With the holidays officially in full swing, chances are you’re going to need a breather from stuffing your face. Rather than skip a meal, or even worse, embark on a juice cleanse, I’d recommend heading to Lu’s Garden for a virtuous bowl of porridge with all the fixings. You’ll feel positively rejuvenated afterward. Promise.
A colleague introduced me to Lu’s a few weeks back for lunch; she’s been dining here for as long as she can remember. I enjoyed our outing so much that I returned the following day with my girl Shay in tow.
For first-timers, it can be a little confusing how the place works. Upon entering the restaurant, you’ll be greeted by a tremendous steam table brimming with all manner of vegetables and proteins.
Select three items from the steam table for $8.25 or four items for $10.75. The cost is the same for vegetarian and meaty dishes. At dinner, diners are required to order a la carte from a menu.
Continue reading ‘Lu’s Garden – San Gabriel’
There’s a lot to love about my new job. Somewhere near the top of the list, along with benefits and stock options, is its location in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley—home to some of the finest Chinese food outside of China. Every lunchtime excursion is an event, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
Alhambra’s Szechuan Impression has been the talk of the foodie town these past couple of weeks. Upon reading Tony’s initial “Dining On A Dime” write up on Eater, followed by Jonathan’s “First Look” for the Times, the restaurant quickly shot up my To Eat List. As you know, I simply adore Sichuanese cuisine.
Since Szechuan Impression’s dinnertime waits are rivaling those of rival Sichuan restaurant Chengdu Taste, I took advantage of my new employment situation and made my way here for lunch… on back-to-back days! On both visits I was able to snag a table for two without any trouble.
Continue reading ‘Szechuan Impression – Alhambra’
The Astronomer was itchin’ to hit the road following our pizza and pasta party at FIVE50, but I wasn’t quite ready to head home just yet.
Chef José Andrés’ China Poblano has been on my radar since it debuted in 2010, but lukewarm reports kept my interest in check over the years. However, the allure of noodles and tacos available under one glitzy roof proved too intriguing to resist on this trip. And thus, a second lunch was born.
“The restaurant’s name is a play on China Poblana, the legendary slave woman of Asian descent whose arrival in Mexico is supposed to have inspired the stereotypical ‘china dress‘ of the 19th century,” according to a New York Times write up. “But in Mr. Andrés’s universe, the second ‘a’ in poblana has segued to an ‘o’ in homage to the mild Puebla chili pepper.”
In the same article, Chef Andrés was quoted saying, “I am afraid of Chinese cooking, doing it authentically, that is… So before I did a full Chinese restaurant, I thought I’d do one that is half and half.”
Upon entering the restaurant, The Astronomer and I grabbed two seats on the Chinese side, a “steamer-rich kitchen” where cooks were filling and folding dumplings. Across the room was a separate squad making fresh tortillas on griddles.
Continue reading ‘China Poblano – Las Vegas (The Cosmopolitan)’
I’m not at all squeamish when it comes to consuming unloved odds and ends, but it took some hardcore mental preparation to indulge in Chengdu’s beloved ma la rabbit head.
I chickened out at every opportunity to try this local delicacy up until the last possible moment, while waiting for our departing flight at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport. Last call…
The Astronomer and I arrived at the airport with time to spare before catching our early flight to Hangzhou. After exploring the airport’s various breakfast options, we settled on Cheng Du Ming Xiao Chi, a spot specializing in “Cheng Du Famous Snacks.”
I ordered a bowl of dan dan mian, of course. It was a solid rendition, but unavoidably bittersweet.
While slurping my last serving of dan dan mian on Sichuan soil, I perused a picture menu set on the table and saw that rabbit heads were offered here.
After much self-coaxing and reassurances by The Astronomer that he would “help” me eat the thing, I walked up to the cash register to place a second order.
Continue reading ‘Conquering Fears: Last Call for Rabbit Heads at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport’