Entourage and Urth Cafe

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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)

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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:

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

Magic Words: Bea Bea’s

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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.

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

My Favorite NYC Moments #1: Villard Michel Richard

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Hands down the best dining experience of our trip.

We had dinner at Villard Michel Richard at the New York Place, where we stayed. I selected the Frix Fixe menu, reasonably priced at $48. It started with this refreshing Yellow Tomato Gazpacho with Burrata which was to die for.  I seriously wanted to order another one because I couldn’t get enough.

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And it was followed by perfectly seared Scallops with English peas, radish, carrot-ginger sauce. I seldom order scallops but these were a winner.

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Maya had a plate of juicy Filet Mignon.

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And ended with Celebration Cake.

I heart you, NYC, and thanks for another amazing visit.  I’ll be back again real soon.

Here’s the full list of my top 10 moments:

  1. Dinner at Villard Michel Richard
  2. Lunch at Babbo
  3. Picnic at Central Park
  4. Serendipity 3
  5. Lunch at Balthazar
  6. Grand Central Oyster Bar
  7. Gahm Mi Oak
  8. Dominique Ansel Bakery
  9. La Vie at JFK
  10. Bryant Park at night

My Favorite NYC Moments #2: Lunch at Babbo

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Time to check off an item from my culinary bucket list – I finally made it to Mario Batali’s Babbo Ristorante in Greenwich Village. Yipeee!

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When we arrived at the restaurant at 11:00 a.m., right at my reserved time, the restaurant was still closed. Strange, I thought. How could a restaurant be closed when I, in fact, made a reservation for that time slot more than a month ago? When the door finally opened 30 minutes later, I went to check in, only to find that my name was nowhere to be found. After a few tries, the hostess figured out that my reservation was not for 11:00 a.m. but was for 11:00 P.Meek Only in NYC that people actually make dinner reservation so late.

Luckily, she was able to seat us right away!  Phew!

The restaurant was everything I’d expected this place would be — a professional service, attentive servers, and absolutely delicious food and wine.

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Complimentary chick pea appetizer.

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My appetizer: Crostini Napoletani with Ricotta, Sardines and Dandelion Greens

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Maya’s appetizer: Mozzarella di Bufala with Babbo Coppa

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I ordered Pappardelle Bolognese.

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Maya ordered Soft Shell Crab on a bed of couscous.

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We shared a plate Babbo Greens with Roasted Shallots — a much needed vegetables!

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Pistachio and Chocolate Semifreddo for dessert.

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Maya enjoyed a glass of port (Pedro Ximenez) that she absolutely loved, and I couldn’t get over all the sugar options that came with my cup of coffee.

Here’s the full list of my top 10 moments:

  1. Dinner at Villard Michel Richard
  2. Lunch at Babbo
  3. Picnic at Central Park
  4. Serendipity 3
  5. Lunch at Balthazar
  6. Grand Central Oyster Bar
  7. Gahm Mi Oak
  8. Dominique Ansel Bakery
  9. La Vie at JFK
  10. Bryant Park at night

My Favorite NYC Moments #4: Serenpidity 3

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The restaurant decor is tacky and the service is mediocre (oh, and it’s almost an hour wait to get a table) but when you walked for what felt like 3,495 miles and your legs are about to fall off, nothing refuels your body faster than a super sugary drink from Serendipity 3.

Believe the hype – its famous Frrrrozen Hot Chocolate is truly amazing! Blended drinks from Coffee Beans and Starbucks don’t even come close.

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The signature Frrrrozen Hot Chocolate.  I loved the texture of the crushed ice.

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Maya got Frozen Espresso which was also delicious! We got brain AND tummy freezes simultaneously!

Here’s the full list of my top 10 moments:

  1. Dinner at Villard Michel Richard
  2. Lunch at Babbo
  3. Picnic at Central Park
  4. Serendipity 3
  5. Lunch at Balthazar
  6. Grand Central Oyster Bar
  7. Gahm Mi Oak
  8. Dominique Ansel Bakery
  9. La Vie at JFK
  10. Bryant Park at night

My Favorite NYC Moments #7: Gahm Mi Oak

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When all you’ve been doing is eating (which is all we do in NYC) and you need something gentle to settle your tired stomach, look no further than Gahm Mi Oak in Manhattan’s Koreatown for the Asian version of chicken soup in Sul Lung Tang.  Maya and I always end up here, after nights of over-indulgence.

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Maya’s Bibimbap.

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We were like teenagers at Denny’s at 2:00 a.m., recovering from a bad hangover after a night of crazy partying.  Instead, we were trying to recover from food overdose at 10:00 p.m.

Here’s the full list of my top 10 moments:

  1. Dinner at Villard Michel Richard
  2. Lunch at Babbo
  3. Picnic at Central Park
  4. Serendipity 3
  5. Lunch at Balthazar
  6. Grand Central Oyster Bar
  7. Gahm Mi Oak
  8. Dominique Ansel Bakery
  9. La Vie at JFK
  10. Bryant Park at night

My Favorite NYC Moments #9: La Vie at JFK

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Seriously, why is Salad Nicoise so delicious at La Vie?  And the bistro is inside an airport!

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Even the fries are first class!

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Maya’s omelet.  “Quite delicious” is how she described the egg dish!

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Here’s the full list of my top 10 moments:

  1. Dinner at Villard Michel Richard
  2. Lunch at Babbo
  3. Picnic at Central Park
  4. Serendipity 3
  5. Lunch at Balthazar
  6. Grand Central Oyster Bar
  7. Gahm Mi Oak
  8. Dominique Ansel Bakery
  9. La Vie at JFK
  10. Bryant Park at night