we're going to mastro's tomorrow for mr.bunnie's brother's bday... can't wait!
here is a picture from the last time we went with mr.bunnie's friends, J & J.

:: the restaurant ::
lucille's, torrance

saw this in the kitchen of lucille's...

someone tell us what does that sign means? do they spit in our food? pick up dropped food? eat parts of our dishes? pick their nose? scratch their asses? what?!


Bistro 561 always has something new and creative – not to mention delicious! If you've never been, you must... :) Chef Zboray is the big cheese in the kitchen during dinner service along with super friendly FOH/DR manager, Robert.

These pictures were from their menu a few months ago. Mr. Bunnie will have to add the names later.
However, the one dish that has been embedded in my mind is the cream of celeriac soup with vandouvan curry oil and micro cilantro. Absolute heaven!

Stay tuned to our recent visit to 561 again...
Just thought I'd share this is a picture from Mr.Bunnie's graduation from Cordon Bleu with one of his great mentors, Chef Zboray.

Chef Z is the executive at Bistro 561 in Pasadena. I will post a few pictures from our last dinner there a few months back.

:: the flavors ::
• Naga Bar - milk chocolate bar with sweet Indian curry powder and coconut flakes
• Calindia Bar - venezuelan dark chocolate with indian green cardamom, california walnuts, and dried plums
• Black Pearl Bar - dark chocolate with wasabi, ginger and black sesame seeds

:: the bill ::
$7 x 3 = $21 plus tax

[ he says ] ...

[ she says ] I love chocolate but I can't do these. I don't like them. When Mr.Bunnie wanted to get some flavor inspirations, we picked these up to try them out. I've had Vosges truffles before and weren't really impressed. But you never know right? Well....I should have trusted my gut instinct. If you don't like something the first time, the second time might not be much better. There is just something about these that I don't like. It's not because they have exotic ingredients but rather the combinations just don't taste good. Period.

Mr. Bunnie compared the Naga bar to sucking on a japanese House Brand Vermont Curry block. If that's the case, go with curry block, it's much much cheaper. As for me, let's just say if I was seriously pmsing and these were the only three chocolate flavors that existed in the whole wide world — I'd have to give up chocolate. Sorry...

If you're gonna spend some good money for some chocolates for your gfs (or bfs)... try Boule's. Mr.Bunnie gave me a gift set from Boule for Vday. Each and every chocolate was unique, perfectly balanced, and just simply left you craving for more. Well, except with you share a whole box in one sitting with your "sigfig" — by the end of the box, it begins to be a little painful.
I assure you that every morsel was still thoroughly enjoyed. Why all in one sitting? Dunno...just couldn't control ourselves. Every bite was better than the one before.

Check back a little later for all the details...

:: the dishes ::
• cheese gourges (amuse bouche)
weiser farm's cavallon melon, prosciutto di parma, fresh burrata cheese, tuscan olive oil
• bone marrow flan, mushroom marmalade, parsley salad
• creamed spinach with fried organic egg
oregon morel mushrooms, "la quercia guanciale"
• bone in ribeye
• bone in filet
• apricot tatin, persian mulberries, almond milk gelato

:: the must try dishes ::
[his pick] weiser farm's cavallon melon, prosciutto di parma, fresh burrata cheese, tuscan olive oil
• [her pick] bone marrow flan, mushroom marmalade, parsley salad

[ he says ] I know the cut is known for their selection of wagyu meats...but I wanted to compare the bone-in ribeye with my current fav steak place, Mastro's. As you can see the steak clearly looks like a charcoal on a stick...I asked for medium rare but ended up being more medium instead. The steak was very chewy and not juicy and fatty at all...what a disappointment ;( at least the apps were good.

[ she says ] There is something to be said about a restaurant when your favorite dish is only a starter. It's like watching a movie with a great beginning but only to fall short at then ending leaving the viewer unsatisfied and wondering what happened?

When a starter is so great, it sets the pace for the rest of the meal — thinking that everything after can ONLY get better. WRONG. My filet was kinda tough, dry and lacked flavor. Totally not like the bone-in filet at Mastro's. At Mastros, it's so tender and velvety and melts right in your mouth.Mmmm... mastro's....

The creamed spinach was nothing spectacular and I didn't appreciate the egg on top. Don't get me wrong. It was edible just not exciting. Neither was the morels... this was WAYYYYYYYY salty. What could have saved the meal ended up with more disappointment. Dessert was okay. Seemed like a cheap rough version of a delicate mille-feuille (even though they call it a tatin), served with gelato and berries. Booooo..... I give the whole experience maybe 5 of 6 out of 10.

Has anyone else gone and had a better meal?
For those who tried it, liked it, and wanted the recipe. This is my (lighter) version of my dear friend Lori's recipe. Any of the fat-reduced items can be replaced with the full fat if preferred. :)

:: ingredients ::

1/2 cup (4 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/8 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/8 cup of reduced-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon minced garlic (or more if you would like)
1/4 cup of pickled jalapenos - chopped slightly
(or more if you would like)
1/8 cup of the jalapeno juice from the jar (or more if you would like)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (12-ounce) jar of marinated artichokes - chopped slightly
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
(or more if you would like)
Cooking spray

:: preparation ::

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; stir until well blended. Stir in artichoke. Spoon artichoke mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the top with the grated parmesan cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until artichoke mixture is hot and the top begins to brown. Serve warm with good crusty bread or crudités.

:: the dishes ::
• beignets du jour - good
• quiche du jour (spinach) - *phenomenal*
• croque madame - great
• country bacon - great

:: the must try dish ::
• quiche du jour

[ he says ] Thomas Keller, aka Mr. French Laundry and Per se, is synonymous with
haute cuisine but ironically Bouchon, a style of restaurant in Lyon, France does not emphasize on haute cuisine but rather on the atmosphere and the personal connection with the chef. For me, quiche is very nostalgic as onigiri (rice balls). As a kid, my mother who does not speak a word of english strangely picked up different recipes to satisfy me and my siblings non-traditional japanese palate ranging from lasagne to enchilidas. Out of these dishes, my favorite was the quiche. a savory pie filled with cream, eggs, bacon, and spinach. I have made this dish many times for my gf, aka mrs. bunnie/the designer. Yet, with her constant praise of how wonderful my quiche is and probably the best in the universe, we went into Bouchon with a showdown in mind.

The verdict? I slowly raise my white flag. The crust was buttery and flaky, the savory inner custard was soft yet jiggly and solid enough to hold the goodness of the cream and spinach. I had many quiches in my lifetime and this one definitely brought me back memories of eating it for the first time again.

[ she says ] Besides knowing Thomas Keller for his infamous "The French Laundry" restaurant and his partial inspiration for one of my favorite Disney movies, Ratatouille, there is not much else that I know about him.

In saying that, knowing that we were going to Bouchon for brunch, I was still very excited.
I can honestly say that breakfast is pretty much my favorite meal of the day. I chose the croque madame for my love of sunny side eggs and buttery brioche. I learned from Mr.Bunnie's culinary school days that a well-cooked egg possesses no color of evident cooking when fried, poached, over easy, scrambled...you name it. And after many dozens of eggs tried in mastering this process, I, too have learned to appreciate egg cookery in a whole different light. Just look at the perfectly cooked sunny side up egg drizzled with mornay sauce drowning my beloved layers of brioche toast and sweet salty ham. Delicious!

As much as I loved my dish, I loved his dish more. Mr. Bunnie has made quiche for me many times before and I've always told him it was the best that I have ever tasted. EVER. However, once the soft moan of satisfaction escaped out of me, slight appearance of goosebumps on my arms, and the faint closure of my eyes, I have to admit — I have a new love. The hint of sweetness from the pillowy custard grounded by the layer of perfectly baked buttery crust was pure heaven. Tender creamed leaves of spinach set stage for a perfect balance with the custard that just melted in your mouth. At that moment, he knew as well as I that as much as I love his quiche, I will probably never utter the same adoring praise ever again.
After a lot of hmm-ing and a lot of maybes, we've finally decided to start our own food blog.

I have never been much of a blogger. Countless blogs started but only to fail after one to two posts — not to mention my unsuccessful earlier years as a little girl trying to record her life in a diary. What can I say? I get bored easliy. He, on the other hand, hopefully will keep this blog in check. With his background in culinary and shortly-trained patience from judo (he stopped after breaking a fellow student's ribs), he has assured me that this will last much longer than one to two posts.

And it wasn't till our recent trip to Vegas SOLELY for food with our pocketbooks screaming in pain, have we both more than ever decided the time was right to start this food photoblog to share the "his" and "her" loves, hates, raves & gripes of the gastronomy world.

And now... onto our first post.