Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I'm all pho-ed out. No more pho!

Had pho on Sunday and was craving it again today.

Hit up Noodle Planet for lunch.. what a waste. The pho there sucks my butt.

Got the combo pho and it came with tendons, overcooked beef, tripe and beef balls. I think I'll stick to regular pho tai from now on. Not Asian enough for all those different animal parts. Blech.

At least the the broth was good. I'm gonna wash my mouth of that beef taste now.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Brodard Chateau

There are 2 things that will make my ass drive an hour for. Food and good company.

Yesterday found me making the trek to Garden Grove (what?!!) to eat at famous Brodard Chateau. I pulled up to the lot at 12:30 pm, parking in one of the many spaces and rolled into the chateau.

Not bad.. My first impression was hmm... kinda dark.. hmm. this hostess is ignoring me. Is it cuz I dont speak Vietnamese? Since I was meeting my GF, I just bypassed her and walked to our table.

Cat was sitting there with some drinks on the table, albeit non-alcoholic. I'll forgive her, it was a Sunday and we had kids in tow. :)

Usually at Asian restaurants, the service sucks ass. But, our waiter was prompt, friendly and got everything right. He even gave me time to figure out what I wanted to drink. I ended up with a Thai iced tea, even though I really wanted a Lychee Martini.. aahhh.. duty calls.

Here is what we ordered-

Duck Salad- pretty good.. I love that the duck was perfectly cooked and not too fatty. Salad was lots of fresh veggies and came with fish sauce.

Pork spring rolls- WHOA. Partay in my mouth! I loved it!! Sooo much that I ate 3.. well, technically 1.5 since they were cut in half. *wink* Wrapped in rice paper (not fried) with ham, crunchy stuff and veggies, this dish hit the spot.

Pho Tai- Tasty! The only thing I didnt like was the beef was already cooked. I'm used to the beef being rare and then cooked in the broth. No worries, it came with tons of basil, bean sprouts, sauce and jalapenos.

Vermicelli noodles with beef, shrimp and egg roll- good and refreshing! Add some fish sauce and it gets better!

Spicy fish noodle soup- Good lord!! They weren't kidding with the spice!! My mouth was on fire after a bite of this. Thank god I had the Thai iced tea to counteract the flames. Loved the fish and noodles. Delicate and healthy.

Cat surprised me with a coconut jello dessert topped with a candle as a belated b-day "cake". I thought it was quite sneaky and sweet of her to do that for me. :)

So, yes, do come here if you are in the mood for some good, fresh Vietnamese cuisine!

Brodard Chateau

9100 Trask Avenue

Garden Grove, CA 92844

Friday, September 26, 2008

Comfort Food

One of my childhood memories is of my Mom making soba and cucumber soup. It was delicate, simple and hearty.  She would pour chicken broth into the pot, add the soba noodles, cut up the cucumbers and stir it all together. Yummy.

After a bad week at work, I was in need of some major comfort. But, no cucumbers or chicken broth in the pantry!

No worries, Epicurean Cutie always improvises. 

I cut up napa cabbage, silken tofu and added them to a pot of water with soba in it already. After bringing it all to a boil, the soup was ready. Just add some soy sauce, hot sesame oil and white pepper to taste, and voila!! Dinner is served. 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Caffe Carrera

I've driven past this restaurant numerous times, but never realized it was there. After a recommendation from a friend, we decided to check it out. In an unassuming location, on La Cienega, with a small parking lot in the back, this place turned out to be a hidden gem.

The manager was outside smoking when we arrived. He greeted us with a smile and opened the door for us. How's that for service? We were seated at an intimate corner table and perused the menu. The linguine with proscuitto, mushrooms and a dash of cream caught my eye immediately. S got the pappardelle special with mushrooms and white truffle oil. Of course, no meal is complete without an alocholic beverage. Last night's choice - Proscesso. Light, sparkling and refreshing.

We started off with warm bread freshly baked from the oven. It was more like hot bread, but warm sounds better. The waiter came by with freshly minced garlic topped off with olive oil. Yum yum yum. So delicious!

My minestrone soup was tasty and packed with veggies- broccoli, carrots, beans, and hearty broth. Did I mention that the portions here are ginormous? They are. Perfect for sharing if you are so inclined.

OMG. When my entree arrived, I drooled. It looked scrumptious and tasted even better. The pasta was perfectly cooked, mushrooms and proscuitto were perfectly balanced and not overpowered with cream. The pappardelle tasted expensive with all the truffle oil, and at $21, it was quite a deal.

Due to the huge portions, we were unable to finish our food, so they packed it up for us. I thought it was cute when they labeld it "his" and "hers" on the top of the to go containers. Charming.

Highly recommended for authentic Italian food. La cena era deliziosa!

Caffe Carrera

235 S La Cienega Blvd

Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Friday, September 5, 2008

La Paella

I love carbs! I can't eat a meal without having some sort of carb.

Well, last night I was in carb heaven. We went to eat at one of my favorite restaurants in LA.

La Paella features authentic Spanish cuisine straight from the Mediterranean. This place is reminiscent of someone's house and the ambience is romantic and charming. The owner Pascual is always friendly and makes you feel right at home. Being regulars, he always comes over and chats with us.

Our dinner consisted of a few tapas and the seafood paella. YUMMM YUMMM.


Potatoes Bravas- spicy potatoes in a red hot sauce.. so good. One of my all time faves

Pulpo- octopus marinated in olive oil. How can you go wrong with octopus?

Tortilla Espanola- basically a Spanish omelette that comes in a wedge with potatoes and onions.

Snails- Yep, loves them. Comes in a spicy garlic sauce.. perfect for dipping some bread in.

Main Course

Seafood Paella with shrimp, lobster tail, mussels and clams. Wow, I was so full after all the tapas but still managed to eat half of my dish. *see pic*

This place is highly recommended on my list of restaurants to try. Come here with an empty stomach and an open mind. And you must try the sangria. It will get you buzzin and happy. :)

La Paella

476 S San Vicente Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90048

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Back from Oahu

Hawaii was amazing. It was a new experience for me to go on vacation alone. All in all, a wonderful trip. Some memories from the trip:

~ awesome view from my oceanfront room at the Hilton

~ eating poke for the first time

~ lounging around all day whenever I wanted to

~ snorkeing for the first time at beautiful Hanauma Bay

~ eating loco moco

~ checking out the nightlife in Waikiki which does not trump LA at all

~ eating a reall good bowl of pho

~ being able to take late night strolls on the beach

~ seeing all the stars in the sky next to Diamond Head

~ being stuck at the airport for 8 hours due to some plane delay

Next time I go back to Hawaii, I will bring someone with me though. Being alone for 95% of the trip had its moments, but at the end of the day, this paradise is to be shared with someone special.