Food Reviews

I’m a passionate foodie and love to try out a variety of local eateries both at home and when I’m travelling. Here are some of the places I highly recommend visiting to satisfy those hunger pangs! Be sure to follow me on Yelp for more restaurant reviews.

San Francisco.

scala's octopus saladScala’s Bistro

432 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Tried Scala’s on our anniversary and really enjoyed it. The octopus salad (pictured) is among the best I’ve eaten. My fish was great, though not amazing but the steak is as good as I have eaten anywhere. The roasted potatoes with chimi churri sauce are downright addictive. The dessert, a chocolate mousse thing, was amazing. Great service, good ambiance and good food. I highly recommend!

 

Clam ChowderHog Island Oyster Co.

1 Ferry Bldg, San Francisco, CA 94111

A small little restaurant with communal tables, outdoor seating and bar seating. Located in the big market in Sonomatown. I ordered the clam chowder and it is amazing to say the least. Bursting with flavor and the clams come fully in shell and super fresh. The sourdough bread was super fresh and delicious and the service was quick and friendly. Can’t go wrong with the fresh ingredients they use either. Highly recommended for seafood lovers.

New York.

Tres Leches Cake

K Rico

772 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

What an amazing experience. Our bartender was really attentive and fun and enthusiastic. This is a classy South American steakhouse with amazing atmosphere and decor. Candle lit and an indoor / outdoor option depending on the weather. Great location.

The wine was great, then we ordered their seasoned oysters which were amazing. After that their platter of different meats. I don’t recall the name but we had pork, filet mignon, blood sausage, pork belly, chorizo and other things. Also a side of plaintains and Brussels sprouts, each of which are amazing.

ribeyeFinally the truly most memorable tres leches cake I’ve ever eaten, photo on the top left. So flavorful and moist. I always say there are good meals, great meals, and memorable meals. This one may be memorable.

I returned several months after my first trip and tried the Ribeye on consecutive nights. Amazing. But that damn tres leches has me hooked! I can’t get enough of it!

 

William Hallett

36-10 30th Ave, Astoria, NY 11103

Excellent food. The octopus dish was expertly prepared. I didn’t eat much but I tried some of what everyone else had at the table, including the amazing Vegan sandwich (which tastes like a fried fish sandwich), their incredible fries and the kentucky fried shrimp. I will certainly return again.

Las Vegas.

Sashimi Dinner

Sushi Hiro

9460 S Eastern Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89123

Love this place! The lunch time chirashi lunch is a steal at $16 with something like 14 pieces of sashimi, rice and roe. Very high quality fish, and sushi chefs that take pride in the craft and good service. This isn’t an all you can eat place, it’s for people who really enjoy good quality, it doesn’t break the bank either.

Porcetta

Chica

3355 South Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Excellent brunch at Chica. I had the brussel sprouts and yuca hash which was texturally interesting and flavorful. It was certainly unique and I was impressed by the chefs culinary boldness. I also had the tres leeches cake which was also very fun and interesting visually and whimsical in taste with that marshmallow roasted top. I love the fact that they don’t do anything boring at Chica. Even the French press coffee comes out in a beautiful green ceramic container that evokes South American imagery. Their take on an old fashion (with rum) was refreshing and well prepared. Good service and warm inviting ambience.

huevos rancherosInitially I wasn’t ready to say 5 stars because nothing I ate was so good that I’d kill to eat it again but after returning a second time and trying the grits and chorizo I am more confident that the food here is 5star. The grits are flavorful and delicious, but the star is this red sauce on top. Overwhelming depth of flavor and just the right texture. I’m actually genuinely excited to try them for dinner if the brunch food is this interesting!

 

Tiger Shrimp

Niu-Gu Restaurant

3400 S Jones Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89146

I really enjoyed this restaurant. Yes it’s in Chinatown so excuse the spotty and uneven service, that’s pretty much everywhere in Chinatown. I go down there for the authentic food at authentic non-strip inflated prices. The soup dumplings were the best I’ve had since I was in Shanghai. The tiger shrimp is life altering. Memorably good is the way I would describe it. I also tried black pepper beef and fried dumplings. Everything was either good or very very good. They understand flavor and texture and basically everything else food related. Treat your taste buds!

Lima Limon

Meal at Lima Limon222 S Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89107

I really enjoyed this restaurant. The food was excellent. It is a “dive” so you just have to adjust your expectations. The only real reason I gave this a 4 star and not a 5 is that the speed of the food was soooo slow. Like really slow. At least it was the night we went there. We tried the ceviche and a variety of the meats. Both were excellent and my friend (who just got back from Peru) had nothing but good things to say about the food.

Fort Lauderdale.

TiramisuNoodles Panini

821 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

I found this place while wondering around Ft Lauderdale. I was really pleased with the fact that it seems like a real restaurant and not a bland chain make believe restaurant without a real chef in sight. I wasn’t very hungry but wanted to have a decent meal while in town to save my foodie opinion of ft Lauderdale.

This place definitely was the best so far I’ve tried here. Very well prepared roast beef. Didn’t love the panini but it was still pretty good. Service was quick. Felt like an authentic Italian joint. Excellent tiramisu.

Chicago.

Beatrix River NorthCauliflower Grits

519 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654

We had the cauliflower grits, cheese blintz, steak chimichurri and lemon pancakes. Every thing was well prepared and flavorful. Tasty coffee too. The service is excellent even at busy Sunday brunch. They didn’t have reservations available but we were able to walk in anyway. Fun trendy decor and a peaceful setting on a beautiful street. Griselda, our server, was excellent.

Denver.

The Octopus AppetizerGuard and Grace

1801 California St, Denver, CO 80202

Pros: The service is excellent (not a given in pricey restaurants) and I think the decor and vibe is lively and interesting. I sat at the chefs table and it’s a great spot for solo eaters like myself. I felt well taken care of by Carlos and I think he goes above and beyond to find ways to make the customer happy. The Gluten free apple pie dessert was excellent. Really excellent. Enjoyed my wine and the octopus was very well prepared (not the best I’ve ever had but really good).

Apple Pie

Cons: I thought the truffle mac just wasn’t very good. The truffle flavor overpowered it and I just generally didn’t care for the preparation of it. The signature bone in ribeye steak was expertly prepared and truly a great presentation. My only regret is that I just didn’t get it plain with salt and pepper. I thought I could go with the chef seasoned option but I’m certain it made the steak less appealing to me. I could tell the steak was perfect and I almost think the sauce and seasoning hurt more than helped. I would certainly return here.

Hong Kong.

A dish served at the Pinot DuckPinot Duck

Shop G07, The Piazza, Stanley Plaza 23 Carmel Road, Hong Kong

Great crispy duck wings, Peking duck, and beer. They were out of a few things but comped part of my meal. Good service and everything I ate was delicious.

Japan.

Karafuneya Coffee Sanjo Honten
Matcha Cake
中京区河原町通三条下る大黒町39, 京都市, 京都府 〒604-8031, Japan

I found this place close to the market and it was pretty dead mid day. The dessert display is eye-catching. Service and warmth is certainly lacking. Not a common issue I’ve seen in Japan actually so I was surprised. I ordered the matcha cake parfait which was amazing. I’m becoming semi-obsessed with matcha in Japan and this matcha ice cream with matcha cake and beans of some kind was delicious and texturally interesting.

Wagyu BeefKushikatsu Senmonten Kyōto Kachiushi Kawaramachi

中京区裏寺町594, 京都市, 京都府 〒604-8041, Japan

I Wandered into this tiny shop right by Nishiki market and thoroughly enjoyed the steak. I ordered the wagyu beef cutlet and it came with rice, miso soup, different sauces and soft bold egg for around 2500 yen. The portions are small (as seems to be the case everywhere in Japan) but the tender immensely flavorful beef lightly battered and fried somehow (I assume that’s the Kyoto style) was a welcome surprise. The cold soft boiled egg is delightful if you toss that into your rice bowl. English is spoken by at least some of staff, as is common in this part of Kyoto.

Canada.

Meal at Le CrocodileLe Crocodile Restaurant

909 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2N2, Canada

I really enjoyed sitting at the bar and having dinner and drinks at Le Crocodile. I was traveling solo so that’s always a hit or miss experience but in this case, my bartender (I think Tom was his name) was very pleasant to talk to and managed to keep me company while being very busy in his own right. I really appreciated his effort to do so. I had the venison I believe and duck. The venison was excellent, the duck was good but not amazing.  The foie gras appetizer was top notch as well. I also finished with a gran mariner soufflé which was also on point. I would definately return to this restaurant on my next trip to Vancouver.