San Tung: Best Chicken Wings in Cali

10:03 PM / Posted by CITYNITZ / comments (10)

If I had to pick one restaurant during my latest trip to San Francisco and attempt to salvage my credibility as a foodie, San Tung would have to be the one. Known for their famous dry, fried chicken wings, this is an absolute “must have” if not, the only dish to order.

Granted, I've only been to this place one other time, which was during my high school years, I was somewhat hesitant about their quality and ownership status. However, unlike many notorious places in the San Gabriel Valley, you can expect for most restaurants in the Bay Area to be thriving and under the same ownership.

So, on a cloudy and cool afternoon, we trekked over to this restaurant that appeared to be no different than other restaurants that surrounded it. Although at 3pm this place was packed, we were lucky enough to snag the last open table in the back.

cropped San Tung

What we ordered:

Dry Fried Chicken Wings: There are two variations to choose from (wet and dry) and I hesitated for a moment as to which one it was I had in the past. The waitress immediately said, “you want the dry fried version."

The wings were served fresh and came to us smoking for both orders. Yes, we did order a second plate after eating everything else. The verdict: These wings blew Izakaya Bincho's and any wings I've ever had out of the water. Don't be surprised if you see patrons with a bowl of rice and just the chicken. It's that good.

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Dry fried chicken wings congealed in some sort of honey glazing, garlic, onion, peppers, chilies, and potentially every other spice in the world. These wings are anything, but dry.

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Black Bean Sauce Noodles (aka Ja-Jang Mein): Black-Bean-Sauce atop a bed of hand pulled noodles and accompanied by slices of cucumber. Perfect ratio of sauce to noodles.

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Jampong: Seafood mixed with hand pulled noodles in a slightly spicy broth. However, when compared to the other dishes, it is simply not comparable.


Others have raved about their dumplings, but they seem like nothing special compared to the ones you can get in Socal. Until next time, my decision has been made, these are the best wings you'll find in California.

San Tung Chinese Restaurant
1031 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 242-0828


I Shall Redeem Myself!

10:15 AM / Posted by CITYNITZ / comments (7)

Ok, so let's be honest, I've definitely had my fair share of misses when choosing new restaurants to try in LA. Unfortunately, I like to drag some of my closest buddies with me to "try" these new potential hidden gems. The result? Complete and utter distrust in my taste of food. I just call it bad luck?

So to redeem myself I'm doing an all out food crawl for the weekend of Labor Day in my hood : NorCal. Yes, ladies and gents I will be back home during that weekend and on a quest to prove that my credibility should most definitely be upped! Fellow foodie Kungfoodpanda who has probably endured most of these mishap trips will be along for the ride.

These places are spots that are a must go whenever I'm back in town, so not necessarily the most well known. Just favorite places I sometimes use to gage against LA restaurants. For example, a place that puts Savoy's chicken to shame, Brazilian food served in a hut, and the best egg tarts I've had (not the cold small crappy ones down here).

If you're in the Bay Area during Labor Day, let me know and feel free to join!

LA Mill : Coffee Hater turned Coffee Lover

12:23 AM / Posted by CITYNITZ / comments (7)

I was recently introduced to LA Mill in Silverlake and I literally felt like I've been living under a rock for the past two years in Los Angeles.

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I hate Starbucks, well....maybe "hate" is too strong of a word, but I most definitely dislike them. Any given time you go to Starbucks you're met with crowds, a long wait and finally leaving with an over sweetened drink that is bound to result in a root canal in the near future (hence why I rarely even bother with their coffee). Forget even trying to get any work done here because with kids screaming, eyesight buzzing due to lack of lighting, and of course the need to nearly come off as a creepy stalker to get a table that is less than the the size of a large pizza. Yeah, no thank you!


Upon entering LA Mill, I knew I would love this place. With its modern chic decor from the light turquoise chairs paired with white counter tops and the gold chandelier at the center of the room, all I could think of was "Wow" and "Hm....maybe I could incorporate some design aspects in my future house?"

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Blanco y Negro: iced coffee with vanilla bean ice cream
It was by far my favorite drink of the day. Ideal for a hot summer afternoon where the strength of the coffee is perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the vanilla bean ice cream. I only wished they served this in a larger glass.

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Iced Mocha- Mocha had a nice strong flavor and definitely a good option for those who don't like their coffee too sweet, but iced.

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French Pressed Coffee- This method of preparing the coffee definitely brings out the excellent rich flavor of the coffee even more so. Accompanied by cubes of white and brown sugar and cream for those who don't like their coffee black.

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At a table next to us someone had ordered the siphon to brew their coffee which basically looked like a chemistry experiment and left me glossy eyed, mouth open for the few minutes that it was processing. I'll definitely want to order this the next time I stop by.

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With the dessert menu designed by none other than Chef Michael Cimarusti and Pastry Chef Adrian Vasquez of Michelin-two-starred Providence, I had to give them a try.

Passionfruit Gelee- Lychee sorbet, coconut soy milk soup, and basil seeds. Such a perfect balance of all flavors with no one flavor overpowering the other.
I absolutely loved this.

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Liquid Center Lollipops- White chocolate. I decided to go with white chocolate even though you have a choice between white and dark chocolate. Having being warned to just pop the whole thing in my mouth or the liquid inside might drip onto my clothes, I did just that. These little puppies are unlike anything I've ever had and what the liquid inside is a mystery. All I can say is it's definitely not what I expected and I wanted to order more.

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So even being a non coffee drinker myself, after visiting LA Mill I just might need to reconsider my stance. Perhaps it was Starbucks that was giving coffee a bad rep all along.

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LA MILL
1636 Silver Lake Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 663-4441

LA Mill Coffee Boutique in Los Angeles

Blogger Prom: Oh, What a Night!

10:09 PM / Posted by CITYNITZ / comments (3)

Although my high school prom was one of the most memorable nights of my life, the first Blogger Prom 2009 held at the legendary Andaz Hotel on the Sunset strip in West Hollywood without a doubt far exceeded my expectations.


The venue was to die for, with views of all of Los Angeles, this place was absolutely breathtaking with it's view during the early and late part of the evening. This hotel had just completed a $35 million remodel and they did good. Along with it's poshness this hotel housed many stars. Namely, members of Led Zeppelin rented entire floors and had driven motorcycles through the hallways (the movie Almost Famous also recreated these scenes here), Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones dropped a TV off the balcony and Jim Morrison permanently lived here for years as well.
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What would an event be without food? There was plenty to go around at the several stations and I amazingly left completely and utterly stuffed.
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Items Served at Hot Food Station w/ chef serving up some Risotto:
Beef and lemon grass skewers
Braised chicken and shitake mushroom
mushroom risotto with Parmesan
Mini egg rolls
Assortment of bread
Insalata capreses

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My favorite dishes of the night by far were the shrimp ceviche and smoked salmon maki with mango sauce which was found at another food station by the pool.
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Inside there was a cheese station featuring a variety of Cowgirl Creamery cheeses with a Cheese Impresario, Barrie Lynn who paired your drink of choice with suitable cheeses.


For anyone with a sweet tooth there was an assortment of mini cupcakes from Polkatots and mini cheesecake pops from Pure Cheesecakes
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Even if you have an event with the best food at the best venue, nothing can make or break an event more than the people attending. This is among my first blogger events I've attended and I can say without a doubt this bunch of people are some of the most dedicated and passionate people I know. This event would not be the same without the familar faces and new ones that I met on the day of.
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Gorgeous city night view with me in my crazy get up for the cheesy prom theme! =P It was game over for my side ponytail by the end of the night =(
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Let's not forget about the gift bags where most of the items were provided through sponsors of this event. Main items in the bag included certificates, Pepsi/chocolate/granola bar samples, bag of sun chips, alcohol samples, and so much more. Let's just say I'm glad I didn't need to walk far hauling this heavy bag of goodies.
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A beautiful venue, good food/drinks, entertaining company, getting a bag full of goodies, and winning a raffle prize, what more could a girl ask for?


A special thank you to Kung Food Panda for being my partner in crime for the night! ^_~

Finally, my hat comes off to all the blogger committee members who put this whole event together. The dedication and time you put into your blogs was clearly reflected on how well this event went.

  • H.C. of LA and OC Foodventures
  • Lindsay of LAist
  • Marni of Happy Go Marni
  • Maya of Shop Eat Sleep
  • Natalie of The Liquid Muse
  • Tara of When Tara Met Blog

  • An Innovation that is Pure Genius!

    10:53 PM / Posted by CITYNITZ / comments (5)

    On a recent trip down to OC, I couldn't help but stop by the Kyusyu & Okinawa Fair that was taking place at the Mitsuwa Marketplace in Costa Mesa. From what I hear the Torrence location had much more food, including the special "Tonkotsu Ramen," which the Costa Mesa location did not. Either way, there were still many food stands inside the marketplace.


    I wanted to come to Mitsuwa for primarily one reason and that was for the "Pie Fresh Custard Pudding on Choux". A custard cream puff sandwiching a nice sized piece of pudding. So good, I wish I had bought more boxes.


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    First stand that we see when we walk in!

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    Workers hard at work

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    Two puffs for $5, what a deal!

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    Such a beautiful sight <3

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    Nom, Nom, Nom......

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    Other stands that sold other items such as an assortment of sushi and fish cakes

    What would I do without you Mitsuwa, love this place.

    Mitsuwa Marketplace
    665 Paularino Ave.
    Costa Mesa, CA 92626

    Tomato Pie: A Big Bite of New York Lands in LA

    2:02 PM / Posted by CITYNITZ / comments (6)

    I've been given the nickname "grandma" many a times for my odd habit of drinking hot water by itself in my office (something that has stuck since winter time), slow driving, or my "early" bed time of 11pm or midnight compared to other friends.

    Alas, when I heard from Christine of Choisauce about Tomato Pie and their famous Grandma pizza that had ranked 7th of the top 25 pizzas in the US by GQ magazine, I couldn't resist, but to go check it out.

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    We started off with the Breakfast Pizza which consisted of tomato, bacon, and spinach atop an egg and olive oil base. According to the owner, Garrett, the egg was beat and then poured over the pizza before baking it, really allowing it to integrate with the cheese and rest of toppings. After all, who says you've really had breakfast without an egg in some sort of shape or form?


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    Next we were given complementary cucumber salad mixed with tomatoes and a little bit of vinaigrette. Very refreshing and satisfying on the hot above 90 degree outdoor seating where we were enjoying our food.


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    Finally, the only pizza I really wanted to try and had woken up at 8am due to excitement after going to bed at 2:30am the previous night was here. The Grandma was a very simple pizza with no meat, but instead consisted of crushed marinated tomatoes over an olive oil base, fresh garlic basil, oregano, light mozzarella and Parmesan sprinkled on top. For a gal whose bro says I shouldn't go for my typical "all meat" pizzas, but should opt for vegetarian choices instead, I would happy to take a pizza like this to pretend to be a little more ladylike.;)


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    Following that famous pizza was the chicken fiesta which consisted of tomato, basil, onion, chicken and a little bit of jalapenos to give it just a little kick. This particular pizza was not on it's menu, but seems similar to the fiesta pizza which is currently on it's menu.


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    After that, the head chef Adrian came out to display a new pizza that he had created. Instead of using tomato sauce as a base, classic and Dijon mustard was used for this pizza that had cheese, tomatoes and salami on one half of the pizza. To be honest, I was getting full and was not sure how I would like this pizza. Surprisingly, I really liked the unique style of this pizza and it easily is a close second for my favorites of the day.


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    After eating so much dough and cheese, it seriously was a sigh of relief to see that our last pie for the day was a grilled vegetable pizza, also not showcased on the menu, but according to Garrett would gladly be made if requested. On top of the cheese there were large pieces of tomatoes, spinach and eggplant. Although I'm not a huge fan of such large pieces of vegetables on pizza, the vegetables were perfectly marinated and grilled to perfection which complemented the other elements of the pizza very well.


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    Despite being so full, I suppose there's always room for dessert. Today the owner brought us a sample of tiramisu that was freshly made my Adrien. A perfect ending to a very satisfying meal of pizzas.


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    Tomato Pie is the perfect spot to satisfy that craving for New York style, thin crust pizza. The only down side was dinning outside with such a large group, but according to Garrett there are plans in the works to make an enclosed eating area where it was currently outdoors among other renovations in the future.

    Who says things called "grandma" could not have a negative connotation? I'll gladly take my nickname when it reminds me of such a perfect slice of pizza.

    Taste: 4 out of 5
    Decor: 3 out of 5
    Service: 5 out of 5

    Tomato Pie Pizza Joint in Los Angeles

    Tomato Pie
    2457 Hyperion Ave
    Los Angeles, CA 90027
    (323)661-6474