Thursday, April 26, 2018

A tai shioyaki teishoku and shishamo from Nakajima Suisan

If my memory serves, there was some 25th anniversary thing going on and Nakajima Suisan was offering grilled sea bream because of it. It was the most expensive set they had on the non-regular menu and also the largest whole grilled fish they've ever had on teishoku. It's not bad if one didn't mind the bones and tasty slimy bits.

I've been curious about some of the additional grilled items they have started offering in recent times. One of those were the shishamo and while it might not have been visually apparent, they were filled with roe unlike many cheaper places that served barren fishes out of season. Smoky and even juicy these things were. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Omakase Burger @ Picnic

We hadn't had Omakase Burger (#03-15 Wisma Atria, 435 Orchard Road) in a while and I thought it would be a good idea to re-visit our local artisanal-bunned-smash-grilled-secret-blended-burger with American cheese for comparison since the memory from the joints in the US of A were still fresh. Somewhat. 

It's still as tasty as I remember. The short of it was that Omakase Burger would be a legit competitor as far as the burger went in terms of flavour. The buns were still not holding up very well with the juices though. By the way, did their burgers become bigger?

What's not to be overlooked was that they were noticeably more expensive. This double cheese burger was already $22.85 before tax.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A taste of home

I was looking forward to Hainanese curry rice so one of the first things I got myself after returning was a packet from the stall at Beo Crescent. Such a specific craving it was amongst so many things I could have missed. Braised cabbage, fried egg, pork chops and curried squid ladled over with their curry concoction and dark soy sauce. Yummy!

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Stinking Rose, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles

Faced with the prospect of seeking alternative dinner plans, The Stinking Rose (55 North La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211, tel : +310 652 7673), a garlic themed restaurant came up as a suggestion. As it turned out, all of us liked garlic. What coincidence! 

While waiting, we filled up on bread and beer with their garlic rose relish - the latter a pretty darned good concoction of chopped garlic and parsley with salt and vinegar in olive oil.

Since we were prepared to be garlick-ed up for the night, we got ourselves a portion of their bagna cauda - roasted garlic in extra virgin olive oil and anchovies. Those garlic were sweet and just slightly pungent. Made an excellent spread since they were also pretty soft after all that roasting.

Made also good eating with even more bread along with the garlic rose relish.

Almost everything on menu was supposed to be flavoured with garlic. I couldn't taste any of it from their chilled asparagus with blue cheese bits. But I liked them because they were tender without being fibrous and of course, those blue cheese. 

More munching came in the form of fried calamari. These were crispy and had a good squid-y chew.

Here's a garlic prime rib which featured some of the roasted garlic cloves on top of the meat. That prime rib wasn't too bad. Probably not as tender as Lawry's across the road but I couldn't complain.

We couldn't leave the restaurant without giving their garlic ice cream a go even though we were stuffed. The topping if you were wondering wasn't some roasted/burnt garlic sauce of some sort. It's salted caramel. The garlic came from the ice cream and the flavour came through without being excessive or weird. It's actually kinda nice.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Philippe the Original, Los Angeles

I normally keep faces out of the pictures but we had such a friendly and chirpy counter lady today at Philippe the Original (1001 North Alameda, Los Angeles, CA 9001, tel : +213 628 3781) that I thought she deserved to be featured in recognition for it. Here's her getting us some pickled eggs.

Anyways, Philippe's is an institution in these parts and has been opened since 1908. That would make them a century and a decade old. They've been said to be the inventor of the French dip sandwich and those were what we were here for.

I got the double dipped lamb and bleu cheese - with meat that was sliced off the leg of the lamb on order and assembled right in front of us. Unpretentiously hearty and delicious it was that the sandwich went down easy peasy lemon squeezy. I liked this.

Some potato salad on the side and pickled yellow hot chilli peppers that had a bit of bite. Awesome with those French dips.

These pink eggs have been pickled in beet juice, red wine and vinegar. Hence the colour. They were just sour hard boiled eggs if you were still wondering what they tasted like.

We had an order of their chocolate cream pie which was chocolate cream piled with even more cream. It's kinda nice though.

The counter lady told us that their baked apples used to be bigger. Not that we could tell since we've never been here. This was like an apple pie without the pie. Apple, sugar and cinnamon. It's not bad.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Preux & Proper, Los Angeles

Unplanned and quite random, we ended up at Preux and Proper (840 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90014, tel : +213 896 0090). Contemporary southern/New Orleans inspired food they claimed.

These were Dungeness crab hush puppies. The menu mentioned "house bourbon barrel aged green hot sauce, boil spice" but none of those really came through. It was the charred poblano butter that got these through for me. The fried balls were doughy and honestly, not memorable. 

There was an ogo Caesar salad. I was initially excited that there was so much anchovies but oddly I couldn't quite taste them. Ogo if you didn't know is a type of seaweed. It was okay I guess.

Thing started picking up with their smoked beef heart pastrami. These made very good munching, perked by the lemon in them and some smokiness from the thinly sliced hearts. And then, the holy trinity of onions, celery and bell peppers for a fresh breath of crunchy textures. This was delicious.

We were pretty impressed by their chicken fried pork belly. The pan was topped with a whole lot of ingredients which resulted in a confusion riot of flavours but that pork belly came through it all. The meat and fat was tender and pretty much dissolved in the mouth.

What was even more kickass was their cast iron gumbo that was loaded with Louisiana crawfish, tiger prawns, Willapa Bay oysters and Prince Edward Island mussels. I know - with all those names, one would probably wonder what they were about. Did it all matter? I honestly don't know but the seafood was of good quality and were not overcooked. The spices that flavoured the gumbo were just delicious. If there was one item out of what we had tried I would come back for, it'll be this.

Dessert was beignets with what was described as "banana foster" dulce de leche. I think that was the sauce at the bottom. These were okay, not spectacular.