Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A & J

We were here a couple weeks back with my family. I think there were 20 peeps in our group, so I was impressed on how fast they seated us on a very busy Saturday night. My aunt went crazy and pretty much ordered everything off the menu....

(Chinese cucumbers, fried dumplings (ok, no wow-factor), seaweed, don't know what the top left item is)(have no clue what they are...)
My aunt also ordered the fried pork noodle; I only had room for a slice of fried pork - gross. One of my cousins raved about their steam dumplings:
What a disappointment....where's the juice? Don't order their scallion pancakes (no where near my grandpa's) but you should order this:
The thousand layer pancake--it's good. Another dish that I enjoyed was their beef noodle dish:
If my aunt drags us here again, I'll know now just to have the beef noodle and the thousand layer pancake. I'm sure I might get a lot of haters for giving them a 3, but what I can I say, I live in Cali where there are plenty of good Chinese restaurants --don't be jealous...

Address: 1319 Rockville Pike Rockville, MD 20852
Phone: (301) 251-7878
Rating: 3 out of 5


We settled at Bobalouie's last Friday as we were too tired to drive to Ybor Street. It's an official USF bar, so plenty of college kids shooting pool (think they have 4-5 pool tables), singing horribly (they have karaoke here...just to be fair, I'm a horrible singer too), or watching sport games. You have a bunch of locals as well --there's not much a nightlife in Tampa--near Lutz, Fl.

There's a little bar area separated to the left of the main room playing R&B/rap music. We decided to stick to the main room, grabbed a booth --they have video games for each booth except the one near the stage.

Drinks are weak but cheap - $5 for my cape cod. People can smoke inside. I think they close at 3AM on the weekends...call and double check.

In a nutshell, it's a typical divey sports bar with a karaoke twist.

Address: 1913 E Bearss Ave Ste 200 Tampa, FL 33613
Phone: (813) 971-1243
Rating: 2.6 out of 5


I was here at Fast Eddie's Sports & Billards a couple weeks back on a Friday celebrating my cousin's birthday again since it was her actual bday (man, I wished I can celebrate my bday a million times..), and I was suprised of the make-over --for the better. The place was called 'Sharks' the last time I was in VA. This place has everything - pool table, full bar, dance floor, juke box, TVs, outdoor patio, and a cigarette vending maching (you can smoke inside).

We were there for maybe 2 hours (??) shooting pool and drinking and spent a little over $100 (don't know how many drinks we had....they're not strong).

Overall, we had a good time in the burb.

Address: 9687 Lee Hwy Fairfax, VA 22031
Phone#: (703) 385-7529
Rating: 4 out of 5

Monday, September 29, 2008


If you're heading to the Salvador Dali Museum on Sundays, I highly recommend coming to Cafe Alma for brunch. I'll admit I was scared when I read the negative reviews on-line, but it was difficult finding a brunch place in St. Petersburg (it's quite dead on the weekends) and surprisingly had a lovely time at Cafe Alma.

They have good eggs Benedict selection. I went for the standard e.b. --think it's called Southern Traditional. It was pretty close to perfect --just a little heavy on the butter:

You only get a fruit salad as your side --I guess it balanced off all the butter I ate. Everything on the brunch menu looked tasty -like the strawberry waffles and their special omelets --next time when I'm in Tampa...

Address: 260 1st Ave S Saint Petersburg, FL 33747
Phone#: (727) 502-5002
Rating: 4 out of 5

Thursday, September 25, 2008


For drinks only

After we ditched Heaven & Hell, we strolled down 18th Street trying to figure out where's a good place to sit outside and have a few drinks and we landed at Meze. It's a good place to people watch--you have all the people strolling down eating the Jumbo Slice pizzas or the Original Jumbo Slice pizzas, the drunks, the crazy girls and guys...

Service was a bit slow --had to hunt my waitress. Drinks are pricey. If you sit outside, I recommend you not to sit next to the "fence" as LOUD people like to lean on it and talk forever...

Address: 2437 18th St NW Washington, DC 20009
Phone#: (202) 797-0017
Rating: 3 out of 5


It's 4:00AM and you're starving, where do you go? Coffee Shop!

After Fat Baby last week, I was disappointed that the only place that served food in LES in the wee morning was this falafel shop. We were starving but not craving falafel. I can always trust the Coffee Shop welcoming us in with its bright neon sign. We had the Media Noche - Classic Cuban Sandwich --hit the tummy in the right spot.

I would also recommend their Seared Rare Peppered Yellowfin Tuna Over Seasonal Greens (I used to order this all the time when I lived in NYC) and their Vegetarian Garden Burger.

Service is a hit or miss here.

Address: 29 Union Sq W New York, NY 10003
Phone#: (212) 243-7969
Rating: 4 out of 5


I'll admit it, this is not my scene, so I'm going to be nice and give 'em 2 stars.

It was my first time in Adam Morgan where all the bars and clubs are in DC last Friday. It's a cluster f*ck. Btw, the city should really build more parking lots. It's ridiculous that we have to go to the mid-street to valet park or park in the lot. My cuz, newly wife and friends wanted to hang & dance there. I checked the Yelp reviews and just dreaded...luckily, It wasn't crowded --guess Alison S' word is out that it's "actually just Hell."

Heaven & Hell is situated across from Maggie Moo's (I like that name!) in what looks like an apartment at one point. That being said, it felt like I was back at a college house party with pschodelic posters/paintings on the wall, tripping on acid (never touched it), lights flashing, everyone moving in slow mo like you're in a circus fun house. This part was "Heaven" (second floor). I didn't even bother to hang out in "Hell" (first floor).

Drinks are not as cheap as we had thought --about $9/drink. Yeah....it's tough paying drinks at that price when you're at a dive bar...We ventured off to Meze.

Address: 2327 18th St NW (between N Belmont Rd & N Kalorama Sq) Washington, DC 20009
Phone#: (202) 667-4355
Rating: 2 out of 5

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Last night was my first and last time eating at Tito's Tacos.

Tito's Tacos is one of th LA must eats place, where the line is a mile long. Are people on crack? I'm not looking for authentic Mexican food. I don't care if they only serve their "tacos" and burritos. I just want GOOD food. Tito's Tacos' meat was all dried and looked like dog food. It reminded like those tacos I had in elementary, except they had more flavor.

I rather eat Toxic Hell's tacos than Tito's Tacos.

1 star for their chips though.


Address: 11222 Washington Pl Culver City, CA 90230
Phone#: (310) 391-5780
Rating: 1 out of 5


The plan last Thursday was to go to Lucali, but unfortunately sis & brother-in-law wanted to stay close to home, so we dined at Shi, a recently opened, shi shi LIC restaurant that serves mediocre Chinese/Japanese food.

Shi is a beautiful restaurant. If you like Tao's interior, you'll like Shi's. They don't have a pond or a giant Buddha, but there's a grand painting of Caucasians dressed in cheongsam and suits...um, yeah.
Their cocktail of the day was Berry Mojito, so of course I had to have it -I just had one. It could use more simple sugar, lime, and berries...

Their food is like Wokcano (it's a Los Angles Asian Fusion Restaurant chain). The sushi is shi*tty, and the Chinese is safe. We ordered:
For Appetizers: Tuna Tartar - ok, but I don't know about the chips they used...


Yellowtail Serrano - ok


For Entrees: Crispy Pan Fried Noodles - didn't have any because it came with scallop and squid (their menu needs to specify what comes with it for people who have food allergies!!)

Tuna Roll - soggy sushiEel & Avocado Roll - gross, soggy

Cod - their special, very good!

For Desserts: Crème Brule - chai flavored, interesting... - ok


Chocolate Molten Cake (I think) - ok


Chocolate Caramel Dessert...(forgot the name) - ok, the best out of the 3

I would skip their desserts...The food cost is reasonable. Appetizers range from $2-8. The Chinese meat/seafood dishes are from $10-13. The Vegetable dishes are from $8-10. Noodles dishes are from $7.50 to 11. Sushi rolls from $3.50 to the special rolls of $14.

We should have gone to Lucali...

Address: 4720 Center Blvd Long Island City, NY 11109
Phone#: (347) 242-2450
Rating: 2.7 out of 3

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


We're at the Dulles Airport at 5:15AM for our 6AM last Monday, and what do I eat? Oh yeahhhh, a Five Guys' little cheeseburger! I had to check out what everyone is saying about this East Coast Burger joint.
This little burger was filling and very good. Their fries are similar and slightly better than Cheeburger's:

My only suggestion is to use paper cups instead of styrofoam cups for the fries.

P.S. I just noticed on their website they have one in Carson (20700 Avalon Blvd, Carson, CA 90746). Woohoo!

Address: Dulles International AirportDulles, VA 20101
Phone#: (703) 661-8787
Rating: 4 out of 5


I encountered my first Cheeburger Cheeburger at JFK's Jet Blue terminal last Friday and it was quite good! I was surprised to find out that bf was actually telling me the truth when he said Cheeburger Cheeburger was the outcome of a SNL skit.

If you haven't been to a Cheeburger Cheeburger, you basically tap the items that you want on the computer screen. I guess it's a 99% mistake-proof. Their smallest offered size was enormous; we probably should have split it.
We also ordered fries and onion rings. I prefer their fries...
but B prefers their onion rings...

Like all food at the airport, it's not cheap, but if you want quality food, eat at Cheeburger Cheeburger. 2 burgers+2 drinks + 1 onion rings +1 fries = $30

P.S. Closest Cheeburger to LA is San Diego or Las Vegas.

Address: JFK International Airport- Terminal 6 Jet BlueJamaica, NY 11430
Phone#: (718) 656-6210
Rating: 4 out of 5


Wow, it was really dead in LES last Thursday around 2AM. The bouncer was friendly and encouraged us to come in to Fat Baby. It's such an odd bar name in LES...Anyhoo, I think there were only 7 people (including the bartender and the drunk DJ). It's too bad it was super slow, because I imagine with more people, it can be a fun bar...

The interior is nice. In the back, there's two level (a balcony). I didn't realized that there was a basement there...we just stayed for a round of drinks. The bathroom is in the front on the main floor --odd but convenient for us.1 star for the bouncer, another for the interior, and another for the possibilities.

Address: 112 Rivington St (between Essex St & Ludlow St) New York, NY 10002
Phone: (212) 533-1888
Rating: 3 out of 5


Lombardi's was our 4th stop. It's overrated. Don't get me wrong, it's not terrible, but not as great as I expected it to be since Lombardi's the 1st licensed pizzeria joint .

We got there around 6pm, so there was no wait, and ordered 1/2 pepperoni and 1/2 mushroom: DSC04187

and the close up:

As you can see, they were very serious at making it a half pizza --leaving 1" of just cheese in between....the sauce is like puree --not paste and not sweet.

The waitress was generous on the wine:

I don't think I've ever been to a restaurant where they filled my glass to almost the rim. Once I tasted the pinot grigio, I realized why they fill it up to the rim --they want to get rid of their sh*tty wine. I took a couple sips and I was done with it.

In a nutshell, I'll pass on Lombardi's and have more pizza at Pizza Gruppo or at Di Fara.

Address: 32 Spring St New York, NY 10012
Phone#: (212) 941-7994
Rating: 3 out of 5


Dom is a magician.

We were impressed how his thin pizza crust (not as thin as Pizza Gruppo's) was able to hold that many toppings without it collapsing. We love Di Fara's pizza! Out of the 5 pizza jonts we managed to squeeze in on our trip, we have to say Di Fara's the best (27 Zagat rating --tied with Lucali's)

We had our usual, pepperoni ( we enjoyed Dom saying "peperoni" with his thick Italian accent --he's for real):

Yes, those pepperonis are thick and yummy! I noticed on the wall that artichoke and mushroom was the slice to have, so I patiently waited for my $6 slice and BAM there it is:

I thought $6 was a bit on the pricey side, but it's so worth it --look at the gigantic artichokes! Di Fara is a MUST!!!

P.S. The interior is not fancy --they probably should repaint the walls...but you will definitely leave there happy.

Address: 1424 Ave J Brooklyn, NY 11230
Phone#: (718) 258-1367
Rating: 5 out of 5

Monday, September 22, 2008


3 words:

Coffee Ice Cream

Address: 97 Commercial St (between Ash St & Box St) Brooklyn, NY 11222
Phone#: (718) 349-2506
Rating: 5 out of 5


Patsy's Pizzeria was supposed to be our 3rd stop, but they only sell by the pies. We needed to save room for Lombardi's, so off we headed to Pizza Gruppo. I picked Pizza Gruppo because it got a 26 Zagat rating, and man, they did not disappoint us! I would have to say that Pizza Gruppo has the BEST THIN CRUST pizzas.

Of course, you'll have to wipe all the grease off first, but DAMN that was good pizza. Pizza Gruppo is a must if you love thin crust pizzas!

Address: 186 Ave B New York, NY 10009
Phone: (212) 995-2100
Rating: 5 out of 5


If you're hungry and near the Grand Central Station, head to Two Boots, one of my favorite pizzas. Two Boots was our 2nd pizza stop after Naples 45. I had to get a slice of Newman:


Granted the picture doesn't do justice, but it's sure still tasty! And of course, my favorite part, their crust:


Address: Grand Central Terminal109 E 42nd St New York, NY 10017
Phone: (212) 557-7992
Rating: 5 out of 5


Our mission was to try as many pizzas in NYC within 48 hours last week. Naples 45 was our first just due to location, and luckily we came after 2PM --we didn't know of the $2.50 deal (1 slice of pizza & pop can). We had a slice of pepperoni:

And the verdict? There's no wow-factor, but it's OK. I was expecting more since Naples 45 has the seal of approval from the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (rarely granted in the States) according to Time Out.

Address: MetLife Building 200 Park Avenue New York, NY 10166
Phone: (212) 972-7001
Rating: 3 out of 5


It's Thursday night/ Friday "morning," with 4-5 customers (including myself & bf), why the F**K do you have the music BLASTING?! I mean, REALLY? JUST BECAUSE YOU PLAY THE MUSIC LOUDER DOES NOT MEAN YOU WILL ATTRACT MORE PEOPLE AND IT'S NOT FUN WHEN EVERYONE NEEDS TO SHOUT.

Be kind to the bar patrons and neighbor and lower the volume. My ears bled. Plus, my svdc was served in the smallest glass I've ever seen.

Thank goodness for Yelp. We jetted over to LIC.

Address: 5002 Vernon Boulevard Long Island City, NY 11101
Phone: (718) 472-5131
Rating: 1 out of 5

Thursday, September 18, 2008


My ex would pick Casita Taco De Carbon's pollo tacos over me anyday --in fact that's why he left. That's how much he LOVES their pollo tacos... Between you and me, I think he just really in love with their red hot sauce shown here:

It disguises the dryness in the chicken. The carne asada was definitely dry. I will say that their tacos are the biggest small tacos I ever had --normally I can eat 3 tacos, but I can only finish 2 Casita's tacos. Their tortilla chips are ok. Their horchata is a tad bit too sweet. I'll have to try their super chicken nachos next time...

Address: 405 N Victory Blvd Burbank, CA 91502
Phone#: (818) 848-3242
Rating: 2.7 out of 5

Monday, September 15, 2008



Durty Nelly's was a good way to end on my cousin's birthday after the terrible service we had at Onotria Restaurant. Durty Nelly's is a cute Irish pub with a good mix of people (not trashy). Luckily it wasn't that crowded on a Saturday karaoke night.
My cousin waited for 20 minutes to sing her song. Drinks are cheap! Got myself a pint of SVDC (Stoli Vanilla Diet Coke) for $7 buckaroos! Plenty of parking. We all had a good time!

Address: 2915 Red Hill Ave Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Phone#: (714) 957-1951
Rating: 4 out of 5


My cousin had no idea what to do for her birthday, so I yelped and forwarded a few restaurants, and she chose Onotria. Even though I didn't really recommend the restaurants or picked it, I felt I was still responsible and was absolutely horrified of their service.

Since we were still waiting for 2 people, we decided to grab drinks at the bar. Wow...their bar service sucked! I got that she's the only bartender and providing drinks for the restaurant, but she was the SLOWEST bartender...and most of the drinks were wine --just pour the damn thing already! I was literally doing jumping jacks and couldn't grab her attention.

** Note to the bartender - If you're busy, just at least nod to customers, so we know you know we are there.

15 minutes have past since our reservation time and they seat us at a table where the candles weren't lit. I know...it's minor, but geez, you know what table we're sitting at and you couldn't have it prepare.

Preparation was not a part of their vocabulary. We sat at our table for about seven minutes w/out menus cuz they were out....after 7 minutes we got (1) menu and then another menu shortly after. Everyone rec'd menus 15 minutes after we were seated.

We had the tomato salad for appetizer. There's nothing to rave about it --just tomato and cucumber salad, which personally for $12, was ridiculous. I had the Fuseli Pasta with Wild Boar Sausage & Porcini Mushrooms for my entree...
I was annoyed that I had to ask the waiter for parmesan cheese. Doesn't it look more appetizing with cheese?

I thought it was funny that manager came 10 minutes later to ask me if I wanted parmesan cheese....nope too late, I beat you to it.
And the verdict? Let's say for $22, I am extremely disappointed. I had about 5 mushrooms and the sausages were flavorless. You can get better pasta and half the cost at Olive Garden.

B's dish was slight better. He had the 8 oz. Filet Mignon, pan seared & served with a Pomegranate~Dry Cherry & Port Wine Reduction:
The worst part was that the waiter didn't ask everyone if we wanted dessert. SAY WHAT?! The waiter did come out with a slice of tiramisu with a birthday candle for my coz, but still I can't believe you're not going to offer me the best part of the meal?!
It's a pass on Onotria.

Address: 2831 Bristol Street Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Phone#: (714) 641-5952
Rating: 2 out of 5

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Great outdoor patio!
OK burgers!
Good for groupies!
Smokers love the Cat & Fiddle Pub!

Wait! Literally,WAIT You will be waiting for your drinks for-EVER at the bar. Hence the 4-star rating.

Address: 6530 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90028
Phone#: (323) 468-3800
Rating: 4 out of 5

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Hi Pizza is shitty.

B was working late last night, so I thought I would have a pizza waiting for him. Plus I was starving and couldn't wait on him. I was going to order from Crispy Crust, but then there were all these Korean pizza joints that I recently discovered. Most of the joints had closed already, so I was happy that Hi Pizza was still opened and more importantly, they delivered to my area.

The delivery time was accurate --the guy said it would take 30-40 minutes --I live probably a mile or two from Hi. Oh, they charge you an additional 99 cent if you pay by credit card.

When I opened the box, I was like "oye vey, that does not look good..." and I was right....


I'll start with the cheese; it was burnt and rubbery. Gross. I wouldn't say that Hi Pizza's has a "crispier crust," but it has a helluva chewier crust than other joints and slightly burnt.

Lastly, the toppings...I had ordered 1/2 mushroom and 1/2 pepperoni. As you can see...
...they skimped on the mushrooms, and they must have used the cheapest pepperonis.

Digiorno's, Pizza Hut's, Domino's and even Little Caesar's are better than Hi Pizza's.

Bye pizza.

Address: 119 S Western Ave Los Angeles, CA 90004
Phone#: (213) 380-5757
Rating: 1 out of 5

Friday, September 12, 2008


Dude, I've never been to a sushi restaurant where they offer a Frequent Dining Card! Once you completed the 10 visits at Kai Sushi Shabu-Shabu, spending at least $20/visit you get a $20 gift certificate! How cool is that?! I mean everywhere you go, they're being so stingy. I am still waiting for Coffee Bean to go back to their frequent stamp card...

I also like that the restaurant is split into two different section (no wall though). On one side there's the Shabu-Shabu and the other the sushi.

Now...the sushi...if I ask for for an eel avocado roll, I expect to have eel and avocado in each piece. I had (1) avocado in (1) piece --weird right? because they're supposed to roll it up? Ah, they showed their stingyside. The tuna was ok. Prices are normal.

I might go back just cuz they have a frequent card, but mostly not cuz I don't live in Santa Barbara.

Who wants a frequent card? Give me your address and I'll mail it to you. For real. You'll be $20 closer to having a $20 gift certificate.

Address: 738 State St. Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone#: (805) 560-8777
Rating: 3 out of 5


We went there last night to watch a friend of a friend's stand up act...yeah, I know at Shooter's. Suprisingly the 3 out of the 4 comedians were quite good. It's ashame that the bar wasn't...so I give them...

3 STARS for providing FREE entertainment and supporting comedians.
1 STAR for having (2) pool tables, an electronic dart board thingy


Note to all bartenders: If you're out, just say that you're out.
Note to all future comedians: Be prepare and never talk about a $60 blow-up Va-J-J for 15 minutes.

Address: 152 S Brand Blvd Glendale, CA 91204
Rating: 2 out of 5

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I miss Lupa's Gnocchi! I would always order their Gnocchi every other week when I lived in NY. I'll be in NY soon to see my little dumplings!

Address: 170 Thompson St(between Bleecker St & Houston St) New York, NY 10012
Phone#: (212) 982-5089
Rating: 5 out of 5



I should have stopped at 2, and now I am seriously paying for it today. My SVDC (Stoli Vanilla Diet Coke) was more like SV with a splash of DC.

The Griffin is a great place to lounge and drink. There's an outdoor smoking area.

Address: 3000 Los Feliz Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90039
Phone#: (323) 644-0444
Rating: 5 out of 5

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


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balthazar restaurant & bakery's eggs benedict make me smile and jump for joy! (9/10/08)

Address: 80 Spring St (between Broadway & Crosby St) New York, NY 10012
Phone#: (212) 965-1414
Rating: 5 out of 5


Figaro Bistrot is a cute little bistro but the service is always slow...the most recent trip was about a week and half ago.

We sat there a while until a server took our order. He wasn't our waiter as our real waiter was....I don't know where...and neither did the server. I ordered the Prosciutto Panini and was very disppointed that they were out of fries. How the hell can you be out of fries?! Our real server brought out our food and failed to realize that I had no napkin or fork to eat my salad...so I swiped it off another table. Alas, when asking for the bill, our real server did another disappering act. Another server took our credit card. It's a shame how bad service can ruin a restaurant.

I give the Prosciutto Panini a 4-STAR and the service a 1-STAR.

Address: 1802 N Vermont Ave Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone#: (323) 662-1587
Rating: 2.3 out of 5


Review for appetizer & drinks only

Went to Sonora Cafe with friends last week and I have say that they have the best tortilla chips. It's too bad that their salsa needs work. I ordered their zucchini/mushroom quesadilla and was pleasantly surprised that I couldn't taste the zucchini (I hate z, my friend is a veg.). It's too bad we missed the happy hours because their yummy watermelon margaritas sure added up --$12 a pop! Yeah....don't do what I did, go during happy hours (5-7pm, M-F).

Address: 180 S La Brea Ave Los Angeles, CA 90036
Phone: (323) 857-1800
Rating: 4 out of 5

Update: 3/17/09: R.I.P. - CLOSED


I was down in SD for Comic Con and shame on me for not planning ahead. My boss, his wife, and I were strolling down the streets for about 25 minutes before we settled on Trattoria La Bocca.

I had their Fettuccini al Forno (Cream sauce oven baked w/diced beef, shitake mushrooms, dice tomato & seasoned breadcrumbs). I specifically requested them to go easy on the sauce, but instead there was a great big pool of it. Yikes. I should have drown the waiter in it.

Address: 515 5th Ave San Diego, CA 92101
Phone#: (619) 232-3352
Rating: 3 out of 5


**Review for drinks only

If you want to take a break from the Irish pubs and want to head to a swanky bar, Cosmos at the Graves 601 Hotel (formerly the Le Meridien) is your place. The drawback is that you'll have to pay for the drinks --you're back to LA prices. Cosmos was the last bar we hit up for my brother's birthday, and I love their drink list and fries! I had their rasberry mojito and espressotini. Yum....slurp...buzzzzz.. .zz . . I'll be back!

Address: 601 1st Avenue N. Minneapolis, MN 55467
Phone#: (612) 312-1168
Rating: 4 out of 5


You go to the Cottage because there are very few breakfast options in Laguna Beach, and you're too lazy to cook or you need a brunch place that's midpoint from Los Angeles and Capistrano Beach (ok, it's not really midpoint, but when your friend is preggo, it's midpoint).

Address: 308 N Coast Hwy Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Phone#: (949) 494-3023
Rating: 2 out of 5


We didn't dine at the restaurant, but we had their yummy cheese pizza at the Santa Inez Wine Festival. I wasn't expecting their pizza to be good since we were outside, and they were baking their pizza in this igloo contraption. I'm impressed! Sauce was sweet. I love their crust --soft, slightly crispy and chewy. Trattoria Grappolo will be the first restaurant I go to when I'm in the Santa Barbara area (about 20 minute drive from SB).

Address: 3687 Sagunto St Santa Ynez, CA 93460
Phone#: (805) 688-6899
Rating: 4 out of 5


Snoop loves taking me to Azia whenever I'm back at home. I've eaten in the restaurant section and drank and danced in the bar section where they played Japanese animation and have a DJ spinning euro techno music (I think...I'm never the driver). I dig it. Food is good (I always order non-sushi items --there's no good sushi restaurant in MN) and a bit pricy but they compensate by making their drinks $7.50. Sick. I always cry when I get my bar bill in MN. Drinks are so cheap here.

Address: 2550 Nicollet Ave Minneapolis, MN 55404
Phone#: (612) 813-1200
Rating: 4 out of 5


We were at Maison Akira about a month ago, and it was a really cute restaurant --mirrors every where to make the restaurant bigger. If you come here, you really need to get the prix fixe meal --financially it makes sense because the entrees are so expensive. They offer two prix fix meals; I opted for the $55 --the cheaper one.

Amuse: I forgot what it was, but have no bad memory of it...no memories is better than bad memories.

2nd: Seared tuna with white peach and beef fat: odd with the fat...but surprisingly tasty with the tuna

3rd: Mushroom soup was delicious! I was allergic to the options they had so they offer me their soup of the day.

Entree: Sea Bass: I ordered it because everyone raved about it. It's decent, but no wow factor. I won't order it again the next time around.

Dessert: Baked Alaska: Awesome presentation --they lit the dessert on fire! B really enjoyed it. I didn't like the liquor that came with it.

I'll have to try their brunch, which reading Juma's review sounds amazing!

Address: 713 E Green St Pasadena, CA 91101
Phone#: (626) 796-9501
Rating: 4 out of 5


2 good reasons to head to Rose Cafe & Market:

1) If you have friends coming into town, take them to Rose Cafe & Market on a weekend for brunch --it has such a "L.A." feel --it's bright, white, everyone wearing shades, sipping their mimosas (be sure to sit outside), and then you can walk to Venice Beach.


Address: 220 Rose Ave Venice, CA 90291
Phone: (310) 392-4191
Rating: 4 out of 5


I guess I'll forgive Cafe Bravo for not allowing us to dine in at 8:30pm (they close at 9pm) because I love my FOOT long chicken kabob (with tomatoes, cilantro and garlic sauce) sandwich for $4.50 last night! Yes, $4.50! Not only is it cheap, but it's also delicious! B was happy with lamb kabob plate (comes with 2 sides) -$8.00. I can't wait 'til they move to Silverlake! The Glendale store sign is hard to read --it's right next to the KFC.

Address: 1135 W Glenoaks Blvd Glendale, CA 91202
Phone#: (818) 500-4005
Rating: 5 out of 5


Ice Cream, ice cream, we all scream for ice cream especially if it's Scoops!

Scoops offers the most absurd ice cream combinations from Bacon-Carmel to Coffee Jack Daniels. The flavors change daily. We went for the Salted Caramel Ice Cream (wow! cool!), Oreo Banana Soy Ice Cream (great for people who are allergic to dairy), and the Sheep Cheese Peach Ice Cream (think fruit cheese cake - yum!). They are vegan friendly--usually have 2 different kinds of vegan ice creams.

Address: 712 N Heliotrope Dr Los Angeles, CA 90029
Phone#: (323) 906-2649
Rating: 5 out of 5

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Rocco's pizza is not great, but it's not bad. It's safe. I prefer to order their nonpizza items like their Greek Chicken Salad, meatballs,
Rocco's Italian Kitchen
antipasta salad (good and simple --huge portion too),
Rocco's Italian Kitchen

Rocco's Italian Kitchen
and chicken wings (pretty meaty for chicken wings). This is where I go if I want pizza at work (cuz it's the only pizza joint that's within walking distance).

Address: 6335 Wilshire Blvd., LA, CA 90048
Phone#: (323) 655-0058
Rating: 3 out of 5


Hara Sushi & Roll Cafe (HSRC) is an organic sushi restaurant. They offer brown rice and "use rice bran oil for any deep fried rolls." I have to say Sushi & Kushi IMAI lunch prices are better and offer more, but then again, SRCH is offering organic food so their cost is higher...I guess (it's not cheap shopping at Whole Foods). At HSRC you get one roll + a salad for $10/11 and at SKI you get 2 rolls, salad, vegetables, rice, miso, and fruit for $10. Oh, their chicken and eggs are range free.

Let's move on to the more important part, what I ate...
Whenever I'm at new sushi restaurant, I like to order my usual, spicy tuna roll and eel avocado roll so it's easier for me to tell which sushi restaurants are good (for me) and occasionally, I'll have a mackerel, albacore, salmon sushi. But the rolls were a bit pricy at SRCH....so I just had the Crispy Spicy Tuna Roll $6.95 and Eel Avocado Roll $6.95 ( I don't think I paid $7 at Nobu... but then again, I have to remind myself it's "organic"). This is the first sushi place where I went WOW with the rice. Their rice is sooo silky! Maybe it's all that organic shit? I'll definitely have their eel avocado roll again. Now the Crispy Spicy Tuna roll...it's not what I expected:

and the upclose photo:

Sorry, just had my treo camera (all my crappy looking photos, it's my treo)...Yeah...if you're like me, you would be asking yourself what the hell are all those small balls? The waitress told me they are small sesame cracker balls and that's what make the roll "crispy." They should really rename the roll to snowball tuna roll because when I ordered the roll, I was thinking of Izaka-ya by Katsu-ya's crispy rice w/ spicy tuna where it's fried or Sushi & Kushi IMAI's spicy crunchy tuna roll where it's with tempura flakes. The chef was nice and voluntarily took it off my bill (I gave them a generous tip).
I ended my meal with their Matcha soymilk shake (natural green tea ice cream & organic soy milk), which was not bad but it didn't really have that milkshake texture.
Overall, if you're health freak, come to SRCH! It's good to support all those new "organic" restaurants.
p.s. no alcohol but they have a small outdoor patio

Update 10/27/08:
I ordred the mushroom salad with the combo to-go. It's pretty good, I love mushrooms!

Address: 480 S San Vicente BlvdLos Angeles, CA 90048

Phone: (323) 782-0547

Rating: 4 out of 5


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