Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Foto-Buffet

A collection of food photos that will probably not make it to a proper post otherwise. They're this Friday's Food Foto-Buffet. A lot to go through tonight so let's start!

A beef empanada from Pampas Argentine Grill. Was really juicy and not as heavy as I thought it might be. Warm bread and some chimichurri below it.

Grilled Skirt Steak with Roquefort Cream Sauce (Entrana Roquefort - $13.95 lunch price). The steak done medium-rare was surprisingly very tender. I probably would ask to go easy on the sauce next but it was nice and rich, enough to dip the rest of the Argentine fries in. :) I'd like to try one of their burgers next. Lunch menu here.

Below a simple but refreshing starter salad at Hanna Garden Mediterranean Cuisine off Miramar Rd. They're tucked away hidden behind a McDonald's and I had another personal Inogashira Goro moment there recently.

Oh what to try... When in doubt I go with the combo. (Mix Kebab, $12.99.) 何を迷ってるんだ。。 迷った時はミックスだ! I loved the herbs used in the ground Koufta. The beef and chicken kebabs were very juicy and great too. The garlic sauce/paste that is as light as Cool Whip makes it unsuspecting but still packs a kick. Looking forward in being back.

Another Kabob plate had earlier in the year at Taste of Lebanon I remember wasn't bad either. The two are only a street light apart from one another. HGMC is more relaxed sit-down, TOL more fast food vibe.

I first heard about Maruhide Uni Club on the Potatomato blog last month, a restaurant in Torrance specializing in all forms of uni dishes. Couldn't wait and decided to drop in the weekend I was there checking out the Kyushu & Okinawa Fair at Mitsuwa.

In sequence, Maguro Yamakake Uni-zoe (Tuna, Grated Yam with Sea Urchin), Uni Chazuke (Sea Urchin over Rice with Dashi broth), Uni Ichiyazuke Maki ('One Night Marinated' Uni and Squid Roll). May seem like a lot but portions were small and overall a light meal (at least for me, ha).

Of the dishes I tried I felt the execution could be worked on (the Ichiyazuke Uni was extremely overly bitter and not good eats). I personally felt for the price I might rather go to a really good sushi restaurant to get my urchin fix (or better, put together something at home). I really love the concept, for any uni fan it's just so fun. Uni Pasta, Uni Tamagoyaki, you name it chances are it's on the menu. It's not hard to tell the restaurant is created as an outlet for the parent company's Uni Shutou product (which I've seen on sale at Nijiya in the past but not recently).

Jumping to some breakfasts. It turns out my first to ever visit Lucha Libre after these years would be during their relatively newer morning hours. A lot of visual stimulation for the start of day! ;)

The Breakfast TJ Dog was only $2.50 and comes with a deliciously runny over-easy egg on top. I couldn't taste much bacon but this college dorm-esque meal I admit was right up my alley. I wasn't too hot on the El Poblano Taco which I also got (I think they should do the eggs over-easy on it too) but there's enough on the menu that I feel I'll find a few more likes eventually.

My 4th or so two-eggs plate at Perry's Cafe in the last year. My only usual contemplation is whether to go with link or patty sausages.

I'm usually kinda predictable like that at least during American Coffee Diner breakfast fare. Like I've yet to try the 'World Famous' Apple Pancakes at Ricky's.

The meal with my usual breakfast partner in crime was pretty much your standard. The grilled onions I had asked for on my hash browns (a la the Waffle House) helped (hard to beat Perry's crispy), and the gray, drizzly December morning was calming. Is it Christmas yet?

Another supposed famous meal could be had at Fuji's Famous Burgers in Huntington Beach. They seemed to be around a long time but I haven't had luck finding much on their history online. The name came up while researching potentially good Teriyaki Burgers to be had ever since my college haunt Spike's had closed.

Owners of burger shops and fast food chains alike please listen up. IT IS NOT PINEAPPLE THAT YOU SHOULD BE PUTTING IN YOUR TERIYAKI BURGERS BUT AVOCADO. Fuji's follows this intelligent trend and it alone already makes me a fan. The buns were nicely toasted and portion fairly large, but ultimately the lower quality of the burger patty and teri-sauce (most probably from commercial size bottle) hurt this otherwise charming meal unfortunately.

I'd be the last person to down on anyone's popular-to-locals old time joint so I'll leave it at that. It seems the Bacon Teri-Burger is what to get. There is another newer Fuji's in Fountain Valley which I also tried and had a similar experience.

The Kirk recently posted about his Nth meal at Pho Lucky but here's mine had around last April. To my cardiologist's dismay I've been nuoc beo-ing it again these days.

Then a couple Pho had in Santee. Was in the area a couple times running some errands back in February. First up is Pho Ca Dao Santee...

Then below from Pho Santee. I preferred the stronger broth at Pho Ca Dao so they proved to be the more dependable again.

Hope you enjoyed some and there's plenty more for next week. Thanks again for dropping by!


Jinxi said...

Great round-up, Dennis :) The uni dishes really made me drool. I've yet to check out Perry's but those hash browns look so tempting!

Dennis K. said...

Thanks Jinxi! I think my expectations of Maruhide Uni Clube was too high, but the concept is really fun.
For hash browns there are only a few places that I can depend on having crispy and Perry's is one of them. Like most diners the menu tends to be hit and miss but their nice vibe makes up for it (for me).

KirkK said...

Love those hashbrowns at Perry's. I sometime's ask for a side of the Jus for the Beef Dip and pour that on my hashbrowns....qeird I know, but I like it. Nice round-up!

Cathy Doe said...

Very nice roundup. TJ dog with egg=breakfast! How polite to have not mentioned much about Pho Santee.

Dennis K. said...

I'll have to try that one of these days Kirk!

Thanks Cathy! Sometimes there's an art in what you don't say I guess... ;) But my meal at PS wasn't too bad, and I've only been once.

Mary said...

Ohh, there are a few places here that I really want to visit - like the Argentine place (tried to get my co-workers to go once, someone thought it was "too fancy" for lunch haha), Hannah's (near my work) and the Fuji's Burgers place sounds great, too. We're going up to Huntington Beach later this month and Fuji's looked awesome. Great roundup, as always!

kirbie said...

I love these round-ups! I went to uni club last week. I was so excited about it being a big uni lover, but I felt the same as you. Actually my friends had told me of their so-so experience, but I was stubborn and wanted to try it for myself. I felt like they could have done more and nothing they did was really special. I really only enjoyed the raw uni which I can buy myself or get somewhere else.

Dennis K. said...

Thanks Mary! I know I have a list of places on Miramar Rd to try that I've been taking notes reading your blog too. I heard mixed things about Pampas but I had a good meal there. Fuji's seem to have been around for a long time. I didn't post their interior but it's nice and worn in. :)

Thanks Kirbie! Yeah, how does one pass up a place called an uni club you know? It's tough. ;) I ended up having a few smaller apps because I was heading to Mitsuwa after for ramen. Many were having the Chirashi but I felt that's a no brainer so passed. The concept is fun though and it was nice seeing a place try something different for a change. I'm actually now surprised we don't have something like it here in SD.