Monday, June 09, 2008

Weekend in LA

I was down in LA over the weekend... I mostly kicked it with the JC and my sister, but I also got a chance to meet up with Duke, and some other peeps, including the Godfather.

Anyway, on Saturday morning, a bunch of us went to the Royal/T in Culver City. It's an art place that recently opened up a cafe. The cafe is inspired by the maid cafes in Japan, but apparently it's not anything close to the real thing. Maid cafes of Japan cater mostly to the anime geek subculture and also other fetishists, and they really pamper you. At this place, it was mostly bubbly personality waitresses dressed up in maid outfits.

The food was nothing to really write home about, but I heard the teas were excellent. I had a small taste, and I would have to agree. Anyway, there was a lot of interesting art, including quite a few Louis Vuitton art pieces by Takashi Murakami. After reading a bit about him, I have to say that his art definitely fits the venue.

Here's a pic of some of the art that was there.

The next night, JC and I went to Shiro in South Pasadena. They are famous for their signature dish, which is a whole sizzling catfish served in ponzu sauce and cilantro. Before I get to the food pics, let me just say that the service was excellent, and the ambience was nice.

We started with a shared appetizer, the Chinese Ravioli Stuffed with Shrimp in a Shiitake Mushroom Sauce. This dish was absolutely delicious. It was so rich and so creamy. It was just warm goodness all over. If I could eat this as a main course, I totally would. It was really that good... makes me hungry just thinking about it.

JC had New Zealand Lamb Chops with Mint and Garlic. I had a small taste, and I have to say it was very good. Nothing extraordinary, but it was definitely well prepared and tasted great.

I am not usually a catfish fan, but I figure it would be a shame if I didn't go for their signature dish. So, I ordered up the extra large catfish. It was excellent. The sauce and the cilantro went very well together, and the ginger that they stuffed between the meat really added to the flavor. I can understand why people rave about it, because I don't think I've ever had catfish that tasted this good before. It was also a good amount of food, so I definitely left there feeling quite full.

And, finally, here's the restaurant's popular dessert. It is a sweet dessert made of wonton skins and yuzu custard, topped with poached pears and also included some fresh berries. It was a bit sweet for me, but anyone that loves sweet desserts is sure to love it. I liked it, but I can't say it's my favorite, but I am the wrong person to ask about it, since it's just not the type of dessert I prefer.

Anyway, here's the final photo.

So, Sunday rolls around, and a few of us went to the Baja Cantina for some drinks. That place is always packed when we drive by it, and none of us had ever been there. It was pretty chill, and the margaritas were tasty. Other than that, it was just a pretty normal place to have a drink not too far from the beach.

And, then... the weekend ended.

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