "ball" in it. Yes, there is the "meatball" you're apt to find tangled up on a plate of spaghetti or served with lingonberry jam at your local Swedish furniture retailer, but put the word "fish" or "squid" in front of the word and you get snickers as if you uttered an obscenity.
To find the two food styles together, you have to go ethnic, to Asian joints like this, Hong Kong Fish Ball House, a walk-up counter which specializes in fish balls with noodles in soup, or straight up, skewered and coated in flavorful goo (sate, spicy or sweet-n-sour).
Opt for the sticks and you get a snack, the kind common to night markets in Asia and street vendors in Manila. Two skewers come to an order, with a string of ping-pong sized spheres. A mess of pickled cabbage rests beneath, the crunchy accompaniment to the fish ball's squishy, springy, squeaky, soft orb of vague fishiness.
The toll you fork over is $2.50, measly compared to the real price you pay: to order it, you have to stand in an alleyway that reeks of stinky tofu, a sour stench emanating from the kitchen belonging to the next restaurant over. The smell is an assault on your olfactory senses as if you're repeatedly being slapped in the face with dirty gym socks after they've festered in an open sewer.
Now "stinky" and "tofu", two more words you rarely find in American cuisine; but that's another post.
Hong Kong Fishball House
18414 Colima Rd #Q
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
THIS WEEK ON OC WEEKLY:
G Burger - La Habra