Category Archives: US

Seattle – Eden Hill

To start the new year one of my favorite Seattle restaurants was hosting a Figgins wine dinner. I’m usually not a fan of pumpkin at all and the veloute was really good. K liked both beef dishes the best and I would agree although I really liked the miso ice cream, I finished off hers as well.

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Octopus terrine – mango vinegar, citrus mayo Earth tea puff – foie gras mousse

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Aged Beef Tartare – fermented habanero tostada, fish caramel, cured egg

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Pumpkin Veloute – matsutake, pumpkin leaf, truffle

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Lamb Neck Sugo – celery root lasagna, horseradish, thyme, olive

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Wagyu Fillet – smoked marrow bordelaise, broccoli, pommes fondant

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Miso Caramel Ice Cream – cocoa miso, coconut granola, dark chocolate

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Foie Gras Cake Batter – strawberry, sprinkles, pair cake

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Los Angeles – The Baazar

For the second night in a row we went to another Jose Andres restaurant that was significantly better than Cleo. It helps that it wasn’t Christmas and near the Staples Center, but the food was just incredible. Tapas is one of my favorite types of meals to eat and I went a bit overboard ordering but we only left one piece of the beef cheek which was the last savory dish to come out. They have a totally separate dessert area where all their creations are on display so we could go eat with our eyes before filling our bellies even more.

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Serrano Ham – tomato bread

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Hokkaido Scallop Ceviche – leche de tigre, sweet potato, freeze-dried corn, cilantro

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Eggplant Tempura – local honey, buttermilk

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Oxtail Steamed Bun – watermelon radish, cilantro, serrano chili

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Fried Squid – Aioli, parsley puree

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Not Your Everyday Caprese – cherry tomatoes, liquid mozzarella

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Local Baby Beets – smoked yogurt, pickled carrots, walnuts, avocado

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Uni & Eeel Rice – strawberry, black garlic, wasabi

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Japanese Tacos – bbq eel, shiso, cucumber, wasabi, chicharron

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“Philly Cheesesteak” – air bread, cheddar, wagyu beef

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“Rossejat” Negra – paella-style pasta, squid ink, sepia sofrito, shrimp

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Jamon Croquetas – fried quail egg, escalivada puree

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Secreto – Iberico bellota, salsa verde

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Seared Wagyu Beef Cheeks – black garlic, cherries, black olive

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Sangria

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Rebel

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Liquid Nitrogen Caipririnha

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Rum Baba – white chocolate, coconut, lime

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Crunchy almond praline, bittersweet chocolate, milk chocolate tart

 

Los Angeles – Grand Central Market, The Broad, K-town, Arts District

With most things back open did a lot of walking and a few car rides to check out the arts culture here. We started with breakfast at Grand Central Market, not much was open at 9am but there was coffee and bagels, all that we needed.

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Pastrami, Cheddar and Egg

Sadly the Angels Flight wasn’t running so we walked up the stairs next to it to get to The Broad. Since we had already seen Kusama’s exhibit in Seattle we went up to staff who gave us tickets for the 11am GA gallery. Had an hour to kill so walked to Grand Park the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels. Both had nice water fountains.

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The collection on display at The Broad was small since the first floor was dedicated to Kusama, we still saw lots of cool pieces.

K town for a quick lunch.

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Blood Sausage

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Bulgogi

Back to downtown area at Little Tokyo. Mostly just shops so nothing really interesting to photograph but did get some honey icecream.

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From there it’s a half mile to get to the arts district and sadly everything was closed so only got to see the murals.

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Los Angeles – Cleo

With it being Christmas there wasn’t much open today. At least traffic was non-existent and we were able to quickly get out to Santa Monica and Venice to walk around. We’re staying downtown and I was excited to see the Cleo would be open so I could finally experience a Jose Andres restaurant. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed even giving them credit for being opened and slammed as there was a Lakers game and many people were there before it started. We had to send one dish back, the calamari that tasted like mush. The rest of the dishes tasted fine but not on the level I’d expect from such a celebrated chef. My favorites were the fried chicken, fish and hummus.

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Hummus – “masabacha” style, chick pea, tahini, cumin, lemon

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Freekeh Salad – Persian cucumber, tomato, watermelon radish, yogurt, lavash

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Moroccan Fried Chicken – harissa aioli

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Fish & Shellfish Tagine

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Spanakopita – phyllo, spinach, feta, sesame, oregano

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Curried Calamari – chick pea flour, horseradish cocktail sauce, scallions

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Grilled Octopus – smoked paprika, celery, lebaneh, grilled potato

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Lamb Shawarma – grilled laffa, lebaneh, caramelized onions

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Apple Crostata – butter crust

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Sticky Toffee Pudding – butterscotch, walnut tuile, vanilla bean ice cream

Los Angeles – Robata Jinya

My HS friend’s family lives in LA and recommended this Japanese izakaya, boy did it deliver. We pretty much stuck to yakitori but had a bit of sushi and a few cooked dishes. Everything was fantastic and the sake we got complemented everything well. We sat at the bar which wasn’t great for talking but we were able to watch the chefs in action and get our food directly from them on a long wooden paddle.  Great start to this Christmas in LA even though it’s not cold like I’m used to. Granted I’ll be wanting the warm when I’m in BC skiing at the end of the week.

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Triple Hot Roll – salmon, avocado, jalapeno, spicy tuna, chili serrano

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Seaweed Salad

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Mixed Green Salad

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Anago – one of the best I’ve had

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Spicy Creamy Shrimp Tempura – remarkably close to Nobu’s version

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Prime Beef & Garlic

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Kurobuta Sausage

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Okra

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Tender Beef Tongue

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A5 Wagyu Ribeye – my dad’s favorite

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Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

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Karaage

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Prime Beef Tongue

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Foie Gras & Prime Beef

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Panna Cotta – graham cake, vanilla ice cream

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Croissant Bread Pudding – vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce

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Los Angeles – La Azteca

No trip starts well without a stop at my favorite place to get tacos. I called from the plane and was told they closed at noon and we didn’t get into the rental car at LAX until 11:25 and I drove like a bat out of hell to get there in time. They were actually open until 1 but I was hungry so it was worth almost getting a ticket. Sadly they were out of carnitas so got an asada, chicharron, and egg & chorizo.

Before picking up my parents back at the airport we went to Santa Monica to shop and see the pier which in all honesty was a bit of a dump. At least got a nice sunset.

 

Seattle – Poke Contest

There has been an explosion of poke places in Seattle in the last year. Seems like there are as many poke places as there are Starbucks, even Costco always has 3-4 versions on sale. Three of the 12 contestants were actually poke restaurants at the competition and didn’t stray too far from what they offer in stores. The other nine restaurants were a bit more creative, my favorite was Japonnesa’s since it had a good amount of heat and the tortilla it was served on was an interesting addition.

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Seattle Fish Guys – tuna with a bit of roe and pineapple

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Trace – albacore, pickled onions, macadamia

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Kim Jong Smokehouse – albacore, smoked sweet onion, pickled mango, lime, ssamjang

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Seastar – ahi and shrimp, maui onion, wakame, yuzu, soy, chili, tobikko

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Poke Wai – kampachi, ride wine wasabi, sesame annatto powder, hearts of palm

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Kama’aina Grindz – ahi and salmon with pulled pork, taro chips

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goPoke – salmon, chilis

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Ma’ono – Oyster, chilis

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Japonessa – ahi and salmon

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Ikina Sushi

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Heartwood Provisions – yellowtail, asian pear, basil, lime, crispy quinoa

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