Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Cheap & Good Los Angeles Restaurants I Frequently Visit

Hide Sushi on Sawtelle Blvd(Sushi and Bento Box type dishes) in West L.A. - Reasonably priced, hit or miss sushi. Have been eating here for many years-very nice employees. Average sushi for 2 pieces $3.50-5. Thumbs up.

Asahi Ramen on Sawtelle Blvd (Ramen, Fried Rice) - Average ramen bowls at $5-8. Fried rice $5. Tasty. Thumbs up.

Hurry Curry of Tokyo on Sawtelle Blvd (Curry and Japanese Style spaghetti) - Nicely presented food and large portions, unfortunately taste of my spaghetti dish with was very bland on my spaghetti dish. Average dish $8-10. Thumbs down. Keep in mind, KCRW fringe benefits are accepted here.

Tere's in Hollywood (Melrose and Cole) - Very good mexican food (burritos, enchiladas with mole, tacos. $5-10.

Noshi Sushi in Koreatown (Beverly and Hobart). Hit or miss sushi unfortunately. Average sushi for 2 pieces $4-6. I like the spicy tuna and spicy scallop rolls.

Joan's on Third - Gourmet food on 3rd/Kings Road - sandwiches and side dishes. I always get the trio plate for $10.25 which includes 3 salads/side dishes of your choice. I love this place. Joan's has recently expanded (opened on 9/7/07)

Bay Cities Italian Deli on Lincoln in Santa Monica - Great meatball subs and sandwiches. $6-10. Also has market and sells their own parmesan bread. Closed on Monday, closes early at 7 pm on days open.

Mario's Peruvian - (Melrose and Vine) - Popular place. I don't come here too often because I find the food a bit heavy, but it is very good. About $10 per dish.

Yang Chow on Broadway/Alpine in Downtown Los Angeles. Everyone always orders the slippery shrimp ($14) and steamed pork dumplings ($6). Other favorites include the green beans with ground chicken. Slippery shrimp is a very, very sweet dish. Quality of shrimp is poor but sauce makes up for it. Open for Lunch and Dinner. Make your own slippery shrimp with better quality shrimp. Sauce probably taste good with chicken too. Recipe for slippery shrimp posted by the LA Times on 7/29/05 below:

Yang Chow Slippery Shrimp from LA Times: Total time: 25 minutes/4 Servings
1 pound large shrimp
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons water
2 cups oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger root
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon tomato sauce or ketchup
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon white wine
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 green onions, sliced

1. Peel, devein and butterfly the shrimp.
2. In a bowl, mix the shrimp with one-quarter cup -cornstarch to completely coat the shrimp.
3. Combine the remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch with 2 teaspoons water in a bowl and set aside.
4. Pour the oil into a skillet or wok and heat over medium heat until hot. Add the shrimp and deep-fry until golden, about 45 seconds.
5. Remove the shrimp and drain the oil from the wok, leaving 1 tablespoon for stir-frying. Reheat the wok. Add the garlic, ginger and cayenne. Stir for a few seconds, then add the tomato sauce, vinegar, wine, sugar, salt, one-quarter cup water and the reserved cornstarch mixture. Cook and stir until the sauce is thick.
6. Add the shrimp; toss until covered with sauce. Add the green onions, stir, turn out onto a platter and serve.
Each serving: 302 calories; 19 grams protein; 16 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 18 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 168 mg. cholesterol; 508 mg. sodium.

Yang Chow Slippery Shrimp recipe from Bon Appetite Magazine (3/08 issue) is different:

2 pounds uncooked shrimp
6 tbsp plus 4 tsp cornstarch
4 tsp water
1 cup vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 tsp unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tsp dry sherry
1 cup plus 1 tbsp thinly sliced green onion
Follow directions above.

Yai Thai Restaurant in Hollywood - 2 locations. (Hollywood and Wilton is the original and very small; Hollywood and Vermont opened earlier this year and much bigger). I love pad thai and I always order pad thai whenever I eat at a Thai restaurant. Had very, very tasty pad thai at Yai (original location), only $7; i thought the pad thai was much better here than any other thai restaurant I've tried. Heard the crispy catfish with chili paste was delicious. I prefer to take out at the smaller location.

I've tried making my own americanized version of pad thai. I found a recipe on that used ketchup instead of tamarind sauce. I could not find tamarind anywhere, so I tried the recipe below and it actually came out pretty good. I found asian fish sauce and dried rice noodles in the Asian section at Ralph's grocery.

Pad Thai
3/4 pound rice noodles
3 T Asian fish sauce (Such as naam pla)
3 T Ketchup
2 T Rice Vinegar
1 1/2 T Brown Sugar
1/4 t cayenne pepper
3 T vegetable oil
3 large eggs- lightly beaten
8 garlic cloves
4 shallots-minced or 1 small onion-minced
1 cup medium shrimp
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
4 scallions (green onions)
3/4 cup water

Add dried pasta to boiling water for 1 minute (should be slightly undercooked). Rinse and drain well.
For sauce - Stir fish sauce, ketchup, rice vinegar, brown sugar and cayenne together.

Heat 1 T oil in non stick skillet. Add eggs and stir until they are scrambled. Transfer to bowl.
Heat remaining 2 T oil. Add shallots, then garlic. Add shrimp and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add sauce, noodles, bean sprouts, scallions (green onions) and the water. Mix together and cook for another 3-5 minutes until water is evaporated. Add egg and toss.

Nijiya Market (on Sawtelle near Olympic) - Grocery store with take out food (both hot and cold). sushi samplers, rolls, bento box. Has microwave to warm up food. $5-$10. Not the best tasting sushi or bento box plates, but affordable and quick.