Friday, February 27, 2009

Casa and The Varnish

My thursday night adventures will be posted hopefully shortly....

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bakin and Shakin all weekend long!

So I totally have midterms this week, and what better way to combat the stress than to bake!!

I was born a baker, I love to cook, but I LOVE to bake. As a little child I was the Chocolate Chip Cookie master. Then it moved to biscuits. There was a period of time where I was making biscuits every weekend to master my skills. This time also coincided with my sister and her new boyfriend getting together. He loved my biscuits, and I think partly that was the reason why he was with her. Literally my biscuits are THAT good.

Well back to this weekend. Saturaday monring I woke up and made the plunge. Its been a LONG time since I had made biscuits, so I knew it was long overdue. I took the recipe from the Joy of Cooking. This is not my normal recipe, but its what I had so I tried it. I cut it in half because I kinda knew I would be the only one eating these things (which I was). But, I added my special touch. I soaked the biscuit tops in butter. Well you are supposed to brush on the melted butter, but I didnt have a brush. So I improvised, DUNK!

The biscuits came out well. Im still figuring out how to cook in Peter's oven, nothing browns in it! Well some things do, but I am still trying to master that fact.

The biscuits were a tad bit undercooked, but thats because I ate one right away. Once they sat for a while, they were great. And I used my fav blueberry jam with them.

Later that day, I was all alone in Peters apartment, studying. I was craving chocolate chip cookies. Craving. So I made them.

Differences between my cookies and others I have made before:

I had to use a cuisinart instead of a mixer

I had whole wheat flour for more than half my dough instead of all purpose flour

I only had white sugar, no brown sugar

These differences made my cookies different, but still DELICIOUS!!
They were interesting too.  THey were more granulated because the sugar never really melted.  Before I made these cookies I did a bit of research.  Someone said to melt the sugar and the butter together.  This would probably have made them more combined in flavors.  

The cooking process was interesting.  I cooked six cookies at a time and each batch was baked at a different time, ie 10 min, 12  min, 15 min.  This was truly a very interesting experience.  

I definitely liked these cookies at their crispiest.   

MMMM cookies.  If I had a final in cookies, I would definitely ace it!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


MMMM, Last night I got to go to Umami Burger on La Brea. I was so excited all day, telling everyone I was going there! So after work, Peter and I went. It was quite perfect because he lives literally parallel to Umami but just a mile of blocks away!

So we went, pulled into their parking lot (Yes they have parking!) and in we went. First surprise, is actually a sit down restaurant. I walked in and saw tables, but also saw a waiter standing by the cashiers desk, so I thought it would be like any ol burger joint where you order and sit. NO NO NO, umami burger is not like any ol burger joint! How could I ever think that too, well lesson learned!

We were seated and got our menu, two sided very simple but yet at least three different meat burgers on it with a total of 8 burgers. Peter got the SoCal burger, which the waiter described to someone else as similar to the In n Out style but bigger and much better. And I got the pork burger (with chorizo!!!!). Simply because Im trying not to eat beef these days (i know i know, but sometimes we gotta follow what our bodies say, and my body does not like me when I eat beef). We also ordered the mixed salad (for $4) and the triple cooked french fries.

Then we waited....for what seemed like an eternity for our food. We got the salad while waiting. It was super small for the price, came in a little asian style soup bowl and had delicious beets.

Dun Dun Duuuuun, the burgers had FINALLY arrived. MMMM mine was superb! As I read from, the bun was from a Portuguese bakery and super delicious. The burgers came with a crisp and large piece of butter lettuce, tomato and onions. The chorizo made it a little spicy which was great. My only problem, well not a real problem but opinion, the tomato slice was too thin for the burger. When it mixed with my bite, it needed a lil more sweetness from the tomato. The SoCal burger peter says "was better than your pork burger" in a demeaning tone. haha he is wrong though. Actually his burger was really good and I totally would order it if I was eating beef. They know how to cook their burgers just right, the burger was literally cooked to perfection, seared on the outside and still pink on the inside, a total perfect medium rare.

Both burgers were great because they were sloppy and drippy, but NEVER fell apart, and the burgers as early mentioned, cooked to perfection. Totally fell in love with that bun. It was sweet and stayed together.

Now the fries. Peter and I both burned our mouths on them, I guess they had just been freshly cooked, how dare they! haha just kidding. The fries were good, but definitely need work. The triple cooked was there, but the fries were way to big. I like my fries skinny just like my men.

The handmade ketchup was more sweet than vinegary, which I still appreciated. But make sure you ask for extra because that measly Asian style soup spoon did not hold enough.

All in all, I am going back. The food was delicious, clean and the flavors are there. I wouldn't order the fried again until they have changed. The service was defiantly lacking, they forget about my extra sides that I had asked for. Because of this, I never got to taste the Umami. We did wait for a long time, but I know the place just opened so that will get better with time. We got there around 8:30 and it really did not start filling up till around 9, which was cool when I miss the big crowds.

Suggestions for anyone who goes: Its BYOB, so get your favorite beer or wine and truck it in with you!

So go get your UMAMI on!!! I can't wait till I go back!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Dine LA, I did it! at Ciudad!

My first dinela experience, and we chose Ciudad. I chose it for three reasons. Its subway close to koreatown, where my bf lives. It was only $34 per person for a three course meal. I have never been. So its friday night and since my bf and I NEVER plan anything, we were both excited to go out and have a nice dinner together. After work I dolly up and we both hop down to the metro and get out at 7th and metro. We walk a few blocks to the restaurant, thank god it was not raining like it was earlier in the day! We had a very weird starting experience to the night. Once we got there, they were definitely confused about our reservation but did not let on. So after waiting a bit we get sat down. And then we were ignored for a good 20 minutes. But someone did get us some flatbread but still no water. Finally after flagging someone down, the hostess or manager came over and apologized and took our drink order. After that, they were so attentive it made up for everything. They made sure we left as happy customers and it was much appreciated. Overall it was a great dinner. I started with the shrimp tamale and he got the butter lettuce salad wedge. Both delicous actually. Then for our entrees I got the artic char and he got the carnitas. Not only did I love my fish, but on the menu it was $32. Almost the price of my whole three course meal! and I felt that the dish was miniturized like other DinaLa patrons have said some places are doing. I mean that really sealed the deal right there. His carnitas were good but only because of the fixins that came with it. Honestly I did not pay too much attention to his, because I loved my artic char and the herb barley it came with mmmmm. For dessert we got the fudgey yummy chocolate cake (totally recommend) and the tres leches (totally gross).' All in all, totally would come back here due to our great experience. Our drinks were A+, pisco sour, capirahana (sp?) and a mai tai, mmmm. But without the DineLA prices, the meal would have been overly pricey. oh yea they mixed up our second drink order so they gave us an extra 15% off the bill. That was the sweetest.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


well that teaser was indeed, just a freakin teaser. I found this article saying there was this chocolate buffet coming up soon attached to a 30 min chocolate documentary. DID THEY JUST SAY CHOCOLATE BUFFET!!!! thats all i need to say yes please. I rsvp'd right away!


well it was tonight, thursday night. I was so excited for it all day, telling everyone....mmmm chocolate buffet. and for a chocoholic, im literally cannot believe I am being part of such an event. I mean I felt like it was picked from a hat and we were so lucky! but really they added on a third showing of the movie and told us we would have the chocolate buffet before the movie besides the other shows which would have it post show.

we go to the studio, pay for our tickets and then we enter....


Literally I couldn't believe it. Are you serious? This is what I paid good money for! Oh was this lame. So I asked some woman giving out chocolate hearts sitting on the sides, what is the layout. Seriously, was there only one large table?

and they tricked us with a chocolate fountain. I thought I was coming to a quality chocolate buffet, not some cheap trick. seriously. the fountain was so lame. It was barely working and the chocolate was milk. ugh dont people understand what good chocolate is!!! milk is never involved in the pure chocolate senese. Not only was the showing of chocolate dismal, the amount of people was too much for a girl who cant get her chocolate.

IM OVER IT! I go back to the ticket booth and say in so many words, "I want my money back, the plates are empty and there is no chocolate." seriously you cant tease a girl for a few days and then have her walk into this situation, its just devastating!

The guy I told this to was about to give in, but then his lady sidekick shoved chocolate heart boxes to my date and I. Two boxes and told us not to tell anyone. Whatever its not like I would talk to anyone else there in the first place.

They say they are going to get more plates and chocolate out, so we wait while eating our new chocolate boxed in front of everyone in the buffet area. I hope they saw and are jealous because they ate all my chocolate!!!!!

Fnally plates come out. some dark choco brownie with white cream puff on top, some regular nut brownies and strawberries for the lame choco fountain. LAME, LAME AND MORE LAME!!!
the only edible thing was the dark choco brownie, but really I could make better (thank you tartine!) Then I find the cookies! the only thing left was an oatmeal cookie, but boy was it delicious. It was actually the best sweet I ate at the CHOCOLATE PARTY!!! literally they did no justice and showed no respect to what is the queen of the world, chocolate.

THEN BLASPEMY WAS THRUST UPON US!!! after giving us more lame chocolates and angel cake for the fountain, they brought in STORE BOUGHT COOKIES!!!

are you serious! are you really going to disrespect me now! YOU DIDN'T THINK I WOULD REALIZE!!! it was my first instinct when I took a bite. But I didn't want to believe it. I just couldnt. But then my date said something. He confirmed my thought. and I continued eating it, but yes it was store bought.

I had become so sad but still having a head rush from all the chocolate, we decided to stick it to them and ditch the movie.

We walked back had some ravoli on larchmont and then called it a night.

Next time I have my dessert before dinner, I'll make sure its worth it...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Chocolate Teaser....

We are busy preparing: Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake with Milk Chocolate Caramel Icing, Tulip Cups with Chocolate Passion fruit Mousse, White Chocolate Macadamia Meyer Lemon Bars…….

I will tell you all about it on Friday!
My search for only the best food, drinks and recipes.Another blog about my adventures in Los Angeles. Follow me in my crazy world of blogging. Only the future knows what it holds...