Also before heading home was able to eat at one of the top brunch spots in Vancouver. Normally in warmer weather there is a long line outside that I’m unwilling to stand it but when it’s 0C out there isn’t. We were able to get seats at the bar right away. They’re known for their waffles and they were indeed very good, nice and chewy with a good contrast between the crunchy exterior and steamy center. The house-cured peameal bacon was a letdown though, very dry liked it was in the oven way too long. Guess even though I was in Canada should’ve known better since we were nowhere near Ontario. The Coca was pretty good but wish had more of the pork ragout on it.
Blistered Woodstone Fired Flatbread, Pork Ragout, Sfoglia Cheese, Truffled Potato Purée, Oven-Dried Tomatoes, Hannah Brook Farms Greens, Fried Egg
Liege waffle – dark chocolate
I’d been wanting to try Pidgin for a while and after a very cold and lots of waiting for lifts at Whistler I decided to come down to Vancouver a night early. Glad I did as the food at Pidgin was very good and had a wide range of booze on offer. I went from a cocktail to a sake flight and finished off with a glass of BC Meritage. The only thing that was a bit weird as they only had a single item for dessert and it’s relatively easy to make, makes me think they don’t have a pastry chef.
The foie gras and fried chicken wings were my favorite. The pork belly was cooked Taiwanese style and while the flavor was good the pork was quite dry, it was so lean it was almost like a pork loin roast with a bit of fat on top. Would’ve preferred a fattier cut that melts in your mouth.
Chicken Wings – very light batter, Japanese style
grilled asparagus, smoked mayonnaise, cured yolk gremolata
pork belly rice bowl, asian pear kimchi, bamboo, quail egg; foie gras rice bowl, chestnuts, daikon, unagi glaze 27 daily fish MP
Chocolate pot de creme
The snow was so much better than anticipated and got plenty of face shots the first day and then it was bluebird for the rest of the trip. Very fun trip although didn’t get nearly as much vertical as I would like.
Better egg mcmuffin
Mussels in white wine
Scallop, pork belly, and mushrooms
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Surprising BBQ joint after a long day in the car. Got pulled pork and brisket.
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.
Hummus – “masabacha” style, chick pea, tahini, cumin, lemon
Freekeh Salad – Persian cucumber, tomato, watermelon radish, yogurt, lavash
Moroccan Fried Chicken – harissa aioli
Fish & Shellfish Tagine
Spanakopita – phyllo, spinach, feta, sesame, oregano
Curried Calamari – chick pea flour, horseradish cocktail sauce, scallions
Grilled Octopus – smoked paprika, celery, lebaneh, grilled potato
Lamb Shawarma – grilled laffa, lebaneh, caramelized onions
Apple Crostata – butter crust
Sticky Toffee Pudding – butterscotch, walnut tuile, vanilla bean ice cream
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.
Triple Hot Roll – salmon, avocado, jalapeno, spicy tuna, chili serrano
Mixed Green Salad
Anago – one of the best I’ve had
Spicy Creamy Shrimp Tempura – remarkably close to Nobu’s version
Prime Beef & Garlic
Tender Beef Tongue
A5 Wagyu Ribeye – my dad’s favorite
Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
Prime Beef Tongue
Foie Gras & Prime Beef
Panna Cotta – graham cake, vanilla ice cream
Croissant Bread Pudding – vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce
Most people seem to hate Air Canada, but after spending 14+ hours with them I can’t really complain other than there was nothing on their entertainment system that I wanted to watch. Thankfully I had plenty of podcasts to listen to as only slept 5-6 hours. The seat was comfortable and even had a setting to change the firmness when in bed mode. Food was ok but after almost four weeks of gorging myself I didn’t need to be full for half a day.
Air Canada doesn’t have a lounge in Sydney so we got to choose between Singapore or Air New Zealand, we went with the former as they had better breakfast options. Again got a few judgmental looks for having a beer at 8:30am but it went well with the greasy noodles and sausage.
AC has one of my favorite styles of seats, the reverse herringbone so I was ending the trip with similar layout as EVA. The side compartment was able to hold all my small electronics and the area to left held my laptop fine.
Sydney vs Vancouver out the window.