Monday, August 30, 2010

prim and proper eats at jin patisserie

after the 5th "shit," "fuck," or "mofo" that exits my mouth before the morning is even over, i know it's about time to remind myself of my manners. what better way to practice being a proper lady than having proper afternoon tea at jin patisserie on abbot kinney.


with my black board eats coupon in hand and the opportunity to chillax with a friend during a mid week afternoon, i donned my granny dress and took my filthy, cuss spewing mouth to jin patisserie. please do not be wary that the space is rather small and very serene, nor should you be surprised by the sudden urge to cross your legs, keep your elbows off the table, and whisper like a proper lady/gentleman. i know once i stepped through that entrance, the forceful feeling of behaving myself was rather strong.


since the bbe coupon was such a deal giving us a 30% discount on the afternoon tea which is normally priced at $19, my friend and i also decided to share a lunch set as well. first up was the tea set which has not changed much from my visit two years ago. the afternoon tea ($19) was comprised of two scones, petite egg salad finger sandwiches, a mushroom quiche, and an assortment of four petite chocolates and cakes. though lovely items to nibble on as we sipped our pot of aromatic vietnam note de lotus tea, the savory items did not have much of a presence and was totally eclipsed by the sweets on the plate. overall, this tea set was not memorable at all. now it makes sense that the nice impression i had of jin patisserie had nothing to do with the food, but more from the setting and the tea that i sipped. if it wasn't for the bbe discount, i might have whined a bit.


the duck proscuitto brie sandwich lunch set ($15.50) was anticlimactic as well. the duck meat tasted strangely like ham and did not have the somewhat "gamey" taste of properly prepared duck that honored it's natural quacky flavor. i was also distracted by the overpowering brie cheese presence which competed strongly with the proscuitto making it a duel between ham and cheese. where be the duck in this fight? after finishing my half, i was convinced that jin patisserie's strength does not lie in their savory items at all. oh poo (see, at least i didn't say shit).


the lunch special was quickly followed with a passion fruit infused mascarpone cake with fresh mango which came with the lunch set. the cake was light and mildly sweet and was a perfect compliment to our earthy tea.


i picked up two of their macarons right before we left, the vanilla and the sea salt caramel ($1.30 each). i thought they were petite domes of sugar and felt a little diabetic after inhaling the two. next time, i would say "pass" to these.



although my objective that afternoon was to remind myself of what it means to be a proper lady, i would be a liar to say i did not have high expectations of the tea set as well. i guess my memory did serve me correctly and this experience reminded me that their savory items are not their strong suit. i think jin patisserie is a wonderful place to eat dessert, sip tea, and chat with your girl friends about things that makes us chicks. but if you're looking for a delicious savory meal to boot, i think you may feel slightly disappointed like me.

Jin Patisserie
1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 399-8801
price: $$
verdict: it's aight
Jin Patisserie on Urbanspoon
Jin Patisserie in Los Angeles on Fooddigger

Thursday, August 26, 2010

and the winners are......


hey folks, thanks for waiting. my dogs got tired of waiting too so they took a nap. i used the ever sophisticated fold-up-paper-and-put-in-container strategy to do my random draw. here are the 5 groupon winners! congrats and i hope it works :0 *crosses fingers*

0ddlyme
dez
sophia
nga
marie

so contact me at theroamingbelly@gmail.com for your groupon codes or post your email here so i know where i can send them off to. btw, thanks for the eating tips. my next 5 lbs will be dedicated to y'all.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

groupon freebie giveaway for grubhub.com




freebie alert, freebie alert.


whoo hoo my first! you know i love good deals. i love it even more when i can extend it to others to enjoy :) so here's the freebie. groupon gave me 5 codes to give away to 5 of my readers that would love some free food. you perhaps?

the groupon is for grubhub:

"GrubHub shows all of the restaurants that deliver to you. With a network of over 13,000 delivery restaurants, GrubHub makes online food ordering easier and more convenient than ever before. Just search your address above or choose your city. View delivery menus, reviews, and available coupons. When you find a restaurant you like, order online or by phone, all for free. Online ordering is simple, and our customer service team makes sure every order is delivered. Try us out today."

here are the details of this freebie groupon giveaway.

* it's a $20 value
* freebie expires december 23, 2010 so i hope you get hungry before then.
* the freebie groupon applies to online orders only and for those in the los angeles area (sorry sole reader from hong kong).
* for this freebie, when you're in the payment page of grubhub.com, click the checkbox for "pay with gift card" and enter the gift card code there. you do not present the code to the delivery driver.
* if you want to pick up your online delivery order, you can chat with grubhub customer service to adjust the delivery fee and use all $20 towards food.

all you have to do is post a comment here telling me which l.a. restaurant is your favorite and WHY? (what a great way for you to give me ideas where my belly should visit next!) if only five readers respond then i don't need to pick. if no one responds, then i get to keep them all, muhahhaha! and if more than five readers respond, i will figure out some sort of random draw. you have till thursday 8/26 to comment but if you can't wait, you can go on groupon and purchase this deal for yourself which runs for one more day. deal or no deal?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

i'll gladly pay you tuesday for the park burger today

this weak economy has facilitated some sweet baby jesus deals for the belly. if you keep your eyes peeled, i'm sure you've seen a few good ones and perhaps partaken in a fair amount. i am definitely of the mindset that frugality during these harsh economic times DOES NOT mean that one has to give up on dining out altogether. eating out just means you have to be smart about it, and one of the BEST deals i've run across by far is $5 burger night at the park in echo park. oh man, this deal is good.


the process is quite simple and a tad bit easier than building a rocket. first, you choose between either the park burger (6 oz. sirloin) or a veggie burger as the "base burger." the burger comes with lettuce, tomatoes, and a choice of sides; thin french fries, side salad, coleslaw, or potato salad. if you want just the basic, then you're set. $5 baby.


if you want to dress up your burger a bit, you can choose to adorn your patty with a myriad of delicious toppings priced between $1 - $2. i chose to top my "the park burger" with the ever healthy crispy onion strings. 2 words. FREAKIN' TASTY. bad for the heart? yup. but let me restate, FREAKIN' TASTY. the side of skinny french fries were also delectably crunchy and should not be replaced with a wimpy side salad.


the absolutely affordable burger deal allowed my dining partner and i to take this deal one step further by ordering the watermelon and feta appetizer ($8). we were pleasantly surprised by the taste combi of the refreshing red and yellow watermelon slices, the creamy balsamic vinegar dressing, crumbled feta cheese, pickled onion ribbons, and chunks of avocado and basil. it was hard to stop and i loved every bite of it. delicious!



ahhh, a burger in one hand, a glass of redart ($7) in another, and a refreshing serving of watermelon salad and i was sooooooooo set. this delicious, value conscious deal left me full and burping for more. shall i just say that my wednesday nights are booked for the next few months. yup.

The Park
1400 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 482-9209
price: $$
verdict: omg, i love it!
The Park on Urbanspoon
The Park in Los Angeles on Fooddigger

Monday, August 16, 2010

a froyo high at blanc haute yogurt

not too long ago, i tasted froyo sophistication. this experience did not require me to stand in a long line to squirt my own froyo in my self-selected medium sized paper cup, nor did it require me to ask my server to give me an extra squeeze of their watermelon puree during froyo happy hour time. it did, however, require me to look up the word "haute" because i did not know how to pronounce it. yes friends, do not laugh, but in my world, the letter "h" is rarely silent.

after conquering the task of learning the correct pronunciation for "haute," i was off to the haute-est place in town for some classy yogurt eating. thanks blanc haute yogurt for gifting me a froyo tasting AND a new word to overuse in my not so haute vocabulary bank.


anyways, this dapper looking gentleman is leo leonard, founder and owner of blanc haute yogurt a.k.a. organic deliciousness in beverly hills. his mission to provide organic frozen yogurt free of high-fructose corn syrup with the decadent options of exotic toppings makes his froyo boutique a must-try for all you haute folks out there.



i also appreciated the nutrition info available as i made my choice amongst all the decadent, organic flavors offered in his little shop. yummmmm....what to choose, what to choose. what would you choose?


and the toppings. oui oui! the decadent imported haute chocolate toppings will make your lips quiver with anticipation. it sure made mine quiver as i whispered the words "chocolate truffles leo...don't forget the chocolate truffles...."



after some hemming, hawing, and haute-ing, i decided on the organic madagascar vanilla froyo with chocolate truffles, chocolate pearls, and chocolate coconut toppings. i waited patiently as leo assembled this frozen masterpiece for my belly.



normally, i can heif down quite a large serving of froyo, but a petite cup was enough this time around. it was a truly decadent full bodied yogurt maxing out on the creamy and dreamy parts of a dessert daydream. if there was a blanc haute yogurt club, i would totally join it just to taste these flavors over and over again....



...and because god listens to fat bellies enamored with quality chocolate, my prayers were answered on the spot. now you and i can belong to the haute-est froyo club around.


and if you're haute but your wallet doesn't support your lifestyle, blanc currently has happy hour prices from 4-6pm for their non-organic froyo. here's a list of prices during normal non-happy hours so you can budget accordingly.



go and get it, you know you want some. and while you're at it, can you please bring me back a petite serving of the madagascar vanilla? thanks! and don't forget the chocolate truffles...pretty please???

Blanc Haute Yogurt
9465 Charleville Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 283-2611
blancbeverlyhills.com

price: $
verdict: tasty, try it!
Blanc Haute Yogurt on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 9, 2010

bloody hens and mousse balls at payard patisserie and bistro

having decided that i was going to overstimulate the economy by shopping while in las vegas, the rest of the eats were relegated to prix fixe menus or affordable bites that did not involve the golden arches if possible. yes, when a girl has a plan, she sticks to it!

having heard about payard patisserie desserts from a candy blog that i frequent, i was pretty determined to go there for a chocolate overdose until i found out they also had a prix fixe lunch menu. the plan then changed to belly ruptures THEN chocolate overdose.



payard is located in ceasars palace and has two parts. the pastry section which you can pick up sweets or a sammich or two and a sit in dining area. the dining area is rather intimate and the chefs cook in the middle.



the prix fixe menu was priced at $21 for an appetizer (two options), entree (two options), and a dessert (gazillion options). since i had a partner in crime to eat it with, we decided on the strategic move of ordering one of each.

the tomato mozzarella salad. tart dressing and super fresh tasting ingredients. great way to begin the meal.


shrimp romesco. sauteed shrimp with garlic, chili flakes, and olive oil. there was a superb kick to the shrimp and i wished those two shrimps had procreated right there on the slice of bread so i can eat their babies. yummy.


mediterranean sea bass. pan seared sea bass with ratatouille sitting in a pool of oven roasted tomato vinaigrette. i thought the sea bass was salty...good thing it wasn't my pick :)



roasted poussin. oven roasted cornish game hen with truffle leek pan jus and a hockey puck sized crispy mash patotoes. this dish had good flavors, but the bird was a bit too bloody for my tastes. when i sent it back to the chef, she made a comment that "it's suppose to be like that" and popped it in the oven until the bird turned black before it was brought out to me again. ugh. i've been raised not to eat a bloody bird and cancerous burnt bits so i left this dish pretty much intact. such deflation.



the dessert round started with payard's banana tart which is banana and vanilla cream spiked with rum on a sweet tart shell.


and MY dessert, the louvre. that's french for "fat ball of chocolate and hazelnut mousse that will make you weep." yes, it was that good. creamy, luscious, and heavy, it is meant to be shared but my friend was already unconscious from the tart so i single-handedly ate half of it....done. *burp*



i would come back again for their sweets, but probably not again for their savory items. the nasaly comment made by the young chef still twangs in my ears. but for what it's worth and if you're on an..ahem, shopping budget, it's aight.

Payard Patisserie and Bistro
Ceasar's Palace
3570 Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89136
(702) 731-7292
price: $$
verdict: it's aight but the desserts were delicious!
Payard P√Ętisserie & Bistro (Caesar's Palace) on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 2, 2010

a chilled glass of chocolatey irony at serendipity 3

fate. destiny. john cusack. serendipity.



actually, none of those words had any influence on me eating at serendipity 3 when i was in las vegas this past week. the only words that did were FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE.


the words FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE makes me think of alanis morissette's song "ironic." how can something frozen be hot and how can something hot be cold? and if so does that mean hell can freeze over? better yet, will i live long enough to see that day? although i did not witness lucifer in a down jacket, i did sip some frozen hot chocolate at serendipity 3. and for $9.75 a pop for a small cup (the "for two" size is big enough to allow you to skinny dip in it), you can taste a little bit of irony, too.

how does irony taste like you may wonder? icy and chocolatey. not overwhelming or underwhelming...just static and basic. in fact, if this is what irony tastes like, then i would have rather spent my 10 duckets on a straight forward chocolate milkshake instead.



i also didn't appreciate the fact that it's powder based with a ton of ice blended in. perhaps i missed the creamy nature of a milkshake...or perhaps i felt like a fool paying $9.75 for cocoa powder and ice. perhaps the hype deflated too quickly in front of me and even viagra couldn't help it. perhaps i just don't like the way irony tastes. perhaps it would have tasted better if john cusack was actually sitting in it. perhaps i need to stop using the word perhaps. perhaps.


not willing to sit in gustatory defeat, i ordered a side of sweet potato fries ($6) hoping for a deep fry high. oh momma i'm glad i did because it was tasty! sweet, crispy, with a hint of brown sugar to bring this savory item to an almost dessertish level. though small in portion side, it is big enough fatty. although i did not taste their other menu items, i was pretty much convinced that this was as good as it'll get.



*sigh* oh irony. it's like hoping to win it big in vegas. the end.

Serendipity 3
3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 731-7373
www.caesarspalace.com/casinos/ca...

price: $$
verdict: it's aight
Serendipity 3 on Urbanspoon
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