L.A. & S.F. Eats Day 2 – BBQ & Hanpan Cheese

Hanpan @ Furaibo
In the morning dead salty fish and at night tasty deep fried fish cakes stuffed with cheese.

After watching Anthony Bourdain visit the Salton Sea in an episode of No Reservations, I wanted to go to the Salton Sea. So day 2 in LA, my family and I set out on a two hour road trip that began at 7am. It’s a small town with lots of nothing. The Salton Sea itself was bigger than I thought and when we arrived there were few guys fishing in the lake. So it was around lunch time when we left the Salton Sea. We drove about an hour to Rancho Mirange for lunch. After couple u-turns we stopped at a bbq place (thought it was a weird place to take my parents to but I didn’t decide on the place). Babe’s BBQ Grill has a giant bronze pig statue outside to greet the customers. I really had super duper low expectation for a bbq place in a city where it was once a popular destination for retiring folks. It’s now replaced by rich folks and golf courses, blah! We walked in and the first thing I noticed about the hostess and waiters/waitresses were their cowboy hats and boots. *sigh.. So we sat down and put in our orders. One good thing about this place is that they brew their own beer and I got to try their honey blonde ale. It was a pretty good beer and $4.50 for a pint.
Babe's BBQ and Grill
I ordered their spicy sausage links with sweet potato fries. I love sweet potato fries. The sausage links had a nice kick of spiciness to it but it was nothing special. For a place like this the food was decent and a plus for the microbrew.
After a 3hour rest back at home, we were off to dinner at Furaibo. Last time I was there for lunch I didn’t get to eat my favorite dish, hanpan cheese, since they don’t serve it for lunch. FINALLY I was there for dinner and FINALLY I can have my favorite dish. Let me remind you what hanpan cheese is. Hanpan is a flat piece of fish cake, stuffed with cheese (I think its kraft singles), wrapped in seaweed, and then deep fried. It’s served with soy sauce and mustard. It’s just so freakin good with rice. I know most people would think it’s such a weird combination but it works its super good. There is something similar at Oh! Taisho in the East Village (NYC). I’m not sure what cheese they use but they stuff the cheese inside a tube shaped fish cake then deep fried tempura style. Oh! Taisho’s version doesn’t even come close to Furaibo’s hanpan cheese but sometimes you just take what you can get. Other goodies we got at Furaibo were chawanmushi, skewers of chicken gizzards (I love gizzards), and a soft shell crab. Hhhhmmmmm……..
Soft Shell Crab @ Furaibo

– Babe’s BBQ Grill 71800 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
– Furaibo 17859 Colima Rd, City of Industry, CA 91748