Friday, April 25, 2008

Rutt's Cafe

Finally! A place that has good lau lau. After searching much of Southern California and three Hawaiian Islands, Rutt's Cafe has the best that I've had in a very long time. This second location of Rutt's Cafe is located in the Marukai in West Covina.

Encased in a thick casing of taro leaves (imagine a much heartier version of spinach), a generous amount of lean pork and a fairly big piece of "butterfish" is steamed to perfection. Unlike many other versions I've had in recent times, the fish in the lau lau is actually discernible at Rutt's Cafe. The oiliness of the butterfish helps to bathe the pork shoulder in fatty goodness and gives it an added depth of flavor. The only thing that could improve the lau lau is a little seasoning. It was lacking in the salt department, otherwise a definite winner.

The lau lau plate comes with the standard "plate lunch" accompaniments of two scoops rice, one scoop mac salad. The mac salad is a little different in that it contains relish.

Rutt's Cafe
1420 S. Azusa Avenue
West Covina, CA 91791
(626) 917-3200

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Pizza Napoli

Pizza Napoli seems to be a place of contradictions. The pizza is crispy, yet chewy; simple, yet complex; by the slice, instead of the whole pizza; small, yet filling.

The first thing you notice about Napoli's, is the place is really small. There are a few tables scattered throughout, but the long line of people gathered in a very small and cramped storefront is what grabs your attention. Pizza is generally bought by the slice, although whole pies can also be bought. The average slice is about 2/3 the size you find at Costco. Some pizzas have already been made and when you order your slice, they seem to only make cheese pizzas. If you want pepperoni, they scattered some pepperoni on then reheat the slice in the pizza oven.

The result? A very crispy crust on the bottom that delivers a definite crackle, the rest of the dough is wonderfully chewy. Nothing fancy here, you either order cheese pizza or pepperoni. You won't find a bunch of toppings here to mesmerize your taste buds; just clean simple flavors.

Napoli's is a great choice if you're in the area. Although certainly not a "destination" spot, you will definitely be happy you stopped by.

Pizza Napoli
8730 S. Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90405
(310) 670-6279