Monday, April 21, 2014

San Francisco - Nini's (San Mateo)

Entrance to Nini's

Biscuit and sausage gravy, served with home potatoes


Chicken apple sausage

Restaurant Name : Nini's Coffee Shop
Location : 1000 North Idaho Street, San Mateo, CA 94401

Rating : 3 Marylicious Stars
Price Range : Around US$ 14 / person (brunch without drinks)

Summary : A pleasant new discovery that is definitely worth going back to for casual breakfast / brunch dishes, served in a rustic and unpretentious way

Sunday, April 20, 2014

San Francisco - Pacific Catch (San Mateo)

Entrance of Pacific Catch in Downtown San Mateo

Trio of Hawaiian Poke

ahi tuna with avocado, cucumber, daikon sprouts, 
ginger & sesame seeds with soy-wasabi vinaigrette

lightly battered & fried Salmon and Cod, 
served with sesame slaw and sweet potato

Wasabi Ahi Sandwich Platter - grilled rare ahi with ginger, 
avocado, daikon sprouts & ginger-wasabi aioli, 
served with sesame slaw and side salad

Macadamia Nut Brownie Sundae, served with with vanilla ice cream, 
toasted coconut & chocolate sauce 

Fried Dulce de Leche “Spring Rolls”, 
served with with vanilla ice cream & caramel sauce

Restaurant Name : Pacific Catch (San Mateo Location)
Location : 243 South B Street, San Mateo, CA 94401

Rating : 4 Marylicious Stars
Price Range : Around US$ 30 / person (3 course dinner without wine)

Summary : A casual restaurant with friendly staff that serves fresh seafood and delicious desserts!  Definitely a great place for a get together with friends for a great night out!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

San Francisco - Santa Ramen (San Mateo)

Stewed pork with pork flavor soup

Restaurant Name : Santa Ramen
Location : 1944 South El Camino Real, San Mateo, CA 94403

Rating : 2 Marylicious Stars
Price Range : Around US$ 15 / person (2 course lunch without drinks)

SummaryFor a self-proclaimed ramen snob, while Santa Ramen is not the best I've ever had, I would re-visit this ramen place whenever I'm in town.

When I was living in the Bay Area between 2005 - 2008, Santa Ramen was one of the restaurants I frequented, because its old location was literally down the road from my apartment, and it was one of the most decent ramen joints in town.

Years later, during my most recent visit in April 2014, I had to pay a visit to Santa Ramen and reminisce about old times and savor the flavor I used to crave from time to time.

Fortunately, the flavor I used to crave is still the same (albeit a bit too salty now for my taste buds), and the stewed pork still tastes quite yummy, and not too fatty.

While Santa Ramen is not the best ramen I've ever had, it is consistent in quality and a good comfort food option that I will always visit when I am in town.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Los Angeles - Bruxie (Orange)

Location in Old Town Orange
Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Waffle 
Steak, Egg & Cheddar
Nutella & Bananas

Restaurant Name : Bruxie (Old Town Orange Location)

Location : 292 North Glassell Street, Orange, CA 92866

Rating : 3 Marylicious Stars
Price Range : Around US$ 12 / person (with non-alcoholic drinks)

Summary : This is an innovative way of enjoying waffles... even though I prefer waffles as desserts, the Fried Chicken in Waffles was actually quite yummy, and its a savoury waffle that I would eat again ^_^

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Los Angeles - Animal

chicken liver toast
pig ear, chili, lime, fried egg
marrow bone, chimichurri, caramelized onions
barbeque pork belly sandwiches, slaw
bacon chocolate crunch bar, s&p ice cream

Restaurant Name : Animal
Location : 435 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Rating : 4 Marylicious Stars
Price Range : Around US $70 / Person (with wine)

Summary : A tapa-style restaurant with very creative dishes that are high on flavor.  While all dishes were delicious, the highlights for me were the chicken liver toast and pork belly sandwich.  Super yum!!!

One of the last group dinners Penn planned for the week-long gluttony feast was at Animal.  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Los Angeles - Chef Melba's Bistro (Hermosa Beach)

Tuscan Kale - Quinoa, Tomatoes, Chia Seeds, and Citrus Vinaigrette

Seared Ahi Tuna

 Halibut - Encrusted with Macadamia Nuts

Restaurant Name : Chef Melba's Bistro
Location :  1501 Hermosa Avenue, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Rating : 3 Marylicious Stars
Price Range : Around US $100 / person (3-course dinner with wine)

Summary : The highlight of the meal was the Halibut, which was cooked to perfection and with delightful flavor 

Another one of the dinner places that Penn organized for group dinner was Chef Melba's Bistro.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Los Angeles - Father's Office

THE Office Burger

Frites In A Basket

Organic Beet Salad

Roasted Beef Marrow

Restaurant Name : Father's Office 
Location : 3229 Helms Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034

Rating : 4 Marylicious Stars
Price Range : Around US$ 25 / person (with alcohol)

Summary : For gourmet burger lovers, this is a MUST-GO when in LA!  

During April 2014, I made a trip to Los Angeles for a week-long gluttony fest... The Father's Office was the first stop...

My partners in crime were mostly Penn and Juliana, with Howard being a part-time conspirator ^_*  

Before I arrived in LA, Penn talked up the burger at Father's Office so much that I had HIGH expectations...  Well, I have to say that I was definitely not disappointed!  The burger patty was absolutely cooked to perfection, and for someone who usually dislikes blue cheese (with a passion!), the blue cheese did not overwhelm the beef patty's flavor; in fact, I have to be honest and say that the blue cheese actually complemented the patty's flavor very well!

While the Office Burger was the signature dish, all the other dishes we ordered were also of high quality - the bone marrow, the beet salad, the "pork skin" frites.

Definitely a place worth going for burger lovers when visiting Los Angeles!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Hong Kong - La Terrasse

Baked escargot with garlic, parsley and butter 

Scallop salad

Beef "Rossini" with red wine sauce, 
dauphinoise potatoes and mixed vegetables

Restaurant Name : La Terrasse
Location : 19 Old Bailey Street, Central, Hong Kong

Rating : 3 Marylicious Stars
Price Range : Around HK$ 400 / person (3 course dinner without wine)

Summary : The food was decent, thought there is no "wow" factor...  The highlight of the dinner was the Beef "Rossini".  This is a good "neighbourhood" bistro, but I wouldn't not frequent it on a regular basis.