Friday, February 3, 2012

You Had Me At Starry Kitchen

So, many super delicious restaurants have been participating in DineLA for the past 2 weeks. Now, I love it when restaurant week rolls around because it gives me the opportunity to eat at high-end restaurants for a very reasonable price. However, there is one restaurant in particular that holds a special place in my heart; that being, Starry Kitchen. For the past two or so years, my sister and cousin have been ranting and raving about this place. So of course, I was just dying to go and try out this ambrosia-like food that they supposedly serve. Last year, my dream came true when I was finally able to go during DineLA week. And let me just say that my taste buds have definitely been hankerin’ for some more. They lived up to all the hype and exceeded my expectations. So, when I found out that DineLA week was coming up and they would be participating again, I just knew I had to go back. Unfortunately, today is the last day of this extravaganza and after two failed attempts it looks like I won’t be able get the true experience of DineLA Week this time. However, last night my sister swung by Starry Kitchen as a surprise for dinner. I absolutely love this restaurant. It’s an Asian Fusion, hole-in-the-wall restaurant that is tucked inside the Financial District and it is managed by a husband and wife team. They produce the most amazing and creative dishes I have ever seen/heard. It’s a very good thing that I live an hour away from downtown LA because if not, I would seriously eat there every day and become a Biggest Loser contestant. Their food is that damn good, not to mention that the customer service is superb. All the employees are very knowledgeable about the food and are very friendly/hospitable. In fact, as soon as you walk in, you feel like you are hanging out at your friend’s house. It’s awesome. I also love the story of how the restaurant came about (check out their website for details). If there was ever such a thing as a romantical restaurant story, this would be it.  It has all the required elements– excitement, a bit drama, heartache, headache, but ends with a happy ending.

Anyhoo, here is the breakdown of what my sister brought home:
No clue what is in it but it’s one of my favorite salads of all time.
 Citrus Sesame Silky Tofu
I actually didn’t care too much for this dish, which is a rarity for SK. I wasn’t feeling the citrus/tofu combo and felt like the two flavors didn’t mesh well. But I gladly gobbled it up because I heart SK =)
 Vietnamese Egg Rolls
I usually pass on egg rolls because I don’t really like them. I feel like it’s a waste of calories and stomach space but their egg rolls are insanely delicious. I don’t know if they use a special ingredient, like love or something, but I was craving for more.
Burmese Galangal Chicken Wings
AHHHH-MAZING! My sister originally ordered their Malaysian Chicken Curry dish I think but they were sold out <tears>. However, the SK team is incredibly nice and lovingly poured some extra sauce they had on top of our wings. Major score!! The weird thing is that I don’t like coconut or anything coconut flavor. But there is just something special about SK because everything they produce is magical. This dish was definitely muy deliciouso. MMMMMMMMMMMMM
 Vietnamese Minced Beef-Tacular
OHHH MYYYY GAWWWWDD!!!! This was hands down my favorite of all the appetizers/entrée dishes. The egg, minced Angus beef, chuck, crispified fried shallots on top, and the fish sauce. It was beef-tacular for sure!

Lychee Panna Cotta W/ Salted Plum Sauce
Best dessert I ever ate. It’s a good thing we were eating this in the privacy of our own house because I seriously made love to this dish. When there wasn’t much left, I scraped up all the sides with my spoon. And then…I took my finger, smeared it all around the mini pie tin container…and then I licked whatever remnants I couldn’t get with my spoon and finger. My mouth is watering just thinking about this dish. <Sigh>
If I didn’t live so far away (and by far I mean 1 hour drive away...I have a short attention span and get antsy if I have to be in the car for more than 20 min), I would have gone back with a giant bowl and spoon in hand and been like, “Please sir, may I have some more?”

Starry Kitchen, I just have 2 requests for you. One, please add shaved ice and frozen yogurt to your maybe lychee panna cotta flavor with a side of plum sauce? And two, PLEASE COME TO OC (particularly Irvine or Tustin. I think Diamond Jamboree still has some rental space left in their plaza) .

And on a final note, in case you haven’t noticed or in case I haven’t said it enough, I LOVE Starry Kitchen. In the words of Rick from Casablanca, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.”

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