Luna Grill

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Luna Grill

Your day just got Feta! Had Luna Grill's Beyond Burger. Yup you guess right. A beefless meat patty that is 100% pant based. How cool is that? Or scary. Whatever floats your boat. I'm a little with both. Cool that we've come a long way for veggie patties and scary to know people are actually trying to mock the flavor and texture of beef. Even the looks of a medium/medium rare exists in these Beyond Meat patties.

The verdict? The texture was pretty spot on. It didn't have the fat you would imagine a fatty chuck would have. It didn't have the same fat crust you would normally get. However, did I miss a burger while eating this? No. It actually satisfied my craving for a burger so it did it's job. This is a great alternative if you want to cut out meat, but still enjoy a burger that has a better substance than one made with beans. 

They also sell this in Ralphs. I'm excited to eat this again to be honest.

 

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Mercado

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Mercado

This post is long overdue. I work in Pasadena and we've all been anticipating Mercado to open. Amazing art work like bullet skulls as you walk in from the commons. By them being here, it's definitely brought a lot of life to lake avenue. I'm not even kidding when I say I've been here multiple times within a week. I can honestly say the food is that good.

Here are some food from my first visit (Full menu here for Pasadena):

Mexican Coke - Cane sugar for the win.

Guacamole - hass avocado, serranos, cilantro, red onions, Yxta salsa brava, spicy pepitas, and fresh chips. There dip duo is also highly recommended. It's basically guac and their choriqueso - melted cotija, parmesan, oaxaca cheese, white wine, house chorizo, poblanos, and mushrooms.

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Enchiladas de pollo en mole oaxaqueno - pulled Mary’s free-range chicken, oaxacan mole, queso fresco, crema fresca, red onions, sesame seeds, mexican rice, and chile piquín black beans. The mole wasn't too sweet, velvety and luxurious. Probably one of the best Oaxacan moles I've had.

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ELOTE - grilled sweet corn, caramelized onions, chile piquín butter, topped with queso cotija.

Tostaditas de ceviche - citrus-marinated white fish and shrimp, mango, corn, cherry tomatoes, serranos, fresno chilies, avocado, chile de árbol aioli. This is probably the best ceviche I've had in a while. Fresh, citrusy with a good balance of sweet and heat from the mango, corn, fresnos and chile de arbol aioli. This is a must order if you're here.

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COLIFLOR AL PASTOR - roasted cauliflower, chile morita marinade, pineapple, cilantro. A great side dish if you're doing low carb and want tons of delicious flavors. GM Justin loves to eat this with tortillas. Man was he right.

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Camarones al ajillo - mexican sweet shrimp, chile de árbol garlic butter, market vegetables. You will never find a dish that's executed like they do it here. I've had this many times and didn't know how it should taste until I had it here. The flavor is to die for. Another highly recommended dish.

 Spicy Cucumber Margarita with Mezcal. Mez always gets me.

Spicy Cucumber Margarita with Mezcal. Mez always gets me.

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FLAN. 

Other items I recommend not shown:

Carnitas. Anything carnitas but I love their tacos. From their happy hour menu, order their jicama shrimp tacos. 

Cucumber salad with skirt steak (trust me it's delicious).

Tamales - I ordered their special tamale of the day. It was carnitas, but I know it changes from time to time.

tres leches - YES

Heard the fried chicken torta is a must. Stay tuned for that!

140 S. Lake Avenue #101, Pasadena, California 91101 626.345.5778 www.cocinasycalaveras.com

 

 

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Crackin Kitchen

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Crackin Kitchen

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New to Pasadena, straight from Hawaii, comes Crackin' Kitchen. This is the first Hawaiian cajun I've come across. They do seafood platters to different varieties of mussel pots. The viet cajun seafood boils we are used to is now fused with Hawaiian flavors for a different twist. Come check them out in Old Town Pasadena when you're in the area.

 House sodas. This is peach and watermelon.

House sodas. This is peach and watermelon.

Seafood platter. Oysters, shrimp cocktail, tuna poke, smoked salmon with taro chips, and snow crabs.

Clam Chowder fries. Mashed potatoes topped with french fries with ladles of clam chowder, cheddar cheese and fried egg. My ultimate carb obsession.

Seafood tortilla pizza - Ahi, shrimp, tomato, avocado, jalapeno, cilantro, red onion, and special sauce served on a crispy tortilla

Thai Mussel Pot - Coconut milk, lemon grass, coriander, kaffir, fish sauce, chili, ginger, garlic

ULTIMATE COMBO - Shrimp, clams, mussels, corn, potatoes, andouille sausage and snow crab. Served with all three signature sauces. 

115 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91105

Plenty of seating with a full bar. Love that the space feels really open. I would recommend coming with a larger group to try out different items. They have a HUGE selection of different flavored mussel pots.

enjoy!

 

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Commerson

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Commerson

Lately, breakfast/brunch consists of something fast and effortless. Most of my weekends are spent at the gym in the mornings followed by breakfast with my dad on Saturdays and somewhere for lunch Sundays. We normally eat the same things: Vietnamese or Chinese Hong Kong Cafe in Alhambra. I haven't ventured much because it's been hard to find a place that serves delicious breakfast food. To find one that has good food AND good coffee is a plus for me.

Commerson - 788 South La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Service was fantastic as expected. Our coffee cups were filled often which is always a plus. Their coffee is good in case you're a skeptic of "diner" style coffee, this is not that.

Pork Belly Hash - two sunny side up eggs, tomato marmalade, piquillo peppers, cherry tomatoes, fennel, toast. This is filled with chunks of pork belly perfect to fight through any hangover. Their commitment to sunnyside eggs is pretty much the most perfect I've seen.

Forest Mushroom Omelette - bun shimiji, shiitake, maitake, raclette cheese, caramelized onions, and a side of mixed greens. Ok. Probably the best mushroom omelette I've ever had. The sweetness of the caramelized onions pairs so well with the raclette cheese. Of course the delicious mushrooms cooked with the onions brought a nice level of umami-ness to this that I did not crave meat.

Brioche French Toast - toasted macadamia nuts, rum butter, coconut chantilly cream. I am not a sweet breakfast kinda girl. But damn did this sweep me faster than the extra food in the kitchen email from work. There's just something so decadent about this. It's quite hard to explain. The texture element on this was on point. The brioche is crispy all around with a softness when you cut into this. Homemade brioche yo!

Housemade Sopes with Mole Hollandaise - poached eggs, red onions, cotija cheese, chorizo, fresno chilis, corn, cilantro. No words can express how great fresh tortillas are let alone fresh sopes. This combination is bonkers. The soft poach egg man. I've never had a sopes made like this before and now I'm changed forever.

Smoked Salmon Benedict (you can also get neuske's canadian bacon) - house made english muffins, poached eggs, béarnaise, fried capers, dill, mixed greens. Their home made muffins remind me of the british muffins. So fluffy and holds all that bearnaise sauce and runny poached eggs. Not a lot of people do this, but when I see fried capers I know they are doing it right.

Housemade Granola - Served with honey, berries, straus organic greek yogurt (or milk). Simple, but goes really well with the granola and a slight drizzle of honey. A pretty hefty bowl perfect for a morning fuel if you don't want something too large.

This is their Gin & Tonic on Tap - House made tonic, juniper berries, citrus peels, rose blossoms, and soda water. This isn't a part of their current brunch special, but if you are interested, I highly recommend their bottomless bellinis & mimosas for $35. This also includes one food item from the menu per person. There's a 2 hour seating limit for tables with bottomless bellinis and the $35 offer excludes the ribeye cap steak and eggs from the menu (what did you expect?).

I must come back for dinner. Can't wait for you guys to try it out. And if you get to dinner before me, please let me know what you think!

Ciao

 

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Mori

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Mori

Mori - JR Tokyo Station Yaesu basement Central Exit 1-minute walk

The food scene in Tokyo Station is something I recommend you checking out. Yes it can feel like a tourist trap, but it's one of those places you have to walk through at least once. We stayed in Ginza so walking to Tokyo Station only took about 15 minutes. What's great is how accessible it is to get from one destination to another. We had little hesitancies to go to different areas of the city because of that.

With plenty of food in Tokyo Station, I recommend going for what you really want to try or crave. It's also fun if you want to do a restaurant crawl down here and there's plenty of walking if you feel it's needed to digest. And... a Starbucks is also around for quick pick-me-ups.

I checked out Mori not because of the lines. Because there was none. But because I was craving beef tongue. And if you've ever had Japanese beef tongue, you will understand why the cravings were legit. The perfectly scored meat with the subtle smoke of the binchotan incasing it as the fat drips down. It's spectacular and there really isn't anything like this flavor.

Here is their beef tongue curry. Simple, but very delicious. Tender beef in a rich curry sauce to be accompanied by rice and fukujinzuke (best w curry).

My beef tongue came with rice, the most amazing scallion soup made with beef bones, and an incredibly delicious salad. I like to eat each piece of beef with a little wasabi followed by their pickled greens.

I can't really explain the comfort level of this dish besides it making me happy every freaking time. I assume this is oxtail tongue as it reminds me of Gyutan Tsukasa here in California (can find GT in Mitsuwa, Costa Mesa).

 

 

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