Showing posts with label Los Angeles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Los Angeles. Show all posts

Sunday, June 24, 2012

à la minute liquid nitrogen ice cream

While I was suffering from the local heat wave in SoCal, the idea of ice cream just hit me. And not just for regular DQ around the block either, I was looking for something adventurous to try out, curry or garlic ice cream maybe. So, when my cousin mentioned an ice cream parlour making their ice cream with liquid nitrogen, I was all for it.

On a Monday night, I rounded up the gang and we headed to Redlands for the special treat. We pulled up to a quiet, dim-lit street, the town virtually emptied. Yet, there was one particular shop that had a large crowd spilling out and lining up down the street. This was the place we were looking for, the famous à la minute. While I couldn't believe how busy they were, judging by how in demand it was, it definitely should be worth the wait.

As the name says it, " à la minute " in French means 'made to order' which would explain why the wait seemed almost eternal. We waited in line for about 15 minutes to order, then another 20 to wait for the ice cream. The place had a dairy farm and country vibe and looked cozy, fairly small and looked even smaller crammed with bodies impatiently waiting for their ice cream. I was among the other children with their faces pressed against the glass window, peaking in the kitchen waiting for my turn. There was one cashier at the till and 2 other people hurriedly spinning the ice cream with all their might. Each small batch of ice cream is flash frozen with liquid nitrogen in a metal bowl while being churned.  Liquid nitrogen reduces the size of the ice crystals in ice cream, making it a lot smoother and creamier.  We watched in awe as mystical white steam flew everywhere, magic was happening before us. Since only small amounts of ice cream is made at a time, the waiting process seemed like forever.

It was too bad that we didn't have the options of doing 2 flavours per tub because I would've loved to try their salted caramel and strawberry with balsamic reduction. Instead, I opted for the main local ingredient, oranges. I was glad I did because the cookies and cream just wasn't as unique or special. This particular orange honey ice cream was not like any other traditional orange ice cream. It was not flavoured. Instead, it had small bits of tangy orange mixed in the vanilla ice cream. Generous amount of honey is drizzled on top so I got a real chew of both orange and honey rather than being pre-mixed. Everything was really fresh; the ice cream, the orange bits and honey. You would have to be a fan of dairy though. The ice cream was really sweet and rich. I let my dad try it and he expressed his liking for the ice cream by devouring the left of what I had. should've let me know so I'd get you your own tub :(

It also melted at accelerated speed, probably because it wasn't pre-frozen. So, for a big tub, you'd have to work on your speed rather than taking the time to indulge the flavour. For $5 for a medium tub, and half and hour wait, I'd say I'd come back only when it's not as busy and chaotic in there.

A la Minute on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Bazaar by Jose Andres

After missing the chance to go to WD 50 in New York, I made the Bazaar, where I also heard much reputation of their innovative approach to tapas, on my priority list for my one day trip to LA.  Shortly after landing, I made dinner reservation and headed to SLS hotel where the restaurant is located.  

The Bazaar is split into 5 dining sections, each with different  atmosphere, function, and menu.   We were seated in the dining room called Rojo Y Blanca, right in front of the kitchen viewing where the magic happened.  Our charmingly handsome waiter was extremely knowledgable about the cooking process and ingredients used in the dishes.  He was also able to recommend and differentiate between the dishes.  Although it didn't help much with the decision process, he was very helpful since I wanted to try food that are cooked differently than normal.  The modern tapas were not too pricey.  Though the portions are small, they are pretty good value for the type of modern, high end restaurant it carries itself to be.  We selected only 3 tapas from the menu since we just came straight from Roscoe's and were pressed for time before another dinner arrangement.  Of course, I regret that we didn't try anymore when we could've. The nitrogen coconut ice cream, cubed gazpacho...those were the things I opted out on and now living in regret...Y_Y 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Roscoe's House of Chicken & Waffles

I had made it my mission to eat as many fried chicken, preferably with waffles, as I could for this recent trip to the US.  Because Canada is so far up north, finding tasty southern fried chicken is about as rare as finding your lost diamond ring in the ocean, or finding an authentic Thai restaurant around here.  The last time I had a good chicken and waffle, believe it or not, it was at A&W in Thailand.  Very random combination.  While I was in New York, I didn't get to go try this wonderful place located in Harlem that my sister kept raving about.  Who wouldn't be enticed by the words "fried chicken" and "mimosa" in the same sentence? So when I met Geri of Princess Gourmet in San Francisco, she firmly recommended Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles, a California-based soul food joint opened by a Harlem native.  As my US trip was coming to an end, I made it the top of my list of things to do in LA.

After a gruelling incident where we almost missed the plane, we safely arrived LA and immediately booked it to Hollywood.  There was a distinct sign of a cartoon rooster wearing a hat standing in front of a giant waffle.  We knew they meant business.  An intimidating security was standing outside, guarding the perimeter from rascals who were hanging around the restaurant.  As a tourist, I naturally took it as a precaution.  We were led inside of restaurant where it was quite dark with glowing pink and yellow neons.  It wasn't very busy, and everybody seemed comfortable enjoying their meals.  I was excited and ready for some soul food!

The menu is pretty straight forward, listing different ways you can order their fried chicken.  I didn't hesitate to order the half chicken, south western style with 2 waffles for $15.30.  Keeping it simple, keeping it real. We also wanted to order the Mac n' Cheese on the side and saw that the portion was so small for $4.50.  We asked for a mix of grey and dark meat to get the best of both worlds.  As much as I wanted to devour everything myself, I ended up sharing since this huge portion was out of my league.

Buttermilk battered and twice fried, the chicken was wonderfully flavourful and extra crispy.  They were good on their own, but I must add a touch of magic; hot sauce.

I usually wouldn't slather my waffle with all the whole scoop of butter, or empty my cup of syrup.  But this time, I went all out.  My waffle was crispy, fluffy, and buttery.  I even drenched it with syrup and enjoy the whole experience with the crispy chicken...AND hot sauce!  At that point, I no longer cared how many calories or saturated fat I was consuming.  Lets just say I lost self control as though I and ate like a pregnant woman on a rampage.  It was everything I imagined.  Alas, my craving was finally satisfied.  


Roscoe's House of Chicken & Waffles on Urbanspoon