SGV Food Truck Fest!

by Franklin on March 6, 2011

The San Gabriel Valley is due fora food truck fest. Most food trucks done make its way here. Usually they just hang around Los Angeles or somewhere in Orange County. Its refreshing to have something for the people in the middle. The people at SGV Food Truck will be holding a festival every first Friday of every month. Their meeting spot is at the Speedzone in City of Industry.  This means the event is organized, well lit, and has plenty of restrooms.  The food truck line up is always different and the space is large. Coverage is $5, but making it an evening of eating and playing at Speedzone is well worth it. Check back soon for the next event details.


Free Pancakes! (IHOP)

by Franklin on March 1, 2011

Get free pancakes! 7AM – 10PM at any participating IHOP restaurant.  They just ask for a small donation for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.  Hey, it’s for a good cause and it’s free pancakes — you can’t lose.

Click here for the website for more details.


Earthen Restaurant – Down to Earth Chinese Cuisine

by Franklin on February 24, 2011

Los Angeles is full of Chinese restaurants.  You got your bottom of the barrel $1.99 combo plate in Chinatown.  You also got your “broke after dinner” places like Mr. Chow in Beverly Hills.  Regardless, Chinese food is good.  It’s salty and oily (usually a good indication of something yummy.  Earthen Restaurant located in Hacienda Heights, CA is the best of both worlds. Their menu has all of the making as the bottom of the barrel(ers), but does it in a clean and refined manner.

We started off with the green onion pancakes.  They were not too oily — crispy on the outside, nice and chewy on the inside.  Putting some hot sauce or soy sauce on it made it a pretty good appetizer.  For our main dish, we had the seafood noodle dish and the kung pao shrimp.  The noodles had a bunch of different kinds of seafood on it — it almost had more seafood and toppings than noodles.  The best part was the kung pao shrimp.  Shrimp is perfectly delicious when it is not over cooked, and the chefs at Earthen know how to cook.  It was a little spicy and savory and it was perfect with some white rice.

Our experience here was very pleasant.  Next time, we will have to try something non-seafood.  I hear good things about their house chicken and pot stickers.  Be on the look out for that post.

Earthen Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Home Cookin’

by Franklin on February 22, 2011

There is nothing better than a nice home cooked meal coming home after a hard days work.  And nothing is easier and more efficient than something cooking away in a Crock-Pot.  Place some seasoned meat into some broth.  Set it on low, and forget about it.  Go to work, go to the gym — do whatever you need to do, because that thing will cook for you all the while you are doing your own thing.  My girlfriend loves her Crock-Pot, and I’m glad that she does because anything she makes in there is delicious.

As I entered the room, the aroma of cooked food was just intoxicating.  Immediately I knew it was dinner time.  The table, all set out with home cooked goodness made my eyes and stomach open for business.  Home made chili and beans, steamed veggies, and brown rice.  As for what was in the Crock-Pot?  Ox tail with onion.  Only two ingredients mixed in with some secret spices I don’t know about, and I was in food heaven.

Anything cooked for hours and hours will always be good.  The meat fell off the bone and was so tender and juicy — it was seasoned perfectly.  Believe it or not, the best part were the onions.  Cutting the onions only in halves was genius.  It was mushy (in a good way) and flavorful — the sweetness of the onions complimented the ox tail very nicely.

The Crock-Pot is an amazing cooking device.  It saves time.  It cooks frozen food nicely.  Most importantly, it comes out delicious!


Pizza Dreams Come True

by Franklin on February 10, 2011

Making my own pizza was a dream of mine ever since I was a little kid.  It could be how the cooks twirl the pizza dough around in the sky, or maybe the endless amount of toppings this food can hold.  Whatever the reason is, I got to build my own pizza and my dreams finally came true!

I am a bit disappointed at myself.  I had nothing but the highest quality of ingredients.

Fresh basil?  Check. 

Fresh Mozzarella?  Check.

Good quality prosciutto?  Check!

Scratch made pizza dough???.. No comment.

Yes folks.  I am guilty.  I bought the pre-made pizza dough from the market.  Some may say that I am a cop out.  A true chef would make their own pizza dough right?  Well, if you knew the process for making fresh pizza dough, you wouldn’t blame me.  My new adult dream now is to make my own pizza dough…from scratch!

Nonetheless, I was excited to make my first pizza.  I gathered my dough, cheese, veggie, and meat.  I first drizzled the dough with some good olive oil (cold pressed always).  I added some chopped garlic to the top of the dough.  Then I cut up some slices of fresh mozzarella and put that on top.  I spread out some prosciutto over evenly, and then sprinkled some chopped basil over.  I then sprinkled some salt and pepper and put it in the oven.  At 450 degrees, the pizza took only about 12 minutes.

The verdict?  It could be better.  I won’t lie.  It would have been the perfect pizza if the dough was scratch made.  The dough was just not good; it killed the dish.  Although, the combination of the herby basil with the saltiness of the prosciutto and the creaminess of the fresh mozzarella was very tasty.  I even snacked on them by themselves and it was better than the pizza itself.  I guess it was foolish to have gotten such great ingredients and use them on such a sad sad pizza dough.  Next time around, I will fulfill my new aforementioned dream; I will attempt to make my own pizza dough from scratch.

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Happy Chinese New Year!

by Franklin on February 9, 2011

Phoenix Dragon

Chinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later.  I had the pleasure to experience the celebration first hand.  As me and my girlfriend were sitting at Phoenix Food Boutique in Monterey Park, we were bombarded with loud drums and dragons.  They walked into the restaurant, into the kitchen, and started dancing to the music.  The whole experience was pretty amazing.  I felt like I was in the middle of a Chinese new year festival.

I had the pleasure of having dessert here.  From the looks of it, this place seems more ideal for dessert instead of having an actual meal here.  They have assortments of cookies and pastry looking things that were all new to me.  One thing that really stood out was the fruit tapioca drink.  They put a mixture of watermelons, mangoes, strawberries, and other fruits into cold milk.  Then they add tapioca balls.  The whole mixture is amazing.  It is not too sweet, not too fruity.  It is perfectly refreshing in every way.  I also tried their pecan cookie pies.  I call them cookie pies because its not quite a pie, and its not quite a cookie.  At any rate, there are a lot of different things I want to try next time I get a chance to come to Phoenix again.  There are various locations in the San Gabriel Valley;  Monterey Park, Alhambra, and Rowling Heights are some of the cities where you can find this place.

I normally would not post something that is a chain, but just the amazing experience I had here compelled me to post on Phoenix.  If you are in the area, definitely check them out.  Try a few new desserts.  I will soon come again and try the durian dessert.  Be on the look out for that post.

Check out this quick video I took of the Chinese New Year dragon inside the restaurant below.

Phoenix Dessert on Urbanspoon

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