Birthday brunch

I finally got the chance to try London Plane in Pioneer Square, near Occidental Park. I went for my birthday with 4 other friends. This cute place offers a number of things including food to go, pastries, coffee, sit in dining, wine bar, flowers (currently they have a ton of dahlias), cookbooks, and other assortments of things.

Atmosphere: This place is the definition of cute/hipster/all things golden. High ceilings with seating surrounding the large windows as well as seating upstairs. I would highly recommend making reservations because it can get pretty crowded. We waited about 15 minutes for a table for 5 on a weekday. I hear it can be up to 1.5 hrs on the weekends!

Pricing: A little more expensive than you would think. I would say a couple more dollars than you’d like for a dish. However, I think it’s worth it for the quality of food.

Service: Awesome! The host was very gracious as well as our server. Our server checked in on us constantly and was attentive.

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Bread & spread: pink – mezze beet hummus, charred eggplant-tomato spread, & cashew romesco with an assortment of bread and crackers.

Impression: I really enjoyed the first two spreads. The cashew was okay! Great blast in flavors that was also colorful. A great dish for sharing.

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Trio of salads: left – potatoes, sweet onions, sultanas & fennel, with dill and mustard aioli
bottom – roasted zucchini,  green beans, corn & bulgur, with basil and pepita tahiti dressing
top right – beets & their greens, with roasted cauliflower & walnut pesto

Impression: Overall, the serving size was quite large! I enjoyed the sweet potatoes with onions. The corn and bulgur was also quite tasty. Everything is pretty dense and heavy so it filled us up. The top right had darker flavors that was also good, but probably my least favorite.

IMG_3162Spicy kimchee fried rice: This also had bacon and 2 fried eggs on top with cilantro, green onions, and a nice lime squeeze. Their rice had a nice crisp to it. I didn’t taste too much kimchee and I didn’t think it was that spicy. Overall a pretty solid dish.

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Avocado toast: curried avocado, shaved radish, red cabbage & cilantro. This is a hearty toast with a thick, crunchy crust. A little difficult to cut and share! Overall I enjoyed it, but I’m a huge avocado fan.

IMG_3167The entire spread!

Overall: I really enjoyed the atmosphere with the open windows. Great lighting for pictures ;) I like the idea of sharing plates just so you can try different items. Service was great. Food was great. I’d definitely come back to try other items on their menu. It looks as if it’s seasonal!

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L-yay –> L-wee

Hi all! I’m so so sorry I haven’t posted in a while, but I’ve been a little busy with work, rotations, and catching up with friends to post but I finally managed to have some time to blog! This post will be a little bit different and feature a collection of places I visited over my trip to LA and Vegas. I hope you enjoy my quick snippets :)

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Snow Monster: Located in Santa Ana, this charming dessert place features a number of delectable items. Mango shave ice with mochi and strawberry, thai tea boba with tapioca in an enormous mason jar that you can pay to keep, and a fruity pebbles macaron with a scoop of taro ice cream in the middle. Cutest collection of desserts one could concoct.

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LACMA: Urban lighting! Free to look at, located right off the street.

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Brodard’s: Another place in Santa Ana to visit. These special spring rolls include lettuce, carrot, special grilled pork sausage, crunchy outer egg roll shell, cucumber, chives, rice paper, and special house sauce. These unique spring rolls are no where else to be found!

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Popbar at Anaheim Packing District: You’ve probably seen this all over Instagram. Left: strawberry gelato bar kit kat style. Right: Green tea gelato kit kat style. Delicious gelato that’s dipped in chocolate and toppings and made right in front of you. Expect a little bit of a line! This hipster building features other delicious foods with different backgrounds. You’re bound to find something you like here.

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Samurai burrito: There’s a lot going on in this picture. Featured up close and personal are the Samurai super nachos – deep fried wonton crisps topped with crab, salmon, tuna, eel, masago, green onions, furikake, and rooster sauce. VERY filling and definitely shareable between at least 4 people. In the background are a collection of different sushi burritos. The one that I got was the geisha (right most) – salmon, sliced green onion, cucumber, crab mix, and shibu-yu house mix.

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Shake Shack: Finally a Shake Shack on the West side! This is located at the New York New York Hotel. This is a picture of the shack stack. The deep fried portion is of a mushroom filled with American cheese. It’s quite delicious! They also have other burgers but this is by far my favorite. They’re also known for their custards. Lots of different things to try on the menu!

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the food highlights of my trip and if you get a chance, to visit them yourself! Have a lovely week everyone!

SRW at Flying Fish

I went to Flying Fish for my last SRW for dinner. It’s located in SLU right by near Whole Foods. The menu looked pretty tasty and we decided to give it a try despite just decent Yelp ratings.

Atmosphere: A pretty big restaurant that is split into two sections with one side by the bar and a few booths and the other side with booths and tables. Nice huge decor lights that reminds me of Ikea shaped lanterns. The vibe that I get is that it’s a common place to meet business associates after work. Lots of people are wearing suits, so I felt a little under dressed. It was definitely packed on a Thursday night so I’m glad I made a reservation.

Pricing: Dinner is 3 courses for $30

Service: For how busy it was, our server did a great job. The food came out reasonably quick and we finished our three courses within 1.5 hours.

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Appetizer – flat iron steak bites with hoisin glaze, pickled ginger, and scallions. It’s a little hard to see because it’s dark, but there were quite a few pieces in there. I can definitely taste the hoisin, which is a nice asian sauce that I’m very familiar with (commonly used in pho).

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Appetizer – black and blue deep fried brussel sprouts with bacon bits and blue cheese. I’m not a huge fan of blue cheese, but this combo worked pretty well. The brussel sprouts were cooked great and the flavors went well and the bacon helped balance it out.

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Entree – squid inked risotto with seared scallops and lemon caper butter. The risotto was rather tasteless and bland, but the seared scallops were really great!

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Entree – roasted pork belly with asparagus, mango chutney, and herbed quinoa. I tried the squid ink risotto first and then after trying this, it was a total 180 in terms of flavor. The mango chutney is exploding with flavor! The pork belly had a super crisp topping that was difficult to cut with a knife, but not terrible when you chew it. Overall, a pretty solid dish.

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Dessert – Madagascar princess bourbon creme brulee with turbinado brown sugar. Pretty standard creme brulee.

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Dessert – Sea salt caramel cake with chocolate ganache and raspberry sauce. This dessert is all about the texture. The top layer is a chocolatey gelatin and then it’s soft, marshmallow like and creamy and the final layer is a little harder similar to a cookie. This is a rich dessert that balances well with the creme brulee, which is light and airy.

Overall: I thought everything was solid! Nothing was poorly done, maybe the bland squid ink risotto, but besides that we were pretty pleased with our meal. Their happy hour menu looks pretty promising, so I might have to come back for that. This is a pretty standard American seafood restaurant that does all around solid food. Nothing to complain here!

Flying Fish on Urbanspoon

It’s that time of year again!

Spring means Seattle Restaurant Week! My first visit was to Terra Plata in Capitol Hill. Its so funny because I’ve visited this triangle so many times and did not have notice Terra Plata. I’ve been to a number of restaurants around the area including Sitka and Spruce, Machiavelli, Pine Box, and Lil Woody’s. I heard they have a rooftop garden that I intend to visit on a nice sunny day :)

Atmosphere: The main entrance is located on the corner of Melrose and Minor. There’s a bar in the back with many tables surrounding the windows. Accommodates large and small parties. It was more on a darker atmosphere but the windows gave the restaurant some light. A pet peeve of mine are super dark restaurants where you can barely see what you’re eating.

Pricing: SRW menu includes 3 courses for $30. Unfortunately for lunch, they have decreased the menu from 3 to 2 courses. :( Still for $15

Service: We had a main server and I forgot his name, but he was pleasant and did his best to explain the reason for their scattered service. The food came out pretty randomly and not all at once. The appetizers came out with a couple dishes at a time, which was fine because we were doing it more family style. The entrees also came out rather scattered and was spaced out even more than the appetizers. There was always one lingering dish per course. For that, I’d give them a 3/5 stars based no service. I know they’re busy, but it’s not a small restaurant and it’s important to be able to manage the kitchen.

Food: Lots of pics :) Enjoy!

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Appetizers! We actually had two rounds of these because they had lost track of which appetizers we had already received. The second batch was on the crisper side. Hand made chips with truffled sea salt and pecorino chive cream. Nothing special, but we were hungry and scarfed it down.

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At first glance, it’s really… interesting lol. I wasn’t sure how it was going to taste but it was earthy with a hint of tartness. Nettle soup with a fiddlehead. It wasn’t bad and certainly different. I was just more intrigued with the texture of the soup. It was a little thick like it was pureed.

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Garbanzo beans with chermoula, yogurt cream, and a hint of lemon! I was not expecting for these to come out like this. The server described this to us like eating Persian edamame. It was a lot of work but it was pretty fun. First time ever seeing garbanzo beans like this.

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Blistered shishito peppers. They were not spicy at all and I think they had a really great flavor to it. It came with a side of aioli, lemon, and sea salt. This was probably one of my top appetizers out of the bunch.

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Apple salad with kohlrabi and light vinaigrette. I actually really enjoyed this too. The apples were crisp and tasty and it was a great palate cleanser. Fresh and light salad!

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Entrees! This was the risotto with onion soubise, pea tendrils, dried cherry walnut compote, and a hint of coconut. Overall, a well done dish.

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Chicken with sunchoke purree, shaved fennel, and pickled mustard seeds. I thought this was okay. Not my favorite dish or anything outstanding, but pretty average.

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I’m always a sucker for mussels so I really enjoyed this. It was in a red curry cream sauce with mint, lime, and sofrito with a nice side of fries. Nearly every mussel had a little something inside so that was nice. The sauce was delicious! We even got some bread to dip with the sauce that was leftover.

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Medium rare sirloin with chicharrones. sun dried tomatoes and red cabbage. A pretty solid dish with lots of flavors going on. Nice play on different textures with the crunchiness and soft tender beef.

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Dessert wine with a cheese, walnut, and grape platter. I didn’t catch the name of the dessert wine, but it was very very sweet. Not my cup of tea on ending a meal but it was a very cute presentation.

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Apple cake with a side of vanilla ice cream. We ordered two of these and only one came out and the last one came near late in the meal. I’m not sure why but it did. Rather awkward timing, but we still managed to finish everything. Solid dessert, but didn’t wow us.

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Baklava. I haven’t had much in my day but it tasted pretty good. It had a nice crisp outer later with a chewy inside.

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Goat cheesecake with blood orange sorbet, rhubarb compote, and pistachio. Not my favorite, but it was still tasty. Interesting combination that worked out.

Overall: I would say that this not your average New American restaurant. They have a lot incorporate a lot of unique ingredients with lots of cultural fusion that are not seen at many other places. There were some standout dishes, while others were just good. It’s a solid restaurant but not my favorite in Seattle. I’m glad I gave it a try though. Like I mentioned earlier, I will be back to check out the rooftop garden.

Terra Plata on Urbanspoon

Easter brunch at Ma’Ono!

I’ve been to Ma’Ono before they became Ma’Ono and was excited to return for brunch (they were formerly known as Spring Hill). We tried making reservations but it was completely full, but they had open bar seating. There were 5 of us and it seated 8 so we tried for that. We arrived a little earlier before they opened (9:30a) just to ensure we’d get seated. This restaurant is located in West Seattle just down the street of the infamous Bakery Nouveau.

Atmosphere: The first thing I noticed were the pretty light fixtures in the middle of the restaurant. They have a ton of tables, good for large and small parties with booths along the side. There were 2 or 3 large tables that were for sharing or larger groups. We sat at the bar which was at the corner and had seating for 4 on each side.

Pricing: Brunch items were on average ~$13. They’re known for their bottomless mimosas for $12!

Service: The bartender was always there so service was quite fast if we needed anything.

Food:
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Fatty saimin – everything I could ever want in my saimin. Soft boiled eggs, fish cakes, nori, cabbage, BACON, and pulled pork. Delicious flavor!! Not too salty either. This is a really big portion and you will definitely be full by the end of this dish. I just wish there was a little more broth.

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Pork loin ham benedict – I thought overall this was an okay dish! Everything was done well technique wise – poached eggs were runny, nice hollandaise sauce, crisp english muffin, flavorful potatoes, smokey ham. However, I was just not wowed with it. I mean it was good! Don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t mind blowing.

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Apple malasadas with vanilla cream and cinnamon sugar. This was definitely a wow! Chunks of apples were inside the donuts and the flavors were all there. I would highly recommend trying this if you come.

Overall: To be honest, it was a little difficult trying to pick a more traditional breakfast dish. I resorted to the saimin (as my back up) because I wasn’t really feeling the other items. I’m not sure how good they are, but I feel like they could add more breakfast items to their menu. However, I was still really happy with the saimin because it was that good. They are known for their fried chicken, so I would definitely try that next time. (Reservations are recommended!)

Ma'ono Fried Chicken & Whisky on Urbanspoon