The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Bouchon kills me, Loco Moco tastes like tan, and Westville is awesome

rhubarb tart
rhubarb tart

Behold. The innards.

Like a magical pastry-delivering fairy, Sarah came by last night with leftovers from Bouchon Bakery. Oh, Sarah. I love you for reasons beyong your access to the baked goods that would otherwise be left to rot after a day of sitting in pristine display cases, oogled by hungry shoppers at Columbus Circle. For instance, sometimes we're like twins:

baguette time? gonna eat a baguette
Sarah, myself, and the baguette that would've otherwise met its death in crouton form

"I've been thinking all day about eating a baguette! And here you are! With a baguette!"



Unfortunately, the baguette's quality suffered from age. A day in the life of a baguette is practically it's entire lifespan. Such epemeral tastiness...[sigh].

I ate way too much that day already, but Sarah insisted that I try the rhubarb tart.

"Well I wasn't going to, but if you insist...then hell yeah. This is your fault."


Sarah was spot on. No, not just spot on, but 1000324-jillion% on. This tart may have been one of the best things I've eaten all yeeeaaar. I'll admit that my tastes aren't very discerning, but trust me when I say that this is good stuff. After scarfing down every fluffy, golden little piece of the crumble coating (whose exact ingredients I do not know...perhaps "concentrated deliciousness"), I wanted more of it, preferably injected right into my bloodstream for a steady high of "fluffy golden crumbly junk". I feel horrible for being unable to describe the crumbly junk, but trust me when I say it was really amazing crumbly junk. Texture, taste, subsequent high. And yes, I really need to think of a better name for it.

rhubarb tart
rhubarb tart innards

I know you don't need all the visuals, but when a photogenic opportunity such as this one comes along, I go nuts. Don't even ask me how many photos I took; just be glad that I managed to cut it down to these three. Never having eaten a rhubarb tart-esque dessert before, I don't know how to describe it. It looks like the striated muscle of roast pork, but thankfully doesn't taste like it. Perhaps it's a bit like strawberry...but that image comes to my mind probably just because of the color. The tart itself was cookie-crisp on the outside, not so much on the inside. Dammit, I can't do this "food description" thing. Hence the large photo. Stare at it for a while; I can wait.


Hopefully one of you guys will go try it and have a similarly yummy experience. I loved it so much that I wanted to blog it right away last night after I ate it, but instead I was up until almost 3 AM pointlessly reading an essay for my anthropology class. Of course, I absorbed nothing from that reading at that hour.

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue
L&L Hawaiian Barbecue

I live around the corner from L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, but I've only eaten there once. I tend to avoid fast food joints and L&L is kind of fast food-ish. So what makes it acceptable? It's Hawaiian! It's kind of Japanese! IT'S AUTOMATICALLY AWESOME. Don't know what I'm talking about? Visit Ono Kine Grindz, right now. If I ever went to Hawaii, I'd gorge on an endless supply of bento boxes overflowing with slabs of fried meat atop mountains of white rice slathered in some sauce and whatnot and...and...[shakes]...

Wow, it's a good thing I don't live in Hawaii. Moving on.

Loco Moco
Loco Moco

I've heard of Loco Moco, a Hawaiian dish that consists of white rice topped with a hamburger patty and fried egg and finally doused in gravy, from a book I read in class last semester, but I can't say I was very interested in trying it right away. Since I had no particular food plan for the day, I decided to stretch my culinary palate. ...Not that rice, ground beef patty, fried chicken embryo and viscous brown sauce is very adventurous, but I'd certainly never make it myself. I ordered a small ($6), which as you can see from the photo is pretty freakin' huge. If your body is screaming for double the egg and beef patty deliciousness, feel free to go for the regular size. Frankly, the idea frightens me.

Loco Moco burger innards
Loco Moco

Hm...well. I had to admit that I ate the whole thing. Really, everything besides the tomato wedge (I'm not a big fan of tomatoes). Did I enjoy it? Welllll. My final rating would be, "It's alright." If this is something you grew up eating, I can see this being a nice vehicle for nostalgia, and I guess I can imagine loving the crap out of this dish if its your first time eating it (maybe it helps if you're drunk), but for me it was an, "I ate it once, but I don't feel the need to eat it again" kind of experience. I hadn't eaten a standard hamburger patty in so long that I forgot how disappointingly tough (in comparison to a thick, juicy, pink burger) and insubstantially bovine-ilicious they were. As Rob said, "Its not mooing. :(". You're right Rob; there is no presence of moo in this patty. Perhaps with a better patty this would've been better, but the gravy threw me off a bit too. "Tastes like...tan sauce." It wasn't bad. Just. ...Taaaan saaaauce.

L&L has a lot of choices, so if you're omnivorious you'll probably find something you like. The first time I went there I got curry katsu, one of my favorite dishes in the entire world, which means it probably could've really sucked and I would've liked it anyway. However, it didn't suck and it was a generous portion for the cost. I would prefer Win 49 over L&L for take-out homey Japanese food (better deal, better quality), but L&L is around the corner, while Win 49 is around a much father away corner.


After a food hunt on the rainy/haily/crappy Saturday afternoon, I met up at Westville to eat brunch with Grace.

060408 013

The restaurant was smaller than I thought it would be. Leave the large groups at home. (Or, ye know, take them somewhere that's at least as large as my dorm room.) While it was full when we got there, we only had to wait about 5 minutes to be seated. I forgot that weekends means brunch, which in turn means a slightly awesomer menu than on the less-worthy weekdays. I didn't take advantage of any of the particularly brunchy options, but they did have French toast. tempting...

scrambled egg sammich! plop
scrambled egg sammich!

Sandwich. Egg. MINE. One of the choices on the menu is "egg scramble" with the addition of three ingredients out of a laundry list of possibilities (cheddar, swiss, american or mozzarella cheese, salami, chorizo, sausages, bacon, fresh herbs, tomatoes, onions, roasted garlic, scallions, roasted peppers). Only three? ...Alright, three's enough. I went with swiss, chorizo, and fresh herbs on a roll. Isn't toast kind of wussy? I remember when my British friend made me eat beans on toast, which was fine and dandy except that the beans engulfed the toasted like something out of a horror movie, transforming it into a sad wheat sponge in the process. If it had been "beans on a roll", I think the roll would've held up better. But who am I to tamper with British cultinary tradition?


Awesome. How could this sandwich not be awesome? You can't go wrong chomping on generously cheesy scrambled eggs with pork bits and herbs smooshed between long, hard crusted, soft and chewy bread. The salad was alright. I ate it to feel like I was putting something mildly healthy in my body.

burger it's meellltting!
Grace's burger is melting

Grace ordered a hamburger on a Portuguese muffin. While she hadn't initially thought of getting toppings on it, our waiter Aaron (who was memorably silly and perky, gooo Aaron!) coaxed her into piling on a few things. If you order cheese, they will splodge on what seems like an entire melted wedge. I watched as Grace horrifyingly poked around the cheese to find the "burger" part. She definitely enjoyed the burger, but was too full to finish it to the last bite. I managed to wipe my plate clean (because I'm a glutton) and I selflessly helped Grace clean off her fries. Selflessly. Yes. For lack of a better comparison, the fries reminded me of McDonald's fries, which means they tasted really good. Admit it; you like McDonald's fries.

By this part of the meal (probably what should've been the end), we certainly ingested enough calories for the day. But...hello, eating with Robyn must end with dessert! Grace nor I could imagine finishing individual desserts by ourselves so we went for the only choice on the meny with the word "magic" in it.

chocolate magic cake the insiiides
chocolate magic cake

Did it live up to the name? ...Yes. Yes it did. The cake was just right on all factors: texture, moistness, chocolate-ness, sweetness, amount of frosting, massivity of cake-slab. We agreed that it was pleasantly smooth in a not too light (such as mousse) or heavy (such as deathly ganache) way. The frosting wasn't too sweet, which is something that I'd expect (not that that would keep me from eating it) and...damn, this cake was just too easy to eat. Thank god we split a slice, as I bet I could've eaten an entire one on my own. And then want to die.


For an even $25, this was a nice meal that I'd love to have again (next time with more dessert, harhar!).

And that is the end of the food. There shall be more later.


Thanks for all the comments on my previous entry (which have all been replied to). I guess you don't mind when I semi-rant about non-food-related things. ;) I was actually going to write another one today, but the rants need to be buffered with real food-related content.

I guess it's time to do homework now. Damn.


Wait, no it's not. Semi-important question: are any of you from France? Paris, specifically? Yes, that seems random, but I'm planning to study abroad in Paris next semester. Last minute decision? Hell yes. Do I know French? Not really. During middle school it was a joke for me to say, "Je suis le fromage", although I don't know why I said that. I can say hello, good-bye, where's the bread, where's the bakery, where's the chocolate shop, I like chocolate, I have a grapefruit (come on, don't you love the word "pamplemousse"?), etc.

...Man, French people would probably hate me.


Kathy / April 12, 2006 11:50 PM

That rhubarb tart just kills me! I don't know if it's the tart itself or your pictures of it. --tummy growling--. I feel like L&L and most types of local plate lunches are eaten more for nostalgia than for taste. Most locals don't usually go to L&L back home, as it would be similar to eating at a local equilvalent of McDonald's. When you come to Hawaii (which you must), I'll bring you to a place that does a real loco moco! If you go back, give the laulau a try - I tend to eat a lot of that stuff at home, but L&L's version shouldn't be too far off. But ahh, back to the rhubarb, I'll be dreaming about that tonight...
Can't wait for the food trade to arrive :)

Marvo / April 13, 2006 1:41 AM

Oh Robyn!

If you put the words "loco moco" in your blog post, all the Hawaii people will come. So here we are.

Anyway, the L&L loco moco sucks. Actually, most of the food at L&L is average, but for some reason, L&L keeps winning all these local awards for plate lunches. I haven't eaten there in two years.

What makes a good loco moco is the flavoring of the hamburger patty and the gravy. Oh the gravy! Also, the egg yolks MUST be runny. I know. I know. I'm just asking for salmonella, but without it, you're just asking for a crappy loco moco.

chochotte / April 13, 2006 4:56 AM

Oooh...prepare yourself for European-style (i.e. not making a national die of obesity) portions...I'd eat lots now, just to make sure you can survive the semester!
Sorry, not from Paris. But 'pamplemousse' is one of my favourite French worlds, along with 'le pantouflage' (lit. the act of being a slipper-wearing old fogey and also a business/management term but that's boring) and 'le vrombissement' (the 'broom broom' sound a car engine makes).

serena / April 13, 2006 6:17 AM

robyn! you have to come to paris! not that i live in paris, but um - i live in london, which is like a cheap fare & 2 & a half hours away on the eurostar! in fact, i was going to spend easter in paris, but due to mountains of work which i would have been obsessing over (& thus be unable to enjoy myself fully) i have put off paris until june. so.

um. go to paris! come to london! & hang with me! come fooding with me in london! & i can go fooding with you in paris! it's a Good Idea.

(oof - i seem to have used an unusual amount of exclamation marks in this comment.)

roboppy / April 13, 2006 8:49 AM

Kathy: I guess part of the appeal of L&L here is that it's..."foreign"? Kinda like McDonald's outside the US, haha. I figure it's not the most traditional food. Yes, I need to go to Hawaii and eat the real thing! Arrgh!


The egg yolks were not runny. (sniff) That would've been nice. And the gravy...well, as I said, it tasted tan. It did have flavor, I'm just not sure what it was. (scratches head) Anyhoo, runny yolks are worth salmonella! Right? And you probably wouldn't get salmonella considering all the weird crap you eat. RIGHT? Yeah.

cochotte: European sized portions, ahhh! Well, from what I've seen at the bakeries (bread bread bread) those are the same size. SO I'M STILL DOOMED.

Thanks for the usename vocabulary. Now I need to find a reason to use le pantouflage...

Serena: I might go to London this summer! Or not! I DON'T KNOW. BUT MAYBE. OR NOT. CRAP.

Oh oh, but if I do go it would be in June! Uh. Early June. Or. Crap. As you can see, I don't plan things well.


Cathy / April 13, 2006 8:49 AM

Gotta love friends who visit bearing gifts of bread and tart. I almost never have rhubarb, but I know I'm fond of it. Maybe I'll bake some kind of rhubarby thing in the near future. The LocoMoco doesn't appeal to me in the slightest, but your friend's burger looked awesome. After reading your blog I always get a craving for a good burger, which is bad because I'm supposed to be one of those people who doesn't eat red meat. It just goes to show the power of your blog ;)

ed / April 13, 2006 1:30 PM

just wondering, what kind of camera do you use? maybe i'll start my own food blog, west coast style. haha...but despite my short-lived career in writing, i was never a critic. i was always more of a storyteller. perhaps i should try telling a story through food? that would be pretty cool. but lately, i find myself swamped with work, charity and my own personal ambitions for success in life. why is it that i always feel short on time? :(

but dont worry...your blog seems to be mysteriously rapidly moving up on my priority list. =P

Annie / April 13, 2006 1:34 PM

Go to Paris, go to London, and share a moment of silence for the young foodie I once was, in the London of Margaret Thatcher...when the locals were so busy getting loaded, they thought a gastro-pub was something they used at the emergency room to pump your stomach.

Robyn, I have linked to this blog and am also writing about you in my blog today. You're an awesome food journalist! Wherever you do, keep eating, keep taking pics, keep blogging!

roboppy / April 13, 2006 1:56 PM

Cathy: I make you crave buuurrgeeerrr? [rubs hands together mischieviously] Despite knowing the horrors of ground beef, I still eat it. Some of us will never learn.

Su-Lin: Ahh...yes, it's sounding like a good idea. GOTTA GET MAH BEANS ON TOAST.

Ed: Man, I get asked that camera question so much, I think I'll add it to my "about" page. Canon Powershot SD450, plus Photoshop. ;P

Annie: Thanks for the support! Hopefully I'll go...and eat, take lots of pics, and then blog every bite I take. :)

Lauren: Whoa... ....I bet that tastes awesome. I want a bite!

serena / April 13, 2006 2:37 PM

cool! if you do come to london in june we should definitely do a robyn's food blog meetup thing. how awesome would that be - transatlantic food blogging/flickring!

so ya know, keep us updated. i will be having to look for a new place to live in june, but you will always have somewhere to stay, at mine. yes? & i'll be in paris in early june as well - if that matters.

exclamation marks! we loves the exclamation marks!...!...!...!

Rich / April 13, 2006 3:26 PM

Rhubarb is the celery of the sweet world. If only it could be eaten raw... perhaps some sort of baked ants on a log concoction. The mind reels at the possibilities. Awesome photos.

Paris, you gotta go. A friend of mine ( was just there at a conference. He said he got some protest action in. That'll probably all be cleared up by then. Re: not planning trips. I once had an ATM in london eat my card. Because I forgot the PIN number. Genius. I managed to get by overdrafting another card that I could recall the PIN for. Lessons learned, get your cash in travellers cheques prior so you are at least aware of the exchange rate... or something... generally don't be as dumb as I was (slash am)

plume11 / April 13, 2006 4:18 PM

I'm from France but not from Paris: I'm in Marseille, which is not even near Paris...
Anyway, if I can help you with something, I would be glad to but I don't even know Paris very well.
I'm sure you can eat many delicious things there anyway!

roboppy / April 14, 2006 1:27 AM

Serena: I'm leaning towards London in early June...oohh...I suck at planning though. Last time I went to London I had no plans (hell, no map; I bought one there) and it turned out alright, just, I could've accomplished more if I had a plan. Doh!

Rich: Mm, sweet celery. ...Sounds kinda weird. SWEET CELERY PIIIEE! I've ever bought rhubarb before in my life, but I guess...someone's making those pies.

I'd rather skip out on the protest action, hehe. And...and ATM ate your card? I'd flip out. Ohh, you forgot your number...damn, that sounds like something I would do. (I'll make sure to...not do that.) I used my ATM card a lot in England. :P I had a bunch of cash left over at the end though so I blew it on cookies and chocs.

plume: Thanks for offering to help! I may have to hit you up with questions. :)

magixcarpet / April 28, 2006 3:29 PM


Next time you go to L&L, try the beef short ribs, it's really delicious.

Jeffrey / May 30, 2006 12:48 AM

Robyn, been reading your comments at Kathy's blog and came to check out yours. Very Awesome. You have a very good eye for your food photos. Have you ever checked out food styling? I heard that there are people that actually put makeup on food and photograph them instead of eating them. ( course I'm being facetious).

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