100 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, CA 95113
San Jose had it's first restaurant week the last two weeks. Most of the restaurants didn't sound too appealing, until I saw Arcadia. Arcadia is one of Michael Mina's restaurants that describes itself as Modern American Steakhouse. I call it upscale comfort food. Think mac and cheese, root beer floats, and corn dogs. As Michael Mina in SF is out of my reasonable price range (well that and if I'm going to spend that much, there are other restaurants I want to try first), this sounded like a great opportunity to get a taste of one of his restaurants. So let the fun begin! :)
Menu for the night
Warm french bread and olive bread to start. Salted softened butter was a nice touch. Lobster Corn Dogs - Whole Grain Mustard, Fennel Slaw
Good, but nothing amazing. Duck Fat Fries
Surprisingly addicting. They're not wowing at first bite, but the after taste is very satisfying. The deep flavor was even more intense when the fries had cooled down. I know I know, cold fries?? But trust me, they were still good even cold. We fought to finish them, but we were just too full. Truffled Mac & Cheese
I love mushrooms! So happy that they had mushrooms in here. Mac & Cheese had a wonderful creamy sauce. I can't believe this was only one order. We shared it among 4 people and still couldn't finish it. Kobe Skirt Steak - Whipped Potatoes, Spring Vegetables, Worcestershire
Tender and good flavor. However, my biggest complaint was that the steaks did not appear to be cooked consistently around the table as if they threw all the steaks onto the grill at once without even heat distribution. Loved the mushrooms on the side. Rootbeer Float - Sassafras Ice Cream, Root Beer Sorbet, Chocolate Chip Cookies
The sorbet was definitely my favorite part with a refreshing taste. Chocolate chip cookies had melted chocolate getting everywhere, yum. Good dessert, however too sweet for my tastes.
I thoroughly enjoyed my food at Arcadia and I believe my dining companions all agreed. I could have eaten half the meal and still have been full though! It was just so much food. The service was a little spotty as the waiter was extremely unattentive despite the fact that the restaurant was not very busy. I'm willing to overlook this as the food was delicious. I would definitely bring a visiting guest here if they wanted some upscale American food. Or ordering some Mac & Cheese and duck fat fries (doesn't that sound like the healthiest dinner ever?) to share with some friends if we happened to be in downtown San Jose.
9022 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
My family (parents and brother) is all together only once or twice a year, so I felt a lot of pressure being in charge of choosing restaurants to eat it when we were all in LA. I ended up choosing AOC (dinner), Joe's Restaurant (brunch), Jin Patisserie (afternoon tea), and Chunju Il-Kwan (dinner). There were so many other places I wanted to take them, but our tummies could only fit so much!
I heard only positive things about AOC and I always love the idea of small plates because it means I get to try lots of things. The waitress recommended us to order 2-3 dishes per person to share. We ordered 8 mains and 2 desserts and that was just about right for us. Though my family does not eat very much. I am definitely the exception to that rule. :)
Today's pictures were taken by guest photographer, Jungledog (aka my older brother) who you will quickly notice is much more artistically talented than I am.
complimentary pepper tapenade, and olives
The tapenade tasted like it was made from chipotle peppers with its slightly spicy and smoky flavor. It came with bread that was in itself was nothing special, but it was useful for sopping up sauces off the small plates.
dungeness crab with sweet pea pancakes
However, my mother and I were most excited about this
dish containeing "dou miu" or pea shoot leaves. Dou Miu is probably my Mom's favorite vegetables, especially the big ones. Now if only they weren't so expensive. =/pork rilletes with pickled onions
Decent, but prefer the version at Violet more.
roasted dates, parmesan, and bacon
Yum! So good! I would definitely order this if I ever came back. It seems so simple, but the sweetness of the date, the slight saltiness from the parmesan, and the meatiness of the bacon all combines into something that tastes even better than each ingredient individually. clams with garlic and amontillado sherry
Tasty, the complementary bread was especially useful for this dish. gnocchi with lobster, pancetta, and lobster butter
Decent, but nothing special about this one. grilled skirt steak with roquefort butter
The steak was tender and flavorful, but the roquefort was slightly overwhelming. But,
my family does not eat strong cheeses so that plays a major factor.
pork belly, purslane, tomatillos, and corn salsa
Good if you don't mind excessive amounts of fat and oil. And I mean like chewing on a hunk-of-fat. They also brought this out near the end so we were quite full and it was just too heavy.lamb, grilled flat bread, favas and pine nuts
Tasty. I really liked the lamb and flat bread combo with the creme fraiche in between. I wasn't huge on the texture and presentation from the favas and pine nuts.earl grey panna cotta with orange blossom honey and currant sables
I'm a big fan of earl grey milk tea, so I loved the idea of my afternoon tea turned into dessert. However, the panna cotta was more of a mousse than a panna cotta which I found confusing. Good if you like earl grey, otherwise you may find the earl grey flavor overpowering. chocolate-hazelnut dacquoise with giandujua mousse and salted caramel ice cream
The salted caramel ice cream provided a nice texture contract to the dacquoise.
Overall, the food was high quality both in terms of ingredients and cooking. All the dishes were good, with a few that really stood out (namely the bacon wrapped dates and the dungeness crab with sweet peas). I loved the experience, but I would probably not be going back any time soon because of the really high prices with each tiny plate averaging around $15. However, I would still highly recommend anyone to try this place at least once.
|To my readers who use Yelp www.yelp.com, I'd really appreciate it if you gave me feedback on the questions below for a research paper I'm writing. :) |
What do you think of Yelp?
If you use it, why do you use it? Is there another website you prefer to research restaurants?
Do you think it's useful / useless / neutral?
Will you try a restaurant that has bad reviews?
Will you try a restaurant that it turns out has written fake positive reviews about itself?
Any other comments on Yelp (or on-line restaurant review sites in general).
|So I know my moffle pictures last time were pretty ugly to say the least since I was so excited to try it that I rushed the picture, so I made Moffles with Strawberries and Cream to make up for it. :)|
Moffle in the waffle iron
Moffle with Strawberry and Cream
Looks much better right? <3
|If you haven't heard... Mochi + Waffle = MOFFLE.|
Moffles are a recent trend that in Japan. There's lots of good links at http://www.buzzfeed.com/buzz/The_Moffle if you want to read up on it more. I read all I could about the Moffle and like a good curious home cook (and because my wallet will not allow me to fly out to Japan just to try it), I set out to make my own. Below is my first attempt at making a moffle. I decided to do a twist on blueberry waffles, and instead turn out blueberry moffles!
Moffles with Blueberries and Cinnamon Sugar Whip Cream
- 1 piece of mochi (the hard kind sold in a solid block)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 heavy whipping cream
Special Equipment: Waffle Iron
Makes: 1 serving
1. Find the mochi! I found mine at a local Japanese market. As I can't read Japanese, I stared at 5 different packages for a good while, and then chose one based on the fact that this package had them individually wrapped and were the smallest amount (considering I did not even know if it would work). These mochis are unlike any of the other mochis I have had previously. The mochis come in a block and are hard. They are normally (as much as I can gather from the pictures anyways) broiled or grilled until they puff up. I would love to try this on another day.
Front of bag
Back of Bag
2. Plug in waffle iron and heat to medium high heat. For the size of mochi I used, one mochi = 1/2 moffle, or you can look at it as 1/2 mochi = 1/4 moffle. As my waffle iron is divided into 4 sections, I placed 1/2 a mochi in each section. Don't worry if the waffle iron does not close all the way at once. The heat will slowly soften the mochi so that the it will close completely.
Waffle Iron - Opened (and in definite need of a thorough cleaning)
3. Cook moffle until cooked through. I waited until the mochi softened and spread out enough in the waffle iron to cover the section. The first time I cooked it longer and got a crispier moffle. The second time I took it out pretty soon after it spread out and got a softer, chewier moffle. I recommend playing around with the cooking time to figure out how you like it the best. I liked both, but I think I have a slight preference for the chewier moffle.
4. While moffle is cooking, whip heavy whipping cream with cinnamon and sugar.
5. Serve moffle with cinnamon sugar whipped cream and fresh blueberries.
6. Eat fast!
I admit the appearance of my moffle was not the prettiest, but I am in love with the taste of moffles. I love mochi anything and this was no exception. The outside has a nice crispness to it, while the inside has the soft stickiness that I absolutely love about mochi. Clean-up was also a total breeze. The waffle iron did not need to be oiled and the moffle comes out in one whole piece. I cannot wait to experiment more with moffles. Moffles with tuna and seaweed. Curry over Moffles. Moffles with green tea ice cream and azuki red beans.
Moffles, oh how happy you make me. :)
As it turns out, the theme for Sugar High Fridays for this month is Asian Sweet Invasion. According to The Domestic Goddess
, creator of SHF, SHF is " your best excuse to
make something sweet and different, at least once a month. And to do it
with tons of other people from around the world."
The description for this month's SHF is "In order to participate, you'll have to make something with an asian twist to it. Rather
than preparing a regular asian dessert (thai mango sticky rice, kushi
dango, Dora-yaki), I recommend that you incorporate an asian ingredient
into a classic dessert recipe." Blueberry Moffles sounds like a good fit to me. =D You can check it out and participiate too! Find out more information from this month's host La Petite Boulangette