m cafe de chaya (culver city)

April 17, 2009

m cafe de chaya
9343 culver boulevard
culver city, ca 90232
(310) 838-4300
sun-thurs 9am – 9pm
friday & sat 9am – 10pm

i’ve been a fan of chaya brasserie ever since the first time my friend took me there back in college, and is probably one of my top favorite restaurants in LA. i’ve been to chaya venice as well, but the chaya on robertson boulevard is still my favorite. :) so anyway, we’ve driven by m cafe on culver many times, but it was only after finding out that it was owned/operated by the chaya family, that we made it a point to check it out. the photos on this post were taken back in nov 2008 on our first visit to m cafe.

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it is located at ‘downtown culver city’ where all the little cool shops are, and right across the trader joe’s building.  there are outdoor seating, but indoor is as comfy and cozy.  inside, at one end is a whole row of counter display of salads, sandwich ingredients and desserts.  you place your order and pay at the counter,  get a table, and they will serve your food to your table when it’s ready.  m cafe practices macrobiotics method of making food using only natural and organic ingredients with no refined sugar, eggs, red meat, poultry, or dairy products.
m cafe de chaya

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we arrived pretty late in the morning before heading to the gallery, so we decided to share a light brekkie.

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the $2 ice coffee was refreshing. :)

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the $3.95 small bowl of mushroom barley soup has carrots, mushroom, barley, potato, and celery.  it’s a little too oily, but otherwise, very flavorful.

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the breakfast panini costs $11.45, but it is grilled crispy hot.  it has scrambled tofu, soy mozzarella, and is delish.  :)

i really love this place… friendly staff, nice, relaxed, unpretentious ambient, with good choices of vegan/macrobiotic/healthy/vegetarian menu.  however, at one point, the chef came out of the kitchen and saw me snapping shots of the interior, and she asked a staff to politely tell me that they’re okay with taking photos, but not with the interior which would concern them.  most of the time, it is usually asian (particularly chinese) restaurants that do not like photos taken of their restaurants interior and/or food, so this is my first such encounter in a non-asian establishment.  it’s understandable, i guess, but in my experience, usually the more upscale a restaurant is, the less concern they are with customers taking photos. anyway, love m cafe nonetheless!  i’ve never been to their melrose location, but i love this culver city location lots.  it’s closeby and a really nice and relaxing place to hang out with friends, or you can simply enjoy a quiet meal on your own finishing some readings/writings. :)  oh, and don’t forget to try out their desserts as well!  ;)


little flower candy company (pasadena)

April 15, 2009

little flower candy company
1424 w colorado boulevard
pasadena, ca 91105
(626) 304-4800

once in awhile i treat myself to some beautiful spongy marshmallows. i love them…they’re so cute and always put a smile on my face and in my heart everytime i see one. :)

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we recently had lunch at europane bakery in pasadena, and bought these adorable fluffy homemade marshmallow there. they’re made by little flower candy, co. (they’re on west colorado blvd, but their website is still under construction.) aren’t they pretty? each packet comes with four very pretty pastel colors vanilla marshmallows. the only complain we would have is how these are crystal sugar coated instead of powdered coated. when we bite into it, the sugar was so sweet and the micro-crystal texture simply overpowered the soft and delicious marshmallow itself. other than that, if you love marshmallows and sweets, drop by and pick one up…makes a nice little cheer up gift, too! :)


marmalade cafe (farmer’s market at the grove)

April 13, 2009

marmalade cafe
farmer’s market
6333 w. 3rd st, #e 17
los angeles, ca 90036-3109
(323) 954-0088

located at one of my favorite hang out places, the farmer’s market at the grove, the marmalade cafe was an easy choice to have dinner at after a wonderful afternoon at the grove. this evening (we were there over the christmas holidays), with all the beautiful and joyous festive mood all around, we decided to get a table at the patio outside, instead of the warm, cozy indoor seats where at the time we arrived, had quite a waiting time since we didn’t make any reservations.

2008 dec 27 ~ 230 231 235 marmalade cafe, the grove b y

our server was ronnie, who’s just wonderful and attentive. after looking through the menu and couldn’t quite decide right away what we wanted to eat, simply cuz almost everything seemed pretty good (we were hungry! :p) on the menu, we finally decided on crab cakes as appetizer, the siete mares, and half sized mediterranean eggplant salad with half portions of seared sea scallops add on.

maryland crab cakes
when the crab cakes arrived, we were quite hungry by then and couldn’t wait to try them. i love crab cakes, but haven’t had them in awhile. these were richly stuffed (but not enough actual crab meat), served with lemon caper remoulada, and were quite favorable. the $13.95 appetizer also came with a bed of garden salad.

siete mares
my friend’s dish was the siete mares, which consists of jumbo shrimps, some crab meat, scallops,  clams, mussels, calamari, fish simmered in mexican style fish broth, chili fakes, cilantro, bell pappers, and four slices of really crunchy and delicious garlic toasts.  he didn’t like his $17.95 dish at all…the taste, flavor, textures, freshness… though the garlic toasts were pretty good.

half sized mediterranean eggplant salad with half portions of seared sea scallops add on
i’m happy to say that i enjoyed my dish alot more than my friend did his (again :p). my $9.95 half sized mediterranean eggplant salad consists of an organic mixed of garden salad, cubed eggplants, tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, kalamata olives tossed with roasted pepper, feta cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. i added half portion order of seared sea scallops for an additional $4.50 which i was glad i did. my dinner wasn’t the best and the scallops were a tad bit overcooked, but i was still able to enjoy my slightly overpriced (;p) dinner and walked away at the end of the night with a filling tummy. :)


hoppy egg-ster sunday! :)

April 12, 2009

have a wonderfully blessed easter sunday, and a beautiful spring time!! :)

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choco choco house (boston)

March 30, 2009

choco choco house (closed)
83 pembroke street
boston, ma 02118

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even though this little gem chocolatier has closed their door for good, i can’t help but want to share these adorable, pretty handbags chocolates they had. these came in different box set sizes and were really great for gifts, especially to fashionista or purely handbag lovers. it never failed to put a big smile on the receiver’s face and create a great conversation piece both at the office and home parties. choco choco house made variety of yummy exotic flavored chocolates and apart from these handbags, they also did shoes versions. really cute and fun as gifts or a treat for yourself! :) so sad that they’re no longer in business… i wish them all the best in whatever their next venture(s) have been/are.


veggies & flaxseed tortilla chips (trader joe’s)

March 23, 2009

trader joe’s (westchester branch)
8645 s sepulveda blvd
los angeles, ca 90045
(310) 338-9238
9am – 9pm

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after few hours straight doing editing work, i decided to brew some coffee for myself since i probably need to stay up for a few more hours tonight to do some design work. i took a little break and hung out in my kitchen for abit… and before i knew it, hehe…i started munching on some comfort snack.:p these trader joe’s veggies (carrot & tomato, spinach & garlic, red beet & onion) & flaxseed tortilla chips are perfect and flavorful, and…there’s 500mg of omega 3’s per serving! :)  it’s just perfect to enjoy with the trader joe’s red pepper spread (with eggplant and garlic) dip… yum!  the perfect midnight comfort snack! ;)


new bamboo cutting board (shopping)

March 22, 2009

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since i’ve been cooking home more often this past year, i’ve always wanted to get a new cutting board. i finally found something i like from t.j. maxx (the two combined cost me less than $20 including tax…what a bargain!) in the sizes i want… the bottom one in the photo is a good size of 15″ x 12″ by simply bamboo, and the other a smaller square size by island bamboo, but looking at the craftmanship, style and colors, they really do look like they were made by the same manufacturer in china. anyway, aren’t the vertical grains simply beautiful? i’ve always loved wooden stuff, but to be more environmentally conscious, i try to substitute wooden items with bamboo products whenever possible. :)

here’s sharing a list found in the simply bamboo tag…
“bamboo is a newable and sustainable natural resource. bamboo is harder, denser, and lighter than most types of wood. bamboo resists deep cuts but goes easy on your knives. bamboo blocks odor and bacteria because it absorbs less moisture than wood.”

(sorry for not updating new posts in awhile… no, i haven’t stopped eating out nor taking food pics, but just didn’t have the time to sort out all the pics yet… i promise i’ll start blogging new entries soon!)


mugaboka (lomita)

January 24, 2009

2271 lomita blvd.
lomita, ca 90717
(310) 325-3557

this is where we usually go to for k-bbq when we’re in the torrance/gardena/lomita/south bay area. last weekend, after a long and productive day, we went to mugaboka for dinner to celebrate. :)

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they have a la carte menu, but we usually go there for the “all you can eat” (ayce) bbq. i remember how the price used to be $14.99 when we first ate there few years ago, and it’s now $20.99 per person!! >_< you get to choose the usual variety of meat, such as the pork belly, brisket, beef tripe, spicy pork, calamari, beef tongue (my favorite!), rib, etc…

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i love their salad!  it comes with the all-you-can-eat order, and you can ask for more if you want.  i usually eat my salad with the meat instead of rice.

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there are usually about seven dishes of pan-chan, and the steamed egg.  (sometimes, they ‘forget’ to bring it out, so make sure you ask for it cuz it’s included with your ayce meal!)

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our ‘standard orders’ are beef tongue, brisket, and pork belly, then something else if we feel abit more adventurous. :D  the meats are abit inconsistent sometimes, but overall, it’s still pretty good. :)
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here’s adding an extra bonus photo taken from previous visit of my little tokidoki dunny enjoying her spicy kimchi! :)

since their prices went up, we haven’t eaten here as often as we used to (whenever we were in the area), but we really like this place and the ‘outdoor’ seatings, though expect your clothes and hair to smell like bbq after you’re done! ;p  they do have their own parking lot, but we can usually find a street parking with no problem when the lot is full.  though the restaurant might be pretty packed sometimes, but there has never been a time when we needed to wait for a table.  they’re very friendly, but at times it does feel like they’re a tad more attentive to koreans than non-koreans. :p  overall, we always enjoy dining here, and i really love the rice tea they serve at the end of the meal. :)