Monday, August 30, 2010

Sweets: Istanbul Best Chocolate, Divan is Divine


I'm a bit of a chocolate addict and am on a mission to find the most amazing and unique chocolate and sweet shops around the world...well I found another one. I randomly found Divan chocolatier and patisserie on my last day in Istanbul while walking through the Bebek area. (Bebek is an affluent and super cute area on the water, not touristy either)
Slick store with very pretty chocolates that taste divine...I'm addicted.
My favorites were the white chocolate heart with hazelnut praline and the dark chocolate with a biscuit and yummy toffee-like filling. Oh and the mini eclairs with chocolate pastry cream are also fantastic! Note to self: Stock up or regret it.

Istanbul Nightlife: Anjelique


My first night in Istanbul, Turkey... Incredible food and literally the most gorgeous crowd I have ever seen. It was Wednesday night, a full moon in the sky, right on the Bosphorus strait near the bridge to Asia with a spectacular view. So many beautiful and stylish people from around the world were at Anjelique (http://www.istanbuldoors.com), I wasn't expecting that. (It happened to be fashion week AND also Ramadan)
I ate at the Mediterranean restaurant on the 2nd floor and had some of the freshest and most flavorful fish... Fish poached in parchment is a difficult feat. I want their recipe!
Around midnight the music got louder (ear plugs came in handy), they brought out plums, almonds and hazelnuts (snacks! Red plums were my fav) and the place got packed. My feet are definitely paying the price today. Also the jet lag isn't helping. Note to self: Take rest breaks from the dance floor and return to Istanbul ASAP.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

United Airlines Still Slipping


I don't mean to sound ungrateful but I got upgraded on my flight from LA-Houston and this is what they served us in first class! The thought of Rondele cheese spread on cinnamon sugar pita chips does not sound appetizing... Who thought of this combo and how did it slip through the cracks of logic and onto the table trays?? To add to this, there was no in-flight entertainment and the engines were severely loud. Whats a girl to do with three hours to kill and only one Vogue (at least its a big one) and the in-case-of-emergency United Hemispheres Magazine? Any good Iphone apps out there besides my beloved Bejeweled??
Note to self: Do not take regional jets longer than an hour. But if I must, the moral of the story is... It doesn't hurt to check with the airline and plan accordingly. (United Airlines In-Flight Services http://tinyurl.com/37lrxyb)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Long Beach Grand Cru Wine and Food Benefit


The location was perfect. Set in the serene and beautiful Rainbow Lagoon Park in Long Beach, California this fabulous wine and food event not only delighted the palate but also raised money for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. The 16th Annual Long Beach Grand Cru (http://www.longbeachgrandcru.com/) held on the evening of August 21st and offered over 1000 medal winning wines and delicious food from 36 of Southern California's finest restaurants. It was my first time and it was impressive!


Stunning displays and towers of the freshest and tastiest tuna tartare, oysters, crab cake sandwiches,

truffled short ribs with blue cheese mashed potatoes and so much more than I could have imagined!


There were also many desserts to choose from; strawberry shortcake, decadent chocolate mousse, French pastries and petit fours to name a few, but my favorite was a selection of old fashioned cheesecake, brownies and chocolate dipped cookies...

All of this unbelievably delectable food was paired with outstanding selections of wine...it was heaven for anyone's taste buds!

(board member Juliana Guerrierro, Stephen Bickley and wine maker Robert Oatley)

Note to self: Pace myself when dealing with so many fantastic food and wine options. ;-) And don't miss this event next year!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

ASIA DOG. Move Over Food Trucks, Now There's Something Tastier, Healthier and Quicker.


Launched in New York City by Steve Porto and Melanie Campbell Asia Dog (http://asiadognyc.com/) has infiltrated the food truck craze. Like a one night show with your favorite band, this traveling food stand is not to be missed! It has captured the attention of Martha Stewart, numerous food critics and now by popular demand is finally going bi-coastal so Los Angelenos can enjoy this Asian-inspired phenomenon. They start off with the freshest and highest quality ingredients...

What's a girl to do with choices like the VINH: Vietnamese banh-mi style: aioli, pate, cucumbers, pickled carrot and daikon, cilantro, jalapeno, the MASH: Spicy ketchup, jalapeno mustard, crushed salt and pepper potato chips and the SIDNEY: Thai style relish with mango, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, crushed peanuts, fish sauce. (All available in veggie, chicken and beef options...organic too!)

I went with one VINH extra jalapenos, chicken and one GINNY with organic beef which is topped with Steve's homemade kimchi and seaweed flakes. (his mom's secret recipe)

Can I just say that because of the fresh and healthy ingredients there was no painful stomach ache or regret from my wise indulgence. The added bonus was the line being twice as long as the Grilled Cheese Truck (http://www.thegrilledcheesetruck.com/) was moving at seemingly lightning speeds; about 8 minutes vs. 35 for the tasty artery clogging grilled cheese. (Grill 'Em All http://www.grillemalltruck.com/ was an hour!) I was happy, can you tell?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Grilled Cheese Truck


If you live in LA and leave your house you're either:
A. A Grilled Cheese Truck veteran
B. Insatiably curious to try the Grilled Cheese Truck
C. Obsessed with the Grilled Cheese Truck

The question is, with all the long lines and possibility of them running out of food in the process, is The Grilled Cheese Truck (http://www.thegrilledcheesetruck.com/) really worth it? My first experience of this food truck was looking at the 100 person line and laughing at the absurdity. I mean...really, people...for a grilled cheese sandwich?!

This happened another 4 times until I finally saw my window of opportunity. 30 people, I can do this! (No one told me that after placing the order the wait would be an additional 30 minutes.) Ordering one would have been a waste so I got the Cheesy Mac and Rib: macaroni and cheese with sharp cheddar, BBQ pork and caramelized onions(I rarely eat any of these alone but all together how can I pass this up?), the Brie Melt: cranberry walnut bread, Double Cream Brie, Sliced Pears and Honey with Smoked Turkey and lastly a sharp cheddar, bacon and tomato. The sandwiches came in pretty silver foil packages with blue writing. Like Christmas! (actually more like Hanukkah)

First bite...heaven...I mean the angels were singing. The Cheesy Mac and Rib was to die for...ha, on a few levels.


After my arteries had enough torture I went for the Brie Melt...to find that it was actually another Mac and Rib. What a minute that wasn't what I ordered! So I opened the third package to find yet another Mac and Rib!! I went to the truck to let them know but by this time they had totally run out of everything. :-( Am I the only person who this has happened to??

Was it worth it for over an hour of my time, 3 of the same sandwiches and the stomach ache? You only live once right?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Epic Brunch at Epic Roasthouse

After a long night out in SF I was in need of some real food. Steps to hangover reduction and an Epic brunch at Epic Roasthouse (http://www.epicroasthousesf.com/) in San Francisco.

Step 1: Order a coffee and have them leave a carafe for easy access.

Step 2: Order the Strawberry Ricotta Pancakes with Balsamic Glaze and Strawberry Mint Butter to start.(there's no picture because I couldn't wait) So big and so scrumptious!

Step 3: Order either the: Dungeness Crab Cake Benedict with Chive Hollandaise

or the Roast Beef Hash with Poached Eggs and Horseradish Cream
or the Breakfast Pizza with Duck Egg, Bacon, Fontina Cheese and Arugula.

(I tried them all and was very happy and very full)

Extra Credit: Order a glass or two of Rose and enjoy the view of the Bay.