Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tipps Thai - Ventura, CA

Yep. As you can see I am still craving Thai...

Cruise on down to Ventura and saddle yourself up with a leaded drink. Mai Tai for me, Jamaican Me Crazy for my Mom.

Grilled Shrimp on a sugar cane skewer with lemon grass dipping sauce. Light and sweet!

Cashew Scallops, the reason I return again and again. The sauce is so savory, I wish they would bottle it so I could eat it everyday. The scallops are lightly fried and the cashews are a nice and crunchy. Perfect dish.

Now you g be the judge and tell me how right I am!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Palermo - Ventura, CA

If you looking for a quick "Pick Me Up" just head to Downtown Ventura and step into Palermo.

I was craving a coffee and a sweet treat. I ordered a Caramel Sea Salt Latte and a Creme Brulee Bar. OMG! So delicious.

Perfect afternoon delight!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Summer Spectacular - Las Vegas, NV

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!

Just kidding. You know I wouldn't do that to you loyal readers.

Food posts to follow when I get home from the horse show...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Reel Inn - Malibu, CA

Sunset Magazine wrote this:

Fish tacos are the Steve McQueen of road food: casual and cool. Surfers were the first to discover them, at snack shacks like Reel Inn. Today, they’re still a fixture on its chalkboard menu: fresh-caught salmon or ahi tuna wrapped in warm corn tortillas with melted cheddar, crisp lettuce, tomato, and salsa.

They claimed that these were the best Fish Tacos that they have tasted. Really? I will be the judge of that!

Order at the counter and find a seat. They just so happened to be out of Crab Cakes that day. Boo.

The White Chowder. Terrible. Tasted just like flour. Way to kick off our meal!

Oysters on the Half Shell for me. Something they really couldn't screw up. Thumbs up.

Zucchini quartered and undercooked. Ah man. We are really on a roll!

Ok these are the Fish Tacos Sunset Magazine raved about. I want to know who writes for Sunset and do their food reviews... Really, I want to know! Are you out there? Are you reading this? This was the worst Fish Taco i have ever had. The fish soggy, and fired over a gas grill so it just tasted like chemicals. The salsa was horrid and the cheese was some nasty version of cheddar. I am so disappointed in Sunset Magazine. I am writing to the editor.

The best part of the Reel Inn was the friendly blonde guy who worked the register. If you want a good Fish Taco go to Beach House Tacos in Ventura or Rosie's At The Beach in Morgan Hill.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Trattoria Grappolo - Santa Ynez, CA

While driving back down to Ojai after my family time extravaganza my Mom and I got hungry right around Santa Ynez...

We sat inside because it was kind of toasty outside.

Butternut Squash Soup was a special and I had to order it - I love all things squash. Upon first taste it needed salt, but other than that it was lovely. Tasted like Thanksgiving!

My mom and I both got the Fillet of sole in a white wine, lemon, and caper sauce. It was a hearty portion of fish and the sauce was lovely.

All I was missing was a glass of wine!

My beautiful family...

My cousin got married last weekend and the wedding was wonderful! I had so much fun visiting and catching up with my cousins. I cannot wait to spend more time with them. I didn't get a shot of the bride and groom but will get one and post it! Until then...

Cheers. Enjoy your family!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

DeLaveaga Golf Course - Santa Cruz, CA

I had the privilege to have lunch with my extended family.There were a lot of us in town for my cousin's wedding (pictures to follow..) We went to a place that I can remember go to since I was a little girl - DeLaveaga Golf Course.

This would be the Fish Monger Stew, basically it was a red chowder. It smelled fishy but tasted nice, it was a hit at the table. I shared!

This was my Mom's Monte Cristo - Would you like a little Monte Cristo with your fruit? Whoa. They used American cheese and that was a bummer. It just wasn't very good.

I (along with 4 others at the table) ordered the Sand Dabs with Mashed. They were so good. A hit every time. If you are ever in Santa Cruz and feeling fishy - This is a nice lunch. Remember to ask for the specials!

Yum Yum Yogurt - Encino, CA

Yum Yum! This one was for you Dicki!

Thomas Hill Bistro - Paso Robles, CA

I was in town for yet another cutting so I couldn't wait to venture out and try another restaurant! Thomas Hill Bistro is located in an awkward spot, it faces a parking lot and you have to know where your going to get to it. The Amsterdam Coffee House faces the street, turn there and you will arrive at the restaurant.

Cheese? Yes, please. Humbolt Fog, Point Reyes Blue, Merrimont Goat Gouda with all the additional fixings. Yum!

My order and by far the best! Scallops and Pork Belly with Smoked Shitakes, Plums, ginger, Bok Choy and Coconut Cream! So good. I would order this again and again.

In second place was the Grilled Flat Iron Steak, polenta, roasted corn, chimichurri and ancho chile sauce. It was ordered medium rare and came out rare. It was sent back to the kitchen and re-fired.

And last place was... The Grilled Lamb Lollipops, with "Alfresco" Eggplant puree, Watermelon-Raspberry Relish and so on. Basically it goes like this, the lamb was raw - it was sent to the kitchen and was re-fired and then came back as charcoal. Ah man! Come on... And the eggplant underneath the lollipops was basically throw up. I mean that in the nicest way possible.

They should have offered up a dessert on the house because two of of the three meals were not cooked correctly and sent back to the kitchen - however they did not. We ordered our desserts despite their bad behavior. And paid for them! The Stone Fruit Cobbler was very good. The best I have had in a longtime. Kuddos to you. Their menu changes seasonally so a visit back might be in the cards just to see what they have next.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rice - Ventura, CA

I am on a curry kick, pretty much everything coconut milk and spice. So now I have been stalking Thai Restaurants within Ventura County. I was in Downtown Ventura during the lunch hour so Rice had it coming!

The Curry Lunch Special came with a salad, not pictured, as well as soup. Think cabbage and a savory broth. Not much too it but it did have plenty of taste.

Red Curry with bamboo, green beans (random) and shrimp. It was sold to me as "spicy" but it really wasn't too bad. The rice was cooked perfectly and made its may into my curry in a hurry! Hey, that rhymed. The egg roll could have been left off the plate but i assume more hearty eaters enjoy it.

A lovely little spot for a quick curry, if in a hurry!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pozole - White Girl Style

I love Pozole. I think it is better than Chicken Soup. So I scour Mexican restaurants for it constantly. It usually is never a regular item on the menu, just a daily special. So I decided to come up with my own recipe - Crockpot style - for the woman (or man) on the go.

Bust out the Crockpot!

Turn it on Low if you have all day, or if you limited on time kick it up to High. Make sure you have these five (yes, only five) simple ingredients on hand.

This convient little package of pork can be found in the meat section of any major grocery store. Make sure you grab the Carnitas and not the Chile Verde. I made that mistake once. The Chile verde is horrid. So make sure it says "Carnitas".

Two regular cans of Chicken Broth.

I put in two jars of this exact salsa. So make sure you do too!

I also bought this sauce - It is a little can. 10 oz - use all or half. It just depends on how spicy you like it. A little goes along way if you are sensitive to heat.

And now for this bad boy - the hominy. A 29 oz can may seem like a lot but it is the right amount, I promise.

Now all you have to do if dump it all into the Crockpot! You do have to break up the pieces of pork as they warm through. It is easy to do with the mixture is warm. The pork gets tender and you just pull it apart with a fork.

I had cilantro on hand and a squeeze of lemon. It is just an extra bit of goodness!


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bodee's - Ojai, CA

Head out of Ojai on the Maricopa Highway and wind your way to Bodee's - an outdoor dining dream. Ask to sit next to to the waterfall and take in the sounds and sights of nature. The twinkle lights will make you feel like your in a fairytale.

Your basic Mixed Greens.

Of course I go for the Soup of the Day - Potato and Corn Chowder. it was really tasty, they added green chili. Southwestern delight.

One of the specials - Quail. It was so good. I never am that adventurous to try something like it but always regret that I am not after I try it! It was perfectly cooked and sat on a bed of roasted vegetables with walnuts and grapes. Grapes? Yes, it was a lovely contrast. Texture City.

Good ol' Melissa Good Taste is a sucker for her fish. Salmon, mashed potatoes and mixed greens on the side. It is my idea of heaven on a plate, maybe a little safe... I promise to be more of a daring food taster!

This my friends, is Deep Fried Bread Pudding. It was good. I don't normally love bread pudding but because it was deep fried and had some crunch, I was all about it. The caramel sauce really sent it over the moon.

Cheers to a beautiful evening in Ojai!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sugar Beets - Oxnard, CA


I have turned to the VC Reporter for restaurant recommendations in my area. They reviewed Sugar Beets quite sometime ago and I never forgot about it. I rarely find myself in Downtown Oxnard in the evening so I just kept putting off the review of this restaurant. But the other night, I knew it was time - Come on Sugar Beets!

We picked off the small bites menu and ate off each others plates. First up, Grilled Watermelon Salad with barbecued shrimp on Navajo bread. So delicious. The greens were dressed well and everything fit together just perfectly.

The Turnip & Pear Soup was so good. It had a parmesan crisp that brought the right amount of saltiness to the dish. My idea of perfection.

An Asian twist on the tostada. Ahi, cucumber, red onion and ginger on top of a crisp wonton. There was a medley of sauces and vinaigrettes . I would like to call this one a flavor explosion!

It was been awhile since I have left a restaurant feeling happy. The bill was $42 for drinks, salad, soup, appetizers and entertainment! Beautiful meal and I will be back.

Neptune's Net - Malibu, CA

You may recognize this restaurant. it is located right off the Pacific Coast Highway and is the backdrop for movies, television shows and commercials alike. But here's a little tip, keep on driving when you see it.

This place should serve the BEST chowder and the COLDEST beer because of their prime beach location in one of the most trendy parts of California . They didn't do either of those things. I took a big scoop of chowder only to kind a bunch of undercooked potatoes in my mouth. I searched for a piece of clam but couldn't find one. Fail. And, it is not hard to keep beer cold, just pump up your fridge. Aye yi yi. Next!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Last Chinese Chef

I just finished reading The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones. Imagine a love story plus Chinese food all in one! A tasty delight.

Do you have any recommendations on foodie books?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ottavio's - Camarillo, CA

After cruising to Camarillo for another Craigslist find we declared ourselves famished. I have been really disappointed by my recent Yelp searches so I felt I couldn't rely on that. Along the highway you will see a sign advertising Ottavio's Restaurante so in we went! I hadn't had Italian in awhile so I was looking forward to it.

We were seated in a dining room that also shared its space with the bar. It was quite compared to other sections of the restaurant that had large parties.

Fresh baked bread - this roll was outstanding.

Soup that came with my meal - I believe it was Minestrone. Nothing wrong with it, just was a little forgettable.

And now for the main event... Penne al Pomodoro con Pollo. Penne pasta tossed with fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic and olive oil, crowned with grilled chicken, then sprinkled with gorgonzola cheese. There was so much of this, huge portion and only $15! Enough for two meals, easy.

And now for my favorite - Fettuccine Tutto Mare. Scallops, crab, shrimp, lobster and white fish in a light cream sauce served on a bed of fettuccine. This was so good. I hardly ever eat a bowl of noodles but this time I couldn't stop! I too ate this as my meal for a couple days. It was just amazing.

I highly recommend this restaurant. I haven't felt that confident about making a suggestion in a long time. This one blew my socks off because of the great food and the affordability. Bon Appetit!