Thursday, February 26, 2015

L.A. Eats: Quality Seafood Restaurant (Redondo Beach)

Have you heard about the "Seafood Diet"?  It is probably the best diet you can get on!  You see (sea) food, you eat it!  Haha!

We had a beautiful day yesterday (temperature is at mid 60s) that we thought of going to the beach to eat.  Okay not really, AT the beach but at the Boardwalk of Redondo Beach (the closest beach to our place).  The last time I went to Redondo Beach was 5 or 6 years ago where we had a seafood lunch.  I can't remember the name of the restaurant!  So I went to Yelp and just looked for the most reviewed restaurant in the place and saw Quality Seafood Restaurant.  It has good reviews so we decided to go there for lunch.

When we got there, guess what, it's the same place we've been too years ago! Haha!

Since we went on a weekday, the place isn't crowded.  There were more people that came in just after I took this photo.  This place gets crazy during weekends!

Guess who sat next to our table =)
This was our view. . . no, it wasn't an ocean view, haha!  But we had a great view after lunch (which you'll see later).

So what was for lunch?

There are so many options that Hubby and I had to walk around twice or thrice, haha!

Fried. . . everything!

Different kinds of Smoked Fish

There's a wide variety of Seafood to choose from.  You buy your seafood and they will cook it for you (fried, steamed, grilled).

There's Fish, Shrimps . . .

This is how a 5 lb Tilapia looks like

There's even Sea Urchin!  They look (and they are!) soooo fresh and plump, haha!  To my uni lover friends, I know you will enjoy this!  It's really a shame I don't eat this, haha!

There are different shellfish too. . . these are just a few of them.

My Dad loves this particular shellfish (Filipinos call it "Tahong")

For the oyster lovers, rejoice!  There is an oyster bar!  I didn't realize that there sooo many varieties of oyster!

Well hello Mr. Lobster!

One thing I was sure of was I would like to eat crabs!
Dungeness Crabs

Santa Barbara

I asked the guy behind the counter what's the difference between a Dungeness and a Santa Barbara crab and he explained it to me pretty well!  He said. . . "it's like comparing a hamburger and a steak!  The Dungeness is the Filet Mignon"   Haha!  

I did say we went around twice or thrice before ordering right?  There's just a lot to choose from, it can be overwhelming! Haha!

So this is what we came up with. . .

We got Paella. . . because Pinoys have to have rice! Haha!  

It tastes better than it looks!  I was actually surprised that it was tasty, haha!  My picky eater even liked it!  It was tasty and there are some lobster meat too.

We also ordered some shrimps. . . the name of this dish?  Just Shrimps with Vegetables! Haha!   

The shrimps have that Cajun flavor and the veggies include
potatoes, tomatoes, onions and bell pepper

We also ordered Calamari because it's something we don't cook at home, haha! (Cooking squid is tricky)

When I picked up our order, I wasn't sure if Hubby ordered Fish and Chips or Calamari!  Haha!  

This is their take on Calamari. . . it is a chunky calamari!  We are used to having calamari sliced like rings but this chunky meat is actually tender and tasty.  And it also helped that they have good tartar sauce (even if it came in packets! Haha!).
This is Squid not Fish!d

After eating, I saw a table which had smaller calamari.  I just noticed in the display shelf that they call those squid rings.  So if you prefer smaller ones, you should place an order for squid rings.

We got some Santa Barbara Crabs which were just steamed.  You have to buy sauce though ($1).  The crab doesn't come with any sauce or dip.  We got the Garlic Butter with White Whine.  The crab tasted so fresh and the meat was sweet.

I told hubby that I wish we had *suka and bagoong to go with these crabs!!! Haha!

*Suka is vinegar and Bagoong is shrimp paste - two of the most favorite condiments of Filipinos

After having a filling lunch, we took a stroll at the Boardwalk of the Redondo Pier.  The weather was just perfect!

The loves of my life

The kids loved the pigeons

The Redondo Pier has several restaurants and shops you can go to.

There is one shop, the Pier Bakery which sells good Churros!  You know it's good when it is approved by a picky eater, haha!  My little girl enjoyed it too.

Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside!

Yesterday was one of the most beautiful days I had with the family!  And I can't wait to explore the other beaches here in LA =)  

As they say. . .Life is a . . . Beach!

For more information about Quality Seafood Restaurant, please click here.

For more details about the Redondo Pier,  please click on this link.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

L.A. Eats: Burgers!

When I hear or see the words "American Food", the first thing that comes to my mind is. . . hamburgers!  I am not really into burgers.  I would choose eating something else over a burger.  But sometimes, I get that craving for this "American Food".  Living in LA means we are surrounded by this comfort food (there is something comforting about eating one right?).  We don't really eat hamburgers regularly because Hubby still wants his rice and ulam (dish)!  Haha!  But there are times (like watching Guy Fieri's Triple D Show in Food Network!) that we let ourselves give in to this ... high calorie food! (There, I said it!  Calories! Ugh! Haha! But hey, as they say, YOLO!) 

And I would like to share with you a couple of those which we had.

WARNING: This post is not for VEGETARIANS! =)

My first trip to the  US was when I visited Hubby in LA in 2008.  My American boss told me to make sure I get an In-N-Out Burger (which started in California) and in his own words, "it has to be a DOUBLE-DOUBLE!"

And this is what he was talking about . . .

Double cheese, double patties

It has also been said that In N Out has a "secret menu" --- which the fast food chain said is not really a secret.  It is just their way of making their customers happy by making their burgers (and fries) how they like it.  (Here is an article I read which shows that In N Out stays true to that) 

So in a recent trip to In-N-Out, I asked Hubby to get one of their popular items in their their "secret" menu.  The Animal Fries. . .
French Fries topped with
melted cheese, grilled onions and their house sauce which is like a thousand island dressing

It was nice having this burger again (after 6 years) because it reminded me of my first trip to the US!

It is good . . . but I have a favorite burger. . .  and it is from . . . Five Guys!  

Bacon Cheeseburger

You know I love it when I make it the biggest picture in this post, haha!

Fun Fact:  In 2009, Pres. Obama stopped to get lunch at a Five Guys Restaurant in DC and ordered a cheeseburger with jalapenos, mustard, tomatoes and lettuce. =)  (It's in You Tube!)

It is more expensive than In-n-Out (twice as much) BUT for me, the burger is juicier, tastier and it just tastes more fresh! 

Plus you get free, unlimited roasted peanuts which you can enjoy while waiting for your burger. =)

And their fries?  Love them!  I like them thick-cut.

I am not a hamburger expert and I know there are more (like MOOORRE) burgers out there waiting to be tasted but for now, I am just happy with my Five Guys.  Their burger just puts me in a good mood!  (Hun, you know what to do now)

Looking at these photos just made me hungry!  I think I'm going to have one this week!  Haha!

What is your favorite burger?

For more details about In-N-Out and their other locations, please click on this link.

Fore more details about Five Guys, please click here.

Friday, February 20, 2015

L.A. Eats: Zankou Chicken

My Hubby is not the flowers kind of guy. . . at all!  And after being together for thirteen years, I've learned to live with it, haha!  And I am saying that wholeheartedly.  He is a man of few words too so yes, his language of love is Actions.  As I've said in an earlier post, he spoils me in his own way like driving 24 miles just so I can satisfy my food craving (if you're wondering if I'm pregnant.  . I'm not!).  So yes, he spoiled me today!

I had a bad headache yesterday so I didn't eat much (which is actually a good thing, haha!) So today, I had a sudden craving for Zankou Chicken!  Zankou Chicken is famous for its Rotisserie Chicken and serves Mediterranean food.  

As far as I know, Zankou Chicken is only available in California.  (If I don't have the right info, please leave a comment so I can update this post).  I've been visiting in LA since 2009 (moved to this city last May) and I just learned about Zankou last year. . . .from a friend who lives in Las Vegas! Haha!  (And I'm the one from LA!  Thanks again M!)

This is my personal fave . . . the Chicken Kabob Plate which came with Hummus (one of the better ones I've tried).  

I've read somewhere that if it is your first time to eat in Zankou, you have to get their Rotisserie Chicken which the NY Times said and I quote. . ."the greatest chicken ever."

While it's not our first time to eat in Zankou, it is our first time to order their Rotisserie chicken which was soooo good and moist!  Hubby ordered a quarter piece (which came smaller than what we are used to haha) BUT the flavor definitely made up for it!  (Note to self --- order half chicken next time, haha!)  

Pardon the half-eaten leg bone .... Hubby was excited to eat that he dug into it already!

They also  have good (really good) pita bread which were soft and does not taste floury.  You know what I love best?  It's their special garlic sauce/spread (which has a paste-like consistency)!  It's so garlicky good that you won't have problems dealing with ehrrmmm vampires?  But it may be a problem with your partner, haha!  I had to get some coffee after eating!  (My dad said coffee is a good cure for garlic breath, it works for me).

Don't forget the garlic sauce/spread!

We also ordered their Shish Kabob wrap which we haven't eaten yet because we are just too full.  Having the garlic sauce to go with this wrap, I am sure it's going to be good too.

I love everything in the menu!  Haha!  If you go to LA and you're coming up with your list for places to go and things to eat, I would recommend including Zankou chicken in your list! =)

For more details about Zankou and their other locations, please click here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Meeting Cherimoya

You know what I miss (aside from family and friends!) when I moved to LA?    Eating some fruits that I can have back home like Mangosteen, Rambutan, Lanzones and my most favorite fruit---ATIS (custard apple)!  Actually, I found some at the Filipino grocery. . .  but they were frozen!

But thanks to an FB post of a friend (Thanks again M!), I learned about a fruit which is the closest thing to having an atis!  As luck would have it, when we went to the Farmers Market over the weekend. . . lo and behold, we saw the "fruit"!

Friends, meet . . . Cherimoya!

Image from

(I got the image online because I was too excited to eat that I forgot to take a photo before slicing it, haha)

This is how it looks like inside . .

Just like an atis!  I am sure they come from the same family tree! (Out of curiosity, I looked it up and guess what, they do!)

How does it taste?  Sweet, just like an atis with a hint of guyabano (soursop).  The more I eat it, the more it tastes like guyabano to me (which is another fruit I like).  

I've read that this fruit is rich in vitamins, notably Vitamin C which is good for the immune system and B6 which is good for the brain.  It is also rich in antioxidant which can prevent cancer.  Eating this fruit is also good for the heart because it reduces bad cholesterol and regulates blood pressure levels and heart rate.  Guess I'll be seeing more of this fruit then, haha!  All of these benefits from a yummy fruit!  

But know what. . . my heart still longs for some atis . . .or probably what I really long for. . .are my family and friends back home. =)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Easy Igado

Sunday dinners in our house mean take out or leftovers!  Haha!
I don't mind eating leftovers because I hate wasting food (plus I get to clear the fridge!).  There are leftovers that taste better as it gets older like Adobo.  I think we cook Adobo (one of the most loved Filipino dishes) once a week. but sometimes you just had enough and got to think of other dishes to try. 

So the other day, since we have some liver, green peas and bell pepper that have been sitting on the fridge for a few days now, I thought of cooking Igado.  It is an Ilocano dish (the province of Ilocos is located at the Northern part of the Philippines) which is like .  . . Adobo! Hahaha!  It has the same ingredients used in Adobo (garlic, vinegar and soy sauce) but what sets it apart is it has liver in it.  It is the liver which makes it Igado.  Some recipes even add other internal organs of the pig like kidney, heart or intestines.  In our case, we stop at liver! Haha!

I like this recipe from Kawaling Pinoy because it is simple and easy to do.  (Kawaling Pinoy is one of my favorite cooking blogs--- btw, you have to try her Pinoy Cheese Cupcake which I also blogged here).  You get good flavor because you have to marinate the meat first and then just put everything in a pot and wait for it cook.  And that means you can do other household chores or just have some extra time for yourself!  In my case, I caught up with my recorded TV shows, haha!

Have a good week ahead!

Recipe from Kawaling Pinoy


1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2 inch strips
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 small onion, peeled and sliced thinly
4 to 5 garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
2 bay leaves
8 to 10 pepper corns, cracked
1 tablespoon oil
1 small red bell pepper, cored, seed, and sliced into strips
1 cup water
1 lb liver, cut into 1/2 inch strips
1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
salt to taste


1. In a bowl, combine pork strips, vinegar, soy sauce, onions, garlic, bay leaves and pepper corns.  Marinate for about 1 hour.  Drain meat from marinade, squeezing excess liquid.  Reserve marinade and aromatics.

2. In a pot over medium heat, heat oil.  Add bell peppers and cook for about 30 seconds.  Remove from pot and set aside.

3. Add the marinated pork including aromatics and cook, stirring occasionally, until pork lightly browns and onions and garlic are limp and aromatic.

4. Add reserved marinade and water and bring to a boil for about 4 to 5 minutes.  Lower heat, cover and simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes or until pork is tender and liquid is reduced.  Add liver, stirring gently to combine and continue to cook.
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