At the Shop House

Shop House Kitchen
Where the hell is the Sriracha?

Have you been to Shop House yet? Have you even heard of it? Well, if you’re a fan of Chipotle (i.e. all of the human race), then you’re going to pee. The founder(s) of our favorite environmentally conscious burrito chain have taken their world-dominating dining formula to Southeast Asia. That’s right, Shop House is Chipotle gone stir fry. And when I say Southeast Asia, I mean these people WENT to Southeast Asia, lived there, studied the cuisine, and brought it back to make this restaurant. It totally shows. Stand in the all-too-familiar assembly line and choose every layer of your bowl, from the variety of rice or noodles, to the selection of locally produced meat, to the expertly cooked veggies, to the one of two delicious curry sauces. There are endless combinations, but I usually stick to the salad bowl (made with shredded cabbage) with tofu, broccoli, green beans, green curry, papaya slaw, cilantro, peanuts, and garlic. I’m not gonna lie, it’s kind of the best thing ever. If you’re not a vegetarian you should definitely try the pork and lamb meatballs – phenomenal. And what makes it five stars for me is that it’s more than starving artist friendly. If I get my tofu bowl with just one veggie and bring my own water bottle, I get a hot, spicy, satisfying meal for less than $8. For that price I could do it three times a week and keep it way healthy (aside from the tremendously high salt content).

I frequent the Sunset/Vine location, which is generally pretty quiet, so it’s nice for a date or to treat yourself out to a good meal and some reading/blogging/crying time. I’m also fairly certain this location is a cruising spot since the percentage of clientele that are alarmingly gorgeous lingering gay men seems exceptionally high… but that’s probably not a bad thing… The staff and service are beyond friendly, like, “omg we’re a new restaurant and we REALLY want you to LOVE us so we all snorted uppers” kind of friendly. It’s only mildly unsettling and let’s be honest, I love people who will entertain my banter (see photo above).

In short, Shop House has definitely become my new addiction and with friendly staff, low prices, and seriously good food, I have no doubt it will soon be yours. Next time you think Chipotle, make it Shop House – you won’t be sorry.

Shop House – Southeast Asian Kitchen
6333 Sunset Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
www.shophousekitchen.com

Click HERE to read my review on YELP.

No-More-Flaming Stir Fry

No More Flaming Stir FrySo you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been putting up a lot of recipe posts these days. And you’re probably getting sick of hearing about weight loss and bootcamp and self-discovery and health trends and blah blah – where’s the FOOD? The truth is that being in such a goal-focused state, I’m eating a lot of the same things on a daily basis. You’ve read about my juice, you’ve seen my purple smoothie, and you’ve hopefully by now tried my curried roasted veggie and coconut soup. For me, routine is a way of keeping me on track: I find good things that I love to eat and I stick with them. It works for me. Once I reach my goals and summer arrives, no doubt things here at the starving artist will shift. But for now, we’re sticking with good clean eats.

Today, finally, I have a new recipe for you. This stir fry was inspired my new quest to fight inflammation. You heard me mention this yesterday, but some of you may be wondering what the hell I’m talking about. Chronic inflammation is a condition that has been identified as the root of many serious medical problems including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. It is also directly linked to smaller ailments like, oh I don’t know, POOR DIGESTION, asthma, and can even be the source of persistant sinus infections – all of which I suffer from. What causes inflammation? Poor diet. GASP!! Shocking? No. Specifically: wheat, gluten, dairy products, meat, white sugar, processed/packaged/prepared foods, and alcohol to name a few. It’s serious business, kids.

Click the link below for the recipe:

No More Flaming Stir Fry (Recipe PDF)

And here are the main things to notice:

  • Soy Sauce Replacement. We all love putting soy sauce in stir fry. I have a gallon jug of Kikkoman in my fridge. But guess what? Soy sauce is not gluten free. It’s true! Look at the bottle. There are gluten free and raw brands you can find at Whole Foods, but personally I love Bragg’s Liquid Aminos – it’s pure, packed with protein, not fermented, not heated, gluten free, alcohol free, and preservative free. Give it a try. You’ll love it.
  • Turmeric. Did you know turmeric is a superfood? Neither did I, until I started researching and came across this fantastic article. A member of the ginger family, not only is turmeric widely known for its anti-inflammatory properties, it is now being discovered that its chief active nutrient, curcumin, can actually fight cancer, not to mention dozens of everyday ailments. The point: use it!!
  • Brown Rice. I know many people are not fans of brown rice, but that’s usually because they are not buying the right kind, nor are they cooking it properly. Go for short grain brown rice (find it in bulk at Whole Foods) and bake it, don’t cook it on the stovetop. For more detail and the recipe, check out this blog post of mine. Brown rice is gluten free and definitely on the anti-inflammatory list. Just be sure to use modest quantities. Notice there is just a sprinkling in the picture.
  • Coconut Oil. I’ve been looking for an excuse to buy this at Trader Joe’s for a while now. Not only does it have great flavor, it is heart-healthy and has many health benefits. You should avoid vegetable oil at all costs and stick to cold pressed extra virgin olive oil or other organic unrefined nut oils like coconut, walnut, and even avocado (though they are all really expensive).  TJ’s has very affordable cold pressed olive oil.
  • Garlic, ginger, shitake mushrooms, broccoli, onion, Sriracha (chili peppers). All are super anti-inflammatory foods! Yes!
  • Eggs are yummy, but beware you should only eat them 2 times per week, lest they could become a source of inflammation. Pay attention to your body and how you feel when you eat them. I really wanted egg in my stir fry, so that’s what happened. :-)

Hope you enjoy as much as I do. What do you think about all this anti-flammatory talk? Share your thoughts. And let me know how you like the recipe!!

Here are more resources to check out:

Seven Spices/Foods that Could Save Your Life
Anti-Inflammatory Pyramid and Diet
Know Your Cruciferous Vegetables!

Ginger Stir Fry

So I told you I had a plan for that leftover pork and brown rice. Well here it is. This is one of my favorite uses for short grain brown rice. I have actually converted a decent number of brown rice believers with this recipe. And really, all this is is a stir fry. You can use whatever vegetables and meat (or not) that floats your boat. What makes this a special recipe is that I grate in a lot of fresh ginger at the very end and let it permeate the entire stir fry. It’s so yummy and so good for you, just be mindful of how much oil you’re using. Also don’t forget that just because you’re eating brown rice doesn’t mean you should eat five servings of it. It’s still rice, it’s still carbs, and so it still counts.

This was a hard recipe to type up since there are a lot of steps, but basically you just want make sure everything gets the opportunity to cook through. If you don’t own a wok, then this recipe may not be for you. I got my wok as a christmas present years ago. Such a great gift. If you decide to purchase one, because it is NOT non-stick. You’ll have to season it, but it will be so worth it. Enjoy!

Ginger Stir Fry (Recipe PDF)