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Lal Mirch | Studio City, CA

Lal Mirch | Studio City

oh lal mirch lunch buffet, i love you.  its not often that i get to enjoy this buffet (since i work).  in my opinion, it is the best lunch deal in studio city. seriously.  $9.99 lunch buffet monday – friday.  all-you-can eat.  how can you go wrong?

  • food:  so backstory – i fell in love with chicken tikki masala in berkeley and have been on the hunt for just a good masala ever since i moved back home (to fill the void since i used to eat it every week).  this one is definitely my favorite.  chicken is moist not dry (a plus in my books).   what is so special about the lunch buffet?  well they serve my favorite dish: cabbage bhaji!  its not available to order during lunch (i know because i tried).  what else you will see on my dish at lunch time: saag paneer (also good here), samosas, and garlic naan (if i dont have any social obligations afterwards).
  • price:  like i said, i think lunch is a steal.  dinner is on the pricey side (compared to berkeley  but who’s really counting) but i really dont mind if im having a craving.
  • service:  the guys here are pretty awesome.  uber friendly.  good water service (ive needed serious water service after eating one of their spicier dishes before).
  • location:  parking in the back is hard since you have to back out into the street when you leave.  i recommend parking on the street (metered).
  • pleasant surprise:  this place is well ventalated so you dont smell too bad after you eat here.  y’all know what i mean.

Lal Mirch | Studio City

as you can tell, i am a fan of this place.  eat here and tell me what ya think!

Lal Mirch Indian Restaurant
11138 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604

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By |October 8th, 2012|Food, Restaurants|0 Comments

Gjelina | Venice, CA

we finally made it to gjelina in venice.  after recommendations from a few friends, we have been wanting to go here for quite some time now but every time we tried to go, (i) they were closed or (ii) there were no available reservations.  we strolled in for brunch last saturday and got seated right away!

Gjelina | VeniceGjelina | Venice

firstly, we didnt realize that the two things we wanted to try were not available for brunch/lunch:  mushroom toast and butterscotch pot de creme w/ salted caramel.  fail.

Gjelina | Venice

here is what we did get:

  • hanger steak  sandwich with roasted chili, arugula & horseradish aioli
  • smoked mozzarella, confit tomato, jalapeño, arugula, lemon & bottarga
  • salt and pepper frites with romesco & aioli
  • wood roasted cauliflower with garlic, chili & vinegar
  • strawberry rhubarb crumble with almond ice cream

Gjelina | VeniceGjelina | VeniceGjelina | VeniceGjelina | VeniceGjelina | Venice

  • food:  we loved the cauliflower and the strawberry rhubarb!  the pizza was on the soggy side and the hanger steak sandwich wasnt the best.  fries are always good.
  • service:  excellent.  our waiter was awesome. informative. attentive. friendly.  what more can you ask for?
  • atmosphere:  uber urban chic.  loved the decor.  it may be because we were there on a really hot, off day.  it was so hot inside and our drinks didnt have any ice…. so that made it a little uncomfortable through our lunch.
  • verdict:  overall, we were underwhelmed at lunch/brunch time.  however, we are open to going at dinner time and giving this place another try.  it must have been an off day.  i do believe that this place has more to offer than what we got this one saturday morning.  until next time gjelina!

oh! please note that this place does not allow any substitutions or modifications.  just fyi.

Gjelina
1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
Neighborhood: Venice

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By |September 30th, 2012|Food, Restaurants|5 Comments

Ike’s Lair | Oakland, CA

Ike’s Lair | OaklandIke’s Lair | Oakland

hello ike’s.  we’ve been wanting to eat you since we saw you on man v. food (as you can tell, we watch that show a lot).  we heard there was a secret menu (we did research)…and wanted to try the “shawn michaels” sandwich. what’s in it? thinly sliced rib eye, bacon, mozzarella sticks, lettuce, tomato, annnnd dirty sauce (so, i still dont know what this is but its delicious).

  • verdict: delicious! i am a big, big fan.  i’d put it on my list of “best sandwiches i have eaten” yep. i said it.  so glad it lived up to all the hype.  disclaimer: these are not going to be your every day sandwiches…so dont expect some glorious italian sub.  this is not the place.  but if you are looking for a twist between two buns, go here. my husband and i would come up to norcal just for the sandwich. nuff said?
  • service: helpful. fast.
  • ambience:  so we went to the one in oakland (the original is in san francisco).  there really was not line but then again we ate this at 11:30am.  cool decor but there is no where to sit inside.  there are a couple of benches outside that you can enjoy your sandwich on…but that is about it.

Ike’s Lair | Oakland Ike’s Lair | Oakland

side thought: have you ever had cheerwine? think dr. pepper and cherry. i enjoyed it.

Ike’s Lair | Oakland

if you are in norcal and get to enjoy ike’s let me know what you get and your thoughts please!

Ike’s Lair
2204 Broadway
(between Franklin St & Grand Ave)
Oakland, CA 94612
Neighborhood: Uptown

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By |September 26th, 2012|California, Food, Restaurants, San Francisco / Oakland, Travel|1 Comment

The Kitchen Sink @ The Olde San Francisco Creamery

San Francisco Creamery | San Francisco

we were first introduced to the kitchen sink at the san francisco creamery via one of our favorite shows: man vs. food.  kyle, as many of you know, is obsessed with eating challenges.  (i think secretly he would like to be an eating champion in another life) so when we saw the kitchen sink challenge, we immediately put it on our MUST TRY list.  ice cream, eating challenge in a sink?  we are in.

San Francisco Creamery | San Francisco

for $39.95, the olde san francisco creamery co, will put together (for your pleasure): 3 sliced bananas, 8 gigantic scoops of ice cream, 8 services of toppings, a mountain of whipped cream, nuts and cherries…in a specially designed sink! (i know)  we are sad to say that even though we made a trek to walnut creek, kyle did not attempt this ice cream challenge (this time) because we had already been eating all day and had a fully day of eating ahead of us.  we shared this baby with 6 people…and we all are very embarrassed to say that we did not even finish it.  despite this embarrassment, kyle still believes he can do the challenge alone (i know).

San Francisco Creamery | San FranciscoSan Francisco Creamery | San FranciscoSan Francisco Creamery | San Francisco

check this monstrosity for yourself (warning!  these pictures get pretty gross at the end):favorite flavors:  cheesecake and toasted almond

  • recommendations for next time:  don’t get gummy bears.  not only is it scattered on top, it is stuffed inside the ice cream layers so they do become rock solid in a few minutes. not going to lie, i felt sick one and a half scoops in.  but, it was definitely something that i loved doing with our awesome friends who agreed to do this for us.  i recommend this for parties of 6 or more (the menu says for a party of up to 6) i think a party of 8 is fine.
  • ambience: cute creamery in a downtown walnut creek.  everything you expect a creamery to be.
  • service: pleasant!  they immediately knew we were doing the challenge!  could it be because we came in there…guns blazing and looked amped?
  • overall:  i’d come back here to watch kyle suffer through this kitchen sink challenge….and also to do this shinanigans for a celebration of some sort.  ice cream was good but mind blowing?  probably not.  what will blow your mind is the sink they put it in.  it’s pretty cool.  we went a good 5 minutes just taking pictures of it and with it.  fact.  oh, san francisco creamery, you were fun.  until next time.

San Francisco Creamery | San FranciscoSan Francisco Creamery | San FranciscoSan Francisco Creamery | San Francisco

The Olde San Francisco Creamery
1370 Locust St
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

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By |September 25th, 2012|California, Dessert, Food, Restaurants, San Francisco / Oakland, Travel|2 Comments

Burma Superstar | Oakland, CA

Burma Superstar | Oakland

since we have been planning this trip to norcal for quite some time now (go lions) we had a list of restaurants we absolutely had to eat!  burma superstar was one of them (thanks tiffany!).  it has three locations:  san francisco (the original one), oakland and alameda.  given our schedule, we went to the oakland location.

this is what we came for: rainbow salad (actually, it was recommended that we get the tea leaf salad.  we were conflicted so got the rainbow salad this time and will have to try the tea leaf salad next time!) – salad made with 22 different ingredients. Four types of noodles, green papaya, tofu, onions, dried shrimp, and a tamarind dressing. so the waitress will walk you through each ingredient…

Burma Superstar | Oakland

then he/she will prepare it for you (aka toss it for you).

Burma Superstar | OaklandBurma Superstar | Oakland

and then…tada! uh-mazing. its everything you want a salad to be – light and refreshing.  and! i really enjoyed the tamarind dressing.  (just thinking about it makes me hungry)  side note: apparently this salad and the tea leaf salad was featured on the food network: diners, drive-ins & dives.  other things we ordered:

  • fiery beef – spicy (not but not too spicy).  loved it.  flavor is awesome.
  • beef curry (burmese style) – loved this as well.
  • duck garlic noodles – duck was delicious but the truth is…after eating fiery beef and beef curry, both of which are an explosion of flavor…these garlic noodles didnt have quite the punch.  but i still enjoyed it.

Burma Superstar | Oakland Burma Superstar | Oakland Burma Superstar | Oakland

  • food: excellent. you must go here. (rainbow salad. rainbow salad)
  • ambiance: cute. clean, simple modern.
  • service:  good and helpful.  when they bring out the rainbow salad with 22 ingredients, they go through all the ingredients!
  • overall:  i will be back to eat you, burma superstar.

Burma Superstar
4721 Telegraph Ave
(between 47th St & 48th St)
Oakland, CA 94609
Neighborhoods: Temescal, North Oakland

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By |September 23rd, 2012|California, Food, Restaurants, San Francisco / Oakland, Travel|4 Comments