Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Akemashite omedetou

Happy 2019! We said goodbye to 2018 with a little Japanese celebration. Looking forward to another great year. Stay tuned....





Sunday, December 23, 2018

Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Restaurant Review: Sushi Love Boat Kaisen

We tried another sushi place in Temecula the other day. I have seen Sushi Love Boat Kaisen pretty much every day for the last year since it is located on the main highway home. We finally decided to stop in and give it a go. First I just want to say the service was spectacular during our visit. We were seated promptly and given a bowl of edamame on the house to enjoy while we perused the menu. After placing our order the waitress brought over two spicy crab salad hand rolls complimentary from the sushi chef. I don't know if this is typical for this restaurant but in any event it was a pleasant surprise. I did not get a picture of the temaki as we quickly gobbled them up. Yummy! Our order followed shortly after. 


First some Ikura because Penelope always orders this at any sushi restaurant we go to. Next I ordered this Salmon Skin Temaki.


I love salmon skin, especially when it is fried to a crisp as this was. It had a semi sweet glaze on it and the roll was stuffed, no skimpy rolls here. Delicious!


The Dragon Roll, a mixture of crab meat, avocado and cucumber and then topped with a whole piece of fresh water eel, was really good.


The Chef Special Roll, tempura shrimp, crab meat, avocado, cucumber and radish sprout topped with spicy tuna. This was also really good, the spicy tuna had the right amount of spice and each maki piece was loaded but did not fall apart when picked up. The itamae here knows how to roll some sushi. I also thought the sushi was the perfect temperature, cold but not too cold and everything tasted fresh. They offered us complimentary oranges after our meal which we declined because we were full but as we saw them being carried out to another table Penelope was disappointed that she had not said yes. It was an orange halved and topped with whip cream but the presentation made it appear like it was more. She did however accept the large individual Poky stick that was given to her upon us leaving. We will definitely be coming back!

Sushi Love Boat Kaisen
33215 Temecula Parkway #E
Temecula, CA 92592

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Restaurant Review: The Bridge on Third

A couple of weeks ago we visited The Bridge on Third in Old Town Temecula. I had been wanting to visit this "modern English pub" since it opened up about a year ago. We finally stopped in on a Sunday evening. The outside patio was pretty busy and there was a live band playing cover songs. The inside of the pub was somewhat empty and had a nice laid back atmosphere. They have a decent selection of both British and non, beers as well as a full bar. The menu is uncomplicated and offers traditional British fare along with some extras.


We decided to start off our meal with Parkers' Pretzel Balls. These warm rounds of soft, buttery, salty dough are served alongside some Newcastle Brown Ale Cheese Sauce and a Sculpin Mustard. The cheese was meh, but the mustard is the bees knees. This stuff is sooo good and I am usually not one who raves over mustard's of any kind. I am getting hungry thinking about dunking these pretzel balls in this mustard. You must order this on your visit.


Chris decided to order the Steak and Mushroom Pie for his entree. The crust on this pie is flaky and buttery while the inside is filled with steak, mushrooms, potatoes, peas and carrots swimming in a Guiness gravy. You also get a ladle of gravy on the side as well as a salad. We both thought the pieces of steak inside the pie were a bit chewy. I was not a huge fan of the gravy either, however Chris thought it was pretty tasty.


I decided to order the King Fish and Chips which comes with a side of mushy peas and tartar sauce, ketchup and malt vinegar for dipping. I thought their ketchup was pretty tasty. Different than your typical red ketchup,maybe a British ketchup? The tartar sauce was nice and dill-y and not sweet. If there is one thing I can not stand it is sweet tartar sauce. I was pretty excited about trying the mushy peas because several years ago when Chris was in England he mentioned trying them. He thought they were pretty bad however these mushy peas were quite tasty. He said they were different than the ones he has tasted in England, maybe he just had a bad batch over there. You get 2 pieces of fish on top of a heaping of "proper"chips. One baby piece of cod and one daddy piece. The batter is crispy and has good flavor. The inside of the fish is flaky and cooked perfectly. The chips on the other hand tasted a little stale and needed some salt. There was none on the table and I didn't feel right asking for some.

I thought this place was pretty good but not the first place I would pick to go back to. I take that back, I need some more of those pretzel balls and mustard. I am also curious about the Edna's Shepherds Pie and Bangers and Mash, so who knows...

The Bridge on Third
41915 Third St.
Temecula, CA 92590

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Restaurant Review: Rakitori Japanese Pub & Grill

After a failed attempt at visiting Kura, a revolving sushi place, we ended up at Rakitori Japanese Pub & Grill for my birthday lunch last month. It was a Saturday around 1pm and the place was empty. However I loved the dark interior and I imagine that it is much more lively in the evenings, at least that's what I was told.


Rakitori is a Japanese restaurant in the heart of Hillcrest in San Diego. They have a variety of items on the menu from appetizers, yakitori, ramen, sushi & sashimi and rice bowls. We started off with some appetizers to share.


The Spicy Garlic Butter Shishito Peppers were tasty and addictive, as shishito peppers are. The Oysters were delicious and topped with tobiko. The Bao Bao Buns featuring barbecue pork and a kimchi slaw were not my favorite. I am not a fan of kimchi but I ordered these because I am a fan of pork. Unfortunately I thought the slaw took away from the flavor of the pork.


I wanted to try something from their large yakitori selection so I ordered the Pork Belly, because like I said I am a fan of pork. The dollop of ume paste was delicious, I swear I can eat this stuff by the spoonful. The pork belly had a nice char and was crispy on the outside with the inside melting like pork butter in your mouth. Pork belly, I love you.



We ordered two sushi rolls to try. The first one is the Rock Star Roll. We had to try this because it contains pop rocks. No really, pop rocks in sushi. A Philadelphia roll topped with a parlsey garlic crunch and pop rocks. This was tasty and literally explodes in your mouth. This roll will make you happy and I now have a list of recipes I need to incorporate pop rocks into. The second roll the What the Hell Roll I ordered this because it promised to be spicy and it was. A spicy tuna roll topped with Albacore, avocado, ponzu sauce and chili oil. Yes, the radish is glowing.


My mom and sister both tried one of their Rakitori combos. Your choice of ramen and a side. They both had the Spicy Tonkatsu Ramen one with a spicy tuna roll and the other with three yakitori. I tried some of the ramen and thought it was just okay. I prefer the ramen over at Rakiraki Ramen.

All in all I enjoyed my birthday lunch, thanks sis.

Rakitori Japanese Pub & Grill
530 University Ave
San Diego, CA  92103

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Cave Tools Salad Spinner Review and Buffalo Chicken Salad Recipe


I have been wanting to add a salad spinner to my kitchen arsenal for awhile now. I know you are probably thinking a salad spinner? Why? Well, I love products that make things easier and Cave Tools Salad Spinner & Large Serving Bowl Set does just that.


This salad spinner has a quick dry design and like all Cave Tools is dishwasher safe. You simply add your salad, veggies or fruit into the basket that sits in a bowl. Add water for easy rinsing.


The lid contains a vented cover to easily pour out the water. Then the the fun part begins, you spin the high velocity knob to quickly dry your produce. Once it is dry you empty the baskets contents directly into the serving bowl and voila, it's ready to enjoy.


Here is the Buffalo Chicken Salad I made using my convenient salad spinner. 

Buffalo Chicken Salad

2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Cup of Franks Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
1/2 stick of butter
salt & pepper
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350. Salt and pepper each chicken breast and in a skillet with olive oil cook on medium high for 5 minutes on each side. While cooking chicken place Franks sauce and butter in a sauce pan and and allow butter to melt into sauce stirring occasionally. Place chicken in a baking dish and pour sauce over top. Put in oven for 35 minutes to cook through. Slice chicken pouring some of the sauce on top. 

For the Salad

Wash, rinse and dry some chopped lettuce and cucumber. 
Rinse some frozen peas.
Fry up some crumbled bacon.
Blue cheese dressing to top. 


I am so excited to finally own a salad spinner and it is going to get a lot of use in my kitchen. If you don't have one you can purchase Cave Tools Large 4.2 Quart Salad Spinner and Serving Bowl Set on Amazon. Or if you would rather you can purchase directly via the Cave Tools website here. Use the code SALAD15 to get 15% off your order. 

The featured product{s} in this post were provided to me free of charge by the manufacturer or PR company representing them. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by  anyone.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Philadelphia Bowls


My daughter loves Philadelphia rolls, salmon, cream cheese, cucumbers, what's not to love. I decided to make my version of a Philadelphia roll in a bowl for her. You can call it lazy sushi.

Philadelphia Bowl

Sushi rice 
1 Cup of uncooked short grain sushi rice
1 and 1/2  Cups water
2 tbs. Rice vinegar
2 tbs. Sugar
1 tsp. Salt

One cook of uncooked rice should make about 2 cups cooked. Put the uncooked rice in a pot along with the water and turn heat to high. Once it begins to boil turn down the heat to low and cover pot. Set your timer for 20 minutes. Once the 20 minutes is up turn heat off but keep rice covered for another 10 minutes. In the meantime you can put the remaining ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat until the sugar is dissolved stirring the whole time. Empty your cooked rice into a wooden bowl which will absorb any excess moisture from your rice. I poured mine onto a wooden cutting board. Put the liquid mixture onto your rice and with a wooden spoon gentle mix it into the rice. You can fan the rice while you are doing this to get it to cool off or you can let your rice sit out until it is room temperature.

Sliced cold smoked salmon
Sliced cucumbers
Diced Cream cheese
Diced avocado
Sliced green onions
Nori strips
Teriyaki sauce ( I used store bought)

Spicy Mayo
Mayonnaise
Chili garlic sauce

Mix these two ingredients in a bowl to your desired taste.

Put some rice in a bowl and top with remaining ingredients as much as you like. I served mine over mixed greens instead of rice for a refreshing Philadelphia salad.

Enjoy!