Monday, April 12, 2021

Vegetarian Simpang Curbside

Simpang Asia serves Indonesian food at 2 locations with the warm hospitality of Southeast Asia. I've written about them before, in this post from 2019 when I first dined in at their Palms location, and this post in 2020 when I ordered delivery.

This time I ordered curbside pick up and got a vegetarian feast of tahu tempeh goreng for $7.95 with garlic tofu and tempeh.

My favorite salted fish fried rice for $12.50
vegetarian kwetiaw goreng for $10.95
and delicious garlic string beans $9.50
The hearty combination was enough for 2 meals, but I only ate one at a time :)

Monday, April 5, 2021

Moo's Craft BBQ Curbside

My enjoyment and appreciation of Moo's Craft BBQ Curbside reminded me that when you love what you do, you should share it with others. I am very grateful they share their expertise and passion with people outside their family. BBQ is one of those skills I do not possess. I can grill, but I do not have the passion, nor patience, for the perfection I have tasted. 

I was a regular at Smorgasburg pre Covid 19, so when they began offering orders for curbside pick up in DTLA, I was relieved to learn that not only had they pivoted to survive the pandemic, but that I could (selfishly) get some of my favorite BBQ. The process is easy as long as you can plan your pick up at least a week before you want to eat. It's a very efficient system where you prepay, set a pick up time and literally drive in front of the pick up site. Just tell the person at the front your name and the company you are getting your food from, and they will bring it to your trunk.

I saw on their social media that they had beef ribs, so I preordered one, with some brisket, ribs, and coleslaw. As usual, their pickled red onions and pickles came with the order and I made a feast out of the platter for several meals! Don't hesitate to order "too much" food because you will find that "just one more bite" can turn into two or three and leftovers can be wishful thinking when you are really hungry :)    




Monday, March 22, 2021

Lure Fish

After finding out that I needed to drive my car more to pass my smog inspection, I looked at my Instagram feed to see what places I wanted to try that were more than 30 miles away...Lure Fish Bar has several locations, and Ventura was far enough away but also not so far that my hips and knees would scream from the road trip. Since I had no idea when I would actually arrive, I waited until I was parked in front of the restaurant before calling in the curbside pick up order. They were very nice when I said I was already parked, but I think they forgot about me once the order was done because I saw several tables get served after I was parked and when I called back, they immediately brought the food out to me. Everything was still warm, but it had definitely been sitting there for awhile.

The miso maple bass skewers for $15 were so sweet that they did not need any  extra sauce. I had to take bites of the grapefruit and arugula in between bites of fish to cut the sweetness. The fish was not overcooked and fresh, so as long as you like your fish sweet, you would enjoy this appetizer.
The calamari for $14 would have been fabulous if it had been hot. A very generous portion, with fried peppers, and a nice roasted tomato sauce. Well seasoned, with lots of tentacles (my favorite), I would definitely order this if dining in the restaurant.
The spicy avocado wild shrimp salad for $15 with added grilled wild gulf shrimp for $6 traveled well all the way back to Los Angeles. With romaine, quinoa, red cabbage, grilled corn, tomatoes, queso fresco and a cilantro vinaigrette, this hearty salad would be a great choice for take away any day.
The Seafood Louie for $18 with added grilled wild gulf shrimp for $6 more, was my favorite, with Dungeness crab, pacific white shrimp, avocado, asparagus, 7 minute egg, and tomato, this salad hit all the right notes, textures, and flavors. There was so much seafood that I added more lettuce to make it more of a salad instead of a seafood plate!
Definitely a nice drive out of town and a good stop on the way to Santa Barbara or points further north if you are in the mood for some fresh seafood.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Chifa

Just as they always recommend on airplanes that you place the oxygen mask on yourself before placing it on your child or loved one, I recommend always getting (and eating) food for yourself when you are getting food for someone else :) I was making a personal delivery from Chifa for a friend recovering from surgery, so I ordered something for myself! They offer curbside delivery and two dedicated parking spaces in front for picking up orders.

Since the pandemic, I have not eaten any beef heart, so when I saw Anticucho with a serrano cilantro sauce for $11 on their menu, it was the first thing I ordered. The heart was tender, perfectly grilled and the sauce was just spicy enough to perk it up without lighting my mouth on fire.

I also got a side of their vegetables for $12 and was happy to find an unusual combination that went nicely
with the garlic rice
that came with the Si Yao aged soy poached free range chicken for $25. The order came with 1/2 a chicken, so there was plenty for leftovers if you couldn't finish it all at once ;)
My hearty plate was filled with only half of each item, a marvelous reward for making a delivery across town!

Monday, March 8, 2021

Bakerfield Road Trip

I learned that I needed to drive 300 miles at under 3000 rpm to get my catalytic converter to pass my smog test, so after driving to Long Beach and Camarillo, I took a road trip to Bakersfield to make sure I drove more than 300 miles! 


Of course any road trip must include a food stop or two. New Vintage Grill was in the same small complex as Bakers Outpost, so since it was lunch time, it was also time to have a take out car lunch. Even though they offered both indoor and outdoor dining, there were too many maskless people for me to feel comfortable eating anything other than take out. I was not even comfortable in their take out waiting area inside because of the many patrons either wearing masks covering only their mouths or no masks at all!


Their Greek salad had fresh ingredients and a hearty portion of chicken for $13.59. I found the chicken a bit dry, the sliced pepperoncini a bit strange, and the olives a bit overwhelming, but overall it was a good version made for American palates.

I ordered the avocado caprese salad for $14.59 to take home and it had a sweet balsamic glaze and dressing that were surprisingly good with the fresh basil chiffonade accented salad.
Since Bakers Outpost had just opened and I was tired of baking bread, it was the main reason for my destination pick. This is their sandwich sourdough loaf for $10 which was not as sour as is my preference, but the quality of grains and ingenuity of baking a sandwich sourdough loaf won me over.

The more classic version of sourdough with multiple grains was more traditional and hearty for 410. Again not as sour as my preference, but a great quality loaf for $10.
My favorite item was the coconut cookie that was made with so much care that you could taste the love that they put into this fantastic warm hug of a dessert. I would drive the 110 miles again just to get another cookie!

Monday, March 1, 2021

Moulin

Ever since the pandemic, I have not ventured beyond Los Angeles County, so since I still needed more freeway miles for my car to pass smog inspection, it was time to visit Moulin in Newport Beach. It was easy to find despite the construction detour for the Google maps exit (it's just as easy to take Jamboree to Bristol). The large parking lot and spacious shop and patio made it inviting for those of us who follow social distancing and mask protocols to feel secure. 

By 1pm on a weekday, the cases were already low on some of the most popular items, but there were enough choices to make the trip worthwhile.



They had a few baguettes left, so that alone was worth the drive :)
I got a few croissants for the next morning
a Madeleine for the drive back
a chocolate eclair and 
the fantastic apple tart was my favorite pastry!

Monday, February 22, 2021

A & J Seafood

I've been salivating over the photos from A&J Seafood on Instagram, so since my car still needed more freeway miles, I got on the road to Long Beach on a Sunday afternoon when I could actually drive the speed limit instead of 30 mph on the 405!

It was definitely worth the drive! So easy to find (except for the roundabout which took me a few tries to get back onto the street to the freeway coming back), with plenty of parking and a convenient street light at their corner. 

I got some of their chicken egg rolls, 5 for $6 to eat in the car on the way home:)

I got their instagram famous Cajun bag with a pound of BIG shrimp, mussels, corn on the cob, and potatoes in a mild boil (still spicy) for $25. It was so big that when I finally got home and opened the bag, I didn't think I could finish it in 4 meals! So glad they double plastic bagged it because it was very hot and did leak a bit on my ride home.
Just to be sure there was enough food, I got some grilled beef sticks for $11 that could have been a meal in and of itself! Lemongrass, tumeric, garlic, and shredded pickled veggie side with rice, this was a delightful fragrant appetizer or entrée.

Because my eyes are always bigger than my stomach, especially at prices like $10 for the rice noodles with chicken, shrimp, garlic and chinese broccoli and sausage, I ordered that as well and although it was smothered in sauce and a bit sweet, it was not greasy, and I think I now have enough food for the week!
For a total of $60 with tax and tip, I took home enough food to feed 6-8 people, so it is definitely worth the drive to Long Beach! Next time I will try the giant squid for $8 and the lobster for $40, but I am so glad that I "had" to take my car for more freeway driving and ended up at A & J Seafood!




Monday, February 15, 2021

Mayura Curbside

I've been doing my best to revisit all my favorite restaurants over the past year. I know the ever changing and very challenging Covid 19 restrictions and protocols have everyone scrambling for ways to keep their employees and businesses afloat. I am mindful of small places that don't have the budget and / or personnel to build patios, or offer delivery except through the apps which take 30% of their ticket, so curbside pick up has become my modus operandi for places like Mayura, which are close enough to go to on short notice when a craving hits for Indian food :)

The plate below was one of four meals I made from the order I placed for about $60 including tax and tip! The vegetarian biryani, chana (chickpeas), eggplant masala, and goat curry each had their own spice profile, but they also complemented each other splendidly! The order came with LOTS of white rice, which I did not even touch, a lovely yogurt and cucumber sauce to refresh my palate after the heat caught up with me (I ordered mild on all dishes), some hot pickled veggies, and several crisp thin lentil wafers that were very addictive.

As you can see from the container, the vegetable biryani was a HUGE portion and very fragrant.
All the other items came in durable plastic containers that were filled to the brim!
The next time I don't want to cook for a few days, I'll place another order :)

Monday, February 8, 2021

F.L.E. Mealz

I worked alongside chef Paul of F.L.E. Mealz (Fingr Lickn Eatz) a few years ago, so not only can I attest to his impeccable his culinary skills, but his work ethic and passion for food and his family are paradigms for a happy life. It is a pleasure to finally get a taste of his creations now that he has his own business. Not only does he deliver his food himself, but he follows all the Covid -19 protocols from masks to gloves.

The best part of the food he delivers is freshly made from quality ingredients, and at such affordable prices, you will want to hire him as your personal chef! The portions are generous, the flavors are on point, and he offers a welcome break for me by feeding me when many of my favorite restaurants are on restricted days/hours and I get burn out cooking so often.

I didn't understand that his weekly menu is offered so that each item is available the corresponding day of the week it is listed, so when I sent him a DM to order, I prepaid for the delivery of 4 orders on different days just for convenience and to know that I would not have to cook at least 2 times that week :)

His turkey chili was loaded with beans and veggies, with balanced heat and flavor, which you could adjust with the sliced jalapenos and sour cream accompaniments, and cornbread on the side for only $12 a serving, the large container was a very filling and generous portion.




I love that he included freshly made salsa and cut limes with his chicken fajitas!
This portion was also $12 and I made 2 meals of the delicious beans, rice, and sauteed chicken, onions, and peppers, served with 3 corn tortillas per order.
I can't wait to see what he has on next week's menu so I can schedule in my delicious food delivery for next week!

Monday, February 1, 2021

Pizzana To Go

The health and safety of my loved ones, both in and outside the service and health industries, has meant that I have not eaten at a restaurant in nearly a year. To support my beloved friends and restaurants, I regularly get curbside pick up or sometimes opt for delivery (not using an app whenever there is an option). Today's post is on Pizzana, which I visited almost exactly 1 year ago today! My previous post was about dining there, but I have gotten curbside pick up of both the meal I ate there and the one in this post, and I wanted to encourage everyone to get curbside pick up of their favorite meals in this post. 

For food like pizza, many places now offer the option of uncut pies so that you can heat it at home in your oven. Do it. It makes all the difference to be able to eat a great pizza HOT!

The salads come packed with the salad dressing separate so the greens are not soggy and wilted by the time you get home:) I chose the tricolore for $15 with arugula, treviso, endive, cherry tomatoes, candied walnuts, red wine vinaigrette, and parmigiano reggiano.



The Bianca for $20 with fennel sausage fior di latte, shaved fennel and red onion  was superb, especially with the shaved fennel topping packed separately to top the hot pizza out of the oven.



The only mistake I made was only ordering one pizza and one salad for pick up ;)

Monday, January 25, 2021

Socalo Enchilada Kit

The next best thing to eating out is getting food to go from a favorite restaurant that makes it easy to make/reheat at home. Since Los Angeles still has indoor and outdoor dining banned, there remain only the choices of curbside pick up, or delivery via an app that charges around 30% to the restaurant for the use of their service. I have been opting for curbside pick up in the last few months because every dollar counts to help a restaurant survive until they can reopen. If you can pick up your food, please do.

The next best thing to eating out is getting food to go from a favorite restaurant that makes it easy to make/reheat at home. Socalo offers meal kits like chicken enchiladas for $35 to serve 2 (can be increased for as many people as you wish by 2) and it was a very generous kit that I actually parlayed into 4 meals!


A huge bag of freshly made chips were included
with an assortment of guacamole, salsa, and condiments for the enchiladas were also included with detailed instructions and an ingredient list.
Organic red rice,
baby gem caesar salad, 
and of course four organic yellow corn tortillas filled with Mary's chicken, poblano crema, wild mushrooms, roasted corn, and Mexican cheeses in an oven ready container. Each enchilada was so big and filling I could only eat one!
The meal reheated in my oven at home was convenient, delicious, and a great way to have an easy ready meal without having to cook! They offer other meal kits, so I think the next time I want a break from cooking, I will order a taco kit :)