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Monday, February 11, 2019
SUMMER SPECIAL: DESPIDIDA KTG STYLE 2018

I think I didn't want to write this post ever. That's why it's almost been a year since this happened and I'm here talking about it. Yep, this happened early in 2018. It was the last time I saw my friends collectively known as the KTG. It was shall we say, a despidida.
In true KTG style, there were tons of food. Left and right, you can get whatever your heart and tummy desires. Each one of us would definitely bring something to the residence of one of the greatest food bloggers in the metro. It was sort of like a tradition. A summer outing, almost every year, we would have a small party and watch the sun sets over the metro. Plus, we also get to swim and play on the trampoline.
There were lasagna from bhest which were pretty good. Nona's and Greenwhich were kind enough to send pasta and pizza as well.
There were tons of Filipino Styled Spag right there ready for the taking.
Of course, other Filipino food were on the table as well.
LEONARDO'S LECHON is always present when it comes to our little get togethers.
It's more than just your normal lechon. It's stuffed with tons of flavors and delicious meat like sausages and more.
 The plaza, known for their delicious ham, also sent over some sweet stuff.
Waffles on a stick were there too. Waffable has been a brain child of the people behind some delicious restaurants around the metro.
To be truthful, I really didn't want to write about that day. April 28, 2018. Saturday. Thinking about it and even writing about it makes me homesick even more. I miss all the laughter, the stories, and most of all, the people that I have come to know and treat as my family. The KTG is more than just bloggers, writers, photographers, and foodies. To me, they are family. It just makes me tear up and cry like a baby every time I think about them and the stuff we went through.

I know it's already 2019, but I think I still needed to write about it. Just so that I remember everything. From the start, they were there. I don't know were this goes but heck. It was one hell of a ride.


SOMEWHERE IN ANTIPOLO
April 28, 2018
Saturday.

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Monday, February 4, 2019
TEKKA BAR AND SECRET PIZZA: QUICK BITES IN COSMOPOLITAN HOTEL, LAS VEGAS

 Traveling alone has always been a thing with me. Last time I did this was when I visited LAS VEGAS for the very first time. I really didn't know anything and was really giddy about the trip. One of the few things I did enjoy about it was the freedom to choose where to eat. IN Vegas, food quality is never a problem. Granted that it may be quite expensive, there are some places that could make your taste buds jump but not lighten up your pockets.
Located in the COSMOPOLITAN HOTEL in LAS VEGAS, Tekka Bar is one of the few "stalls" in this mini food hall. It's basically a counter top Japanese Sushi Restaurant. IF you get pass the casino on the first floor head on up and you get to see the different stores and restaurants that might help you through the night.
 You sit down and order what you want from the staff. They create it for you and place it on top of the napkins. I know it's a bit simple but the quality of the seafood was spot on.
 It may be a little bit too much for some, but it's a steal for me. Going for the foursome, you get 4 different types of rolls. It's a set already and they serve it in order. One after another. The chef checks on you and only makes the next roll when you're done or about to finish with the one they just served.
 
You could definitely eat with your hands but I'd rather use my chopsticks. Although, they don't cut the rolls for you into small bite sized pieces, you could still handle it.
On the other hand, an affordable and open up until late would be SECRET PIZZA.
 
You go through a long hallway with no signs and you end up in a small pizza place. It has a few chairs that could be used by a few but it's basically where you get your carbs fix just before going home. They're open up until 5am, so it's a good place to visit after everything.
 Pizza slices aren't as expensive but are quite simple as well. It's pretty good considering the price. Others just get a whole box of pizza on the way to their hotel rooms.
If that's not enough, you might want to visit Eggslut as well. It might be overhyped for some, but why not? Have a bite and check it out.


TEKKA BAR
SECRET PIZZA
EGGSLUT
The Boulevard Tower, 3708 S Las Vegas Blvd Level 2, Las Vegas, NV 89109


Disclaimer:Paid for my meals. wrote this based on my experience.
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Monday, January 28, 2019
MARUGAME MONZO: JAPANESE UDON IN LITTLE TOKYO, LOS ANGELES

 One of the best things that came out of Japan would be their version of noodles. I mean, they have different soup/broth based dishes that compliments their noodles. They even have a lot of types of noodles. Some are soba, some are curvy while others are just big. Big like udons. This thick wheat flour noodle is usually served with a simple yet filling broth. During my visit to Los Angeles, I was brought to one exceptionally good udon restaurant. ENTER MARUGAME MONZO.
 MARUGAME MONZO is located in LITTLE TOKYO in downtown Los Angeles, California. When my family and I arrived, my uncle led us to this restaurant. There, we lined up for almost 45 minutes and saw how the line would go all the way past the building. This was a pretty good restaurant, I told myself. Seeing people queue for some food makes my tummy excited.
 After getting in, we knew what to order. We started with some crispy chicken skin together with some beer. It was also pretty much exciting for me to use what little Japanese words I knew since the staff were Japanese. Thankfully, this wasn't like the other places I frequent that only specializes in one thing. Although when you look at the menu, they all point out to their udon varieties, MARUGAME MONZO also offers other Japanese Treats like TEMPURA.
 If you're not up to stirring things up, you might want to go for the traditional UDON. Served with clear broth, the noodles were pretty good and the soup flavorful and filled with umami. Not too soft, I realized why. It's because they make them in house and cook it only when you order. You also get to see a staff member kneading and creating noodles through a glass window. The noodles are all handmade.
 If you're more adventurous, MARUGAME MONZO has some other not so traditional udon dishes for you to try.  If you're not up to the idea of something eastern, you might want to try out their MISO CARBONARA UDON. It's similar to the white sauce dish but it's noodles are chewy and big. Because of the udon, you get to enjoy a different mouthfeel with each bite.
 If I were to pick only two dishes to try (and I'm saying it with a BIG IF), it would be the SEA URCHIN UDON and the MENTAI CREAM UDON. The sea urchin was filled with the flavors you might expect from uni. It's extremely creamy and smooth. On the other hand, MENTAI or pollock roe brings back good memories of when I visited Fukuoka. Mentaiko  is a specialty of Fukuoka and this one delivers. Together with other seafood bits, it makes you want to eat more even after finishing the bowl.
When you visit MARUGAME MONZO in LOS ANGELES, be ready to queue up and wait. It's worth it. Also, you won't be seated if your group is not complete. There's no reservation as well.

BY the way, MARUGAME MONZO is quite near the STAPLES CENTER. Probably a 15 minute drive, you could have an early dinner before heading out to this entertainment center to enjoy a Lakers game.


MARUGAME MONZO
329 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Little Tokyo, Downtown
Monday 11:30AM–2:30PM, 5–10PM
Tuesday 11:30AM–2:30PM, 5–10PM
Wednesday 11:30AM–2:30PM, 5–10PM
Thursday 11:30AM–2:30PM, 5–10PM
Friday 11:30AM–2:30PM, 5–10PM
Saturday 11:30AM–10PM
Sunday 11:30AM–10PM



Disclaimer:wrote this based on my experience and opinions. Paid for our meals.

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Monday, January 21, 2019
BULGOGI HOUSE: BEST BANG FOR BUCK KOREAN BUFFET IN SOUTH CALIFORNIA

 Believe it or not, one of the most memorable, delicious, and affordable meal I had on my previous California trip was to a Korean Buffet place named BULGOGI HOUSE. Located on a corner with a huge parking lot, this Korean bbq buffet place is worth a shot.
 We arrived fairly early and was able to see a huge hall with lots of banchan ready for the picking. Another reason why I liked this place was that the ventilation was pretty good and we didn't smell even after eating for almost two hours.
 The spread was pretty decent. It had a number of carbs, vegetables, salads, fruits, and of course kimchi.
 Ordering wise, you get to pick between menus. Either A, B, or C, you definitely get what you paid for. We opted to go for MENU A as it was the cheapest. Even so, the meats that they served were pretty good and is of quality. You could get three types of meat at any given time.
 The beef was pretty good and well marinated. Personally, I prefer beef over pork but it really depends on you.
 Cooking wasn't a problem as well as the wait staff would always check up on you and offer to change the grill when it becomes too dark or burned.
 If you prefer more options, it would be better to check out B and C. They have seafood and other items to choose from.
I was pretty impressed with the selections and it was money well spent. I would definitely go back whenever I have some Korean BBQ cravings. Plus, I won't smell as bad as well.



BULGOGI HOUSE
6901 Walker St, La Palma, CA 90623
Opens up at 11am and closes around 10pm or 12midnight.


Disclaimer: wrote this based on my experience. paid for our meal.
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Monday, January 14, 2019
THE HAT: WORLD FAMOUS PASTRAMI IN CALIFORNIA

 The first meal I had when I visited California over the holidays was at THE HAT. My family and friends were raving about this place as it has some of the best sandwiches they had. Granted that it wasn't expensive nor was it anything out of the extraordinary but everything was just done well and straightforward.
 Although there are a number of branches, this one was pretty close to where we were staying. Located in Brea, this location is open from 10am to 1am. When we arrived on a weeknight, the place was packed. There was also a line but it was pretty quick. You order at the front and wait for it one the side.
 When I asked my cousins what to get, they told me that the best seller would be the pastrami and the roast beef.
 
 Before that, I just had to order some side dishes. Forgetting that this is America, the sides are pretty big in terms of serving.
 I liked the onion rings as it was really crunchy and hug. The wet fries on the other hand was hand cut potatoes smothered with gravy. They also have a version that is pilled up with pastrami.
Known for their pastrami, I was pleasantly surprised that they didn't skimp on the meat. The roll was packed up. Flavor was clean and it was a definite must try. If you have someone with you, I would suggest ordering the roast beef with the au jus dip. Since they cut the rolls into half, you guys could share a half each. Personally though, I would like to go back for the roast beef. It wasn't dry as what everyone would think. The fact that you dunk it in au jus just makes it more delicious.

The HAT is a pretty good place to go to for a quick meal or a late night craving. I will definitely go back. If only they could just keep their toilet clean.

THE HAT
1210 E. Imperial Hwy.
Brea, CA 92821
Brea Location 10am-1am



Disclaimer:paid for our meal. wrote this based on my experience.
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Monday, January 7, 2019
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD: FOOD TRIP MODE!

 Bangers! One of the things that I usually do whenever I visit a place is to always partake of the food. This holiday vacation, my family and I went on a trip that had me experience UNIVERSAL STUDIOS for the 1st and the 3rd time. Third because it's the 3rd country I've tried it at. The first being in Singapore, then Japan, and now in the United States. The first time because it might be the first of many in the west coast area.
Universal Studios Hollywood was opened to the public to allow people to tour the studio. Then years went by and then it became an amusement park. When we visited I had a grand time getting all the food I could eat. Granted that it's a bit expensive to eat inside the park, it's not everyday you visit so why not.
 Since my brother and I (mostly I), are Potterheads, we tend to spend a great time in Hogwarts. The most iconic drink that one has to get would be the butter beers. Don't worry as it doesn't have any alcohol in it but it does the trick. Better to go for the normal cold ones (personal preference)
 And there's a sit down restaurant inside the town named the Three Broomstick. Here, "English dishes" that would be present in Harry Potter world.
 There's the usual fish and chips and even English Bangers or sausages. Since I went during the Festive Season, they had some specials on the menu. One of them is this mix plate of turkey meat, mash potato, and bacon wrapped sausage. It was really good.
 After lunch, there are other places to visit and eat at. For snacks, you might want to visit Springfield. There's MOE'S Tavern and right across it is where they sell DUFF BEER. You can choose between light and lager. To be honest, it's just normal beer that is branded as such.
 Don't forget to head on over to KRUSTY. It's basically their version of a fastfood. Don't worry as the burgers here are real and not like the ones in the cartoons.




Eating all the food that you can in a theme park like UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD could be a bit expensive. Still, it's quite nice to experience everything.


UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD
100 Universal City Plaza, 
Universal City, CA 91608



Disclaimer:wrote this based on my experience. paid for my meals.
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