Tag Archives: Jennifer

Review: Haven Gastropub

6 May

May 5, 2012

Haven Gastropub – Pasadena

First off, I would like to say Happy CINCO de Mayo!  I am going to celebrate my people’s day at an English Pub.  I wish I had a sombrero so I can stick out like a sore thumb.  🙂

Before Ms. Tsan (Nerf 2) and I went to watch The Avengers, we decided to stop by a pub in Old Town Pasadena.  When I first noticed the new pub and read the reviews, I thought that the beers were expensive but to my pleasant surprise, it is pretty affordable ($6-12).  The bottle beers are pretty pricy, but if you had gone to Lucky Baldwin’s to drink, Haven is about the same price.  Now off to our new food adventure for the night!!! (Yes, I was excited to leave the house.)

My first round of beer, I ordered one of my favorites from Stone Brewery, The Old Guardian.  The Old Guardian is a barley wine with 11.5% alcohol by content.  Now next to that glass of beer is our side dish for the night – brussels sprouts.  I know, I know, American television has always butchered the sprouts.  They keep saying it tastes funny and has a funny smell to it, but if you cook it just right, the taste isn’t all that bad.  It’s like a mini cabbage.  Well, unless you are like our friend Nerf 1 (Kimberly) and hate cabbage, then this dish is not for you.  ***hush voice*** “I think her mom beat her up with a pillow case full of cabbages.”  LOL, just kidding.

The picture below was an overview of our veggies for the night.  From the first taste of this dish Allison and I were very happy, but as we dug down into it the sprouts were greasy.  This was sort of complaint number 1.

For my main course, I ordered the lamb burger with a side of Thumb Master by Old Orange Brewing Co, a double IPA (not pictured).  The lamb burger (cooked medium rare) included onion jam, tzatziki, onion sprouts, and rosemary brioche bun.  Yes, I said it – onion jam.  The jam gave it a sweet flavor that I just can’t help, but to ask you readers to try and make some.  The fries are seasoned with a 4 herb blend and sprinkled with rosemary, but it came out a little cold and soggy.  The fries were complaint number 2.  Allison and I wished that the fries came out a little crispy and maybe piping hot.

See the inside of the burger.  Too bad you can’t see that it’s a little red on the inside.  My camera sucks. I also forgot to take the pictures of the onion jam.  So I can’t just blame everything on my camera!

The dish below is the shepherd’s pie.  No, I did not order 2 entrees.  I am not that crazy.  This dish belonged to Nerf 2.  The shepherd’s pie is baked with lamb, beef, root vegetables, cream, rosemary mashed potatoes, and cheese. Now here is complaint number 3.  The pie did not have enough lamb, beef, and veggies.  There was too much mashed potatoes for Nerf 2.  She enjoyed the crunchy cheese, but the potato top was too much and too rich.

Overall, we had a good time.  It was a great place to hang out and talk with your friends.  The food was decent and the beers on tap were not too expensive.  The rating we would give this restaurant is 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Review: Korea House (Rowland Heights, CA)

5 Sep

Korea House (Rowland Heights, Ca) by Jennifer

menu sample

All you can eat Korean BBQ.  I believe that says it all.  For $20, you can get unlimited marinated beef, spicy pork, kalbi, shrimp, octopus, and squid!  Also, unlimited side dishes all you want.  This is one of the best group activities you can do with your friends and family.  If you don’t like squid or octopus, there are other choices you can choose that are cheaper.  See below for your reference for “A” and “B”.

Shrimp, Beef and Pork

What my friends haven chosen last night was “D”.

As always when I go get Korean bbq, I like to designate only 1 to 2 people to cook the meal for us.  There are less mess and not too many people in the way to just throw things on the grill.

Spicy tofu soup and steamed egg

The below picture, we had a 2 sides of tofu soup and 2 egg in the pot.  Since it was cold last night and it rained for a bit, the soup was very refreshing!  It warmed my belly up.

meat on the grill

Up next on our little grill, we decided to order a dish of octopus.  This was probably the hardest thing you can cook.  You can never tell when it’s cooked right by the firmness.  It was also the hardest one to eat, not much flavor, but it was interesting.  The only fun part to watch was to see the octopus opening and curling like a ball.

But of course, for every bbq, you must need a drink.  Hite is a Korean version of a Bud Lite, but better and a little bit more bite.  If you also like Kirin or Sapporo, Japanese beers, then you will like Hite.  They are equivalent to each other in taste.  I’m also pretty sure they cost about the same or a little cheaper.  So our little party of 12 has ordered 4 bottles of 1 liter Hite.  Now, I’m not going to lie, once that bottle is open, I will nurse it, like a baby with a milk bottle.

Overall, this place is not the best I have had Korean bbq.  I have had better, especially if you go to K-Town in downtown L.A, there will be tons of places to get all you can eat with better quality in meat.  In K-Town, most of the restaurants you’ll encounter have more selections with beers, wine, and soju cocktails!  But hey, that can be my next adventure after I rest from my food induced coma and lose about 10lbs.

1st Post in the Booze Corner: Bar * Food

4 Sep

This is the first post to the new section in Nerds With Food from a good friend that has hobbies that include drinking around town. Here in Booze Corner, we will feature spots in LA that serves good drinks and great bar food. Thanks Jennifer for writing this piece for us.

Bar Food: By Jennifer (friend of Nerfs)

Recently, I have bought a Groupon for Bar Food in Los Angeles.   The restaurant does not open until 5pm when happy hour starts.  My sister and I have decided to go during happy hour just to enjoy cheaper beer and appetizers before we order our main entrees.  (I know, I know, beer is my kryptonite.) We have gone on a Thursday, and the place is not crowded at all.

Happy hour price for beer is limited to their house blends only.  Their house beers are $3.50; Bar Honey Blonde, Bar Amber, and Bar Pale Ale.  I have never been to happy hour in a long time that has such great price on beer.  I have told myself that I would not drink so much because the Groupon does not cover happy hour prices, but it’s hard to resist.  The honey blonde tastes so good it leaves a nice honey flavor that lingers on your taste buds.  (Yes Allison, it would taste better if there was a honey blonde with a six pack abs.)For appetizers, we ordered sweet frites (sweet potato fries with spicy aioli sauce) to go with the honey blonde.  The sweet frites was not too fried, and the aioli sauce is alright, probably just stick with ketchup.  FYI, if you go to Bar Food for happy hour and do not want to get any entrees, they give out free hot dogs, 1 per person.

So for the main course, I ordered the Da’s Fish and Chips (15.50).  3 lightly battered cod fish and a tower of potatoes with black pepper seasoning.To pair off my fish and chips, I had the pale ale.  It wasn’t anything special, but it did pair well with the fish.  The amber may had pair it just as well, but the reasoning, light drinks goes well with light food.  I must say, the last time I had such a great fish and chips was at Lucky’s, but Bar Food had moved up the ladder for me.

Now, for one of the most delicious food they have is the Shepherd’s Pie.

The last time I had a shepherds pie (14.50), it was at Stone Brewery, but hands down, Bar Food won me over.  Grounded lamb, chunks of carrots, peas, and mash potatoes on top.  My sister ordered the amber to go with this dish, and it definitely paired really well.  I was stuffed on my fish and chips, but I saved enough room to finish the rest of the pie.  I even ordered my own amber to get that nice crisp taste.

Dining experience, 9/10, food 8/10, and drinks 7/10.  Would I come back to this restaurant?  Yes.

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