Monday, January 31, 2011

A Pleasant Brunch: Village Corner

The next morning, we tried to go to Katy's Place, but the wait was an hour long. What?! We walked to the Village Corner instead, where we sat down almost immediately and had a lovely brunch.
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Our timing was great. Village Corner also got packed shortly thereafter.

Smoked salmon scramble -- three egg whites, smoked salmon, chives ($11.75).
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Applewood smoked bacon ($4.95).
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Crab Benedict -- Dungeness crab and avocado ($14.99).
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Everything was very good. We were definitely satisfied and happy we didn't wait an hour for a table.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Carmel's Country French Gem: L'Escargot

Thank you so much for your input regarding my extreme backlog. I really appreciate the comments. If you haven't already, you can still voice your preferences!

Today we begin a short trip to Carmel because a number of in-real-life friends have asked for it. Apologies to my cyberpals, but requests in the flesh are given more weight.

Carmel is a sleepy little town. There is not much to do. There are lots of art galleries, golf courses, and the beach. That's about it. It's beautiful, but it's sort of boring, and things cost a lot more than they should. What do you expect from a haven for rich retired folk?

Case in point -- our "hotel." I use quotation marks because it was much more like a motel. The Carmel Lodge looks decent online, but don't believe the charade. You know when a place calls itself "charming," it's really kind of a dump. This is the only picture you get.
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Our room was probably awesome...back in the '70s. Nevertheless, for $63 per night (via Hotwire), it was bearable in the twenty-first century. I wouldn't pay a penny more.

To Carmel Lodge's credit, its location is fantastic. We walked to all the restaurants that I'll be featuring on the blog this week, as well as to the beach. And at least we didn't break the bank with our digs.

This left plenty of money for food.

We had our first meal in Carmel at L'Escargot. Now this was truly charming.
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It felt like a fairytale. This was a cottage straight from Hansel and Gretel or Little Red Riding Hood. Small, cozy, and inviting, L'Escargot did not disappoint. The service was so warm and friendly.

We each opted for the $36 prix fixe three-course dinner. This was a steal, given that entrees alone range from $17 to $38. I highly recommend this deal.

French onion soup gratinee.
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Everything a French onion soup should be. Beefy broth, lots of bubbly cheese, and melt-in-your-mouth slightly-sweet onions.

Caramelized onion and Sonoma goat cheese tart.
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The perfect finger food. My God, that goat cheese flavor. Ohhh.

Ribeye steak with truffle butter and pommes frites.
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An amazing piece of meat with even more amazing fries. Mr. Monkey just looked over my shoulder and said, "I remember that. That was a good dinner."

Fresh fish of the day -- trout amandine.
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I didn't think it was possible, but I enjoyed my fish even more than Mr. Monkey's steak. So buttery. So substantial yet delicate.

Poached Bosc pear with vanilla ice cream and Merlot syrup.
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Simple and enjoyable.

Tart tatin.
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Also simple and enjoyable. Flaky happiness.

L'Escargot was such a find. If you're looking for an affordable delicious meal in Carmel, consider this Country French gem.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tell Me What You Want

The last time I did this, some of you were kind enough to comment.

Here's a list of things that I've not yet blogged:

  1. San Diego (several trips)
  2. Carmel and Monterey DONE! DONE!
  3. Vision Quest Ranch in Salinas
  4. Gilroy Garlic Festival DONE!
  5. Vancouver (two trips) DONE!
  6. Yellowstone and Montana
  7. Arches National Park, Mesa Verde, Four Corners, Colorado National Monument
  8. Costa Rica (the rest of the trip -- namely, Arenal and Tamarindo)
  9. Chicago (two trips) DONE!
  10. St. Louis, MO
  11. Alaska
  12. Chapel Hill, NC
  13. Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Yosemite
  14. Seattle (two trips) DONE!
  15. Barbados and Guyana
  16. Hearst Castle, Morro Bay, and Solvang
  17. Denver
  18. And...over 40 restaurants in the Los Angeles area

Travel blogging is very time-consuming, so you're going to have to lobby really hard for that if that's what you want!

What say you, readers? Here's your chance to voice your opinion!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

High-Quality Korean Barbecue: Chung Kiwa

Chung Kiwa (3545 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles) serves excellent Korean barbecue.
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You will pay for it, and it's not all-you-can-eat, but the quality of the meat makes this little place one of the best in the area. Most meats range from $17.99 to $29.99. It's black angus beef! That's why it costs more! Worth the occasional splurge.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Second Time's the Charm: Shanghai Restaurant

I didn't even remember that I'd already been to Shanghai Restaurant (140 W. Valley Blvd., #211, San Gabriel) until I indexed this entry.
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The place must've been remodeled since my previous visit.

The hilarious thing is that we ordered some of the same things, including a dish I didn't like the last time I ate here. Why don't I read my own blog?!
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I am too lazy to label all the photos, so you can just take a look at the itemized receipt and ignore the to-go items not pictured.

I thought both the food and ambiance were better this time. The sheng jian bao (Shanghai pork buns) were quite spectacular. Thumbs up for those golden brown goodies. I'd return for those.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

See This Dim Sum: Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant

It's dim sum. You know what it is. You know how it works. It's at Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant (3939 Rosemead Blvd., Rosemead).sea harbour (2)
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No carts here. Order off a menu for fast, reliable treats. Solid place for dim sum.
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