Thursday, April 30, 2015
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
I've been meaning to try Michael's Pizzeria, but I haven't gone down to South Bay much lately.
I finally made the trek and visited the downtown Long Beach location for weekend brunch, and they had a musician playing guitar outside.
Sunday, April 26, 2015
The aptly named Under Fire is now open below Fire+Ice in their Boston Back Bay location. While Fire+Ice is a family friendly buffet, UnderFire is more of a bar/restaurant serving food a la carte featuring burgers and tacos.
I was invited to the opening celebration so I didn't get to try the full menu but I did try some tacos and sandwiches. Between the two, the tacos are the way to go. They're not all traditional Mexican taco recipes, but instead modernized - Americanized perhaps, but the flavors are good - incorporating ingredients like pesto in the Pollo al Pesto (fire-grilled chicken, sunflower pesto, queso fresco, diced tomato, fresh basil, EVOO, flour tortilla, $11 for 3)
My favorite (of the two tacos) was The Club (Peruvian-style grilled chicken, braised pork belly, cheddar cheese, pico, guacamole, jalapeno garlic aioli, flour tortilla, $12 for 3)
Some of the other tacos like the carnitas use a corn-wheat tortilla instead of white flour tortilla, and I'd be curious to try them!
The cocktails here are fruity and easy to go down, but they start at $8. It's nice not to have to spend $14 on a single drink. Also, for the most part, they're using fresh fruits.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop is transforming their look with the new Hollywood location. I still remember the Century City and Beverly Hills locations, a small, fast-casual lunch spot with salads and fresh juice bar. Small, bright, casual. But now, in Hollywood, the restaurant has an outdoor seating area where they also grow some herbs, a gorgeous full bar, a rustic, dimly lit dining room.
The entrees are "build-your-own" where you can choose a protein and 2 sides. Salmon filet is $16.95 and I chose pomegranate quinoa and baked sweet potato fries as my sides.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
I never knew Salt Lake City to be a fine dining destination, but my last visit to Forage was an eye opener. Chef Bowman Brown's tasting menu at Forage is worthy to be compared to the best tasting menus in New York or other major metropolitan cities, and at a fraction of the price! The food and presentation reminded me a bit of my experience at Willows Inn.
We got the wine pairing and started dinner with a glass of Gruet Brut, followed by the first course:
apple and evergreen
Bread with goat's milk butter, both really good (even if it doesn't compare to Willows Inn's chicken drippings to go with bread).
Potatoes cooked in oak leaves, garlic scapes
Monday, April 20, 2015
Neptune Oyster is a small seafood restaurant in the North End, and one of the most popular in town. If you don't get there early enough, waits can go up to over an hour! Luckily, we came pretty early and got seated before too long.
Since the place is called Neptune Oyster, we obviously had to start with some oysters. They have one of the bigger selections in town. This time, we tried 4 different oysters from the area: Katama Bay (Edgartown, MA), Thatch Island (Barnstable, MA), Browne's Point (Damariscotta, ME), and Summerside (Bedeque Bay, PEI)
Everything was extremely fresh - I think I liked the Summerside the best from this batch.
Neptune is famous for their lobster roll: Maine Lobster roll, hot with butter ($27)
It's one of the most expensive in the city, but also one of the best. It's served on a buttery brioche bun, and the lobster is soaked in hot butter. It's so rich, the bread gets drenched and the roll becomes messy, but you won't care as you devour it.
Friday, April 17, 2015
George Abou-Daoud may be famous for his previous enterprises along the lines of gastropub The Bowery or Delancey, but he's started to bring his Middle Eastern heritage into the LA dining scene.
His latest venture is Urban Garden, a fast casual Lebanese spot in Mid-city that boasts free range chicken shawarma, organic chickpeas in the falafel, and more.
As you'd expect from a Lebanse spot, they have hummus, falafel, shawarma, etc.
They have three types of hummus: Traditional hummus, spicy hummus (with spicy pickled peppers), garlic hummus (with thyme roasted garlic). On top of that you can also get a lebneh made with Mediterranean yogurt, topped with French feta cheease and za'atar. There's also babaganoush with sumac.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Rosé. What comes to your mind when you hear about this particular type of wine? Summer? Lawn party? This wine is more than that.
Provence is the largest wine producing region specializing in dry rosé and they rosé very seriously and had even established The Center for Rosé Research in 1999, analyzing more than 1000 wines each year. The center is open to the public for anyone interested in learning more about this wine.
Provence extends from Marseille (the birthplace of rosé) to Nice and contains 3 main appellations: Côtes de Provence, Coteaux d'Aix en Provence, and Coteaux Varoix en Provence. It is believed that the earliest wines were originally rosé since the Greeks did not macerate wine with the skin for a long time to give the red color.
US is the largest export market for Provence rosé (even though France still has the highest consumption), yet rosé still has the reputation of being just a summer wine and Provence aims to change that. I recently attended a luncheon at Bar Boulud and tasted many different kind of rosé. The luncheon really showcased the diversity of this pink wine.
We were greeted with a glass of Hecht & Bannier Cotes de Provence Rosé 2014 ($18.99). This is perhaps the "typical" rosé: bright, crisp, fruity, with citrus notes and a clean short finish. Good to drink on its own yet versatile.
It was followed by Chateau Leoube, Rosé de Leoube 2014 and the first course was served:
Vivaneau Marine aux Agrumes (citrus cured red snapper, heirloom carrots, tapioca, lime, cilantro)
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
While in Reykjavik, Blue Lagoon is a must visit. This vast and popular hot springs is easily accessible with the various bus trips that originate from either Keflavik airport or Reykjavik city.
Monday, April 13, 2015
Meat pies. Australian meat pies. That's what KO Pies in South Boston is all about and these handmade pies are delicious.
Saturday, April 11, 2015
by: guest blogger @btsunoda
What? Made to order liquid nitrogen ice cream? Yep. Creamistry is a new and innovative ice cream shop where ice cream is made-to-order from liquid nitrogen before your very eyes!
Ingredients are mixed in front of you and then a blast of liquid nitrogen is applied to the mixture to instantly create ice cream! If you haven’t seen it before, it’s quite the experience, especially for children.
Their ‘Creamologist’ utilizes over 50 premium ingredients to prepare customized handcrafted ice cream, including Straus cream with organic and non-GMO soy options. There are 10 signature flavors to choose from: including vanilla bean with candied bacon, salted caramel, chocolate hazelnut and an array of Asian-inspired flavors such as Thai iced tea, red-bean, matcha green tea and avocado (made from fresh Haas avocados).
Thursday, April 9, 2015
It was six years ago that I first had Chef Ray Garcia's braised tongue with tomatillo and breakfast radish, back when he was starting out at FIG. Now, you can have that same amazingly tender tongue on handmade corn tortillas (made with nixtamal) at his newly opened B.S. Taqueria in Downtown LA.
There are also three great salsas available on the tables, but these tacos were already so flavorful I found I didn't need to add anything extra.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
The brussels sprouts they used were smaller than usual, but a perfect bite size! I've never had them with egg yolk before, but this was a great alternative take on brussels sprouts.
Monday, April 6, 2015
In May, wine lovers descend upon the small island of Nantucket for a weekend of great wine events. This year's Nantucket Wine Festival will take place on May 13-17 with over 50 tastings, seminars, and wine dinners.
The wine festival doesn't just focus on Nantucket wines, but yes, Nantucket makes wines. Many of the wine grapes are actually grown in Washington then made into wine in Nantucket, but there is one vineyard on the island that produces commercial wine, Nantucket Vineyard. I tried a couple during their preview event at Bistro du Midi and they were quite nice.
Here's a sample of the events: Tiffani Faison will be grilling BBQ on the beach while you drink rosé wines from Chateau D'Esclans, Domaine de l'Ile, and Nellcôte.
Or, you can learn to blend your own cuvee with Veuve Clicquot. You can also check out fancy private jets with the hangar party with event sponsor Wheels Up, a private aviation company. There's a white bordeaux and oyster pairing, and a lobster and champagne luncheon. You're in New England after all! And of course, there are grand tasting events on Saturday and Sunday.
Nantucket is located 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod and reachable by boat or plane (Cape Air). I've never been but I'm hoping to make a day or weekend and check out some of the wine festival events! Check out the full event listing here and be sure to buy your tickets soon as some of the seminars have started to sell out.
Sunday, April 5, 2015
1933 Group brings black Old Hollywood glamour with Harlowe. The gorgeous space incorporates fine touches like antique tiles and a sleek wooden bar that takes center stage.
Swap your regular cup of joe with Coffee is for Closers (Teeling's Irish whiskey, Stumptown coffee, Chartreuse whipped cream). This take on Irish Coffee is lovely - not too sweet and enhanced by the chartreuse in the whipped cream. For me it was the perfect drink choice to start my morning.
There's a full food menu at Harlowe. When Harlowe opened, Chef Eric Greenspan consulted on the menu, which has since been refined by chef Sam Hoke.
You'll find the usual brunch suspects like Eggs Benedict (brown butter hollandaise, country ham, homemade biscuit, $13). The brown butter is a nice touch that distinguishes it from the typical eggs benedict.
Friday, April 3, 2015
Have you heard me complain about the lack of cheap sushi in Boston yet? Sure, you can get good sushi at O Ya, but I don't really feel like dropping $200+ all the time. I tried a couple other highly rated places that were either not good or pretty good but overpriced - but I kept hearing about Ebi Sushi and finally made it out to Somerville, now that the snow is (mostly gone).
I normally don't order "sushi combo" but I made an exception here and it turned out to be a great deal!
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Every now and then we get nostalgic about school days – the carefree phase in our life, the days we found best friends for life, the naught and nonsense we committed to gain notoriety, and the many times we got caught staring our secret crushes’ (no matter how swift we were). I was lucky to be in the same school from kindergarten through high school, I always thought school was my second home.
A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of checking out the latest Public School chain in Sherman Oaks. Taking over the former Sisley Italian Kitchen spot at Sepulveda and Ventura, Public School 818 will be a full service restaurant/ bar that delivers “An Education in the Art of Food and Beer”.
- ► 2016 (79)
- The Vegan Beer and Food Festival Even Omnivores Wo...
- Brunch at Michael's Pizzeria (Long Beach, CA)
- Preview: Tacos and Cocktails at UnderFire in Back ...
- Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop Transforms with Hollywo...
- Forage: A Surprising Fine Dining Gem in Salt Lake ...
- Lobster Roll and More at Neptune Oyster (Boston, M...
- Fast Casual Lebanese at Urban Garden (Los Angeles,...
- Provence Rosé Luncheon at Bar Boulud in Boston
- Blue Lagoon and Lunch at LAVA Restaurant in Icelan...
- Aussie Meat Pies at KO Catering and Pies (South Bo...
- Creamistry: Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream
- Ray Garcia Opens BS Taqueria in Downtown LA
- Club Passim Launches In-House Dining Program (Camb...
- Preview: Nantucket Wine Festival (May 13-17, 2015)...
- Boozy Brunch at Harlowe (West Hollywood, CA)
- Good and Cheap Sushi in Boston! Ebi Sushi (Somervi...
- Public School 818 (Sherman Oaks, CA)
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