Porky Pig: Return to Ramen Fujisan (San Gabriel, CA)—CLOSED

At the spur of the moment, my daughter asked if we wanted to go out and have ramen for lunch. Sounded like a good idea. Since she'd never been to Ramen Fujisan, that's where five of us headed. Located along Valley Blvd in San Gabriel where there are more strip malls than you can shake... Continue Reading →

Food Truck Phenomenon: Kogi BBQ

What does a whip-smart, street-wise, Culinary Institute of America Korean-American valedictorian do for an encore? Why, start the most talked-about food truck in America, of course. Roy Choi, head chef of the Kogi BBQ food truck empire, has earned some high-cred awards, including from Bon Appetit and Food & Wine magazines. Choi considers himself an LA... Continue Reading →

Making of the New Year Tamales

For osechi-ryori, many Japanese American families living in the eastern part of the Los Angeles area have adopted the making of tamales. My wife's family is no exception, having lived in Lincoln Heights, an Hispanic enclave, for a long time before moving to the San Gabriel Valley. For a festival whose food has long ago... Continue Reading →

Pastrami Dip Sandwich at The Hat (Alhambra, CA)

At the risk of repeating my previous post's circumstances, I can't recall how many times I'd driven past The Hat in Alhambra (California) and not stopped. Though I live in Seattle, my in-laws live in the restaurant mecca of the San Gabriel Valley. As if by self-proclamation, "World Famous Pastrami" plastered on signage dares you... Continue Reading →

Tacos at El Maestro del Taco

I've driven past the corner of NE 8th and 156th Ave NE many times in the last year or so and couldn't help but notice a new taco truck parked behind the 76 Station. The reviewers on Yelp, though small in number, were almost unanimous in their praise, a few of them even going so... Continue Reading →

Birthday Dinner at Monsoon East

Celebrating our birthdays at Monsoon East may be becoming a tradition. Granted, two years in a row hardly qualifies as an annual observance, but truthfully we couldn't think of any better special place to be that was within a short driving distance of home. Along the two-block distance on Main Street in Old Bellevue can... Continue Reading →

Dinner at Loulay Kitchen & Bar

Despite the fact that I was under the weather, three of us ventured out to have dinner and attend a one-night performance of Stuart McLean's Vinyl Cafe at The Paramount. Our choice for a restaurant was Thierry Rautureau's new dining venture, Loulay Kitchen & Bar, which opened months after his closing of the legendary Rover's... Continue Reading →

Dinner at Kama’aina Grindz

I am always in search of good Hawaiian food in the Northwest. Not surprisingly, what we get here is not in the same league as what you'd find on the islands, but not for the lack of places that serve it. The numbers of Hawaiians living up here ensures some level of demand, not to... Continue Reading →

Dinner at Thai Ginger

My wife and I made arrangements to have dinner with a couple of friends at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants (Shanghai Cafe), but when we arrived, a sign posted on the door informed that the kitchen was undergoing renovation for another two days. One of our friends then suggested Thai Ginger, right around the... Continue Reading →

Kansas City Beef Brisket at Stan’s Bar-B-Q

The best way to enter Stan's Bar-B-Q is from the back, directly from the narrow parking lot that always seems crammed with vehicles, wedged in by Front Street to the west and railroad tracks to the east. En route to the front of the diner, you'll pass walls plastered with sports photos and award plaques... Continue Reading →

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