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Darci & Andrew’s Wedding | Marina Del Rey

whew. it has been a little crazy here in la. guess who had two weddings in one weekend that happened to be week one of football season?! us! hectic and tired would be the appropriate words here BUT! both weddings were amazing.  i did get to snap a few photos from the first wedding and have to share since it was pretty much perfect.  congrats to d&a, we love you!

ps. isnt the ritz in marina del rey beautiful?!

By |September 10th, 2012|Friends, Life|1 Comment

Mammoth: Part I

we spent a few days in mammoth relaxing, fishing, hiking, golfing, and of course, eating.  we needed a little time away from the city.  mammoth is awesome in the winter but even better in the summer!  here are just a few pictures from our trip! (if you cant tell, we love mammoth!) ps. an added bonus was that we got to spend time with our little niece!

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By |August 19th, 2012|Life, Mammoth, Travel|0 Comments

Picca | Los Angeles, CA

Picca | Los AngelesPicca | Los AngelesPicca | Los AngelesPicca | Los Angeles

six people. 6:45pm reservation at picca. dinela. two hours and forty-five minutes later, thirty dishes down! boom. for dinela, we decided to go to picca, a trendy peruvian restaurant in west la.  for a fabulous $45 a person (not including alcohol), you get to enjoy two appetizers, two main dishes, and a dessert.

Picca | Los AngelesPicca | Los AngelesPicca | Los Angeles

since we were a table of six, we were able to order almost everything and even double up on certain ones! here is what we tried:

appetizers

  • ceviche criollo – seabass, rocoto leche de tigre, sweet potato, canchas
  • pan con tuna – grilled bread, spicy tuna, rocoto sauce, yuzu mayonnaise
  • causa snow crab – snow crab, yuzu kosho guacamole, huancaina.  one of my favorites.  it was amazing!
  • causa chicken – sous-vide chicken, celery, cilantro, mayonnaise, huancaina.  aka chicken salad.
  • anticucho corazon – beef heart, rocoto pesto. very tasty!
  • anticucho tomatoes – cherry tomatoes, honey-serrano glaze, burrata black mint pesto
  • anticucho salmon – miso anticucho, pickled cucumbers, micro greens
  • chicharron de pollo – crispy marinated chicken, salsa criolla, rocoto aioli. this is pretty much a fancy chicken nugget.

main dishes

  • bisteck a lo probre – skirt steak, fried egg, pan-fried banana, chickpeas tacu tacu. sounds weird. banana and meat. but i liked this dish a lot.  however, you do have to eat it all together or else it tastes a bit salty.
  • lomo saltado – sautéed beef filet, roma tomatoes, red onions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, banyuls vinegar, kennebec fries.  tried this dish at mo-chica. i’m a fan.
  • arroz chaufa de mariscos – peruvian fried rice, clams, mussels, scallops, shrimp, pickled ginger
  • seco de cordero – braised lamb shank, canario beans, cilantro beer sauce
  • artichoke – pisco and anji amarillo butter, aioli.  this is just an ordinary artichoke dish.
  • sudado de pez espada – peruvian “bouillabaisse” swordfish, yuyo
  • chicharron de costilla – crispy pork ribs crostini, sweet potato puree, huancaina, salsa criolla

dessert choices – flan or alfajores (cookies)

Picca | Los Angeles
Picca | Los Angeles
Picca | Los Angeles
Picca | Los Angeles
Picca | Los Angeles
Picca | Los Angeles
Picca | Los Angeles
Picca | Los Angeles

verdict: very good! (although not all are winners).  trust me when i say you will be stuffed and satisfied.  favorite dish was the snow crab appetizer, pan con tuna, and the bisteck a lo pobre! the main menu is so extensive, i think i will need to come back and try certain dishes not on the dinela menu.

since the sun set while we were eating, there wasnt enough light to keep using my dslr so i had to switch to my point and shoot canon s95! however, i couldnt take pictures of all our food (trust me, there were a lot more dishes). haha.

Picca | Los AngelesPicca | Los Angeles Picca | Los Angeles

picca down, so many more food adventures to go! shout out to the dinela crew. to old friends and the loveliness of new ones. cheers!

Picca
9575 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Neighborhood: West Los Angeles

Picca Peru on Urbanspoon

By |July 24th, 2012|Food, Friends, Restaurants|7 Comments

Blue Plate Oysterette | Santa Monica, CA

Blue Plate Oysterette | Santa Monica

it was a bittersweet dinner.  a good friend and colleague of mine is heading back to japan with his wonderful wife (who i just had the privilege of meeting).  he and i, along with a handful of other people, went through a (what seemed like the longest) training program together.  during this 1+ year period, we grew close since we saw each other every day, studied together, struggled together…these are the people who i started my career with.

fast forward four years. i am sitting here wishing him a bon voyage and reminiscing about days we took for granted.  during the training program, he got married, i got married, i got a house, and we developed our food palette (him on the west side and me in the valley/everywhere else).  it was good to see him and to finally meet the wife i have heard so much about.

Blue Plate Oysterette | Santa Monica

since we were all foodies, we decided to try blue blate oysterette in santa monica.

the food:  we hit a gem.  i say this because i definitely think its harder to go somewhere and like pretty much everything that is set in front of you.  we definitely were too aggressive with the ordering and overestimated our stomach capacity.  so on yelp, this place had 3.5 stars 368 reviews.  since i quickly glanced at this before dinner, i didnt really think i was going to be blown away by any means. here is was we ordered (i will give my comments at the end):

  • raw oysters (east coast will remain my favorite)
  • 2 orders of new england clam chowder – has bacon in it.
  • butter lettuce salad with steak
  • lobster mac and cheese – maine lobster, gruyere, herbs, truffle oil.
  • mussels – rosemary, garlic, lemon, red curry, iron skillet roasted. (my favorite)
  • fried seafood combo – calamari, oysters, shrimp, fried.
  • lobster roll – maine lobster, brioche roll. melts in my mouth and comes with french fries.

this place is a little pricey, but then again, its a great location near the water and its seafood.  i saw the menu and knew we had to get the lobster roll (because kyle and i get this every where we go:  nyc and hungry cat).  our server recommended the lobster mac and cheese and the mussels, which turned out to be my favorite dish!  hands down one of the best mussels i have ever had (a close tie with mussels at firefly in studio city).  lobster mac and cheese was also very good.  clam chowder good.  however, keep in mind that there is bacon in it, which is overpowering. fried seafood combo was also good (comes with two yummy dipping sauces).

Blue Plate Oysterette | Santa MonicaBlue Plate Oysterette | Santa Monica

the curry mussels were a winner. the sauce was so delicious.  mussels were hot.

the lobster roll was good but short of mind blowing.

Blue Plate Oysterette | Santa MonicaBlue Plate Oysterette | Santa Monica

so i read some of the reviews on yelp on this place right now and a lot of them have to do with the price of some of these dishes (lobster roll is $22 and small.  i think this is pretty market.  we paid the same thing in nyc and at hungry cat in hollywood), long waiting time with no reservations (we didnt mind so much.  is this because we were in good company?) and that the lobster roll came cold (i laughed at this one).  i liked this place a lot and look forward to taking kyle here.

Blue Plate Oysterette | Santa Monica

small note: these pictures were taken with the canon s95.  its a pretty awesome point and shoot, huh?

Blue Plate Oysterette
1355 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Neighborhood: Santa Monica

Blue Plate Oysterette on Urbanspoon

By |July 21st, 2012|Food, Friends, Life, Restaurants|0 Comments

Obon Festival | Pasadena

so this weekend we went to pasadena for the obon festival.  this annual festival is a celebration of the japanese culture and more specifically, is an event for commemorating one’s ancestors. kyle’s dad has been going to this festival since he was a kid and so has kyle! (cute, eh?)  this event is run soley by volunteers from the community. isnt that great?! bbq, community, kimonos, martial arts, dances, and kintoki on ice (sweet red beans. my favorite).  i look forward to this every year because its delish.

Obon Festival | PasadenaObon Festival | Pasadena
Obon Festival | PasadenaObon Festival | Pasadena
Obon Festival | PasadenaObon Festival | Pasadena
Obon Festival | PasadenaObon Festival | Pasadena
Obon Festival | Pasadena
Obon Festival | Pasadena
Obon Festival | Pasadena
Obon Festival | Pasadena
Obon Festival | Pasadena

By |July 16th, 2012|Food, Life|3 Comments