Sunday, June 27, 2010

If There Isn't Anything Good On Television...

Some entertainment for the food nerds in case there isn't anything good on the telly...

I can't seem to get enough of Ozersky TV. I first posted about Josh demonstrating his burger skillz but I've since watched all 62, 63 episodes! (They're usually only a few minutes each.)
From what I quickly gathered, Josh Ozersky is a food writer and burger expert (update: author of The Hamburger: A History (Icons of America)) that contributed one time (as an editor?) to New York Magazine's Grub Street. He may have made a few enemies along the way but whatever, his Vimeo uploads I find are so entertaining and fresh. Too many favorites to list but I embedded a few below.

Bill's Bar & Burger. My freak'n goodness, the burgers here look absolutely amazing. *gasp* And I love how it's the furthest from looking so vertically trendy.

Bill's Bar & Burger from Ozersky.TV on Vimeo.

Eisenberg's Sandwich also seems totally my kind of place. Josh's home base where he does most of his rants and ramblings..

Welcome to Eisenbergs from Ozersky.TV on Vimeo.

Katie Lee Tries Egg Fu Yung. Josh is my hero. Watching the video made me search out my one and only Egg Fu Yung photo that I had years ago (location will remain undisclosed for now). The version in the clip didn't have gravy on it but the sticky ribs did look pretty good.

Katie Lee Tries Egg Fu Yung from Ozersky.TV on Vimeo.

Finally for a good laugh. Inside Dr. Claw's Lobster Den..

Inside Dr. Claw's Lobster Den from Ozersky.TV on Vimeo.

Again, too many more fun clips to list. Keep 'em coming Josh! :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Radiused Corner Blog - Two Years Young!

I started my blog exactly two years from today, Weehee!

My very first post was a so-nerd-of-me how to fold a crane chopstick rest out of the paper sleeve. Definitely wouldn't have guessed that my blogging inspiration man himself Kirk would be first to comment within a day's time. Kirk could very well be the NORAD of food blogs!? haha! ;)

I don't have anything fancy prepared today like last year's first anniversary post. I haven't had time and I'm honestly barely able to post this tonight but a sort of an extended version of one of my Two Meals post maybe.. A ho-hum recollection of an ordinary Tuesday that was to be June 22nd, 2010. Yay.

A friend's errand at IKEA brought me to Mission Valley for lunch. I love their meatballs with gravy (oh gosh I have way too many photos of them..) but I was in the mood for a quick Hot Dog meal at CostCo and the erranding friendster agreed.

They were renovating the food area so there was a moderate line along the two make shift registers. They were also only serving the hot dog, polish dog, and salad. The wait actually wasn't too bad.

I got one regular and one polish. $1.50 each including a drink as I'm sure most my local readers know about. Looking back I should've asked for a single soda cup since the second went to waste.

Anyhow, yes condiments are plentiful here and bottomless. Personally I go for some mustard (evenly distributed along the whole bun), a lot of relish (the pump here was harder to manage), and a cheeky amount of chopped white onions (Crank it baby! And btw, I did not make that mess on the counter..).

Never really compared the two dogs but flavor wise was kind of a bummer that it was hard for me to tell them apart. May have been partly due to all of the condiments I piled on but I typically expect the Polish to be more herby and spicy. Did hit the spot though.

So. I haven't been updating my MOS Burger re-creation project lately but my most recent trial a few months ago I felt I was the closest to date in re-creating MOS' "meat sauce" utilizing this here Kagome Brand - Hamburg Nikomi Sauce pack with a peeled and seeded fresh diced beefsteak tomato. I did use a little Japanese Brown Stew (ビーフシチュー) concentrate and also a teeny bit of Japanese Miso as a hidden ingredient (the use of miso was admitted by the proprietor Mr. Sakurada in one of his books (that I just knew all along! hehe)).

It still wasn't close enough to my satisfaction and I tell you there may be a few blogs out there that claim they have re-created the recipe to MOS' sauce but I CAN GUARANTEE that they have not. On a separate (honestly true) side note, a close friend I just talked to today in Seattle claimed to have eaten one yesterday that traveled 11-hours in a friends hand carry bag. DANG. Would you have risked that potential tummy ache??? I don't blame you, but I have to say I would've and am very jealous of said friend.

The Chibakiya's instant ramen was on sale today at Mitsuwa and I purchased a few. I believe this series was created through a collaboration between Mitsuwa Market and Chibakiya and so you will only find them here. I personally feel its regular price at $2.99 is a bit steep for the size and fill and the often seen sale price at $2.49 may be a more fair value.. But at a $1.99 I'm ready to stock up. Both varieties of the Shoyu and Shio soup have a wa-fu flavor (from a much nicer liquid concentrate pack and not dry powder) that I crave and can only find as a convenient instant on a regular basis in this brand. And now re-creating a cup version of my beef tongue gyutan shio could be fun too..(?) :)

Swung by Sanseido Bookstore before leaving as usual. Found this magazine doing a special on Oyakodons...... H*ly cr*p!!! These looked so freak'n delicious!!!

The humble Oyakodon. And look at all the variety in egg texture, chicken, broth, cooking method and presentation style.

Btw, no photography allowed here! I promised I'd be purchasing this magazine tomorrow, the 23rd when I would get double stamps. Sanseido on days numerically ending in three - 3rd, 13th, 23rd gives double stamps.

I picked up dinner tonight at Nijya Market. The bentos they have been creating especially in the last year have been really great. In San Diego I now feel Nijiya by far offers the best quality and value in take out Japanese bento lunches. I stand by this statement on my second Anniversary blog post. :)

I bought the Udon Tempura bento along with a small shabu shabu salad.

Hit the spot craving one for a while after I had watched this Sanuki Udon DVD several weeks ago...

Available on Amazon or your local Japanese rental DVD shop. A note for it not to be confused by the original Udon Movie (which is great as well)..

So this post ended up a lot longer that I had planned but thanks to everyone who had commented with kind words of encouragement and supported me along the way.
At the time I tried to come up with the most un-food blog name that I could, but I'm happy to know there are people out there that seem to enjoy my quirky nerd posts. It's been really fun and looking forward to another fantastic year! Cheers.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

An Overdue Revisit To Lucky's Breakfast

I'm first to say that I'm way too sentimental about breakfast diners. I love visiting greasy spoon joints on my days off cause it reminds me of the times my dad and I would go out on weekend mornings. So I admit when it comes to breakfast I'm pretty hard to displease. Just a warning for those seeking suggestions for places from me maybe, haha. ;)

But in my part of town I'd say I wouldn't have to look any further than Lucky's Breakfast for a good classic fill. This first half stash of photos from my first visit to LB dates back to November 2007. The place then was still called Lucky's Golden Phenix Restaurant (that was the way it was spelled).

Lucky is also the name of the older Asian gentleman that runs the entire place alone. He's also a total riot. The interior as you can see is decked out in Chinese decor. Judging by the older sign it seemed the place did serve Chinese at one time, however the current menu is completely American Breakfast with prices that are more than reasonable.

Three eggs with sausage ($3.80, comes with toast) and hash browns (+$1.25).

I remember were perfectly executed over-easy eggs without any wiggly white bits and of course nice runny yolks. Hash browns were pretty decent too with some nice crisp edges.

I finally made it out to visit once again yesterday. Lucky's closes at noon Fyi.. (but opens from 7:15AM).

Not much seemed to have changed (except for the name). Check out the photo of young Arnold!

I was bummed though that my Godzilla figure I had given the last (it's a long story) didn't seem to make it to his knick knack collection. He has a singing bass fish for god sake (!), haha. But judging by Lucky's character he probably gave it away to some kid.

I had the two eggs sunny side up this time, with sausage and hash browns but also a side of hot cakes.

The hash browns could've been crispier but he had gotten three simultaneous orders.

Hot Cakes were nice and fluffy. No complaints here.

Fortune cookies are given after your meal. My bill was rounded up to only six dollars. (?!)

As much as Lucky's is a total bargain, for me it's the warm atmosphere filled with friendly warm people that makes me wish its continued success. And a happy warm belly filled with fried protein and potatoes certainly doesn't hurt either. :)

Lucky's Breakfast (formerly Lucky's Golden Phenix), 3804 Grim Ave, San Diego, CA 92104

Saturday, June 19, 2010

SD Roast Duck Noodle Soup Findings - Part Three

A while back I went through a serious Roast Duck Noodle Soup phase. I got addicted to a somewhat admittedly strange ritual where all would start with a rather disappointing first few sips of the (relatively bland, nothing to do with duck) soup. I'd then proceed to place one of the fattier duck pieces into the bowl, poke and prod at it to help release its lovely duck oils and spiced flavors.. Then maybe munch on a meaty piece whilst leaving any unedible parts to also steep in the soup. The Mi egg noodles which typically are too al dente and raw tasting for me in the beginning would be to my preference by then where I'd help myself to a few good heaping chopstick servings. Midway some hot chili oil will find its way for some additional kick, and finally near the last quarter finale of the bowl when all the flavors were extracted and melded, I couldn't help but think to myself how much more wonderful the dish would be if my first sip was as good as my delicious yummy duck umami concentrated last..... My memory of the meal would freeze here and the cycle would continue on with another bowl elsewhere.

ANYWAY. Haven't had a bowl of RDNS in a while but I realized I had collected enough visits since my Part One and Two to do a quick Part Three.

My very first visit to Golden City they were out of duck would you believe it (!) so I think I ended up with some fried rice and pot stickers. Roast Duck Noodle Soup ($5.95).

The soup was expectedly a little on the bland side..

But the duck pieces were all nice and meaty with good flavor.

A nice thing here with the lunch specials at GC you get the usual suspects of a cup of soup (egg drop or hot sour), an egg roll, and those crunchy fried wonton skin strips.

I love me egg drop soup with a dash of fine ground white pepper. The soup may not be anything special..

As is also the egg roll but good nonetheless. :)

A sip of jasmine tea. And as I mentioned in my intro, hot chili oil is usually involved with my RDNS somewhere down the line.

Aah.. that's more like it.. ;)

Overall was a very decent bowl but now that I had my lunch bonanza with a few SD food bloggers here I have a list of other things I'd rather try again. :)

Golden City Restaurant, 5375 Kearny Villa Rd, San Diego, CA 92123

My first visit to Sieu Sieu BBQ involved a RDNS ($5.25, full SSBBQ menu here).. Similar to GC came with Chinese greens (for my lack of knowledge of what the vegetable actually is). Personally prefer the versions with flat leave garlic chives and scallions but the greens seems to add a light sweetness which is also nice.

The soup for the first time had a nice level of sodium which with my experience is quite rare. While salt could always be added out of a shaker the flavor would taste surfacey to me and not the same if the broth had been simmered with.

Here the duck was plated in a separate dish and the lovely drippings seemed to rival Tan Ky in Rolando (that I first learned about from Kirk of mmm-yoso).

I thought the duck had a nice flavor if not the texture on the gummy side. There were though more than a few pieces with a lot of meat that was still satisfying to lightly gnaw through.

This day there seemed to have been some kind of kitchen meltdown where frustrated people were leaving left and right. Hope they got it worked out now. A more thorough post of SSBBQ can be read on mmm-yoso here.

Sieu Sieu BBQ, 7429 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92111

I don't remember the exact price of my RDNS at Yum Cha Cafe but it was ridiculously low.. That should've been a warning sign but oh well.

The watery soup was the blandest of bland and I don't remember much of the duck unfortunately.

The site of hanging roast chicken and duck are always tempting but..

I think I'll stick to more of those snack varieties next time..

Since the pan fried chive dumplings I thought were ok.

Yum Cha Cafe, 6933 Linda Vista Road, San Diego, CA 92111

The RDNS at Minh Ky Mi Gia ($5.75) is the last one for this post. And what, I can't believe this is my first post on MKMG.. Full menu here.

This is the type I typically prefer with the flat leave garlic chives and scallions. To me this place is all about value.. Did I get a half duck with my noodle soup or what?? :)

Soup was decent, the garlic chives and scallions definitely help here in flavor.

Did wish there were more duck drippings with (so I can add to the soup as usual) and I did think the five spice flavor was a bit low but it was still quite tasty.

Mmm meaty duck meat.. and lots and lots of egg noodles.

I need to try the special with crispy chicken that the waitress pointed out to me. In fairness it was on the wall written in Chinese.. Next time.

Minh Ky Mi Gia, 4644 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92115

Hope you enjoyed these. Fyi, I'm up for a Part Two - SD Mapo Dofu findings very soon. :)