Snack

Copenhagen Pastry – Danish Baking Perfected

by Franklin on January 28, 2015

Copenhagen Pastry is an authentic Danish pastry shop. They use the best ingredients and their technique is so refined. This creates pastries that are flaky, light, and delicate. Their fillings are traditionally almond paste and custard, and got to try a variety of their treats. My favorite was the Kringle. It was the sweetest of the bunch, but not too sweet. The flaky crust and the custard, almond paste mixture was perfect. I’m not fond of almond extract or the taste of almond in pastries, but theirs was delicate and used sparingly. The Crown and Spandauer was similar the the Kringle, but just in various ratios of custard and almond paste.

I can’t wait to go back and try their other pastries and their rye bread!
The Kringle – almond paste, custard, sugar

The Spandauer – almond paste, sugar

The Nougat Crown – almond paste, custard, hazelnut cream

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Seoul Sausage had humble beginnings —Simple Korean BBQ sausage street vendors turned reality TV competition stars pretty much sums it up. The Great Food Truck Race season 3 winners immediately gained popularity, and in 2012, they opened up a small shop in Little Osaka on Sawtelle. Serving up their popular Korean BBQ style sausages and street food, the food is innovative and exciting. Never have I imagined Korean BBQ to be stuffed inside a sausage.

It is a sausage company after all, and I had my eye on the spicy pork. The Handmade Korean BBQ pork sausage was flavorful. It had great pork flavor, but a bit on the mild side. I am used to sausage that is salty and full of flavor. This just tasted more like spicy pork inside a tube casing, which by the way was missing the snap of good sausage. It definitely need just a pinch more salt and way more spice. I did enjoy the apple cabbage cole slaw though. It was fresh and gave it that crunch it needed. Served on a toasted soft roll, this was an interesting experience. Never would I have thought that Korean dishes would make its way into a sausage.

The flaming ball was a genius idea. I choose the kimchi fried rice ball. Inside was a cheesy kimchi fried rice with spicy pork served with DMZ sauce. This sauce was perfect — it is a garlic jalapeno kimchi sriracha aioli that went well with the slightly spicy kimchi fried rice. The outer fried batter held everything together. The fried rice inside was pretty standard, but the mixture of the crunchy outside and killer DMZ sauce made everything work together. It was a nice little snack.

The shop is small and only has limited outdoor seating. Situated on Sawtelle and Mississippi, it sits at the bottom of an apartment/condo. The food choices are limited, but with the addition of a fried chicken dish (Da KFC), and galbi poutine, hungry customers should be satisfied. If you’re hungry, or just looking for a little snack, Seoul Sausage Co. has just the right fix. This is what LA is all about — a mashup of ideas and cuisine that creates a fusion of food from different regions. Seoul Sausage Co. hits home for me because of my Korean roots, and spins it in such a way that something so familiar is transformed into something brand new. Creativity is the key, and Los Angeles is the most accepting of anything new.

Seoul Sausage Company on Urbanspoon

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Fonuts – Fake Donuts & Fake Doughnuts

by Franklin on November 5, 2012

Fonuts? What in the world is a fonut? On Their website, it give a definition. [Fo•nut] n. – A doughnut that is baked and/or steamed, never fried. The origin is from faux-donut. Well, faux means false or fake, so I guess a fonut is a fake donut. A wannabe? No. Don’t make the mistake of calling these things donuts, because they are not! Fonuts are baked, not fried. Score for those watching their waistline. They more more cake than anything else — cakes that are in the shape of a donut. Don’t let that detract you from trying these bad boys. They are good in their own way.

In this mix, you can see chocolate hazelnut (GF), maple bacon, rosemary olive oil, peanutbutter and jelly, chorizo cheddar, and red velvet. The chocolate hazelnut, for being gluten free was one of my favorites. Though it broke and fell apart in my hands, the hazelnut crumble was quite nice. The maple bacon to me had the most intense flavor. Topped with a lot of bacon, the sweet maple and salty bacon made a nice combo. The weird ones were the olive oil rosemary and chorizo cheddar. The olive oil rosemary was bland and bready — it might have well been rosemary bread. The chorizo cheddar was interesting — it had a nice spice with cheddar, but still more bread than, dare I say, “donut”. The peanutbutter and jelly was familiar and a good take on the fonut experience. And of course, you can’t go wrong with red velvet, though, you are better off getting the cupcake next door at Doughboys.

The experience at Fonuts was a positive one. When I ate them at Taste of LA event was much better. Their fake donuts were addicting and rich in flavor. This time around though, only the sweets were considered — the savory fonuts were a total miss. Maybe my brain is geared to think that donuts, I mean, fonuts are supposed to be sweet and the thought of a savory donut is totally rejected by my brain. Honestly though, they are quite tasty. Considering these are baked not fried (super healthy) and still sweet and tasty, that is a feat in itself. I can see myself drinking my morning brew with fonut in hand. Maybe fake isn’t so bad after all.

(F?nuts) on Urbanspoon

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On Sunday, August 5th, the 2nd Annual LA Weekly Pancake Breakfast was held at the Vibiana. The venue was perfect. The historical building of 130 years was gorgeous and the event was spectacular. Curated by Fred Eric of Fred 62 and Tiara Cafe, the event was filled with many of my favorite restaurants — Auntie Em’s Kitchen, Meals by Genet, BLD, Canele, Hungry Cat, and LAMILL Coffee just to name a few.

As we were waiting to get into the venue, we were all excited to enter. We were handed a nice coffee mug and given BirchWare forks. This would soon be my tool for eating for the next 2 hours. Upon entering the main venue, the architecture of the interior was amazing. Attending this former Cathedral church building after church on that Sunday morning was kind of a double take for me. In awe of it all, I was just ready to eat. Some of my favorites were the pork belly and pancake from Tiara Cafe. The bread with hangar steak and egg on top from Good Girl Dinette was awesome too. I was begining to find myself liking the food only with meat on top as it didn’t stop there. The salmon topped pancake with dressing from The Hungry Cat was possibly my favorite. The freshly cooked salmon and the cool dill dressing on top was a nice mix. Korean food was even represented by Kobawoo — they had some awesome kimchi and seafood “jun”, Korean bean curd pancakes.

It was cool to see Chef Diana from BLD come out to the event. We last met at my winning from the tweet-a-dish a few months back. Her classic blueberry pancakes were refreshing — it was a pancake breakfast after all. The pancakes as well as the sweet creations from Nickel Diner, The Village Bakery, and Euro Pane were awesome with coffee. Hearing lots of buzz about LAMILL Coffee, I was excited to try a cup. It was hot so I tried some of their iced coffee and it was so delicious — my Mc Donald’s iced coffee seemed pretty lame at this point. Handsome Coffee Roasters even made me a cup of some fine espresso with a latte heart on top. All this good coffee and pastries were making me full.

The event was fun. I even got to get a nice goody back from Tokidoki. Inside had some random toys, books, music and a shirt. I was able to grab one of the last ones! Everything culminated into a perfect morning and afternoon of great food and drinks. I went home stuffed and happy with a nice goody bag. I immediatey went home to work on the pictures. Rarely do I ever do post-production on my food pictures, but this was a special occasion (I accidentally shot in RAW mode). I hope you enjoyed the overexposed pictures.

Special thanks goes out to Urbanspoon for hooking up the tickets! I am glad I checked my email.

Cheers!

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After eating at Bouchon, I really wanted some dessert from Bouchon Bakery. After looking around, I could not find it.  Sadly, I gave up and was on my way. Next time around, I was determined to find it.  It was no wonder I couldn’t find it the first time — It was a small bakery stand.  I assumed it was a large bakery of some sort.  Happy to find some of my favorite treats here, done their way, I was pleased.  Of all the coffees and cupcakes, and other pastries, This is what I got.

The carrot cake sandwich was my least favorite, though it was moist.  I guess I’m not a true fan of carrot cake.  It is either too sweet or too dry.  Theirs was perfectly not too sweet nor dry. The cream cheese frosting in the middle was perfectly sweet. It just wasn’t memorable.

Their macarons were expensive, but I had to give it a try.  It can’t be as good as Bottega Louie in Los Angeles, can it?  The coffee macaron was actually pretty tasty. The outside had a nice crunch, and the inside was soft and creamy.  The coffee taste was prevalent, but was a bit too sweet.  Nonetheless, it was delicious.

I saved the best for last.  My favorite, the nutter butter cookie was amazing.  The cookie part was crispy and buttery.  The inside peanut butter filling was creamy. It was like an actual nutter butter sandwich cookie, but a hundred times better.  The taste was definitely memorable.

This bakery and sweets shop is really hard to find.  Once you find it though, you will be glad you did.  Their baked goods are of the highest quality. They offer other dessert options as well as sandwiches.  It is perfect for a quick bite to eat or for dessert.  They are underneath one of the escalators.  Try to find them and get your goodies.

Bouchon Bakery (Venetian) on Urbanspoon

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What is a theme park without cotton candy, popcorn, and corn dogs?  Well, without it, you don’t have yourself a theme park.  Corn dogs is on a stick, and is easy to eat on the go.  It is no wonder that there is almost always a line for the Corn Dog Cart at Disneyland. Good to know that this American classic snack can be had at America’s favorite theme park.  But is it my favorite corn dog?  It’s hard to say.  As for as classic corn dogs go, they are one of the best.

Waiting in anticipation, I was never this excited about a corn dog, ever.  It might have been the Disney magic people keep talking about.  The cart is a small wagon type food stand towards the end of Main St.  The corn dog was deformed looking — this was interestingly a plus for me. I never understood how corn dogs have that perfectly balled tip.  The batter was light and crispy, a bit greasy, but delicious.  Most importantly, the batter stuck to the hot dog.

It was a bit pricey, as all things are at Disneyland.  The corn dog was nicely sized though, and you can get chips or fruit as a side.  If you are ever at Disneyland and need a bite on the run, get your corn dog on.

Disneyland Corndog Cart on Urbanspoon

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No, I didn’t eat here.  I just visited the store that was right across from Earl of Sandwich, inside Planet Hollywood.  It was cool to see all of the interesting candies they sold.  I’m not going to lie, this store is for chicks, not me.  They had clothes for girls, candies, cupcakes and such.  They even bragged that famous people walk in there all the time. It looks like they do get a lot of endorsement from people in entertainment. One of their popular items were these lollipops that swirl.  I think they even had glitter.  Who knows.

I wanted to try their pastries and gelato, but I had already eaten lunch.  This is a cool spot just to see all the types of treats that aren’t at your ordinary candy store. Maybe next time I will eat at the actual restaurant at the Paris Resort.  Until then, enjoy all the candy!

Sugar Factory on Urbanspoon

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Donuts are without a doubt bad for you.  That is what your doctor would say.  Well, good thing I’m not your doctor.  I am telling you, right now, and you may quote me on this — “donuts are good for you.”  Nothing this delicious can be bad for you. Strawberries inside a donut?  You had me at strawberries.  With strawberries being one of my favorite fruits, and donuts being one of many of my guilty pleasures, I was surely in for a treat.

Think of the most delicious strawberries you ever ate.  Imagine that drenched in some of the sweetest and stickiest syrup you can think of.  Split open a perfectly glazed donut.  Stuff those gooey, whole fresh strawberries inside, and devour. That’s it.

The mistake was the creme puff. This was neither tasty not something texturally pleasing.  Though they offer so many flavors, pass on this.

I do hear that their tiger tails are good.  It is the twisty striped donuts.  And look out during peach season for the peach donuts. A definite must when I go back.

Donut Man serves  plenty of donuts, but their signature creation is the reason people drive there for.  Serving world famous donuts on the famous Route 66 is what they do.  Sadly, they are all the way in Glendora.  Have you ever been to Glendora?  I don’t mean Glendora near the freeway.  I’m talking about Glendora way north of the 210, and in between two of the farthest exits from the freeway. It is basically not as central as can be.  It is not on the way to anything, at all.  Why would I, or anyone else drive out of their way for any reason?  Donut Man.

The Donut Man on Urbanspoon

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Hacienda Heights, I commend you.  You have won the lottery.  Anyone knows the power and might of 85C Bakery in Irvine.  The lines forming and the awesome pastries, amazing!  Put one of these in any city in the San Gabriel Valley, and it will thrive.  With the grand opening of the 2nd 85C Bakery in the US being in Hacienda Heights, they clearly won the lottery. I guess I shouldn’t complain as it is a bit easier for me to get my hands on these pastries.  Who knows, in a few years, this will come closer to the Los Angeles area — crossed fingers.

Some things I was worried about was the consistency of the bread.  I feel like the Irvine location has fresher bread.  Maybe it is all in my head, but that is the way I feel.  Also, what is the with the B grading from the department of public health?  This is a brand new location, which means brand new everything. How does one get a B grade from that?  Hopefully that will change soon.

Anyways, they have pretty much the same stuff as the Irvine location, as they should.  This one is a bit larger and has more eating areas.  Is it also weird that this one is right next to a Guppy Teahouse, just like their Irvine counterpart?  Coincidence?  I doubt it. Probably a good business plan.  Anyways, check out the grand opening.  If you haven’t tried 85C Bakery, lucky for you, it is a bit closer to Angelinos.

85°C Bakery Cafe (Hacienda Hgts) on Urbanspoon

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Hearing much rave about 85C Bakery Cafe in Irvine, I had to check it out.  I have been to my share of Asian bakeries, and they are all pretty much the same.  Besides the degree of quality these bakeries have amongst each other, they all work the same way.  You get a tray, pick out the breads and pastries you like, and that is it. 85C Bakery has so much rave, but its probably like any other bakery, so I thought.

Skeptical, I was quickly reassured of its greatness by the long lines.  When I say “long lines”, I mean people are outside the door, waiting in the cold. Not wanting to stand in the cold night and cautious about getting sick, we weighed out the pros and cons in the car.  After a long and great thought process, and almost turning to go back home, we decided to eat dinner in hopes of a smaller line afterwards.  Lucky for us, our plan worked!

Waiting in a considerably shorter line, we were eager to see what the fuss was about.  Finally entering the bakery and grabbing our trays, peace and serenity went out the door. It was a dog eat dog world in there.  If you wanted something, you had better grabbed it quick, before someone nabs it before you.  You felt the rush from behind you as you rushed the people in front, all just to get that last remaining pastry that you love so much.

Sometimes, I felt myself grabbing just anything, they all looked amazing.  Croissants here, sweet breads here, savory breads, custard filled, hot dog filled — it was a baked carbohydrate paradise.  If I saw a random person hoarding or raving about one particular baked good, I quickly, almost instinctively grabbed one for myself. “If he’s getting 10 of them, it must be good” was what I was thinking in my head.

After the hustle, they packaged each individual bread, and boxed it for us.  After an order of their famous sea salt iced latte, the experience was over. Carrying boxes back to our car, we passed by what looked to be an even longer line.  Proud that we didn’t have to wait in a long line, and knowing we got some good stuff, we were ultimately happy.

Trust me when I tell you that this is worth the wait.  Thought they sell cakes and other sweats, the pastries is what people come here for.  I went home, left the box of pastries in the living room — The next morning, all but one were gone. I was shocked.  A bit sad because I didn’t get to try all of them, more happy that my family got a chance to enjoy them.  The last one in the box was mine.  I like to think it was the best one, because it was. The bread was so chewy and dense, and the custard inside was so good with a hint of sweetness. Amazing. Amazing….amazing  I think I will get like 10 of these next time — possibly, maybe this time, the guy behind me will follow suit.

85°C Bakery Cafe (Irvine) on Urbanspoon

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It took 80 years for Papaya King to come to the West Coast.  Anyone who lives in New York knows what Papaya King is all about.  This is their right of passage.  The Hot Dog of NYC. It went through countless years of media, press, and New York culture, and here it is now.  Just a few minutes drive to Hollywood, California, and there it was.  Go all the way to New York for some authentic NY hot dogs?  No thanks.

As a die hard Southern Californian, and a die hard Pink’s fan, I had to see what all the fuss was about.  In a word, prejudiced.  I don’t know if my California pride or my West Coast ways are clouding my judgment, but this wasn’t fantastic.  Maybe I hyped it up too much in my head. In all honesty, the hot dog was tasty, but nothing really popped.  The NY style onions were too sweet, though I liked the sauerkraut — The chili was a bit salty.  I am just a guy who wants a nice all beef dog with some mustard.  That is it.

I did enjoy the papaya drink.  It was like nothing I have ever had in my life.  It wasn’t too sweet, and the bits of papaya were really good inside. I felt like I was treating my body right.  It was healthy and delicious.

Look, maybe all of the New York people will be mad at me for not liking Papaya King.  Let me just ask you, do you have massive lines outside of your hot dog stand?

Papaya King on Urbanspoon

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When I think of the city of Westwood, I think of UCLA.  When I think of UCLA, I think of half of the Koreans I know, and Diddy Riese Cookies. UCLA and Diddy Riese just go hand in hand.  Diddy’s used to sell their sandwiches for a $1.  Today, the prices rose 50 cents to $1.50.  Expect to see long lines on the weekends as students don’t have class, or are off of class.

Since 1983, Diddy Riese has been serving cookies, brownies, and ice cream to all of Los Angeles.  The cool thing about Diddy Riese is that you can custom make your ice cream sandwich.  You can mix and match from 10 different cookies, and they offer 12 different ice cream flavors. You basically choose your cookie or cookies, and choose a flavor of ice cream.  The people who work there aren’t really friendly, but they get the line moving.

It’s no the best ice cream sandwich, nor is it the best cookie.  But where else can you get a cookie ice cream sandwich for $1.50?  Nowhere. Don’t think you will get all these exotic ice cream flavors and unique cookie combinations here.  This isn’t Cool Haus.  You get straight up classic Dryer’s Ice Cream in between a classic cookie combination.  This is definitely a perfect end to a good night.

Diddy Riese Cookies on Urbanspoon

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Bruxie – Belgium Waffle Sandwiches for Me & You

by Franklin on August 15, 2011

Once in a while, you come across something so cool and delicious.  You eat it, and realize what you are eating, and you ask yourself, “why didn’t I think of that?!”  Bruxie is a gourmet waffle sandwich shop located in Orage, CA. It is close to Orange Square where we have Felix Continental Cafe, Rutabegorz,  and The Bruery Provisions.  It looks like Chapman University students, who are only steps away have no problem having to choose where to eat.

They offer a huge variety of waffle sandwiches.  Savory treats include a play on salmon & lox, cheese burger, and bacon & eggs.  For the sweet tooth, smores, PB&J, nutella & bananas, and even red bean with sweet cream.  It was hard to choose, and impossible to eat them all.

We ordered the prosciutto & Gruyere, buttermilk fried chicken & Waffle, lemon cream & berries, and a strawberry lemonade to top it all off.

Prosciutto is my all time favorite cured meats.  It’s fatty, salty, and so buttery delicious.  How much better is it on top of melted Gruyere cheese and inside of a nice crispy waffle? Nothing tops that.  The best part was the whole grain mustard and chives.  It had the perfect acidity to cut the richness of the prosciutto.  The amount of meat they put in the sandwich makes this worth every penny.

Next in line was the buttermilk fried chicken and waffle.  I am a sucker for sweet and savory — This definitely hit the spot.  The chicken is a huge piece of breast meat, and the flavor is so clean.  The slaw they put inside gave the sandwich a nice contrast of flavors and textures. I wish the chicken was a little crispier, but after drenching the whole thing in the syrup, it all doesn’t matter.  What matters is all that sweet and salty goodness going in your belly.

For dessert, we had the lemon cream and berries.  The best part was the cream.  It had a little zing from the lemon, but not overly sour. There was no pucker factor, which was a good thing.  The berries were fresh, good in itself, but each bite having a little of the fruit, the cream, and the Belgium Waffle made this an instant classic.

That is the think about Bruxie.  They have traditional ingredients all packed inside of a Belgium Waffle.  They are easy to eat — kind of like a giant taco.  It is unique and different and better than any old sandwich shop or breakfast diner. This is how I see it.  Breakfast: Bacon, egg, cheese Bruxie.  Lunch: Prosciutto Bruxie.  Dinner: Fried chicken Bruxie in one hand, Nutella Bruxie on the other.  Next day, repeat with different ones, and so on.

Also, be on the look out.  A new location will open in Brea, CA in November!

Bruxie on Urbanspoon

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Los Angeles has some good Mexican food, maybe the best in the world.  Though that may be a stretch, I know we are pretty close. One of my favorite snacking spots for some tacos is Cactus in Los Angeles.

The meat here is like no other.  It is almost over cooked to a crispiness, but it is so delicious.  It is not too salty, and not really bland either.  My favorite is their carne asada or their lengua.  Lengua, being cow tongue, seems weird, but it is some of the best part of the cow. For anyone reading who hasn’t tried lengua before, please try it.  You will never go back to carne asada ever again.

I don’t want to say it, but the tacos are even better than the King.

Cactus Mexican Food on Urbanspoon

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The Crab Cooker – Newport Eats Lots a Fish

August 3, 2011

Walking around Newport Beach, I basked in the sun and enjoyed the simple life of a beach bum.  I check out some shops, the harbor, and little eateries — I came across The Crab Cooker. Upon entering, I saw a mini fish market along with people waiting in line to eat.  I didn’t want to […]

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Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt on the Boardwalk – Summer is at Long Beach

July 8, 2011

Yeah, there is nothing like having ice cream on the boardwalk.  It is as American as apple pie.  On a nice warm day, with the ocean in front of you, what is better than a nice big ice cream cone?  Nothing. I was at Long Beach — I was literally just driving around LA, and […]

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Mochilato – Great Gelato, Even Better Mochi

July 2, 2011

Mochilato is gelato inside of mochi.  You’ve seen mocihi ice cream at the stores, but this one takes it a step further and uses gelato.  Whoever thought of these things is a genius.  The mochi around the gelato keeps everything clean with your fingers — it is all in a nice little package. Think of […]

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Scoops – Happiness is…Two Kinds of Ice Cream

June 23, 2011

Ice cream can cure anything.  It can cure a bad day, make a good day even better, or cure a aching heart.  In this day and age, just regular vanilla or chocolate won’t do.  It seems like everyone is doing something different, something outside the box.  People are pushing the flavor envelope further and further, […]

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The Bruery Provisions – Beer, Bread, and Butter @ this Wine and Cheese Shop

June 17, 2011

Walking around the Orange Circle in Orange, CA, I stumbled upon The Bruery Provisions.  Entering, I was amazed by the wall of beer bottles.  They had so much, I don’t know how anyone can choose from such a wide selection. They sold different kinds of wines and drinks.  What fascinated me the most was their […]

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Milk – The Blue Velvet Takes the Cake

June 2, 2011

I always passed by MILK on Beverly Blvd., and I always though it was some kind of milk store.  Could it be?  The main headquarters of all of milk?  Maybe it was a retired bottling company for milk bottles, like in the olden days. Whatever it was, or is, I wanted to go inside. From […]

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