After me and Angie's lunch at New Seoul BBQ, we were well-fed and ready for a sweet dessert. A few of our friends had gotten macaroons from a Korean bakery down the street, so we walked to the next plaza where Phuong Trang and Big Joy Family Bakery were. Walking in, the bakery is built like a cafe, with baskets of freshly baked bread, assorted pastries, cakes, and a big display of their macaroons, along with some tables and couches to sit on. We were warmly greeted by the employees and immediately knew we wanted to get their macaroons.
Assorted French Macaroons
They had a lot of different flavors of Macaroons, all of which were rather mini and $1.75 each. We picked out two hazelnut macaroons, chocolate, cappuccino, strawberry, and vanilla. They had a lot more flavors as well, such as fruit flavors like raspberry and lemon, as well as some more traditional flavors like mocha. The macaroons we picked out were very enjoyable. Though small, they were well made and tasted fresh (not stale). The outside had a nice crunch, but the inside was gooey, moist, and soft, making it a mixed eating experience. The flavors were distinct, and Angie and I definitely enjoyed the hazelnut macaroons the most. The chocolate macaroon tasted a bit like a brownie, which I liked. The only complaint was that we wished there was more ganache filling inside the macaroons. Otherwise, though a bit pricier and smaller than other macaroons you could get at other places, we would definitely go back and get them again.
Meeting up with Angie for lunch, we decided to get some BBQ. Trying to decide on what kind, I remember seeing a sign for a new All-You-Can-Eat (AYCE) Korean BBQ in the Convoy Plaza near Manna. Curious, we chose to try the place out for their lunch AYCE special.
New Seoul BBQ
We went inside at the relatively early lunch hour and were seated immediately. There were two lunch menus with a cheap $10 option as choice A, which was fairly limited in the number of options, as well as a $15 option as Choice B. We went with Choice B because of the wider variety of meats available.
After placing our order with the waiter, we were given some banchan to start us off. The appetizers were relatively small, including the standard items like kimchi, radishes, potato salad, cucumber, fish cake, and spicy bean sprouts. They were nothing special, though the potato salad was quite good.
Large Intestine, Marinated Beef, Beef Tongue
When we finished the banchan, the meat was brought out and we began to grill the meat. I chose to get large intestine and beef tongue, while Angie went with the marinated beef (bulgogi). The marinated beef was juicy and more spiced than the usual sweet taste, which we enjoyed. The beef tongue was of average quality, and not nearly as thin and tender as some beef tongue we have had, but overall decent. I enjoyed the large intestine the most, which takes a while to cook, but was well worth the wait. Angie was not a fan of intestine and chose not to try it, but I described it to her as eating a big piece of fatty meat.
Squid, Beef Brisket, and Pork Belly
This is when things began to go a bit downhill. Our waiter returned and took our order to try out the seafood and some more meat options, but while he was away, we were simply sitting at the grill. One of the other waitresses took this opportunity to mistakenly turn off the grill and handed us the check. At this point, we'd only had one plate of meat at this "All You Can Eat" restaurant, so it felt like we were being rushed. However, we were able to flag down our original waiter and get the grill started again after he gave us the plate of meat. The squid was a rather small portion, and fairly chewy. It did not have too much of a taste but still had a good texture to it. The beef brisket was good and on-point, being tender, juicy, and also quick to grill. Lastly, we cooked the pork belly, but did not get much of an opportunity to taste it very well because at this point, our grill was very dirty and burned the few pieces of pork we had.
Since the menu options were fairly limited, we chose the spare ribs. This was by far Angie's favorite plate. The grill was newly changed, so the meat was able to cook well. The ribs were tender and full of flavor, juicy, and delicious. By that time, the ribs were filling us up and we only opted for one last plate of beef brisket and large intestine again. The beef brisket cooked well and quick, but the large intestine takes a long time to cook. While we were waiting for it to cook, the same waitress that turned off our grill after our first plate turned it off yet again, which didn't let the intestine cook thoroughly and made it unsafe to eat. This was the straw that broke the camel's back for their service to us.
New Seoul Barbecue is a place that seems rather hit-or-miss with its barbecue. While we enjoyed the food there, the service was lacking and really made the overall experience very unappealing. Angie and I would likely not go back again and would rather pay the few extra bucks to go to another AYCE Korean barbecue down the street with better service.
New Soul BBQ
4344 Convoy St
San Diego, California 92111
With the craziness of school and work, Sundays are now a constant day off for me. This give me a chance to finally try out some places for Sunday brunch. I had a craving for some dim sum so Angie, my friend Donald, and I went to try out Jasmine Restaurant for a bite.
Jasmine is located on the food road that is Convoy St. We arrived at around 11:30AM and the place was packed, but with only a 20 minute wait for our party. We were seated in a huge room packed with carts and tables with very simple decor. Seated at our table, we were handed a card to keep track of our food as the carts started to come around.
First up was an order of Shao Mai, which is a steamed pork and shrimp dumpling, wrapped in a thin dough sheet but leaving an exposed top. The shao mai was very juicy, and had a great big bite of shrimp in it. The outside wrapping was very moist and not overcooked, as some places tend to do.
Gan Tsao Xia
A cart loaded with more entree style dishes rolled by and we picked up some Gan Tsao Xia, or Dry Fried Shrimp. The shrimp was very crispy and salty, yet full of flavor. They were cooked perfectly, so much so that even the entire head was edible. A very good dish overall with nothing left after we were finished.
Jie Lan Tsai
Along with the Gan Tsao Xia, we also got an order of Jie Lan Tsai, or Bok Choy, served with a sweet, black soy paste sauce on top. It was a very simple dish and was steamed very well.
Cha Shao Bao
Also coming from the entree cart was Cha Shao Bao, or BBQ Pork Bun. The bun was very soft with some sort of honey glaze on top. The meat was tender and had a hint of sweetness from the sauce. The combination of savory and sweet went very well in this dish and was a hit with all of us.
A new cart arrived so we picked up one of Angie's favorite dishes, Chang Fen. It's a very simple dish consisting of just a couple shrimp wrapped in a wide rice noodle, covered in a sweet soy sauce. The shrimp weren't overcooked and the noodles were just the right consistency.
Luo Buo Gao
Next was a cart frying rice cakes on the spot so we grabbed an order of Luo Buo Gao, or Turnip Cake. The cake is a block of rice flour mixed with little bits of meat and vegetables, which is then fried and topped with sesame seeds, and a sauce similar to hoisin sauce. It had a great crispy exterior and chewy interior. The flavor of the vegetables and meat were very light but there at certain bites.
For our last savory dish, we grabbed Xia Jiao, or Shrimp Buns. Very similar to most dumplings, it is filled with a single shrimp wrapped in a wheat-tapioca wrap that is steamed till translucent. Slightly chewy with a bit of a bite from the shrimp, it was simple and filling.
To finish off our meal, we got Dan Ta, or Egg Custard Tart, from the dessert cart. With a flakey outside and sweet custard inside, the filling is very sweet and light. Whenever possible, try to get it fresh, because it is very popular. A great complement to the end of the meal.
If you want to try out some great dim sum or just looking for a nice place for Weekend Brunch, stop by Jasmine. With its simple design and quick, efficient service, you'll be able to enjoy these small dishes to your heart's content. Just remember to keep an eye out for the dessert cart, their dishes go by quick!
4609 Convoy St
(between Dagget St & Opportunity Rd)
San Diego, CA 92111
Neighborhood: Kearny Mesa
After Angie and I's long hibernation, we were ready to go out and eat. Bringing our friend Rachel along, we decided to go to our favorite little Thai place, Sang Dao, for some great eats.
Sang Dao is a great little place with a room no bigger then most of our living rooms. Simple paintings and a fish tank decorate the room of about 8 tables. Normally very busy during lunch, we were able to quickly grab a table. The menu is right to the point with many mainstay Thai and Lao dishes, with a few Vietnamese dishes as well.
Golden Wings with Chili Sauce
We started off with an appetizer of Golden Wings. They come out hot and crispy, with a side of pretty standard, from a bottle chili sauce. The wings were very tasty, but nothing different then most places. Cooked nicely, weren't too oily, and had a great crispy skin. Nice start to our meal.
Thai BBQ Beef
Angie ordered their Thai BBQ (Which can be ordered as beef or pork) and was happy with her order. The BBQ is seasoned in Sang Dao's special marinade, grilled, and chopped up with a side of chili and cilantro sauce for dipping. The meat was slightly sweet and had a nice charring atop some piece, but tended to be a bit tough and chewy with some pieces. The parts that were tender, however, were great and the seasoning went well with the chili cilantro sauce. Better yet, they left the fat on the meat which made it extra enjoyable for us.
Rachel went with one of her favorite dishes called Gai Qua. The dish consists of pan fried flat noodles, mixed with bean sprouts, green onions, egg, chicken and squid, in a savory-sweet sauce. The dish was tasty with slightly sweet noodles, and tender squid and chicken. The bean sprouts and green onions added some extra texture to the chewiness of most of the dish. Rachel's only complaint of the dish was that the noodles were just a bit too soggy, rather then a bit crispy, otherwise enjoying the dish overall.
Seafood Ka Pow
I ordered my usual Ka Pow with Shrimp, Squid, and Mussels. I requested for it to be "Thai spicy" and received something closer to "Thai-American spicy" being a bit tamer then some other places where I request that heat level. I love the overall composition of the dish, with its garlicky, spicy sauce, and the well cooked (and cleaned) seafood. Flavor and texture from the bell peppers, onions, basil and the heat from the Thai chilies really added to the dish. I normally don't like to eat rice, but I make an exception for this. A definite go-to each and every visit.
Another great visit to Sang Dao to kick start Angie and I's (and maybe even a few other friends if they're interested) blogging once again. Great atmosphere and customer service mixed with good food always make for a fun time. Don't expect amazingly creative and astonishing food. Do expect, however, really great, simple, and cheap food done very well. Stop by sometime and try out Sang Dao to see for yourself.
Sang Dao Restaurant
5421 El Cajon Blvd
(between 54th St & Berting St)
San Diego, CA 92115
Not much of a post but Id just like to tell everyone Im still here. Life has been catching up with me lately and I had to put the blog on the back burner for a while. Fear not, however, as the hunger and the camera still run rampant. Just a few more weeks till I can finally focus again. Hope everyones doing well!