While driving around last night, I stumbled across across a hot shop. Remember about five years ago when these specialized stores vending hundreds of hot sauces were trendy? Seems the trend peaked quickly, and they're harder to find. So imagine my joy when this one, Hot Shops, happened to sell a wide selection of my favorite sauces by Marie Sharp's of Belize.
Those of you who like Marie Sharps will attest to the complex depth of flavor in their sauces. They have several offerings with varying degrees of heat - I like the Fiery. Each one is flavored with carrot, onion, and a host of other ingredients that add layers of flavor to the habanero lurking in the background. I am not a fan of one-dimensional habarnero sauces that taste only of that most pungent, and caustic pepper.
Hot Shops Inc:
11405 South St. (NE corner of South / Gridley, next to Starbucks)
The staff here offered a few samples of recommended sauces. I really liked the Ring of Fire sauce, and regret not buying it on the spot. Now I'll have to go back to Cerritos to get it.
Now, does anyone know of other hot shops in LA or Orange County? There was one in the LA Farmer's Market, and a while ago, one near the Yard House in downtown Long Beach. Perhaps they are still in business? There's a gourmet shop in Laguna Beach that *used* to sell Marie Sharps, but I've stopped going since they decided to carry a bunch of crappy clone sauces with "clever" names instead.
A couple doors down in this strip mall, I had a quick dinner of Spam musubi and a mini portion of barbecued pork chop over rice and steamed veggies at L & L Hawaiian Barbecue. This was my first time here - the musubi is a thin slab of teriyaki-griddled Spam laid on wad of warm steamed rice and wrapped in nori. At first, this dish sounded wrong to me, but I've had it a couple of restaurants, and it's grown on me. L & L does a good version.
The teriyaki pork chop tasted ok - a thin slice of what appeared to be shoulder chop was flavored thoroughly and griddled. Was I blown away? Hardly. Would I recommend you rush right out and eat here today? No. But I would go back to try some other dishes at this fast-foody chain of 3 shops, especially since the Huntington Beach location isn't as far out of the way for me. I intend to try the kalua pork next time, to see what it's about.
L & L Hawaiian Barbecue
11413 South St