Latest Posts

East Coast Grub

We decided to take a small trip during MDW to visit friends/family on the east coast. There’s an overwhelming surplus of restaurants, street vendors, food trucks, diners, cafes, etc to choose from¬†and it’s not an easy task to narrow down which tasty treats you want to indulge in. Thankfully, we had help from our world-class “tour guides” aka friends ūüôā

1. Boston

Giacomo’s Ristorante in cute Little Italy

Plethora of tasty carbs

Must have in Boston. Clam chowder & lobster roll

oysters from the Atlantic coast

Quincy Market, foodie heaven

 2. New York

1st stop in NYC, Swift Bar.

Tagliatelle alla Bologese @ Bianca. simply divine

The Special

Interior of Biance: Library vs Restaurant.

best scrambled eggs EVER

Xi’An Famous Foods. warmed up our souls

Blue Ribbon sushi

Joe’s Shanghai’s world famous soup dumplings

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop lived up to the hype

We had to end the trip with the infamous Shake Shack

Love,

Your Fatties

Advertisements

Boston Brew Tour

1. Samuel Adams: a must-do in Boston, even if you’re not a fan of beer. The best part about it is that it’s free! They just ask for a small donation towards their local charities. Afterwards, make sure to take the trolley bus to a local bar named Doyle’s thats been around since 1882! The driver of the bus alone makes it worth it. He has the thickest Boston accent and he’s amped to take you to Doyle’s and gives the low-down on Boston history. Plus you get a free souvenir glass if you order a Sam Adams. ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

cheers to free samples!

2. Harpoons Brewery: Their beer is only available in 26 states, and California not being one of them. When you arrive inside, you are greeted by a large beer hall with long wooden tables and of course, a bar. They have a brewery tour available for $5 but we opted out to get some samplers. Highly recommend their salted pretzel with the bacon ranch and IPA cheese dipping sauces.

  

Read More

LA Beer Festival

Did you say BEER FEST? In LA? Our ears perked up right away when we heard this news! If you are a fan of beer, then you don’t want to miss out on this annual event. Unfortunately, it already passed but mark it down in your calendars for next year! Also, there are other SoCal beer festivals in the near future if you are interested: San Diego on July 12-13, Mammoth Lakes on July 31-Aug 3, Stone 18th Anniversay Celebration on Aug 15-16 (just to name a few)

Who: The festival featured  about 90 breweries from both international and domestic drafts on tap which gave us a selection of over 200 beers. along with selections from 15 different food trucks and live music.

What:  Admission was $40 and that includes all of your unlimited beer samples (yes, I said unlimited). Each person receives a cute miniature plastic mug that you carry around with you to the brewery(s) of your choice to fill up at your heart’s desire. Most breweries had 1 to 2 options on tap to choose from and surprisingly there were a lot of breweries that had IPA’s. We were overwhelmed with the selection at first but we were able to try all of the ones that peaked our interest.

When: April  4, 2015. There were two different time options: 12pm-3pm and 5pm-8pm (probably a good thing that it’s at 3 hour increments or else it would be a drunk fest)

Where:  LA Center Studios at 1201 W 5th St. Los Angeles, CA 90017

Tips: #1 Apparently pretzel necklaces are a staple at beer festivals. When I first spotted someone wearing pretzels around their neck I honestly thought it was weird. But then we looked all around us and saw that it was a “thing.” We definitely missed that memo. Salty snack with beer=genius. #2 Don’t rush. You will see lines at each tent but they move very fast. Don’t worry, you won’t be feeling thirsty for very long. So pace yourself! #3 Drink plenty of water. 

cute miniature mug/souvenir

Seal Dog Brewing’s Blueberry beer was unanimously everyone’s favorite.

the sea of people

couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day

Some of our favorite breweries conveniently located next to each other: Lagunitas, Green Flash, Deschutes

IPA vs Porter

       

cheers to LA Beer Fest 2014! We’ll be back next year


Love,

Your Beer-Loving-Fatties

My Dad, the Indian Cook

Whenever my dad cooks for us, the aroma of all the different spices fills up the whole house. He never skimps out on the flavor and most of his food is heavily influenced by the Indian culture. So when he told me¬†that he was making his infamous¬†chicken tikka masala, I was extra ecstatic and¬†blocked off my whole night for it. Now, some of you may be wondering, what is chicken tikka masala? Well, it is chunks of chicken (tikka) that is marinated in yogurt and spices and it is traditionally baked in a tandoor oven and served in a spice mix (masala) sauce. There is no one way to make the masala and you can find dozens of recipes for it, but the sauce usually consists of tomatoes, cream, and various spices. We obviously don’t own a tandoor oven so we just use the stove.¬†We joked around that he should open up a restaurant, but I truly believe that if he owned a food truck with some basic Indian favorites, then it could be a hit.

Even though my dad is¬† 100% Caucasian,¬†I did not eat the stereotypical “American” food growing up. I also did not eat red meat (for the most part). I had the occasional pizza and spaghetti, but I don’t remember ever eating macaroni and cheese, hamburgers,¬†fast food, or hot dogs for dinner. My parents emphasized the importance of eating healthy by cooking fresh home cooked meals every day. Once in a blue moon we would go out to dinner or order take out, but it was either for a special occasion or¬†for the¬†convenience factor. ¬†I will admit that as a child, I did not like Indian food. The consistency was always mushy to me and my taste buds hadn’t matured yet. But as I became older, the more and more I grew to love it and now Indian food is one of my favorite cuisines. Yes, it is mushy like baby food and yes, it doesn’t look¬†appealing but once you take a bite of it your taste buds experience an enticing and tantalizing surge of flavors.

So now you may be wondering, why does your dad cook Indian food? Here is my 1 on 1 interview with my very own dad to give a little insight:

1. How did you end up in India?

I was a member of the Hare Krishna and they held¬†annual festivals in India,¬†in which I attended 3 times over a 4 year time period in my mid-20’s. The festivals lasted 2-3 days, but¬†I would be there 2 weeks to a month in advance and stay for a week after the festival.

2. Who taught you how to cook in India?

The Hare Krishna group. I had daily duties as a new member which¬†from the very beginning was working in the kitchen. I started off by washing dishes and peeling vegetables but¬†I¬†was good and I was fast. Eventually I was¬†given more duties¬†around the stove by assisting the head cook, who actually didn’t like being the head cook.¬†I learned from him and sent him on his way and¬†I took over as being the head cook.¬†I cooked for 60 people every day. I followed the recipe book which consisted of about 60 different recipes; some were dahl (soups), vegetable dishes, rice dishes, sweets, or¬†savory dishes¬†(samosas, pakora). All of the dishes were vegetarian.

3. What is your favorite Indian dish? Why?

I actually don’t have a¬†favorite.¬†I like a lot of Indian dishes because they are all unique and unusual with fascinating flavor differences¬†because of the¬†various spices that¬†are combined.

4. How do you prepare chicken tikka masala?

I had to resort to a recipe because¬†I didn’t have experience with cooking¬†meat in Indian dishes. First, I prepared the marinade by making the garlic and ginger paste which is the most time consuming process since you have to peel the ginger and garlic piece by piece. (This process can be shortened by buying the garlic and ginger paste at a market.) Then I mixed the ginger garlic paste with yogurt, salt, and pepper. I cut up the chicken into bite size pieces (I prefer to use thigh meat because it’s juicier) and tossed it with the marinade and let it sit overnight. The following day I made the sauce. In a large skillet I heated up butter, the ginger-garlic paste, and sauteed serrano peppers until they were lightly browned. Next I combined the tomato paste, tomatoes, seasonings (garam masala, paprika, etc.), and water and let that boil to draw out the flavors. Meanwhile, I pulled out the tender pieces of chicken and simmered it in a cast iron skillet. This process can be done several other ways such as a grill or smoker. I’ve used the smoker in the past and the chicken came out phenomenal! When the sauce was ready I put it in a blender until it came out smooth and then combined it with the simmering chicken . I let this sit in a pot on the stove for about an hour. Then it’s ready to serve¬†along with some naan or jasmine rice.

5. What is your philosophy on food?

It should be fresh, simple ingredients and put together in common sense combinations where foods can accent each other. The chicken tikka masala is spicy and rich but when eaten with plain jasmine rice, you can appreciate the flavor of the jasmine rice even though it is bland and boring by itself.

There you have it. My dad¬†undeniably has a special skill in the kitchen and¬†I am lucky enough to be able to be the taste guinea pig.¬†I credit my dad for his influence of food¬†on me. He sparked my¬†love for food by exposing me to a cuisine that is bursting with flavor, but he also emphasized to appreciate the simplicity of a dish. One of the most valuable lessons he¬†has taught me over the course of my¬†life¬†was¬†to appreciate nature and what is has to offer by eating wholesome and natural foods. He educated me on the horrors of artificial flavoring, gmo’s, high fructose¬†corn syrup, and preservatives which has clouded our society’s¬†judgment on what real food should really be.¬†Thanks Dad for the awesome chicken tikka masala that we had for almost a whole week (he made a ginormous pot of it), I can honestly eat it every day! The chicken was absolutely tender and the sauce had me licking off my plate. But most importantly, thanks for teaching such a priceless lesson that healthy food¬†doesn’t have to be boring.

IMG_4437

(the green dish is called Saag Paneer, another one of my favorites that my dad makes from scratch!)

Love,

Your Fatties

UDON’t want to pass this place up!

Nothing beats a cold day better than warm soup filled with some¬†chubby noodles, also known as udon. We discovered this little hole in the wall place called Oumi¬†Sasaya by utilizing Yelp. They had really great reviews and my brother even recommended it to me. I love mom and pop shops because they are unique and you can tell that they poured their¬†blood, sweat, and tears¬†into¬†their food. So one¬†night, we were hungry but wanted to eat something other than ramen for a change and decided to give¬†this place a try. And boy,¬†we¬†are so¬†glad we did! It is¬†now one of my favorite hidden gems¬†in the South Bay that serves authentic Japanese udon noodles. There aren’t that many places in the South Bay that specializes in udon noodles and we are so delighted to have discovered a place that it is within 5 minutes of driving distance from my place.

Parking: There is a parking lot¬†but spots are limited¬†because there are other businesses in the same plaza. If you can’t find any parking in there then there¬†is plenty of street parking.

Vibe: Casual. Definitely has a Japanese feel to it with antique Japanese artwork on the walls and bamboo windows.  There are about 6 dinning tables and a counter to sit at. I think the biggest party you would want to come with would be 8. It gets crowded on the weekends so I recommend going on a weekday.

Food: I went the traditional¬†route and ordered the shrimp and mochi¬†tempura udon.¬† The udon came out in a seemingly effortless elegance display of noodles and broth.¬†I love¬†how the¬†minimalism was maximized to the fullest. They let the food do all the talking and don’t¬†overdo it with presentation. This place makes their udon fresh every day and you can really taste it. It is soft and chewy in all the right places. The broth was light and packed with flavors, just the way it should be. The tempura shrimp had so much meat on it that I joked around¬†that it was probably lobster. The part I was shocked about was the mochi. It was so unexpectedly good! It soaked up all the flavors from the broth and the shrimp but it had the texture similar to the udon.

IMG_4435

We have also tried the Curry Udon and Sesame Flavored Chicken Tempura Udon which were both fantastic. The Sesame Flavored Chicken Tempura¬†Udon is actually a dipping udon so¬†don’t expect¬†to see it¬†in a soup. In addition to those, we have also¬†tried their sake. Their sake is brought to your table in a wooden container filled with hot water where the metal dispenser¬†soaks in, which serves as a little hot tub. An hourglass accompanies the¬†orders of hot sake, which aren’t to be sipped until the last grain of sand tumbles down to the dune below.¬†This allows the sake to remain hot throughout your dining experience.

IMG_4433

One of our favorite things (besides the udon) is their Fried Garlic Chicken Wings! The boyfriend wanted to order it and I thought it was slightly weird that a Japanese place had wings on their menu. But I figured the udon wouldn’t fill us up so why not (which I quickly realized was false, the udon soups are large). These are my favorite wings from any restaurant, and yes even better than Hooters! They are lightly fried so they have¬†the perfect amount of¬†crispiness¬†while allowing the juices to¬†be preserved on the inside. The garlic sauce that hugs the wings are finger licking good and it has a hint of sesame taste¬†to it too. It is not overly salty or drenched in sauce.

IMG_4434

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. The simplicity and authenticity of the food is what packs the place with a loyal congregation of Japanese-speaking customers. The food comes out fast which is always a bonus!

Love,

Your Fatties

Location: 2383 Lomita Blvd., Suite 101, Lomita, CA 90717

Type: Japanese

Price: $7.50 to $30 (wide variety of options)

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens

The idea of a brewery and restaurant has been done numerous times; however, I don’t feel like it has ever been done as well as Stone Brewing Co. does it. They use locally sourced food and have a 18.7 acre¬†farm to supply homegrown and¬†organic produce. And you can¬†truly taste it in their food.¬†By looking at their eclectic¬†menu, one can tell that they strive for a unique twist on comfort food.

Parking: They have a large lot with ample parking. I have never had a problem finding parking here but I can imagine on a busy day that it can become an issue.

Vibe:¬†It’s casual but it is a nice restaurant as well. You can dress this place up or down depending on the occasion. We came for a casual lunch, but I can easily see this as a nice place to take a date or special occasion for dinner.

Food: I ordered the Peruvian-Style Chicken¬†which is, “Jidori¬†half¬†chicken marinated in Peruvian spices, grilled and served on a bed of aji-amarillo¬†potatoes and wilted kale, garnished with jalapeno¬†crema.” It tastes just as good as it sounds, if not better. My mouth waters every time I think about it. It has the right amount of spice and the chicken is juicy and perfectly cooked. I wish they gave you extra¬†jalapeno¬†crema¬†sauce on the side. I would eat it with everything if i¬†could. The potatoes are not to be forgotten either. They have an Indian spice¬†to them with a creamy soft texture to them.

Peruvian Chicken

Peruvian Chicken

He had the Pork Belly & Beef A La Plancha, which is “marinated pork belly, sliced beef, Swiss cheese, and habenero¬†pickle aioli¬†on a grilled and pressed baguette.” One bite of this sandwich, and you’ll be instantly be¬†saying, “OMG!” Well, at least that’s what we both did.¬†It is seriously packed with flavor you wouldn’t think¬†was possible in a sandwich. The meat was delicate and the aioli blended everything together into one cohesive¬†bite.¬†The only problem with pressed sandwiches is that they hurt the roof of your mouth, but that’s a sacrifice we were¬†willing to make.

Pork Belly & Beef A La Plancha

Pork Belly & Beef A La Plancha

We’ve previously had the duck tacos and pretzels, which are also highly recommended! The mac’n’ beer cheese with sausage¬†is probably my favorite mac n cheese of all time. It has the perfect amount of cheesiness mixed in with some spices from the sausage.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Although their food is expensive, it is expensive for a reason. If you want excellent quality food, then this is the place.

Address: 1999 Citracado Parkway Escondido, CA 92029

Price: $15-$25

You’re Not Worthy

We took advantage of¬†our day off for MLK and headed down to Escondido to our favorite brewery, Stone Brewery. Their slogan, “Fizzy yellow beer is for wussies” is so appropriate and we couldn’t agree more. We prefer to drink¬†IPA’s and Stone definitely has the best selection of IPA’s. They are uncompromising, bold, and true to the craft agenda. The moment you open their heavy wooden doors, your breath may be taken away by their beautiful architecturally designed restaurant.¬†On one side they¬†have floor to ceiling windows that literally open up to their one acre beer garden. On the other side is another wall of floor to ceiling windows where you can look into their brewery and watch them physically make the beer that¬†is now in your glass.

For $3 you can take a tour of the brewery, 4 beer tasters, and the taster glass ($1 of that goes towards charity).¬†Even though we’ve taken the tour before, we both agreed that each tour guide is different and we learn more and more each time. Our tour guide’s name was Jesse and he was a nerd of beer (the best kind of nerd) and I felt like I retained more of the information from him because he made it easy to understand and relatable. You may ask, what makes a beer a craft beer? Well, they consist of 4 ingredients: water, barley,¬†hops, and¬†yeast. Also, craft beers still taste good warm and it’s actually the best¬†way to taste all of the flavors. Those yellow fizzy beers consist of over 40 ingredients [mind blown]¬†and they’re advertised¬†to drink cold because it is proven that¬†it’s harder to taste something when it is cold. Not only do you get these little tidbits of information during the tour, but they also show you around and you get to look at the rows and rows of their fermentation tanks. It’s like you’re in beer heaven.

After the tour they take you into the tasting room, which is also located in the merchandise¬†store where you can buy anything Stone related. We sampled the Go To IPA (4.5%), Smoked Porter (5.9%), Arrogant Bastard (7.2%), and Matt’s Burning Rosids¬†(10.5%). These are their popular beers and most¬†commonly seen at stores and restaurants, except for Matt’s Burning Rosids. This particular beer is in memory of one of the brewers at Stone and it’s an imperial saison¬†brewed with cherry-smoked malts. It pours into a gorgeous orange beer and smells of honey, oranges, and apricot. But once you put the beer to your lips it tastes smoky yet sweet and spicy. This beer was only brewed once so we are glad we were able to try this unique recipe. The other beer that we were surprised¬†by was the Smoked Porter. We aren’t Porter fans, but this dark brown ruby beer¬†goes down¬†smooth with a tasty mix of roast and sweet dark chocolate.¬†However, if you are a big Porter fan I wouldn’t recommend this one because it doesn’t have an overpowering smoky taste like other Porters.

In addition to the tour samples, we ordered a sampler with our lunch which consisted of: Enjoy by 02.14.15 (9.4%),¬†Do These Hops Make My Beer Look Big? IPA (8.8%), Japanese Green Tea IPA (10.1%), and Old Guardian Barley Wine (11.6%). Clearly, we don’t mess around when we try beer. We always like to try their ‘Enjoy By’ beer because it’s limited and only available at select locations. This particular Enjoy By 02.14.15 had a citrus and slight floral taste to it and was the least hoppiest¬†out of all the ones we tried. Do These Hops Make My Beer Look Big? stood up to its name. It had a floral hop flavor with an interesting herb finish. It is a well-balanced¬†IPA with¬†smooth carbonation and a bitter yet clean finish.¬†We were delightfully surprised at how much we liked the Green Tea IPA. It is a¬†collaboration with Baird Brewing and Ishii Brewing. We were expecting to get a heavy green tea after taste, but instead¬†it was a refreshing subtle¬†green tea taste. The matcha¬†green tea melds nicely with the herbal hop bitterness. It was more fruity and juicy than anything else. In the beginning stages of beer making, beer is almost like tea and so it makes sense to use green tea. This is why we love Stone so much because they think outside the box and create bold and unforgiving beers. The Old Guardian Barley Wine was also a hit. It’s a dark ruby-red and¬†has a sweet, yet moderately bitter taste. The hints of oak and grape come through which makes it a nice beer to drink slowly.

After that we highly suggest heading out into the patio to get a drink from the outdoor bar before heading out in the gardens to hang out. By far one of the best parts about the brewery is the extensive and beautiful gardens that they have in the back. You can walk along the ponds, see the small waterfall and even check out the many different types of plants that make up the garden. They also have many areas with outdoor seating so you can relax in nature and feel miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I personally like to just hang out back here as it feels so peaceful.

Before leaving, there is one last stop that is necessary. The fill station. This is located in the merchandise/tour room and you can buy/bring your growler to fill up with your favorite beer from the tap and take it home. They have their year round fills that you can select from, but what we love is being able take home some fresh limited beer. We went a little overboard and filled a 2L growler of the Enjoy By 02.14.15, 1L growler of Japanese Green Tea IPA, and an additional 2 22oz bottles of the Japanese Green Tea IPA.

The Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens is an¬†exceptional experience you won’t get¬†at any other brewery. The place is massive and gorgeous. A huge amount of attention and detail went into creating this brewery, which reflects their philosophy on their beer and food.¬†All-in-all, Stone is highly recommended¬†and should not be missed.

Check out what we thought about their food HERE

This slideshow requires JavaScript.