Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Shiki (Beverly Hills, CA)

Brand spanking new restaurant serving traditional Japanese "washoku" cuisine. By the way, washoku is now a thing, just like french or californian cuisine. Of course I had to go with the omakase (that's chef's choice tasting menu). Every dish that came out was a work of art and tasted as good as it looked. I mean look at that first dish. The sea urchin has its own floppy hat! If the pictures don't impress you, the head chef here used to work at Matsuhisa and Asenebo, so there's that.

tofu, uni, wasabi, and delicious syrup sauce

I forgot, what type of fish, but it the dish was just okay

tasted as amazing as it looked. scallop, uni, mushroom, carrots, fried potatoes on top.

Japanese tomato, seared sashimi, shiso leaf, yummy broth. One of my favorites of the night.

Truffles! 

good quality sashimi, nothing amazing

wow raw kobe beef marinated in a miso sauce put into a lettuce taco! oh and theres a fish taco behind that too.


MORE KOBE!!!! I spent most of dinner facing the fridge that held stacks of raw marbleized kobe drooling and waiting for this dish to come out. It did not disappoint.  

Overall it was a great meal, and worth a try if you are an omakase fiend like me. Not pictured, but had the plum sake on the rocks and it was perfect.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Adam Perry Lang's Pop Up BBQ

I love the idea of a pop up restaurant. It's nice when a spot is only open for a short period of time so you get that beginning giddy time of the relationship and dipping before the "what are we" talk. (Normal me is different than foodie me) I usually don't like to commit to restaurants long term. I prefer to hit it and quit it, but sometimes it's just too good and I have to go back a 2nd time. This was one of those places.

Chef Adam Perry Lang doing his BBQ thing

Adam Perry Lang's (APL) is really good at cooking bbq, like they give you plastic cutlery to eat with and its not a problem because the meat falls off the bone good. The pop up is located in the parking lot behind where they film Jimmy Kimmel. There is a parking garage right next to it so when you exit, turn right and they are set up adjacent to it. It's a really cute spot with fake grass and barrels set up as impromptu tables everywhere. Just a heads up its cash only and its been really hot out so wear a hat. Open Tuesday-Thursday 11am-3pm until September 5 2013. More info here.


The food changes daily and there are usually just two choices. The first time I went they had beef short rib and pork shoulder. This past time there was the short rib again and pork butt. The short ribs are always perfect, but dat ass though. If you've never had pork butt before, let me tell you, it is delicious.


It's hot girl friendly, I promise. My friend @kittysterling approves.

My weekly foodie club. Thanks @rodeneronquillo for the group photo.



Friday, June 14, 2013

Simple Spinach Pasta with Tomato and Basil Sauce with Asparagus

This is one of my quick go to dishes. It can be done in 15 minutes and only takes 3 ingredients. I know this particular brand of pasta sauce isn't the healthiest, but the taste of it far outweighs the bad. Anyways, you are eating pasta made out of spinach and that's plenty healthy enough. Humph!

If you want a spicier version of this, Giorgio Baldi makes a great arrabiata sauce. If you never heard of Giorgio Baldi, then OMG you have to check out the restaurant in Santa Monica, CA. BEST ITALIAN FOOD EVER!


SERVINGS: 4 normal people if you use the whole box of pasta

INGREDIENTS:
1 Box De Boles Organic Spinach Spaghetti Style Pasta with Artichoke Inulin
1 Jar Giorgio Baldi Tomato and Basil Sauce (Whole Foods, Erewhon)
1 Bunch Asparagus
Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
Ground Black Pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Bring a pot of hot water to boiling and add salt. Break spaghetti over sink in half and put in pot. Cook for 7 minutes or until preferred texture.
2. Fill pan with half an inch of water and put on high heat. Once it starts boiling add asparagus or any other vegetable of your choice and cook until tender. Add salt and pepper.
3. While spaghetti is draining, add red sauce to pot and swirl it around. Then add spaghetti and you are done!

***HELPFUL HINTS:
-Cooking veggies in a pan with a little bit of water works just as well as a steamer and its so much easier.
-Don't ever try to fit pasta into a small pot of water, it will turn out sticky and gunky. It's a general rule in cooking that you never want to "crowd" the pan and this goes with pots as well.
-Depending on the size the asparagus you most likely have to cut the bottoms off or peel them if they are really thick.

Vegetarian Lentil Burgers with Tropical Fruit Salsa

This one takes a little longer than what I'm used to, but it's worth it (about 2 hours).



SERVINGS: 4 normal people, 6 small children.

INGREDIENTS:
BURGERS:
1 Can Lentils
1 Cup Onion Chopped
1/4 Cup Carrot Grated
2 tsp garlic minced (tsp=teaspoon)
2 TB tomato paste (TB=tablespoon, comes in a can)
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp chili powder
3/4 Cup Cooked Bulgur
1/2 Cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 Egg Whites
1 Egg
Coconut Oil (or any high heat oil)
Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
Ground Black Pepper

SALSA:
1/4 Cup Pineapple Chopped
1/4 Cup Mango Chopped
1/4 Cup Tomatillo Chopped (looks like a green tomato with a leaf covering it)
1/4 Cup Cherry Tomatoes Halved
1 Lime
1 Jalapeño minced

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Rinse and drain lentils. Put half the lentils in a food processor and process until smooth. Put both in a bowl.
2. Heat pan med-high heat with coconut oil. Add onion and carrot, season with salt and pepper and saute until tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and all spices. Add this mixture to lentil bowl. Add bulgur, panko, eggs to bowl and stir. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Put all salsa ingredients in a bowl and squeeze lime juice on top. Put in refrigerator until end of recipe.
4. Heat oil in large pan over med-high heat. Divide the mixture in half and make into patties. Cook 3 minutes on each side and then repeat with other half of mixture. Serve with salsa.

***HELPFUL HINTS:
-Take out the ribs and seeds of the jalapeño if you don't like spicy.
-To take the outside skin off the tomatillo, rinse it under hot water. Then peel it back like a banana taking the stem off last.
- Use the grating attachment of the food processor for the carrot. It's like the best thing ever. If you don't have a food processor, just use a cheese grater, but please be careful.
-I cook the bulgur in vegetable broth and add salt and pepper. It makes the whole burger taste better.
-In fact, add salt and pepper to everything you put into this dish.
-Add salt to the salsa, the salt actually makes it taste sweeter.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Open Face Vegetarian Quesadilla

This is a pretty quick meal to prepare, about 15 minutes. I chose to make it open face because I was too impatient to wait the extra few minutes to flip the quesadilla.



SERVINGS: 2 Very Hungry People, 5 LA Girls + mini dog

INGREDIENTS:
1 Package Udi's Gluten Free Tortillas (Can be found in Freezer Section)
1 Avocado
1 Can Black Beans Drained and Rinsed
1 half Jalapeño Pepper Minced
1 Handful of Fresh Cilantro Chopped
1 Cup Sliced Cremini Mushrooms
1 Cup Baby Spinach
1 Bell Pepper Chopped Ribs and Seeds removed
1 Cup Shredded Almond Cheese
Seal Salt or Kosher Salt
Ground Black Pepper
EVOO
1 Lime Halved

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Warm up the tortillas on a pan set at med-high heat and put aside.
2. Heat pan on med-high heat and add 1 TB of EVOO. Add mushrooms, spinach, and bell pepper to pan and cover. Cook until spinach leaves are wilted.
3. Mash up avocado and black beans into a bowl. Mix in jalapeño and cilantro and set aside.
4. Turn on the pan with the tortillas on med-high heat. Add the almond cheese, then avocado mixture, followed by the mushroom mixture on top. Squeeze lime juice on top and you are done!

***HELPFUL HINTS:
-When picking an avocado it should have a little give when you lightly squeeze it.
-If you can handle spicy, leave the seeds and ribs in the jalapeño, otherwise take it out.
-To clean mushrooms, just wipe with a damp paper towel. They absorb everything so don't rinse them.
-Roll the lime on the counter with some pressure. This will release the juices.
-Again, get an electric salt and pepper mill! It's a game changer.
-Season each ingredient before or as soon as it hits the pan. It really does make a huge difference.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Healthy Homemade Gluten Free Pizza

Hey Guys! I know it's been a while and I've finally caught the blogging bug again. Going through a financial rough patch right now, so bear with me, as most of my posts will be homemade meals. Hope you will enjoy it! I'm new to writing recipe directions; so if you have any additions or questions, please comment below.

I've recently come to suspect that I may have a gluten intolerance :( so until I can get tested from an allergist, I am trying to stay away from gluten. Oh well, as long as I'm not allergic to bacon, I will live.


SERVINGS: 2 normal people, or 4 LA girls

INGREDIENTS:
EVOO (cold pressed seems to taste better)
1 Pack Udi's Gluten Free Pizza Crust (contains 2 crusts and can be found in freezer section)
1 Can Pizza Sauce (I used Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce)
1 Package Mozzarella Almond Cheese Shredded (I've only seen it at Whole Foods and Sprouts)
1 Pealed and Thinly Sliced Zucchini (so it looks like a pepperoni slice)
1 Diced and deseeded Tomato
2 Giant Hand Fulls of Baby Spinach
1 TB Dried Oregano
Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
Crushed Black Pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Toast the pizza crust on one side in a pan on med-high heat for a few minutes, then set aside.
2. Heat EVOO in a pan on med-high heat. Add all the veggies and season with Salt and black pepper. Cook until the spinach is wilted.
3. Toast the other side of the pizza crust in a pan on med-high heat. While it's in the pan, add the pizza sauce, add some cheese, the veggies, and more cheese. Heat until melted. To speed the process up, cover the pan.

***HELPFUL HINTS:
-Always season everything!
-Use more salt than you think you need.
-Taste everything each step of the way.
-If you can afford it, organic is always best.
-Get an electric salt and pepper grinder. It's like going from a PC to a MAC

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Per Se (New York)

Finally made my way to Per Se in New York City!  It was exactly what I expected it to be, very stuffy and just very good french cuisine. I could only get a reservation for lunch (usually those hard to get restaurants will have lunch reservations available and still serve the same dinner menu). I had the Chef's tasting menu with a few substitutions.

Tsar Imperial Osetra Caviar
 This was very good. The creamy white cheese went really well with the Caviar.


Soft Scrambled Eggs with shaved white truffles
 They offered the standard risotto or pasta with shaved white truffles, but this was the first time I had seen it offered with scrambled eggs. I just had to order this dish, especially since I had just woken up for the lunch an hour before. It was very good and hit the spot.


Sauteed fillet of Chatham Bay Cod
This was alright, nothing special about it. 


Nova Scotia Lobster "Fricassee"
This is probably the best lobster dish I have ever eaten. There was a hass avocado puree on the side and it was topped with a tangerine confit. It was like a asian style sweet and sour lobster.


"Degustation" of Canadian Suckling Pig
 This was good. I've had something similar to this at another restaurant so it was nothing special to me.


Snake River Farms "Calotte De Boeuf"
 I love short rib no matter where I go. The little puff pastries on the dish were excellent.


Cabot Creamery's "Clothbound Cheddar"
 It was a fancy cheese puff that was just amazing.


Coconut Sorbet
 This was my favorite thing on the menu. The combination of the marinated pineapple, young coconut water, and pineapple chips created this weird tingling sensation in my mouth. It was like a chemical reaction was happening in there.


Champagne Apples
 I was a little disappointed with this dessert. 


Shot of Hot Chocolate and donut holes!
At the end they just kept bringing us desserts and goodies. First came a treasure box of chocolates. I had the pecan maple and cannoli flavored ones. They had an amazing selection of really creative flavors. Then they brought out this four tiered tray with macaroons and other goodies. Finally they brought out the hot chocolate and donuts. They even gave us tiny goodie bags of homemade caramels and candies. Those caramel candies were the best ones I've had in my life. 

I don't think I would come here again, unless I was trying to really impress someone. The cost to food to taste ratio is just ridiculous.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ink.Sack (WeHo, Los Angeles, CA)

Ink.Sack is a new sandwich shop opened by the "Top Chef" winner, Michael Voltaggio.

Parking: Street
Seating: standing only (with those tables connected to the wall)
Price: $4-6 per sandwich
tldr: meh

Every Sandwich on the Menu
My mom taught me a very important lesson when I was younger. She said the places with the longest lines always has the best food. I guess grand openings is the exception to that rule. The line was out the door and the smells coming from the shop were making my stomach growl. There was a four sandwich maximum at the cashier, but luckily I brought a friend. We got all 7 sandwiches plus the water melon, bbq pork rinds, the peanut butter & sea salt cookie, and orange & mango juice.

The Jose Andres, aka "The Spanish Godfather"
The bread on all of the sandwiches was absolute perfection. By far the best sandwich was The Jose Andres, aka "The Spanish Godfather." It has serrano ham, chorizo, lomo, and manchego cheese. After that I would get the Maple-Pepper turkey melt followed by the Bahn Mi. Only get the C.L.T. (chicken liver mousse, curried chicken skin, lettuce, tomato) if you really like the taste of liver. The "reuben" (corned beef tongue, appenzeller cheese, kraut, russian dressing) was gross. The cold friend chicken and spicy tuna were both mediocre.

BBQ Pork Rinds
This was my first time having pork rinds, but my friend said they were the best she has ever had. Anything that remotely tastes like bacon instantly wins me over so I enjoyed these.

Watermelon with Siracha and lime
The watermelon with siracha and lime was interesting (not in the good way). It comes in a clear air tight plastic bag. Nothing special, just spicy watermelon. The peanut butter & sea salt cookie tasted like a normal peanut butter cookie, just a little saltier.

Best thing at the sandwich shop
Probably the best part of the meal was the orange and mango juice. Nothing here is tasty enough to bring me back.