April 27th, 2013. Spring Break in Vancouver!

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

 

 

So what to do in Vancouver? Eat as much food as possible! Continuing on our food-cation in Vancouver: a bite in Yaletown at El Azteca Modern Tequila Lounge¬†ūüėÄ

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

 

Sure, Yaletown can be hit and miss in terms of actual good food and compared to how beautifully gussied up the interior is the service and authenticity of the cuisine can be a disappointment…but you can’t help trying.¬† Yaletown is like that really popular, pretty girl at the party that you just keep hoping is going to be your future wife, but then she opens her mouth and starts talking…and you realize that she thinks scalloped potatoes are made of scallops and that macaroons are the same as macarons…..

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

Anyways!!¬†I digress.¬† With a preamble of cocktails, Robert and I started the evening with the Chicharron de Rib Eye; deep fried bites of rib-eye and guacamole¬†served in a martini glass and a side of tortillas.¬† So, I really¬†wanted to love this, and on paper it all sounded so good!¬† Not that it wasn’t¬†good…the crunch on the rib-eye was great…but I think I’d have to say that rib-eye should just be left alone…not diced up small and that fried. Really ended up masking the flavor. But¬†hey!¬†It was still pretty yummy…just didn’t need to be made of rib-eye!

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

 

Robert went ahead with the Tacos Camarones of fresh Pacific shrimp, bacon, onion, peppers, and smokey habanero. The shrimp was plump, the flavors all worked together, and of course the true test of a taco is how much finger-lickin’ you do! I’d say this was a decent effort ūüôā

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

 

I did my usual hemming and hawing over the menu and even picked our server’s brain.¬† In the end I ended up with the Cochinita Pibil. Pork slow-roasted in banana leaf (supposedly) and then served in a traditional peltre bowl served with a side of beans, pickles, and soft tortillas.

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

Did I enjoy it? YES! The pork came shredded, moist¬†and smothered in a flavorful sauce that was sweet, tangy and had a little kick to it.¬†2 things I loved about this dinner: 1. It’s interactive. I get to build my own¬†taco and play with ratio of ingredients.¬† LOVE THAT! 2. I was eating with a close friend whom I didn’t have to feel self-conscious about eating with my hands and having food juices dripping down my wrist. Hahaha!

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

 

 

 

I would NEVER order something like fajitas on a first-date situation, so the fact that I can order anything with Robert is a sign of true food-friendship ;D

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

 

 

 

 

 

A fun and playful touch to the end of our meal at El Azteca was the Jacob’s Ladder block toy that our check came in! Holy blast from the¬†past!

el azteca modern tequila lounge

el azteca modern tequila lounge

 

 

 

Don’t judge my love for Churros. Or donuts. Or anything deep-fried.¬† With a tagline like “served with white chocolate dipping sauce” there is NO WAY I could resist an order to take out with me. Midnight snack here I come~!!!¬† Crispy, sugary, cinnamon-y, hot doughy goodness.¬† Yes, heaven, I’m sure, is full of churros ūüôā

 

In conclusion, El Azteca is warm and inviting and service with cute Latino accents is always a plus, but the food doesn’t stand out, the flavors don’t pop, and for what you pay the portions are pretty meager. Is great for maybe a drink and small bites pre-party, but wouldn’t want to sink my¬†entire night here.

March 12th, 2012. La Taqueria~

la taqueria (fairview slopes)

la taqueria (fairview slopes)

 

 

Yay!!  I was out on assignment in the Fairview Slopes flying solo covering a demonstration being made nearby the Chinese Consulate in protest of the Chinese government releasing North Korean refugees back to North Korea.

la taqueria (fairview slopes)

la taqueria (fairview slopes)

 

 

Figured I should just grab lunch while I’m in the area, so I chose La Taqueria on Broadway and Cambie!¬† Finally, a chance to satiate my Mexican food craving!¬† Eric was kind enough to join me for my Mexican lunch break ūüôā¬† Pinche Tacos, baby, pinche tacos!

la taqueria (fairview slopes)

la taqueria (fairview slopes)

 

 

 

I opted for the 4 meat tacos for $9.50.  From bottom left clockwise: Tinga de Pollo (chicken with chorizo in a chipotle tomato sauce topped with mexican cheese and sour cream), Pollo Con Mole (Maple Hills chicken with chocolate mole sauce), Al Pastor (pork marinated in achiote chilli and pineapple), and Carnitas (pork confit with pickled red onions).

la taqueria (fairview slopes)

la taqueria (fairview slopes)

 

I loved the Pollo Con Mole because the mole sauce was so delicious!¬† Sweet, deeply chocolatey and still savory.¬† The Tinge de Pollo was great with the cheese and sour cream topping.¬† The Al Pastor also had that sweet-savory thing going with the pineapples.¬† Lovely pork!¬† I thought the Carnitas fell a bit short in flavor, which was sad since it’s one of my favorite types of tacos.

All in all a very satisfying lunch despite a few minor disappointments, such as the lack of cilantro, onions and radishes.¬† But hey, I’d come back ūüėČ

May 19th, 2011.  Momofuku Noodle Bar

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

  Meeting DLee for the first time for an evening of fun in the East Village!  We had discussed a few different options for dinner, but in the end came to a consensus to make first impressions over Japanese ramen.  I know.  2 in a row.  But hey, how can you not love Japanese comfort food?

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

¬†¬†The restaurant is tucked away in a niche on 1st Avenue.¬† The full windowed front shows the never-ending crowd of people inside slurping away on their noodles.¬† It’s one of my favorite kinds of¬†interior styles with the warm, slightly ruggedness with the brick and wood but with a clean, modern silhouettes.¬† Love it!

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

¬† D had the Full Sail Session Lager from Hood River, Oregon¬†and I had the Lychee Soju Slushie.¬† The slushie was pretty yummy!¬† As soju can be it kind of flies under the radar.¬† Paired with the sweetness of lychee, this could be deadly!!¬† Luckily, I knew what I was getting into ūüėČ

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

 

 

  Baos again!  I have a thing for them   These are the Pork/Shiitake Buns with hoisen sauce, cucumber and scallions.  Juicy pork with the earthiness of the shiitake mushrooms, sweetness of the hoisen, cool freshness of cucumber and the mild tang of scallions.  Great precursor

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

 

 

 

¬† I usually don’t over-order.¬† I know I have a smaller stomache so I try to stick with just enough instead of too much.¬† But with D’s staple “eff it”, we ended up with a second appetizer, the Kimchi Pork Tamale!¬†

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

  I found that it was slightly underseasoned and still prefer the bun, but it was still fun to eat!

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

 

 

¬† We both had the Momofuku Ramen:¬†pork belly, pork shoulder and poached egg.¬† It’s totally different from my ramen experience at Ippudo.¬† The broth is clearer, but the deep richness comes from the fatty pork belly and shoulder, which were fall-apart-melt-in-your-mouth tender!¬†

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

 

 

¬† Add the creaminess of egg yolk and you’ve got a heavy bowl of soup.¬† I liked the lightness the asian cabbage lent to the soup.¬† Unfortunately, we over-estimated our stomaches..and couldn’t finish our meal….which was, by the way, AMAZING!¬†

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

  

 

 

 

¬† Momofuku lived up to expectations and I only hope that I’ll be able to visit all the other Momofuku establishments sometime in my lifetime