Sunday, March 16, 2014

Kula Revolving Sushi (Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, CA)

It just doesn't get better than this! Revolving Sushi bar in Little Tokyo and guess what? The sushi is just $2. Forget those other sushi wannabe places that have a revolving bar. They have different color plates and their prices are unpleasant. Not to mention, the sushi is not quite so pleasing. One place in northridge, Gatten Sushi was horrible, because they gave us a complimentary sashimi which looked liked shaved ice. It was so thin and small, that I immediately left.

Anyways, this review is for Kula Revolving Sushi. They have another location in Irvine, CA. I haven't yet been there, but will definitely have to go there soon. Getting here is the easy part. Waiting in line is the hard part, b/c people love to come here for the revolving sushi bar and the cheap price. Not to mention the sushi is just darn good!! Writing this review is surely making my mouth water up. I haven't been here in a few weeks, but just imagining it makes me want to hit up their place next weekend. My first time here was last year and I was in Little Tokyo eagerly looking for an awesome sushi place. My group that I had went with was looking for a place to eat and ended up eating at a fusion restaurant. Sorry, but if I am in Little Tokyo...I want SUSHI!!! So, I had passed by Kula several times and managed to wait in line. The waiting in line was well worth it. I had almost 15 plates of sushi. After that experience, I have taken my friends here and they love it. Every-time I say let's get some sushi, they always ask.. $2 sushi at kula? I nod and they jump for joy... as we head over to Kula in Little Tokyo.

There is also a menu for hand rolls which is also $2. The only thing here which isn't $2 is the sake, beer, and the ramen. But, I come here for the sushi, no doubt! One of my friend had watermelon here which I found kind of funny, but he was in the mood for dessert. This is by far my to-go-sushi place when I am craving sushi!!!! Check them out! they even have their own website, kulausa.com

The seating is either booth style or single aisle where you face the revolving bar. I like to face it, b/c the booths you sit in a group of four and I rather experience it face-on. The bathrooms are okay. What is needed is more sitting area, and to expand the revolving sushi to accommodate the other sushi eaters.. It gets really busy and the wait gets long since people over there don't come just to eat, but stay there longer either watching movies on their phones whilst eating or something really dumb. that's what i dislike, their should be management to take care of such time-wasters, so we as the customers can enjoy your sushi and eat. I usually go here, eat, and if i take a little longer..it's because I am resting my tummy or waiting for a particular sushi to be re-made. People!! you should look in the back in realize the other people waiting!!!!

I hope you have enjoyed this review as much as I do. I hope to get some more reviews before the month is over. Hope you share these reviews with your friends, leave a comment, rate it, and hope these reviews help you during your journey of eating. Let me know if it's helpful or not. I seek improvement every time I write these reviews.

Look the selection (sitting at a booth)

I think thats salmon in sake?

Crunchy Roll comin up

Add caption

Tempura roll

Can't remember the exact name, but i call this the epic sushi! has egg yolk in it.. and sometimes the yolk is dripping. mmmmm

El Patio (4351 Township Ave. Simi Valley, CA)

Apparently there's an El Patio and El Patio Cantina. This review will be based on El Patio (the original). I remember coming to this place back in the early 2000's. I had frequent this place with my friends Stephanie, Aimee, and Sarah when I hanged out with them back in the 2000s. Wish I knew were the girl Sarah is at. Anyways, hanging out with three girls in Simi Valley gave me a new experience on things. One of those things was food and El Patio definitely played a big role. This restaurant is situated in a very old plaza. The parking is very huge, the restaurant does need some renovating, but all I can say is that the food is definitely worth the trip. It's definitely difficult to find a really good (any kind) of restaurant nowadays. Outside doesn't really look appealing and it doesn't look like a Mexican restaurant until you enter inside. Usually when I had come here with friends, we sat outside. But, this time I wanted to sit inside and it definitely felt like any other Mexican restaurant. The vibe just was so magical, that it had reminded me all the times I came here to eat by myself or with my friends. I ordered the one plate I always order when coming here which is the 1 1/2 pound chimichanga and cherry coke with extra cherries. They always add a lot of cherries to the coke, which is my favorite drink to get. I don't drink soda often, so this is a great treat when I do. The chimichanga is also great here. 1 1/2 pound of meat and cheese is awesome! You can't beat a treat like this anywhere else. Of course the chips and salsa are appetizing until you get the main course. I think if the restaurant had done more renovating outside and a little more dim lights inside, this restaurant is the perfect date-restaurant for the young and mature audiences. I love this place, and will definitely make a trip back here!! 5/5 for the food, 4/5 appearance of the restaurant. Check them out when the have the Sunday Brunch. I might check it out and let you all know how it is. Thanks for reading my blog. Like it, have your friends check it out, and like my posts!! You can also check me out my youtube channel: Traveldude1981

Cherry Coke with Extra Cherries

1 1/2 lb chimichanga

Nachos with salsa

Simi Valley on a cloudy day
















Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Pho Ct (Canoga Park, CA)

I love pho, don't you? If you never had pho, you are definitely missing out on a yummy treat! It's white noodles in chicken broth. The broth is different with every restaurant and it depends on what part of Vietnam the restaurant is focusing on. Ever wonder what Pho 999 or Pho So 1 meant? The number does mean something. According to one of my Vietnamese friends, he told me that the numbers mean the different spices added to the dishes. So what does Pho So 1 mean? Well, it seems to be a mystery to me.

There are a lot of pho places, but this pho place is quite different. There are other dishes, desserts, and  beer. This is interesting. Want to make it even more bizarre? At the end of every month during Friday evening, there is a jazz band that comes at 7pm to play. This band is called the Paul Weitz Trio. You can youtube them and they have some videos of them playing. Me and my buddies have been anticipating for this moment. So, we did wait til the end of Feb and they appeared on a Friday evening. The weather outside was cold and rainy. As we got inside, we ordered our pho and some TsingTsao beer around 630. About 7, the band had arrived and started to set up. One of my friends spoke and told the band leader that he loves jazz and he's a drummer. The band leader is happy to have met another musician and asks us if we are musicians as well. My friend Zenghui nods and tells him that he's a classical guitarist and I nod as well and tell him I am a pianist. Then the three of us look at each other and nodded with each other. We have a jazz band, and all we need is a sax or trumpet.

So as the music begins to play, so does the noise of the crowds eating here. I only had enough to tip them, otherwise I would've bought a CD they had near them. I love jazz and to have jazz being played at a Vietnamese restaurant, is definitely a treat.

Now the Pho here is ok.. I do love that the beef tendon is huge, but the soup is very salty. I might just have to order just beer next time and something else. The music is great. I will definitely come here for the music. But the pho.. i would rather recommend going to Pho Saigon 1, if you want some awesome broth and awesome pho!

Here are some pics of the band.



Paul Weitz Trio

My friends enjoying the conversation as well as the jazz.

A dessert dish my friend had.. ice cream with peanuts?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Something Fishy (Woodland Hills, CA)

I am back finally after a long hiatus. Teppanyaki, something I would definitely suggest everyone should try. What is teppanyaki? Think Benihana! Still confused or don't know what I am talking about? Well instead of the chef cooking inside the kitchen, he's cooking right in front of you. Still might sound kind of boring/bland? Well he cooks but also implements different tricks to get you all excited. I have been meaning to come to this place many times, but never can find the right time to go. I have been a frequent teppan customer of Musashi which is located in Northridge and Porter Ranch. Yet, their teppan nowadays is just plain. There is no special show, just cooking.

Upon entering, it doesn't look like your normal Japanese Restaurant. My friend Jason made a joke.. saying.. "there's something fishy about this place..." Of course he tried to be funny, it somehow worked. When you enter, you have the choice sushi bar or teppan. Of course, I chose the teppan since my friends who came along with me never really experienced such meal. The waitress took our orders and then the magic started. This chef was definitely not your average Japanese chef, however he cooked like he has been doing teppan for a long time. It was awesome to hear the many expressions from my friends like the "ooh's and ahhh's"

The food is definitely good here. The prices are very accommodating. They do have happy hours and special lunches and dinners. Another thing I enjoyed was the 50% off sushi. Incredible. If you have sales like this in any restaurant, you will definitely attract all walks of life! The sushi was good, and we ordered so much, that it definitely took us longer to eat and finish all the sushi that we ordered. The ambience is quite nice, yet I wish they had played more or some Japanese instrumental music. Hint hint..

Overall, I love this place. I can't wait to come here again!! Hope you all give this place a chance and let me know how you liked or disliked this place.. add a comment here!


A heart of fried rice




I definitely to come during late Happy Hour!!

good attention-grabber!!!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Cafe Sierra (Universal City, CA) [Inside Universal Hilton Hotel]

Cafe Sierra! When looking for a great buffet that is equivalent to a Las Vegas Buffet is quite the hassle. There are ones that try to imitate a Vegas Buffet, but doesn't have the same taste or feel. I do remember my folks coming across an advertisement in the LA times about an all-you-can-eat buffet at Universal Hilton. We took the chance to come here and I would guess we came here first in 1995. The place has been here since and it's definitely the place where I can enjoy a nice prime rib, all you can eat Alaskan crab legs, etc. We have celebrated birthdays, holidays, and even brought relatives here from Hong Kong to try the eats in this place.

Most of the holidays that we have came here have been packed. What I love most about this place is their custom-sushi bar which doesn't exist anymore. :(  But, I do get my moneys worth bye grubbing on the frozen crab legs, lobster tail, prime rib, and oysters if they have it that day. Not to mention, their signature hibiscus tea. The hibiscus tea has no competitor whatsoever. I haven't been able to find that tea anywhere. Now, this place also has music entertainment. Most buffets that I have visited don't have any sort of entertainment, unless its from the ceiling radio speakers. Here, you pay for what you get. There's a live piano musician that plays in the evening and it's very enjoyable to dine and enjoy some fine tunes. The price of the buffet varies, it will definitely be a lot more expensive during the holidays, but well worth the purchase. The food selection is quite amazing. There are a few dim sum dishes, crab legs, lobster tail, prime rib, sushi, crepe station, taco station, salad bar, and other dishes that I will let u find out on your own.

They do take reservations! If you are not a buffet eater, they also have a menu where you can order ala carte. But, when I'm here, I do the buffet! :)

This place deserves a 5-star approval. It definitely has the best staff and best food!
Lobster tail, sushi hand roll, dim sum, abalone

Oyster in shell 
Chinese New Year Decor

A shark-watemelon!
 
Sushi hand rolls!!

Hibiscus Ice Tea 


Buffet Bar

Shark Fin soup



Prime Rib, Lobster Tail, Mash Potatoes

Lobster Tail

Sushi, Sashimi

Saturday, February 1, 2014

BCD Tofu House (Northridge, CA)

It's definitely difficult to find a decent Korean BBQ place in the San Fernando Valley. We, as students are worried about the prices and if it's a sweet deal. For me, it's definitely the prices and the taste of the food. You can pay a reasonable price, but the food will taste awful. BCD Tofu House is a chain of restaurants that exist in South Korea. So you definitely know that eating at BCD Tofu House is the real deal. There are other locations situated in Irvine and in Southern California. I have been here several times with family and friends. The selection of foods have been enjoyable. This restaurant is in medium size and can probably accommodate 50 people. There will always be good and bad things about any restaurant. No matter what weather is outside, the temperature in this restaurant is HOT!!!! I have been known to sweat more here than a sauna. Make sure to bring a face towel from home! The service, lately has been mediocre. Some of the staff are friendly, and some are just plain "attitude!" But, these ladies have been working here since the first time I came here. That's probably around 2005/2006? Almost 8-9 years.

Ok, well every dish is served with rice and it's served in a hot clay pot. Once you order whichever dish you decide to order, they scoop the rice out and pour hot water into the bowl. Later on, they will scoop all the rice from then clay pot and put into another bowl for you to drink. This usually cleanse out your palate and it definitely has a bland but refreshing flavor to it. The side dishes are always random, but the main one that is signature to all Korean restaurants is the "Kim Chi" which is fermented napa cabbage in the spicy sauces. Kim Chi is the "Korea's" signature and probably official dish. It can be sweetened and spiced up with different vegetables to accommodate different holidays, seasons, and people.

Now, for the dishes, for a green-horn or a first-timer.. I advise you to order the combo. The combo comes with a tofu soup that most would enjoy. The portions of your main dish is a little bit less, but you come here also for the tofu soup. The spiciness is very different from "American" spiciness. Just to forewarn all of you foodies. You've been warned, so make sure you ask them about the different levels of spicy. Asians spice up their foods intensively!!!!

Some favorite dishes is the bulgogi ( sliced lean meat), galbi (sliced pork rib) with all their unique flavors which are very sweet and tasty. Also, if you want something other than beef, definitely try the spicy raw crab. The crab is spiced up so much, the chili helps to make the raw crab edible. As for drinking, just order the hot tea. Trust me. It's refreshing. So, I hope to have opened your eyes somewhat to try something amazing or maybe your first and last time to eat something not to your liking. I definitely give this restaurant a 5 star-rating. Even though the staff is not that great at times, but the food is phenomenal. It beats out other restaurants that are not like the all-you-can-eat style. There is one, in particular I will review on in the future. But definitely check this place out!

Spicy Raw Crab

Cooked fish

Banchan or side dishes for your meal. such as Fish cake..

kim chi!

hot clay pots that cooks and hold your rice

inside the restaurant

bulgogi with rice


Hot water soaking the rice, eventually to put in another bowl.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Weinie Bakery (Northridge, CA)

This bakery has been here for a long time. Nobody cares to notice this bakery since it's one of the few remaining Chinese businesses near Cal State Northridge, University. It is a true hidden gem, because of its history and dedication to making the best baked goods. It has been catering its baked good since  I can first remember in 1996. I had my first red bean loaf of bread here and was hooked! Grocery Markets elsewhere in San Gabriel Valley, Rosemead, Irvine, Monterey Park, and etc., have never matched up to par with this bakery! It's a one-of-a-kind! Usually the sell out their loaves of bread pretty fast, because it always does in the morning. So, I was definitely lucky to buy the loaves of bread when they opened today. The female owner recognized me and said, "OH.. CSUN started its semester?" I nodded. And she had noticed I brought my dad, just so he can know that this gem of a bakery has some good stuff. Not only do they make this awesome bread, but they make sponge cakes, cakes, and buns. 

What I bought was the red bean bread and the pineapple crusted bread. Both have remarkable and tasty features. The pineapple crusted bread is similar to its sister/brother which is the pineapple crusted bun that can be found in most Chinese bakeries. The crust on top is soft, but can be easily broken off if not handled carefully. The taste of the crust is phenomenal. It just doesn't get better than this. But don't take my word for it, get it yourself. Next is the red bean bread and until you get a slice out, you won't notice the red beans. They invest a lot of red beans and it's definitely worth the price. The prices here are very inexpensive. So, come over here.. It's located on Reseda and Prairie. 


Pineapple Crusted Bread

Red Bean Toast

Red bean loaf

Pineapple Loaf