Saturday, February 18, 2017

Red Car Brewery

Three of us were at the Old Torrance last Monday. We were to take lessons but the instructor didn't show up so at 4:45 p.m. we wondered where to go. Sandi suggested the Red Car Brewery though she hasn't been there in ages. We drove a very short distance and found it. It looked cute from the outside.

The bar had the big vats of beer; after all, it was a brewery. None of us are beer drinkers but I was adventurous and wanted to order one but had no idea what to order. No one else wanted to share my adventurism so I settled for a glass of Pinot Noir.

The menu was extensive; they had pizza, salads, sandwiches, fish and chips, burgers, chicken and salmon. The Margherita Pizza looked good so we had that to share. It was even better than it looked. The crust was thin and the cheese tasted so good and so did the fresh tomatoes. Sandi ordered the hamburger which was also delicious. She only ate half of it and the other half was split between me and Piero. 

Piero had the Very Spicy Pad Thai. He loved it and he confirmed that it truly was spicy. I don't know if he meant it or he just didn't want to share. I had the Fish and Chips which was good. The fish was light, tender and crunchy outside. The French fries took the cake. It was great. They had a sauce which went well with the fish and the chips. 

We were not planning to order dessert since we were all full. Our server, Theresa brought us a surprise brownie with ice cream dessert. We asked what it was for and she said: "Since it's your first time here at the restaurant". We all thought that was very nice of her. 

Red Car Brewery is located at 1266 Sartori Ave. in Torrance, California.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Valentine's Day 2017

Most people associate Valentine's Day with a significant other. This Valentine's Day, I thought it would be nice to celebrate friendship, after all one might have a significant other but that other isn't always there or you cannot always count on the"other". These friends of mine are real friends who would do anything for each other and that's why I love them.

We dismissed going out to a restaurant since most of them would be very busy and you can almost count on bad service. We got together for hors d'oeuvres at Sandi's house. A chocolate cherry cheese, rum raisin cheese, regular Brie and some chicken wings were on the menu. That with a couple of bottles of Rose Champagne made for such an enjoyable evening.

While some husbands stayed home or were clueless to Valentine's Day, we made our own Valentine's Day. I think we will start this tradition. To many more Valentine's Day.......

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Busy Bee Market

Sandi and I were in San Pedro today buying our first pair of tap shoes. My second thought after the shoes was where to go for lunch. The lady at the store gave us 3 names. One was supposed to be a healthy place so we immediately discarded that idea. Then she mentioned Busy Bee in which Sandi replied that she's had their sandwich at one time and that her plumbers used to drive all the way to San Pedro from Rosecrans to have their food.

O.K. Google: "Where's Busy Bee Market?" in which google gave us directions from where we were; seven minutes away. Close to the market were 2 vans parked in the street and workmen devouring their sandwiches. We finally got to the small market with a counter in the back with all sorts of meat.  As soon as you walk in the market, you inhale all the deliciousness in the air.

We were 4th in line but by the time it was our turn, there was a long line behind us. It was our lucky day! Sandi ordered the Roast Pork with cheese and I had the Meatball with cheese sandwich. They were humongous and messy. We were planning to eat them in the car but it was impossible. We ended up having them at my house. We shared both and left 1/2 of each for later as we were stuffed. They were both unbelievably delicious. I very rarely get excited over any sandwich and this was truly excitable! The pictures below does not show the full size of the sandwich; just wanted to take closeups to show the meat.

Busy Bee Market is located at 2413 South Walker Street in San Pedro, California.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Birthday at Chez Melange

It was that time to pass the traveling balloon to the next birthday girl. It was Mertz's birthday. We were all there except for Amy who got sick and was unable to attend and our friend Ana who we dearly miss.

We started with the Truffle Parmesan Fries and the Brussels Sprouts; kung pao style, shitake mushrooms, peanuts, chile, garlic, bell pepper and onion. We all commented that we would have been very happy with just those 2 items with our champagne but Mertz insisted we order more food, preferably an entree and so we did. Cindy and Sujata wanted to order the Petrale Sole but the server told them they were already out of it. Cindy and Sandi decided on the Nicoise Braise with artichokes, fennel, pancetta onion, garlic, thyme, butternut squash ravioli and parmesan cheese. Sujata settled on the Dayboat Sea Scallops, pan seared to medium with corn sauce, broccolini in an orange reduction. Everyone seemed to be happy with their food.

Mertz and I ordered the Rib Eye Steak; grilled with horseradish cream, Tuscan black kale, butter beans, garlic and olive oil. We were both more than happy; in fact we were a lot happier than the 3 ladies. The steak had a lot of flavor and was just delicious. I finished mine. Mertz took a small portion home.

Our server brought a birthday cake for Mertz. She didn't want us to sing and so we did sing "Happy Birthday". Her cake was so good that we ordered another slice for us to share. They also ordered a hot apple tart which did not interest me since it was hot. I like my apple pie cold and I'm not the only one that likes it cold.

When all the food was gone, we decided it was time to leave but not before finishing our second bottle of champagne. It was a fun birthday celebration. Cheers to Mertz!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Island Fries from Island Hut

You won't have to go to an island to enjoy these fries. This little restaurant in the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Lomita Blvd. in Lomita  has been there a long time. They have an extensive menu. I have had their Beef and Chicken Teriyaki which are very good.  They have salmon, Katsu curry plates, burgers, Chinese chicken salad (delicious), spam and eggs.

I recently just discovered their Island Fries. These are not your ordinary French fries. The fries are mixed in with stir-fried Angus beef with onions, tomatoes, parsley, shredded cheese and topped with this Green Sauce. Upon further investigation, I found out the proper name for this green sauce. It is a Peruvian Aji sauce which has cilantro, green onions, mayonnaise, jalapeno, garlic and salt. The sauce is topped with slices of ripe avocados. The result of the beef, cheese, fries and the sauce is amazing. It has a kick to it but just enough; not too spicy. When you order these fries, make sure you specify because they also have regular French fries for the less adventurous.

Island Hut is located at 2387 Lomita Blvd. in Lomita, California.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Best Scrambled Eggs

I once saw a video on how to make good scrambled eggs. It was not the way I usually do mine which is to whisk the eggs and add a bit of water. This makes the eggs fluffy. The technique I watched involved cracking the eggs in the pan and just swishing the eggs quickly. I did this but instead of regular salt, I used Black Truffle Salt that Mertz gave me. Forgot to mention before the swishing of the eggs, I melted lots of butter to welcome the eggs.

The result was a beautiful soft (not rubbery and dry) scrambled eggs with the nice truffle taste. It really was delicious.  I cooked 1 piece of bacon and toasted a thick slice of the French Brioche Bread (the very expensive loaf) and added butter and raspberry jam.  A cup of nice freshly ground strong coffee with whipping cream accompanied my masterpiece! The only thing lacking was a server to take my dish away and stick it in the dishwasher.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Authentic French Brioche

I went to Bristol Farms to get a French baguette but they were out of it. It was a cold evening and I had a big lunch so I felt like having soup and French bread. I didn't want to get the heavier Sourdough bread so I ended up with this Authentic French Brioche which is a product of France, imported by Euro Classic in New Jersey.

The soup I bought was also from Bristol Farms; Tomato Basil Bisque which I have had before and enjoyed. As I browsed in the cheese department, I came across something new: La Clare Goat Cheese Curds which looked good.

As I got home, I toasted a thick slice of the brioche and added some butter. I threw in small chunks (I chopped the larger pieces) of the goat cheese into the soup prior to heating it and added more after heating. The soup was so good with the chunks of chewy goat cheese. The texture was a nice addition to the soup which had lots of flavor from all sorts of vegetables and cream. The bread was unbelievably buttery and light. It is no wonder because when I looked at the ingredients, aside from the wheat flour, eggs, and sugar, it had concentrated butter, crѐme fraîche, and brandy. Then I noticed the price of this loaf of bread. It was a whopping $7.75!

My dinner was gratifying and pleasurable to say the least. It was a Bristol Farms dinner with the exception of my glass of red wine.