Category: Mexican

Spice-Rubbed Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Slaw & Chipotle Cream


I wasn’t planning on even mentioning this dish. I have no expertise in the realm of authentic Latina cooking and typically leave it up to others that actually know what they’re talking about. I mostly just do the eating. Since, well, that happens to be my expertise.
But it makes no difference because these impromptu tacos and those close to the HungrytoHappy kitchen were at something of a standstill. They were dinner last Tuesday. They were lunch on Wednesday. They were a snack on Thursday. And if that isn’t a good indication of how good they were, let me tell you. They were awesome.
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Kimchi Quesadillas & sesame-gochujang sour cream

Under the never-ending list of Things I Absolutely Have to Make (or have already made) and (need to) Blog About (including my favorite go-to Korean staple, kimchi jjigae/stew, which has been requested by several & is soon to come), there is the kimchi quesadilla, which I have finally gotten around to making. It may sound a little strange initially, but trust me, the pairing of kimchi with cheese is nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, growing up in Korea, this was a prevalent and beloved conjunction of contrasting flavors and textures: tart, spicy, briny, and crunchy with buttery, nutty, oozy, and melted; a serious match made in culinary heaven.
However, it wasn’t until last summer when I visited L.A. amidst the Kogi Truck craze, that I had the opportunity to try one of these insanely good, savory treats. I was immediately blown away at first bite. As I’ve experienced re-creating this quesadilla with my own artistic flare, I’ve consistently found myself wondering: why has this concept not been popularized sooner? I mean, everybody loves quick and easy finger-food, especially when it goes hand-in-hand with an ice-cold Corona and lime, right?
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Now, this is what you call the quintessential “Spring Break.” The perfect spring break must include the following: a gorgeous beach (check), a gigantic pool (check), bright-colored umbrellas (check), towering palm trees (check), flip flops (check), and clear blue skies (check, check, check! Okay, we get the point). It’s just too bad it’s already over, discordant with everybody’s vacation mode. I know I couldn’t have been the only one clinging to my bed for dear life come Monday morning. Let’s not kid ourselves!

It’s practically torture sifting through these pictures from the not so distant past. Even if RumFire is only a ten-or-so minute drive away. Sure, I may sound spoiled and this may be a tangible luxury, but it certainly serves as quite the opposite when time does not permit such leisurely visitations. However, when time does allow, I assure you, being at RumFire between 4pm – 6pm is truly the happiest hour. Continue reading

Chichen Itza.

Have you ever been to a restaurant or tried a dish that you absolutely could not stop raving about? One of those unexpected, hole-in-the-wall hidden gems? That even despite your innately selfish intentions of keeping the newly uncovered treasure all to yourself, you instead realize that you can’t seem to refrain yourself from sharing the wealth with others? That is exactly how I feel about this restaurant: Chichen Itza.

Hidden within the Mercado La Paloma in south Los Angeles, you would never expect to try such authentically prepared food. Although we admittedly had high expectations due to a recommendation that had been given to my friend for us to try it, we were somewhat wary of the place upon first glance. Quite frankly, it seemed like an excessively embellished restaurant you’d stumble upon at a food court. I wasn’t sure of exactly what to expect anymore and my friend even started to feel as though we must have come to the wrong place. Continue reading


Tengo hambre (as usual). Yo quiero Taco Bell?

What a notoriously famous catch phrase associated with an even more notoriously famous chihuahua.

Anyway, no. Sorry, poor dog, I do not want Taco Bell despite its undeniable appeal to my stimulant-addicted taste buds. Instead, I’ve been craving the real deal. Don’t get me wrong, while I flirt with fast food of all sorts more often than I really should, I’m actually madly in love with authentic cuisines. The best foods I have ever tasted have very little to do with being fast and on the contrary, have everything to do with being literally and implicitly slow. It’s not just that these so-called “best foods” probably involve long and tedious procedures, but rather it’s that they involve a sense of time that is slow. Allow me to elaborate. What I consider to be an authentic food is one that embodies culture. Culture is refined over time and involves a unique series of events and influences, which bring about an individual set of behaviors, beliefs, customs, traditions and obviously, food. This occurs throughout history, which like I said is, over time that is slow. Despite the popular notion that “time flies,” sometimes time is slow and the institutionalizing of a particular dish is even slower. This just makes food that much better.

That being duly noted, I’ve been on the prowl for better food. Now, I know that my last post pertained to me trying to eat healthier and that this post doesn’t seem particularly healthy… But, to that I have two responses. One, this restaurant was visited a couple months ago and I am dearly behind with my local restaurant reviews and..Two, you are all going to realize sooner than later that although I have banned packaged junk food from my diet (presumably not for too long), I like to indulge myself here and there when it comes to tasty foods.

So, onto the food!
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