Aqui Es Texcoco 1043 Broadway Chula Vista, CA 91911
Oscar's Mexican Seafood (Hillcrest):
Was in the area after a meeting finished early, so I thought I'd drop by for a revisit. The Taco de Marlyn (Smoked fish taco) was actually better than before, though the flavor was still too mild and that tortilla wasn't very good.
The fried shrimp in the Fried Shrimp Taco was greasy and the batter started falling off and got gummy quickly.....and the tortilla also failed fast.
There's much better down south, but this is pretty much the only show in town.
Oscar’s Mexican Seafood 646 University Ave San Diego, CA 92103
Sieu Sieu BBQ:
Another place I haven't been to in a while. Is it just me or has Sieu Sieu aged faster than a second term President? The place is looking pretty beat.
That I think that the Chinese BBQ here is better than Sam Woo should provide me some consolation.....I guess. That rice was horrible by the way.
Sieu Sieu BBQ 7420 Clairemont Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92111
The first thing I noticed were the two women making dumplings behind the counter.
The second thing I really noticed after sitting down were the prices! Mandu, ten bucks! Then I was handed a menu with prices that had been marked down a buck. Not cheap, but a bit better.
So I placed my order and went thru the rest of the menu.
Meanwhile, the dipping sauce, and some panchan made its way to the table. The sauce was on the mild side, but it seemed to have black vinegar in it which I thought was a bit strange......I welcomed it, but it was different.
I had ordered two items, starting with the Wang (King) Mandu ($8), the pork and vegetable version.
Man, these were humongous. I only finished one. I ended giving the rest to "YZ" for her to take home to her daughter.
The actual steamed bun seemed way too "white" and reminded me of something else, but I couldn't place my finger on it. It was very fluffy and fairly nice, if lacking in the great yeastiness of a Wang (King) Mandu dough.
The filling was a bit too crumbly for me, but was moist, though a tad light in flavor.
Yeah, I know....too picky with my steamed buns and dumplings. But I can't help it.
Curious, I also ordered the Boiled Dumpling with shrimp, pork, and vegetable. I don't ever recall seeing this in any of the mandu shops I've been to. You should have seen the look on my face when this arrived.....it was jiaozhi!
These were actually ok. The dough was lacking in the slight chew, stretch, and tenderness that I like in a good dumpling. In case you're wondering where I get this from...well, here's how my MIL makes Jiaozi. Of course, this was not even close to QingDao Bread Food. The filling was also a bit too loose and on the bland side. Still, better than Dumpling Inn. To put things in perspective, below average for me, better than average for San Diego. So I gotta give this a not bad.
The woman serving me was very nice. I mentioned that the dumplings seemed very Chinese, I was told that the owner is Korean, but from China. I was really intrigued. A few days later, I mentioned the place to "Mr.S" who was shocked that a Korean place opened in San Diego without he knowing. When I mentioned the name of the place to him, he looked at me in surprise. He asked me if they had locations in LA and I didn't know. We decided to meet for lunch the very next day. Upon arriving, Mr.S assured me he had eaten at the Koreatown location of Myung In. When he spoke to our Server, who according to Mr.S spoke both Korean and Mandarin, she did confirm that the restaurant had several locations in LA. Looking at the back of the take-out menu confirmed that.
We ended up ordering a pile of food. Starting with the Pork and Kimchi Wang Mandu.
Same huge steamed buns. As for the filling, I prefer the pork and vegetable version. When I mentioned that the dough really reminded me of something else, Mr.S said, "yes, this is like Jjin Bbang...." He was totally right......by the way, they do have red bean seamed bun on the menu.
The item we enjoyed the best was the mandu guk - the mandu soup.
For some reason, the dumplings did really well in this broth, which had enough salt and other flavor to help things along. The wrapper became almost noodle-like and this might be the way to go in the future. It was very hearty and satisfying.
The last thing we had were the spicy steamed roll dumplings. The wrapped meat rolls weren't what made this spicy...it was the accompanying chili paste. Sigh.
Kind of tough and not something I'd order again.
Our server also mentioned that the owner was originally from China and even said where, but I couldn't make it out. Anyway, the next day, I read Kirbie's post on Myung In Dumpling, where she mentions Anthony Bourdain's visit to the LA location. Call me out of touch with mainstream food media. Following the Google trail, I came to find out that the owner is of Korean ancestry, but originally from Shenyang, China. Interesting path.
As for the jiaozi, I think it's decent, better than any other alternative in San Diego. Though I think I may try other stuff....and get the mandu guk the next time. Still, if you can't wait for another trip to the SGV for your jiaozi fix.....
Myung In Dumplings 4344 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111
Man was it hot last week! I don't ever remember temps like this in March.......high 80's and low 90's. I'm not looking forward to the summer.
On the other hand, this gave me a chance to have some of my favorite "warm weather" dishes. So here goes....
At the end of my post on Szechuan Chef in December I wrote, "When things warm up, I'll come back for the Sichuan Liang Mian and the Ko Shui Ji and I'm hoping for maybe some nice surprises." Little did I know that I'd be getting some surprises alright. Anyway, it was without a doubt warm and I do try to keep my word when possible. So here I was......
The young lady who waited on me was very nice and sweet. I ordered those two favorite hot weather dishes....actually other liang cai like Fu Qi Fei Pian are also among my favorites during hot weather, but man, the version here was really bad.
First up, the Ko Shui Ji - "Mouthwatering (saliva) Chicken".
The sauce looked watery and when I pulled the bowl over I found that it was almost hot! I've never had Ko Shui Ji served to me at an insipidly warm temperature. The sauce was actually a broth; below the slick of already watered down chili oil was liquid that resembled chicken noodle soup. The chicken was boneless, skin on thigh that looked carelessly poached. As for flavor, well there was a decent amount of Sichuan Peppercorn, but everything else tasted watered down, not spicy, no salt, no vinegar tones, no sweet....like eating a piece of cardboard with a hint of Sichuan Peppercorn. ick......
As for my Sichuan Liang Mian, well it was a rollercoaster ride. It really didn't look like much when it arrived.
And yet, things look promising when I found the motherlode of sauce on the bottom and mixed everything together. I then took a bite and actually swore out loud....like wash your mouth out with soup loud. In retrospect chewing on a bar of Ivory Soap might have been better than this. Good god, this was eating a mouthful of MSG....it was so salty to the point of bitterness. Also, what's the deal with serving raw noodles that haven't even had the flour rinsed off? I've even had that happen to me at Fu An Garden.
So this is what happened. I felt really bad for the sweet young lady, so I took everything to go. She didn't make the food..... And I proceeded to pitch it. I hate waste, but I just couldn't bring myself to eat this. I felt bad, but eating this stuff made me feel worse. I think I'm done here..... So yes, in the end I did get a "surprise", but it wasn't a good one.
Szechuan Taste 8199 Clairemont Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92111
One of my favorite cuisines is that of Peru. The variety can be stunning, from the traditional dishes like Cuy, to the "Chifa" dishes like Lomo Saltado, it seems that all who came ashore in Peru and stayed have made their mark on the nation. It was love at first bite when I first had Peruvian food after moving to LA. Peru also hold a special place in my heart, it was the first country the Missus and I visited together way back when. In San Diego County, pricy Q'ero probably does Peruvian the best, but it very pricy and a long drive. For lunch, even Latin Chef in PB was a bit too far. Plus, I was looking for that "Nikkei" influenced dish, tiradito.
The place look quite the same since my last visit. Man, it was hot, so I started with the Causa, in the of Nazca Grill, it's like what I would call a Causa Limeña, a layered potato "cake" of sorts. I went with the shrimp version.
The shrimp was kind of watery and a bit on the fishy side. The sauce seemed more like a thousand island dressing than the aji rocoto based sauce I'd had in the past. The presentation sure has gotten better, though I'm not sure the dish as a whole has been improved. I preferred the original version I had in 2009.
The tiradito was passable. In contrast to cebiche pescado, the fish in tiradito (I was told snapper) is not "cooked" in citrus. It's basically sashimi in a sauce. Today it was a mild aji amarilla sauce.
There's was a decent amount of fish in this. There used to be a touch of lime in the tiradito here, but today, it was muted. I did love the yucca frita and the choclo (as I always love). This was fine, if nothing special. It was a bit too mild for my taste.....
I'm afraid we'll have to head back to Peru one of these days....I did promise the Missus that we'll get to Easter Island, so perhaps a Chile - Peru two-fer. Especially since we did miss the Nazca Lines the last time.
Time will tell. Anything can happen. But like I mentioned earlier.....I do try to keep my promises.
With the Lunar New Year quickly approaching, my coworker "YZ" decided that we should go out and grab some lunch. I knew she had been missing dishes from her hometown of Shanghai, so I suggested Chef Zhu, since it had been a while since I last visited. Since YZ has been in san Diego for a while, she had also eaten at the owner's previous restaurant, Shanghai City, and was curious as to how the dishes would compare.
As I mentioned before, the previous "ABCDE" (American Born Chinese Dining Establishment) menu is in place and folks come in calling the place "Double Happiness", so it's an interesting crowd.
We ended up ordering three dishes, all of which I've had before and thought were the three strongest on the menu. They did not disappoint.
Starting with the Yin Doo Xin, which is my favorite item on the menu.
A deceptively simple pork + (preserved) pork based broth. Clean, just salty enough, satisfying.
With the New Year on the way, I thought we should order the Chao Nian Gao.
Nicely texture, not too chewy or soft. I thought it could have a bit more saltiness....but YZ and SJP who joined us for lunch sure enjoyed it. SJP who is Korean seemed surprised to see that nian gao was essentially "dduk"....or perhaps visa versa.
We needed a bit of meat......well, just because. I went with the steamed pork with preserved vegetable which was better than I recalled.
Not too salty, balanced sweetness which cut the richness of the pork, this was pretty good overall.
In the end, we all had a nice meal, and even better conversation. I wish our busy work schedules allowed for more lunches like this..
I get to work pretty early in the morning. It's still dark out. The day had been busy and I didn't step outside my little molehill/bunker/office until 1pm. Holy smokes! I check the temperature and good lord it's 84 degrees! Like what is this, Yuma? Just kidding Ed!
It's strange, but for whatever reason, I crave Sichuan Liang Mian and Liang Cai (cold dishes) when it starts getting warm. Were this before February of 2012, the choice would be easy; it would be Ba Ren. And while the assistant chef from Ba Ren now resides at Fu An, things have been inconsistent to say the least.
Still, I needed my fix, so that's where I headed.
The cold dishes weren't bad.....but there's still something missing...the amount of spice, the amount of vinegar, the slight touches that make all the difference. Still, it's not terrible.
Same can be said of the Sichuan Liang Mian. The flavor is almost there....there's even a bit of that Sichuan Peppercorn tingle....but it too is missing those last pieces of the puzzle. And the noodles are hard, stiff, almost like they needed to be cooked ever so slightly more.
However, we beggar's can't be choosers. I got my fix in.......
Fu An Garden 4768 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
Looking at that temp.....I wonder, if it was another degree hotter, would I have thought of going here?
I was a bit sad when Tan Ky on Mira Mesa closed down. The place wasn't amazing, but they did serve some pretty solid dishes. So of course when I saw Tim Ky Noodle was taking its place, I made sure to check them out. And you know how that goes.......I try to check places out a couple of times whenever possible.
They've done a decent job of freshening up the place. New lighting, wood paneling....though you can still recognize it as Tan Ky.
The menu is typical of these type of shops, a million and one combinations of Hu Tieu or Mi noodle soups, fried rice, all the usual suspects.
I had been craving Beef Sate Egg Noodle - dry and my lousy visit to Luong Hai Ky did nothing to diminish things. So of course I had to try it here, right?
First thing I noticed was...this place was into that "big bowl" facade thing. The portion was noticably smaller than what Tan Ky delivered. On the good side, the egg noodles were done adequately....I like mine with a bit of crunch still in them, but not raw with a powdery edge. There wasn't enough sate in this as things were too mild and the beef "fair to middlin". The broth that accompanied the dish was much too light and plain bland. I'll probably not order this again.
The young man who served me was very nice and friendly. I asked him what he thought the specialty of the house was. He said it was the Bun Suong, which was surprising. If I recall, it was a noodle soup that looked a lot like Bun Rieu.
The folks here were very nice, so I came back to try the Bun Suong, which ain't cheap at $8.45.
This was pretty good. They used the thin bun for this; the type that would be appropriate for Bun Rieu. There were 8 shrimp "meatballs" that weren't too squeaky and still had some shrimp flavor. The annatto oil did make it look like bun rieu a bit, though the broth was milder. Liked that fact it wasn't loaded with MSG and the broth had a decent flavor which kind of reminded me more of chicken than pork.
This was not bad. I'll have it again.
It would only be a matter of time before I tried the Won Ton and Dumpling Egg Noodle soup ($6.49).
This was the best bowl I had here. It's been so long sonce I've had a decent Won Ton/Dumpling egg noodle soup that I'd become jaded....so perhaps that amplified my enjoyment? There were only 2 won ton and 2 dumplings in this, the dumplings were definitely superior to the won tons. But I gotta say, instead of the usual hard as rock fillings, these were adequately tender.
The broth had a nice flavor to it and even some decent richness as you can tell by the dots of fat floating around. I do wish the soup were a bit hotter.
This was a nice bowl.
I might have pushed my luck a bit when I returned and had the Duck Leg Egg Noodle Soup ($7.49). I actually wanted the roast duck version, but they were all out. The broth reminded me a bit of a watered down Thai style duck noodle, with dark soy sauce giving it a deep, dark color and the shiitake mushrooms in the soup.
There were faint hints of flavor....the mere wisp of star anise, but just not enough oomph for me. The duck, though tender, had a bit of a stale, refrigerator flavor to it. No complaints about the temp of the broth on this one as I had to figure out how to break down that duck leg floating in scalding broth.
I'd like to try the roast duck version next time, but otherwise will stick with the dumpling egg noodle soup. Plus, it looks like they have chicken wings on the menu as well.
I like the folks who work here....even the kind of serious server, who, while not too friendly, is nice enough. So of course I'll be back.
Tim Ky Noodle 9330 Mira Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92126
Thanks for stopping to read mmm-yoso!!! Kirk and Ed(fromYuma) and Cathy are the primary bloggers here, trying to stay on the subject of food. Today's post is pretty direct.
Again, it was December when The Mister's tastebuds kind of went all wacky and he started bugging me about craving the Little Sheep 'spicy Hot Pot mix', which we had at home, but I didn't feel like finding all the other ingredients needed. So weheaded West, to Clairmont Boulevard at Diane Street.Kirk posted about Little Sheep twice when it first opened in San Diego and I wrote a post a few years later when The Mister and I met Ed (from Yuma) and Tina here, yet I know all of us have been here quite a few more times, just without photographing the meals.Although a chain, there is only one San Diego location. Each table (as well as each seat at the bar area) has induction cooktops built in.Being seated, menus as well as an ordering sheet were brought out. I noticed you could order a low sodium broth, and chose it for both the spicy and original; the herbs and other flavorings for the original are so different from the 'spicy' and we didn't notice any lack of sodium...Each add in has a different flavor when cooked in a different broth. The veggie combo platter ($8.95) is pretty much always an order, because there is so much variety and we never can decide which vegetables we want...although next time we will also order mushrooms; I felt that was what was missing, if I were to be nitpicky.This visit, we knew we wanted the large order of lamb wonton ($5.95) instead of any sort of noodle.For the protein portion, the beef and lamb ($10.95) was today's choice.
Of course, we also had hot tea (no charge) and had a wonderful time cooking and enjoying yet another meal here. As mentioned, swishing and cooking each ingredient in the different broths yields a different set of flavors to enjoy. Hot Pot in general is a great way to satisfy everyone's cravings.
I hope your week is going well.
Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot and Grill 4718 Clairmont Mesa Blvd, San Diego 92117 (858)274-2040 Opens 11:30 a.m. daily. Closed between 3 and 5:30 p.m. M-F. Closes at 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 9 p.m. other days. Website
Here we are, mmm-yoso!!! Blogging about food. Cathy has blogging duty today, because Kirk and Ed(from Yuma don't want to blog; they are busy.
Going out for a meal with The Mister has always been random. We get to an intersection, "left or right?", drive more, turn more, exit because of traffic or not and at some point the question of "fingers, forks or chopsticks?" is asked, answered and we each begin a search for signage of anything that looks interesting.
Things changed a bit in December and pretty soon the equation and questions became a bit more detailed: "spicy?", "Mexican, Thai or Chinese flavors?" became part of the routine. About that same time, a new place opened just down Mission Gorge Road, at Zion near Friars Road. First, we only noticed this small sign on the edge of the mall where Chamorro Grillis located. This mall is just Kitty Corner from the Kaiser Hospital corner (where Longhorn and Pho Xpress still are going strong) and next to the mall which contains Ra-Ka-De-Ka,Troys Greek,San Diego Brewing Company, Saigon Star and Gaglione Brothers.Clean, neat and small (less than 50 seats), this family run business seems to have a steady flow of clientele picking up 'To Go' orders. There are lunch special plates (Mon-Fri 11-3) with prices ranging from $5.99-$7.99 and the regular menu has a maximum price of $13.99. The admonishment at the bottom of each menu page is the same: "Hot & Spicy- Please be aware of the spiciness for the spicy food". This fact is confirmed when you order.When we first sat down, I had no expectations. The standard Chinese Zodiac place mats, forks, plastic tablecloths were all signs of this place being "ABCDE" (American Born Chinese Dining Establishment). Into the ordering process, I was happily disproved while asking questions (we asked for and got chopsticks) Our waitress took our order and went to the kitchen window and *yelled* it in to the chef. This talented man works magic with the wok.First up, a simple sesame pancake ($1.99). Fresh, flaky, delightful and this would prove a perfect item to use when sopping up flavorful oil.The menu does not provide much in the way of description other than categories of Noodles/Rice (where the pancake was listed), Green Chili, Sizzling Plate, Dried Pot, Boiled Bowl, Pork/Beef/Lamb, Chicken/Fish/Shrimp, Vegetable/Tofu, Soup and Featured Specials.
Above, Chicken with Green Chili and Hot Sauce ($8.99). Red and green bell peppers, a spicy fresh green chili (looks like a jalapeno but it isn't), dry red chilis, garlic, black beans and plenty of chicken. This is delicious and so very fresh."Featured Special" Twice Cooked Fish with Dried Red Pepper ($11.99). Wow. Dry red pepper, ginger and garlic make the heat and flavors, as did the celery, sweet red bell pepper and plenty (we counted eight) filets of twice cooked, lightly breaded, perfectly crispy fried fish.Returning later in the week, with the intention of ordering a lunch special, the waitress recognized us and brought out two cups of the daily soup before we had ordered. Turns out that the lunch specials looked kind of dull to us and we each were more curious about other menu items. Above, Boiled Bowl two kinds with Hot Sauce (I chose lamb and beef) ($10.99). The bowl is HUGE. Here is a bit of what is in the bowl. Not only beef and lamb (each meat you could taste through the heat of the pepper and garlic) but also plenty of cabbage. The leftover sauce and cabbage was used as a base for soup at home that night.Chicken in dried pot ($8.99)- there is a sterno flame under this pot, which had the most flavorful melding of spices, almost chocolate-like.Underneath all of that were onions (which kept cooking in the heat until almost melted) and really nice, fresh sprouts.
We will be trying the rest of the menu.
Mr. Spicy 6618 Mission Gorge Road San Diego 92120 (619)546-6686 Mon-Sat 10:30-9
It's was prime dinnertime, but the place looked kind of empty. There I stood, promptly ignored by the three guys milling around, when the young guy practically screams at me "SIT!" pointing to one of the booths. And just in case I didn't hear him, he goes "SIT!" again. Now I may talk this way to Sammy and Frankie once in a while; but they have four legs......
Menu promptly flies onto table and the guy hovers over me. Now the last time I was here, I looked high and low for Beef Sate Noodle and the Server who was hovering over me just like this guy practically ordered me to have something else. This time I was going to find that damned dish even if took all night. Much to the dismay of the guy hovering....who finally let out a sigh and left me to concentrate on my meal. And wouldn't you know....I finally found it on the bottom of the menu. So the guy comes back and simply says "what???" Man of few words, or would that be word......
Anyway, here it is in all it's glory Beef Sate Noodle - Dry ($7.30). By the way; it's on the bottom of the noodle soup page.
It looked pretty decent; until you went to mix it and found all that iceberg lettuce hidden by the noodles, which were basically raw and still sort of powdery. There was not enough sauce and the beef was tough.
The broth was basically MSG water....really salty.
Sad really, since in the good old days LHK did a pretty good job. However, since the MM location opened and the failed attempt at reopening on Convoy, it seems the prices have gone up rather quickly, the flavors have gone down, and the Servers here only speak in monosyllables. Actually, the young man spoke perfect California English....there was a table with a couple of guys whom I'm thinking were his friends....they were talking about football. Which was great for his buddies.....though perhaps I would prefer just single word sentences from him......
So this is my third post on the place. And unless someone has some compelling dish to try, I think that's it for "The Original Chinese Noodles".
Luong Hai Ky Restaurant 10606 Camino Ruiz #2 San Diego, CA 92126