Nano cafe is one of those things I’d like to call a hidden gem. Now I’ve never really been a brunch type of person, but Nano Cafe made me into a believer. Located in Monrovia, this cafe currently has Chinese owners that definitely stayed true to the All American breakfast. Always busy with a staff that treats you like family, you can find yourself either sitting indoors, or at the counter, or even outside on the patio.
Caffe Bene is a cute Korean cafe 26 miles east of Korea town in the City of Industry. It’s located in the same plaza as Jazz Cat and has been gaining some popularity on instagram due to their large pat bing soo desserts and more. Just like their other store in Korea town, this location also sports the beautiful wooden furniture and quiet, mellow feel.
Benten has become Golden Deli’s new neighbor! Located in the same plaza as the original Golden Deli, this new ramen shop opened up within the past year and has gained some popularity. It’s a quaint little restaurant with a menu to match. I have never seen a ramen shop that boasts only four different types of ramen on their menu, along with a few appetizers and complementary roobois tea.
Fujin Ramen is always busy no matter when I go. I frequent this restaurant whenever I’m in the area and also recommend it to friends when they’re in the area as well. It’s located in the same plaza as the HK market, where a small Indonesian food court exists adjacent to it. I’ve never had to wait too long for a table, however, the service there can sometimes be hit or miss.
Men Oh Tokushima was one of the 10 Best Ramen Shops of Los Angeles as listed by LaWeekly. It’s one of those restaurants located in Little Tokyo, but not in the part of Little Tokyo most tourists would walk through. Like many places in Little Tokyo, you have to pay for to park in the same plaza. My company and I parked in a different part of Little Tokyo and made our way to the restaurant.
Ramen Hayatemaru prides itself with serving the best Hokkaido style ramen, with its specialty ingredients straight from Hokkaido, Japan. They serve ramen noodles made from goma (ごま) seeds and Okuhara sauces from their factory in Hokkaido. It seems like a lot of effort for such a small, hole-in-the wall over on the Westside, but their efforts are not in vain. I still dream about their flavorful ramen and can’t wait to go back.
Ramen Yukinoya in Arcadia is one of three of Ramen Yukinoya stores located all around Los Angeles. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve driven past this place on the way to the 99 Ranch Market in Arcadia. It never really caught my eye, due to its humble appearance from the outside. But I finally gave this place a chance.
My first morning in Taipei, I had one thing in mind: having a nice hearty Taiwanese breakfast. Lucky for us, Four Sea Soy Milk King (四海豆漿大王), an unassuming neighborhood breakfast joint, was only a few blocks from our place, nestled in a residential area of Datong District.
Din Tai Fung is a name that needs no introduction among Asian circles. It’s quite possibly Taiwan’s most famous restaurant chain. It’s renown for its precise preparation of xiaolongbao (小籠包), steamed dumplings indigenous to the area around Shanghai.
MJ Cafe and Teahouse is one of San Gabriel Valley’s many Taiwanese style cafes, known for its dizzying variety of tea-infused drinks and its confusing 17 page menu. The chain since expanded, opening up branches as far south as Irvine and as far west as Sawtelle.
Younique Cafe is an uninspiring pun on words but does serve pretty good Chinese cafe food. Back in the 90s, I recall it being a Cantonese-style seafood restaurant. In any case, its menu looks a lot like the typical Hong Kong Western-style cafe’s (akin to American diners), consisting of both more traditional Chinese options and Hong Kong-style Western food. There are a plethora of options to be found.
One of Hong Kong’s most well-known street snacks is the so-called “eggette” or egg waffle, or its Cantonese equivalent, gai dan zai (雞蛋仔). They’re called egg waffles for their distinctive shape, made to resemble chicken eggs wrapped together, served fresh to order.
While exploring Kowloon City, the heart of Hong Kong’s Thai community, by foot, I stumbled upon a shop selling this popular snack, a must try for any first time visitor to the city. So I caved.
Black & White, like many San Gabriel Valley tea shops, is housed in a suburban strip mall off the corner of Nogales and Amar Roads in the leafier part of West Covina. Parking tends to be difficult throughout the day, as the strip mall is also home to a diverse medley of Southeast Asian places, ranging from Filipino to Thai to Indonesian.
Hong Kong is known for its diverse selection of desserts (甜品, tim ban), especially those that fuse together local Cantonese ingredients with Southeast Asian ones, like coconut milk and sago, the most iconic of which is mango pudding, a very light dessert, made with pureed mangoes, agar, and evaporated milk, and chilled before serving.
After getting a haircut near Times Square, a megamall in Causeway Bay, we headed out to try Cong Sao Dessert, a famous dessert shop just around the corner. After circling Hong Kong’s confusing city blocks, we managed to locate the place. Turns out the address on OpenRice was incorrect.
Just wanted to share some snapshots from a family road trip to Solvang. :)