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Archive for February, 2011

WTF: Baby GaGa Ice Cream

Human udders ice cream, yummmmmmm!   I first heard about it once on KCRW’s radio show Good Food…and was just reminded of it by a co-worker thanks to this video.  Thanks CC!

I want to say that the idea of eating someone’s breast milk in ice cream form is kind of like eating someone else’s boogers….But I guess it’s pretty natural since we’ve all been breast fed at least once in our lifetime.  Even still….no thank you! (NPR)

– MJ


Flores Meat Tacos

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The Skinny: Discovered  Flores Meat Market on Yelp and the one hype that made me want to test the place out was that it was a spot a reviewer didn’t want others to find.  A few other reviewers wrote about how the Carne Asada burrito was tasty and that it couldn’t get more authentic, especially since no one spoke English there.  So I checked it out with my brother lived and his family.

The High: Just on sight alone, going into a meat market and seeing the way they had the food laid out, got me excited.  My brother ordered something I can’t name, but it’s basically a red beef stew with rice and re-fried beans as sides.   That was the only good thing I had.  It was moist and tasty, thanks mostly to the gravy that kept it lubricated throughout the day.

The Low: Everything else was dried out.  I ordered Tacos with Buche for myself, but they were salty and it felt like I was eating overcooked pieces of squid that’s been laying around for a few days.  I also tried the Carnitas and Pastor and both were tough to swallow.  The Carnitas especially was hard to chew thanks to the lack of moisture.   The place was also pretty stingy about their condiments, like bags of chopped onions, sour cream, and salsa.   Even though we got over 30 dollars worth of food, they only gave us one of each and if my brother had not been there with his fluent Spanish, we’d probably have to pay for the plastic forks as well.  Also, their Chicharones was tougher than a tree bark laid out on top of the hottest salt flats.   It won’t go to waste though, it’ll be chopped up and used for soups and salads later.

I was really disappointed with Flores, especially since I really wanted to eat tacos that day.  There was actually an El Gallito truck in the same parking lot, I should have just went there…even though Flores Meats and El Gallito are somehow connected.

Would you come back again? No….even though I might have came at the wrong the time. I went there for dinner, so maybe it would have been better if I came during lunch hour when the meats haven’t been laid out all day long.

More Info: Yelp | 1200 W Anaheim St. Wilmington, CA 90744N | Credit Card Friendly

– MJ


DineLA presents: Jiraffe

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The Skinny: Located in Santa Monica right by the 3rd St. Promenade and Wokcano, the unassuming (and a tad hard to find restaurant) is run by head chef LA’s own Raphael Lunetta. I had their DineLA Menu during Restaurant Week.

The High: Maine Jumbo Sea Scallop with Fergola Sarda, Farmer’s Market Sunchokes, Chanterelles, Rocco Parmesan Cheese, Pinot Noir Sauce. I was a bit scared at first because I’ve had one too many overcooked scallops in the past, but these scallops were on point. There’s nothing better than starting off a meal with light, savory and perfectly cooked scallops. The sauce was packed with flavor and a bit of a kick that complemented the variety of other additions to the appetizer like the sunchokes and chanterelles very well. It was a whole lot of fun in your mouth as well with the different texture combinations of the scallops, sunchokes, chanterelles, and fergola sarda.

Filet of Beef with Roasted Salsify and White Asparagus Puree, Red Flame Grapes, Salad of Julienne Celery Root with Creme Fraiche-Whole Grain Mustard, Madiera-Beef Jus. I personally liked this over the John Dory. This was my boyfriend’s dish, but we ended up switching midway into dinner. I loved the grapes with this dish. It blended perfectly with the madiera and really added a sweetness to the beef. Everything about this dish was just very delicate and simple, but still deep in flavor. You can tell Lunetta really puts a lot of love and time into his sauces.

The desserts. Carmelized Banana Cream Pie and Chocolate Halsey with Caramel Mousse. I love banana cream pie and Jiraffe did an EXCELLENT job with theirs. It wasn’t too much banana where I’d feel like Donkey Kong, but it wasn’t too much cream where I’d feel like I’m eating Beard Papa’s. A perfect combination of both AND the crust was flaky – exquisite. The Chocolate Halsey was also delicious especially if you’re a dark chocolate fan. The mousse was great and it had a good balance of both chocolate and caramel.

The Low: Roulade of Hudson Valley Foie Gras and Crispy Potato Wrapped Big Eye Ahi Tuna with Confit of Baby Leeks, Plum Wine-Szechuan Pepper Sauce – For an appetizer with a name as long as the Mississippi River, I expected a lot more (and was disappointed). I LOVE foie gras and this dish just really did not deliver. First off, I couldn’t taste the foie gras at all because it was surrounded by way too much warm raw tuna. There is nothing worse than getting the temp off with raw fish. The only saving grace for this was again, the sauce, but I didn’t appreciate the peppers as much because I still remember how overpowering it was 3 weeks later. If I wanted a mediocre tuna roll with a sprinkle of foie gras, I could’ve went to Wokcano next door.

Would you come back again? 50/50. I don’t think I’d come back for the DineLA menu. It really didn’t live up to the hype. I’ve heard it compared to Melisse before, but the food wasn’t really to die for. I’d recommend it to out of towners who are looking for good restaurants in the area. And, I’d definitely suggest it to anyone who’d be interested in buying me dinner, but not sure if I’d pay for this myself.

More Info:  JIRAFFE Restaurant | 502 Santa Monica Boulevard |Santa Monica, CA 90401-2410 | (310) 917-6671 | Credit Card Friendly | Average Entree Costs $25

– Barbarella


Music Related: “Colours” – Grouplove

It’s been proven, that Hipsters kill taco trucks…..but not all Hipsters are taco truck killers.  Hopefully these guys support local taco trucks found in front of local small “mom & pop” venues.

www.grouplovemusic.com


Las Vegas: MGM Wolfgang Puck

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The Skinny: Tucked away inside MGM, Wolfgang Puck modernizes the traditional “bar & grill” concept.  I’ve walked past it many times, but never really thought anything of it until I sat down to eat.  The restaurant has a very garden chic feel to it.  You almost feel like you’re dining in LA until you hear the lovely sounds of the machines in the casino.  My friend and I dined here before a show, definitely recommend it if you’re looking for something trendy & upscale, but not stuffy.

The High: Truffled Potato Chips, Maytag Blue Cheese Sauce.  This is my favorite dish.  It is a brick in your stomach good.  The huge chunks of blue cheese may have been a little bit overkill, but the first bite was an explosion of blue cheese & truffle.  We also had the Chinois Chicken Salad, Candied Peanuts, Crisp Wontons, Chinese Mustard Vinaigrette.  It was one of the best Chinese chicken salad’s I’ve had.  The dressing wasn’t too overpowering as it is in most chicken salads, it was subtle but noticeable.

The Low: BBQ chicken pizza.  I liked the first bite, but after that it didn’t really do anything for me.  I liked how subtle the BBQ taste was, but the flavor just didn’t do it for me.  Maybe BBQ chicken just needs that tangy BBQ taste.

Would you come back again? I suppose so, like I said, a cool place to hang out and people watch, but there are so many places to do that already, I’d probably only come back for the truffle chips.

More Info: www.wolfgangpuck.com

– Sniper Tam *pew pew pew!*


Las Vegas: Akira Back’s Yellowtail

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The Skinny: One of my favorite Japanese restaurants on the strip.  Akira Back is an amazing chef with his fresh & innovative dishes.  The main dining overlooks the beautiful water fountains of Bellagio Hotel with the Paris hotel’s Eiffle tower in the background.  The ultimate spot for all the movers & shakers of the nightlife industry.  The service itself is enough for me to come back.  If you ever get to meet the GM Young, he is such a wonderful person, tons of energy & he is the epitomy of customer service.  The food is a little of what you expect in a Japanese restaurant and some of it you sort of think to yourself WHAT? No way. This restaurant is definitely for a more complex palate.

The High: My #1 favorite dish of all time at  Yellowtail is the Big Eye Tuna Pizza with truffle oil.  I’ve recommended this dish up and down to everyone I know and not one person has come back to tell me that I was wrong.  Yes, it’s THAT good. My next favorite dish is the Tempura Alaskan King Crab w/ serrano peppers & sweet ponzu sauce.  The texture and flavors of the the dish go well with each other with a little bite coming from the serrano pepper.  The pop rocks roll is always a crowd pleasure.  My friend had never tried this before.  I was nice enough to tell her what it was, but the first time I had tried it, no one told me.  I took a bite of it and it was crunchy and the candy started exploding in my mouth.  It is literally a party in your mouth.   You taste the sweetness of the watermelon poprocks, but it doesn’t take away from the spicy crab.

The Low: Rock shrimp with Korean chili aioli.  It’s not really a low, but once you’ve tasted the tempura Alaskan king crab the rock shrimp’s flavor didn’t really appeal to me.  Either which way, if you’re going to have the rock shrimp or the tempura king crab, choose one or the other and try the other for another day.  I’ve had the rock shrimp before and it was delicious, but tonight I think the crab won.

Would you come back again? Absolutely.  Any day, anytime.  Well ok…..maybe not any day, any time…..it may get a little expensive, but this is definitely one of my restaurants of choice.

More Info: Yellowtail Website : Traditional & Modern Japanese menu;  expect to spend $55+ per person based on a 3 course dinner

Sniper Tam *pew pew pew!*


Music Related: Mr. Little Jeans (aka Monica Birkenes)

Has some Karen O vibe going on in that song.   Monica Birkenes is a Norwegian born songwriter who is now residing in Los Angeles.   When talking about music, she says ” “Personally, I don’t think there’s a standard for what a classic song should have, cause there’s a huge variety out there. But I think Michael Jackson was right when he said melody is king. Melody and a nice tone to the voice…and some good chord progressions!”

Her other song, “Rescue Me,” can be heard in the latest Honda CR-V 2011 commercial.

More info at ChinaShop and on her Myspace page.  I’ll be waiting for news about her live shows in the meantime.