This past week, as Anna and I were scouring the LA/OC vicinity checking out wedding venues, we decided to take a side trip to one of our guilty pleasures: The Loft in Gardena. After not eating since morning and it being almost 4PM, our hungry eyes ravenously ate up the word pictures on the menu--we really did want to order almost everything, but we finally narrowed our focus to two items:
(1) the loco moco
(2) and the Hawaiian fried chicken
The loco moco was serviceable, especially after a few forceful pumps of Hawaiian hot sauce, and the macaroni salad was also alright. However, in the former case, I did find myself longing for a sloppier, saltier and less self-conscious version of the meat gravy and runny eggs, and in the latter case I did wish that there was a bit less of the frills of potatoes and black pepper seasoning and more of just the good stuff: slightly soggy macaroni noodles in a heavy bath of mayonnaise goodness. Oddly, it all tasted a bit too refined to me.
Nonetheless, the Hawaiian fried chicken with accompanying cabbage salad really did deliver on its promise. Anna and I often marvel over the heavenly creation that is fried chicken in all its infinite permutations of Southern, Japanese, Korean, Thai and, most notably, Hawaiian perfection. The Hawaiian version is sweeter than the others, with no bones to mess with as you ravenously devour it with rice, mac salad and hot sauce. The cabbage salad had a good crunch (aided by small bits of uncooked ramen noodles) with just a bit of bitter and just the right touch of acid from the dressing to counterbalance the other elements on the plate.
The meal reached a satisfying conclusion with the pineapple cake.
It was amazingly moist, just sweet enough (for an Asian palette), with chunks of (unfortunately canned) pineapple in the filling and accents of caramel from the sauce. Not bad at all.
I can't conclude this post without a heartfelt thanks to Molly from the Sweets Truck. Not only did they generously support Achievable at the recent Westside Food Fest and El Pozo at Cupcake Camp OC, but they also continue to be extremely kind and gracious towards me whenever I see them out in public. Last week, I dropped off a tee shirt for Molly and bought a few of their highly-addictive Red Velvet ding dongs.
As I was leaving, she gave me a flyer with a discount to the upcoming OC Foodie Fest and a handful of frosted donut bites, free-of-charge. The bites were dense and delicious and came in a variety of flavors: carrot cake, red velvet, lemon and brownie.
I'm trying to convince my fiance to forget about going back to culinary school in the spring--apprentice with the Sweets Truck instead!