I eat: Redd

I’m always a little nervous when I return to a restaurant that I loved the first time. What if the quality has deteriorated? What if I was just really hungry? Did I just happen to order the best things on the menu? What if my second time is an off day? So many questions run through my mind.

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Crispy Duck Confit with Lentils and Foie Gras Meatballs
Glazed Pork Belly, Apple Purée, Burdock, Soy Caramel
Steamed Pork buns, Hoisin, Vegetable Slaw
Braised Shortrib, Bacon, Cipollini onions, Fingerling potatoes, Red Wine Jus
Caramelized Diver Scallops, Cauliflower Purée, Almonds, Balsamic Reduction

Henry and I first dined at Redd for lunch in October, 2009. We loved it and couldn’t stop raving to our friends and family about our wonderful experience. Fast forward about two years and we returned for dinner with a couple of friends, fully expecting Redd to knock their socks off. But… that didn’t exactly happen. Perhaps my expectations were too high or my tastes have matured/palate refined or even a combination of both – overall, I was disappointed with our meal.

We started off with oysters and appetizers to share.

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Glazed Pork Belly, Apple Purée, Burdock, Soy Caramel $14
Carnaroli Risotto, Maine Lobster, Meyer Lemon Confit, Truffle Oil $15

The pork belly was one of my favorite dishes the first time around and for that reason, I ordered it again. And thankfully, it was as good as I remembered! The risotto was delicious as well, making it difficult for me to have to share it with 3 other people.

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Sauteed Skate, Onion Fondue, Summer Beans, Hazelnut Brown Butter $28
Petrale Sole, Coconut Jasmine Rice, Clams, Chorizo, Saffron Curry Nage $28
Prime New York Steak and Shortribs, Salt Potatoes, Bacon and Mushroom Ragout $32
Liberty Farms Duck Breast, Shelling Bean Cassoulet, Bread Crumbs, Thyme Jus $29

The best entree of the table was the skate with brown butter… WHO DOESN’T LOVE BUTTER? TELL ME! TELL ME!

Everything else, however, just fell flat. The saffron curry nage left a bitter after-taste and the short ribs were tough and stringy. I was most disappointed with the duck; it was overcooked, the skin was not crispy and the amount of bread crumbs over the cassoulet was just ridiculous.

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Butterscotch Pudding, Vanilla Anglaise, Pinenut Rosemary Cookies $10
Chocolate, Peanut Butter Beignets, Bitter Caramel Ice Cream, Bananas $10

After being let down by the entrees, I wanted to pass up dessert. But since we were (unofficially) celebrating Henry’s birthday, we ordered two to share. I liked the butterscotch pudding more than the beignets because it was lighter and not as sweet.

Oh, btw, it didn’t help any that a lady sitting 10 feet away from us was throwing up UNDER THE TABLE. It was her bachelorette party.

Verdict: 3/5
Redd
6480 Washington St
Yountville, CA 94599

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I eat: Waterloo & City

Besides Petrossian, my DineLA experiences have mostly ranged from disappointing (Cube Marketplace, Grace) to average (Gordon Ramsay), which would explain why none have compelled me to make a return visit. In spite of this, I always get excited when dineLA comes around.

The current dineLA ends Friday, Feb 3rd!

This past Friday, Henry and I made our way to the Westside for dineLA at Waterloo & City. When we arrived, the first thing that struck me was the size of the restaurant. I didn’t expect it to that big! There’s an outdoor patio area (where we were seated) and two indoor dining areas separated by a large bar.

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In addition to the dineLA menu ($34/person), we couldn’t pass up the Indian Butter Chicken Pizza, Murgh Makahni Sauce, Mozzarella ($14) off of the regular menu. To pace ourselves, we followed our waiter’s suggestion of having the pizza come out first, eating a couple of slices and boxing up the rest to take home.

Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera. These phone pictures do not do the food justice.

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The pizza was delicious! Although it would have been nice to have more chicken, the chicken that was on the pizza was incredibly tender. I liked the heat from the makhani sauce and raita (in the middle).

Next came the dineLA dishes…

Appetizers

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Chicken Liver & Foie Gras Parfait, Toasted Brioche, Sweet Potato Jam

No complaints whatsoever. The toasted brioche provided the perfect canvas for the mousse and the jam cut the saltiness.

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Tuna Tartare, Fried Piquillo Pepper, Avocado

AMAZING. The freshness of the tuna and cucumbers, the creaminess of the avocado, the spiciness of the sauce… everything just worked so well together. The fried piquillo pepper was icing on the cake.

Entrees

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Roast Pork Chop, Fuji Apples, Pork Belly, Squash Puree, Onion Rings

As you can see, this thing was HUGE! The pork chop was tender and flavorful and there’s just something about the combination of pork and apples that I absolutely love.

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Australian Bass, Ricotta & Truffle Gnocchi, Cara Cara Oranges, Celery Root

This was the only dish that was a little bit off. The bass and gnocchi were great by themselves and even paired together. The orange slices alone were refreshing. But bass + gnocchi + orange… hmmm, not so much – this combination just didn’t work for me. Also, the skin of the bass could have been crispier if not for the moisture from the oranges.

Desserts

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Waterloo Doughnuts, Bavarian Creme, Rum Glaze, Raspberry Sorbet

The doughnuts weren’t as good as the goat cheese doughnuts from Napa Rose, but still solid. I loved the hot and cold pairing of doughnuts and raspberry sorbet.

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Sticky Toffee Pudding, Salted Caramel, Vanilla Ice Cream

Whenever I see sticky toffee pudding on the menu, I order it. This one at Waterloo & City was, by far, the BEST I’ve ever had.

Thanks for breaking my DineLA rut, Waterloo & City. I will DEFINITELY come back and dine again.

Verdict: 4.5/5
Waterloo & City
12517 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90066

Progress Report

Some stats going into the All-Star break.

Against teams currently above .500…
– The Kings are 20-11-9
– In 15 out of 40 games (37.5%), they’ve scored 2+ goals
– GFA = 2.275
– GAA = 2.1

Against teams currently below .500
– The Kings are 4-5-1
– In 2 out of 10 games (20%), they’ve scored 2+ goals
– GFA = 1.6
– GAA = 2.2

sportclubstats.com currently gives the Kings a 68.7% chance of making the playoffs. bleh.

Rush, Rush

Saturday = CRAZY.

I woke up at 7AM and rushed to Staples Center to run the 2012 LA Kings 5K. My one week of training prepared me enough to finish almost 2 minutes faster than last year’s time. I crossed the finish line in 26:34, which averages to an 8:34 pace. What my training did not prepare me for was having to run 3.1 miles IN THE RAIN. It wasn’t light sprinkles, IT WAS RAIN. Needless to say, I was soaked afterward.

There was no time to chill and hang out at the event because I had to take my last GMAT practice CAT and Henry had groomsman duties to attend to. I completed my test at 2PM, which left me with only half an hour to get ready for the wedding! I didn’t even have time to eat! 😦

Things finally settled down once I arrived at the wedding venue: Muckenthaler Mansion in Fullerton.

Congrats, Jen & Thai ♥

The ceremony went off without a hitch and the meatballs served during cocktail hour were DELISH! I was so hungry I ate 8 of them!!! 😀

Although I had fun celebrating with friends, weddings, in general, give me anxiety. Personally, I would rather skip the wedding and go straight to the honeymoon – I’m working on getting everybody else on board with that idea. So far, my mom, who’s opinion is obviously most important, said she’s fine with me not having a wedding. Hopefully she’s not lying to me…

Is It Winter Yet?

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Mammoth Mountain, 1/6/12-1/8/12
Conditions: Spring, icy patches, minimal coverage

This is what January is looking like, folks…

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No bueno

I’m pretty sure these conditions are the worst I’ve seen and experienced at Mammoth. We tried to make the best of it, but it was difficult given all of the browns spots, rocks and ICE. My board is seriously tore up! 😦

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This is usually one of favorite runs – I love to bomb it down to Canyon, especially at the end of the day. So I’m riding down and everything was OK until I turned the corner. I, along with everyone else, was surprised by large patches of ice. People were breaking. People were falling. People were breaking and then falling. @#$*&@%. Icy crowded runs = accidents waiting to happen. I’m glad I survived with bruised knees.

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Pictures And Words

My friends and I spent NYE 2012 stuffing ourselves full of red meat and shrimp (3 burner hot pot feast!), watching the Kings play one of their best games of season (4 goals? OH WHAT?!), and laughing our asses off playing telephone pictionary.

Round 2: Movies
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Somehow Predator became Pokemon.

Best. Game. Ever. amirite?