Entourage and Urth Cafe

urth 1

Kevin and I watched Entourage (movie) earlier this summer. We used to be into the HBO show, aka Sex and the City for men, at one point in our lives but we lost interest at around Season 4 and we stopped watching it altogether.

We went to the movie anyway because we had gift certificates to iPic Theatre in Old Town Pasadena and it seemed like this was the kind of movie that we can watch care free, like, if we fall a sleep, we don’t have to kick ourselves afterward. The movie didn’t receive a raving review from the critic but I thought it was fun, and it was a nice way to catch up with our old buddies on the silver screen. It was also nice to see a cameo appearance by the Los Angeles Kings players, although I suspect that noone but Kings fans recognized them.

After we watched the film, Kevin and I decided to catch up on the rest of the TV show, so we purchased the remaining seasons on Amazon Prime and binge watched all the episodes that we had missed (which, by the way, became available for free on Amazon Prime Instant Video only a few weeks after we paid a pretty penny for each missed season. evil)

urth 2

One thing I noticed while salivating over Ari’s super hotness was how much those boys loved Urth Café! They frequented this organic coffee and tea house so much that it should have been the fifth character in the show. Well, the product placement totally worked because I’ve made a trip or two (well, four, but who’s counting?) to its Pasadena location in the last few months alone.  Here are the pictures from my last outing — Green Tea Latte and Egg Salmone.

And here are some from the other outing:

IMG_0109 IMG_0111

Darn you boys!  This place is amazing but it ain’t cheap!

Advertisements

Magic Words: Bea Bea’s

IMG_1109

The surest way to get me out of bed before noon on the weekend is for my husband to yell, “Bea Bea’s!” from the other room. I don’t usually see a day light until well past 10:00 a.m., (Saturday and Sunday are my days off from the toddler) but with those two magical words, I’m up, dressed, and ready to go.  Time is crucial since the only way to get a table at this super popular breakfast / lunch joint in Burbank without having to wait five hours is if we get there before 9:00 a.m.

The food there is worth it, especially the yummy smoked salmon plate. And I can always go back to bed. And I did.

IMG_1108

Here’s Kevin’s Sicilian Omelet with corned beef, pastrami, mushrooms, basil, tomato, and parmesan cheese.

Celebrating Father’s Day with Three Dads

IMG_5673

Chirashi, with assortment of sashimi

This year’s Father’s Day was extra special because this was my husband’s first time celebrating it from the other side, as a new dad! It was great to have three incredible fathers and their loving wives all join for sushi dinner at Ichibankan in Woodland Hills on Saturday night – first time all six of us got together since the birth of the baby in February.

IMG_5671

Sudako — picked cucumbers and octopus

We had a wonderful time, despite Pon Pon’s occasional screams. redface She cried a little at the restaurant so my husband and I had to take turns walking around and even going outside for a few minutes to calm her down. This was very unlike her, as she’s usually very calm in restaurants, even in late afternoon. But all in all, she was a delight and she definitely made her grandmas and grandpas (and us parents too, of course) very happy.

Despite having done this only for four short months, my husband has proven to be an amazing father.  I always knew that he would be one but he surpassed my expectations beyond imagination.  He is incredibly supportive and unbelievably patient, and keeps me together every day. Words cannot express how much I appreciate everything he does for the family.  Pon Pon and I are incredibly lucky.

Okay, now that I’ve buttered him up, I hope he forgets the fact that the gift I ordered for Father’s Day didn’t arrive in time.   lol

IMG_5670

Scalloppacio — today’s special dish

I hope everyone had a wonderful Father’s Day!  Being a father is definitely not an easy job and I’m thankful for all the incredible men out there who take this often under-appreicated but unbelievably important duty of raising a human being very seriously.

Carb, Veggie, Carb Veggie …

IMG_3605

Carb, veggie, carb, veggie … that’s been my eating routine lately. Well, it’s more like 80% carb and 20% vegetable, to be more precise. I don’t crave protein much (I can totally go without meat, fish, and eggs for weeks) but I cannot not live without my carb and vegetables. I don’t crave rice but I go crazy if I don’t have some sort of bread at least once a day. I also have intense cravings for uncooked carrots and I have to eat those little pre-washed snack carrot sticks regularly. The not-so-good part about it is that I need to dip those little carotene-packed sticks in dollops and dollops of Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise! I hope the goodness from the carrots offset the badness of the mayo.

I had a wonderful brunch with Shannon this week at our old stomping ground of Old Town Pasadena. We stopped for a quick bite at Le Pain Quotidian before heading over for some wedding dress shopping fun for my soon-to-be married pal. I felt a little bad for ordering the bread basket, knowing that she’s been working out really hard to get into her tip top shape for the big day (and she looks fabulous!) but this pregnant belly needed some good old carb immediately! And I killed Blondie, a white chocolate spread, by single-handedly polishing off the entire jar! redface

IMG_3606

And here’s my salad for the morning – Chicken Cobb Salad (with no bacon and cheese).

greek

After finding the perfect dress, Shannon, her friend Marci, and I headed back to Old Town for a celebratory toast at Pita Jungle. My carb craving kicked back up so we shared an extra order of pita bread with hummus and tzatziki to start (with extra cucumber slices), and I had my usual Grilled Vegetable Salad to satisfy my veggie addiction.

IMG_3610

I’ve completely lost the will to cook at home. And I mean completely!  I don’t even want to go grocery shopping. I don’t mind driving over to Subway to pick up my usual Veggie Delight sandwich almost daily, but I dread standing in the kitchen to prepare a meal.  It’s not that I feel sick … it’s just that everything else looks more appetizing. I wasn’t sure if this phenomenon was normal but I was surprised (and somewhat relieved) to see that many pregnant woman experience this, even if they loved to cook in the past!

Okay, I’m off to eating the leftover pizza from last night … Oh, and this is my favorite commercial at the moment.

Newfound Love for Breakfast: Bea Bea’s

IMG_3552

Kevin and I had a craving for some thick, juicy steak last night but instead of rushing to the nearest steakhouse, we went to a grocery store and picked up ingredients to make a wonderful weekend dinner for two at home. We ended up getting four pieces of flavorful New York steaks, two potatoes, a bag of string beans, zucchini, and a gallon of ice cream for less than $10 per person (with lots of leftovers). This decision saved us a good $80 total. As a reward, we decided to treat ourselves to extravagant breakfast the next day.

We’ve been eyeing on Bea Bea’s in Burbank for weeks now, ever since Kevin found this lovely breakfast join tucked away in a suburban shopping center on Yelp. We attempted to eat there not too long ago, but the line was too long so we had to go elsewhere. This time, we got there early enough around 9:00 a.m. and got seated right away when we arrived.  We got really lucky!

IMG_3543

I always ponder on a question – whether a person can change. I’m a believer that one can suppress certain tendencies (like addictions) with some serious effort and the willingness to change, but it’s very difficult to eliminate or “cure” them altogether. One’s taste and preference, however, can be changed more easily if the influence for the change is greater than the reason for one’s likes or dislikes. For instance, I was never a fan of breakfast. Eggs, potatoes, and toasts are okay, but they were never enticing enough for me to want to get up early in the morning to eat, especially on precious weekends. But being married to a breakfast lover and the fun that accompanies the time spent over weekend breakfast eventually made me fall in love with omelets, hash browns, and getting out of bed early. I now look forward to exploring new places for breakfast with my husband!

Our new favorite is Bea Bea’s. For a very casual coffee shop, the price is pretty high. Pancakes and Crepes were each more than $10 per plate, and the breakfast plates cost the upward of $15. But boy, were they worth it! Because of the price, this is probably not the place that we can dine very single Saturday, but we’ll definitely be back for some more early morning goodness. The service was quick and the food was exceptional.

Here’s what we enjoyed:

IMG_3547

Strawberry, banana, and Nutella Crepe to share.

IMG_3548

Spicy Spring Omelet for me.

IMG_3544

House Quesadilla Omelet for Kevin.

IMG_3550

Cheers to a great weekend, everyone!

Time for Happy Dance: La Frite

IMG_3435

What an amazing Saturday it was! Kevin and I got to hang out with not just one but two expecting couples in one day (more on the second outing on a separate post).

We had a lovely lunch with Kerry and Carmela over some good French food at La Frite in Woodland Hills. It was so nice to catch up, since it has been a while since our last outing at the Kings Championship parade in June. Since then, Carmela and I have both became blessed with bundles of joy! Time for a happy dance!

As for food, I was completely jealous over the Champagne brunch that Kevin and Kerry ordered.

IMG_3437

Their brunch came with a selection of salad / appetizer (Kevin selected a generous portion of smoked salmon salad), and a hearty selections of a main dish (this is his mushroom and ham omelet). I would have totally ordered this too, if I can drink Champagne and indulge in Lox!

IMG_3436

Instead, I ordered the La Frite salad – greens, walnut, white asparagus, and grilled chicken (extra), tossed in tangy vinaigrette dressing. It wasn’t a plate full of my favorite smoked salmon but I love this salad! Oh, and of course, I had a side of Fries that I downed in less than 30 seconds!

Three and a half more months for Pon Pon to say hello to the world, and six more months or so for Carmela and Kerry’s little bun. I have a feeling that we’ll be dressing our babies up in hockey sweaters together very soon!  Can’t wait!

Year-End Celebration: Gaucho Grill

IMG_3421

My friends Roxanne, Mary Lee and I used to go to Maggiano’s for lunch religiously for a few years (not everyday but about once every two weeks), partly because it was a walking distance from the office and mostly because we were addicted to its fried zucchini.  But one day, realizing that we’ve probably had enough share of the family-style Italian fare for the next 100 years, we decided to seek a new place to satisfy our hungry bellies.  Even we habit creatures need to change things up sometime!

So we bid farewell to our local Italian place and welcomed Gaucho Grill as our new home.  I’ve been a fan of this place for years and frequented the Woodland Hills location when I lived nearby because the food here is just right.  It’s nothing fancy but I really like the atmosphere and meat-heavy Argentinian selections.  My favorite is Pollo Deshuesado, grilled chicken breast with Dijon mustard sauce, with side of salad, rice, and extra pico de gallo (pictured above)!

the girls

We met up for lunch this afternoon for our year-end celebration.  It would have been nice to celebrate this special day with a glass of wine, but we toasted to a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2013 with a glass of passion fruit ice tea and diet coke instead!

Cheers to many more lunches to be had with my special friends.  I love you girls!