Thursday, December 08, 2011

Pasta Joe's Italian Fusion Restaurant

I've seen the Grand Opening sign for Pasta Joe's before from visiting Asia Buffet located in the same parking lot. I came in here at a different time before dining in for a different reason, and I was immediately drawn on the cleanliness and modern decor, albeit small. I finally came and dined in with some people. It wasn't that busy for a Saturday evening, but that meant the space was roomier and this place was also still new. We got served by sexy Wade who was helpful, friendly, infomative and funny. This was also the first time that we had a restuarant ask for feedback to improve wherever it was needed which was actually nice.

We ordered two Italian Sodas, one mango and one strawberry. We liked both flavors and the drink wasn't overpowered by heavy carbonation or sugar. We also ordered the Fried Calamari with the Marinera Sauce which tasted fresh. The cream of corn soup was complimentary and that was also very good.

We also ordered the Italian Sausage Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce (image on right) and Baked Bacon Penne in Alfredo Sauce (image below) after seeing a few other yelpers ordering them. Both tasted very delicious, and I usually don't like pasta dishes at restuarants!
All the dishes were light, fresh - not canned or frozen - and filled you up without making you feel fat and sleepy. The prices are pretty reasonable and the portions were perfect, but you also get soup with your meal. I like the fact that the tv was on the Food Network channel. We'd come back and we'd recommend this place to others.

Ask for Wade, even if he's not working!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Chef Marcus Samuelsson Visits the Macy's South Coast Plaza Home Store in Costa Mesa!

Are you a fan of Chef Marcus Sammuelson? Do you enjoy attending cooking demonstrations? Visit Macy's South Coast Plaza Home Store in Costa Mesa, CA on Saturday, December 3rd, 2011 at 2pm! For more information, visit this website!

I didn't know who Chef Marcus Sammuelson was until last December at the Regal Discovery event in Los Angeles. I hope to make it to his cooking demonstration on Dec 3rd!

The image here does not belong to me. I do not know who the photographer is, so I can't give proper credit where it is due.

Friday, November 11, 2011

L.A. Cupcakes + Art: Vegan Cupcake Competition 2011

Urban Food Crawl's hosted its first annual vegan cupcake competition on Sunday, November 6, 2011 at Hold Up Art gallery in Los Angeles, CA and it was a success. I wasn't (and still am not) a vegan, but it was quite an experience for me.

Bake You Happy was also the winner of the L.A Auto Show on Food Network's Cupcake Wars. I vaguely recognize them, but I do remember watching the episode!

Best Overall Cupcake Winners (TIE):
Amanda’s Bakery & Cafe: Maple Crumble
Bake You Happy: Tahitian Vanilla Salted Caramel

Best Overall Cupcake Runner-Up
Clara’s Cakes: Neapolitan

Best Classic Flavor Winner
Jamaica’s Cakes: Red Velvet

Best Classic Flavor Runner-Up
Crushcakes & Cafe: Pumpkin Spice

Most Unique Flavor Winner
Courtesan Cupcakes: Raspberry Rose

Most Unique Flavor Runner-Up
Raw Bites: Lavender & Double Cacao with Strawberry Puree

The proceeds from the art sales with go to the Best Overall Cupcake Winners’ charity of choice! Amanda’s Bakery & Cafe will be donating to L.I.F.E. Animal Rescue. Bake You Happy will be donating to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Amanda's Bakery & Cafe

Babycakes NYC - They have several locations including Los Angeles!

Bake You Happy - Winner on Cupcake Wars

Clara's Cakes

Courtesan Cupcakes

Crushcakes Bakery & Cafe

Jamaica's Cakes

No Udder Desserts

Raw Bites Happy Food

Sweet Alexis

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cupcake + Art: Vegan Cupcake Competition 2011

Do you have a sweet tooth? Do you love cupcakes? Why not have your cupcake and eat it too?! On Sunday, November 6, 2011, Urban Food Crawl is hosting Cupcakes + Art: Vegan Cupcake Competition! Ten bakers will present delicious vegan mini cupcakes. You eat. You vote. What's not to love? If you're a vegan, you'll love this event. If you're not a vegan, try the cupcakes out with an open mind!

The event will be held at Hold Up Art in Los Angeles, and we'll have cupcake-themed art to accompany the cupcakes. Proceeds of the art sales will go to the charity of the winning baker's choice!

Visit the Cupcakes + Art page on Urban Food Crawl's website for the full list of the awesome bakers who will be competing!

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at The ticket includes entrance to the event, and all of the mini cupcakes. There are a limited number of tickets available -- buy yours today!

Friday, October 21, 2011

BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse

After having lunch/dinner at Famous Dave's, my friends and I moved on to BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse located a few hundred feet from Famous Dave's, although two of us from the group couldn't make it because they had a small child to care for. I could only comment on the customer service in the bar area and my dessert. The customer service was good overall. We thought that our server was ok with our weird sense of humor until she never came back from her lunch break and we were there for awhile. I never had a Red Velvent Pizookie before, and I enjoyed it.

Red Velvet Pizookie

Famous Dave's Bar-Be-Que

Famous Dave's is a barbeque restaurant in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. It's comparable to Chili's, TGI Fridays and Applebees. While I always enjoy the company of friends, especially friends that I don't see often, I think I like the atmosphere and environment better at Chili's. 

I had never heard of this place before until a friend suggested that we had our mini high school reunion get together here. We met up here recently for a late lunch/early dinner. At 3pm on a Saturday afternoon, the restaurant looked empty. I'm not sure if that's normal for a Saturday afternoon. But anyway, the customer service was pretty good. Our server put up with our weird sense of humor and seemed genuinely ok, laughing at our jokes.

While I do like BBQ food, I wasn't overly impressed with the food here. Probably because it's very similar to Chili's, TGI Fridays and Applebees in some ways. I wasn't able to photograph all the food that were ordered, and I can't remember the names to the plates that I did photograph.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fundraiser At TGI Friday

I went to TGI Friday in Rowland Heights, CA for lunch yesterday. My friend's friend's son was diagnosed with Leukemia in May 2011 and he is six years old now. For every customer who showed a "Benefit" flyer to their server(s), 20% of the check was donated to the family and the child's treatment. I printed out the flyer from the family's website, but the family also spent many hours outside the restaurant for the diners that didn't know about the fundraiser. While the child has his moments with pain and feeling nauseous, he is doing good and making improvements overall.

I can't remember if I came to this particular TGI Friday before. It wasn't very memorable if I did and I also wasn't into food photography or general photography at the time anyway. At this recent visit, I came with another person. We didn't get greeted by a host right away so it took us awhile to get seated. We almost wanted to pick up the menus and seat ourselves. It wasn't busy at all either. The customer service was generally good and our server made sure our drinks were filled while making sure we were doing okay.

 Shrimp Cocktail
 Petite Sirloin
 Peppercorn Crusted Pork Chop
 Oreo Madness