Tomato Basil Spaghettini with Goat Cheese, Lemon Pepper Garlic Shrimp and Mushroom with 5 Cheese Bread Crisp


it's pasta night! #pasta #pastanight #homemade

This would be the very first time I would be sharing a recipe ever. I apologize in advance if some of the proportions are not exact. I wasn’t sure either when I was making them. I guess, that’s where the fun lies…in experimentation and the eating of course. I hope you like it🙂

5 Cheese Bread Crisp

1 pack Kraft Mexican Four Cheese with a Touch of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 pack shredded Parmesan Cheese
Lite and Low Fat mayo of your choice
Thinly sliced French Bread

Mix the cheeses with the mayo. Spread over sliced French Bread. Toast in oven at 350 for 15 mins.

Lemon Pepper Garlic Shrimp and Mushroom

Shrimp, peeled and de-veined
Sliced Baby Bella mushrooms, washed and dried
olive oil
Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper Seasoning

cook in oven at 350 until done

Tomato Basil Spaghettini with Goat Cheese

2 28 oz cans Contadina Crushed Tomatoes
1 pack of Basil, chiffonade leaves
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
4 tablespoons minced garlic
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
red pepper flakes, according to taste
sugar according to taste
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound Spaghettini, cooked according to package directions
crumbled goat cheese
parmesan cheese

1. Boil water and cook pasta according to package instructions. Don’t forget to put salt in the water.
2. In a large saute pan, heat up the olive oil. Add onion and garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add basil, thyme and red pepper flakes.
3. When the garlic starts turning golden brown, add the crushed tomatoes and sugar. Stir. Lower the heat and cook until the mixture is almost dry.
4. Arrange pasta in a bowl, spoon sauce over pasta. Top with crumbled goat cheese and parmesan cheese. Serve with the Shrimp and Mushroom on top or on the side. Don’t forget the 5 Cheese Bread Crisp.

dinner's ready!!! #dinner #pasta #pastanight

Chef Allen Buhay @ Test Kitchen LA’s “5 under 25”


I have to warn you that I only had my point and shoot camera during dinner so my pictures are totally subpar. I apologize for the quality. I really want to do this post so please bear with me.

This twitter post from Manila Machine co-owner Marvin a.k.a. Burnt Lumpia caught my eye and I kept it in my mind to check out how the reservation situation is later that day. When I called for reservations, I was informed that I got the last table that night. Boy, talk about lucky, right?

And I truly feel lucky for having met this particular chef and tasted his food. I have to say that since this is a group service I feel that I have to comment on the other dishes as well. So here it is.

bar menu

5 under 25 menu

The appetizer consists of 5 amuse’s, one from each chef. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the apps. All of them were good. Faves were Jon Butler’s oyster shot which was fresh, clean and just simply good and Allen’s tuna tartare over deep fried tapioca chip that reminded me of “kropek”. Kro-what? In simple english, it’s deep fried prawn cracker/chip. Reminded me of afternoons spent playing with friends and buying “kropek” at the neighborhood “sari-sari” (neighborhood mini-grocery) store for afternoon snack washed down with “Pop-cola” in plastic bags with straw. So, tuna tartare is good in my book as long as it’s fresh but paired with that deep fried tapioca chip? I call it a winning combo together with the oyster.

Atlantic Diver Scallop (Jon Butler)

First course was Atlantic Diver Scallop with Singapore curry, compressed asian pear, coconut parsnip puree with basil oil. Scallop was perfect, expecting more from the curry but overall good for me.

Warm Hamachi (Phillip Lee)

Next was Warm Hamachi with sweetbreads and grapefruit. I tasted the different components of this dish separately and together and this is one of those dishes where it tasted good separate and combined. For me, at least. The white sauce at the bottom tasted exactly like Pringles Sour Cream and Onion. And the rest of the table agreed on this. It was yummy. The bed of spinach by itself tasted like “laing“. If you’re Filipino you know what I’m talking about and if not click on it and find out. Hamachi and sweetbread is a no brainer for me. Love all that good stuff. Now, when you get the hamachi, sweetbread, spinach with sauce all in one bite, it is nothing like sour cream and onion or “laing”. It’s something totally different and totally good.

Spicy Chicken Wing (Kirstyn Brewer)

Third course was the Spicy Chicken Wing with coconut basil cream. Love the spice on the chicken which came in two pieces. One with bone and another boneless. Chicken was super tender which I like and spice level is just enough for me. The coconut basil cream is a nice counter balance to the spice of the chicken but I would’ve eaten that chicken by itself.

Pork Belly (Allen Buhay)

And for the final course we had the Pork Belly with pickled papaya and creamy coconut risotto. It looked pretty and as soon as the aroma hit me as the server placed the dish in front of me it smelled all Filipino. Where will I even start with this dish? Filipino dishes are usually paired with rice and in this dish it was given a twist by preparing the rice risotto style with coconut. The coconut milk is rich and creamy which balances the sourness of the “atchara” or pickled papaya. The pork belly reminded me of pata tim but pork belly version. A lovely surprise that was added to the pork belly was the addition of crushed crispy pork skin. It does not taste like your usual “chicharon” to me but more like lechon skin that has been pounded and crushed. It was tender and so tasty without being oily. It was in essence a home cooked meal packaged like a Tiffany box. All I can say is I love this dish. I am just saying. I still dream about it…

Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte Mouse (Troy Sazzman)

So…we have to move on to dessert which was Schwarzwalder Kirschorten (could be a typo for Kirschtorte) Mousse with baumkuchen and schatten morrelen. The only explanation given was that the cake has 50 layers in it. That explains the baumkuchen. Mousse – we all know what that means. From what can be translated I think it is safe to say that it was a black forest cake with cherry gateau and dark(or was it milk?) chocolate shadow fumble mouse. Uh-huh! It was for me a delicious, elegant black forest cake. Perfect ending to a very delicious meal.

After photo ops with Chef Allen Buhay, he invited us to the kitchen to watch them do service. I have to say, I am loving the energy. It was very inspiring. Check out the photos I took (that were marginally decent) behind the scenes … enjoy!

prepping entrees

hail to the pork!

the uber chef intensifying that pork skin with more pork skin

plating action

sauce-y goodness

plated and ready for window

one last look…

Chef Allen Buhay's Pork Belly

Thanks to Chef Allen Buhay for the wonderful food and hospitality. Looking forward to next time…

Hope you enjoyed,


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Test Kitchen LA

9575 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles 90035 || (310)277-0133

new food truck alert: Streets of Thailand


Another food truck just launched recently and I’m ecstatic to say I found them in the Valley. Say hello to Streets of Thailand

Streets of Thailand Food Truck

All of their entrees that day (11.17.2010) were $6 with free fried wontons. I have to say the food that you get is bigger than your average food truck entree.

specials you say?

Now it’s time to decide what to get for lunch…

ahhh... menu with pictures... sweet!

You got your food down, next what to drink and browse over the shelves for Thai specific items, Asian snacks, cookies/candies and lighter (?).


For the adventurous, one can try the nori seaweed flavored potato chips. I will try them next time.

nori seaweed flavored Thai Lay's potato chips

My kids love these panda filled cookies. And yan-yan sticks is so classic. Been munching on them since I was in elementary school.

Panda filled cookies

I just wanted to show how genius this cup-holder of sorts is. Truly perfect for street-side munching. I was told they were special ordered in Thailand. As B demonstrates in pic below, you can hold your Thai tea and box in one hand which frees up your other hand to dip wontons in its sauce. Love it!

genius "cup holder" - perfect for foodtrucking

Now let’s look at what we had for lunch…

fried wontons

The Thai Basil Beef over rice has chilies in it but the level of spiciness is mild.

Thai Basil Beef over Rice

The tacos are a nice alternative fusion style to the rice bowl. If the rice bowl is too much for you then the tacos are perfect. Priced at $1.50 each, it’s perfect.

Basil Beef Tacos

Chicken Pad Thai

Bacon dogs? Hmm…

Bacon Dogs

Decided to try out the meatballs and the family favorite is the fish.

meatballs - choice of Beef (dark round), Pork (lighter round) and Fish (square)

They have a a menu that you can take home to familiarize yourself with their food so that next time you come back you definitely know what to order.


Menu - front


Menu - inside



Menu – back

And that ends our foodtruck adventure in Streets of Thailand. Food was good, fast and affordable. Will definitely come back.


follow them on twitter –>

like them on facebook –>

better yet visit their website –>


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