Monday, October 26, 2009

Birthday Celebration Part 2 (Chaya Downtown, Los Angeles)

We've always been a fan of the Chaya restaurants. So when we heard that they were opening up in Downtown we were very excited that Chaya was going to be closer to home. To celebrate "Mrs. Gohan's" birthday, I decided to take her to Chaya Downtown. We went from not going out to eat often, to eating at two nice restaurants in 3 nights :) A couple of days prior we went to Comme Ca with "Mrs. Gohan's" sister and brother in law to celebrate her birthday. So in essence, this was birthday celebration part 2. This time it was just me and the Mrs. We really enjoyed the atmosphere. It was a nice mix of clean contemporary lines with traditional Japanese decor. While most of the clientele that evening were the business crowd enjoying happy hour and delaying their time to get home, we were the opposite.... I made reservations early so that we could get home in time to put "baby gohan" to sleep :)

Pork and Duck Rillette with Toasted Baguette
I've never tasted nor have I even heard of a Rillette before this occasion. Frankly, I think I would've been quite happy if it remained that way. Maybe that's being a little harsh. The flavors were not bad, I just thought it was extremely chewy and I didn't like the texture. Although, the sweetness of the figs balanced very nicely with the saltiness of the Rillette.

Miso Marinated White Sea Bass
This dish is absolutely delicious! The miso marinated white sea bass is delicately flavored to let the delicate flavor of the fish shine. The miso doesn't over power the moist fish. The wasabi soy broth adds a nice bite to the dish without being overpowering as well. I really enjoyed the nasubi (Japanese Eggplants) as well. This was a very well though out harmonious dish. Oh, Oh.....I can't forget. This dish had gohan (rice) too! Got to love that :)

Grilled Kobe New York Steak & Braised Kobe Short Rib
People who know me, know that I love my beef. And two of my favorites are steak and short ribs. I couldn't have been happier....oh wait, If there was only a bowl of gohan (rice) with the dish :) Although my steak was a tad over cooked, both of these were very flavorful, delicious, and succulent.

Warm Milk Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding
Oh My Freaking God!!!!!!!!!! This was kick ass! This was soo good! Usually, I'm such a chocolate dessert person that nothing can compare to chocolate desserts. Wait a minute... this does have a little chocolate in it :) But the breading pudding portion was incredible! The croissant adds a real lightness and butteriness to the pudding. I think I just made up a word....butteriness :) I love it, I love it, I love it!!!

Fallen Chocolate Cake
How can you go wrong with a chocolate fallen cake? On any other occasion this would have been a stand out dessert, but I just couldn't get over the bread pudding. A funny thing about this night was that "Mrs. Gohan" got carded that night :) It was a nice touch that the waiter remembered that it was "Mrs. Gohan's" birthday.

Happy Birthday "Mrs. Gohan"!!!

Chaya Downtown
525 Flower Street
Los Angeles, CA. 90071

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's been a long time (Comme Ca, West Hollywood)

Wow! It's been so long since we've gone out to eat at a decent restaurant. We almost didn't know what to do or how to act :) In all seriousness, it truly was a treat to get away for an evening and to leave behind our parental responsibilities for at least a couple of hours. "Mrs. Gohan's" sister and brother in law took us out to dinner to celebrate "Mrs. Gohan's" birthday. After a brief deliberation on which restaurant to go to, we decided to make a reservation at Comme Ca in West Hollywood. Since we're still relatively new to this parent hood thing and it's our first child, we still cater our outings around our daughter. We made dinner reservations as earliest as possible so that we wouldn't get home too late. I'm sure if we have another baby in the future we would jump at the chance to stay out late and leave the baby behind :)

Blooming Daisy
"Mrs. Gohan" started the evening off with a Blooming Daisy Cocktail. I wasn't feeling particularly well that evening so I didn't order any drinks, but I tasted hers and it was DANGEROUS :) It resembled a shaved ice dessert. It was very good!

Salmon Tartare
To be honest...I don't remember much of this dish. Not to say that it was not good nor memorable, it's just that I only had a small bite. I'm not much of a fish person. But I do remember that I enjoyed the flavor profiles.

Roasted Beef Marrow & Oxtail Jam
Now this appetizer I remember vividly :) This was just indulgent and rich! I just love marrow in all of it's glory. It's soo tasty and yummy.....oh yeah and probably bad for me :) When combined with the oxtail jam, toast, and fleur de sel, this appetizer was a slam dunk for me. I'd order this again and again.

Steak Frites
A typical a menu item at "French" restaurant. Steak and French fries. This was "Mrs. Gohan's" entree. I took a few bites and was not overly impressed. It definitely was not bad, but it definitely can not compare to other top restaurant's steaks.

Beef Stroganoff
This was the dish I ordered. Sorry for the crappy picture! It was really dark and plus I forgot my camera again. I enjoyed the flavors of my dish and particularly the texture of the egg noodles. I nearly licked my plate clean :)

Crispy Skate Grenobloise
My only prior experience with skate is eating it in Japanese cuisine. Particularly, eating it sliced thin and broiled. Although I always enjoyed the flavor, I really never cared for the texture. My experience has always shown me that skate tends to be a little tough and chewy. This was on the contrary. This dish was both crispy and moist. I enjoyed it very much. Thanks sister in law for letting me take a bite. It changed my perception forever.

Although we did order several desserts, it was soo dark in the restaurant and without a proper camera, I did not even attempt to capture the images. We ordered a rice pudding, creme brulee, and pot du creme. They were all very delicious and a good way to end the night. I enjoyed our dinner very much!

Comme Ca
8479 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA. 90069