Castle II Korean BBQ AYCE

they say that if you ever visit los angeles, you shouldn't miss stopping by at any korean bbq all you can eat resto. not only is it cheap but the quality and variety of meat is impressive. the resto we picked didn't have a very decent sign from outside. a very loud music was also booming from outside that will make anyone deaf. i guess it's the restaurant's way to advertise itself through loud and distracting music. we waited around fifteen minutes before we got a table considering it was lunch time on a work day. we chose set c which had 16 options of meat, the most options of meat they had for $15.99. the bad thing i didn't like about this place is customers are limited to 4 meats per order. we probably ordered almost all in their menu except for three items. 

1. Beef Brisket 
2. Sliced Pork 
3. Chicken with marinate
4. Pork Chop with marinate
5. Sliced Beef with marinate
6. Squid with marinate 
7. Beef Intestine 
8. Sliced Beef 
9. Pork Steak 
10. Spicy Sliced Pork 
11. Beef Tongue 
12. Skewer Fresh Steak 
13. Boneless Ribs 
14. LA Short Ribs 
15. Shrimp with marinate
16. Boneless Ribs with marinate

the beef brisket was like bacon. i like it the most maybe because it was so easy to eat. i enjoyed the squid and shrimp too. the sliced pork, boneless ribs and steak were good too. after our last order, i felt i had too much already that it was difficult for me to finish the food even though i barely touched my rice.

Castle II Korean BBQ
3600 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010

Verdict: 4/5 (-1 for limiting customers to order 4 meats per batch) 


our generous manager treated us for lunch at this expensive greek restaurant. it was a thanksgiving event. the ambiance of the place is nice too, the ceiling was high, the decor was elegant, and the place is spacious to accommodate big parties. i was observing vegetarian diet that time so i had their vegetable moussaka, "a casserole of eggplant, potato, zucchini, onion, red pepper, and tomato sauce". it was delicious! we ordered a couple of items from their dessert menu. we got bougatsa "phyllo wrapped semolina custard, caramel with vanilla gelato", sokolatina "rich chocolate cake with raspberry sauce and cream", and baklava "flakey layers of phyllo with mixed nuts, honey, and yogurt sauce". they were so tasty i wanted more. 

3090 Olsen Drive
San Jose, CA 95128
(408) 260-1444

Verdict: 5/5

Mountain Mike's Pizza

out of the blue, i finally tried mountain mike's lunch pizza and salad buffet for $6.99 which is offered everyday from 11AM to 2PM. this is conveniently located to almaden cinelux which offers $5.50 for all movies before 5PM. i got in the restaurant by 11:20AM and no pizzas were served yet. their salad bar has a considerable variety of options: greens, croutons, cheese, fruit slices, macaroni salad, potato salad, and waldorf salad. it took sometime for them to serve the pizza but when they came, the number of different pizzas didn't disappoint. they served eight of their twelve pizzas in their menu. seven out of eight pizzas were with meat and the 8th was cheese pizza. i made a mistake taking one slice from each flavor in my first batch since they were too much for me. the pizzas were bland too. they lacked salt and flavor. the other pizza buffet i tried was cici's and it was better. the flavor doesn't even come close to pizza hut, pizza my heart, papa john's, and round table.

Mountain Mike's Pizza
2306 Almaden Rd
San Jose CA 95125

Verdict: 1/5 (flavors were bland.)


we ordered their fried oysters for appetizers considering that we went there for dinner. it was good. the sauce complemented with the fried oysters. given the restaurant's name, we stayed away from ordering steamed crabs or shrimps. we ordered one pound of steamed crawfish in cajun garlic sauce. the waiter asked us how hot we wanted it: mild, hot, or fire. we made a mistake in picking hot since it was burning our tongues. i only managed to eat around 4 pieces of crawfish since it was too much and getting the meat from the crawfish is such a challenge. this is probably we noticed many customers there were having shrimps. they're easier to descale. as for the cajun sauce, it was good but i like the take from boiling crab better. in addition to the crawfish, we requested corn and sausage. i wanted more of the sausage. it was probably just around two inches long! the portion was so little.

This is my first encounter with the crawfish, are they really this small? Had I known that they were going to be tiny, I would have opted for shrimps or prawns instead, less hassle and more meat. Anyways, it was an experience trying to wrestle with this crustacean. Good thing there were fried oysters to keep my hunger at bay, I would definitely order them again if I make the same mistake of revisiting this restaurant. One good thing they have going for them though is the sauce, which was truly HOT in every sense of the word, I was crying buckets when I took a spoonful to taste it, I haven't been overwhelmed by hot sauce before this.

Crawdaddy at San Jose
779 Story Rd
San Jose, CA 95122


S: 4.5/5 (-0.5 for the small portion of sausage)

N: 3/5 with enough cooking skills and acess to fresh seafood, I could make this at home. I'm not impressed by the tiny crawfish, why would you eat these cute little things?

Smoking Pig BBQ

in search for a bbq and ribs place, we found this place. it has a decent amount of parking space but it was full when we came. the good thing is it has more parking space in the adjoining lot. as appetizers, we tried their "wolf turds - this jalapeno is stuffed with cheese and smoked sausage, wrapped in bacon and smoked for two hours". i enjoyed this appetizer! we paired this with their three sauces: hot, sweet, and the one with mustard. be careful with their hot sauce, it will burn your tongue. i like the mustard and sweet sauces. for our entrees, we ordered their one meat meal half rack ribs, which came with 6 big pieces of ribs, and another one meat meal of one pound of fat beef brisket. the half rack was too much for us. we were only able to taste one rib each. it wasn't that easy to take out the meat from the bone. maybe their ribs are meant to be eaten by hands. the taste was just alright. we both love the beef brisket. it was so tender and the taste was awesome. i could even eat it without dipping it in their sauces. all meals include one side dish and cornbread. my friend chose coleslaw while i wanted baked potato instead of mashed potato. the baked potato they have was called potato grenade which unusually had mac & cheese inside and the potato was wrapped with bacon. we didn't enjoy the potato grenade. the mac & cheese didn't impress my asian taste buds. the bacon wasn't able to save the baked potato too. i prefer a plain baked potato with cheese or butter over this.

bbq and meat-lovers must try this place especially their beef brisket.

Smoking Pig BBQ Company
1144 N 4th St
San Jose, CA 95112

Verdict: 4/5 (-1 for their ribs and potato grenade)


family and friends close to me would know how much of a pizza lover i am! patxi's (pronounce pa-cheese) is my favorite pizza restaurant in south bay. i've tried its two branches in san jose and palo alto. both produced the same quality of taste. in terms of ambiance, i prefer san jose's branch for its cozy size but for bigger parties, palo alto can accommodate more guests. we ordered two 10-inch (the smallest size) chicago deep dish: greek and special. greek comes with "marinated artichoke hearts, aged feta, red bell pepper, sliced green olives" and special comes with "garlic-fennel sausage, fresh sliced mushrooms, green peppers, yellow onions". i like the greek deep dish over the special deep dish since i like the taste of the sour artichoke hearts. for those who are not into sour food, they might not like the greek deep dish. we were unanimously a little bit disappointed that the sausage in the special deep dish is ground that i cannot identify the sausage in the pizza however, the taste was still good.

Patxi's San Jose
Crescent Village
3350 Zanker Rd.
San Jose, CA 95134

Patxi's Palo Alto
441 Emerson St.
Palo Alto, CA 94301

Verdict: 4.5/5 (-0.5 for the ground sausage in special chicago deep dish)

Bill's Cafe at Willow Glen

the long line outside this restaurant has always made me curious to try this place. it has great reviews too so me and my friend ventured out to have a very early breakfast at this cafe. its menu has a wide selection of american breakfast items. i chose the fresh lox and bagel which came with eggs and pancake for additional cost. it also came with some veggies, not so salty capers and cream cheese. i enjoyed the lox and bagel but was only able to finish half of the bagel since i had the pancake for dessert. my friend ordered bill's steak and eggs. the steak wasn't that remarkable to me but it was tender and juicy.

Bill's Cafe
1115 Willow St, San Jose CA

Verdict: 4/5 (-1 for the steak)