Monday, May 28, 2012

Short Order

Today is national Burger day!  A lot of burger places are having special burgers to celebrate all month long.  Short Order is the latest of many gourmet burger joints opening up in LA.  Located at The Grove, this place is the collaboration of Amy Pressman and Nancy Silverman.  Perfect for sunny summer days, this sits on the edge of the original Farmer’s Market.  The best thing about this place?  Is that it has an amazing bakery sorta attached to it as well!!  

ShortO1My friend and I decided to try one of their burgers (they’re known for their high quality beef) and I had wanted to try the pretzel pups.  We also got an order of Short Order Spuds with Truffle Salt.  These are basically like rough cut potatoes tossed in yummy truffle salt.  

ShortO2For our burger we went with Nancy’s Backyard Burger.  It starts with dry aged beef, applewood bacon, avocado, tomatoes, onions and lettuce.  The meat was so delicious, I want to go back and try the Patty Melt!  I wasn’t a huge fan of the lettuce they used (maybe too much?) I think I prefer shredded lettuce or no lettuce on my burgers.  The big leaf is always so hard to eat and ends up slipping out and sliding down your face.  No bueno when eating it on a date!  

ShortO3The Pretzel Pups weren’t what I had imagined.  For some reason in my head I had imagined mini sausages encased in pretzel dough!  But they were actually just smaller sausages and pretzel buns.  I am a sucker for a pretzel but with sauerkraut so I enjoyed it, but my friend thought that these were just so so.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Shrimp and Grits

I have been wanting to try Shrimp and Grits for about a year now.  Sometime last year I saw it popping up on a lot of food blogs and thought it looked so simple and delicious.  I called my friend Charlotte who lives in North Carolina to see if she had a good recipe for me to use.  She didn’t, but she told me that Hominy Grill had the BEST Shrimp and Grits that she ever had! 


Shrimp and Grits
adapted from Hominy Grill
(serves 2-3)

1 lb. shrimp (approximately 15 shrimp)
1 Tbsp. flour
3-4 bacon slices
1/2 Lemon, juiced
1/2 box of mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
Green onions, sliced

Cheesey Corn Grits
Grits (Prepare as directed on package)
Cheddar Cheese

1.  Peel and devein shrimp.  Toss in flour until lightly coated.

2.  Prepare grits as directed on the package.  Add in 1 cup of fresh corn kernels and 1/2-3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. 

3.  Cook bacon until crisp, set aside on a paper towel and allow to drain.  Chop into pieces once cool.  Reserve some of the bacon fat.

4.  Cook the mushrooms in some of the bacon fat.  Add in shrimp and sautee until the shrimp are pink.  Add in garlic, lemon juice, Tabasco and season with salt.  

5.  Serve immediately over the Cheesey Corn Grits and garnish with bacon.   

This dish did not disappoint!  The grits were a little rich for my taste, I might go with a little less butter and cheese next time (I used skim milk to make it).  This is a nice comfort food dish that is easy to make!  Perfect for the summer too!


Friday, May 11, 2012

More Vegas Eats!

This most recent trip to Vegas I was there for almost an entire week.  We were lucky enough to stay at the Mandalay.  While we were there I went to an event at the Shark Tank.



My boss and I also made a quick getaway to downtown Las Vegas to the Freemont area.  I took her to the casinos that every Hawaii person knows, the California and the Plaza!!  As we stepped into the Cal, we were literally transformed back to Hawaii.  Everywhere we looked we saw local looking couples!  I took her upstairs to Aloha Specialties, which had all my local favorites!  It was a tough choice, but I opted for the Korean Chicken plate with a side of haupia and my boss got the Teri Beef Bowl. 


We had enjoyed our dinner at Hubert Keller’s Fluer so much, that we decided to try his other place at the Mandalay; the Burger Bar.  I had planned on getting the sliders- which had three different types of burgers!  (Traditional Cheeseburger, a buffalo burger with caramelized onions and an angus burger with  bacon).  My boss did order this though and they looked so cute!  At the last minute I changed my mind and went with the Hubert Keller Burger, which was a buffalo burger on a ciabatta bun with caramelized onions, blue cheese, spinach and a red wine reduction sauce. 


Look how cute the sliders are!


I got my burger with zucchini fries with a basil aioli dipping sauce.  We also all go to try the mozzarella sticks and the onion rings as well. 

In my earlier trip to Vegas we also had the chance to eat at Mario Battali’s Otto Enoteca Pizzeria.  The meal was simple, delicious and excellently pre-pared!!  We started by sharing one of Mario’s famous pizzas and an Octopus Salad.  Both were amazing!!


Mmm we went with the pancetta and goat cheese pizza to share!  So good, I want to try the eggplant pizza next time I go back. 


This salad was so good!  Simple fresh and expertly prepared.  It had octopus, potato and celery with a light and fresh vinaigrette. 


For my main I had a linguine with shrimp sauce that was super yummy.  The thing I love about Mario Battali’s restaurants is that things are cooked expertly and simply so the ingredients are able to shine through expertly.  The pasta was a perfect al dente and the portion was just right. 

That wraps up my Vegas eats!  We had stopped by at Bouchon for some pastries and also had a diner at Sushi Samba (which I didn’t take pictures of).  Both were so good… PS- Nothing beats a Bouchon croissant on the plane ride back to Los Angeles. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Eating in Sin City!

I’ve been so busy lately, I haven’t had a chance to post about some of the great eats I had on my two trips to Vegas this year.  Here is a quick recap of some of the amazing places that I visited!

Most recently I stayed at the Mandalay Bay, and we got to try many pf the great restaurants there!  On the top of my list was Hubert Keller’s place Fleur.  You may be familiar with Hubert Keller from Top Chef, every time I have seen his episodes I have wanted to try his cooking so badly.  I convinced my co-workers to eat there and it was a great meal! 


On the menu, a $5,000 burger!!


I didn’t try that, but I did try the Ahi Tuna Tacos and the French Onion Truffle Shooters.  I had done my research before hand and both items came highly recommended on yelp.  I was a little surprised at how small the tacos were, but they were super good! 


We also sampled one of the flat breads and the hummus and baba ganoush.  The flatbread was terrific! My coworkers split the Prime Tomahawk Ribeye with the roasted asparagus and the truffled potatoes (which were amazing and melted in your mouth!).  The meat was cooked to perfection and seasoned just right.    


I finished off my meal with the almond panna cotta that was topped with a honey tuile. 


Next on our list was Michael Mina’s Stripsteak, which was named Esquire Magazine’s Best Steakhouse in America!  The steaks here are poached in butter and then wood smoked to perfection.  The meal starts off with duck fat fries and a variety of dipping sauces.  That night it was old bay seasoning, ketchup and a truffle aioli. 


For my meal I decided to go with the Filet Mignon and all of the guys went with the American Kobe Rib Cap. 


Our table got a bunch of sides to share, Truffled Mac and Cheese, Brussel Sprouts, Artichoke Hearts with Goat Cheese and Chipotle Potatoes!!  We washed this down with a nice Silver Oak Cabernet as well!  My favorite sides were the truffled mac and cheese and the chipotle potatoes. 



For dessert I tried the dunkin donuts which came with a Jasmine Fudge, Chocolate and Salted Caramel dipping sauces.  YUM! 


There was a lot to eat so this is just part 1 of the Vegas eats!