Showing posts with label sunset. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sunset. Show all posts

Friday, June 9, 2017

Thompson Island, a Private Event Venue that Educates Public School Students

Summer is eventually coming to Boston, and when it does, it's time for harbor cruises and visits to the Boston Harbor Islands. Thompson Island is also gearing up for the season. Thompson Island is open for one of two purposes: 1) a private event on the island, or 2) Outward Bound, an experiential education program for students.

The two are connected, and I recently visited the island on their Open House to learn more about both and the great cause the island is supporting! While the education center provides educational programs for students of all ages (corporate team building included), the private events that are booked on the island provide the funds needed for Outward Bound to offer FREE summer programs to Boston public school students!
Thompson Island
The wonderful cause isn't the only draw for having your event on this island, though. Let's take a look at what they offer. The island is a mile off of downtown Boston and takes about 30 minutes with the Boston Harbor Cruises ship.
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It was nice to get off the boat and head to our own private island - at least for the evening.
Thompson Island

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Cheebo on Sunset (Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA)

Cheebo has been around on Sunset Blvd for a while, and their free wifi and all day menu seems to draw a few people either working on their laptops or having meetings there. The decor is colorful, fun, and a bit kitschy.

Cheebo
For appetizer, you must get the Polenta tots with pomodoro sauce ($9)
Cheebo
These fluffy fried polenta were addictive, they're way better than regular tater tots!

If you don't feel like getting a big entree, Cheebo has a big selection of salads and sandwiches, like this B.L.T.A (nitrate free bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado ($12))
Cheebo
I took half on the plane with me, and it was perfect!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Cavatina: A Hidden Gem Inside The Sunset Marquis Hotel

We oftentimes ignore hotel restaurants. In fact, I didn't even know the Sunset Marquis hotel had a restaurant - and it's gorgeous. The newly revamped and renamed restaurant, Cavatina, is tucked in the heart of the hotel. The outdoor area is naturally popular during the day, with lush greenery and a faux waterfall nearby.

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Executive Chef Roger Eggleston (formerly of Ten Pound Bar) has teamed up with Boston's James Beard winner Michael Schlow for the revamped restaurant's menu. I recently came in for lunch to check it out.

To start: Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho over olive oil crouton, sweet pepper, basil blossoms 
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Then we had a variety of addictive snacks: Marcona Almonds with Citrus and Curry,  Homemade Potato Chips with sunset secret spice mix” and green-chile onion dip, Bacon and Bourbon Salted Caramel Popcorn
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Could not stop munching on all of them - the popcorn in particular!

We had a beautifully plated Maine Lobster with Stone Fruit and Caviar with cherry tomato, chardonnay vinegar, sea salt
Lobster Salad
The fresh, chilled lobster was beautifully complemented by the sweet, juicy fruits. It's a suprising combination that also works perfectly for the summer weather.

Vodka-marinated Pacific Northwest Salmon, apricot, beet jus, sea beans
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Another great seafood dish, the salmon's texture was silky.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mole and Margaritas: Loteria Grill

I finally tried the somewhat-new Loteria! Grill in Hollywood about a week ago. A completely different ambiance than its predecessor at the Farmer's Market, this Hollywood outpost has high ceilings and a nice looking bar.

The salsa and tortilla chips at Loteria are amazing, but as some have noticed, they're pretty stingy about it. A small portion for the 4 of us, we chowed it down in 5 minutes. We flagged down 4 waiters to ask for more, but their 'yes' never materialized into more chips and salsa. Finally we managed to flag down a busboy who graciously actually brought us more!

Tacos aren't cheap at $3.50 a piece if you want meat. I ordered two cochinita pibil tacos (slow roasted pork)
cochinita taco
No rice or beans were given - just two tacos at $3.50 each. The tacos were great, thought. The cochinita pibil was very flavorful, with a light spiciness. The meat was very tender.

For drinks I ordered a mango margarita (I believe this was $11).
mango margarita
A delicious margarita although the mango flavor was not that prominent. The only problem - bcs I ordered this the server didn't bother bringing me water ...
Loteria definitely has service issues :(

One friend ordered the chicken mole enchilada ($12).
mole enchilada
I tried a bite of this and absolutely, absolutely loved the mole sauce! The enchilada is also a better deal with more food, and rice and beans. Next time I will get this instead of tacos..

As I said, I absolutely loved the sweet and smooth mole that I ordered another taco - this time chicken mole (I just wanted more of that mole sauce!)
mole taco
The mole taco was great, and did the job of satisfying my craving.

A couple friends ordered the Michelada for a drink ($9), which is basically a bloody mary mix with cerveza.
michelada

We all really liked the food at Loteria, and I will definitely come back another time, if only for that mole. Again, though, service can be much improved ...

Loteria! Grill
6627 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 465-2500
http://www.loteriagrill.com/loteriahollywood

Loteria Grill on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

XIV Create Your Own Tasting - It's a Learning Curve

Another late Monday night dinner, but I felt like this time god's on my side. The newly opened restaurant XIV is open Mondays until 11 pm, and blogger kevineats has already done a blow by blow review of every single thing on the menu. So I just have to go eat, right? :)

For a place that's been open for only a week, and on a Monday night, XIV is bustling busy. Everyone in there seems to be the clubbing type, of course, but hopefully it was dark enough that I somewhat blended in ...

XIV lets you create your own tasting menu and every dish is priced at $8, and as I learned later this means you should order carefully. The catch - each person on the table has to have the same dishes. In this regard, I like Sona's tasting menu where they give everyone a different dish - lets you try more dishes. Our server was extremely friendly and down to earth - loved her. But the dishes were coming practically in twos which I found weird... My risotto was getting cold as I was eating my salad.

Instead of bread, they serve some Naan with Feta Cheese, and as all have speculated, it's probably because of Michael Mina's middle eastern background.The naan was excellent and the combination with the feta cheese worked extremely well. Each person is given our own dish of naan, and yes, we finished it all.

Our tasting menu started with Foie Gras Terrine with Cranberry gelee on top, cardamom, greek yogurt, flatbread
Great foie gras terrine, and I loved the cranberry gelee on top - nice combination of flavor and texture there. The terrine was dense and smooth.

We also had some salad (not my idea, really *sigh*). The menu read: Heirloom Tomatoes, gem lettuce, avocado, bacon vinaigrette
As you can see, not much heirloom tomatoes there. Baiscally a tiny lettuce salad, for $8 ... Yeah I don't think so. There won't be a second time. The lettuce also wasn't particularly fresh.

I then moved on to a more satisfying "vegetable" dish: Black Truffle Risotto, sweet corn, castelmagno cheese
Great dish - creamy, aromatic. The sweet corn cuts the richness very nicely.

Black Cod, spaghetti squash, matsutake mushroom, foie gras dashi
My favorite dish of the night. The black cod is cooked very, very nicely. The texture is the best I've ever had on a black cod and the flavor is very delicate - amazing. The fish and the dashi goes together perfectly. The spaghetti squash added another layer of texture, and I thought everything worked very well together.

For the red meat we had the Roasted Venison, Onion, Brussel Sprouts, huckleberry
The veal was cooked nicely - medium rare and very tender and flavorful. I also loved the onion and brussel sprouts, although as kevin mentioned, seems superfluous.. The meat itself however, was good but not the best I've had. It wasn't as game-y as I would've liked. That aside, this is one of the better preparations out there.
Also, the portion is a bit on the small side - three small slices of meat. I guess it's only $8.

White Chocolate Cube, orange blossom cream, coriander, pistachio, sake
Drizzled with black sesame sauce. The cube looks like the XIV building itself. Crack it open and you'll find all the pistachio, orange blossom cream etc goodness inside. Also love the black sesame sauce - actually I'm completely biased, I love black sesame. My one and only complaint: I wish it wasn't white chocolate but dark chocolate. Again I'm completely biased here :)

Lemongrass custard, cola, buttermilk, sweet potato-yuzu mochi, saffron
I thought this dessert was tasty and interesting. The mochi was good but pretty sticky. Although I liked the taste of this dessert, it left my mouth feeling rich and sticky while I was hoping for something more refreshing. Overall I liked the cube better, but again, this one still tastes good.

XIV definitely knows how to prepare their food, meat and fish in particular, but the $8/dish can lead to a hit or miss so do order carefully (i.e. avoid cheap salads).
Oh and I forgot to mention - Valet parking is a ridiculous whopping $14.

XIV
8117 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 656-1414
http://www.sbe.com/xiv/

Hours: Sun-Wed 6pm-11pm
Thu-Sat 6pm-2am

XIV on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 1, 2008

Ode to the Griddle Gods

Late Friday night I was perusing Chowhound ... and Diana posted the menu to the Griddle Cafe, that boasts an amazing array of pancakes and french toasts, including (basically) an oreo pancake, apple streusel pancake, cheesecake pancake/french toast, pumpkin pancake, etc. My fate was sealed. The Griddle Cafe for brunch tomorrow! Luckily an old co-worker of mine that I hadn't seen in 3 years was in town and said she'd go with me!

We got there around noon and the place was crowded. We waited for about 20-30 minutes before finally getting seated.

I originally planned on getting their nutella-stuffed french toast, but then when we read the menu again we were really drawn to the "Devil's Daydream" french toast .... chocolate bread with bittersweet chocolate chips, topped with whipped cream. Mmmm ... After seeing the surreally large flapjacks on other people's tables we decided to just split one.

The food took a while to come - it looks like they have a pretty small kitchen and only a few kitchen stuff to manage all the customers they have in the packed restaurant.
So our french toast finally came:Now don't be fooled, these slices are huuge! It was definitely a very rich breakfast (or lunch?), full of chocolate! The bread itself actually was not too dense, which is good - otherwise I won't be able to handle it! It also has the right moistness and so does not require maple syrup or anything on top of it.

We could even barely finish our one slice each of this, but we both thought it was yummy!
So I had a rich dessert for lunch .... :P but it was the weekend!

Anyway, I definitely have to bring a group here next time! That way we can order more varieties and split them all!

The Griddle Cafe
7916 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 874-0377
http://www.thegriddlecafe.com/

Griddle Cafe on Urbanspoon

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