A restaurant prepares and serves food, drink and dessert to customers in return for money. In the case of this particular channel, we will differentiate Restaurants from Fast Food Restaurants by those locations that don’t have a drive-thru, or push your food out of a window or over a counter.
Soup dumplings are upper echelon levels of creativity if you think about it. The concept of a dumpling filled with savory, comforting broth and enticing proteins like shrimp, crab or pork is big brained activity if you ask me.
But when 18 Folds in Anaheim, California debuted these pho soup dumplings, I nearly slapped my own forehead with astonishment. It just. Makes. Sense.
The warm solace of pho is a bowl that’s always invited to any of our cravings. To have that in bite-sized dumpling form is the fusion that’s simply mathematical in any sense — it all adds up every which way you look at it.
Served with a side of hoisin sauce and sriracha and what you have is clarity in one bite.
Footage of this cheesy ‘good morning’ wrapped in a crispy ‘have a wonderful day’ was captured by @goodeatzco, and the full concept has our breakfast loving minds collectively blown. Described as bacon, eggs & cheese in a crispy pancake roll, this breakfast innovation by Liang Crispy Rolls looks to be an updated take on Chinese jianbing, a traditional street food comparable to crepes.
Liang Crispy Rolls also has other drool-inducing versions like a garlic shrimp crispy roll, kim chi pork belly crispy roll, and marinated beef crispy roll, just to ensure that our salivating selves are well covered for lunch and dinner, too.
Pietris Bakery in Long Beach, California is on to something profoundly tasty here. By taking the sweet temptation of baklava and bringing it into the next life as half pancake deliciousness, they’ve created a stack of pancakes that are harder to resist than gravity itself.
But I’m quite sure a whole stack of these baklava pancakes is enough goodness to have our spirits defy said gravity. Doubters just need to peep the video above for some solid affirmation.
Pro-tip: Order it “Titan Style” to have extra pancakes, a healthy drizzle of Nutella, and a whole piece of baklava donned on top!
There’s a special place in my heart for the vociferous crunch of lumpia shanghai, the heartiness of a silog plate equipping you with enough sustenance to take on the day, the comforting bowl of Filipino spaghetti that takes me back to a home cooked meal from mom. And I get all of that and more at Big Boi, a Los Angeles hotspot for Filipino cuisine.
Chef Barb Batiste cooks with a particular passion and love that channels every auntie that’s made you a meal that fills your soul as much as it does your tummy. The results of such soulful cooking are portions made to share with good company and flavors that represent Filipino food in its warmest light.
Above is a video that breaks down my top five favorites at Big Boi. However, the goodness doesn’t stop there. Beyond what I can count on one hand are other Filipino dishes that delight, so exploring the rest of Chef Barb’s delicious menu is something I encourage and even insist.
It was only a matter of time before a New York-based burger icon like Shake Shack paid tribute to the spicy sauce from Buffalo.
At a couple of locations in New York and California, Shake Shack is fielding a lineup of items covered in Buffalo sauce. This includes a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, Buffalo Chicken Bites, and a Buffalo Shroom Shack, which consists of a fried portobello mushroom stuffed with Muenster and Cheddar cheeses.
The sandwiches also come with shredded lettuce, and all three items are served with Shack ranch sauce to satisfy the classic pairing of buffalo and ranch.
Currently, you can only find these at locations in the Upper East Side and West Village of New York, or at the Glendale and Marina del Rey Shake Shacks in the greater Los Angeles area.
Mochi donuts are some of the most colorful and visually stunning treats you can find right now. Currently finding their way into donut shops across the country, they’re easily identifiable by colorful glazes and a shape that looks like eight donut holes interconnected into a single ring.
How exactly did mochi donuts get that shape? The answer is quite complex, and draws inspiration from Japan, Hawaii, and even Brazil, if you go back far enough.
When looking at mochi donuts, the earliest form of these fried dough treats can be traced back to poi mochi. A combination of poi (mashed taro) and mochi, this can be dated back to 1992 in Hawaii, when Waianae resident Charmaine Ocasek started frying balls of poi mochi out of her parent’s garage. Today, these can be found in the original form at a shop called Uncle Lani’s.
Mochi, of course, has a long history dating back hundreds of years in Japan. It made its way to Hawaii via plantation workers in the 1800s, and continues to be a popular treat in the original form today.
Fast forward to 2016, and Liliha Bakery, inspired by a trip to Japan and poi mochi, created a poi mochi doughnut in the iconic 8-ball ring style. The sweets immediately became a huge hit, with thousands going out the door daily, and eventually led to their spread to other locations, and even a presence in the continental US.
Liliha’s doughnut shape was inspired by Mister Donut, one of the biggest doughnut icons in Japan. This chain was actually founded in the United States in 1956 by Harry Winouker, the brother-in-law to the founder of Dunkin’ Donuts.
After spreading globally and getting locations worldwide, Dunkin’ acquired all of the shops in the US in 1990 and converted the Mister Donut spots into Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants. The name can still be found globally, however, and is known for a special style of doughnut called “Pon de Ring.”
Created in 2003, the Pon de Ring style actually draws inspiration from yet another country: Brazil. Mister Donut has stated that the donuts get their look from pao de queijio, a Brazilian cheese bread made from tapioca starch that is quite chewy and does resemble a donut hole in appearance.
Interestingly, Mister Donut’s Pon de Rings are a chewier type of donut as well, but instead of using mochi, they use tapioca starch to get that texture instead. What Liliha Bakery did is take the style of deep fried poi mochi, combine it with the the Pon de Ring, and turn it into a viral, striking snack that’s continuing its spread across donut shops today.
Overall, this means that the mochi doughnut can attribute its past to the United States, Japan, Hawaii, and Brazil, pulling inspiration from each to create the final item. It’s mind-boggling to see how many places can influence and combine to create new culinary innovations.
Is the Hot Cheetos trend finally over? If you asked me a year ago, I would have said yes. Yet, a restaurant has found an innovative way to feature the viral ingredient that’s kind of blowing our minds.
Callahan’s, formally in Norwalk, NJ, featured a Flamin Hot Cheetos-breaded soft shell crab served with pale ale queso, even more Cheetos, arugula salad, and was served on a fresh double Martin’s potato bun. You can see from influencer @CheatDayEats‘ video, the entire mouthwatering process of this sandwich.
The restaurant even offered a Cool Ranch Doritos version of the soft shell crab sandwich not long after.
In 2020, Callahans had to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic but continues to offer catering to patrons. During this time, they’ve been operating through their food trucks for catering and private events.
However, the restaurant announced that there will be a new storefront opening up in September 2021.
When it comes to fish & chips, Los Angeles is most likely the last city you’d expect to serve up a plate that’s noteworthy enough to tell everyone you know about. But at Fishpop, in the Koreatown neighborhood of LA, Chef Joon is firing up gourmet versions in different and bold flavors that are memorable and scintiliating.
Joon’s culinary pedigree is made up of training under lauded chef Joe Sasto, where he learned the fine art of pasta making. The unlikely connection to fish & chips could have one wondering initially the exact correlation, but once you realize that technical kitchen prowess is key to making a perfect serving of fish & chips, it all starts to make sense as to why Fishpop’s brand of the dish is top notch in the city.
Whether you’re crunching into a sweet & sour homage to Panda Express’ Orange Chicken in crispy fish form, or if you’re like me, and diving face first into the perfect and memorable spicy version, Fishpop guarantees a fierce craving for their food. It’s chef’d up fish & chips, really, all done with the respect and care that even the most humble cut of deep-fried seafood deserves.
The video above illustrates the fine details that go into Fishpop’s mastery of fish & chips, which is more than enough to convince any discerning diner that this is the best version that LA has to offer.