Monday, June 30, 2008

Pinkberry, Yolato or Red Mango?

I finally tried all 3 frozen yogurt joints (Pinkberry, Yolato, Red Mango) that have popped up in the city. Like every one else, I was very intrigued by the idea of a low cal, no fat dessert topped with fresh fruit. Is it too good to be true?

My first experience was Pinkberry - I thought it was very good, but it didn't taste like yogurt at all. I finished my yogurt and left scratching my head. A couple of weeks ago, I did some reading. Turns out that Pinkberry, which claimed to be all natural, had used fillers in their yogurt. I believe I read this from New York Times, which reported that a lawsuit was just settled recently.

My second was Yolato. I don't know if it was because I had this after a rollerblading session, but it was so refreshing. Best of all, it tasted like yogurt. However, I felt gipped - they only filled the outside with yogurt. I took a spoonful off the top, and found that the inside was hollow.

My third and final one was Red Mango. I don't know if it was because I had this after my lunch, but it tasted very rich. I almost could not finish a small. But I do know that I got a better bang for the buck here - the inside was not hollow at all.

The fruit was equally fresh at all three, but only two tasted like yogurt. Based on my experience, if I had to choose, I'd go with Red Mango. If I'm desperate, I'd go for Yolato.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fruits of Our Labor

A couple of months back, my sister and I planted some flowers in her yard. Unfortunately, all of the hydrangea bulbs we planted were eaten by presummably very hungry creatures. Luckily, our Dahlias and Calla Lilies survived.

The Dahlias haven't bloomed yet, but will very soon (so exciting!). They grow very interestingly...their stems wind in a loop on the ground before shooting up straight. My sister added some wires to support these little babies.

As for the Calla Lilies...we had planted some multi-colored ones. The ones that bloomed were the pink variation. They have a slight purple edge.

We made an amazing discovery a while sister has a pear tree in her backyard! Free fruit is really gonna help with the wallet since the price of food has been going up. I just hope we get there before the birds do.

That's all for now. I'll show you some tomatoes and herbs next time!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sushi of Gari

My fiance and I finally had our "getting my life back" celebration this weekend. Since I had not been out in a while...eating out, hanging out and was a really nice treat. I hope your mouth will water from reading my review as much as I did while typing in the little details of my meal.

Sushi of Gari, An Inventive Sushi Joint

We had our celebratory dinner at Sushi of Gari, one of my favorite sushi joints. It is THE place to go to for inventive sushi. If you stick to california rolls every time you have sushi, this is NOT the place for you.

The inventive sushi is not the only reason why I love the restaurant - I love the quality of the fish, the consistency, the authenticity of the restaurant (sushi chefs and staff are all Japanese) and the low key vibe. Above all, I love that this sushi joint has not fallen into my list of restaurants filed under the law of diminishing return.

A Mouth Watering Meal

Each time we go to Sushi of Gari, we order the "omakase," which is equivalent to a tasting menu. Customers are given two choices of omakase (with or without sushi roll), but the sushi selection is chosen by the chef. The omakase is usually composed of bluefin tuna, red snapper, yellowtail, salmon, mackerel and lobster. Every bite is a party in your mouth. It is so good that I find myself repeating to my fiance that I am not to be disturbed when I'm chewing and savoring the flavor.

Since I started blogging, I've made it a point to take my camera with me every where I go. I don't mind looking like a tourist if it means I will from now on document and remember every thing I eat. Oh the sacrifices I am willing to make in the name of food. Anyways, below I am sharing the highlights from my latest meal at Sushi of Gari. We started with an appetizer, followed by the omakase.

Appetizer - Steamed Monkfish Liver with Ponzu Sauce

I fell in love with Monkfish Liver ever since my first experience at Prune, where our waitress described it as tasting like the sea (it has also been dubbed as foie gras of the sea). It definitely tasted like it is from the sea, and had a nice creaminess, sweetness and freshness like no other. This version of Monkfish Liver from Sushi of Gari was very good, but the version I had from Prune was softer and creamier.

Monkfish Liver with Ponzu Sauce

First Plate - Omakase Started Off with a Bang

Everything here was among my favorites. The Miso Marinated Cod was perfect - it has such a pleasant smokiness that hits you when you first bite into it, and was not overly marinated at all. The Bluefin Fatty Tuna was like butter. And the Red Snapper with Greens, Pine Nuts and Lotus Root left me speechless.

From left to right: Miso Marinated Cod, Horse Mackerel with Plum Sauce and Ginger,
Bluefin Fatty Tuna, Red Snapper with Greens, Pine Nuts and Lotus Root

Red Snapper with Greens, Pine Nuts and Lotus Root

Second plate: You Can Always Count on the Lobster Sushi

Although this round was 50/50 for me, I really appreciated the freshness of the fish. The highlights were the Lobster Sushi with Sea Salt and Tuna with Tofu Mayonnaise - the former had a nice hint of citrus and the salt was perfect; the latter was flavorful and melts like butter in your mouth.

From left to right: Yellowtail with Jalapeno, Mackerel (I think) with Enoki Mushroom,
Lobster with Sea Salt, Bluefin Tuna with Tofu Mayonnaise

Yellowtail with Jalapeno (tell me this isn't the most handsome looking slice of fish ever!)

Lobster Sushi with Sea Salt (the dab of wasabi on the Lobster makes my mouth water)

Final plate: Seared Toro Leaves You Wanting More

This round was also 50/50 for me. I liked the marinated tomato on top of the Salmon, but the flavors overpowered the fish. My favorite here was the Seared Toro, which was topped with a small touch of onions. Our waitress suggested that we end with the tuna on the final plate because it was intended to pack a punch. And it (and the whole meal) did.

From left to right: Salmon with Marinated Tomato, Mackerel (or Red Snapper I think) with Sesame Sauce, Seared Toro with Onion, Crab Sushi

Seared Toro with Onion

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Martha Martha Martha

I know I said I was back, but haven't been blogging lately. I've been pretty busy between running errands for the wedding, catching up on some much needed cleaning, babysitting, and most of all, trying to be one less of the unemployment statistic.

However, I can tell you that I have plenty of ammunition for the posts to come. Meet my acquisitions, the latest being the Martha Stewart's Cookies book! The Cookies book is divided into sections by textures - soft & chewy, light & delicate, chunky & nutty, etc. I'll let you know when I start trying out the recipes!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I'm Back!

It's been the longest 2 months of my life, but I am back!! I am slowly starting getting used to having a life again.

So in my attempt at trying to have a life again, I wanted to get tickets to the Martha Stewart show. Sadly, they're not taping for the next few months. Oh well.

Anyways, to celebrate my liberation, we had some tasty sake. I was never a fan of sake, but this one is good. My fiance couldn't stop raving about this sake and cucumber drink he had in Boston. It may sound like an odd combination, but it was actually quite good! The cucumber added some sweetness to the drink.

The sake we had was called Kamoizumi Komekome-Shu. It wasn't exactly the one he had the first time, but I was told it was just as good! This sake is supposed to go well with "light desserts such as sorbet, creme brulee and apple tarts."

To make the drink...make sure you chill the bottle in the fridge first, then pour some into a glass, and add in a slice of cucumber. The drink is sweet and refreshing light.