Monday, October 23, 2017

Video of Quan Hy - Westminster

I've written about Quan Hy many times before. Here I show you a live action video of my most recent visit as I eat three of of my favorite dishes: the banh beo, the goi mit, and the xoi ga.

An order of banh beo comes in eight single serving shots, arranged in a tic-tac-toe grid on a square dish. Holding the center square is a bowl of sauce with floating rounds of diced Thai chilis. To eat a banh beo, you splash on a few drops of the golden sauce, then scoop out the steamed rice cake as you would a cup of dessert gelatin. The opaque white substance is not unlike a very dense rice noodle, with a clean, light, and firm texture which is not at all starchy or pasty.

Goi mit is jackfruit salad with bits of shrimp and diced pork. There's a tart dressing to cut through it all, but also herbs such as lemongrass and snips of basil. The light-as-air rice crackers that surround the salad functions as both crouton and scoop.

Xoi ga, contrary to the menu description, isn't "shredded" chicken. It is a whole chicken thigh compressed and fried till the skin crackles like a chip. The flavor in the meat is concentrated through and through, an aromatic marinade that tastes like what's used in traditional Vietnamese fried chicken called ga chien. On the side is sweet rice, formed into rectangles and deep-fried to the shape of French toast stick: an oily crunch leading to a soft chewy center.

Before The Loop got all the attention, Quan Hy restaurant was the king of the T&K Food Plaza on Bolsa. In my opinion, it still is.

Quan Hy Restaurant
(714) 775-7179
9727 Bolsa Ave
Westminster, CA 92683

Little Fisherman's Fish & Chips - Cypress

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Lobster Roll at Governor's - Ellsworth, Maine

Did you know that the McDonalds' in Maine sell lobster rolls? It's true. But unfortunately, it does so only up to Labor Day. We found this out after stopping into McDonald's that had neglected to take down the special from its marquee.

Though disappointed we missed it by a week, it did get us thinking: If McDonald's offered lobster rolls, then every run-of-the-mill place must also.

One night, after a tiring but fulfilling day exploring Acadia National Park, we decided to test our theory. We found a restaurant called Governor's that was directly across from our hotel. It looked like the New England version of Spires or Norms--a diner chain that catered to retirees and other regulars whom the wait staff knew by name.

We sat down into one of their cushy booths, and there it was on the menu: lobster roll. And it turned out to be as good a lobster roll as we had the entire trip. The traditional split-top bun was lightly toasted, and aside from a tiny piece of lettuce, it was stuffed with an abundance of chilled lobster meat.

Eating it, I realized what I should've realized when I saw that McDonald's offered them: to us, lobster rolls were a rarity, a special treat; but to the locals, they might as well be tuna sandwiches.

So if you're in Maine and searching for a lobster roll, don't go where a tourist would go; go where the locals would normally get their tuna sandwiches, because it won't cost that much more. Either that or just time your visit when McDonald's has it.

253 High St.
Ellsworth, ME 04605

Huntington Ramen - Huntington Beach

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Crispy House - Artesia

I'm not going to repeat myself by saying that Crispy House (formerly called Magic Wok) in Artesia is the best Filipino restaurant in California.

But I am going to link every article where I said it before.

So if you're still not convinced, read them all from the links below, and GO GO GO!

- Crispy House Remains the Best Filipino Restaurant in SoCal
- Monster Munching: The Magic Wok - Artesia - A Photo Superpost
- Monster Munching: Magic Wok's "Special Combo" Breakfast - Artesia
- Monster Munching: Magic Wok - Grand Re-Opening - Artesia
- Monster Munching: Magic Wok's Halo Halo - Artesia
- Monster Munching: Magic Wok's Crispy Chicken - Artesia
- Monster Munching: The Greatest Pork Dish In The World

The Magic Wok
(562) 865-7340
11869 Artesia Blvd
Artesia, CA 90701

Trevor at The Tracks - San Juan Capistrano

Monday, October 02, 2017

Chef's Counter at Napa Rose - Anaheim

It was a birthday dinner to top all birthday dinners--something my lovely partner (a.k.a. Cookiemonster) gave me as part of her gift--a 4-course meal at Napa Rose Chef's Counter.

But it was also our lucky night. Though we'd booked the last available counter seats of the evening, which was at the dessert station, someone had cancelled at the main area.

So, when the Napa Rose representative called to confirm our reservation that afternoon, she offered the newly available seats, effectively bumping up us to first class.

And my friends, it was!

Unlike our first Chef's Counter dinner (which was in front of the dessert chefs), this was a whole new show, an entirely different experience with a front row view of the action.

The chef at the blazing sauté station was practically acrobatic. I watched in amazement at how he fluidly moved his arms, legs, feet as he juggled multiple burners and ovens. It was worthy of Cirque du Soleil.

And you should've seen how meticulously the garde manger sculpted his lettuce into perfect little pyramids on his plates.

But the star was the commander-in-chief, chef de cuisine Gloria Tae, who directed her army of cooks like a culinary George Patton.

Her commands of "Fire scallops!" or "Fire tiger!" would be answered and repeated in the affirmative by the kitchen soldier responsible for the dish, no matter where they were.

Amid the controlled chaos and non-stop whirlwind of activity, there was the constant aroma of brown butter and searing steaks.

And of course, we ate well--one of the best meals I've had in OC, and certainly at the Disney resort.

There was an amuse of sweet corn fritter with wasabi aioli; grilled opah; seared ahi tuna; a sautéed apple salad with cheddar; a so-called "Tiger" salad with lobster fritters; perfectly cooked duck breast; milky sweetbreads with mushrooms and pasta; a pot roast with seasonal vegetables; an enormous porterhouse of lamb; a dessert of apple confit with ginger ice cream; and a chocolate torte plate on which they stuck a candle and wrote Happy Birthday in chocolate.

I blew out that candle, but I think my wish was already fulfilled.

Napa Rose
Disneyland Resort
1313 Disneyland Dr.
Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714) 635-2300

Fatty Tuna - Irvine