October 26, 2013

Bite of the Week: Tokyo Fried Chicken Co.

Over a month ago, Tokyo Fried Chicken Co. opened up in Monterey Park in the space that was once Open Door. The new restaurant (as the name implies) offers up a full menu of Japanese-Southern fusion. We've been avoiding it for the first month after hearing that there was consistently a long wait. So on Wednesday, we felt like it was a good random weekday to go. When we got there, the wait was still 30 minutes to seat a party of three. The food is served family style and includes a bunch of sides. The number of sides is determined by how many people are in your party.
Fried Chicken Dinner for 3
The chicken is flavored with soy, ginger, and garlic and served with their specially formulated ponzu sauces.

Chicken Rice
Honestly, the Chicken Rice was the best of the sides. It's extremely flavorful and comforting. There's just so much about it that just reminds you of a good home cooked meal.

Shishito Peppers
Creamy Potato Salad
Mac & Cheese
They recently started featuring desserts from other businesses, like a collaboration of sorts. They're currently featuring desserts from Quenelle in Burbank. I had to get the Strawberry Shortcake Bon Bons because I love the Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake bars. And this was definitely a much better version of them! They had less of that artificial strawberry taste and a nice crisp layer of white chocolate coating each bon bon.

Strawberry Shortcake Bon Bons
They also have a great beer selection from local breweries (Eagle Rock and Bootleggers, to name a few) to accompany your dinner.

So if you love fried chicken AND Japanese food, this is definitely give this place a try. But if you hate waiting, avoid this place on the weekends.

October 13, 2013

Sunday at the Brewery

It's been a few years since I last went to the Brewery Art Walk, but today I went because a couple of friends (who have never been) wanted to go. The Brewery Arts Complex was once a PBR brewery that was converted to artist lofts in the 80s.

Lately, I've been trying to make it a habit to use a camera instead of conveniently taking photos with my iPhone. I own a lot of cameras and some pretty darn good ones, so it's a shame that I don't use them more often. I've been carrying around a Canon S90 which I love because it's pretty much the size of my iPhone (except thicker) and it almost has the same functionality of an affordable dSLR without all the bulk. So here's a few of my favorite shots from today.

October 11, 2013

Udon I Can't Shut Up About

Recently, a new udon restaurant by the name of Marugame Monzo opened up in the Little Tokyo district of Downtown LA. It's conveniently located on 1st St. just a couple doors down from Daikokuya (some of you know this as the ramen place with the super long line). So if you're feeling like noodles but tired of ramen or waiting, GO HERE. I've been hearing buzz about this place for months, but Kevin and I just haven't had the chance to try it. We tried to go a couple of weeks ago after an opening at Q Pop, but we got so caught up with talking to friends that by the time we got there it was 15 minutes before closing and there were already two more parties waiting to be seated. So we decided to wait to try it on a weeknight when it's less crowded and it's easier to find free street parking. Yesterday, (as Thursday is like the new Friday) we finally treated ourselves to some yummy udon.

First of all, their udon noodles are PERFECT. Why? Because they're handmade on the premises and you can taste the huge difference between them and your typical supermarket stuff. They're just the perfect balance of chewy and doughy.

I got the Mentai Squid Butter Udon which had generous portions of tender pieces of squid (not the chewy, rubbery stuff you get from cheaper places). And the mentai (cod roe) didn't make it too salty either! Kevin ordered the Uni (sea urchin) Cream Udon which was AMAZING. What I got was already really good, but I kept picking at his dish because it was even better!
Mentai Squid Butter Udon
The only disappointment in my first trip to Marugame Monzo was in myself…somehow I totally forgot to order a tempura soft-boiled egg. YES, you read that correct! They offer tempura fried soft-boiled eggs! Here's the proof:

But FYI, it is a little pricier than ramen/pho/other noodle dish of choice, but it's totally worth it! What I ordered ran about $13 and I left feeling full & satisfied, but not too full to the point where I felt gross. So if you're ever in Downtown LA, I HIGHLY recommend going here.

If you want to read a real food critic's opinion, here's Jonathan Gold's review of the place. 

October 8, 2013

Mark Your Calendars for Renegade Craft Holiday!

This Holiday season, you'll have two chances to come shop from me IN PERSON! I'm proud to announce that I will be at Renegade Craft Fair LA + SF. Once again, I'll be sharing a booth with the boyfriend. And unlike summer, this time I'll have plenty of knitted goodies to help you get through the colder months. I also will have some new prints available (to be announced soon).
And if the hats shown above look familiar, it's because they're my hand-knit hats! Yep, the Renegade gang used a pic they took of my stuff (last year) for one of this year's promo images. I'm so honored to be a part of a great community of makers.

So get ready to get your Holiday shopping on and I'll see you there!

For more info on the events (including other cities), go to renegadecraft.com.

October 6, 2013

Weekend Wind Down

It's been pretty crazy around here lately. Between the multiple client projects and the back-to-back bulk orders, I barely get any time for myself these days. And if I do happen to have some free time, I spend it knitting new accessories in preparation for holiday. This upcoming Monday, I'll find out if I'll be a vendor at Renegade Craft LA & SF for the holiday season and from there, I will have two months to prepare from both shows. I feel like I just got back from Renegade Craft summer and if I'm in, I'll have to do it all over again.

Being that I'm my own boss, I decided to take tonight off and just chill out for a bit. And by chill out I really mean eating a bunch of desserts while making lists of goals and things I would like to achieve in the coming months. Kev and I just went over to D'odici and to our surprise, they make macarons now! And they're actually really good! (I hate it when cafes start offering macarons because they're trendy but they end up being mediocre or totally suck!)

We got rose, earl grey, and pistachio. The rose was light, sweet, and not too floral, which is just perfect. Their macaron cookie is just the right texture; they were light and airy. I hate when places make them too chewy. They went perfectly with my lavender latte. I've been on this weird lavender kick for months…I LOVE lavender lemonade! And honey lavender ice cream is my new favorite thing!
Macarons & Lavender Latte
We also got a creme brûlée because in all our previous trips to D'odici we got there later when the dessert case was bare. I didn't think they would actually top it with berries because it was looking awfully plain in the case. But I'm so glad they did. Their custard was already the perfect texture so the berries were just an added bonus.
Creme Brûlée 
Once Monday rolls back around, I'll have to get back to work on a new client project from one of my favorite clients, start designing for Fall 2014 for another client (which I think is CRAZY EARLY), and then tackle two really big bulk orders. I find myself constantly asking "When do I actually get to work on my stuff?" but hey, I gotta pay off my college debt somehow. I have a few new things made for the cooler weather season. I just need to photograph everything. So I'll have a few more sneak peeks soon!