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Revisitings: My Most Frequented Restaurants

This is my inaugural post under my new username. Yes, it's the same dorky guy under a new coat of paint. I've been debating the name change pretty much since I started my blog last year, but I finally decided to flip the switch today.

After reading stravaigint's recent thread (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/922058) recapping his epic meals a few weekends ago (yes, I still owe my reviews of the meals I shared with him at Shunji and Go's Mart), I decided to model this thread after his format by making an initial post and then several sub-posts each covering one restaurant.

This initial post is just to (re)introduce myself under my new username. The sub-posts will be "Revisitings" of a couple of restaurants that I've frequented many, many times in the past few months but haven't updated you all on recently.

I'm starting with Ramen Hayatemaru, but to keep me motivated, I'll commit now to also making sub-posts on Sweet Rose Creamery and on Night+Market for this thread, at the least, in the near future. More to come!

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  1. [For larger images w/captions inline with text, go to http://theoffalo.com/2013/11/ramen-ha...]

    According to my “records” I have been to Ramen Hayatemaru over 20 times. Is it my favorite ramen-ya? No, that honor goes to Tsujita ANNEX, but what keeps me going back are two main factors: convenience and cost.

    On convenience, while Hayatemaru’s parking lot is small, and nearly half the spots are reserved either for the 7-Eleven or the dry cleaners that share the strip mall, there is almost never a wait there, unlike at Tsujita ANNEX (or the original Tsujita across the street at lunch). On cost, Hayatemaru offers half bowls of ramen starting at $5, and their best regular side dishes (gyoza, zangi, amazu) are all priced at $3.90. It is cash only, but one could have a feast for $10!

    [1] Gyoza (Potstickers) & Amazu (Fried Chicken Chunks w/Ginger & Scallion in Sweet Vinegar) [http://instagram.com/p/eGj0Qjg-ji/]

    Of their regular sides, the Amazu is “amazu-ing!” The fried chicken chunks are not too heavily breaded and are crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. The sauce is like ponzu but with more sweet and sour flavor. The pun at the beginning of this paragraph may have been terrible, but this dish is terrific!

    [2] Amazu (Fried Chicken Chunks w/Ginger & Scallion in Sweet Vinegar) [http://instagram.com/p/c0m4ZaA-m0/]

    One other thing that I like about Hayatemaru is that they have been expanding their menu, bringing in seasonal items like cold noodle dishes and adding to their side offerings with chicken wings, egg omelets, fried chicken skin, and more. One of my favorite new items is the Ebiton, which debuted at the Ramen Yokocho Fest in September.

    [3] Ebiton (Shrimp Flavored Pork Ramen) Posters [http://instagram.com/p/e_NiUcA-hD/]

    The Ebiton is still a pork-based ramen, but infused with shrimp flavor. It comes with half an egg, either hard or soft boiled depending on your preference, and it is topped with minced dried shrimp and ground pork and two small fried shrimp that you can eat whole, shell and all.

    [4] Ebiton (Shrimp Flavored Pork Ramen) & Crispy Fried Chicken Skin [http://instagram.com/p/gV6-lXg-ii/]

    The Ebiton is $9 and unfortunately does not come in half sizes. It’s a little oilier than their other ramen offerings but is still very good! It’s the only ramen I order now at Hayatemaru!

    My Previous Posts:

    Ramen Hayatemaru on the West Side (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/892901)

    Kotoya vs. Hayatemaru: Ramen Showdown (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/896285)


    Ramen Hayatemaru
    11678 West Olympic Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90025
    (310) 444-7555

    6 Replies
    1. re: TheOffalo

      Ahem. To get back on-topic, my partner and I tried Hayatemaru for the first time tonight. Amazu very good, but I liked the gyoza better (finally! A place that has gyoza that doesn't taste like it came from the supermarket....).

      I'm torn on the ebiton. I like the idea of shrimp + pork. But shrimp flavor was a bit too overpowering, and the broth seemed less "shrimpy" went I hit the bottom of the bowl. I think I liked the regular broth better.

      Didn't know I could eat the shrimp whole! I tried peeling it, and what was left was SO gross. Oy.

      I'd return, though. Less fatty than Tsujita (sometimes you just don't want your lips to feel like an oil slick) and no wait. Less noisy than SSG (yeah, I get that lusty greetings are part of the experience, but....). And a very sweet server who wasn't completely fluent in English. ;)

      1. re: ilysla

        Thank you for getting back to the food! I slave away for hours in my hot review kitchen and everyone just wants to talk about my name change! *sob*

        Since I really like the shrimp flavor, I don't find it overpowering but I can definitely see how someone else would. Yeah, the shrimp is fried to a crisp so that it can be eaten whole, but I'm sure it reduced the insides into something unrecognizable.

        1. re: ilysla

          I find it fascinating Hayatemaru (neither branch) made it onto Scattergood's top-10 ramen list this week.

          It's not as good as Jidai-Ya, but I much preferred it over Tsujita. And they have "small" bowls so you won't have to pop lipitors immediately after.

          1. re: TonyC

            I am a fan, and mostly for the reasons ilysla notes - grease factor manageability, user-friendliness c/w Tsujita, and side-dishes.
            Love the Amazu's ginger flavor, but they clearly do not use the greatest cuts/grade of chicken. OTOH , I can hardly expect that when eating a giant bowl for under 4 bucks.

            Inexpensive tap beer, too.

            By the way, I think TonyC meant to say that neither branch made it onto the top-10 list.

            1. re: Ciao Bob

              Thanks for clarifying TonyC's comment. I was wondering if I was misreading it!

              I can understand why their ramen isn't necessarily "top rated." There's nothing "outstanding" about it (vs. the intense porkiness of the other ramen broths now available, for example, or really weird flavor combos). It's simply a very good neighborhood joint, and it doesn't try to pass itself off as anything else. And, for me, that's enough for repeat visits (esp at the price point).

        2. re: TheOffalo

          Decided to post my Night+Market "Revisitings" outside this thread, here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/925352. (Don't mind the duplicate post out there right now, I've already flagged it for removal.)

          Edit: That's weird, I thought I posted this on the "root" of the comments.

        3. What was wrong with PeterCC? It's your brand now, whether you like it or not. Stick with it.

          3 Replies
          1. re: J.L.

            Nothing's wrong with it, but like I said I've actually wanted to change it for over a year. And since I'm still thinking about it a year later, obviously it was something I really wanted to do, and I just decided not to let inertia delay it any longer.

            Also, I already made the switch. I think CH mods frown on people going back and forth on their usernames...

            1. re: TheOffalo

              Chances are you wanted the opportunity to Chuffle off to Offalo.

              1. re: TheOffalo

                I guess Metta World Peace was taken?

            2. We need a sticky for this, or a FAQ, or at a minimum a post on the Site Talk board.


              28 Replies
              1. re: ipsedixit

                It's not that big of a deal to warrant that, is it? Plus my "Offalo" nom de guerre was probably known by most of the regulars from when I cross-post my blog entries. The non-regulars probably wouldn't care about the name change. *shrug*

                1. re: TheOffalo

                  Peter is it because you like offal?

                  1. re: jessejames

                    If I could, I'd marry offal.

                    Wait, no.

                  2. re: TheOffalo

                    i had no idea who you were until someone said so.

                    1. re: linus

                      That is a good point. I didn't say in my OP, did I?

                      1. re: TheOffalo

                        You realize we don't all actually read things, right? ;)

                        1. re: ilysla

                          This isn't Playboy. Most people don't even post food pics. What do people do on this site, pick fights with each other?! ;-)

                          1. re: TheOffalo

                            You must have this mixed up w/ another thread (oh, SNAP!).

                            And, yes, I'm replying so quickly b/c I'm trying to avoid doing work.

                            1. re: TheOffalo

                              I post pics. Would you like an offal playboy pic?

                              1. re: J.L.

                                Does anyone really need glossy glamour pics of entrails?

                                Methinks not. ;)

                                1. re: ilysla

                                  Raw monkey nipples on the other hand...

                                2. re: J.L.

                                  J.L. -- you happen to post some of the very best pics on this board.

                                  1. re: Tripeler

                                    Here's one of my offal boudoir shorts.

                                    1. re: TheOffalo

                                      Looks more like what you found in your shorts. Seriously though, it really doesn't look bad. I usually go for things like that. What exactly is it and how was it prepared?

                                      1. re: mucho gordo

                                        It's tripe and intestines, marinated. It's meant to go on the grill.

                                        1. re: TheOffalo

                                          Sounds great. I love a tripas burrito. What kind of marinade did you use?

                                          1. re: mucho gordo

                                            Yikes, I just realized I wrote boudoir "shorts" not "shots". They were from Shin-Sen-Gumi Shabu Shabu in Gardena. I believe they used a shio (salt) marinade (probably just salt, sesame oil, scallions, etc.).

                                            1. re: TheOffalo

                                              Shit how'd that photo get in there!?

                                      2. re: TheOffalo

                                        My contribution, courtesy of my visit to Bull Demon King...

                                        1. re: J.L.

                                          Not sexy enough w/o the soft focus lens. ::snort:: ;)

                                            1. re: J.L.


                                              Question: what *is* the body part in the soup? It looks like... tentacles?

                                              1. re: ilysla

                                                Serious? You don't know?

                                                Answer: Niu rou mien with beef tripe.

                                                1. re: J.L.

                                                  Never been! How am I supposed to know??? Geez, so demanding these Chowhounds! ;)

                                                  Last time I had tripe (which was awhile ago) was in menudo, which looks a wee bit different.... ::ahem::

                                                  1. re: ilysla

                                                    Hehehe just messin' with ya. :-)

                                                    1. re: J.L.

                                                      Santa's gonna grab that offal right outta your stocking this year.... ::snort::

                                                      1. re: ilysla

                                                        Good thing I'm not as much of an offal fan as (wait for it),,,


                      2. Dementia must be setting in early, because I completely forgot you were thinking of switching names! I'm looking forward to a count of your N+M visits :)

                        And yes, some *nice* pics of Go's mart would be most welcome, to make up for that rubbish I posted.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: stravaigint

                          Your pics were great, particularly the ones for Zo!

                        2. PeterCC, we hardly new ye! Actually, I think some of the other posters knew you decently, but you know what I mean....

                          Will be trying Hayatemaru relatively soon, I imagine. My partner's very excited to have some new places on our cheap eats rotation. =)

                          1. FYI - this is TPFKAP = The Poster Formerly Known as PeterCC.

                            18 Replies
                              1. re: J.L.

                                If you say his new nom de guerre quickly, it almost sounds like that SG at UCLA back in Howland's halcyon days ...

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  Arron Afflalo, yup. Now peddling his wares in Orlando with the Magic.

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    Whatever will help J.L. come to terms with my "transition". ;-)

                                    1. re: TheOffalo

                                      I will always like you no matter what your chosen nom de guerre might be.

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        You will always be PeterCC to me.

                                        1. re: J.L.

                                          Aw shucks. I'll take that as a compliment.

                                          1. re: TheOffalo


                                            Can I have your old nom de guerre?


                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              ipse, then you'll always be PeterCC to me.

                                              1. re: J.L.

                                                Well, I had just assumed when you said the same above that you were directing it at me, even though you were replying to one of ipse's comments, but now I'm not so sure...

                                                1. re: TheOffalo

                                                  My ruse is working... hehehe

                                                  "Time stamps help you, they will..." - Master Yoda

                                                  1. re: J.L.

                                                    I wonder if PeterCC likes TheOffalo?

                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                          I just can't put myself in his shoes.

                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                        Not really, he's full of loathing for me. Like TonyC for SinoSoul.

                                        2. re: ipsedixit

                                          howland had halcyon daze?
                                          Shirley, you jest!

                                    2. [For larger images w/captions inline with text, go to http://theoffalo.com/2013/11/sweet-ro...]

                                      According to my “records” I have been to Sweet Rose Creamery's Pico location 17 times! I know that already sounds like a lot, but keep in mind SRC Pico only opened a month and a half ago, so I'm averaging nearly 3 visits a week. (Yikes! Can I blame my kids?) In that time, I've tried nearly every flavor that they've offered, either through samples or by having actual servings. I've also tried most of the baked goods from Milo & Olive and some of the coffee drinks by Caffe Luxxe, and they were as good as ever.

                                      [1] Nonaptych of Offerings from Sweet Rose Creamery Pico [http://instagram.com/p/eq6vp6g-i0/]

                                      In fact, the issue I had with the Pancetta Quiche being too oily the first time I had it (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/917526) has not reoccurred. However, my favorite baked good is still the Chile Cheese Scone.

                                      [2] Chile Cheese Scone from Milo & Olive [http://instagram.com/p/fqa2OFg-gw/]

                                      SRC Pico maintains a list of flavors under the "Classics" banner like Salted Caramel, Caffe Luxxe Coffee, and some form of Maggie's Mint with an assortment of chocolate admix (e.g., chips, ripple, Valrhona pearls), which are all still offered, though my younger daughter's favorite, Cookies and Cream, has fallen off the menu in the past few weeks.

                                      [3] Salted Caramel (sprinkled w/sea salt) & “PB&J” (Kyoho Grape & Peanut Butter) Cones [http://instagram.com/p/e8lvf6g-qR/]

                                      Another highlight, the "PB&J", a twist of their two inaugural soft serve flavors, Kyoho Grape and Peanut Butter, always had a warning attached that the flavors, especially the grape, were a limited time offering. I'm sad to report that the "PB&J" has finally gone away, not to return at least this month, per the staff member I asked this week.

                                      [4] “PB&J” (Kyoho Grape & Peanut Butter) Soft Serve [http://instagram.com/p/fqZWAOg-t9/]

                                      Some of the newer "Seasonal" flavors introduced since open include Earl Grey, Banana, Gaia Melon (frozen yogurt), Apple (sorbet), and Apricot (sorbet).

                                      [5] Tetraptych of Images from Sweet Rose Creamery Pico [http://instagram.com/p/fqY_Bzg-tE/]

                                      However, I guess chef Shiho Yoshikawa takes seasonality pretty seriously, as she's already started transitioning away from those selections in favor of more autumnal flavors, such as Brown Sugar Butter Pecan and Spiced Pumpkin. Another new flavor, one of my current favorites, is Honey Stout! On the toppings front, they made Ghost-mallows (my name for them) for Halloween!

                                      [6] Scoops of Honey Stout, Maggie’s Mint (w/chocolate ripple & a Ghost-mallow), Butter Pecan (w/toasted almonds & fresh whipped cream), Salted Caramel (sprinkled w/sea salt) [http://instagram.com/p/gHfC-CA-tY/]

                                      As mentioned above, SRC Pico finally changed their soft serve flavors just this week, and it may change again soon according to staff. Right now they're making limited batches of Passion Fruit soft serve. The other flavor in the machine is a more pedestrian Chocolate. I decided to be adventurous and try the twist. Not sure that the flavor combination works, but the Passion Fruit soft serve by itself is amazing! Get it while you can!

                                      [7] Passion Fruit & Chocolate Twist Soft Serve (Runaway Dispenser) [http://instagram.com/p/gUeA86g-rJ/]

                                      My Previous Post:



                                      Sweet Rose Creamery
                                      826 Pico Blvd
                                      Santa Monica, CA 90404
                                      (310) 260-2663

                                      8 Replies
                                        1. re: Kalivs

                                          Is that a good "Wow" or a bad "Wow"?

                                        2. re: TheOffalo

                                          "Yikes! Can I blame my kids?" You're not fooling anyone.

                                          1. re: TheOffalo

                                            UPDATE: Brought the kids back tonight (see, it really is their fault!) for visit number 18. Flavors are changing left and right. No Honey Stout tonight, but Cookie Dough is a new flavor. Of course, my younger daughter, missing her Cookies and Cream, had to try it, with (I think) a relatively new topping, cocoa nibs. The base has a distinct sweet yet tangy taste of really fresh cream, like in their Cookies and Cream. The cookies were not quite as prominent as I would have liked.

                                            [1] Cookie Dough Ice Cream w/Cocoa Nibs [http://instagram.com/p/geuZlNg-rY/]

                                            The cocoa nibs were a little too bitter for my younger daughter so I had the "horrible" task of eating it, and any accompanying ice cream that it was embedded in. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it. ;-)

                                            My older daughter and I shared a Passion Fruit soft serve. No chocolate twist this time. Despite what the workers say behind the counter, that combination still doesn't quite work for me. The Passion Fruit on its own is definitely the way to go!

                                            [2] Passion Fruit Soft Serve [http://instagram.com/p/geuCB6g-q0/]

                                            1. re: TheOffalo

                                              Hklbrry knows passion fruit. Can't remember the French name of the pudding dessert they have at Hklbrry but the passion fruit version is FOTW. Marrying that with chocolate? Why? By the by, this TheOffalo name change doesn't work for me, PeterCC. Well, it's fine when you're talkin' meats and such, but TheOffalo talking about sweet fanciful things like ice cream? Eh - I guess it's okay since you're simultaneously pinning the blame on your sweet innocent daughters for your LDL spikes. What next - throwing your wife under the bus for "forging your signature" on the past dozen or so credit card slips at Shunji over the past week? Now that does sound like something some offalo schmuck would pull. ;-)

                                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                                Sigh. I think you guys just aren't used to the new name. I don't need to just talk about offal despite my username just like weinermobile needn't just talk about vehicles shaped like tubular meats.

                                                1. re: TheOffalo

                                                  Yeah, but mystery meat mobiles are kiddy cool and guts disguised as friendly tubes of yummy.