Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Morning in the Mission (San Francisco, CA)

During my last trip to San Francisco, I stayed at an AirBnB in the Mission. We spent the first morning wandering around the Mission district, starting with breakfast at Craftsman and Wolves.


What we came here for is the famous "Rebel Within". At first glance this looks just like any other cheesy muffin. The Rebel Within is made with Asiago cheese, green onion, and Easton sausage.

But how special this muffin is is only apparent when you cut into it ... a perfectly poached egg inside with runny yolk!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Alden and Harlow (Cambridge, MA)

As a UCLA and Caltech alum, I'm jealous of the Harvard students. They have so many great restaurants right outside of their campus! One of the hottest restaurants right now is Alden & Harlow, named one of Bon Appetit's Best New Restaurants in America.

This restaurant under a movie theatre looks deceptively small from the outside and when you first walk in, but it actually has a large dining area in the back.

Menus are divided between snacks that are $8 each, including Pistachio crusted halloumi cheese, roasted cherry tomatoes, warm bread


Pickled green beans are served at every table to start
My favorite dish from that night: Oil cured tuna belly, buttermilk creamed corn, lemon, cherry tomato ($17)
Alden Harlow

Friday, September 26, 2014

Opening Alert: The Nice Guy (West Hollywood)

Taking over the former Mezze space in West Hollywood is a mafia-inspired hangout called as The Nice Guy. Taking cues from late 70’s and early 80’s interior, the H.Wood execs (the brain behind hotspots such as Bootsy Bellows, Hooray Henry’s, and Shorebar) never seemed shy about being upfront with their upbringing.

The vibe here feels like your favorite supper club with its intimate candles setting, piano play, white-marble bar tops, floral-patterned booths, large couches, and dark wood walls. Also, the reservation-only concept breaths hospitality - they want to make sure they know who you are, what you like to drink, what time of the night you’d like to eat and where you like to be seated every night. I imagine in an upscale lounge like this, they expect a sense of intimacy, familiarity, and camaraderie within the regulars. But fret not…to score a reservation, all you have to do is call the hostess and answer her questions.
Interior 2
John-Carlos Kuramoto, formerly of Michael’s in Santa Monica, has put together Italian-inspired bites, ranging from healthy to comfort fare. My favorites are the Duck Banh Mi Pizza, Chicken Parm Wings, and the 8 oz Dry Aged New York Steak.  And for the healthier items, I thought the Black Tuscan Kale Chips, Blue Crab Arancini, and Charred Baby Sprouting Broccoli were excellent. Other than those, of course, they have the classic Margherita or Prosciutto Pizza, Meatballs with tomato sauce, and the Burger with candied bacon. Even if you decided to go with the more conventional dishes, rest assured the dishes will be carefully executed and taste much better than the typical bar food.

Other than the food, The Nice Guy is also a craft cocktail destination. Helmed by master mixologist Brian Stewart (of SoHo House) in collaboration with h.wood Group's Adam Koral, this place boasts a large selection of spirits, fresh juices, and top shelf Liquor. 
I thought the Bobby Soxer (Casamigos Reposado, blackberries, fresh lemon juice, honey, Campari, and fresno chili peppers), the Chairman (Gentleman Jack, Aperol, cacao, salted cola reduction, and cider vinegar), and the Daddy’s Little Angel (Silencio Mezcal, pineapple juice, organic agave nectar, fresh lemon juice, and Angostura bitters halo) were some of the tastiest cocktails I’ve tasted. 
Cocktail I didn’t like as much - Mother’s Milk (Tito’s Vodka, house made chocolate milk, soda water)…tasted too sweet, it felt like a 50-50 mixture of Yoohoo and Vodka. Additionally, if you really want to impress your date or group of friends, you should go big – order your cocktail in a large punch bowl for $350.

Gourmet Pigs   © 2008. Template Recipes by Emporium Digital