Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"It's 11:45 (a.m.)"

"Shall we see if we're hungry again in two hours?" Richie just laughed.

Pick Up Stix, 705 Pier Avenue, 3A, Hermosa Beach 310-406-0689. The restaurant is located inside the Von's mini-mall, just west of PCH. But this is a chain - they're everywhere.

We were celebrating the Chinese New Year a day early. As we walked toward it, I told Richie, "Say gun hoy, fat choy (phonetic spelling) - that's how you say "Happy New Year." Good thing he forgot, the counter woman was Indian.

This is a Big Board restaurant - choices run from Starters, through Soups, Salads, the House Special (choices of chicken, beef, shrimp or vegetarian,) Noodle and Teriyaki Bowls, Asian wings, Fried Rice (two kinds) Wok Smart, Chow Mein or Yakisoba. Desserts: the mandatory fortune cookie, Apple Cinnamon Wraps or a Fudge Brownie.

Prices seem fair - $1.39 for a vegetarian egg roll. But: you can get it for a $1 if you add it in to your meal. Items at $8.99 are the most expensive on the menu.

We both had the garlic shrimp and a $1 egg roll. Water to drink. The plates were plastic, divided servers. The shrimp (I counted 10) came with sauteed broccoli, whole mushrooms and onion chunks. The egg roll had a sauce -- reminded me of apple sauce and didn't bring a whole lot to the dance. Hot mustard pepped it up considerably. The egg-fried rice had whole pea pods and tiny carrot strips. I dropped forkfuls of it in the leftover garlic sauce from the shrimp - good! Portions were good, not "generous" (translation: piles of food) and filled us up quite nicely. The tab (with tax) came to $15.34 for two.

For the record: at 20 minutes before 2 p.m. I went into the kitchen and cut myself a slab of Italian fruit cake. It couldn't have had any calories left; it was carbon-dated "Christmas - 2009."

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