Video: 20 seconds of the most unique happy hour dishes at this new Asian fusion spot.
The newly opened Red Eye Fish’s motto is “not just sushi.”
Indeed, this new Asian fusion spot in Artesia, CA has much more to offer than your traditional sushi (which I am always down for too, given top quality!). We stopped in for a bite and found that there were a ton of creative food mashups just waiting to be explored!
It happened to be happy hour when we went, and it seemed that it was about a dollar or two off the original prices for happy hour items. Here’s what we got, and how it was:
Kimchi Fried Rice with Pork Belly
The kimchi fried rice has pork belly, and rich savory-sour-spicy flavors. Besides being a bit on the greasier side (as most fried rice dishes are), it’s a really fantastic dish paired with some other items.
Hot Cheetos Sushi Roll. Yes, you read that right!
Hot Cheetos Roll. Our server said that this is their signature dish, and claim to fame. It is essentially a California roll topped with spicy tuna and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos crumbles.
Somehow, I was expecting more uniqueness and cohesiveness in this dish, but hey, I love all the ingredients in the roll. Plus, my not-so-secret guilty pleasure happens to be those little crunchy bites of heat (a.k.a. Hot Cheetos). So it was awesome to get for the novelty, but I think there are even cooler things on the menu that I would get again next time.
My favorite happy hour item!
This leads me to my most favorite item on the menu, the — wait for it — Sushi Pizza!
This baby has a ton of flavorful sushi fillings that go right on top of the crispy rice “crust,” along with a bit of cheese to bring it all together as pizza. It is SO good. My favorite thing so far!
If you’re an adventurous foodie, you should definitely give this place a try. Go here for more info on the new restaurant, and check out the video above for all the aforementioned food in action. Cheers!
One more shot of that sushi pizza. It’s just that good.
Here’s some food news for you global food lovers: Pueblo Tapas opened earlier this year at the OC Mix in Costa Mesa, bringing some Spanish flair to Orange County.
I was sent to cover the new opening thanks to Tastemade, and the hospitable owners of the OC restaurant with Spanish charm brought out some of their top recommendations from the lunch and dinner menus… such complex and flavorful savory bites!
Short Rib Two Ways: Six-hour braised and crudo
The food at the new restaurant was outstanding, and the design and layout made me feel like I was back in Spain.
It made me miss España, and although I haven’t been to Madrid yet, Barcelona and Girona were both unique and charming. Since the owners are from Madrid and still have restaurants there, I felt the authenticity and also the original creativity in the dishes.
Pan Perdido, a Spanish take on Pain Perdu: Creme brulee bread pudding with rosemary poached pears
It felt like I was being transported across the globe for a taste of Madrid, right there in Costa Mesa.
Check it out in the video below, from when we went to take a look within a couple weeks of their opening… plus, dessert presented by Chef Michael!
One-minute video rundown of some of the most top bites to get at Pueblo… like the six-hour braised short rib!
Check out Pueblo the next time you’re at the OC Mix! It’s like a mini vacation to Madrid, without leaving the OC. ¡Salud!
Last night, the All-Star Chef Classic turned the L.A. Live event deck in downtown Los Angeles into an epic restaurant stadium. Thanks to Tastemade, who sent me to cover the event, I got to experience the exquisite five-course dinner menu for myself!
I was planning on going to my regular MMA kickboxing class, up until a few minutes before I was about to leave for the gym. Then, I found myself quickly getting ready for a fancy fine dining event and rushing to downtown L.A. for a night to remember! I’m very grateful for the opportunity.
Not only did we witness live demos from five of the immensely talented top chefs in America, but I also got a chance to speak with them about their food! It was a memorable evening, for sure:
Sitting in the restaurant stadium is an amazing feeling. It feels larger-than-life but also has an intimate vibe, as there aren’t a ton of rows so that no one feels too far from the action. Everyone in that room had one thing in common: we are all passionate about high caliber food.
Each of our five courses were paired with wines, and each plate looked so pretty I had to admire it (and pay homage by taking lots of photos and videos!) for a considerable amount of time before taking a bite. Hey, I was just doing my job! 😉
A breakdown of what was served:
First course, by Michael Cimarusti of Providence
Santa Barbara spot prawns roasted in salted butter, with citrus and nori. Paired with a 2012 Sauvignon Blanc.
Having recently developed a very slight (and majorly unfortunate) allergy to crustaceans, I was unable to taste the prawns, but the accompaniments were delicious… and the noises my fellow dining companions made after eating this course gave me reason to believe that this dish was every bit as good as it looked.
Second course, by Daniel Patterson of Coi Restaurant
Spring vegetables in a honey-lemon broth, with herbs and flowers. Paired with a 2012 Sauvignon Blanc.
It was indeed “springtime on a plate,” as the San Francisco chef described his own dish. The herbs and the honey-lemon broth brought this delicate dish together. Hooray for healthy, pretty food!
Third course, by Nancy Silverton (always one of my favorite chefs to talk with!) of Mozza
Roasted carrots with ceci and cumin vinaigrette. Paired with a 2012 Pinot Noir.
The warm notes from the cumin and the perfectly roasted carrots gave such great flavor and texture… and the yogurt on top brought a cooling element and balanced the entire hearty vegetarian masterpiece.
Fourth course by Wylie Dufresne of Alder, and previously WD~50
Lamb loin with black garlic romesco, pickled ramps and dried soybean. Paired with a 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon.
The lamb was perfectly succulent, the ramps added some acidity, and the black garlic romesco gave the entire dish such a deep, rich umami flavor. Holy moly.
Fifth course, by Christina Tosi of NYC’s Momofuku Milk Bar
Apple pie cake with miso butterscotch, sour whipped cream and pie crumble. Paired with a 2012 Moscato… & (unofficially) Stella Cidre.
Oh man, where to start. The cake was moist, with the crumble adding the perfect crunch. The miso added more savory umami, and complemented the flavor of the apples so well. The sour whipped cream brought it home with a delicious tanginess to balance the sweetness of the cake. This is what dreams are made of, people.
Petit Fours by Christina Tosi
Momofuku’s famous “Crack Pie”
We ordered a full-size pie (yes, I had it shipped!) from NYC a few years ago, and it was pretty incredible. This was a nice bite-size version, but I do wish it had more of the addictive filling. Oh Christina, how you always leave us craving more and more! With how good her desserts are, no amount will ever be enough, I think.
Moral of the story: Not that I’m saying to always choose eating over working out, but when the right opportunity presents itself, being a little spontaneous and saying “yes” more than “no” can truly do wonders for how much you get out of life. Trust me on this!
Where do you go to interview top-tier LA chefs of celebrity status, all in the same room? How about the likes of Curtis Stone, Roy Choi, Michael Voltaggio and Sang Yoon?
Well, this past weekend, LA Weekly hosted The Essentials, an annual food event produced in honor of the recently unveiled 99 Essential LA Restaurants list. This is where I got to chat with all of the aforementioned immensely talented chefs!
Check it out here, along with some of the amazing bites offered by 50 of the 99 restaurants honored on the list:
Here are some of the highlights from what we tried at the event:
Roy Choi’s Kogi served its classic short rib tacos, while Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio of Ink served a bagels & lox-inspired dish featuring rye pasta with smoked trout roe, bagel crumbs and dashi brown butter.
Michael Voltaggio of Ink served up a pasta play on bagels & lox
Plan Check served their famous (and heavenly!) cruller donut holes with caramelized goat cheese, coconut sugar, almond sauce, white chocolate and candied rosemary.
Plan Check’s all-star cruller donut with candied rosemary, caramelized goat cheese
This little ball of rich complexity was definitely one of my ultimate favorite bites, as the donuts were crispy on the outside and light, airy and slightly custardy on the inside. The caramelized goat cheese was the perfect balance of sweet and savory, and the candied rosemary added the right amount of aromatic essence.
A savory favorite of mine had to be Little Sister’s banh hoi with chili braised beef shank and tendon, herbs, sprouts and fried peanuts. Great balance of hot and cold, sweet and salty, and the perfect amount of heat and acid.
Little Sister’s banh hoi getting some finishing touches
Alimento’s escolar crudo was also excellent, plated with eggplant, wild fennel and mollica. The succulent yet firm white fish absolutely melted in the mouth along with its Mediterranean-inspired components. It was a very cohesive plate indeed, with deep flavors.
One last donut that stood out was Hinoki & The Bird’s miso donut with honey caramel. It was a perfect umami and sweet combination in one fluffy bite!
Spago served an interesting “Vietnamese style banh mi” with pork belly, but somehow it didn’t taste as good as it looked for me. Still, it was pretty to look at, with all its brightly colored veggies.
Spago’s take on the banh mi
Tar & Roses’ steak tartare was delectable, as was its popcorn with bacon, brown sugar and aleppo pepper. Petit Trois also served a steak tartare, while Park’s BBQ served the flavors of Korean BBQ in one bite. There was also some great Ethiopian food, and a lot of deep-flavored moles served at the event.
Korean BBQ in one bite, by Park’s BBQ
I only heard that chef Curtis Stone of Maude’s white asparagus pain perdu with foie gras mousse, pickled pearl onions & mustard seed was amazing, since we didn’t get to try before they ran out. Still, he talks to us about it in the video above… which kind of makes up for it!
Here’s Roy Choi cracking jokes and plugging Kogi, by the way:
Instagram video: Joking around with Roy Choi
Szechuan Impression’s spicy noodles were hot and flavorful, and had just the right bite. The variety of food, from authentic international street fare to refined European-inspired dishes was a pretty accurate reflection of so much that LA has to offer.
Spicy noodles by Szechuan Impression
Although they didn’t exhibit at the event, I was pretty proud to learn that Surati Farsan Mart was recognized as one of the 99 Essential Restaurants!
Wine, cocktails and spirits also flowed at the event, and there was even vodka made from sweet potatoes. Oh, and how could I forget shouting out Philippe The Original and their OG French dip sandwich? There was so much food and drink to try, such little time!
The original French dip by Philippe The Original
I do wish some of the fine dining restaurants hadn’t run out by the time we got to them, but overall we definitely left stuffed and satiated with some of the most essential bites LA has to offer.
It was a good time talking food with some very well-respected chefs, as well.
Cheers from Roy Choi & Tanaya’s Table… peace out!
Check out the full list of stellar vendors here. Until next time, cheers!
Backstory: Went to Berkeley back in 2013 for a few hours to visit a friend. Heard of CREAM, the Berkeley-based ice cream sandwich place that always has a huge line. Pressed for time, we bypassed the line, hoping to try it someday.
Flash forward to present: CREAM has opened in Downtown Los Angeles, right near USC on Figueroa. The line for free ice cream sandwiches wrapped around the block, but I had to bring you guys the “scoop” (pun totally intended), right?
Here’s what we got, and a word from Hector, the owner of CREAM (which stands for Cookies Rule Everything Around Me, by the way):
Check out the one-minute rundown on CREAM, the newest ice cream sandwich on the block.
The final verdict for me is that it’s worth a try, but they will never come close to what Diddy Riese has done for UCLA and Westwood (which CREAM is said to be trying to do with the USC area).
I have attended both schools and yes UCLA is my alma mater so there is a slight bias by default, but nothing beats Diddy Riese in its history, charm, authenticity, and just the OG experience in general.
Their cookies also go better with the ice cream, in my opinion, but I will say that when the CREAM cookies get soaked in melting ice cream, they have a delicious texture and flavor that makes me very very happy.
They also have ice cream made in-house & vegan options… but what I really love are the toppings you can add to your ice cream cookie sandwich. Everything from Oreo pieces to sprinkles and gummi bears.
However, I wish they had a few more unique flavors, and that their salted caramel had more saltiness to it. I wasn’t mindblown for all the hype, but it was a very solid and satisfying ice cream sandwich. Plus, the service was great.
Go check CREAM out for yourselves in you’re in the downtown area, and share your verdict!