Tuesday, June 1, 2010

His Fried Stuff Brings All the Boys to The Yard


The last time I saw CJ from Season Four of Top Chef, he was nice enough to take a picture with me in front of Michael Kors. I was happy to try more of his food at The Yard during one of Ms. Cruiser's birthday celebrations earlier this year.
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This Santa Monica gastropub has extensive drink and small plates menus. This Santa Monica gastropub does not have good lighting. Good luck with your photos, fellow bloggers.

Backyard Lemonade -- gin, lemon basil, St. Germain, lemon juice, ginger ale ($10).
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Lemony. Gingery.

Arancini -- crispy risotto balls, spicy marinara ($8).
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Crunchy. Creamy.

Coleman Farms sugar snap peas, burrata, mint, grilled arugula ($10).
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Fresh. Crisp.

Beer-battered young fava beans ($8).
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Light. Tempura-like.

King crab mac 'n' cheese, Tuscan kale, crispy top ($12).
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Rich. Substantial.

Sauteed greens, sherry, chili, honey ($6).
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Unattractive. Flavorful.

Chicken wings, cured, smoked, fried, piquillo pepper sauce, shaved celery ($9).
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Spicy. Messy.

Smoked Brussels sprouts, apple puree, pickled radish ($8).
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Complex. Nutritious.

Fried pig ears, dates, Nueske's bacon, smoked balsamic, St. Pete's bleu cheese ($8).
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Crackling. Chewy.

Shrimp and cheesy grits, honey, pancetta, walnut ($12).
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Cheesy. Gritty.

Mini pulled pork sloppy joes, Yard BBQ sauce, crispy onions, pickles, fries ($12).
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Sloppy. Saucy.

Braised crispy beef cheeks, celery root yam puree, haricots verts, pickled golden raisins ($16).
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Tender. Meaty.

Paprika-spiced calamari, roasted marinara, fried lemon ($10).
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Golden. Tentacle-y.

Birthday girl and adoring fans.
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Happy. Cutie.

Hot chocolate cake, dark chocolate pudding, burnt marshmallow cream, hazelnuts ($8).
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Decadent. Dreamy.

Ha's Farm apple fritters, oatmeal stout batter, cinnamon ($8).
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Warm. Fried.

Popcorn bread pudding, popcorn caramel, sweet cream ($8).
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Corny. Yummy.

Will the food excite you? Not particularly.

Will you have a good time? Definitely.


  1. looks like it'll please anyone in a crowd.

    i miss eating with you.

  2. Whoa baby, this would all bring me to the yard as well (except for the piggy ears).

  3. i am dead @ the post title.

    it never ceases to amaze me that you manage to turn out such fantastic photos in what you deem "horrible lighting."

    lastly, KING CRAB mac & cheese? good god a'mighty, i need some o'that.

  4. Really, it won't excite? I was getting excited just looking at the pictures! There's popcorn on that bread pudding!!!

  5. Doggy insom loves pig ears. He'd be happy to finish mine. I've been meaning to try it out - thanks for the review!

  6. Okay, obviously the food looks amazing. But, I am super taken with the Backyard Lemonade! Sounds so good.

  7. I would like ALL of this right now--especially the king crab mac and cheese.

  8. Looks like a good time to me!

  9. Nice photo shots despite the low lighting! Did you grab all of the candles from the table?

  10. Ha Farm Apples! That's the Korean apple lady at SanMo Farmers Market! Which makes those apple chips UBER special!

    I've been making to make it, except I forgot to buy the atcost coupon. Boo!!


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