Friday, December 23, 2016

New Year's Eve Menu at Fleming's Steakhouse + Win a $100 Gift Card!

Still looking for New Year's Eve plans? Well, perhaps you will be the lucky winner to a $100 gift card to Fleming's Steakhouse!

Fleming's Steakhouse is offering a special Holiday Menu prix fixe and a New Year's Eve celebration.
The $89 three-course prix fixe meal includes Fleming’s favorites: a choice of the Crab Louie Wedge Salad or lobster bisque, followed by filet mignon paired with Australian lobster tail and Fleming’s signature potatoes.

Fleming’s has also pre-selected the perfect drink pairings to complement the meal including a glass of French 75 Plymouth, JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset Brut Burgundy No 21, or Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne Yellow Label. You can get more details on the holiday menu and reserve a table here.

Don't forget to try your holiday luck and enter to win a $100 gift card to Fleming's Steakhouse below! Good luck and happy holidays! We will select the winner on Dec 27 :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Jimmy's Famous American Tavern in Brea

by @btsunoda

Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern, or better known as JFAT, recently introduced a new brunch menu. I was happy to learn about it and my wife and I recently visited their location in Brea.
JFAT is located next to Whole Foods in the Village at La Floresta mall on Imperial Hwy just east of Kraemer Blvd in Brea. The Village at La Floresta is marketed as the hip spot for retail shopping and dining on the east side of OC.

The restaurant is beautifully decorated and quickly set the mood for Christmas. Garland was wrapped everywhere with ribbon and bows. Christmas trees were fully decked out with shiny glass ornaments.
An impressive lighted display of super premium wines is located near the entrance. Bottles of wine were lined up on the bar and they also had a fair number of craft beers on tap. TV screens were playing live sports, but it didn’t overpower the experience like a sports bar.

The restaurant is large and spacious. It is obviously designed for people to get together and converse over a good meal. In fact while we were there, there was a group of 8 that were enjoying brunch.

Totchos are simply Tater Tots topped with melted cheese and salsa fresca. 
Simply stated, they are nachos made with tater tots instead of tortilla chips. Since I favor tater tots over tortilla chips, I had trouble eating just one bite. 

Knowing that this would be a meat heavy meal, I ordered the Charred Brussels Sprouts. This came with smoked applewood bacon, pinenuts and underneath it was some maple syrup. I scooped downwards in the dish to gather the maple syrup. This was a great combination of flavors and textures and was one of my favorite items that day.

The Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Malted Ale Waffles was served topped with a thick and creamy thyme gravy and applewood smoked bacon. 
After pouring pure maple syrup on top of it all, I enjoyed the various taste sensations, crunchy, salty, sweet and smoky. I was quite happy with this dish.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Learning About the Wines of Georgia

I recently attended a tasting of wines from Georgia (the country, not the US state) and discovered there was much more I did not know about the world of wine! Traditionally made Georgian wines are unique, and if you've never had wines fermented in a qvevri, these wines would be completely unexpected for you. Most of the wines produced in Georgia are typically home winemakers who have been making wine for decades. There's no terroir codification and commercialization began pretty recently.

Just look at the colors, for instance:
Georgian Wines
Qvevri is an unlined terracotta vessel. They are buried in the ground and is cleaned after each vinification cycle. Since the vessel is unlined, there is air exchange happening through the pores of the terracotta throughout the fermentation. Prior to 2003, there was no commercially produced wine that uses qvevri, but then some producers decided to preserve the tradition.

Our wine tasting was led by Taylor Parsons, the sommelier from Republique in Los Angeles.

The first two wines I tasted were two Rkatsiteli from Niki Antadze. Niki Antadze is a tiny wine producer, with 3 hectares of vineyard in the Manavi, Kakheti regions. The Rkatsiteli is one of the main white grape varietals in Georgia.

Both Rkatsiteli were fermented in qvevri but without and with skin contact. You can see the colors are strikingly unique too.
Georgian Wines

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Revisiting Loretta's Last Call with New Menu Items (Boston, MA)

At the beginning of this year, I wrote about Loretta's Last Call, a Southern restaurant and live music venue near Fenway. They've recently revamped their menu, reimagining some dishes and adding new items on the menu, so I went back to try out some of these menu items!

The hush puppies had been recreated; now they serve Serrano and roasted corn hush puppies with honey cayenne butter ($8)
It's not that spicy but it has a nice kick, especially with the honey cayenne butter!

Another new appetizer was the Crispy pork belly with wild mushroom grit cakes & a cider reduction ($12)
My favorite part was actually the mushroom grit cakes, but the pork belly had a nice sweet glaze to it, as well - I just wish it was crispier considering the name of the dish!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Vegan Donuts Worth Trekking To at Donut Farm

I'm sure you know that I'm not vegan. Not even close! So when I say Donut Farm's vegan donuts are good, I'm actually saying they are good even compared to normal, non-vegan donuts.

Donut Farm, also known as Pepples Donut Farm, started in Northern California, but has since opened a location in Los Angeles. Silverlake, to be exact. The Silverlake shop is small, but there are seats so you can enjoy your donuts with some coffee while admiring the fun bunny mural from street artist Bunnie Reiss!
Donut Farm
Donut Farm's donuts are not only vegan, they are also 100% organic. They have both raised and cake donuts with a variety of interesting flavors and fillings - and did I mention, they were delicious??

One of my favorites was the Philz Coffee glazed donut. Donut Farm also serves coffee (hot and cold brew) so you can double the caffeine.
Donut Farm

Saturday, December 3, 2016

21 Square Bar + Kitchen (Torrance, CA)

by @bstunoda

21 Square, named because the city is approximately 21 square miles, is the latest addition to the Torrance food and beverage landscape. It is located inside the Torrance Marriott Redondo Beach. A lot of attention was placed on creating a cool coastal vibe. I liked the uniqueness of the interior decor - the walls featured the city of Torrance in a creative way. The venue extended outdoors with a beautiful fire pit and adjacent seating.

The “21st Mule” is their version of the ever popular cocktail with Tito’s® vodka, ginger beer and fresh squeezed lime. I enjoyed both the presentation and the taste of “El Dude”. This is their house-made creation of Fugu Horchata vodka and Kahlua.
In addition to the their cocktails, they feature wine and ten beers on tap. They’ve partnered with Absolution Brewing to create their own exclusive brew and that’s only available at 21 Square. It is a smooth ale and probably a great beginner’s entry into craft beer. In fact they make their delicious fish & chips using this very brew!
The LYB (Loosen Your Belt) is a shareable dish consisting of tater tots, capicola, mortadella, salami, sausage, cheddar, mozzarella, chopped scallions and topped with a poached egg. It’s is the perfect item to share with a draft beer.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Sint Maarten / Saint Martin (SXM)

Bistrot Caraibes
Le Tastevin
Ti Bouchon
Ocean 82

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