Tuesday, June 7, 2016


New Orleans, also know as the Big Easy, likely due to the ease you can expand your waistline with all it's delicious eats.  I happened upon NOLA a few days prior to a conference, with some eating companions in hand, experienced what makes this city one of the most unique and delicious places to visit.  

New Orleans Oyster Festival
Much thanks to my taxi driver, who graciously withstood my interrogation of great local eats, and mentioned I arrived on the last day of this seafood extravaganza at Woldenberg Park.  Many of the cities most renowned restaurants were represented with a few of their best dishes and we definitely made our way through a good number of them.

The Famous Gumbo Pot - Oyster Jambalya

Charbroiled Oysters from Drago's

Fried Oyster Sliders - Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar
Cajun Nachos - Oceana

Shrimp Po-Boy - ACME Oyster House

When in Rome and the humidity hits averages nearly 90% in June (not even at it's most brutal), one must seek refreshment.  Since my consumption limits are low (read: weak  sauce), we went for the staples. 

Pat O' Briens - Home of the Hurricane

This drink was created during WWII to use up the supply of rum bar owners were forced to buy in order to secure orders of limited supplies of whiskey. Quite a sweet punch like liquor served here in O'Brien's lovely courtyard.  Arrive in the early evening to witness the ceremonial lighting of the fountain.

624 Bourbon St, 

New Orleans, LA 70130
Open 11a-10pm - 7 days.

Tropical Isle - Home of the Hand Grenade
This one packs a hidden punch, but definitely hits you beneath it's melon sweetness. Online recipes tout gin, grain alcohol, melon liquor, rum and vodka. Couldn't make my way all the way through (see weak sauce above, but did my requisite stroll down Bourban with the souvenir container anyway).  

All along Bourbon Street

Eats, Part Deux

Felix's - Crawfish Po-Boy and Etoufee
Another recommendation from my taxi driver, some eats to soak up the aforementioned refreshments. A little full and exhausted to enjoy this dish, but crawfish fry was a bit salty. Etoufee was hearty and flavorful. 
Crawfish Po-boy and Etoufee

739 Iberville St.

New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 522-4440
Sunday - Thursday:  11a -10p
Friday & Saturday:  11a - 11p

Cafe Du Monde 

Second visit to Orleans and shockingly the first trek for the world famous beignets. Delectable fried pieces of dough, under an avalanche of powdered sugar.  Few legendary dishes live up to the hype, but the beignets at Cafe Du Monde are everything you've heard. The Cafe Au Lait, had both hot and iced, at different visits, and both are fabulous as well. 
Grab a seat on the patio in the French Market location - open all day and night.  A bit glad my hotel is almost a mile away from the French Quarter. This place is dangerous. 

Evening beignets and Cafe Au Lait
Afternoon beignets and Iced Cafe Au Lait

800 Decatur Street

70116 New Orleans(504) 525-4544
Open Hoursclosed 6pm December 24opens 6am December 26
Open 24 hours a day

We missed the breakfast serving at John Besh's ode to the Franco-German brasseries. Enjoyed the meal, but had a bit of an affluent flair to it. 
Stuffed P&J Oysters

Seafood Gumbo ala Creole

333 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 70130


Everytime we walked past this ACME, there was a decent line streaming from the door, so we decided to forego original plans for a fancier dinner for another opportunity to inhale more oysters. I think Drago's oysters still remain my favorite, but ACME delivers a pretty amazing oyster as well. You'll need the bread to sop up the amazing drippings. Everything we sampled at ACME was awesome and would definitely mark this a must visit in the city. 
Chargrilled Oysters
1/2 Dozen Raw Oysters

Craw Puppies and Seafood Etoufee
New Orleans Bread Pudding

724 Iberville Street | New Orleans, LA 70130
  • Phone: 504.522.5973
  • Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 10:30AM-10PM
    Friday-Saturday: 10:30AM-11PM

Gumbo Shop
Impromtu Gumbo hop led us to nearby Gumbo Shop right as the Orleans skies finally decided to welcome me with it's infamous summer rain.  We scarfed on our post dinner snack (gumbo part deux) and myself some BBQ shrimp. I had a taste of the gumbo, which was quite tasty, but the BBQ shrimp was just alright.  Less of a BBQ flavor, but really bold and dark.  Good for sopping up with the baguette that accompanied.
Seafood and Okra Gumbo
BBQ Shrimp

630 Saint Peter Street
New Orleans LA, 70116 

T: 504-525-1486 

Sun - Thu, 11:00 am to 10:00 pm
Fri & Sat, 11:00 am to 11:00 pm

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Torrance Food Tour

Living in Los Angeles, there is access to an numerous pockets of awesome foodie neighborhoods, but as cities are spread out and traffic piles up for any reason available, few people venture out of their neighborhood bubbles to experience the delicacies other cities have to offer.  Hearing of some of the fabulous eats Torrance had to offer, me and three of my coworkers decided to embark on a self-curated foodie tour.  The intention was to snack, sample, and share, with coolers ready to collect edible souvenirs and leftovers.  Problem is that it's quite difficult to maintain portion control when you want to inhale everything in front of you.  There is much that was left unexplored, but in the meantime, Torrance Food (Coma) Tour, in all it's gluttonous glory.

1) Kings Hawaiian - The Local Place
We began our journey at Kings Hawaiian - The Local Place, the smaller outpost adjacent to the ginormous bakery and restaurant.  This is the same maker of the delicious Hawaiian rolls you see in the markets and their cafe (and restaurant) are filled with delicious baked goods and island inspired dishes. As this was only the first stop of our multi-multi establishment tour, we decided to share a few items. 
French Toast (make from Hawaiian bread)

Breakfast Sandwich - Spam, Egg and Cheese

Breakfast Sandwich - Portuguese Sausage, Egg and Cheese - my fave, the sausage reminds me of those polish sausages, in which I think I could consume in less than recommended servings.  Perfectly complimented with sweet Hawaiian bread.  
Kings Hawaiian - the Local Place
18605 S Western Ave
Torrance, CA 90504
The delicious variety of old school Asian bakeries, where you grab baked foods with tongs to your cafeteria tray, keeping up with the times by adding boba and their famous sea salt coffee. 

Can't grab them all, can I?

 This is gonna make a tasty breakfast tomorrow.

Sea Salt Tea and Sea Salt Coffee, served cold.  Got the coffee myself, which was yummy,  but tasted the tea and may have to venture that direction next time. 

Squid Ink Bread - foods that are colored to scare away people - that's my jam.
85°C Bakery Cafe
1735 W Carson St
Torrance, CA 90501

Not originally on our food tour itinerary, we walked past this little hole in the wall between Mitsuwa and 85C. We were entrapped by the menu offerings and picked up an order of Island Fried Chicken (unavailable earlier from Kings).  The chicken is super juicy and the skin is crispy with more than a hint of sweetness, but not cloyingly so.  Great as a sharing snack.
Back Home
21605 S Western Ave, Ste C
Torrance, CA 90501

Sometimes the best gems are hole in the wall ethnic restaurants hidden in non-descript strip malls in your neighborhood. These places are only discovered by word of mouth, which makes eating in the age of Yelp! so great.  4.5 Stars and earning every bit of those accolades, they are known for a mouth-watering weekend brunch (only $13.99), but as we were in mid-food tour, we decided to share a couple of plates.
Papas Rellenas - Stuffed potato ball with ground beef and onion stuffing

Lechon Asado -  marinated slow roasted pork and hand-pulled pork with mojo sauce.  The pork was marinated in the most delicious onion, lemony, garlic sauce, which, when combined with the black beans, rice and plantains, made for the perfect cuban bite.  If I were having a full meal at Habana, this would definitely be my pick.
Habana Vieja Cuban Cuisine & Cafe
1648 W Carson St Ste B
Torrance, CA 90501
Another hole in the wall gem in old Torrance, we stopped by for our requisite noodle tasting.  We opted for soba, as ramen runs rampant back in our hoods.   The restaurant offers about a couple dozen options which you can order with either soba or udon.  We shared on bowl of the most popular Tanuki Ramen, a simple bowl of soba with Tempura flakes. 

Savory broth with delicious soba and tempura flakes.
Ichimi Ann Bamboo Garden
618 Cravens Ave
Torrance, CA 90501

 There's a smattering of these Mitsuwa markets, the mecca for produce, condiments, and prepared foods, with an enclosed food court, but the Torrance location was the best one I've visited so far.   The food court included a mass of delicious permanent stalls, along with pop up stalls from their "Hawaiian Fair" (poke, masubi, saimen, etc), topped off by what appeared like a luxury baked goods boutique, with cookies, mochi and cakes that seemed more like works of edible art than present for sustenance. This is a great place to stock up on gifts for your snooty foodie friends.  

We didn't have enough stomach space to eat through the food court, but window shopped and bought a few takeaways from the enclosed Mochi Cream. 

Mitsuwa Marketplace
21515 S. Western Avenue
Torrance, CA 90501 

The enclosed Mochi boutique inside the Torrance Mitsuwa location offers seemingly the Japanese version of the french macaron.  For those unfamiliar, mochi is a rice cake made from glutinous rice flour, formed into a variety of shapes and flavors. Pricy, but subtly sweet delicacies, they make a sweet little souvenir.

Mochido - the donut shaped mochi, hence the name. Got the banana chocolate, which was a perfect little treat.

The traditional round mochi, with so many delicious options. Tough to choose! Settled on Double Mango, Honey Cranberry, Caramel Pudding and Blueberry Yogurt. 

As seen on Food TV reads the sign on the window, this small corner Argentine market and deli is known for it's empanadas and imported products.  We grabbed some frozen empanadas to go, along with some alfajore confections.  These will make a great quick and lazy dinner.  
Continental Gourmet Market
25600 Narbonne Ave
Lomita, CA 90717

9) Kotosh
The tagline on this restaurant, another non-descript hole in the wall, is Peruvian Food & Sushi, but you can remove your fears about poorly conceived fusion concepts. This place is pretty legit.  The menu covers the standard variety of traditional Peruvian dishes, traditional and specialty sushi items, and some that brilliantly crossover both ethnicities. Recommended by my coworker who had previously visited, I took the Tallarin Verde: Spaghetti with spinach cheese, and basil sauce, served with Chicken Katsu. The crispy texture of the katsu chicken adds a good contrast to the flavorful pesto spaghetti. Delicious in itself, accompanied by request by green crack sauce that took it to another level.   I don't know what's in it, but I'm regretting not requesting a bucket of it. Definitely on the return list!

Tallarin Verde


2408 Lomita Blvd
Lomita, CA 90717


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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Riveting to me...

Witnessing remotely a nice little spanking of one of my least fave hockey clubs, the Canucks, at the hands of (2014 Stanley Cup Champion) LA Kings at home, thought I'd share with some random things that give me joy.

Realized I heard the first episode on NPR a while back, but so happy that it's turned into a full season's podcast.  SERIAL podcast is follows NPR reporter Sarah Keonig as she investigates the murder case of Baltimore teen Hae Min Lee in 1999, seemingly resting on very thin prosecution case and chalked full of investigative negligence.  She interviews law experts, witnesses, and the convicted, the victim's former boyfriend, Adnan Syed, who has been incarcerated 15 years for the crime. The listener follows the investigative journey with Keonig, theories come and go, and it's most darn addicting thing I've discovered in a long time.  New episodes every Thursday, which often (always) seems way too long.  Download on iTunes.

The 2014-15 NHL season has finally opened and a month in, it appears that our beloved LA Kings, save for a recent 1-4-1 almost road almost road trip blanking, a flurry of random injuries, and an
annoying salary cap sitch,
the Kings don't seem to be experiencing touch of a cup hangover.

Lucky our favorite hockey bloggers and tweeters are back to laugh and sometimes #barfcrybarf with us:

I don't really follow foodball... Games are too long, there's no puck... As my fave hockey blogger, The Royal Half would say, "Do it on ice, then I'll be impressed". Then I was introduced to this little guy...

of the A photo posted by Rufio Fauria (@lil_rufio) on
The Detroit Lion's Tight End Joseph Fauria's new pomsky pup is the cutest darn professional sport pup ever. It's partially about the Instagram commentary, I believe composed by Fauria himself, is full of wit and playfulness. I want a Rufio of my own.

Have been getting a few great shipments from Stitch Fix and finally got sucked in the Golden Tote November box. Fortunately for my closet, unfortunately for my wallet, most of the shipments have been winners.  Lucy is succeeding in her daily goal of tricking me into spending money...