Thursday, July 31, 2008
Alright, I met up with my ACA Mommy that I hadn't seen in years after Ms. Lin and I went to Momofuku that day. It had been a really long time since I last saw her and I was very happy that we got to reconnect! She is so sweet, kind, and smart! ^_^ The 3 of us went for a quick snack/dessert because Ms. Lin and I had dinner plans as did she. We probably got there around 3:30PM give and take to ChikaLicious Dessert Bar. The dessert bar opens at 3PM and there was a few people there already. Ms. Lin has been here before and there usually is a line waiting outside to get a seat. Luckily we didn't have to wait that long to get seated. The interior decor is white and simple.
We all decided to get the Pre-Fixe. This includes Amuse Bouche, Choice of Dessert, and Petits Fours. A Fruity Pear Sorbet was the Amuse Bouche and it was very light on the palette. My ACA Mom and I decided to get their signature dish of Fromage Blanc Island "Cheese Cake" for their dessert. Of course Ms. Lin and I ordered different desserts to share and try more. I must say this was really disappointing. It definitely was not your typical cheese cake. There was a lot of foam and the flavors were a little off for me. The dish was not bad, it just didn't wow me. It does have a stronger cheese flavor than cheese cakes but I felt it was still a bit bland. Then again, this is a Japanese dessert bar... which means lighter flavor.
Ms. Lin decided to get the White Chocolate Mousse Éclair served with Concord Grape Sorbet and Frosted Pistachio. The presentation and concept was nice. I did like the texture and flavor of the mousse. This was better than the fromage blanc in my opinion, but nothing really wowed me. The best part of the meal was sitting and chatting. I also added a wine pairing, but I changed the wine to Moscato d'Asti Saracco 2006. The wine was nice and refreshing. They served a cute small platter of Petits Fours at the end. I am just a sucker for them. They too were light and no wow factor.
All in all I thought this place was only okay, but they had some interesting dishes that keep changing. I would probably come back here again one day, but it would not be on top of my list. The service was friendly and enjoyable. I think if you sit at the dessert bar you would get a better interaction with Chef and that would be an enjoyable experience. Of course this time I was more into chatting with an old friend. One thing that agitated me was that when we were done they had already closed for the day! The sun was still out and the place had probably only been open for 2 hours. I only now found out that they open at 3PM from their site, so I find it utterly ridiculous for them to be out of desserts around 5-6PM!!! When we were walking out we saw the sign blocking the front interest. Can't they just make more? Shouldn't they have more prepared for the day??? It just boggles my mind! Only in New York! Lol ^_^
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I HAD to take a picture of the adorable Pikachu lording above the booth. As soon as Ms. Lin saw it, she insisted that I take a picture of it. Little did she know I had already done so many times, but of course it was so cute that I took more! ^_^
This year was the first time I have been to Comic-Con. Despite what everyone thinks, I am not buried in comic books or glued to the TV. Yes, I have been to Animexpo twice a long long time ago. In my defense it was free the 2nd time, as well as Comic-Con this time or I wouldn't be there. O=) Of course a BIG part was to see Ms. Lin ^_- **of course I am only saying this in fear of her wrath! lol j/k**
Oh the MADNESS! It is CRAZY down there! You can NOT imagine how many, how should I put it lightly, INTERESTING people attend this event. As I was walking towards the Convention Center there was this person dressed up in nice leather boots, decked out in revealing black clothing, made up with nice make-up, and holding an umbrella. I immediately knew it was a guy by instinct even though he looked exactly like a girl. He confirmed my notion when I heard him speaking. Of course this does not phase me, but it did make me giggle when I thought about what lied ahead.
There were tons of booths set up throughout. I went with my Mom in the afternoon Friday and we had a HORRIBLE time. We were both upset and annoyed by the whole ordeal. There really wasn't much to do and there was so much madness! I was furious about wasting my time coming down because I was dead tired from Vegas and my feet couldn't take anymore. We waited for Ms. Lin to finish her shift and then we accompanied her one more time to look through the convention. There really wasn't anything that interested her too.
It's serious MADNESS there! PURE INSANITY! Ms. Lin told me people were grabbing things as if their lives depended on it. It's as if the free goods were food and they hadn't eaten in decades! No wonder there was nothing to pillage that afternoon, which made it SUPER BORING. I was very disappointed at the vendors for not maintaining the consumer's interest!
In all fairness, I think I had a much better time with MBA and her family. She's gone every year for 4 years now I believe. We met up later that Friday and I decided to give Comic-Con one more time with a different group. They went for the last hour giveaway in the Marvel booth. We stood there for a very very long time and were teased/led on/played with/etc... Eventually they started the giveaway and the MC was very odd and annoying. He played his favorites and gave some people prizes continuously, which I thought was in poor taste. He shouldn't keep giving one person prizes when there were so many around. I stood in front and was being pushed by hundreds of people clawing & grabbing. The guy behind me was SO OBNOXIOUS! He kept SCREAMING to the MC, "You are the coolest, I LOVE You!" Luckily he was ignored and received nothing, but standing in front of him was a HUGE PAIN. He kept leaning on me and screaming almost right in my ear. I later complained about it to MBA and her family. They were all thinking the same thing. Well to get the free goods, I had to eventually prostrate myself publicly and work it to draw attention to myself... and it WORKED! Mwahaha! I got an Iron Man PSP game and I don't even have a PSP. =P I really wanted the special Iron Man flash drive, which I thought was at least 1 gig. A lady heard me say that and asked to exchange with me. I was a little torn because I know the game is worth more... but MBA gave a good reasoning that the flash drive is unique to Comic-Con and I don't even have a PSP. So I exchanged, but it was a lame 512mb. I should have just kept the PSP and sold it, then buy the flash drive online for cheaper. It's okay though, because I am lazy and just thinking about the process makes me tired. lol O=)
The last day was much better because I went near opening, although I was infuriated by some booths. Paramount had a horrible organization and the people at Disney were INCOMPETENT, RUDE, on a POWER TRIP, and so forth. They were the last straw that broke the camel's back that day for me, I couldn't stand being there anymore after an encounter with them. I met up with MBA and her Mom that day and we plowed through a bunch of booths pillaging the goods. It's much more fun when you go with people who are crazy about the convention. You just let everything go and go crazy. They were also much more experienced and guided me around. ^_^ Last but not least, I saw a crowd around the booth with Simpsons figurines and I was actually able to semi-recognize Matt Groening. So I tried to take a quick picture. I was amazed at myself for even knowing what he looks like. OH NO I am becoming like one of THEM!!!! **EEP**
Labels: San Diego
Wow has it really been 200 posts! Time goes by fast! I guess I must be glued to my computer. ^_^ Since I promised Tofu that I would start my New York reviews, why not do it on the 200th post. I will be posting about any and every thing possible. Watch out for my curve balls!
Last time I went to Manhattan NY, Ms. Lin and I started our own explorations. Of course while she was at work, I went out to play by myself. I normally don't like ramen, but Momofuku's Noodle Bar really change my mind. Any place that can make something I don't really care for into something delectable, I say kudos! We had to get a bowl noodles since it was a noodle bar. They were packed even for a late lunch. It's your typical Japanese noodle bar dining style where you will be sitting next to strangers and both enjoying your meal with the chance of making a new friend. We ordered the Momofuku Ramen with Pork Combo, Poached Egg, Seaweed, and Pickled Vegetables. I really enjoyed the soup and all the flavors working wonderfully together. Ms. Lin was surprised that I ended up liking the ramen. The different types of meat all had their own earthy flavor that mixed well with the delectable broth and the pickled vegetables only enhanced the flavor. I will definitely be back for some more!
Everyone there had the Steamed Buns and the people next to us raved about it. Remember when I said you will make new friends... or be bombarded by your neighbor... the guy was so excited that he kept raving about the steamed buns and certain dishes. No, he was not hitting on us. He had a female companion, but it was really funny how passionate he was. It was nice. We decided to get the Pork Steamed Buns. They are basically "Gua Pao" with a healthy twist. The meat was leaner and they layered it with fresh Cucumbers & Green Onions. It was good, but definitely not as flavorful as normal gua paos. You can judge me, but I think it's because they made it "healthier" and that's why it didn't taste as good. The fattier and unhealthier the dish is, then the better it tastes!! ^_-
We also decided to try a seasonal dish. It was the Hamachi Sashimi with Radish and Green Apples. The concept sounded interesting but it fell extremely short of hitting the mark. I like the fish, but the flavors were weird. In the end I just ate the sashimi separately. Being greedy, as we always are O=), we decided to also get Spicy Cold Noodles with Pickled Cucumbers and shredded Seaweed. I liked the texture of the noodles but the spicy flavor was only okay to me. Back then, I think I was less open-minded to spicy foods. Ms. Lin enjoyed it and she ate them while I scarfed down the ramen. It all worked out in the end!
All in all the service was friendly but they are super busy so expect some delays. Be prepared to sit very close to your neighbors and if you are not there early or late enough then expect a wait. I really liked the place overall because of the ramen. Next time we are in NY together we will have to check out the Ssam Bar. If I were living in NY I would definitely frequent them because the prices are reasonable for NY and the portions are filling. **Drool Drool** Since I have had their ramen, I have been trying different ramens to find one that I really liked... but to no avail. I guess I must come back here again! ^_^
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
We decided to leave Sunday on the 4th of July weekend and BOY was that a huge mistake! It was deadlock traffic! From Vegas to Primm's it's really does not take that much time... but it SURE did that day! A couple miles took about 1/2 an hour to 1 hour. So we decided to pull off the road and shop a little. That ended up being a mistake as well! We were stuck in deadlock trying to get out of the area. It probably would have taken an hour just to get back on the freeway. Keep in mind it's actually right next to the freeway, but it was PACKED to the brim and no one could move. So we just gave up and decided to change our dinner plans. Originally they wanted to go to Korean BBQ in LA's K-town, but judging from traffic it would be near impossible. The only thing around was horrendous fast food or dinner at the Terribles Casino. Judging from the name alone, what do you think?
They have these $7.99 deals for different steak meals and we gave up trying so dinner was at the The Gallery Café inside the casino. Maybe it was our low expectations? Maybe I had just given up hope... It actually wasn't as bad as I thought. Ms. Lin and I both got the Prime Rib Special, served 24 hours. It's an 8 oz. Prime Rib with French Fries that's served with Vegetables and a choice of soup or salad. We both chose to get the soup and it was a Minestrone, which was surprisingly good! It had tons of meat and it was loaded with flavor. We were both guessing it was from Campbell's, but it had huge chunks of meat. There was barely any soup, it was just full of content. Like I said, maybe it's because we had such low low low low low low *to the power of infinity* expectations that any decent flavor seemed great. The prime rib was a very generous portion. It must have been near 12 oz. versus the 8 oz. they said on the menu. They even gave some kind horseradish to accompany the prime rib, which I was surprised and glad to see. The meat was actually very tender and it was decent. For the price you pay, it's not too bad.
Our dad decided to get the T-Bone Steak and Eggs because he really wanted the Hash Browns. It's 2 Eggs with a broiled T-Bone Steak served with Toast. This didn't look appealing at all and he really should have ordered the prime rib with us. The hash brown was good, but anything that comes out of a frozen bag and grilled would taste the same. It's like eating at Denny's. At least our prime rib was more worth it and the soup was good. If you are ever stuck in this sad sad area and you just want to have a cheap meal since the choices are very very limited... then I'd recommend here to get your cheap Prime Rib Dinner. I guess you could say this would be the epitome of old "Vegas" dining. Cheap and 24 hours! O=)
P.S. Don't expect much service! It's almost exactly like Denny's but with gambling and smoking. =P
Tadaima! I am back from my extended trips! More Vegas to post after I finish up the previous trip and I have promised Tofu that I will start my New York reviews. Hope you all had a wonderful week and a relaxing weekend! There's so much to tell, so stay tuned! ^_^
Monday, July 28, 2008
Lets just say that as a family, we never really dine together and it's even more rare for us to all be up for breakfast! Since this was a family vacation, we ended up having many meals together which was rare in itself. Ms. Lin did some quick research on where to get breakfast because we had to set out early that day back for California to avoid some traffic. We went on Sunday and it was totally packed. It's definitely a local favorite. The decor was very cute and well themed. I love the egg designs and phrases decked out everywhere. Luckily, we didn't have to wait too long to get seated and the server was super friendly & cute!
To start off the morning Ms. Lin ordered a cup of Coffee and I decided to get a glass of Orange Juice. They bring a fresh pot of coffee to the table for you to refill your own cup at your own pace. We all decided to try something different for breakfast. Ms. Lin, my Dad, and I all decided to get the Banana Nut Muffin as our bread. It's SOOOOOOOOOOOO good if you love banana nut! I just love that it's not your normal muffin. The top is very flat, which increases the surface area. This also means more firmer texture that everyone loves to eat! We loved it so much that we changed our Mom's toast to the muffin as well. YUM YUM! This alone was worth it!
Ms. Lin read online that people raved about the Chicken Enchilada Omelette so she decided to give that a try. It's sliced Seasoned Chicken, Green Chiles, homemade Tortilla Chips, Cheddar, & Jack Cheese folded inside and then topped with Enchilada Sauce. More Cheddar and Jack Cheese are put on top with a scoop of Sour Cream. The flavors worked well together and it was definitely something different to try. There was a lot of cheese so that's always a plus! This was probably my 3rd favorite because the muffin is #1!
#2 was what I ordered! I decided to try the Piggy Skillet. Normally I'm not a big breakfast fan, so for me to like breakfast... it's definitely a rarity. My dish contained Crisp Bacon, Diced Ham, Pork Sausage, Potatoes, Cheese, and Eggs. You can never go wrong with delicious meats, cheese, and potatoes! I hate eggs, except maybe in Omelette form, so Ms. Lin and my Mom ate them. They love the eggs Over-Easy. The potatoes are wonderfully seasoned, if I had to count them as a separate entity then they would be #2!!! ^_^ They are crispy, flavorful, and a delight to eat. Definitely one of the best potatoes I have ever had! This dish is a bit saltier than most, but good and solid. Ms. Lin and I like salty foods so it was perfect. **side note: Ms. Lin LOVES salty foods, way more than I do! =9**
My Dad decided to try one of their specials, the Ultimate Mexican Omelette. It's sliced Chicken, Chorizo, diced Onions, Green Chiles, fresh Cilantro, Refried Beans folded inside and topped with Salsa, Jack & Cheddar Cheese, and Sour Cream. Even though this had beans, I had to give it a taste so that I can decide if it's good myself. The flavors were good and it worked. Personally, I'd choose what Ms. Lin ordered because they are close in flavor.
For our Mom, we chose to order her the Collision Course. It's an Egg Crêpe with diced Ham, Bacon, Mixed Cheeses, Mushrooms, and Onions. This was my least favorite dish. It was not what you expected and lacked flavor. I think I would rather have this as a plain omelette rather than crêpe skin. Still, we decided to try this because it sounded unique. If you come here, definitely try the skillet if you love simple flavor or go for an omelette.
Ms. Lin and I wanted some Pancakes as well, so we got a side order of pancakes. They were good, but nothing special. We were so full from eating our own dishes that we were barely able to touch the pancakes. Yes, we were too greedy. O=) I still prefer the Japanese pancakes I made. If you are only here for a short trip, then try the skillet or omelette rather than waste it on regular pancakes.
All in all the food was good and the service was super friendly! Like I said, she was so cute! ^_^ We had a really nice time there and enjoyed our meal. If you are ever in Vegas and up for breakfast, then definitely give this place a try! I just went back a few days ago too! Of course that's another story to tell... ^o^
Egg & I
Las Vegas, NV 89102
Saturday, July 19, 2008
I must say... very interesting Night Show at the Rio! =P Our Dad wanted to check out the Rio so we went there after dinner. Apparently they have a show every hour on the stage in the center of the Casino. Of course it was a bunch of good looking men and women that are scantily clad. =X They sang and dance, but I must say their singing was only sub-par and the sound system was WAY TOO LOUD. There was a lot of back-feed from the mic, which made me DEAF! The cool part was they had these ships and hot air balloons that travel about above your head with women in their lingerie dancing. Apparently they toss beads out too. If I knew, I would have wanted to grab some! **wink wink** At least it's not like Mardi Gras where you have to "work" for the free beads! LOL
This will be my last post for about a week. **feel free to catch up on other posts ^_~** I won't have a computer when I am in Vegas and as soon as I get back I will be heading down to San Diego... so I won't be able to post!!! >_<# Don't worry, I will be doing massive research in Vegas and SD. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Labels: Las Vegas
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Still tastes great and reasonable prices. I really liked Le Diplomate the first time I went. Their sandwiches are loaded with Garlic Sauce! They had me at Garlic! ^_- SOOOO SAD that I won't be going to Gilroy with Burumun this year. I really want to go, but I will be in San Diego with Ms. Lin... =*( Today we went to Cream Pan to get some delicious Strawberry Croissants, but we went a little too late >_<# so there was NOTHING left. SOB SOB SOB As Tofu and I were both hungry, we went to Le Diplomate near UCI for something cheap and good. I needed a Vietnamese Iced Coffee, which is only $2 for a small cup. For my sandwiches, I had to get the Garlic Chicken and I decided to get the Chicken Club with extra Garlic Sauce. YUM YUM! I think from now on I will get the Chicken Club because it comes with lots of Crisp Bacon, Tomato, Swiss Cheese, and lots of Garlic Sauce! **drool drool drool** A picture says a thousand words! So I decided to put two here for show! ^_-
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I know there might be some protests when I say this but... LA has MUCH better Chinese food than anywhere else in the US! Normally I don't like spicy foods, until I went to YunChuan Garden in Monterey Park. It's a always a great measure for a good restaurant when they turn something you don't like into a new fave! I really need to go back again soon to clear the bad taste that the Vegas branch left! We told them about the one in LA, they said that they are the sister restaurant. EWWW! Boy did Yun Nan Garden miss the mark! First off, they are tucked away in this back alley strip that's hard to spot. I wonder how many people know about this place, hence, is the food fresh?
We started off by getting a Cold Platter where you choose your own dishes. My favorite dish is always the Fu Chi Fei Pian. The one here is decent, but it can't hold a candle to the one in Monterey Park! I felt the one here was more sour, either because it was not fresh or it's made slightly different. What's worse is that the prices in Vegas are much higher AND NOT worth it! =*( I know some of you want to argue that the rent is probably higher and costs, but if you saw where it's located you would think twice. It's off the strip so rent shouldn't be that bad and it's completely hidden!
Ms. Lin opted not to get her favorite noodle soup since it was a lot more expensive. She decided to get the Dan Dan Mien. They thought it was better and more flavorful than the one in LA, but I don't remember nor care for the noodle. It's a spicy peanut sauce with noodles. The flavor wasn't too bad, but I was overall disappointed. My favorite dish is the Wontons in Hot Chili Oil. Here they were completely SOAKED in chili oil and nothing else. It was bland and flavorless. The wontons were gross and they used a horribly thick skin. Overall it was bad and I really need to go to Monterey Park to get one that's FANTASTIC!
All in all the place was not that good. I don't know what the people online were thinking! Do they not know what great Chinese food tastes like? I guess they need to take a trip to LA to know! =P Believe me, I will review this place and set them straight! I say stick with the more well-known places in Vegas! Hopefully the way I mapped out our meals will turn out well. I will be DEATHLY POOR! But.. Happy I hope! ^_^
Yun Nan Garden
Las Vegas, NV 89103
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
What you all have been waiting for! The infamous Hot n Juicy Crawfish off the strip. I did a bit of research on more exotic/cultural foods and I came across this place. Ms. Lin didn't seem that interested in the Boiling Crab when I told her about it. I had been testing many places out in the OC for her to try so that she would only get to try good food in the OC when she gets back. So far I have pleased her. When I came across Hot n Juicy Crawfish and heard that it's just like the Boiling Crab, I thought that would be nice to try but no dire need since we have the original in SoCal. It ended up that our Dad rejected one of the places Ms. Lin researched about so we suggested this place instead. We headed there around 6PM and it wasn't very crowded yet, but as time went it did.
The prices here were quite a bit higher than the ones in the OC. They ran out of the Gumbo, so we didn't get to try that. We had to get the Crawfish with the Hot n Juicy Special. If you get 2 lbs., then you get a Potato and a Corn on the Cob. The special sauce includes Louisiana Style, Juicy Cajun, Garlic Butter, and Lemon Pepper. Since Ms. Lin likes things spicy, we asked to get 1lb. mild and the other medium. The server warned us that it was quite spicy at medium and she was right. Even Ms. Lin thought it was spicy and our parents ended up eating my bag of crawfish because it was too spicy. The flavor here was very good and I think even better than the Boiling Crab! I really want to go back this coming weekend, I will have to butter up Tofu to take me. ^_^ When you open the plastic bag, the flavor just emanates throughout and you become engulfed in the flavor! The crawfish here was cooked just right, tender and juicy!
We also ordered 1lb. of Shrimp in Mild Hot n Juicy Special. This is a much better deal than the crawfish. Both are great, but value-wise, the shrimp was a much better deal! The crawfish barely has any meat and weighs a lot, while the shrimp's weight is mainly from the meat. Each bite is soaked with flavor and after you peel the shrimp you must dip it back into the wonderful sauce to get the full flavor! They actually used pretty decent sized shrimp!
The crawfish and shrimp were both $9.99 a lb., which is $2 more than the OC price. I didn't get the shrimp at the Boiling Crab so I can't compare that, but now I will most likely get more shrimp and some crawfish still to get the traditional taste. The sauce at Hot n Juicy was more flavorful and aromatic and the one at the Boiling Crab is almost as good, but their sauce is ladled with celery that becomes overpowering and they have a more smoky flavor. I personally like the sauce at Hot n Juicy much better and I had a really nice time with the family. This could just be personal preference. To be fair, before I write more... I have to say that the Fried Food in the Boiling Crab is a MILLION times better! The fries, catfish, and wings there were mouth-watering good! I'd go back just for them any time! Being a nice sister, I will try my best to bring her a nice bag of juicy shrimp or crawfish and other stuff from Vegas to San Diego when she comes. See the love! Younger sisters are the best! ^_- Right, HoneyBee? lol
Since I loved the Fried Food at the Boiling Crab, I had to order them here to try. We got the Fried Catfish with Fries and this was closer to what I get in the OC, but definitely not as good. The crust/batter for the catfish flaked off easily and lost the crisp texture. Don't get me wrong, it's still good here but it just can't compare to the original! ^_-
I really loved the Fried Chicken Wings at the Boiling Crab so I got it here too and a bigger order, but I was extremely let down. Even though the chicken didn't have a strong batter, it just felt kind of gooey and lacking in flavor. I normally love most things fried and I adore my chicken wings, but the ones here really didn't cut it. If you like fried food, then I'd recommend the catfish over the chicken wings in Vegas. For those who are lucky enough to be in the OC, definitely go get some fried goods at the Boiling Crab. You won't regret it! ^_-
All in all the place was good and at a great price. For the 4 of us the bill was only about $50, so not bad for Vegas. The sauce was so good on the shrimp and crawfish that our Mom wanted to get a bowl of white rice and poured it on top. At first I thought it was a little ridiculous to get rice, especially since she took one bite and said she was too full. So I had to help her eat the rice and I was already almost done with all the meat. It's pretty flavorful on the rice and with the peeled meat makes a complete meal. The sauce gets toned down when mixed with the rice, but still good! If you love Southern/Creole/Cajun food, then I'd say this place is definitely for you! ^_-
Hot n Juicy Crawfish
4810 Spring Mountain Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89102
Monday, July 14, 2008
Taking a short break from Vegas to post about today's dinner to warn people. Happy Bastille Day to All! ^_^ If only we were all in Paris to see the beautiful celebration at the Eiffel Tower! I happened to come across rave reviews for Pescadou Bistro in Newport Beach and they have a special Tour de France menu with an extra special Bastille Day Pre-Fixe. Since today's a celebration they have a pre-fixe for $45 per person and the rest of the Tour de France is a $39 per person pre-fixe. The food looked decent and the reviews were so wonderful that I told Tofu about it and he wanted to try it. He just returned from the Bay Area earlier today and we drove out for a nice dinner. UNFORTUNATELY, it was a HUGE let down!
We started the night out with some Apperitifs because I was in a good mood and wanted to have a nice dinner with great food. Sadly... No. I ordered the Bellini, which was Sparkling Wine and Peach Nectar. Tofu ordered the Boissiere, which was Sweet Vermouth. They were both sweet. Mine was light on the palette and you could barely taste the alcohol, which is the way I like it. Tofu's was very sweet and more alcoholy, but still good. The "amuse bouche" for the night was Assiette de Charcuterie. It's Country Style Pate, Duck "Rillettes" & "Saucisson", served with Cornichons and Nicoises Olives. They bring out a small plate that made me nostalgic to Paris. I think this was the first time that Tofu had liver and they did a decent enough job that he ate it. The flavors were good and the textures were nice. I didn't really like the bread they brought out though, because it lacked the crisp & delectable texture of French bread. It was very difficult to butter the bread. If the bread is not robust enough to withstand buttering, then you should serve butter at room temperature so that it can glide across.
For our starter, we both chose the Soupe a L'Oignon Gratinee. It's Onion Soup garnished with Croutons and melted Gruyere Cheese. If you know me, I LOVE my cheese! So when I ordered this I asked for extra cheese and they said, "Sure no problem!" They were very friendly here, but that can NOT make up for the food. The soup was decent. It's definitely not the best and not the worst I have had. The flavor was a little too light for me. I overheard the owner talk to a customer and commented that they used more chicken in the soup than beef. Once they said that I realized why it wasn't flavorful enough. The cheese was disappointing because it lacked any Gruyere flavor that I love so much! Based on the above, I wouldn't recommend the soup.
Everything just started going down from there! For my main course, I decided to try the Cotes d'Agneau Grillees Aux Herbes. It's Grilled Lamb Chops with Provencale Roasted Tomato and Pommes Frites. At first I was very impressed to see that they had lamb on the pre-fixe so I knew exactly what dish I wanted. I mean how can you go wrong with lamb? Well thy probed me WRONG! When lamb is bad it's REALLY BAD! First, I asked for it Medium-Rare to Rare and it came out almost Medium-Well Done. This made the texture extremely rough and it did not help that the meat was flavorless! All you could taste was the bitter grill. I was sorely disappointed and was VERY tempted to send it back, but then I thought they are so nice and that would be mean. Tofu should have slapped some sense into me to send it back! I even lied to them when they asked how was everything, I said it was good. I have sinned! Albeit, my palette is way experienced for someone my age. Still, I can appreciate good food or average food. So to check my reviews and thoughts, I asked Tofu what he thought. He even admitted that his palette is not as complex and he thought the lamb was HORRIBLE. I seriously didn't even eat any ofthe main course! I was hoping that the french fries would be good and I can survive on that... but NO... it was way over-fried and lacked any flavor. Sigh! This just ruined my whole night and it was NOT a cheap meal... >_<### Luckily Tofu decided on another dish. At first he was debating between the lamb and the Boeuf Bourguignon. It's Braised Beef in Red Wine with Aromatic Vegetables, White Mushrooms, Carrots, Pearl Onions, and Potatoes. Tofu has made this dish before and I was there to see the whole show. I tried a little bit and it was not bad, but I agree with Tofu that it's almost like the one he made. It was decent but nothing to blow you away. He said he wanted to try this dish to see what a traditional French preparation would be like. I commented later to him that this is NOT the place to compare and he agreed. The flavor was strong but not too over-powering and the sauce was thick.
For dessert the server adamantly suggested that we get the Crème Brûlée. It was actually pretty good, especially compared to everything else! The texture was soft and delicate yet flavorful. There definitely was a strong egg crème flavor. The crystallized sugar was very good and really complimented the whole thing. I would definitely get this again. It's not the best crème brûlée I've ever had but pretty solid.
All in all the food was EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTING. The service was very friendly and homey. Our meal ended up being about $70 per person with everything and we definitely did not enjoy it. I was thinking about going to McDonald's later and get something that actually tastes good and is fulfilling! The owners were there and they seem French, but don't they know what good French food tastes like??? I am sorry if I sound snobby, but I went to the top restaurants in Paris and it surely did NOT taste like this. Even the small whole in the walls or local places did not mess up like this. Before going there today I was already thinking about going every week to try their Tour de France pre-fixe, but now... HECK NO!
Newport Beach, CA 92663