Tag Archives: bread

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

 

Animal

12 Oct

I love this restaurant because it reminds me of Umfufu from Eddie Murphy’s Raw, “I don’t like the way you treat me, Eddie.  You treat me like animal!”

Oh, Eddie Murphy.  I miss the 80’s when you wore leather suits, laughed maniacally, and made people laugh.  What happened, Eddie?  I used to watch Coming to America every Saturday.  At the young age of 8, I would bark like a dog while hopping on one foot and randomly say, “The royal penis is clean, your highness.”  I think that was my first ever dong joke.  So proud.  Oh, Eddie.  I learned so much from you and Arsenio.  And the both of you abandoned me at such an impressionable age.  Luckily, there was Martin Lawrence’s You So Crazy, Chris Rock’s Bigger and Blacker and a few years of Dave Chappelle.  But Eddie, we all know you’re a father and want to make wholesome movies but don’t resist.  Come back.  Be funny again.  “EDDDDDIEE….WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY!”

I decided to take my Umfufu, Bubby, to Animal.  He always says I go to the best restaurants without him.  We dressed up and went on a date.  I’m usually not one to dress up on a weekend, but I just got my hair ombre dyed, so I didn’t want to waste a perfect blow out.  Umfufu said my hair makes me look like a “loose” woman while Blister said I look like I didn’t go to college.  Score!  I never want to hear anyone tell me that I look like I have a graduate degree  because that means you fugly. Perhaps I’ll upload a picture of my new slutty hair.

We went to Animal on a Saturday night at 9 pm so we got a table rather quickly.  I ordered a few staples like the foie gras loco moco, chili and lime fried pig ears, and the pork belly sliders.  Umfufu was skeptical about the sliders but he let me order it anyway.  He also ordered the bone marrow, a dish I have yet to try.

Pig ears

I forgot to take the picture of this dish when it first arrived.  But there was a beautiful fried egg on top that I mixed all up with the pig ears.  I love any dish that’s spicy and acidic.  Add pork? Even better.  I like the crunchiness of the ears.  The lime and spice are just as good and the savory fried egg with running yolk makes an excellent sauce.  I ate this all by myself because Umfufu was not a fan.

Bone Marrow

The buttery marrow is draped with chimichurri and sweet grilled onions.  Spreading this all over garlic toast was fan-fucking-tastic.  I wanted to lick the marrow  up and down like the 90’s Silk “Freak Me” song, “Lemme lick you up and down … til you say stop! Lemme play with your marrow baby make it real hot.”  It was erotic.

Foie Gras Loco Moco

I love me some loco moco.  The best thing about Hawaii is the unlimited supply of loco moco, mac salad, spam musubi, and the glorious beaches.  But most definitely, the loco moco.  At first, I judged this bougie version of the loco moco.  Loco moco is the food of the people, it shouldn’t be served with foie gras and a quail egg, right?  Oh so wrong.  When in doubt, add foie gras and quail eggs to everything.  The foie gras was thick and added a fatty quality to a dish that’s already drizzled with gravy.  But fat is fat.  And it is good.

Pork Belly Sliders

Everyone knows by now how much I fantasize about pork belly.  What Umfufu didn’t realize was how much he loved pork belly, especially these pork belly sliders.  The bread is what makes these fucking things so amazing.  Yes, the pork fat is awesome, but the bread.  It’s like … the fresh baked bread from a Hong Kong bakery: sweet, fluffy, light, warm, and buttery.  The crunchiness from the slaw slathered in bbq sauce was just beautiful.  Umfufu wanted to order 5 servings of these, and he probably will one day because he slow clapped this dish in the middle of the restaurant.

Animal gets 4 slow claps out of 5.  Umfufu says the sliders deserve 5.

Animal
435 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA

Craft

27 May

I have been MIA. I know. My life has been crazy with work, my bachelorette party in Miami, wedding planning, allergy attacks which made my face look like Will Smith’s in the movie “Hitch”, and a recent family loss. For any ordinary girl, these events would be stressful. For a girl with severe anxiety and paranoia, I almost lost my shit. To cope with these difficulties, I have been feeding my feelings. Just haven’t written about my feedings or feelings. But Blister said that my three readers are losing interest so after a month hiatus, it’s Britney, bitch, I’m back.

I’ve been to Craft in Century City many times. It’s a block away from my firm and the only restaurant option not located in the mall. I went to Craft recently with Jerr Bear and Cellmate for Jerr Bear’s going away lunch. He’s one of my favorite coworkers because he’s the only person who will bust out dancing the butterfly with me in the kitchen at work.

Craft at lunch is always full of white old men who are either lawyers or agents who work at CAA.  Basically, a room of douchebaggos.  The host sat the people of color (minus Cellmate) at the bar area –some Rosa Parks shit.  I’m going to have to write Tom Colicchio an email about that.

Once we were seated, the bread arrived. Jerr Bear called it the Obama-McCain bread.

Once again, Obama wins.

 vs. 

Remember how Elya called Tom out for not using meat from local farms at the Top Chef reunion? Well, she must have hit a nerve in him because he listed all of the local farms he purchases goods from right on his menu.  Tom, haters gonna hate.  You don’t have to revamp your menu for the “chef” who was voted off first.

For our appetizer, we ordered the hamachi with lime caviar. This appetizer was refreshing, light, perfectly acidic.  The hamachi was fresh and sliced with the perfect thickness. Good job, Tom.

The cream served with the hamachi looked like a 13 year old boy’s memento but tasted great.

I ordered the rabbit, Cellmate ordered the braised beef ravioli, and Jerr Bear ordered the steak.  We shared a side of cauliflower.

The rabbit was dry and disappointing. Jerr Bear tried to make me feel bad for eating Bugs Bunny. I had no feelings of guilt about Bugs but just feelings of regret for having to eat dry rabbit.

I asked Cellmate and Jerr Bear to describe their dishes with one word and Cellmate said “okay” while Jerr Bear said “good.”  Feel free to interpret what they mean however you like.

The side of cauliflower was lightly fried and crunchy.  The purple color was unique, and it was perfectly seasoned.  A really great side dish to not so delightful main courses.

The dinner menu is definitely better than the lunch menu at Craft.  For the hamachi and cauliflower, I give Craft 2 slow claps.  Tom, I hope this doesn’t prevent my chances as a guest judge on Top Chef.  It’s business and your rabbit blows.  Tom, please pack your knives and go.

Craft
10100 Constellation Blvd
Los Angeles, CA

The Hat

16 Mar

The great thing about our premarital classes is that it’s located next to The Hat.  The bad thing about our premarital classes is that it’s located next to the Hat and I’m not eating meat right now.  We love The Hat and it’s delicious pastrami.  Really really good pastrami.  But what’s a girl to do who decided to listen to Oprah and not eat meat for 30 days?  Order a grilled cheese with a lot of fried sides to ease the pain.

We had to prep our ketchup and ranch dressing for our fried sides.

We sprinkled it with a lot of peppa.  Speaking of peppa, peppas:

These bad boys are juicy and spicy and pop and squirt all up in your mouth.  [Insert joke here.]  I love these spicy peppers especially because I must have something spicy to eat with my sandwich or hamburger.  It’s a must.

The fried sides included onion rings and french fries.

We ordered a small for each fried side, and they packed each brown bag half way full of super hot and fresh onion rings and french fries.  The french fries were so hot that I definitely burned the roof of my mouth.  I was hoping that the room temperature ketchup would cool the fry down but it didn’t.  The fries were a good thickness, texture, and by the color, you can tell they were using fresh oil.  The onion rings were not as good because they were overly breaded.  I like slightly breaded, barely dusted onion rings so the ratio of onion and bread is even and you can taste the actual onion.  Because we had two bags full of onion rings and fries, we gave them to the homeless people of Pasadena.  Onion rings and fries for all –the first thing on my agenda as Mayor.

My grilled cheese arrived, and I spread it and saw this:

Now this is what I was expecting from the grilled cheese truck.  Just an ooze of cheese spreading apart so smoothly like an expanding accordion tucked in between two crispy sheets of buttered sourdough bread.  Buttered sourdough bread.  Again, with passion.  Buttered … sourdough … bread.  I was in heaven.  Until I saw this:

Bubby’s pastrami.  I no longer cared for my buttered sourdough bread, I wanted, no… LUSTED after the 2 inches of pastrami.  His pastrami cup runneth over and I wanted it.  The clear distinction of mustard and pickles sitting on top of the pastrami like a proper English top hat while cradled in the arms of bread dipped in au jus.  Dipped in fucking au jus.  Not drowned in au jus where the bread falls apart but perfectly touched as if the Pope, himself, had blessed this sandwich with holy au jus water.  Homeboy bit into his pastrami sandwich and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it.

Bubby: You want a bite?
Me: No (wiping drool off chin).
Bubby bit into his sandwich while pieces of pastrami landed on his hand.  He vacuumed it through his Dyson-like mouth.
Bubby: You sure?
Me: Yes (voice cracking under pressure).
Bubby bit into it again. This time he opened his mouth wider and bit down harder.
Me: Fuck Oprah.

I snatched what remained of Bubby’s sandwich out from his hands and shoved the pastrami into my mouth.    And instantaneously, the blood in my veins pumped harder, my vision was heightened, I could hear people from across the street, I could smell the meat … like Peter Parker, I was alive!  The pastrami is thinly sliced and you can taste the marbled fat with hearty meat throughout each thin slice.  There are slightly well done pieces and tender pieces, it’s a spectrum of meat.  I scooted back into the corner of the booth with my knees propped up and the sandwich nestled in my hands and devoured the rest like a hungry homeless dog not willing to give up the bone he found.  Bubby was willing to sacrifice half of his sandwich because he knew his eating partner was back.  And for my resurrection, I give the pastrami sandwich dipped in au jus 5 slow claps.

I’m back, bitches.

The Hat
http://www.thehat.com/index.htm

85°C Bakery & Cafe

22 Feb

Lazy Saturdays.  It’s what I live for.  I work so hard during the week that I enjoy a good day off in my PJs watching a marathon of my recorded TV shows in bed with Bubby and Miso.  That is my definition of a good Saturday.  These days I don’t have a lot of those delicious Saturdays because every weekend is dedicated to wedding planning.  I have so many appointments with wedding vendors that I can’t enjoy a delicious Saturday siesta.  Recently, after our appointment with our wedding DJ and emcee (both Filipino, you know the music is gonna be on point), we ran our Saturday errands.  Typically, I don’t like Saturday errands but if I have the energy to put on a face of makeup or throw on some Ray Bans and jeans, I’ll go.  Saturday errands include grocery shopping and cooking pre-made meals for the week.  On our way to the Korean market, Bubby insisted we get his favorite sea salt iced coffee from 85°C Bakery & Cafe.  I’ve never had the sea salt iced coffee before but definitely had the pastries and cakes.  The cakes are better than the pastries in my opinion.   I prefer the pastries at Paris Baguette.

As we’re walking to the 85°C, I notice this:

WTF.  Are all these people waiting for this bakery?  This ain’t no Vegas club.  These fatasses are waiting for bread.  A literal bread line.  I’d understand if they were handing out free hits of crack (because the first hit is always free), but bread?!!  I told Bubby I was not waiting in this line for some sea salt iced coffee, it can’t be that good.  He said, there’s a different line for sea salt iced coffee.  A different line?!  A secret line.  So if you’re ordering sea salt iced coffee, don’t wait in this ridiculous line that is like 100 deep of Orange County Asians.

25 minutes pass.

The coffee.

This coffee is good.  Is it amazing?  Not quite.  But it’ refreshing and the salt definitely heightens the flavor of the creamy iced coffee.  I understand why people would love it so much on a hot LA day.  Now, would I wait 25 minutes for it? Probably.  Would I wait in that atrocious line?  No.  But I did enjoy it … until the last few slurps.  The ending was not so happy.  It tasted funky, like cream of sum yung gai.  Funk.  I would give a higher rating if the ending wasn’t so foul.

3 slow claps.

85°C Bakery & Cafe
2700 Alton Pkwy, Suite 123
Irvine, CA 92606