Sunday, October 04, 2009

The sweets of LA

Instead of blogging about yet another wildfire and swarm of earthquakes, let's talk about why I love LA.

Yesterday, after a noon-time soccer game, we ran an errand in Orange County.  We asked Iris what she wanted to eat for 'lunner' (her name for the PM alternative to brunch).  Did she want Chinese, Korean, Indian or Japanese?

"Japanese." She is predictable only when it comes to food.

But we were so close to Pioneer boulevard, home of Little India (and the second largest enclave of Indo-Americans in North America)! How would she like to try an Indian snack and sweet shop? It was not a hard sell.

We visited Rasraj (for our second time). If you click through and then click on the sweets tab, these desserts will scroll across your screen. Try not to drool.

But Iris saw the case of mousses and she was a goner.

Bad Dad and I insisted on eating something before dessert.  We ordered the vegetarian sampler and a dosa.

I forgot to take a picture before we dug into the okra. It reminded me of The Enthusiast. Heather always tantalizes me with what she had for dinner. We share a love for okra, and okra is much easier to obtain where she lives. Heather, this photo is for you.

My eyes gravitated to a section of the menu labeled "Desi-Chinese".   It had a dish called "Hakka Noodles".  One of my grandmothers was Hakka (actually part Hakka and part Dutch--hence her childhood nickname of "yellow-hair").  It turned out to be pan-fried noodles and veggies in a curry sauce.  It was OK, but I prefer the Hakka Noodles you would get in a Chinese restaurant.

Afterwards, we let Iris choose her mousse and I selected a pound of sweets from this case to bring home.

We just ate a few pieces tonight.

Last month, I had an expiring gift certificate to Books Sanseido.  I dragged Iris to Mitsuwa Marketplace in Torrance.  Iris was a good sport about accompanying me, but she stipulated we had to eat lunch at the food court.  We were happily surprised to encounter the Hokkaido Gourmet Food Fair.  Some of my family immigrated to Hokkaido and I am very fond of the cuisine there.

Hokkaido is famous for fresh seafood of exceptional quality (it's the cold water), ramen with miso paste, and curry. Here's a partly-consumed curry ball.

We also enjoyed squid marinated in teriyaki sauce, stuffed with sushi rice and then grilled over charcoal.

Of course, she ran over to Italian Tomato, a Japanese bakery chain that sells ersatz Italian desserts.  They are really Japanese interpretations of Italian food, distinct from Italian cuisine.  But they are very, very good.  Here's Iris enjoying her Tiramisu, with my coffee jello in the foreground.

To complete our LA world dessert tour, here are some treats from the European Community Market and Deli in Huntington Beach.

I get my Mrs Stylebook from Books Sanseido in Torrance and Burda World of Fashion/Style from the European Market in Huntington Beach. Both stores order only 2 copies of each magazine per quarter/month. You need to be quick to get your copy. Call the stores in advance so they hold it for you. If MSS sells out, you can always special order another copy. But if BWOF sells out, you are SOL.


  1. I was just resigned again to living in VA and you post this and now I am homesick for California all over again! I especially miss the variety of cuisines available.

  2. I have had curry in Hokkaido. I didn't realize it was a local specialty.

  3. Geesh, you make LA look tempting. I love okra and have trouble finding good okra up here. The squid looks lovely too; I wanted to sntach it off the screen.


Comments are open for recent posts, but require moderation for posts older than 14 days.