At Home, Event, My Cooking, Restaurants, Wine/Cheese/Sake/Beer

Anniversary Dinner @ Primo Italia


Celebrating our 11th anniversary


His: Pinot Noir, Tenuta Mazzalino $13, Mine: Verdicchino di Matelica, Capostano $10


Wine Menu


Complimentary Bread & Tapenade
Great with wine


Food Menu #1


Food Menu #2


Antipasto: Porchetta, Baked Pork Belly $13
Satisfying amount and surprisingly light taste. A lot of greens underneath too.


My main: Linguini de le Vongole $21
Generous amount of clams. Perfect with Italian white.


His main: Pollo al Mattone $25
Caper sauce is very refreshing. This is a complete meal with vegetables. Nice!


I didn’t finish my linguini to saved room in my stomach for dessert.


Tiramisu $9 + Coffee $3 x 2


Watery and airy. I wanted it more mascarpone and less egg.

Primo Italia
24590 Hawthorne Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505
(310) 378-4288
www.eatprimo.com
$$$
★★★

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Breakfast: Strawberries, Bagel + Coffee


Lunch: Carnitas Sandwich

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Shaun White Wins Gold Medal


Watching Snowboard Half Pipe and drinking my favorite wine from Firstleaf


Dinner: Italian Meatballs & Broccoli + Spanish Red


Dessert

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Breakfast: Apple Turnover + Coffee


Lunch: Spaghetti with Sausage & Spinach

Event, Family & Friends, Restaurants, Wine/Cheese/Sake/Beer

Birthday Dinner @ Providence


We finally came back to Providence, our favorite restaurant in Los Angeles! It was mainly for his birthday celebration but I thought it would be a good opportunity because they offered a special menu for Dine LA.


Wine List – By the glass


Dine LA Tasting Menu $100/$150 with wine pairing


He had MANO DE CHANGO, Tequila base cocktail ($15) and I had a glass of Hartford Court Chardonnay ($20).


His cocktail looks pretty. I loved my chardonnay, dry and floral.


Amuse-bouche #1: Chilled Dungeness Crab Dumpling
This is a surprising dish. I’ve never had chilled dumplings, but it was so good.


Amuse-bouche #2: Rice Chips with Edible Flower


Amuse-bouche #3: Santa Barbara Mussel in Two Ways, Baked & Juice
Baked one is simply good. Mussel juice (warm) is so flavorful and unique.

Bread (Sea Salt Focaccia & Brioche) is amazingly good. I had another Brioche later :p


1st course: NANCY’S DAY BOAT SEA SCALLOP, shiitake, turnip
This is a full of umami flavor of shiitake. Scallop is perfectly cooked.


2nd course: VERMILION ROCKFISH, eggplant, snap peas, shiso


Beautifully presented and perfectly cooked. Eggplant, shiso and peas are pleasantly flavorful.


This round bread is good too. I think they baked bread in the house. On the second round, all brioche was gone when a server brought a bread basket. He said, “I will come back in 5 minutes when another batch of bread is ready.” Then he was back exactly in 5 minutes to serve a little brioche for me. I didn’t expect that since the house was so busy with so many customers. This is a reason we love Providence. All staff truly cares and tries the best.


My main course: Swordfish, black truffle crust, cauliflower, pancetta
This exceeds my expectation. Fish with truffle crust and truffle sauce just melts in your mouth. So delicious. I was confirmed again that Chef Michael Cimarusti really knows how to cook fish deliciously.


His main course: LIBERTY FARMS DUCK, tahitian squash, savoy cabbage
I had a bite and of course it was good, but I liked my fish better.

Since we sat at the table, I had wondered if Donato Poto, General Manager/Co-owner was in the house. I interviewed Chef and Donato a couple of times for the previous job. I really like the fact they truly love and care about the restaurant business. Two owners take care of customers so well from the back & front of the house.

Donato finally showed up in the dining room. We had an chance to talk with him about chef, their new restaurants, fish market, fishing and so on. One good news was they actually purchased the property of Providence. I asked if they had no problem to renew the release because some good restaurants had to close for that. He said, “Don’t worry. We own this building although we have to pay back to bank.” Wow, they are so serious about it. I am happy to hear that.


After Donato left our table, they brought us this beautiful homemade truffle brie on the house. Thanks to Donato. He always does something nice to us. My husband tried but this is too strong for him. Of course I love it so much and wanted to enjoy with red wine, so I stole a few sips of his red.


Pretty reflection of wine glasses


Dessert: SATSUMA-IMO, YUZU, CRÈME FRAÎCHE
I really like this Japanese influenced dessert. It reminds me of an-donut, mont-blanc and wagashi. All natural flavors of Japanese sweet potato and yuzu stand out.


Not finished yet. At this point, we were stuffed, so asked for “to go.” They gave us two “apple bran muffins” for breakfast in the bag as well.

Considering best food and thorough service, it’s totally worth to dine here. A best way to spend $100 to get unforgettable experience.

Providence
5955 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 460-4170
providencela.com
$$$$
★★★★★

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Brunch: Seafood Combo @ Mexican Riviera


Puppies in the neighborhood of his friend

At Home, Event, Family & Friends, Restaurants, Wine/Cheese/Sake/Beer

Celebrating His Birthday (1)

OC friends organized a Tennis & Dinner event for his birthday. We drove to Irvine for tennis 2-4:30pm and had dinner at our favorite restaurant with more friends afterwards.


Starting with beer and a few appetizers


Ankimo


Daikon Salad


Yakiniku


We love shochu with sparkling water & lemon.


Albacore sashimi with garlic flakes


Miso Intestines

I didn’t take pictures but we had fried chicken, California roll, salmon skin salad, agedashi tofu and grilled beef tongue etc.


Shoyu ramen to close
My favorite ramen around LA


They got a birthday cake as well.


Rich chocolate

Oki Doki
13681 Newport Ave Ste 9
Tustin, CA 92781
(714) 730-7051
$$
★★★★

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Breakfast: Pancake with Nutella and Homemade Strawberry Jam


Lunch: Carnitas Torta @ Super Gallito

Best torta ever!

At Home, Event, My Cooking, Wine/Cheese/Sake/Beer

Food @ New Year’s Day


Lunch: お雑煮 (Ozouni-Mochi in Soup), お節料理 (Osechi Ryouri)

We went to IKEA to buy a bookcase/shelf for his office. Then eat again…


Osechi & Warm Sake


Mini Ikura Bowl


Delicious 🙂


おしるこ (Oshiruko-Mochi in Red Bean Soup) & Green Tea


We ate too much, especially a lot of carbs!

At Home, Event, Family & Friends, My Cooking, Wine/Cheese/Sake/Beer

Osechi Feast @ New Year’s Eve

After he left for tennis practice around 1pm, I started working on plating and table setting for New Year’s Eve feast. Most people in Japan eat osechi, specially prepared only for new year on New Year’s Day. However, our family tradition is to start enjoying on December 31.


Sake from my home prefecture, Mt. Fuji plates, cups & carafe


Filling wooden bento box with osechi for later


伊達巻 (Datemaki), なます (Namasu), 黒豆 (Kuromame), 栗金団 (Kuri Kinton), かまぼこ (Kamaboko)


八幡巻 (Yahatamaki), 煮しめ (Nishime), 有頭海老 (Yuto Ebi)


I prepared individual plates for tonight and we started the feast around 4pm.


Another tradition of us is to have KFC on New Year’s Eve.


I love this sake cup with Mt. Fuji inside.


My husband don’t like traditional Japanese food much, but enjoyed most of it tonight. My hard work paid off.


My second round: 松前漬 (Matsumaezuke), 鰊漬け (Nishizuke) & more sake


Around 9pm: 年越そば (Toshikoshi Soba) & more sake

We kept eating and taking easy till midnight. After hearing the new year fireworks, we went to bed.

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I picked up lunch @ Tokyo Central, Costa Mesa on the way home.


Mine: Spanish Mackerel Bowl, His: California Roll

Event, Family & Friends, My Cooking, Wine/Cheese/Sake/Beer

Girls Kitchen Party 2017 – Osechi Preparation


Breakfast @ Home


Lunch @ Friend’s house
Inari Sushi prepared by a friend


Taliata, I prepared with Italian red
We started cooking osechi, but I was almost done with my two dishes at this point. Yay!


Around 4:30pm, we took a break with a glass of this Italian red and chocolate.


Mixing renkon (lotus root) with squid ink
Simple but yummy 🙂


A friend making 伊達巻 (datemaki) from scratch


Snaking during cooking


I brought a new Trader Joe’s brie to try.


Herbs & Garlic brie tastes pretty good.


A host prepared konbu cured red snapper for dinner.


Delicious 🙂


Somen noodle soup with red snapper



Dessert: Hojicha Mousse


She also made this tasty dessert for us.

Unlike last year/two years ago, we finished cooking osechi around 8pm and was able to relax. We have improved our skills to prepare Japanese New Year dishes, Osechi in the past two years!