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ST Pâtisserie Chocolat in Costa Mesa

ST Pâtisserie Chocolat is a Pastry School and shop by master pastry Chef Stephane Treand. We finally have a little bit of Paris at SOCO in Costa Mesa. I had no idea this place was opening at SOCO. After our brunch at Pueblo I noticed this place and naturally we had to check it out. I asked the French lady behind the counter who turned out to be the daughter of the pastry chef, how long they have been opened? She said the day we visited them was their first day. Thank God I didn’t miss out on a French Pâtisserie!! I was very excited to see the display case, but I have seen pretty cases before without much substance. We decided to start with one item. Their prices were a little high. Each piece was around $6-$7 but the quality justified the prices.
You can see the pictures and read the review at:
http://travel4foodnart.wordpress.com/...

Dec 11, 2014
mrsjoujou in Los Angeles Area

Light Brunch at necco Japanese Tapas Restaurant: A Pictorial Essay

We had lunch there yesterday and the experience was a mix. We went there hoping to order the items that was listed on their online menu, but I guess those items are only served at dinner time. Of course there is no mention of that on their website.
We chose the fish plate and the veggie plate. The veggie fair much better. It was eggplant and carrots and it was pretty good. The fish was fried red snapper and was really overcooked. Which is a surprise at a Japanese restaurant. We didn't feel like sending it back, but we should have. The side Veggies were all good, but nothing too exciting.

Dec 07, 2014
mrsjoujou in Los Angeles Area

Declining quality at Costco?

I am well aware of the drought situation. I always find high quality produce at the SM farmer's market. I just got back from Trader Joe's and bought bunch of high quality produce including Bell Peppers. What I mentioned about berries being moldy is nothing new and has nothing to do with the drought.

Nov 25, 2014
mrsjoujou in Chains
1

Declining quality at Costco?

Yesterday at my Costco In OC, most of the berries looked either past their prime or were moldy. What is the point of huge inventory of moldy stuff? Even the pineapples didn't look as fresh as usual. I was looking for peppers to make stuffed peppers and they only had the ones from Mexico. Last time I purchased it, they were from Canada and they were greenhouse grown.
Come on Costco, we live in CA and deserve much better than this.

Nov 25, 2014
mrsjoujou in Chains

Truffle Dinner at Taco Maria

They don't have desserts.

Nov 24, 2014
mrsjoujou in Los Angeles Area

The Best Bazaar Food: MUNCHIES Guide to Tehran, Part 1

Thank you. I liked part 2 the best. That tea house looked great.

Nov 19, 2014
mrsjoujou in Food Media & News
1

Tony does Jamaaaaaca

Great show. Specially the final commentary. I will miss Tony until the next season.

Nov 18, 2014
mrsjoujou in Food Media & News

The Best Bazaar Food: MUNCHIES Guide to Tehran, Part 1

Thank you. It was very interesting.

Nov 17, 2014
mrsjoujou in Food Media & News

Gjusta great place for your Croissant fix

We checked the new Gjusta bakery/market last Sat and it did not disappoint. The location is kind of odd. It is near the homeless alley and parking could be challenging. There is no sign and the place is very airy and bright. We got there around 10:30 AM and they were already out of Pain au Chocolat and Ham & Cheese Croissant. We picked up the very Flaky and buttery Baklava Croissant and a Danish. The Croissant was on the small side, but very good and unusual. How come no one else thought about making a baklava croissant? The Danish was very buttery and my husband, the Danish lover, really enjoyed it. We also got their liqueur Chocolate Pudding and at $6 it was a small size, but very good.
We will give this place a try in a month. By then they will be more organized and hopefully make enough croissants.

Nov 05, 2014
mrsjoujou in Los Angeles Area

Tony's Excellent Iran Adventure

I was really looking forward to seeing this episode and it didn't disappoint. Some of the food looked really good like the Kabobs and the sour cherry rice with tiny meatballs. What you called "Burnt rice" is actually crisp rice and is called tahdig. A lot of different cultures have a version of that. It is always fun to learn about different cultures rather than being judgmental about it. Persian people as Tony mentioned are famous for their hospitality. He said they never felt so welcomed including when they traveled to Western Europe.

Nov 03, 2014
mrsjoujou in Food Media & News
1

CA hound needs your help

We are coming down in a couple of weeks for a family wedding. We are staying at the Four Seasons and looking for creative, visually appealing and delicious food. We won't have a car and need a place that is within 10 minutes cab ride or near MARTA.

I have looked at St. Cecilia, The Optimist, BoccaLupo, Restaurant Eugene, Empire State South, Better half, Saltyard, Miller Union Woodfire Grill, Serpas, King + Duke.

I need your help with the following:

Dinner the first night, I have a reservation for St. Cecilia. Is that a good choice?
Early dinner Sun night before flying back?
Breakfast on Fri? Is there any French bakery near the hotel?
Lunch on Fri, I was thinking maybe The Optimist.
Brunch/lunch Sat and Sun?
French bakery and ice cream, I have Jeni's on the list

I appreciate your help and looking forward to visiting your city.

Sep 25, 2014
mrsjoujou in Atlanta

Saint Martha

Great review. I think we will wait a while before we try it.

Sep 19, 2014
mrsjoujou in Los Angeles Area

Great Porchetta Sandwich at Wheat and Sons (Anaheim Packing District)

I am glad you enjoyed it. We had the Suckling Pig Cubano last time and although it was good, we prefer the Porchetta.

Aug 11, 2014
mrsjoujou in Los Angeles Area

Top Chef Duels

I guess he lives in SD area now. We went to his SD restaurant,Juniper & Ivy a couple months ago and due to filming, he was not there that night. The food was good, but not that creative.

Aug 09, 2014
mrsjoujou in Food Media & News

Costco Food Finds - 3rd Quarter 2014

I purchased the mixed package and the Jamón ibérico. So far I have tried the mixed package with the exception of the Jamón ibérico and found it very good. I specially liked the luscious salami. The chorizo was great also and had a nice kick from the spices. Lomo was good, but not as great as the other two. I will try the Jamón ibérico today and hopefully love it.

Aug 05, 2014
mrsjoujou in Chains

Petit Trois, No Reservations, No Phone, No Cash & No tipping...

Oh, that picture made me cry!! Love Genin and his amazing Millefeuille. His caramels were pretty good also. Look like you had the amazing hot chocolate. Oh, how much I miss and talk about that place!

Aug 02, 2014
mrsjoujou in Los Angeles Area

L.A. Co-Dishes of the Month, July 2014: FRIED CHICKEN (and Chicken Fried) and FROZEN DAIRY-BASED DESSERT PRODUCTS

We love coconut lime, but they haven't had it for a while.
Also at Carmela Ice Cream, Their lemon basil is amazing.

Jul 31, 2014
mrsjoujou in Los Angeles Area

L.A. Co-Dishes of the Month, July 2014: FRIED CHICKEN (and Chicken Fried) and FROZEN DAIRY-BASED DESSERT PRODUCTS

I had my favorites at Grom, raspberry and dark chocolate. I also tried the flavor of the month, pistachios with cherry. My husband enjoyed his melon and peach.
At Sweet Rose Creamery this month we enjoyed Maggie's mint with chocolate pearls, chocolate and plum. They were all great. We always get Maggie's mint and plum is great for people like us, that like tart flavors. The Maggie mint chocolate (not the one with the pearls) that we got by mistake was less successful. It didn't have the intense mint flavor of the original one.

Fifty Seven great place for veggie lovers

Thank you. The ambiance was rustic, contemporary and on the dark side. Not a good place for taking pictures. We go there around 6:15 and even though the place was 60% full, it was loud. By the time we left, the place was almost full and I guess we got used to the noise. They change chefs every 3-4 months. Downstairs events starts at 9:00 PM.

Jul 11, 2014
mrsjoujou in Los Angeles Area

Fifty Seven great place for veggie lovers

Restaurant 57 is located in the Arts District of Downtown LA. Every season they showcase a different chef from around the country.
Their current chef is Josh Drew. He has worked at some great kitchens such as Verti and Quince. Their menu was divided into share plates, market plates, cheese, meat, fish and dessert. Our selection was mostly form the market section, because I love Farmers Markets and I found the combinations interesting. Service was very slow at the beginning. It took at least 10 minutes for somebody to approach our table, but once she got to our table, she was informative. It will be interesting to see who will be the next chef.

We had the following:
Parker House Rolls
Santa Barbara Sea Urchin Local Honey, Chiles
The rolls were buttery and went well with the briny Uni. The sweetness from Honey and the heat from the Chiles were welcoming flavors to this dish.
Wild Spot Prawns A La Plancha
Buttermilk, Grilled Black Kale Pesto
We loved the perfectly grilled Spot Prawns. The Grilled Black Kale Pesto was a little on a bitter side, but very addicting.
Robada Apricots // From Frog Hollow Farm with Red Dandelion, Sunflower Seeds
The Apricots were at their pick and very juicy. The Red Dandelion was very bitter but it was balanced with the creamy Tahini and crunchy Sunflower Seeds.
Persian Cucumbers // From Flora Bella Farm with Mulberries, Crème fraîche, Maggie’s Mint
A lovely dish. I got this dish mostly because of our love for Mulberries. The Cucumbers were crunchy and came in various shapes. Crème fraîche gave the dish a tangy flavor and the beautiful Mulberries sweetness. Our favorite, Maggie’s Mint, was refreshing in this dish. I am definitely making this dish.
Albion Strawberries // From Rutiz Farm with Romanesco Cauliflower, Dill, Horseradish
I loved this dish and have already recreated it. The Strawberries were sweet and luscious. Romanesco Cauliflower seemed to have been gently grilled. The Horseradish gave it a little kick and dill a nice herby note.
Porcini Mushrooms // From Oregon with Crimson Lady Peaches, Aceto Balsamico Di Monticello
This was our favorite dish. I haven’t had great Porcinis like this since our travel to Italy a few years ago. The Porcini was full of flavor and had a meaty taste. The roasted Peach was sweet and a perfect partner for Porcini. Aceto Balsamico Di Monticello gave it a nice acidity and sweetness. Amazing dish and a must.
Black Mission Fig Pavlova // Dark chocolate Meringue, Crème fraîche, Espresso-Caramel Ice Cream
A nice way of finishing our meal. The pavlova was perfect. A hard outer shell with a chewy center. The Black Mission Figs were sandwiched betwwen the dark Chocolate Meringue. The Espresso-Caramel Ice Cream was a perfect combination of sweet and bitter.

Considering how close this place is to Bestia, as we were leaving I joked that we should stop there for my favorite Saffron and Sausage pasta!!
You can see the pictures at:
http://travel4foodnart.wordpress.com/...

Jul 10, 2014
mrsjoujou in Los Angeles Area

Great Porchetta Sandwich at Wheat and Sons (Anaheim Packing District)

I know. Parking is a nightmare, but we always mange to find parking on the side streets.

Jul 09, 2014
mrsjoujou in Los Angeles Area

Great Porchetta Sandwich at Wheat and Sons (Anaheim Packing District)

I am glad you enjoyed it. I have to take a cooler with me next time and purchase some beef or pork. Their service is the best.

Jul 07, 2014
mrsjoujou in Los Angeles Area

Great Porchetta Sandwich at Wheat and Sons (Anaheim Packing District)

Wheat & Sons Butcher/Rotisserie is the creation of Ashly Amador and Nate Overstreet. They offer locally sourced organic meats, rotisserie items, sandwiches, sausages and Charcuterie. They even had Bone Marrow Butter that I would have purchased if I had an ice pack. The service was very friendly and helpful. They are located at the newly opened Anaheim Packing District.
We tried the following:

Roasted Potatoes
This were some of the best roasted potatoes we have had. Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Reminded me of the ones from Roli Roti at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco, but even tastier.
Porchetta Sandwich
This was a perfect sandwich. The luscious porchetta was very tender and juicy, but a little fatty. The crackling added a great crunch and the pesto added flavor. The radishes gave it an unexpected surprise. The perfectly toasted Ciabatta bread was a big part of this wining combination. Easily one of my favorite sandwiches and at $10 a bargain.
Bratwurst on pretzel bread
This had a great porky flavor and went very well with the Caramelized Onions and Whole Grain Mustard. The Pretzel bread was toasted beautifully and even though I try to stay a way from white bread, I could not stop eating it.
We tried them again a few days ago and I asked them if I could have a Porchetta plate with some potatoes and they said yes. They even added roasted cauliflower and a little salad. My husband tried their rotisserie chicken and enjoyed it.
You can see the pictures at:
http://travel4foodnart.wordpress.com/...

Lunch at Presto Cafe

We always stop here for lunch before we head back to CA. Food has always been fresh and tasty, service friendly and prices reasonable for the quality.
We had the following:
Pan Seared Salmon
Chia Seed Citrus reduction, Seasonal Veggies
My husband enjoyed his perfectly seared salmon with potatoes, spinach, peppers, sitting on a delicious pool of chia seed citrus reduction.
Greek Salad with Hanger Steak
Cherry Tomatoes, Red Onions, Olive Tapenade, Cucumbers, Feta, Greek Vinaigrette
I enjoyed my fresh and tasty Greek salad. The cherry tomatoes were sweet, the cucumbers crunchy and the greens were plenty. It had a little too much feta and tapenade for me, so next time I ask for a little adjustment. I added hanger steak to my salad and it was perfectly grilled to med-rare. A very satisfying dish.
No Pasta Vegetarian Lasagna
Sweet Potato, Kale, Eggplant
We got this dish to go and it was pretty good and rich and a bargain for under $10. The lasagna was layers of sweet mashed potatoes, kale, eggplant, cheese blend and Béchamel sauce. Two people could easily share this and a salad and be satisfied.
We also got their Chickpea, Coconut and Chocolate bites. Very good and gluten free for people that care for such a thing.
Their Green Goodness Smoothie is always a must for the drive back, because it keeps you hydrated without too much sugar. It was a combination of Granny Smith Apple, Avocado, Banana, Spinach, Kale, Ginger and a touch of Agave.
They are soft opening at their second location at the Green Valley today. Here is the link from Las Vegas Weekly:
http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/dining/...

You can see the pictures of my dishes at :
http://travel4foodnart.wordpress.com/...

Jul 05, 2014
mrsjoujou in Las Vegas

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - June 2014 [OLD]

No they are not skinned, but they are amazing.

Jun 24, 2014
mrsjoujou in Chains

Superba Food + Bread

We are always on the hunt to discover and try new bakery and brunch places and were excited to try the new Superba Food + Bread. The space was very airy and well designed. It looked like it belonged in the Mission area of San Francisco. We were very happy with our food and the service was very good and attentive.
Here is what we had:

Mocha - My Mocha at $6 was barely warm and I had to ask them to redo it. The second one was a perfect Mocha. A great balance of espresso and chocolate.

Pastrami and Scrambled eggs on Pain au Levain
This was the special for Memorial Day weekend and we were surprised how good it was. The Pastrami was cooked and seasoned perfectly. The scrambled eggs were fluffy and the pickled onion added a little sweetness to the dish. The pain au levain was great and crusty. They should put this dish on their menu.

Breakfast Sandwich
Slow Cooked Egg, Linguica, Braised Kale, Pain au Lait
My husband picked this one and it was a pretty good breakfast sandwich. The egg was poached perfectly, the Linguica had a great kick and flavor and the braised Kale tamed the dish. The Pain au Lait was nice and light and perfect for this dish.

Testa Croissant
Their has been a lot of press about this croissant and rightfully so. Testa, is basically meat from the pig’s head marinated and slow cocked for 16 hours and sliced. My husband really loved this.

Superba Candy Bar
Marcona Almond, Chocolate, Sea Salt
This was really delicious. It was a great combination of a Brownie, Chocolate Mousse and Marcona Almonds.

100% Rye Bread
This bread was amazing and reminded me of the one I bought from the Breads Bakery in NYC. It was $10 but must have weighted at least 2 pounds.

Their version of Pain au Chocolat
This was surprisingly very good. It was like a Croissant Bruschetta topped with delicious dark chocolate. Very addicting and a must try.

Chocolate Walnut Cookie
This was a good cookie, but nothing special.

You can see the pictures at :
http://travel4foodnart.wordpress.com/...

Jun 18, 2014
mrsjoujou in Los Angeles Area

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - June 2014 [OLD]

Big Yay - Oregon Hazelnut is my new favorite. It is amazing and I hope they keep it for a while. Much better than the Turkish one.

Jun 18, 2014
mrsjoujou in Chains

Sidecar Donuts - Fantastic Blueberry Buckle

Any chocolate cake donut. When you got it fresh it was pretty good. Crispy on the outside and chocolaty goodness on the inside.
Here are some pictures:
http://travel4foodnart.wordpress.com/...

Jun 13, 2014
mrsjoujou in Los Angeles Area

Sidecar Donuts - Fantastic Blueberry Buckle

We didn't like it at all. The frosting was too sweet and the Donut itself had an odd sticky texture. We used to like their Donuts much better and they haven't had my favorite chocolate one since Feb!!

Jun 12, 2014
mrsjoujou in Los Angeles Area

Taco Maria lunch and the OC Mart Mix (a couple paragraphs long).

Nice review Kevin. Who knew you could write so well :)

May 29, 2014
mrsjoujou in Los Angeles Area