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FishBar | Manhattan Beach, CA

it has been beautiful weather lately so we decided to go to manhattan beach for our first beach day of the summer!  since we don’t hang out in south bay too often…that just means another food adventure for us!

we went to fishbar in manhattan beach for brunch/lunch looking for a light meal (light…yeah right).  what we ordered:

seared ahi tuna tacos – recommended by our waitress.  this was good. keep in mind that the sauce is a sweet chili kind of sauce…so it is an asian inspired taco.  get this if you are looking for something light and tasty.

FishBar Manhattan Beach

new england clam chowder – this one i really enjoyed.  one of the best clam chowders I have had (no, really.  It rocks and everyone a our table agreed). one of the perks of being married to kyle is that he loves to get clam chowder every where he goes…just like how i like to get the lobster roll everywhere I go.   anyway, I have had my fair share of clam chowder… and this is definitely great.  tastes great. temperature was great.  nothing in it was overpowering (ahem, like bacon).  not too thick but not watery (nasty) and there was a decent amount of clams in it.  my favorite thing that we got.

FishBar Manhattan Beach

baja fish taco  – our friend really enjoyed this.  fish was fresh and did not have a ton of batter on it. ja feel? ja definitely feel?

FishBar Manhattan Beach

lobster hash – i didn’t really taste this one since i am not a fan of eggs… but our friend said it was one of his favorite meals.  this is one of the heavier items you can order here.

FishBar Manhattan Beach

bloody mary – this was fishbar’s big thing.  an award winning bloody mary.  yep da bomb.  the presentation itself is pretty impressive.  It comes with a piece of bacon in it… you know you’ve scored a solid drink if there is bacon in it! you must get this.  oh, for happy hour…I know they have a great deal on this. (oh, and that’s goldman)

FishBar | Manhattan BeachFishBar Manhattan BeachFishBar | Manhattan Beach

lobster roll – (yep) this was good.  i thought it was outshined a little bit by the other dishes but kyle actually really liked the lobster roll here.

FishBar Manhattan Beach

french toast bread pudding – to be honest, i don’t know why we got this since we were all stuffed and we had to stay sexy for the beach (that was a joke. there is no sexiness going on up in here).  i do enjoy a good bread pudding.  was it good?  yes.  was it the best?  no, but it is still good.  i’m used to enjoying bread pudding as one hot, solid piece (mushed together?).  mushed together is probably not the right word…but this is more like monkey bread where there are distinct pieces of the bread held together by probably butter?  this was also on the drier side compared to other bread puddings out there.  topped with berries and a sweet sauce, this was a nice dessert to share.  note that this is not the best thing for you if you are working on that physic.

FishBar Manhattan Beach

  • atmosphere:  fishbar is laid back…like much of the rest of manhattan beach.  pretty good amount of tvs at the bar…so I could definitely see myself watching a football game here if I were a local. decent size restaurant.  I think you can easily roll in with 6-8…however, since it has a lot of booths, I can see rolling in with more than that…would be somewhat difficult unless you wanted to split up.  just pointing it out.
  • parking:  a mess.  parking in manhattan beach is just always an ordeal.  we were on the prowl for a 40 minutes before we found something pretty far away.
  • service:  our waitress was pretty amazing.  attentive. fast…and funny.  spot on with the recommendations. we appreciate it.
  • overall:  we had a great time at fishbar.  this is a great, laid back seafood restaurant near the beach.  perfect for the sunday we went here. good seafood and great service.  we will be coming back here.

FishBar

3801 Highland Ave
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Neighborhood: Manhattan Beach

Cuisine: Seafood

Fishbar on Urbanspoon

By |August 1st, 2013|Food, Photography, Restaurants|1 Comment

Mole @ Rocio’s | Sun Valley, CA

Rocio's Mole De Los Dioses

after having delicious mole experiences (here and here), we (i kid. its only me. kyle hates mole.) have been on the search for great mole in our hood.  if you search “mole in los angeles”, rocio’s mole de los dioses comes up.  actually, rocio’s was listed as #1 in laweekly’s blog.  we came here one saturday for lunch.  so. excited. two things they are known for: the variety of moles and cactus tortillas (pictured above).

Rocio's Mole De Los Dioses

since there were so many different kinds of mole, we decided to start with the mole sampler to help us make our decision on our main entrée.  the max was 5 moles or salsa of your choice for $10.  our waiter said he would do 6 for us since it was our first time (we later found out that he ended up charging us $15 for 6.  not a good deal at all).  our sampler standouts (commentary to follow):

  • mole oaxaqueno – this was their famous one. an award winner.
  • mole mancha-manteles – this was their smoky flavored one.
  • mole verde – we got this because it was supposed to be spicy.  
  • mole poblano – the mole you usually find in restaurants.

Rocio's Mole De Los Dioses

we got a complementary soup as a starter.  it’s a shrimp/lime broth.  it was light.  i thought it was ok. nothing spectacular. based on the waiters recommendation, we got two drinks:  the horchata and the pineapple cactus agua fresca.  the horchata is definitely different.  it was topped with pumpkin seeds and is not your regular cinnamon drink. my pineapple cactus agua fresca… eh.  we weren’t huge fans of the drink recommendations.

Rocio's | Sun ValleyRocio's Mole De Los DiosesRocio's Mole De Los DiosesRocio's Mole De Los Dioses

onto the mole:  they were good.  not great or near the best.  my favorite was the poblano and kyle liked the verde (it is pretty spicy). the oaxaqueno was good.  i actually thought the cactus tortillas took away from the mole…

since everyone has been raving about this place, i was expecting to be blown away.  i do give it to rocio.  there are a lot of varieties of mole.  more so than any other restaurant.  but not all of them are great.  and the few that are good, either compare to other places or rate slightly below.  we actually got full off the sampler so decided not to order an entrée.

Rocio's Mole De Los DiosesRocio's Mole De Los DiosesRocio's Mole De Los Dioses

  • parking:  easy street parking
  • service:  was ok.  i was surprised when the waiter said he could add on another mole to our 5-mole sampler and then charged us $15 for 6 when it was $9 for 5.  that was a turnoff.
  • atmosphere:  we opted for outdoor seating.  decor was ok.  nothing you will fall in love with.  when we came for lunch, it was not close to crowded.  it was just us and another couple.
  • overall: i have to start off by stating the bad. we noticed a few ants on our mole tray as the waiter put the food down. ugh. i know. complete turnoff because it is a little unsanitary.  our waiter saw them but didn’t wipe them off or acknowledge them.  but we thought, not biggie it’s just ants. however, since the mole was short of amazing, putting up with ants on our plate was not worth it.  you know what i’m saying?  i know a lot of people love this place… maybe we just came on a bad day. will we be back?  probably not.

Rocio’s Mole De Los Dioses
8255 Sunland Blvd
Sun Valley, CA 91352
Neighborhoods: Sun Valley, North Hollywood

Rocio's Mole de Los Dioses on Urbanspoon

By |July 6th, 2013|Food, Photography, Restaurants|2 Comments

Slaters 50/50 | Pasadena, CA

Slater's 50/50

i have been waiting to try you, slaters 50/50.  a few people have recommended that i come here since i love burgers.  50% bacon, 50% beef…obviously we are in.  next great thing, they are in pasadena! so close!

Slaters 50/50 | PasadenaSlater's 50/50Slater's 50/50

what we ordered:

  • the 6-app plate: fries, sweet potato fries, fried dill pickle chips, beer battered onion rings, beer battered jalapenos, fried bacon mac ‘n cheese balls
  • the flamin’ hot – beer battered jalapenos, fire roasted green chilies, pepper jack cheese and chipotle adobo mayo on a white brioche.
  • peanut butter & jellousy – bacon, peanut butter and strawberry jelly on a honey wheat bun.  apparently this is one of the popular ones and is award winning.  obviously we had to get this!
  • fire 50/50: it was their special.  all i know is that it had habaneros in it… so spicy!

Slater's 50/50 Slater's 50/50

so i knew but didnt know how much they love bacon here… they have bacon salt.  bacon salt. oh and did you know they also have bacon ketchup?  kyle’s version of heaven.

Slater's 50/50 Slater's 50/50Slater's 50/50Slater's 50/50

we got a tremendous amount of appetizers since we were all indecisive.  the apps came piled high…and deeply fried.  oh, and each came with their own sauce!

  • bacon ketchup w/the fries:  i thought this was ok.  i still like good ol’ ketchup.  is there such a thing as too much bacon? 
  • pumpkin sauce w/the sweet potato fries:  not a fan of this sweet pumpkin sauce…too sweet w/ the sweet potato fries.
  • original mustard sauce w/fried dill pickles:  going to be honest for the fried dill pickles, i just used the tapatio ranch.
  • house-made bbq w/everything:  yep. this was my favorite sauce!  a great, great sweet bbq sauce.  so good.
  • cilantro-lime sour cream w/fried jalapenos:  pretty yummy.
  • tapatio ranch:  great with everything as well.

Slater's 50/50Slater's 50/50

the fire 50/50.  it was very good.  spicy, juicy, great bun.  a very good burger. the flamin’ burger was just ok.  i definitely liked the fire 50/50 better.  it was more flavorful and a lot hotter.  did i mention that these burgers are huge?!

Slater's 50/50

the peanut butter & jellousy. i was skeptical about this one.  but it actually went well together.  flavors were great and texture didnt weird me out.  its like the maple bacon donut…you are weirded out at first but then you realize the ingredient compliment each other.  this is that case.  however, would i get it for myself?  probably not.  it was nice to have my own fire 50/50 and take a bite of the peanut butter & jellousy burger.

Slater's 50/50

  • parking: metered street or parking structures available in old town pasadena.
  • atmosphere:  this place gets packed for dinner.  good thing we came slightly earlier than the normal dinner crowd.
  • service:  pretty efficient.  food came out quickly.  water service was good too (i needed this since i was eating habaneros)
  • overall:  so this is more of a bj’s / counter feel.  this is not your average gourmet burger joint.  but i enjoy that and i would come here again.  i definitely dont see myself getting the 6-apps again because that was a little much but i was a huge fan of the bbq sauce. maybe next time get it on my burger? yes!

a few tips:

  • all burgers are weighed after they are cooked.
  • they give you the option of making your own burger. (like the counter)

Slaters 50/50
61 N Raymond Ave
Pasadena, CA 91103
Neighborhood: Pasadena

Slater's 50/50 on Urbanspoon

By |July 4th, 2013|Food, Photography, Restaurants|6 Comments

Geoffrey’s | Malibu, CA

Geoffrey’s Malibu

our first time at geoffrey’s was more than 7 years ago (when we were young, broke and dating. those were the days)!  we talk about it all the time as a great meal and about how we are going to come back etc.  we just never made it back until now.  this time we came for brunch!

Geoffrey’s Malibu

we came here for my dad’s birthday.  why this place is a gem:  the view!!!  perfect way to spend a sunday morning sipping on a cup of coffee.

what we ordered:

  • ahi tuna tartare
  • crab cake benedict over toasted croissant topped with hollandaise sauce
  • challah french toast
  • sautéed sea scallops with maine lobster risotto and a pomegranate reduction
  • seafood paella with saffron rice

Geoffrey’s MalibuGeoffrey’s MalibuGeoffrey’s Malibu

the tuna tartare were delicious!! i would definitely get this again! great spicy kick. the french toast was eh. nothing special.  go for the seafood.

Geoffrey’s MalibuGeoffrey’s Malibu

another shot of the view.  i could stay here forever.

Geoffrey’s MalibuGeoffrey’s Malibu

pops was a fan of the paella.  crab cakes were just ok.  they were over a toasted croissant.  not sure how i felt about it…mostly underwhelmed.  my favorite dish (pictured above) were the scallops.  great, great dish.  it’s a little on the heavy side so you definitely dont want more than they serve.  risotto was delicious (i’m not normally a fan of this), scallops were perfectly cooked and i was pleasantly surprised how well the pomegranate worked with this combination!  this is the must get.

Geoffrey’s MalibuGeoffrys Malibu

got the bread pudding for dessert.  caramel sauce was burnt.  it was ok.

  • service:  great!
  • ambience: the view is to die for. 
  • price:  on the high side.  you really do pay for the view.  great for special occasions. 
  • overall: i would recommend this to anyone looking (i) to get away from the hustle and bustle of los angeles, (ii) to wind down from a hectic week, and (ii) for some great seafood.  

Geoffrey’s
27400 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265

Geoffrey's Malibu on Urbanspoon

By |May 8th, 2013|Food, Photography, Restaurants|1 Comment

Bäco Mercat | Downtown Los Angeles

Bäco Mercat | Los AngelesBaco Mercat Los AngelesBäco Mercat | Los Angeles

kyle read in GQ magazine that bäco mercat was the best new restaurant of 2012.  since it was such a bold statement, we decided that it will be the next place on our list to try.  so for my birthday, he made a reservation for two!

bäco = a sandwich.  apparently, a special one.  we decided to order:

  • el pesco bäco – crispy shrimp, sriracha, chive dressing. obviously we got this because of the sriracha. 
  • bazole soup – noodles, pork broth, mushroom and a fried egg (haha, no we did not enjoy the egg).
  • caramelized cauliflower w/pine nuts, mint and garlic
  • hamachi crudo w/ avocado and hash brown ball
  • pork bell ricotta cavatelli (recommended by the waitress)
  • cocä bondiga (also recommended by the waitress)
  • tamarindo & mango soda (made in-house)

 

one thing we were blown away by:  the bäco pop!  before coming here, we heard that the soda here was amazing.  amazing?  psh.  obviously i did not believe it.  we got the tamarindo and mango soda anyway.  …i was completely wrong. so wrong. the soda was delicious!  i literally was blown away by it.  (yep) i would come here for this soda.  we actually wanted to buy a case of this for our home.  nuff said.

Baco Mercat Los AngelesBäco Mercat | Los Angeles

hamachi crudo came first.  this was delicious!! it was a great start to our dinner.  a pleasant surprise was the hash brown in the form of a ball.  great compliment to the hamachi and the guac.

Bäco Mercat | Los Angeles

onto the bäco!  besides the fact that it is just a pita sandwich (i really dont know what we were expecting)…it was wonderful!  the batter was still slightly crispy, the sriracha added a great kick!  great, sandwich! we get the craze.

Bäco Mercat | Los Angeles

the bazole was something we did not expect.  we really thought it was going to be pozole… ya know, the kind we eat during the holidays.  nothing like it.  think ramen…with a huge egg in it.  broth was good but the dish overall was just ok.

Bäco Mercat | Los AngelesBäco Mercat | Los Angeles

the cauliflower was great.  i was a fan.

Bäco Mercat | Los Angeles

the cavatelli (a pasta) was recommended by the waitress.  this was awful.  we did not like this at all.  not only was the cavatelli green, it kind of looked like we were eating worms.  so childish, i know.  but it wasnt just that…the combination of the pork and the cheese…it didnt taste very good.  do not get this.  there are definitely better dishes than this.

Bäco Mercat | Los AngelesBäco Mercat | Los AngelesBäco Mercat | Los Angeles

cocä aka crispy flatbread…so basically this is just a thin crust pizza in our opinion.  we were not expecting this…at all.  we ordered the bondiga – three cheese, smoked jalapeno and meatball.  anyway, it was just ok.  we were not in love with this.  the cheese is a little overpowering.

Bäco Mercat | Los AngelesBäco Mercat | Los Angeles

onto dessert (my favorite part)! we ordered the (i) caramel upside down cake w/ pineapple and hazelnut and (ii) chocolate banana cake.  they were both just ok.  my the caramel on my cake was on the burnt side, which i am not a huge fan of (some people love this).

Bäco Mercat | Los Angeles

  • overall:  while some dishes were a hit or a miss, the hits were definitely worth mentioning and recommending.  we would come back here for sure.  
  • parking:  street or lot.  expect to pay…its downtown. 
  • tip:  make a reservation.  this place gets packed! 

Bäco Mercat
408 S Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Neighborhood: Downtown

Bäco Mercat on Urbanspoon

By |April 22nd, 2013|Dessert, Food, Photography, Restaurants|9 Comments
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