Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Maccheroni Republic- Los Angeles (Downtown), CA

Maccheroni Republic- Los Angeles, CA:

Maccheroni Republic specializes in "artisan handmade fresh organic pasta" at an affordable price point, and is quite popular in the city, having long waits (now made more convenient, with a Yelp waitlist feature). We decided to check it out for lunch during their DineLA week earlier this year.

Maccheroni Republic- Los Angeles, CA: Bread

Stopping by at its opening time for lunch (11 AM), we didn't need to wait long for a table, as the waiters quickly brought a small queue of customers waiting outside to their seats both inside and outside of the restaurants. The interior was rather cozy with tables located quite close to each other, so we opted to sit outside, which was kept warm in a rather cool morning with several heaters. 

Alongside each table was bottles of oil (both olive and chili) and vinegar to accompany the bread, which was crusty outside and soft inside.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Kobunga Korean Grill- Los Angeles (University Park), CA

Kobunga Korean Grill, a fast-casual Korean barbecue restaurant, is opening its first brick-and-mortar outlet at the USC Village, a multi-use residential, dining, and shopping complex located adjacent to the University of Southern California's University Park Campus. Funded by Kickstarter, Kobunga aims to make Korean barbecue accessible to the larger population. They recently soft-opened (this Wednesday) and will be having their grand opening this Saturday.

Housed in a small storefront, no seating is available inside the restaurant, although ample outside seating is available. Ordering is done at the counter, and one can wait on the side for their order.

Menu options include a "Build Your Own Plate" option as well as a salad driven option where two types of greens can be paired with a choice of dressing and protein. The Build Your Own Plate option includes a choice of protein (Short Ribs, Bulgogi, Pork Belly, Marinated Chicken, and Soft Tofu), base (brown rice, white rice, kale and perilla salad or mixed greens), and choice of two homemade sides:
  • Napa Cabbage Kimchi
  • Cucumber Kimchi Pickles
  • Honey Roasted Carrots
  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  • Soy Sauce Pickles
  • Pickled Jalepenos
  • Korean Cabbage Slaw
  • Sauteed Corn
Regular soft drinks and homemade beverages (lemonade, iced matcha green tea) are also available.

Pricing is on par with other food options in the complex, e.g. in the 10-20 USD category including tax. The protein and bases are solid and are of good quality; some of the roasted options on the sides however, have been not fully cooked, hence having quite hard texture to them. It still is a nice addition to the USC Village, and now complements the currently open Wahlburgers, Casa Barilla, Cava, Baked Bear, Sunlife Organics, Greenleaf, Trejos Tacos, and Rance's Chicago Pizza.

Kobunga Korean Grill
929 W. Jefferson Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Kobunga Korean Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Lao Xi Er Noodle House- Arcadia, CA

Lao Xi Noodle House- Arcadia, CA: Exterior

Lao Xi Er Noodle House (老西兒面馆) is a recent entrant to the San Gabriel Valley noodle scene, specializing in Shanxi style noodles. Located in the southern part of Arcadia, Lao Xi Er adds a different perspective to a mélange of varied dining options located less than one block away from one another, not limited to Italian (Alex Di Peppe's), Vietnamese (Pho-licious), Japanese (Mako Sushi), Mexician (Cabreras), Taiwanese (Cafe Fusion), and Chinese (Fishing Boat Chinese Cuisine).

After hearing about Lao Xi Er from Clarissa Wei's post on Eater, we visited and since then, Lao Xi Er has become one of our go-to places for noodles. Within its small, humble surroundings (there are around 10 tables in the restaurant), the husband-wife duo and their team serves up a small selection of noodles, soups, dumplings, and a handful of appetizers and entrees that are quite well-executed.