Monday, March 30, 2009

Sushi Yoshi

This weekend I got sent to a trade show in Bethesda, Maryland, which is only a hop skip and jump away from my parents house. Luckily, it was also my sister's birthday weekend, so a major sushi outing was already planned! Washington, D.C., and the surrounding areas have an unlimited selection of world class restaurants, so for an occasion of this magnitude I knew that I wouldn't be let down. Recommended by an AUTHENTIC ASIAN PERSON, we got to Sushi Yoshi in Vienna, VA and prepared to feast.

With 7 of us (5 of us being absolute sushi fiends) we decided to go with the Sushi Platter for 6, a sashimi platter for 2, some Chutoro sushi (Dad and I's personal faves), and a few other nibblins with seemed very eel-heavy to satiate my sister's cravings.

Boat of flavor, sailing into my mouth

Rolls for 6

Mas sushi

The Garden Roll- not my favorite, but interesting to try at the very least.

I WISH I had a picture of the sashimi plate and the Chutoro that we got separately, but when we got them they were pretty much gone immediately. Not to mention the miso (exquisite), salads (the seaweed was world-class), and whatever else we got. I never like to drink anything but water with sushi, and this was a good choice for Sushi Yoshi. Nothing took away from the palette of flavors set before us, and this sushi was absolutely five star. Apparently this has only been open for 6 months, but the ratio of Asians to non-Asians was an excellent indicator of quality. Vienna is just a cool town too, very hip and lots of little joints. Definitely a small slice of a "city" in Northern VA.

It's probably for the best that I don't live near there anymore, because I have a feeling it would bankrupt me. Regardless, this is highly highly highly recommended.

Sushi Yoshi
101 Church St.
Vienna, VA, 22180

Monday, March 23, 2009

Crest Cafe round 2

After WEEKS of visitors gracing us in our San Diego abode, Ashton and I had a weekend brunch completely open to possibilities! We went with a repeat visit to Crest Cafe in Hillcrest, braving the torrential drizzle for the inevitable wait outside. Our fellow Richmonder-turned-San-Diegan Andy and his girlfriend joined us, and mimosas in hand we all got something different. Andy and his ladyfriend got the Club omlette and the Blueberry French Toast, while Ashton opted for the Asparagus omlette and I decided to go for the special, which was an apple-bacon-thingy-delicious-sounding-french-toast-biscuit thing.

I was not incredibly impressed with Ashton's omlette (wayyy too much cream cheese, and just a really boring flavor) but to be fair it seemed like they didn't give themselves much to work with. The blueberry french toast looked REALLY good, complete with blueberry syrup (my favorite!), and you can't really go wrong with a Club omlette. The special promised a lot, but it lacked just a little something. It was good, but not great. I think had I gotten syrup it might have been a little better (duh) but it was still yummy. Absolutely worth a repeat experience.

I will say, the mimosas were top notch. Best way to start a Sunday.

Monday, March 16, 2009


OH MAN! This week's brunch was un-freaking-believable. Our friends from New York were in town, so before hitting up the zoo we decided to finally go to Kaiserhof in Ocean Beach. We've driven past it many times and the reviews were glowing, so with a bonified German visitor with us, we figured she could point us in the right direction of deliciousness.

From the outside, it looks pretty plain, and the inside was traditionally bland. Still, the biergarten looked stellar and the smells wafting from the kitchen were madly drool-inducing, so I was pretty stoked. Basically everything looked insane, so I went for the Wurstplatte (small bratwurst, bauernwurst, and knackwurst, with sauerkraut and red skin potatoes) because when something gets recommended by a German person WHO DOESN'T EVEN EAT MEAT you know it will be delicious.

Course 1: GOULASH. YUM. I've never had this German soup before, and I was informed that it tasted "exactly like it should". It could been served spicier, but the flavor was hearty and well-balanced. I especially liked the small bowl it was served in.

This is Ashton stealing some of my goulash.

I LOVE A GOOD HEARTY WURST. The sauerkraut absorbed all of the delicious meat juices and provided an excellent addition to the plate. I especially liked the spicy mustard provided, and the potatoes were yum-tastic.

Ashton got something I have no idea how to spell or pronounce, but it was a tender liver in au jus, topped with grilled onions and drowning in yum.

On Sunset Cliffs Road, see you for happy hour?

We finished it up with splitting the Black Forest cake and a homemade Apple Strudel a la mode, which was crispy, flaky, hot, and apple-y good. No pictures of those because by then we had reached Glutton Level Omega and tore into it like wild beasts. Let me just leave you with the promise that you won't find a better strudel anywhere but Germany.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Beer vacation!

Budget Travel Magazine and CNN released this video of how to take a vacation... centered around beer! They explore Milwaukee, Denver, and Brooklyn as beer aficionados take you through where to go and what to get! I'm not sure how much of a destination point Milwaukee is, but hey, vacation on a budget? Get creative!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

There are times when I really don't need to say anything, just present an image that I am blatantly ripping off from somewhere in internetland and wait for responses. (Well, I'd wait for responses if anyone EVER commented, but that's another story.)
This is why you're is an amazing site that I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before, but I can't mention it enough times. It's unbelievable. It's unreal. If I could I would post everything verbatim on here, but it's probably just easier for the end reader to go there themselves. Still, there are a few gems that I just can't pass up. Today is MEAT MEAT MEAT fantasmagoria. All things meat, all the time. Especially appropriate today since I'm going home to make chili for 10 people, 7 of which are currently staying at our apartment (this includes myself and Ashton). I have a feeling that our plumbing will get some serious work today...

My personal favorite-

The Porkgasm
Bacon strips, bacon sausage, ham sausage, ham slices, smoked pork sausage and roasted pork belly surrounded by ground sausage shaped into a pig, wrapped in bacon and roasted. Garnished with chili ears and tail.
(submitted Zach Spier)

And the 2 runner ups!

Meat Cake- Meatloaf with potatoes and ketchup for icing.
(submitted by Anne Marie)

Meat (in) Loaf
(submitted by DonJuanDellaNooc)

Monday, March 9, 2009

gulf coast grill part 2

How else could we spend our weekend but entertaining our latest visitors from VA way?? We've had a pretty steady stream of them, but so far we've hit the mother lode with 5 extra bodies at our place for the week. Matt H., Jenny, John Kincaid came in from Richmond and Big Brett + the German sensation Nicole came in from NY to soak up some of the California sun. With such a large group, we figured we'd play it safe for brunch and hit up a place with the capability to take care of a large group while still dishing up delicious treats. We hit the Gulf Coast Grill for the second time (we'd brought previous RVA'ers there on an earlier trip), and got seated immediately. I was skeptical of this place at first (any place whose main font is Curlz MT definitely loses points with me), but I was very pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food. California style meets Lousiana cuisine, with offerings like Muffaletas, fried oysters, grilled veggie quesadillas, beignets, catfish, jambalaya, biscuits and gravy, etc. All egg dishes are served with EXCELLENT rosemary potatoes, and the coffee is dark, fresh, and plentiful.

I went with the Muffaleta sandwich and when I asked for hot sauce they offered me either Tabasco or their home-made habanero pepper spread (which I of course accepted). She warned me that a little goes a long way, and she was NOT kidding. It was a late speading heat, but spread it did. I'm not huge on the actual flavor of the habanero, but if you want heat this is definitely the place to find it.

I envied Matt's selection of the steak n' eggs, especially when he ordered it exactly like I would have (medium rare and over medium) but I've always been hesitant to commit to such a serious meal in the morning. One day I will man up and go for it. Ashton got the Santa Fe eggs benedict with chipotle hollandaise, which looked spectacular and I gladly helped him mop up the leftover egg jizz with my sandwich. All in all, I'd rate it a very solid B+ with excellent service and accomodations, and good (not unbelievable, but consistently GOOD) food. I will definitely go back, and the fact that it's an easy walk from our house definitely helps.