Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Loo Hoo's Asian Comfort Food Has Me Under Its Spell

A few weeks ago I was invited to a food tasting hosted by Cindy Liu founder and chef of Loo Hoo's Asian Comfort Food. Is that the greatest name or what? When we met I was going to ask her if it was a nod to Cindy Loo Hoo from 'The Grinch Who Stole Christmas' but before I could say anything she put a delicious, icy cold Lychee martini in my hand and then I totally forgot what I was going to say. Then she put some hot, homemade dumplings in front of me and I even forgot more stuff. Then I woke up the next morning and I had a Loo Hoo tatoo on my hip. I'm just kidding about the tattoo part.

Cindy cooked up a fantastic feast for a group of us bloggers. First up were the dumplings -- she served up three different varieties: vegetable, pork and my favorite, kimchee. I love kimchee, and I love fried food, so putting them together in a neat little package is just pure genius. These are handmade dumplings made from recipes that Cindy created, and best of all she uses natural, farm raised meats that have been humanely raised with no growth hormones, antibiotics or animal by-product feeds. In other words, these are not from your grocer's freezer.

Next up Cindy brought out a couple of noodle dishes. One was a cold salad and the other was spicy Thai Red Curry noodles. Both of these were delicious and quickly devoured by everyone there. I don't know if you've seen a bunch of hungry bloggers at a food event, but it's kind of like watching the shark feeding at the aquarium. But a little more vicious.

For dessert Cindy served up something I've always wanted to try, Thai Mango Sticky Rice. This is rice that's been slightly overcooked and then mixed up with coconut milk and chunks of mango. I'm sure I just completely got that recipe wrong, but you get the idea. Either way, it was really tasty -- a very different melding of textures and flavors that kept me scooping up spoonful after spoonful even when I thought I was full. Once again, kind of like those sharks.

Cindy served all of these dishes with a Riesling, a wine that I usually find to be too much on the sweet side, but it went perfectly with all of these dishes. Yet another example of Cindy's voodoo! I told her that I want to go on a restaurant tour with her, because she's the best kind of foodie -- incredibly knowledgeable and accessible but not obnoxious about it. You know who I'm talking about. 

By now I'm sure you're drooling and smacking your lips, wondering where you can get your hands on some of Loo Hoo's Asian comfort food, and you're in luck -- Cindy cooks up her menu of amazingness at farmer's markets on Thursdays and Sundays:

THURS: Thousand Oaks Farmer's Market, at the Oaks Mall (1:30-6:30pm)
SUNDAY: College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Lot 8 (8am-noon)

Also, Cindy caters, and you can either pick from items on the menu or she will create a menu especially for you. Now that's what I call comfort food.

Thanks to Cindy for a great evening! I'm serious about hanging out. I promise not to force you to make me a Lychee martini. Well, maybe just one.
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