Alpha Global Sushi Bar

January 22, 2015

April 26th, 2013. Alpha Global Sushi Bar

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

In Vancouver you definitely have to have sushi!  It’s a must. Like, really. I mean it!

To kick off our spring break I took us to Alpha Global Sushi Bar. Yelp and other food reviews have almost always steered me in the right direction and I’d been hearing about this place for a while. While it’s at a higher price point than many the promise of unique twists and good quality just outside the Yaletown neighborhood had me anticipating a good meal 🙂

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 


The space is small, with very limited seating, typical of your more traditional Japanese style joints. It’s cozy.  The interesting thing about Alpha is that you also get a hefty book on Japanese history along with your table and menu. Intellectual!

 

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mojitos are a must on sunny days and when reuniting with a friend! Refreshing, minty, subtly sweet and crisp!  My favorite cocktail 🙂

 

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ebi Fry seemed to be a fan favorite, so we ordered it. Light, crispy, and super hot on the inside! The cool tartar sauce helped cool down our tongues and added a tangy punch!

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 

 

We ordered the Spicy Tuna Sashimi with sliced onion, seaweed, green onion with a spicy ginger sauce.  Fresh tuna has a clean, sweet flavor and your teeth sink in the surface and then you get a slightly bouncy give towards the middle.  The spicy ginger sauce was refreshing and paired in a lovely way with the tuna!

 

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar


The famous and namesake Alpha Roll has mango, tobiko, mayo crab, wrapped in albacore tuna, and avocado with a plum wine mustard mayo sauce.  You know me, I love sauce!  This roll was again, quite clean tasting and the sweet and rich sauces just added a decadence to it.  I am usually not a fan of mango, but this roll was nice 🙂

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 

For our second roll I went with the Philly Roll.  Sure, it’s one of those “been there, done that” items, but I can’t help my love for cream cheese and smoked salmon 😉  While not being exactly exciting I was happy that they didn’t skimp on the smoked salmon as many places do.

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 

Mind blowing moment: The Mentaiko Udon. Like, MIND. BLOWN. It was essentially udon noodles in a spicy cod roe sauce…..but what made it so amazing was that it was tossed in BUTTER! Like, WHAT???!!! How could something so simple, make something SO AMAZING!! Oh, right, IT’S BUTTER!  Okay, maybe I’m just a little crazy, but this was so so so so awesome. I loved it!!

Despite the fact that it seemed like a solid meal I couldn’t help feeling at the end that I wasn’t quite satisfied. Like, even though we were both full it still left me feeling like I was wanting something more. Hmmmmmm………

March 16th, 2013. Miura Waffle Milk Bar

miura waffle + milk bar

miura waffle + milk bar

 

Reunion brunch with Joyce! Since leaving Sylvan I haven’t seen Joyce, but we’ve been able to keep in touch through Facebook and judging by each others’ posts we both love food! What better way to reconnect than over Vancouver’s newest fad….Waffle sandwiches!

miura waffle + milk bar

miura waffle + milk bar

 

 

 

 

Miura Waffle Milk Bar is a Japanese waffle joint that’s small but clean. Already gaining acclaim by being featured on hit foodie show “You Gotta Eat Here” it’s one of those places considered a hidden gem.

miura waffle + milk bar

miura waffle + milk bar

 

 

 

 

We couldn’t just choose between savory or sweet so we went for 1 of each and split them: First the Hoisin Sando! Sweet and savory hoisin ground pork sausage sandwiched in with bright and aromatic cilantro, refreshing and clear cucumber and a mildly tangy carrot and radish pickle. Reminiscent of a bahn mi but slightly milder. I found that the waffle was appropriately crispy and soft at the same time although bordering on that very thin line of being slightly more dense than I prefer. Delicious? Yes!

miura waffle + milk bar

miura waffle + milk bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, And I also got a Maple Yoggy Milk. Because….I love maple and I what goes better with waffles than milkshake! Not overly sweet with a hint of maple. I would have liked a stronger maple flavor, but it was certainly refreshing and creamy!

miura waffle + milk bar

miura waffle + milk bar

 

 

 

Next we had the Fruits and Cream Sando! Served between the same waffle with the season’s fresh fruit and cream, today’s fruit was strawberries! Okay, what’s more fitting than tart, sweet, juicy strawberries with a rich and creamy whipped cream against delicious waffle! The hoisin sando had filled us, but the fruits and cream sando put us over the edge 😉

Busy stuffing our mouths I’m surprised we got so much talking done in between! It was wonderful to reconnect and to see how much had happened in our lives since we worked together 🙂 Thanks for suggesting such a fun place, Joyce!

January 1st, 2013. Best Birthday Brunch @ Red Wagon Cafe!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

Happy Birthday, Eunice!!  A great sister deserves to start off the year right.  Who doesn’t love brunch and who doesn’t want brunch from a little cafe made famous on the food network?  But even before Red Wagon Cafe was featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Thrus and Dives” this tiny, ghetto-looking East Hastings cafe was seeing line-ups down the block and acquiring die hard fans!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

 

Since they don’t take reservations we were in the huddle of awaiting diners gathered around the front just anticipating for the waitress to come out and call our names!  Oh, and the hunger was setting in…. Setting in reeeeeeeeeeeeeal good….!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

 

 

When they finally come out and call your name you almost feel as if you’re “the chosen one” as you are suddenly possessed by this feeling of elation and are looked upon enviously by the others that remain outside!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

 

 

 

 

Inside the establishment there’s very much a retro feel and it’s quite tiny!!  Literally within earshot of the other blissful diners!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Mimosa for the birthday girl!  Eunice loves orange juice, so why not start off the day with a bright, special drink!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

 

 

 

 

Eunice went for the Crispy Pork Belly Brunch which consisted of confit pork belly, 2 eggs, griddled tomatoes, homefries, salsa verde, hollandaise and toast.  A plate FULL of just delicious, hearty, flavorful goodness!  Eunice had no problem just digging right in and getting down and dirty 😉

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

She got her eggs scrambled and they looked soft and fluffy!  The pork belly had me drooling and after a taste of it myself I had to say… daaaaaaaaaamn, that’s some good pork!  Crispy exterior, juicy interior and the salsa verde was great in cutting the richness without masking it!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

 

I love a good eggs benny.  To my disappointment by the time we were seated their special of the morning, the Pork Belly Benedict 😦  So default to the next choice?  The Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict 😉  Served with the signature homefries and hollandaise.

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

 

Moist, savory sweet and tender pulled pork over english muffins and topped with medium poached eggs and gorgeously smooth, rich hollandaise sauce poured over.  Perfect poach on the eggs added just the right amount of sauce and moisture needed for the muffin and the crispy, deliciously seasoned homefries!  Oh really, I was so extremely happy with this slice of brunch heaven!

red wagon cafe

red wagon cafe

And just because no breakfast/brunch is complete without bacon…we ordered a whole plate of it And since the Jack Daniels spiked Maple Syrup seemed too awesome to pass up we had to order some of that as well! Uhm….HELLO!!!  Most Amazing Combo…EVER! I was slathering it all over my homefries and also dunking that bacon in it with every bite! I guess they don’t cook off the alcohol cuz there’s a serious smokey-boozy kick to the maple syrup that is JUST ADDICTING! I could not stop!

 

So how was this birthday brunch?  Judging from the state of food coma we were in and the drool and JD maple syrup down the front of our shirts and our sticky fingers I’d say we were pretty darn happy!

September 1st, 2012. Indian Summer Fun 

thierry chocolaterie patisserie cafe

thierry chocolaterie patisserie cafe

 

 

With the taste of disappointment palpable still on our palates Anita (@PetiteFoodie), Tien (@distienct) and I headed down to Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe for some delicious desserts!

thierry chocolaterie patisserie cafe

thierry chocolaterie patisserie cafe

 

We ordered a few different things to share: Chocolate Succe (hazelnut meringue+dense chocolate mousse+tempered 70% chocolate with a gold leaf), Fromage Au Mousse Blanc (formage blanc mousse+lemon curd+cassis linzer) & Strawberry Tart (almond sable crust+lemon verbena pastry cream+fresh BC strawberries).

thierry chocolaterie patisserie cafe

thierry chocolaterie patisserie cafe

 

 

Let me tell you…these desserts were amazing!  I’m on the fence when it comes to Thierry’s macarons, but these little desserts were exactly what I expected them to be!  Rich, decadent, punchy flavors and a delight to the eyes and the stomach.

thierry chocolaterie patisserie cafe

thierry chocolaterie patisserie cafe

 

It’s hard to even choose a favorite because each of them were distinctly their own.  I’d say I was more partial to the formage au mousse blanc because it’s flavors that I absolutely adore, but that strawberry tart had us coming back for more and nothing could beat the richness of the chocolate succe.

 

Full, happy and delighted.  Success! 

Cache Bistro & Lounge

March 24, 2013

July 14th, 2012. Welcome to Vancouver, Krista & Tristan~

cache bistro & lounge

cache bistro & lounge

 

 

Krista and Tristan chose the perfect weekend to come out to Vancouver! Sunny weather+happy people+fun activities=A good time!  I was able to make it out on Saturday to spend the day and help Nabil show Krista and Tristan around town.  First up was brunch in Yaletown at Cache Bistro & Lounge.

cache bistro & lounge

cache bistro & lounge

 

Uh…HELLO!!  The most delicious Pavlova EVER!!  Superbly light and airy meringue topped with whipped cream, fresh strawberries and fresh mint.  GAH!!!!  Despite being so full from brunch…we could not help ordering this and then we did it justice.  Not a crumb wasted 😉

May 19th, 2012. SATURDAY!!

bel cafe (hotel georgia)

bel cafe (hotel georgia)

 

 

After brunch wih Rachel I headed out to downtown Vancouver to meet up with darling Anita aka Petite Foodie  for some tea, nibbles and girl-talk! Seeing as how I am obsessed with Hotel Georgia she suggested we meet at one of her regular haunts, Bel Cafe at the hotel.

bel cafe (hotel georgia)

bel cafe (hotel georgia)

 

It’s a small-ish cafe with modern, clean esthetics and delicate and whimsical sensibility yet not at all stand-offish or pretentious. In other words, a delight! Along with my glass of iced White Tea with Pear I had a few housemade macarons: Salted Caramel, Black Sesame & Yuzu, and Rose & Raspberry. Delectably light and floral and so very decadent! These macarons had the perfect crisp exterior with a lightly chewy interior with pillowy soft cream in between. Love at first bite!

bel cafe (hotel georgia)

bel cafe (hotel georgia)

 

 

Anita was just coming out of a yoga class, so she wanted something a little more substantial.  She had the Roasted Tomato Soup with thai chili served with 2 tiny little cheddar gougeres.  She really seemed to enjoy the soup.  Ate it with much gusto 😉

 

 

I have to say, David Hawksworth never ceases to delight me with his wonderful food.  There’s such a light touch with an elegant flair and such a creative fusion of flavors.  Absolute love!

La Brasserie Restaurant

February 19, 2013

April 25th, 2012. La Brasserie

la brasserie restaurant

la brasserie restaurant

 

So, not only is my Cali friend Brent in town, so is my highschool friends Kam and his new girlfriend! Figured I’d kill 2 birds with 2 stones by arranging a dinner meet up with both parties together 🙂 For 2 people from out of town where could we go for a good impresson of Vancouver cuisine? Why not La Brasserie!

 

la brasserie restaurant

la brasserie restaurant

 

 

The restaurant is in the trendy Davie section of downtown Van and of course people have been talking this place up since it started along with the very famous La Brasserie food cart.  I’ve always wanted to try the place, but had never had the opportunity, so this was perfect!

la brasserie restaurant

la brasserie restaurant

 

La Brasserie is well known in Vancouver for it’s delicious Franco-German down-home menu items with fine dining sensibilities and the reasonable pricing definitely sweetens the deal for Vancouver visitors nearing the end of their visit 😉 It’s small space is their way of not taking reservations and they have an open kitchen for us foodies who can’t get enough of watching Food Network 24/7 😉

la brasserie restaurant

la brasserie restaurant

 

 

I arrived a bit early, so I ordered a French Press Coffee with a side of sweetened Condensed Milk.  I’ve never had coffee served to me like this (Vietnamese coffee comes with condensed milk in the cup) and I quite enjoyed it.  The coffee was strong, the milk sweet, just the thing to get my blood pumping 🙂

la brasserie restaurant

la brasserie restaurant

 

 

What’s really a unique touch here at La Brasserie is the complimentary baguette and rye bread served on a wooden board with smooth butter and a savory chicken
rillette.  Who gives rillette with free bread nowadays?  This was awesome!

la brasserie restaurant

la brasserie restaurant

 

Okay, so here was my dinner from top left corner clockwise: Smoked Duck Breast served with Grainy Mustard, thinly sliced Spinach Stuffed Pheasant, Chicken Pate, Potato Salad, Chutney, and Pork Terrine.  Don’t let the presentation fool you; everything was very rich and filling and extremely flavorful!  Gamey, rich flavors, tart dijon mustard, sweet chutney, all served with delicious crostini.  I loved the variety and how fulfilling it was!

la brasserie restaurant

la brasserie restaurant

 

 

Kam’s girlfriend had the ever popular and very French Alsation Onion Tart (caramelized onion, bacon and gruyere tart with a dollop of creme fraiche) served with a side salad. Sweet, savory and deliate with some bold flavors! It was pretty delish and I can see why people keep writing about it 🙂

la brasserie restaurant

la brasserie restaurant

 

 

Kam had the special of the day which was the house Mussles & Frites with Merguez Sausage in Saffron Broth.  So deicious!  The creamy broth was enriched from the flavor of the mussles and the spiciness of the merguez and made for a hearty and seriously yummy dish!

la brasserie restaurant

la brasserie restaurant

 

Brent went all out with the famous Brasserie Burger and Frites.  As you can see it’s a burger tower piled high with crispy onions, aged white cheddar, bacon and a served with their own in-house truffle aioli and ketchup.  It’s exactly what you’d think from looking at the picture: big, meaty, juicy, messy and complety satisfying!  Total home run!  Brent was a very happy guy with an extremely full tummy 😉

I think my friends enjoyed a nice meal that didn’t break the bank, was a punch of flavor, and unique to our diverse city!

April 15th, 2012. Vegas Business Trip Day 2

morels at the palazzo

morels at the palazzo

 

 

 

After the Venetian we walked through the gigantic flowers at the Palazzo. At this point we were pretty hungry and the sun was already high in the sky, so we figured it’s time to find something to eat.

morels at the palazzo

morels at the palazzo

 

 

 

 

Lucky that Ms. Vivian and I were on the same page in the sense that we wanted to try something other than Korean food. We wanted to treat ourselves to a good lunch, not the “safe” stuff we’d been having.

morels at the palazzo

morels at the palazzo

 

 

 

 

We came upon Morels and instantly we were drawn. The fresh fish displayed on ice in the dining room, the patio overlooking the strip and with a view of the Eiffle Tower at Paris Hotel…it was perfect!

morels at the palazzo

morels at the palazzo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A tall refreshing glass of Lemonade is JUST the thing for a hot, sunny afternoon on a patio for brunch 🙂

morels at the palazzo

morels at the palazzo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ms. Vivian got the Mussles Marinier with came with the requisite fries.  Great broth, plump mussles, delish!

morels at the palazzo

morels at the palazzo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fries were perfectly crisp and light and salted just right.  Yuuuuuum!

morels at the palazzo

morels at the palazzo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got the Waffles with Fresh Fruit that came with Vanilla Syrup and I couldn’t resist ordering a side of Organic Bacon…because bacon makes any meal better…especially when it’s breakfast food!

 

 

 

Mmmmmm~~ we were completely satisfied, and what’s even better was that we got to map out what free streetside shows we’d like to see in the evening!  Productive lunch 😀

May 6th, 2011.  A Night In The City

la lanterna di vittorio

la lanterna di vittorio

 

 

 

  Another magical night in the city.  Thank GOODNESS the weather has finally gotten warmer!  Even though it was late at night the air was still fairly warm.  I almost forgot how stinkin’ freezing it had been for the past 4 months…..hahahaha!

la lanterna di vittorio

la lanterna di vittorio

 

 

 

 

   I desperately needed a coffee..after wracking his brain Aaron came up with this incredibly amazing place in Greeenwich Village, La Lanterna di Vittorio.  And what do you know..the garden was open! 

la lanterna di vittorio

la lanterna di vittorio

 

 

 

  Basically this “little” cafe has 3 sections, a tiny little front of house cafe, a downstairs celler lounge where there sometimes is live jazz, and the delicious back indoor garden!  Super intimate, full of romance and just perfect!

la lanterna di vittorio

la lanterna di vittorio

 

 

 

 

This place has been around forever, it seems, and even at 2 o’clock in the morning this place was packed and busy..so they MUST be doing something right   I ordered the Mocha..and honestly..it’s the best mocha I’ve ever had in my LIFE!  I just couldn’t stop smiling over my cup… I literally am drooling just thinking about it now…I will never be able to forget this night!!

February 19th, 2011.  Sanford’s Restaurant 

sanford's restaurant

sanford's restaurant

 

Another wonderful place I found to eat in my new neighborhood is Stanfords.  It’s a mid-range trendy restaurant masquerading as a 24 hour diner . It’s like an upscale diner what with the dim dinner lighting and amazing stuff on the menu such as yellowfin tuna tartare and gourmet burgers 😉

sanford's restaurant

sanford's restaurant

 

 

Since finding this place I’ve become such a regular!!!  They serve my favorite tea brand (r)evolution (which is difficult to find on the market!), an assortment of artisan breadstuff to munch on and have such amazing service!  I’m literally here nearly every day….!

sanford's restaurant

sanford's restaurant

 

 

 

   The Bistro Burger:  melted pepper jack cheese over a moist, juicy beef patty cooked to order (medium), with applewood bacon, caramelized onions and cajun aioli.  The bun is perfectly soft with a hint of crispiness and the burger is just out of this world!  Amazing flavors and satisfaction with every bite.

sanford's restaurant

sanford's restaurant

 

 

 

 

Spinach Artichoke Dip served with whole wheat tortillas.  I thoguht the dip could have been warmer.  But I loved that it had a nice amount of artichokes   And I liked that the chips were actual deep-fried tortillas.

 

 

Sanfords always delivers and I can’t wait to try more stuff!