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.

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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā

 

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 ūüôā

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 ūüėȬ† 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………

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 ūüėČ

Chinois (Yaletown)

October 31, 2012

February 4th, 2012. Chinois Dine Out Disaster

 

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

 

 

So Nabil really wanted to take me out to a Dine Out dinner since we’d never been together before. I gave him a few choices that I was interested in. Chinois was on the list because, hey, it’s a new Yaletown restaurant, it’s Chinese fusion, it must be hip!

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

 

 

 

We arrived at the restaurant to find it extremely low-lit….perhaps they are being frugal with the electricity to help save the planet? I don’t know….but al the decor was seriously lost because the place was so dark.

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

 

 

We opted for both the Dine Out Cocktails, the Lotus Flower (Lychee infused simple syrup, fresh pressed orange juice and soda) & the Silk Route (Chivas Regal, Drambuie, honey infused syrup, green tea and ginger beer).  The Lotus Flower was more tart than I would have liked, and despite being too strong for my liking I actually thought the Silk Route had a lot of intersting stuff going on.

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

 

Nabil wanted to be extravagant and add a half BBQ Duck to our already 3-course meal.¬† It came with a side of shrimp chips and hoisin sauce and a ginger garlic sauce for dipping.¬† Uh…for $25 we got the greasiest half duck I’ve ever encountered!¬† It was such an embarassment of a BBQ duck

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

 

Really….We barely made an effort for fear that the greasy coating in our mouth would make it difficult to eat anything else.¬† This was our first sign of things to come….

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, so the first appetizer off the Dine Out menu was the Deep Fried Crab Claw with Red Vinegar Sauce.¬† Decent, if a bit greasy….but really.¬† A crab claw is a crab claw.¬† One dinky crab claw.

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

 

 

The other appetizer was the BBQ Sampler of Crispy Pork Belly and BBQ Pork with a side of hot sauce.¬† More grease and dry pork….we were starting to feel pretty yucky with all this grease.

 

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

 

The Spicy Kung Pao Chicken with Ghost Chilies, Roasted Cashews and Tofu was really mediocre.¬† No authenticity whatsoever in terms of Chinese cuisine.¬† Really…so pedestrian.

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

 

 

Uh….the Jumbo Prawns with Candied Walnuts, Broccoli and Creamy Spicy Sauce?¬† Is this some joke?¬† Holy huge florets!¬† And the creamy sauce was just bad…..Wow….Chili Mayo gone terribly wrong.

chinois

chinois

 

 

Nabil insisted we try all 3 of the Dine Out entrees, so we also had ordered the Black Pepper Steak, which is AAA Tenderloin, Wok Fried Onions and Mushrooms.¬† Again…a total let-down.¬† Are we in a mall food court here??¬† It was better than the Kung Pao and the Jumbo Shrimp…but it was also quite greasy¬† :/

 

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

Do we dare stick around for dessert?¬† Eh…why not.¬† Coconut Ice Cream and Mango Pudding with Fresh Mango and Lychee.

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hmmm…my 2 least favorite flavors….but they weren’t terrible.¬† I appreciated the fresh fruit on top of the pudding and it both desserts had good consistency.

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

Will I be back?¬† Not likely.¬† The food is definitely not worth it, there are virtually no lights in the place, so it’s like you’re eating in the dark, the seating is so cramped that you can literally join in on the conversation of the other¬†diners¬†and the manager is a complete sleaze¬† (a couple sat down next to us and when the girl went to the bathroom he came by and commented to the boyfriend about her artificial physicial enhancements and wanted to to know if the guy’s banged her yet).

chinois

chinois

 

 

 

Second time I learned my lesson that “Chinese-Fusion” is a baaaaaaaaaaad idea.¬†Chinois….more like Chin-Naaahhhh!