A Quest for a Fish Taco.

Since embarking on the culinary decision to revolve my cuisine around pescatarian ideals, Fish Tacos have consistently been an item to debate. Once I interpret the definition of pescatarian to a curious individual, almost on cue they inquire about this Latin delight. Though I have consumed my fair share of tortilla wrapped goodness, Wahoo's Fish Taco has made itself quite the contender.

Wing, Ed, and Mingo, acknowledging the diverse attributes of each brother, established the ecceletic mix of cuisines in 1988. Offering a varied menu sourcing its style from what they label "Mexican/Brazilan/Asian with a Hawaii North Shore vibe", Wahoo's provides an option for just about every targeted segment. 

I particularly enjoyed their combo platter equipped with my choice of Rice(seasoned white or brown), Beans(black or Cajun White) and Two Tacos. The unique flavors and variations on the filling options sold me upon first glance; not only do they offer the usual Chicken, Carnitas, and Fish, but Shrimp, Tofu, Mushrooms, Veggie, and Banzai Veggies also were viable options. 

With so many options, I struggled to chose just two fillings to satisfy my appetite. I already had made the subjective decision to try their Fish taco(Grilled or Cajun), but eventually decided on the Banzai Vegetables.

Wahoo's isn't meager with their portions like other chain taco shops either. Acknowledging this hefty portion, I awarded my stomach with the promise I had made~ indulge yet another Fish Taco. Blanketed by a slightly charred corn tortilla, grilled wild caught fish, fresh cheddar, chopped lettuce and diced tomatos came together in a heavenly bite. And another bite. And yet another bite.

I then moved on to my Banzai taco. I already was quite impressed that such a restaurant would offer a vegetarian option, but really became enthralled when noting it actually had flavor. Prepared with a premix of bell peppers, onions, zucchni, broccoli, mushrooms, and cabbage all sauteed in a homemade terryaki sauce, my tastebuds were pleasantly pleased with the tying of cultures into one taco.

Successful eating when noting that not all tacos are 'Mexican.' A cultured and adventurous palette not only entails experimenting with the vulnerability of your tongue, but the actual context of the culinary endeavor you're participating in. Think about this next time your eating at a gastropub~ 


Quite the fusion.

Roy's Hawaiian Fusion cuisine shouldn't utilize the cultural term, "Hawaiian" in their title; instead, they should promote what they're actually serving. Roy's Extremely California-Influenced Cuisine with hints of asian flavor. Obviously their initial marketers strategically scratched this jumble of words due to its lengthy and somewhat degrading title, yet one of these days, tourists are going to realize that white clothed tables and flaming heat lamps are not attributes factored into this culture.

Please don't perceive this introductory paragraph as a negative connotation for this restaurant however. The overall experience I received left me quite satisfied even with the amplified prices. I simply want to make it clear that the food I consumed wasn't what an authentic Hawaiian restaurant would have served.
Roy's isn't the Mom and Pop Shop that one would consider a "dive", yet it should not immediately be written off as the average chain restaurant. Though they harbor several locations in eight states across the nation, Roy's experienced chefs and staff offer diversity by putting their own personal spin on the menu. There is no precise formula to what is expected from these restaurants, yet the optimal form of dining presented never is questionable.

Under the observation of head chef Ron Plater(Anaheim, CA),  selecting sushi from their  Yamaguchi Sushi® & Sashimi, was a tad difficult[I already heavily struggle with decisions when it comes to embarking on a culinary adventure- I don't want to take a wrong turn.] Luckily, I was pleasantly awarded with the most outstanding sushi I have had to date. Read that phrase again. Speaking from a pescatarian, this is quite the confident statement.

For $10.95, I chose the Ekolu Tuna Roll [Spicy Tuna Roll Topped with Maguro & Furikake Seared Albacore] These were not meager pieces of sushi drowned by a thick layer of white rice. In fact, the spicy tuna, smooth and lusciously prepared was beautifully complimented by the silky albacore and maguro topping. Authentically asian inspired, these rolls were quite the palette pleaser to wake up my tastebuds.
*I personally recommend pairing sushi with an excess of fresh ginger; I recently discovered the flexibility of this ingredient and the sharp flavor it adds to really transform a dish.   

To follow my sushi, I finally made an objective decision on which fish to  pack on my culinary adventure for the evening. Purposefully chosen for its high-quality unique recipes of fish, I was in Pescatarian heaven at Roy's. Every option sounded better than the previous listing, but my final decision is showcased above.
*In a previous posting, I delved into permissing alterations at restaurants. Sure many believe "the chef knows best" and, "it's rude to change the intended taste of a dish", yet how can our palettes mature if we let others teach us what is "right or wrong"? You must be curious to possess a cultured and adventurous palette and channel your inner chef instincts. I'm not saying to completely accessorize a meal to the point of not being able to recognize the original item you selected; just have a little fun with your food.

Sweet Corn & Blue Crab Crusted Barramundi   Sun-Dried Tomato Wild Mushroom Anisette Cream   28.95

This was the initial product. Barramundi is similar in consistency and texture to Tilapia. With a flaky exterior, the fish soaked up the mild flavors of the broth.
Instead of the cream, I asked for steamed vegetables, and to substitute the Heirloom Tomato Caprese Relish & Fig Vincotto from another dish into mine. Don't be afraid to substitute if a side dish catches your eye! The rich earthy taste of the sun-dried tomato was paired well with the wild mushrooms. I'm a stucker for unique vegetable combinations, so the overall dish left me stuffed in a pleasant way.
Though Roy's may appear on the pricey side, if you have the chance to enjoy their cuisine, my native California instincts forecast a grand experience.


The Smitten Kitchen.

Similar to the beautiful swan in a sea of ugly generic ducklings capturing our passive attention, I automatically filter the information I desire by regarding food photography at the top of my social media hierarchy. As I was participating in my daily Facebook stalk across my Newsfeed today, my eyes instantly were attracted to a post displaying an image of a three tier cake. Upon this individual alluring discovery, I was redirected to another website, particularly in blog fashion.

As I indulged in the delightful writing style, and details of the entry regarding a, "Pistachio Four Tier Cake[equipped with multiple layers of bittersweet chocolate ganache, homemade marzipan, raspberry preserves, and the starring layers of pistachio infused sponge cake]" I found myself pleasantly intrigued to further evaluate her recipes.

Deb, referred to as the Writer, Cook, Photographer and Occasional Dishwasher, has a certain humorous spirit to her descriptions, while still remaining creditable as a reliable at home chef. A bit of her bio explains~

"Deb likes bourbon, artichokes, things that taste like burnt sugar and baked goods with funny names. She is aghast that there are cooks who actually clean as they go, preferring to leave a bombed-out mess of dishes and a thin film of flour behind in her cooking wake."

As a fellow foodie documenting my own culinary creations, I applaud Deb for celebrating classic cuisine in such a fashion. So next time your looking to surpass Rhubarb's extreme bitterness in a crumble^,[http://smittenkitchen.com/2011/05/rhubarb-streusel-muffins/] or pair the earthy taste of butternut squash with the carmelization of sweet onions as a complement[http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/10/butternut-squash-and-caramelized-onion-galette/], Deb has the contentment of your taste buds and vision covered. 


Share a Meal with a Global Friend.

You have a camera, but don't know what to do with it. You snap a landscape shot of your local rolling hills, and pride yourself on the beautifully crafted yacht captured above your mantel.
Now imagine documenting something a bit more aesthetically tantalizing; a little appetizing, a lot of culture. Why not a picture of your smooth peanut butter and raspberry jam sandwich?

Were you expecting a significantly more complex recipe of ingredients as a suggestion? Well in my next point, you will find this isn't the case. 

The world's largest communal snack, meal, or food endeavor is going to be attempted. On February 24th 12:00pm EST join the world for a meal, and take a picture of your cuisine. As such an easy way to culturally expand your global connections, why wouldn't you give your meal to art?  


A New Era for Aspiring Chefs.

Originated in my homeland of Northern California, Oakland recently has acquired a restaurant under the hands of Scott Cameron. Name doesn't ring a bell? It shouldn't; as a real estate developer, one wouldn't normally associate someone of these credentials in the Food Industry.

So what makes him so inspiring? His new eatery entitled Guest Chef really implements what its title entails. Every two weeks, Cameron will issue a new line of chefs, menu items according to their speciality cuisine, and allow them to cook under this time constraint.

Recession proof for those up and coming chefs, pleasant for those foodies who cannot not stand living in a standardized arena of cuisine, and providing an introduction into a new era of food all add up to something worth acknowledging.

As an example passage from a two week menu:

Organic winter greens with Shinko pear; 
Laura Chenel goat cheese fritter; 
wild mushroom and black truffle tagliatelle with caramelized Brussels sprout; 
roasted sugar plum squash ravioli
homemade whole wheat focaccia with a hint of sea salt.

Mouth watering yet? I thought so. Read more about this innovative style of cooking at Good.is


Indulge in more than Chocolate and Romance on V-Day

I never have had a legitimate Valentine any time February 14th has rolled around, but this fact hasn't sacrificed my reasoning to buy myself some Hershey's Kisses and Hugges(with their ribboned white chocolate wrapped around milky chocolate;bliss) to munch on myself. Though this holiday is completely artificial equipped with the mythical Cupid matchmaking our hearts with dangerously romantic arrows, us Forever aloners shant be frightened to join the celebration.

Love is love. A love from a man to his best friend(yes, his loyal dog), a love from sister to sister, or a strong loving friendship. With so many reasons to celebrate our relationships, I was thrilled, actually completely enthralled by one of my favorite restaurants special Three-Course-Meal created specifically for this day.

For $25 a person, True Food Kitchen offers a globally inspired menu featuring various sustainable and aesthetically pleasing foods. Ranging from Edamame Dumplings with Sprouts and White Truffle Oil to Spaghetti Squash accompanied by Fresh Mozzerella, Organic Tomato, and Zucchini, your palette is sure to be happy. [Their usual menu is impeccably delicious as well; especially brunch. Gluten-Free Quinoa Johnny Cakes with Agave Syrup, Greek Yogurt anyone?]

The dessert menu has a sampling of three of their infamous creations including Flourless Chocolate cake. I personally haven't had the priviledge of ordering this item, but by the reviews my Vegan friends have exclaimed out of gratitude, I don't believe its far off to say it's rather heavenly after an entree.

And on that note, Love really is just love. For me, that love is innovative food.



A Celebration of Sugary INNOVATIVE sensations.

I emphasize the word innovative due to the type of food described within this post. Dessert and I have had our moments both good and bad, yet at the moment we have mutually decided to act apathetic towards each other. If someone offers their culinary creation perfected in the kitchen for several hours, I will have a sample or two to avoid being rude.

Other than this situation, the end of my average meal will not include a buttery, sweet, or flakey food. Judging this factor of my persona, it takes something special, something completely unique and adventurous to spark my interest in this category.

Since signing up for Tasting Table's newsletter in January, I have enjoyed receiving concise yet intriguing blurbs about restaurants, recipes, and cuisine. Today I wasn't moved to view their list of the "Best Pastry Chefs 2012", however after clicking through a bit of their photo essay, I was 100% on the bandwagon to appreciate a little sugar in my life.

Ranging from a Beet Cake with Goat's Milk Ice cream to signature grapefruit givré [combining spun strands of sesame halvah, soft Turkish delight and grapefruit sorbet, and capped with a caramel-orange tuile], to the "ultimate" Vegan Peanut Butter Cup(claiming to be better than the original Reeses) you will be invested at first glance; guarenteed.

Ever heard of FoodPornDaily.com? This is that, times 50. Noms. 

A Zestier Liquefied Experience.

Zest. An adjective generally associated with the peel of a neon colored sour fruit. Though lemons possess the ability to significantly transform an ordinary meal into a dining experience, my inclusion of zing in another often perceived average food made our soup that much more tantalizing.

Taken from a cookbook equipped with a variety of soups, we chose to recreate  Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with Ginger Crisp. The final product was dished into a crisp white plate contrasting with the rich burnt orange color and sprinkle of browned ginger crisp. Though the silky ripples of the manually liquefied bliss were beautifully presented, you can only imagine the electrifying experience of actually sampling the dish.

Encompassing a rather small list of healthy ingredients, the bold flavor combinations fused nicely with roasted sweet potatoes, orange juice, ginger, and several hints of sugar & spice. In this manner, the recipe allowed the delicious nutrients to shine as a cohesive unit. Paired with a light mixed green salad with goat cheese crumble, pumpkin seeds, chopped celery, and Asian pear, that last small touch of a few candles will set you off into a romantically gourmet evening.

Gourmet cuisine and quality are my standards when cooking in the kitchen, yet until this recipe, I never would have paired soup within this category.