For me, being a serious L.A. chowhound means being serious about taking care of my baby
my little car
So this Saturday it was that time again! Gotta get up bright and early to head over to the Cerritos Auto Square for my babys regular maintance. I thought, hey, itll only be over in a few hours and Id be able to join some hounds for lunch at La India Bonita. But while in the waiting room the mechanic came in and gave me the grim news
The chowhounding had lead me to the need not only for a tune up
but for new brakes as well, plus, they were absolutely swamped and it would take until mid afternoon to complete the extra work. Ugh
I told them not to rush, gave them my cell number and on my journey towards Little India
As I began to walk down South Street, I realized I was a bit hungry So I headed into the Island Pacific Market which is a smallish Filipino market in the Target Shopping Center. Sometimes they have vendors selling snack food inside. But sadly, they had none today. Still, I decided just to take a look at what they did have and as always their fresh fish selection was AMAZING. Beautiful fresh looking fish just out in the center of the aisle ready for you to pick up. They even had the most beautiful looking whole salmon looking at me with their glossy eyes begging to be placed on a cedar plank But sadly, I had to leave him there and continued on walking
Since I had the time, I walked a few blocks and crossed the street to Sea Palace Market. Located in a shopping mall that is going through some major renovations, the market is also a bit Filipino in flavor and they even have a HUGE steam table Filipino restaurant right next door called Upper House. Although Upper House did have some breakfast items, it all seemed rather heavy, so I decided to check out the actual market instead. Although not kept up as nicely as Island Pacific, the selection of meats and seafood was even more impressive. Every inch a bit of cow, pig and chicken was for sale. I almost died when I saw ham hocks on sale for under a $1 a lb. I dont even wanna tell you what BF paid for them at Whole Foods last week!
I kept on walking and saw that a JJ bakery had just opened up next door. I could not resist when I saw a tray of fresh baked Taiwanese egg custard cups by the cashier and got one ($1.35). The difference in these and the dim sum ones were that they were a DEEP dish type, like a true custard cup and not a custard tart. The custard itself was light and eggy. The cup shell buttery and flakey. WONDERFUL!
Continue to walk down South Street, I quickly made it to my intended destination, Pioneer Blvd and the start of Little India. Ive been going to Little India for not that long (My little car is only 3 years old) but already in that short time, its changed SO much. A new shopping center had opened up, and saw that they had an ice cream shop called Saffron Taste. Sadly, at noon they werent quite set up yet. Nevertheless it looked like they were offering some wonderful exotic flavors! Hmmm Next time
Then I headed over to the Artesia Dutch Bakery to get some cookies for my tea! I love their puff pastry cookies and got my standard little bars with almond slices on top and to try something new and savory, I got some that looked like mini palmiers but with cheese baked into them. I had them later that night and they were beyond scrumptious! A new fave of me and my lab Maggie :)
Finally, I made it into the heart of little India and based on a rec from our own Jerome on Friday I headed to Surati Farsan Market (although I almost missed because its currently hidden by construction going on on the corner!). From the initial post about it, I thought it was a market, instead it turned out to be a VERY nice café! I poured over the detailed menu and after seeing the Masala Dosa was a bit smaller than the one I had previously at Ambala down the street, I decided to try something new, and ordered the Pani Puri ($2.75)
What came out where about five little cracked puri shells stuffed with sauce a few pieces of garbanzo and potato. In the middle was a large cup of a spicy mint water to pour over the puri. Crunchy, spicy and refreshing. I LOVED it.
I also ordered a Mango Lassi ($2.00) and it was yummy, but it wasnt as good as the one I ordered from Ambala last time. And just like the one I ordered from Ambala it proved to be a bit too rich for me in the long run. I drank about a ¼ of it before I tossed it.
After a the long walk back, I was sad I missed the Albondigas, but happy I got some great chow nonetheless!