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Mariscos Los Compadres – Seafood (& Mexican Food) Delight in Dinuba, California 

Mariscos Los Compadres – Seafood (& Mexican Food) Delight in Dinuba, California 

Preface
Talk about a surprise. During a roadtrip to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, my family stayed in the city of Dinuba. We were originally going to eat at a place called Safari but jumped ship at the last minute to Mariscos across the street because we were intrigued by the sizable line outside.

So glad we did.  Until I looked at the menu:

  • First thought: fuuuuccck It’s all in Spanish
  • Second thought: Well, it must be legit. That and the fact that the venue is a de-wheeled food truck in a gated patio with picnic tables.
  • Third thought: FML why’d we do AP Chinese instead of Spanish Q.Q

Luckily there are various applications out there than can provide translation of text in a picture but a lady in line helped us out with figuring out what stuff was.

Ordering was not a problem as the lady at the window was fluent in English, in case you were wondering.
The Food & The Commentary

  • Tostada Ceviche Pescado ($4.00) – Fish Ceviche with a packet of Los Pericos Toastadas. Fucking declicious. I could have eaten the toastadas all day by themselves but the choice itself was also fantastic. The fish pieces were a little too small for my liking as hey weren’t substantial enough to really sink your teeth into but the texture was great. also perfect salinity and acidity.  I totally would have sprung for another order of the version with both fish and shrimp if I still had room at the end.

Ceviche de Pescado (Fish) after I inhaled some and remembered to take a picture.

The tostadas. Yummy 

  • Torta Asada ($5.20)  – pretty good. Bread was very nice, fluffy but had substance once you mash It in your mouth.  The little chnks of meat were just chewy enough to have some texture to be fun, but yielded easily with a few firms chews. I’ve got no complaints and would highly recommend. easily sharable between two people for a lunch or heavier snack. would make a very filling meal for one person
  • Wet Burrito w/ Beef Tongue ($7.50) – rice was great, beans were pretty darn good. beef tongue was okay,. could have had more of the beefy flavor that usually smacks you over the head, which is one of the primary reasons I love tongue souch. Could have done with a little more acid, perfect salinity though.
  • Ostiones Estill ($28) – raw oysters on the half shell. We opted to get it “fully loaded” (as explained by the girl taking our order) with fish and shrimp ceviche. Fuck, that shrimp was so excellent. Great taste and fantastic texture, and I normally don’t even like shrimp in the States! Luckily they were pretty generous with it. We got it for the oysters, enjoyed the shit out of it due to the shrimp. Not that the oysters weren’t good. They were. a little on the smaller side like Kumamoto’s in size despite the expected size belied by the shell. Succulent, fatty, lightly sweet, completely clean. I happily slurped up the remaining “soup”. Luckily you can just get a serving of shrimp ceviche if you don’t want to spend so much but this is really worth a try. This was a total splurge but we had had two days of cup ramen and hot dogs leading up to it…

Money shot. The oyster is buried somewhere under that shrimp and fish ceviche.

Look at this glorious mess. Look at those beautiful limes.

General Notes

One order of ostiones estilo, two orders of ceviche pescado toastada, one asada tortas and two orders of wet burrito with beef tongue fed a famished family of 4 (that had eaten breakfast at 6AM and skipped lunch) with half a burrito and 10 toastadas to spare (we had two orders of ceviche, but only ate one tostada packet leaving the other one).

The accompanying limes were excellent and aesthetically pleasing to boot.

Flavor here is pretty balanced between being tasty and tolerable for “light eaters” (that is you cook using only a fraction of the recommended salt and seasoning and get used to a blander palate). Nothing was “too much” for us and that’s why I keep mentioning salt, because that was really important. Additionally, the leftover ceviche “soup” at the bottom of the container after we had consumed all the solid contents was a delight to drink. Not too sour, salty, spicy or anything.  Keep in mind, my family tends to eat much lighter, on the heavily reduced sodium side. Because we TRY to be healthy.

If you choose to eat there instead of doing take out there is a nice selection of hot sauces though two of them have…. questionable coloring

Marcos Los Compadres uses sweet purple onions. the kind that don’t sting and linger forever in your mouth afterwards like regular onions.

Sodas and drinks were $2 each whether you opted for regular coke, Mexican coke in the glass bottle, Jarritos, Raspberry Ice Tea, etc

Street parking is easy, and right in front of the white gate and fence that surround the eatery and the picnic tables.

Menu is in Spanish, but ordering can be done English

Cash only

Oyster (minus shrimps) in foreground. Ceviche de Pescado in background


Miscellaneous Closing Thoughts 

The meal overall felt very light, like it was supposed to be healthy, despite the fact that we stuffed outselves

A dozen fresh oysters at Safari would have only been 15.99 but the extra $$ for the shrimp and ceviche that topped the ostiones estilo was well worth it.

I never would have expected to find such good seafood so far inland in a small town.

Definitely give this place a try
and have Google translate at the ready.

And damn, that Lime Jarritos was good.

Here’s a shitty shot of the menu.

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2017 in Eats Reviews, Mexican

 

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Wanna Know How To Improve Your Tuna Salad?

So my sister made some tuna salad dinner. Here’s the conversation that went down at the dinner table:

Sis: How is it how is it howizzit?
Me: Pretty good, but needs some more acid.
Sis: Here, I’ll throw up what I already ate.
Me: Are you saying that your cooking is literally so bad that even vomit would make it taste better?

 

It doesn’t help that tuna salad is already a kinda chunky-looking, nondescript, beige mush. I was thinking lemon juice when I said add some acid but her mind jumped straight to stomach acid.  I think someone was AP Bio-ing too hard.

But really, if what you make tastes like it’s missing a little something-something try a tiny amount of an acidic component, or throw some more salt in there.

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2017 in Short Humor

 

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First Try at “Sushi” From Scratch: Notes for the Future

Disclaimer: I have previously taken one sushi making class, but this is my first time attempting it at home from scratch. The most important takeaway (more like the only one I remember, lol) from that class was “keep your hands moist so the stupid rice doesn’t stick!”

This set “only” took a small blood sacrifice and 2.5 hours of my time to make from start (washing the rice) to this… attempt at plating. >_> Don’t give me shit about the tray. Let’s just call it traditional? Because vermillion is a traditional Japanese color. Do I at least get a point for making it semi presentable?

  • Back Row: Gunkanmaki with (fail) salmon roses  on top of a bed of to tobiko (flying fish roe) and slivers of green onion for garnish
  • 3rd Row: Makizushi with salmon and tobiko
  • 2nd Row: Gunkanmaki with battered, pan-fried spam, toasted white sesame seeds,  tobiko and green onions again; + slice of the salmon maki roll that wouldn’t fit in the 3rd Row
  • 1st Row: Pigs in a blanket.  (Egg fried spam + green onion + a finger of rice. spam IS mostly pork, AKA pig)
  • Right: Salted, seared beef tongue makizushi with, guess what!!!!! Green onions and toasted white sesame  seeds

The takeaway? I like green onion and it grows very well in my backyard so I spam it  in my “cooking”. :3 I was trying to keep things simple by reusing only a limited number of ingredients. The most expensive thing in here is not the salmon, but the flippin beef tongue. The presliced stuff rivals gold, price per once (not really). However my sister looooves that stuff, tongue not gold, and this was for her birthday dinner since we were too busy to go out. Plus I’m really fond of it too.

My first roll (as represented by that lone slice piece  in row 2 was waaaay off in terms of rice ratio seeing as the filling wasn’t centered. However, I mostly got it down and was decently pleased with myself by the last roll (see the left beef tongue cross slice). I do not have a mat and this set was made without one so it is definitely possible to make sushi without it. From what I learned it’s mostly just for final shaping before plating.

The tub of tobiko required a blood sacrifice to open. Watch those nasty, sharp plastic edges 😛

Rice and Seaweed
Obviously, I bought the seaweed sheets. Did not make them from scratch.

I used this recipe for cooking the sushi rice and making the sushi, going with the version that uses 4 tbsp of rice vinegar, 1 tsp of salt and 2 tbsp of sugar. I nuked the solution twice in 15 second intervals to get everything dissolved before drenching the rice.

The above pictured spread is the results of  2 cups of sushi rice and 8 sheets of seaweed (which turned out to be way excessive). The birthday girl and my dad “helped” me fit it all of it onto the platter you see by “disposing” of several pieces .

Update: Round 2

I made more sushi, again, the day after and changed the components ratio of the sushi vinegar a bit and found that I preferred the taste of the resulting sushi rice. For 4 tbsp of rice vinegar I added  1 tbsp + 1 tsp of sugar, 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of fish sauce (the three crabs brand).

2 cups of rice is juuuust enough to go with 6 sheets of seaweed and make 7 rolls. I trimmed 1.5 inches off each of the seaweed sheets (8 x 7.5 inches) off the longest side then overlapped and “glued” the trims back together with a carpet of rice for the last, 7th roll

This is not quite enough to feed a family of four so I will need to cook three cups of rice next time and slap it all on top of 9 sheets of seaweed.

**Another Round: My Favorite Variation

2. 5 Tbsp sugar 

0.5 Tbsp Fish Sauce (Three Crabs Brand) 

0.5 Tsp salt

2 Fl Oz Rice Vinegar (Marukan)  

This variation is a little sweeter and pairs well with briny or salty,  rich things. Not so great with just cucumber maki or tamago yaki though. Rice probably needs another half tsp of salt for those items. 

I doubled the sushi vinegar for double rice (4 cups). Feeds 6 with plenty to spare. 

Things to Try

Shinode Sushi Rice

Tamanishiki Super Premium Short Grain Rice

Heng Shun white rice vinegar

More play with the sugar amount

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Exotics, How to Food

 

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USC’s 2017 Commencement – Speeches of Note

That moment when everyone is hyped for Will Ferrell at graduation but freaking Helen Mirren makes an appearance to also receive an honorary degree.

The (unemployed) valedictorian’s speech was also amusing and managed to make the professional comedian uncomfortable. (00:59:00)

Right afterward are when the 6 honorary doctoral degrees are awarded! Helen Mirren is at 1:20:00

 

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2017 in Current Events, Short Humor

 

GPA & Getting A Student Driving License

A bit of background, let’s just say that in the place where I grew up, the high schools have a *bit* of a culture of over achievement. This is pretty much how the attitude you get regarding the number of Advance Placement Classes/Tests you’ve completed or plan to have completed upon graduation:

  • 4 AP Classes: You mean you’re taking that many this year, right?
    • Unless you’re a sophomore. Then you’re on the right track but might want to pick up the pace a little more. (This is assuming 1 was taken during freshman year as a trial, and 3 during sophomore year. You should be good if you take at least 4-5 AP’s during junior and senior year, each.)
  • 6 AP classes: Do you want to go to community college and work at McDonald’s for the rest of your life?!
  • 8 AP classes: Slacker.
  • 10: AP classes: Average
  • 12 AP classes: Not Bad. Your prospects look promising
  • 15 AP Classes : Hey! you probably have a good shot at getting into your top choice school.
  • 16 + AP Tests Taken (Classes + Self Study): You are God.

Yeah. By “a bit” I mean that it’s a bit extreme. It’s like an arms race (to get into a good college/university). But when you’re immersed in the culture it feels normal until you come into contact with students from other school districts in university.

Anyhow. this was all going somewhere. Just about every kid has an above 4.0 GPA. How is that possible? Well, the normal GPA scale is on a 4.0 but attaining an “A” grade will calculate into the weighted GPA as a 5.0

  • For example: I get an A in a regular class and an A in n AP class, my weighted GPA is a 4.5

Anyhow, my sister was at the DMV getting her license  and this exchange went down:

DMV Lady: “Do you have a 3.0 GPA?”

“stunned silence from my sister

Sister: “Sorry, what?”

Lady: “A three-point. what is your GPA?”

Sister: “…. 4.3”

Later retelling the story to me: “My first through was ‘what the hell am I studying so hard for?’ and almost blurted that ‘If i had a 3.0 i wouldn’t be standing here. Alive.'”

Yeah Mom would’ve murdered us the second it dipped below 4.0 which… never would happen because she stalked/stalks our grade-books.

The hardcore helicopter parent culture is quite intense and we don’t even have the worst of it.

As my sister so colorfully described one classmate’s mom, “you can hear the blades whirring above his head as you get near him. Her presence is that strong even when she’s not physically there. If you tried to give him a hug, you’d feel the down draft… if you didn’t get sniped first.”

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2017 in Short Humor

 

Summer of Squirrel: Preview of Things to Come

I start grad school in midjune June so I’m keeping my laundry list for this blog unambitious, but realistic.

  1. Overview of the Chikuhodo Z Series. Remember the Takumi monster? Get ready for another,  bigger one because there are more brushes in the Z- Series. 
  2. Comparison of the MK-1, MK-2, Z-9 and Z-1 Powder Brushes
  • Suqqu Cheek Brush Review (I’ve grown impatient of waiting for a Kyureido Cheek Brush to compare to so fuck it. Suqqu cheek gets its own review and doesn’t have to share the spotlight) 
  • Houkodou GS-1 Large Eye Shadow Brush Review (been a long time coming)
  • Surratt Smoky Eye Brush Moyenne Review (one more eye brush for balance)

**Not necessarily in that order

The hope is that I get the majority of these drafted, and photographed during the couple of weeks I have inbetween the end of my senior spring semester and the start of the next 2 years of hell the next step in my life.  I’m forcing myself to post it publicly so i feel obligated to complete them as promised. =D The numbered ones are “for sure” and the bulleted ones are tenative.

I may get tired of squirrel in the middle of all that and finally finish what I have to say about the 4 shapes of koyomo brushes available in ototsuho hair (face, cheek, round eye, and flat eye shadow brush). If you would like to see that overview sooner, send me a hint.  I’m also thinking of finally reviewing the Wayne Goss Air Brush and Chikuhodo RC-2 / RRC-2  Let me know. if you rather see one of these substituted for one of the bulleted options. 

 

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2017 in Current Events

 

Afters Ice Cream (Irvine, Diamond Plaza on Jamboree & Alton) – Review & Thoughts on the Flavors

Like with all restaurant and eating extrablishment posts, I’ll be updating this periodically as things change and as I try new flavors to give my thoughts on them. 

The Store

The first thing I noticed is that their ice cream is very…. vividly coloed. Florid almost. They don’t even attempt to hide the fact that colorant is poured in with a liberal hand. 

There are two display cases but only one is in operation. The staff behind the counter wait on each group one by one because of the way the queue works.  even if you go in knowing what you want, you still have to wait in a line behind the unbearable people who DON’T know what they want and are asking for samples of aaaallll the interesting things. *waves sheeishly* It takes a very, very long time basically. 

The three people behind the counter could only handle so much. My peeve is that the other half of the store ()along with the other ice cream case was not being used except as standing space for people who had already gotten their treats. 

I like to consider myself a patient person, but the inefficiency here was ridiculous. they should have had one case open for taking orders and the other open for sampling and backup service. It’s also all sound reflective surfaces in there so it gets unbearably loud very quickly. That probably contributed a bunch to my crankinesss.

Also of note: either the owner of the place is young or the management in general is very young, or the owners have kids that have some role in the store. There were several small flocks of 2-3 people my age going in between the front and back of the store. (Behind and in front of service counter)

The Edibles

The Milky Bun – basically just a glazed doughnut without a hole. I got a milky bun with two flavors, AKA “split” which was an extra 50 cents (so 0.50 on top of $6.00). Skip it and go for the two scoop option ($6.00) in a cone (0.50) which ends up costing the same. Maybe I’m not a fan of it because I’m just not a doughnut person in general. I’ll eat them and I enjoy them, but I won’t go out for my way to obtain one, and I certain atelier don’t crave them. To their credit it is served warm and the toasty temperature of the nread serves as a nice foil to the cool ice cream. 

Cookie Monster: This is a pretty solid choice if you’ve got a serious sweet tooth. A little on the too sweet, and thus cloying side but the ice cream is loaded with sizable, satisfying chunks of cookie pieces that are fun to munch on. 

Mint Monster: good but nothing special . maybe the too bright green color was putting me off along with the fact that it was too saccharine

Vietnamese Coffee -holy shit did they nail this flavor right on the head. it even has that slightest lick of bitterness in the finish like the espresso used as the coffee base and there’s the rich taste of condensed milk in there. if you like coffee, if you like Vietnamese coffee, you gotta try this. 

Jasmine Tea – Another pretty good flavor. tastes like the base flavoring agent was actually brewed from tea. There’s a whisper of grassy tea dust and a whopping amount of Jasmine, but it’s not so strong that it’s bitter or whomps your taste buds into submission and clogs up your nose like some places over dose on the Jasmine component of the flavoring. 

Thai Tea – Good. But the Thai tea flavor is pretty standard. Creamistry does it good too, and I like their texture better. 

In general, the center cream here has a very slick but thick mouthfeel like they’re relying on emulsifiers quite heavy for the creamy texture). It’s not rock hard hard but not whipped and soft either thank good ness.  Sadly, it does not have that slightly chewy texture I like.  

Verdict

This place is pretty expensive for what it is with no novelty factor to at least make up for the cost and long wait. 

There’s another place in the same plaza across from the Kicking Crab that has an amazing Earl Grey Ice Cream. I think I’ll be continuing to go there for my after dinner sugar fix instead. Less of a wait and less gimmicky. I might pop in once in a while for that Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream if I don’t see much of a wait, though.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2017 in On the Fence

 

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