Thursday, June 30

Rubio's at UCLA

I must congratulate Rubio's for fulfilling my hunger, but I frown upon its ingredients in its fish and shrimp burritos. Though Rubio's provides wonderfully large burritos for their price (remember, this is in Westwood, where prices are rather high), their burritos will quickly bore you.

Today I had the fish burrito--I fell in love with it the first time I had it--but this was about the fifth time I've eaten it. The second time around the ingredients' tastes already made me want to give up Rubio's altogether. Rubio's foods generally have a trend towards exploding tons of flavor in your mouth, but that explosion dies quickly because it just gets tiring.

The fish burrito has an abundance of white sauce that sticks to everything inside the burrito like mad. There's also this strange disparity of temperatures in the burrito. The fried fish is warm to eat but everything else, especially the lettuce and onions, are cold. And that is what that entire burrito is usually composed of: cold lettuce and warm fish.

If you want something healthier, they have Healthmex burritos and a cup of rice to accompany that instead of the usual chips (though you could sub chips with rice anytime you want). The Healthmex burritos are made of wheat tortillas and have fresh ingredients. Unlike the fish burrito, everything is nice and warm in your mouth.

They also have a shrimp burrito which is extremely disappointing. The shrimp were scarcely scattered in the burrito and they were pretty small in size. They did not complement the rest of the ingredients inside the burrito--especially since the shrimp seemed to have no taste at all. It was the most expensive burrito on the list, and also the worst tasting.

If you want to save money on Mexican food though, go to Juquila (which has real mexican food, in addition to the mainstream stuff that Rubio's serves), which is a review that I will save for a later time.

308 Westwood Plz.
Ackerman Un., 1st Flr., Treehouse Food Ct.
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 794-4009

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Monday, June 27

The busiest noodle place on Valley

Luckily, I unknowingly did research for my first post yesterday: I ate at one of my favorite restaurants on Valley Blvd, called Mien Nghia Noodle Express. The place is always packed on the weekends because the noodles there are awesome. I personally like what's called "Cha Siu dry noodles" in Cantonese, because it's a one of a kind dish that I can't (and haven't) found at any other restaurant. It's not on the menu, but you can ask for "BBQ Pork Egg Noodles" with the soup on the side.

The cuisine is labeled " hu tieu" in Vietnamese because it's not your typical pho or bun. There's seafood noodles, beef stew, and the "dry" noodles I like to eat, that come with soup on the side. The noodles aren't plain, however, because they pour flavored oil in along with your Cha siu or seafood. Most items can be eaten with rice noodles or egg noodles.

The service is informal, the host speaks several languages (Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and English), and usually the same woman will take orders at every table. If you eat there often enough, she'll remember what you like. Try the iced coffee with condensed milk (Ca Phe Sua Da) or the lemonade with soda (Soda Chanh) if you want, and iced tea comes without question.

It's a great place to eat noodles, and one of the places I miss when I'm away at college. It's open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week except on holidays when they close at 6 p.m.

Mien Nghia Noodle Express
406-408 Valley Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 570-1668

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