Friday, November 22, 2019

The Pan

I have been to The Pan in Gardena three years ago. It was one of the best breakfasts I have had but somehow I had forgotten all about it until recently when Sandi brought it to my attention that they had opened one in Lomita.

It was time to try it out, so Amy, Zohreh, Sandi and I drove there. They don't open until 9:00 a.m. There were a few people outside waiting for the restaurant to open its doors. It was 2 minutes past and the gentleman told us the lady inside made an announcement that she would let the people know when they could come in. After a brief discussion among the people who were getting a bit ticked off, we all decided to just walk in since the door was not locked. One of the servers told us she would be right with us while the other gentleman led us to a table.

This restaurant is right next to the Sprint store and it used to be a Thai restaurant.  They had the place nicely decorated. We all thought they did a good job. The menu was extensive. We all wanted to try as much as we could so it took careful planning and strategy. Sandi finally took charge and announced she would order the Lemon Curd Pancakes which she would be happy to share. Zohreh decided on ordering the Mediterranean Omelette which Sandi also wanted. At first, Amy only wanted an egg but she also wanted pancakes. She finally settled on one "Best Ever" Banana Pancakes which Sandi and I have had and was fantastic. Both Sandi and Zohreh were very happy with the omelet. Amy loved her banana pancake, unfortunately, I was so engrossed in my eating that I neglected to take a picture of her pancake.  She did mention that her poached egg was overcooked.

I had Short Rib Benedict; 2 corncakes topped with braised short rib over Mexican street cream corn with poached eggs and poblano cream sauce. I shared some with Sandi so she could share some of her lemon pancakes. The short rib benedict was a real winner. I had everyone taste it and they all agreed how delicious it was. The lemon pancakes were also very good.

We were all excited about this restaurant since everything was perfect except for one important factor. The food was not hot. I later spoke to Daisy, the manager and suggested that maybe they should heat up the plates prior to serving the food.

The Pan is Lomita is open from 9:00 am to 9:00  p.m. Monday to Thursday. Closed on Tuesdays and are open 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 Friday and Saturday and on Sundays, they open 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Their address is 2104 Pacific Coast Hwy. in Lomita, California.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Happy Birthday Zohreh

It was supposed to be just a dinner but I remembered that it was at this time last year when she invited me for dinner and it turned out to be her birthday. You usually can fool me once but not twice. It was hard not to overdose on the appetizers but I did of course.

Aside from her lovely and lively family members, she had invited a few of her friends whom I was delighted to meet. The dinner was a feast. This is another one of my friends who always serve an abundance of food. The food was not ordered from a restaurant but it was all cooked by the birthday celebrant.

Everything was scrumptious, especially the salmon with pomegranate sauce and the burnt rice. The party was so lively with her beautiful grandkids who socialized with the adults.

Thank you Zohreh for your warm hospitality, your family is the best! I think you should host dinner parties for small groups and charge a set fee. Let me know when we can make our reservations.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Pinky's Hot Box

It's hard to miss this new "hot chicken joint" when you're driving by Crenshaw Blvd. in Torrance because of its hot pink color outside. This is the same location where Yellow Fever used to be.

It took us a while to figure out the menu since it did not include breasts, thighs or wings. They were all fried chicken tenders.  You do get a choice of how spicy you would like your chicken; Southern, mild, medium, hot, or blazing (blaze at your own risk). We decided to try the mild. The 2 pieces came with a choice of sides. We opted for the Krinkle Fries. We also ordered a side of the Mac' N Cheese.

The chicken was very good, one of the best I have had. It was so crunchy and I couldn't get over how tender and juicy it was since most tenders tend to be dry. The mild was a bit more than mild, it was spicy but perfect. I might try the medium next time to see if I can handle it.  The fries were nothing special though it needed ketchup which I went up to the counter to ask for some and the guy handed me a bottle that was almost empty! The Mac N Cheese was o.k.

It would be interesting to try the sandwich next time with the buttered brioche bun with slaw, pickles, and sauce. More interesting would be to compare it to Popeye's Chicken Sandwich which I haven't had.

Pinky's Hot Box is located at 24416 Crenshaw Blvd. Suite 4, in Torrance, California. They are closed on Mondays and open from 11:30 until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday, except for Sunday when they close at 7:00 p.m.  Parking is limited.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Trim Tart

Let me start by saying that this new bakery has potential. I say this because they have good products but adjustments will have to be made in my opinion, to make it successful. We first went there 2 weeks ago to try the Blueberry Lemon Scone which was very good. Something delicious just came out of the oven and according to the owner and chef, was one of their best sellers. It was cake-like with chocolate and smelled wonderful, that was the Chocolate Banana Cake. That too was very good. We were on our way somewhere so we didn't have the time to sit and savor.

Last week, after the gym, four of us decided to have breakfast there. We got there before 7:30 a.m. so we were the only ones there. There is only one table and the rest of the seating area are stools facing the street. They had a table outside but we didn't want to sit and inhale the fumes and watch the traffic on Lomita Blvd. We would have taken the only table inside but the owner had her laptop on the table and it was obvious she was using the only table as her desk. We were going to eat at the restaurant so we ordered coffee. The pastries we ordered came in a wrapper so we had to tear the paper and make it into a plate. I asked the owner if they had paper plates and she said no but she would give me a plate instead. She later came and handed me a small saucer. This time, I had ordered the Blueberry Chocolate Muffin which looked yummy. It was yummy and very messy. I had chocolate all over my fingers. There were no utensils.

Amy had the Blueberry-Lemon Scone, Sandi had the Orange-Cranberry and Zohreh had the Date Scone. Everyone loved what they had.

Back to my first sentence which was that the bakery has potential. I see little things that need improvement. The first one being awareness. There were 4 of us that obviously were there for a nice leisurely breakfast. The owner should have cleared her desk and had us sit there so we can all be comfortable talking to each other as opposed to us sitting side by side in a row facing the street. Second, they should have plates (paper is o.k.) and utensils especially since most of their products are nice and moist. It would be nice to have butter with the scones although I didn't ask for any. Again, knives would be very helpful. Since they are not yet well established, a better sign outside would help. They currently have a board w/ some balloons but they are not that visible. Perhaps she should get a larger sandwich board with large bold letters and colorful balloons or something unique to grab the attention of potential customers.

The question is would I or we go back there. The answer was unanimous. We would BUT we would have to buy our pastries and go to someone's house and make coffee so we can be more comfortable. In the meantime, we all wish her luck.

The Trim Tart is located at 2213 Lomita Blvd. in Lomita, California.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Cafe Dulce

It has been at least 5 years since I have made a trip to Little Tokyo's Cafe Dulce. Last Sunday, Sandi and I thought it was time to make the trip to have some of the best Bacon Donuts and the Spirulina Rolls aka Dinosaur Churro and the Koko Churro.

The bacon donut was still as good as I remembered it to be. They really have the best bacon donuts. Sandi opted for the Maple Donut with macadamia nuts on top. I ended up just buying some of the bacon donut holes to take home to freeze. I also got some Dinosaur Churro aka Koko Churro. After having the donut, I studied their menu and the Black Forest Ham with cheese on their fresh out of the oven French bread sounded very good. So I went ahead and ordered one to split with Sandi. It came with a salad which was a bonus. The crusty bread crunched as I took my first bite. Wow, it was ever so delicious.

A few hours later as I got settled at home, the spirulina rolls kept staring at me. I had to try it. It was nice and crunchy outside but very chewy inside. The roll is so light and the texture was wonderful with the walnuts and sesame seeds. They usually have the rolls without the sugar but they didn't have it that day. I don't know when we will be back to Cafe Dulce but I know I won't be waiting years to have the wonderful donuts and bread.

James, the owner was not there at the time and I am happy to report that even without him, the bakery/cafe is doing well and the employees are still just as nice. Cafe Dulce is located at 134 Japanese Village Plaza Mall in Los Angeles. Sunday mornings is a good time to go.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Silog Still Going Strong

We haven't been to Silog in a while and since the majority of our party of 6 were Filipinos, we thought it was appropriate to have good Filipino food. Sandi loves Silog so she did not need any convincing. Amy just went with the flow.

It's hard not to order their famous Sizzling Sisig (braised pork belly topped with chicharron and garlic creme aioli) so everyone ordered Sisig. But before that, we had to order their delicious Fried Lumpia (Filipino eggrolls). They still serve a small delicious salad with a mango dressing which wakes up your palate to prepare it for what's to come. The Sisig is now served in a separate dish so you have to do your own mixing and the egg is still in the center of the rice so when you break the egg, the yolk oozes nicely over the garlic fried rice.  Since they do not serve alcohol, we had to settle for non-alcoholic drinks which was fine because their Calamansi Mojito is just the right drink which goes well with everything.

Dessert was an easy choice; Turon a la mode which is fried banana with jackfruit and a scoop of Langka ice cream (jackfruit). Chef Archie came with an extra dessert for us to try which was a Flan creme brulee style which was a nice touch. Though the owner, Lemuel was not there, we were well taken care of by our server Keisha.

Silog is a hole in the wall but this hole is no ordinary hole. When you want good Filipino food, head over to Silog. They are located in a strip mall in Torrance. Their address is 1555 Sepulveda Blvd.