Friday, May 27, 2011

Cameras and LA Trip!

May has been a very busy month for me... actually, this whole year has been super busy for me so I think its time for a well deserved break and I think June will be a month that I go exploring and relaxing, hopefully some place HOT away from all this rain. I love Vancouver but I think I am lacking in Vitamin D.

So E and I have decided to hit up LA to soak up some sun take a tour of the beautiful beaches and its lovely boardwalks. We will also be eating our way through Burbank, LA and capturing all of it with some new and sexy equipment - most notably the Canon S95 and the Canon 60D. I think its a well deserved upgrade from our Nikon D100 which we have had for a long time.

E and I will be keeping track of all the restaurants we go to in LA and once we get the itinerary set up we will post it here, if anyone has any knowledge of where to go please feel free to leave a comment! We will be in Burbank, LA =)

P.S. Mark I hope you have a wonderful time biking across Canada! Keep us updated.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Eatery

The truth to my disappearance from the intrawebs definitely consists of more than just massive taco consumption at Taco Time. C'mon, I have more of a life than that. Really. Aside from lurking around food courts, I have been immersed in the wonderful world of Pokemon. It wasn't until this version that I realized how competitive Pokemon can really be. For instance there are things like effort values and individual values to be calculated, and you even have to take each Pokemon's specific natures into consideration. So for the past couple months since the release of Pokemon Black and White, I have been diligently learning and training my team. Of course, no one comes to this blog to read about pokemon training, but if you want to battle, give me a shout. Since we're talking about anime anyway, I'm also a big fan of a few other animes like Bleach and Lucky Star, although I'm not an anime maniac like B. So naturally, when we heard of a restaurant with a cartoon/anime theme, we died a little inside. I forgot how we discovered The Eatery, but I'm glad we did.

Upon walking into The Eatery, you can definitely tell that they stay true to their slogan: The funkiest Japanese place. The majority of the furniture consists of wooden tables and chairs, but it's the décor that makes it stand out as the funkiest place to eat sushi. They have pop-art motifs of Chairman Mao hanging on the walls and various cartoon characters dangling from the ceiling - including a giant glow in the dark rainbow unicorn. Pretty awesome. Our table, like every other, had a lit candle supported by a Dad's Root Beer bottle and a giant collage of small toys hanging above it. Even more awesome. I spotted a Wartortle. So much awesome it has reached level over 9000. The menus and it's items also followed the same cartoon theme, with an anime and traditional cartoon characters influence. There were so many unique and amazing sounding things on that menu, that it took us a really long time to decide what to eat. B and I ended up ordering three rolls: Erotica, Rated X, and Miss Piggy; 6 saba nigiri sushi; and a plate of Beef Yakisoba. I can't exactly remember what E and K ordered, except for a few rolls including the Volcano roll and a plate Chicken katsu curry - which was huge and worth the money.

The table they gave us was ridiculously small for a party of 4 - that or they weren't expecting us to order that much. All our food came more or less around the same time and we literally had no room to eat. The Beef Yakisoba was packed full of vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and zuchinni, but not so much beef. I'm not a big fan of Yakisoba so I can't say much, but B seemed to really like it. Before even finishing our Yakisoba, we had to shuffle and go all tetris-mode on the table to fit in our plates. Out of all the rolls, the Erotica roll would probably be my favourite. It had avacado, salmon, and tuna cascading down the top of  a cali-type roll and then a sprinkle of roe and mayo to finish it off; in my opinion, it resembled a "rainbow roll" at other sushi places. My next favourite, X-rated roll, was a maki-style roll with tuna, salmon, crab, unagi and then topped off with some spicy misonnaise. This roll was not as spicy as I thought it would be, but the sauce definitely overpowered everything else. Maybe it is because I'm really sensitive to heat-levels and that made me unable to taste anything else in that roll. The Miss Piggy roll, although it sounded good (bacon, scallops, asparagus, roe, and unagi sauce), was just okay. The asparagus made it really... weird. Instead of the Miss Piggy roll, B and I should have ordered one of their deep fried rolls like the Volcano. Tuna, scallops, salmon, avocado and then - get this - deep fried tempura style.    

At the end of our meal, everyone was stuffed and just wanted to lay down and sleep. That's how full we were. Between 4 people, the total came to around $86.00. I wouldn't say that The Eatery has the highest quality of sushi, but we would definitely go back again to try all the other rolls because the selection of sushi is definitely different from what is offered out there.

The Eatery on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 15, 2011

El Taco

My cravings seemed to follow a Mexican theme because for the past month, I have been eating tacos at Taco Time; two beef tacos - sometimes three - and a regular mexifries deluxe. Which explains the lack-of-almost-non-existent blogs. So no, I am not dead. I have just been eating tacos at Taco Time. Ah, it's been a while.

There are only so many tacos you can consume at a food court before you realize that it's just not the same as the real thing. You know what I mean? It is almost like a smoker trying to quit with Nicorette - a piece of gum is just not the same as a cigarette. Not that I know what it really feels like to quit smoking, but I would assume it is the same as suppressing a craving with a substitute. So when I went with B to Misako the other day and passed by El Taco, my jaw dropped, heart skipped a beat, and all I could think of was "Taco, taco, taco. Taco." When you walk into El Taco, the first thing you will probably see is a giant menu board above the cashier, and then take notice of the various Mexican trinkets and décor around the restaurant - including a couple bottles of Patron on a shelf behind the counter. I have never been to Mexico, but it felt rather authentic to me. After taking a look over their menu, we ordered the Five layer dip served with corn chips to share and of course, a Beef Taco for myself and then sat down at one of the many flower patterned tables to wait for our food. Oh yeah, we got a bottle of Jarritos as well. Why? Because it came in a glass bottle.

The chips and dip came first and it was bigger than we expected to be. Considering it was just an appetizer, there was a good amount of chips. B and I both didn't really like the dip because it had way too many beans. Keep in mind that my only real experience with Mexican food is from a food court, and this is the first time I have ever had five layer dip, so I'm not sure if the amount of beans in this dip was the norm. The other layers, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo (I am assuming this is some kind of tomato salsa) were really thin in comparison and was over powered by the taste of the beans. And the cheese that was supposed to be the fifth layer? Well, that was non-existent. We didn't get any cheese. We did, however, really like the corn chips. The were lightly salted, thin, and crisp - like a Dorito without the cheese. What do you call nacho's that aren't yours? Nacho cheese. Ha.

Not too long after, I got my taco and it was small and not in a hard shell the way I liked it. Doesn't matter though, because it was really good and surprisingly, really filling as well. The beef (seasoned and shredded) and beans was served on two soft corn tortillas and then piled high with lettuce, guacamole and pico de gallo. The corn tortillas were nice and chewy, doughy in a good way. I sprinkled in some Chipotle and Tomatillo salsas/sauces on top and that added a nice kick on top of the seasoned beef. I did have to scrape a bit of the beans out because it was too much for my tastes.

Overall, El Taco was definitely something different and I liked the change, but I still prefer hard-shelled tacos. What would have made me really happy though, was if they were to serve Churros. I have been searching for one for ages, and from what I can tell, Churro's have become extinct in the Greater Vancouver area. Likewise, Mexican joints are just as rare. If anyone has any recommendations - please do share!

El Taco on Urbanspoon