LA Eats: Guisados

Guisados

Of course a trip back home wouldn’t be complete without eating some tacos. Few people and couple websites pointed me to Guisados. They recently opened one in DTLA and lucky for me, I was there to check out the Big Gay Ice Cream LA shop.

I guess I should’ve done my homework before going to Guisados. Apparently, the better deal for first timers is to get the platter. It’s a platter of 6 small tacos which is great to get a feel of the place. Instead, I walked up to the counter and got a steak picado, chicken mole poblano, fish, and chicharron.

Let’s start with the not so great and meh. I did not like the chicharron (pork rinds simmered in chile verde) taco. When you think chicharron, you think crunchy and crispy. The chicharron at Guisados was soft because if I had done my homework again I would’ve known that they basically braise and simmer all their taco fillings. Slippery pork skin is not good eats to me. The pescado (grilled fish) taco was alright. I really think that, when it comes to fish tacos, the fish needs to be fried or else it sort of gets lost.

Oh man, but the steak picado and chicken mole poblano tacos were pretty darn good. Great flavors and texture, could’ve eaten 2 more of those.

The corn tortillas were tasty and thicker than the usual tortillas and I really liked that.

My sister told me that they have beef tendon tacos which I want to try, next time I’m home.

Guisados, locations in DTLA, Boyle Heights, and Echo Park Los Angeles

LA Eats: Petit Trois

Petit Trois

You know the phrase “cuts like butter?” Well I used it to describe the steak I was eating, to my friend while we were having lunch at Petit Trois. Oh wow..indeed.

Petit Trois

The steak frites ($33), which comes with an onion soup sauce, is major delicious. The steak was tender and rare and fatty. I also could’ve just eaten the free bread and butter, toasty and soft. My friend ordered the croque monsieur which was really good and really heavy. We also shared a plate of the salmon rillettes that I happily slathered it over the bread and butter.

I hear it gets crazy crowded during dinner service so if you have a chance, go for lunch.

Petit Trois 718 N. Highland Ave, Los Angeles

Pizza At Houdini Kitchen Laboratory

margherita

Ridgewood is an interesting neighborhood. Technically in Queens, it’s right on the border of where Queens and Brooklyn meet. I was last there for Bun-Ker, which is hard to get to by train. Much easier is Houdini Kitchen Laboratory, a new pizza place that’s been getting a lot of buzz on all the food blogs lately. I stopped by on a weekday for lunch, and found the place tucked away next to a loading dock. They have a really beautiful, airy and open dining room, as well as an outdoor patio. I sat on the patio, with a view of that loading dock, and I ordered the Margherita. You may have noticed that the pizza crust has none of the char that I love so much. Instead, the crust is flatter and more like a regular pizza-shop pizza. The pie was still good; a little wet in the center, like a traditional Neapolitan pizza, with a nice balance of sauce and cheese. The sauce could have used a little more salt, but after eating the first slice I doused the rest of the pie in some of the chile oil provided on the table and that helped some too. While I enjoyed the pizza at Houdini, I wouldn’t call the Margherita destination-worthy. If I lived in the neighborhood I’d probably be there pretty often, but I have better, closer options right here.

Houdini Kitchen Laboratory — 1563 Decatur St, Ridgewood

Prince St. Pizza Is Worth The Trek To SoHo

Prince St Pizza

Happy Friday! I suggest leaving work early and head straight down to SoHo for a slice of this incredibly deliciousness at Prince St. Pizza. A Paulie Gee approved pizza joint, it is situated in the heart of SoHo. If you have live in NY long enough, you’ll probably wonder…..a great slice joint in SoHo?! Yes! The corner slice, $3.95, that I got (the Spicy Spring) had a nice crispy bottom and gooey top. The crust was chewy and light and who can say no to those cute looking slices of pepperoni.

Also, I love the corner slice. Are you a fan of the corner slice, if so…we’re best buds!

A great way to start the weekend.

Prince St. Pizza 27 Prince St, SoHo

Vegetarian Ramen At Momofuku Noodle Bar

hozon ramen

As a vegetarian, I’ve never really felt the urge to dine at any of the Momofuku restaurants. When he first started out David Chang made it pretty clear he didn’t care much about vegetarians, though over the past few years that’s started to change. Then I read this article on Eater about a new vegetarian ramen they’ve been serving at Momofuku Noodle Bar with Hozon broth. Hozon is a local company, also owned by Momofuku’s David Chang, that’s been making fermented products similar to miso, and at the Noodle Bar they’ve made it into a ramen broth. It’s not as good as the both at Chuko, but it’s a great bowl of noodles. The broth is salty and rich, and is studded with fried chickpeas, crispy crackers, and sauteed kale for texture. Better still were the noodles; so firm they almost snapped between my teeth, and with an almost buttery aftertaste. I’m glad I finally gave Momofuku Noodle Bar a chance, as I can now cross that one off my list of NYC restaurant experiences.

Momofuku Noodle Bar — 171 1st Ave, NYC

Vegetarian At Rockaway Tacos

rockaway tacos

I’ve lived in NYC for almost exactly 11 years now, but up until recently I had never been to the Rockaways. So on a beautiful summer day I took the train out as far as it would take me and emerged on a lovely strip of beach. After getting my toes wet I was ready for some food, and I knew just where to go: Rockaway Taco. Tucked into a tiny storefront space a few blocks from the beach, Rockaway Taco is a Rockaways institution. I got a couple of tofu tacos, piled high with fresh veggies and avocado. There was no way to eat them without making a mess, but I’d gladly do it again; the tacos were fantastic. Dare I say it — I enjoyed them more than the tacos I usually get at the Red Hook Ball Fields. I don’t know when the next time I’ll find myself in the Rockaways, but when I do I know where I’ll be eating.

Rockaway Taco — 95-19 Rockaway Beach Blvd, Rockaway Beach, NY

Banana Durian Ice Cream From Morgenstern’s Finest

morgenstern's ice cream

Ignore the pink scoop on top — that was Strawberry Sassafras, which was fine but not particularly remarkable. The pale yellow below that, however, was one of the tastiest things I’ve eaten all year. The Banana Durian ice cream at Morgenstern’s Finest, on the Lower East Side, was incredible. Durian is a fruit native to SE Asia, notorious for its unique odor, it’s custad-like texture, and its flavors of cheese and onions. Click here for my reaction to eating fresh durian for the first time. The banana mixed in helped mellow the durian flavor, but it was still quite pronounced in all of its funky glory. My first bite of the ice cream made me sit up and take notice; I was transported back to the streets of Kuala Lumpur. My second confirmed my first impression — this was something special. I couldn’t get enough of it, and even considered going back for a pint to take home. I think it’s better as an occasional treat, though, and there’s something comforting in the knowledge that there’s banana durian ice cream out there, just waiting for me to return.

Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream — 2 Rivington St, NYC