Liang’s Kitchen 梁媽媽家 [Arcadia] – closed

I know I have been a bit lazy about posting this month. Anyways. . . I wanted to get this in before the end of the year. Liang’s Kitchen is my new favorite local Taiwanese restaurant. I would almost say hole-in-the-wall. But they have 3 San Gabriel Valley locations.

The No. 43 Stuffed Pork Chili. Spicy but so good. This is something you eat with rice. I think I have to order it every time I go. It is served cold.

In the 1st half of the last century, there was a large migration of Chinese to the small island country of Taiwan. Most were in the military following Chiang Kai Shek. They settled in little pockets in and around the large cities. They came together, in these communities, with their favorite home-style cuisines, from China. Their tastes were often simple, mostly noodle(from Northern China), and spicy. Liang’s Kitchen celebrates this unique culture, different from familiar Taiwanese cuisine.

You’ll find on their colorful menu rice and noodle items. Noodles are the preferred staple if you are from the northern part of China. Southerners prefer rice. Anyways . . .If its your first time, I strongly suggest that you get the Special Onion Dry Noodle. This simple noodle dish doesn’t feature a meat nor is soup based. With a over easy egg, you mix the noodle with the egg yolk with its onion and Pork Lard sauce, which produces a tasty creamy consistency. Not too salty, with a little sweetness coming through. I have to be honest, I’ve order this twice already. So yummy. People would order the main Beef Noodle soup and say that Special Onion Dry Noodle is better. It’s just a simple noodle dish, done well.

The other dish I wanted to talk about is the Stuffed Pork Chili. I like spicy foods, but I can’t really take the spiciness. Served cold, these suckers are spicy, but not crazy spicy. It kinda creeps up on you. As I said before, this goes well with rice. This and the Special Onion Dry Noodles, are the two things I will order, when I come. I will almost insist my friends to try it when they come.

Anyways. . . I just wanted to share a couple of dish from Liang’s Kitchen.

The standard traditional Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup. Not bad, but there a better noodle dishes.

A Northern Chinese favorite – No. 90 Sliced Beef Wrap w/Green Onion Pancake. With the pickled vegetables rolled in a onion pancake.

The Special Onion Dry Noodles. You can see the carmelized onions with the egg. Make sure you break the egg yolk and mix it up with the noodles in the pork lard. So Damn Good!

The Seaweed Egg Drop Soup. This was a bit too salty today.

Unfortunately parking is an issue.

Their colorful menu.

The onion pancake. I think they use the same batter for the beef onion rolls pancake.

Pork Chop Rice. This is a well known Taiwan dish.

3 pigs, $

Liang’s Kitchen 梁媽媽家
1027 S. Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, CA 91007
(626) 462-0815

Liang's Kitchen on Urbanspoon
Liang's Kitchen in Los Angeles

The Open Door [Monterey Park] – closed

Seating is limited and the wait is rewarded with good service and an innovative menu. Happy hour is a very good deal but you’ll have to fight the crowd. Decorated well so that you forget you are in a strip plaza. Sliders using Hawaiian bread rolls are pictured. The fresh potato salad paired with sizzling potato chips are comfort food. Sashimi ranges from the usual to the chef’s take on the fusion scene. Opened by two friends who came out of one of the South Bay Japanese eateries. You’ll be hard pressed to find anything else like this in San Gabriel Valley.

The Open Door

122 S Atlantic Blvd
Monterey Park
(626) 282-9829

Dai Ho 大和 [Temple City]

This is almost as good as my mom’s Taiwanese beef noodle stew, but definitely the best you can get outside of a Taiwanese household. Family run and seems like they’re hardly ever open since they can afford to keep limited hours. You might have to sit with strangers since they get so packed. There’s a display case of cold appetizers (see the spicy bean curd buried under the cilantro) but they are known for their simple menu of noodles. You won’t be disappointed by the broth of the beef noodles (the photo doesn’t do the soup justice), but I also love the dry noodles (you can’t tell from the photo that the sauce is simple and slightly addictive).

9148 Las Tunas Dr
Temple City, CA 91780
(626) 291-2295

BLT Steakhouse [West Hollywood] – closed

The popovers are so good that they actually give you the recipe to take home. The short ribs (pictured above) were fall-off-the bone amazing but other sides were standard. I had cream of spinach and it was predictable. Atmosphere is cozy enough for a date and loud enough for a large group gathering. Eat at the bar if you forgot to make reservations.

BLT Steakhouse
8720 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 360-1950

Royal Clayton’s English Pub [DTLA] – closed

Royal Claytons is an English Pub located in the new trendy industrial area of Downtown Los Angeles. They feature British food in a dark spacious bar. Royal Clayton’s English Pub, the full name, is an excellent destination drinking place for a group of friends.

We stumbled upon Royal Clayton’s by accident. We were suppose to go to Church & State, just across the alley, but we, unfortunately, didn’t make reservations. I admit, I was a bit disappointed . . .but I was pleasantly surprised about Royal Clayton’s.

One would expect large pints of ale with . And its all true. . . and they have all that and more. Their menu features Shepard’s pie, Banger’s, and, of course, Fish & Chips (which I had to order). The Fish & Chips, though pricey at 15 bucks, had 3 large pieces of deep fried fish with french fries. I think the fish was tender with the batter crispy, but all too greasy. But I guess fried fish is suppose to be greasy when you wash it down with beer. English comfort food or I should say “bar food” is not exactly the best food either. I think English bar food is a bit bland, but filling, and needs its accompanied beer. Next time around, I’ll try the Shepard’s Pie.

This particular night, I had to have Guinness, which is Irish. I guess I could have picked some random English beer. I’m not sure why, but we also had a cheese plate. Nothing special there. . .

Anyways. . .

With no expectations at all – Royal Clayton’s has me wanting to come back a 2nd time.

2 pigs, $$

Royal Claytons
1855 Industrial St
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Royal Claytons on Urbanspoon
Royal Claytons in Los Angeles

Five Guys [South Bay]

A decent burger from the East Coast, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, makes its way to my stomach. Though the image of the burger is not appetizing . . .almost looks like a sad burger, it is actually a pretty good burger.

As you walk in, you notice the permanent fixtures of self-promotion on the walls. The splashes of Zagat mentions, GQ articles, and other news items heavily make this fast food joint into a billboard spammer’s space. But that aside, my online research pointed to Five Guys as a hamburger contender to In-N-Out, here in Southern California.

I wanted, make that I NEEDED, to try Five Guys. Even with its simple of menu of burgers with cheese and/or with bacon, I still wasn’t’ sure what I wanted. But I settled on the usual burger, fries, and a Sprite.

The burger, a double with cheese was suggested with “All The Way” – a pre-selected toppings choice. All The Way included mushrooms, mustard, ketchup, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and mayonnaise. I must say the pickles were my favorite – crisp and tangy. Personally, I think burgers need the lettuce and tomatoes for balance of savory, little sweetness, and refreshnesses. I think the cheese could have been melted a bit more. I could have done without the mushrooms, thought I think it was a more than generous portion. The bread buns were not too big, but were almost a bit mushy with all the wet condiments and the slight dampness from the tin foil. I could see the burger being soggy if it was a to-go order. Overall, I did like it and I would come back again for the burger.

But the fries . . . I had the cajun fries which were a bit spicy, but not too spicy. They were quite tasty, a taste I almost forgot with all-the-rage of sweet potato fries, in the last few years. In fact, I would prefer cajun-spices fries over sweet potato ones any day. Yeah. . .make sure you get the cajun fries – you can’t go wrong with them.

Too bad Five Guys are in far away places like Cerritos and Carson. I hope that they learn about the great markets in Pasadena, Downtown LA, etc. . .

3 pigs, $

Five Guys Burgers and Fries
20700 Avalon Blvd
Carson, CA 90746
(310) 515-7700

Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Urbanspoon
Five Guys Burgers and Fries in Los Angeles