Back in SF: Clement St., Inner Richmond

Went to Ka-Mei Restaurant Supply last week for some dirt-cheap kitchen stuff.  Got a cleaver, bread knife, 2 other kitchen knives, egg slicer, tea infuser, citrus juicer, honey wand, and a bunch of other stuff.

Stopped into Good Luck for some really fresh and tasty dim sum items (har gow, egg tart, shu mai, turnip cakes, dumplings, wu kok, and ham swe kok), as well as some place that had happy hour specials (veggies for $4, pork and thousand-year-old egg congee for $2.75, and honey walnut shrimp for $4).

Other LA Stuff: Porto's Bakery!

This is a must-visit every time I take a trip to the LA area.  One of my favorite bakeries--Porto's Bakery, in Burbank & Glendale, a Cuban bakery that serves up generous helpings of sweets, snacks, and sandwiches for a beautifully low price.  I got 14 guava-cheese strudels (the BEST thing they make!), 2 apple strudels, 3 potato balls, and a cubano sandwich for something like $18.

Strudels: guava jam and cream cheese in a puff pastry shell.
Balls: minced spiced meat wrapped in mashed potatoes, breaded and fried
Sandwich: slow-roasted pork, ham, cheese, butter, and pickles on flaky white bread

And they ask me why I love LA...

Plans for tonight kind of fell together at the last minute.  

My childhood friend and I decided against the LACMA (free after 5pm) because of the protests happening near the Israeli consulate (I can't even begin to talk about that), and opted instead for a bit of boutique browsing on Melrose.  We went into one with some fashion-forward, well-priced-for-the-quality clothes.  I wasn't planning to get anything, but asked where they sourced their stuff--she told me California Mart, one of the largest fashion wholesale centers in the US.  It's in Downtown LA and has sample sales open to the public once a month.  My mom and I used to shop there years and years ago.

We also visited Susina, a decent bakery (but doesn't hold a candle to SF's Tartine), for a sticky bun.

The one thing I really miss about LA is, as ya'll know, the abundance of authentic, and amazingly cheap, ethnic food.  Tonight we went to Sanamluang Cafe in Thai Town (Hollywood Blvd. x Western Ave.).  I forgot how much tasty goodness can be had for $6.50.  We ordered:
  • Tom kha gai: A huge bowl of the sour-ish Thai soup, much like tom yum, except with coconut milk.  Flavored with lemongrass, galanga and cilantro, and chock-full of tender morsels of chicken and straw mushrooms.
  • Pad kee mow: Probably my favorite type of Thai noodle.  Flat rice noodles with tomatoes, onions, and your choice of ground meat (we chose beef).
  • Stir-fried eggplant, vegetarian style with tofu.
There was a ton of food left over, enough for another 2 people probably, and the whole thing cost like $22 including tax.  After that we headed to The Hungry Cat for drinks with some other friends.  I had a very delicious oatmeal stout from the Craftsman Brewing Co. and chocolate bread pudding.

Oh, and we scored some free parking on Sunset Blvd. just a block away from the Hungry Cat!

First time making pancakes from scratch--successfully.

Behold, homemade chocolate chip pancakes with maple syrup and bananas!

I only tried making pancakes from scratch once before.  I've been meaning to try Reggie's Rule-of-1 pancakes for a while, and I finally did this morning.  Results: decidedly superior to the store-bought mix (even TJ's!).  I actually didn't use a whole egg, but rather all egg whites, because I had them left over from the eggnog I made.  And I 1.5x'd the recipe.  Other than that--no changes.

The texture was perfectly fluffy but the pancakes had a sort of bland taste... I wonder if using buttermilk or even just adding a bit of salt would make any difference in flavor.