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Pollo Ala Brasa - Food Blog 3

Let’s face it. We love food. It’s one of the most universal things that connect the human race. Through food, different cultures share the passion they have for it and we as individuals partake in this precious commodity. We indulge and become institutionalized in the asylum that is our tastebuds. For some, our eyes are hypnotized by the elegance and sophistication of how food is plated or just how amazing that piece of fried chicken looks seconds before it’s consumed. However, before one looks at or devours their favorite dish, it is our sense of smell that first beckons us to answer the call of food. If it’s the smell of chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven to the welcome smell of bbq on a summer’s day, our olfactory sense is something that is cherished and makes us appreciate food even more before that first bite is taken.

A couple months ago I found myself in Gardena walking to work every day. Each day, I was always bombarded with a powerful aroma of wood roasted chicken coming from Pollo Ala Brasa. This aroma lingered with me even after I walked past the restaurant and  as the days passed I felt more of a need to try this restaurant out until one day I finally did.

The Setting:

Before you even enter the restaurant, there is this massive pile of wood on the side of building that catches the eye. Yet, once you walk through the doors, this is not the case. The interior is dull and unremarkable. You walk inside and immediately you are faced with the cashier. Off to the left is a small eating area. There are small booklets consisting of the short menu and higher up on the wall, a couple of the main dishes you can order are pictured. If the smell is what drew me in, the dismal, in your face interior almost chased me away.

The Entrée:

I chose to order a half chicken plate over the steak. It came with coleslaw and beans as sides in addition to a few tortillas, all coming up to a little over nine dollars. In terms of quantity, this meal was definitely worth the price and I wouldn’t complain at all about how there wasn’t enough food. However, as you can see from the pictures, the wood grilled chicken is the equivalent to a twenty dollar bill found beneath a sea of pennies:

The chicken tasted as great as it looked. The meat fell easily off the bone and was plenty flavorful without the skin. The skin was just a nice addition. I wish I could praise the beans and coleslaw as well, but they both were pretty watered down and served nothing more, but to mirror the depressing décor of the restaurant’s interior. When I tried to put everything together inside the tortilla to try to balance out the flavors a little bit, the combination barely did anything. The chicken continued to power through like a champ, but the coleslaw and beans were basically bland and did nothing to compliment it. Here’s another picture. I apologize for the blurriness:

The Verdict:

In the end, the chicken was amazing and I imagine the steak would have been great too. I would definitely say if you are in the area, come and try out either. Don’t order the sides. Save on the money and disappointment. Just get the tortillas and some kind of salsa and you’re set. If you want to take it home and enjoy it with friends or family, make some sides, then buy the chicken and/or steak. Seriously, Pollo Ala Brasa needs to bring the quality up the rest of the menu so they can have a more balanced menu. If I was just rating the chicken by itself, I would give 3.5 squares, possibly even 4, but sadly, that is not the case.

Rating:  2.5/5 Squares                          

Milk - Food Blog 2

Sorry for the long hiatus. Second long overdue food blog on an ice cream parlor called Milk located just east of Beverly Hills.

http://www.themilkshop.com/home 

Enjoy!

For the first time since leaving Riverside after my tenure in college, I have found a food spot that makes me happy that I am back in the city of angels. Milk exceeded my expectations and may be a restaurant known for their delicious desserts, but their entrees are surprisingly just as impressive.

The Setting:  

So I first heard about Milk after seeing pics a friend posted on Facebook and I have been excited about it ever since.

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This is the front of the building. Looking at it, I was expecting not a giant interior, but something somewhat roomy. In actuality, the place is pretty small, so small in fact that parking is a block away. You walk in and after a couple of feet, you hit the register, on the right of which is a tantalizing display case full of cookies, cake, brownies, and other desserts. Along the display case is a narrow walkway lined with small tables. The tall ceiling somewhat gives off the illusion of a bigger space, but once the line reaches out the door, the petite size is noticeable.

The Menu: 

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The Entrée:

So let’s get to the food! First thing I tried was the ½ pound burger that consisted of crispy bacon, lettuce, tomato, aged cheddar cheese, and pickles. There was also a small leafy salad that came with it. Here are some pictures:

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Pretty sexy looking right? I hope so for $12.50. Not a typo, that is seriously how much the meal cost. I ate the salad first. Wasn’t impressed. It was just lettuce and barely any dressing. I love my dressing and love having different ingredients to bring out a more unique flavor to satisfy my tastebuds. Now let’s talk about my burger.

First bite:

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It was a very flavorful bite and I really enjoyed it, but somewhere about half way through eating, I fell in love so much, I hit the table, much to the surprise of my two friends. To put it simply, everything was perfect. The well done patty, the fresh ingredients, the addition of bacon (always makes everything that much better). I couldn’t stop eating it and without question this was easily one of the best burgers I have ever eaten in my life.

The Desserts:

  • Blue Velvet Cake

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  • The Brownie:

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  • Red Velvet Ice Cream Sandwich:

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  • Other Desserts

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When it comes to desserts, Milk exceeds the bar. For anyone visiting LA, for this parlor not to be on your must see list is complete insanity. From the blue velvet cake, to the cookies, to the brownie topped with various scopes of ice cream, whatever dessert you decide to chow down on, the only mistake would be not making second trip to try something else. Let’s take the red velvet ice cream sandwich. One bite and the perfect combination of a crunchy yet soft cookie with a blast of red velvet produce an overall delectable treat. $5 for a slice of cake may be a little pricy, but if you want quality, the prices aren’t an issue. One tip, if you’re on a budget, try to restrain yourself. On my first trip I had a slice of blue velvet cake and the brownie covered with ice cream (in addition to my burger) and that alone was a little over $10 bucks. I have yet to try a shake or malt, but on your first visit, order anything velvet or cookies and you’re golden.

 

The Verdict:

Why pretty pricey compared to say the banana split truck that comes up the block, the quality and richness of ingredients allows for a temporary amnesia of how much money one spends on a visit and complete focus on the deliciousness of the food. Milk proves that their entrees are just as appetizing as their desserts and that their diverse menu should be something that provides for multiple trips to receive a plethora of food experiences. The only main negative would be that there isn’t a whole lot of indoor seating, but walking down Beverly Boulevard and enjoying a tasty slice of blue velvet cake provides another adventure in itself.

Rating:  5/5 Squares                          

White Rabbit Food Truck - Blog 1 (11/17/12)

Welcome! This is the first entry of what I hope to be many. If you know me, you know I love food. Watching Man v Food and Kitchen Nightmares (speaking of the restaurants AFTER Gordon Ramsay fixed them up) I realized that there are all of these amazing places to eat around the country that I really want to try, hence me starting a food blog. Since I can’t travel the country just quite yet, I am staying local and documenting all of my food adventures worth mentioning. Enjoy.

My first trip on this culinary journey of mine was to the White Rabbit Filipino Fusion Food Truck. The White Rabbit takes tradition Mexican dishes such as tacos and burritos and provide their own version of them using Filipino flavors to provide a different dish altogether. I found out about this food truck from watching Man v Food Nation. Their website, ( http://whiterabbittruck.com/ )updates weekly on where the food truck will be during lunch and dinner hours. In addition to the food truck, The White Rabbit also owns two cafes, one in Oxnard and another in Canoga Park that both have an expanded menu. I was just looking at the café menu and saw that they have carne asada fries so now I need to go try them one day. Here is a clip from Man v Food Nation of Adam Richman’s trip to the White Rabbit. Everything on the White Rabbit starts at 2:20, but I recommend watching the whole video to look at the other great food trucks there are around the country:

http://www.travelchannel.com/video/adam-gets-street-eats-16245

Earlier this week, I was on the White Rabbit’s website and decided to take my first visit this past Wednesday when the truck would be parked right outside of Ernst & Young in Downtown LA. 

Imagine a very peaceful plaza surrounded by lush, green trees smack next to the towering skyscraper that is Ernst & Young on a cool fall afternoon. Men and woman on their lunch breaks sparsely populated the area. Some are in line to get lunch and some a hundred feet away sitting down and already enjoying a delicious meal. The White Rabbit wasn’t alone in the plaza like I thought it would be, but there was also a truck that sold lobster and crab rolls as well as a truck selling Greek food, which both quickly caught my eye.

To say my expectations were high is an understatement. I was expecting a giant line once I got there and complete chaos, however once I did arrive there, I was a little surprised with what I saw. There weren’t hordes of people crowding the truck like I thought. Even arriving a little after twelve, the line wasn’t crazy. I maybe waited in line for a couple of minutes before my order was taken. I guess I was expecting this giant spectacle just because White Rabbit was on TV.

When it comes to burritos, the first thing I think about is size. I compare everything to burritos from Chipotle and Cilantro (a little Mexican food spot near LAX) since I think those are some pretty hefty burritos and worth the price. Here’s a pic I took before I started eating:

At first glance, I was kind of disappointed. For seven dollars I was expecting a little more. I ordered a chicken adobo burrito. All of White Rabbit’s burritos come with garlic rice, egg, and cheese. Egg and a burrito? Isn’t that just a breakfast burrito? You would think, but no. From the moment I took my first bite, I didn’t feel like I was eating a breakfast burrito at all. White Rabbit really did a great job at taking something that people are familiar with, burritos, and adding their own unique Filipino fusion to it. There was a sweetness that I didn’t expect, but worked great. It wasn’t overpowering and balanced well with all the other ingredients. There were perfect portions of every ingredient so everything was able to shine to create a very different burrito and one great eating experience.

The inside look:

The Verdict:

The White Rabbit has food that should definitely be tried once on the sole reason of their creative approach to a familiar type of food. I only had a burrito, but I would love to try their tacos, rice bowl, or go out to one of their cafes and try their carne asada fries. Once I finished my burrito, I was pretty full, but not too long after, that feeling disappeared. Personally I feel it was maybe $1 to $1.50 overpriced. If you’re into trying something with a twist, White Rabbit will satisfy that need.

Rating: 3.5 Squares         

(out of 5)

mckaylaisnotimpressed:

Voldemort casting a Killing Curse? McKayla is not impressed.

Reblogged from mckaylaisnotimpressed

mckaylaisnotimpressed:

Voldemort casting a Killing Curse? McKayla is not impressed.

"Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is important you do it."

Gandhi

"Life is lived forwards but understood backwards."

Kierkegaard, Philosopher

Passion, A Great Thing To Have, But It Isn’t Everything

So today at work I got into a disagreement with my coworker. One of his claims was that he had more passion for teaching students acting than I did. One problem I have is this is that, one, this is an assumption. He barely knows me. Just because I’m not jumping out of my seat, doesn’t mean I have passion. There are different ways of showing that you are passionate about something. The second problem I have is that passion isn’t everything. It is a great asset, don’t get me wrong, but it’s more of an enhancement on something that is already there and shouldn’t be a reason that someone knows best on any given subject.

I googled passion and this was the first picture that didn’t involve two people being intimate and I think it does a great job at proving my point.

This situation, the more I thought about it, the more I thought about an incident a few years ago about someone getting a position because he was “more passionate” about the position than someone who was lacking in passion, but he was clearly the someone that would get the job and help advance the position as a whole. After watching this person with the position throughout that year, my instincts were dead on. It was a mistake, but it taught me how to view passion. Passion only goes so far. You need to have insight. A plan. A vision. Determination to accomplish whatever goals you may have for yourself.

I feel like I am rambling a bit so I am going to cut it there. I could use a stimulating conversation right now so let me know what you think. If you need more info on the first situation I can elaborate. The second, unless you know exactly what I’m talking about, I’d rather not go too into that. Passion doesn’t make you entitled, but used in the right way, true brilliance emerges, not arrogance or a complete blunder.

"Get busy living, or get busy dying."

Tim Robbins / Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption)

"What I am doing is more important than who I am."

Thantos (a real life superhero)

"Lose one friend, lose all friends, lose yourself."

Playing with squirrels (aka Eric Matthews)

"Without hope, life isn’t anything."

Mike Tyson

Knowledge from Square

Chicken Salad and Ho Ho are names of actual snowboarding tricks. Thanks 101 Ways to Leave a Game Show!

Knowledge from Square

Joey Chesnut ate 68 hot dogs in ten minutes in 2009 to break the Guinness World Record. Thanks 101 Ways to Leave a Game Show!

Knowledge from Square

You can purchase Gary Busey and Flavor Flav voices for your car’s GPS. Thanks 101 Ways to Leave a Game Show!

Knowledge from Square

There are ATMs located in Vatican City, Pennsylvania Amish Country, and Antartica, but not at the White House. Thanks 101 Ways to Leave a Game Show!