Super Bowl Korean Fiesta Food

Kogi BBQ

The Streets of Los Angeles, PH: 323.315.0253

http://kogibbq.com/

Pricing: $$-Moderate

THE TRUCK!

THE TRUCK!

I have always wondered why Super Bowl Sunday was never named a national American holiday. Whether you are a die-hard football fan (I’m still bitter my 49er’s lost the NFC Championship game almost two and a half weeks ago *super sad face*) or you normally would care less about the sport, chances are, come Super Bowl Sunday, you’re watching some part of the big game!

Okay, so that was a little random, but one of the biggest components of Super Bowl Sunday is eating great food, and my most recent foodie venture would definitely be the most perfectly indulgent food for any Super Bowl Party. I know…you’re wondering what this food could possibly be. No, it’s not wings…it is not chili or sliders; the meal I had the pleasure of encountering on my last foodie venture was Chef Roy Choi’s Kogi BBQ: Korean street tacos!

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Kogi has a saying, “If L.A. had a song, you’d hear it in the first bite. If L.A. had an anthem, you’d find it in your first meal.” This saying epitomizes the experience I had when I tried these delicious Korean street tacos. Kogi BBQ is a chain of fun looking food trucks, deck out with bumper stickers that brings joy and happiness to the streets…and stomachs of the greater Los Angeles area (there may also be a truck that is serving San Diego, CA as well). They have a variety of tasty eats on their menu (pictured below), but for their main eats they serve tacos and burritos with the option of four different meats: short rib, spicy pork, chicken and tofu. Thankfully they have a lunch combo where you can get three tacos (you can mix and match), and a drink for $8, so I tried short rib, spicy pork and chicken. The meats are layered on their homemade corn tortillas, with a lettuce slaw mix that they toss in a chili-soy vinaigrette and a cilantro onion relish. It was a Korean fiesta in my mouth! I just wish the spicy pork had been spicier!

Three tacos & drinks for $8!

Three tacos & drinks for $8!

BOMB!!

BOMB!!

They have cool sounding desserts, Chocolate Tres Leches Cake, and a Sriracha Bar (and I LOVE sriracha), but I don’t like chocolate (I know, I know…I’m hanging my head in shame)!

I cannot wait to go back and try their Kogi Kimchi Quesadilla, the Pacman Burger…oh, and the Calamari Taco! There are just so many tasty options to choose from, and I am willing to take as many foodie ventures as necessary to try it all! Chef Roy, and Kogi family, you have a new fan, and I look forward to eating my idea of the perfect SUPER BOWL KOREAN FIESTA FOOD, year around!

Peace, love…and eats, CoCo

The Menu

The Menu

PS- Chef Roy Choi also has two other spots in the Los Angeles area I plan to check out: Alibi Room (which has been on my “To Eat” list for a while, but I had no idea it was Chef Roy’s restaurant), in Culver City, and Chego!, in Los Angeles’ Chinatown. Can’t wait to try and blog about the foodie ventures!

Ketchup Leather…Yes, Ketchup Leather!

Plan Check Kitchen + Bar

1800 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025, PH: 310.288.6500

http://www.plancheck.com/index.html

Pricing: $$-Moderate

Plan Check Kitchen + Bar

Plan Check Kitchen + Bar

For months, we had been hearing about Plan Check Kitchen + Bar and the amazing things Chef Ernesto Uchimura was producing out the Plan Check kitchen. The restaurant was immediately put on our “To Eat” list, but for some reason, it took us forever to make it over to this renowned restaurant on Sawtelle Boulevard. We must say: good things come to those who wait.

Inside/Bar Seating

Inside/Bar Seating

Outside Seating

Outside Seating

Ambiance and Service:  It was a nice night, so we chose to eat in the outside dining area. The restaurant is a very hip and cool spot, decorated in colors like black, tan and red with wood and marble tabletops. For midweek, there were quite a few people at the restaurant, and although there was no music playing while we dined, the buzz and hum of surrounding friendly conversations was all the noise we needed. Our server was nice, and very informed; it is a small pet peeve of ours when we ask a server about the food they are serving, and they know nothing about it. She checked on us often, and gave good recommendations.

Baked Crab Dip

Baked Crab Dip

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Baked Crap Dip – Or, as we like to call it, “Heaven on Toast.” This is not your average/run of the mill dip. Like the masago (fish eggs) in the dip, the robust flavors of the crab, nori (thinly sliced seaweed), sausage, and cheeses burst in our mouths. The hint of sweetness from the crab paired perfectly with the different cheeses; even the slices of baguette bread that we spread the dip on were toasted to perfection. There are some foods where you try to eat it as slow as possible in order to savor the deliciousness…and then when it is finally gone, all you can do is just sit there, kind of devastated; this was our experience with this dip. We loved this dish and would highly recommend it to others to start their meal off right.

Southern Fry

Southern Fry

Southern Fry (Stef) – This is the most succulent piece of fried chicken that I have ever had, in my life (given that I am not a fan of fried chicken). The duck breast ham acted as bacon, which gave a salty taste to balance the fried chicken and the spicy green pimento cheese. The fried chicken was not greasy, at all; it was crisp and crunchy, which I loved! The two textures of the fired chicken and the ham together is reminiscent of having a southern style Sunday dinner at grandma’s house; it was all rolled up in a perfectly packed sandwich. What can top that? Overall this dish was excellent and I would most definitely get it again…as should you, especially if you do not eat burgers or are not in the mood for one.

Bleuprint Burger

Bleuprint Burger

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Bleuprint Burger (CoCo) – Smoked blue cheese, pig candy, fried onions, roasted garlic steak sauce, peppercress. *record scratches and stops* Wait…PIG CANDY? This is the exact ingredient that made me stop and order this burger; and I am so glad I did. I am a huge fan of blue cheese, and the smoky flavor of this blue cheese, and the roasted garlic steak sauce sent my taste buds into overdrive. However, the pig candy, or candied bacon that gracefully laid on top of my burger, has forever changed my life…seriously! I had thought I loved bacon before this, but after tasting Chef Uchimura’s pig candy, I realized that these strips of pork held my heart. This burger is a must try…believe me, you WILL fall in love!

Cruller Donuts

Cruller Donuts

Cruller Donuts – A hot cinnamon sugar donut with a side of whipped cream and bananas is how we ended our night at Plan Check. This dessert was good, but compared to the rest of the meal it was a bit underwhelming. We are both fans of donuts, and whipped cream, and with all of the amazing dishes that preceded dessert we were a tad bit disappointed. The donut was a bit more “cakey,” or dense than the cruller donuts we are used to; if it had been more light and airy, it would have made this dessert great, versus just being good.

Overall: We loved Plan Check Kitchen + Bar, and we know first hand why Chef Uchimura’s menu is the rave around Los Angeles! Unfortunately, we did not get a chance to try the KETHCUP LEATHER…YES, KETCHUP LEATHER, which is dehydrated ketchup featured on some of the burgers that we had heard about, but we plan to go back soon to taste it and explore the other delicious items and drinks on the menu. Currently there are two locations: the location on Sawtelle we visited, and one on North Fairfax Avenue; however, with the demand for great food, another location on Wilshire Boulevard is scheduled to open this year. You must get out and try one of these locations…SOON!

Please let us know what you think of Plan Check Kitchen + Bar when you go!

Tootles, Stef & CoCo

I LOVE BACON!

The Cupcake Shoppe

25125 Santa Clara St., Suite F, Hayward, CA 94544, PH: 510.784.9000

http://www.thecupcakeshoppeca.com/

Pricing: $/$$-Inexpensive/Moderate

I think the general consensus across all of humanity is: WE LOVE BACON!! Whether you prefer it lean and crunchy or kind of “fatty…” you love it. Personally, I can eat bacon for breakfast, brunch, snack time, lunch AND dinner…but I have ALWAYS drawn the line when it comes to the mash-up of bacon desserts. I could not find the courage to try any sweet bacon treats like donuts or cupcakes. But in light of last week’s post, I decided to step out and try something new with a bacon cupcake from The Cupcake Shoppe in Hayward, CA.

Bacon, Bacon, Bacon

Bacon, Bacon, Bacon

Honestly, when I took the first bite of this sweet treat, a maple flavored cupcake, with maple icing and topped with candied bacon crumbles, my mouth went into shock. I was NOT ready for this unique mix of sweet and savory, but it was the after taste that brought a huge smile to my face. I was eating a cupcake, but it was like I was eating this amazing chef prepared breakfast at a five star restaurant. The only negative, was the icing was a bit too sweet, and there was too much of it on the cupcake for me; however, I’m a bit biased, because I’m the weird chick who does not care too much for icing, or chocolate, but that’s for another post. 🙂

I grew up with a mom who is an EXTRADINARY baker, so I am very particular when it comes to sweets; but this cupcake can definitely stand with my mother’s baking!

If you are in the Bay Area, make sure to take a trip to Hayward’s The Cupcake Shoppe. They have such a vast variety, including some 21 and over options like Apple Martini, Mimosa and Hennessy Red; you are sure to find two or three mouthwatering sweets to reward your taste buds. Another great thing about this place is the price. Compared to the many other cupcake shops I have been too, the prices are very reasonable.

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I am definitely glad I tried this sweet and savory cupcake because I LOVE BACON…now, even for dessert!

-CoCo

Phở Real!

It’s Pho

1821 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028, PH: 323.380.7998

http://www.itspho.com/

Pricing: $/$$-Inexpensive/Moderate

Hey everyone! It’s Coco, here. First and foremost, Stef and I would like to wish each and every one of you a very Happy & Prosperous New Year! Every January 1st brings each of us the gift of newness; it gives us the courage to make new decisions, travel to new places, meet new friends, and try new things. In the spirit of newness, after much hesitation, I finally tried pho…for the second time. 🙂

I had heard person, after person…after person, talk about their profound love for pho, so I tried my first “slurp” about a year ago, and was thoroughly UNIMPRESSED! It literally, and figurative left a bad taste in my mouth, and I said, “Pho is NOT pho me!” (Pun intended!)

However, a year later, my soul sister, and fellow Urban Chick Stef, convinced me to go to a different pho restaurant called It’s Pho, in Hollywood, to have a NEW experience with the savory Vietnamese noodle soup.

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Ambiance and Service: As soon as I walked into It’s Pho, I had a gut feeling that I would absolutely love this place. We went at night, and it was kind of dimly lit, but the ambiance was warm and inviting. The dark, rustic colors and vintage décor gave the space a cozy feel; that exact coziness most of us yearn for when we are in the mood to slurp up a good bowl of soup. Our waitresses were also sweet, and happily answered all of my questions with a smile. The only negative that we experienced was the parking: the restaurant is located on the corner in a busy strip mall, and the limited parking spaces may discourage one from going. We were waiting for a park for about ten minutes, and almost turned around and went home; thankfully we did not.

It's Pho Crispy Golden Calamari

It’s Pho Crispy Golden Calamari

It’s Pho Crispy Golden Calamari– We ordered the calamari as an appetizer and it was good, but honestly, there was nothing spectacular about the calamari. Nothing about the calamari made it stand out in the pack of the MANY other restaurants that serve calamari as an appetizer; it was not great, but it was not bad…it was just…good. I would possibly order it again, but for my next dining experience at It’s Pho I plan to try some of their other appetizers.

PHO Pork– I must admit, I have been sitting here for a few minutes, trying to figure out the best way to describe this bowl of…yumtasticness (yes, I made up a word…I had to in order to describe the way my pho tasted). While there, I stopped frequently between slurps, just to tell Stef, how good my PHO Pork was; I had also added some hoisin sauce, which is like a Chinese barbeque sauce, and one of my favorite condiments, sriracha to my bowl. The broth, hearty strips of pork, noodles and veggies danced over my taste buds and created a masterful choreography with each bite that I took.

Sriracha & Hoisin Sauce

Sriracha & Hoisin Sauce

Yumtasticness!

Yumtasticness!

In the spirit of newness, I must say, I have a NEWfound love for pho…and It’s Pho! Stef, who is a lot more experienced in the flavors of Pho also said that It’s Pho served up the best bowl of pho that she had tasted. If you have never tried pho, I hope that if you are every in Hollywood, you stop by to get a bowl of pho of your own…I guarantee you will be happy you did. I know I am SO ready for my next visit to It’s Pho…and that’s PHO REAL! 🙂

pho Love, Coco