Fran’s Chocolate

7 Jun

Before my doctor-ordered “Survivor” starvation diet, I tried to investigate what caused my allergies through a trial and error process. At one point, I seriously thought it was gluten, the new food enemy. Before gluten, the food enemy included trans fats and complex carbohydrates, but now everyone collectively hates gluten. Recently, Bubby and I had a very profound conversation about the serious effects of gluten.

Me: I think I’m allergic to gluten.
Bubby: What?
Me: I think I’m allergic to gluten.
Bubby: Really?
Me: Yeah, really.
Bubby: No, really as in you’re really telling me this as you stuff cake in your mouth?

And just like that I was all for gluten again. The next food I eliminated was chocolate. Chocolate was not as difficult as gluten to forego since I am not a chocolate fanatic. I do love chocolate cake (the flour kind), but not chocolate chocolate.  People seem to lose their shit when I admit this, I hear responses like “What do you do when you’re on your period? Don’t you crave it? How can you hate chocolate? What’s wrong with you? I’m such a chocoholic! Dark chocolate is the best! The darker, the better! Once you go black …”

I’ve heard it all. Despite everyone’s judgmental and unsolicited opinions, I don’t really like chocolate.  So imagine my surprise when I devoured these bad babies called Fran’s Chocolates (a Seattle staple) given to me as a thank you gift from Mimi.

At first, I was hesitant to try one.  But I have an extremely salty palette, and I love all things salty.  I was strictly ordered by Mimi to place the chocolate square upside down, salt side down flat on the tongue, wait 5 seconds, and then chew.  After hearing the detailed instructions, I immediately thought what a little high-maintenance bitch of a chocolate.  I hate when food comes with instructions, it’s just so bossy.  But fortunately for me, I followed the lengthy instructions and was so glad I did.  The salt lingers on your tongue while you chew into the rich caramel center.  This isn’t your ordinary caramel either.  It’s not the super sticky kind that pulls all 18 fillings out of your teeth. It’s the deeper, richer good shit.  The chocolate is not your typical chocolate either.  It’s darker than milk, lighter than dark but perfectly accentuates the flavors from the salt and caramel.

Fran’s Chocolates kicks every boxed chocolate’s ass like Godiva’s, Russell Stover’s, See’s, Whitman’s.  The real question would be whether it would kick La Maison du Chocolat’s ass.  Because LMDC chocolate is like crack.  Just dirty crack that makes you lose your job, your savings, and relationships.  I definitely will need to conduct a side-by-side tasting between the two.  *Adding to bucket list.

Thank you, Mimi.  You really do give the best gifts.  I ate every square and only shared a few with Blister and Bubby.  In fact, Bubby was looking forward to them as an after-dinner treat but I told him I was on my period and craaaaved chocolate.

Fran’s Chocolates
https://www.franschocolates.com/store/home.php

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Le Bernardin

3 Jun

It’s been months since I last posted, but I did not have much to live for let alone write for.  Recently, Blister, the doctor, recommended that I eliminate all seafood, dairy, gluten, fruit, and nuts from my diet due to my severe allergies.  For weeks, I suffered.  After a recent visit to my allergist, she finally set me free and advised that elimination diets create super allergies.  Yes, Avengers allergies.  Blister the saboteur.  When I informed her of my allergist’s medical opinion, she just laughed and said, “I helped you lose five pounds, didn’t I?”  Blister, the cause of my demise and BDD.

Due to my unreasonable diet, the thought of writing about food killed me.  Now that I can eat again, let’s discuss New York.  Years ago during my freshman year in college, I went to New York to visit some friends.  It was my first trip to New York as an adult, and I was excited.  A bag, a bus ticket, a few girlfriends, and a lot of spontaneity led us to a weekend in New York.  As soon as we arrived, we realized spontaneity was slightly overrated.  There were three 18 year old girls without accommodations in a big, scary city.  In our minds, the nights would be full of so much partying that making reservations of any kind seemed futile.  But once the parties , after parties, and after after parties were over, we were homeless with no where to go.  Luckily, a friend who resided in the NYU dorms, snuck us in to the study rooms where we slept like squatters.  We slept under the desks and used the chairs as camouflage. We lacked blankets, showers, and pajamas, and used our one bag filled with hoochie mama disposable tops as a make-shift pillow.

Fast-forward 13 years.  Still filled with the same excitement and girlfriends in tote, we were on our way to New York City again.  This time, we had hotel reservations at … the Waldorf Astoria.  As we walked to our room, I noticed this.

Ooooooh sheeit.

The foyer.

The living room.

The view from the living room.

The formal dining room.

The kitchen.

The master bedroom.

The second bedroom.

The third bedroom.

As I walked around this palace fit for a Zamunda King, I imagined how many homeless 18 year old girls could sleep in this place.   Like Papi Chula said, “Sisters are doin’ it for themselves.”  And we were.  Not only did we have showers, but we had an unlimited supply of Ferragamo shampoo, conditioner, and soap.  As hard as it was to leave this mansion, we had to go to Le Bernardin for Blister’s birthday dinner especially since a significant deposit was required just to secure the reservation.

Amuse bouche

I’m not usually a fan of sea urchin, but as of late I have grown fond of it. I’m especially fond of it when it’s topped with salty caviar, a wonderful way to wake the taste buds.

Caviar-Wagyu

For my “Almost Raw” starter, the blend of Nebraska wagyu beef and langoustine topped with a generous layer of caviar was worth the $45 supplemental charge.  The pepper Vodka crème fraîche fills in the chewy bites of tartare for a creamy well-rounded bite.  Instead of layering the tartare on the provided “Ruffles” potato chips, I preferred smothering the delicious blend on the warm bread that regularly circulated throughout the night.

Because Blister and I are geniuses, we ordered different dishes and shared them to try more of the items offered by the silver fox Eric Ripert. She ordered the tuna– layers of thinly pounded yellowfin tuna, foie gras, toasted baguette, chives, and olive oil.

The tuna was a vibrant orange and beautiful to look at, but it was mediocre in taste.  It tasted like tuna and the foie gras had a pasty consistency that did not seduce me like foie gras usually does.  The wagyu kicked the tuna’s ass.

I ordered the langoustine for the “Barely Touched” second course.

The langoustine was perfectly seared and succulent.  I always face a dilemma when it comes to fleshy shellfish.  On one hand, I want to pop the entire morsel of succulent meat into my mouth.  On the other hand, it’s so delicious that it should be slowly savored.  Lucky for me, Mr. Ripert gave me two.  One to slowly savor with small bites and the other to completely devour with my eyes closed.

I also enjoyed Miggy’s Sea Medley.

A beautiful display of the ocean’s gifts in one small little package, but the best part of this national treasure is the smoked bonito broth.  It is the perfect warm temperature touched with a hint of uni and caviar.  When I die, I imagine God welcoming me into the gates of heaven with a cup of this smoked bonito broth.

For my third “Lightly Cooked” dish, I asked the waiter for the fish that the contestants on Top Chef had to replicate seasons ago.  The waiter had no idea what episode I was talking about and brought other waiters for further investigation.  They caucused and agreed it was Mr. Ripert’s striped bass.

The top layer of skin was not crispy enough.  After watching that Top Chef episode, I was expecting a  super crispy and flaky top layer.  The fish itself was perfectly cooked, but I did not like the black-garlic Persian lemon sauce.  It had a sharp bitter flavor that I could not identify but it tasted like star-anise’s cousin.  I would have enjoyed this dish more if the black-garlic sauce was substituted with the smoked bonito broth.  In fact, just pour that broth over everything.

For dessert, I ordered the apple-cinnamon which consisted of cinnamon caramel cream, green apple foam, candied walnut, and red wine caramel.

I took off its hat and found this:

It tasted like a modern apple pie.  The “hat” was crunchy and light, and the sauces swirled to make the most perfect bite of apple pie.  Even though I hate foam, it really worked in this sweet treat.  Ending this three-hour meal with apple pie and a hot cappuccino was the cherry on top.  Of course, I had to instruct the waiter to add the splenda before the cappuccino foam … a first for the barista according to the waiter.  I hate when the splenda gets caught in the foam and not in the cappuccino.

I was so full that I could not even touch the after dinner freebies.

I understand why Le Bernardin is ranked 19th best restaurant in the world.  It is definitely two whole Michelin stars greater and better than Providence and Melisse.  Although I no longer will rank restaurants on vacation due to my tendency to love everything because I’m on vacation, anyone who enjoys seafood should pay the proper deposit, make a reservation, and enjoy.

Blister loved her birthday dinner, company, and conversations of placenta, daddy dicks, and your usual girl talk.

Le Bernardin
The Equitable Building
155 W 51st St
New York, NY

 

In New York …

29 Mar

Major rager in NYC this weekend.  The “ladies” are gonna jam out with their clams out for Blister’s birthday.  Me, Blister, Mexicunnie, Mimi, Pelota, Maymay, Honeybunny, Miggy, Jardo.

Guess who’s not coming? That’s right, Dr. Hey Hey Hey.  Social suicide, doctor.

Stay tuned for … Le Bernardin.

Maui, Hawaii Part 2

15 Mar

During the difficult times at work, I like to fondly think of my time in Maui. At one point during our trip, Bubby and I had a serious conversation about moving to Hawaii and opening a shrimp truck called Miso’s.  But of course Bubby the buzz kill killed my shrimp truck dreams. At least we should try to visit every year. And every year I’m going to eat this French toast at Kihei Caffe (yes, two “f”s).

Banana macadamia nut French toast

This is the best French toast I have ever had.  Thick slices of crispy sweet bread, thick banana slices, crunchy macadamia nuts, drizzled with maple syrup and the house coconut syrup.

All of the components in one bite made me preach.  “I feel good! I feel good, because I know there’s a God somewhere! There’s a God somewhere! You know there’s a God who sits on high and looks down low! Man cannot make it like this!” Name that movie.

Bubby ordered the pork fried rice loco moco.

The pork fried rice inspired me to make a kimchi pork fried rice loco moco, and everything is better with kimchi. But even without the kimchi, this dish was savory and the perfect salty pairing to my French toast.  Kihei Caffe is a caloric dream come true.  While reveling in our food fantasy, we were suddenly disturbed by a gang of birds.

And the king of the bird gang, Rufio! Ruf-i-oooooooooooooo!

We got the hell out of the crossfire of Rufio’s gang, and went to Charley Young Beach so I could rub my belly in peace.

And at this beach, Poseidon summoned me once again. And in true Hawaiian tradition, I donated my favorite Rayban sunglasses to Poseidon.  Every time I go to Hawaii, Poseidon takes what it wants.  Seven years ago, it was my Juicy Couture red jumper and Ipod.  What was my jumper and Ipod doing in the ocean? Or better yet, why the hell was I wearing Juicy Couture?!  It was seven years ago, and it was a cute ass beach jumper.  Seven years ago, Bubby and I placed our belongings in a locker.  Bubby pinned the locker key to his board shorts while we took surfing lessons.  While Poseidon tossed us around wildly, the locker key unfastened from Bubby’s shorts.  Assuming we lost the key and needed the office to open our locker, we noticed our locker was wide open and empty.  Someone had found our key and stole our possessions, including Bubby’s wallet, our towels, and book.  We walked back to our hotel soaking wet with shame, almost nude, pissed as fuck at Poseidon.  Damn you, Poseidon.  I hope you are rocking the shit outta my shades.

Because there was so much to eat and so little time, we went to Foodland –the best grocery store in the land.  While Kroger (I call every grocery store Kroger) sells rotisserie chickens, Foodland sells spam musubi, ahi poke, and my favorite, spicy raw crab!.

Look at this big ass avocado!

You can also see how the humidity in Hawaii is helping my winter’s eczema, too.

For dinner, Bubby and I went to Mama’s Fish House, a very popular restaurant in Maui.  The restaurant faces the beautiful ocean view and provided a very romantic atmosphere.

Macadamia nut crab cakes

I love crab cakes and cannot wait to go to Baltimore to eat some authentic cakes and to take The Wire tour.  These crab cakes definitely had nice chunks of crab, more crab than breading which is essential for a good CRAB cake.  The tomato relish provided a nice spicy and cool hint of flavor to the meaty cakes.

Opakapaka in lime and coconut milk served in a fresh coconut (Tahitian ceviche)

I asked for extra limes and drowned the shit out of the Hawaiian pink snapper.  I scraped the coconut flesh off the shell and mixed the gelatinous shavings with the ceviche.  This ceviche is making my mouth water as I type these damn words.

Bouillabaisse Mahimahi, lobster, shrimp, scallop and shellfish simmered in a saffron broth, with garlic rouille

Isn’t this picture the most beautiful bowl of underwater treasures?  As you can imagine, the seafood in Hawaii is fresh fo’ sho’.  The scallops were the size of silver dollars and as thick as marshmallows.  There was so much seafood in this dish that every spoonful contained several different types of seafood. My only issue with this dish was that I don’t think the pasta is made from scratch.  If Mama made fresh pasta, this dish would be the best dish of the trip especially since I rationed the garlic bread to last throughout the entire meal.

And to remind myself that I’m on vacation, I make sure the following happen.  I don’t wear makeup.  I must consume a fruity beverage with an umbrella  in it.  And I eat dessert after every meal.  Yes, every meal.  Ergo, ladies and gentlemen I introduce you to Ono Gelato.  The best fuckin’ gelato I have ever had.  Yes, I’ve never had gelato from Italy, but I don’t think I’ll have to.

Coconut is the shit.  But add some strawberry into the swirl, and I was immediately doing my happy dance while wiggling my toes.  Bubby even asked, “Are your toes dancing for gelato?”  Yes, Goddamit. Don’t judge me.  Best. gelato. ever.

Okay, I just gained five pounds writing this shit.

Kihei Caffe
1945 South Kihei Road
Kihei, HI

Mama’s Fish House
799 Poho Place
Paia, HI

Ono Gelato
1280 South Kihei Road
Kihei, HI

Ono Gelato
115 Hana Hwy # D
Paia, HI

Ono Gelato
815 Front Street
Lahaina, HI

We went to two out of the three Ono Gelato locations, and I give 5 slow mothafuckin claps.
 

I left my heart in San Francisco

13 Mar

Since Blister’s in the Philippines for new year’s eve, we couldn’t go to our annual new year’s trip to Glen Ivy. So this year, Bubby and I went to San Francisco, the city where we fell in love. Our first date was at Palomino in Embarcadero. The food was not particularly good, but I was nervous. We were friends for so long and ate together all the time, but on this January 30th day, 7 years ago, I had butterflies in my stomach. After dinner, he held my hand as we walked along the pier. I was jumping on and off of the stoops, and he held my hand for my “safety” so I wouldn’t fall. It was more like a slicker version of the “yawn and reach” technique at the movie theater. Since that day, we just knew we were meant to be together. No DTR conversations, no “where do we stand?” inquiries, no “it’s complicated” relationship status. We just knew we were together and have never broken up since. Sure, there are times when he’s my greatest enemy and I want to punch him hard in the balls, but most days he’s my best friend.

Going back to San Francisco is always a treat. I love walking down the dirty streets of my old hood, the Tenderloin. Stepping on spit, fecal matter, and used needles never felt so good–kind of like an urban version of Dorothy and her yellow brick road. Although my brick road is stained yellow from urine– both animal and human. I also love going back to San Fran for the food. Always for the food.

Our hotel was located in Fisherman’s Wharf, a tourist trap.  The best part of this tourist trap is Trish’s Mini Donuts.  These fried rings are worth the six-hour drive from LA.  Every time I go to SF, I always try to fight the tourist trap traffic just to get my hands on these fried babies.

They are liberally showered in cinnamon sugar which eventually melts into the super hot fried dough.  I have never ordered a tub of these mini donuts, but one day I will.  Cha-longe!!!

On New Year’s day, we decided to go to Brenda’s, the only Cajun restaurant in the Tenderloin.  As a former Houstonian, I love Cajun food.  We decided to go on New Year’s day assuming the crowd would be hung over in bed.  On our walk to Brenda’s, we noticed some stragglers still partying at noon the next day.

I cannot remember the last time I partied until the sun came up. I feel old.

As we walked towards Brenda’s this is what I saw.

Oh hell no.  That line is not cute.  We had to wait for an hour and 45 minutes.  Bubby had been before, and he made me wait for my crawdads.  And dammit, he had me at crawdads.

After watching every crazy homeless person pass by, some familiar faces and some new, our table was finally ready.  The restaurant is packed with tables only two inches apart from each other.  I immediately ordered the watermelon iced tea to ease my anxiety and claustrophobia.

Sometimes sweet tea outside of the south can be way too sweet.  But this watermelon iced tea was perfectly cool and sweet. It reminded me of a hot Houston day and the smell of fresh-cut green grass.

Crawfish beignets with cayenne, scallions, and cheddar

Brenda’s serves several different kinds of beignets including plain with powdered sugar, apple, chocolate.  I ordered crawfish because I love crawfish.  The beignets are served hot, fluffy, and they collapsed with the pressure from my fork.  As I broke into the dough, the melted cheese oozed out.  Unfortunately, the ratio of crawfish to dough is off.  I expected large chunks of crawfish, but there were probably three small ones swimming in cheese in each pocket of dough.

I ordered the grillades and grits, and Bubby ordered the fried catfish eggs benedict.

The beef cutlets in the grillades and grits was tough and difficult to chew.  The grits were fluffy clouds perfectly buttered and smothered in cheddar cheese.  Nothing makes my belly smile more than buttered grits and cheese.  Bubby’s catfish eggs benedict was not as good as we imagined, but the biscuit was slap yo’ mama good.  That biscuit was it.   Would I wait two hours for it? Probably not.

Bubby and I needed to burn some serious Cajun calories, so I dragged him to Union Square for some serious shopping.  While in Union Square, Bubby and I always have to eat at King of Thai Noodle.  It’s not fancy Thai food, but serves really good roast duck.

Bubby always orders the duck fried rice with a fried egg on top, and I order the duck noodle soup.

Simple.  Duck.  Noodles.  Soup.  Peppers.  Good.
I haven’t tried the other dishes because there really is no need to.  This is the only dish I order every time.

The next day, I dragged Bubby to Hog Island Oyster Co.  I had a serious craving for oysters.  But once again, we hit another damn line.

The wait was not as bad as Brenda’s, probably 30 minutes total.  I ordered fresh lemonade to prep my taste buds.

We ordered both fresh and baked oysters.  The fresh ones included Hog Island Sweetwaters, Hog Island Atlantics, Sand Isle Kumamotos, Chelsea Gems, and Island Creeks.

These fresh oysters were thick and smooth as they slid down my throat.  The kumamotos had a slight “oceany” tang which I let Bubby enjoy.

The baked oysters were actually as tasty as the fresh ones to my surprise.

The Casino and Tarragon oysters were so flavorful.  The only bad thing about them was that there were only four.

The clam chowder

The clam chowder is not your typical clam chowder.  It’s not thick, but light and milky.  I added a splash of fresh lemon juice which really brightened the taste of the clams.  I loved dipping my grilled cheese into the chowder broth.

The crunchy sourdough bread and the stringy cheese dipped into the milkiness wonder of the clam chowder felt like a perfect hug from the inside on a cold January San Francisco day.  The pickled vegetables, cauliflower and carrots, added a nice acidic note to the entire meal.

As we walked back to our car to head home, we picked up some road trip treats in the Ferry Building.  Miette’s macarons and Blue Bottle Coffee Co.’s cappuccino.

The vanilla was way better than the chocolate.  Even Bubby, chocolate lover, agreed.

And for the last damn time, a San Franciscan line at the Blue Bottle Coffee Co.

Good strong caffeinated drinks.  Too bad it wasn’t strong enough to keep me awake during our car ride back to LA.  I always fall asleep in the car like a behbeh.

Goodbye, San Francisco.  I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for this beautiful city.  Where else could you find an Asian family all dressed in matching puffer jackets?

Trish’s Mini Donuts
Embarcadero Pier 39, Bldg B
San Francisco, CA

Brenda’s
652 Polk St
San Francisco, CA

King of Thai Noodle
184 O’Farrell St
San Francisco, CA

(duck noodle soup only)

Hog Island Oyster Co.
1 Ferry Bldg
San Francisco, CA
   

Miette Patisserie
1 Ferry Bldg
San Francisco, CA
   

Blue Bottle Coffee Co.
1 Ferry Bldg
San Francisco, CA
  

Providence

11 Mar

Last year for annual mistress day, Bubby took me to Melisse. And if you remember, Melisse did not deliver the 2 Michelin stars as advertised. This year, Bubby took me to Providence– the other LA restaurant with 2 Michelin stars. I’ve heard wonderful things about Providence, except that contrary cunt Nibs was the only person who didn’t rave about the food.

SPOTTED: Rich, older lonely boys and the young gold diggers who love them. (Can you tell I just watched a marathon of Gossip Girl recently?) I tried to look for wedding rings on the fingers of both parties and spotted none. Bubby and I tried to discretely turn our backs 180 degrees just to find our favorite couples. Note to self, twisting at that exaggerated angle is never discreet.

Bubby enjoyed a beer while I enjoyed a glass of a delicious medley of juices including lychee, guava, passion fruit, and other exotic treasures that the bartender could muster. It was as delicious as the welcome juice given to the guests at Phuket’s Dusit Laguna Hotel — the most delicious standard for all juices.

This juice was so refreshing but cost more than Bubby’s beer.  Seven dollars of juice.

The amuse bouche

The spoon on the left was a yellow egg-yolk-like version of a screwdriver.  Refreshing and a nice burst of cold alcohol in your mouth.  The square jello on the right was a mojito.  The screwdriver was definitely better than the mojito.

The second amuse bouche

This trio was not as good as the first amuse bouche.  Sipping a luke warm soup from a straw is not a great way of starting a marathon of courses.  I hoped this was not an accurate representation of what was to come.

The bacon brioche

Bubby ate like 8 of these. He described them as bite size wonders that tasted like Jack in the Box’s sourdough jack burgers. He doesn’t even love bacon as much as I do, and he couldn’t get enough of these. I even caught him checking out the size of my purse to see how many miniature wonders I could confiscate safely from the premises. Unfortunately, I carried my small clutch.

Tai snapper sashimi, sake, caviar, salted cherry blossom

The sashimi was fresh and tasted more like yellowtail than snapper. It lacked that chewy consistency that sometimes accompanies snapper sashimi. The snapper’s texture was soft and the caviar, salty. There was a gelatinous layer that I didn’t even mind. In fact, I liked it. But I really loved the yellow rice cracker balls that added the perfect crunch.

Santa Barbara spot prawns, nori bread crumbs, spring herbs

That prawn looks like it’s on roids. It was perfectly cooked and succulent. I did not care for the random herbs, the bread crumbs, or the cat spit foam. In fact, I hate cat spit.  Why do these upscale restaurants find the need to add cat spit? Stop with the cat spit!  It’s not creative, and it’s no longer cool. But most importantly, it looks like the bile that Miso vomits.

Main lobster, charcoal grilled, smoked black truffle butter

This dish looks like Valentine’s Day. The arrangement of the lobster, the colors of my wedding, is perfection. And it tasted the way it looked. Thick pieces of fresh lobster made me want to cry like Homer did when he ate Pinchy.

I, too, felt that I loved Pinchy the most and should respect him by eating him all by myself. Piiiiiiiinchy!!!!!!!

Foie gras ravioli – a la carte

We ordered this dish separately because of the amazing reviews. Also, I’m trying to eat as much foie gras possible before they ban it in California in July. The waiter even recommended making reservations for a foie gras exclusive menu. I’m seriously considering arranging a small dinner party called a Farewell to Foie Gras. These raviolis made me want to cry.  It was like looking at a boyfriend knowing that it won’t last.  It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday…. Boyz II Men.

The pasta was perfectly thin, the foie gras rich and decadent.  I will have to cross some state lines to get my foie gras kick.  Trust.

Wild New Zealand john dory, foie gras, white port, spring vegetables

By the time we reached this course, I was busting out of my skirt.  The courses were separated by 15 minutes, and it only takes 7 minutes for my stomach to tell my brain, “Bitch, you full.”  I was fighting the good fight, and I had to have a bite of each dish.  The john dory was tender and flavorful, and I really enjoyed the crispy and crunchy skin.  I really regretted wasting stomach space on the amuse bouche trio.  Rookie mistake.

Duck breast, petit pois, pea greens

I love duck.  One of the perks of marrying a Chinese man is having Peking duck on the regular.  I literally sing my song of joy when the Chinese waiter brings that huge plate of crispy duck and its soft pillow friends.  It is on point just like the duck at Providence.  The duck at Providence melts in your mouth.  It felt like buttered bread that melts on your tongue.  I had to chew like three times before it was ready to be swallowed.  And to seal the deal, the fried ball of foie gras.

I love fried balls of anything, but fried balls of foie gras takes the cake.

Fennel, yellow chartreuse, Angelica root, yogurt

The yogurt was enjoyable and provided a great palate cleanser.  The plate in its entirety was just okay.

Chocolate surprise

The Valentine’s day menu included a dessert that was basically chocolate served with chocolate.  Earlier in the meal, I told our waiter that I wasn’t a fan of chocolate, so he brought me a special dessert that was completely chocolate free.

My surprise dessert

This plate of heaven was more than I could ask for with ice cream, meringue, and hints of lemon.  The fact that they substituted the chocolate madness with the perfect treat for me, I couldn’t be happier.  Well played, Providence.  Well played.

Our farewell treat

I left this box as is.  I could not eat another bite.  Bubby had to roll my fat ass out of that restaurant at 11:30 p.m.  Yes, the entire dinner took longer than 3 hours.  I was feeling a mix of emotions … full, sleepy, tired, happy, drunk with food.

Providence is exponentially better than Melisse.  I could also tell the difference of an All Star Chef and Top Chef based on my experience at Ink recently (review soon to come). If it wasn’t for the liberal use of cat spit, I would have given Providence a perfect rating.

Providence
5955 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA

Maui, Hawaii Part 1

24 Jan

I’m 31 today. I have been drinking legally for 10 years today. A full decade of buying my own liquor. No stealing Blister’s ID to sneak into clubs and memorizing that she’s an Aries and graduated from high school in 1996 just in case the bouncer asks. No paying that significantly older guy in the circle of friends to buy everyone’s liquor. Isn’t it weird that every high school crew had that one older friend who always hung out with the high school kids when he was like a hard 27? Anyway, I’m 31. To celebrate my 21st tenth year anniversary, Bubby took me to Maui. It was either Maui or theYSL bag I had my eye on for the last few months. And sinceYSL can’t give me a tan, loco moco, or four days off of work … Aloha, baby.

We are staying at the Makena Resort, south of Wailea. Here’s our view from our balcony. Golf course on the left and ocean on the right.

Since Bubby and I were working until the minute we boarded our plane, we didn’t know what to expect. We figured Maui was like Honolulu and everything was within walking distance. It’s not. You must rent a car and don’t wait until the last minute to rent one because the lady working at Enterprise will laugh in your face and let you know that all car rentals are gone for the entire island. Luckily, Budget at the Grand Wailea had 2 cars left. A convertible or the jeep. We chose this bad boy:

That’s right. Cherry red stang. Man, driving in Hawaii with the top down, sun on your shoulders, and wind in your hair makes one feel like a teenage boy full of testosterone. If Bubby was a teenage girl, I’d take her in the back seat and pop her cherry in my cherry stang. But Bubby is 30 so I turned up the Phil Collins and belt out an obligatory, older lady’s “woo hoo!”

I was itchin’ for some poke so we drove to The Fish Market in Lahaina. I requested that he make mine spicy.

The ahi is super fresh and the spicy soy sauce, onions, green onions, vinegar sauce was perfect. This is the perfect snack because it’s light, spicy, and savory. For lunch, Bubby ordered the ahi burger and I ordered a Hawaiian white fish (I can’t remember the name because I have vacay brain) with a side of mac salad.

I poured the left over poke sauce on my fish because it lacked flavor. Bubby disliked the onion bun on his burger.  The next time I come to The Fish Market, I’ll order a full pound of the spicy poke on a bed of rice. I’m a simple girl. After we stuffed our faces,we went to Kapua beach. Here’s Bubby lost at sea.


This beach looks nice but had rocks scattered all over the bottom of the ocean, making it difficult to squeeze the sand between my monkey toes. The ocean temperature is a lot colder than the ocean in Waikiki but it’s probably because the masses in Waikiki are probably pissing in the ocean and raising its overall temperature. And for that, I can handle fripples.

I’ve been to Hawaii several times but have never been to a Hawaiian lu’au. Bubby made reservations for us at Old Lahaina Lu’au and you can imagine my surprise when all of the waiters looked like this:

And this:

I immediately sent these photos to Blister and she responded with a “DAYUM! Which lu’au did you go to … chippendales Maui.” Yes, Blister. DAYUM, indeed. I couldn’t stop staring at the waiters, especially the ones with the tatted sleeves. My gawking was a level 10 that Bubby agreed to get a tattoo as long as it was original and meaningful. Happy birthday to me.

The buffet at the lu’au offered your typical Hawaiian options. They even dug out the swine from the ground.  The recurring theme for me in Hawaii was to stack my plate with so much food that it resembles a trough.

DAMN IT! My stupid Ipad just ate the rest of my blog post.  STUPID IPAD. I basically broke down every single item on this plate in a clockwise fashion and now it’s gone.  STUPID IPAD.  Speaking of Ipad, we were sitting on the beach in Maui and I told Bubby, “Oh no, there is so much sand in my Ipad … that’s annoying.”  And my smart-ass husband muttered, “White people problems.”

Anyway, I also wrote a long love letter to the guava/strawberry butter at the lu’au. I was raving on and on about how decadent this magical butter tasted to my husband, and this rude girl sitting across from us (1) overheard our conversation and (2) stuck her dirty ass finger through my precious butter. WHAT THE WHAT?!  Kids are so rude these days.  After licking her dirty ass finger she looked at me and nodded, “it is good.”  Damn Omar Little, jackin’ my shit.

In sum, the lu’au had tasty butter, chicken long rice (the noodles in the small black cup), and tattooed eye candy.

The Fish Market
3600 L. Honoapiilani Road
Lahaina, Hawaii
(the poke deserves 5 fresh claps but the other dishes deserve 2)

Old Lahaina Lu’au
1251 Front Street
Lahaina, Hawaii
(the food deserves 2 claps but the staff deserves a standing ovation and 6 claps symbolizing their 6-pack abs, Good morning!)

Christmas 2011

3 Jan

I love Christmas!  The wrapping paper, the red Starbucks cups, the candy canes, lights, baked goods galore, and dressing Miso up for our annual holiday card.  This year he was a reindeer, but next year’s card will have him as the reindeer, Santa, and elf (past Christmas card costumes).  The pain and suffering in his eyes when dressed in these ridiculous outfits is definitely the true meaning of Christmas.  Here he is in his onesie photobombing my picture of all of the Christmas presents I purchased for others this year.

He always looks like a baby when dressed in his onesie, but he gets so damn lazy.  Look at this lazy bitch.

He would not move off these pillows all day.

I also obviously love Christmas for the food.  All the red and green colored foods that make it feel like you’re literally eating Christmas.

Strawberry Waffles

Bubby made these delicious waffles for me when I was craving breakfast food for dinner.

Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas

I used manchego cheese which is essential for any good enchilada or quesadilla.  I took the leftover rotisserie chicken, shredded the meat, and stuffed it into these bad boys.  The top picture is for Bubby who doesn’t like cheese as much as I do but later regretted not having a thick layer of manchego cheese on top of his enchiladas.

Turkey Meatballs

turkey meatballs

I used Giada’s recipe as a guideline to make these turkey meatballs even though she’s the most annoying person on television.  Really, does she have to over- enunciate every Italian word?!  I poured a liberal amount of vodka and made a creamy vodka sauce.

For Christmas lunch, I prepared Roast Prime Rib and Chicken & Lobster Pot Pie

The roast rib came out to a perfect medium rare pink.  It was as good as Lawry’s for a fraction of the price.  For 10 lbs of roast rib from Whole Foods, it cost around $112.  That’s basically two orders of prime rib, but my roast fed 8 people with a lot left over.  I made the pot pie because it’s my father-in-law’s favorite.  Apparently, he was muttering, “ho sic” which means good in Cantonese.   “Ho sic,” “oh, shit” is right.  This pot pie was good.   I used already-made pie crust because I wasn’t trying to reinvent the wheel.  Pie crust is so hard to make, trust me … it sucks.  But what doesn’t suck, is this rich and creamy pot pie.  Next year, I won’t sprinkle the already made pie crust with sea salt because the pie crust was already salted.  Good tip.

Au jus

Blister almost shit her pants when she saw the fat drippings I used to make this au jus.  Do not use as much red wine as suggested, it gives the au jus a tangy aftertaste. I also made some sour cream horseradish sauce for the prime rib but forgot to take a picture.

Blister made the creamed corn and was, again, shocked by the bacon grease required to give this corn a smokey flavor.

BBQ Baked Beans

I made these baked beans for my dad thinking it was his favorite, but he barely touched them.  No more Christmas baked beans.

Gingered Carrots

I left these carrots in the oven 15 minutes too long.  The ends got slightly burned.  I cut the tips off and ate the rest.  (That’s what she said.)

After stuffing our faces with nearly 3,000 calories, we opened our gifts.  Look at what Santa brought me.

I was very good this year.
The lazy bitch eventually jumped off the pillows, but look at how the lazy bitch wrapped himself up in cashmere.

I love Christmas!

Happy 30th Birthday, Bubby

28 Dec

Bubby is 30 years old.  I remember when he was just a bright-eyed 23 year old law student with rice rocket bangs, braces, and Old Navy dad jeans.  Now, he’s a man with dry wax-fingered hair, Zoom-whitened teeth, and a sturdy pair of Helmut Lang jeans.  He’s the only guy I know who has successfully jumped the ladder from permanent friend zone to “he must be mine” status.  Like a slow growing mold, he managed to successfully be my friend, boyfriend, fancy  fiancé, and husband.  He’s the best.

For his 30th  birthday, I wanted to throw him the birthday party of his dreams with the food of his people, dark chocolate treats, Super Mario Brothers theme, and a beer pong tournament.  I rented out the entire patio and set up a buffet of Chinese dishes.  The space is amazing.  There was an area for food with heat lamps and an area for beer pong.

I ordered the cloud balloons online, and purchased red and gold balloons from Party City.  Imagine me driving in a two-door coupe with 35 balloons.  Not my brightest idea.

For Bubby’s dark chocolate treats, I decided to make centerpieces filled with rice krispy treats, cake pops, and dark chocolate molds.

Rice Krispy Stars

I dipped one side of the star in melted yellow chocolate and used marshmallow fluff as the “glue” to keep the stick in place.  I purchased the star cookie cutter and edible black marker from Surfas in Culver City.  I wish I knew about that place before I got married because they have EVERYTHING!  And they also have a delicious little cafe connected to the store with a lot of tasty desserts.

Mario Dark Chocolate Mustaches

These mustaches were the easiest to create.  I melted black dark chocolate and poured them into a mustache mold that I purchased from Classic Cake Decorations in Garden Grove, CA.

Yoshi Egg Cake Pops

Blister helped create these amazing Yoshi egg cake pops.  We used peanut butter as our “glue” and old fashioned  yellow cake.  Blister carefully painted white chocolate and methodically attached red and green candied dots.  We tried to stick them in a Styrofoam take-out container, but it was too heavy. It didn’t work.

Toad Cake Pops

These were the most difficult to make.  We used the My Little Cupcake mold to create these mushrooms.  Blister carefully painted the Toads with chocolate and put them in the freezer to harden.

The finished centerpiece

We individually wrapped each treat and stuck them in question marked boxes purchased at Party City.  Each box was filled with dry rice and star candies to cover the rice.  I threw in some gold coins, too.

I ordered these napkins online and have tons left over.  I’m not sure when I’ll use them again.  Anyone want them?

The Mint Ice Cream Chocolate Cake from Coldstone Creamery

The cake looks like a hot mess, and it’s Coldstone Creamery’s fault.  I specifically ordered a clean white cake without chocolate shavings on the border and no “Happy Birthday” message.  Look at this font?!  It looks like someone tried to challenge himself and pipe the icing with his non-dominant hand.  What the fuck?  I was really pissed at Coldstone for their inability to follow instructions.  Don’t go to the Coldstone in Westwood.

The beer pong tournament was a blast, and the night was a success.  And like clockwork, I ran into “Drunk Bubby” who makes an appearance once a year on December 10.  Drunk Bubby is a hot mess.  He can’t walk, he slurs, he hugs everyone way too much, tells everyone he loves the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and when I ask if he wants to eat his Del Taco tacos or sleep, he says “both.”  Facepalm.

My Favorite Things

27 Dec

Ever since Oprah retired from her television show, I don’t have anyone to tell me what to buy this year.  Instead, Blister and I decided to create our own “favorite things” and “book club” selections.  These favorite things are not all food related, but still deserve to be mentioned on this food blog.  Our list for 2011.

Conair Infiniti Series You Curl Ceramic Curling Iron

I have been waiting for a good ceramic curling iron ever since I purchased the ceramic Chi straightener.  This curling iron lacks a clamp to hold down the hair, so it doesn’t imprint a marked line on your hair.  It comes with a three-fingered black Lady Gaga-esque glove to hold the hair and twirl it around the extremely hot barrel.  The curls can vary from tight Taylor Swift-lets to loose beachy waves.  I prefer the latter.  If you go to Nordstrom Rack, it’s cheaper than the average retail price.

Sheex Performance Sheet Set

My favorite hobby is eating.  My second is sleeping, and my bed is my temple.  Smothered in soft Pottery  Barn sheets (thanks, Mexicunnie!), allergen-free pillows and comforter, I needed the perfect sheet set to complete my sleeping experience.  Sheex is the best purchase I made in 2011. They are more expensive than your typical sheet set because they’re made from workout material to keep you cool and dry.  I love to run my legs all over the flat sheet and experience the slippery feel.  They are available at Bed Bath & Beyond, but don’t forget your 20% coupon.   I just used a coupon from 2008 and they still accepted it.

Toms

They look like Bruce Lee’s martial arts shoes and are not as ugly as Uggs.  They’re super comfortable and light.  I throw them into my purse and don’t even realize they’re in there.  I bought a pair for Blister and Bubby, and Blister intends to use them for traveling and going to pilates class.  They really are the perfect security check shoes: easy off and easy on.  I wore my pair to work and even though a few people asked if I was really wearing Toms to work, I confirmed they were “professional” Toms since they’re all black.  But the most important thing, Toms gives the same pair of Toms to a child in need of shoes.  How great is that!

MAC Pro Longwear Lipglass

I have a love/hate relationship with the original MAC Lipglass.  It’s too sticky and thick, but gives excellent shine.  I do hate it when my hair gets trapped and caught in the gloss because now my hair is sticky, too.   But the new Pro Longwear Lipglass is like the new and improved lipglass.  It’s still a thick lip gloss but it’s not as sticky.  It also lasts forever which is an added bonus especially because Blister tells me to put on some lip chap like ten times a day.  I have it in “Show Me!” and always receive compliments for its color.  It’s a staple.

Nambé Utensils

A coworker introduced me to this company called Nambé.  They make all kinds of great flatware, dinnerware, and general home goods.  After Bubby and I got married, we decided to discard our IKEA bubble blue utensils and purchased the 43-piece Maia flatware.  The upgrade is fantastic.  I never thought that having nice utensils would have such an impact on my eating experience, but it does.  The girth is perfectly sized so it’s not as thick as a shovel but not too thin either.  The weight is not too heavy or too light.  It’s the baby bear of utensils that Goldilocks dreamed about scooping her heaps of stolen porridge.

Magnolia’s Bakery Banana Pudding

When I’m having a bad day, Bubby buys me tea roses and Magnolia’s banana pudding.  I love this pudding.  It is whipped, light, not too sweet, and totally worth being fat for.  Generally, I would agree with Kate Moss since nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, but her hungry ass has clearly never had Magnolia’s banana pudding because she would be 200 pounds if she had.  This pudding instantly makes me happy and the Nilla wafers bring back childhood memories.  I found the recipe online, let’s hope it doesn’t work out because I will gain 50 pounds.  Trust.  I can’t wait to use my Nambé spoon to devour my pudding.

Clarisonic

How could I forget the Clarisonic?  This tiny little machine cleans every single pore with its vibrating motion.  I washed my face without the Clarisonic and thought I had removed all of my makeup.  I followed up with the Clarisonic and noticed makeup on the brush that did not come off the first time.  This powerful machine works so well that after the first two weeks of using it, I broke out because it was expelling all of the dirt from my pores.  It’s a wonderful little tool, and every girl or guy who wears make up needs to invest in one of these bad boys.  I use the Professional with Bubby (separate heads, of course), and Blister and El Ninja have the Mia.

Feel free to add your favorite things in the comments section.