Showing posts with label california. Show all posts
Showing posts with label california. Show all posts

Friday, November 7, 2014

Blue C Sushi's Conveyor Belt Empire

Blue C Sushi, the conveyor belt, or kaiten, sushi restaurant from Seattle is taking over Southern California starting from Hollywood and a new location in Newport Beach. They upped the kaiten sushi game with the atmosphere and decor. It is no way a substitute for the great purist sushi places, but a fun place to go when you have friends who won't eat the traditional sushi.

As usual, the items on the conveyor belt are color coded, each color referring to a price point. You can find the more popular nigiri sushi like salmon and tuna, along with fusion rolls like the 
BLT roll with lettuce, tomato, bacon, and marmalade.  
The quality of the sushi here tends to be better than other kaiten sushi places, though the price also tends to be higher. You'll find your basic nigiri sushi and the typical rolls along with their specialty rolls like this spicy tuna served on crispy rice.
If you don't want to grab sushi from the conveyor belt or don't see the item you want, you can always order them from the sushi chefs or servers. I had quite a few of the freshly made nigiri sushi that they made directly, including Madai (seabream) with shiso and lemon, albacore, and Seared black cod with yuzu.
Madai with shiso and lemon

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Raymond's First New Menu in 35 Years (Pasadena, CA)

Chef Tim Guiltinan has been helming the kitchen at Pasadena's The Raymond for a few years now (since 2008), but it isn't until this summer - following the kitchen's renovation - that he's completed taking over the menu and making into something he's proud to launch as his. The Raymond thus announced a whole new dinner menu, a first in 35 years.

I've often been told that Pasadena diners are less adventurous, but Chef Guiltinan didn't let that stop him. On the Starters section, you'll find things like Bonito cured beef tataki, fried garlic, jalapeno salsa ($16)

Curing the beef in bonito gave it a markedly unique flavor than the usual beef carpaccio.

Wild Northwestern organic mushroom, "forest soil", salsify, "hay", smoked vinegar ($16)
An earthy dish with presentation that mimics the forest one might forage in. Seems like Chef Guiltinan is also becoming bolder with his presentation.

Octopus and bone marrow bruschetta, radish, carrot, tomato, toasted bread ($16)
We loved this one - spreading the bone marrow on toast combined with dipping it in the seafood broth. The two things bread is best for!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lunch with Chowzter at Mission Chinese (San Francisco, CA)

In anticipation of the Chowzter Global Awards in London this week, I thought I'd blog about the lunch I had with them in San Francisco (where Langer's #19 won the Tastiest Fast Feast for North America).
Our big group went over to the recently popular Mission Chinese Food - too early, they haven't even opened yet when we arrived. Being bloggers, we just took photos outside and studied the menu until they open. Mission Chinese had taken over the Lung Shan space, where they used to do pop ups, and they left the old sign.

Throw a bunch of out of town bloggers here and we will end up ordering the whole menu x 3, pretty much ... Of course, we had to try the popular Chongqing Chicken Wings ($11)
The crispy chicken wings were buried in peppers! As good as they were, the most surprising and addictive component of the dish was the crunchy tripe slices scattered at the bottom.

You can take a break from all the spiciness and tingly feeling the chicken wings left you with dishes like Tiki Pork Belly (in soy caramel, mandarin, pickled pineapple, shaved coconut, macadamia nuts - $10). And a tiki umbrella, natch.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Flavor Del Mar With Brian Redzikowski (Del Mar, CA)

I first encountered Chef Brian Redzikowski's talent at BondSt in the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills (the hotel has now relaunched the space as Caulfield's Bar and Dining Room). Redzikowski didn't have full freedom to serve the food that he wanted as there were "signature" dishes that had to be kept on the menu but he certainly had fun, creative takes on sushi and sashimi. After leaving BondSt, Redzikowski now joins Flavor Del Mar just north of San Diego. I hadn't realized that's where he had gone to until I saw his name and the restaurant recommended in a magazine article by a San Diego chef as the place to go.

At the entrance of Flavor Del Mar is the bar and lounge area, but thankfully we were then led to the spacious, quiet dining room in the back.


As we sat, they brought out an amuse bouche of Cherry tomato, pistachio, fried shallots and pickled radish

For the most part his menu caters to his new audience. Seafood is well prepared without the molecular bells and whistles that I've seen at BondSt. There are plenty of Asian flavors like the Sesame seared salmon sashimi, lemon soy, ginger, chive, hon shimeji mushrooms ($15) or the Thai coconut soup.
Every now and then you find some surprising and exciting flavor profiles, like in this Scrambled farm egg, charred broccolini, pine nuts, tomato confit, Humboldt Fog goat cheese ($12)
If you love the strong flavor of goat cheese, try this. The runny scrambled egg is a great vehicle for the bolder flavors of the tomato and goat cheese.

After the appetizers, Chef Redzikowski sent out a special dish! Locally caught California spiny lobster with green curry foam and kaffir lime.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Travel: Tour The San Andreas Fault with Red Jeep Tours (Palm Springs,CA)

One thing I love about Palm Springs Restaurant Week is the Eat.See.Stay deal they have going on. It's not just deals on restaurants but also hotels and attractions like museums, the Living Desert zoo, and tours of the San Andreas fault. During the Restaurant Week, Desert Adventures Red Jeep Tours is doing a combo package with an Indian Canyon eco-tour and lunch at select restaurants ($125), or a San Andreas Fault stargazing/nightwatch tour with dinner ($150).

During our media trip to Palm Springs, we got a chance to experience the San Andreas fault tour.

The red jeeps taking us on the tour
Our tour guide has been with the company for a long time and was very knowledgeable. Our first stop was the oasis. Oasis in the middle of the desert? Yep, apparently there's over 40 billion acres of water underneath this desert and there are palm trees everywhere in this oasis.
Palm Springs Oasis

Friday, March 29, 2013

Greater Palm Springs, CA

Catalan Restaurant (Rancho Mirage)
Dish Creative Cuisine (Cathedral City)
Mastro's Steakhouse (Palm Desert)

Sights and Activities
Living Desert Zoo and Botanical Garden
San Andreas Fault Tour

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dinner at Gus's BBQ, Plus Their New Party Trailer (South Pasadena, CA)

Gus's BBQ is a beloved spot for South Pasadena locals, who keep the restaurant packed every night. When you go, be sure to get the Cast Iron Cornbread ($6.95), made with Sweet Pennsylvanian corn and served with Jalapeno jelly (and make sure to try the jalapeno jelly!)

Photo courtesy of Wandering Chopsticks
NachosA good appetizer to share for a big party is the Pulled Pork Nachos ($10.95): homemade tortilla chips topped with pulled pork, four cheese sauce, bbq baked beans, smoked mozzarella, jack cheese, tomato, red onion, guacamole, and a bbq drizzle. Talk about loaded nachos!

Mint julep
There's a bourbon-focused cocktail menu here with items like Blood Orange Manhattan and Mint Julep. The Mint Julep is served in a proper julep cup with crushed ice. They also have a dozen beers on tap with seasonal selections and some good local selections.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Giveaway: Robert Mondavi Wants to Give You FREE GAS!

Robert Mondavi Private Selection Wines wants you to explore the beauties of the California Central Coast, where their Private Selection wines are made. You can take a virtual tour of the Central Coast by following their Facebook page, where they will showcase the best of Central Coast - food, views, and everything else. But why not take a trip and discover the region (or a place like the Central Coast closer to you) on your own? 

Robert Mondavi  wants you to! So, they want to give you a $25 gas card, which you can use to take a road trip to you nearest wine country. If you live in Southern California, that would be the Central Coast, but if you live in another state, just use to visit the equivalent of the Central Coast!

Oh, and I'm trying out this new widget for you to enter giveaways, so try it out below and let me know how that works out! Good luck!

*UPDATE: I realize that with the Punchtab giveaway widget, a lot of people were getting comment entries without actually commenting on the post. If your comment entry is picked but you didn't actually comment, I will redraw the winner. And I probably won't be using the punchtab widget again ..

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pasadena Reviews

The 1886 Bar at The Raymond  | Spring 2012
The Athenaeum at Caltech (Pasadena)
Cham Korean Bistro | Summer 2011(Pasadena)
Daisy Mint (Pasadena)
Dog Haus Biergarten
El Taquito Taco Truck (Pasadena)
The Gourmet Cobbler Factory (Pasadena)
Green Street Restaurant (Pasadena)
Gus's BBQ
Haven Gastropub
Intelligentsia - Pasadena Cafe
Lobby Lounge at The Langham - afternoon tea
Lousin's Arakadz Cuisine (Pasadena)
The Luggage Room Pizzeria
Marston's (Pasadena)
Noir Food and Wine (Pasadena)
Pie 'n Burger (Pasadena)
The Raymond (Pasadena)
Rose Garden Tea Room (Huntington Library, San Marino)
The Royce at The Langham (Pasadena)
Roxolana - CLOSED
Scarlet Tea Room (Pasadena)
Sushi Kimagure
The Terrace at The Langham (Pasadena) -- Sunday brunch buffet
Trattoria Neapolis
Umami Burger (Pasadena)
Vertical Wine Bistro | Spring 2012 | Summer 2014
Wine Detective (Pasadena)
Yujean Kang's (Pasadena)

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