Tag Archives: Crave

Craving Arpege

25 Jul

restaurant Arpege

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Where can we find a culinary artist that creates beautiful and insanely delicious masterpieces? In Paris, on Rue de Bourgogne, there is a chef by the name of Alain Passard, who designs picturesque dishes looks as good as they tastes. When my bf and I dined in his restaurant, Arpege (which is not the easiest to make reservations to BTW), Alain Passard came out of the kitchen and said hello, asked where we were from, and asked if we liked vegetables. Of course we liked vegetables, but after having the dinner that was served at Arpege, I am now in love with vegetables. I’ve always heard that Paris is the city of love, and now I’m an official believer because I fell head over heals in love with the incredible and unique recipes at this Parisian restaurant and Arriere-Cuisine that satisfy cravings as well as the visual appetite. AP’s designs and technique have given life to probably the most gorgeous food I’ve ever laid my eyes on and if we think something can’t taste beautiful, well we’re wrong. Either the way AP’s food tasted made the food look better, or the way AP’s food looked made the food taste better, or both, or neither. All I know is that I felt like I was looking at a super model physicist, confused because it never happens… food should never look and taste that good. I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. My bf said that it was the best meal he’s ever had in his life (and this was only 5 dishes in to an over 15 dish meal, not counting the dessert).

Just to make our lives easier, we both had the tasting menu of AP’s specialty and signature cuisines, and I had a glass of their recommended Riesling. The menu included Coquelier, Collection de tomates, Aiguillette de homard bleu nuit acidule au miel nouveau, Fines ravioles potageres multicolores, Turbot de la pointe de Bretegne grille entire au, Robe des champs, Rostisserie, Fomages Bernard Antony, Mille, Sucrereis, and several surprises that I can’t pronounce or repeat even if I wanted to. The only reason I can even list the items on the menu was because the staff gave me one to take home. I tried keeping track of the courses, but after the 10th item, I was already I delirious (with joy and satisfaction); however, even when I thought I could eat no more, I found that I kept clearing my plates. During my meal, I told my bf that Arpege is the true “Happy Meal,” because it can really make a person happy. The funny thing was we actually left with a “gift.” Arpege gifted a souvenir, which was the dinner knife we used during dinner. The staff cleaned it and folded the blade into the handle like a pocket knife. Engraved in the wooden handle is “Arpege 2013.” Although already an unforgettable experience, I now have a remembrance of my Arpege love affair of pure indulgence and bliss.

Craving Passadis Del Pep

23 Jul

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What kind of restaurant doesn’t have a menu? The kind of restaurant that doesn’t need one, which is exactly what Passadis del Pep is. Once we found this hidden gem down an alley and through a little passageway (a passadis in Catalan) in Barcelona, which can be a little hard to find, we were so happy that when we got seated, we didn’t have to order our dinner. Everyday, Passadis Del Pep prepares a new selection of beautifully presented, fresh mariscos (seafood) and whatever is brought to the table is what we get. After receiving a half bottle of cava (local champagne), dishes come straight from the kitchen to the table, as if we were guests in some one’s home. The courses; however, don’t ever seem to end. First, came the clams and sea snails, then the gambas (shrimp) and calamari, and after that a plate of salted shishito peppers. Two different kinds of prawns came next, and then we were warned that after already devouring seven amazing dishes, there was one more course before the main dish. Most people stop there, but we didn’t. We got the rice with squid and then we were asked to choose a main course, “pescado or carne?” I had the fish and my bf had the meat, which came out with a side of potatoes. For dessert, we shared the crème Catalan and chocolate profiteroles. We each had a cup of Café Americano, they brought out a few bottles of chilled dessert wine, which we could pour for ourselves and we were also offered any other alcoholic drink of choice. I could only handle a few sips. Passadis Del Pep was an unforgettable, almost 3 hour, dinner experience. Barcelona saved the best dinner for last, when I thought it couldn’t get any better.

Arola Craves

21 Jul

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What’s a great way to kick off a stay in Barcelona, Spain? Eating great food is always a great start in my opinion, which is exactly my bf and I did on our first night together. Located on the 2nd floor of the Hotel Arts, our home for the next few days, we dined at Catalan chef Segi Arola’s restaurant, which overlooks the ocean, located in front of Frank Gehry’s giant wale. We were given a few complimentary starters and a bread basket, with garlic, tomato, olive oil, and salt. For the bread, we were instructed to cut the garlic clove and tomato in half, rub the garlic on the bread, then do the same with the tomato, add a little olive oil, and a dash of salt, and eat. The bread was delicious, a perfect teaser for the tapas we about going to enjoy. We ordered White Asparagas with mayonnaise, olives from Aragon and sprout, Eggplant flame roasted, with arbeguina olives and pine nuts, Arola’s Patatas Bravas (mmmm, yum), and White Shrimp prepared with garlic. Our server advised of of ordering 4, maybe 5 items to share, but we didn’t stop at 4, we continued to order the Langoustines grilled with truffle vinaigrette, Mussels in brine with vitelotte potato chips, Crab prepared in Wontong pasta ravioli and dashi, and my bf had the Nebraska Beef loin, marinated with Xerez, vinegar and citrics with vegetables and sprouts. All of the tapas were amazing. Our great dinner, which started off our trip, also ended well with dessert or cocina dulce, pumpkin cake, passion fruit, and white chocolate. If this dinner was an indication of what to expect, I can’t wait for more of what else Barcelona has to offer.

Craving Pinkberry

14 Jul

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What’s the best place to get frozen yogurt in town? In my town, it’s Pinkberry, hands down. The first time I had Pinkberry a few years ago, I was hooked. My bf and I were steady regulars and when our local Pinkberry began delivery service, we had the business card posted on our refrigerator (it was the only thing posted on the refrigerator) and in addition to going into Pinkberry locations, the phone number of Pasadena’s Pinkberry was practically on speed dial. Since we were going there so often, we started stocking our freezer with pints of fro-yo from Pinkberry. My fro-yo crave craze died down significantly since first being introduced Pinkberry. Actually, it had been a while since my last Pinkberry craving, but on a hot summer day over the weekend, the craving came back with a vengeance. I made it a point to head to Pinkberry to order my favorite, the original frozen yogurt with mangos, strawberries, and gummi bears. My second choice wasn’t available, which is green tea (seasonal) with granola. If that flavor was in season, I would have ordered both. It was just as yummy as I remembered, and my craving for Pinkberry was definitely satisfied. What satisfies your cravings on a hot summer day?

Zinque Craves and Savors

13 Jul

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How many bottles of wine on the wall, how many bottles of wine? At Zinque in Venice, CA, when you take one down and pass it around, there’s that number minus one bottles of wine on the wall. After meeting up a group of pretty awesome friends at a house party in Venice to welcome back our fave New York couple, we took the party down the street to a French wine bar, Zinque, for a few bottles of wine and a bite to eat. I ordered the French fries and flatbread and our friend Bry, our Bartender for the night (and many other nights) ordered the wine. We all got to catch up and got to get to know a little more about friends that we didn’t know before. I didn’t count the number of bottles of wine on the wall or the number of glasses of wine that were poured. I can’t remember the number of conversations we all shared or the number of pictures we all took, but I do know that every minute was savored. And at the end of the night, when Denver hopped on the piano in the bar, I was reminded that in a year, there are five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes, five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear. We all had to join Denver to sing the lyrics of Rent’s Seasons of Love because, “It’s time now to sing out, Tho’ the story never ends. Let’s celebrate, remember a year in the life of friends. Remember the LOVE!” While we don’t usually count or remember each minute, it’s nice to know that we can always measure our life in love.

Craving Nicki C’s

23 Jun

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Ever go to a restaurant two days in a row? My first time was this weekend, when my bf introduced me to Nicki C’s for lunch, and then again the following day for breakfast for the second time. For lunch, we had a complimentary seasoned bread basket, the Brucshetta, a delicious Caprese Salad, and the best fish tacos I have ever had. After chatting with our server, we learned that Nicki C’s was actually known for their breakfast, so we had to try it, and it was goooood! They have fresh squeezed orange juice, which tasted incredible mixed with cranberry juice. My bf had the juevos y chorizo (eggs scrambled with chorizo, onion & cilantro, served with corn tortillas), which he ate in what seemed like a minute. I had the chiliquiles verde (eggs, tortilla strips, avocado, cilantro, cheddar cheese, and verde sauce) with a side of fruit. We shared the banana walnut pancakes with butter and maple syrup, which I had with a nice cup of black tea. Needless to say, we found a new breakfast and lunch spot, and I’m sure we’ll be back to Nicki C’s soon to try their, you guessed it, dinner!

Craves and Savors From The Original Pantry Cafe

9 Jun

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Who loves breakfast? I do! And so do a set of four year old twins that already know what their cravings are in the mornings. My bf, his sister, brother in-law, the kiddies and I went to The Original Pantry Cafe in Los Angeles for breakfast and there was a line that almost wrapped around the building, it was so long. It’s safe to assume that every one waiting to eat also loves breakfast, and they all must also love The Original Pantry. While waiting to get in the door, I hear Evita say, “I want pokey eggs” (eggs sunny-side up, that you can poke and the yoke runs out) and DeAngelo say, “I want pancakes.” After the wait, we all wanted anything and everything on the menu! We finally made our decisions, and ordered. My cravings for coffee, apple juice, two eggs over easy, breakfast potatoes, and French toast overpowered the other cravings, but having an option for a combination of three items and two beverages also helped. Those potatoes are honestly the best breakfast potatoes ever! I think I know why so many people were lined up out front. The French toast with maple syrup was also savory, but nothing was savored more than the time spent with the people I shared breakfast with. What’s not to love about a delicious breakfast when we’re with people we love?

Food Truck Nation

7 Jun

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Since when did food trucks become so cool and popular? The Grilled Cheese Truck, Baby’s Badass Burgers, A Slice of New York, Chow Indiana Jones Truck, The Philly Lean, Cousins Maine Lobster, The Greasy Wiener, Sam Choy’s Pineapple Express, George’s Greek Truck, Kogi, Fishlips Sushi, The White Rabbit, Corn Heaven, The Lobsta Truck, and Cool Haus were all in downtown Los Angeles for lunch at the CAPG conference that I am attending. Besides the crazy lines, having food trucks cater the event was a nice surprise, considering how much I’ve been craving to try more of them and how rare it is that I’m actually able to catch and get something to eat from one of the “good ones.” Today I tried a few new food truck faves, the Lobsta Truck, Corn Heaven, White Rabbit, and Coolhaus (which I tried once before at Coachella). From the Lobsta truck, which was highly (and rightfully) recommended, I tried their delicious Lobsta Roll with Butter. I also had the “Oh Thank Heaven,” corn on the cob with butter and salt, from Corn Heaven and the Vegetarian Burrito (a flour tortilla, garlic rice, egg, cheese, and soy based “veggie meat” in a sweet, but spicy sauce) and slaw from the Filipino fusion truck, White Rabbit. For dessert, I couldn’t resist a Coolhaus cookie sand which with vanilla bean ice cream in between chocolate chip cookies. I wish I could have tried more trucks, but I was beyond stuffed. I was amazed at the amount of food coming out of these trucks and the amount of people inside of them. I realized during my meal and after all of the food I enjoyed, that I found the answer to my own question. Food trucks must have became cool and popular once the news spread that the food that comes (rather efficiently) out of these small restaurants on wheels is actually really good and crave-worthy. Whats your favorite food truck?

Festival Craves & Savors

4 Jun

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Doesn’t every one love festival season? It sure looked like it based on the number of happy festival goers who went to the San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino this past weekend, where Mumford and Sons headlined. While I like the band, what really had my bf and I sold on the concert were the food trucks and the fact that we wanted to spend time with Jax and her husband Ste, our music festival partners. There were so many food trucks in this large outdoor amphitheater, and the first thing we did was eat at the Wicked Kitchen, which I had been craving since trying it for the first time at Coachella. I had the same thing I had before, “I Pity The Tofu’l.” Not long after, my bf and I shared some nachos at one of the taco stands. We also tried the Chunk-n-Chip Cookies Truck, which was my favorite. I had the pistachio ice cream in between two chocolate chip cookies. The ice cream was delicious, there were little chinks of pistachio mashed in the ice cream, and it was so good, I forgot about the cookies, and neglected them almost altogether. I always enjoy being able to try a variety of food cravings at the trucks and vendors that have become almost as popular at music festivals as the bands themselves. I enjoy savoring time with friends, the great music, and the great vibes from the people there having a good time. It’s also nice to be inspired by festival fashion, and there isn’t any one more fashionable that I know than my friend and festival partner, who can be followed on Instagram @Luna_spoon (named after her beloved Boston Terrier).

So, what festival or concert is next on the list? Which band or musician is a must-see this season and where?

Craving Crustacean

2 Jun

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Aren’t there times when we just crave garlic noodles? Last night was one of those times when I was feeling like I needed to satisfy this craving, right before my bf and I decided to make reservations at Crustacean in Beverly Hills. The first thing we noticed inside of the restaurant is a beautiful aquarium to the right of the entrance. Walking through the lounge and into the dining area, we also noticed the glass aquarium underfoot, filled with colorful koi fish. The ambiance in the restaurant is great, but it set the scene for an even greater meal. We started off with the corn with crab soup, the seafood salad, seafood dumplings, and mussels. We shared a side order of the bok choy, and we each had a whole crab and an order of the garlic noodles. The seasoned crab is scrumptious, but what I love about Crustacean is the crab is presented already cracked and peeled, leaving just the meat to be enjoyed without any hassle. Everything we had was so delicious and a plus was having an extremely pleasant and attentive server. I started off with craving garlic noodles, and I ended up with six other must-order-again cravings that I will likely lead me back to Crustacean. I can’t wait!