Showing posts with label beach. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beach. Show all posts

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Travel Talk Essential Jordan Tour, Part 5: Dead Sea and Kerak Castle

After our tour stops in Wadi Rum and Petra, we left Wadi Musa to stay in Amman again, with a couple of day trip/ stops in between. The Dead Sea and Kerak Castle trip actually took place on two different half days.

After our morning Petra run, we left Wadi Musa for Amman, stopping to see Kerak Castle in between. As with other castles here, Kerak sits on top of a hill with a nice view of the city.
Kerak castle
Kerak is a Crusader castle that was constructed in the 1140s (fairly young compared to all the other stuff we've seen!). In the 1180s the castle was captured by the muslim Sultan, Saladin. Then it was captured by rebels. Then by the Egyptians. It was also the site of a terrorist attack. Quite the tumultuous history, no?
Kerak castle

Monday, February 29, 2016

A Food and Drinking Crawl Through Grand Case (Saint Martin)

Grand Case, on the French side of Sint Maarten/ Saint Martin, is the gourmet capital of the island. Naturally, I had to spend some time there during my vacation! We had dinner plans at one of the top rated restaurants, but ended up food crawling our way down!

The first place we saw was this little crepe shack on the side of the main road (Boulevarde de Grand Case). Both times I passed by the little crepe shack I was too stuffed. I'm regretting it. You guys should try it and let me know what I missed out on.

Across the street from the crepe shack is our first stop, Calmos Cafe. We went there to drink and let our lunch digest.
Calmos Cafe is a popular bar/cafe on the beach.
By on the beach, I mean lterally on the beach! Grab the best tables which sit on the sand, right next to the water! I could feel the waves on my toes.
Grand Case

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Darren's in Manhattan Beach, CA

Chef/owner Darren Weiss from Darren's Restaurant in Manhattan Beach may be one of the very few hearing-impaired chefs out there, but he never let that stop him. His restaurant is an institution in Manhattan Beach, making a mark since 2007 and has recently reopened after a renovation.

The new menu is divided into snacks, salads, small plates, large plates, and sides. Under snacks you'll find finger foods and breads like these Emmenthal cheese rolls with fleur de sel Tellicherry black, pepper whipped butter ($4)

Either because Chef Weiss started his career at restaurants in Hawaii or because Darren's is in Manhattan Beach, but there are plenty of seafood dishes on the menu.
Small plates: Crab cake (jumbo lump crab, daikon sprouts, soy dry mustard sauce, sriracha, sweet soy sauce, $22)
To say this crab cake has a generous amount of lump crab meat is an understatement. This crab cake was pretty much all crab meat and I loved it.

Darren's has a small but interesting beers on draft, featuring breweries like Ninkasi (OR), Ommegang, St. Feuillien, and more.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Tiki Cocktails by the Beach at Larry's in Venice

Larry's was already a popular destination in Venice Beach for food and beer, but they have recently gotten a full liquor license as well and launched a tiki-focused cocktail menu.

Pina colada gets an upgrade with a red wine float in #Delicious (rum, coconut cream, lemon, pineapple, red wine - $12). Yes, the hashtag is meant to be there.

It's on the sweeter side but I'm still a fan of pina coladas after all, and a lot of people would love this drink. The red wine adds more complexity. For something a little less sweet, I really enjoyed the Sun Poison (gin, falernum, passionfruit, lime, orgeat, orange bitters - $12)
Tiki Cocktail
Falernum any day

The bar food menu is worth a look, as well. If you don't mind offals, get the Bacon wrapped chicken liver skewers, yakitori sauce ($6)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Catch at Hotel Casa del Mar (Santa Monica, CA): Excellent Ocean View Dining

Dining with an ocean view can be disappointing food-wise, but the new Chef at Catch, Sven Mede, aims to make it better at this fresh seafood-centric restaurant inside Hotel Casa del Mar.

View from my seat
Of course, I couldn't say no to the Grand Shellfish Platter for two (Maine lobster, citrus poached shrimp, Alaskan King Crab legs, East & West coast oysters, Cherrystone clams, ceviche, served with traditional garnishes - $68)
The East Coast oysters were Cape Cod Sweet Petite and the West Coast oysters were Crystal Bay. Both oysters were unusually good and fresh, the Sweet Petites were the best oysters I've had in recent memory. The clams were also exceptional. The lobster was unfortunately a little tough, but otherwise we loved the shellfish platter.
The raw seafood continues with Maine diver scallop crudo, blood orange, rhubarb, basil ($14)
Beautiful, delicate flavors.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Simmzy's Takes Over Long Beach

Simmzy's had just opened in Long Beach and it was already as popular as their first location in Manhattan Beach. We came on a Saturday and their open dining room was packed, with a waiting list for tables.

Lucky for us, we were being hosted by the restaurant, so we didn't have to wait for a table.

The place is also already popular enough for them to put up this sign!

At Simmzy's, you gotta order from their 31 rotating beers on tap (they also have 10 wines on tap). We had a beer flight with Allagash Victoria, Lost Abbey's Lost and Found, Monkish Anomaly, Hangar 24 Essence
This was the first time I tried a beer from Monkish, a new brewery down in Torrance, and it was pretty good. The Essence is a double IPA and too hoppy for me (I'm not big on hoppy beers), so I stuck with Lost Abbey, possibly my favorite Southern California brewery. We also tried Karl's Flan-diddly-anders, a Flanders red from Karl Strauss Brewing, which was lightly sour. 

The kitchen sent out a sampler of their appetizers:
Ahi tartar with spicy soy, avocado, scallions, fried wonton. Seared tuna, jalapeƱo, and shrimp in spicy sauce
I quite liked the seared tuna, topped with a slice of jalapeno. I didn't see this on the regular menu, but the treat shows what the kitchen can do.

The appetizers at Simmzy's are big and meant to be shared. If you've never been to a Simmzy's before, this one is a must order:
Blue Cheese Haystack ($6) - shoestring fries tossed with homemade blue cheese dressing, garlic, and a touch of spicy sauce
The crispy fries were the perfect vehicle for that blue cheese+spicy sauce mixture. A dangerous snack to have on the table.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Beachside Cocktails at KuDeTa (Bali, Indonesia)

When drinking in Bali, you'd want to drink by the beach, with an ocean view. You can do exactly that with good cocktails on a beach lounger at KuDeTa. KuDeTa is situated in the Hotel Oberoi. To the left is the dining room, the more casual bar is to the right, while the middle section opens up to a set of loungers facing the beach (you can go down to the beach via a set of stairs guarded by a security guard).

The cocktails are much better than the bar in Kuta but they also cost a lot more at Rp.110,000 (~$12). Still, I was happy to see some tiki classics like Blood and Sand and Mai Tai on the menu - happier still to find out they were done well.
To relax on a sunny day, and especially if you can snag some seats during sunset, KuDeTa is currently my bar of choice.

Jalan Hotel The Oberoi Indonesia
036 173 6969

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