My Shrimpy Pesto Pizza Birthday

IMG_7077There are two kinds of people in the world: Birthday people and not birthday people. Until 2011, I never worked on my birthday. Of course, I am a birthday person and typically make it multi-day celebration of moi.

This year, instead of organizing a party/events, I had a pretty chill birthday. I like big celebrations, but not coordinating people is pretty awesome. I lived in the moment and enjoyed my day sans stress.

On Friday I received these gorgeous flowers (pictured below) from my man. On Saturday (my actual birthday) he cooked us breakfast, then I went to the nail salon for more pampering, later he took me to dinner at Soleto.  We ordered Shrimp Pesto Pizza and Chicken Fettuccine. I tend to prefer pasta over pizza, but not in this case. Pizza ingredient (garlic shrimp, basil pesto, mozzarella, grana padano, sundried tomatoes, peppers) proportions were great and the pizza crust… not too soft, not too crispy, but just right. It tastes just as delicious as it looks. The pasta did not do anything for me, nothing (flavor, ingredients, presentation) stood out. Pasta and service were both 7, on a scale of  1-10. More Shrimp Pesto Pizza, per favore!

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Long List, Short Order…

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‘Restaurants to Visit’ is a collection of places to grub. When I  see or receive a recommendation of a place with potential to make my mouth water, I add it to the ‘Restaurants to Visit’ list in my phone.

One of my best friends told me to choose a restaurant and she would treat me to a late birthday dinner… I would usually go to my restaurant list, but I accidentally ERASED IT! Ugh! It took forever, but I decided to dine at Short Order.

We went during dineLA Restaurant Week and ordered from the prix fixe menu (see below). I ordered the items pictured above (circled on the menu). We did halfsies with the meat, so I got to try the flat iron steak too.

Dante’s  moist, tender, well-seasoned fried chicken eclipsed the steak. The warm, gooey, lightly breaded mac n’ cheese was yummy. My order came with Short Order spuds and a fresh standard side salad. I forced myself to stop eating, so that I could save room for a vanilla shake… apparently shakes were in high demand because they ran out of ice cream after us. Nothing disappointed, but a few items (Dante’s Fried Chicken,  the mac ‘n’ cheese and vanilla shake)  were extra tasty.

DineLA2014 Dinner

Farewell, Grand Lux Cafe

Grand Lux Cafe, Los Angeles opened its doors to customers for the last time on March 19.  A couple good peeps and I visited on March 15 to say our final farewell.

My first visit in 2004/2005 with a party of about 20 people is a blur, but I remember tasting three dishes that all seemed very bland. Honestly, the only reason I went on March 15  is because my friend suggested it. This was my second visit. I ordered the Cedar Planked B.B.Q. Salmon, i’m still not sold on the food. On the other hand, I would go back just for the fresh baked box of cookies.

The price of our entrees ranged from $19-$23 and the servings were pretty big. All in all, the experience was favorable and our server was great.

Have you dined at Grand Lux? If so, what is your experience?

Below are pictures of our food and drinks followed by details.

IMG_0577(clockwise) Cajun Shrimp & Chicken Jambalaya, Cedar Planked B.B.Q. Salmon, Chicken Royale

IMG_0579Cedar Planked B.B.Q. Salmon

IMG_0581A Box of Warm Homemade Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

Caramel Apple Martini
Ketel One Vodka and Apple Liqueur Shaken and Chilled

Crispy Thai Shrimp & Chicken Spring Rolls (not pictured above)
Served with Thai Sweet-Hot Chili Sauce

Cajun Shrimp & Chicken Jambalaya
Sauteed with Peppers, Onions and Tasso in a Delicious Spicy Sauce.
Served with White Rice

Cedar Planked B.B.Q. Salmon
Roasted on a Cedar Plank and Glazed with Sweet and Spicy B.B.Q. Sauce. Served with Mashed Potatoes, Corn Succatash and Crispy Onion Rings

Chicken Royale
Lightly Breaded Sauteed Chicken Breasts Served Over a White Wine Butter Sauce with Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans and Herbed Carrots

A Box of Warm Homemade Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies
A Freshly Baked Dozen. Take the Rest Home!

The Stinking Rose

Do you see the Chicken and Asparagus dish? I ate that this past weekend at The Stinking Rose, it was yummy to my tummy. The other dish pictured is the Shellfish pasta ($24.95).

The ambiance is perfect for date night but it’s also suitable for a chill night with your girls or guy friends. The menu offers reasonable and high priced dishes. Our sever was very attentive, friendly, helpful and unobtrusive. We left a 20 percent tip, so you know it was real.

All went well with the exception of the garlic ice cream. Sometimes, I try really really hard not to judge a book by its cover and this was one of those times. Garlic ice cream is a no-no for my palate.

Check out the pictures below and feel free to ask any questions.

P.s. I forgot to take pics of the Bagna Calda and bread before we dug in. Those servings were not measly, pictured are the remnants.
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IMG_9214Bagna Calda $4.95 (garlic cloves, oven-roasted in extra virgin olive oil & butter with a hint of anchovy)

IMG_9216Chicken & Asparagus (sans pin nuts) $18.95 (chicken, asparagus, fettuccine & roasted tomatoes topped w/ fresh parmasan)

IMG_9219Garlic Ice Cream  $6.95 (garlic ice cream topped with caramel molé sauce)

Pitfire: Reasonably Priced Gourmet Pizza & Pasta

On a budget but you don’t want to sacrifice quality? Consider taking a trip over to Pitfire Pizza. I visited the Westwood location, the address is below.

I can’t speak on the entire menu but these dishes right here are  G – double O – D, good!

If you are not in California, you are out of luck, sorry.

IMG_8833Spaghetti and Chicken Meatballs (spaghetti, tomato sauce & grana) – $9.25

IMG_8835The Burrata Pie (burrata cheese, tomato sauce, wild arugula, onion, hazelnut & pesto drizzle) – $9.95

IMG_8837 *Brussel Sprout & Bacon Pizza (brussel leaves, panna, bacon, garlic & fresh mozzarella) – $11

*Seasonal Special

Pitfire Pizza
2018 Westwood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
310.481.9860

How I Fed My Face in 2012 + Top 12 LA Foodstuffs Under $12

In 2012, food and I built an intimate relationship that will only get better. We found love in a hopeless place.

As we come to the close of this year, I want to reflect on the deliciousness that I devoured. Feast your eyes on the food porn below. Want to know where to find them? Visit my “Food Adventures” album on Facebook. And if you like porn under $12 bucks go check out The Unemployed Eater’s “Top 12 LA Foodstuffs Under $12“.

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