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Prawn Coastal

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Prawn Coastal

Prawn Coastal is hidden at the corner on Miller and Hugus Alley (One Colorado Courtyard). They are popular for their fresh seafood dishes cooked in tilting steam kettles which is a cooking process that expedites simmering that renders a full complex flavor. I can see this place become extremely popular during a cozy afternoon. The ambiance is very peaceful and great for get togethers or date night.

Here are some things we had.

Seattle Fish Stew - A heart stew of shrimp, squid, clams, mussels, salmon and bacon in a luscious lobster broth. This is served wit bacon rouille over rice.

Shrimp Butter Boil - Spicy shrimp, potatoes, corn, bacon and pickled onion simmered in a buttery lobster brother served over rice. This was very aromatic and the flavors of shellfish really hits you. That’s one of my favorite things about a shellfish broth.

Thai Lobster Roll - This is one of the sandwiches I know people come for aside from their shrimp and oyster roll. Chunks of maine lobster stewed in, you guessed it, lobster broth with roasted onions and potatoes, spicy coleslaw and bacon rouille on a soft roll. I picked their downtown home fried potatoes. SO good. They also give you an additional side of rouille so I was just dipping the fried potatoes in it.

One Colorado Courtyard 16 Miller Alley Pasadena, CA 91103 (626) 219-6115

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Mister O's

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Mister O's

It's been a long time anticipating a new restaurant by Michael Cardenas, but he finally resurfaced with something not just expectedly great, but something so unique, extremely thought out, and a concept that's excitingly fresh to the way we dine out.

disclaimer: I'm getting used to a new camera I just got so please excuse the lack of clarity in some photos.

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1838 Ventura Blvd. Studio City, CA.

Be ready for a surprise as you find the Palm Spring essence on the exterior of the restaurant. 

As you walk in you will be immediately hit with a 1960's Mad Men era. There's an array of beautiful colors plotted all around the restaurant. From different figurines on the shelves to different colored furniture. Each with it's on personality and funk to contribute to this space.

There's also a cozy fire pit outside for you to enjoy during a warm summer night or a chilly winter hibernation that screams for a good ole old fashioned (or two). 

Their cocktails are no joke. Through a lot of crafting and testing before the grand opening, the full menu for Mister O's will not fall short from your expectations. The 2 you see above is Trade Secret and the Maize runner. Not shown is the old fashioned. All great contenders for an evening of debauchery.

Marinated olives are a must order even if you hate olives. John hate olives and almost everything, but he loved these. The olives are not briny or salty so it becomes a great snack without the guilt. When I have a few drinks I tend to feel bloated the next day from all the salty foods I consume so this is delightful to have.

Fierce avocado. This is basically a guac topped with salt cod served with seeded cracker. The salt cod mixed with the avocado gave a feeling of ceviche. It was fresh and a great dish for the season.

Clams with anaheim chili, dill butter, pernod, and bacalao broth. This had so many flavors, but never have I tasted something like this especially with clams. It was really good and wished I had some bread to soak up that delicious broth!

Cauliflower with smoked raisins, mustard frill, sunflower, and seed puree. If you love cauliflower, you will love this. John's normally not a huge fan of cauliflower, but he really liked this as well. Another thing you should know is they are really prized in their vegetable dishes. I like the idea of a restaurant doing more with vegetables. Not just by giving more options on the menu, but making them sexy which a lot of places fail at.

Shigoku oysters with blistered shishito, burnt chili negro, dill dashi mignonette. Citrus, sweet, and a little kick to make this a one bite wonder. Don't forget to squeeze the caramelized onion.

Can Can. This isn't officially on the menu because it's limited. If you've watched my Instagram stories lately you will know that I've been eating pork belly almost every day. This pork can can has the belly connected to the tissue. Imagine that and being cooked slowly until tender... then deep frying it till crispy? topped with a sweet and sour relish with savory beans. I forgot to ask, but this almost felt like a cuban fusion. A must order.

Sea Bass with chanterelles, corn, spigarello, and lemon verbena. A delicate fish with different supporting roles. The chanterelles were meaty and tart mixed with the sweetness of the corns really added flavor to the delicate fish. The skin was crispy all the way through, very impressive.

Tootsie roll. A luxorious fudge bar topped with hazelnuts, figs, and a sea salt cream. 

Panna cotta with guava puree. Ok I don't remember the exact name of this, but it's all of that. That's a cake on top of the guava puree topped with whipped cream. Very delicious! The guava speaks volume and does not lack and flavor. 

Don't worry, John and I pretty much cleaned our plates. Ended the night with 2 hot coffees for the ride back to SGV.

I wished it was closer to me, but I would say it's worth the trip. The food, the service, and the ambiance are definitely worth dressing up for. Now... need to find out if I can smoke a cigar in the patio. You will see me very soon Mister O's!

 

 

 

 

 

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Kappabashi Coffee

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Kappabashi Coffee

We were in route for one of the highly recommended unaju in Japan. However, they weren't going to open yet so we decided to take a small detour to Kappabashi coffee. Just a few blocks away from the Asakusa station is where this small cute little shop stands. 

3丁目-25-11 Nishiasakusa, Taitō, Tokyo 111-0035, Japan

Their menu is really straight forward and somewhat interesting when it came to the food items. Not in a bad way of course, but I was expecting corned beef toast or croque monsieurs for that matter. 

The cafe has an organic feel from all the wood designs on the wall.

A simple pour over to start the day. 

Ham sandwich. Simple and strangely satisfying since it's cut evenly in 1/3's.

Delicious croque monsieur I must say. I think the toast really makes this a winner. The ham also has a nice smoke which brings out some umami flavor to this dish. So simple, but the execution was spot on.

Ok another delicious dish. Corned beef toast might be my next favorite thing. Served with some whole grain mustard, sauerkraut, and corned beef. I really need to remake this at home. It was that good and memorable. 

This coffee shop is definitely out of your way. There really isn't much around this cafe, but that's pretty much like a lot of places in Japan. You will find random spurts of restaurants whether it seats 5 people or 20. It really varies. And it seems like most of these cafes/restaurants cater to the locals which makes this even more charming. I'm sure many of you will run into this place on your way to Obana. I recommend it. 

3丁目-25-11 Nishiasakusa, Taitō, Tokyo 111-0035, Japan

 

Kappabashi Coffee

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Tatemichiya

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Tatemichiya

Not a lot of people know this, but I was really sick with Bronchitis on my way to Japan. It actually got worse during my flight and at times, I thought I was going to die. I was desperately buying vitamin juice packs from our local 7 Eleven down the street from our hotel in Ginza. This was during winter so the cold frosty air didn't help my cough much. Luckily, I conquered a few days before visiting the emergency room. But, let's save that conversation for a different day.

Before visiting the hospital we saw one of my dearest friends, Ami Tsuchida, who lives in Tokyo. She recommended a local Izakaya that she's been going with her mom. It's as rock'n'roll and divey as it gets. 

This was shot from their little upper level seating. Tons of people were also smoking which didn't help my coughing much, but to my surprise, the alcohol helped. They have tons of sake, shochu and beer. If you don't finish your bottle they can tag it for you.

Marinated hotaru ika - Briny and sweet squid pairs perfectly with Japanese beer. I switch off between Sapporo and Asahi.

I believe this was shiokara over cream cheese. Shiokara is pretty much squid fermented with their digestive parts. It sounds gross if you're not familiar with these kinds of food, but I really like this.

A very traditional home dish Japanese people ate as a kid. Ham katsu. It sounds weird, but does it really? This isn't something that's bizarre, but this was one of the most memorable dishes I ate because of it's simplicity yet addictively delicious. 

Fried Oysters. One of my favorite izakaya items. Served with tonkatsu sauce and an egg tartar. SO GOOD. Where's my beer?

White fish with shiso deep fried. Served with grated ginger.

Sashimi moriawase.

Agedashi tofu with natto. Came out hot and sizzling. I love how a lot of restaurants serve natto!

Tsukemono. I always order this at every Japanese restaurant. It's nice to have with drinks. It also acts like a palate cleanser. 

Tonkotsu ramen to end our dinner before heading to a cigar lounge.

I forgot to take photos of yakitori, but we had it as well.

B1F, 30-8 Sarugakucho, Shibuya 150-0033, Tokyo Prefecture (Shibuya / Harajuku / Ebisu) +81 3-5459-3431

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CHAYA Izakaya - Venice

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CHAYA Izakaya - Venice

A concept that has been in the making is now available for you to experience. I hold Izakaya very dear to my heart as I've worked in one for 3.5 years inspiring me to travel to Japan now twice. Izakaya is a very unique experience that is rooted deep in the Japanese culture. Feel free to ask the staff on how to truly experience the Izakaya dining ways. I like to see it as a Japanese tapas bar. You order drinks and a few dishes to accompany the conversations. Repeat this and you're good.

Here are some captures of the night.

Let's talk sake. There are plenty to choose from here. Pick from your Junmais and Daiginjo, they have it all. 

I enjoy sake, but I'm always an old fashion type of gal. I love this cocktail, but I've never had it with Japanese whiskey. They were making this with Toki by Suntory. I am pretty shocked how well balanced this came out to be. There was a nice balance of sweet and smokiness from the Toki which I've never picked up when drinking it neat or on the rocks. This will be my new whiskey of choice for old fashioned.

 

Oysters are life. These are 1/2 shells with a granita on top. Extremely refreshing and a wonderful play on the palate. 

Snapper on "daikon rice". 

Tsukune.

Beef tongue with kimchi.

Wagyu Chazuke - This is luxury at its finest. A dab of brocollini puree, crispy rice and luscious mentaiko butter topped off with a fresh pour of their savory dashi tea. Ochazuke is normally comforting. This is pure guilt on how good it is.

Tequila ramen. Yes there really is tequila in this ramen. Don't worry, you don't taste tequila, but tequila naturally has citrus notes which comes through in the broth. When I was in Japan I had a lot of fresh yuzu ramen. The citrus from the tequila reminded me of that. I hated myself after thinking about how clever this was.

Amazing Chef Wako doing his thing.

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Chef Yukou Kajino putting in last touches before the hungry crowd devours.

CHAYA MODERN IZAKAYA 110 Navy Street Venice, CA 90291 310.396.1179

 

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