Sunday, October 31, 2010

6ix Park Grill offers a Monthly Mixer with Live Music where guests who come to mix and mingle will also enjoy complimentary valet parking and an oasis-like landscaped outdoor patio equipped with a fire pit to enjoy Southern California’s beautiful climate. Happy Hour will run all night and also includes $5 wine, $6 appetizers and $6 custom signature cocktails.
At last month's mixer they showcased the Carpe Diem winery and their Pinot Noir.
There were two trays of nicely prepared bite-sized snacks. I loved the tomatoes and cheese on top of the crostini. It was simple and delicious. You could eat the whole tray without realizing it. A great way to start the night off and pair with the drinks served.
They also provided bite-sized duck confit to nibble on while chatting up the wonderful crowd. Don't worry about enjoying the snacks because they are on top of it to bring more out for the customers to enjoy.
I couldn't resist ordering my Virgin Piña Colada. Last month had been really hot and a nice refreshing blended drink really helps cool the body down. It's also good to know that they have more than alcoholic drinks to choose from.
We were served the Ahi Poke starter with Cucumber, Onion, Soy, Ginger, and Fried Wontons. For me, there was too much ginger flavor. I felt like the dish needed an acid to bring it up a notch. Nonetheless it was beautifully presented and if you like ginger, then this would be the dish for you.
The appetizer they presented us that I loved the most were the Wood Fired Shrimp with Thai Chili, Avocado, and Spicy Aioli. Each shrimp was plump and beautifully grilled. I loved the flavors and spices. The avocado helps harmonize the spices with its buttery texture. I wish I had more of this! Yum! This alone is worth a return trip! MBA was my plus one for the night and she absolutely loved the Chicken Tinga Quesadilla served with Avocado Cream and Chipotle Salsa. This worked out perfectly because I passed the quesadillas to her and kept the shrimp for myself! =)After their appetizers we were allowed to choose anything off the menu if we were still hungry. I opted to try their 12 oz. Prime USDA Rib-Eye. Since I was denied the rib-eye at Carnevino a while back I had been craving some delicious marbleized meat. My steak was nicely grilled and I loved seeing the grill marks. The meat was tender, but I did wish I had a bit more sauce to add more flavor.My main goal with the steak was to get the side! They had some nice sides to choose from but NONE better than Coconut Bacon Rice! I mean they had me at bacon. At first I was a little bit afraid that this might not end up as tasty as I hopped but after the first bite I wish I had more. They really should consider making this a dish or making it a bigger side. I wanted more after I finished my small pile. Bacon goodness!MBA abandoned me and only opted to get a dessert. She chose the Brown Butter Cake with Sweet Cherries and Warm Honey Rum Butter. I guess I read this wrong because I thought it would be a warm moist cake but it was cold and a bit on the tougher side. To be honest it was like one huge solid cut of hard pound cake. This was not what I expected. I really thought we should have ordered the Chocolate Molten Cake.While we were munching on the nice appetizers and me chowing down my steak, I noticed their specialty cocktail menu. The Blackberry Jamboree with Stoli Vanilla, Black Cherry Vodka, Blackberry, and Lime was surprisingly tasty. I am not a big fan of alcohol but after stealing a sip I had to have one for myself. You can definitely taste the velvety vanilla flavor and the freshness of the fruits.
All in all it was a great evening with a lot of great people. 6ix Park Grill has a great selection of Happy Hour appetizers and specialty drinks for $6 from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm Mon-Fri. It's always good to find another great Happy Hour place in OC. Perfect for anyone who has had a long day in the office.

6ix Park Grill

17900 Jamboree Rd
Irvine, CA 92614
(949) 225-6666
6ix Park Grill on Urbanspoon

Time has really flown by! The last time I was at Porto's in Burbank was during the Obama vs. McCain election. Of course with the heated debate around Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown for Governor I would think they'd be selling cookies to poll the audience again. Sadly they did not have a poll going.
Nonetheless I am back and happy to see all the cute Halloween decorations and themed cakes! The Spider and Pumpkin cake looked frightfully cute and delicious! If I lived close by, I'd be buying Porto's cakes all the time because they are such a great deal and nicely done.
I really enjoyed the Halloween inspired cakes. They would definitely be a hit at any party. One year, I will make it my goal to have a Porto's cakes as my b-day cake. O=)
As always they have a vast selection of delectable pastries. It's so hard to resist buying up everything.
The best thing about Porto's are their prices. They are pretty tasty for the price. Although I do think they have been raising their prices, but then again the times are changing and nobody really have the same prices anymore.
There's so many choices. They have muffins, croissants, breads, cakes, cookies, and more!Don't forget about the hot food selection. This time around they have added a new tasty treat. The Chicken Croquette was surprisingly tasty. Normally I love the Ham Croquettes but this time around they were just salty and lacked the special taste and flavor that I liked before.
Guess we came too late in the day because they ran out of their ham & cheese croissants. It's one of my favorite savory treats at any bakery. The prices have gone up for them but at least the ones here are usually a pretty decent size and work great for an on-the-go breakfast.
After a crazy day of moving about in LA, I welcomed the option of a White Chocolate Mocha to keep me going. Caffeine has no effect on me but drinking lots of sugar does make me happy.
Still nothing is better than finishing the day off with a freshly toasted Cheese Roll in the oven. The only way I recommend people eating the cheese rolls is to toast them. I use my toaster oven to heat the pastry just high enough for the bits of sugar to melt and caramelize on top. As soon as that happens, remove them from the heat to allow the heat to dissipate.
Wait for a minute or so for the crust to crisp and attack the delicious pastry! Must eat the whole thing while the cream cheese filling is warm and each bite is filled with a crunchy sweet flaky crust. Mmmm mmmm goodness!
Want fresh from the oven cookies? Who doesn't? I love the Dulce de Leche Kisses here. It's Porto's take of Alfajores. The secret to them is the same as the cheese rolls. I wouldn't turn the heat as high for the toaster oven for the cookies. Just let them slowly heat up so that the cookie can maintain its moistness as well as soften the dulce inside. Trust me, it'll be delicious! =DPorto's Bakery

3614 W Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA 91504
(818) 846-9100

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lots of great upcoming events that will make your mouth water and make your heart soar. All these events support local charities as well as local Chefs, Farmers, and more! Bon Appétit!

Event :
Artisanal LA : Inaugural Fall Show

Date :
October 32th 11 AM - 6 PM

Location :
The Cooper Building Penthouse
860 S Los Angeles St
Los Angeles CA

Ticket Price :
$10 in Advance (which is sold out)
$15 at the

Description :
Your $10 Admission Includes:
• Hosted beverages from Honest Tea, Dry Soda, Function and Bonadea
• Local craft beer and organic spirits tasting (21+)
• One-of-a-kind tote bag for the first 1000 attendees
• Workshops and cool handmade activities
• Family friendly arts & crafts
• Chef demos, speakers and panels
• Giveaways all weekend long
• Unlimited re-entry all weekend long
• DJ Bryan Davidson setting the mood
• Seedlings from Pitchfork’s Mud Baron to inspire your inner urban farmer
• Shopping from more than 75 local, craft vendors!
• Donation based gift wrap benefiting the LA Regional Food Bank
• Partial proceeds benefit LAUSD Edible School Garden Programs

Event :
Culinary Inspirations : A Food, Wine & Spirits Event Celebrating California’s Foster Youth

Date :
November 6, 2010
4 PM - 7 PM

Location :
Culver Events Center
11948 W. Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA
Ticket Price :
$75 in Advance
$100 at the Door

Description :

California Youth Connection invites you to Culinary Inspirations, our inaugural food, wine and spirit event celebrating California’s foster youth. Our team of renowned chefs, who have volunteered their time and talent, will be paired with a current or former foster youth to create dishes inspired by this unique collaboration. Both chef and current or former foster youth will be on hand to share with guests what inspired their creative dish.
Guests will have the opportunity to:
• Meet successful young leaders from the foster care system
• Sample and savor cuisines and wines from local chefs and restaurants
• Indulge in tasting unique wines and premium spirits

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How can I not try a truck called Get Your Lard ON!?!?!?! =D It's as if this was created solely for me because of my extreme love for lard and BACON! Or as That 70's Show made it so classic, "Bacone!" I simply adore the way that Eric Forman, Topher Grace, taunted his father who just had a heart attack with the ultimate temptation... BACONE! Ever since that episode I have forever changed the way I look at bacon and say the word bacon. Needless to say I was ecstatic to hear about the launch of this truck. They are hard to find but now that they have been up and running for about a month I was able to hunt them down. On crazy packed day of Intelligentsia, Chocolate Salon, Euro Pane, then followed by Get Your Lard On, and Savor the Season : Cooking For Love to end the night. I just had to fit them in and follow the smell of bacon to Echo Park.
There were so many things I wanted to eat but the continuous day of eating limited my options since there was more to come tonight. Of course I had to have "the bacone" ($4) with 3 strips of bacon: duck, wild boar, and applewood smoked. Astonishingly enough you can easily distinguish which is which, or at least I can. The subtle flavors and texture of duck emanates through the thick and crisp bacon. Who doesn't love wild boar? Mmmmmm. All bacon all the time. Yumm! I am curious what other great types of meat they will rotate in for "the bacone"!
Bring on "the baco"! Potatoes and Cheddar Cheese all wrapped up in a Bacon Shell and paired with Horseradish Bacon Sour Cream, $4. This was my evil twin's favorite. I loved the horseradish kick embedded in the bite with the savory flavor. Bacon tends to be on the saltier side so the potatoes really help complement the taste and a hint of sour cream for sweetness.
Sadly they were out of the chicken wings!!! I was balling inside. How could I pass up the chance for bacon and wings in HOT sauce???? They offered a side of bacon covered in hot sauce, which I immediately agreed to. The hot sauce was tasty, tangy, and spicy. MET started coughing after one bite and gave up! lol Weak sauce! No worries I munched down the 2 strips with ease. Can't wait to come back to mix it up with the wings.
We decided to try the Frisee au Lardon Sandwich filled with strips of Pork Belly and a Fried Egg on a toasted Brioche, $6. For me, I think I would've rather had "the lardon" because it was stuffed with bacon. I'll admit that I had sandwich envy when I saw what another guy ordered. This was a little too light for me and not enough meat.
For dessert they offer Lark Brownies with Nutella and topped off with Bacon, $3.50! How can I not get one of these? They totally loaded the brownie with a thick spread of Nutella and lots of delicious bits of bacon. This seriously almost sent me over the edge. I swear a heart attack is in the near future, but at least I will have died happy? It might just be sensory overload but this is seriously dangerous. One bite was enough, I have to finish this slowly and carefully. lol

Bacon will probably be the end of me but that wont stop me. I definitely will be back for some more bacon! Many new recipes at work and I have repeatedly told them that I'd volunteer as a taste tester. O=)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I have heard so many things about Intelligentsia from fellow food bloggers. Finally that packed Sunday I was able to stop in for a drink. We arrived a little ahead of schedule for the Chocolate Salon so we decided to grab some caffeine for the day. One would think that this would be a quick stop but it ended up taking a lot longer than planned. There weren't many parking spots nearby so I went in first to get our coffees.
While waiting I couldn't help but check out all the goodies that they had to offer. I heard the location in Pasadena had more food options. Sadly we were short on time so I didn't have the chance to really browse or taste.
What really caught my eyes were the macarons in the case. I have to have macarons when I see them. Still trying to find ones comparable to Pierre Hermé. To be fair, I didn't at them until I got home that night but they were a little stale and hard. The taste was just so-so. I thought the peanut butter macaron was the best tasting but I wouldn't recommend buying these. For $2 they are on the pricier side without the great texture and taste. =*( I will probably still give them one more try the next time I am there to see if they are like that right out of the case, but they really shouldn't have changed that much in a day's time.
The staff were friendly and I enjoyed seeing them brew the coffee right before your eyes. I have to say their coffee is pretty pricey IMHO. The Ethiopian blend was $3 a cup and most of the other types were $6 a cup... *whistles* that is one pricey cup of coffee!
For my drink, I chose the large Mocha. The drink was rich and I enjoyed the foam art. I love it when my drink speaks to me. =) There were bits of nuts at the bottom of my drink. The drink wasn't too sweet so I added a few packets of brown sugar. Mmm sweet!
All in all it was fun to check out this happening coffee scene but I must say that it is pretty pricey overall. For 1 coffee, 1 mocha, and 3 macarons I spent $15. Kind of steep. Good thing I am not a coffee drinker! lol Still I am glad to try Intelligentsia out.

Intelligentsia Cafe
55 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 578-1270
Intelligentsia Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Where have I been? Even though I know SF pretty well and am always on a food exploration, I've never been to The Sentinel until now! =D Maybe it was fate that I happened to find some reviews of this place and set out on a new journey. A last minute decision to squeeze in a mobile lunch in SF turned out to be an adventure. Even though I was keeping an eye out for the location, somehow we drove right by the The Sentinel. There's no turning back now, literally because it is a one way street. We just parked and I had to run back to find the place. I caught them as they were closing that Friday, but the lady said that there was no worries because they were still cleaning up and I was fine. Did I mention that they are so sweet and have wonderful service!
Somehow I was on a roll that trip in SF because I kept getting free drinks from sandwich places. The lady offered me a choice between Raspberry and Watermelon Juice. I chose the Watermelon Juice that had a slight hint of mint, which was refreshing. They are not open for the weekend so any leftovers on Friday would just go to waste so they offered it to me, which was a great way to start the weekend. I would definitely invest in trying out some of their drinks.
What to order... I thought the albacore sandwich sounded good, but little did I know it was more like a tuna salad sandwich. Of course it was not your typical sandwich. Filled with freshly chopped crisp green beans that give the sandwich an extra bite. Not flaky from the can kind of tuna, but whole chunks of fish. Flavor-wise it was a little too light for my taste.
I really shouldn't be so prejudice about food. When a place is KNOWN for a dish or element, you should really order that so-called item. The Sentinel's signature sandwich is their Reuben Sandwich made with Corned Beef, Cabbage, Swiss Cheese (Gruyère), and Russian Dressing. OH MY! I'm a believer now! What was I thinking when I scoffed at this sandwich? I'm so glad that Ms. Lin decided to stick with the signature and allow me bites of her sandwich. To be honest, after the first bite I was thinking about running away with the sandwich. Even now I'm craving this juicy and savory hunk of a sandwich. All the flavors and ingredients just work!

All in all great food and great service. The lady was the sweetest and a pleasure to meet. Absolutely loved and recommend the corned beef sandwich above all else but I will not stop trying their other sandwiches. They've earned the trust and re-visit! I'll be up soon and definitely going to go back to satisfy this urge! =)

The Sentinel
37 New Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 284-9960
The Sentinel on Urbanspoon

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