April 16, 2014

"Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" - Las Vegas episode airs on CNN, April 20th

On April 20th @ 9PM, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown will be airing it's Las Vegas episode on CNN.  Bourdain explores different sides of my hometown (yes, there's more than just The Strip).  He goes to restaurants raved by the locals such as Raku, Eat., and The Bootlegger.  Also, Bourdain goes to fine dining restaurants like é by José Andrés and Restaurant Guy Savoy.  I am glad that the topic of the drought in Las Vegas is mentioned, which is something that cannot be ignored (conservation is important!).  The people that accompany Bourdain in this episode include food author Michael Ruhlman, artist Anthony Bondi, illusionist Penn Jillette, and former mayor Oscar Goodman.  Here's a preview to the Las Vegas episode or you may see it here:

April 13, 2014

#ChasingThursdays @ Aureole Las Vegas

Aureole Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay, has recently launched an event called #ChasingThursdays.  Every Thursday Aureole will be offering exclusive cigar pairings from Nat Sherman, showcasing a cast of hard-to-find and wines from their "Unusual Suspects" wine list all priced at $39 per bottle, and will have menu items 20% off (except Happy Hour menu, small plates, and the $39 wine bottles... Still a good deal though for a fine dining restaurant!).  You get to enjoy all of this while listening to live jazz music and overlooking the swans at Aureole's outdoor patio.

I love the aesthetics of this place:



Happy Hour deals:



Aureole's four-story wine tower.  The Wine Steward Angels are the ones who retrieve the wines:



Some of the wines I saw while walking up and down the stairs that wrap around the wine tower:





My husband here sippin on some 2007 Domaine Monte de Luz Tannat:


The tannat is a red wine grape prominent in Uruguay:


Me with a glass of 2009 Kiralyudvar Tokaji Furmint.  The furmint grape is native to Hungary.  It's mainly sold as a dessert wine and is also made as a dry furmint wine:


We got to sample some items from their spring menu.  Here is Yellowfin Tuna Poke- on seaweed salad and sushi rice cracker, a simple treat:


A ravioli dish with greens and delicious piece of pork on top.  The pork melted before I even bit it:


Up close:


Pâté, a ground meat and fat mixture minced into a spread, with bread and a pickle.  I think this was the first time I ate pâté.  I was so impressed that it has made it on my list of foods to try when I go to Europe (ah someday!):


Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras




Ice cream and sorbet:


I randomly chose this sorbet, which had a subtle tanginess:


Even though I had samples of some of the menu items, I enjoyed every bite of the foods which were all flavorful!  I look forward to having a full meal at this fine restaurant.  If you're a wine and/or cigar enthusiast, I recommend coming out to #ChasingThursdays and have a great, relaxing time at Aureole's Swan Court patio.

Aureole on Urbanspoon

April 7, 2014

Berkeley Trip '14

Last February I travelled to Berkeley, CA for a few days.  I was lucky to arrive on a weekend where it was pouring with rain!  Even though I didn't go to a lot of places due to the weather, I'm still glad I got to eat at these restaurants: 

Suya African-Caribbean Grill

On my first day, my tour guides, Emily and Tammy, recommended that I try Suya for lunch.  There's not much African-Caribbean restaurants from my hometown, so I gladly wanted to check out Suya:


We all got a combination meal.  I chose to the Tilapia Fish with flatbread, grilled plantain, and grilled corn.  The fish was lightly flavored to me, yet it was distinct.  The sauce and grilled sides were nice add-ons to the meal:


Emily got the Grilled Beef on a skewer with grilled corn and rice:


Tammy got the Grilled Chicken on a skewer with the same sides I got:


All these meats and fish were seasoned with Suya Pepper, a distinctive custom spice made with Jerk Seasoning, Scotch bonnet peppers, cloves, cinnamon, scallions, nutmeg, thyme, garlic, and salt. 

This is a perfect place for a small lunch break from school or work especially since it has a relaxed atmosphere.

Suya African-Caribbean Grill on Urbanspoon


La Mediterranee

On the next day of my visit, Emily and I went to La Med for brunch:


It's lovely inside of La Med:


A little Cappuccino to wake me up:


Emily got the Fillo Combination- fillo is a dough of paper-thin sheets of unleavened flour dough separated by a thin film of butter.  It's used for making pastries in Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisine.  In this combo, one may choose any of the four La Med's fillo specialties:


I got the Chicken Pomegranate- chicken drumsticks marinated in pomegranate sauce, baked with wild herbs; served over rice pilaf and a side of tabuleh (I really liked how they made theirs), hummus, and cheese.  This was a delicious and hearty meal:


La Mediterranee on Urbanspoon


Ici Ice Cream 

After our brunch, we went to Ici for dessert time.  Ici offers 11 different flavors of ice cream, sorbet, and sherbets daily.  Also, they're all are handmade fresh everyday!  The unique flavor I had was Chicory Whiskey (right)- this ice cream was definitely infused with those flavors:


Visit their Twitter page to see what flavors they are serving, it's different everyday!

Ici Ice Cream on Urbanspoon


Cafe Durant

On my last day, we ate at Cafe Durant for breakfast.  This is a Mexican-American food joint located upstairs of a strip mall.  We did plenty of walking beforehand, which made us quite hungry.

I got the Eggs Florentine- fried eggs on top of an English Muffin with sauteed spinach, hollandaise sauce, and home fries.  This meal was wholesome especially since I was starving, I enjoyed every bite of it:


Emily and Tammy's dishes:



Other than breakfast, they serve a variety of burritos, burgers, salads, sandwiches, and Mexican entrees.

Cafe Durant on Urbanspoon


What I enjoyed about Berkeley:
1) How easy it was getting around the town mainly by walking or bus
2)  The variety of foods
3) Had great tour guides, thanks again Emily and Tammy!