Disappointment at Euro Pane

6266-carrot cake-thumb-200x252.jpg

I may hear a lot of complaints later, but I have to say this: I bought a mini carrot cake from Euro Pane in Pasadena today, and it wasn’t very good. It was dry.

Because carrot cake is supposed to be super moist and Euro Pane is supposed to be super delicious, I was disappointed. The rest of the cake wasn’t bad. While the cream cheese frosting was a little too heavy for my taste, the gold foil garnish was a nice (frou-frou) touch. I’ve never been disappointed by Euro Pane before so I’m hoping that this dry carrot cake is a fluke.

I also bought a slice of blueberry lemon chiffon cake from Euro Pane. It was delicious.

Other notes: The best carrot cake I’ve had is from Craft in Los Angeles. After dinner, the restaurant gives each guest a take home carrot cupcake. The cake was moist, the shredded carrots were flavorful and not at all dry or stringy. The streusel topping was a just the right balance of crunchy, soft and sweet.

Super Bionicos in Baldwin Park

Dining on a budget:

Craving a fresh lunch one day, I decided to go Super.

Super Bionicos in Baldwin Park is a little shop along a small strip mall on Ramona Boulevard that offers a variety of fresh fruit items, smoothies, sandwiches and, of course, bionicos.

Bionicos are a Mexican specialty dessert that features a mix of fresh cut fruits topped with a sweetened

5945-SUPERBIONICOS2-thumb-300x201-thumb-300x201.jpg

condensed milk and cream mixture, shredded coconut, granola and raisins.

They are made to order if you prefer just one type of fruit, and if you would like cottage cheese or yogurt instead of the cream mixture.

Continue reading

Microwaved miso soup

5839-IMG_0137-thumb-400x300.jpg
5851-IMG_0128-thumb-175x131.jpg

A few weeks ago, I went to Sushiya, a Japanese restaurant in the Eastern portion of Pasadena. According to a few reviews I read on Yelp!, it sounded like a decent place to go. And it was. The sushi chefs were nice, the waitress was friendly, and the food was ok. It definitely wasn’t the best quality sushi I’ve had, but it was extremely inexpensive. The sushi rolls didn’t taste bad, but they weren’t great either. This is the type of restaurant that’ll satisfy a cheap and quick sushi craving but not good enough for a “night out.”

Then comes the miso soup. I didn’t order it, but a table of women next to us did. First, I heard the “ding!” of a microwave from inside the kitchen. Moments later, the waitress comes out with three bowls of miso soup.

Is it OK to microwave miso soup?

Sushiya
2525 E. Foothill Blvd. # 2
Pasadena,
CA
91107
(626) 795-1311

Huge crabs!

I saw these HUGE crabs at NBC Seafood in Monterey Park. The main body of the crab looked like it was 6 to 8 inches long. The entire crab must be at least 1 1/2 to 2 feet!

Anyone know what kind of crabs these are — and more importantly, if they taste good?

5742-IMG_0174-thumb-400x300.jpg
5740-IMG_0172-thumb-400x300.jpg

No more macaroni grilling

Daily Bulletin columnist David Allen writes about the closure of the Romano’s Macaroni Grill in Rancho Cucamonga because of slow sales. He mentions that the West Covina location is closing for the same reason.

I was surprised. You would think that the West Covina restaurant would have tremendous sales. It’s next to a insanely-popular movie theater and across the street from the West Covina mall. Then again, the last time I went to the Macaroni Grill was at least a year ago…

Macaroni Grill didn’t necessarily have the most amazing Italian food, but it was good. The menu had all the traditional favorites, and the restaurant was casual enough for a weeknight dinner but nice enough for a special occasion. Now that it’s closing, where else can you find Italian food in the area?

Tulipano’s in Azusa
Giovanni’s in downtown Covina
Macaroni Grill in Rowland Heights/Industry (wonder if that one will close, too)
Avolio’s in Covina
Artie’s Pizza in Covina
Johnny Carino’s in Covina
El Appetiz in Baldwin Park
Olive Garden in Industry
Spaghetti Eddie’s in Glendora

Vermin in Japanese restaurant

5626-bishamon 001.jpg When a restaurant gets shut down by the Health Department, it’s not only embarrassing for the restaurant owners/managers, it’s also embarrassing for its customers.

On Thursday, Bishamon, a Japanese restaurant in downtown Covina, had this sign on the front door. “Closed due to construction.”

The front window displayed the Health Department’s closure notice. “Vermin infestation, no hot water, scored below 70.”

I couldn’t believe it. I’ve eaten at this restaurant at least a dozen times, and I go there about once a month. The restaurant has plenty of customers, and the sushi bar is usually full. I thought the food was pretty good and never dreamed about unsanitary conditions in the kitchen.

I’ve even taken my friends to Bishamon and recommended it to others. How embarrassing.

There’s no way to know that these poor conditions were around when I dined there, but it certainly makes you wonder.

5627-bishamon 002.jpg

Continue reading

7-Eleven – thank Heaven?

Going by a small poll take by me, people are split about eating food made at 7-Eleven stores.

Some may be ashamed for some reason I don’t understand, to admit they do while others may not even dare to try anything cooked there.

Here’s what I say - just like fast food restaurants, it depends on where you go.

I am not ashamed to admit I occasionally will have a spicy hot dog from 7-Eleven and just recently I tried the Go Go Taquitos.

Each 7-Eleven is individually owned, so though they may offer what most stores offer, their commitment to quality may be a little different.

To prove my point, I went to a 7-Eleven today in El Monte, just to use the ATM. My plan was to get cash and get lunch somewhere else.

But not wanting to drive around anymore I thought I’ll just go ahead and pick up something to eat while I was there.

I got two taquitos, Doritos and a V8 Fusion drink.

I first tried the taquitos about a month ago at a 7-Eleven in La Puente, and was surprisingly satisfied. I tried the Monterey Jack and Chicken flavor.

5591-gogo_taquito-thumb-200x222.jpg

They were nice and tender with cubed pieces of chicken and melty cheese on the inside and a crispy spicy seasoning flavor on the outside.

I mean for a prepared meal that they just warmed up on the little rolling grill they have there it was pretty tasty.

So when I picked up taquitos from the 7-Eleven in El Monte I thought they couldn’t be that different – you just warm it up right?

Wrong. Apparently they don’t think to time them because mine were overcooked and hard at the ends. Funny enough, I was going to try the steak and cheese one but the guy said he had just put them on the grill so he didn’t think I should get those.

He should have also warned me about the other ones being on the grill for too long.

I don’t know if I’ll try the other flavors but I will probably have a spicy hot dog next time – yummy.

You take your chances. But I will say that I have never gotten sick from anything I’ve eaten at 7-Eleven unlike some may think.

Hey, I’m not looking for a high-quality meal when I go to a 7-Eleven, just something quick and convenient that does the trick until dinner. 

Anjo, anyone?

Anytime someone in the news room mentions Anjo, we get all flurried. We love this place that’s situated on the border of West Covina and Baldwin Park.

They have everything from sushi to udon and it’s always fresh.

This little restaurant (when I say little, I mean little) opens up for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., then closes until dinner time from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday only, and Sunday, only dinner is offered. It is closed every Monday.

I believe they can afford to have such oddly short hours, since it is always packed for lunch. My very first day here at the paper about two years ago I was invited to this locale for lunch and tried salmon for the first time.

Continue reading