Every once in a while I go on a yogurt kick. Usually it coincides with the 10 for $5 sale at Ralphs. All varieties are usually on sale, so it's a good time to experiment and go with the alternative flavors and styles. This time I went with the this Thick & Creamy custard style.

It should come with a warning that says "If you enjoy our great Whips!, you shouldn't buy this." The two are polar opposites.

Whips!, well, it's pretty self explanatory, whipped yogurt.

The Thick and Creamy custard style is not very custard-y, but more like eating a block of softened cream cheese straight out of the package. Some people may like it, but it's not my cup of tea. I'll stay with the original style with the myriad of flavors.


the virtues of an over-easy egg

i was thinking: is there ANYTHING that cannot be spruced up and make "grub"able with a nicely fried over-easy egg?

it seems to me that the over easy egg (lightly salted) can always add a protein heartiness to any dish. the oozy part of the yolk also makes a dish richer and yummy...an automatic natural "sauce" really.

some powerful examples of over-easy egg "grub"ability:
* El Caserio's "Llapingachos"...pile o' garlicky grilled pork riblets w/ potato cake topped with an over-easy egg.
* Fatburger w/ over-easy egg
* Thick french fries (papas fritas) w/ an over-easy egg (Chilean families/kids love this stuff)
* Yang family's power breakfast sandwich: over-easy egg w/ ketchup on wheat

other examples where the over-easy egg shows up in restaurant menus?


Indian Cafe

taiwanese c. walken
Originally uploaded by illewminator.
Indian Cafe is a youth-oriented taiwanese cafe, apparently named for the giant wooden cigar store (american) indian that greets you as you walk into the front door. the interior of the space is done quite nicely, decorated with fake trees, tiny lights, and rustic wooden tables and benches, giving the place a disney-like pseudo-outdoorsy ambiance (if you can overlook the tv screens tuned in to whatever sports game is on and the KROQ tunes blaring from the speakers).

you can order beer by the glass or pitcher (unusual for a chinese place) and a pretty wide variety of foods to go along with your beer. We had fried calamari, a chicken hotpot dish, shredded tofu & pork, shrimp and pineapple, and some sort of chinese squash. everything was tasty, if a bit salty, but all the better to go with your beer.

but the real reason i'm posting this is to highlight the characters we saw here. Pictured above is the owner, whom we dubbed the "Chinese Christopher Walken." Below is a photo of one of the customers, who is sporting what i call the "Manchu Mullet."

manchu mullet

if you can get over the racist/offensive premise of this place being called "Indian Cafe" apparently solely because of the presence of the wooden indian statue, and the fact that the waitresses wear Pocohontas-style headbands and a feather, then you might find yourself enjoying eating spicy taiwanese treats, drinking cold beers, and singing along to Linkin Park.

Indian Cafe is located (where else?) in a strip mall on San Gabriel Blvd, somewhere north of Valley...

Dragon Mark

dragon mark dumplings
Originally uploaded by illewminator.
For anyone else who is *over* the overrated dumplings at the perennially overcrowded Din Tai Fung, consider giving Dragon Mark a try. Located in the corner of yet another mini-mall in the San Gabriel Valley, Dragon Mark specializes in Shanghai-style food. To me (and I freely admit I am no Shanghai cuisine expert), this means the delicate steamed "soup dumplings" (xio long bao), pan-fried pork dumplings, pan fried rice cakes, various noodle soups, and scallion pancakes (see below photo of our most recent meal). Everything I've had here has been delicious -- freshly prepared, not overly greasy, and rather delicately seasoned.

dragon mark

Even better, I've never had to wait in a crowded lobby or parking lot with hundreds of over hungry people AND it's cheaper than DTF -- I've never spent more than $10 for a meal (we usually go with a group of 4-6, and order several dishes to share). Check it out the next time you're in the area. And stop by the Konjac place in the mini-mall for a green tea konjac dessert to help you digest your food (or so they say).

Dragon Mark is located at 301 W. Valley Blvd. in San Gabriel.

Rabo Encendido

rabo encendido
Originally uploaded by illewminator.
a.k.a. cuban oxtail stew... mm mm mmmmm!!! this tasty delight was photographed by yours truly, but consumed by grubclub contributor J (although i did have a taste) at el rincon criollo, a tiny cuban eatery on the westside (on sepulveda, maybe a block or so south of washington). my dish, billed as pork leg on the menu, was ok, but not nearly as delectable as the rabo encendido. on prior visits, i've have the masas de puerco (fried pork chunks) and the lechon asado (roasted pork), both of which were very tasty and both better than the pork leg.

but the real standout menu item that i've tried so far were the oxtails. although the portion is not that big, these tails were stewed until the meat literally melted in your mouth. so soft, so tender, it's easy to see why they soon looked like this:

oxtail bones

all items on the menu are in the $8 - $10 range, so this is definitely a good bang for your buck value grub spot. since versailles is always such a zoo, consider venturing a bit further south along sepulveda to this intimate spot. you won't be disappointed.



I was going to do a post of my own on Vallarta, but this blog says it all.


On Saturday I went twice. I had the 3 taco special for lunch (2 carnitas, 1 carne asada) and I had sopes for dinner (1 carnitas, 1 carne asada).


the bacon candle: pure genius

this was originally posted on the orkut "bacon community" boards, but since i no longer frequent orkut and have since started this blog, i'm re-posting it here (too bad i did this pre-camera phone, or else i'd have a picture of it, too):

Innovative Uses of Bacon By-Products 5/5/2004 9:50 AM

after making an entire package of bacon last week, i drained the fat into one of those little 7 oz. green chile salsa cans and put it into the freezer to solidify. then my friend jimmy came along with the brilliant idea of inserting a wick into the bacon fat can to make a bacon fat candle.

now, whenever we light it, people ask: is someone cooking bacon in here???