May 2014 ~ Eating With Kirby

Mosaic Bar and Grille- Italian Chef Tasting Menu

The barely cooked runny yolk is meant to be popped and enjoyed along with the risotto...and enjoy I did. The golden lava coated every kernel of rice with its warm embrace and made the risotto that much more comforting.

Adorabelle Tea Room- Catching Up With the Girls

This is an Onion, Chive, and Bacon Savoury Cupcake. Even the icing was savoury! It was super delicious and was really innovative. Overall, the ambiance was great (loved the fake sky ceiling!), food was well thought out and executed, and the service was attentive.

Forage- Pretty Decent Food.

All six of us ordered their Award Winning Seafood Chowder with soft poached quail egg and crispy pork rind. While the soup was smokey, full of flavour, it was too thick and tasted a bit more like sauce than soup. The quail egg added a certain richness to the soup too which was nice.

Jethro's Fine Grub- That's Some Tasty Grub.

Overall, Jethro’s is an awesome breakfast and lunch diner serving up good eats with a twist. I most definitely will return for some alligator nuggets or pancakes!

Teppan Kitchen and Mambo Cafe (Aberdeen Food Court)- Crazy Sauce.

They serve this to you with a little sleeve around the plate to catch any splattering oil that radiates from the oven hot iron plate. If you are noob (hehe) at this Teppan Rice business, you can read the "How To Cook" instructions on the sleeve.

Basho Cafe - Quaint, Cozy, Delicious

You get the real deal here when it comes to their Matcha Latte. Served in a traditional Japanese bowl the way its suppose to be (not cup), its not only fragrant but it has incredibly depth. Be forewarn, this latte isn't sweet. There is no additional pre-sweetened sugary stuff here.

29 May 2014

The Ivy - Dining in Beverly Hills

One of the joys of being older is that you can finally rent vehicles in other countries when you're on vacation instead of trying to figure out the local public transit! 

Luckily, Pudding and Ai Reen offered to drive in California, so we headed to where else? Beverly Hills!

We arrived at The Ivy, an absolutely stunning restaurant in the middle of downtown Beverly Hills. It's a restaurant that celebrities frequent, so it's really a celebrity spot if you are hoping to catch a glimpse of George Clooney during your vacay. Celebs that have dined here before include Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Aniston, Ciara, and Paris Hilton.

As you can see (click to enlarge), the prices here reflect the ambiance and location.

What we all LOVED about this location were the bouquets of fresh multi-coloured roses on every table! Clearly they spare no expense in making every customer feel luxurious.

How beautiful is this? Honestly, if I had the money, I'd come here every Sunday for brunch. It's just the perfect spot to have a mimosa and chat with your girls, am I right?

Complimentary bread to start. The bread was surprisingly quite cold and mediocre.

If there is only one drink you should get, it's the Virgin Strawberry Mojito ($10.75). It is the most refreshing, fruity drink you can have and trust me, you don't need any alcohol added to enjoy this.

I opted for the Grilled Fresh Vegetable Salad ($41) with Asparagus, Zucchini, Corn, Avocado, Tomatoes, Baby Lettuce, and Scallions. So... I actually wanted to order the salad with shrimp, which would have been $28, but the waiter upsold me on salmon and I didn't know it would be $13 MORE expensive until the bill arrived... Never doing that again. Killed me and my wallet after tax and tips.

The salad was absolutely delicious however because it was grilled and slightly warm. I also enjoyed the (ironic) Vancouver wild salmon as it was cooked to perfection.

The Linguini with Fresh Clams, Mussels, Crab, Scallops, Shrimp, and Calamari ($29.75) was a bit hit and definitely recommende. The fresh tomatoes and garden basil really brought out the flavours of the rose sauce.

This is the same thing as above but with risotto instead of Linguini. 

The Mesquite Grilled Natural Pork Back Ribs with Ricky's Homemade Barbecue Sauce ($31.75) was very tender to the touch and Pudding finished the whole plate.

This is the bill for 6 people. Much collateral damage done for dining in such a hot spot in Beverly Hills. However, I had an amazing time because the service, ambiance, and food made up for it. I will definitely be coming back again, next time for the (much cheaper and tastier) Seafood Linguini.

Has anyone ever spotted celebrities at The Ivy before? Let me know in the comments below!

Service Rating: 4/5
Food Rating: 4.5/5
Price: $$$$$$ ($50+)

Overall Rating: 4/5

Happy Eating!

The Ivy on Urbanspoon

23 May 2014

Top Things to Eat at Disneyland and Universal Studios

When I was searching on the internet before my recent LA trip, I realized there were no good blog posts on what to eat in Disneyland or Universal Studios! It was quite frustrating because I'm the type of person that needs to know in advance and can't take the risk of not knowing what great eats are hidden inside these theme parks. So for anyone who is remotely like me... here is my real (and honest) post on:
 Just to clarify, I went to the Disneyland and Universal Studios in California, so the food options in other Disney parks (like Orlando) may vary. And.. oh a special kudos to Snorlax, My food buddy who recommended all of these awesome food choices to me before I went on this trip!

1. Frozen Apple Juice at 'Fun & Fruity' Drink Stall

In the blasting heat, you must try to cool down somehow. So look for their "Fun & Fruity Drink" stand for some good ol' slushies.

They have three flavours: Blue Raspberry, Cherry, and and Frozen Apple Juice.

The Frozen Apple Juice ($4.75) was refreshing and sweet. If you don't like artificial flavours, then this drink is for you. Meta Knight and I decided to get a Half Blue Raspberry Half Apple Juice ($4.75) and I really enjoyed it.

2. Corn Chowder at French Market

After being declined at Cafe Orleans (where their famous Monte Cristo sandwich is at), we headed over to the "French Market" next door for some New Orleans eats. Hint: if you want to dine at any sit-in restaurant inside Disneyland, make sure you call ahead to make reservations at least one day in advance.

French Market is a 'pay-first, then-find-a-seat' type of place. The atmosphere is really open and a lot of people were dining here.

I got the Jambalaya ($14) which was assembled in front of me with dirty rice, chorizo sausages, carrots, potatoes, shrimp, and chicken. It also came with a cornbread side.

Out of curiosity I ordered Mint Julep ($3.75) which is a minty refreshing drink that have been around for ages and is quite popular in the South. This is definitely a hate-it-or-love-it beverage, and for me, I absolutely hated it. It tasted like mouthwash because of the spearmint but other people might find it refreshing. :P

Their Corn Chowder in Sourdough Bread Bowl ($9.95) was surprisingly delicious and even in this photo you can see the generous portion and large amount of yummy corn kernels.

Their Meatloaf ($14) is made with chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, and Meta Knight said it was quite delicious. He also appreciated the abundance of veggies because everyone knows how hard it is to get your greens on vacation.

3. Dole Whip in Enchanted Tiki Room

Near Tarzan's Treehouse and Indiana Jones is "Enchanted Tiki Room" and thats where you'll find the famous Dole Whip Soft-Serve ($3.79).

They are alternative choices to the soft serve ice-cream such as fresh pineapple juice, fresh pineapple spears, and a Dole Whip float (soft serve on top of pineapple juice).

So.. what is Dole Whip?? It's a soft serve pineapple flavored ice-cream that is like a tiny piece of paradise. It's incredibly refreshing and can really only be found in Disneyland, DisneyWorld and Hawaii. Don't ask, JUST GET IT and thank me later!

4. "Jumbo" Turkey Leg

In a random stall in Disneyland (not California Adventure Park), you can find the famous JUMBO Turkey Leg for $9.79. This large chunk of meat is not to be missed in Disneyland because it's one of the most well known items to get when visiting the theme park.

The turkey leg is ginormous and had a surprisingly complex depth of smokey flavour.

Share this turkey leg with someone or you won't have enough stomach room to eat anything else!

5. Cobb Salad and Tuna Melt from Earl of Sandwich

In Downtown Disney, you'll find my favourite sandwich joint: Earl of Sandwich. There is also a location in Vegas in Planet Hollywood (post here and here).

They serve both breakfast and regular hot sandwiches.

All their ingredients are fresh and their bread is baked daily. You can really tell the difference.

Every time I go to Earl of Sandwich I HAVE to get their Earl Grey Lemonade ($2.99). It's an incredibly refreshing combination of lemonade and earl grey tea. Yum!

Their Clam Chowder ($3.49) was so good we came back at night to have seconds!

I highly recommend the Cobb Salad ($6.99) for your daily dose of veggies while not giving up taste. The romaine lettuce comes with cucumbers, chicken, fresh tomatoes, cranberries, cheese, bacon, and ranch dressing.

Their signature gold wrapping. Looks like a brick of gold. :)

The Full Montagu ($6.99) on whole wheat artisan bread. It didn't taste as delicious as the Vegas location but it was undoubtedly satisfying.

Their roast beef is sliced in-house and is always slightly pinkish. So juicy.

Though the Full Montagu is great, the one sandwich you should really get is the Tuna Melt ($6.99). Their melt is the best tuna sandwich I've ever had and has an absurdly substantial amount of tuna, cheese, and mayo. Can it get any more indulgent?

The Earls Club ($6.99) has the classic ingredients of thinly sliced roast beef, horseradish, and mustard.

On our dinner visit, I got a Banana ($.99), Brownie ($2.29), and Yogurt Parfait ($4).

6. Churros

You can find Churros at almost any stall in Disneyland and you'll almost always see people eating it.
If you don't know what it is, Churros are referred to as a Spanish doughnut coated in cinnamon sugar. It's normally eaten as a snack or for breakfast when dipped in chocolate. Go to Downtown Disney and you'll find flavoured Churros!

7. Lobster Roll at Harbour Galley

The Harbour Galley is near the pond in the middle of the park but it's surprisingly hidden away and hard to spot. If you want lobster roll, clam chowder, or shrimp salad, ask a staff for directions!

Their Lobster Rolls are $13.99 which is actually pretty affordable. It comes with a side of chips too.

None of us really enjoyed the Clam Chowder ($9.59) in the sourdough bread bowl because it was wayyy too thick.

Their Lobster Roll ($13.99) is in a traditional brioche bun and served lukewarm. It wasn't the best lobster roll I've had, but it's better than a lot of other food items in the park.

8. Gru's Backyard BBQ Rotisserie Chicken at Gru's Lab Cafe (Universal Studios)

To be honest, Universal Studios has never been a place for cool themed food in the past and I would never blog about anything there if it wasn't for this new attraction all centering around Minions and Despicable Me! The themed cafe here is called "Gru's Lab Cafe" and is just a few steps down from the Minion Mayhem ride (it was pretty good!).

As you can see, it's a casual place. Nothing fancy, but everything is minion themed!

Their menu actually had some pretty rad options like Vector's Grilled Cheese, Minion Meatball Sandwich, El Macho's Nachos, Dr.Nefario's Lab Salad..etc.

They even had Minion Twinkie Cupcakes and Minion brownies! Super cute.

I didn't get it but this is what the grilled cheese looks like. It even has the Gru logo charred on the bread!

Minion Meatball Sub with tater tots.

I opted for the Gru's Backyard BBQ Rotisserie Chicken ($12.99) basted in BBQ sauce, with half cob of corn, and mac and cheese cube.

The chicken was actually really tender and juicy despite it being 'theme park food'. The savoury mac and cheese cube and corn was the perfect accompaniment to the tangy sweet chicken. Highly recommended item!

So that's all folks! I hope after reading this post, you'll get a better idea of what to expect (and consume) during you trip at Disneyland and/or Universal Studios. It's always fun to explore spontaneously, but its also good to know you're not missing out on any deliciousness by not being informed.

Please leave a comment or thumbs up if you found this post helpful! Also, feel free to check out my In-N-Out post if you want to try the famous and oh-so-hyped-up burger in California!

Happy Eating!

 Tiki Juice Bar on Urbanspoon Earl of Sandwich on Urbanspoon French Market on Urbanspoon Mint Julep Bar on Urbanspoon Harbour Galley on Urbanspoon