Oh the food we will eat…Republique

We recently had a fun little date night in LA which included going to a restaurant I’ve had on the list for a while now. This was definitely quite the experience and we really enjoyed it.

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We were seated and brought menus and asked about any allergens before being given some recommendations. When we mentioned not eating pork it was passed on and remembered by our server. I loved the attentiveness of the staff and the attention to detail they took. They really worked hard at creating a wonderful experience for their diners and it was very much appreciated by us.

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We perused through the menu and decided on some bread and butter, a cauliflower dish, and some roasted chicken for our main.

Before our food came out we were brought out the cutest little bowls of this creamy mushroom soup. It was so delicious and umami in flavor and the perfect way to warm up our appetites.

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Next up was the warm bread and butter with a dash of salt on the side. The butter was shaped and the perfect texture/temp for spreading it on the bread. If you’ve been around Grubbing with Jess long enough you know how much I love some warm bread and butter. This bread was crusty on the outside and soft on the inside-it wasn’t so hard it would cut up your mouth, but just enough to give you some texture.

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This cauliflower dish is something I still think about. The layers and depth of flavor in this dish was just incredible. There was the roasted cauliflower, a sweet potato hummus, and a tangy yogurt sauce. It was such a gorgeous presentation and the flavors combined together to create the perfect bite.

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The side for our chicken dish contained pork so we had fries on the side and man oh man were these the best fries. I have never understood under-seasoned fries or uneven seasoning, but these fries were the perfect amount of saltiness and served with a super garlicky aioli.

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I could have been perfectly content just eating these, but then there was the chicken…

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I know it may seem like just chicken, but you guys this chicken was so juicy and tasty. I am picky when it comes to meat and any off flavor usually means I won’t eat it, but this chicken was just incredible and so savory.

After having a line up of all these wonderful dishes I couldn’t help but order dessert. We went for this brown butter almond cake with stone fruit and ice-cream and they poured this hot chocolate sauce on it when it was brought to the table. Again the textures and flavors were layered and brought together in the most magical way.

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If we ever have an opportunity to go back I would do it in a heartbeat. If you’re able to get a dinner reservation I highly recommend it and I’ve heard wonderful things about the brunch as well.

Thanks for reading friends! Till next time!!

New Food, New Places

There have been quite a few restaurants or foods we’ve wanted to try but the timing never seemed to work out or our tastebuds changed last minute and it seemed like something that would never happen until recently.

This first one may seem kinda silly, but since coming to California I have wanted to try California Pizza Kitchen. I know it’s not just in California, but it seemed fitting to try it in the place it’s named after. We took a leap of faith and ordered a margherita and a California veggie (subbing the corn for olives).

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The margherita came on their thin and crispy crust while the California veggie was on their regular crust (I think). I definitely enjoyed the regular crust more than the thin crust. This is mostly because I feel like the thin crust here is like a cracker crust and I am not a fan of that! In terms of flavor I did not enjoy the eggplant in the veggie. I may be crazy, but I felt like it had a fishy flavor from it.

Overall, I don’t think we’ll be revisiting CPK, but maybe we didn’t get the right things? Let us know if that’s true and we may have to go back and check it out at some point πŸ™‚

This next item isn’t something that was on my list to try until I spotted it and got it for B’s birthday. This guy LOVES Reese’s PB cups and he LOVES PB and LOVES PB/chocolate anything. His eyes light up anytime he sees that combination anywhere (ice-cream store, donut shop, etc). When I saw Jessie’s Nutty Cups online-it felt like a hallelujah moment. I got an assorted 8 pack.

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I was excited about these, but not as excited as B was and they sadly fell a little flat. They didn’t hold together when you bit into it and although it was fun to try out all the flavors it’s not something I would recommend to a true PB cup enthusiast.

The Nutty Cups were a total win compared to this next little bakery spot: Paris Pastries. The display case of little cakes and meringues totally did me in and we had to pick up a few things, but you guys, these were SO BAD. Out of the 4 items we purchased NONE of them were good. I was super sad, but got over it pretty quickly. We will not be revisiting!

Now that we’ve gone through some fails, let’s perk this post up and talk about some wins!

I’ve never had a caramel/candy apple. I’ve also never had a burning desire to have one until recently when walking by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and seeing their apple monstrosities. Have you guys seen these? They have the basic apples, but then they have the super pimped out apples that are larger than my face! I needed one and of course we had to go for the Reeses coated version.

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We had the lady slice it in store and when we got home and opened the bag we had quite the surprise. There was so much coating still on the apples, but a large amount had fallen off and was sitting in the paper basket. I could not believe that all this peanut butter cup goodness had been layered onto one apple!

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Needless to say this was absolutely amazing. It totally makes my apple dipped in PB look like child’s play!

The Hat is apparently a San Bernardino County institution and they serve pastrami dip sandwiches. The spot has old school diner vibes and serves food in large portions. We knew this coming in and ordered their famous pastrami dip and a “small fry.” The “small fry” was placed in a fry container, but it was almost like the carton was an after thought because the fries filled the bag almost a quarter of the way up.

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The pastrami was served in a super soft bread spread with mustard and a hefty amount of pastrami topped with pickles. I really enjoyed this sandwich in all it’s savoriness. I can see why people love this place so much. When we went it was filled with families and older couples-it was definitely a jump back in time.

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After the Hat we walked around thinking about having something sweet. We thought through a few places and couldn’t decide until we remembered Baked. It’s been a spot that we had gone into, but never tried anything from. Since we were in that “try something new” mood we figured it would be the perfect day. We ordered for mini cupcakes-a s’mores, nutella, ube flan, and a dulce de leche.

We enjoyed the ube flan and dulce de leche the most, but they were all super yummy! This bakery has some Filipino flavors embedded into their baked goods and I am here for it. I will definitely be back when I am in that cupcake mood to get some of their larger cupcakes…or maybe I’ll get a bunch of the minis again. You guys know how I love trying little bits of everything πŸ˜€

Even though some of these spots/items ended up being a fail I really enjoyed trying them out. I find it super easy to get into a routine and stay there whether it’s with a workout, food, or just life so it’s nice to switch it up every once in a while. Stepping out of my comfort zone (even if that’s just with CPK) gets me a little more comfortable with trying other things when those opportunities open up.

What is something new you have tried whether it’s a food, workout, event, anything? Let me know in the comments below!

P.S. I was super serious about your CPK suggestions if you are a CPK lover. Let me know what you love!

Happy Monday-ing you guys!

Comfort food and cozy vibes

I don’t know if it’s because the temps got slightly cooler here or what, but we’ve been eating some serious comfort foods and so I have some fun random pictures to share with you guys.

After looking high and low for a bagel place here we have finally maybe found one! I really wanted a bagel one Saturday and after a nice long hike we found one at 42nd Street Bagel Cafe. I got the super onion bagel with lox (they were out of the everything bagel 😦 ). This bagel reminded me so much of a NY bagel-it was chewy with a dense crumb and I would definitely come back and get some Sunday morning bagels!

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This was a big comfort food night at Yard House. We ordered what felt like everything-the chicken lettuce wraps, buffalo cauliflower, roasted Brussel sprouts and potatoes, cheeseburger, and the truffle fries.

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My favorite thing here had to be the lettuce wraps and they were so delicious that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them-so much so that I am making shrimp lettuce wraps tonight!

We grabbed some sweet treats from Sprout’s and some of these were good and others not so much. The glazed lemon cookie was a not favorite. The glaze was so sweet and didn’t pair well with the lemon cookie. The rest were actually pretty yummy!

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In order to balance out all the comfort food I went to Panera and ordered a Mediterranean grain bowl. I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. The rice, chicken, hummus, and all the fresh ingredients were really delicious! I would get this again without the dollop of yogurt on the side.

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I ordered this fish dish from Luna Modern Mexican Grill when I went out to lunch with the girls. It was pretty, but not the best thing I’ve ever had…

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Of course, we love sweets a lot in this house and whether that’s cookies or ice-cream we’ve been eating it all!

Have you guys been feeling the need for comfort food recently? How are the temps where you’re living?

Coronado

Good morning!

On a Tuesday morning I headed out with a friend and co-worker to the last session of our leadership conference. I don’t know if you remember, but for the session in April and June hubby was able to come along. Sadly, this time around he had work and couldn’t make it. I was bummed, but super grateful I didn’t have to make the trip alone!

I was excited to have the opportunity to finish the program, but also sad that it would be the last time we would be coming. It was a really great conference and I learned a lot about leadership and myself.

While in Coronado, we made the most of it and had some yummy food.

The first night we went to Maretalia. It’s a lovely Italian joint on the Island and we walked to it. The walk felt long since we were all hungry, but once we got there we were in carb heaven!

After sitting down we were offered bread and a lovely gentleman came around with the bread choices. There was no choice for me other than the big fluffy slices of focaccia. The bread was salty and soft and served with softened butter in a pool of olive oil with a piece of roasted garlic on top. I could eat that bread everyday for the rest of my life!

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I ordered the shrimp campanelle and boy was this good! The shrimp were perfectly cooked and there were tomatoes that added brightness and acidity. I asked for some parm on top which added a nice flavor and depth. The pasta was cooked al dente and I am sitting here drooling thinking about this dish.

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By the time we left the sun was starting to set and our walk home was much easier with the carbs in our belly. We were all tired from our day of traveling and conferencing that we headed back to the hotel to settle in and get some rest.

I had a hard time sleeping-always do without hubby-but I finally gave up, woke up a little earlier than planned and headed to the gym.

As much as I enjoyed the conference it was a lot of sitting and I am not used to that much sitting. The morning workouts gave me life and helped with the restlessness that sitting for long periods causes me to have.

After conference we made dinner plans and walked to another spot on the island-Miguel’s. I had been craving tacos and tortilla chips and queso and had gotten many recommendations for this place. It was another 30 minute walk to this place (we passed Maretalia on the way).

Once we arrived we were seated and served warm chips, salsa, and queso. The chips were salty and crispy, the queso was creamy, and the salsa was bright. It was really difficult to stop eating them.

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The server was really nice and let us know we could order two different kinds of tacos so we could try more than one. I ordered a swordfish taco and a ahi tuna taco. The swordfish was grilled and flavorful and served in a soft corn tortilla. The ahi tuna was seared and chopped up and served in a hard taco shell.

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If I am being completely honest, I ate most of the ahi tuna taco and half of the swordfish taco. I ended up eating the rest of the swordfish, but not the whole taco. It was served with rice and beans and I think I took one small bite of each, but was too full to bother even trying to eat anymore.

We walked to Hotel Del Coronado and saw these incredible sand castles. I think there had to have been a competition of some sort. We ended up unintentionally taking the long way home so it was a long walk, but we didn’t mind. We were fueled with yummy food and beautiful weather.

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After the conference Thursday we headed back home. I was super excited to see hubby, but by the time I got back he was still at work. I did come home to this which was so sweet. He is honestly the best husband ever!

We ended up going out to sushi that night at Sushi Hachi. We ordered some edamame and a few rolls. We both really enjoyed these and they were on the fresher end of the spectrum rather than the fried or cooked rolls we sometimes get. I feel like this might turn into one of our regular sushi spots πŸ™‚

Have you guys been to any of these places in Coronado? Let me know in the comments!

Oh the food we will eat…The State

During our move in week in order to get some sanity we decided to do a little date night. We went and saw a movie and happened to make in time for the happy hour menu (which is apparently all day on Monday).

It was such a beautiful day we decided to sit outside and take in the weather. After perusing the menu we decided on the Brussels sprouts, short rib tacos, and a burger.

I really loved the Brussels-the crispy, crunchy, charred pieces are always my favorite and that dollop of goat cheese on top rounded it all out and added that much needed creamy tang.

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The husband really loved the short rib tacos. Besides looking beautiful (those colors!) these were meaty and fresh and crunchy and wonderful!

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The burger was a wonderful cheeseburger of sorts and it did end up falling apart towards the end, but it was worth the mess. The salad on the side was really pretty and a good standard salad-nothing to write home about!

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We headed out for frozen yogurt after this, but really enjoyed our experience at The State. Since our whole order was off the happy hour menu the whole thing ended up being under $30? That’s a pretty cheap date night πŸ™‚

What’s your favorite date night spot?

Restaurants Re-Visited

No matter how many times I say or write “we will be back” it seems like an impossible feat in LA. There are a few places that we do go back to often and you guys know because the food keeps reappearing on posts, but here are a few restaurants that we “re-visited” in anticipation of leaving LA and also because they are just so darn delicious!

Claudine’s is a place we’ve come to 4 or 5 times after discovering it. I absolutely love that they have some fun unique items on their menu. They literally have something for everyone whether you are looking for something healthier or a little indulgent-they have you covered!

Great White is a spot we visited over a year ago and it’s probably one of hubs favorite places because of their breakfast burrito. We re-visited and got the same things-breakfast burrito and chicken sandwich. The fries are nothing to laugh at either. Two words to describe the food? Messy and delicious!

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Mendocino has some yummy sandwiches and our first love was the Study of Heat. We love going back quite possibly due to nostalgia. We are always looking for spots where they can open closer to us, but until then we are willing to make the drive or take a quick lunch detour upon spotting one πŸ˜‰

What are restaurants you make the effort to re-visit? Let’s chat in the comments!

 

Oh the food we will eat…Bestia

Hubs and I love a good date night and it’s even better when things just fall into place. I had bought tickets for this musical comedy show at Second City and we were figuring out when and where to do dinner.

Somehow hubs was able to secure a reservation for 2 at 10pm. I don’t know if that sounds crazy, but this place is hard to get a table at. I had also had this place bookmarked for a while and so dinner at 10pm sounded like a fantastic idea πŸ˜‰

Despite having reservations we still waited about half an hour, but there was seating outside with heaters so we were perfectly content (albeit a little starved).

When we finally got seated we looked over the menu and and decided pretty quickly! We decided to start with the smoked chicken liver pate and bone marrow that came with pasta.

While waiting for our food we took in the ambiance. It’s a very LA place…the music is loud, the decor is industrial hipster vibes. You’re yelling the whole time because you can’t hear each other even though you’re sitting next to each other…this can be fun sometimes, but this night I just wanted to have a conversation and break bread without breaking my eardrums!

Now the apps…

I was a leeeetttle bit worried about the chicken liver pate because I am not a chicken liver person or any liver really. This ended up being absolutely fine and hubby really enjoyed it. It arrived with warm bread and let’s be honest…you can spread anything on warm bread and it’s fantastic. It also came with a little side of bbq sauce and you were supposed to spread some pate and spread some bbq sauce and eat! It paired pretty nicely-the umami with the slightly sweet and tangy.

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The bone marrow dish came with a real bone and the lovely lady that brought it over scraped it out table side over this delicious pasta. This was my favorite dish of the night! The pasta was perfectly cooked and the flavors were savory and oh so good.

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For our main we ordered the margherita pizza (between San Diego and here, we were on a kick). This wasn’t the best margh I have ever had by any means, but I don’t think Bestia is the place to come for pizza. If I ever got a do over I would go with one of the other entrees.

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If you’re ever in LA and looking for a “nicer” place with that expensive hipster vibe this would be your jam!

Have you been to Bestia? What did you think?

 

Industry Cafe and Jazz

As much as we love revisiting our favorite food spots we also love finding new food to experience. Living in LA makes it pretty easy to have those foodie experiences. I feel so spoiled to live in a city where you can find pretty much whatever type of food you are looking for with a simple visit to Yelp.

That being said, I have no idea why it took us this long to try Ethiopian food. I feel like we’ve been meaning to for years now, but it just never happened. One Friday night we found a spot and made the leap.

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Industry Cafe and Jazz seemed like a great idea-the reviews were great, the food looked delish, AND there was jazz! What more could you want?

When we got there the band was getting ready and we got seated immediately. It’s a small space, but it was filled with talking and laughter. It would be a great place to bring a group of friends.

The menu was small which I liked because it makes it a bit easier to choose. We went with the Lamb Tibsi and Doro Wat. For our sides we got collard greens and red lentils.

The Lamb Tibsi was spicy and filled with chunks of lamb, while the Doro Wat was slightly sweet from the cooked down onions. The chicken leg in the Doro Wat was tender and flavorful and the hard boiled egg had taken in some flavor from the rich onion sauce.

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I believe the collard greens were steamed or sautΓ©ed, but still had a nice bite which was a good contrast to the lentils. Speaking of, the lentils were soft and almost creamy in texture. It was warm and had a slight sweetness which balanced the spicy lamb.

It was all served on a big piece of Injira that soaked up all the flavors. The Injira was very interesting and unlike any other bread/pancake/carb I have ever had. It was spongy and soft. It had this sour flavor that was definitely not unpleasant. I had a friend describe the taste as similar to sourdough bread.

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We were also brought a small basket filled with more Injira to eat our food with. You do eat with your hands and I will say that despite washing my hands multiple times they smelled like the spices from the food. Being Indian, my hands smelling like food doesn’t bother me, but I wanted to put it out there just in case…

Everyone was so friendly and helpful in navigating through the menu. The food and the music really made for a lovely night and it’s an experience I am glad to have had.

Obviously dessert is always on our list of plans and after all the flavorful spices I needed something cool, creamy, and mild (cool and creamy-what’s new?).

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Magnolia Bakery was pretty close so we dropped in so I could get a fix of their banana pudding. I know they have other flavors of their banana pudding, but my go to is the original. I had a few bites and saved the rest for later.

Hubby ended up getting frozen yogurt and we wrapped up our night by walking around WeHo while he ate his dessert. It was a pretty great ending to a fun little date night πŸ™‚

Have you guys had Ethiopian food? What did you think?? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Full Day of Eats

Welcome back to another FDOE. This is from a busy Friday filled with errands and running around but ended with movie night and quality time with bae πŸ™‚

I started my morning off with a yummy breakfast burrito! I don’t have a lot of time to make myself breakfast on days I work so on days I’m off I really enjoy taking my time to make a good one–recently it’s been these burritos!

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I ran around for some errands and by the time I got home it was almost 2pm so I threw together this delicious salad. It had all the leftover baby kale, sesame seeds, goat cheese, and some rotisserie chicken. Unpictured are the plantains I had on the side and the super sweet, juicy nectarine I had for dessert.

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Once the hubs got home we made plans for dinner and a movie. We went to Marilyn’s Mediterranean Kitchen. The hubs LOVED this place and I thought it was pretty excellent too.

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We got a chicken shawarma plate and a kuftah kebab plate. They came with two sides of our choice so I picked hummus and rice and the hubs picked veggies and baba ghanoush.

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Everything was delicious! Hubby’s favorite was the kuftah kebab and I couldn’t get enough of the hummus. The service was really great and everyone was so friendly and helpful.

They were so nice and found out that it was our first time and gave us a tiramisu. It was so good and such a perfect ending to our meal!

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We headed out to watch The Spy Who Dumped Me and I thought it was great. I was almost in tears laughing, but I may have been the only one. The hubs thought it was a good movie, but nothing to write home about.

That concludes my FDOE! I hope you guys enjoyed the post!

Have you guys seen The Spy Who Dumped Me? What did you think?

 

 

Meals with Friends-Joey

How are things in your neck of the woods? Also, how did “neck of the woods” become a thing?

Over here we’ve been little social butterflies and having all the meals with some peeps we just love. Because of that we’ve been eating at some new, some old, but all delicious places so I thought it would be fun to share in a mini-series called Meals with Friends.

Super orig. I know…let’s just get on with the socializing and eating, yeah?

You know how much I love Joey so it seemed like a good place to gather some friends to eat some good food and hang out.

We app’d it up with some wings (freaking crunchy, savory goodness)Β and some lettuce wraps (fresh and sweet). Sadly no pictures of it…oops!

I won’t lie I felt super torn about what to get for dinner, but ended up ordering this bbq salmon bowl. The salmon was perfectly cooked. The bbq sauce wasn’t over bearing and super sweet which I liked. It came with some steamed (?) veggies and brown rice.

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The hubs also had some difficult food choices, but he settled on the Farmer’s Chopped Chicken salad. We shared both things and I really enjoyed the salad. It was fresh and the chicken added heartiness to make it feel like a meal.

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We were too full for dessert, but later that night the hubs and I did try out some new ice-creams πŸ˜€

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T’was a lovely night and any meal shared with loved ones is a great meal πŸ™‚ What are your favorite go-to places for dinner with friends? Do you have a usual spot or do you like to try new places?

Let me know in the comments below! See you next time!!