Easter Sunday

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This past Easter I didn’t get a chance to celebrate with a big Ham lunch with Markel’s family.  I was coming home from Santa Barbara so I had Easter Brunch at church instead.  We took lots of cute family photos (not shown) and above was the CUUUTEST dessert table ever.  Two fabulous ladies from our church put it together and the desserts were literally gone in MINUTES.  Sucks for the late birds huh?

Below is a catered lunch of sandwiches, pasta salad, mixed greens salad, potato salad and a variety of drinks.  I just kinda stuck to the normal plate because I was tired and just needed something in my belly!  Our church uses this catering company for every event and I seriously think it’s aiiite~ but free food is free food right?

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Anyway, I hope your Easter was fabulous and you all got to spend it with your families!! <3

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Baby Shower + Ingallina

 

Had a little baby shower a few weeks ago at work for my coworker.  We’ve had a baby boom in our department and these are a few pics of the decor/food.  I LOVE catering from Ingallina’s in LA b/c they’re so easy to work with, deliver the food early or on time, and the food is always fresh!

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the big spread!  I couldn’t take individual pictures (no time) but we ordered sandwich platters, wrap platters, fruit platter, chocolate covered strawberries, blue cheese & pear salad, and a thai noodle salad.  ALL SOO GOOOD!!

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LA Food Tour: Tsujita LA, Blockheads, Sopressata, Hero Shop, Half and Half

This past weekend, my fwend from up north (mrs general b) came down for the weekend to play.  On Thursday and Friday we decided to do a little food tour around LA to our favorite hot spots and some new joints to spice things up!

First on the list: Tsujita LA, Artisan Noodles Annex

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Spicy Tuna Bowl

–not great.  wouldn’t order it again.  the spicy tuna didn’t taste fresh b/c it was SO mashed.  I like it to be a little chunky so we know what we’re eating.  the consistency was kind of like mashed canned tuna fish.  meh…

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Tsukemen with Soft Boiled Egg

–overall meh.  BUT let me start with the things i liked… i liked the chewy noodles, loved the crunchy blanched bean sprouts, and soft boiled egg.  didn’t love the dry pork and the soup was overall very thick and greasy.  the first few tastes of broth is delicious. but after 10…15…you feel sick.  minus the broth, the dish was good~~ but not sure i could drink the broth again.

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the annex was cute and intimate inside

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NEXT UP~~ blockheads!!

we ordered a large with original and seasame oil shavings, strawberries and rice balls with condensed milk.  the original flavor was aiite.  i personally love the sesame flavor with fruit.  the rice balls are on the large side but fresh and chewy~~

the boba at blockheads was decent but i probably won’t order it the next time (especially with volcano tea just a few doors away).

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Friday we continued our little food tour to Sopressata in Silverlake!  It was my first time here and I am DEFINITELY going back as soon as I can.  Sopressata uses the Black Hogg restaurant space in the afternoon and sells sandwiches, beer/wine, unique sodas and chips!

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First up, the Turkey and Avocado with picked veggies on the side.

SOO good.  The first thing I noticed was the bread.  Like you unwrap your sandwich and you just KNOW it’s going to be amazing.  Then a generous helping of avocado oozed out to greet us.  This sandwich was so fresh and light.  There was also a balsalmic reduction spread on the bread that was bomb.  Perfect combo of flavors and the spicy pickled veggies was a perfect pairing to the cold sandwich.

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The original sopressata. SO GOOD.  I dunno if i’ve ever had artichokes in my sandwiches before~~ genius!  It was the perfect kick to pair with the sopresseta salami.

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Next up…HERO SHOP LA!  Owned by the same people as Sopressata and Black Hogg~ my friends and I were excited to try this new banh mi shop in downtown.  We ordered BBQ Pork and Fatty Brisket.

Oh my oh my…again…when you unwrap this little deli present you could see and smell that the bread was amazing.  the bbq pork was incredibly flavorful and had bold korean spices in there.  The pickled veggies inside the sandwiches gave the marinated meat a great refreshing balance.

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Fatty Brisket~~ my friend said hands down this was her fave.  the brisket.  i was really digging the brisket flavor as well.  i mean…who doesn’t love brisket?

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Took a picture with the shop owners and their gorgeous baby girl. <3

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Last stop of our LA food tour: Half and Half in Monterey Park!  Oh baby…was this worth the drive.  not only did the fat cups make it all taste better (lol) but this time i ordered the RIGHT drink.  the first and last time i went, i got the lychee green tea (#8 below) and it was too sweet for me.  This time I ordered #5 which was iced milk drink with caramel, pudding, and honey boba.  I asked for no caramel (b/c i hate that ish) and the drink was perrrrrrrrrrrrfect.  I thought that there was a little too much pudding but one of my friends thought there wasn’t enough.  lol  ironic huh?  In any case I now have a huge craving for half and half drinks and I can’t wait to go back.

oh…and for your half and half newbs…expect to wait 20-40 minutes for this crack in a cup.  it’s thaaaat popular.

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between the four of us we got milk tea, jasmine milk tea and the 2 iced milk teas (1 with caramel, 1 without).  All were good, but I liked mine the best. =)

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This was seriously the most fun weekend of eating foods in LA.  Between the four of us we ordered 2 dishes at each place and it helped us try new things but without getting too full.  I can’t wait for the next one!! xoxo

Homemade Mexican Food

A couple of weekends ago Markel and I went to his nephew’s 16th birthday party and the menu was Mexican Food!  Oh mannnn everything was UNBELIEVABLE.  If it wasn’t made by Markel’s brother, it was bought fresh at a local Mexican Market.  Carne Asada, Pulled Pork, Marinated Chicken, Pinto beans, Salsa…I died and went to heaven when I was eating this all with a fresh flour tortilla.  *drool *  Better than a food cart!!

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Can’t believe he’s all grown up!  This 16 year old is already over 6ft.  CRAZYYY.

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Anniversary Dinner

Last Night Markel and I Celebrated our 1 year anniversary. =)  Since it fell on Easter and no restaurants were open, we opted to cook dinner at home instead.  I usually get really really specific cravings for food and so I listed them all to him and WAHLA~~ our Anni Dinner had everything I requested!

But FIRST~~~ At our wedding, we had three wine/champs bottles for our guests to sign.  We were going to open them on our 1, 5 and 10 year anniversaries. <3  This is the first one we opened!  It was so fun to open up a bottle with everyone’s signatures on there~~ really took us back to the big day!

(front)

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(back)

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adorable little hashtag from my B <3

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Now…Onto the FOOD!!

I was really wanted crispy bacon and hard boiled eggs.  So OBVIOUSLY markel thought of a blue cheese wedge salad!  oh man, i have no idea why but i love eating wedge salads in this shape.  cut up lettuce just isn’t the same.  beautifully plated by markel too right??

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next, my big craving was for steak with chimiccuri sauce.  we found out last night that it was SUCH an easy peasy sauce to make too!!  we talked about all the things we wanted to add it to in our future~~ lol ~~ so you’ll be seeing more of it!  only true fatties would talk about food when we’re eating food right?

wpid-20140420_194830.jpgthis artichoke is out of control on our plates.  for some reason this has become an inside favorite and we have it on special occasions or when we’re feeling silly.  lol  not sure how to explain it but it’s a fun treat for special moments.

(ps–don’t worry we did NOT eat all this food.  we had so much leftover it was embarrassing. haha we have bigger eyes than stomachs)

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oh mama…i’ve been craving cupcakes for so long.  the cheesecake and cupcakes REALLLLY hit the spot!

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Markel’s Gift to Me!  He bought restored wood and cut it into the shape of california!  the white lights represent major cities in the state and the red lights are where we’re from (sacramento + diamond bar). <3

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Lucy was so pooped from spending Easter with Markel’s family she slept quietly and let us have a nice dinner for two. <3

(her arm looks so funny doesn’t it?? haha)

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Cafe Brasil

Cafe Brasil was a surprise find near our place in Palms.  We wanted to walk with Lucy somewhere and check out a place we hadn’t tried before…and wahla!  Cafe Brasil.  it’s a really small unassuming place that kinda looks half tent-half shack.  but the yelp reviews were good and the menu seemed tasty.

we sat outside because we brought our puppy, but the inside seemed cozier with cool decorations.

m ordered the Havana sandwich (top sirloin steak with low fat cheese, lettuce and salsa) and Tropical drink (fresh mango & passion fruit juice with grenadine)

I ordered the   Fresh Mango Juice and a chicken dish (forgot the name) with black bean soup.

the Havana sandwich is really good.  markel inhaled it within minutes~~ the meat was on the dry side but the way everything was prepared and put together in the sandwich was tasty.

my chicken was good, but i don’t think i would order it again.  there was a layer of cheese that was rubbery because it had cooled before it got to the table.  The chicken was juicy but the cheese bothered me.

both juices we ordered were REALLY good and fresh.  we were glad we tried two different ones.

my favorite was the plantains.  they were soooo yummy.

overall this was a fun place to try and i would love to go back~ i’ll just try a few different things on the menu before ordering my chicken again.

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Wolfgang puck express

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Eating margarita pizza from wolfgang puck express on campus today.  Love their pizzas~~~ the crust is so chewy and the cheese is delicious!

Got this grapefruit soda for the first time today and i’m so in love.  I’m obsessed with grapefruit sour candy and this soda tastes like liquid candy.  :P

Thirsty Thursdays: Pomelo 2012 Savignon Blanc

I first tried Pomelo Savignon Blanc at work and hated it.  I thought it was too tart, too light and it just wasn’t my steez.  However, recently with the warmer weather, I’ve been craving Pomelo!  I went to Wally’s on Westwood Blvd and picked up a bottle, refrigerated it to be SUPER cold and hate it with a fish dinner.

SO AMAZING.  It really hit the spot.

I’m not sure if it was the weather change or perhaps my taste in wine has evolved~ but I’m really enjoying the light and tart taste of this Pomelo wine!  If you’re interested in something like this for summer, please pick up a bottle at your nearest wine store for $10-14.

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Rustic Canyon

ohhh man, How I LOVE Rustic Canyon.  It’s our go to place in LA when Markel and I want good food and drinks.

My friend was in town so we wanted to take her somewhere fanshy with delicious dishes and RC did NOT disappoint (I mean…does it ever??).

[note: Recently tho, RC took their famous burger off the menu b/c they didn't want to be known as a burger restaurant.  That was pretty snobbish in my opinion.  The reason why the burger was so famous was b/c it was THAT good.  isn't that a testament to your cooking??  It was up there with in and out and father's office on LA food blogs.  *sigh *]

Anyway, back to the post…everything we got was OUT OF CONTROL amazing.  My favorite was the pesole below.  The balance of flavors and the unique ingredients they use always blow me away.  *sigh *  I’m drooling just looking at the pictures.  Please check out RC if you haven’t already~ you won’t regret it!  ESPECIALLY their wine/drinks menu.  They have such a fun eclectic mix of drinks that are all so tasty.

Seafood, Pesto Pesole

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Sole Fish

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ricotta gnocchi
oxtail, strawberry sofrito, pine nut, fennel pollen

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Burratta and Polenta with a chickpea garnish

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Pim’s Cup–SO YUMMY

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Went to Scoops Ice Cream after Dinner =)  LOVE IT THERE.  Their flavors are so unique and tasty.

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3Twenty Wine Lounge

3Twenty Wine Lounge was one of the cutest new places I’ve been to in a while.  The service was incredibly friendly, there were options of wine by the glass, bottle or ounce, AND there was food!

My friends and I indulged in a bottle of wine and had a great time chatting all night.

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the lighting was super weird…or it was just my camera. *shrug *  But these are the beautiful ladies of the night. <3

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Our wine of choice that night.  I forgot what it was called but it was DELICIOUS.  Went down super smooth, was full bodied and exactly what I love in a red.

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Eating free pastries from Republique.  For the review please click here.

(i wouldn’t recommend these pastries)

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Republique

Republique…I have such mixed feelings about this place.  Walking in the ambiance and decor are impressive.  Clean lines, romantic lighting, communal tables, and sleek open kitchen concept.  You also notice right away that everyone is fashion forward and good looking.

From the moment we sat down until before we got our check, the entire experience was amazing and positive.  The wine was delicious, the food was fantastic, and our long communal table was intimate.  I”m normally really hesitant about French food but Republique really did it right.  (more on the food below)

MY BIGGEST complaint (hence the mix review) is the managerial staff.  Our waitress was super sweet, the bus boys were great, the cooks in the kitchen did a fab job on our food~~ but the managers were total assholes.  The two we interacted with that night were snobby and treated the waitstaff terribly in front of us.

One example is when the manager offered to de-bone our sole fish.  He stopped mid-way, looked pissed and then walked around our table to the kitchen (which was next to us) and threw the dish at the cooks.  It was SO RUDE.  He didn’t say a word and just walked away.  Everyone in the kitchen was really confused and looked at the plate to see what was wrong.  I guess it was undercooked?  So they cooked it longer and then gave it back to us.  Just seeing how poorly he treated everyone really put us off our meal.  Second example was at the end of the night, the credit card machines were down so we couldn’t pay our bill.  We had to wait an HOUR and the manager acted like it was no big deal.  We began complaining so much b/c of our wait that he FINALLY allowed the waitress (who apologized profusely during that hour) do record our cards manually to bill at a later time.  The way the manager handled the situation was terrible.  We saw him yell at the waitress when she asked if she could manually record it so that we could leave, and he never offered us any complimentary items while we waited for an HOUR.  We were totally done with our food and just had to sit around twiddling our thumbs.  It totally ruined our plans for after the birthday celebration and really ruined our perception of Republique.  At the end, we kept telling them we were upset and told the manager he should have offered us something an HOUR ago (like free drinks or dessert) while they fixed the machines.  Only then did he give us stale day old pastries that we tossed.  It made us MORE angry.  A manager’s job is to assuage the situation.  We were really polite about the whole thing until the very end when the manager got ruder and ruder.  UGH.  Because of these two examples, I will NOT be returning to Republique.

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Don’t mind my lipstick =P

This wine was really good.  Bold, smooth and oak-y =)

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Cheers to the birthday girl!

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The artisan bread that came out was warm and delicious.  Perfect for soaking slices of it into the buttery sauces of the dishes.

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Pork Belly–wouldn’t recommend this item.  As good as it was, there wasn’t a lot of meat to eat.

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Wild Arugula Salad–really good.  Loved the addition of mint.

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Escargot

meh–the puff pastry was a nice complement though

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Eggs & Uni on Toast

really good.  the bread was a little too hard for my taste tho.

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Hamachi

–AMAZING.  could have eaten 2 plates of these

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Chocolate cake with a white russian

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party favors from the birthday girl! socks and lip glosses from Korea =)

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 These were the nasty pastries the manager gave us.  They were really stale and  never worth buying.

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Taco Truck

Markel and I went to a wedding in March where they had a taco truck during the reception. DUUUUDE…the food was incredibly.  The Al Pastor, Chicken and Carne Asada were on point as well as the huge buffet of toppings and salsas.  I’m  obsessed with food trucks like this and can’t wait to hire my own for an upcoming event.  Tacos + Tequila = the best night ever.

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800 degrees in Westwood

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Went to 800 degrees with my coworkers and it was ahmazingg.  Really hit the spot.  I was going to add veggies, but why mess with a good thing??
800 degrees flash cookss their pizzas at 800 degrees and it’s really Yummy.  I haven’t tried many of their pizzas so I cant speak for the other menu items but the margharita is Yummy. Xo
Oh and the orange pelligrino was sooooooo good.  My first time trying it and it put a party in my mouth. :) 

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Hero Shop LA

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130 E. 6th Street

Los Angeles, CA 90014

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Have you heard of Chef Eric Park?  If not and you live in LA, you cray.  His first two restaurants (Black Hogg and Sopresetta) are AMAZEBALLS.  Seriously.  Check out my reviews here, here and here.

Now, back to HERO SHOP!  Mike and I were invited to a soft opening on Saturday and when we arrived the entire store was PACKED.  Immediately I noticed the adorable sleek and masculine decor.  The line to the counter moved quickly and soon it was our turn!  We ordered the Headcheese Banhmi (I have been waiiiiiting for this one) and the Salami Banhmi.  We also ordered these rad karamucho chips below that tasted like spicy ramen.   The soda options at the restaurant were all glass bottles which I thought really added to the fun, hip, downtown vibe.  Each part of the store front, from the font of the logo, the white tile inside and the fun chips were all well thought out.

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One of the studs making my banhmi sandwiches! xo

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Here are the two banhmi sandwiches we ordered.  THEY WERE SO UNBELIEVABLE!!

Salami ($7)–Dry Salame, Shaved Onion, Cilantro, Daikon Relish, Fish Sauce Vinaigrette, Mayo

–OO la la, I bit into the sandwich and literally moaned.  The cilantro, daikon relish and fish sauce vinaigrette really complimented the salami.  PLUS the bread is incredibly soft and flaky~ reminded me of dutch crust bread.  LOVED it.  The jalapenos also give the entire sandwich a delicious twist but beware, it’s spicy.  Mike doesn’t LOVE spicy so we took them out after his first bite.  (Dun worry tho…they didn’t go to waste b/c I added it to my half.  lol)

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Headcheese ($7)–House Marinated Pork Headcheese, House Pate, Cilantro, Jalapeno, Daikon Relish, Marinated Onion, Fish Sauce Vinaigrette, Mayo

–In the past, Mike and I have had REALLY bad headcheese and pate banhmi.  It’s been hard, cold and just…plain bad.  He was really hesitant to order this but I was SUPER confident that Chef Eric Park would make it the right way.  AND WAS I RIGHT!! =)  This was the most amazing headcheese & pate banhmi.  The pate was soft and flavorful.  The headcheese melted in your mouth and the veggies/toppings really brought out those flavors.

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I can’t wait to go back to Hero Shop LA and try the other incredible sandwiches (like the BBQ Pork & Fatty Brisket), the Rice Bowls (I am dying to try the coconut rice in them!), and the Lemongrass Tofu Salad.  Oh MANNNN.

Hero Shop Opens to the public today, so please go out and TRY IT!!

Versailles

 Versailles is one of those places in LA that you just HAVE to go to.  It’s a cuban restaurant located on Venice Blvd and it’s really unassuming.  The outside an inside decor is obviously cuban themed.  I found it fun, festive and authentic.

 We were seated right away but a waiter and the service the entire night was friendly, fast and quiet.  The table next to us was a loud spanish speaking group that was drinking wine and enjoying the food and I found myself peaking over at their food and drinks a lot to make sure I ordered the same thing!

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The bread that came out before the meal was incredibly soft and tastey~~ probably b/c of the butter. =P  But I seriously love bread that has a soft inside and kind of tougher chewy outside.  It’s the perfect kind of bread to dip into sauces.  Know what I mean??

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So every meal comes with rice, black beans, and fried plantains.  SERIOUSLY…so freaking delicious.  I can’t go over these three staples in brazilian food, cuban food and most recently, Ghanaian food!

Dish #1: OX TAIL!!  OMG the meat literally fell off the bone and it was so tender and juicy.

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Dish #2: Pork!!  I totally thought this would come out in pork chop form but it came out more like shredded pork.  It was still amazing and I couldn’t get over the marinated onions!!  YUMMMM

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Dish #3: Chicken!  This was what I knew Versailles for and what everyone on yelp recommended.  I think the boys I went with were intimidated to break apart the chicken but that’s my favorite part!!  So I shredded it for the table and enjoyed every bite with a little bite of rice, black beans, and onions.  YUMMMMM

I also used the bread to soak up the sauces from each of the plates.

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If you’ve never been to versailles, I totally recommend this place.  Make not that this is NOT mexican food and the flavors will be different (you don’t know how many people I know who’ve made that mistake).  Parking can kind of be a pain if you go during a busy time but there’s always free street parking after 7 or 8!

 

SHED Dinner Party

Once a quarter, my friend (who is the most amazing chef) cooks up an entire dinner party: from appetizers to desserts.  She and her roommates named themselves “SHED” with the first letters of their names and their dinner parties are seriously the most anticipated events I have in my life.  Each roommate is so creative with their dishes!!

This time she made:

balsamic roasted broccoli

asian fried chicken

homemade flat bread pizza with prosciutto

thinly sliced potato

arugula and a balsamic reduction

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Delicious pastries from a fellow attendee

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Chocolate peanut butter cake made by SHED

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Homemade Ice Cream: Vanilla & Tangerine Sorbet

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Together it tasted like a creamcicle!

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not pictured are the awesome cocktails that were made with homemade bitters.  *sigh *  i was too excited to drink it so i forgot to take pics =(  next time!

BCD

Oh BCD…How I Love you So.

This picture is pretty terrible but I got the Ham & Cheese soon tofu recently after a night at Perch in downtown LA.  I have to say…it didn’t live up to its hype.  I had heard about it from SOO MANY PEOPLE about how bomb this stew was…but it was just aiite in the end.  You could definitely taste the cheese in the broth, but I totally assumed it would have a cheese layer on the top or something.  lol    I’m really glad I tried it and am not opposed to trying it again in the future, but it’s for sure something I won’t order anytime soon.

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The view from Perch in downtown LA.  Simply GORGEOUS.

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