Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Curry House

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Old standby. Consistent. Not too crowded. Baby friendly. They even have crayons etc for some older babies.

We were craving something hot and comforting on a grim Friday night. Obstacle - we had a fussy baby on our hands. We wouldn't make the same mistake of taking him to shinsengumi or another hole in the wall in little tokyo so we set out to try our luck at Curry House.

Parking wasn't too bad in their underground lot (free for an hour). Once we arrived we saw that the restaurant was not that crowded. We had our pick of tables, stroller was no problem, and they have a changing table in the bathroom.

I ordered the deluxe chicken katsu and a side of curry pan. Devoured everything.

La Cabanita

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Baby friendly and stroller friendly and surprisingly delicious Mexican food in Glendale/Verdugo/Montrose area.

Their margaritas are strong. They ain't joking around and I appreciate that.

They have a separate back room for families and larger parties. It's quieter and more spacious for strollers.

I've had so much of their foods here. I love the moles, the chiles rellenos, chile en nogada. This time I wanted to try something new so I got the albondigas. Meatballs stuffed with hard boiled eggs and enrobed in delicious chipotle sauce. It comes with rice and beans.

As a new mom who doesn't want to sacrifice her adventurous foodie side, I fell in love with La Cabanita all over again.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Senor Fish - eagle rock, ca

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Went here on a weekday lunch with our infant and stroller. The outdoor seating was perfect for us as it was almost deserted in the back and we were able to make as much noise as we wanted.

The food was fresh and healthy (well, healthy if you chose grilled fish like my husband and not like me...I chose the traditional fish taco prep of battered and fried shrimp and scallop tacos). Overall it was a great deal, healthier than the neighborhood taco joint, and super family-friendly and baby-friendly. This will definitely make our weekly rotation.

The salsa and agua fresca was great, too.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Donut Friend & Town Pizza - York Blvd, Highland Park, CA

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First, Donut Friend - a DIY donut house. They also have some on their list that are already made. I like ordering off their menu because well, they spent a lot of R&D money to make sure some of these ingredients work together. When left up to my demise, the donuts I create end up tasting off. 

My favorite off their menu is the Jets to Basil and Nutella Vision. This one below is neither of these. I don't even quite remember which one this was but it contained reese's pieces and it wasn't as good as the two aforementioned donuts.


You end up ordering at the cash register but the setup looks almost like you order it when you walk up to it and follow the donut maker to the cash register. That is not how it works here. You just order at the cash register and someone makes it for you (and you're allowed to watch this person make it for you). Yes, it is a confusing set up and I get annoyed as well. 

Another place we go to frequently just because it is convenient and because sometimes you just want one or two slices of pizza - not having to commit to a whole pie or the temptation of one - is Town Pizza. Three doors down from Donut Friend and 2 down from Scoops. We love this corner.



Here is the Mole Pizza and the Cheese Pizza. The Mole Pizza is really good but not the kind of good that you want to keep eating after having tried it once. So you don't feel like you wasted your money ordering it because it is indeed good, but you order it more for the novelty anyway. The next time you're there you end up getting the Cheese or Sausage (they use Lindy & Grundy's sausage) or one of their vegan ones if you feel healthy (well, healthy for a pizza).

Making Mocochinchi

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I get really excited when I can think of a food or drink that is solely Bolivian. I admit there isn't too many Bolivian dishes that are not influenced by the many countries that it borders. Even the Saltena, Bolivia's most famous empanada looking pastry comes from a woman who came from Salta, Argentina, to Tarija, Bolivia. 

So when I'm researching Mocochinchi, my favorite childhood and now adulthood drink, made from dehydrated whole peaches, sugar, and cinnamon, and I find that it's a "Bolivian"drink, I get really really excited. Bolivia Bella goes on to describe regional favorites. 

In Santa Cruz, you can buy the dehydrated peaches in the open markets. I snag a pound of dehydrated peaches because you really can't find these in the U.S. except maybe in Miami or Virginia, where there is a huge population of Bolivians. Using sliced dehydrated peaches don't really work for this particular drink because the fun is eating the reconstituted peaches afterwards like a dessert.

Here is a lowdown on how to make your own mocochinchi if you ever find yourself with whole dehydrated peaches.

My recipe is very non-scientific but I basically tossed a handful of dehydrated peaches into a huge vat of hot water, cinnamon sticks, palm sugar (or reg sugar), to taste. I've had different variations of this from really sweet (almost syrupy) to more cinnamony. I like it less sweet and more spicy/peachy but it's all up to you.








Once it is done, serve the drink with at least one or two dehydrated peaches. Some people like to eat this at the end and others just like the drink without the peach since the texture takes some getting used to. I personally love sucking on the peach and the seed once I am done drinking it.




Serving it in a nice wine glass could up the luxe factor. Haha.

Monday, October 21, 2013

La Tranquera, La Paz, Bolivia

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Where do you eat when you are in La Paz? How about La Tranquera? It's a steakhouse with a huge salad bar. Technically speaking, you can just have the salad bar but the price difference is pretty drastic so if you eat meat, it's a better value to get the sizzling steak with chorizo (or just the steak) since it comes with the salad bar.

 

Then, you can stuff yourself with protein and carbs!

Highlights:
Fried Yucca, The pasta dishes, the key lime pie dessert, and the veggies. It's not so easy to find good veggie dishes in the carb and protein laden Bolivian diet so eat up when you can.




If you're not stuffed already, please do yourself a favor and order the Arroz con Queso. It is a Bolivian version of risotto, but more gooey and less rice-y. Very cheesy and pungent but amazing with the llajua and the steak juice. Yum, I'm dying here just thinking about this. I also ordered the Silpancho, which is a traditional Bolivian dish with rice, a thin layer of schnitzel-style meat (aka milanesa), followed by a layer of chopped tomato/onions/beets/parsley (Bolivian pico de gallo), and a fried egg.  This dish reminds of loco moco.

The pricing is a bit more hefty especially compared to how cheap you can eat in La Paz but if you're staying in the Camino Real Aparthotel, closeby, or want a nice gourmet meal to offset all the street food you're eating, you won't regret it. Bolivian steakhouse culture is different from American steakhouse culture so you might as well chalk it up to culinary research and dig in.



La Tranquera
Located inside the Camino Real Aparthotel
Calle Capitan Ravelo #2123
La Paz, Bolivia

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Finca Altozano, Baja California, Mexico

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The latest trip down to Baja California with my girlfriends was super fun. We stayed at a really cute B&B in the Valle de Guadalupe called Casa Encinares and stumbled upon Big Gay Weekend and were welcomed into a fun filled crazy weekend. The three of us were the only estrogen in the group and also the most tired. How the heck do people have so much energy??

We had some time to ourselves and got away to check out Finca Altozano, another one of Javier Plascencia's restaurants. It was pretty much in the middle of nowhere, though the Valle de Guadalupe is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. But we were excited to find a cute little area with interesting outdoor seating made from giant barrels. The vista was incredible.

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We came right around when the sun was setting, which made for a beautiful dinner out, but not the best for pictures.

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The setup is basically outdoors, with the majority of the restaurant underneath a roof (but no walls).

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I took a pic of the menu at the time that we were there (prices are in pesos).

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And now the bad pics will start:

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Pulp del Pacificos a las brasas.
The octopus. So good.

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Calabazas rellena de quesos oreado.
Cheese filled zucchini. These were a good accompaniment but not mind-blowing.

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Borrego (lamb) de Rancho Cortes a la Caja China
This is the dish that everyone talks about. If you're a lamb person you'll love it.
If not, you will feel so so about it. Ours was cold by the time we ate it so it wasn't the best.

The night grew dark and cold really fast and service kept slowing down. It was to the point where once we got the food, it was pretty cold. We weren't sure if it was the weather or the lag but in any case it definitely took away from our experience. No one wants to eat congealed animal fat.


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Cordoniz (quail) Asada en Leña
This dish could have been good if it wasn't cold. Just saying.


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Polenta Vaquera (comes with chorizo and egg).
I would eat this hot or cold, day or night but it would be especially good
for BRUNCH.


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I don't remember what this chuck of meat was to be honest.
I was so drunk by this time (to keep warm) that I don't remember.

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