Saturday, April 5

Current food sampling: Bollini's Pizzeria Napolitana and the Boiling Crab

Here's part two of my mental food blog clean out:

Italian in the SGV: Bollini's Pizzeria Napolitana

Blogger Lyndsay mentioned she'd heard blog rumblings about a good Italian place in Monterey Park and that it seemed legit. Me? I was skeptical. She sent me the link to this post by Wandering Chopsticks, and a looksie at the pictures there an
d a quick look at the menu had me convinced that I had to try it. I convinced my sister it was the perfect place for her casual birthday lunch (evil aren't I) and so we went there yesterday. Owner Chris is out, so no pasta, but we did order salad and pizza. A sign inside said no photography (boo for this blog) but I managed to shoot one of the outside and of the cal bianco pizza once we got home.

We got the arugula salad with bacon, corn, baby tomatoes, mushrooms, goat cheese, and a red wine vinaigrette. The arugula was perfectly peppery and matched well with the other elements providing salty, sweet, or creamy notes. A cal bianco pizza (parmesan sauce, smoked chicken, garlic, basil) and salsiccia 3 pizza(mozzarella, tomato sauce, three-pe
pper sausage, red and green peppers, italian peppers, goat cheese, basil) were shared.

The pizza was super thin! All in all delicious, and the people were super nice. Merits a return visit for the pasta when Chris returns.

Another blogger recommendation: The Boiling Crab

While looking for crab places (don't ask me why) I came across Jonathan Gold's snippet about The Boiling Crab in Alhambra, almost literally down the freaking street from my house. I heard more while perusing food blogs and decided I needed to try Cajun-style
crawfish as presented by Asian people. I convinced friend Vinh (pictured with such an enthusiastic look on his face and a crawfish bib) to try it out with me.

Inside is packed with stuff on the walls, televisions, fishing nets, and Mardi Gras beads. Not exactly your usual SGV restaurant. The clientele was mostly young and R&B blasted from the speakers. The menu is simple, with a choose-your-seafood then what type of seasoning, and various add-ons like corn on the cob and fries.

We were originally going to do one pound of crawfish and one pound of dunge
ness crab, but the latter was too expensive for our tastes so we switched it to shrimp. We added two corn on the cobs and some cajun fries, all with the "whole sha-bang" seasoning which means all the seasoning options thrown together. About 15 minutes later a clear bag showed up on our table with everything we ordered except the fries. Opened, it looked like this:

The seasoning was good and very garlicky and paired well with both the crawfish and the shrimp. We both liked the shrimp better because the payoff was better after all that peeling. the corn on the cob managed to be spicy and buttery at the same time. The fries were nice and crispy, but were the last to get eaten. This is what my side of the table looked like afterward:

$28 for all of the above plus a refillable soda with tip for the both of us for lunch didn't seem like a bad deal at all. As Jonathan Gold says, "I can hardly wait to return."

Bollini's Pizzeria Napolitana
2315 S. Garfield Ave.
Monterey Park, CA 91754

The Boiling Crab
742 W Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91803

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