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31 01, 2013

Native Foods Cafe | Costa Mesa

By |January 31st, 2013|Food, Restaurants|3 Comments

for most of you who know me or have followed my blog long enough…you know i love meat!  so when my cousin suggested that we go to native foods cafe (what was explained to me as a vegan spot) for lunch, i was very hesitant. well…let me tell you my conclusion first and then i’ll go into detail.  i freaking loved it!!!  so i’m passing on the love.

Native Foods Cafe | Costa Mesa

who doesn’t appreciate a refreshing drink?!  enter:  watermelon fresca with some mint.  you’ll love it and the little chunks of watermelon too!  i didnt try the other flavors (which i’m sure are great) because the watermelon just screamed my name.

Native Foods Cafe | Costa MesaNative Foods Cafe | Costa Mesa

appetizer ordered:  nuevo native nachos! homemade corn tortilla, black beans, native taco meat, native chipotle crema (on the sweet side), native cheese,  salsa fresca, guacamole, corn, green onions, cilantro and jalapenos!  this is one of the must tries.  why?  because it’s different, it’s delicious…and it’s nothing like you think it’s going to taste like.  this is something you definitely have to eat fast since it does get a little soggy. vegan cheese…how do they do it?  also, jalapenos add a good, but not overwhelming kick.

Native Foods Cafe | Costa MesaNative Foods Cafe | Costa Mesa

entrée #1: portobello and sausage burger.  this is one of the coined favorites of native foods cafe.  grilled portobellos, native sausage seitan, caramelized onions, pomodoro, sweet roasted garlic, creamy pumpkin seed pesto and mayo.  it looks pretty hefty but its actually very light.  (that’s what happens when there is a big mushroom in there)  so this burger tastes delicious!  i thought the texture would be a little weird…but it didnt phase me at all.

Native Foods Cafe | Costa Mesa

entrée #2:  indo noodle salad!  cucumbers, red peppers, onions, carrots, baby greens, rice noodles, sweet peanut-chile dressing, ginger-glazed native tempeh, peanuts and cilantro.  so i loved this.  originally, we ordered this because we love peanut sauce…but what makes this salad is the glazed tempeh! it is so, so tasty.  as a note, i was lucky that i shared this with my cousin because i dont think i could have eaten this by myself.  its good…but on the sweet side.  if i had to eat the whole thing…i’d probably crave salty fries.  overall, this salad was very refreshing.  not too heavy.  would i get this again? yes, but there are so many other things on the menu i want to try.

Native Foods Cafe | Costa Mesa

first thought when i finished eating:  i think i can be vegan now! bold, huh?

  • atmosphere/service:  inside was on the stuffy side so we sat outside.  staff was super friendly.  loved the staff/vibe.
  • parking: ample

i am so glad my cousin dragged me here! now, i can recommend it to all of you! they have multiple locations…most of which are in the o.c.  i just found out that there is one in culver city! how lucky am i?!

until next time!

Native Foods Cafe
2937 Bristol St
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
nativefoods.com

Native Foods Cafe on Urbanspoon

27 01, 2013

Pork Belly @ Palsaik | Los Angeles, CA

By |January 27th, 2013|Food, Restaurants|5 Comments

Palsaik | Los Angeles

we have officially fallen in love with the eight colorful flavors of pork…a specialty at palsaik in k-town (their logo is a happy pig. how could you not come here?).   we never really liked ordering pork belly at korean bbq places before because isnt as flavorful as bulgogi or kalbi.  but we recently discovered that it is not meant to be! there are dipping sauces usually provided for pork belly:  (i) sesame oil and salt and (ii) chili bean paste. yum!  ok, enough with the pork belly backstory.

it’s pork belly time! here are the eight flavors:

  • wine
  • original
  • ginseng
  • garlic
  • herb
  • curry
  • miso paste
  • red pepper paste

Palsaik | Los Angeles

the eight flavor set runs $49.99.  this is something that you have to order in order to get a feel of what this restaurant has to offer. also, the set is a good deal since one strip will run you $6.50-7.00.

we also ordered seafood soybean paste stew ($9.99).  it is a little spicy but we loved the kick.  it was a nice, refreshing palette cleanser too!  we would definitely get this again.

Palsaik | Los AngelesPalsaik | Los AngelesPalsaik | Los Angeles

its always the best moments drinking with friends after a long week at work.  agreed?

Palsaik | Los Angeles

eight pork belly strips come out on little dishes.  pretty impressive display if you ask me.  four strips are cooked at a time.  also on the grill is kimchi and bean sprouts for your eating pleasure.

Palsaik | Los Angeles

your waiter takes care of all the cooking so you can concentrate on eating and drinking your beer / soju.  the strips are cut into manageable pieces.

Palsaik | Los Angeles

so you eat this with rice or you can wrap it in lettuce then dip it into sauces…or do both? …anyway you want!

Palsaik | Los AngelesPalsaik | Los Angeles

my favorite dipping sauce:  sesame oil and salt!  my first bite of the wine pork belly!  yum!

Palsaik | Los Angeles

this is now one of our favorite places to eat in k-town now!  our favorite is definitely the original, miso, garlic, and chili pepper.  our least favorite was the herb…it just didnt jive with everything else (tastes like italian food).  we had a party of four.  the set of eight plus the soup was good enough to fill us but since we all eat in massive amounts, we also got two extra strips of the original and the chili paste.

Palsaik | Los Angeles

after you are done eating or finishing up, the waiter will come by and make you kimchi fried rice with your left over kimchi! yum part dos!

Palsaik | Los Angeles

  • atmosphere:  very clean.  each table has its own vent, grill, and stools for you to put your purse and clothes so that they dont stink of bbq when you are done. (so smart) i heard the wait could run an hour but we lucked out and got seated within 15 minutes.  not bad.
  • service:  very pleasant!
  • parking:  ample parking since there is a huge lot shared by other businesses in a plaza.
  • overall:  go here.  you wont regret it!

enjoy!

Palsaik Samgyupsal Korean BBQ
863 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Neighborhood: Koreatown

palsaikbbq.com

Palsaik on Urbanspoon

23 01, 2013

JINYA Ramen | Studio City, CA

By |January 23rd, 2013|Food, Restaurants|5 Comments

JINYA Ramen | Studio City

ramen time!  our spot on a cold day is usually ramen jinya in studio city.  we have tried orochon, shin-sen-gumi, daikokuya… the ramen at orochon and shin-sen-gumi…eh.  not very flavorful.  to be honest, we also like daikokuya but dont get the craze.  plus, we arent fans of waiting an hour to get seated either.  the broth at jinya is fantastic.  perfected seasoned, noodles cooked perfectly.

JINYA Ramen | Studio CityJINYA Ramen | Studio City

the large menu outside

JINYA Ramen | Studio CityJINYA Ramen | Studio CityJINYA Ramen | Studio City

tonkotsu spicy, hot and with thin noodles.  this is my favorite thing to get here…and probably the best ramen i have had.  “hot” isn’t too spicy for me.  kyle usually adds some chili to it.  we have tried the original but like the flavor of spicy more.

JINYA Ramen | Studio City

jinya tonkotsu black.   completely different flavor than the spicy tonkotsu.  very strong flavor. kyle really likes this one.

JINYA Ramen | Studio CityJINYA Ramen | Studio City

a spoonful of amazing!  in our books, jinya gets five out of five stars.

enjoy!

JINYA Ramen Bar
11239 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604

Ramen Jinya Japanese Noodle on Urbanspoon

18 01, 2013

Brunch @ Red O | Los Angeles, CA

By |January 18th, 2013|Food, Restaurants|6 Comments

Red O | Los Angeles

we decided to celebrate “treat yourself 2013” with brunch at red o, rick bayless’ mexican restaurant in west hollywood / mid-wilshire.  think upscale mexican.  while some people wouldn’t want to spend $$$ on mexican food, we were excited to try it based on a friend’s recommendation (but for dinner).

Red O | Los AngelesRed O | Los AngelesRed O | Los Angeles

here is what we ordered:

  • guacamole – we ordered this based on reviews we read.
  • lobster jicama tacos – this was a recommendation from our awesome waiter.
  • crab & shrimp enchiladas suizas – creamy tomatillo sauce, melted sonoma jack, black beans, frisee, watercress
  • pollo en mole poblano – grilled mary’s young chicken, homemade mole poblano, black beans, watercress salad
  • coconut tres leches – local stone fruit salsa, Mexican vanilla ice cream, toasted coconut, gooey meringue

i would note that this was absolutely way too much food for the two of us.  all the reviews recommended getting the guacamole.  simple, light, refreshing.  presentation was really nice!  but our favorite guacamole is still sol y luna in tarzana!

Red O | Los AngelesRed O | Los Angeles

the mole…was excellent! hands down the best mole i have ever had (and i’ve had a lot).  even though i’m not a chocolate fan, i love mole (odd, right?)  after been cooked, it doesn’t even taste like chocolate.  i dont know how to explain it…the mole itself was just so delicious…the sweet. the savory.  chicken was extremely moist. watercress was a nice touch.  i didn’t love, love the beans.

Red O | Los Angeles

crab & shrimp enchiladas were also good.  the sauce pretty tasty.  we would definitely get this again.

Red O | Los Angeles

based on our waiter’s recommendation, we ordered the lobster jicama tacos.  however, since we had the first reservation of the day, the kitchen did not have any jicama available so instead substituted it with plantain chips. we really enjoyed the “taco” with the plantain chips since it added a crunch!

but…the chef / waiter were so apologetic since this changed the whole dynamic of the dish  (we didnt mind obviously). the chef went out to the supermarket nearby and got jicama so that we could get the real thing (pictured above)! we thought this was an amazing gesture!

so this our note about the service:  unbelievably great from the minute we walked in till the end of our meal!  it really doesnt get any better than this.  we love you, red o!  thank you for being awesome.

Red O | Los Angeles

tres leches cake was also good.  completely not what we pictured when we ordered it but we really enjoyed this!  i think you will be pleasantly surprised since this dessert is very, very light!

decor:  as you can see, very nice.  love the architecture.  very extensive tequila display.  great for brunch since so much natural light is let in through the glass roof.

overall, a good experience.  we definitely look forward to coming back for dinner.  if you are going for brunch i think the must would be the mole.  you wont be able to get this taste anywhere else.

Red O | Los Angeles

enjoy!

Red O
8155 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Neighborhoods: Mid-City West, West Hollywood

Red O on Urbanspoon

13 01, 2013

Brunch @ Abricott | Pasadena, CA

By |January 13th, 2013|Food, Restaurants|3 Comments

we were in pasadena, looking for a brunch spot since julienne (in san marino) was closed for the day.  french/vietnamese cuisine, good reviews…why not?

Abricott | Pasadena

adorable place with a wall full of books and wooden floors/decor.  pretty homey, if you ask me.  perfect for brunch time.  two main condiments (i love condiments) are ketchup and sriracha!

Abricott | PasadenaAbricott | Pasadena

i got the spicy pork belly sandwich ($8) based on reviews that we read.  seared thinly-sliced marinated korean pork belly with kimchi relish and mayo served on a baguette with french fries.   i was not in love with this by any means.  pork was dry. the sandwich, overall, was dry.

Abricott | Pasadena

kyle ordered the vietnamese banh mi.  house marinated pork belly and lightly pickled vegetables with mayo served on a baguette.  doesnt the vietnamese banh mi look pretty much like the spicy pork belly?! there wasnt a distinct taste difference between the two!  the banh mi was also dry.  i’ve had better vietnamese sandwiches.

Abricott | PasadenaAbricott | Pasadena

eggs benedict ($10) and house made fluffy-crisp waffles ($7) – not the best.

Abricott | Pasadena

ambiance was very cute and we wanted to love this place but were just disappointed.

Abricott
238 S Lake Ave
Pasadena, CA 91101
Neighborhood: Pasadena

Abricott on Urbanspoon

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