The season 7 premiere of Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods America is titled Hidden Los Angeles. Andrew Zimmern, the country's culinary navigator of esoteric delicacies, takes a look at great food “hiding in neighborhoods where outsiders rarely go.”
Fittingly, he visits Cambodia Town in Long Beach.
In the episode, airing at 9 p.m. on July 1, Zimmern is guided through neighborhood gems by praCh Ly, a rapper/community ambassador who OC Weekly profiled in a cover story last year. Ly drops knowledge about the ethnic district and surrounding city, where thousands of Cambodian refugees fled after living under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to 1979.
One stop along the way is Phnom Penh Noodle Restaurant, a family-owned eatery known for meals such as noodles with offal and a side of pork bone soup, and rice porridge made with pork liver, pancreas, intestine and bite-sized chunks of blood cake. Zimmern also tries frog kreung and other Khmer dishes at Sophy's Thai and Cambodian Restaurant, a favorite gathering spot for community activists.
The journey culminates at a backyard food fest, complete with raw beef salad and chicken balut, a fertilized chicken embryo that's boiled and eaten from the shell.
Catch the episode and you might even see a glimpse of yours truly, who was somewhere in the crowd holding an Angkor beer.