Restaurant Review: Stacked (Cerritos, CA)

My company humored me with a pitstop at Stacked. (We just ate elsewhere but since we’re never in this side of town, why not?)

Amused by the ginormous, purple-orange-yellow facade (think Bauhaus-inspired stained glass) and tall tables and high chairs so my feet dangled.

Fiddling with the iPad when you order? Fascinating. Nothing like this in the IE! We ordered fries and homemade crisscut potato chips with chipotle mayo, garlic aioli, and curry ketchup. It’s all about the sauces, folks.

The founders of BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse are onto something here…


Restaurant Review: California Fish Grill (Brea, CA)

Met up with our friends Peter, Lana and Baby T for a Sunday dinner. They recommended California Fish Grill. Craved fish all week and the prices fit our budget. (For dessert, belated birthday gourmet cupcakes for Lana from My Delight Cupcakery in Ontario.)

CONS: A bit far from where we live. Ha!

PROS: Order at the cashier and seat yourself. Turn over is high so not much of a wait for a table (unless you’re in the midst of the lunch or dinner rush). Squeezed some lemon into the clam chowder (a bit too salty for my taste).

But my dinner was delicious. Look at my plate! Dined on the swai with garlic butter, coleslaw and brown rice (50 cents extra for brown rice; I love that that’s an option). Only $8.50 for all that! And grilled zucchini side for only $1.75.

Grilled seafood in a fast, casual atmosphere. Healthy and refreshing!

Grilled zucchini, clam chowder and swai with garlic butter and brown rice
Me, Marvyn & Baby T
Peter, Lana & Baby T
Chocolate -- YUM!

Restaurant Review: Cafe Glace (Los Angeles, CA)

Once a week during lunch, my colleague Nannette and I walk around Westwood. Today I also had the urge to try Cafe Glace, a Persian ice cream/smoothie/sandwich/pizza snack shop. 

The restaurant has a short menu. We decided on the pizza. Only personal-sized pizzas, with or without meat. $5 a pop. We indulged in one of each. The owner/server speaks little English. He’s friendly and brings the food to your table.

This pizza reminds me of Little Caesars — melted cheese on top, creating a shell over what’s underneath. I like it. No tomato sauce so you grab your choice of condiments — mayo, ketchup, Tapatio or olive oil. I could barely taste the difference between the pizzas because the slices of meat are small. Flatbread crust is light and puffy; you can taste the freshness of the onions, tomatoes, and green peppers. In 20 minutes, we ordered and ate. Plenty of time for us to still enjoy a few jaunts around the neighborhood.


Restaurant Review: Pho Mai (Upland, CA)

About a month a go, Pho Mai opened, a new Vietnamese restaurant in the same plaza as Trader Joe’s & Kohls in Upland. Ordered vegetarian that day: tofu spring rolls, tofu & veggie meat sauteed with lemongrass in vermicelli and tofu veggie crepe.

CONS: Some servers spoke English, others not as well. Unless you got the owner, many of the staff are not menu-savvy. Quite pleased with the huge helping of mint and sprouts for the crepe! But the crepe itself? Another story. Not crispy with an undercooked, batter-like consistency and taste. The uninspired veg meat kept me from enjoying the vermicelli dish.

PROS: A clean restaurant with plenty of servers and solid granite tables (don’t you hate wobbly tables?!).  I’d order the tofu spring rolls again. Good portions and taste. And believe it or not, the highlight of the meal? The pickled jar of veggies. I rarely see that anymore at Vietnamese restaurants — seriously! Condiments can make or break a meal. And in this case, save a meal.

I will come back. Since Pho Mai has only been in business for a month, I hope it improves. I’m a fan of local businesses, especially ethnic restaurants.

Repost: On Assignment with Penny: Austin Food Trailers

REPOST: “On Assignment” with professional food and travel photographer Penny De Los Santos. Each short episode she visually explores a subject, inspiring people and locations throughout the country. In this 2nd episode, Penny goes to her hometown of Austin, Texas and talks about what she does to connect and feel at home again when re-enterring her life in Austin. She explores on bicycle her favorite food scene in Austin, food trailers, with a group of food blogger and twitter friends from around the country.

I had to share this! My favorite line: “…El Naranjo Taco Trailer. The guacamole is off the hook! And her moles? Omigawd — Amazing! So this for me is a close to second to my mom’s cooking….a very special place.” — CMP

Restaurant Review & Prompt 21

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We live in a society of advice columns, experts and make-over shows. Without even knowing it, you can begin to believe someone knows better than you how to live your life. Someone might know a particular something better – like how to bake a three-layer molten coconut chocolate cake or how to build a website – but nobody else on the planet knows how to live your life better than you. (Although one or two people may think they do.) For today, trying asking yourself often, especially before you make a choice, “What do I know about this?”

(Author: Jen Louden)

Want to talk about this prompt? Join the discussion on Twitter and Facebook.


Restaurant Review. La Croissanterie Linda. Dimly lit cafe. French nouveau decor badly in need of a reno. Free wifi. I told Marvyn that the breakfast croissant I had was filling but bland and not worth writing home about. And what I do I do? I write about it in my blog. Why? Because the prompt asks, “What do I know about this?” Well, when it comes to food and good deals this is what I know:

I know that $4.99 (Canadian) for a bacon, egg & cheese croissant AND cafe au lait in Montreal is a good deal. Especially after flying 5 hours from LAX to YUL, waiting in line for 45 minutes at customs, riding for 25 minutes in a cab ride to the hotel, 30 minutes with Verizon Wireless, and knowing we had 6 hours to kill before we can actually check into said hotel at 4 pm. And did I mention the free wifi? #Trust30