Thursday, August 30, 2012

Steak N Shake - Las Veas, NV

At the Southpoint Casino they put in a Steak n Shake Restaurant. It is just perfect because you can dine in or take it to go. The perfect solution for us because we are always so busy at the horse show arena. Before the show started though Scott and I got to dine in and enjoy the diner for lunch.  

Chocolate Banana Milkshake for two.  

Scott ordered the Steak Burger with just one patty and was thrilled. It was really the perfect burger. The fries were also on spot. It took a fabulous picture didn't it? 

My Patty Melt was not as beautiful and probably not as tasty. It was really heavy and the onions inside the sandwich wee not caramelized as much as I would have liked. I would have enjoy a bit more dressing as well, it was a little dry. The onion rings however, were amazing! If you ever just want a milk shake and a plate of onion rings - which sounds perfect to me - this is your place!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

South Point Cutting Horse Show - Las Vegas, NV

We just got home from our first futurity of the season. You may be reading this and be wondering what exactly a futurity is. It is only for horses that are 3 years old and their first year of competition. So basically you are showing babies with no experience. It is nerve wracking and gutsy to show a three year old but the payoff is usually very good if you do well. So here is a video of me competing on my horse last weekend. Check out, what I do when I am not eating....

"Melissa Good Taste" showing her horse "Hallowed Be" ...

"Hallowed Be" has quite the story for only being three years old. He was bred and born on the Double Dove Ranch in Longmont, Colorado. His mother, Peek A Boon, has won over $81,000 and father, Halreycious, has won an outstanding $227,459. He was then sold to a competitor in Texas who broke him to ride, but got very sick and had to sit out of the training.While he was sick, a decision was made to sell him once again ad he landed into the hands of a very talented Texas cowgirl. At the end of his two year old year she entered him in one of the most prestigious horse sales in the country, the National Cutting Horse Association's Two Year Old Sale in Fort Worth. We fell in love with him instantly and when when the gavel fell he was coming home with us back to California.

He has been fun to get to know. He didn't have an appetite when he arrived but he sure does now. He has probably gained 200 pounds since arriving at our place last December. I look forward to spending more time with him in the show pen because that is when he really lights up and turns on the charm! 

Futurity season is exciting and stressful but when there are moments like these it makes all the hard work and effort worth it. Memories that will never be forgotten! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rhumb Line Restaurant - Ventura, CA

Scott and I went our on a date night before we left for our horse show in Las Vegas and we were so excited to have our first official dinner at one of the newest restaurants in Ventura: Rhumb Line Restaurant. Our employees gave Scott a gift certificateto the restaurant for his birthday and we were happy to use it that evening.

We got to the restaurant feeling famished. Scott had just been surfing, and I shopping in Ventura so we felt like we needed to get our appetites wet with the bread basket as well as an appetizer. The sourdough with warm butter was amazingly good. I don't normally pour over the bread because it just fills me up but today it was heavenly! Scott ordered us Oysters Rockefeller and it shocked me, he doesn't usually go for it when I order them but tonight he was being a food adventurer! They were fantastic, served piping hot with spinach, Hollandaise, bacon and shallots. 

Scott went with the Seafood Pasta Fra Diavolo, he is a sucker for a good pasta and he said this was just what is was in the mood for. Comforting bucatini pasta in an heirloom tomato sauce, chili flakes and an assortment of shrimp, scallops and mussels made his night.

When I read that they had Channel Islands Halibut on the menu I quickly knew that was exactly what I wanted. Scott has a surf and fishing boat that can easily cruise to the islands so I am hoping he picks up halibut on one of his trips. That would be Melissa Good Taste heaven! The fish was cooked perfectly and served on a pea puree and along side glazed carrots. 

 What is the next best thing to Creme Brulee? Creme Brulee Cheescake of course! We were craving something sweet with a cup of deliciously hot cup of coffee. The restaurant was hopping! I enjoyed the people watching, boats bopping in the water in the harbor behind us and the great piano player that was keeping the energy up nicely. It was a beautiful evening!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Wicked Spoon - Las Vegas, NV

When you go to Las Vegas you have to go to a buffet at least once during your stay to sample all the goods. The Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan is known for its chef driven food. More of  a "way we eat now" assortment of dishes with bold flavors, ethnic elements and unexpected combinations of ingredients.

I would have preferred the evening session of foods but we were only around for the morning rush so I had to take what I was given. And that was plenty! Starting off at the top was a basket of fried chicken wings, they were hands down probably the best thing at the buffet. Working our way down clockwise, was a Watermelon and Feta Salad - delicious and refreshing. Next, a Crab and Artichoke Salad that was probably most forgettable items on my plate. Biscuits and Gravy was served in a deep dish and the white gravy was lovely. Up top was "Angry Mac and Cheese" and it certainly was a little furious! It had spice and it kicked up the flavor factor a few notches higher than normal.

Even though it was only about ten in the morning we still needed to have some dessert. It would have been a shame to walk away without a nibble or two. The Salted Peanut Gelato, raspberry marshmallow and macarons were all I needed to cap off an excellent buffet experience. 

I just read about the newest buffet to hit Las Vegas, opening its doors this September inside Caesar's Palace. The Bacchanal Buffet will be 25,000 feet long and house 600 guests. It sounds amazing and I cannot wait to give it a try! Viva Las Vegas indeed.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cafe Firenze - Moorpark, CA

Do you remember Fabio from Top Chef? He did an outstanding job and I longed to eat his food since watching the show. I had a dentist appointment in Thousand Oaks so I would blow through Moorpark around lunch time and I was so excited to try his food.

I had to try the Creamy Lobster Bisque at least once because I am gaga for the stuff. It was tasty but it was too much, I wish it was served in a smaller portion. I filled up on it and wish that I had more self control!

I went specifically for the Burrata Cheese! Imported with arugula with sun-dried tomato, basil, 25 year aged balsamic vinegar, shaved parmesan. Holy moley, plate of goodness. This is my new version of heaven, Melissa Good Taste has finally gone green!

I want to return to this restaurant and share a meal with my husband. He always brings great insight to my meals. It is lonely eating by myself!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Renaud's Patisserie - Santa Barbara, CA

I am obsessed with all things pitashio. I always have been. From the time I was a little girl I would only get pistachio ice cream when we went to our local ice cream parlor with my grandpa. My sister would get Mint Chip and my brother, Cookies n Cream. To this day I snack on pistachios pretty much daily, so when I came across pistachio macarons from a friends blog I knew I had to try one! 

 Renaud's Patisserie is located in a busy shopping center in Santa Barbara so make sure you find a parking spot and walk passed the crowd eating on the sidewalk. Go straight for the counter and ask for at least one of each. My favorites were the pistachio of course as well as the caramel. The chocolate and  coffee were my least favorites so next time I will probably stay away from those. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

China Poblano - Las Vegas, NV

My sister and I both decided China Poblano was a restaurant that we wanted to try. It combined two of our favorite cuisines, Chinese and Mexican, so how could it treat us wrong? The decor was stunning, leaning heavy on the color red so it was very sultry! Notice the bicycle wheel light fixtures? I just did!

Jennifer researched the restaurant pre-arrival and said she absolutely wanted to try the Salt Air Margarita because the foam served on top acted as the salt rim. Very inventive and very cool!


We started of with Chips and Salsa because don't they normally determine how you the rest of your meal is going to go when you are at a Mexican Restaurant? Well in this case, uh oh... Not the best start. My advice, skip it this and maybe try the guacamole.

Next up the "Don't Be Jealous" also know as Hot and Sour Soup. Jennifer ordered this knowing how much I love the stuff. She didn't care for it but I enjoyed it. I had a couple bowls of it. It was served family style so I kept dipping back into the pot. 

Now onto the Tacos! This version was called, "Viva China" a delicious corn tortilla filled with beef tendon, Kumamoto oyster, scallions, Sichuan peppercorn sauce. If you have never had beef tendon before it is a crunchy, beef jerky like taste in your much... The taco was tasty but I just felt a little wrong eating it. What is wrong with with me?! I am supposed to be an adventurous food eater! I tell you, i am softening in my old age.

Jennifer picked out this dish, "Like Water for Chocolate" - I think she mostly did because she liked reading the book. But anyhow, it was Fried Quail, dragon fruit, rose petals and chestnuts. Call me crazy but this was the best order of the night! I would have never predicted that one going in! Great pick!  

We wanted another Chinese order so when we saw the "Oceans Nest" on the menu we went for it. Scallops, Shrimp, King Crab, Lobster, pan-fried noodles and seasonal vegetables rounded out the plate. Everything was just fine until Jennifer and I felt the texture of the undercooked shrimp slip down our throats. Immediately we knew we shouldn't have eaten them, rare shrimp can do a lot of damage to oneself. 

To soothe our troubled tummies we ordered the Coconut Tapioca Balls served with Mandarin Orange Sorbet. It was delightful. A perfect ending to an interesting meal. China Poblano has a great thing going, there are a lot of items on the menu so figuring out which one suits you best is the ticket. Follow my recommendations and pick a few new ones of your own and you will do just fine!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Cafe Fiore - Ventura, CA

Scott and I just love this place! The night before I left to go to Las Vegas he took me for a night out on the town for a few drinks and a quick bite. I love how they bring you different types of bread to dip with their house marinara. Carbalicious.

Basil Martini. Sure why not? It tasted healthy. 

Now we are getting to the good stuff... Starting on the left are Crab Cakes with a very crunchy slaw, it was the perfect blend of savory and sweet! Pancetta wrapped Shrimp are in the middle, on a bed of polenta. Heaven! On the right are Goat Cheese Fritters that were pretty forgettable served with red peppers. 

Scott had an arugula salad that was covering a nice piece of Chicken Parmesan. It was a healthier option that the traditional dish and it had a freshness that couldn't be matched. He ate every bite.

Right when you thought my burrata obsession was over it jumped right back into place! I am also cuckoo for arugula now too. What is wrong with me? Did I get stung by an Italian bee? This craving for all things Italian have taken over! I never really liked the cuisine before, I just thought of it all as sauce and noodles. Anyhow, my salad was also filled with beets, pistachios and drizzled with a wonderful aged balsalmic. Love...

Cafe Fiore delivered once again!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Holstein's - Las Vegas, NV

Jennifer and I were very excited to eat our first meal in Vegas, we were starving! Holstein's is located inside the Cosmopolitan so we took our seat and started surveying the menu for all things fabulous!

 Awhile back I told you about my fascination with all things blood orange so this cocktail fit the bill. The Blood orange Cosmo with Chambry Blood Orange Vodka, Cointreau, Blood Orange Juice and served up was beyond juicy! Cocktail times two made my day!

Shrimp Corn Dogs anyone? These crunchy shrimp were served with a bacon cheese sauce that was just out of this world. It was probably one of the best things we ate on the entire trip.

Jennifer ordered the Main Lobster Rolls and they were slightly under-filled. More bread than lobster goodness left us feeling a little jipped. At least the left over brad was available for sopping up the extra cheese sauce from the dish mentioned above!

Pork Belly Buns caught my eye so I ordered those. Thy were very tasty. I was pleased with my order. 

We had grand intentions on ordering milkshakes and hamburgers, what the place was none for, but we were content and decided to move on. We made our way to the high end shopping area across the street and really got ourselves into some trouble!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Cosmopolitan Hotel - Las Vegas, NV

Sometimes Melissa Good Tastes likes to get out of town! One short flight from Burbank to Las Vegas and I arrived to Sin City. Gluttony here I come! 

Every good eater needs a partner in crime, hello Jennifer!

The Cosmopolitan is very new to Las Vegas and so we decided to give it a try. Look at that huge, beautiful chandelier located right in the heart of the casino. Amazing!

 Our room was smart and sexy, just like us! It was very high tech too. You could order food, make reservations and plan your whole day from the televison. Really cool!

The view from our room was stellar! Doesn't get much better than this... Stay posted for our fun food adventures in Las Vegas!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Lucky's - Montecito, CA

Who doesn't love Lucky Brand Jeans? They are relaxed, comfortable and always last a really long time. So the owners of the jean company must know really good food too, because they also own this restaurant in fabulous Montecito.

I have never tried Abalone in my life and so Scott ordered us a plate to split to get our appetites revved up. Breaded and then pan fried, these babies were exactly what I thought they would taste like. Fantastic, a luxurious treat from the sea. I am happy to have experienced this food first!

Whenever I see Burrata on the menu I go crazy, I am literally addicted to the creamy cheese, luscious cheese and peppery arugula. Melissa Good taste usually orders soup, I am getting so green in my old age! 

Scott ordered a filet and i love how they stuck the wooden stick in to say, it is "exactly" how you requested it to be! How kitschy. But, it truly was a beautiful cut of meat, fired to perfection. 

Homegirl ordered Sand Dabs, I have had them here before and enjoyed them. This time not as much, not sure why they just seemed a little blah. A little bit of salt and another slug of my cocktail made them taste better though. 

We ordered Potato Skins of the side to accompany of meal. The chive sour cream and crunchy potatoes were a lovely treat. Almost like potato chips! 

I love lucky's because it is dark, masculine and everything is black and white. It is sexy and cool, and makes you feel like you have gone back in time. I researched the restaurant group and they also own: Tre Lune, Joe's Cafe, Bucatini, D'Angelo Cafe, The Jean Shop and new jean company - Civilianaire! They are quite busy!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Food Detox

I am just totally full.

Since getting home from Texas we have been eating a lot of food like this. Mostly vegetables and roasted chicken. Don't you sometimes need a break from fabulous food to truly appreciate it?