Tuesday, November 4, 2008


So if you haven't heard or read my previous post, WE HAVE MOVED TO SAN FRANCISCO!!!

Mr.Phi got a job offer here and we decided it was a good time to move. We miss everyone and all our favorite restaurants in Los Angeles. But now we get to start fresh in a new city with new food adventures.

We've been to a couple places, nothing special, mainly places to keep us nourished as we handle the moving issues. But after some long hard craiglist days of searching for a place, we hit rental gold and decided to celebrate our newest humble home by going out to eat!

Both of us were in the mood for comfort food. Carbolicious Pasta!!!
Living out of suitcases for more than a week does that to anyone. So I started doing research, research, research....
Its a very big deal when you've moved to a new city to find an actual good restaurant. I wanted out first nite out in SF to really be the whole cupcake. Very special!!
After coming across the Chowhound post about "what SF establishment that has the best pasta", I knew we were in the right direction when I chose....


We usually make reservations way in advance, but this was all last minute to celebrate so I called and they said that we could probaby get a seat at the bar easily. Tables were reserved till after 10pm. Barseating was fine by us, since we would be riding the Bart in from Millbrae and unsure how long it would take us to get there.

We arrived to the restaurant after walking a few blocks from the station and informed the hostess we would take any seat open. She seated us at the bar and we took in our surroundings. It had a cute, local feel of the restaurant. Very cozy and was exactly what we were looking for. We settled in and ordered a nice bottle of wine. This is the first thing we love about SF!! We can order a ENTIRE bottle of wine, because WE ARE NOT DRIVING HOME!!! Oh happy happy joy! joy!

We ordered a bottle of St. Michael-Eppan Pinot Nero and were very happy with it. I'm either happy with wine or not happy with wine. I ususally enjoy blends. So I'm not sure I'll ever ellaborate more than that. Maybe 5 years down the line when I'm older?.....

Now our first course was gobbled down in mere seconds. Chicken liver spiedini(skewers) w/guanciale & balsalmico!! I forgot to take a foto, but if you know my love of guanciale, YOUKNOW how good it tasted and looked!! Mr.Phi and I split it because we both wanted to save room for dessert!

Now onto the main course. I ordered the risotto of the day which was a Kabocha Squash Risotto with a well of Fontina Cheese in the middle. Almost resembled a fondue with rice to dip in the well instead of bread! This was sooooo amazing, I was about to lick the bowl. I used the bread to do the dirty work of getting every last drop of sauce instead. hehehe

Mr.Phi's dinner of Pacceri and bluenosed seabass all' Amalfitana was good, but maybe a lil too fishy. He even commented on the fishiness, which means it was wayyyyyy too fishy lol. (hes been fishing since he was in diapers, being in a Viet Fishing Family)

Well both of us ate every last bite and still were ready for dessert. And as you can see we didn't even stop to take pictures of these desserts till halfway through eating them to come up for a breather!!

I ordered the Warm Scharffen Berger chocolate torta with olive oil gelato and Maldon sea salt becqause I've been in a chocolate mood for the last few months. This definitely helped with the craving! Wonderfully moist and cakey. I do not dig the ultra creamy deserts. You'll be happy to know after eating chocolate chip cookies every day of the last month(free cookies from hotel), I may be getting over this ailment.

Mr. Phi ordered the Pippin apple crostata rustica with caramel gelato and Pizzuta d'avola almonds. The apples were fresh of the season and the crust was delightfully flakey. Usually I would be all about the crostata, but I already explained my chocolate ailment.

The waitress came(by the way the staff there is wonderful and super duper friendly)and took away our 3rd and final licked clean plate. She asked "How was it?" and Mr. Phi quipped "Horrible, can't you tell!?" She laughed and said"Oh I definitely can"
Mr.Phi commented that I made an excellent choice and I of course agreed with him. The restaurant was wonderful and we will be back to try their pizzeria next door!! A wonderful first restaurant adventure of San Francisco!

Where has this year gone....

So for those poor 2 people who follow my blog, its been a busy year and sorry for not updating sooner.

Mr.Phi and I got married and just moved to SF. Sooooo I think you can understand why I've been lax in updating my food blog for months. Well no more!! I'm up and running. Hopefully I will update atleast 1-3 times a week from now on....well i can hope Lulz

But since I mentioned marriage, I'm sure you foodies are wondering what a foodie like myself would serve at my wedding.

Well, my husband to be was Vietnamese and his mother was awesome enough to make us a Vietnamese spread of salads, egg rolls, a jello salad and some other stuff which I'm sad to say we didn't get to try. This is the reason I did not do a Viet/Chinese banquet!! Because bride and grooms never get to eat!! Wahhhh
We also had Mis Padres Salsa, our favorite farmer's market taco guys come out. The had a grill going which served not just tacos, but quesadillas and chilaquiles. Oooh Chilaquiles, everyone ran for some once they saw me with a heaping plate of those deliscious salsa fried chips. hehe

And now the most important part of a wedding, the cake!! Well we went to cake tastings everywhere from San Antonio to Dallas to Los Angeles when we were deciding where to have the wedding. But I could never decide on a cake. I'm really not the type of girl who only wants one type of dessert off the menu! I want all of the desserts on the menu!! So thats what I ended up doing. I had the best of all worlds. Muhahahaha We went to Portos and I seriously got everything.

We ordered Chocolate Parisian cake, Guava and Apple Streudals, Brownies, Fruit Tart, Carrot Cake, Tres Leches Cake, cookies and moreeeeeee. On top of that I got a chocolate Raspberry Cake from Susina because that was one of the best cakes I ever had in my life. I even made some pink velvet cupcakes because I couldn't bring myself to pay a $1 a cupcake when I could make them for $8 myself. As I said in the wedding, this is what my dreams are made of and I was excited to have such a spread!

As for drinks, there was a Keg of Allagash, our favorite beer.(As you can see people of all ages loved it!) We even had the Dr.Pepper and Coke with the real cane sugar. No corn syrup in da house. (Well except for some diet coke for you foolish diet people!!!)

Anywho, everything at the wedding was fun and thanks to everyone who made it.

On another note, I updated a piece from Feb which I had never posted. Enjoy!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Grilled Cheese Invitational

On Saturday April 21, we were lucky enough to attend the Grilled Cheese Invitational !!
Basically this is a grilled cheese contest where over a 100 chefs come out and compete to be the Grilled Cheese Champion. Each grilled cheese is paired with a ballot with the chef's name and you get to be the judge on how delightful the grilled cheese is prepared.

This year it was held in Griffith Park Crystal Springs Picnic Grove and I thought the area was a good size for the crowd. But supposedly it was overbooked! Luckily for us, we live close enough to bike and luckier still because we had the chance to work off that grilled cheese. But I did feel like I was sweating cheese on the bike ride home. Plus I thought I had found us a good shortcut, but it ended up involving carrying our bikes up an insanely steep staircase. I must of been drunk from cheese!
Anywho, there were many wonderful sites to behold at the Invitational!

Like the Grilled Cheese Wedding Cake.

Though we were not sure how good that would taste. Because part of the beauty of grilled cheese is eating it piping hot! But it was definitely a wonder to behold. The icing was cream cheese and the decorations were Cheez Whiz!

Kraft Singles was there which is Mr.Phi's favorite Cheese I'm sad to report.

How could I fall for such a man! My mother had warned me about the type, but I can't deny I enjoy a kraft single now and then! The Shameeee! (I hope I'm not kicked out of any LA cheese shops for such an admittance!) But a lot of people were getting the Kraft grilled cheese sandwiches, because they were easily available with no line. Plus Kraft was giving away free shirts and spatulas! Who can pass up a free spatula?

After I dragged Mr.Phi away from the Kraft booth, and we found ourselves in the trenches. Basically there is a huge line of tables. And you wait behind people to make your way to the front of the tables. Once you get to the front, you compete with about a 100 other people for a sandwich. How do you compete? You cry, beg, please, wink, proclaim your need of cheese, etc, etc....

How can this be worth it you ask? Let me introduce you to who made it worth it...

Spoon's Truffle Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
*Garlic-Cheddar sourdough, cheddar, comte, truffled Italian cheese, truffled butter

It became worth it for Mr.Phi when he got a grilled onion sandwich.

We waited at least 3 times through lines and these were definitely our favorites. The saddest part of the festival is you don't get to try all 140 sandwiches unless you are a judge. Sigh another dream job to add to my list. Grilled Cheese Sammich Judge. With the long waits to try sandwiches, we were lucky to get to try 5 different grilled cheeses.

Was there any good sandwiches I missed? I bet a ton! I was very curious to try the artisanal cheese gallery's huge cheeese sandwiches!

Or the Foundry with their Short Rib Grilled Cheeses! There was a strawberry cream cheese one I was curious about as well. Also, I'm very curious about Clementine's who is having Grilled Cheese Specials all month and have an amazing site as well to support it! Cheese you can believe in! !!
Well I guess there is always next year for those others grilled cheeses....sighhhh..

Not only was there cheese but cheese related entertainment as well!! cheese-lovers coming up and reciting poems they had written dedicated to grilled cheese. Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to read my cheese poem as I was too busy trying to get to the front of the line to try all the different deliscious concoctions. So for closing, here is is for all of you to marvel at!

Ode to My mom’s grilled cheese sandwich
Would it have killed you to buy me whole fat processed cheese?!

My friend Rachel always got it!
Bestest cheese sandwiches EVER!
Glistening butter substitute on both sides,
And the glutenest of breads,
Her mother lovvvvved her.

Instead you gave me….
2% cheddar toasted on Oat Bread. No butter.
What did you buy yourself with the 2% you saved?
Certainly not more Nintendo games for me!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Mozza Christmas

So over the next few weeks, you'll find me doing catchup on some restaurant experiences.
Got toooo behind in updating with various distractions of a possible HUGE wedding party thats now been converted into something far more manageable for me and Mr.Phi. But thats another story entirely....

Around Christmas, I had the distinct pleasure of dining with 2 or our favoritest eatout companions! They had commented they had never been to Mozza Pizzaria and we all agreed that they must give it a shot. It was the first time going to Mozza without a reservation but we went on a weekday during the afternoon and had no trouble grabbing a table.
We had the Affetati Misti(cold meat platter) which is always a pleasure. I love the story of the stolen salumis that happened before Mozza even opened!! That was one of the reasons I made a reservation right away when they opened. Salumi Thief!
To accompany the platter, we ordered some Pane bianco with olio nuovo which for $3 is one of the best deals in LA. I could seriously just come to Mozza and eat 3 orders of this grilled bread and I would die happy. Everyone adored the bread so much, we almost placed a second order even though we had 2 pizzas coming.
The pizza was good but nothing too special. Except for the Egg, guanciale, radicchio, escarole & bagna cauda pizza! One friend commented it tasted like ramen in pizza form but I think she just had a temporary lapse of sanity. What makes this pizza for me is the guanciale, soooooo good it makes me swoon!
Now for dessert we had butterscotch budino and I had a cioccolata calda(hot chocolate) with something so precious. 2 cookies shaped like piggies with string to hang them up like X-mas ornaments. How precious and foodie and sorta slaughterhouse morbid at the same time.lol But I'm sure it brings a warm feeling into the stomachs of all foodies around christmas time.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Valentine Dinner at Larkin's

Usually for Valentine's Day, I cook me and Mister Phi a nice dinner at home. We both despise the crowds, overworked servers and pre-fixed steak meals that are on par with the usual wedding food.

BUT this year I was tricked by Larkin's in Eagle Rock into attending their Valentine's Day dinner.

I'm on an assorted number of email lists for restaurants, wineries, specialty food shops, etc and I started receiving emails about various valentine specials for Feburary. As each email arrived filled with promises of a beautiful meal I deleted them. But then Larkin's arrived with promises of meal inspired by the book/movie 'Like Water for Chocolate'. I hesitated over the delete button...Could a soul food joint do justice to the recipes of one of my favorite books? Would this opportunity ever come up again for a 5 course dinner inspired by the book? And would there be christmas rolls?

So obviously I didn't delete the email and after a week of pondering it, I suggested the idea to Mister Phi. He at first was hesitant but after realizing how many times I had made him watch the film version of 'Like Water for Chocolate' he had no choice.

So I made reservations at Larkin's for their 8:30 seating and put away my pots & recipes for once. The night came and of course Mister Phi was late getting home.
Twenty Minutes past our reservation late and how could I help but me seething mad.
We decided we would attempt going and see what happened. Very lucky for us the first seating had started late because of an accident on the 134. So when we arrived they were only halfway done with seating everyone, and we actually had to wait 10 minutes to be seated.

After a glass of wine, Mister Phi and I were reconciled and ready to begin the courses.

The menu was as following....

-Lobster Cheviche with Chile Oil on savory tart

-Northern style Chorizo & Bean soup

-Chocolate Rose Petal Chicken

-Champagne & Rose Sorbet

-Chocolate Cream Cheese Layer Cake

*Each course was paired with a wine selected from the Colorado Wine Co.

The first course of lobster Ceviche was a lil bland and too much raw onion for my taste. The tart tasted like it was pre-bought. Actually chose to just eat the cheviche out of the tart at the end.

I loved love LOVEDDD the soup course. Very rustic in style and I practically licked the bowl. There wasn't too much beans or too much chorizo, it was perfect. Nicely spicy.

The Chocolate Rose Petal chicken was moist but nothing special. I felt the same way about the mole sauce. It was good but not amazing, mostly forgetable.

The sorbet was a nice refresher but almost felt like an extra dessert. But who am I to question an extra sweet or ever refuse one. Plus I love any kind of homemade sorbet, gelato, ice cream....yums!!

The cake was definitely the grand finale for me. The cake was nice and moist. Not too chocolaty, and not too rich. Matched the sweet cream cheese filling perfectly and I attacked Mr.Phi's after I devoured all of mine.

The wines throughout the meal seemed to match everything nicely and I always enjoy how Larkin's serves wine in small size jam jars. Usually I go to SilverLake Wine so it makes me curious to go visit the Colorado Wine Co.

Overall, the dinner was really good and it was fun going out to dinner for Valentine's Day. I would of loved some christmas rolls! Those on the side would of really made the meal for me! But in the future I will definitely be willing to go to smaller restaurants with a set seating time on holidays. Woot!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Holy Crapoli!! I forgot to put this post up!

Well in any case, heres a review for ya on MILK!! Part Cafe, Part Ice Cream Shop, Part Bakery....call me crazy, but I usually like these separate....But Milk actually proved me wrong somewhat.

I have been hearing about this place for a while now and my friend Yoohoo even brought me a menu. And the menu looked awesome so I was very excited to go. But now that I work in Burbank and not WestHO, going to Beverly for lunch is too much of a trip. Actually going to that area of Beverly at any time is too much of a trip! So I had not been able to partake of it yet. Then luckily this past sunday, Mr. Phi(boyfriend) and I were coming back from the Beverly Hills Farmers Market. We had made the trip out to see Domenico, famed Sun dried tomato Man from The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills. He was making his market debut and I had to be there to get some of his yummy tapenades and of course tomatoes! But this is another story entirely...

So we took Beverly back and we passed MILK. After a small plea to Mr.Phi to pull over, (Sadly he doesn't share my sweet tooth except for Brownies....) I found myself in MILK.

It was a very cute establishment. I love the logo and I love a simple bakery name. There were many items that were homemade for sale around the shop. It was fairly early, so most people were eating breakfast, but I had already had my chilequiles at farmers. So dessert was the only item on my mind!

This trip was not about the ice cream at all and was all about the baked goods. So I didn't take a good look at the ice cream display. It looked more like the style of a gelato display. I did take a very long glance at their homemade ice cream bars that had a very warming, clumsy homemade style to them. Also, I had heard before that their ice cream bon bons were a steal at 25 cents and feeling like a fool to not atleast get a taste of their ice cream I ordered two. A mint chocolate and a Berry Vanilla. Both were deliscious and I got to gobble down both myself. Mr.Phi is not a morning person, so he doesn't really start eating till around 3pm. He is such a fool, but maybe this is good because I am notoriously food greedy. muhahahaa

Next I had to start deciding on the pastries and other savory items to get. I always have to try everything that peaks my interest. And besides, you never know when will be the next time you will be able to venture out a certain way in Los Angeles. But they seemed to be very used to this type of hunger there. And anyway, I was in a hurry to get cold Farmers items home in my car!

I immediately got a piece of the Blue Velvet Cake. Is there a sauce that comes with it? I had heard there possibly was one, but maybe they do not offer it if you take it to go?

Well I will have to stop there, because that is where I stopped writing. lol Plus I can't find where I had put my pictures because its been so long ago!

But I think thats ok because all I really remember about this place is the Blue Velvet Cake. It has a very unique taste to it. Reminds me of "licking the bowl from when my mother made blueberry muffins" taste! I would recommend it but to warn you, it turns your poo blue!! No lie, but I would eat it again. One friend who I took to eat it called me at 3am just to tell me that her poop had turned blue. So if you would like some interesting stories as well I definitely suggest this cake.

I used some pictures from online since I could not find mine, but here is a comic about it.

I wish my toilet was really shaped like that....

Valentine from Deluscious inspires local Town SweetHeart to start Food Blog!!

Wow. So my sweet patootie Mister PHI(FEE) put the final sprinkle on the cupcake. In other dessert terms, he got me to FINALLY start a food blog.

What is the inspiration you may ask??? Well it was his valentines gift to me. A delicious, or dare I say Deluscious box of Cookies... And I will go even further by saying the limited edition Deluscious Valentine's edition! Ha-cha girls & boys!!!

A buzz at the door and a guy wearing a chef outfit (thats how friggin fresh they are, no time to change to deliver!) handed me over the box of cookies and a old timey container of milk.
"Happy Valentines Day" he said as I replied "Wowza!"

But what the h-e-dubble-hockey-sticks is so special about this edition you may ask. Well guess what you get?!

-3 chocolate chip
-2 chocolate bing cherry

-3 s’mores brownies, made with three different kinds of dark chocolate, filled with
mounds of hand-made marshmallow and all on top of a graham cracker crust

- and -
4 heart-shaped cookies:
-1 heart-shaped red velvet cookie filled with buttercream and premium white
chocolate, topped with bittersweet chocolate and a hand-carved white chocolate

-3 heart-shaped white chocolate macadamia nut cranberry, drizzled with creamy white



Chocolate Bing Cherry is my absolute favorite cookie flavor. Just the combination of the fruit and chocolate is tantalizing. This is a couture cookie and is not usually available. If it is, do yourself a favor and ORDER IT IMMEDIATELY!

The S'more Brownie really did taste just like it sounded. I think if I was more of a s'more fan, I might have cried over it. It was pretty exciting to try a brownie from Deluscious and I'm always impressed when anyone makes their own marshmallows. Because thats the only way I like marshmallows.
I hope they start offering brownies regularly!
Also, it reminded me of my favorite flavor of Jeni's Ice Cream. I think it was Chocolate Peanut Butter Marshmallow Sundae?(I haven't seen it available in a couple of years) The chocolate sauce and marshmallows were made by Jeni and they got the peanut butter from a local friend. Jeni's actually had an excellent Valentine Gift available, too.
Jeni's Ice Creams

Now on to my FAVORITE COOKIE and it is a sin that they only give you one...
Red Velvet Heart!
OMG... Immediately after I took the foto, I shoved it into my mouth and took a huge bite. The buttercream & white chocolate in the middle is the perfect creamy consistency. The Red Velvet was moist but I think could of been moister. But the middle and chocolate on top made up for it. lol I ate the hand carved white chocolate heart in 1 bite of the cookie. 30 secs to munch it down and I wondered how long to carve? They should definitely put these red velvet cookies on the regular cookie list. But I can understand cuz a lot of work does go into these cookies.
The white chocolate macadamia nut cranberry cookies were very yummy too. Too bad I'm not a big fan of white chocolate and too lucky my best friend is. She will enjoy these much more than me. Thats why me and Ev are meant to be. I love dark chocolate and she loves white chocolate. No need to share. rofl
And finally, you really just can never go wrong with chocolate chip.

Unfortunately and fortunately these came around lunchtime. So I just tried all the different flavors the rest of the day, until I went into sugar shock and had to quickly eat a salad before I went crazzzyyyyyy.

So I definitely recommend a gift of Deluscious cookies & milk for your BFF or secret luver!
Deluscious Cookies