Tag Archives: Restaurant

Fisherman’s Wharf Clam Chowder & Lobster Rolls

IMG_8973On a trip to San Francisco my friend Katie and I arrived in the city around 10am. We planned to stay at Katie’s friend, Kathy’s, house so we stopped by to talk, relax for a bit, and drop off our stuff. As lunch approached we decided to head over to Fisherman’s Wharf for some seafood. Kathy convinced us to take the bus giving us the bus numbers we needed to take and streets we should get off at. About an hour later we reached our destination.

We exited the F Market line bus at Pier 39 and walked the remaining bit toward Fisherman’s Wharf. We arrived at a long strip of seafood restaurants. As we walked toward the water we could see numerous people ordering food at all different vendors.  Shrimp, crab, lobsters, and clams were swirling around us everywhere. We snuck down the back alley where we could see into the open market vendor’s glass case windows. They all seemed to sell the same things with just slight differences in the ingredients. Eventually we decided on Guardino’s due to their huge chunks of lobster we could see on top of their lobster rolls.

Guardino’s is at the end of the strip closes to the Fisherman’s Wharf sign. It has been around since 1908 and their seafood is caught fresh each morning including the crabs for their crab legs and clams for their creamy and chunky clam chowder. There really isn’t any seating at any of the open markets on the strip, so we ordered our food, a lobster roll and clam chowder bread bowl, and searched for a place to sit.

We found a spot to eat by the docks overlooking some boats and birds. We could barely see the birds, but occasionally one would fly past to catch the scraps of fish an elderly lady was filleting and tossing over the edge next to us. One seagull stood near her for any scraps she might offer or any food anyone else might drop. She finally tossed him a piece and he swallowed it whole. She tossed one more piece and he took off flying away with it only to be chased by three other seagulls.

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We finished our lunch. The clam chowder bread bowl was delicious! The clams were cooked perfectly, not chewy at all, and the pieces were pretty big compared to most clam chowders I’ve had. We really should have gone back for more. The lobster roll was ok. I’ll give it one thumb up. I loved the huge chunks of lobster on top, but was a little overwhelmed by the mayonnaise, which I am not a big fan of. The bread on both meals were on point, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Absolutely amazing rolls.

I just love San Francisco and the Fisherman’s Wharf. Now knowing that Guardino’s is there only makes things even better. I hope that I will be able to go back soon to enjoy more of their seafood goodness.

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Slater’s 50/50 Burgers

IMG_8971On my way home from a hike with Arpy in Pasadena we decided to stop at Slater’s 50/50. It is located on the corner of Raymond and Union. We pulled up and found a parking spot right on the street outside. A little money in the meter and we headed inside. We were seated by the bar and the atmosphere seemed a lot of fun with TV’s to watch the games, a bar, and a few seating areas.

Slater’s 50/50’s main draw is bacon. They put bacon on everything. In their burgers which are half beef and half bacon, on their burgers, in their ketchup, and even in their milkshakes. We ordered fries with bacon ketchup and onion rings to share and each got a burger. I got a milkshake too.

The milkshake was absolutely delicious! I had never tried a maple bacon milkshake and I was surprised by how good it was. I will be sure to have another next time I see it on a menu and doubly sure to get it when I go back to Stanley’s 50/50. The onion rings and fries were ok, but pretty much the same as everywhere else.

I ordered the 50/50 Frito Crunch Burger and came with a 50/50 bacon and beef patty, American cheese, bacon turkey chili, Fritos, and 1000 island on a brioche it bun. It was super yummy. It had a different texture than most burgers, but that can only be attributed to the bacon mixed in. I couldn’t finish the whole thing so I saved half of it for later.

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Next time you are in Pasadena and are looking for a place to eat and want to try something new be sure to head over to Stanley’s 50/50. You can’t get a burger like it anywhere else. You’ll be sure to want to go back time and time again.

A Burrito for Two at Las Fuentes

IMG_8971My friend and I were in the mood for mexican food so we decided to try Las Fuentes in Reseda. Las Fuentes has been in business since 1982 and currently has 4 stars on yelp. We headed over, parked the car, and walked in the door. It wasn’t exactly what I expected at first sight. I thought it was going to be a restaurant where you sat down, they took your order and then served you, but like a lot of restaurants in Los Angeles, it is an order at the counter, find yourself a seat and bring your own food and condiments to your table kind of place.

The place looks super authentic inside and out though with mexican paintings on the wall and statues all around. I don’t think they could add more decorations if they tried. And the menu has everything a mexican restaurant should have. Burritos, tacos, nachos, and quesadillas. You name it, they have it.

I was in the mood for a burrito and after seeing the pictures on yelp I couldn’t convince myself to try anything else except a chicken burrito and some amazing chicken nachos. Katie got the chicken tacos and was set to help me eat some of the nachos.

The food was delicious. Everything I tried was perfectly cooked. And the portions are enough to last you several meals, just like most mexican places. I will definitely be back for more and to find out the one thing I forgot to check while I was there, leaving me wondering, do they have chicken asada fries?

Shish Kabobs at Pita Kitchen

IMG_8973I’ve been looking for some new places to grab some food in my neighborhood and happened to stumble upon this little gem called Pita Kitchen. It’s a little hole in the wall restaurant, located at the corner of Ventura and Van Nuys, is absolutely amazing. If you didn’t know it was there you would drive right past it every time. The prices are good and they serve lunch and dinner. Good thing they aren’t open for breakfast too or I would spend my whole day there. They are definitely one of my new favorite places.

The first time I was at Pita Kitchen I arrived at their doors kind of skeptical, but their yelp reviews were all stars. They have a few outside tables and maybe enough room to fit 10 people inside, max. They serve Middle Eastern food and you order at a little counter just by the front door. While I’m not a huge fan of Middle Eastern food, you can’t go wrong with my all time favorite, the shish kabob pita. I’ve had both the chicken and beef and both are equally as good as the other. They fill the pita with a meat, lettuce, hummus, and some kind of sauce that I’m not sure what it is. I get so excited every time I go that I keep trying get a picture but I forget and eat everything before I can snap a shot. I just love it so much.

If you like Middle Eastern food you will enjoy Pita Kitchen. Check it out next time you’re nearby.

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Elmer’s German Pancakes

IMG_8973Our last morning in Palm Springs and once again it was time to eat. We scanned through yelp and realized that not many places are open early Monday morning in Palm Springs. We decided to try Elmer’s.

Elmer’s was founded in 1960 by Walt and Dorothy Elmer making breakfast for their customers. They originally named their restaurant Elmer’s Colonial Pancake House but their mission has always been the same, “provide quality food ingredients, gracious service and the clean surroundings that make you feel at home.”

Today, Elmer’s is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We were there for breakfast and were eager to try their food. Rumor has it that Walt used to keep his pancake recipe locked in his safe so the only logical choice was to try the german pancakes. I ordered them with mixed berries and a side of bacon and eggs.

When they came I was super excited. I took my first bite and they were delicious. Light, fluffy, sweet and exactly what I expected even though I had never tried german pancakes before. The eggs and bacon were perfect too. They definitely gave me way more food than I needed, but everything was amazing. An excellent breakfast to start what was planned out to be another sensational day.

Mexican Tacos at La Fonda

IMG_8973On the second night in Mexico we decided to get a taste of some real mexican food. Kathy, our house manager, told us to try La Fonda, a popular restaurant in the nearby area. She is friends with the manager of the restaurant and made a reservation for us for 20 people.

When we arrived a long table was set up for us in the middle of the restaurant right by the dance floor. We all grabbed a seat and took a look at the  menu. It was surprising to see that there was no mexican food dishes on the menu. There was a ton of seafood and steak options, but not one mexican choice. Luckily, Kei was hip to eating out in Mexico and gave us the inside scoop. “Just ask for a mexican dish you want. They will make it if they have the stuff to make it,” he told us.

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As the waiter came around the table to get everyone’s order some of us ordered off the menu and some of us decided to try our luck asking for mexican food. Fish tacos and chimichangas seemed to be pretty popular at our table. I got the carne tacos.

Our food came and I have to say it was ok. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad. It was just so-so. It’s what I would expect at a place in Los Angeles, not a place in Mexico. I guess I just thought it would be more authentic. I finished my plate and we hung out for a bit. Some of us danced and listened to the live band, but most of us just talked until they brought out our complimentary Mexican coffees. They had kalua and cream in them. I didn’t want to be up all night so I chose to skip mine, but boy did they look delicious.

Turns out in Mexico it is considered rude to give a table their check before they ask for it. They will let you stay there all night, thinking you might order more. Most of us did not know this, but a few did and eventually they realized our group was dying down and stated this fact. Once we asked they brought over the checks and divided everything up. There was a little language barrier, but it all got squared away.

I think next time we go back to Mexico we will try a new food spot. It was good, but there could be something better nearby and there are quite a few options that Kathy was telling us about.

The Lobster Trap

IMG_8972During our day at Catalina Island we had a chance to try The Lobster Trap. Originally we headed to the pier to eat at the fish place there, but they were closed. However, apparently they are owned by the same company and have the same menu so we weren’t missing out on anything.

We were one of the first people to arrive and the place resembled a dive bar. There were lobsters and fish all over the walls, including a huge fish hanging from the ceiling and even a boat in the corner of the restaurant. It was pretty dark with light coming in through the doors, windows, and a small skylight.

We sat next to the window and quickly ordered some food. We were famished. I had the salmon sandwich and my friend had the crab salad. Both were pretty good, exactly what I expected from a seafood place in a seaside town. We didn’t hang around much since we were on a tight schedule, but by the time we finished our food the place was packed.

If you plan on going make sure you get there early and maybe you should see if their lobster lives up to their name. I will be sure to try it next time. We just weren’t in the mood that day.

El Diner at El Rey Theater

11046207_10100816715777287_7339094506597289456_nOn the night of the Meghan Trainor concert at the El Rey Theater I got there very early. I did a quick Yelp search for food and made my way to the El Diner next door. They had an wide array of mexican food, from empanadas to quesadillas and the prices of everything was pretty low considering it’s connected to the theater.

I wasn’t extremely hungry so I got one of their chicken tacos which I was informed came with pickled onions and cheese on it. They were really fast and while it was smaller than I expected, it was actually really good. I debated going back to get another, but the line had gotten long and was now out the door. I didn’t want to wait. Plus, I was excited to get into the theater for the show!

All-in-all if you are headed to a show or in the area I would recommend you stop in and try something. It is really small though, so don’t expect to be waited on. And while it would be great for a small party of 2 or 3 it is an order and get your own food spot, not a sit down, relax and dine place.

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