Wednesday, April 16, 2008



Steamed mussels, a Jitlada hit.

Deep fried pompano with all the frills.

Yummy cashew salad.

Tiger prawns flambe.

Jitlada has been well written about and deserves all the praise it receives. Our group enjoyed this dinner tremendously and the hospitality was spendid.

I had the famous mussels, and while I don't know if it was one of the top ten dishes of 2007, it was pretty damn good. I was not blown away by the heat, but perhaps they laid off to accomodate our group.The fried fish was so enjoyable with and one of the best versions I've encountered.The hottest dish we had was the yellow curry chicken, also a fabulous tasting plate.

The colors and complex flavors of thai food are well executed at Jitlada, and I long to discover more of their soutern menu real soon.

5233 1/2 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Hunan Seafood Restaurant

Don't "B" afraid, it's Chinese food!

"Fish heads, fish heads, rolly polly fishheads...."
The fish head casserole is a requisite course!

Cold chicken appetizer with special sauce.

Fat! That's right, toss fried fat.

The succulent lamb and Chairman Mao's own namesake dish.

I called in ringer on this one, my friend and host of monthly regional Chinese dinners, Michael Wong. I had been to his Hunan dinner at the previous location and remembered many of the dishes,but thought I'd let the master work.

We started out with the cold chicken appetizer with special sauce.Cold chicken was always because I was too lazy to warm it up, but this offering coupled with the special sauce set the bar high to start the evening. We pre-ordered the fish head casserole when I arrived to the confused waitress.She thought that when I called to make a reservation for 15 on April Fool's Day, that I was joking.So, she never put us on the book.Luckily, not many people were up for fish head casserole or fried fat on this pranksters holiday, so we found a table with ease.

Michael showed up and the Lazy Susan started to get a workout. We had the toss fried fat, the pork skin, the house special lamb, Chairman Mao's pork, Taiwan lettuce, and the fish head casserole. Michael and I were the only sickos at the table, so we were left alone to have at the fish cheeks and eyes.

Hunan cuisine is characterized by the presence of fresh chiles and for using all the parts:skin, fat, fish heads, not so desired by many due to its poor economy. From these delicacies comes an amazing cuisine full of delicious and creative concoctions.

A nearby table had a group of Chinese men celebrating something and were drinking giant Taiwanese beers, laughing at the top of there lungs, and turning redder by the swallow of adult beverage.I took there cue and ordered one for myself. Glad that this restaurant has resurfaced, an excellent choice in the SGV.

Hunan Seafood Restaurant
8772 E. Valley Blvd.
Rosemead, CA
(626) 289-8389

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Las Quenas

Breakfast of champions.Bistec a lo pobre.

Lomo saltado.

If you blink you'll miss it!

Pescado sudado.

This is one of my favorite Peruvian joints in LA, located on Sherman Way's restaurant row.The food here is outstanding and quite inexpensive. We kicked off the Spring '08 series of Tuesday night dinners at this humble eatery. The owner was nice enough to talk about his cuisine, from Lima and the coast of Peru, and share his collection of cookbooks from Peru. Peruanos are very proud of their cuisine, as well they should be, with such a variety of dishes influenced by so many cultures.The cookbooks were a feast for the eyes, but, to the food.

I ordered the papa a la huincaina to check out Las Quenas' version of this Peruvian standard and struck gold. The anticuchos weren't available tonight, darn.The pescado sudado was delicious with a mild yet complex sauce, and the picante de camarones was very delicious but not muy picante. I washed down this fine selection of eats with some Cusqeunas, Peruvian beers, while checking out the plates from the locals tables. While saltados seem like such an uninteresting choice I noticed that many of the Peruanos had ordered a saltado.Hmmmmm. The other day I was greedily eyeing the bistec a lo pobre on another customer's plate when I went by to set up this dinner. Looks like I will have to hit a saltado next time around and come by on a Sunday afternoon for that bistec.Mike sent me a photo of his bistec upon his return visit that lucky dog.

Las Quenas has a great menu and all of us were pretty happy with our choices on this culinary kickoff.

Las Quenas
12708 Sherman Way
North Hollywood, CA 91605