Friday, December 2, 2016

Odds and Ends

We Hardly Knew Ye!
The old Anza Inn, on 190th, Torrance, was the dive-iest bar we've been in since Sonny Barger's Palm Springs biker's bar.  (Sadly torn down for a parking lot!  Infamy!)

Passing it (and Jon's Supermarket and the 99 Cents Store) we have noted changes.  The exterior was painted anew and it was now called the Sports Harbour Bar and Grill.  Having been disappointed in our quest for packing supplies and bubble wrap at the 99 Cents store, (Ta, 50 year old china) Richie decided that we needed a spiritual uplift and walked me in to the old Anza Inn.

Where I stopped dead in my tracks.   Heavy wooden tables and benches in the middle of the room, a big picture window where the various (bad) bands used to wail and an now-elegant looking bar, again all light wood.  The ladies room was new - the hole someone had previously kicked in the hollow-core door was gone.  As was the door itself.  The new one is heavyweight with glossy white paint.

We studied the menu and vowed to come back some time closer to lunch or dinner.  The old Anza's only food offering was a window in the wall to the tiny Chinese restaurant immediately next door.  We never ate a bite there, but the new menu for the "new" bar looks promising.

Heading South for the Winter
Akbar, at the corner of Prospect and Aviation has for a long time been an Indian restaurant.  Years ago, we dined there with Bob and Pat and their son Surfer Dave.  And then we noticed that Akbar was now Kochi.  Richard Foss, the very talented resto critic, gave it good marks, I looked up the menu and last night we went for dinner there.

It's a nice room, tastefully balancing dark wood, cream colored walls and black or maroon chairs.  Each banquette seat has a pair of flattish pillows up against the back of the seat.

We started with a Stella for him ($6) and a glass of pinot Grigio for me ($7)  With our drinks we had an order of Chilli Bhaji - whole jalapenos, wrapped in a chick pea flour coat and deep fried.  Three sauces accompanied it - mint, coconut and orange and a vegetable chutney.  Jalapenos all deliver different levels of heat and these weren't that hot. ($5.95 and we have three left for tonight.)

Richie ordered and ate all of his tandoori half chicken ($11.95) but my shrimp biriyani nearly killed me. ($13.95)  The shrimp really were HOT!  Damned hot!  I ate three or four of them, swigged water like I'd been out in the desert, but to no avail.  We brought home the rest which is about a pound.  It was a huge serving!  On the way out, I asked if it had been a family-sized portion (like Asian food) and it was.  We also noticed a small buffet near the door and there were 12 - 14 people serving themselves from it.  Next time ... if and when we get the shrimp biriyani gone.

BTW, Kochi is still owned by the Akbar people - they just moved the cuisine from Northern India to Southern.

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