Nong Lá – Little Osaka

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Lunchaimer’s,

My apologies for the recent lapse between posts. With all the calorie cramming over the last few months since my first lunch love letter on New Year’s Eve, a gastronomic break was necessary. And as one door closes, another opens when I tried to take it easy during my lunch breaks and found Nong Lá’s Banh Mi Chay: Carrots, daikon, cilantro, house mayo, tofu, marinated oyster mushrooms and choice of fried egg enveloped by one of the freshest toasted baguettes I have ever crunched into. I have a doctorate in banh mi appreciation and I consider Nong Lá’s addition of the fried egg to its Vietnamese submarine as a revolutionary accoutrement …(Some of you might be thinking listen to this fat ass…He thinks going on a diet is scarfing down fried egg sandwiches). And of course the classic grilled pork, lemon grass steak and lemongrass chicken banh mi are available as well

nonglaThe sandwich is at the top of my list and I go out of my way to snack on it. My addiction has gotten so bad that the staff have insisted I either order something new or stop coming for a while so I don’t burn out! People like to call me a gross creature of habit. I call it loyalty.   

                                                                                                                                               Nong Lá’s atmosphere is clean and slick. You can plainly see the kitchen staff in the back frantically whipping up all of their menu items by hand with fresh ingredients. Classics like Bun rice vermicelli bowls, Pho, bountiful rice plates (I promise I am ordering a rice plate next time) and a variety of egg rolls/apps. Its a great spot for lunch and by far the best banh mi you can find without driving 80 miles round trip to Westminster.

nongla-4Don’t leave without trying their Cafe Sua: a Viet-style spice roasted coffee bean slow dripped over condensed milk (hot or over ice). It is a delicious treat that I have yet to figure out how to sip slowly. Check, please!

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Seoul Sausage Company – Little Osaka

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So It’s called Seoul Sausage Company and I start off with a piece of chicken? That’s because it’s not any old chicken. You all know Koreans love to take food that is already awesome and make it even more awesome. Da KFC (so succulently pictured above) stacks atop Korean B.B.Q.’s take on fried chicken. Korean fried chicken is known for being extra crisp, lighter on the batter and having that certain kick only Koreans know how to concoct. Seoul Sausage’s rendition calls for chunks of white meat with a softer fry, sprinkled with magic dust. I don’t know what this dust is. All I know is every time I undo that takeout box, dusty nuggets and a L7 of cornbread shimmer like gold! The cubes of pickled daikon, chives and sweet chili glaze coating the nuggets with a fork full of that cornbread is a bite of foodie love to be had. Only mistake I made is I wasn’t sitting down. It’ll knock you off your ass.

ImageUp next…Sausage? No. Try Seoul Sausage completely ripping Arancini a new one. The Lil’ Osaka, Flaming and Spam Musubi balls consists of seasoned Kimchi fried rice core and a flaky outer fritter. Topped with some provocative sauces for $3 a pop. The Lil’ Osaka (pictured right) is a homage to Seoul Sausage’s home on Mississippi and Sawtelle, AKA “Tiny Tokyo”. The recently launched Spam Musubi ball is salt cured beefy goodness. Seoul Sausage’s menu may be small, but their Korean remixes on foodie culture make you want to devour everything. Make some room.

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I would love to see the expression on a Montrealer’s face after eating the Galbi Poutine! The French Canadian specialty usually consists of not so amazing fries, gravy and cheese curds. Seoul Sausage’s remix: Galbi (Korean braised short rib), twice fried fresh sliced potatoes, chives, that damn good kimchi onion and a homemade crema. The braised short rib is made with time, love and perfection. I can’t really imagine finding a more unique way to eat a french fry in Los Angeles (no one tops the Dutch & Belgians!).

ImageWhen I asked for a takeout menu, they said take a picture!

seoul sausage edited-12My Lunchaimers, don’t get perturbed. There is no sausage in this glowing review. Blame it on this gang of Koreans for diving into their foodie lab and coming out with some incredible items to accompany their sausage and balls! The Galbi Poutine and DaKFC are two dish renditions I have not seen or tasted heretofore. Seoul Sausage has me hooked and I will be back to try their Korean B.B.Q. sausages incredibly soon. Much love to Yong, Ted and Kim for making sausages, not war!