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Blue Dog Beer Tavern | Sherman Oaks, CA

we heard blue dog beer tavern had great burgers and have been waiting to try it.  good thing we have awesome friends who went to try it with us.  we came here on a sunday, a little after 11am (opening time).  this was a great time for us since we beat the crowd.

what we ordered:

  • the dickens – onion rings, aged cheddar, swiss cheese, and root beer bbq sauce (i’m a sweet bbq lover) $12  
  • the fire starter – beef patty, pepper jack cheese, crispy onion strings and a fiery dose of deep-fired jalapeños  and honey chipotle dressing. $12
  • black ‘n bleu burger – beef patty blacken, bleu cheese, bacon and bbq sauce.  $12
  • blue dog burger – grilled mushrooms, bacon, caramelized onions, swiss cheese, root beer bbq sauce
  • ice cream sandwich $7

blue dog beer tavern, think dogs. lots of them. everywhere (even on the menu).

Blue Dog Tavern Sherman OaksBlue Dog Tavern Sherman Oaks

thoughts on the dickens burger.  it was a good burger.  greatest? no, but still a good burger.  i had to get this one because its everything i love: bbq sauce and onion rings.  i liked the bbq sauce and onion rings but nothing stood out.

Blue Dog Tavern Sherman Oaks

i take that back.  one thing that did stand out was the bun (same bun on all the burgers we ate).  great bun.  soft, but not too soft that the whole thing get soggy and falls apart.

the fire starter (below) was very, very good in my opinion.  loved the jalapeños and the chipotle sauce.  would definitely get this again.

Blue Dog Tavern Sherman OaksBlue Dog Tavern Sherman OaksBlue Dog Tavern Sherman Oaks

black ‘n bleu burger.  according to our friend, it was pretty good as well.

Blue Dog Tavern Sherman Oaks

each burger comes with salad or fries (regular or garlic).  for those who know me, i never opt for the salad.  anyway, for some reason, i always think that garlic fries are going to be awesome.  8 out of 10 times, i am wrong.  i love garlic but most of the time, the garlic is way to strong for a social setting and you are battling bad breath all day and into the next day.  so, these garlic fries are intense.  just look at my one bite.  yeah, intense.

unless you like popping cloves in your mouth, stick with regular fries.

Blue Dog Tavern Sherman Oaks

blue dog burger.  pretty much the dickens but instead of fried onion rings, caramelized ones and some nice bacon.  our friends thought it was just okay.  (they are still huge fans of golden state)

Blue Dog Tavern Sherman OaksBlue Dog Tavern Sherman OaksBlue Dog Tavern Sherman Oaks

onto the ice cream sandwich.  i was crushed that there were no non-chocolate desserts.  but everyone said we had to get this delicious ice cream sandwich.  they were right.  it was a hit and devoured in 5 minutes.  definitely must get this.

awesome story about dessert: our server over heard kyle making fun of me for not having any dessert to eat so he came out with a bowl of vanilla ice cream just for me!! i instantly fell in love with this place.  blue dog beer tavern, i thank you for being so freaking awesome and for the consideration.

Blue Dog Tavern Sherman OaksBlue Dog Tavern Sherman Oaks

overall: blue dog beer tavern, great joint to watch sports.  great place to hang out with friends and enjoy a burger and some beer.  you wont be disappointed…especially with the ice cream sandwich.  price point is on the high side, especially for a burger but one can argue this is on the gourmet side.

tip: small parking lot so you might have to search the streets for parking.

Blue Dog Beer Tavern
4524 Saugus Ave
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Neighborhood: Sherman Oaks

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By |April 10th, 2013|Dessert, Food, Restaurants|1 Comment

Bottomless Brunch @ Zengo | Santa Monica, CA

Zengo | Santa MonicaZengo | Santa Monica

bottomless brunch at zengo.  thats what happened when we tried to go to sonoma wine garden and it was a 2 and a half hour wait.  brunch is served 11:30 to 3pm (3 hour limit). $35 a person and includes brunch cocktails.  as far as cocktails, we ordered it all: lychee bellini, sake sangria, traditional and mango mimosa.  all amazing but my favorite is the lychee bellini.  our waiter suggested that he just start bringing out everything on the menu so that we can taste it all but we had the option to reorder things we loved.  literally the food just kept on flowing.

Zengo Santa Monica

steak benedict with kimchee.  kyle and i obviously did not eat this because we hate eggs but our friends thought it was ehh. housemade meatballs with ginger and garlic, on the other hand, were good.

Zengo | Santa MonicaZengo | Santa Monica

carnitas hash was very tasty (regardless of the egg on top).  kind of wish we got more of this.

Zengo | Santa Monica

angry zengo roll was ok.  its not going to be the best sushi roll you have ever tasted especially since there are so many other things on this menu you should get.  like for instance, the thai chicken empanadas!  probably the best thing on this menu! unexpectedly delicious! you must get a few orders of this one!  we would come back just for this empanada.

Zengo Santa Monica

roasted chicken omelette was just an omelette.

Zengo | Santa Monica

we, along with everyone else opted to sit outside on this nice beautiful day. note that this restaurant is on the third floor of santa monica place (aka the outdoor mall) so it is not on the beach but near it.  if you can, sit outside.

Zengo | Santa MonicaZengo | Santa Monica

roasted chicken satay was just ok.  the salmon with ponzu sauce was on the dry side so we didnt order this after the first plate.

Zengo | Santa Monica

yuca fries…you can never go wrong with fries.  especially if they have a dual dipping sauce.  we got plenty of this.

Zengo | Santa Monica

here it comes!  the second favorite of the day:  the sliders.  we ordered this probably four times.  (we know) by the time we got the tofu with sesame chili sauce, we were stuffed.  i dont think anyone really touched this one. we were looking forward to the bacon fried rice but it was just decent and nothing out of this world.

Zengo Santa MonicaZengo | Santa MonicaIMG_1261aZengo | Santa Monica

last but not least, pan dulce.  mexican sweet bread with cinnamon whipped cream.  amazing.  perfect finish to a three hour meal.  notable mention should go to the ceviche.  it was pretty good but we just never took a picture of it.

  • location/atmosphere:  perfect on a nice sunny day.  outdoor seating is the best part in my opinion.  
  • parking: we just parked in the structure connected to third street.
  • service: friendly and relatively fast during the three hours.  during the first hour, our waiter was faster to get dishes out to us compared to the last two hours (we had to remind him to get us some dishes).
  • food: overall, everything here is good.  some dishes were mediocre and then there are dishes such as the empanadas and the hash that definitely stand out.  (we would come back for those empanadas and the dessert fo sho)  food is obviously on the heavier side.  we ended up not eating dinner after this glutton fest. so be prepared.
  • price:  all the food you get and endless cocktails, make it completely worth the $35 you drop.
  • overall:  we started recommending this place to everyone! we love it.

Zengo
395 Santa Monica Pl
Santa Monica, CA 90401

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By |April 1st, 2013|Dessert, Food, Restaurants|0 Comments

Manmi Bakery | Garden Grove, CA

my family is addicted to the fruit cake at this korean bakery! it was my first time here last week when we had to get a cake for lunar new year.  delicious!! i love everything about this cake! frosting is not too sweet and the cake is light and fluffy.  if i could, i would eat this every day!  a medium cake will run you approximately $20.

Manmi Bakery | Garden GroveManmi Bakery | Garden Grove

cream puffs are amazing here! $1 for 4! what a steal! little cream puffs that tastes like heaven? i’m in.

remember, cash only.  be prepared.

Manmi Bakery
8942 Garden Grove Blvd
Garden Grove, CA 92844

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By |February 12th, 2013|Coffee, Tea, & Bakeries, Dessert, Food, Restaurants|2 Comments

Green Street Tavern | Pasadena, CA

we have had green street tavern bookmarked in our phones for awhile now because we read that they had a great bread pudding (one of my favorite things to eat)!  we originally wanted to come here for dinner but the stars aligned and we dropped in for a nice sunday brunch.

what we ordered:

  • the GST burger ($18 with beer) – ground black angus, roquefort-gruyere fondue, homemade bacon, arugula, roasted garlic aioli
  • crispy pork belly – sunny side up egg sandwich ($14) – house cured and smoked pork belly served crispy on sour dough with tomato, butter lettuce and avocado, with green peppercorn dijonaise
  • white chocolate croissant bread pudding, blueberry and white chocolate sauce ($8)

Green Street Tavern | PasadenaGreen Street Tavern | PasadenaGreen Street Tavern | Pasadena

remember how kyle and i hate eggs but try to eat them?! (here. here. and here!?) on this day, i felt bold and ordered the sunny side up egg sandwich.  umm…it was the eggist sandwich i could have ordred. i wished i loved eggs more! putting my dislike for eggs aside, here are my thoughts:

food: ingredients are fresh. if i didnt cringe when the egg popped all over my sandwich, making it soggy, i think i would have liked the sandwich more!  if you love eggs, crispy bacon and avocado, this is a no brainer. kyle ordered the gts burger.  dont hate us…he liked it but nothing special.  we were pretty disappointed since we heard so much about this burger.

the saving grace of this meal was the white chocolate/blueberry bread pudding! UH-MAZING!  i’m excited to say that this little dessert is in my top 10! (another post for later) we are definitely coming back for the bread pudding!

atmosphere: decor is very chic.  very good for a date!  there are two rooms.  the first room has a lot of light and is good for brunch.  the second room, which is a little larger and seats bigger parties, is a little on the dark side.  i think this second room would be perfect for a dinner date!

parking:  parking garage in old town vs. metered street parking (cheaper option). good luck!

Green Street Tavern
69 W Green St
Pasadena, CA 91105
Neighborhood: Pasadena

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By |January 2nd, 2013|Dessert, Food, Restaurants|2 Comments

Roti Buns @ Papparich | Pasadena, CA

PapparichPapparich

we have been hearing about this craze around roti buns. trust us.  we didnt get it.  since (i) we heard that papparich had the best roti buns in los angeles, (ii) our friends have cravings sometimes, AND (iii) since jonathan gold thought it was pretty heavenly himself, we tried it! our verdict:  loved it!

i now understand why it was hard for people to describe what a roti bun was.  when people tried to explain it to me…my reaction was… so its just bread.  i’ll do my best but this is just something you have to have yourself. so its a bun… baked fresh with a buttery center and a mocha/maple crust surrounding it (the “original”).  simple concept, huh?  note that we tried the vanilla one…and liked the “original” the best.  nice combo of salty and sweet (probably more salty because of the butter).  it’s pretty freaking amazing…(says the girl who loves butter).

we also tried a milk tea.  definitely get something to drink.  you’ll be thirsty.  the milk tea goes nicely with the bun.  you just need to try it for yourself!

if you find other roti bun places, please let me know! i’m officially on the hunt!

Papparich
100 W Green St
Pasadena, CA 91105
Neighborhood: Pasadena

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By |December 28th, 2012|Dessert, Food, Restaurants|4 Comments
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