Wednesday, February 23, 2011

On the road again

Headed to Spain for a week of eating, drinking and sightseeing.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Waterloo and the City Review - Go for the Charcuterie

Friday night, we headed to A-Frame in Culver City but the wait was too long, so we went next door to Waterloo and the City, where we were seated immediately on the patio.  I've been wanting to check it out as it was just named as a semifinalist nominee for best new restaurant (along with A-Frame) by the James Beard Foundation 2011 awards and received a favorable 2.5 star review by the LA Times back in August.  The restaurant was packed and buzzing and the decor was casual and comfortable, though not particularly memorable. The highlight of the meal was the charcuterie plate; I thought the terrines and mousses were the best I'd had in recent memory, rivaling Paris.  Our entrees however were a disappointment.  Perhaps we should have stuck more with the British staple pub fare, but the pizza and pastas were not particularly great.  They were fine, but I wouldn't order them again.  I think it's worth another visit if I'm in the mood for the charcuterie plate, as well as to try some of the other items on the fairly lengthy menu.  Thanks to JK for the blackberry pics!
Charcuterie plate including rabbit and pistachio terrine, truffle and foie gras mousse, carrot and beef tongue terrine, foie gras and chicken liver mousse, beef stock and assorted meats
Indian butter chicken pizza with murgh makhani sauce
Gnocchi with beef shin ragu
Special: cappelini pasta with sweetbreads (a little too oily)
Beef wellington
Brussel sprouts and bacon and fries
Bourbon doughnuts (not very bourbon-y)
Waterloo and the City
12517 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA  90066

Monday, February 21, 2011

February 2011 Barneys New York Warehouse Sale

The chain harness detail is removable
I used to regularly go to the Barneys New York Warehouse Sale when it was held at the Barker Hanger at the Santa Monica Airport.  For reasons I still don't understand, they moved it to the Los Angeles Convention Center in Downtown LA for the last few seasons, and I've never been back since the move.  Not only is downtown LA a traffic nightmare, but parking is a ridiculous $12 at the Convention Center.  The only reason why I went today is because I happened to be passing by on my way home from a haircut in the San Gabriel Valley and it was the last day of the sale.  I always wait until the last day of the sale to go; they often (though not always) increase the discounts particularly on the last day.  I've scored some great deals on some of my favorite pieces of clothing, including two Lanvin dresses and a Derek Lam dress from his very first collection and a couple of 3.1 Phillip Lim dresses.  I've also bought a few things that I've regretted, just because they were such a good deal, but I'm much more disciplined now.  When I went today, designer was reduced an additional 60%, ready to wear an additional 25%, and shoes an additional 50%, on top of original reductions of about 60%.  Unfortunately, there really wasn't any clothes left in my size, but the shoe selection was pretty decent.  I debated between a pair of Rag and Bone combat boots and Opening Ceremony Cristina suede platform booties, and ultimately went with the Opening Ceremony shoes because they make me incredibly tall.  The shoes are versatile too; you can take off the funky chain harness for a more normal looking platform lace-up bootie.  I've always liked Opening Ceremony; I've never bought anything from their retail stores but they always have such an interesting, carefully edited collection.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Musha Review: My Favorite Everyday Restaurant in LA

Musha in Santa Monica is probably the restaurant that we eat at most often in LA and I recently realized that I've never posted about some of my favorite things.  It's a great place for a group, particularly in the private room in the back (seats 6-10 comfortably with a $200 minimum), reasonably priced (about $30-$40 a person including lots of drinks), always tasty, and goes well with lots of pitchers of beer and decanters of sake for a festive time.  We pretty much always order the same thing:
Spicy tuna on rice crackers
Tofu salad
Green bean salad with bacon
Lobster roll
Torched saba
Cheese tofu with honey: not on our usual rotation. Interesting, but I prefer the homemade tofu that we usually order
Yuzu chicken
Musha Fried Chicken ("MFC")
Potato croquette
Itame somen (garlic noodles)
Takana Meshi: rice with all sorts of pickled veggies cooked in a stone pot with lots of good crunchy bits
Vongore udon
Maple creme brulee
Apple Tartin
Musha Izakaya
424 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 576-6330end_of_the_skype_highlighting(310) 576-

LA Museum Mile

The other day, we went to LA's museum mile to check out the sights.  Unfortunately LACMA was closed, so we just went to the Petersen Automotive Museum, and I strolled around the La Brea Tar Pits, destination of many elementary school field trips.
I really like this light exhibition
The tar pits - used to give me nightmares as a kid
24 K gold de Lorean

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

85 Degrees C: Taiwanese Bakery in the Southland

My dad braved the always long 85 Degrees C queue in Irvine and brought us a bunch of Taiwanese-style baked goods.  For dessert last night, we had a really tasty cheesecake topped with fruit.  I'm not usually a cheesecake fan, but this was the best cheesecake I've ever had: light yet moist and delicious, and not too sugary.  For breakfast this morning, I had a savory Taiwanese style pastry, just like my favorites in Taiwan!  They only have one location in the US so far, in Irvine, CA, but I'm sure many more are to come soon.
85 Degree C
Diamond Jamboree Shopping Center
2700 Alton Parkway, Suite # 123
Irvine, CA, 92606
Tel : (949) 553-8585

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sea Harbour Dim Sum and Griffith Park Observatory

After a morning board meeting followed by dim sum in Rosemead, we stopped at the Griffith Park Observatory on our way back to the westside to check out the views on a beautiful warm Saturday.  The views from the observatory are the best in the winter when the air quality is better.

 Some of our dim sum delicacies:
Pork and Shrimp Shumai
Shrimp Hargow
Egg rolls
Turnip cakes with xo sauce
Regular turnip cakes - one of my all-time favorite foods
Shrimp Chang fen
Chicken feet
BBQ pork bun
Fried chicken knee bone and lightly pickled cucumbers
Egg custard pastry - a childhood favorite
Buns with egg yolk / sugar / custard center

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Clambake Again

We've been eating really well recently, whether it be cooking at home or going out to eat. We've had special visitors in town so we want to show them a good time.   Last night we took advantage of the gorgeous weather we've been having lately and grilled and had dinner outside, with homemade guacamole, salami and cucumbers, rosemary roasted cashews, grilled garlic shrimp, bacon wrapped dates, spinach salad, grilled corn and portobello mushrooms, yuzu chicken and korean bbq short ribs.  It was a ton of food, but all really good.

The night before, I made a clambake at home with 2 lbs of lobster tail, 2.5 lbs of manila clams, 1 lb of U15 prawns, hot italian sausage and polish sausage, corn and potatoes with garlic bread and a beet, pecorino romano and almond mixed green salad.  The clambake was delicious, probably even better than our first attempt, and way too much food for the four of us, our pot barely fit all the seafood.  I need to invest in a big stockpot soon!  In the future, I would probably use only one lobster tail.  The lobster tail does add really good flavor to the broth, I think that is what made it richer and more flavorful than last time.  I basically followed the same recipe as last time, except I used the entire bottle of white wine and put in the lobster tails 3 minutes before the rest of the seafood, since they were so huge. We had a nice bottle of 2008 Alma Rosa Pinot Gris, one of our favorites from our Santa Barbara wine trips.


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