5 seconds of fame on Cooking Channel’s Eat St.

Tonight, a friend wrote on my Facebook wall that she saw me on Cooking Channel’s Eat St. Apparently, this is the episode but I don’t have cable so I didn’t see it. If you know where the episode is streaming, please share.

The segment was shot a little over a year ago in downtown Los Angeles. My boss and co-worker had a craving for a Coolhaus ice cream sandwich – not just any ice cream sandwich… gourmet ice cream sandwiches. We checked twitter and found out they would be down the street! We ended up being the first people in line. Some camera guys were filming the truck and also some of the customers in line (like me!). I’m not sure what footage they got of me but most likely I’m scarfing down an ice cream sandwich and getting it all over myself. Ha! Um, perhaps it is a good thing I haven’t seen this episode.

Anyhow, here are some photos from that day.

The photo above is me trying to look poised after my first bite of one of the best gourmet ice cream sandwiches in town. If you want to see a close up of the ice cream sandwich, check out my original post on Coolhaus here.

From the streets to the strip: Chego

Those who have been following the food truck scene in Los Angeles know the trendsetter Kogi. And those in the know who don’t want to stand in the long lines at the Kogi truck drive over to the Alibi Room in Culver City to get their tacos served hot by the same people who started Kogi. Now, those who want more than a Korean taco or kimchi quesadilla can check out Kogi’s new sister restaurant Chego – yes, this is a legit restaurant in a quintessential strip mall in LA.

Chego means “the best” in Korean so I was curious to see if the place lived up to the name. The Korean influenced restaurant opened in April in this unassuming strip mall off of Overland near the freeway. It’s far from downtown Culver City or the bars. When I got there on a Tuesday evening, the line was out the door. Inside, there are tables with seats that line the walls but in the center there’s a long communal table people stand and eat at. I admit I like the standing table because it saves space and you get a chance to talk to strangers — because of the casual atmosphere.

OK, let’s get down to business… the food. Don’t expect tacos or quesadillas at this joint. It’s straight up small dishes, bowls, and appetizers. The dishes are Korean inspired but not purely all eastern. I mean, just take a look at these Ooey Gooey Fries… chilli, two types of cheeses, sour cream, pickled garlic and then some… there was definitely some western influences in making this appetizer.

Believe it or not, I wanted something a little light and I had a hard time finding that on the menu. I settled for the $12 Salad (which is really $7) that has goat cheese, cranberries, mixed greens, miso, and pickles…

I also got a side of the 3PM Meatballs. These are three fried meatballs with polenta, meat, sesame, and topped with green onions. I really wanted to like this dish and it almost had it – the flavors were there but I wanted the outside to be a little but more crispier since it was fried. But, boy, it sure looks pretty.

If you go to this place, it helps to bring a group of friends because you can try each other’s food. One of my pals ordered Tiny’s Prime Rib Rice Plate. Um, there’s nothing tiny about this dish. The meat was cooked just right – juicy in the center with lots of flavor in the skin.

Someone else at our table got the Buttered Kimchi Chow which is between kimchi fried rice and bibimbap. It was really flavorful but a bit too spicy for me. I did like how they added the furikake seasoning on top though. If you’re into the spice – this dish is for you.

My verdict? The prices were decent and I’d go back again but next time I’ll skip the small dishes and go straight to the main dish – especially that prime rib plate. Yum!

I do wonder if more food trucks will go legit and open storefronts. Do you know some are following in this trend? Let me know!

Finally, we meet… its about damn time!

Sorry for the long pause between posts but June has been one busy month for me. Between prepping for multi-media training from Knight Digital Media Center in Berkeley to the Marketplace “Moving by Degrees” event I worked on, I’m now rejoining the living. But don’t fret, I’ve been able to fit in some quality eats. Actually, I’ve been munching on dishes that I’ve been meaning to check out since I’ve moved back to SoCal.

Last month I finally caught up to the Buttermilk Truck in downtown LA.

As you can see from above, they are known for their red velvet buttermilk pancakes. Yours truly actually got the last ones! I took it as a sign… a sign that I should be devouring those mini fluffy cakes on the streets as other watched on. I’ve actually seen this truck often but the lines have been too long so I was pretty excited when I only saw a few people in front of it on a late evening in front of the Downtown Independent Theatre.

Right before that, I also encountered another gourmet food truck in LA that my taste-buds have been craving: Dosa Truck.

My friend and I actually decided to split the dosa because we wanted to save room for other food we might find on the streets of LA (good thing since we stumbled upon Buttermilk!). But I admit the dosa was OK – the filling was a bit dry but the outside had a nice light crunch so it made up for it.

Last month, I finally had an Umami burger! My friends at Poketo were having a Ping-Pong game on the closing day of their exhibit “Los Angeles, I’m Yours” at Space 15Twenty which happens to be next to Umami Burger! Finally, the stars were aligned for me to try my first burger at this place. So how does an Umami burger look like? Like this…

This petite burger is the signature burger – it’s narrow and small but it’s tall and just pretty. I thought my burger reminded me of Pacman. My friends say other burgers on the menu are better than this one but I was pleased with the one I got – but perhaps a taste comparison is necessary for a post for the future. The only thing I wished is that this came with fries – you see, everything at Umami is a la carte so the bill can get a bit spendy.

I can’t wait to check off some other items I’ve been wanting to try. Now I just need some foodie companions and an empty stomach… any takers?