This is where the hungry come to feed. For mine is a generation that circles the globe and searches for something we haven't tried before. So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience. And if it hurts, you know what? It's probably worth it.

Aug 31, 2009

bridal shower.

saturday was my cousin's bridal shower at Ouisie's Table... it was also the first time for me to shoot with a dSLR... dslr is not like a point and shoot... here are a few of the shots.

Aug 28, 2009

i ate there.

it's been awhile since i posted that list of places to eat in Houston... many of those places no longer exist.. but many a new places have opened up.. (i still miss Aries and Scott's Celler)

so i figured i'd keep up with a list of notable places that i've ate at... from all over. ALL OVER. some places weren't necessarily good, but they still constitute as being notable. i'll try to update this list regularly.

disclaimer* the houston list is a little intense. i wasn't sure what merited a mention. i tried to limit to the 'nice' non chain places.

Babbo** *


lighthouse bistro
la cascata (st. regis princeville)

Sushi Sasabune

Joel Robuchon at the Mansion**


Al Castello
Gianni Franzi*

La Vaquita Echa
El Cid

(can't remember atm)

Lokanda Peskarija*
Konavoski Dvori

Jangara Ramen*

Lotte Dept Food Court *(no rly. it's awesome)


Bedford*closed [review]
Poscol* [review]

* issa recommends
** national recognition (ie. michelin stars, pellegrino world's best, mobil diamonds)

Aug 27, 2009

the oceanaire.

for houston restuarant week, we booked reservations at the oceanaire.. it had a vast menu of choices to pick from so we figured.. good as time as any to try it out.

it ended up being another disappointment..

it wasn't that food was bad, but more that it wasn't anything particularly good either. like i would've enjoyed pappadeux just as well or even more so... which should not be the case at this price point and stature, this restuarant should be critiqued on a higher level. it's also probably because seafood is very particular. the freshest is the best.. and then cooked simply.. to taste the flavors. it seems oceanaire was all about the sauce that often overpowered. on the other hand service was very good.. and the place was pretty busy due to HRW.

i started with calamari.. which was good, albeit nothing special.. followed by a stuffed flounder with crab and brie with a lemon butter sauce... strangely enough packed full of crab.. and an enourmous amount of dill.. so i couldn't taste brie.. nor the butter lemon sauce.. it was more like dill cream sauce. two others in the group ordered the fishermens stew which was in a sauce that was painfully salty..
dessert was key lime pie.. straight from the freezer. but it was still good.. despite being half frozen.

so the dinner didn't go as well as planned the gathering of new and old friends was good enough to make the evening a success. although we all agreed. 2.5 stars for the oceanaire.. a place where we most likely won't do business again.

the oceanaire
5061 Westheimer Rd (Houston Galleria)
Housto, TX 77056

Aug 7, 2009

vinoteca poscol

molto bene!

like dolce vita.. and da marco before that. poscol delivers perfectly in marco wiles fashion.

i've already eaten here three times in the last 2 months.. and each time has been enjoyable.

in a slightly crammed in shopping center, you'll find small tables and a packed house of patrons noshing on housecured meats an italian wine. be sure to check the board for the daily specials.. especially for their terrine of the day.. so far i've had the antelope terrine and the phaesant with truffles.. both absolutely amazing. the house cured meats are also a must try.

with plates prepared with the intent of sharing.. the brocolini is quite delicious as well as the roasted beets with goat cheese.. the braised calamari, and the valpolicella risotto were amazing. and a daily special panini of fried sardines. perfection. they also have a great selection of italian wines.. each meal has been extraordinary. not to mention affordable! great atmosphere and great food. my expectations of marco wiles newest venture were definitely met. per usual.

1609 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77006

Aug 6, 2009

rainbow lodge

incredibly disappointing...

Those are the two words that I definitely did not expect to speak after dining at Rainbow Lodge. Of course I went in with such high hopes after reading review after review of how great Randy Rucker was with his experimental take on foods.

Perhaps we caught him on an off night...

We ordered the tasting menu which started off well enough with a canape service where out of the three i can only recall the venison tartar being ok, while cooked oyster was quite tasty. from there the quality of food seemed to go down.. we started with a yellowtail served room temperature sashimi style cut in an awkward pieces that included the skin and was extremely chewy, i opted not to eat the last piece.
the next course was 'fried chicken with three mustards'.. interesting to have chicken as a course. it was pretty a small piece of chicken breast that was coated in batter and fried, then cut in half and put with a purple mustard, mustard seed, and a mustard foam. not innovative and not very flavorful, unless you doused it in the mustard. the worst part was that the fried part was not at all combining with the chicken at all and fell off.. it got soggy because of the preparation and the mustard around it.

after about a 20 minute wait for the next course, yes you read that correctly. an exhorbant amount of time between courses was the least of our problems. if only the food had been executed well...

third course was a lamb sweatbreads with califlower puree.. good texture but extremely overly salty. it was licking a salt lick. the califlower puree could not tone down the saltiness of this dish. Also this dish was replacing a pork belly dish that was listed on the menu (but we were never informed of this change), we were a bit upset since this was really the main dish we had wanted to try from the tasting menu. The GM did come out to apologize and somehow found two pieces in the kitchen for them to whip up for us to try. This ended up being the best dish of the entire meal.
Our fourth course was a quail with roasted beats. simple, no fuss dish with nothing i haven't tried before. And lastly, the dessert, which came as a complete afterthought a bowl of corn flakes and bacon raisins over some whipped creme over syrup. it was a bizzare end to a very bizzare meal.

Rainbow Lodge seems to be a Houston staple, full of regulars, perhaps we should have stuck to the regular menu of game-y meat dishes. I've also heard great things about the brunch. So maybe we did order the wrong thing.. but when there's a notable chef, you'd think the tasting menu would be the best thing on the menu.

Rainbow Lodge
2011 Ella Blvd
Houston, TX 77008

Aug 5, 2009


[ with HRW coming up.. i decided to do a few restaurant reviews. ]

This wasn't the first time we dined by Chef Robert Gadsby's hands. And it certainly won't be the last.

We first had a taste of his french, japanese fusion at NOE in the omni hotel several years ago. I remember encountering a delicious tasting menu topped off with the best softshell crab dish I have ever had. Soon after he left, and NOE closed (only to reopen again recently). After a few stints as executive chef at other peoples restaurants, he decided to open up his own. And thank goodness he did.

Set up in the heights, with it's open and modern interior, I was ready to experience some good foods. After opening the menu, which had just been revamped for the summer (and possibly the recession), i noticed that it was the most affordable fancy foods menu I had seen in awhile. With a 4 and 7 course prixfixe style tasting menu for $45 and $65 repectively, and topped off with a $89 chefs choice menu. Of course there was the a la carte option, but with the price of the tasting menus and it being prixfixe for the entire menu, that was the best option. There was an enourmous amount of choices for hot and cold tapa sized appetizers.. that it was quite hard to choose between them. And with three of us for dinner we got to try even more dishes.
i started with the steak tartar which was more thin strips of beef had an asian twist and was quite good though i might prefer the strictly french version, the scallops were tasty, the hamachi carpaccio was better, and the seared foie gras was tops (but you really can't mess up something as delicious as foie gras). there was duck ravioli which was a bit interesting, but good. and ended with a mushroom consumme which was so simple and clean, it was just delicious.
for entrees there was lobster in a coconut curry, since i've never been a fan of coconut curries, i'd say this dish was decent, but i'm not a good judge for this. there was lamb shank which was delicious and tender.. and then there was my entree texas quail with potatoes with summer truffles. i saw truffles so i had too. and it was good.. the aroma itself made my mouth water.
and for dessert i ordered the cheese plate. but by this time i could only nibble a bit here and a bit there on the massive plate.
overall i'd say the appetizers like most restaurants the best part of the meal, entrees seem a bit more filler with flavors less intense. the service was top notch, and i can't wait to try chef gadsby's way on our next visit..

Bedford Restaurant
1001 Studewood St
Houston, TX 77008