Archive for California
1983 W. Avenue L
Price per person: $15 – $25
Initially, I got a bad impression because of our initial service, but let it slide after realizing they took a large party while being understaffed. The dining room itself is medium size with an intimate setting. There is a large Fresco on the wall with a movable water fountain in front that is replaced by live bands during the weekends; tacky, but to each their own.
Back to the food, for starters we had the Spicy Calamari and the Steamed Mussels in marinara. The mussels were very good as was the sauce. The Calamari was ok, but not quite sure the lemon mayo dipping sauce belonged anywhere near the calamari. I do give credit to Fresco II for having available an authentic Italian calamari appetizer (sans breading).
For entrees, we ordered the Eggplant parm, the Lasagna and a custom ordered vegetarian dish, which goes a long way in showing how appeasing the chef is.
All entrees were excellent especially being parmed on top like olden days. After our meal, the chef/owner, Lea, paid our table a visit and chatted us up. This action is always worth an extra star in my book.
After having a nice conversation with Lea, which included getting the scoop on the business split creating a “Fresco II”, we capped off our meal with an order of canolies which were delicious.
Definitely recommend a visit.
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
I ventured to Orochon Ramen to make a go at the Spicy #2 Challenge.
There was quite a line for a table when we got there, but it moved fairly quickly.
Although I knew I was going for the challenge, I took a moment to peruse the menu, which consists of various appetizers & sides on the right side of the menu and the 3 steps to order a noodle bowl.
Step 1: Choose a soup base (Miso, Salt Water, Soy Sauce)
Step 2: Choose Spice Level (1 – 7)
Step 3: Choose Extras or toppings
I went with the Spicy #2 (which is what the challenge is called despite the previously mentioned 7 spice level options), with a miso soup base, no extras.
My witness also went with a miso base, no extras but dared not try the challenge and went with spice level 4: Orochan.
The noodles came out surprisingly quick. Along with a sweeping hush of awe as other patrons got wind of the heat packed into my approaching bowl of fire.
The server started the clock and even gave me a 3 minute grace period. The first few gulps weren’t as bad as I expected but then all of a sudden I found my lips searing from the heat and my face drenched in sweat!
The Jalapeno peppers no longer welcomed colorful ingredients, but minature grenades awaiting to explode within me. The miso broth, which was at first delicate and fulfilling, now run over my tongue like sand. Despite this, I struggled though the majority of the bowl. At the very moment I was assured the broth had begun to eat my innards, I threw in the towel with about 3 cups of death remaining.
After about a gallon of milk and some ice cream, I can now subjectively look back at my meal. I found that the miso broth bland and quite grainy. The noodles were undercooked having a tough pasty texture. I would’ve given it a free pass this time considering the novelty nature of my meal, but my companion found his meal just as disappointing.
I will give Orochon another try eventually, but I have a feeling that Orochon’s popularity is based on the challenge and mystique location to non-locals as opposed to their food.