a new-found San Diego love: Zymology 21

We have reservations elsewhere on the day we make our way down to San Diego. However, even though we are more than 30 minutes early, we are unable to find a parking spot due to Little Italy’s weekly farmer’s market in full swing. As our reservation time draws near, I call the restaurant and inform them we are not able to join them.

Our next course of action is to head to the Gaslamp and try our luck at the new Cafe 21, but of course, when we arrive, there is a crazy line with at least an hour’s wait. No way! I ask if their new concept Zymology 21 is open and am delighted to hear it is, so we cross the street to the old Cafe 21 spot and step into Zymology 21.

The space is empty except for one table, no wait at all. On the day of our visit, the restaurant is not officially open — soft opening stage — which explains why there is no one there. The concept here is different. You are given a menu and ordering is done before you sit down. It’s a fast casual concept with a sit-down feel. I can still see hints of the old Cafe 21 here and there, but ultimately, the environment is completely revamped, with an updated, and uber cool vibe.

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The definition of “zymology” is simply, “a science that deals with fermentation”, and here, you will find that this refers to the process of at least one ingredient in each dish or libation. Naturally, we begin with one of their fantastic cocktails, BloodieZ ($9) a bloody Mary that’s unrivaled, even from some of the most distinguished establishments around. It is served in a beaker, on a tray, accompanied by a test tube of beet juice. Use it or don’t, it’s up to you. A skewer of garnishes including olives, half a jalapeno, watermelon cucumber and micro carrot is very pretty.

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Whiskey Sour ($11) using Old Forester whiskeym with an egg white foam, is also presented in a beaker — you will find almost everything has that scientific approach here — but snap your photo quickly, otherwise, the lemon rind garnish will sink rapidly through the foam and end up like my photo, to be no where in sight. Surprisingly, I really enjoy this!

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None of us are real coffee drinkers, but the Syphon Coffee ($8) is too unique to resist. We order one to share. The truth is, we want to experience it more than drink it, although we enjoy the high-quality, full-bodied roast.

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The first thing which catches our eye is Shrimp N Gritz ($15), comprising grilled sweet shrimp marinated in garlic. It sits on top of home style parmesan herb, creamy grits and surrounded by fried julienned leeks. The shrimp is incredibly fresh and I couldn’t help but suck on the heads, enticing all the shrimp butter out of its shell. The grits are creamy and the leeks provides a crispy contrast.

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Chicken and Wafflez ($14) is always a good choice, but here, you will not be getting it in the traditional style you’re accustom to. I select dark meat (you can choose white) chicken, which is fried crispy on the outside and very moist on the inside. It reminds me of Indonesian-style fried chicken, although the seasonings are nothing like it. The waffle is a house-smoked gouda and herbs egg waffle — like those I remember eating from a street stall in Hong Kong as a child. The spicy lime honey glaze is unique, but only a touch is enough for me. There is a runny fried egg as well, but the waffle and chicken are enough to satiate even without.

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Our next dish is Hay Hash ($16). I am not impressed when it hits the table, however, looks are deceiving. The rosemary potatoes confit are rich in flavor, while the seared steak loin is perfectly tender. The poached egg runs into the herb scented Hollandaise sauce adding a heavenly richness all around. I can not stop eating the potatoes which is a surprise because I’m not usually a big fan of it.

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There are several open face sandwiches on the menu and I’m guessing these will rotate as the days go by. On the day of our visit, we select OpenFaceZ: Duck Rillettes ($6) braised duck topped with pickled cucumber, baby carrots, whole grain mustard sauce and pickled onion. It is decent and well-balanced.

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However, it is the Fungi Trifecta ($6), a blend of lobster mushrooms, cremini mushrooms and oyster mushrooms on top of a French beluga lentil pate, which garners the most ooos and ahhs. The natural umami of the mushrooms is enough to tantalize the palate, everything else is icing on the cake.

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While we are not in the mood for dessert, we are definitely intrigued by the PopsicleZ ($9) which are sangria popsicles. The flavors change weekly and we are presented with the two: apple with beer back and tropical (peach) with wine back. I am a fan of Cafe 21’s sangrias and to find them in a popsicle is not only whimsical, but completely calls out to my love of frozen treats.

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I am sure the next time I visit Zymology 21, the menu will be different and it will be a completely new experience. This is why my love of the “21” brand stays true because it is constantly evolving and never boring.

Zymology 21
750 5th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
Tel: 619-546-9321

Zymology 21 on Urbanspoon

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the rebirth of Cafe 21 San Diego

Those of you who have been following my blog know my immense love for Cafe 21. It is a love affair which begins several years ago, almost immediately in fact, after my first bite. As the years fly by, that location soon becomes a vital part of my life, providing so many fulfilling memories for my friends and I. We always leave with a stomach full of delicious food, perhaps, a tad intoxicated by the creative cocktails and sangria, but always extremely happy and satisfied.

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That is many years ago, and through time, as time often does, takes on a new meaning, a new journey if you will, towards bigger and better things. This is certainly the case with Cafe 21, who now resides in its new spot just a block or so away from its previous Gaslamp location.

Cafe 21 is one of those restaurants which I feel has been with me through my life’s journey the last four to five years. I doubt this love affair will ever end. I’ve been waiting to visit the new place and am excited to see what it looks like. As I eagerly wait across the street, I see it is busy with people, and a warm fuzzy feeling comes over me.

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The decor is stunning, and my photos definitely do not aptly capture the essence of its entirety, or the soul of owners Alex and Leyla Javadov. You will have to take my word for it until you have the opportunity to step inside and experience it for yourself.

There are traces of the Javadovs’ Azerbaijani roots, mostly visible in the upstairs “loft” area, but overall, the chic and modern decor is exactly what 2014 calls for. Besides the loft, there is a patio, bar and dining room area — a different experience can be had depending on where you sit, but it will always be one that is etched in your memory long after your belly is full, days and months down the road.

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It is morning, but that does not stop some people from enjoying a cocktail or two. Cafe 21 is famous for its house-made sangrias — six are available on any given day — take a peek when you walk in the door. If you are not able to make up your mind, you partake in a flight for a taste of them all.

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Another popular cocktail is the signature Bloody Mary — there are four to choose from — here’s a glimpse of the Prawn Star ($15) and the California Greenin ($15) which uses a tomatillo mix created in-house.

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However, it is too early to drink alcohol, so we start with some Loose Leaf Tea ($4) — you choose either hot or cold. Of course we choose the latter. A variety of Scottish Caramel Pu-Erh, Raspberry Lavender and Green Sencha arrives. I love the vessels they come in.

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Once the tea has enough time to steep, position it over a large glass and release the tea over the ice and voila, your ice tea is ready! The server is happy to provide this service, but I am like a child in a candy store.

The caramel pu-erh is intoxicating. The deep amber liquid is sweet to the nose, and rich on the palate. I buy some to take home for another day.

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I am mesmerized by the teapot, so when our next round arrives, I want to photograph the procedure once again!

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The first of our meal comes to the table, Blueberry Pancakes ($11 choice of 3 short stack or 5 full stack) is on the ubiquitous stainless steel platter Cafe 21 is known for. These are fluffy and delicious. The house-made blueberry compote is not overly sweet, retaining the natural flavors I so love. They are generous with the butter, but you don’t have to use it all.

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The Shrimp Cast Iron Omelet ($13) is an ideal brunch item comprising eggs and a protein of your choice. We choose pesto marinated shrimp which nestles atop, and in between the light fluffy eggs, along with tomato, spinach, pesto sauce, feta and mozzarella.

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There are specials every single day and on this particular one, the Stuffed Flatbreads ($15 choose two out of three options) is a recommendation I, at first, am hesitant to order. However, a little bit of convincing later and I am enamored by both the vegetarian selections. Cheesy organic spinach with pesto, goat cheese, feta and mozzarella cheeses is vibrant, however, it is the creamy potato and onion with locally grown cauliflower that wins hands down all around. The lilac hues of the cauliflower peek through when you cut into the flatbread, but it is robust aromas of this cruciferous vegetable that blows our minds.

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We are quite full by now, but there are two more items to hit the table. Lagman Pulled Pasta ($14) with hand-pulled pasta, bell peppers, tomato, onion, butter sauce with lamb meatballs (not listed, but you are able to choose this protein) — more like a dinner item than a brunch due to its sheer volume. I am only able to take a bite. I wish my stomach is bigger, but the lamb meatballs are seasoned perfectly and the vegetable accoutrements colorful and inviting.

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Seared Grouper Sandwich ($14), another special of the day sees a generous piece of fish sandwiched between a brioche bun along with lettuce, tomato, onion, chipotle aioli and a side of your choice. Again, I only manage a bite.

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I am always so happy when I leave here, and especially so when I am able to introduce new people to this extraordinary eatery. Whenever any of my friends ask for a San Diego recommendation, I always say Cafe 21. In fact, last week, while dining at Tavern on 2 in Long Beach, a couple sitting next to us overhears me talking about Cafe 21 and interjects. They tell me about their visit back in March and how amazing it is. This is exactly the thing I like to hear. If you haven’t yet experienced Cafe 21, do it soon. It is so worth it.

Cafe 21
802 5th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
Tel: 619-795-0721

Cafe 21 on Urbanspoon

Tavern on 2 tantalizes my tastebuds

If the name Frank De Loach has never crossed your ears before, you’re definitely missing out. This is an unconventional chef who thinks outside of the box, one who is not afraid to play with flavors and bring together ingredients some may not be familiar with. In short, not everyone get his food.  But for those who do, the experience is a sensational one. Chef Frank’s flavor profiles are pretty much on par with mine about 99% of the time. I know he will use enough salt and acid for my palate and that is always something to be happy about.

When you meet Chef Frank, you won’t be surprised that his gastropub-style cuisine is deliciously comforting, however, it is his Asian-inspired dishes that blows my mind. My first experience with Chef Frank’s Asian-style food creations was at Early Bird in Fullerton. His love for Asian flavors, plus the myriad of tastes he picked up during his travels to southeast Asia invigorated him to design — and they are often works of art — incredible pairings of flavors he was moved by.

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Chef Frank is now at Tavern on 2 in Long Beach, where most of the customers order the burgers. We had one as well — Tavern Burger ($14). The pattie is a perfect medium rare. Each bite provided me with a hint of sweetness from the caramelized onions, richness from the St Andre brie and freshness from the arugula. The savory ketchup did a great job by adding some salty tart finish. The burger is good. Damn good. It is not surprising that about 70% of the restaurant had one on the table — there are four beef burgers, one ahi and one veggie on the menu.

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Another favorite is Chef Frank’s version of Short Rib Poutine ($14). Yes, there are those who are sticklers for authentic poutine, and then, there are those who haven’t a clue what real poutine is. I kind of fall in between. I’ll love it if it tastes good. The version here has braised short rib which would probably amass a complete furor from some. Ask for it with only gravy and Wisconsin cheese curds if you feel your purist side emerging — I eat it without much short rib and prefer only gravy and curds with my fries. It is definitely very tasty.

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Don’t grimace at this next dish, Sticky Pigtails ($9), if you like ribs, you’ll most probably like this. The minute I bite into it, a wave of nostalgia comes over me. The sauce tastes exactly like my mother’s sweet and sour ribs except she uses Chinese dark vinegar. Here, it is a blend of hoisin and oyster sauces with lime and a few other things thrown in. Sticky they definitely are, and mouthpuckering as well, but it’s all good.

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However, what I am here for are for the dishes the rest of the clientele may not be ordering at a “tavern”. The blackboard features seasonal dishes such as Summer Peaches ($11), where lusciously sweet peaches are tossed with cubes of smoked mozzarella, radicchio, baby kale, Thai basil, white balsamic, and sprinkled with cocoa crumbs. At first, I’m like “what the hell is this….” but once you eat it with each of the ingredients on the plate — I highly suggest dipping your mozzarella into it — you will get a burst of the cocoa on your palate and go “oh! wow!”

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Hamachi Crudo ($12) is another blackboard special and is so simple and refreshing. Interspersed between slices of strawberries, jicama sticks, cilantro and shards of lime zest, the fish possesses hints of the jalapeno vin it is marinated in. Subtle and not overpowering, the hamachi is left to shine. Naturally, I wanted just a little more citrus, but that’s just me.

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If I am dining alone, the Seared Ahi Tuna ($16) salad would make for a perfect dish for one. If you’re there with others, you can share it — unless you’re with me, then I would hog the entire bowl. Chunks of seared ahi tuna is tossed in a Vietnamese dressing along with soba noodles, Thai basil, cilantro, radish, cucumber, red onions, cabbage and scallions. This is one of those items I am not able to stop eating. The perfect pairings of salty and tart is simply outstanding.

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I suggest you eat this meal from light to heavy, although, the salads and fish dishes make for the perfect palate cleanser in between the heavier options. I just prefer to not cloud my mouth with the richer foods before I eat salad and fish. I hope you will visit Tavern on 2 and check out what Chef Frank is doing. I always know I’m going to be highly satisfied whenever I leave a meal that he has prepared.

Tavern on 2
5110 E 2nd Street
Long Beach, CA 90803
Tel: 562-856-4000

Tavern On 2 on Urbanspoon

visiting the original Cafe 21

Two years ago, I was introduced to Cafe 21 at Gaslamp and fell in love with it instantly. Since that initial visit, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve returned to it, each time with gratifying meals shared with friends and loved ones. So it was indeed an exciting day for me to visit Cafe 21’s original location at University Heights and introducing my best friend to it for the first time! I’d been raving about the food ever since that first time and now it was time to share it.

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This location is cozy and ever so quaint. I’ve always loved the eclectic nature of Cafe 21 and here, it is even more evident with vivid Moroccan and Turkish themes throughout. Naturally, we began with some cocktails — even though it was lunch — and I suggested one of their famous Sangrias ($9/glass) made in-house….. I, on the other hand, opted for their green Bloody Mary ($14) made with green tomatillo, instead of the traditional tomato juice base, infused with spicy vodka.

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I had seen a photo of the Cafe 21 Breakfast Board ($17) on Facebook the day before, and couldn’t get my mind off it. Therefore, it was the only way to kick off our brunch that day. Two pieces of filet mignon, house-cured salmon, beet infused egg, Venissimo cheeses: Big Rock Blue (from Paso Robles) and Bucherondin (one of the first French goat cheeses exported to the US), pistachios, cranberries, rhubarb compote and lavash complete the platter. I love the presentation, staying true to the Moorish theme.

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Flight of Mimosa ($18) at the next table caught our eye and of course it was too pretty to miss out on.

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I have enjoyed the Cafe 21 “cakes” before but never the Chicken Curry ($13) option. Shredded roasted chicken breast tossed in yellow curry, bits of celery, red onion and saffron cream sauce was delicious as is, but topped with two perfectly runny poached eggs? That made it as decadent as it was tasty. We both oooo-ed and ahhh-ed as we took a mouthful proclaiming it one of the best things we’ve ever eaten. The oozing poached eggs were just the icing on the cake (no pun intended).

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I love Dutch baby pancakes and here, they offer it two ways. Savory Cast Iron Pancake ($11) is baked with house made sausage, bell peppers, onion, tomato, rosemary and goat cheese served with a house made ajika (red pepper sauce). Reminiscent of a mix between a pancake and quiche, the texture was very pleasing and ajika adds another level of depth to the dish. It keeps well too so take your leftovers home for the following day!

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The sweet version — Drunken Cherry Cast Iron Pancake ($14) — is a Dutch-style pancake baked with Bourbon soaked cherries and served with a tart raspberry sauce. The pancake itself wasn’t sweet which totally appealed to my palate. The raspberry sauce was more like a puree than a sauce and was perfect as an accompaniment for the pancake, but we were discussing how it would be great over some vanilla ice cream as well.

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We were stuffed, but ended the meal with Creme Brulee Cheesecake ($8) something I’m more than familiar with. I’ve had it the traditional way and also, pumpkin style during the holidays. The version here has a layer of custard giving it a different mouth-feel which we both liked a lot. The side of Blackberry Cabernet Sorbet ($4) was incredibly refreshing and a perfect end to the perfect meal.

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Although both locations have almost an identical menu, you will find several dishes exclusive to each location. I’m excited for the new Gaslamp location in a few months, and will definitely return to see what it has in store for all of us who love this place so much.

Cafe 21 — North Park
2836 Adams Avenue
San Diego, CA 92116
Tel: 619-640-2121

Cafe 21 on Urbanspoon

a fun and tasty time at Alchemy San Diego

I didn’t expect Alchemy to be situated within a residential area. I had heard things about it leading me to believe that it was in a bustling part of downtown (yeah, I am not familiar with San Diego at all) but then we found ourselves driving into the Golden Hill/South Park neighborhood. The cute homes dotted along the streets were delightful and we forgot about being “lost” for a moment as we slowed down to admire them. Surprisingly, there, in the middle of the adorable homes, was Alchemy, comfortably situated on the corner between the trees.

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There is only one dining room but felt like there were three specific areas, each giving off its own distinctive feel. There is the bar, the main dining room, and the back “alcove” where we sat, which felt a little more private, a little “secluded” from the rest of the restaurant. This is also the room where artwork by local artists are featured and for sale, adding a unique touch to the already eclectic decor.

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Perusing the menu, I notice it is just as multi-faceted, bringing together flavors from various cultures while staying within Chef Ricardo Heredia’s vision. Our server Natasha was an absolute delight, knowledgeable and very interactive which was very pleasant as it was our first visit to Alchemy.

The first thing I wanted was Chicken Chicharrons ($5) and I made sure that this was truly fried chicken skin before I ordered them. I had a highly disappointing experience at Picca (LA) not long ago when the chicken chicharrons arrived in the form of fried chicken pieces sans skin. A bag arrives filled with crispy chicken skin accompanied with a ramekin of Thai chili sherry vinaigrette. The vinegar balanced the fried morsels well, although a little more salt adhered to the skin would have been even better. I thoroughly enjoyed this with my cocktail.

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One of our cocktails, Milan Rouge ($9) comprised of Jim Beam rye whiskey, Campari, barrel-aged grappa and Punt e Mes, an Italian vermouth, was surprisingly subtle on the palate and more pleasant than I had expected. Paloma ($9) was exactly the way I liked with Fortaleza blanco tequila, refreshing house-made grapefruit soda and fresh lime served in a glass with a spiced salt rim.

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Quinoa Hush Puppies ($6) was Natasha’s recommendation and I was glad because ordinarily I would have forego this. A crispy exterior with a soft center, these were beautifully executed and the accompanying curry ketchup was surprisingly good seeing I normally dislike ketchup with a passion.

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The Vietnamese inspired Duck Bao ($7) was a variation of banh mi but utilizing steam buns instead of the usual baguette. Stuffed with roast duck, hoisin, pickled radish, crushed peanuts and micro cilantro, I liked how the buns didn’t overwhelm the filling, and the flavors well balanced, but more hoisin sauce would have kicked it up another notch.

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Taro Tacos ($6) was another recommendation and these were unique in every way. The taco shell is taro, not corn, giving them a whole new perspective to what you are accustomed to. The pork belly is tender and well-rendered with rich savoriness throughout. The spicy cucumber and micro cilantro added a nice refreshing pop to each bite. The tacos were sprinkled with dehydarated bacon fat powder over the top but it I didn’t detect much bacon flavor overall. The Sriracha is the perfect topping if you like it spicy!

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Norwegian Cabbage Roll ($9) looked very interesting on the menu and it was a very tasty choice indeed. Slow-cooked whole lamb is shredded and stuffed into a red cabbage leaf with juniper berry and bits of pee wee potato before it is rolled up and steamed. Served with ligonberry sauce and sprigs of fresh dill, I loved every aspect of this dish from its colors and textures to many levels of flavors. 

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If you’re looking for a light but delicious entree, Soba Noodle Salad ($16) is definitely the way to go. Cold buckwheat soba noodles are dressed with soy and mirin (Japanese seasoned rice vinegar) and assembled aesthetically with crunchy lotus root, baby mizuna and perfectly grilled shrimp. There were little edible flowers thrown in as well which at first I thought was to add more color to the already vibrant palette, but, they added a fragrance which brought the flavors to yet another dimension.

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However, the piece de resistence at Alchemy was the Yellow Curry Quail ($20), a bowl of luscious coconut curry with pee wee potatoes both purple and yellow, baby carrots and green beans. A perfectly medium rare pan-seared quail sits atop the beautifully creamy sauce. I absolutely LOVED the fried quail egg purse and the side of steamed jasmine rice wrapped in banana leaf. The well-thought out presentation and flavor combination was highly appreciated.

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We ended our meal with The Miracle Berry Experience (price depends on the dessert choice you select). I can’t even begin to explain what this is, but I absolutely insist you try it. This miracle fruit, when eaten, causes your tastebuds to sense sour foods as sweet. It is one of the most mind-blowing experiences you’ll ever have. The fruit contains miraculin which is often used as a sugar substitute, here presented in powder form. I took a little spoonful of it, moved it about in my mouth and wait a minute or two. Then, put a wedge of lemon, lime, or any sour fruits into your mouth and it’ll make the acidic item taste sweet in your mouth. WILD!

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Alchemy is a great place to bring your friends, family and especially, a first date. What better way to have a fun-filled evening seated at one of the secluded tables in the “alcove” and then ending it by experiencing miracle berry? The meal itself was an alchemy of different cuisines coming together and then transformed into the chef’s interpretation. The miracle berry was the icing on the cake for the ultimate alchemy of the palate. Bravo!

Alchemy
1503 30th Street
San Diego, CA 92102
Tel: 619-255-0616

Alchemy on Urbanspoon

Bestia is well worth the drive to LA for

Bestia is no stranger to accolades and last year, appeared in almost every single “best of” lists of restaurants in LA. I’ve been hearing Bestia this, Bestia that, and my frequent dining companion The Hungry Dogg was there a month before he coaxed me into driving up to LA with him so he can visit again.

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Getting a reservation here is no easy feat, so we decided to just chance a walk-in. I had no expectations to get a table as there was already a line at 5.45pm (they open at 6pm) and we were 6th from the front. I had even lesser expectations when I heard repeatedly “we don’t have a reservation” from those ahead of us.

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When we reached the front, Austin asked the hostess if we could sit at the counter by the pizza oven and we were lucky enough to be graced with those spots for an hour and a half (they needed the seats back by 7.30pm) with a clear view of the entire restaurant.

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I quickly perused the menu, took my pen out and marked off which items I wanted to try. Our server Zach was rather helpful in helping us finalize our decisions.

Sitting at the counter has its perks as pizza chef (he introduced himself as Josh) swiftly whipped out a bowl of Beef Meatballs ($13/3pc) and placed it before me stating it was “on the house”. These tender meatballs are ideal in texture — light and airy — and seasoned to perfection. Braised beet greens, soffritto and tomato makes for great accoutrements for the meatballs.

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Chef’s Selection of house-made charcuterie ($15) is impeccable, which includes black peppercorn and orange fennel salumi, chicken liver, coppa di testa and an array of accoutrements which pair perfectly with the meaty offerings on the board. I was surprised I loved the coppa di testa seeing it was mostly fat, but it was so delicate that it melted in my mouth leaving a hint of the seasonings it was created with devoid of the usual unpleasant greasy finish of fat. Absolutely stunning!

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The Creamy Polenta ($8) was just like how I’d imagined, a blend of cornmeal, potatoes and sweet onions blending together for the silkiest, most decadent mouthful ever. Rich, decadent, and utterly sinful.

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I’m a huge fan of gizzards, so when I saw Pan-roasted Chicken Gizzards ($14) on the menu, I had to have it. The initial piece surprised me because I’m used to gizzards having a slight crunchiness to them, but this was soft and meaty. It took a few before my palate grew accustomed to the texture, but flavor-wise, it was the ideal marriage of sweetness from the roasted beets, a touch of bitterness from the Belgian endive with saltiness from the aged capra sarda (a semi-hard goat’s cheese).

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Sitting in front of the pizza oven meant there was no way we were leaving without trying one. The Alla’nduja ($18) appealed to me due to the housemade spicy ‘nduja. I watched Josh put together our pizza of sausage, San Marzano tomatoes and mozzarella topped with wild arugula but was concerned by the heavy drizzling of olive oil he was gracing it with. Therefore, I was not surprised when the pizza was over wet with only the outer edges of the crust containing any semblance of cohesiveness, leaving me no option but to eat the drippy morsels with a knife and fork. It was a shame because the flavors were incredible.

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Spaghetti Rustichella ($25) screamed my name due to the sea urchin, and I was so excited when our server placed the bowl before me. Topped with squid ink botarga, the pasta was perfectly executed to a toothy al dente with hints of garlic and Calabrian chilies, and of course, topped with slivers of my beloved uni. I took my first bite and it didn’t blow my mind only because it was under-seasoned. Pulling out my trusty salt grinder and sprinkling it with a little Himalayan sea salt, the dish was instantly transformed into what my mind had culled it to be right before I put the first forkful into my mouth.uni pasta (640x425)Never one to think about desserts, I do however, love a well-made zabaglione or panna cotta. There wasn’t really a doubt in my mind that I would pick Creme Fraiche Panna Cotta ($9) and I was glad I did. It was spot-on in both texture and consistency with tangerines adding a citrusy freshness to the luxuriously creamy pudding. The accompanying meyer lemon cookies were great, but I was happy with the panna cotta alone.

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This was indeed a hugely satisfying meal and I am looking forward to returning again soon. Service was beyond satisfactory especially in a bustling packed restaurant and Zach was knowledgeable and informative. Definitely worth a visit if you haven’t already been.

Bestia
2121 7th Pl
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Tel: 213-514-5724

Bestia on Urbanspoon