Friday, December 27, 2019

Simple Simon's Bakery & Bistro

If you are ever in the vicinity of Riverside, California, make sure you stop by this bakery either for breakfast or lunch. We were lucky to get there early enough because, by the time we left, there was a line of people waiting to order.

They had a special that morning which was an egg sandwich with tomato, bacon, and cheese on their freshly baked sourdough bread.  It was very good. Sandi had the Winter Omelette which I should have gotten. It had Gorgonzola cheese, roasted pecans, sauteed apples, and grilled onions.  That was interesting and wonderful.  Sujata was not impressed with her egg omelet as it was rather bland. Even their homemade jam was delicious.

I bought 1 Sticky Bun to take home a few large Oatmeal cookies which looked divine. I loved the sticky bun and the loved the cookies even more. They were not at all sweet so you could really taste the oatmeal. My only regret is I should have bought a dozen of the cookies!

Simple Simon's Bakery & Bistro is located at 3639 Main St. in Riverside, California.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Egg Salad Sandwich from Tous les Jours

This might be the best egg salad sandwich I have ever had. It is made of whipping cream pan bread. Aside from eggs, it has small pieces of bacon, just enough not to overpower the eggs, Romaine and Iceberg lettuce, honey mustard, celery, onion, cranberries, mayonnaise, sugar, and black pepper.

It has 860 calories and costs $5.00. Well worth the calories and a bargain for the price. I got the sandwich at the Tous les Jours inside H Mart in Torrance. I imagine they have it in their free-standing store on Sepulveda in Torrance.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Duane's Prime Steak & Seafood

Duane's is located in the legendary Mission Inn Resort and Spa in Riverside, California. We celebrated our friend Sujata's birthday there a few nights ago along with experiencing the famous Festival of the Lights in and around the hotel.

The ambiance alone is enough to set you in a romantic mood but in the case of three women, we settled for a very festive mood. We brought a bottle of Veuve Clicquot to help us celebrate the occasion. The birthday celebrant ordered the Chilean Sea Bass which was served on top of spiced Beluga lentils. Sandi had her favorite Alaskan Halibut which was pan-seared served with celery root puree and mustard cream. Both were outstanding.

I had to have meat so I settled for the Steak Diane, medallions of super tender beef with Boursin whipped potatoes, sauteed asparagus with mushroom sauce. I had Sandi taste the medallion and she quickly commented that she was able to cut the piece of steak with her fork without using a knife. And that's how tender it was. Just writing about it makes my mouth water all over again.

After our meal and just before dessert, Santa stopped by and greeted Sujata a Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas. The carolers who strolled from table to table also made their last stop at our table and asked for requests. I requested the German Christmas song; Oh Tannenbaum and they happily obliged but not before singing "Happy Birthday" to Sujata.

They asked us what dessert we would like, the consensus was the Banana Pie since the souffle had a longer wait time. They did bring the pie with a candle which they lit for the birthday girl to blow off. We were surprised to see that they had charged us for the dessert as most restaurants do not charge for it, especially for a very expensive restaurant.

Friday, November 22, 2019

The Pan

I have been to The Pan in Gardena three years ago. It was one of the best breakfasts I have had but somehow I had forgotten all about it until recently when Sandi brought it to my attention that they had opened one in Lomita.

It was time to try it out, so Amy, Zohreh, Sandi and I drove there. They don't open until 9:00 a.m. There were a few people outside waiting for the restaurant to open its doors. It was 2 minutes past and the gentleman told us the lady inside made an announcement that she would let the people know when they could come in. After a brief discussion among the people who were getting a bit ticked off, we all decided to just walk in since the door was not locked. One of the servers told us she would be right with us while the other gentleman led us to a table.

This restaurant is right next to the Sprint store and it used to be a Thai restaurant.  They had the place nicely decorated. We all thought they did a good job. The menu was extensive. We all wanted to try as much as we could so it took careful planning and strategy. Sandi finally took charge and announced she would order the Lemon Curd Pancakes which she would be happy to share. Zohreh decided on ordering the Mediterranean Omelette which Sandi also wanted. At first, Amy only wanted an egg but she also wanted pancakes. She finally settled on one "Best Ever" Banana Pancakes which Sandi and I have had and was fantastic. Both Sandi and Zohreh were very happy with the omelet. Amy loved her banana pancake, unfortunately, I was so engrossed in my eating that I neglected to take a picture of her pancake.  She did mention that her poached egg was overcooked.

I had Short Rib Benedict; 2 corncakes topped with braised short rib over Mexican street cream corn with poached eggs and poblano cream sauce. I shared some with Sandi so she could share some of her lemon pancakes. The short rib benedict was a real winner. I had everyone taste it and they all agreed how delicious it was. The lemon pancakes were also very good.

We were all excited about this restaurant since everything was perfect except for one important factor. The food was not hot. I later spoke to Daisy, the manager and suggested that maybe they should heat up the plates prior to serving the food.

The Pan is Lomita is open from 9:00 am to 9:00  p.m. Monday to Thursday. Closed on Tuesdays and are open 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 Friday and Saturday and on Sundays, they open 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Their address is 2104 Pacific Coast Hwy. in Lomita, California.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Happy Birthday Zohreh

It was supposed to be just a dinner but I remembered that it was at this time last year when she invited me for dinner and it turned out to be her birthday. You usually can fool me once but not twice. It was hard not to overdose on the appetizers but I did of course.

Aside from her lovely and lively family members, she had invited a few of her friends whom I was delighted to meet. The dinner was a feast. This is another one of my friends who always serve an abundance of food. The food was not ordered from a restaurant but it was all cooked by the birthday celebrant.

Everything was scrumptious, especially the salmon with pomegranate sauce and the burnt rice. The party was so lively with her beautiful grandkids who socialized with the adults.

Thank you Zohreh for your warm hospitality, your family is the best! I think you should host dinner parties for small groups and charge a set fee. Let me know when we can make our reservations.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Pinky's Hot Box

It's hard to miss this new "hot chicken joint" when you're driving by Crenshaw Blvd. in Torrance because of its hot pink color outside. This is the same location where Yellow Fever used to be.

It took us a while to figure out the menu since it did not include breasts, thighs or wings. They were all fried chicken tenders.  You do get a choice of how spicy you would like your chicken; Southern, mild, medium, hot, or blazing (blaze at your own risk). We decided to try the mild. The 2 pieces came with a choice of sides. We opted for the Krinkle Fries. We also ordered a side of the Mac' N Cheese.

The chicken was very good, one of the best I have had. It was so crunchy and I couldn't get over how tender and juicy it was since most tenders tend to be dry. The mild was a bit more than mild, it was spicy but perfect. I might try the medium next time to see if I can handle it.  The fries were nothing special though it needed ketchup which I went up to the counter to ask for some and the guy handed me a bottle that was almost empty! The Mac N Cheese was o.k.

It would be interesting to try the sandwich next time with the buttered brioche bun with slaw, pickles, and sauce. More interesting would be to compare it to Popeye's Chicken Sandwich which I haven't had.

Pinky's Hot Box is located at 24416 Crenshaw Blvd. Suite 4, in Torrance, California. They are closed on Mondays and open from 11:30 until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday, except for Sunday when they close at 7:00 p.m.  Parking is limited.