Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Hour @ Luxe Hotel

If you're looking for a scene, this place ain't it. But, if you want cheap ass martinis at rock bottom prices, get yo ass here. ASAP. Trust me, you can get drunk for less than $20!

My GF and I hit up Luxe for happy hour on a Monday evening, well, more like afternoon, since it was only 4:30 pm. Yes, we start early. We are lushes after all.

There was no one there. We sat at a table outside and the waiter took our orders. Cosmo for me, appletini for her. Both $3.60! What? In Beverly Hills? Yes, f'reals.

We also ordered some food since we get the muchies after a few drinks.

Fried chicken skewers were decent, 3 pieces of chicken accompanied by BBQ sauce, and some honey sauce. ($3.60)

Parmesan fries were very good! There was an option to add truffle oil to them, but that would bring the price from $3.60 to $7, so we said hells no. Besides, they tasted good with the cheese on it. No need to add extra calories to our meal. Haha.

Our favorites were the mini filet mignon sliders with grilled onions and crumbled cheese. Umm hello?! They were $9, but shit, I'll pay $9 for a tease of scrumptious deliciousness like that. Both sliders were scarfed down in a matter of 2 minutes. Yeah, I highly recommend them!

I could have ate 5 of these.

We had a few more martinis to tide us over after all that food. I had 2 dirty martinis and she had a watermelon and a cosmo. This was my first time having a dirty martni and I quite enjoyed it. In fact, I think I'll be drinking those from now on. I like the salty taste and it made me feel all grown up! Teehee.

dirty, dirty martini

Our bill was around $28 each after tax and tip. My only complaint is that they should have more food items for $3.60, but can't go wrong with cheap martinis.

Service was good when the waiter was around. Overall, a fun experience, just kind of dead. I'm just happy we got sloshed for so cheap.

Luxe Hotel
360 N Rodeo Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 273-0300

Friday, November 20, 2009

Soba Video

Making some cold soba topped off with scallions, boiled egg, and dried seaweed.

Feedback appreciated! =)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Taiwanese Hamburger

I just enjoyed one of the best burgers ever for breakfast. And, no it was not breakfast burger from a fast food place.

I picked up this gem from JJ Bakery in Arcadia the other day after dining at Din Tai Fung. Wasn't quite sure what to expect, but it looked damn tasty with the fried egg on top.

When I bit into the burger, it brought back childhood memories of being in Taiwan. I immediately recognized the sweet mayo topping along with the crisp cool cucumber. What a great flavor combo! The fried egg was a nice touch and brought the entire burger together nicely.

Now, if I can only find that sweet mayo sauce so I can duplicate this delightful journey back in time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Grace Restaurant

After sitting in horrendous traffic for 1 hour coming from the westside, my BF and I finally arrive at Grace 30 min late for our 7:30 reservation. The host greeted me by name even before I spoke. How nice is that?

It wasn't busy at all last night and pretty quiet that if a coin was dropped, you would have heard it.

The service was great, no complaints. We got our wine and water pretty fast. Our waiter was attentive, but not obtrusive, something that is very important to me. I hate when I'm in the middle of a conversation and someone comes over and interrupts.

Food was excellent and pretty big portions.

BF ordered the Kabocha squash and roasted chestnut soup. It was pureed and tasted had a nutty flavor to it. He liked it very much, I was so-so on it.

My Dungeness crab salad was amazing! I loved how the potato crisps separated the layers of yummy crab. The small apple slices gave it a nice tang to it. It was really a lovely salad.

best crab salad ever

BF ordered the sauteed New Zealand Sea Bream (fish) which was tasty, but didn't really wow me. I guess I'm more into unique/odd flavors.

Sea Bream

Which is why I ordered the braised pork shank with chorizo fries and rapini.

Holy shit! This pork was the size of my head and weighed about 5 lbs. I could only finish 1/6 of it and took the rest home. I must say the pork was very well seasoned and damn tender. Mmmm mmm braised! The chorizo fries were great and very creative. Who would have thought to put crispy chorizo with roasted potatoes? Genius. The rapini was good, although a little bitter.

We each had a glass of German Riesling which was pretty damn sweet, yet tasty. No martinis for us! I think I'm taking a break from drinking for a while. Oh wait, who am I kidding?

So, overall Grace serves great food and provides great service. I just thought they were pretty dead, even for a Tuesday night. We left around 9 pm and we were the last customers there. They were even starting to close up shop. Hmm.. bad economy?

If you go here, get the pork shank. It will last you for days. Definitely worth the $28 it cost.

Valet parking is up front, but I scored a sweet parking spot just steps away from the restaurant! That made up for being stuck in traffic forever.

(sorry for the bad pix, I only had my iPhone with me)


Grace Restaurant
7360 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 934-4400

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Haus Dessert Boutique

My buddy and I stumbled upon Haus as we drove by looking for some coffee or tea to take away the salty aftertaste of BCD Tofu.

We drove up, saw it was valet only for $2 and drove away. Why pay $2 when you can score free street parking across the street? It's hard times man.

We walked in and were greeted by 2 hosts at the front. They actually seemed really friendly. I was quite shocked.

The restaurant was quite big, boasting a huge lounge area with various couches and a big outdoor patio with fire pits.

We sat in a couch area and ordered a lemon tea. My friend also got a small froyo.

The lemon tea was $6 and we opted to share it. It came in one mug, but the guy at the front had said it was enough for two. Good thing my GF don't have cooties. :D

Froyo normally costs around $7, but since she just wanted a small portion, the waiter gave it to her for free!

Our lemon tea was good, although it was too sweet, so I asked them to add more regular tea to it. The manager said he would just make me a new one. Haha, works for me!

Service was a tad slow, so we had to flag them down a few times.

However, they only charged us $5 for the tea, so I guess they either made a mistake or felt bad for making it too sweet. Either way, I'll take it.

Oh, make a trip to the restroom. They have heated seats that come with a bidet. Not my thang, but some of you might be into it.


Haus Dessert Boutique
3826 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 288-5311

Friday, November 13, 2009

BCD Tofu House

I had nightmares last night. I blame it on BCD.

The last time I dined here, I had nightmares too. Coincidence? I think not.

So, why would I go to a place that gives me nightmares? Cuz my friend wanted to go for the spicy raw crab, so I obliged. If I had it my way, we'd be going to So Kong Dong.

But, alas, I'm a nice person. Well, she did go with me to a furniture place in K-town and helped me haggle the lady for a good price. I guess this was a fair trade-off.

BCD has a decent parking lot, so there is a plus.

The service was brisk, semi-friendly, and about standard for an Asian place.

I ordered the seafood tofu, medium spicy and she had the tofu and spicy crab combo.

The highlight of my meal was the fried fish they brought out as part of the banchan. The rest of the side dishes were lame. Kimchee, some sort of radish, cold cabbage soup, pickles in ice, and another kimchee dish. No potato salad? Boo hoo.

banchan with fried fish

My tofu soup was spicy, but way too salty. They claim there is no MSG here, but I'm not sure I believe that. I'm stil thirsty from last night and it's been over 24 hours. If there is no MSG in that soup, there must be some sort of scary spice cuz they induced my nightmares.

Once again, they brought out the check way early, but we took our sweet time.

I've decided I'm not coming back. Oversalted tofu and meh side dishes = major letdown.


BCD Tofu House
3575 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 382-6677

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Basil- One of My Favorite Herbs

I'm not sure if any of you have ever encountered the same problem as me. I go to the store, buy a pack of fresh basil, use a stem or two for a meal, and put the rest in the fridge, thinking that it will keep. Wrong! The basil starts turning black within 24 hours. How annoying and wasteful is that?

So, I went on the trusty internet and looked up how to store basil. The solution was so simple.

Put it in water!

I tested this out last week after going to Trader Joe's to get a new pack of basil. Came home, took the basil out, put it in a glass of water and voila! The basil stayed fresh.

In fact, the basil actually flourished and grew roots. I now have a basil plant on my kitchen countertop and I didn't have to grow it from scratch. How awesome is that? :D

Just wanted to share this tidbit.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Slanted Door

For a place that is so hard to garner a reservation, you would think this was a bomb ass place.

I called on Sunday around 12 pm to get a table for 2 at 1 pm. The guy said it was no problem, so we started walking over from Union Square. My stupid iPhone map gave me the wrong address, so we ended up walking 1 mile more than we were supposed to, but I guess it was worth burning the extra 200 calories before our big lunch.

Due to us getting lost, I called and told them we were running 15 min late. He said it was not a problem. When we finally arrived at 1:20 pm, the hostess said it would be a few minutes. We sat down in the lounge area and waited 20 min before my BF went up there to ask what was up. Apparently she claimed that she thought she sat us already. Whatever, she ended up seating us then.

After sitting down at a table by the window, we looked over the menu and waited for our waiter. And waited. 20 minutes later, we flagged down a busboy who went to get our waiter. By now, I was beyond starving since I didn't eat breakfast cuz I was saving up for lunch. It took all of me to keep my temper in check. I mean, c'mon, get on it Slanted Door! Service was definitely not a high point here.

Anyway, the waiter shows up and friendly and cool, so at least when he was present, he was decent. We ordered daikon rice cake, grilled prawns with rice noodles, shaking beef, and catfish in claypot.

My favorite dish was hands down the daikon rice cake. I don't know what they put in there, but it was so damn good, I could have ate 5 of those babies. The sauce it came with was well flavored and had a slight tang to it. It's similar to turnip cake at dim sums. But, I think theirs trumps any dim sum I've ever had. I'll have to find the recipe to duplicate it.

Rice noodles with grilled tiger prawns was mediocre. I've had better at a hole in the wall Vietnamese restaurant. I did enjoy the imperial roll that came with it, but overall, the highlight of this dish were the mint leaves. I guess mint really brought out the flavor of the noodles. Oh yeah, the fish sauce was good too.

Shaking beef was okay as well. I thought the filet mignon was bit chewy, but the onions were to die for! OMG. I could have just ate the onions over a bowl of white rice and been happy. Also, the lime sauce was pretty damn good too. A nice tangy addition over the white rice we ordered.

Caramelized catfish claypot was my least favorite. My BF loved it though. The fish itself was cooked well, but the sauce was overpowering and way too sweet. I put a little bit over my rice and it was so saccharine sweet, I couldn't eat it. I had to waste rice! Oh horrors.

In nutshell, The Slanted Door is a good place to dine at, when you get service. I expect better service for a $75 lunch for two. However, I'm coming back for those daikon rice cakes. Also, I heard the cellophane noodles with crab are a must try as well. Next time.


The Slanted Door
1 Ferry Bldg
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 861-8032

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Absolutely Phobulous

Phobulous, it is not. Fill you up till you can't breathe, it is.

The service here sucks ass. Basically, you have to flag down the guy who is on his cell phone 95% of the time. Well, it's to be expected at most Asian places. Sad, but true.

I must say though that the guy running this restaurant cracks me up. He answers the phone with "Ab Pho". LOL

We ordered the imperial rolls to start with. I really liked them! Fried rolls wrapped in lettuce leaves and dipped in fish sauce. Umm yummm! I added mint leaves to it as well and it really gave it some sweetness. Very nice touch.

I went with the vegetarian pho and it was quite tasty as well. Big bowl of noodles, tofu, broccoli, bok chop, bean sprouts and basil all in a veggie broth. I'm not a vegetarian, but just not into rare beef in my soup. Added a bunch of Sriracha sauce and it was bomb-diggity. Oh yeah, don't forget the japalenos. I'm a sucker for spicy foods.

the spread of carby goodness

BF had the vermicelli noodles with egg rolls, tofu, seaweed and veggies. I've had this dish several times before and it's rather tasty as well.

All this food was $22 before tip. It's not cheap if you compare it to Westminster, but hey, this is Beverly Hills. I think $22 for 2 for lunch is a decent price.

They only take credit cards for orders over $10, otherwise, be ready to pay cash.

Absolutely Phobulous
350 N La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 360-3930

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cafe Med

Gosh, I come here once a week. And it's not even that close to my house.

Why? I guess they have pretty damn good pasta. My favorites so far are the fettucine with truffles and the orecchiette with sausage and rabe.

orecchiette with sausage, rabe

Today I was in the mood for some meat so I tried the spaghetti. It was pretty good, although I've made better balls at home. But, since I was so hungover from drinking a bottle of wine last night, the balls sufficed. I thought the sauce was a bit runny, and wish there were more than 4 balls, but hey, that's just the oinker in me talking.

Ok, just wanted to blog a quickie of my lunch today!

Cafe Med
8615 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 652-0445