Friday, December 18, 2015

Inside the Mitsuwa in Torrance they have a few stands to check out before or after you shop or if you are stopping by for a quick snack.  They have a huge seating area for customers.  Yamamotoyama is a popular place that people like to stop by and grab a drink.
The prices are very reasonable.  If you buy the normal green tea it is only $1.50, which is a pretty good steal as most tea places have quite an up-charge.  There is a price difference if you want the drink sweeter, which is also reflected in the teas that you can buy to make at home.  Ms. Lin Guide decided to get their normal iced green tea, which was light and refreshing.  Of course I wanted the extra sweet iced green tea, which was slight more expensive but a little too sweet for even my taste.  The normal iced green tea is sweet enough, so word to the wise.  =)
I wished the Mitsuwa in Costa Mesa or in Irvine had this stand as the prices are very reasonable and a great drink to pick up for on the go or to enjoy with your meal.  So if you are in the neighborhood, be sure to stop by! There's lots of good food in the area, especially if you like izakayas.

21515 Western Avenue
Torrance, CA 90501
Mitsuwa Marketplace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, December 17, 2015

One of my favorite event every year is the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco.  It's a wonderful event where vendors from all over the world come to showcase their new products for buyer, retailers, media, and more! If you are part of the food industry or a foodie, their events are a must!
Normally I come to check out all the newest products and revisit some of my favorite brands.  As a foodie, I use the show more as my new shopping list and what to share with my readers.  One of the products I found that was delightful was the Otajoy Sauces and their Otafuku Okonomiyaki.  They freshly made them onsite for everyone to taste and were delicious.  Very simple to make at home so definitely a product I would try out.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

My goal for my trip to Boston was to eat as much lobster as I can! Believe me, by hook or crook I was going to make it happen! =)
Of course this would include an adventure to seek out Alive and Kicking Lobsters.  I was by myself and decided to take public transportation to find me some yummy lobster.  As fate would have it, there wasn't a good direct route from where I was staying.  To get to the yummy lobsters, I would have to trek a few miles in the brisk fall weather.
I decided to just enjoy the scenery as I walked towards my goal.  Thinking about the lobster only motivated me more.  Along the way I strayed from my path as I saw the sushi place I liked and stopped by for a snack.  =D Yes, yes... I like to bang bang.  O=D
It was a nice scenic walk as the fall leaves gently flowed to the ground and filled the streets.  Alive and Kicking Lobster is tucked away in its own cove with parking spots and open seating.  The weather was slightly chilly and the open aired seating was a little brisk, but not to worry because tasty lobster will warm the soul!
Go inside to place your order and you can wait inside to pick it up or they'll come out and find you to bring your food.  They have a steamed whole lobster deal when you buy 2.  Even though I was by myself, how can I say no to more lobster at a lower price??  Bring it on!
The lobster was tender and fresh.  I asked for some lemon to go along with the hot butter.  They provide you with lobster crackers to use and bring back to them.  No bibs, but there is a huge roll of paper towels for you to use at the benches.  Sadly, I don't eat the heads of lobsters and wished someone was there to share to joy! It was such a travesty that they went to waste.
They are also known for their Lobster Sandwich, not your typical lobster roll.  Of course I had to pick one of those up too! When I first opened up the sandwich, I will be honest that I was a little let down.  Instead of a roll, they used regular toasted bread.  At first glance, it looked like a thin sandwich but when you open it up you could see the chunks of lobster meat.  The flavor was a little too bland for my liking but I decided to use some of the seasonings provided.  I saw the hot sauce and started to add a few drops before a bite.  This really helped! It made the sandwich so tasty and added a pizzazz that kicked it up a few notches.
All in all it is a nice kind of hole in the wall, technically corner, that was fun to try.  Reasonable prices, friendly service, and fresh seafood.  What more can you ask for?  =D

Alive and Kicking Lobster
269 Putnam Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 876-0451
Alive and Kicking Lobsters Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

What else could one need but a beautifully designed cup of cappuccino?  Gourmet Pigs mentioned that Ogawa Cafe was a great place to try in Boston and I saw some cute photos online.  Not quite as cute as Love To Go in Los Angeles.  Although I do enjoy the cute coincidence that they are on Milk Street, which seemed very fitting.
It's a very quaint place in the Financial District near Downtown Crossing and not too far from the station.  I arrived closer to closing time so the cool pull out seating was already pushed back in.  It would have been fun to sit on a Japanese like bleachers setting.  =) Instead I sat at a table near a plug to recharge my phone.  They had some convenient plugs all around so great for anyone who wants to lounge around or for the plethora of students to stay and do some work.
All in all it was a cute place but I should have asked for a specific art on my drink.  I thought the drink was pretty but I wanted a cute holiday design, so if you have something in mind then just ask them.  They were super friendly and when I asked about the art, the guy said that I was in luck because their best artist was on deck.  Sweet! I only wished they would do the art on more than one drink, he said only the cappuccino could have it.  Luckily Gourmet Pigs joined me later and got the matcha latte, which I liked a lot more.  If and when I go back to Boston, I'd stop by again.  =D

Ogawa Cafe
10 Milk Street
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 780-7139
Ogawa Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

This is my first time in Massachusetts and we took a trip to the Berkshires.  We stayed in a bed and breakfast inn for the night.  On our way back to Boston, Gourmet Pigs wanted to visit a local distillery and they recommended Rubi's Coffee & Sandwiches. Be sure to keep an eye out for this location as it is tucked away behind their market.  It can easily be missed, so if you can find their market then they can direct you to the right place.
The Grilled Cheese with comte grilled on pullman was nicely grilled on the outside but lacked a little oomph for me.  I like stronger cheeses and taste.  The comte they used was very light and subtle that is almost drowned out by the bread.  This was definitely too bland for me.  They should consider adding another stronger cheese to add flavor or a more aged comte.
We decided to share two sandwiches.  I wish I looked closely at the other board that had a grilled cheese with beef.  For the other sandwich we chose the Alpine with alpine cheese, cornichons, and dijon mustard on pullman.  This grilled cheese sandwich was much more flavorful and very tangy.  The cornichons added a nice crunch and made me shiver a little from the sourness.  I thought this sandwich was much better but I am not sure if it was really worth the price difference.  The regular sandwich was $5.50 and this one was $9.50.  It's definitely not that much better to be double the price.  Honestly, I would just buy all the ingredients from their adjacent market and make it myself as it would be much cheesier and tastier.
They offer a wide variety of baked goods that looked very tempting.  The cookies were nice and plump for about $2.50 each.  I thought the cookies were not bad but I like the inside to be a bit more soft and chewy on the outside.  This could also be that we ate it the next day since we were filling up on goodies all the way back to Boston.  I think I was also spoiled by the cookie I had at Ame's Street Deli in Boston.
I got the corn muffin as well because I was craving corn bread.  To be honest... I haven't even eaten it yet because I bought so many goodies from Boston! lol  It looked tasty.
As a picker upper, we both tried their fresh brewed coffee.  I decided to have the macchiato for that extra punch.  The coffee was strong but be warned about adding too much sugar.  I overestimated how many spoons and made my drink super sweet.  Luckily Gourmet Pigs had coffee and we ended up trying to blend the two drinks to even out the sweetness.  =D
All in all it was a cute place and I am glad we got to try it.  As for price point, I guess it isn't surprising for a tourist area.  Personally I like their store much better and would definitely shop there!

Rubi's Coffee & Sandwiches
256 Main St,
Great Barrington, MA 01230
(413) 528-0488

Monday, November 23, 2015

The first place I stopped inside the Boston Public Market was actually at the Red Apple Farm.  They had some tasty looking donuts laid out that I had to try.  Since I wanted to try a bunch of different places here, I couldn't spare too much tummy room.  I only got one mini cider donut to try.  It was a tasty morsel and a great way to start the day off.
They offer many apple-licious treats.  I was tempted to grab a chilled apple cider to drink.  Before checking out I saw that they had some apple bread/cakes to sample and I must say it was DELICIOUS! Sadly, I wanted to behave and didn't grab one.  Also, I am only visiting Boston for a short time and so many places to try out that I would not be able to eat the bread/cake by myself.  If you are there, pick one up and enjoy it for me!
At the check out stand they had McCrea's handmade caramels in classic caramel and black lava sea salt caramel.  I only recently opened the treats up and they were delicious too! Albeit a little pricey at 75 cents a pop but at least they were tasty.  I kind of wished that I bought some more.  =D
Red Apple Farm at the Boston Public Market
100 Hanover Street
Boston, MA 02108

Friday, November 20, 2015

For some good treats in Boston, be sure to stop by the Boston Public Market.  Gourmet Pigs has some stuff to do in the morning so she dropped me off here to explore.  She recommended that I try Taza Chocolate Bar.  The market opens early and it was quite empty around 10 am.  Towards lunch time it gets much more crowded and happening.
 I decided to stop by Taza for a drink.  They specialize using stone ground chocolates.  We later actually went to the factory for a tour, which will be a later post ^_-.
You have many combos and choices for your drink, iced or hot.  To start off you choose the type of chocolate used, either classic or seriously dark.  Next comes the base from whole milk, almond milk, or water.  Then they will ask for which flavor to add in.  This may change depending on the holiday flavors.
For my drink, I chose the seriously dark with whole milk and fall spices iced.  The drinks are mixed and made in front of you. While I was waiting for my drink order to be completed, the other lady went to help someone else and asked if she wanted samples.  I felt a little jipped because nobody offered me anything >=P
All in all the drink was definitely different. The stone ground chocolate definitely has a different texture that takes some getting used to.  It's almost like sandy bits at the bottom.  I am not sure I was a big fan of this because I personally like a smooth and velvety drink that melts in your mouth versus something that I have to chew on.
Taza Chocolate Bar at the Boston Public Market
100 Hanover St,
Boston, MA 02108

Monday, November 16, 2015

Kat's 9 Lives has finally made her way to Boston to visit Gourmet Pigs and begin a new journey of exploration.  It's my first time in Boston and I had to pack as many places in as possible.  So why not some tasty treats?  I saw that Toscanini's seemed to be well loved in the Cambridge area so we hoped on over late at night for a snack.
The place was packed to the brim.  Even though it is already brisk outside, it does not stop patrons from coming by for a quick bite or drink.  They offer two types of caramel, burnt or salty.  I decided to get their infamous B3 (Brown Butter, Brown Sugar, Brownies) and one of the caramels.  Can we say sugar overload? lol
There were many delectable flavors to choose from.  I couldn't decide and due to the limited time, I had to maximize the visit.  The staff was friendly and I tried a bunch of flavors.  There was one that was totally named for me that I was tempted to get but so many choices! lol The Black Kat pictured above was very tasty and chocolatey.  Later I realized that it was a Kit Kat bit inside to give the extra oomph and bite.
All in all the texture was very smooth and Toscanini's had a lot of fun tasty flavors.  It was too bad that there was no space for us to sit and relax in the cold winter night.  The ambiance was very hip and a great place for friends to hang out.

Toscanini's Ice Cream
899 Main St,
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 491-5877
Toscanini's Ice Cream Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, September 20, 2015

What do we love?  LOBSTER! Where do we want it from?  The Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival!!! I think this is the only food festival that I have been consistently attending and the reason is simple... it's simply delicious and to die for!!!! What more can you ask for than to enjoy tasty lobsters at a great price and surrounded by all the joys that the Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival has to offer! You know you love your lobster hat and it's time to break it out again for this once in a year event! See you there! I will be the one with a box of lobsters! lol

Event :
The Port Of Los Angeles Lobster Festival

Date :
Friday, September 25 - 5PM - 11PM
Saturday, September 26 - 11AM - 11PM
Sunday, September 27 - 11AM - 7PM

Location :
Ports O’ Call Village, San Pedro Ca
Free Parking at W 22nd St & Sampson Way

Website :

Ticket Price :
General Admission - $10.00 , but don't worry there is always a coupon! Click Here for $1 off!
Children Under 12 Admission is FREE

Lobster is purchased separately:
$23.00 for each Lobster Meal or...

2 Lobsters for $38!!! Bring it on!! lol

First Class tickets for $45 with $13 going towards a donation to the Harbor Interfaith Services

Saturday, September 19, 2015

It has been quite a few years since I have been able to attend the delightful Eat Drink SF festival, previously as SF Chefs.  This year I was able to attend the last day of the Grand Tasting Festivities.  Ms. Lin Guide and I were very lucky to get in as Saturday night was a sold out show! Many hungry foodies were lined up eagerly waiting to get in and start the festivities!
They were serving up fresh shucked oysters from Mission Rock Resort headed by Chef Peter Osborne.  Served with different accompaniments that would entice the palette.  This was definitely a must and somewhere to hit up early on before they run out.
Eat Drink SF is not just a festival, it is a battle and a place to let loose and have fun! Always plan for where you want to try most and aim for those stations first.  With the show being sold out, there's always the chance that they may run out before the end of the night.  This often happens with the best stations.  They must be serving something tasty that people can't resist!
Chef Charles Phan of Slanted Door was a delight as always.  He's always showing an endearing smile as he serves up one of his delectable treats.  His station is always crowded as many people know of him so be sure to line up early, but don't worry as he usually prepares enough for the massive crowd.
Farallon prepared a savory tuna tartar atop a crispy wonton to tantalize the tastebuds.  It was light and tasty.
Chef Luis Flores from Uno Does Tacos was ready to serve up some tacos and strike a pose.  It was a happening atmosphere for foodies to get a glimpse of where to book next and to spend some one on one time with the Chefs.  
For desserts, the station to visit was Cafe Madeleine serving up a wide variety of their tasty concoctions.  To make it even better, they were serving full size desserts that would drop your jaw! I decided to try the Maui and it was quite tasty.  Who can say no to macadamia nuts, white chocolate, and fresh fruit.  If we didn't have so many stations to hit, we would have tried a couple more desserts.  It's always better to bring others with you so that you can share all the goodies and get to try more.
Have you ever tried mushroom jerky?  Well here was our chance to taste a different texture of mushrooms.
Tap 415 was throwing down the gauntlet by serving up tasty morsels of Lobster Rolls! Baker and Banker created a savory and sweet twist to surprise the palette.  It was a little out there but fun to eat nonetheless.
All in all it was a wondrous event as usual where the Chefs come out to show off their talents as well as to meet fellow lovers of food.  The Eat Drink SF Event is a must for every year.  Even if you missed this year's event, be sure to plan your next SF trip to make sure you catch them next year! Each year just gets better and better.

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