Monthly Archives: June 2013

Hot N Juicy Crawfish - Soft Shell Crab Basket with Cajun Fries

USA, Los Angeles – Hot N Juicy Crawfish

Hot ‘n’ Juicy first started up in Las Vegas but has spread to other locations around the USA like Los Angeles. The concept is unconventional to your typical eatery. Take a seat at a table lined with plastic, with no cutlery or plates, put on a bib, and then choose a seasoning, spice level, and your seafood. The food is delivered in plastic bags where the food is cooked to retain all the juices. Open up the bag, make a mess, throw the shells in the basket, and enjoy. Enjoy we did as we tucked into clams, crawfish, crab, prawns and soft shell crab with Cajun fries. I think we tried all the seasonings which were tasty and can be quite spicy with the tasty, fresh, succulent seafood. An excellent meal where we were stuffed, yet it only worked out to USD$27 / head after tips and taxes. Who said you can’t have fun and make a mess?

Maui Style Hawaiian BBQ - Beef & Short Ribs.jpg

USA, Los Angeles – Maui Style Hawaiian BBQ

Maui Style Hawaiian BBQ is kind of a fast food type eatery where you place your order, get a ticket, and wait for it to be called out. I ordered the beef and short ribs with potato salad, salad, and rice. It’s a pretty decent serve for just over US$8 and was pretty tasty too. The beef and short ribs had a nice flavour, with the sauce spilling on to the plain rice making it more palatable, the potato salad was tasty and the salad had a nice dressing so quite an enjoyable meal all round.

Tony Roma's - Baby Backed Ribs

USA, Los Angeles – Tony Roma’s

I would have expected Tony Roma’s which originated in the US to serve far tastier food in it’s home country than that which I have eaten at the Perth location in Australia, however, I was wrong. While the half slab of baby backed ribs were tender and moist, the marinade lacked intensity of flavour, but were saved with the addition of extra sauce provided. The coleslaw was tasty and I really loved their ranch beans which are just like what I’ve eaten in Perth. The onion rings that we shared were also tasty. Overall, a pretty good meal but Perth’s Tony Roma’s serves tastier food but it’s much more expensive.

Ruby's Diner - French Toast

USA, Anaheim – Ruby’s Diner

The diner is something iconic and prevalent in so many US TV shows and movies, but so foreign to those in Australia, so the chance to visit one was fantastic. Stepping into Ruby’s Diner was like being transported back in time to a different era. It has such a cool feel about it, yet still is modern enough to not look out of place but still hold it’s character. While the service in the US is excellent, I particularly appreciated the very friendly and genuine service we received here. There’s plenty to choose from the menu and I ordered beignettes, strawberry French toast, and grapefruit juice. The beignettes are French doughnuts dusted with icing and served with a small dish of warmed maple syrup. They were really delicious. The thick slices of delicious French toast were equally fantastic. Along with a generous serving of (well everything on the plate was generous) strawberries, strawberry syrup, maple syrup and whipped cream, this was quite an unbelievably naughty and delicious breakfast. The grapefruit juicy (also generous) was definitely required to cut through the sweetness. What an awesome meal, experience, service, everything! We were impressed.

In-N_Out Burger - Double Double Cheeseburger With Fries

USA, Los Angeles – In-N-Out Burger

In-N-Out Burger is a fast food chain on the west coast of the US which serves burgers using quality ingredients that are made fresh to order with excellent service. I ordered the double double cheeseburger which was delicious. The fresh ingredients are evident on the first bite but the fries were average unfortunately. It’s a really enjoyable meal and I can see why they have a wall of celebrities who eat here and endorse it. What I really enjoyed and you will find this as you travel around the US, is the American cheddar, it has such a unique flavour and is so delicious.

Rí Rá Irish Pub - Standard Burger & Fries

USA, Washington DC – Rí Rá Irish Pub

I needed some entertainment so I headed to Rí Rá Irish Pub in Arlington which has free stand up comedy on Wednesdays from 8pm. It has an excellent atmosphere and some excellent acts. I wasn’t able to get a table during the show, so after I went for dinner where they have half price burgers. I chose the standard burger from the menu and received a pretty average burger with okay chips and a pickled onion. It’s not bad and didt the job at this late hour but I would have preferred something much tastier.

Ben's Chilli Bowl - Chilli Dog & Cheese Fries

USA, Washington DC – Ben’s Chilli Bowl

Well for comfort fast food with a twist, Ben’s Chilli Bowl is a must visit. The plain old hot dog is transformed into something else with pickled, mustard, and a spicy chilli sauce which if eaten on it’s own is hot, but with the other elements, is perfect. It’s a delicious hot dog enjoyed with crispy fries covered in gooey cheese ooze of some sort. They’re really tasty but you don’t want to think about what’s in it. It’s comfort food so just go with it. And don’t forget to order the homemade lemonade to wash it down. The staff are friendly and pretty chilled. Awesome.

Urbana - Buckwheat Waffles

USA, Washington DC – Urbana Restaurant and Wine Bar

A wine bar at night a restaurant serving breakfast and lunch by day. The smart interior is backed by excellent service and array of dishes on the menu to choose from. I opted for buckwheat waffles as something different. I’ve never eaten buckwheat but I didn’t find it all that heavy compared to wholemeal and the waffle was tasty. The compote provided just that hint of sweetness but was more tart in flavour due to the rhubarb. Along with warmed maple syrup drizzled over the top, it’s a great start to the day.

Zaytinya - Falafel

USA, Washington – Zaytinya

Zatinya is a Greek / middle eastern based restaurant with a huge seating area, comfortable and smart surrounds, along with excellent service to boot. An al a carte menu is available or as I chose, a 4 course option for $25 with choices for each course. I really liked the puffed up pita bread which I enjoyed with the bowl of olive oil and pomegranate molasses. I also enjoyed the pita bread with a delicious baba ghannouge which was smooth and light and not at all garlicky. The crisply battered and fried falafel with tahini was excellent. This was topped by the adana kebab, like no other I’ve eaten before, so full of flavour and complemented with the other elements on the plate. To finish, the rather unassuming Greek yoghurt and apricot dessert was anything but. It really surprised with a panna cotta likeness, the smooth creamy vanilla flavour going superbly with the different elements of apricot and the sorbet. Excellent cuisine, perfectly executed and married with elements on the plate to further enhance the flavour. Superb!