Monday, June 25, 2007

A Taste of LA, Quezon City

A Taste of LA holds a special significance for me and some of my friends from the office. We used to have a regular get-together there on the evening of July 26th, where we would eat and have a few drinks to usher in the birthday of Gigi, which falls on the 27th.

Gigi is based in Australia now, and in our group, only Chi and myself are left in the station. We haven't held that tradition for a few years now, but we still go to this restaurant to get together especially with friends who now live overseas and visit Manila once in a while.

Chi and I went to A Taste of LA soon after I arrived back home. We had a lot of catching up to do. I had their pan-fried sole, and we had a few glasses of wine to go with our dinner. There were a few almond slivers on top of the fish, and I wished there were more, much like the fish in Terry's (That's another story though).

Pan-fried sole

The dim lighting in A Taste of LA is perfect for couples going on romantic dates, but I find that it's also the perfect place for having a quiet (or maybe not-so-quiet) dinner with friends. Maybe the place is just conducive to eliciting confidences you might not otherwise be able to pry from them. It's probably a combination of the ambience, the semi-darkness, and the wine that tends to loosen tongues and encourage over-sharing.

A Taste of LA
171 Roces Ave. cor. Tomas Morato
Quezon City, Metro Manila

Friday, June 22, 2007

Deep Sea Crab at Alavar Seafood Grill and Restaurant

I'd only been back in Manila for a few days, and I was still feeling the blues that I usually get after I return from travelling. My very thoughtful brother John and his equally sweet wife Tintin probably thought that a good meal would be a great way to cheer me up, so they brought me to Alavar Seafood Restaurant, which is known for Zamboanga cooking. We had their curacha, or deep sea crab, with Alavar sauce.

Curacha in Alavar Sauce

I loved it! Alavar sauce has some coconut milk in it, and it was perfect to go with white rice (which I ended up eating too much of). It certainly was a good meal, and it did lift my spirits. After all, if there is one good thing about Manila, it's all the great eating to be had.

Alavar Seafood Grill and Restaurant
39 Scout Ybardolaza Street Corner Timog Avenue
Quezon City
Tel. No. (632)926.5636

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Panera Bread

I found some more pictures I took in restaurants in Columbia, and aside from making me sentimental about the little university town, the photos also made me realize I hadn't written about some of the eating experiences that I will really associate with my life at Mizzou.

My friend Felicity and I often used to go to Panera, which is just a very short walk away from the Journalism school. We liked hanging out there because of the free WiFi and the fact that they didn't kick us out even after we'd been nursing our coffee (in my case) and tea (in Fil's) for three hours. It eventually became our default place when we couldn't decide where to eat, or when we just felt like talking over coffee/tea.

In all the times I'd been there, I almost always had the same thing. I would have the half-and-half order that they offered, where you could have two of the following things: half a sandwich, half a bowl of soup, and half a salad. The sandwich would be portobello mushroom, the soup would be french onion, and the side would be chips.

I remember this meal fondly, because it was over portobello and chips that Felicity and I spent many hours discussing novels we want to write, countries we wanted to live in, and boys we wanted to date, among many other things. I definitely miss Panera.

Panera Bread
Downtown Columbia
102 South 9th Street
Columbia, MO 65201
(573) 442-4455 | phone
(573) 442-1188 | fax

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Tommy Nevin's Pub

After a long day of shopping and sightseeing when I finally got to Chicago, Vicky and I decided to get a drink (and some food of course) at an Irish pub, Tommy Nevin's. We sat outside because the weather was nice. However, instead of having a relaxing drink, we ended up getting stressed because of the poor service. We had to wait 25 minutes before the waitress came to take our order. I first asked for one of the specials of the day, shrimp tortellini, but with my luck, they had run out. I instead ordered the smoked salmon on garlic flatbread, and tilapia with asparagus.

Then the food took around 20 more minutes to arrive. We were planning to leave the place because of the wait, but we had already invested too much time and were too tired to look around for another place. I just tried to enjoy the food. The salmon was okay, but the tilapia was unremarkable. I don't want to complain about that experience anymore. (Even during that evening I just tried to be zen about it.) Suffice it to say that I'm never going back there.

Tommy Nevin's Pub
1450-1458 Sherman Ave.
Evanston, IL 606201
(847) 869.0450