Sunday, November 9, 2014

Torrance Food Tour

Living in Los Angeles, there is access to an numerous pockets of awesome foodie neighborhoods, but as cities are spread out and traffic piles up for any reason available, few people venture out of their neighborhood bubbles to experience the delicacies other cities have to offer.  Hearing of some of the fabulous eats Torrance had to offer, me and three of my coworkers decided to embark on a self-curated foodie tour.  The intention was to snack, sample, and share, with coolers ready to collect edible souvenirs and leftovers.  Problem is that it's quite difficult to maintain portion control when you want to inhale everything in front of you.  There is much that was left unexplored, but in the meantime, Torrance Food (Coma) Tour, in all it's gluttonous glory.

1) Kings Hawaiian - The Local Place
We began our journey at Kings Hawaiian - The Local Place, the smaller outpost adjacent to the ginormous bakery and restaurant.  This is the same maker of the delicious Hawaiian rolls you see in the markets and their cafe (and restaurant) are filled with delicious baked goods and island inspired dishes. As this was only the first stop of our multi-multi establishment tour, we decided to share a few items. 
French Toast (make from Hawaiian bread)

Breakfast Sandwich - Spam, Egg and Cheese

Breakfast Sandwich - Portuguese Sausage, Egg and Cheese - my fave, the sausage reminds me of those polish sausages, in which I think I could consume in less than recommended servings.  Perfectly complimented with sweet Hawaiian bread.  
Kings Hawaiian - the Local Place
18605 S Western Ave
Torrance, CA 90504
The delicious variety of old school Asian bakeries, where you grab baked foods with tongs to your cafeteria tray, keeping up with the times by adding boba and their famous sea salt coffee. 

Can't grab them all, can I?

 This is gonna make a tasty breakfast tomorrow.

Sea Salt Tea and Sea Salt Coffee, served cold.  Got the coffee myself, which was yummy,  but tasted the tea and may have to venture that direction next time. 

Squid Ink Bread - foods that are colored to scare away people - that's my jam.
85°C Bakery Cafe
1735 W Carson St
Torrance, CA 90501

Not originally on our food tour itinerary, we walked past this little hole in the wall between Mitsuwa and 85C. We were entrapped by the menu offerings and picked up an order of Island Fried Chicken (unavailable earlier from Kings).  The chicken is super juicy and the skin is crispy with more than a hint of sweetness, but not cloyingly so.  Great as a sharing snack.
Back Home
21605 S Western Ave, Ste C
Torrance, CA 90501

Sometimes the best gems are hole in the wall ethnic restaurants hidden in non-descript strip malls in your neighborhood. These places are only discovered by word of mouth, which makes eating in the age of Yelp! so great.  4.5 Stars and earning every bit of those accolades, they are known for a mouth-watering weekend brunch (only $13.99), but as we were in mid-food tour, we decided to share a couple of plates.
Papas Rellenas - Stuffed potato ball with ground beef and onion stuffing

Lechon Asado -  marinated slow roasted pork and hand-pulled pork with mojo sauce.  The pork was marinated in the most delicious onion, lemony, garlic sauce, which, when combined with the black beans, rice and plantains, made for the perfect cuban bite.  If I were having a full meal at Habana, this would definitely be my pick.
Habana Vieja Cuban Cuisine & Cafe
1648 W Carson St Ste B
Torrance, CA 90501
Another hole in the wall gem in old Torrance, we stopped by for our requisite noodle tasting.  We opted for soba, as ramen runs rampant back in our hoods.   The restaurant offers about a couple dozen options which you can order with either soba or udon.  We shared on bowl of the most popular Tanuki Ramen, a simple bowl of soba with Tempura flakes. 

Savory broth with delicious soba and tempura flakes.
Ichimi Ann Bamboo Garden
618 Cravens Ave
Torrance, CA 90501

 There's a smattering of these Mitsuwa markets, the mecca for produce, condiments, and prepared foods, with an enclosed food court, but the Torrance location was the best one I've visited so far.   The food court included a mass of delicious permanent stalls, along with pop up stalls from their "Hawaiian Fair" (poke, masubi, saimen, etc), topped off by what appeared like a luxury baked goods boutique, with cookies, mochi and cakes that seemed more like works of edible art than present for sustenance. This is a great place to stock up on gifts for your snooty foodie friends.  

We didn't have enough stomach space to eat through the food court, but window shopped and bought a few takeaways from the enclosed Mochi Cream. 

Mitsuwa Marketplace
21515 S. Western Avenue
Torrance, CA 90501 

The enclosed Mochi boutique inside the Torrance Mitsuwa location offers seemingly the Japanese version of the french macaron.  For those unfamiliar, mochi is a rice cake made from glutinous rice flour, formed into a variety of shapes and flavors. Pricy, but subtly sweet delicacies, they make a sweet little souvenir.

Mochido - the donut shaped mochi, hence the name. Got the banana chocolate, which was a perfect little treat.

The traditional round mochi, with so many delicious options. Tough to choose! Settled on Double Mango, Honey Cranberry, Caramel Pudding and Blueberry Yogurt. 

As seen on Food TV reads the sign on the window, this small corner Argentine market and deli is known for it's empanadas and imported products.  We grabbed some frozen empanadas to go, along with some alfajore confections.  These will make a great quick and lazy dinner.  
Continental Gourmet Market
25600 Narbonne Ave
Lomita, CA 90717

9) Kotosh
The tagline on this restaurant, another non-descript hole in the wall, is Peruvian Food & Sushi, but you can remove your fears about poorly conceived fusion concepts. This place is pretty legit.  The menu covers the standard variety of traditional Peruvian dishes, traditional and specialty sushi items, and some that brilliantly crossover both ethnicities. Recommended by my coworker who had previously visited, I took the Tallarin Verde: Spaghetti with spinach cheese, and basil sauce, served with Chicken Katsu. The crispy texture of the katsu chicken adds a good contrast to the flavorful pesto spaghetti. Delicious in itself, accompanied by request by green crack sauce that took it to another level.   I don't know what's in it, but I'm regretting not requesting a bucket of it. Definitely on the return list!

Tallarin Verde


2408 Lomita Blvd
Lomita, CA 90717


View Larger Map

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Riveting to me...

Witnessing remotely a nice little spanking of one of my least fave hockey clubs, the Canucks, at the hands of (2014 Stanley Cup Champion) LA Kings at home, thought I'd share with some random things that give me joy.

Realized I heard the first episode on NPR a while back, but so happy that it's turned into a full season's podcast.  SERIAL podcast is follows NPR reporter Sarah Keonig as she investigates the murder case of Baltimore teen Hae Min Lee in 1999, seemingly resting on very thin prosecution case and chalked full of investigative negligence.  She interviews law experts, witnesses, and the convicted, the victim's former boyfriend, Adnan Syed, who has been incarcerated 15 years for the crime. The listener follows the investigative journey with Keonig, theories come and go, and it's most darn addicting thing I've discovered in a long time.  New episodes every Thursday, which often (always) seems way too long.  Download on iTunes.

The 2014-15 NHL season has finally opened and a month in, it appears that our beloved LA Kings, save for a recent 1-4-1 almost road almost road trip blanking, a flurry of random injuries, and an
annoying salary cap sitch,
the Kings don't seem to be experiencing touch of a cup hangover.

Lucky our favorite hockey bloggers and tweeters are back to laugh and sometimes #barfcrybarf with us:

I don't really follow foodball... Games are too long, there's no puck... As my fave hockey blogger, The Royal Half would say, "Do it on ice, then I'll be impressed". Then I was introduced to this little guy...

of the A photo posted by Rufio Fauria (@lil_rufio) on
The Detroit Lion's Tight End Joseph Fauria's new pomsky pup is the cutest darn professional sport pup ever. It's partially about the Instagram commentary, I believe composed by Fauria himself, is full of wit and playfulness. I want a Rufio of my own.

Have been getting a few great shipments from Stitch Fix and finally got sucked in the Golden Tote November box. Fortunately for my closet, unfortunately for my wallet, most of the shipments have been winners.  Lucy is succeeding in her daily goal of tricking me into spending money...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Back to Back Full Season Champs!

"Your heart doesn't get tired" - Drew Doughty

It has been far too long since we've riveted well, only ourselves really, but delayed shout out to the Los Angeles Kings for winning their 2nd Stanley Cup in 3 years and bringing the trophy back home. (Very) long series short, 3 Game 7's required to get out of the Rounds 1 (Sharks - #ReverseSweep), 2 (Ducks - #BookendSweep) and 3 (Blackhawks - #RevengeSweep (not really sweep), as coined by our favorite bloggers at The Royal Half, and then 3 Overtime games and Game 5 Double OT nerve puke-inducing clincher over the New York Rangers at home on June 13.  Exactly 2 years and 2 days after the Kings brought LA it's first trophy, seemingly blasting towards the Cup with a 16-4 record, they took the most amount of games in NHL history to win a championship, collecting comeback, franchise length of play, and playoff point records. It will and should be looked upon as the stuff of legends.  

I could possibly write a novel about the laughter, tears, and massive anxiety we experienced during this year's playoffs, but it will just force me to crack a mushy smile with every memory for quite a while.  I've watched the final Stanley Cup clinching goal more than 30 times since it happened, and it gets me just the tiniest bit less still than when I saw it for the first time.  Back to and endless shout outs to the amazing #teamTRH for bring us humor, inspiration, collective anxiety and nausea. It was only the postgame PODCASTS that kept us sane when things got rough.  I just wish they would 'cast about something, anything, during our hockey deprived months.  Can't wait to watch the Sharks have to watch us raise our championship banner in the October opener.  #believe #gokingsgo 

Mr. Game 7 with his scouting buddy (#byebyeMitchey)

'Alex' Martinez takes us home (again).  ;)
Celebration Time!

Best playoff beard.So beautiful he is.
Mr.Conn Smythe (#BestCupEver)
Cup #2! Go Kings goooooooooooooooooo@

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Points of our people...

A definitive trait of us Asian folks is our determined focus on merit and achievement.  As parodied by Glee's "Asian F" episode (Mike Chang got an "A-"), it is ingrained in our culture an expectation to be best, at any and all costs. To that end, in 2014, Lucy and I are determined to be best that we can be, in our Asianness anyway.  Since we are far past the opportunity for educational merit, and really, we have full time jobs, so too tired and lazy to pursue our Asianness past a certain effort, we are choosing to embrace the Asian talents that we know best: gaining the figurative "Asian points".  What are Asian points, you ask? Well, grasshopper, here you go:

 You might argue, "Hey! These points are awarded to non-Asian people!" Well, there is another criteria for eligibility:
Furthermore, I was born in the motherland under Commonwealth rule (HK) and while Lucy was born in actual Asia-land (Taiwan), she spent her impressionable youth in the South (of America and in actual America), NY, and the county of Orange.  Yeah, we lost our Asian badges ages ago, so technically also qualify under criteria 1. (Asian point for developing this technicality for our benefit.)  So you get the point... and throughout the year, until we get lazy and let the tracking system go the way of the dinosaur, we will award ourselves Asian points when we perform actions that exhibit our proudest Asian traits, including finding elusive and  massive discounts, extra bonus points for getting things for free, maximizing AYCE opportunities, checking of bucket list items, bad driving/parking, and being unnecessarily nerdy. 

We will track these points on this blog, since this concept amuses few more than us and our readership.  The concentric circle of those two groups likely reads like an eclipse. So welcome 2014! The year of the Asian!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Riveting Kings tumblr of the day...

Revealed courtesy of my favorite Kings blogger: The Royal Half, I'm not sure why or how people get these ideas, but bless all the people who have way too much time on their hands.

You try and stop looking at it...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Come on kids, go play on the internet!

Keep the soy sauce on your food, and use it in moderation.
Keep the soy sauce on your food, and use it in moderation.
Aaron Tam/AFP/Getty Images
First, let's spoil this tale right away by telling you the 19-year-old man in Virginia who downed a quart of soy sauce on a dare survived.
It's a happy ending of sorts. But the guy had a close call. And you definitely don't want to try it.
While there's been quite a debate lately about whether the , there's no question that a massive amount of salt ingested quickly can lead to death.
In fact, suicide by soy sauce is not unknown in Asia. A 2011 in the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine describes the case of a 55-year-old woman diagnosed with depression. She died after drinking "a large quantity of shoyu (Japanese soy sauce)," doctors wrote.
Back in the early '90s, Mayo Clinic doctors on a 41-year-old man who died after swallowing a salty gargling solution. That case and a look at the medical literature up to that point led them to caution other doctors about using salty water to induce vomiting.
A salt dose ranging from 0.75 grams to 3 grams per kilogram of body weight can kill someone. A tablespoon of salt weighs about 15 grams, in case you're wondering.
If you're metrically challenged, just consider that the unnamed fellow in the published online by the Journal of Emergency Medicine, weighed about 160 pounds and probably consumed around 170 grams of salt by drinking a bottle of soy sauce. That works out to a little more than 2 grams of salt per kilogram in his case.
After downing the soy sauce, he ran into trouble pretty fast. Within two hours he was in the emergency room at a local hospital. He was grinding his teeth and didn't respond to pain or verbal commands. His arms were stiff and at his side.
Doctors were worried about seizures and put him on drugs to control them. They also ran a tube from his nose into his stomach and sucked out some "brown material with scant streaks of blood," the report says.
The patient was transferred to a bigger hospital, the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, within four hours of the soy sauce guzzling.
His blood sodium level measured at the medical center was the highest ever seen in an adult who survived such intoxiciation without lasting neurological problems, the medical paper says.
But the doctors didn't know if that would be the case. They opted for rapid treatment with water containing dextrose, a sugar, to dilute the sodium and encourage urination. The guy got six liters of IV fluid in half an hour. The sodium concentration in his blood fell, and he produced more than four liters of urine in short order.
The doctors took an aggressive approach even though there was a risk the man might experience brain swelling and other neurological side effects. They didn't see any.