Sunday, April 28, 2013

Teppanyaki Grill Supreme Buffet: Great Deal at its Introductory Price

My husband and I stumbled on this Teppanyaki Grill Supreme Buffet as we were going to the Planet Fitness in Katella, which was closer to our home but farther from work.  We went here a few times for weekend workouts, but their non-24-hour weekends made it inconvenient for us to keep doing that.

Yesterday we went here to try out the newly opened buffet - a totally different kind of work out! Hehehe...

They have an introductory price of $7.25 for lunch until May 31, plus the price of a drink if you so choose - water is always free.  Contrary to the Japanese-seeming name, it's not a purely Japanese buffet but an Asian buffet.  They have a station serving sushi, but it wasn't dominant enough to justify the Japanese-like name.

They served sole fish that was a bit overcooked, but still very popular.  They had manila clams, which I love, but it's very hard to not cook manila clams perfectly.  Their cheese and spinach was very tasty.  I didn't like their kimchi at all though.  Their fried chicken wings were good.  My husband said their steak tasted a bit like it was cooked kaldereta-style.  Their sushi was freshly made, which made them better than most Asian buffets that don't specialize in sushi.

They had a pretty big dessert selection.  I particularly loved their tiramisu-like cake, unlike most cakes in Asian buffets this was not dry, had the coffee flavor done right and was not overly sweet.  Their ice cream in small cups brought me back to my early childhood days and the chocolate ice cream was quite tasty.  They also had my favorite sweet fried bananas and sesame sweet buns - both classic Asian buffet desserts and they made them quite nicely.

Would I eat here again?  Yes, at the introductory price, but I have to think about it after they raise the prices.  The food they serve are good, but they are not out of the ordinary so I don't think I will be willing to pay too much more for it.

And that is my two cents on the Teppanyaki Grill Supreme Buffet.  Happy eating, my friends!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Friday Night Movie Date - on a Budget

I personally prefer not to watch a movie in 3D because I have such a hard time getting the 3D glasses to stay over my prescription glasses. At the time Jack the Giant Slayer came out, my husband and I agreed to just wait for it in the Picture Show cinema at the mall near our place.  Regular movies are only $2 here, but you have to wait around 1-2 months to see the releases.  So when the lady at the box office said it was only available in 3D, I reluctantly agreed to watch it in 3D.  I figured my husband had waited long enough to see it.

3D movies only cost $4 at the Picture Show!  I see a lot of families going here, I think it's a great deal if you have kids.  You can take all of them to the movies and it won't hurt your wallet too bad.  Even the popcorn is reasonably priced here.

I also noticed that the maintenance of the place has improved - even if the theatre is old, the community doesn't need to give up on it completely!

We had dinner at nearby Bruxie's for under $20, saw a 3D movie for $8 and had ice cream for under $10 - Friday night movie dates don't have to be expensive.  These prices also allow them to be family-friendly dates.  As long as you're spending quality time with the one you love, that is all that matters and in the end you'll save a lot more money for that special vacation you've been wanting to go on!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

California Fish Grill: Fish However You Want It!

Being a web developer, systems administrators - who can restore anything I break and lead me through the perils of command line - are my best friends.  Last Friday, they also showed me another skill I love about them - they know the best places to have lunch!

There are very few restaurants that cook fish well and even fewer that are not Asian restaurants in my experience.  I love the diversity of the menu at the California Fish Grill.  They have everything from grilled fish, fried fish, fish tacos, fish burritos, fish sides and fish on salads.

I had their charbroiled catfish in garlic and butter.  I usually love catfish when it's fried, but I really don't enjoy  the saltiness of the batter they put on it.  They had another version of the grilled fish - the cajun seared version, which I am not opposed to trying the next time.  I love how juicy the grilled fish was and it had just the right amount of seasoning - it was like they let the saltiness of the fish do its magic and steered clear of over-salting like most restaurants who serve fish do.

I love the fact that their grilled fish comes with rice - I was raised in the Philippines, what more can I say?  I don't get the bread with the plate though, usually I either have rice or bread, but maybe they put it there for those who prefer bread over rice - you can also optionally have french fries with the rice, which is how the only other Asian in our lunch group ordered his.  The shrimp burrito and the fish tacos seemed to be a big favorite of my coworkers as well.

I was so distracted by how big their portions were that I forgot to order the grilled zucchini side that I so wanted to try.  I have a love affair with zucchini because I am unable to buy them fresh from the Asian stores I go to!  So whenever I see them on the menu, I tend to order them.

The casual eatery ambiance is very relaxing.  I loved these metal buckets that they converted into low-hanging light fixtures that hung over our table!  There was exposed and distressed brick on the wall and industrial light fixtures that gave the place an air of being a warehouse on the docks.  And it was very crowded the whole time we were there with very nice people - one gentleman who was eating solo even gave up his four-seat table for us and moved to a smaller table.

Great food and a relaxing ambiance, what more can you ask for?  How about reasonable prices?  They have that too.  I am definitely taking my husband here soon, I know he will enjoy this restaurant as much as I did.  They have a few more locations around Orange County, Gardena and even El Segundo so you don't need to drive down to Anaheim Hills to try it out.

Happy eating, my friends - may your journeys lead you to healthy deliciousness!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Pink's Truth About Love Concert Blew Me Away!

There are some events in your lifetime that you just can't miss - and going to see Pink in concert was one of ours.  My husband and I watched her Fun House concert on TV once and I told myself if I ever get a chance to go see her live I will!  Yes, I was that impressed by her concert - so when I found out about her P!nk: The Truth About Love Tour at the Staples Center concert last year I found a way to get us tickets and it was so worth it!

The concert had everything.  It had pyrotechnics, acrobatics, lyrical dance, comedy and of course a lot of great music!

I don't remember how many times I was surprised and totally amazed by what Pink did.  She opened the concert with Raise Your Glass, shooting up from the floor of the stage with fireworks, getting everyone cheering.  There were so many songs that she played while swinging in the air - she had this metal cage that spun and swung, she had this cloth swing she sang from with 4 other acrobats and several other types of harnesses.  She also performed the lyrical dance in her music video, Try, that I loved so much.  She had toned down numbers too where she wore a dress, while still barefoot, sang with a grand piano accompaniment and had acoustic sessions. And just when I thought she couldn't do anything more, she comes out in a gold outfit and flies!  Thank you, Lisa Sanchez for posting this video on YouTube.

This was one of P!nk's amazing performance at the Truth About Love Tour in Los Angeles. Harnessed to several anchor points, she flew across the floor and over the audience. All everyone could say was, "Wow!"

Pink has made me a big fan after this concert. The type of fan who will go see her every time she has a show and buy the DVD afterwards because the show was that good!

But I did successfully curb my impulse buying tendencies and did not buy any of her $40-shirts - thanks to my wonderful husband who rationalized the purchase with me the 10 or so times I was tempted to buy.  Yay, for me and my wallet!

One of my resolutions is to save money, but there are events in my lifetime that I will never regret spending money to see and Pink's concert is one of them.  She definitely tops my list of must-see performers - joining U2 360 in the ranks of best productions ever!

I will never forget this moment when one artist just blew me away with all that she can do.  Happy weekend, my friends, and may your journey through life be as entertaining as mine!

Friday, February 08, 2013

Chocolate + Marshmallow Cupcakes

I have too much unsweetened cocoa powder in my pantry and since it's almost Valentine's Day, I thought I'd try a chocolate cupcake recipe for a change.  I generally try to stay away from chocolate flavors when I try recipes out - I usually go for fruit-flavored cupcakes because I want cupcakes to be my way of getting picky eaters to eat fruits.  I actually had a coworker who doesn't eat fruit at all ask me, after I got her to eat samples of my roasted blueberry, strawberry and raspberry cupcakes, "How many types of berries are there?" I certainly got her interested in fruit!

But I tend to buy the ingredients I love and I do love chocolates...  And chocolates kind of pair nicely with the season of love so I made an exception.

I found this scandalously named recipe from the Cupcake Project blog - the blogger called it, "Better Than Sex Cupcakes" so of course I had to try it.  It was basically a chocolate cake recipe with chocolate chips mixed in.  She actually had a chocolate mousse filling and a dark chocolate ganache with white chocolate drizzle for the frosting, but those didn't quite make their way into my cupcake.

I used my special Buttercream Frosting to top the cupcakes off, which is basically unsalted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and my secret ingredient.  I piped it on using a big star tip.  Usually, I just put a great color on the frosting and add an edible topper or sugar sprinkles.  But it's a special occasion and I saw this great blog post at Baa, Baa, Cupcake with step-by-step instructions on how to make these beautiful flowers from marshmallows and sugar sprinkles.  And because I had always wanted to learn how to make these, I got a big bag of mini marshmallows and started snipping!

It was a simple process that takes a lot of patience.  Cut a mini marshmallow in half diagonally. Once cut, you will have a sticky surface that you dip in a plate of sugar sprinkles (Left).  Starting at the outermost part of the cupcake, lay the marshmallows - with the sugar sprinkles surface facing up - side by side to form a ring. On the next layer, start laying the petal in the middle of two petals from the previous layer then complete making the ring.  Do the same for the next level, depending on how wide your cupcakes are, 3 levels would be sufficient to cover the whole cupcake.  Play with the colors a little to contrast the petals with the center of the flower.  I just used sugar sprinkles on mine, but you can use M&M's or any round shaped candy that would create an interesting center.  You can even just continue building the flower up and not have a center.

Play with your flower colors and you'll end up with an amazing bouquet of flowers that will amaze the friends you share these cupcakes with - guaranteed!

I've had great reviews from my hubby and our neighbors who bravely took on the task of being my taste testers.  They all say the cupcake has an addictive quality and have been unable to resist eating a second one the first time they try it.  This recipe is definitely going on my favorites list!

So if you're looking for a special treat for your significant other this Valentine's Day - this is the perfect tasty gift!  You can even have the kids involved and make it quality family time with an end-product that everyone will love.

Happy hearts day!  Hug the one you love today and everyday - let them know you cherish them whenever you have the chance - say it with cupcakes...
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