[Making final preparations before leaving on tonight's food tour (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/854184), but decided to post tomorrow's itinerary now.]
Below is the final schedule of stops for Sunday, with the dishes I plan to order. I will try my darndest to stick to my list, but everything is subject to change, based on traffic, wait times, availability, new specials, etc. Asterisks still mark the restaurants I haven’t been to before...
9 AM - Huge Tree Pastry*: You tiao (fried crueller), mi jiang (peanut/rice milk). (~15 minutes, $5+)
9:30 AM - Elite*: Chicken feet, bamboo steamed tofu skin rolls. (~30 minutes, $10+)
10:15 AM - Four Sea*: Gua bao (pork sandwich bun), fan tuan (rice roll), to go. (~15 minutes, $8+)
2 PM - Happy Garden*: Chitterling with pig blood soup, sauteed pork kidney in sesame oil. (~30 minutes, $16+)
2:45 PM - Mama Lu’s Dumpling House*: Xiao long bao, to compare to Dean Sin World’s. (~15 minutes, $8+)
3:15 PM - Dean Sin World*: Xiao long bao, to compare to Mama Lu’s. (~15 minutes, $8+)
3:45 PM - Old Country Cafe*: “Special” (read: stinky) tofu, pig blood cake. (~30 minutes, $12+)
4:30 PM - UMAMIcatessen*: Off the PIGG (“P!GG”) menu: crispy pig ears, parsley, lemon & brainnaise; Iberico de Bellota crudo. (~45 minutes, $25+)
5:30 PM - NanBanKan*: Chicken hearts, shishamo (smelt), quail eggs. (~45 minutes, $16+)
You may have noticed that my Sea Harbour stop has been replaced by Elite. No, I was not scared off by “dickhead”-muttering waitresses (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/853113). Rather, I realized that if I went somewhere new, then my entire tour, both days, would consist only of places I’ve never tried! Also, Elite opens earlier than Sea Harbour, allowing me to swap its position with Four Sea, which works out better (see next paragraph).
You may have also noticed a large gap in my schedule, between my 10:15 AM stop at Four Sea and my 2 PM stop at Happy Garden. This is due to an unanticipated engagement in Pomona that will eat up few hours (no pun intended). Four Sea will become a take-out stop, and I will have my gua bao and fan tuan during this downtime. Unfortunately, I also had to drop some stops (VP Tofu, Guisados) to accommodate this detour.
In the original thread, I had mentioned ending the day at a mystery spot, which I had planned to be Tar & Roses. The idea was that I’d begin my tour with pig ears at Animal and then end my tour with pig ears at Tar & Roses. However, I decided to drop the dish from my Animal visit. Therefore, I am also dropping my Tar & Roses stop; I’ll probably be too stuffed by then anyway. I’ll have to settle with sampling pig ears only once on this tour, from porcine-centric chef Chris Cosentino’s PIGG menu.
I also toyed with replacing NanBanKan with 7015 Melrose for AYCE sushi (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/854089), but decided that was too crazy to do at the end of a long food tour, as AYCE would be a waste of money when I’ll have already eaten so much. And I hear quality has gone down at 7015 Melrose after the departure of several chefs.
Final Google Maps for Sunday: http://goo.gl/maps/SRK4
On the Road: 8:30 AM
Arrive Home: 6:30 PM
Duration: 10 hours; minus 3 hours for detour: 7 hours
Cost: $108 (before drinks, taxes, and tips)
If anyone has any additional comments or suggestions, I’ll be checking this thread regularly, even while “on tour” (cellular reception permitting).
[The original discussion thread is here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/852040]