rice

Bella Cuba – Post-Shopping Meal

by Franklin on February 2, 2015

Sometimes, Cuban food just hits the spot. The classic Latino flavors and dishes of Bella Cuba just hit the mark. After a long day of shopping at South Coast Plaza, Bella Cuba was a good energizer. Their classic Cuban dishes were comforting. Nothing is more comforting that having meat and rice.

Bread and butter at its most basic. A nice touch, and something nobody wants to fill up on before dinner.

The roasted garlic chicken was a delicious classic. Not as good as Versailles in Los Angeles, but still a good dish. The black beans and rice went so well with the chicken. The chicken was a bit dry, but had great flavor from the acidic sauce and onions. You know that lemony sauce I am talking about. The thought of it makes my mouth water — perfect for the blank slate of a chicken. The sweet plantains balanced out the savory and sour of the fish nicely.

The ropa vieja was an interesting dish. The comfort of the stewed shredded beef (ropa vieja) and rice was a good combination. The garlic, onions, and peppers were fluorescent and gave the dish nice flavor. It was to me a bit boring and needed something more for the dish to shine. The plantains did a good job in breaking up the mundane savory beef.

I heard goo things of their tres leches cake and had to order one. Though I have had better, and though I prefer my tres leches cake to be very creamy and wet, the cake was a great dessert. From the acidic and savory chicken to the hearty beef and rice, the cake was a nice cool down. If you are expecting the best tres leches cake though, look elsewhere.

Bella Cuba was good but not great. The comforting meat and rice will always be a winner for me. South Coast Plaza, easily one of my favorite malls (if i were rich), has some good eats inside. If you are in the mood for something Cuban and a little in your price range, just go across the street.

Bella Cuba on Urbanspoon

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Noodle Planet – Easy Noodles, Easy

by Franklin on March 3, 2011

Everyone has their go to sushi restaurant or Chinese restaurant — I certainly have a go to Pho restaurant whether I am in Los Angeles, or Orange County.  Sometimes, choosing a place to eat isn’t that easy.  We all do the “narrowing down” game, and realize we are in the mood for Asian food, but can never narrow it down to one.  This is where Noodle Planet comes in.  They offer a variety of Asian dishes, ranging from Vietnamese, Chinese, to Japan and Korean.

I am so fortunate to have one nearby.  My family and I ordered a lot of stuff we haven’t tried — We already know the spicy spaghetti and pad see ew were good.  We ordered chicken wings, crispy chow mein, and fried rice.  Yes, they do have rice dishes at Noodle Planet.  We also threw in an order of pad see ew and egg rolls just in case our new trials failed.  Luckily, everything tasted great.  The crispy chow mein was kind of difficult to eat at first, but once the seafood mixture softened up the noodles a bit, it was delicious — the texture was something I have never had before.  The egg rolls we ordered were like no other.  Normally, the egg rolls at restaurants are filled with cabbage, or heavily ground beef based — these, on the other hand had a meaty texture, but also had some sort of seafood taste to them — this was a good thing.  As usual, the chicken wings were great, especially with the addition of the fried rice — I must say, I am a sucker for marinated fried chicken and rice.

My conclusion?  This place is good for groups — you can choose from almost any Asian noodle dish.  Its cheap (cash only) and they have big portions.  The quality of the food is great for the price and you are always left satisfied.  They have locations in Monterey Park and West Los Angeles.  Looks like they got Eastern and Western Angelinos covered.

Noodle Planet on Urbanspoon

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