Baked goods and odds and ends, some sweet and some savory! Today will be devoted to bits and pieces of foods I enjoy here and there and yet never managed to fit into a proper post.
PART I: KOREAN FOOD IN ROWLAND HEIGHTS
Good Morning Bakery in Rowland Heights is the cutest bakery in town! They bag their pastries in little clear pouches that say “GM”, and just looking at them makes me smile. My favorite pastries here are the red bean mochi bunsm but they always seem to sell out by noon each day, so we only find those on rare occasions and super lucky days.
Dessert on Saturday night was this Korean cornbread ($1.00) which resembles four little pyramids. It wasn’t a very exciting hunk of cornbread, not nearly as moist as I would prefer and more oily than buttery. I like how American cornbread is slightly sweeter, almost cakey, with a tender crumb, whereas this could have be described as slightly tough.
Before the cornbread, I had dinner at Mina Restaurant, just a few shops and a supermarket away. It was the strangest Korean dinner I’ve had so far.
It started off normal, with these panchan…
And some more here…
And a bowl of purple rice…
And then my order of fish ovary stew ($12.95) came. I’ve never had ovaries before, so I figured I may as well give it a try. Never know till you try! But now I know. I know never ever to order it again.
I had about 6 pieces of what you see above in my stew, some floating at the top, and others sunk to the bottom. I was slightly fascinated, but even more horrified. The ovaries were smooth on the outside, but once you bit though the thin skin layer the inside was unbelievably grainy and bitter! A few bites were enough for me. I can happily report that the rest of the stew was very enjoyable, lots of cucumbers, enoki mushrooms, cabbage and tofu…it was just the ovaries…they were giant! Aliens in my stew!
Trisha’s order faired no better. Granted it was named “healthy beef soup ($10.95)” on the menu, but still, we expected something a bit more than saltwater with beef bones…
PART II: KOREAN FOOD IN KTOWN
On the way back from the Santa Monica beach, an exhausted Trisha and I popped into Olive Bakery after dinner at BCD Tofu.
Here I found the curry donuts I’ve heard so much about! And yes, they are just as delicious as you’ve been told! A puffy golden orb, deep-fried to splendor with a crisp skin and soft, soft innards. Breaking through the warm bread, hidden in the middle is creamy, mild curry with chunks of soft potatoes and carrots. While it might not be sweet, any type of baked good sweet or salty, falls under my category for dessert :)
Before donuts for dessert, we had soon tofu at the nearby BCD Tofu House. I wish we had planned this trip to Ktown ahead of time so that we could have done some prior research and gone somewhere really good. But because were had been out since the early morning and were burnt out and hungry, soon tofu just sounded attractive at the moment.
My spicy soon tofu with dumplings. It wasn’t spicy enough. The dumplings skins were all broken. I’m pretty sure I only found 3 tiny dumplings in there. And I think that by the time the food came I was so tired from the day that I couldn’t enjoy it very much.
Trisha’s mild beef soon tofu. Even the with restaurant super packed and a crowd of people wanting outside, it was a somewhat boring meal. I think we just needed some sleep more than anything, hehe.
I’ve only been to Ktown one other time in the past. To tell you the truth, I have not had much success with Korean food in LA. I know good stuff is here, but I seem to have really bad timing and decision making skills when it comes to Korean food. Funny thing, I seem to do just fine with Korean places in Hawaii…especially with local Korean plate lunches (but that’s a whole nother world)!
My one other visit involved lunch at Korean Restaurant in the basement of a shopping center.
The entire meal was only $7.95 and included a seven types of panchan running from kimchee to seaweed and the odd fruit and the classic, but odd, fruit/potato/mayo salad I could never really understand, but enjoy nonetheless.
The dolsot bibimbap was huge! I could barely finish it all (but did anyways). They give plenty of rice and sure didn’t skimp on any meat or veggies, lots of beef, cucumbers, carrots, beansprouts, mushrooms and to top it off, a shiny golden egg.
PART III: MY FAVORITE FOOD CATEGORY: BAKED GOODS
One day not too long ago in Rowland Height’s SF Supermarket I bought an ordinary loaf of bread with a nice sweet, crunchy/custardy looking top. How cool, I thought!
I opened the bag and admired the loaf. It was such a pretty loaf of bread! So friendly looking and only $2.50! I picked out a slice, and toasted, and discovered…
…gasp! What is this inside?! What is it? I still do not know! It’s like sweet and salty and almost custardy, like a dan tat but firmer and crumbly! It was so cool! And so delicious! In fact it was so delicious, that I ate the entire loaf that night, toasting once slice after another, admiring this wonder of sweet/salty/crunchy/custard waaarm bread, and completely ignoring by ever expanding belly. Such college style eating habits like this may have very well explained why I gain 0 pounds my freshman year, 0 pounds sophomore year, and 25 pounds my third/last year. Thank god college is over!
99 Ranch carries these really nifty looking green tea cake rolls with mashed azuki beans ($1.59). They’re actually pretty flavorless and I more or less bought them off aesthetics alone. Not worth the calories. Go get cheesecake instead. (Holy moley, all of a sudden I’m craving a ricotta cheesecake so badly!)
At the Marukai in West Covina I had a cream pan in hopes of understanding Trisha’s love for these breads. Soft inside and out with that distinctive yeasty note and a thick cream custardy filling floating though in a good ratio, it’s hard not to like. I like, not love it though, nothing makes me whimper like one of Claude’s croissants.
This steamed cheesecake had a wonderful feather light, innocently whimsical texture, but it’s way too sweet, running above 40g of sugar per cake. You can taste the sugar practically prodding in a taking over everyone of your teeth destined to harbor cavities and perhaps, even a root canal! If I ever have this again, I’m only going to take half, chop it into squares and fold it with whipped cream and just the slightest drizzle of honey. Add in a hot cup of Darjeeling tea, and now that would be my idea of dessert! ;)