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Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Lab

The Lab is an interesting dining/shopping area in Costa Mesa...When you drive into the area, it looks like a wearhouse turned chic trendy new age-y shopping mall... here is the fireplace/fountain area... the water runs off from the vintage barrels and people can sit around the fire pit to chic chat.
Here is what we had... paellla, with the special lighting from blackberry, it looks positively heavenly.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cat OD's on Shrooms

'Tis the mushroom season... and I got some aromatic Mitsutake mushrooms, after eating three, I felt a bit light headed... are these by any chance related to the Magic Mushroom... I see stars and psychedelic swirls...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dat Thanh

After reading a glowing review of the place in the LA Times, I knew I had to go there! But alas, seemed like the entire LA read the article too and showed up at the same time on Saturday night... it does not look too crowded, but mind you, there were only two cooks, mom and pop, and one server, meimei (ie little sister)...hence the hour long wait.
Wow, the food is finally here! Foooood! CHOMP MUNCH CHOMP MUNCH CHOMP...
Here is BC's food... looks kind of similar to mine, mine was grilled chicken and BC got grilled pork chop... FOOOOOOD! We were that hungry.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Disney and Dudamel

M graciously invited me to dinner at Kendall's and concert at the Disney Concert Hall... ahhh, terrific food, terrific music, terrific night...
We got the best seats, look how close we were to Dudamel and his wild hair!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tasting Kitchen

In my continued journey towards Piggyhood, S took me to Tasting Kitchen in Venice tonight. Ate so much! But alas, it was too dark, and my hands were too busy eating to take food pics. But I did manage to snap a shot of the upper level dining area... yep, it's kind of library-ish, at least I'll be an intellectual piggy -- (in a faux British accent) so, what is the meaning of life? Oink Oink!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ikko Sushi

Ikko Sushi is located in a non-descriptive strip mall. I would never even think of going in there had BC not recommended the place to me. We got there right at 5:30 as the restaurant opened. It's dark and serene inside... and we got the US$60 omakase meal.
First course, oysters with ponzu mousse, amberjack (it's so pretty) with mango salsa and white wine jelly, and chicken liver pate with parmesan crackers. It was so good. The oysters were fresh and bursted in my mouth with all the oyster goodness, the pinkish amberjack, oh my, the texture, the presentation, and the chicken liver pate, it was just right, I like pate, but often find them to be too liver-y, this was light and airy with a subtle hint of liver. But in all honesty, no words can do justice to this magnificent plate of food, you've got the try this yourself.
The first course was followed by a simple daikon salad. Where did they find such juicy daikon? Perfect dish to clean the palate.
White fish tempura. Where did they find this pretty little piece of white fish? It was thin and flat, and the meat was flakey and tender.
Steamed abalone with daikon. This is what good abalone should taste like. It's el dente without being too rubbery. And the meat sort of exuded a subtle buttery-ness.
After the meal, BC asked me whether I had had better nigri. After a trip down sushi memory lane, I reached the conclusion that this was the best nigri I'd ever had. The quality is phenomenal. The cut of each piece was fantastic. You can't see the large clam here very well, but it was presented like a bow. Many sushi restaurants give you humongous chunks of rice topped with tiny pieces of sashimi. Here it was different, the ratio of the sashimi and the rice was just right. The rice doesn't dominate, but complement. And the toro at the end simply melted in my mouth. Ahhhh.... must go back!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Live Squid at 8th and Western

We were going to the Neptune Lounge for some Korean sushi tonight, but when our friend got there, it turned out it was closed! So we had to change plans, and went to another Korean sushi place nearby. It only had a Korean name so all I can tell you is it's at the corner of 8th and Western... when I got there, I saw this spread of sushi heaven in front of me... so without much ado, I started to wolf everything down. Notice the huge platter of sashimi in the middle: conch, oyster, uni, clams, octopus, etc. etc... and last but not least, live squid, yes I had those squigly thingies... ah!

After the sashimi binge, I went back to Lady Cat, and started to properly introduce myself to new friends. Then voila, another humongous platter of halibut sashimi showed up.

Since we orderd that huge platter... we got a party favor on the House. Egg rice... they added sesame oil, nice touch.

Yummy fish soup at the end... This is one thing I like about Korean sushi -- you get hearty warm stuff too. More satisfying than Japanese sushi imo, especially when you are hungry as I was tonight.