I have LOW expectations when it comes to Vietnamese restaurants in the Westside especially since we regularly frequent San Gabriel just to eat Pho and and other Vietnamese dishes. (Too far to drive to Bolsa). We tried Phoreign one night when the hubby and I were both feeling under the weather. First, it can be viewed as either positive/negative since Phoreign is located in one of the Sawtelle food plazas. Positive - 1) If someone is curious, they will try the restaurant. 2) You're desperate for Pho. Negative - 1) Parking is horrible!!!
The outside of the restaurant has a display of some of the food that the restaurant offers in their menu. When you first walk in, there are about 2-3 tables to your immediate left and several tables for 2 on the left hand side of the restaurant. There's also counter sitting infront of the kitchen where you can see the chefs at work. Phoreign uses an "open kitchen" concept considering the small space.
The menu is not as an extensive in comparison to other Vietnamese restaurants. There's pho, rice dishes, spring rolls and dessert to name a few. The hubby and I decided to order their pho (standard test for Vietnamese restaurants in my opinion), a spring roll and 2 Diet Cokes. When our order came, the presentation of my Pho was pretty nice. Now comes the taste test.
In my opinion, it's like a "healthy pho". The soup base is not beefy enough. The ratio of the noodles and beef just seems "enough". As far as the other menu, they have several dishes using tofu... hhhnmmm. The spring roll we ordered was just average.
Service is average depending on what time of the day you visit the restaurant. At the time we went, there were only a few patrons.
Cost is reasonable. I guess I can't really compare it to the prices of other Vietnamese restaurants in San Gabriel Valley.
Overall, it's an alternative if you are craving Pho or Vietnamese food. I only hope that they improve their menu. Since Phoreign has the same owner as Blue Marlin, it's surprising to me that it's not as good as Blue Marlin since it's one of the places we regularly frequest at Sawtelle.
On a typical night, I'll try to whip up a quick dinner for me and the hubby. We're not strictly following a low carb / high protein diet but we're certainly trying to eat healthier. I cooked one rib eye for both of us and salad and cornbread I got from Whole foods.
I was reading an article from AAA's Westways. The article stated that you can now rent a car powered by fuel made from California walnut oil. This is pretty amazing. Hopefully, this innovation will catch on and we won't be so dependent on oil. The article provided the website of Bio-Beetle . The author of the article is Kristine Hansen.
i've decided to start blogging again. blogging takes a lot of time and commitment. the problem is time. i was reading the info for blogger beta for my other blog and thought about either starting or continuing this one. i can't possibly think of another name for my blog.
i looked at the Roget's New Millenium Thesaurus 2006 Edition and came across the word bon vivant. Definition: one who lives well
it's another year.... it's been awhile since i've written a new entry. this year, i plan to do a healthy take on my diet. basically, like every year for most people, i want to lose those unwanted pounds. it will be a difficult and challenging year since i love food. i love going to different places to try different foods. i love to watch the chefs prepare food for their customers. i love to observe people's reactions.
i've taken photos on my camera phone on most places i've been to. it would take a lot of effort to document my efforts in my "weight loss program" and also to review places i've been to.
i've recently been to several restaurants with friends and the Hubby and I will be posting shortly my take on the food, service and ambiance. Some of the most notable are the following: Beacon, Sona, A.O.C. and boule. I'll also detail my account on some of the foods I started cooking at home as practice from my culinary class.
Coffee has been around for centuries. It has been around to many for most of their life. Growing up, there's always coffee - mornings before going to work, during work, and evenings after dinner. Why go to Starbucks when you can make coffee at home? It's busy all the time, there's always a long line, yet you still wait till you get to the barista rep so they can take your order. Ever since Starbucks opened, it has become a lifestyle for many. It's now part of our culture. It's certainly part of mine.
So I got one of the "Make It Your Drink" guide to Starbucks beverages. Here's a little coffee lesson for you.
Americano: A coffee made w/ two shots of espresso and hot water.
Breve: A latte made w/ half-and-half.
Cappucino: A drink made w/ espresso and foamed milk.
Con Panna: Italian for whipped cream
Creme: A coffee-free beverage
Doppio: Italian for double
Double: Two shots of espresso
Dry: More foam, less milk
Espresso: Coffee's purest, sweetest and most intense form.
Frappucino: Icy and smooth drink
Grande: 2nd to the largest size drink
Half-Caf: One shot of regular and one shot of decaf
Latte: A drink made w/ espresso and steamed milk
Light: Less of something in a drink
Macchiato: Italian for marked or stained
Misto: Italian for mixed, combination of drip coffee and steamed milk
Mocha: A drink made w/ espresso, chocolate and steamed milk
Quad: Four shots of espresso in a drink
Ristretto: A short pull of espresso, capturing only the sweetest part
Shaken: Iced tea or coffee mixed w/ ice in a shaker
Short: Small drink size
Single: One shot of espresso in a drink
Skinny: Made w/ nonfat milk
Solo: One shot of espresso by itself
Tall: Regular size drink
Triple: Three shots of espresso in a drink
Valencia: Orange syrup
Venti: Large size drink
Wet: More milk, less foam
Whip: Whipped cream
With Legs: To Go
With Room: Space to add milk in a drink
In addition, the Starbucks guide revealed 4 ways to customize your order.
1. Choose your espresso
2. Choose a syrup
3. Choose your milk
4. Choose your modifiers
What's my usual order?: Double Tall Dry Soy Caramel Macchiato
1. I have two shots of espresso
2. My syrup is Caramel
3. Soy for milk
4. Dry for modifiers
We were on our way one weekend to my parent's house in Chino Hills for a weekend visit. My brother decided that he had a craving for Filipino food instead of Chinese. He stated that he's been going to this new
place in Azusa and Amar called, "Ito Ay Atin". So we detoured from the 60, exited Azusa until we reached Amar. The restaurant is situated where the old Goldilocks restaurant used to be.
When we got in, you're greeted by a few friendly staff asking what you want to order. The food are arranged under a warmer and a heat lamp, typical of a "turo-turo" joint, (mom-and-pop store). The first thing I checked was the quality of the food. Were the food sitting there under the heat lamp for a long time? Are there certain selections that people are not buying? The answer is yes and no.
Food: Most of the foods that were there appeared to be cooked recently. It may have been there for a couple of hours or freshly cooked. There were a couple items that looked like it's been sitting under the warmer for a long time that needed to be removed and changed. A few minutes later, after trying to decide what combo I want, a lady came out of the kitchen and removed the couple of items that looked old and replaced it with a newly cooked food.
Ambiance: Friendly. Many people ate at the restaurant after buying their food. The impression I got was that they're enjoying their food. The decor of the place is loud yellow. They may need a re-vamp in the future.
Price: Cheap and affordable.
Parking: Good. Plenty of spaces since it's located in a shopping strip mall.
the hubby and i celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary. as tradition goes, we saved the top of our wedding cake. we've had it in the freezer for this past year. i took the cake out of the freezer and defrosted it prior to dinner so that we can have cake for dessert with coffee.
everyone (couple friends) told us that if you didn't pack and seal the cake correctly, it will be soggy and the cake will taste bad. i've forgotten how i packed the cake. we came home from dinner and started unpacking the foil around the cake. after all the foil and saran wraps were removed, it appears that the only damage were the flower candies. it became soggy.
after slicing a piece, we were ready for the taste test. surprise! the cake tasted the same! i must've packed the cake tightly enough that there were no frost bites around the cake.
If you are not familiar with Downtown LA, you may never find this place or may get lost looking for R23. We've been to R23 for several years now and the restaurant has served good sushi consistently over the years.
R23 is located in the Arts District right by Cafe Metropol. The decor is minimalist in nature. I love the Frank Gehry corrugated paper chairs. Whether you're on a table or at the bar, the sushi is always fresh and the presentation is artistic. They also have specials.
I highly recommend making a reservation.
Address: 923 E Second St Los Angeles, CA
Phone: (213) 687-7178
If you're living in Downtown LA, you can't help but try the "Best Burger" by Channel 2 News. There are a few places in Downtown LA that's open 24 hours.
Farmer Boys prides itself that their food, especially their burgers, are never frozen. They are cooked to order and made fresh every day. This includes all the toppings - lettuce, tomatoes, onions, etc. I'm not a big burger fan but their burger is pretty tasty and huge! Along with the burgers, you can order the usual french fries, zucchini (my favorite with ranch dressing!) and onion rings (they're huge!).
They also serve breakfast such as pancakes, french toast, eggs, omelettes and breakfast burrito. The menu also feature Mexican food items such as tacos, taquitos and burritos.
This cafe is located in the Arts District. It has become a popular spot among the locals that the hours were extended. The cafe was also expanded as well. The walls are decorated with works from a featured artist showcasing their talent. The menu includes gourmet sandwiches, grilled panini, mixed greens, Italian-style pizzas, and pastas. They also have tasty desserts.
Location: 923 E Third St Los Angeles
Hours: Monday to Friday 800 AM to 1000 PM. Saturday 900 AM to 1000 PM.
This was one of the restaurants that was up and running for our engagement / wedding reception. The hubby and I ate here after church at the Cathedral one weekend. The food was exquisite - it was one of the best restaurants I've been to in Los Angeles.
The restaurant is adjacent next to the LA Library. At the background is the LA skyline. The restaurant manages to create a romantic yet glamorous garden. The food is California French.
I highly recommend this restaurant. Service was impeccable.
Location: 700 W Fifth Street Los Angeles, CA
Phone: (213) 239-6500.
Here's another article highlighting a new craze that could affect your diet: low carb pizza. HHHmmmm.... I'm highly skeptical. How can you make the dough or crust low carb? What about the taste? Since diet programs like the Atkins's diet, the Zone and the South Beach are popular right now, this has a drastic affect on the pizza sales around the country. It's not just the dough or crust that makes pizza fattening. What about the toppings?
What affects a person's diet, in my opinion, is the number of slices that a person eats. Realistically, an average person could probably eat 2-3 slices of pizza. I probably know about 2 people who could eat more in one sitting. I should try one of these low carb pizza and write a review about it.
I was a skinny kid growing up right until maybe 7 years ago when I first got together with the hubby. Also, as you get older, your metabolism changes. It's much harder to lose weight now compare to when I was in my early 20s. My doctor always say that the only way you'll lose weight is to eat a balanced meal with a good proportion of food and exercise. No diet ever works.
I certainly agree that eating fast food is a factor of the obesity in children. Most people in the United States, not just children, are probably bigger and heavier than people in Europe. It's easy to just come home, order something to go and eat while watching TV or play games.
What the article didn't mention that I think is a factor in obesity is that most food portion served in the United States is bigger in comparison to food served in other countries. When you go to a fast food restaurant, the cashier will ask you if you want to "Supersize" your food for xxx amount. As an example, you can get a medium soda for 99 cents. But for 25 cents more you can "Supersize" it.
This is the article that I'm referring about. cnn.com
CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- Teenagers in the United States have higher rates of obesity than those in 14 other industrialized countries, including France and Germany, a study of nearly 30,000 youngsters ages 13 and 15 found.
U.S. teens were more likely than those in other countries to eat fast food, snacks and sugary sodas and were more likely to be driven to school and other activities, contributing to a more sedentary lifestyle, said co-author Mary Overpeck of the U.S. Maternal and Child Health Bureau.