Saturday, April 21, 2007

Lunch Box Love Offerings from Grandma

Mystery Object

Something carefully wrapped in a napkin which was then inserted into a sandwich baggie.

Mystery Object Revealed

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Yai at the Hollymont Plaza

In that they are close to my place of employment, I like the food and we have known the folks forever, my Thai eating is largely confined to Suriyo and Sompun on Santa Monica Blvd. Because the children’s theater group, after having been rejected my people, has found a new home in the bosom of the Lutherans, I find myself often with time to kill near the Hollymont shopping center, the one graced by Jon’s Market, Fatburger and that store where all the moms rush to pick up those emergency white shirts for school performances. When I was a kid my dad and I used to order Green River for a big green fountain from the Woolworth Five and Dime where the Rite Aid is now. I have not been brave enough to try the fish and chips place but I have made it into Yai twice now, once for dine in and once for carry out.
It’s an ugly restaurant with too much sort of mean spirited signage like "Cash Only" and the menu indicates that drinks ordered without ice will be charged double. Little not warm nor fuzzy touches like that were sort of a turn off, but there are a couple of really excellent, if not mind blowing dishes. I like the dry egg noodles with duck a lot. More adventurous diners may gravitate towards the wild boar on the menu, but while we are loosening our kosher standards a bit, this is just beyond the pale. The thing I liked the most though was a simple apple salad with lemon juice and chiles. Really refreshing. The chicken sates were nice but not as good as the ones at the Hollywood farmers market, and oddly served with diagonal slices of commercial white sandwich bread. I brought home a pornographic fried trout for himself and despite 20 minutes in traffic, it was crispy on the outside and truly moist and flavorful on the inside when it hit the table. The barbecued chicken was on the sweet side but not lacking in complex and slightly funky flavor.
The service when we dined in was quite slow and a bit confused. When I ordered carry out though, the order was prepared quickly, well packaged and complete. Overall, if you don’t need love with your food, this is really good take out resource with easy parking, which more and more effects my dining decisions.

Monday, April 16, 2007

At Long Last, Kellogg Ranch

Driving back from the Springs I spontaneously stopped at the Farm Store at Cal Poly Pomona after years of curiousity. The first thing on my mind was Dr. Bob’s ice cream. I was happy to see a pumpkin flavor I’d never seen before and the ultra illusive Brown Sugar Strawberry Sour Cream. There was a decent selection from beef and lamb raised there on the campus. Alas, I had no portable cooling device so my shopping, while extensive, was confined to non-perishable products.

There is some of the typical overpriced bullshit high end pretty food gourmet stuff but there is really an ample selection of some interesting jams and salsas made at the farm itself and even something called Pecan Coconut filling which might be a good brownie topping in the future. We also filled a jar with delicious local honey from an awesome looking vat.

I was under the impression that dairy products from the campus were sold here too but the milk was Broguiere's and the cheese selection was utterly undistinguished. There were some nice local baked goods and I purchased too some gorgeous citrus and broccoli grown there on the campus and a lovely box of local strawberries.

And how cool is it to return from a little vacation and not have to rush out to the supermarket?

Kellogg Ranch at Cal Poly Pomona

Chow Patty Saves us from Billy Reed's in Palm Springs

Thanks to my role model Chow Patty of Eating L.A. for making two swell Palm Springs suggestions and sparing me from Billy Reed’s.

The first was Tylers, an upscale and not cheap burger place. We waiting about 40 minutes for a table at peak lunch hour. If you order coleslaw, they throw it right on your table, as an appetizer, and it is far and away the best coleslaw I have ever had, fresh, crisp, not overdressed and redolent of celery seeds. Perfection. I had a kraut dog which suffered from a sort of acrid dog. I forgot to ask whether it was all beef but I ate corn and rice over Passover this year so the mighty have fallen. I might have forgiven the dog, were it not for the kraut which was not rinsed so it was overly briny and worse, sopped up the bun, causing it to disintegrate. The fries were fine and the kids burgers tasted really good. Did not try the potato salad or the chili but this is the kind of place that might excel in these two basic burger joint food groups. Will definitely return.

The Matchbox has fancy drinks and bar food but a nice slant on pizza, allowing you to chose your own type of crust, sauce and toppings. We ordered a simple chicken pesto creation and it was thin crusted, delicate and tasty. We also shared some sliders which were hit the right note between dainty and sloppy. I had an overpriced girlie cocktail, some citrusy thing, which mercifully wasn’t too sweet. The place is pretty, upstairs in the plaza and would definitely be a choice for a drink and snack in a pleasant place without huge ooze factor.

Our hotel had the worst continental breakfast and Farmer Bros. coffee so we didn’t even bother with it. Elmer’s is a nice, honest coffee shop. It would be more fun if it were kitschier or tiki or googie or something but it still wields some retro charm and good pancakes.

The Palm Springs Farmers market is pleasant. There was a good selection of nice produce and lots of good dried fruits. We bought a big batch of different flavored licorice which we overate on all weekend. There is not an huge choice of prepared foods and the lines were quite long so we partook of nothing, but the aromas were tempting and it’s a lovely place to stroll if you have enough self control to go easy on the licorice.

149 S. Indian Canyon

155 S. Palm Canyon

1030 E Palm Canyon

Farmers Market is Thursday evenings on Palm Canyon.

I will have a big meltdown if you don't take those leftover fries home.

So we did.

Lucky Boy-As real as it gets

This place is run with military precision although slightly more warmth. Food appears in seconds and I have never gotten anything different than exactly what I ordered. It is a homely restaurant with sort of a comforting Edward Hopper Zeitgeist. The burgers are big and sloppy, and definitely taste of charred meat. The fries and onion rings are as close to perfection as I’ve found. We ordered fries well done. The cross section of burger is an avocado burger with grilled onions and cheddar cheese. The three of us were unable to make a dent in the hearty portion and Grandma insisted that I take the leftovers home so my kids could have cold fries and rings in their lunch boxes on this first day back to school after a long vacation. I’ll count ketchup as a vegetable.
Lucky Boy Drive-in Restaurant
640 S Arroyo Pkwy Pasadena, CA 91105-3233