Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Rookie maneuvers are not acceptable

We decided to hit Mary Jane's Coffee Shop at the Hard Rock Hotel last night while some friends were in town. We barely made it in time to order off the Happy Hour menu (ends at 7 pm), but Jenn was accommodating. We started with a plate of $5 wings of the "wild" variety and some chips and guac. The wings were served with celery and carrot sticks and bleu cheese dressing instead of ranch. I think this was the first time no one ordered a side of ranch for their wings, in the history of sharing chicken wings. So I had to share all the bleu cheese. But they were tasty and actually filled me up a bit. You know I slogged down most of the guac too though. Alyssa and I split the meatloaf. It was served with fluffy mashed potatoes and peas that were the largest I've ever seen. They were sweet and buttery. The meatloaf was served with a smoky, almost barbequey sauce (I don't care if that is not a real word, it describes it perfectly). And the meatloaf, was cold. I didn't ask if my friend's portion was properly heated, although now I'm thinking I should have because I couldn't finish it. It was disappointing, 'cause it tasted good and I would have finished it. So I pretended like I ate too many wings and too much guacamole.
Husband had a burger with bleu cheese that was really good. I took a bite and felt it was almost worth the $13 price tag. If only Rocky's Crown Pub Rocky's Crown Pub on Urbanspoonserved their burgers with bleu cheese ... ah, a girl can dream, can't she?!
I did steal a French fry off husband's plate the moment it was placed on the table, but it had a sadly common theme: cold. Disappointing again, because I thought they were good too.
We were about the fourth table in the place, so I can see how sometimes its harder to keep everything perfect when there's less to do, but I expected more. Still, good friends and good conversation was the point of the evening and it was a great time.
After dinner, we headed upstairs via the newly opened Pinkberry! I guess I was full after all ... I walked right through it with a wave and a smile (I know they were expecting me after all!). We got a round at Moonstone Lounge and sat by one of the fire pits for more intriguing conversation. The boys talked about video games and slipping on other people's puke while us girls discussed the finer points of living healthily and happily. So much healthy talk that I didn't even finish my beer! Well, I did put it next to the fire pit like a rookie, so it was warmer than my meatloaf.
We've eaten at Mary Jane's before. On a November morning last fall when the Chargers thought it would be acceptable to not beat the Ravens and after a jovial night of celebrating what we liked to call our "third honeymoon". Some friends met us for breakfast. And between the French toast and pancakes we tried all of the different kinds of syrups: Log Cabin, Mrs. Butterworth, Aunt Jemima and Eggo syrup. That's what they want you to do, or at least know that they serve your favorite, if you've already tried them all at home. So, that's why we thought we would try Mary Jane's again for dinner. I think I'll go back, maybe when it's packed and there's a line outside though. Mary Jane's Coffee Shop is open till 3 am on the weekends and breakfast is served all day.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Blue Fin Tuna is a rare and beautiful thing

Our dear friends went fishing on Thursday and caught a Blue Fin Tuna off the San Diego coast! The best part is, we were invited over for Sashimi night on Sunday. You know how I like to say that Culinary School is everywhere, you just need to know where to study? Well, I got to study fish filleting at its finest. Doug brilliantly walked me through not only the 19 pound tuna, but I observed quietly while he sliced the yellowtail too. I was so enthralled I couldn't speak at first. Have you ever heard of me not speaking?!

We all donned our pair of chopsticks, and popped yellowtail sashimi and poke as the appetizer, along with grilled yellowtail collar. I was excited for the belly, or toro, my favorite tuna cut. And it was everything I hoped it would be. Beautifully marbled and extra yummy. A few pieces of the tuna was seared with black sesame seeds for the two pregnant ladies. Man, I felt for them. But no raw fish for the pregos, means more for me! :-)