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CITY FOR TASTE OF HAWAII FAVORITES!

Friday, October 31, 2014

ARIA CAFE

ARIA CAFE
ARIA HOTEL AND RESORT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

ARIA CAFE
ARIA HOTEL AND RESORT
3730 S. LAS VEGAS BLVD
LAS VEGAS, NV  89109
702-590-8520
HOURS:  24 Hours Daily

Love the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas and the Cafe located off the lobby of the hotel.  This is a great place to grab a meal morning, noon or night.  Service has always been very good here and the food is better than average.  I had the Huevos Rancheros for the second time and this time it was not as good as the last.  At $18 it was a real disappointment.  My buddies Denver Omelet at $17 was pretty basic.  I think these are pretty high prices for Las Vegas and there are probably better values for breakfast.  The Peppermill and Blueberry come to mind.  

ARIA HOTEL IN LAS VEGAS IS BEAUTIFUL
ENTRANCE TO THE ARIA CAFE
LOVE THE ARCHITECTURE OF THIS PLACE
24 HOUR DINING AT THE ARIA
ARIA CAFE BREAKFAST MENU
BENEDICTS AND SPECIALTIES
DENVER OMELET
HUEVOS RANCHEROS
NOT MUCH BEANS AND NOT AS GOOD AS LAST TIME I HAD THIS HERE

JULIAN SERRANO TAPAS - LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

JULIAN SERRANO TAPAS
ARIA HOTEL - LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

JULIAN SERRANO
ARIA HOTEL AND RESORT
3730 S. LAS VEGAS BLVD
LAS VEGAS, NV  89109
702-590-8520
HOURS:  Daily 11:30 AM - 11:00 PM

Always enjoy staying at the Aria in Las Vegas.  Love the hotel, casino and variety of restaurants within the hotel.  Julian Serrano is located in the lobby of the Aria and I have enjoyed the food and service here several times.  On this visit we enjoyed a family style dinner where we let the waiter pick most of our small plates.  We told him to fire away and bring some of the restaurants most popular dishes.  We sat back and sampled a wide variety of flavors.  While nothing was really spectacular we did enjoy most everything on the table.  The Black Rice with Calamari and Lobster and Short Ribs were probably my favorites along with the Fresh Calamari.  
Click link below to see another post on Julian Serrano at the Aria:

JULIAN SERRANO IN THE ARIA HOTEL
BEAUTIFUL WALL BEHIND THE BAR AT JULIAN SERRANO
JULIAN SERRANO TAPAS MENU
TAPAS AT JULIAN SERRANO
YELLOWTAIL "TIRADITO" - SLICED CRUDO YELLOWTAIL, SWEET POTATO HAYSTACKS,
HORSERADISH CREME AND PONZU SAUCE ($16)

MONKFISH ($14)
FRESH CALAMARI WITH LEMON PARSLEY AND CARAMELIZED ONIONS ($15)
SEARED SCALLOP WITH ROMESCO SAUCE ($14)
STUFFED PIQUILLO PEPPERS WITH GOAT CHEESE AND MUSHROOMS ($12.50)


BLACK RICE WITH CALAMARI, LOBSTER MEAT, SOFRITO AND SQUID INK ($12)
SHORT RIBS WITH WHIPPED SWEET POTATOES ($16)
SHORT RIBS WERE MOIST AND DELICIOUS.  ONE OF THE NIGHTS FAVORITES!
MIXED SEAFOOD CEVICHE WITH SHRIMP, WHITE FISH, OCTOPUS ($15)
TUNA CONES - AHI TARTARE, CUCUMBER, WON TON, AVOCADO AND PONZU ($14)

Friday, October 24, 2014

GRILLED OPAH (MOONFISH)

GRILLED OPAH (MOONFISH)
DINNER AT HOME

Blessed to live in Hawaii and enjoy the abundance of fresh fish from our warm waters.  Opah or Moonfish is popular in Hawaii restaurants and in fact was the featured fish at D.K. Steakhouse last night where we had dinner.  I cooked up this Opah at home and enjoyed it with some Garlic Mashed Potatoes and saut√©ed fresh vegetables.  Opah is a firm and meaty fish that you do not want to overcook.  The fish is mild in flavor so a butter or creme sauce is recommended.  I used the sauce from the vegetables and this dish was tasty.  
Click links below to view more recipes for Opah;

FRESH HAWAIIAN OPAH (MOONFISH) WAS ABOUT $12 FOR THESE TWO PIECES
A LITTLE HAWAIIAN SALT PLUS PEPPER
SHALLOTS, GARLIC AND FRESHLY CHOPPED JALAPENO SAUTEED IN BUTTER AND OLIVE OIL
DO NOT OVERCOOK OPAH - IT WILL GET TOUGH AND CHEWY
ADDED TO GARLIC AND SHALLOTS - ONION, RED AND GREEN BELL PEPPER, CARROTS AND PEAS.
ADDED SOME CHICKEN STOCK AND REDUCED
FRESH OPAH WITH GARLIC MASHED POTATOES AND VEGETABLES

Monday, October 20, 2014

UNITED CLUB LOUNGE - SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

UNITED CLUB LOUNGE 
SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

UNITED CLUB LOUNGE
SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
TERMINAL 2 W
3665 N. HARBOR DRIVE
SAN DIEGO, CA  92101
800-241-6522
HOURS: Daily 5:15 AM - 10:00 PM

Made a stop at the United Club Lounge at the San Diego Airport.  The Lounge is located on the Mezzanine Level between Gates 47 and 48.  Was impressed with the large windows that bring in lots of light, comfortable seating and cleanliness.  Coffee, Juice, Cereal, Fruit and Yogurt was available in the morning.  There is a nice bar and plenty of electrical outlets to charge your phone and computer.  I sat outside on the bar area where you have a view of the terminal.  Got a bit noisy at there at times but I liked the large leather seats and view.  This is a great lounge and an excellent place to relax or get some work done before your flight.  

    UNITED CLUB LOUNGE IN SAN DIEGO HAS BEVERAGE AND SNACK AREA
    FULL BAR
    OUTER SEATING AREA
    GREAT VIEW OF TERMINAL FROM LOUNGE

    Sunday, October 19, 2014

    PULLED PORK TACOS

    PULLED PORK TACOS
    SOMEWHERE IN ENCINITAS, CA

    One of my best buddies in the world has been perfecting a recipe for Pulled Pork Tacos for a few years now.  After serving hundreds at a charity event and receiving rave reviews it was time for me to step into his home and sample what he said were "tacos that will blow my mind".  He said to me that he smokes the Pork Shoulder for 16 hours, makes his own BBQ Sauce and the Coleslaw, Roasted Corn Salsa and Black Eyed Peas.  I was impressed with all the work and the presentation when we arrived at his home.  I thought we would be eating tacos in the back yard by the smoker but this was an extraordinary sit down dinner complete with cold beer and some good wine.  Each dish was presented as its own delicious creation but when combined in a corn tortilla shell the flavors combined to make taco magic.  Indeed these were tacos that "blow your mind".  Fantastic flavor and texture.  I am not just saying this because the cook is my friend.  Believe me, I give him shit about everything and never hold back.  As a taco lover I wanted to critique his tacos but just could not.  There is nothing I could do to improve these tacos.  When you add the Smoked Pork, Coleslaw, Corn, BBQ Sauce and Avocado you have the perfect combination of flavors.  He cooked the corn tortillas in coconut oil and I was amazed by the fact that they were not greasy at all.  Perfect texture of crunchiness without the grease.  Damn good!  Every component compliments the others in these tacos.  The sides however by themselves were also delicious.  I absolutely loved the Coleslaw and Roasted Corn Salsa.  Coleslaw was perfectly sauced with a combination of mayonnaise and sour creme with a little pickle juice and pickles.  One of my favorite Slaw's of all time.  

    PULLED PORK TACOS IN ENCINITAS
    THE TABLE IS SET FOR TACO MAGIC
    SHREDDED SMOKED PORK SHOULDER
    ROASTED CORN
    GREAT COLESLAW
    BLACK EYED PEAS
    CORN TORTILLAS COOKED IN COCONUT OIL
    PULLED PORK TACOS WITH CORN SALSA, AVOCADO AND BBQ SAUCE.  ADD THE COLESLAW FOR "WOW"

    ENCINITAS RANCH GOLF COURSE

    ENCINITAS RANCH GOLF COURSE
    ENCINITAS, CALIFORNIA

    ENCINITAS RANCH GOLF COURSE
    1275 QUAIL GARDENS DRIVE
    ENCINITAS, CA  92024
    760-944-1936

    My friends home course in Califonia is Encinitas Ranch.  He plays here often and invited me to enjoy this course just minutes from his home.  Started the day with a Breakfast Burrito in the Clubhouse.  The Burrito was filling but did not have the flavor of other Breakfast Burritos in San Diego.  Basically egg with frozen Tator Tots.  Enjoyed this course a lot.  Nice open fairways and well maintained greens.  Only complaint by everyone on the course was that there was a long wait on every hole.  Course was backed up and it took around six hours to complete our round.  I did not mind this too much.  Golfing on a beautiful day in San Diego with good friends and a great beverage cart.  Shot a decent round but my buddy shot an 81 to take me down.  

    ENCINITAS RANCH GOLF COURSE
    NICE CLUBHOUSE WITH RESTAURANT AND INDOOR/OUTDOOR SEATING
    INDOOR RESTAURANT AND BAR ALSO HAS GREAT OUTDOOR SEATING WITH FIREPLACE
    BREAKFAST BURRITO WITH TATOR TOTS
    BREAKFAST BURRITO INCLUDED EGGS AND TATOR TOTS
    ROLLING COURSE WITH OCEAN VIEWS
    NICE OPEN FAIRWAYS
    ENJOYED THIS COURSE IN ENCINITAS
    ONE OF COOLEST BEVERAGE CARTS EVER
    BEVERAGE CART WITH TAPS FOR SOME GREAT DRINKS
    MY BUDDY SHOT AN 81 AND DOMINATED