Monday, June 24, 2013

What's Next: San Francisco & Napa Valley

In a few months we're celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary. Every other year I plan an elaborate getaway. Nowadays, we don't get to go out as much as we used to.
Here's our itinerary so far: 4-day road trip to San Francisco & Napa Valley

- Arrive in the Bay Area late afternoon.
- Carbs fix at Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, CA
- Dinner at Ad Hoc in Yountville, CA

- Full day in San Francisco
- Donut fix at Dynamo Donuts
- Ice cream stop at Bi-Rite Creamery
- Dinner at Benu

- Full day in Napa Valley
- Sunday Brunch at Ad Hoc in Yountville, CA
- Gourmet shopping at Dean and Deluca in St. Helena, CA
- Wine tasting at Raymond Vineyards in St. Helena, CA
- Dinner TBD

- Road trip home to Socal
- Dinner TBD

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Las Vegas: Jaleo

This is a forgotten post from a year ago. Better now than never.

Jose Andres has a number of restaurants in the DC area but when he headed West to Sin City, I was excited to try his Spanish tapas restaurant, Jaleo.

The menu

Sangria (right) and Inedit beer (left)

Croquetas De Pollo
traditional chicken fritters

Jamón Ibérico Fermín
cured ham from the famous, black-footed ibérico pigs of spain

Gambas Con Gabardina
batter-fried shrimp with caper mayonnaise and black olive salt

Gambas Al Ajillo
the very, very famous tapa of shrimp sautéed with garlic

Arroz A Banda Con Bogavante
literally meaning, ‘rice apart from lobster,’ made with lobster and cuttlefish

Flan Al Estilo Tradicional De Mamá Marisa Con Espuma De Crema Catalana
a classic spanish flan with ‘espuma’ of catalan cream and oranges

I love Spanish tapas as it's portion-friendly and when you're with a large group, you can try a lot more items on the menu. I noticed a number of newer items on the menu now so I think we'll be stopping by Jaleo on our next trip to Las Vegas.

Menu items to try next time:

  • La Serena Con Membrillo - la serena cheese and quince paste cone
  • Mini Pepito De Ibérico - spanish mini burger made from the legendary, acorn-fed, black-footed ibérico pigs of spain
  • Bikini De Jamón Ibérico, Queso Manchego Y Trufas - pressed sándwich of ibérico ham, manchego cheese and truffles
  • Flauta bread brushed with fresh tomato, extra virgin olive oil and serrano ham, cured pork loin, or manchego cheese
  • Buñuelos de bacala - salt codfish deep-fried with honey alioli

  • Jaleo
    3708 S Las Vegas Blvd
    Las Vegas, NV 89158

    Monday, June 17, 2013

    Hawaii: Shrimp Trucks

    During our trip to Oahu, Hawaii last February, we stopped by our favorite food truck in Kahuku, the Famous Kahuku Shrimp truck. Most people will argue that the best food truck is Giovanni's but everyone has their preference. The Kahuku shrimp has a thicker coating of flour and garlic which I love.

    Famous Kahuku Shrimp Truck
    56-580 Kamehameha Hwy
    KahukuHI 96731

    Saturday, June 15, 2013

    Kickstarter: Crucial Detail - Nip

    Last Fall I supported a Kickstarter campaign by Crucial Detail for a drink vessel called The Porthole. Tumblers were also designed to accompany the Porthole. I ordered two additional sets as a back up (8 glasses total).

    I haven't received my Porthole but I didn't mind as the tumblers were a work of art.

    Product name: Nip
    Description: Hand-blown glass, set of two tumblers
    Dimensions: 2-3/8"diameter x 2"height (6cm diameter x 5cm height)
    Capacity: 1 ounce (30 ml)

    Crucial Detail
    Tasting Tumblers

    Sunday, June 2, 2013

    Nespresso: Unlimited Variations

    If there was one thing I can take away from our trip from Spain, it would be this: Nespresso

    I'm not a coffee person but when I had my first sip of the finest espresso, I was instantly hooked. Where has Nespresso been all my life? Apparently I had to stay at a Ritz Carlton in Barcelona to find out. Our room came equipment with a Nespresso machine. Initially, I wondered why the coffee cups in our room were small. Lke super small. It took a few days to figure out that Europeans drink espresso not Caffè Americano (watered down espresso).

    Anyways, a few weeks after our trip, I found a Nespresso boutique inside our local Bloomingdale's. I thought the machines were only sold in Europe but apparently the company (the parent is Nestle), is trying to break into the U.S. market. Fast forward to today, I own two machines. A Pixie which I use at the office and a Latissima Plus at home.

    Nespresso has 16 Grand Crus but three of their limited edition flavors will be part of their permanent collection. Believe it or not, once limited edition capsules are sold out, it's gone for good. Meaning, they're really expensive to buy on ebay. The strategy is to buy as many sleeves (a box of 10 capsules) of your favorite flavor before it sells out. I'm currently hoarding Cherry,Chocolate,Coconut, Hazelnut, Macadamia nut and the elusive Kazaar, the most intense limited edition Grand Crus yet.

    The 3 new permanent flavors are:

    - Vanilio: Rich, velvety aromas of vanilla meeting the mellowness of the Livanto Grand Cru.

    - Ciocattino: Dark and bitter chocolate notes meeting the caramelized, roasted flavors of Livanto. Reminiscent of a sqaure of dark chocolate.

    - Caramelito: The sweet flavor of caramel softens the roasted notes of Livanto. A gourmet marriage evoking the creaminess of soft toffee.

    This weekend I received a mailing informing me that I can taste the new flavors on Friday, June 7th through Sunday, June 9th. It looks like I'll be taking a trip to Bloomingdale's during my lunch break this Friday.