Friday Night Poop Poop Platter 

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It’s Friday night and Mama wanted some Chinese for din din. I recalled getting take out from Szechuan Palace in Playa del Rey once before and really enjoyed it. So I called in an order for a pu pu platter and shrimp with veggies for us to share back at the apartment. I work very close by and I picked up the food on my way home. I open up the cartons and to our dismay, the food was completely overcooked, tasteless and just plain bad. It looked as nasty as it tasted.  

 
The fried shrimp was like cardboard. The fried wontons looked like shriveled testicles 

and the broccoli in the entree was so mushy, I couldn’t even use a fork to lift it up to my mouth. The egg roll was so over fried, it tasted like a rolled up newspaper. 

 I know…I’m an idiot for not taking any photos and we certainly shouldn’t have even eaten as much as we did…but we were hungry and lazy. We were going to just blow it off and chalk it up as a bad dinner, but then I was like FUCK THAT I had to WORK TO EARN THE MONEY TO PAY FOR THIS DOG SHIT. I’m not going to finish eating it and then be pissed off tomorrow that I didn’t do anything about it tonight. 

I called the restaurant to tell them I was very upset at the quality of this “food”. The woman/owner(?) was really defensive and rude, telling me that’s what a pu pu platter SHOULD look like and that the food was FRESH at restaurant, but that she can’t HELP how it tasted once I got it home. HUH??  I told her this was totally unacceptable and gross and if we had been at the restaurant we would have sent it back, demanding for it to be taken off the bill. I asked if she would refund my money and she told me I had to DRIVE IT BACK TO THE RESTAURANT AND SHOW HER, BEFORE SHE WOULD GIVE ME A REFUND. So…I did just that. I packed up the rest of this CRAP and drove it back to the restaurant. She was waiting for me by the door with a big scowl on her mug. She shook her head at me as if I WAS RIPPING HER OFF?!? TACO BELL would have been 10X better and less expensive than this sorry excuse for a dinner. She opened the bag and inspected the boxes, GROWLED at me 

 
and said THESE ARE EMPTY. I said, no they’re not. And she said THESE ARE EMPTY. And I said, no they’re not. And again she said THESE ARE EMPTY. And I said no they’re not. There is 1/3 of the entree left and almost 1/2 the POOP POOP platter left. I stayed completely calm because I knew that I was not leaving the front of her establishment until I got my refund. After making me wait for her to complete two phone calls, she VERY UNHAPPILY gave me my refund (MINUS THE TIPPPPP?!?) and I said THANKS and walked out. Let’s be real folks, CRAP FOOD AND CRAP CUSTOMER SERVICE is not the way to go in a competitive market. What ever happened to having pride in your business and “the customer is always right?” She was a nasty CRANK who had no customer relation skills. I just hope I don’t get food poisoning from that GARBAGE I ingested. And now, at this very moment, even Mama’s stomach, which is normally able to handle anything from giant hot fudge sundaes to Spicy McChicken Sandwiches to 6 pieces of bacon in one sitting, is making some rather concerning alien noises. Oh God. Noooooo. What exactly WAS that “chicken like substance” that she stuffed into her pie hole? 😱😱

GROSSS. I rarely ever write negative reviews or posts on anything, but in this case I felt it absolutely necessary to share this total bummer of a dining experience.   

Seafood Zone Mexican Restaurant: Quiero Mas Por Favor!

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Well apparently I am not the only person with the bright idea of looking for a tasty bite to eat after spending the day with my furry best friend at Huntington Dog Beach. Wow did I win the lottery or what? One would never know what lies ahead for them while driving past this funky little off-the-beaten-path shack. Don’t be fooled…go in and treat yourself to some seriously spectacular home cooked mexican food. I grabbed a table on the dog-friendly patio strewn with large potted plants and tropically themed painting, giving the feel that you are somewhere in Mexico on vacation. I figured I better get a Pacifico beer to pair with my chips and zesty, chunky salsa. Mmm mmm bueno!

The wait staff are super down to earth and you can tell it is very much a family/team effort here. I asked my waiter what he thought would knock my socks off and without delay he replied, Filete Relleno de Camaron (chicken and shrimp relleno) with rice, beans and a side salad. Sounds muy bien to me. Let’s do it! They brought over fresh water for my pup (always a brownie point for that!) and all the dogs on the patio seemed to coexist without any issues whatsoever. Relaxing and ruminating on a fabulous day at the beach, here comes my ginormous plate of food.

As much as I shouldn’t admit it publicly, I scarfed down every single last piece of food. Outta sight! All I can say is, if you are ever in the area and craving mexican food at a clean, casual hole in the wall, pull in here to their gigantic free parking lot and get ready to DIG IN. Viva Mexico!

Chronic Taco Long Beach: Don’t Pass It By

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After a fun filled afternoon with Elliott at Rosie’s Dog Beach in the LBC, I was craving something yummy to eat. But what? Driving and thinking, I glanced over at the graffiti-esque Chronic Taco sign that caught my eye and I knew this was the place! The miniature parking lot had one space left, thanks to my fabulous parking karma, and I zipped right in. I stepped inside this small taco joint that consisted basically of only a counter. Cool little place. Very laid back and friendly.

As an indecisive first time customer, employee Jessica kindly assisted me in picking out something fabulous to eat. She asked me a few questions then guided me toward her favorite salad and boy was that a fantastic choice! Plump grilled shrimp, fresh lettuce and cabbage, rice, beans, cheese, tomatillo salsa, pico de gallo and chipotle lime vinaigrette dressing. And the verdict? INCREDIBLY tasty! I mean really good!! I actually inhaled my food before even thinking about taking a photo. Damn! Next time! All made fresh to order and fast too! Good tunes playing while I waited. A kind of rock n’ roll taco vibe going on. So glad the sign caught my hungry eye on my way home from the beach. Two thumbs up for this place!! Note: this California based taco shop has a number of locations around and even does catering too. Pull over if you see their sign and dig in to the goodness. You don’t have to smoke any green or spend a lot of green to love eating here!

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The Sal Paradise San Luis Obispo: If It’s Got My Name, It’s Gotta Be Good!

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Visited my cousins in the adorable Central California town of San Luis Obispo and we decided it was a good day to have a picnic. Cousin Kayla knew just the place to grab some artisan style eats for the occasion. The Sal Paradise Sandwich Shop on Chorro Street in downtown. Very modern with an almost warehouse type feel to it but quaint at the same time. Seating indoors as well as a small dog friendly patio. Always a brownie point earner!

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The cool and friendly guy at the counter gave me a tip that if I couldn’t decide on a sandwich from the extensive list, just make up my own. And so I did! Turkey, chicken, Brie, pickles, tomato and lettuce with spicy mustard. Toasted. Thanks for the inside scoop, Dude. And might I say, my creation was AWESOME!! This place is like an edible art gallery of sandwiches. The people making the delicious concoctions are skilled masters in the art of food! No attitudes. No insane prices. Without a doubt I would return here again on my next visit to San Luis. Seriously delicious sammies with no added effort or drama. Elliott actually RAN OFF with a large chunk of my cousin’s lunch because the intoxicating aroma was simply driving him wild! He couldn’t help himself! Great food! Great memory! Sal’s is the place!

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Splash Cafe Pismo Beach: Flash in the Pan or Simply The Best?

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I pulled into Pismo on a chilly, stormy Sunday afternoon with my cousin who was laser-focused on eating at Splash Cafe. I was starving and hard-core craving some clam chowder. There, we were greeted by at least 20 people in line for a late lunch at this very small, divey cafe near the pier. I’m sorry, but is the clam chowder really going to be worth this kind of a wait? I am most definitely NOT a patient enough person, but I AM highly resourceful…. so I Googled the restaurant, called in a pick up order and only had to wait 10 minutes for lunch! Crafty, huh? LORD KNOWS how long we would’ve waited otherwise?? We grabbed a place to sit looking out over the water and chowed down.

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I will admit, that was THE CREAMIEST clam chowder I’ve ever had! Like BUTTAH, I tell you. An extra scoop of seafood thrown on top… served in a fresh baked, sourdough bread bowl to boot! Ohhh my yummyyyyy. It was absolutely delicious!! I was definitely feeling fat and happy at this point.

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But the questions remain: is there clam chowder to be found in Pismo Beach that is equally as tasty….BUT with a shorter wait?? Is there just a lot of local hype over Splash Cafe…. or do they really possess the BEST clam chowder in town? Enquiring minds want to know!

Rice Sake & Real Food: Barioishii!!

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Last minute visit from a couple of friends this weekend and I scrambled a bit at first wondering where we could possibly eat on a Saturday night with no reservations to be had? That is, until I remembered RICE Sake and Real Food on Manhattan Avenue and 9th Street in downtown Manhattan Beach. I called and of course they gladly made room for us. How can you not love a place with such friendly and outstanding service right from the start? Not to mention being far enough away from the crowds of people a few blocks over enduring two-hour wait lists at other establishments. Ridiculous.
RICE is housed in a classy, simple and quiet atmosphere. Definitely not pretentious, loud or overcrowded. You are greeted at the door and treated with 5-Star customer service all the way.

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Owner Hiroyuki Igarashi, born and raised in Tokyo, Japan spent 10 years working in Los Angeles restaurants and mentoring under some of the best before stepping out and opening his own place in 2012. RICE offers healthy, vegan and macrobiotic food with no use of chemical preservatives, artificial colors, or chemical seasonings. All dishes are created originally and made to order from scratch using organic ingredients whenever possible. And this attention to every last healthful detail shows. The brussels sprouts and Kabocha pumpkin appetizers are beyond equisiste…you MUST order them both. Scrumptious!!
We got a bottle of the Dassai Nigori unfiltered sake (my favorite and always an excellent compliment with sushi) and a homemade gingerale. Who doesn’t love all natural gingerale? Add to that the Sunset, MB Rainbow, S.G.A. and White Sand sushi rolls and we were ready to indulge in this magnificent feast. The food is absolutely flawless! Could not be any better. Our waitress was very pleasant and would check in on us occasionally without hovering. Of course we had to share a vegan and gluten free Coco Chocolate cake, Pineapple Mousse and Cream Brulee for dessert. Just the right fininshing touch! Hands down… a sensational dining experience!

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Peppermill Fireside Lounge: Now THIS is a Lounge

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Here, securely tucked away in an unassuming spot along Las Vegas Boulevard, you will find the mother ship of all 70’s lounges. The Fireside Lounge, located inside of the Peppermill Restaurant, is the epitome of a classic disco-era bar. Time may be flying by just outside the front door, but once you step inside, you can ease back and get your groove on with no concept of time whatsoever. Just imagine that when the Peppermill opened on December 26 1972, it stood across the street from the still dazzling Stardust Casino and Hotel as well as the Folies Bergère (hmmmm this could be one reason for the sensually tantalizing vibe) with customers such as Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis! Yes, a lot has changed since then but this poster child of time-warp hero coffee shops and lounges is still standing proud and thriving. Walking through the doors of The Peppermill and you are lovingly enveloped into the breezy freewheeling world of yesteryear dining. Spacious booths, fake ficus trees, marble walls, mirror-ceiling and a fabulously old school counter. Hello Classic Vegas! A small wall of vintage photos can be found just outside the door to the Fireside Lounge. Check it out! Note to self: savor the full meal experience here next time! Unfortunately I had no idea the level of awesomeness I was about to encounter or I would have shown up on an empty stomach.

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Continue through the doors to the lounge and you have entered a swanky dimly-lit world of red velvet, secluded cushioned seating and of course, what else, a fire pit. This neon lust-filled room is warm, inviting and seductive with a groovalicious variety of tunes playing and plasma video screens to compliment. Sitting there, soaking in the energy while listening to Michael McDonald and James Ingram sing “Yah Mo B There,” equals perfection in my book.

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Friendly cocktail waitresses decked out in black floor-length, low cut gowns gracefully glide their way through the lounge and will kindly offer suggestions if you’re having a hard time deciding what to imbibe. And my waitress picked a winner indeed! The Chocolate Chip Cookie. Vodka, ice cream, chocolate sauce and maybe even a touch of Sin City fairy dust. Deeeeeelishhhhh! Look how sexy my cocktail looks under the red lights!

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I’m not sure I could pick a more ideal lounge for myself or anyone else. Laid back. Smooth tunes. Low lights. Fire pit. Stiff and tasty cocktails. Finger lickin’ good late night snacks. Fast and friendly 24-hour service. Easy parking. Comfy seating. I think I’m in love. Peppermill Fireside Lounge Las Vegas. Can ya dig it? Right on!