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Nov 6, 2010 11:18 AM

10 Most Challenging Dishes - so where's L.A.'s best duck tongues, chitterling, intestine, natto dish, durian item, etc.

This list that appeared in the NYC's Village Voice: inspired me to ask Chowhounds where one could find L.A.'s versions of these, and the best and most unique local variations.

Natto - I've heard of Japanese breakfast places in Gardena and okonomiyaki places that feature natto.

Durian - I've seen pastries, cookies, milkxhakes/smoothies, but fritters?

Pork Chitterlings - best? I know several SGV places have it.

Duck Tongues - best?

Pork Intestine w/ Duck Blood - I know of many intestine dishes in the SGV, and duck blood in Little Saigon, but I haven't seen the two combined. Pig blood, yes, duck blood, no. I'll even take best intestine dishes here.

Any comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Have at it...

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  1. Mon Land Hot Pot and Amrose both have pork intestines and duck blood on their menu (which you can order and combine on your own). Given the choice, I prefer blood from a swine.

    And, fyi, Mon Land also has lots of other goodies, like rooster testicles.

    Best duck tongue is probably at Elite.

    Best pork chitterlings (or more technically correct, pork bung) that I've had recently was at Chuan Yu Noodles. A plate of pickled chitterlings and a big bowl of dan dan mian is just oh so perfect.

    Dunno if it was the best, but one of the more inventive durian creations was the Durian Bread Bowl (a la Taiwanese brick toast). It was a croissant type bread bowl, filled with a durian, cream cheese, sour cream, taro and some heavy cream or creme fraiche. Sweet, salty and tangy and just perfectly malodorous for non-believers.

    I'd definitely be interested in goat eye balls ... in a taco or otherwise. Sam Woo will sometimes have pig eyeballs, but goat? I'd be down for that.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      (sigh) milkshakes, not milkxhakes, though maybe that's an xtreme shake :-)

      ipsedixit, thanks for the suggestions. That's exactly what I'm looking for: best, favorites and unique treatments/variations.

      Where did you have this Durian Bread Bowl?

      1. re: JThur01

        Durian Bread Bowl was at 85 C Tea House in Irvine when they first opened. I have yet to see it there again -- although, I admit I don't get to the other side of the Orange Curtain very often.

        Yeah, a durian milkxhakes sounds really divine!

        1. re: ipsedixit

          IIRC they have them at the vietnamese market across the street (and a little east) of petrillo's on valley.

      2. re: ipsedixit

        Best Duck Tongue- Duck House (aka lu din gee). Comes attached to lower beak/jowl. Well seasoned and fried. Simply addictive.

      3. i suspect that most respectable sushi bars have natto, at least for their japanese customers. certainly you can buy it at any japanese supermarket. it's not a rare or expensive item.

        4 Replies
        1. re: sushigirlie

          Santouka offers natto and rice as a combination choice.

          3760 S Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066

          1. re: bulavinaka

            sushigirlie, yes I've had no trouble finding natto at sushi bars, though once had a sushi chef refuse to make a cut-roll as he didn't want the stuff on his knife :-) I've also picked it up at Asian markets. I was wondering about some other variations on it. Thanks for the reply.

            And thanks bulavinaka for the reply.

            Any CHers familiar with the So. Bay? Japanese places in Gardena, Torrance, etc. that offer natto options?

            1. re: JThur01

              Last I checked (which admittedly was a long time ago), Hakata Ramen Shin-Sen-Gumi had a natto salad, and Italian Tomato in the Mitsuwa food court had natto spaghetti.

              The one time I tried durian (in Shanghai), it was wrapped in some kind of pastry made to resemble a purse of straw, and served hot.

              1. re: JThur01

                Ichimi-ann has a cold natto soba dish on their menu.

          2. You need to head down to Orange County, then... go to Tri-Village and have the "5 a.m. Chitterlings" (Chinese name is 五更肠旺: wǔ gēng cháng wàng). Pork intestines, pork blood cubes, tofu, suancai (fermented cabbage) in a brown sauce served bubbling over a tabletop burner. Absolutely delicious, too.

            1. Several dim sum places in SGV have deep fried durian puff on the menu. Sea Harbour for sure, and I think King Hua as well.

              Dunno about "best", as they don't come seasoned, but Road To Seoul Korean BBQ you can order small as well as large intestines to grill at your table.

              King Hua Restaurant
              2000 W Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801

              1. Blue Marlin has natto spaghetti :)

                Blue Marlin
                27590 Jefferson Ave, Temecula, CA 92590

                1 Reply
                1. re: tissue

                  Thanks tissue, Porthos, mrhooks. Exactly the kind of things I'm looking for. Keep 'em coming CHers.