Saturday, January 25, 2014

Huarache Azteca

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This week's adventure took us to Highland Park to check out Huarache Azteca, a restaurant specializing in Mexican street food. On a busy strip of York near an alarming number of auto body shops and a handful of other cute restaurants, Huarache Azteca dishes out its namesake munchies to a pretty devoted fanbase. The huarache is a fried plank of masa topped with anything from carne asada to huitlacoche, as described in this article from LA Weekly. The place is hard to miss, with a small crowd of anticipatory customers awaiting tables and a fresh huarache griddle outside.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Everybody Loves Golden Deli

We went to the San Gabriel Golden Deli today for lunch. Several people recommended it to us, as well as the entire internet (check out their Yelp! reviews, it's pretty much universally loved). It's a Vietnamese restaurant in a strip mall that looks like this:

All photos personal

New Year's Resolution: Eat Everything!

My boyfriend, Nat, and I made a very difficult New Year's Resolution. The best thing about LA is hands down the awesome food from just about anywhere. We tried Szechuan food for the first time at Chung King in San Gabriel and vowed to move into the restaurant, we adore Norma's Tacos in Pasadena, and Nat waxes poetical about the late-night chicken vendor outside of 4100 in Silverlake. This year we decided to get systematic about the whole thing. We made a very long list of tasty-looking, cheap restaurants that are all one $ on Yelp!, and we resolved to go to all of them before the next new year. We heard about some of the restaurants from friends, some from Jonathan Gold, and many from the interwebs. Nat suggested that we blog about our bounty, so here we are. 

So how are we going to evaluate all these exciting new places? We'll break it down by:

• Flavor. Obviously the most important, how'd it taste? 
• Service. How was the wait time? Were the servers polite, prompt, helpful? 
• Atmosphere. What was the vibe? Was it pleasant, loud, hip, or what exactly?
• Approachability. We've all been to restaurants that were overwhelming to a first-timer. If you're not from the culture of the restaurant, can you figure it out? Or better yet, will someone show you the ropes?

Here's the list, arranged by region and attacked at random. Happy new year!

Top Restaurant, Pasadena
Azeen's Afghani Restaurant, Pasadena
U PiCK Cafe, Pasadena
The Luggage Room, Pasadena
Hunan Chili King, San Gabriel
Golden Deli, San Gabriel
Taipei Bistro, San Gabriel
Wang Xing Ji, San Gabriel
Tasty Noodle House, San Gabriel
Hui Tou Xiang, San Gabriel
Indo Kitchen, Alhambra
Borneo Kalimantan Cuisine, Alhambra
Ban Mi My Tho, Alhambra
Huarache Azteca, Highland Park
Folliero's Italian Food & Pizza, Highland Park
El Mar Azul, Highland Park
Yun Chuan Garden, Monterrey Park
Varouj's Kabobs, Glendale
Mini Kabob, Glendale
Skaf's Lebanese Cuisine, Glendale
Sarita's Pupseria, DTLA
Ricky's Fish Tacos, Chinatown
Suehiro Cafe, Little Tokyo
Mitsuru Cafe, Little Tokyo
Guisados, Boyle Heights
Los Cinco Puntos, Boyle Heights
Mariscos 4 Vientos, Boyle Heights
Mariscos Jalisco, Boyle Heights
LA Rose Cafe, East Hollywood
Karihang-Pinoy, East Hollywood
The Original Hoyka Hollywood, East Hollywood
Ruen Pair, East Hollywood
Karabagh Meat Market, East Hollywood
Rincon Oaxaqueno Restaurant, East Hollywood
Tomato Pie Pizza Joint, Los Feliz
Lucifer's, Los Feliz
Langer's, Westlake
Brooklyn Bagel Bakery, Westlake
Jun won, K-Town
All' Angolo, K-Town
Grainivore Singaporean Cuisine, K-Town
Palm Grove Ethiopian Restaurant, Harvard Heights
Ta-eem Grill, Weho
Expresion Oaxaquena, Mid City/Arlington Heights
Kaboom Jamaican Flavor, Mid City
Orleans and York Deli, View Park/Windsor Hills
Tara's Himalayan, Palms
Labels Table Delicatessen, Pico-Robertson
The Wee Chippy, Venice
Havana Mania, Redondo Beach