Tag Archives: noodles

Jinya Ramen ‘Round the Corner

I love bargain hunting, especially stores like Marshalls or Ross. They’re like super organized thrift shops but without the musty smell of used clothing. The Marshalls on Ventura (in Studio City) is just a few blocks from my house, so I frequent that location the most. My first stop is always the kitchen goods, and I’ve picked up some beautiful Le Creuset pieces (at half-price) over the years.

Ramen JinyaLast summer, I noticed a new ramen shop had opened just across the way from Marshalls, but didn’t take time to stop in for a bite, until I read Jonathan Gold’s review in July (link below).

Jonathan wrote:
“Best of all was an odd, strong-smelling tonkotsu ramen, whose pork broth had been pumped up with industrial quantities of dashi and dried fish, a broth on steroids, a broth that seemed to be trying to establish the record for the most umami per milligram. Can tongues pant? After a few bites, you may feel as if yours had just run a half-marathon without bothering to notify the rest of your head.”

I know. He’s genius. And now I’m hooked on Jinya…

Ramen Jinya
Tonkotsu Ramen: Pork Broth, Chashu, Flavored Egg, Green onion

Ramen Jinya
Spicy Ramen: Chicken Broth, Chicken meat ball, Spicy bean sprout

Ramen Jinya
Chashu Ramen: Choose chicken or pork broth, Chashu, Egg, Green onion

Ramen Jinya
Jinya Ramen: Chicken Broth, Chicken meat ball, Spinach, Green onion

Tokyo Premium Tonkotsu Ramen at Jinya
Tokyo Premium Tonkotsu Ramen: Pork Broth & Bonito Soup, Flavored Egg, Spinach, Green Onion

Hakata Ramen (PORKY heaven) @ Jinya
HAKATA ~ Pork Premium Rich Flavor ~ Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen

Vegetable Ramen @ Jinya
Vegetable Ramen: Chicken Broth & Japanese soup stock, Mushroom, Baby leaf , Spinach

All my Jinya photos on flickr

Ramen Jinya
11239 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
Tel 818-980-3977
Website

Read Jonathan Gold’s Review

Le Creuset

Marshalls

UPDATE: Jinya is on Jonthan Gold’s 99 Essential Restaurant List!

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Bacon, Eggs and “Pasta” – Recipe

I love Shirataki Tofu Noodles because they’re a great low-carb alternative to pasta. If you haven’t had them before then you’re probably thinking “Gross! TOFU Noodles??”… but I love them enough to keep them stocked in my fridge.

I’m always looking for ways to cut carbs at home (only at home), so I can continue eating out a couple times a week, and not have to someday turn MyLastBite into “MyBigButt”! I refuse to “diet”, but I’ll happily eat less now so I can eat whatever I want next weekend.

Low-carb Shirataki noodles are already cooked, so you just need to warm them through and then add to whatever you’re making. My two favorite dishes are Shirataki Angel Hair mixed with a little olive oil, fresh herbs and turmeric (topped with chicken), and also a breakfast pasta (recipe below). It’s a filling and a totally gratifying meal, and then I can “save up” eating those extra carbs and calories for my next, outrageous dining adventure!

Bacon, Eggs and “Pasta”

1 Package of Shirataki Angel Hair Pasta
2 slices of cooked bacon (cut into pieces)
1 egg, mixed and ready for pan
1 scallion, sliced
1 tablespoon of parsley, chopped
1 serrano chili, chopped (optional) 
1 teaspoon of chili pepper (I use Nanami Togarashi) 

Throughly rinse the noodles in hot water and drain. When you first open the package, it will smell a little “fishy”. Don’t worry, the smell will go away after rinsing.

Heat nonstick frying pan and warm bacon through. Remove from pan.

Using residual bacon fat in pan, cook scallion and serrano chili to your liking. Remove and add to bacon.

For the egg, add oil or butter to pan if needed, then heat up and gently pour in mixed egg. Lift the handle of the pan and spread the egg around to make a thin omelet. After the egg is cooked on both sides, flip onto cutting board and slice into bite-size pieces (or simply scramble).

Off the heat, add the Shirataki noodles to the frying pan.

Stir in all the cooked ingredients, parsley and add seasoning to your liking.

Enjoy immediately.

Shiritaki Bacon & Eggs, MyLastBite.com
Five minutes to breakfast

Shiritaki, MyLastBite.com
How the noodles look right out of the package.

Shiritaki, MyLastBite.com
After rinsing.

Shiritaki Bacon & Eggs, MyLastBite.com
My Breakfast Pasta. It does NOT taste like a “diet meal”.

Shiritaki Bacon & Eggs, MyLastBite.com

You can easily find Shirataki Noodles at Gelsons and Ralphs markets (if you live in L.A.) and they’re available online too.

Shirataki Noodles (6 grams of Carbs per package)

Nanami Togarashi Chili Pepper

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Sri Siam Café [1 & 2]

Twenty years ago when I lived in San Diego, my ex-husband and I loved eating at Karinya Thai Cuisine. The restaurant was up the street from our home in Pacific Beach, and it was our “go to” dinner place when we entertained visiting family and friends. We usually requested to eat in the “traditional” dining room . This meant we had to remove our shoes before going in, and sit on the floor atop beautiful Thai triangle pillows.

Karinya Thai, MyLastBite.com

The head chef (an American) had married into the Karinya Thai family. Since we were regulars, the chef always took a few moments to tell us wonderful tales of his trips to the Far East. One of the best was about the first time he visited his wife’s family in a remote village in Thailand. He was shocked at the amount of time it took to shop for groceries each day. The entire family, led by the grandmother, would get up very early and drive for hours to pick up a particular type of chili, then go a couple of hours in the opposite direction to buy some galangal, and finally another hour south to pick up fresh kaffir lime leaves. By the time the shopping was done, they had driven five or six hours to get ingredients for THAT evening’s dinner. I found it fascinating that each ingredient was so special and distinct, that it was worth all that time and trouble.

Jo & Spencer, MyLastBite.comThe first time we invited our buddy Spencer (who was like a second grandfather to me), he laughed when he learned he had to remove his shoes for dinner. And after that first meal at Karinya, anytime we’d make dinner plans with ol’ Spence, he would ask “Are we going to the ‘shoeless place’? …if so, I’ll have to check my socks for holes”.

Two of my favorite dishes at Karinya were the “Gai Rad Prik” (they prepared it with deep-fried chicken covered in a super-spicy chili sauce) and “Shrimp Sarong” (shrimp wrapped with egg noodles, deep-fried and served with a sweet and spicy chili dip).

From my research, it looks like the original owners of Karinya sold the business in 1998. I moved to Studio City in 1994 and halfheartedly tried to find a new Thai restaurant near me (in the San Fernando Valley) to love, but nothing tasted as good or seemed as authentic as Karinya. There were no “foodie” sites on the New World Wide Web way back then, so I had pretty much given up on finding a Thai place I could call my own.

Then on January 1, 2009 I had lunch at Sri Siam Café. Peter (my husband) and I met up with our far-east-food-expert friend Jeffrey, for an incredible, unforgettable New Year’s Day Lunch. Jeffrey is a regular at Sri Siam and has not only eaten at all the best Thai places in Los Angeles but all the best Thai places in Thailand.

The best part about Sri Siam Café (besides the outstanding food) is that I won’t be pining for Karinya any longer. I can finally move on… and luckily for me… my new Thai joint is literally just up the street!

My Favorite Bites at Sri Siam Café:

Fried Fish Cake, MyLastBite.com
Fried Fish Cake : Ground fish and green bean patties, seasoned with curry paste then deep-fried. It’s served with a delicious cucumber relish. $6.95

For me, the fish cakes were just a vehicle for the relish. I ended up just spooning it out and eating it like gazpacho!

Apple Trout, MyLastBite.com
Apple Trout: Fried trout fillet served with green apple salad. $18.95

Green Apple Salad, MyLastBite.com
Green Apple Salad.
Apple Trout Tail, MyLastBite.com
Apple Trout Tail.

O-Lou, MyLastBite.com
O-Lou: Omelet stuffed with shrimp and topped with sprouts. $7.95
O-Lou, MyLastBite.com
O-Lou: Omelet (close up).

Soft Shell Crab, MyLastBite.com
Soft Shell Crab in Green Curry Sauce: Served with asparagus. $18.95

Beef Ball Soup, MyLastBite.com
Beef Ball Noodle Soup: Rice noodle soup with beef ball (meatball), bean sprouts and green onion. $5.00

House Special Menu, MyLastBite.com
Menu: The House Specialties in English

Thai Boba Tea, MyLastBite.com
Thai Boba Tea. The perfect way to cool off a spicy tongue!

Update: 1/8/09  (Visit #2)
This morning my ex-husband Perry called from Santa Monica airport. He and his co-pilot John asked if I wanted to join them for lunch. They fly a private business jet and had a five hour layover, so I grabbed my friend Laur and we met them at Sri Siam!

I wrote (above) that twenty years ago, one of our favorite dishes from our old Thai restaurant in Pacific Beach was “Shrimp Sarong”, and that’s the first thing Perry ordered today. They were exactly the same to me, except Sri Siam calls them “Crispy Shrimps”.

It was sort of a sentimental moment for me. Sitting there with Perry eating a wonderful old favorite and talking about our families. He and his wife Karen have two beautiful kids, and I feel so grateful that we can still be in each others lives, especially when it’s over a plate of delicious food!

Before I left for lunch I sent my husband Peter a text message, to let him know I was meeting Perry at Sri Siam. Peter sent the following message back: “Well, just so you know, I’m really JEALOUS… really jealous that I’m missing the food! Say hi to Perry.“…

I know… lucky me.

My two favorite dishes from lunch today:
Crispy Rice Salad, MyLastBite.com
Crispy Rice Salad Thai sour sausage mixed with crispy rice, roasted peanut, ginger and green onion. I LOVED the spiciness of this dish.

Crispy Shrimps, MyLastBite.com
Crispy Shrimps Shrimp mixed with light soy sauce wrapped with egg noodle.

Sri Siam Cafe, MyLastBite.com

Visit #3 to Sri Siam (with new photos)

Sri Siam Café
12843  Vanowen St.
North Hollywood, CA 91605
818 892-6262

All my Sri Siam Photos on Flickr

Sri Siam Café  Website

Sri Siam Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Filed under Eating Out, Food Stories (written by me)

Wagamama, London

For my nephew Cody’s high school graduation gift, I flew him to London for two days of eating (and sightseeing) then on to Scotland to spend time with his grandfather (my dad).

Photos of our lunch at Wagamama in Camden Town, London.

Wagamama! MyLastBite.com 
Wagamama in Camden Town

Wagamama! MyLastBite.com
Chili Beef Ramen (Noodles in spicy pork and chicken broth topped with grilled sirloin steak, fresh chillies, sliced red onions, bean sprouts, coriander, spring onions and a wedge of lime) at Wagamama in Camden Town, London

Wagamama! MyLastBite.com
Cody with Chili Chicken Ramen (Noodles in spicy pork and chicken broth topped with grilled chicken breast, fresh chillies, sliced red onions, bean sprouts, coriander, spring onions and a wedge of lime) at Wagamama in Camden Town, London

What does Wagamama mean? Translated from japanese it means ‘willful / naughty child’. 

Dining Date: 6/22/07

More about Cody

Dinner at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, London

Wagamama

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