Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Black Angus is Hot

I just can't get over the Fall Deal that Black Angus is offering right now. I read the coupon twice to make sure I was reading it right and that there were no exclusions. For $19.99 you can have a USDA Prime Wrangler Steak, sweet cold-water Atlantic Lobster Tail and Crispy Shrimp.....and that's not all. You also get 2 classic sides and their sweet molasses bread. With that deal, you would expect something wrong; either the steak not cooked right or something else wrong. Instead, you get a very juicy and flavorful steak, a small lobster tail and shrimp; all delicious. I had mine with the fully loaded baked potato and Brussels sprouts. Though I do really miss their wonderful cauliflower which they discontinued.

Our server, Hector was great. We liked him so much we asked him to pose for a picture which he obliged. He reminded us of our friend Gonz. I know we will be going back to take advantage of this deal while it lasts. Black Angus has several locations in Southern California. Don't miss this great deal!

Friday, October 25, 2019

Back to Clutch and Coffee

Since our first visit to this restaurant, food-wise, was very good except for the service and the noise, we thought we would go back but this time, much earlier. Amy, Zohreh, Sandi and I went straight from the gym. We got there before 7:30 a.m. This is the key, there were only a few people and we were able to carry on a conversation without yelling at each other.

Zohreh and Amy split an order of their Breakfast Wrap; 3 eggs over medium, artichoke, roasted red peppers, scallions, sharp cheddar, avocado, thick-cut bacon, spicy aioli wrapped in a spinach tortilla. They also ordered the Buttermilk Pancakes with homemade syrup and whipped butter. Sandi and I had the Breakfast Wrap as well to split but we had the Blueberry Pancakes with lemon butter and powdered sugar. The wraps were delicious and so were the pancakes that were ever so light and fluffy. This was Zohreh's first time and she was impressed. She commented that usually, breakfast is just breakfast, there's not much to make it exciting and this definitely excited her.

This is not going to be our last time at Clutch and Coffee, there will be more early visits. Just make sure you do not have any place to go right after because service is still slow. Clutch and Coffee is located at 1321 El Prado Ave. in Torrance, California.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Spam with String Beans

Amy invited us for what she called a very simple dinner. Her table setting looked formal even with paper plates which she kept apologizing for. She even had little goodie cups with sweets on each plate which added a nice touch to the festivities.

Her simple dinner consisted of chicken, short ribs, rice, salad, and spam with green beans. Her granddaughter, Kaela made some yummy Brussels sprouts with bacon. Spam has gotten a bad reputation because of its fat, cholesterol and salt content.  But people from the Philippines or Hawaii have always cooked them in many ways. Amy who is from Hawaii cooks it with string beans, scrambled eggs and shoyu sauce (Japanese soy sauce). That in my eyes becomes healthier with the addition of the vegetable.

Everything was delicious. Oliver the dog enjoyed the dinner as well. He was lucky to get a nice relaxing massage after his meal.

Saturday, October 19, 2019


Michelin-starred Chef Stefano de Lorenzo opened this small restaurant on 1241 5th St. in Santa Monica not too long ago. He previously was the chef and owner of La Botte in Santa Monica which closed in 2014. Before that, he was at the restaurant in Venice, Piccolo and recently, he was cooking at another one of my favorite Italian restaurants, Maccheroli Republic. He makes his own pasta and since the kitchen is not big, it only allows him to cook one boiling pot at a time so you can be sure your pasta is fresh and aldente.

Sandi and I picked up my brother Gary as this was his discovery. Nothing on the menu is more than $14 which is a bargain. Sandi and I ordered the Zuppa Granoturco (Sweet Corn Soup) to start and Gary had the Bresaola Arugula e Burrata which was sliced paper-thin aged beef, arugula, and burrata. Though the soup was very good, the Bresaola was outstanding. I, of course, had some. Gary offered Sandi some and she proceeded on taking some of the burrata and arugula without the beef. Gary and I forced her to try it with the beef and she really didn't have a choice because I took the fork from her and added the beef. She did admit that it was indeed delicious!

Gary ordered the Gramigna Bolognese, Gramigna pasta with beef ragu. I would have ordered that but when I saw the picture of the Lasagna that had thin layers of pasta and with the burnt top, I had to forgo the Bolognese. Sandi wanted to order the Bolognese but decided to be adventurous and order the Rustica al Pesto with ricotta and arugula. I commented that she normally does not like pesto but she thought she would try it anyway. She should have ordered her first choice because she thought ours was way better than what she ordered. The lasagna was so good and so was the bolognese.

Colapasta gets part of its name from colander hence a picture of a little boy with a colander on his head. The restaurant is currently waiting for its liquor license and they do not have any desserts as yet.  But if it's pasta you want, you won't be disappointed with Colapasta.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Company Chicken

This is an old recipe that I got from an acquaintance in the late 70's. I haven't made it since then though I remember it to be very good. What was very good then might not be very good now since taste buds change so I decided to experiment and invite close friends. I figured that they would be more forgiving if it turned out to be just o.k. The recipe is straight forward; chicken breasts coated with sour cream then rolled in crushed cheese crackers. The bottom of the pan has some melted butter and just before baking, you pour more butter on the chicken.

I served a salad before the chicken for our vegetables.  As a side dish, I made one of my favorite boxed pasta dishes; Shells & White Cheddar Pasta Roni which was perfect with the chicken since it's nice and creamy and went well with the crusty, cheesy chicken.

Everyone enjoyed the chicken. For dessert, I had made Lola Neny's (my grandmother) Borracho. That too turned out very good.

The only thing my friends didn't get to enjoy was the rising of the full moon which was spectacular since it was orange (from the fires) but my picture couldn't capture its size and color.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Clutch and Coffee

Sandi and Sue discovered this fairly new restaurant in downtown Torrance. She's been wanting to take us there but we never seemed to have the time to go until this morning when none of us had anything planned for the day. Amy, Sandi, Josephine and I headed downtown Torrance.

It's a nice size restaurant that could use more tables and chairs if they chose to. At 9:30 a.m. it was busy. We did spot a table for four which we quickly took. The menu is extensive and it took us a while to decide what to order. Amy, Sandi and I ordered the Fried Egg Tartine. Toasted 7-grain bread topped with smashed avocado, sauteed spinach, artichokes, eggs over medium and cornmeal fried tomato and pesto sounded good. The Banana Cream Pie Pancakes with candied pecans & chocolate s drizzle also sounded good so we ordered one of those to share. The Egg Tartine was very flavorful and wonderful. The pancakes were decadent; not too sweet.

Josephine ordered the Chile Relleno Omelette with roasted poblano pepper stuffed with three kinds of cheese & roasted corn, wrapped in a three-egg omelet & topped with red enchilada sauce, crema, queso fresco & pico de gallo. She was nice enough to insist that we all taste it and we did. That was very good too and a bit spicy. This was served with their house potatoes which were very tasty. As she sat next to me I found it convenient to keep reaching into her plate and help her consume the potatoes.

We would definitely eat here again. The portions are large and you get your money's worth. The servers are indeed very nice and friendly but the service is very slow; I think they have to increase the staff. Sandi remembered thinking the same thing on her last visit. We were unfortunately next to a table with a group of 5 and one of them was so loud that it was unpleasantly deafening. The floor is cement so nothing absorbs the sound. We had a hard time understanding each other.

Hopefully, they are not as busy at 7:30 a.m so we can return after our workout at the gym. Clutch and  Coffee is located at 1321 El Prado Ave. in Torrance, California.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Sampa's Gourmet Pizza

It's been almost five months since I've been to Sampa's Pizza. I don't know why I waited so long because it has been one of the best pizzas I've ever had. Chef Marcus Roberto from Sao Paulo, Brazil has been so successful that he opened another place in Marina del Rey. It's interesting to know that Sao Paulo is the 2nd largest pizza consuming city next to NYC.

I  ordered a pizza with half Funghi Al Tartufo with sauteed mushrooms, ricotta sauce, mozzarella, parmesan, oregano, truffle oil and the other half was the Caprese which I had the last time and loved. The pizza was outstanding and so delicious.

Sandi had 2 kinds as well. Half of her pizza was Napolitano with fresh tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes, basil, fried garlic, parmesan, mozzarella, oregano and the other half was New York with ricotta, lots of spinach, parmesan and mozzarella. We both preferred the NY side of her pizza.

Needless to say, we could not finish the rest though I managed to have 5 slices which was a record for me! We met Natalia our server and part-owner who happened to be there since one of the employees called in sick. She made sure everything was satisfactory.

Sampa's Gourmet Pizza is located at 2413 Pacific Coast Hwy. #107 in Lomita, California and one in Marina Del Rey.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Cheese Ice Cream

If you've never heard of cheese ice cream, you ought to try it. I remember having it in The Philippines when I was young. I totally forgot all about it until I had some in Chicago in a Filipino ice cream parlor. It was super delicious. I knew they had it at Seafood City in Carson so I finally bought some yesterday.

Though it was not as tasty as the one I had in Chicago, it was not bad. I think it just didn't have enough cheese or maybe the cheese was not strong enough. They should have used sharp cheddar. While we were discussing the flavor over dessert last night, I remembered I had some Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar. I poured some on the ice cream; lo and behold, a marriage made in heaven!!! It was exactly what it needed.

I can't wait to have dessert tonight!