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Young Dong Tofu – Arcadia

For my last night in LA, we took a short drive to Arcadia for some soondubu. Man alive, what I’ve realized about soondubu joints is that there is so much food. And you can never eat it all. And you will leave the place feeling like you’re going to explode. 
Here’s the banchan that we got, which included a really nice variety of stuff. My favorite was the cucumber kimchi. My friend S asked me why I kept eating it. Because it’s freakin delicious! She was eating the regular kimchi, which I didn’t care too much for. There were raw oysters in it and it was too oystery for me. So I asked her why she kept eating the regular kimchi. Because of the oysters! To each his own kimchi! 
We each ordered our own soondubu, seafood for me and oyster for S (there’s S with the oysters again), which is so much food that we could have just shared one, but we also ordered a stir-fried octopus rice dish, because we’re crazy. What were we thinking? Like I said, so much food! And it felt like it just kept coming and coming and coming! They also gave us seaweed soup with the octopus. Needless to say, there were lots of leftovers for S to take home, possibly several times over. Everything tasted good and we had a great time. Service was friendly and attentive.
Young Dong Garden Korean BBQ & Tofu on Urbanspoon

Sushi Dake – Burbank

I had a business trip to southern california and stayed in the Burbank area. This area isn’t necessarily a mecca for awesome food (unless you’re talking about In-N-Out Burger!). Before meeting up with a friend to hike in Griffith Park, I stopped at a random sushi spot for a quick bite. Except when I got there, it wasn’t opened yet. What am I, a thousand years old, getting there for the early bird special? I putzed around CVS for awhile, until they opened, then became the lone diner there. It’s a little spot in an extremely nondescript stripmall. I started with the cucumber sunomono because I love me some cucumbers, and wanted something zingy. I devoured this instantly.
I even got sushi this time! I ended up getting the udon sushi, which is udon along with 4 pieces of mystery sushi. You can’t pick what you get, so it’s pretty much sushi chef’s choice. I loved every piece. Aside from the obvious salmon and tuna, I had no idea what the other two pieces were. But one came with a dollop of sriracha and the other had a sesame/soy based sauce on top. They were all fresh and delicious. 
I pretty much always get udon when I can, and I also got it here. But this time, it was really a necessity as it was pretty damn cold in LA! I expected warmth and sun, but instead, I got cold and clouds. So the soup did a good job of filling my belly and warming me up. Since I was literally the only diner there, service was quite attentive. I enjoyed my meal and then had a lovely hike.
Sushi Dake on Urbanspoon

Cafe Brasil

For my last dinner in LA, I kept looking around and found a few things. Then I was watching Take Home Chef and he picked up someone from a brazilian market in LA. Then I realized that there would be brazilian restaurants here! So that’s how we ended up at Cafe Brasil. It also helped that it was only a few miles from the apartment.

The place is casual. You order up front and take a number and wait. Then you pick up your food when called. It’s super cute inside, with mismatched tables and chairs in all kinds of colorful primary colors. Everything is bright and colorful. Maybe a bit too colorful. There’s outside seating too, but that’s probably only recommended when it’s daylight out.
J got the red snapper. That came with rice, salad, beans, salsa, and plantains. It’s a good thing he ordered this and not me. For whatever reason, everything came with a mustard base. The snapper had a mustard crust. The salad had mustard dressing. Even the salsa had some mustard in it. It was bizarre. I don’t remember any of the food that I had in brazil having any kind of mustard slant to it.
I was feeling nostalgic so I got the feijoada. That was served with rice, farofa, collard greens, and oranges. We also got an additional side of plantains, which I gobbled up quickly. We also got a couple of pao de de quiejo (cheese bread), but these were not fresh at all and therefore cold, crunchy, and not that good. I enjoyed my feijoada very much. It had big hunks of meat in it, including fall off the bone pork. I’m not usually a fan of greens, but these were pretty good and nice and garlicky. The farofa? I dunno about this stuff. When I was in brazil, we always called it sawdust. Not because it tasted like sawdust, but just because it looks like sawdust. Well, this particular farofa tasted like bacon. Like bacon sawdust. I guess I just don’t get farofa. I also got a guarana by Antarctica. That was the brand we always had in brazil. I was very happy to get my brazilian food fix!
Cafe Brasil on Urbanspoon

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