Archive for 'Starry Kitchen'

Help Starry Kitchen and Roy Choi Fund Their Next Projects

If your New Year’s Resolution was to be more charitable, or support a local business, here are two crowd funding campaigns going on right now that are worth taking a look at…

Just after the holidays Starry Kitchen launched the Kickstarter to end all Kickstarters. It’s called “Save Our Balls” (naturally) and they’re hoping to raise $500,000, an obscene amount for a restaurant kickstarter, for sure, but a drop in the bucket for a couple looking to give themselves some security to open the permanent restaurant of their dreams.   For those who don’t pay much attention to food blogs or Jonathan Gold lists, or find it super easy to ignore a guy in a banana suit with a megaphone, Starry Kitchen is the former illegal eatery, turned legal water court lunch spot, turned pop up restaurant that is currently operating out of Grand Star in Chinatown.  Their food, a menu mix of pan-asian homeyness,  has gotten better and better with every incarnation. But clearly the 5+ years of jumping around has taken its toll, leading them to issue this shocking ultimatum: they raise the full $500k to open their own place, or they go do something else. It’s a longshot they make it to their goal, but I’m not going to be blamed for losing out on Thi Tran’s garlic noodles, Singapore chili crab, pandan chicken, and their infamous tofu balls.  And make no mistake about it… if they close, and you didn’t donate, I will blame you.

But wait, there’s more…

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Tomorrow is the Last Starry Kitchen Lunch For Awhile: Just a friendly reminder in case you missed it last week... Starry Kitchen, the great Asian'ish, (mostly) lunch spot in the DTLA water court, will be closing tomorrow.  They plan to relocate at some point, but if you want your last fix of tofu balls or dan dan noodles for a while today and tomorrow is your final chance. There will also be some kind of dinnertime pop up at Tiara Cafe, but that doesn't help us lunchers now does it!

My Quest to Make Starry Kitchen’s Friday Fish & Chips A Permanent Menu Item Starts Today


I know this will sound crazy to anybody who works near 4th & Grand, but I wish I worked near 4th & Grand!  And the reason is simple. It’s been way too long since the last time I ate at Starry Kitchen, the apartment restaurant turned Downtown lunch mecca in the California Plaza whose homey Asian dishes cycle through the menu like Bruce Willis movies on AMC.  At one time their green crisped rice covered tofu balls, which incidentally are now a permanent option on the menu, were a personal obsession of mine.  But they have now been replaced by Starry Kitchen’s Friday only fish and taro chips special. Presumably they’ll only be offering this special through the end of Lent, but it has now become my personal mission to get it added to the rest of the year rotation. At the very least they should start putting those addictive taro sticks on top of sandwiches (Starry Kitchen frita, anyone!?) If it worked for the tofu balls, there’s no reason it can’t work for this.

But wait. There’s more…

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Starry Kitchen Celebrates One Year Anniversary With “Best Of” Week

Starry Kitchen, Downtown LA
They’re baaaaaaaaaack. Starry Kitchen’s Famous Tofu Balls.

I can’t believe it has been a whole year since Starry Kitchen went legit, and moved their North Hollywood apartment super secret take out business into a real brick and mortar space in the Downtown water court. And yet… here we are! And all next week they will be celebrating by serving a “Best of” menu. Each day Starry Kitchen will feature a fan favorite from the past year, and here’s the schedule they’re CONTEMPLATING

  • Tuesday, Feb 15th- SPICY “CRACK” KRAB CAKES
  • Weds, Feb 16th (their ACTUAL anniversary)- BRAISED COCONUT PORK… BELLY!
  • Thurs, Feb 17th- TAIWANESE FRIED PORK CHOP (lunch & dinner)
  • Friday, Feb 18th – CRISPY TOFU BALLS (also lunch & dinner)

Looks good to us! Got an opinion? Sound off on their blog or via Twitter and we’ll make sure to update you on the final menu by Monday it’s confirmed.  The menu above is the final menu. And, of course, congrats to Nguyen and Thi and the whole SK team!

Starry Kitchen is a (Now Legal) Downtown Godsend. Just Make Sure You Go By Friday!

LA Food Fest Tasting Event Makes Me Super Excited For The Manila Machine (and the Dim Sum Truck’s New Deluxe Dumplings)

LA Street Food Tasting Event

After an aborted trip to the inaugural LA Street Food Festival Downtown back in February, I decided to give Profiled Lunchers Shawna and Sonja another chance on Saturday- and hit up Pasadena for their massive tasting event, featuring food trucks and street food inspired restaurants all handing out food on the field of the Rose Bowl. The lines weren’t much shorter this time around, but they moved a lot quicker (that happens when you don’t have to take money for each dish) and *most* (but not all) of the vendors seemed a bit more prepared for the crush. Plus, getting to hang on the field at the Rose Bowl while drinking beer and tequila makes waiting 30 minutes for a taco much more palatable.

Truthfully, for a guy like me even the best run tasting event is stressful. My strategy is always to get there as early as I can (buying the VIP tickets is definitely the way to go), and run from booth to booth eating as much as I can as quickly as I can before the lines get to be too long (which happens pretty quick when an event like this is sold out and thousands of people are waiting at the gate to get in at the very beginning.) Not fun, right? And it’s tough to really taste or enjoy the food. And yet something about these events keeps me going back again and again- excited for the prospect of being able to try so many places, from all over the city, in one spot, even though it’s not always a good representation of what you’d get if you went to actual truck or restaurant. After all, sometimes a great restaurant will serve up something that is not nearly as good as the food made fresh at their actual location, and bad places can easily pull it together to serve up one good bite.

And yet- despite my running, and face stuffing, one dish did manage to stand out above the rest. Not just to me, but to “The Guru” as well. And that place is now at the top of my list of must try spots…

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Starry Kitchen Brings Back Ultra-Popular Tofu Balls

One of the best things about Starry Kitchen, the pan-Asian fast food spot in the Cal Plaza Water Court Downtown, is the fact that every week they rotate new dishes in and old dishes out.  It’s also one of the worst things about the place.  It’s fun, and keeps things fresh and new… but it also means that your favorites might be fleeting.  Case in point: their green crisped rice covered tofu balls (also called “Game Changer #2″, perhaps because it’s a vegetarian option that even fat dudes like me would like.)  Surprisingly, this pork-less option was one of the best things I tried on my first visit to the place back in February, and when they were rotated out if was kind of upsetting- not just for me, but for countless other fans.  Well, they have heard the cries from the masses and today the tofu balls are back on the menu.  If you missed out the first time around, don’t let it happen again.  They’ll probably disappear again in another few weeks.  You know… because that’s how they getcha!

And as an added bonus, if you go to Starry Kitchen today (5/17) you get a free soda.

Starry Kitchen is a (Now Legal) Downtown Godsend. Just Make Sure You Go By Friday!

Last Day For Crispy Tofu Balls

Just a friendly reminder to all our Downtown lunchers… today is the last day for Crispy Tofu Balls at Starry Kitchen (until they bring them back by popular demand of course.) Sweet… delicious… crispy… fried… green… tofu balls… I would eat you in a wrap, I would eat you as a snack, I would eat you in a tree, I would eat you in banh mi…