Monday, May 18, 2009

Exciting lunch (Saladang, Pasadena)

Many moons ago, Chan Dara was one of the few popular Thai restaurants that people used to frequent. But unfortunately for people who lived on the East Side, it was not very convenient. Not until the mid to late 90's when Saladang in Pasadena opened, did us East Side people have something to get excited about. In my opinion, Saladang has gone down hill. Perhaps my opinion is a little harsh. Perhaps it might be that many other Thai restaurants have since gone on to show case Thai food. Back in the day, people's palate towards Thai food was relatively in the infant stage and therefore everybody thought places like this were the greatest ever. So I must rescind my previous statement that Saladang has gone down hill. Actually their food is still very good. Damn, I'm flip flopping like a fish on land right now :) But in all honesty, I can't say that their food is bad. I still like this place, but the only thing is that I compare it to a place like Lotus of Siam in Vegas. And really, that's not a fair thing to do.

Singha Beer
This beer was refreshing! I've really grown to like the different Asian beers. To me, they are similar to Mexican beers. Really refreshing on warm sunny days. Ahhhh!

Garlic/Black Pepper Chicken
This dish is consistently delicious. Although it says Garlic Chicken, in my opinion it is not overly garlicky. Maybe, that's because my taste buds are permanently nuked from eating so much garlic. I love garlic!

Pad See Ew
This dish was a little disappointing. Usually the noodle dishes here at Saladang are pretty good, but on this occasion it was not. The beef in this dish was tough as nails too. I was surprisingly disappointed :( But I'll forgive them this time.

Chocolate Ice Cream
The complimentary ice cream was a real nice treat. I just wish they gave me a bigger scoop :)

When dining at places like Chinese or Thai restaurants, it's best to go with a lot of friends and family that way you can order a myriad of dishes. Variety is the spice of life. But on this particular occasion, it was just me and "Mrs. Gohan". We were in the neighborhood seeing the doctor. This was before "Baby Gohan" was born. So we decided to stop in and enjoy some lunch and to talk about the excitement of having a baby.

363 S Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105

Monday, May 11, 2009

Everyone's Favorite Gyoza (Mom's house, Monterey Park)

There are somethings in life that brings such joy to people and sometimes it is a particular food. Such is a gift that is my mom's gyoza (Japanese dumpling). Anyone who has had the privilege of tasting her gyoza will tell you that it is absolutely fantastic. Everybody craves her gyoza and can barely wait until she makes it again. It's like a food orgy in your mouth. "Momma Gohan's" gyoza are delicious and perfect. So perfect, that I find it very difficult to order gyoza from any restaurant or eat anyone else's home made gyoza. They pale in comparison to my mother's. Some may say that my opinion of her gyoza is a bit over exaggerated or biased, I say you're crazy. They are that good! We always joke, that one of us better learn to make her gyoza before she passes away and takes her secrets with her. Sadly that was the case with my father's sukiyaki. Since he passed away 7 years ago, no one can come close to replicating his sukiyaki :( You always hear a question posed when it comes to eating....What would be your last meal? I recently asked my wife to narrow down her list of a last meal. My mother's gyoza was a top of that short list. And I would have to say, most of my family would agree!

Uncooked Gyoza

Unfortunately the picture I took of my mom's gyoza doesn't do it any justice. Believe me, it is to die for. When they are cooked right, they are crispy on one side, but yet nice and moist. After each batch is made, my whole family begins to eye them before they even hit the table, so that they can lay claim to the one they want. It didn't take long for "Mrs. Gohan" to get in the act too :) Before long, her hashis (chopsticks) were moving pretty quickly too. Sometimes even my nephew and niece eat any where from 15-20 pieces.

Mom's House
Address: Top Secret :)
Monterey Park, CA.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Delicious Katsudon! (Ducks Restaurant, San Gabriel)

Rewind about ten years or so.... my mother's friend told us about a new restaurant that serves really good katsudon (Japanese rice bowl dish with pork cutlet). Having just returned from a short stint of living in Japan, I was in the mood for some authentic katsudon. But since that time, a decade had past since I returned to eat at Ducks . Not that I was disappointed from my previous experience, on the contrary, it was more out of convenience. Ducks was a little out of the way and soon became....out of sight out of mind. But I'm glad that it's back in my life again!

Katsu Don
The breakdown for the terminology of Katsudon is actually two-fold. The first portion (katsu) comes from tonkatsu (Japanese for pork cutlet), the second half (don) comes from the word donburi (Japanese for rice bowl). So actually this would be a pork cutlet rice bowl with egg and sauce drizzled over a big bowl of rice. What ever you want to call's just plain and simply good! I would have to say that Duck's katsudon is probably one of the best that I've tasted here in the states, although I have not tried many here. It's not that often that you see katsudon on menus.

Udon & Tempura Set
Because Mrs. Gohan doesn't like eggs and therefore doesn't order the katsudon, this is what she usually orders. She orders the Udon & Tempura Set. Since I'm not the biggest fan of Udon, I really shouldn't judge the quality or taste. But for what it's worth....I thought it was pretty decent and the Tempura is pretty good as well, although this combination set is a little bit on the pricey side.

Corn Soup
In my opinion this corn soup is one of the worst corn soups I've ever tasted. If this was the only dish that I had to base my opinion on about Ducks, I would never ever return or recommend them to anyone. But luckily for them everything else that they serve is pretty good. The corn soup seemed like it was warmed up milk with a little corn inside. Absolutely terrible in my opinion. Definitely not like Curry House's corn soup.

Katsu Curry
I've always know that Duck's tonkatsu was delicious, but I never tried their curry before. And on a recommendation from a friend I decided to forgo my usual and try Duck's Katsu Curry. Katsu Curry is one of my all time favorite dishes so I was pretty eager to try it. After having tried it I was not as impressed as I had anticipated. Although the flavors were all good, I think I'll still stick to my usual dish....katsudon

Ducks Restaurant
1381 E. Las Tunas Drive #1
San Gabriel, CA. 91776