Wednesday, November 30, 2011

allston yacht club for holiday boozing (echo park)

picture courtesy of allston yacht club (ayc)

i did not grow up celebrating thanksgiving. in fact, i might have tasted my first turkey at koo koo roos. shhh.... but as i grew up, the once foreign traditions of thanksgiving and green wreathed holiday cheer began to infiltrate our tightly fobby traditions. as each year overlapped the next, smashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, honey-glazed ham, eggnog etc...began to share the same space as the chow mein, fried rice, roasted duck, and eggrolls that normally occupied our holiday tables. so nowadays, the mere hint of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cold weather automatically sparks warm feelings of holiday cheer in me too...thanks for the melting pot effect america.

my holiday celebrations were kick started this year by allston yacht club in echo park. my sis and i were invited to try a few of their holiday cocktails and to nibble on some of their happy hour menu items.

accursed fruitcake cocktail. photo courtesy of ayc.

no joke, one of the best holiday cocktails ever. fragrant and boozy in the most subtle way. if you can squish christmas, thanksgiving, and a freakin' decorated pine tree into a glass cup, you will get the accursed fruitcake cocktail. i am TOTALLY going back with my friends to get my asian glow on with this sucka.

figgy pudding cocktail. photo courtesy of ayc.

the figgy pudding cocktail was an ultra sultry, boozy version of eggnog. if you like getting messed up while singing a christmas carol, DO so as you fist a glass of this.

a reasonably priced happy hour menu for food and drinks. yay!

korean style wings with dragon sauce...aka siracha? a tasty accompaniment to the real stars of the cheer and boozy cocktails! yeah!

short rib poutine tostada was a bit tricky to eat and not that tasty. the short rib was dry and overly stringy.

the orange french toast grilled cheese sandwich was the oddest bite of food of the night. a definite skip unless you enjoy a failed combo of orange, bacon, and goat cheese....bleh.

you can never go wrong with garlic fries and these particular garlic fries were skinny and crispy, the perfect fry profile if you will. since my sis is a french fry enthusiast, as you can see, we got more than enough of our share that night.

with warm bellies full of booze and a heart clogged with french fry grease, i want to thank allston yacht club once again for jump starting my holiday cheer. i SHALL come back for the accursed fruitcake cocktail and fries as convos flow with old friends about life, love, and all the things we should be thankful for this holiday season. cheers.

Allston Yacht Club
1320 Echo Park Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 481 0454

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

rocking our tastebuds at raku (las vegas)

you start your life in preschool learning that "sharing is caring," but the real test of unselfish sharing comes when you are forced to part with possessions that you truly, dearly love. for some, it might be material, for others, it might be physical or emotional, but for my fat belly, it is usually of an edible nature. what a great first test for our marriage when we ate at raku in las vegas and i was forced to share each and every bite with my hubs...some harder to part than others.

let the sharing commence!

blue fin sashimi ($25) with soy sauce soaked nori which eliminated the need for a small saucer full of soy sauce. the blue fin was clean, fresh, incredibly silky yet firm at the same time. definitely a challenge to share when all i wanted to do was gobble them up, one piece of raw fish flesh at a time.

sashimi salad ($12) with pieces of blue fin tuna, salmon, and yellow tail on a bed of spinach leaves and crispy onions on top. a tart orange tinted dressing elevated this bowl of crunchy raw decadence to a craveable level. definitely hard to share...but i did. darn.

poached egg with sea urchin and salmon roe
($9) was a textural mess. slimey, cold, and gooey all at once. this one was never meant to be ordered or shared. *shudders*

the agedashi tofu ($10) had a slightly crispy, fried exterior which meant a muddled broth spotted with oil. a silken interior with distinct punches of flavor teases your tongue with every bite.

hanpen fishcake ($1.75) with mochi chakin ($2.50) was a warming bowl of sustenance though the texture of the mochi chakin left me yearning for something more toothesome. i had nooooooo problems sharing this one. unfortunately, my hubs was not too keen about it either so my efforts to share this dish garnered me zero points.

then came the grilled items. first up, grilled pig ears ($3). oh em gee. 'twas a fine day when humans decided to gnaw on little piggly wiggly ears. the crunch was fantastic. do share.

apple marinated lamb chop ($6) was another favorite bite of the night. slightly sweet and oh so tender. my husband had difficulties parting with this one...what a bad man.

tomato with bacon ($2.80) was ordered to pay tribute to my shin sen gumi beer slinging days. i loved the dangerous pop of piping hot tomato innards in your mouth as you quickly chase the warmth on your tongue with a swig of cold beer.

kobe beef outside skirt with garlic ($7.50) totally didn't taste like a ruffled, polka dotted skirt. it clearly had a bold, beefy presence in flavor with a slightly bitter trace from the garlic. share it.

last but not least, one of my favorite offals to finish off a night of sharing, kobe beef liver ($4.50). a perfectly grilled piece of liver will be silky and somewhat creamy in texture. this skewer was perfectly grilled and left my full belly yearning for more. tis a sign of love when i share my liver...and i did.

though there were a few misses with the meal, overall raku taught me a valuable lesson that night. every single morsel tastes 100x better when shared with a loved one so i suppose, "sharing is caring" and sharing what you eat also decreases the calorie count. win both ways.

5030 Spring Mountain Rd.
Ste 2
Las Vegas, NV 89146
(702) 367-3511

price: $$$
verdict: tasty, try it!
Raku on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 11, 2011

was the timing perfect? ;) did you make a wish like the gazillion other people that watched their clocks closely? i hope it comes true.
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