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The Rose Garden Tea Room

19 Apr

How do you like your tea and how do you imagine drinking it?  At The Rose Garden Tea Room, you can have your mini cakes and eat them too, and obviously, it’s where you can have your tea and drink it too.  In fact, you can have your choice from five types of hot tea: Strawberry Kiwi, Rose, ApricotEstate Black, and Mandarin Rooibos. At that time, I liked my tea non-caffeinated so I went with the strawberry kiwi – it was lovely, tangy, and pink in color.  Our amiable hostess said that the kids love it very sweet.  The kid in me likes the tea, but the adult in me likes it tart.  And I imagine drinking my tea in a peaceful setting… the rose garden in The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens would do beautifully.  Continue reading

Cafe Home Koreatown

17 Apr

This sizeable café has found a handy spot being right next to The Boiling Crab and The Boiling Crab To-Go, and whoever runs Cafe Home has got some shrewd business sense as the establishment has opened its doors to welcome customers from The Boiling Crab To-Go with the requirement that they order drinks.  Not a bad trade since The Boiling Crab is usually packed and that the next best thing is getting a to-go order and sitting somewhere nearby, and sitting in a place that sells drinks is convenient.  Cafe Home is that place. Continue reading

Mango-Banana Frozen Yogurt

31 Jul

Anyone else sweating like a pig out there?  Just me?  Right.  Of course not.  Well, to all my fellow sweating pigs, this post is for you.

As hot July rolls over to hot August, I can’t imagine a better way to say goodbye to good ol’ July than with a frozen yogurt or “froyo” for short.  Or… “super-awesome-yum-yum-yum-yum-yum-to-have-when-it’s-hot” for long.  We are short on berries but long on bananas in our humble household, and as luck would have it, we’ve got mangoes too.

Mango-Banana Frozen Yogurt

Fruity Frozen Yogurt

1 cup  frozen bananas, sliced
1 cup frozen mangoes, cubed
2 cups vanilla yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
Pinch of ground cloves or cinnamon, optional

Using a blender, grind or grate the slices of frozen banana.  If your blender has a pulse feature, use it to give you more control.  Next, grind or grate the frozen mango cubes.  The grated fruits will be along the sides of the pitcher so make sure to push them down before adding the yogurt.  Add 1 cup yogurt.  Blend.  Add the last cup of yogurt.  Blend.  Add 2 tbs honey and any spices you want for flavoring.  Blend.  Place the mixture in a container and freeze for an hour.

Smile and serve.

Disclaimer: I didn’t wait an hour to allow the yogurt mixture to freeze.  After 10 minutes, I cried out, “Yo. Froyo. Ready or not, I’m taking you out.”  That’s how I ended up with a soft frozen yogurt.  Thanks to the heat, it’s also melting fast.

The nice thing about summer is the abundance of fruits especially great for shakes and smoothies.  You can use any fruits you have available.  And if you don’t have any frozen fruits, use them as is and add 1 cup of ice – you’ll end up with a nice lassi instead of a froyo.  However, if you’re feeling lazy (it’s understandable, it’s summer), make your way to Starbucks or your favorite drink bar to get something nice and cold. 

Happy summer!

Nijo Sushi Bar & Grill

18 Jul

Sometimes, don’t you just feel like the White Rabbit from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland… “”Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!”  It’s one week from the last Thursday of this month and I meant to make this post no later than the first of this month (July) since the last Thursday of last month (June), my friend, Norita and I went to one of my favorite haunts in Seattle.

Nijo Sushi Bar & Grill

Tucked in between the corner of 1st Ave and Spring St., Nijo Sushi Bar & Grill is not exactly located on the busiest corner of downtown Seattle.  I probably find myself in Nijo Sushi Bar & Grill about twice a year.  Given that there are plenty of restaurants to choose from, any sit-down restaurant that anyone goes to at least twice a year has got to be a favorite.  So I admit that Nijo falls in my favorite list.  It may not be in yours, but it’s definitely in mine.

Nijo Sushi Bar & Grill

It’s Norita’s first happy hour experience and what better place to take her to than Nijo.  I have not had a bad dining experience at Nijo, and when I do, my visits will decline.  Losing customers is inevitable for any restaurants who do not give their customers the expected food and dining experience they come for.  Anyhow, so far at Nijo, all’s well.

Nijo Sushi Bar & Grill

My friend ordered a non-alcoholic Passion Flower cocktail, while I ordered Ty-Ku soju, but my drink order got mixed up and I was given Ty-Ku Citrus Liqueur instead.  Our server gladly corrected the error and even gave me the liqueur on the house.  But I didn’t take it.  (Yeah, I know. *Groan*, huh,)  The soju is more than enough for me, thanks.

Nijo - drinks

The tamago sushi is always a good start.  We each had a share of one.  I wish we just ordered our own for this.

Nijo - Tamago sushi

I am on a takoyaki whirl for some reason.  I’ve had takoyaki for lunch at Nijo before and it was just right.  Crispy on the outside and soft inside.  This time though the takoyaki was too doughy.  It was okay but I’ve had it better.

Takoyaki

Agedashi tofu has become a must for me when I’m in a Japanese restaurant.  Sometimes I forget and it makes me the opposite of happy.  Then I get over it.

Nijo - Agedashi tofu

Here’s what I have to say about the fried calamari… where are the tentacles?  I want more tentacles. (I’m omitting the exclamation point because “I want more tentacles!” just sounds so demanding and I don’t want to sound that demanding. I want more tentacles! Oops.)

Nijo - fried calamari

I like egg rolls even with non-traditional filling.  In the case of Nijo’s egg rolls, it’s avocado.  What can I say, but “avocado is yummo!”.

Nijo - avocado eggroll

I grew up eating fried sweet potatoes as a kid.  I wish someone thought up to cut up the sweet potatoes into fries then fried them.  But nope.  That didn’t happen until many years in the future.  Yummy yam fries.  Crispy and slightly sweet.

Nijo - sweet potato fries

Need a good place to go to for happy hour? Do you want a good reason for happy hour?  Go to Nijo.

Nijo Sushi Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

BevMo! in Washington State

12 May

Hey fellow Californians, have you heard?  (Because I just did.)  BevMo! is coming to the Evergreen State! and will be opening two retail stores in Tacoma and Silverdale!  Woot!  Why not Seattle or any of the Eastside cities, I don’t know.  Why BevMo!?  Why?

For those not in the know about BevMo!, head over here or click the image above to learn how you can get your drinks for less.  Just to be clear, always drink responsibly.  Never drink and drive.  Again, always drink responsibly.

We know California knows how to party and it looks like Washington State is going to learn a thing or two.  Not that the California transplants haven’t livened up things a bit already.