Bon Vivant's written and pictorial diary of her culinary adventures that will amuse and excite your virtual taste buds...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Shaka's Hawaiian Cuisine - A Moveable Feast Part II

A preview of coming attractions – my Spam Musubi:

Ever since having read this thread on Chowhound about Shaka’s Hawaiian Cuisine, I’ve been dreaming of bacon fried rice. I decided that a little bacon fat is just what fried rice needed to give it that luscious unctuousness.

So Hollywood Bowl Picnic time rolled around again and I was torn between going classy (Fra Mani salumi and mortadella; fresh mozz; gamberi con fagioli; caponata; and pomodori ripieni, with a bottles of Prosecco and Zin) or going “theme”; since we are seeing "South Pacific", Mr. Sales suggested that we go Polynesian. I quickly chose the latter since I finally had my chance to get some bacon fried rice.

We started off with the “Shaka’s Sampler” which had Spam Musubi, Sesame Chicken Wings, and Teriyaki Beef Skewers. The Sesame Chicken Wings and the Skewers didn’t travel very well but the Spam Musubi was absolutely delicious! And I don’t even like Spam! Next time I will order the Manupua (Char Siu Bao) along with the Spam Musubi.

For entrees we brought bacon fried rice, Kalua Pig, Teriyaki Steak (I forgot to tell mumsy to get the Kalbi instead), and the Teriyaki Chicken.

Let’s get the Teriyaki Chicken out of the way by saying that this was a dish for people who are afraid of real food: it was a dry boneless, skinless chicken breast covered with a sauce that was a bit wan. The rice was good though.

Mumsy really liked the Teriyaki steak but like I said earlier I wished that she had gotten the Kalbi; even so, this dish was still pretty good.

The Kaula Pig was great and was served with a steamed cabbage that tasted slightly pickled. The cabbage complimented the pork really well.

Ah, the bacon fried rice: it was sublime! We received enough to feed ten people and it was packed with bacon and Portuguese sausage. It also contained slivers of Kamaboko (fish cake) which I normally do not care for but in this case it really added a certain je ne sais quoi to the rice.

Let us not forget about the macaroni salad. I actually liked Shaka’s version; it was very minimalist (and wasn’t runny and gooey like most) and I could detect a bit of grated onion in the dressing. I was really tempted to bring an ice cream scooper so that I could have put two scoops of rice and one scoop of macaroni salad on everyone’s plate.

Here’s our tropical cocktail (sans umbrella):

Shaka's really took us to Bali Ha'i!

Shaka’s Hawaiian Cuisine
101 W. Main Street, #C
Alhambra, CA 91801

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Suhrabal Korean BBQ

Editor's Note: My Guest Blogger, Raven, and I (and a large group of people) went to Suhrabal for lunch about a week before the tragic shooting there. We decided to wait to post the review until a respectable time had past. If mention of the shooting might be offensive to you, please read no further.

Gee, it's been about three posts since I, or most likely Raven, has written about Korean food so I decided it was about that time. Thanks to Raven for being my Guest Blogger (again!) this week.

We Enter Korean Drama Territory: Suhrabal



A KOREAN MAN enters, gun in hand... Okay, I don't want to be flippant about the tragedy that occurred at Suhrabal barely a week after we were there, but you have to admit it could be something out of a kdrama (a dark one where folks get killed). The restaurant owner was rumored to be having an affair with one of the waitresses, so her husband showed up with a gun and killed the owner and himself. Plus the restaurant was open for business the very next day, or so I'm told. I can't imagine who would have gone there then...

But when we were there this tragedy was still in the future, and we had no inkling that it was going to take place. So...


A large party enters Suhrabal. From the ambience you expect this place to be expensive. It has an upscale dining room, heavy tables, overall an upscale atmosphere. You walk in past an area where the many meats available are open to view. This could seem chintzy, but it doesn't. It seems classy.

We ordered a LOT of food. In fact we ordered so much that we couldn't keep track of it all before we placed the order, so I had to write it down in Korean to give to the waitress, proving that I have bad handwriting in every alphabet. I'm not sure she bothered to read it, though, since she ended up bringing us an appetizer we hadn't ordered. Here it is, the accidental appetizer:

Granted, although we did pay for this appetizer (since we ate it), because of the mistake we also received an order of kimchee jigae on the house. I don't do spicy, so I didn't try it, but it looked appetizing. See what you think:

The barbecue (Note from Bon V.: charcoal, baby, charcoal!), of course, was our main course. Take a look:

We also ordered a number of other dishes to round out our meal. Hey, there were a lot of us. We deserved a lot of food. We pigged out on a delicious seafood and egg pancake (yum!), delicious chapchae (noodles with vegetables), and a plate of kimchee dumplings. Despite the fact that I don't do hot food, I was enticed by the dumplings (below).

I don't recall much about the panchan except for the deep-fried seaweed. I think this is the Korean answer to potato chips. I loved it at the time. It's sort of salty, sweet, and crisp all at once. I have to say, though, after I picked up a whole container of my own at HK Market, I got tired of this seaweed treat really fast.

Finally, after we were done eating, we all received a refreshing rice drink, which I really enjoyed.

And the best part is, the bill didn't live up to the pricey atmosphere. I was sure we'd be paying through the nose, but it was really quite reasonable.



Note from Bon V.: After Suhrabal, we all went over to HK Market and saw this crazy warning:

100 S. Western Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90004

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