Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Jack Binion's Steakhouse (Horseshoe Casino, Hammond, Indiana)

If you happen to be stuck at the Horseshoe in Hammond Indiana, this is the best restaurant to go to. Since I was so close to New England, I had to get lobster bisque. This is one of my favorite soups. Theirs was about a 7 out of 10 on my lobster bisque scale (based on the bell curve so may vary compared to your tastes buds). I couldn't decide on steak so I got the signature steak tasting plate. It included Nebraska USDA Prime Grade Spinalis (its the top part of a pot roast and looks like skirt steak), American Wagyu "Eye" of Rib and Japanese "A-5" "Eye" of Rib (A-5 from what I've learned is the highest grade of Kobe beef). The American wagyu was my favorite. I always get my steak cooked medium well so it always comes burnt (the burnt parts are really unhealthy for you, like cancer causing unhealthy). So after I cut off all the black part there wasn't too much steak left. All the desserts were standard so I didn't get any. It was an alright dinner.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Olive Garden

Don't be cheap, get the Alfredo dipping sauce

Unlimited salad, soup, and breadsticks!!! How could you not love this place? I've never been very fond of their entrees, but their appetizers and desserts (tiramisu!) are ridiculously good. I always get the Alfredo dipping sauce for the breadsticks. I just found out that with the special you can get different soups. I had the minestrone and the chicken and gnocchi. I took home their seasonal pumpkin cheesecake (sorry haven't eaten it yet) and ended with 6 andes chocolate mints (my favorite!). I didn't get it this time, but past times I have gotten the berry sangria and it makes top 3 best sangrias I've tasted.

Yogurtland (Los Angeles, CA)

I got froyoed (frozen yogurt, people keep up). It was my first time to yogurtland so I got a little crazy with all the toppings. Coconut and strawberry ice cream topped with crush graham crackers, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, cheesecake, and some granola (you know, to keep it healthy)

I was really hungry and remembered to take a picture midway.

Thai Patio (Hollywood, CA)

Legit Thai restaurant with coconut water that comes fresh in a young coconut. I had their version of beef pho and it was pretty good. Their spicy mushroom soup is just wow. This was only a couple of hours after I had Mr. Chow so I was still pretty full to have anything else.

5273 hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90027

Mr. Chow (Beverly Hills, CA)

Great high end American Chinese restaurant.

Actual Asians here (working/eating) are a minority (abnormal for a Chinese restaurant), there were no chopsticks, and the dishes were barely familiar to me. Other than that everything was great taste wise. No matter how you change it, Chinese food is still good. I choose the chef choice option. For the appetizer I had this breaded shrimp (similar to orange chicken breading) in a sweet white sauce. Then, breaded again, this time filet mignon and finally sea bass in a familiar sauce. It was a delicious meal.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Malo (Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA)

Chill, upscale, hipster Mexican restaurant. Great for hanging out with friends. They have $1 tacos every Monday night and their chewy chips with salsa is amazing. The sangria here was really good as well. It's not as good as King Taco, but sometimes safety is more important (King Taco=in the ghetto, Malo=nice area).

Chik-Fil-A (Downtown Los Angeles, CA)

I don't know how there are not more of these in the United States. The chicken sandwiches here are just too good. And now they have a SPICY chicken sandwich? It was definitely a success. It had been 6 months since I last had eaten here so I had to chow down on two sandwiches (the original and the new spicy one). To add on the amazingness of this chain, they have good sweet ice tea! I cannot wait until they build more!

Julian Serrano Tapas Restaurant (Aria, Las Vegas, NV)

Julian Serrano is on my list of restaurants I go back to when I'm in Las Vegas. It's a tapas restaurant located in Aria (A plus since they perfume the air there #omgsmellssogood). For those of you who don't know what Tapas is, it's the Spanish version of Dim Sum. You just order a bunch of appetizer sized plates. Usually about 3 orders is good for one person. Here's what's good to get:

Imported spanish "pata negra" ham (it's pricey, but worth it)
brava potatoes (crunchy potato squares with  a spicy tomato alioli sauce)
pan manchego (toasted bread, fresh garlic tomato sauce and manchego cheese)
sauteed padron peppers (good for snacking on, like the edamame of tapas)
traditional spanish chicken croquetas (standard tapas dish, always a winner no matter where you go)
grilled lamb chop (only comes with one small chop per order)
beef and cheese (prime tenderloin, cheese, honey, pecans wow really really good)

For dessert get Santiago's cake. It's very unique (not in a crazy taste way) and is the perfect ending for such a great meal every time.

imported spanish "pata negra" ham
chicken croquetas

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mon Ami Gabi (Paris Hotel, Las Vegas, NV)

Mon Ami Gabi sits right on the strip and you can either sit outside and people watch or inside and stay cool. I highly recommend the people watching section. I specifically came here for Saturday brunch to get the corned beef hash. I had really high hopes for it, but it just didn't do anything for me. They had huge chunks of dry and chewy corned beef barely mixed in with potatoes. The poached eggs were perfect, and the hash browns were crisp just the way I like it. I would still recommend this place because it sits right across the Bellagio Fountains and you get a great show.

Tea Station (Las Vegas, NV)

Tea station is a very Asian chill spot off the strip. They serve Chinese appetizers, noodles, and ice bean desserts. My favorite thing here is the hot brown sugar milk tea. It is amazing! Once you have this, nothing will be as good. It's a perfect spot to catch up with friends.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Madeo (WeHo, Los Angeles, CA)

They serve veal osso bucco here. Do I really need to write more? For those of you that's never had this dish, its like the veal version of braised beef. It is so tender and juicy, it falls right off the bone. They also had this veal ravioli with a walnut sauce. The sauce was so original and it was an amazing dish. As appetizers I had bresaola (the beef version of prosciutto) and heirloom tomatoes with burrata cheese. For dessert they bring out a tray and everything looks legit. I had the napoleon and the cream and chocolate custard pie with pine nuts on top. Everything here was excellent and this is probably the best italian restaurant in town.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

King Taco (Irwindale Race Track, The ghetto, Los Angeles, CA)

Best Burritos Ever!

Al Pastor (Pork)
Carne Asada (Beef)

*Warning: It's spicy.*

Interesting Info: They cater!!!

Urth Cafe (WeHo Location, Los Angeles, CA)

Urth Caffe is one of those trendy healthy organic lunch spots that is always busy. I love this place! You order and get your food Panera Bread style (wait in line and order, they give you a number and you sit and wait). The wait for food was a little long, but it was a Saturday so it could of just been extra busy that day. To drink, I had a fresh mixed veggie juice (carrot, beet, celery, and ginger), not the most tastiest, but very healthy. I had half of the sprout sandwich (should of gone with the full). It came with alfalfa sprouts, Jarlsberg swiss cheese, red onion, Roma tomatoes, avocado & hummus spread on sprouted bread. It was actually pretty good until I tasted my husbands sandwich. He ordered the panini prosciutto. It was perfectly toasted on the outside and inside was prosciutto, italian cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil and olive spread. Yum! I decided going all out on the healthy food, but then there was the pumpkin pie. This is the BEST pumpkin pie I've ever had (Yes, even better than Publix pumpkin pie). Like not just Thanksgiving worthy pumpkin pie, its an every holiday dessert pumpkin pie.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mozza (Pizzeria Los Angeles, CA)

Legit Italian FOB (fresh off the boat) enhanced pizza served here. Had the prosciutto for an appetizer and the salami, mozzarella, tomato and fresno chiles pizza. It was perfectly delicious. For dessert I tried both the Banana gelato pie (with hot fudge and candied hazelnuts) and the Butterscotch budino (with Maldon sea salt and rosemary pine nut cookies). The Butterscotch pudding one was the winner. It's one of my favorite local lunch spots.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester (London, UK)

3 Michelin Stars
World Renown Chef

The hotel itself where the restaurant is located in is uber fancy. To get to the restaurant you walk through the afternoon tea area, where everybody is dressed up. As you walk into the restaurant two ladies open the double doors at the same time for you (they do this when you go to the bathroom and back as well). It was a really nice touch.

Unfortunately, I didn't do the tasting menu here, so my views might be skewed. I thought the restaurant was a little above average on the fine dining scale. They gave us these little round cheese bread balls and this broccoli puree with other veggies as an amuse bouche. For an appetizer I had the John-Dory goujonnettes. They were swimming in a coconut and curry sauce. It was okay, nothing amazing and since I've been in London where the best Indian food in the world exists, the curry didn't even compare. I had some of the Cookpot of vegetables and mushrooms. This is one of the chef's specialties, but fell short. It was bland and much different than I expected. I had the restaurant's specialty meat dish, the fillet of beef and seared foie gras rossini. The fillet was so tender and juicy. I'm more for the salty fatty kind of steak, but this was excellent for what it was. The sauce really made the dish. I love cooked foie gras (the kind in the flan texture) and this didn't disappoint. I had a piece of my husbands' venison and it was just as tender as the fillet. The venison comes in a much smaller portion than the fillet, so if you're hungry get the fillet.

I of course had to have the cheese course. I liked it especially here because they paired the cheese with different  condiments. They were next to the cheese you were supposed to eat it with (They usually just give you the condiments if any and you have to check and guess yourself to see which goes best with what). As a caramel lover I had to go with the coco-caramel delight for dessert. More like coco-caramel disaster. It was probably the only dessert I never finished on this trip to London (and it was the size of my ring finger). My husband got the Baba like in Monte-Carlo (another specialty of the restaurant). It was a ball of sponge cake dipped in some sweet apricot sauce. Then it was cut open in front of us and had our choice of rum poured into it and topped with whipped cream (the good made from scratch kind). It was a lot better than my dessert, but just not what I was craving at the time. It was good though. Even though I didn't like 2/3 of my meal, I'm sure if I had tried the tasting menu I would have liked it much better.