Kang Kang: A must in Alhambra

Kang Kang Food Court Taiwanese Slush

My mom would always say, “I’d never have to cook again if Kang Kang were in LA.” Kang Kang Food Court was introduced by Chinese USC students to my sister, then to my mom, and then to the rest of the family. Up to now, there’s never a week that we don’t go to Alhambra, a city that is as Chinese as a wonton noodle soup, with all the eating establishments thriving around. For us, it has become opiate to go there. Well, Ericke and I brought a friend there last night. No counting calories.

Monstrous Taiwanese slush (kinda like halo-halo but with condensed milk) is my fave food at the food court that is not really a food court but more like a cafeteria. The Kang Kang cuisine is a selection of the best of the regions in China like they have a lamb and sour vegetable casserole dish and a meat pie to represent the north, etc. Besides the food display at the counter, the rest of the menu is on the walls.

Kang Kang Food CourtKang Kang Food Court

I read a piece from David Chang (yes, of Momofuku fame), “We were supposed to go to at least four or five other places afterwards, but I ruined the trip—I ordered way too much. I couldn’t delay my gratification. I ended up spending an impossible amount of money, like over $100. And it’s so cheap there. Whenever I go to LA, I should probably try to get a weekend apartment in San Gabriel Valley just to eat Chinese food. That would be my weekend home. White people can get a beach house. I would get a Chinese-eating house (read complete post here).”

Jin Dong Meat Pie

The Jing Dong meat pie (in photo above) is my second fave. My third is the oyster cake. I also love the mouthwatering fried pork bao (in photo below) that’s like the water siopao at the No Name siopao stand on Benavidez we featured in FoodPrints on the Lifestyle Network.

Fried Pork BaoPork Sticky RiceBeef Rolled Pan CakesTaiwanese SlushPork Sticky Rice

Prepare to be stuffed at this place. They also have a selection of frozen food to bring home.

Kang Kang Food Court
 7 E Valley Blvd, Alhambra, California
 Phone: (626) 308-3898 Open 7am-11pm

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015

Fried chicken and maple waffle ice cream, anyone?


I’ve been craving exceptional ice cream since I arrived. Bennett’s Cabernet Sauvignon sorbet doesn’t count. Well, I had a pleasurable trip to a gourmet ice cream shop in Pasadena after a visit to an Indian beauty salon. Yes, you heard it right, my Korean cut meets its Indian match. Well, Maggie, the hairstylist is technically Armenian.

A few blocks away is Coolhaus, listed in an LA ice cream and gelato map by the LA Times (here). If you’ve noticed the image above, the handmade ice cream shop carries original creations such as Fried Chicken and Maple Waffle complete with real chicken skin, cayenne pepper and herbs; Balsamic Fig and Mascarpone that tastes genuinely tarty; Black Sesame (hahaha, it actually reminds me of atang back home, you know those black bucaio); Maple Sweet Potato Marshie; Southern Belle with Maker’s Mark bourbon; Salty S’mores; Pancakes and Syrup; and a lot more unimaginable savory flavors that were not available. Is foie gras too elegant for your taste? What about olive oil or pastrami ice cream?

CoolhausCoolhaus, PasadenaCoolhaus

For the not so timid, ice cream sandwich combos make the experience more memorable.

Ericke’s was a cup of Pancakes and Syrup. Decidedly delicious. I loved the Fried Chicken and Southern Belle, but I opted to buy a big scoop of Vietnamese Iced Coffee, which was not right at first, but got better and better with every spoonful of coffee delectation.

Coolhaus is now on my go-to list.

Coolhaus Ice CreamDSC_0490

59 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, California
(626) 486-2700
Open 12-10 pm

Cacti Shop

The building that houses Coolhaus is shared with Pie Hole and a flower shop where Ericke picked up succulents for her new apartment.

CactiGreen Thumb

Isn’t that adorable?

Green Horns
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015

Serendipitous Meeting with Kababayan Lala Dudley

Arts District Co-op

Not all weekends are spent with Ericke, but when she’s not attending festivals or out on camping trips, we go to places we both enjoy like dessert shops and flea markets. LA is big, but on our first stop last Saturday, the Arts District Co-op in DTLA, we found Laoagueña Lala Dudley, daughter of fashion designer Lulu Raval and granddaughter of former Ilocos Norte OIC-Governor Castor Raval. There she was at her own space in the warehouse turned flea market that’s actually cozier than a Sunday flea market. I just knew it was her when I saw the very current kimono robes on display. Call it intuition.

Lala Dudley

After hearing about the designing family when I was still in Laoag, I tried googling them once and their flowy kimono robes stuck in my head.

The meeting was kinda funny. She looked surprised when I started talking in Ilocano.

Lala’s one-of-a-kind creations range from vintagey with lace inserts to embroidered gauzy cover ups, tasseled bohemian prints, and heavy poncho coats. I had to have two (a maroon with leaf embroidery and the blue in photo below). Ericke bought a sweet number in antique white and another in summery washed out pastel as.

Lala Dudley @ Arts District Co-op

A sewing machine stands atop her desk. She says she’s been stationed at the Arts District Co-op for a year now. “How many kimono robes have you sold? 500?” I asked.  “More. I’ve sent to countries like the Middle East.”

“Would you believe I started with zero? I first sold my own things,” she tells about her humble beginnings. In my head — #inspiring #lifegoal.

The meeting was serendipity at its finest. I felt pride for a kababayan.

SalvagedArts District Co-opUsed tarps

The vegan bags at the other store are made with vinyl tarps. I’m not sure if they were repurposed from used tarps. Independent and local are accurate words for the vendors.

Untitledwall art

In the block…

Architecture and Design Museum Los AngelesLA StreetDSC_0443-2
Photographed by Tina and Ericke Tan
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015