Thursday, March 29, 2012
It was a hot day to be in Temecula. Ms. Lin and I have never been to Temecula before, but we ventured down for the World of Wine Event to go wine tasting. Might not have been the best idea on a blistering hot day and filling ourselves with only alcohol. So after we finally finished the wine tasting, we began to hunt down places to visit and cool ourselves down. The first place we went to was 7 Eleven for a slurpee to cool down.
Vallée d'Brume was the first place to pop up for our search on finding a new dessert place to snack on. The internet directions led us to nowhere and it took us a long time to find this place. It is near the mall and across from a pet store. The space is very cozy and could be a great place to lounge and kick back.
From the reviews online, I thought that they would have more breakfast food but maybe because it was the end of the day that there were only some dessert choices left in the case. I wish we got to see a savory menu, but I did take the chance to try some sweets. They also have a nice selection of tea and they were selling a tasty sounding yuzu tea, but too bad they only sold it in a box and not as a drink there.
I don't know why or how but when I saw this bread, I knew right away that it was Monkey Bread. There are no labels and it's not like I have really had monkey bread before but I knew in my foodie gut that this is monkey bread! lol Ms. Lin was wondering how I knew but I just did. The bread looked tasty as it glistened against the fluorescent light. You know that it must be one tasty and sticky bread if it was shiny! =) I just had to have it. It's like a cinnamon bun rolled funkily together to form bread. It was missing the heavy dose of frosting, but still good. Be sure to toast it to get that extra chewy texture.
They had some tasty Fruit Tarts in the case. I thought it was very tasty and really enjoyed the almond cake center. At first I thought Ms. Lin might not like it because it had a strong almond flavor and she normally dislikes that taste, but it really complemented the tart and she enjoyed it too. Fresh fruits on top a creamy almond cake that's encases with a crisp tart, sounds good to me!
I also wanted to try one of their cookies and decided to go with the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie. The nuts were chopped and embedded in the batter. I thought the taste was fine but with the nuts chopped and mixed in you lose some of the nutty flavor and texture. It was not a bad cookie but not anything special.
Since I was here, I wanted to try one of their drinks and asked what they recommend. I ended up getting a hot Mocha. This was not quite what I had hoped for. It wasn't quite what I was looking for and more watery than I liked. I would stick with the baked goods.
All in all it was a solid place. I would have liked to try some of their savory dishes like their quiche. The tart was tasty and the monkey bread was fun, but since I live very very far away I wouldn't say it is worth me driving so far to pick up as a treat. Of course if I was here while I went wine tasting, then maybe.
Vallée d' Brume
41413 Margarita Rd # K101
Temecula, CA 92591
Thursday, March 15, 2012
The first time I went to The House was when I took a bunch of pals on a foodie tour of the city. Ever since then, I have always had a great memory of the place. Finally one day I was able to convince Ms. Lin to go with me. Ironically, she never recommended The House to me but after I went last year and gave it glowing reviews she decided to return.The House is a cozy restaurant located in the heart of North Beach. Their menu consists of a great selection of Asian fusion cuisine. We stopped by for 2nd lunch after a quick grab at Naked Lunch, which was very close by.
On the place mats they have hole punched a small house into the sheet to represent their namesake, which I find very cute. To start the meal off they brought us some pickled cucumbers to nibble on.
It's always a good idea to call ahead for seating or to make reservations since they are always very busy and they are a small restaurant. If you can't get in, I recommend take out because you don't want to miss out. I wish I lived closer because I would want the Deep Fried Salmon Rolls! It's definitely my favorite item here. Paired with Chinese hot mustard to add that extra kick. The roll is perfectly fried where you can enjoy the slightly cooked salmon near the shell yet enjoy the smooth texture of raw salmon inside. It's a perfect pick me up for any time of the day.
The special for the day offered Barbecued Oysters, which Ms. Lin decided to get. We agreed to share but I really rather had more of the deep fried salmon roll. I don't think this is what she expected. The oysters were tender but I didn't enjoy the heavy BBQ sauce. I prefer eating raw oysters.
Ms. Lin decided to be adventurous and ordered the Steamed Mussels in Garlic infused Shrimp Broth for her lunch. This dish was not bad but nothing out of the ordinary for me. I thought the presentation was very nice with the colored cucumber and masago, but an appetizer as a main course would not have been enough for me.
Ever since Ms. Lin brought some left overs back from The House of their Warm Wasabi House Noodles with Grilled Pork, I have been a huge fan since. I love dousing it with tons of wasabi sauce to really get your motors going. The pork is always very tender and flavorful and the noodles are just the right texture. All the flavors come together harmoniously with a little pizazz. Great fresh at the table or even when you are eating out of a take-out box leisurely on your couch in front of the TV.
All in all I really enjoy The House. The staff there is always friendly and the food is always solid. Even the prices are very reasonable for SF. A great place to take friends from out of town and just for yourself to enjoy! Don't forget to try those tasty deep fried salmon rolls when you are there.
1230 Grant Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133
Saturday, March 10, 2012
After a long and tiring day of sight-seeing in Milan, we regressed to the Hotel Mediolanum for what was supposed to be a short nap. Somehow everyone ended up sleeping for a really long time. As it was getting late into the evening and the choices were limited since we are not quite familiar with Milan. The Old Man (OM) was nice enough to walk out and pick up some pizza at any place that was opened.
Half asleep, we agreed and OM went out to buy whatever he could find for dinner. The rest of us continued our long nap inside the hotel. Soon he came back with some fresh pizza that was in a plain pizza box. Sometimes it is the simple things in life that's good.
At first I was a little weary of what was inside. Could this really be any good since he just picked some random place of the street? Well, it was actually quite tasty. Maybe we were hungry and tired so any food was welcomed but I thought the pizza was very well made.
It had many fresh ingredients and a generous amount. I am not quite sure what he ordered but the artichokes on top were a great addition. They have just the right amount of fresh cheese on top. Even though it was a thin crusted pizza, there were quite a bit of toppings on top that really hit the spot after a long day.
All in all it was very tasty and really saved the day. I just wished that we had the foresight to get 2 boxes of pizza because I was super hungry after walking around all day. After all, this was the first night and we were probably dead tired from the flight plus a full day of sight-seeing. I was only able to take pictures of the place when we continued our sight-seeing the next day. It's very close to the train station in Milan and easy to find.
Pizzeria Ristorante Fashion 2
Via Napo Torriani 30
Milano, Lombardia 20124
Thursday, March 8, 2012
March 10th, 2012
1900 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA
Ticket Price :
General admission: $75 pre-sale (by 3/9/12); $95 at door, day of event (3/10/12); VIP: $125 (limited to 150 tickets); includes a 10am wine seminar with Peter Neptune, Orange County's first master sommelier, and an early 12noon entrance to Laguna Beach Uncorked! VIP attendees will also receive a Laguna Beach tote bag and complimentary parking in the Laguna Beach Uncorked lot just west of Art-A-Fair (based on availability).
Laguna Beach Uncorked! - An International Wine & Food Fest* takes place on the Festival of Arts Grounds from 1:00-4:00pm. This event benefits CHOC Children's Hospital. Enjoy tastes from 25 wineries from around the world, a local brewery, sake producers and 24 Laguna Beach restaurants. Participating Laguna Beach restaurants include: 230 Forest Avenue, The Beach House, Broadway by Amar Santana, Claes Ovation, The Deck, Dizz's As Is, French 75, House of Big Fish & Ice Cold Beer, Katsuya, K'ya Bistro Bar, Laguna Culinary Arts, Las Brisas, Mosaic Bar & Grille at Montage, Mozambique Steakhouse, Nirvana Grille, Royal Hawaiian, Sapphire Restaurant & Pantry, Splashes Restaurant, Starfish Laguna, Sundried Tomato, Tabu Grill, Three Seventy Common Kitchen + Drink, Tommy Bahama and Watermarc Restaurant. Wineries include: Axel, Beacon Hill, Belasco de Baquedano, Bernardus, Boekenhoutskloof, Chateau Montelena, Domaine Serene, Fairview, Famille Perrin, Frank Family Vineyard, Fuedo Maccari, Hedges Family Estate, La Playa, Louis Michel & Fils, Marqués de Murrieta, Michele Chiarlo Barolo Tortoniano, Neil Ellis, Pazo de Barrantes, Penfolds, Retour, Tenute di Nozzole, Thompkin Cellars, Tres Sabores, Vincent Delaporte. Beer tastings provided by Cismontane Brewing Company. Sake tastings provided by Ty Ku Sake. General admission: $75 pre-sale (by 3/9/12); $95 at door, day of event (3/10/12); VIP: $125 (limited to 150 tickets); includes a 10am wine seminar with Peter Neptune, Orange County's first master sommelier, and an early 12noon entrance to Laguna Beach Uncorked! VIP attendees will also receive a Laguna Beach tote bag and complimentary parking in the Laguna Beach Uncorked lot just west of Art-A-Fair (based on availability). VIP Event sponsored by Rohl. General admission ticket holders will also be provided with complimentary parking in the Act V parking lot, 1900 Laguna Canyon Road (based on availability). Free shuttle service will be available from 11:30am-8:30pm between Act V and Festival of Arts only. Click here to purchase your tickets, visit http://lagunabeachfoodies.tix.com/ or call (800) 595-4849 (4TIX). Call Center operators are available 24 hours per day / 7 days per week. PLEASE NOTE: The Call Center can only be used to purchase tickets. If you have any event questions or inquiries, feel free to call the Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau at (949) 497-9229 or (800) 877-1115. *All event attendees must be at least 21 years of age. ID will be checked at the door.