Herbed scramble – Odettes Eatery

Herbed scramble - Odettes Eatery
Halloumi, broccolini, date chutney, Midnight Baker bread. $20 NZD
Odettes Eatery, Auckland NZ

Mmm, this scramble was really delicious and I liked the fluffy texture of it. The halloumi cheese was good too, but maybe there was a bit too much of it.

Cucumber Fizz cocktail - Odettes Eatery
Cucumber Fizz: prosecco, elderflower, apple. $16 NZD

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Brined and braised short rib – Finn Town

Brined and braised short rib - Finn Town
Creme fraiche, potato puree, broccolini. $25
Finn Town, San Francisco CA

Mmm, this tasted great, but I thought that the short rib was on the small side. I liked the rich, deep flavors though. The potato puree was especially yummy with the pan suace and creme fraiche.

A disastrous dinner at Kitchen Story!

Three buddies - Kitchen Story
Three Buddies: grilled double sided short ribs, broccolini, kimchi rice, Asian. pear. $18
Kitchen Story, San Francisco CA

I REALLY wanted to like this place! I’ve been to 3 of the previous restaurants in this seemingly cursed location, and the mediocrity continues! 7×7 Magazine has this place on their list of date spots, which is great if you’re speed dating (more on that later).

Negatives:
– Even though they only had 2 reservations a 6pm, they couldn’t confirm my reservation. I had to point out my own name on their reservation list! Sad.

– There were only 3 tables occupied, but we were still seated at the most dreary, cave-like table possible. The people a few tables over were even using their cell phone lights to read the menu.

– Less than an hour into dinner, we ordered another round of wine and declined dessert. They QUICKLY brought our check, had us sign and took it away. This is normally fine, but they also set the 2-top table next to us for three people while the waiting parties breathed on top of us from the bar. I swear they must have pushed the other table closer to ours because the third menu was practically touching our table! Omg, we get the hint! We are no longer customers and should leave! That’s just wrong. That’s what I meant about speed dating above, this place seems to care more about volume than service. Even the table on the other side us felt it. I overheard them when they sat down, whispering that they needed to eat quickly because they were told that their table was reserved soon. Sheesh! If you can’t fit a party in for a decent dinner, please don’t seat them and rush them! We had a reservation and STILL felt rushed! Last time I checked, an hour isn’t a long seating for dinner.

Big hug - Kitchen Story
Big Hug: their famous Millionaire’s bacon wrapped bay U-10 scallop, grilled eggplant over spicy cilantro sauce, garlic egg noodle. $16

Omg, these garlic noodles were disgusting! They tasted like cardboard with dry rot – seriously. The scallops were overcooked and the bacon made an impenetrable coat around them. This was more like a “slap on the face” than a “big hug”.

Spicy Kobe rolls - Kitchen Story
Spicy Kobe Rolls: grilled Wagyu strips wrapped cucumber, mint, spicy limt beetroot sauce. $10

I know you can’t make anything out, but that’s probably for the better. These meat rolls were hard to chew, hard to handle, and poorly conceived.

Bread and butter - Kitchen Story
Bread and butter. Complimentary

Positives:
– The workers are really sweet when they’re not trying to kick you out of your table.

– The portions are decent.

– My Three Buddies short ribs weren’t overly salty.

I’ve heard that this place is better for brunch so I’ll give them another chance. Hopefully they won’t completely disappoint again.

Unfortunate Helen Keller dinner – Johannes Restaurant

Johannes Restaurant, Palm Springs CA

Ok, the title of this blog entry is a little unfair, but I wanted to vent a little bit. I actually had a very good experience at Johannes. The service was excellent as was the food.

But I’m just gonna go out and say it – I hate super dark restaurants!

For me, part of an amazing dining experience is being able to actually see what I’m eating. For instance, my duck appetizer tasted great and I’m sure it looked amazing – BUT I COULDN’T SEE IT! I really wanted to see the amazing roasted duck against the dark lentils and the beautifully drizzled raspberry vinaigrette. BUT everything looked just like a dark lump. I tried positioning the candle to get better shots to no avail. What you see on this blog is WAY better than what I actually saw in person!

How does a dimly lit room improve my dining experience!? I can’t see my food. I can’t see my dining my guest. I CAN’T SEE ANYTHING!!!

This is becoming such a pet peeve for me that I’m tempted to decline my next reservation if I enter a restaurant and see that it’s lit like a Paleozoic cave! Just wait, I’m gonna do it! This is ridiculous!

So in conclusion, I enjoyed my dinner but it was a little overpriced considering that I couldn’t FULLY enjoy my meal.

Lillet blonde Johannes Restaurant

Lillet blonde. Over ice, orange zest. $9

Vodka martini Johannes Restaurant

Grey Goose vodka martini up with olives. $11

Pimm's cup Johannes Restaurant

Pimm’s cup, lemon juice, over ice. $9

Brussels sprouts salad Johannes Restaurant

Brussels sprouts salad (special). Lemon juice, olive oil, pecorino cheese and walnuts. $12
Very bright and refreshing. This was a simple salad that you can easily make at home. I think the hardest part would be leafing the brussels sprouts, probably very labor intensive.

Honey and soy glazed duck breast Johannes Restaurant

Honey and soy glazed duck breast. Sliced roasted duck breast, Beluga lentil salad, tiny greens and raspberry vinaigrette. $11
My favorite dish of the night. It was served cold and tasted amazing. I’m sure it was beautifully composed, but I really couldn’t see much of it. The dark duck on the dark lentils looked like a black blob in the restaurant. The flavor were great and the textures were fun.

Australian grass fed kangaroo loin Johannes Restaurant

Australian grass fed kangaroo loin. Glazed bosc pear, veal bacon, walnuts, orange, cranberries, broccolini, juniper merlot reduction. $29
The kangaroo didn’t taste as crazy as I thought it would. I guess the chef recommends it served medium rare, but this came out pretty rare. I wish I would have ordered it medium instead. It was very tender and the reduction tasted great. The bosc pear came out super hot and delicious, and I loved the mixed topping.

New Zealand grass fed young lamb rack Johannes Restaurant

New Zealand grass fed young lamb rack. White beans, zucchini, tomatoes, grilled green onions, triple Dijon mustard sauce. $36
Wow, you get a LOT of lamb – 6 ribs of it! This was very delicious and super tender. I wish the grilled green onions weren’t on the plate though. They seemed too clunky for an otherwise beautiful plate.

Bread and butter Johannes Restaurant

Baguette and pesto butter.