LA Day 2 – Taiwanese Breakfast, Thai Desserts, and a Deservedly Famous Burger

Bit too much beer the night before, so we started out a bit lighter on this day then ramped it up 😉

Places visited:

  • Yung Ho (San Gabriel)
  • Bhan Kanom Thai (Thaitown)
  • Father’s Office (Santa Monica)

Yung Ho (don’t laugh)

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A Taiwanese spot right in SGV (San Gabriel Valley). Funny that we’ve never had a Taiwanese breakfast before, even though I’m sure there’s tons of places in Richmond where you can get hot soy milk and Chinese donuts for breakfast.

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The full name is less snicker-inducing. Or maybe it’s more? I’m such an idiot.

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Top-notch Chinese Donut (“Twisted Cruller” on the menu). Fresh-tasting and not greasy.

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Salted Bean Milk. Gross name but I assure you it tasted great. Quite good for a first experience! I’ve only known soy milk as a sweet beverage, so having this savoury Taiwanese version was enlightening and enjoyable. Comes with Chinese donut and pickled veg already in the soup. It looks like a split, separated, coagulated mess but it’s good, trust me!

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More Chinese donut porn. My mom told me stories of unscrupulous vendors in China putting laundry detergent in their Chinese donuts so that it puffed up big when they fry it. Eeek! But then my mom tells a lot of stories…

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Another hangover cure: Fish Congee. Great consistency and not over-salted.

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I have no idea what this is. I’ve combed through my shots of the menu and nothing matches “sesame bleh”.

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No one wanted this, but someone HAD to order it. Meh.

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Baked Wheat Cake with Egg. I wasn’t feeling this dish. Very starchy/carby without much excitement going on.

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Intestine with Sour Vegetable. It takes guts to eat this dish.

I love this dish so much! It’s got that slightly funky taste and a chewy-but-not-rubbery quality that’s great when played off the sour pickled veg component.

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Chitterling Rice Noodle Soup. I can’t get enough pig intestine!

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A light, slightly salty broth and good springiness from the vermicelli noodles. I added a healthy dose of white pepper to add another funky, peppery element to the dish.

Great stuff at this place! Ready for another day of adventure!

Yung Ho Tou Chiang on Urbanspoon


Bhan Kanom Thai

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Bhan Kanom Thai in Thaitown makes Thai desserts and they’re open until 2am every day!

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We went here in 2012 and Wicca had the toughest time choosing what to buy. We ended up buying way too much and wasted it. This time we were just going to buy enough to eat at the moment, and not try to save anything for later or stick it in the fridge where it just gets hard and inedible.

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We didn’t buy any of this but it was a popular item. They were sold out of it during our second visit on a subsequent evening.

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Green Tapioca with Corn. Looks lovely but we didn’t buy any.

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We gave these custards a shot.

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We drove from Thaitown to some Japanese garden but found that it was closed 🙁 so we stopped at a park nearby to dig into our Thai desserts. I got this refreshing lemongrass drink. Not too sweet. I’d get this Thai brand again if we can find it in Vancouver.

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The one on the left is sweet, the one on the right savoury. They’re like a thin crepe-type thing that’s cooked on a grill then folded. It holds that shape as it cools. The texture is sort of crispy and the taste of both straddles the line between sweet and savoury…it’s just a matter of how sweet or how savoury. Didn’t thrill us that much though. Wouldn’t buy again.

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Pangchi with taro, corn, coconut, sugar and flour.

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Wicca liked these a lot. Hit those taro and coconut buttons that Wicca loves. The corn kernels may seem weird but they added some texture and sweetness.

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Glutinous rice wrapped in banana leaves.

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Wicca loved this one. It tasted freshly steamed. Soft sticky rice with coconut milk around a creamy taro filling. YUM!

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These were also ok. I liked them more than Wicca did. She thought the pandan filling was gluey and lacked pandan flavour.

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Pandan custard on top, Thai tea custard on the bottom.

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The Thai tea custard tasted like butterscotch with a smooth, dense texture. It was quite sweet but so is Thai iced tea. Excellent custard with a distinct tea flavour! However, the green pandan custard was seriously lumpy and sweet without much pandan flavour. So not everything from BKT was a hit for us.

Bhan Kanom Thai on Urbanspoon


Father’s Office

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The guy behind Father’s Office, Sang Yoon, has been on Top Chef Masters (Season 5) and Brew Dogs (Season 2 Episode 10), so I was looking forward to eating and drinking at what could be argued as being the birthplace of the gastropub movement in America. This is the original Santa Monica location. There’s also a larger, newer location in Culver City.

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This place is tiny! Max occupancy probably less than 50 people, including the small bar at the back.

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Bar service. One of the things about Father’s Office is their famous “no substitutions, modifications or deletions” policy. No skin off my back! I trust that they’ve tailored the food to perfection and I’ll take it the way it comes, and judge it on its own merits 🙂 Oh, by the way, there is NO KETCHUP in sight at Father’s Office.

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The specials, one of which was sold out already.

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The bar with plenty of taps.

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Some great names on the featured beers board, like Lagunitas and Ommegang.

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More featured beers. I was in the mood for something lighter to start with, and that Craftsman Polochic saison brewed with lime and cardamom sounded good.

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I’m always on the quest for a place that has the perfect marriage of beer and food. Vancouver still isn’t quite at that level yet, and of course doesn’t have the variety that I’ve seen in LA, San Francisco or Portland. But we’re getting there… Anyways, I came to Father’s Office to try their famous Office Burger®. Yep, they trademarked the name. Read this great Eater article on the history behind The Office Burger.

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Their huge taplist, divided into flavours. Smart.

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Middle of the page.

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Bottom of the page. I read and wept. Way too much choice for one man to experience in one sitting. But it’s good to leave wanting more, right?

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Buying bottles is always an expensive proposition in bars and restaurants. They charge too much for that Hitachino, but any of the Russian River bottles would make you the hero at your table!

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Craftsman Polochic Saison (6.5%?) – yeasty, citrus, watermelon, light body and lightly spicy. I get the lime and cardamom, and thank god the cardamom is subtle! My ideal saisons should be dry, with bubbly carbonation, and be chuggable yet have plenty of depth and flavour that rewards sips AND gulps 🙂 So this saison pretty much hit my ideal.

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The famous Office Burger®. It’s served on a hoagie-like bun instead of the typical round bun. I like how it’s cut in half, so it’s easy for me to get shots like this:

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The Father’s Office Burger, medium-well. Still juicy.

Wicca prefers her meat well-done, but no freakin’ way am I uttering the words “well done” in a food-forward place like this! So I ordered my burger medium-rare and her burger medium-well. This was the medium-well burger.

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The Father’s Office Burger, medium-rare.

And this is my medium-rare burger. So fucking good!!! I even ordered a second one! People that know me would be very surprized that I ate so much, cuz usually I’m all about quality over quantity — this time it was a quantity of quality 😉

There was actually a mix-up with the burgers and Wicca ended up eating an entire half that was medium-rare! Her words: “It’s so juicy!!!” <—- hahahaha gotcha! That’s why I like ordering medium-rare whenever I can. Canada kinda sucks in that it’s HARD to find places that will skirt the law and serve your medium-rare burgers. Wicca also ate the caramelized onions in this too, so this burger was a double-win for Wicca overcoming her food phobias.

The burger is inspired by French onion soup, so it contains caramelized onions, gruyère, applewood bacon, Maytag Blue cheese, and arugula. For me, the burger was all about balance and juiciness. The sweetness of the caramelized onions and how it runs through the burger like a stream in a tranquil forest scene is exquisite. The bun is great in that it gets out of the way! Buns should be a supporting character in a burger, definitely not the star and not a scene-hog 😉

The skinny fries had good potato flavour and creaminess/moistness but most were crispy and some were soft, so I’d prefer if all of them were the same level of crispiness.

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One more beer: Oskar Blues Deviant Dale IPA (8%) – Great smooth mouthfeel. Love the interplay between the fruity hops and smooth maltiness. Exciting in the mouth. I’m feeling so thirsty as I type this…

Father’s Office was a definite win for me. If I’m ever back in LA, I’ll definitely check out their location in Culver City.

Strangely enough, on our way home from Father’s Office, we passed by a place called “Mom’s Cocktail”…

Father's Office on Urbanspoon


Continue with LA Trip Report Day 3 or go back to the index.

5 thoughts on “LA Day 2 – Taiwanese Breakfast, Thai Desserts, and a Deservedly Famous Burger”

  1. Wicca ate caramelized onions?!!??!?!?!?! SAY WHAT?! I think I would have picked them out *hides head in the sand*. Those fries look incredible… wouldn’t mind having some to snack on right now, haha. (It’s 9:40am but don’t judge… it’s like hashbrowns really isn’t it?) Would have loved the try the avocado toast and forest mushrooms. Along with the duck confit salad and everything else on the menu 😉 I looooove hanger steaks… it’s such a hard cut to find in Vancouver. Ps. I am also completely blown away that you ate two burgers! (I was already surprised that you and Wicca didn’t share a burger so that you could order other items off the menu.)

    That taro rice thing wrapped in banana leaf looks like heaven… as do the custards (but I’ll take your word for it that the pandan one wasn’t very good). I would have been keen to try the green tapioca with corn…!

    I think it’s funny how much they’ve westernized the name of a Chinese donut… “Twisted Crueller” lol. Have you guys ever had those with kaya? Amazing, one of the things I used to eat a lot as a kid 🙂

  2. I too live with a rare-beef phobic person….dollars to donuts if I blindfolded him and got him to taste it, he’d love it. That burger looks amazing!

    1. Thanks Offalo! So that’s what a shaobing is…there’s a few places here that do them but I’ve never tried them. The BC Chowhound board has some people that are fans of them 😉

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