Friday, March 25, 2011

Phoenix Inn Chinese Cuisine

I was able to spend a delightful evening with a group of adventurers in Chinatown a few months ago, then again with a business partner earlier this month at a Chinese restaurant I was told about. A dear friend of mine was kind enough to take a group of us to Phoenix Inn, located in Chinatown just up the street from Philipe's. I later found out they also have an establishment in Alhambra; as well as 8 Phoenix Food Boutiques which specialize in fast, take-out Chinese food with a Southeast Asian flair. The restaurant in Chinatown is open late for you all nighters and party people! It is quite a small restaurant, but we had good luck both times getting seated with no wait. 


My friend took the reigns when ordering, making sure we got to sample some of the best and most authentic dishes. When you are seated they bring you hot tea, and will courteously refill it when empty. They also have a good selection of drinks and desserts.

We started our meal off with a plate full of dessert; sampling a variety of mochi and custards which they display under glass at the front counter. We then dove into our main dishes! 

Along with the fried and steamed rice we had:

Stir Fried Water Spinach in a Malay Sauce which turned out to be one of the best vegetable dishes I've ever had! Even veggie haters may agree... Just give it a try!

Sweet & Sour Pork which, as always, was absolutely delicious! Definitely a dish for those who lack the adventurous spirit.

Bali Style Chilean Sea Bass; a great seafood dish if your looking for something other than shrimp.

Shrimp and Glazed Walnut; battered and fried and glazed in a sweet sauce. Absolutely to die for!

Fried Tofu, for you adventurous folk! And also those who love tofu! Definitely one of my top ways to chow down on tofu.

Hong Kong Style Beef with a medley of veggies and a rich flavor.

Flat Rice Noodle, much like Pad Thai and equally delicious with your choice of meat.

All in all this is a great restaurant if you want some really good quality Chinese food. It's best going with a group so that you can try a whole variety of dishes and the price is good. If you ever find yourself in LA near Union Station... which I know some of you do, stop by the Phoenix Inn, grab a table, and dig in!

Bon Appetit!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cool Haus, Border Grill and PhyDough Trucks!

Hello Fellow Fatties!
The other night 3 food trucks were up in Pasadena, and of course, I was so there!  It was also great because I had never tried these trucks before so I was VERY excited!  First up will be the Cool Haus Truck.
This truck serves ice cream sandwiches.  I bet you're wondering why this truck is so special?  Well it's because you get to CREATE your own ice cream sandwich!  You pick the cookie you want and then pick one of their many homemade ice creams to go with it.  The coolest part was the edible wrapper!  You can even order these babies for special events and customize the wrapper to your liking!  How cool is that?
Shown here is the Nutella Toasted Almond ice cream sandwiched between two snicker-doodle cookies.  I have to admit I am not a huge cookie fan, so it takes a lot to impress me.  With that said, I have to say this cookie was pretty darn good.  It wasn't too soft, or else it wouldn't be able to hold the ice cream.  It was the perfect consistency and flavored just right.  This ice cream is homemade and you can tell.  It's very creamy and fresh.  The toasted almonds complimented the hazlenut-ness of the nutella.  Perfection.  Can you believe that the NUTELLA ice cream did in fact taste like NUTELLA!??  It always seems that when you order something that is supposed to taste like nutella you just end up with something chocolate-y.  But Cool Haus did it right.  All in all I am happy to report that this truck is worth a trip! =)
Next up is the Border Grill Truck.
(Sorry some of the pictures aren't that great, it was at night and my camera wasn't wanting to cooperate) Anywho, since I did have dinner before this, I just got an order of Churro Tots.
The Churro Tots were dolce de leche infused with cinnamon sugar on top and came with a side of homemade whipped cream.  They were freshly made and had a warm, melt in your mouth center.  I was pleasantly surprised as to how good they were!  I had never heard anything about the Boarder Grill Truck so I was going into this without any expectations.  The truck also serves quesadillas, tacos and ceviche.  But from what I saw when others were ordering, the portions of the food looked small.  To give you an idea, this is the ceviche.
They call it, "Bringing modern Mexican flavors to a neighborhood near you."
 It sounds and looks good, and seems like they use fresh ingredients.  Check it out and let us know what you think!  And definitely check out those Churro Tots!  Last but not least is the PhyDough Truck (pronounced Fido).
I thought this was the cutest truck ever!  Not only was this truck well made and designed, they serve dog treats!  This truck serves already made dog treats in many different flavors like pumpkin, carrot honey, fig, and sesame agave to name a few.
They even sell ice cream!  It is the Cool Haus for doggies!  Haha  In fact, Cool Haus makes the soy and yogurt-based ice cream for PhyDough!  Also, they sell dough so you can go home and make the cookies yourself.  The founder of the truck uses organic ingredients and everything is preservative-free.  I thought this idea for a food truck was very unique and can't wait to see how far they get with it.  Although I can't tell you how good it is, I know it is good for the dogs and my 2 doggies loved it!  The owner of this truck even lets his canine friend tag along!  How cute is that!?  So thats it for today!  Hope you enjoyed the review on these 3 food trucks!

Bon Appetite!
Foodie Fatties,

P.S. Here are the links for these trucks

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Penang Malaysian Cuisine

Malaysia prides itself in being a prime example that people of different religions and cultures can live together in peace. Thus it is, like many countries now, a culinary melting pot. Living in the U.S. we are also lucky enough to have the opportunity to sample a cornucopia of dishes from around the world. Though on the flip side we also suffer from the Americanization of many dishes to suite our tastes. People from around the world come to the U.S. bringing their culture with them, though as we can see at times they must alter what they know to make it in the business world.

There are a lot of establishments in the LA area as well out towards Tuscan where you can get good quality Malaysian food, though it is hard to find the "authentic" stuff. Penang Malaysian Cuisine is one of the closest to the real thing, though the Americanization is apparent.

The restaurant itself is small, but rather spacious with a slight beach-side eatery atmosphere. They give you an extensive menu with lots of options; including a picture folder for every dish on the menu, for those of you who like to know what you're getting into. They provide you with small dishes if you choose to dine family style as well as chop-sticks, or a fork, if you're still a learner.

Penang focuses on Malaysian and Chinese-Malaysian dishes so don't be surprised if you see something on the menu that you thought wouldn't be Malaysian (such as Penang Char Kway Teow which we dined on, that is like the Chinese-Malaysian version of Pad Thai). This dish contained velvety flat noodles with shrimp and squid. If you like Pad Thai, you will surely like this.

The dishes and drink we ordered are some traditional dishes of Malaysia; ones you would be able to find everywhere along the streets. The dish mentioned above is an example of Chinese-Malaysian cuisine.

Besides the dish mentioned above we also ordered Roti Canai as an appetizer. This dish is like a crispy crape served with a curry and is eaten for breakfast a lot in Malaysia. You tear off pieces and then dip it in the curry (in this case a chicken curry) and it melts in your mouth. I can see why it would be a good breakfast food. It is light and savory.

We also dined on Nasi Lemak, the national dish of Malaysia. This is also eaten a lot for breakfast and the name means "fatty rice" do to how it is cooked. The rice is soaked in coconut cream and then steamed. It is served with cucumber slices, dried anchovies (ikan bilis), a hard boiled egg, and a spicy sauce (sambal). It can also be paired with other items to make it more of a substantial meal. In this case ours was paired with chicken in a sort of "Malaysian gravy."

The gravy that covered the chicken I thought was very good, especially when mixed with the rice. I must admit this was the first time I have ever had anchovies (in this case dried) and I found them less fishy than expected though rather chewy. It was recommended to me that the best way to eat this dish is to mix some of the rice, anchovies, "gravy", hard boiled egg, and spicy sauce together. I enjoyed this dish eaten this way much more than when I was sampling everything separately, especially when it came to the anchovies. Though I do suggest trying each element by itself before mixing it together so that you are better able to appreciate each component.

We opted to not get dessert seeing that we were quite full afterward (I had just eaten at Outback 2 hours earlier). But I did get a very popular drink of soy milk and grass jelly (sweetened extra). It is pictured in the background of the first picture on this post. It was really delicious and refreshing and has a unique sweet grassy taste. Definitely a drink that needs to be tried. I myself want to learn how to make it!

All in all this was a great introduction to the realm of Malaysian cuisine and I cannot wait to go back and try some new dishes! Next time a dessert is definitely on the menu!

*If any of you have a Malaysian eatery you'd like us to try leave a comment on this post!

Until next time,
Bon Appetite!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Penang Malaysian Cuisine review will be up sometime today, March 3rd.

So check in during the day!

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Phoenix Inn

Finishing up an amazing meal at ''Phoenix Inn'' in Chinatown! Great night, another review to add to this week!