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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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Big Catch - Universe

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Big Catch - Universe

Uni is something that you hate or love. I've never met someone that's an in between. Even if you were, it's a lie and the most likely truth is that you hate it.

When I heard that Big Catch Seafood House is offering a special Uni-verse 8 dish course it's a no brainer that my heart just melted. Not even thinking that this would be the best place to take a date for valentines day, but a date that I can take myself. 

The uni is from Maruhide. Most of you know it as the Maruhide Uni Club. These red sea urchins are caught along the Channel Island off the Santa Barbara in California, also called Aka-Uni in Japanese. It has a sweet, creamy texture with a beautiful deep orange/red color. For a limited time, Big Catch is collaborating with Maruhide to create unique course such as this. It brings the Uni Club closer to you so you don't have to trek out to long beach. 

This is the full grand slam of the meal. The glass of champagne is additional and pairs really nicely. If you're not a fan of champaign they also have a full bar for your liking.

The 8 course consists of:

  • Uni Onsen Tamago - Hot Spring egg / Salmon roe/ dried seaweed/ pickled wasabi/ dashi soy
  • Uni Blue Fin Tororo - Blue fin tuna/ Mountain Yam/ pickled cucumber/ ohba leaf/ uni soy
  • Uni Oyster with Ikura - Kumiai oyster/ Salmon roe/ scallion/ ponzu
  • Uni Toro - Fatty tuna (belly)/ flying fish roe/ ohba leaf/ kombu soy
  • Seared Uni Scallop - Seared Scallop/ Mango/ Sea Salt/ Olive Oil/ Ohba Leaf
  • Uni Garlic Flan - Garlic Flan/ Salmon Roe/ Micro Rainbow/ Chives
  • Uni Toast - Dried Seaweed/ Chives/ triple creme cheese/ toast
  • Mini Uni Pasta - Uni Sauce/ Flying fish roe/ dried seaweed/ chives

You can get everything I mentioned for a promotional $88. Will eventually hit up to $108 so I would recommend giving it a taste. This course is limited to 5 orders per day. If you plan on making a reservation ahead of time, make sure to mention you would want to order this.

Below is a closer look at this amazing feast:

Let me know your thoughts after you've given this a try.

Big Catch Seafood

2 S Garfield Ave Ste 100 Alhambra, CA 91801

(626) 282-8590

 

 

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Kings Row - Tandoori Nights

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Kings Row - Tandoori Nights

Chef Sundeep does it again. I've been going to Kings Row for a couple of years now and have always enjoyed their monthly roast pig feast that's hosted on the 3rd Thursday of every month. Chef Sundeep, their executive chef, does not play around when curating a menu for their monthly food haul. This time around, Chef Sundeep had planned for and contemplated for this moment to tie his culture into the food he creates.

Giant kebabs grilled outdoors on their patio grill. The varieties come with the choice of Tandoori, Garlic, Chili, or Shawarma Chicken, served on a fresh naan wrap with lettuce, onion, and tomato. Choice of Raita, chutney, or hot sauce.

Each naan is rolled out my hand. Chefs Sundeep's house recipe.

Margarita Slushies

Ridiculously refreshing. 

Chef Sundeep hosts a special food event once a month on every 3rd Thursday. Stay tuned to see what he has in store for this month. I wonder.

 

 

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3rd Generation - Huntington Beach

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3rd Generation - Huntington Beach

3rd Generation Sake Bar specializes in Ramen, Sushi hand rolls and popular Japanese side dishes like chicken karaage. I've been to their location in DTLA location and now a new space has opened in Huntington Beach. 

 Shishito Peppers With Dried Bonito - One of my favorite appetizers. Simple, doesn't need much seasoning, and 1 out of 10 is spicy so may the odds be in your favor.

Shishito Peppers With Dried Bonito - One of my favorite appetizers. Simple, doesn't need much seasoning, and 1 out of 10 is spicy so may the odds be in your favor.

One of the things I get super excited to see on the menu is baked blue crab. In Japan, handrolls are shaped like a cylinder, so don't be alarmed. The blue crab handroll is wrapped with soy paper so it doesn't overpower the crab. Dab of wasabi and a dip of soy is how I like to eat this.

"Toro My Belly" - Ground Yellowtail, Albacore Belly, Topped with Chu Toro and Caviar. Melts in your mouth.

Highly recommended Grilled Seabass. So buttery and velvety. Each bite was meaty, but tender from the fat. One of my favorites of the night. Those crispy brussels were also amazing with fried garlic chips.

Yellowtail Carpaccio - Yuzu Citrus Sauce, Cilantro, Olive Oil, Tomato Micro Greens.

Address: 7311 Edinger Ave, Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Tel: 714.892.1700

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oto Oto Izakaya - Monrovia - Brother's 30th

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Oto Oto Izakaya - Monrovia - Brother's 30th

Talking about Oto Oto will be a bit personal for me. I don't talk much about restaurants in my posts because I only want to feature the offerings as well as the ambiance. In terms of the actual flavors and whether I like it or not, I don't dive too into it because that is something I want you to be the judge of.

Oto Oto on the other hand... I've worked here in the past for 3 and a half years while finishing my college degree in Business Marketing. I haven't been back since leaving over 2 years ago. I think the reason was the clean break from the restaurant. I wanted to eat new things. Italian cuisines, French, American, and contemporary cuisines whatever that means. The spark for Japanese food just vanished. It wasn't that I stopped coming here only, I also stopped my Izakaya and Japanese food craze unless a friend or family member wants it.

This is why we came here tonight. My brother, David, was turning 30 that night so we wanted to have a nice dinner followed by a countdown. I made a gesture to eat at a place like Oto Oto "Izakaya-style" so we can drink and just snack on items. But turned out, he was really excited to go back to Oto Oto and eat all the food he loved when they used to visit me during and after work.

Without going into detail today, my true drinking habits started here. I've also learned a different side of Japanese cuisine I wasn't familiar with. Izakaya. I immediately fell in love. Not just by the food, but also by how the chefs work. The main chefs are from Japan to continue this restaurant group here in America. IF you have to know, I believe they have over 150 chains in Japan. Oto Oto Monrovia, is their flagship in the U.S.

The restaurant is louder and much livelier than your typical conservative sushi dining experience. The best way to describe the whole Izakaya experience, is to start with a drink, order a few appetizers, and then order more drinks. Continue. I like to start with beer or sake. And order little appetizers like chicken karaage:

My first time eating this was here. I ate at least one piece of this every day. And when I am super hungry, I would order this with a bowl of rice. I would squeeze the lemon all over the chicken and my rice so I'll have the lemon flavor throughout. This, by the way, is fantastic with beer.

So you cheers a little and snack a little. One of the next dishes are all my favorites to eat here while enjoying great company, with drinks.

 Yakitori

Yakitori

Here is the chicken skin, chicken liver, and special heart which is the fatty membrane around the heart of the chicken (DELICIOUS). Everything was eaten with a dash of togarashi pepper. 

 Additional hearts were ordered. 

Additional hearts were ordered. 

Ankimo in ponzu. This is monkfish liver served in a bowl with ponzu, spicy grated daikon, seaweed, shredded cucumbers and minced green onions. I used to also eat this with rice. The flavor is mild yet creamy in texture.

Half shell oysters - 1 ordered with UNI - Sea Urchin (recommended). Served with spicy grated radish, minced onions and ponzu. Super fresh and clean.

Wagyu Carpaccio. I know these are all my favorite foods here, but you have to order this. Tender wagyu beef over mixed greens, sliced red onions, sprouts and minced green onions with a savory tataki sauce. Everyone at the table was happy about this.

Salmon cut roll. We always order this wherever we go. 

Yellowtail belly. Just melts in your mouth. I eat this with a touch more of wasabi even though it's already added with a dash of soy sauce. Your eyes will roll back.

Dragon roll. Yes, unagi is good and we love avocados. But did you know they use real snow crab in all their rolls? Think again when you want to pass on their rolls. And hey, you are eventually going to need something to soak up all that alcohol.

For the next few years, I suffered with the syndrome to call this Spicy tuna at every restaurant. It is called spicy tuna pizza here at Oto, but a lot of other restaurants have the same concept with different names. I loved the seasoning of the spicy tuna.

More yakitori. Beef tongue and Pork calbi. Both are recommended.

They were sold out of their tebasaki karaage (fried chicken wings) so we ordered their chicken wings yakitori instead. I like this version, but the boys wanted fried.

Shiso gyoza. I knew what I wanted, but so did my brother. He made sure we ordered this even though we were extremely stuffed. His eyes rolled back after taking a bite. Served with citrus ponzu. If you love gyoza, you haven't loved it until you had it here. Made in house.

Limited quantity: Miso Marinated cod bones. Don't be fooled by the name, these are packed with flavor and meat. I've had this at other restaurants, but it just doesn't compare to here. It just tastes so fresh and not like it's been sitting in the fridge for a long time. The portions are also generous. Pairs fantastically with beer.

We also had a simple straightforward snow crab roll and ended our night with watermelon shaved ice.

If you plan on visiting let me know, I love it here.

OH and Happy Birthday again brother.

 

 

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