Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern: thehungrydude’s hero!

Hello everyone!

I got an email in September from a member of the online community that helps out with Andrew Zimmern(host of Travel Channel: Bizzare World) and it was a request to spread the word out for his show that aired in September. Due to the fact that our blog ended Season 1, neither I or thefooddude was able to respond in time to their email.

For those of you that do not know him, check out the links below to get an idea of who he is and what he does. Then you’ll see why he’s my hero. Andrew Zimmern, you’re the man!

Connect with the show:

Web: http://www.travelchannel.com/TV_Shows/Bizarre_World/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/azbizarreworld

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BizarreWorld

Special shout outs to Brandon Whalen  from the Travel Channel Online Team. Keep up the good work guys!

Til next time, ciao!

thehungrydude

Season 2 COMING SOON!

thefooddude and thehungrydude are back! Or at least we WILL be soon!

First, we need your help. We are calling out to all of our fans that have any graphic designing skills to design a logo for us(For Socal residents only. We apologize to all the other readers from other states and countries. Unfortunately both of us live in Los Angeles, CA).

This contest will go on until the end of  October and winner will be decided first week of November.

So get designing and prepare yourself for a brand new Food-Fu SEASON 2!!!

Yours Truly,

thehungrydude

thehungrydude’s Kryptonite #2: Burgers

Seriously, I absolutely LOVE burgers. Buffalo burgers, regular beef burgers, sirloin burgers, turkey burgers, veggie burgers, spam burgers(ooo spam…wait til thehungrydude’s kryptonite #3…coming soon), and ostrich burgers(don’t knock it until you’ve tried it). My Kryptonite #2 is a nice juicy burger with all the fixins.

Just to name a few burger joints:

  1. In-n-out : Cheeseburger with animal style fries and vanilla shake.
  2. Apple Pans: Hickory Burger with fries and banana cream pie.
  3. Father’s Office: I just listed this place because a lot of you enjoy it. For me, it’s just ok.
  4. Fatburger: Fatburger with eggs, and steak fries.
  5. Carl’s Jr: Guacamole Six Dollar Burger and fried zucchini.
  6. Tommy’s Original World Famous Hamburgers: Chili burger and chili fries.
  7. The Fix: Ostrich Rodeo Burger with sweet potato fries and oreo shake. As Cindy would say, ” BOMB.COM!!! “

When I can’t think of anything to eat, I eat a burger. When I wake up hungover and I’m craving something greasy, I eat a burger. When I’m short on time and I have to eat in the car, I eat a burger. When I’m short on cash, I eat a burger. When I just want to eat alone, I eat a burger.

Think about this way, one of my fondest memories in elementary school was when my grandma would take me to McDonalds and I would order 3 Big Macs with large fries. Then I would ask for some sweet and sour sauce so I can dip my fries in it. As I got older, I found out about their honey mustard sauce. Then I even got more advanced and poured sweet and sour sauce onto my Big Mac. Basically I grew up on McDonalds from elementary school to high school. After high school I found out about the other burger spots and expanded my burger knowledge. Unfortunately, it wasn’t just my knowledge that expanded. Moving right along!

Couple weeks ago, my friend Sunny called me up and invited me to a BBQ(it was this past Sunday). She’s entering a burger contest so she wanted me and some other friends to try out her recipe. I didn’t even give it a second thought. I immediately asked “When and where?” I started to immediately salivate and fantasize about what kind of burger she was going to make. If you ask those around her, they will all say that she is a great cook. I personally think she should go to a culinary school but she said she just enjoys cooking for friends and family. I can respect that(yay for me!).

It took around 45 minutes to drive over to her house. I spent the whole drive there daydreaming about stuffing my face with her burgers.

*Yoda’s voice* Hungry beast, I am. Hmmmmmmm?

Seriously, I do a mean impression of Yoda. If I wasn’t so lazy, I would upload a video of myself saying that. That would be awesome. Or maybe not. My friends would probably disown me. I’d go into depression and eat burgers all day and night. My fingers would become too fat for me to type, thus ending Food-Fu. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! I won’t do it! I can’t imagine the day that I press the letter “i” and I see “uio”. Oh haiiiiiiiil no.

[Composing myself]

Ahem…that was interesting. So back to Sunny’s burgers.

As soon as I got there, I saw this.

Sunny grillin the patties with cheese on top

Sunny grillin the patties with cheese on top

Who said women can’t grill?!?!?!? Seriously those patties were grilled to perfection. Perfect grill marks and the taste…..good lord! I’ll explain later. The patties are marinated with her secret sauce and she used two types of cheese. One was white cheddar and the other was gruyere cheese.

Since I drove 45 minutes through traffic, Sunny let me go ahead and eat first.

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One on bun she spread garlic mayonnaise. On the other bun she spread her own thousand island-like spread. Then I added some apple smoked bacon.

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Then added grilled onions and red onions.

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Then lettuce and tomato.

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Now that’s a SERIOUS burger. I had a hard time trying to fit that in my mouth.

As soon as I bit into the burger, all sorts of thoughts flew around in my brain. I tasted the apple smoked bacon, both the delicious spreads, the crunchy lettuce, cold fresh tomato, caramelized onions, and fresh crisp red onions. Where’s the patty and cheese???? I looked at my burger and I didn’t even graze the patty and cheese.

Next bite was ORGASMIC. My first thought was “Damnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn Sunnnnnnnnnnnnny! Will you marry me?!?!?!”

If the saying “A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” is true, then I’m hearing wedding bells. Sunny, keep those burgers coming. I’ll be saving up for a ringpop baby! What flavor you want girl?!? I got apple, grape, cherry…you name it! I got chu!

But seriously, the patty with the two cheeses was SO good. And when you add all the other ingredients, I can easily see her taking that trophy home real soon. This is by far one of the best burgers I’ve had. Especially when it’s grilled over charcoal and the ingredients are made from scratch at home, what can beat that? She put love into these burgers and my heart was pumping. *Heart throbbing uncontrollably*

Now usually I would post up the address of where you can get what we eat, but not this time. Sorry fellas. :( But! I am taking applications if you want to date her. Just remember to slip in a Benjamin Franklin with the application. I’ll put in a good word for ya. :)

thehungrydude’s kryptonite #3 coming soon to a blog near you!

Til next time, ciao!

I eat to live to eat again! – thehungrydude

My post from Yelp!: Pho 87 in Downtown LA

Pho with brisket (picture taken by Christina O. on yelp)

Pho with brisket (picture taken by Christina O. on yelp)

http://huggies.yelp.com – Christina O.’s Yelp page

Honestly, there aren’t any good Pho restaurants in Koreatown that can compare to Pho joints in Alhambra and Westminster. I’m so sick of koreanized Pho. I don’t go to a Vietnamese owned Korean restaurant(I doubt it exists) so why go to a Korean owned Pho restaurant? What the Pho, right?

The next best thing to Alhambra near Koreatown is Pho 87.

So, I walked in here one day after a LONGGGGGGGGGGG night in Koreatown with my Vitamin Water(alleve and Pepcid AC) in one hand and my damaged liver in the other looking like the deformed beast in 300.

Sat down and ordered my Pho with Brisket.

Server: someshing to dwink?
Me: *groan* iced water. lots please. *head on table*
Server: ty sch  bàn nàycái! (clean this table!)

Honestly, I used an english to vietnamese translating website to write this. I have no idea what he really said but I saw some other guy come like a ninja and wash the next table. So I’m assuming that’s what he said.

*10 seconds later Pho arrives*

The server came walking down the aisle like he was my bride to be. He held that bowl of Pho like a bouquet of roses. Quite the heavenly image right?

*adding cilantro, bean sprouts, Sriracha hot sauce, and Hoisin Sauce*

I devoured that bowl like a zombie chewing on fresh bodies in 28 Weeks Later.

Excellent Pho. Cured the pho-king hangover. Happy zombie. :)

*smiling with brisket between teeth*

Pho 87

1019 N Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(323) 227-0758

I eat to live to eat again! – thehungrydude

// Broke da mout!

Broke da mout (pidgin, aka hawai’ian slang) – Delicious.

This past weekend was a blur. Meeting family member after family member, it’s a wonder I was able to get out and get a taste of local flavor before heading back to LA. Thanks to my younger cousin tho, I managed to slip out and sample one thing that is definitely Hawai’ian. Kalua pork.

So driving around, enjoying my few hours of freedom, I tell my cousin I wanna try this local flavor. She takes me to this one local joint called Kuhio Grille. Walking in, it doesnt seem like anything special. Pretty typical hawai’ian local eatery, complete with fairly minimal decoration and a few tables with large locals chowing down on their food.

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We sit down and get the menu, and I immediately see this section.

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Kanakatak it is. Just the name of it makes it sound like that plate will attack and destroy hunger! So my cousin orders her keiki min (child’s portion of saimin, or hawai’ian style ramen. Keiki is hawai’ian for “child”). Yea. I know. She, like the my all my other cousins (who happen to be women), doesn’t eat much. All of my uncles eat like monsters tho, which explains a LOT.

Being a local restaurant and because of the location, I didnt expect much. I mean cmon, where the heck are they going to keep an underground oven large enough for a whole pig in the area? When the plate came out, I still didn’t know what to expect so I tried to keep my expectations low. Better to be pleasantly surprised than thoroughly disappointed, ya?

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One Pound Lau Lau - The Kanakatak!

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Keiki min. Hawai'ian twist on ramen. Notice the spam?

Yea. That’s spam in the keiki min. I might add, Spam is CHEAP in Hawai’i. At the local walmart, the regular going price of spam was $1.67. On my plate above (in clockwise order), Poi (a starchy paste made from a relative of the taro root), shredded beef, rice, kalua pork, onions, lomi salmon (salsa-ish mix, with chunks of salmon), and in the middle, haupia (a coconut based dessert with the consistency of jello).

IMG00047-20090730-1302

Kalua Pork

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Kalua Pork, up close and absolutely broke da mout!

I was very pleasantly surprised by every aspect of this plate with one exception. The poi (the purple stuff) takes some getting used to, and I wasn’t used to it. But I tried it anyway as my cousin showed me, by taking an onion and dipping it into the poi. Interesting combination, interesting mix of flavors, but not for me. At least, not yet. The shredded beef was a little salty, but still good. But the highlight of the plate was indeed the pork. I’m drooling thinking about it as I type. Maybe I’ll go hit up this one hawai’ian joint in Monterey Park and try the pork there.

Afterwards, we had to get some dessert. My cousin blurted out “Shaved ice!” I was asking myself “shaved ice? wth kind of dessert is just some ice in a cone with syrup?”

We go to this part of Hilo that’s just a string of shops with tourist-friendly stores. Among which, we walk in here.

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I walk out with

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If you’ve had shaved ice in LA, you’ll know that it’s smaller than what I’m holding and that the ice sort of globs up into chunks of ice that you sort of have to chew through. Not so with this place. Every bite is like eating a piece of cloud, with every bit of soft ice melting completely to leave nothing but flavor on your tongue. No chunks! And if you get the deluxe cone, there’s a scoop of vanilla ice cream at the bottom that you an enjoy mixed in w/ whatever flavors you might’ve gotten. I got the strawberry and sour apple. Also, this was the SMALL cone.

Day 2.

With my cousin having left for Honolulu that morning, I was left to fend for myself in exploring this strange area. So I took my uncle’s car, fired up Google maps and yelp mobile, and took off in search of another local eat. I ended up in the same area, and at this place called Hilo Cafe. Most reviews on yelp were pretty favorable, and walking in, the decor was pretty chiq, with a decent bar and layout that reminded me of some of the more lower-upscale joints around LA.

The menu was drastically different than Kuhio Grille’s. Plate combinations reminded me of trends that could be seen in LA. For example, here’s the plate I ended up choosing.

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Kalua Pork with Side Salad

There are a couple things wrong w/ this picture though not all evident at first glance. First problem was with the pork. Traditional kalua pork should be roasted/smoked in an oven. NOT grilled. The immediate problem with this was that while chewing through some of the pork, I ended up biting into an entire section of raw pork. Now, I shouldn’t need to go into detail about what’s wrong with that. But at $17 for this plate, TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. The salad, with it’s bacon bits and blue cheese and green asian dressing, was actually the highlight of this meal. I left the place in a hurry leaving the raw pork in the middle of the plate. I wanted to leave a negative tip if possible. And not to mention, service was mediocre at best. Yelp, you’ve failed me yet again, and Hilo Cafe, so have you.

To make up for the disaster at Hilo Cafe, I walked over to the 7-11 near my grandma’s pad in Hilo and picked up a katsu spam musubi. These are pretty clutch when you need a snack.

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Unfortunately, that’s all I got to try of the local flavors during my trip. Besides the above, I was mostly fed typical korean food at my aunt and uncle’s place. And at the wedding, typical catered food, so nothing new.

Knowing I have relatives in Honolulu I can stay with on trips, there’ll definitely be more island editions (hopefully sooner than later).

If you’re ever in Hilo, I would definitely recommend Kuhio Grille and you definitely need to try the deluxe shaved ice at Wilsons by The Bay.

Kuhio Grille

111 E Puainako St
# 106A

Hilo, HI 96720

(808) 959-2336


Wilsons By The Bay

224 Kamehameha Ave
Hilo, HI 96720

(808) 969-9191

Eat well, Live Well
-fooddude.

Orochon vs Daikokuya: Battle of the Ramens! Fight!

Orochon Ramen

Orochon Ramen

Daikokuya Ramen

Daikokuya Ramen

- This was a post I put up on Facebook a couple months back. Just wanted to share this post with the rest of you, our FoodFu family -

[Don't forget to take the poll which is located at the end of this entry]

When I first stepped into Orochon, I was amazed that people actually waited in line for ramen. For me, ramen was a bag of Shin ramen or Neoguri ramen cooked in my kitchen added with eggs and spam. Sometimes I garnished it with some green onions or added rice after I had finished the noodles. That was my idea of ramen. Orochon changed my Ramenology. I ordered the Miso Ramen Hyper 1. As soon as the server placed the steaming ramen in front of me, I knew this would change my life forever. My first bite sent signals to my brain that it was hot. Then the spice started to creep down my throat and eventually started to make my lips throb. I sneezed hard! But it was a goooood sneeze. The type of sneeze that forced me to clear my nose and take another bite. Before I knew it, I had gulped down the soup as if it was my last meal. Since then I’ve been an Orochon spokesperson. Writing on http://www.yelp.com, blogs and uploading pictures onto Facebook, I have become a self-proclaimed food critic. Alias: thehungrydude.

One day, a japanese/korean friend named Hideo suggested that I try Daikokuya. He said it was to die for. At first I was thinking, what does this little boy know about food? But then again, who am I? Danny Zagat? I decided to try it.

Both located near Downtown LA, people have been raving about these two spots for years. After being a loyal Orochon fan, I’ve decided to put Daikokuya Ramen to the test. Some dare to claim that Daikokuya is better than Orochon. My taste buds needed proof. So I set out today with my food buddy Aaron to see what all the hype was about.

At first I got really frustrated trying to look for parking. I decided to park in the structure (cost me $6 bucks…grrrrrrrr…this ramen better be worth it). Walked inside and sat at the bar. As soon as I sat down, I saw a menu with a picture of the infamous Daikoku Ramen. It looked like ramen in beef broth soup. We were seated right next to the fryer so my pores began to open up, releasing the last drops of my sweat. As I waited, I decided to read the description of my soon-to-be ramen lover. The soup base is made out of pork bones and they cook it for a whole day. Then they add this egg that has been sitting in soy sauce all day mixed with onions, bamboo shoots and ur basic ramen noodle.

Finally the cook brought over my lover. My first bite: hmmmm interesting. My second bite: ooOOooo not bad. My third bite: O GAWD NOOOOO! Am I cheating on my first love Orochon?!?!?! Fourth bite: slurpppppppp. *downing soup*.

*ten minutes later*

WOW! That seriously hit the spot! Orochon who?

Seriously, I really can’t compare the two. Both are unique in its own way. How can you compare a spicy ramen with a ramen with day old pork bone soup? They’re in two totally different categories.

MY VERDICT: DRAW

I have YET to eat at another place that will top these two lovers of mine.

Orochon, do you mind the threesome? I think not! There’s always room for two in my cheating stomach >:)

Orochon

123 S Onizuka St

Los AngelesCA 90012

(213) 617-1766

www.orochonramen.com/

Daikokuya

327 E 1st St

Los AngelesCA 90012

(213) 626-1680

www.daikoku-ten.com

Til next time, ciao!

“I eat to live to eat again!” – thehungrydude

Korea’s Answer to Pho

Before Pho, There Was Han Bat Sulung Tang

Sulung Tang - Korean Beef Broth Soup with meat slices

Sulung Tang - Korean Beef Broth Soup with meat slices

Ggakdugi - Daikon flavored with ginger,red chili pepper,salt & other ingredients

Ggakdugi - Daikon flavored with ginger,red chili pepper,salt & other ingredients

Baechu Kimchee - Spicy Cabbage

Baechu Kimchee - Spicy Cabbage

Before Pho infiltrated every corner of Koreatown(Los Angeles), every local K-towner(Koreatown resident) enjoyed a bowl of Sulung Tang @ Han Bat Sulung Tang(Located @ 4163 W 5th St., Los AngelesCA 90020). Sulung Tang is a broth that is cooked with bones(usually with ox tail) for several hours. It’s sort of like Daikokuya(located in Japanese Town Los Angeles) but Daikokuya is made with pork bones.

You can order the regular Sulung Tang with brisket but they also have a mixed one with liver, stomach, brisket and intestine for the daring.

The last time I came here was a year ago after a long night of Soju(Korean rice liquor) and beer. I remember my head was pounding, body dehydrated, cold sweats from alcohol poisoning, stomach turning and breath stinking like an old sweaty pair of underwear.

Master Tip For You Drinkers

Sleep + Hot Shower + Smart Water(water w/ electrolytes) + Alleve + Pepcid AC  + Han Bat Sulung  Tang = Excellent Recovery

Remember this combination. You can thank me later.

[back to the blog]

As soon as I walked in Han Bat Sulung Tang, I saw all types of people. Hungover ones. Grandpas and Grandmas. Ajushis and ajumas(korean term for middle aged people). Kids with their parents. They all have come for the same purpose. To get their fill of this delicious beef broth. I just sit down at any table without even being asked to be seated. This is how it is for most mom n pop restaurants in Koreatown. You just sit down and wait for your server. Or you can call out “Ajuma!”(A term that Koreans call the female servers) or “Yuh Gi Yuh!”(meaning “Over Here!”).

As I look at the menu posted near the cash register, I notice the mixed beef broth soup. I don’t even read what the ingredients are because I feel a bit adventurous today. Hey, if Andrew Zimmern from Bizzare Foods can eat stomach and intestines in Korea, I can up it a notch & throw in some liver. Take that Andrew!(By the way, I love your show. Much respect. I bow down to the other things you eat.)

Alongside my bowl of Sulung Tang comes kimchee, Ggakdugi, and chopped green onions. There is a procedure to all of this. Read on.

Sulung Tang Procedure

  1. Add salt and pepper to desired taste. (Be careful with the salt. Since it is good quality salt, a little will do the magic)
  2. Take several spoonfuls of the sauce from the Ggakdugi and put it in the broth.
  3. Add the chopped green onions.
  4. For more spice and flavor you can add the red chili paste but honestly you don’t need it.
  5. Add the bowl of rice.
  6. Eat a spoonful of the rice with the meat and take a bite out of the Ggakduji or Kimchee.

The brisket was delicious. The stomach was good also. The intestines were okay but I don’t really like the gushy stuff inside the intestines. Took a bite out of the liver but once again, I still do not enjoy eating liver. As I scraped the last remaining rice I had left into my bowl of soup, the server asked me “Would you like more rice?”. I must have looked so hungry and poor because her face had a look of concern. Her face basically read: I’ll give you more rice and I won’t charge you because you look so hungry and pitiful when you scrape your rice from the edges of the metal bowl.

Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!!!!!!!!!!! She has no idea that I was raised as a child not to waste any rice. I believe this is where my OCD developed. I made certain that not a single grain of rice was left in my bowl. I made absolute certain that when someone saw my bowl, they would think it was a new one.  Or maybe I just did that because I’m a gluttonous pig. OoooooOooooo glutinous rice. Focus thehungrydude, focus!

[Back to the entry]

After I ate most of the cow parts & rice, I downed the rest of the soup by grabbing the bowl with two hands and pouring it down my throat. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! This is what I was craving for. This is exactly what I needed on a hot 90 degree California day.

One interesting fact about Koreans: They suggest that you eat sulung tang or any other hot korean soup on a hot day to cool yourself down. They say that you sweat out the heat in your body. Personally, I don’t buy it. I end up getting more hot and crank up the AC. But hey, our Korean  grandparents and parents grew up thinking this way so maybe they are right in some odd way. Like how they make me go get an acupuncture or take herbal medicine. I don’t want to knock these medical methods but I don’t think I feel any different from using Western methods or Eastern methods. Anyways, back to my food entry because this can become a heated debate and I don’t want that. :)

[Once again, thank you A.D.D. for the side tracking moments in my entries]

Summary

Experience: 5 stars

Taste: 5 stars

Price: 4 stars – It cost only 9 dollars but it is more expensive than Pho. Hey, still under 1o bucks though.

[the end]

Til next time, ciao!

“I eat to live to eat again!” – thehungrydude