Showing posts with label lobster. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lobster. Show all posts

Friday, March 24, 2017

Brunch at Firefly's Romantic Patio (Studio City, Los Angeles, CA)

by Bryan Tsunoda (discovering-la.com)

Firefly has consistently been on the list of Top Romantic Restaurants in LA. I guess I haven’t romanced my wife enough lately because we haven’t been there. I recently attended a media tasting to sample their Sunday brunch offerings.

Customers enter into what appears to be a library lounge setting with couches and a classic bar from the past. Walking past the bar, you enter the bright patio which appears to be outdoors, but is protected from the elements by a translucent covering. 
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Along the wall are Moroccan-style cabanas that can close for privacy.
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Food Network and Cutthroat Kitchen star, chef Perry Pollaci, took over the kitchen last November. He’s a C.I.A. alum and has used his talents in New York City, Paris and Madrid restaurants. More recently he’s worked at Church and State and Kendall’s Brasserie, and has transformed The Royce into a cutting edge wood-fired steakhouse. He also volunteers his time at Slideluck LA which is dedicated to building and strengthening community through food and art. 

If you are the type that enjoys a continental breakfast, you’ll appreciate the variety of fresh baked pastries. Despite how good everything looked, I only tried a couple of them. The raspberry tart was fruit filled, flakey and quite tasty. A few of us were impressed by the sticky bun because it had a crisp exterior and wasn’t overly sweet.
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I sampled both the lobster and veggie scrambles. The eggs had a nice buttery taste and were extremely light and fluffy. 
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Naturally I veered towards the lobster scramble because they were made with truffle butter, tarragon, and topped with caviar. I would definitely order that again.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Modern Mexican Finally Hits Long Beach with Playa Amor

The newest hot spot for Mexican food in the LA area is in Long Beach, but Playa Amor doesn't just serve great, traditional Mexican dishes. What sets it apart for me is Chef Thomas Ortega's own modern take on it, like what you will find with his Mole tot poutine (tater tots, mole negro, queso, cress, cilantro, onion, $8.50)

Playa Amor
I've actually had a slightly different version of this a couple of years ago at Thomas Ortega's other restaurant, Amor Y Tacos in Cerritos. I feel that he's improved the dish even more since I like it even better now.

You may find the ubiquitous Charred brussel sprouts with a touch of Mexican flair with some cotija, lime juice, red wine vinegar, smoked jalapeno remoulade ($8.75)
Playa Amor

On the other hand, you'll also fine very well executed versions of more typical dishes like the Shrimp ceviche (Mexican shrimp, pico de gallo, citrus juice, jalapeno, garlic aioli, cabbage, cotija, corn tostada, $12).
Playa Amor

Monday, February 29, 2016

A Food and Drinking Crawl Through Grand Case (Saint Martin)

Grand Case, on the French side of Sint Maarten/ Saint Martin, is the gourmet capital of the island. Naturally, I had to spend some time there during my vacation! We had dinner plans at one of the top rated restaurants, but ended up food crawling our way down!

The first place we saw was this little crepe shack on the side of the main road (Boulevarde de Grand Case). Both times I passed by the little crepe shack I was too stuffed. I'm regretting it. You guys should try it and let me know what I missed out on.

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Across the street from the crepe shack is our first stop, Calmos Cafe. We went there to drink and let our lunch digest.
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Calmos Cafe is a popular bar/cafe on the beach.
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By on the beach, I mean lterally on the beach! Grab the best tables which sit on the sand, right next to the water! I could feel the waves on my toes.
Grand Case

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Michael Serpa's Select Oyster Bar (Boston, MA)

When Michael Serpa, the chef who headed the kitchen at wildly popular Neptune Oyster, left to start a new restaurant, all seafood lovers should follow.

Select Oyster Bar
Chef Michael Serpa
Michael Serpa recently opened Select Oyster Bar in Back Bay. This restaurant is slightly bigger than Neptune, but still intimate. Less casual, yet still serving great seafood - both raw and cooked, with a nice list of cocktails, beer, and wine.
Select Oyster Bar
We started with some Dayboat scallop (from New Bedford, MA) ceviche. So fresh and I love the crunchy texture that the peppers added!
Select Oyster Bar
Of course, there are plenty of local oysters. We went with a couple each of the Island Creek, Wellfleet, and Pemaquid
Select Oyster Bar

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Beautiful Revamp of Esterel at Sofitel LA

Esterel Restaurant inside the Sofitel hotel in Beverly Hills just had a major renovation, and its patio dining area is worth a second look. From this gorgeous bar with the romantic lights and vines in the background  ...

Esterel
... to the covered outdoor dining area. It's a charming spot that would be perfect for dates.
Esterel
The inside dining room also feels more casual and open than the previous setup.
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The menu is relatively small and simple, but the food is done very well here. We got the Lamb Meatballs ($13) served atop couscous.
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Followed by Pan-seared scallops ($17) which were fresh and cooked just right. I love the texture of seared scallops when they're done well.
Esterel

Monday, July 6, 2015

Lobster at Belle Isle Seafood (Winthrop, MA)

Belle Isle Seafood in Winthrop has been featured on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, and it's not that far from the Boston Logan Airport. I decided to check it out after picking up my cousin from the airport. The restaurant was bigger than I expected, with a view of the boats and water. We placed our order and waited for the food. That lobster buzzer they gave us is so cuute!

Belle Isle
Of course, we ordered the lobster roll. They serve it Maine style with mayo and lettuce here.
Belle Isle Seafood

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Maine Lobster Roll #3: The Clam Shack (Kennebunkport, ME)

Ahh, summer in New England. That only means one thing, lobster shacks!! I visited quite a few lobster shacks in Maine (including Bite Into Maine) and Connecticut last summer, including The Clam Shack in Kennebunkport, ME, which won Tasting Table's Lobster Roll Rumble in New York one year.

We got a whole steamed lobster (for only $12!), a lobster roll, a crab roll, and an order of steamers.

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Lobster Roll and More at Neptune Oyster (Boston, MA)

Neptune Oyster is a small seafood restaurant in the North End, and one of the most popular in town. If you don't get there early enough, waits can go up to over an hour! Luckily, we came pretty early and got seated before too long.

Since the place is called Neptune Oyster, we obviously had to start with some oysters. They have one of the bigger selections in town. This time, we tried 4 different oysters from the area: Katama Bay (Edgartown, MA), Thatch Island (Barnstable, MA), Browne's Point (Damariscotta, ME), and Summerside (Bedeque Bay, PEI)

Neptune Oyster

Everything was extremely fresh - I think I liked the Summerside the best from this batch.

Neptune is famous for their lobster roll: Maine Lobster roll, hot with butter ($27)
Neptune Oyster

It's one of the most expensive in the city, but also one of the best. It's served on a buttery brioche bun, and the lobster is soaked in hot butter. It's so rich, the bread gets drenched and the roll becomes messy, but you won't care as you devour it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Club Passim Launches In-House Dining Program (Cambridge, MA)

Club Passim, the long-time folk music venue and nonprofit that’s been supporting the local arts community in Cambridge for many years, have finally launched an in-house food program. They’d been lucky to snag Chef Brandon Arms to head this new kitchen. Until recently, Chef Arms headed the kitchen at Garden at the Cellar in Cambridge.

I was quite pleasantly surprised by the food they are offering. The food wasn’t just “really good for a live music venue”, it was actually really good in its own right. The menu items aren’t just your typical pub/bar fare, but Chef Brandon has created some fun, creative dishes that are rather ambitious for a venue like this.

We started off with some Roasted brussels sprouts, country ham, egg yolk puree, crispy potato ($7)
Club Passim
The brussels sprouts they used were smaller than usual, but a perfect bite size! I've never had them with egg yolk before, but this was a great alternative take on brussels sprouts.

Pork belly bun, asian pickles, jalapeno, cilantro, sweet soy ($5)
Club Passim
This was off-menu, but I really enjoyed the French Onion soup.
Club Passim

Friday, December 26, 2014

Most Memorable Meals in 2014

It's almost the end of 2014 and it's been a good year! There had been many great meals, and these are just some of the most memorable bites I had.

Lobster Roll at Bite Into Maine (Portland, ME)
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I went up to Maine a few times this year, trying out lobster rolls all over the place. My favorite is still the one from Bite Into Maine!

Pork Knee at Krčma Šatlava in Cesky Krumlov (Czech Republic)
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First off, you're dining at a medieval tavern inside a cave in Cesky Krumlov, a small town in Czech Republic. Add to that: a whole kilogram of roasted pork knee for less than $10, perfectly done.

Monday, December 8, 2014

$1 Oysters, Great Cocktails, and More at Russell House Tavern (Cambridge, MA)

One of the recommendations I received before moving to Boston was to have cocktails at Russell House Tavern. They do have great drinks, but now most of the time, I come here for the $1 oyster special, which starts at 11pm til closing.

Russell House Tavern
I previously had made a list of $1 oyster places in Los Angeles, but there are even more in Boston! Still, there's a big range on quality, and Russell House Tavern is on the top end where that's concerned.
IMG_3258A lot of places don't serve the freshest oysters when they do $1 oysters, but I've had great experiences with Russell House Tavern, and I've come 3-4 times. The first time they had Island Creek oysters. I also had Moon Shoal oysters once. Not only the types, but these are also fresh and cleaned properly (unlike the $0.50 I had at Red House which were not that fresh and weren't even really cleaned well).

The cocktails I've enjoyed included the Howling Winds ($12): Ansac cognac, yellow chartreuse, cinnamon syrup, lemon, butterfly absinthe, bitters, and Battle of Trafalgar (pictured below, $10): Pimm's no 1, elderflower liqueur, Batavia arrack, honey, lime.
Russell House Tavern
There was also Burma Nights ($13): Bombay East Gin, P.F. Dry Curacao, Orange Flower & Jasmine Waters, Lemongrass, Regans No. 6.

I've tried the other dishes which tend to be good and reasonably priced like the Steamed Moosabec mussels, Spanish chorizo, fried garbanzo, white wine, grilled Fondi bread ($10)
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

James Hook Lobster (Boston, MA)

There are plenty of lobster to be had in Boston, but where to have one affordably? Well, the cheapest would be the Chinese restaurants, but if you want them traditional style, then James Hook is one of the best values in town.

I took my aunt and cousins there and ordered whole steamed lobsters (tip: there is a small parking lot where you can park for free!)

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A whole steamed 1.5 lb lobster went for $20 here when I came (on July 4). Actually, you pay $22 when you order but they will refund you $2 in cash when you return the crackers (funny story: my aunt misunderstood and tried to return the oyster crackers that came with our chowder!).

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Maine Lobster Roll #2: Bite Into Maine (Cape Elizabeth, ME)

When I was looking for lobster rolls near Portland, I had bypassed Bite Into Maine food truck because I thought it'd be harder to find. Little did I know I would come across it anyway, and so might most of you. It said that the truck parks at Fort Williams Park. I didn't know where or what that was, but apparently it's the park where Portland's most famous landmark resides: the Portland Head Light. You would've come across a photo of the lighthouse while reading about Maine.

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Most of you will visit this lighthouse, and when you do, be sure to try Bite Into Maine. So far (and I know I have many left to go, but still), it is my favorite lobster roll in Maine!
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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Maine Lobster Roll #1: Eventide Oyster Co. (Portland, ME)

A lobster roll tour of Maine is never ending. There are so many famous spots to hit up. I've made two trips to Maine and I've only hit a few of them!

My first stop in Maine was Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland, Maine. The lobster roll at Eventide is non-traditional. You can choose between Hollandaise, housemade mayo, or brown butter, but the bun they use is similar to a Chinese bao.
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The lobster was fresh and the house mayo excellent, to be sure, what I didn't quite dig the soft Chinese-bun like roll with the lobster meat. I preferred the contrast of a toasted bun with my lobster.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Lobster Wednesdays at Pearl's Sunset Strip

I admit, I tend to avoid eating on Sunset Strip, so there are a lot of places there I have not yet visited. I was pretty surprised when I stepped on the second floor patio of Pearl's overlooking Sunset Blvd. Oh, hey, this is a pretty nice al fresco dining area!

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So, I was there to check out their lobster night, but first ...some oysters
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On Wednesdays, Pearl's serves a whole Maine lobster dinner - with fries and sides, for only $25!
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Monday, July 28, 2014

Brunch at Boston Chops

After moving to Boston, I miss my food loving blogger friends, so I joined the blogger group Boston Brunchers for brunch at Boston Chops last week.

Boston Chops is a steakhouse in the SoWa area, but they're also known for their brunch dishes such as french toast and fried chicken. We couldn't resist starting brunch with some Island Creek oysters ($29/dozen)
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I'm really loving this particular type of oyster and since they're from nearby Duxbury, MA, they're always so fresh and sweet in this town!

The restaurant sent out some Pecan Sticky Buns ($7)
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I like that they've made it bite size and easy to share, no more trying to messily split sticky buns.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Lobster Deal for Sunday Supper at Vertical Wine Bistro (Pasadena)

Sundays in Pasadena are going to get exciting with Vertical Wine Bistro's newly launched Sunday Suppers! The new Sunday Supper menu, which started this past Sunday, is $25 and includes a whole steamed Maine lobster, among other items. I'm not kidding and it's quite a deal!

The supper starts with an Iceberg Wedge salad with ranch dressing

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Crisp iceberg lettuce to get things going ...

Then, the main attraction: a whole steamed Maine lobster. One of the claws had been used for the lobster and shrimp roll. They come with a cup of lobster bisque and corn on the cob.
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Monday, March 10, 2014

Amaya (La Jolla, CA)

It's been almost a year since Amaya opened their La Jolla location (the first is at The Grand Del Mar). 
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The fancy interior may seemed old school and stuffy, but the servers were very friendly and courteous, and the young female wine director walked us through a fun pairing throughout dinner.
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Bread Bowl
The menu is quite promising, with a nice variety of seafood (lobster pot pie!) and game meats. We started dinner with an amuse of lobster bisque.
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We ordered the half dozen chilled oysters, served with a carrot and ginger granita on top, which complemented the oysters very well. These were paired with an Alto Adige Chardonnay.
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She told us that Chablis and oysters is a textural, while this Chardonnay is similar to Chablis but crisp. It brings out notes of apples and oranges.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Fleming's Steakhouse Adds Steak Companions Menu

Fleming's Steakhouse has now added a "steak companion" menu to all their locations. These are seafood and other "toppings" that you can add to your steak!

The companions include a truffle poached lobster with bearnaise sauce and caviar, which obviously I had to get. Going to a steakhouse is already a splurge, but for special occasions might as well get lobster and caviar.

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They had a bone-in filet mignon that night, which I highly recommend over the other steaks! My friend got the bone-in filet mignon and after trying hers I didn't want to return it ... especially the tender parts near the bone. We topped this with the King crab with herb butter.
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The other companion options are Diablo Shrimp (baked with spiced barbecue butter sauce), and a Flavor Trio of steak spreads. They also have three sauces like chimichurri and peppercorn that are complimentary.

We also had fun with their new digital wine list. You can browse by types of wine or look at the recommended pairings for specific dishes.
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