Monday, November 14, 2011

In the mood for Chinese- at Dragon 21 Chinese Cuisine & Noodles, Cypress CA

My brother was in the mood for some Chinese food, and was hard pressed to think of where to go since it was about the time for the dinner rush. He was pretty hungry, so Liz suggested that we go to Dragon 21 Chinese Cuisine and Noodles. Her main convincing point was that the place was usually not filled with diners because they were busier with their takeout customers. True to Liz's prediction, there was only one other table of people when we arrived.

As usual, we ordered way too much for only four people. But my brother rationalized that they needed some food to take to work/school the next day, so we could make use of leftovers (if any).

Aside from the meat dishes they ordered, we also had some Schezwan Eggplant (which Liz and I believed only we would eat since the males in the family are quite averse to vegetables).

Schezwan Eggplant

We also ordered some Dragon Seafood, which was described to be "shrimp, scallops, calamari and fish fillet sauteed in brown sauce, atop a bed of assorted vegetables".

Dragon Seafood

We also decided to have some Orange Peel Fish and Shrimp Fried Rice. (We do love us some shrimp.)

Orange Peel Fish

Shrimp Fried Rice

It took a lot of will power for us not to polish off everything, since supposedly, some of the food was to be left over for the next day. Everything I tasted was good, and even if the food looked similar in all their saucy glory, the dishes actually had their own flavor, which all complemented each other.

I would have to say my favorite was the orange peel fish. My brother said it tasted a lot like orange chicken, which they often order in Chinese restaurants, so he was glad that there was an alternative to their favorite.

If our dining experience was a typical evening for the restaurant, it would be a really good place for us to go back to. It is sometimes quite difficult to find a good Chinese place to eat that is not crowded. Because there were not too many people, we also had our dinner in peace and quiet.

Dragon 21 Chinese Cuisine and Noodles
10503 Valley View St.
Cypress, California
United States 90630
Tel. No. (714)828.1818

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Gourmet fastfood at Paul's Place, Los Alamitos CA

Liz attended a PTA meeting early in the morning, but she still had some free time before she reported for work at the clinic at 2pm, so she picked me up to grab a quick lunch. She brought me to Paul's Place, and from what I read about the restaurant, it was supposed to offer "gourmet fastfood".

I liked the ambience of the place. We were seated outdoors, and though it was a bit chilly, it was nice and felt like a good place to have a relaxing lunch and chat with a good friend. They offered some salads, but aside from that there were few choices for pescetarians. So I had the reliable fallback in fastfood places, fish and chips.

Liz did say that their deep-fried mushrooms were a must-have, so I was excited for that. They didn't disappoint. The mushrooms were juicy inside while the coating was crunchy. This resulted in a good combination of textures. The Parmesan sprinkled on them enhanced the taste as well.

Deep-fried Mushrooms

The fish and chips tasted rather ordinary to me. What I did like about what I ordered was the garlic bread that came with it. In fact, I ended up taking home most of the actual fish and chips, because I got very full from eating the mushrooms and the bread. If I were to go back, I would probably order just the mushrooms and the garlic bread, and be perfectly happy about it.

Fish and Chips

The service is kind of slow, so that takes away from the "FASTfood" concept, but otherwise, I think the label "gourmet fastfood" fit Paul's Place perfectly.

Paul's Place
10821 Los Alamitos Blvd
Los Alamitos, CA
United States 90720

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Pizza at the park

It was the weekend, so my brother's family and I went to have a little lunch picnic at Cerritos Regional Park. Having some pizza sounded like a great idea, so we got some at Pizza Hut, where there was a $10-for-any-pizza promo. My brother chose the usual meaty one, and I ordered the Ultimate Cheese Lover's Pizza. We also ordered some Chicken Alfredo for the pasta component of the meal.

The pasta didn't have a lot of chicken, which was good for me, because I was able to eat some of the pasta while not getting any of the chicken meat.

Pizza Hut's version of the ultimate cheese pizza had no tomato sauce, and instead had a layer of Alfredo sauce. This was not really a problem for me. My favorite Ultimate Cheese and Garlic Pizza from Shakey's in the Philippines likewise has no tomato sauce, and I think cheese lovers can handle this kind of cheesy taste overload.

Some may find it a bit much, but then again, it IS called the ultimate cheese lover's pizza. If you genuinely love cheese, I think you can never have too much of it.

Pizza Hut's Ultimate Cheese Lover's Pizza

I could definitely eat this again. Actually, Pizza Hut is the only fastfood pizza chain restaurant I like in the US, and I particularly like their thin crust. (I don't really eat any other kind of pizza crust). I used to order their thin crust vegetarian, but their Ultimate Cheese Lover's Pizza is a good, albeit more fattening, alternative.

Pizza Hut
Anywhere, USA

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Shrimp overload at Kapow Thai Restaurant, Cypress, CA

I'm back in LA, and that means I'm back to pigging out with my brother and his family. Like most Filipinos, sharing meals is our favorite form of bonding. One evening, we were in the mood to eat rice, so we had dinner at a Thai restaurant, where you can't help but have some (or a lot, as the case may be, and was). We went to Kapow Thai Restaurant. I remember eating there years ago (the name is quite distinct after all), but at a different location.

After we had a look at the menu and ordered the food, we realized that almost everything we ordered had shrimp. We had shrimp cakes, tom yum (soup with shrimp), and spicy shrimp fried rice.

Shrimp Cakes

Tom Yum

Spicy Shrimp Fried Rice

The only other thing that wasn't shrimp was their fish fillet with basil.

Fish Fillet Basil

Rice was what we wanted, and rice was what we got. In fact, the spicy shrimp fried rice ended up not being enough so we ordered some steamed rice. I enjoyed everything we had, and we finished all the dishes we ordered. This is why I'm sure we'll be going to this restaurant again and again during my visit.

Kapow Thai Cuisine, Noodle and BBQ
4758 Lincoln Avenue
California, USA 90630
Tel. No. (714)827.8170/8179

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Denny's, Las Vegas, Nevada

For our last meal in Vegas, I felt like having some greasy American diner food, so I suggested to my friends that we eat at Denny's. They didn't want to eat a hotel buffet breakfast after our gluttonous buffet dinner the night before, so they agreed. We found it easily enough, and we got down to business quickly.

Although it was breakfast for us, I wanted to have some chips. This was born of an unfulfilled craving the night before. I wanted to have chips at the MGM dinner buffet but they ran out of sour cream, so I didn't think they were worth having there anymore. The desire didn't disappear after a good night's sleep, so I gave in and ordered some at Denny's.

Three-Dip and Chips

I also ordered their Tilapia Ranchero, which was described as "white fish fillet topped with freshly made pico de gallo and diced avocado". It was served with smoked cheddar mashed potatoes and dinner bread.

Tilapia Ranchero

The chips were good. The three sauces were cheese (I asked them to remove the beef from the queso con carne), salsa, and spinach-artichoke dip. I liked the cheese best, and the spinach-artichoke dip least. Normally I like this kind of dip, I just didn't like their version much. As for the tilapia, it was a bit dry. The dish was saved though by the mashed potatoes and the dinner bread, which was just oozing with butter and garlic. (I did say I was in the mood for some grease.)

Denny's is not the place to go to for health food, but in terms of what I wanted to eat exactly at that time, it fulfilled my needs perfectly.

7200 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Suite 100
Las Vegas, Nevada
USA 89119
Tel. No. (702)269.0507