Friday, June 27, 2008

Zagat rating just a fee away?

So my friends and I went to some Thai place called Palms Thai. If you've been there, you're familiar with the singing Elvis' they got on stage every now and then. We drove all the way here just to eat cuz it was my friend's birthday. He picked it, so I got high expectations cuz he usually knows the spot. Before we walk in, we see the Zagat Rated badge. I was like, "Oh yeah. We're grubbin tonite!" After all was said and done, it wasn't that great. You'll probably think I'm biased, but I'd way rather save gas and eat better food near my house at Banana Bay. If you're in town for other stuff, then by all means.

But here's what I'm getting at. My homie's spot (Banana Bay) isn't Zagat Rated. Our whole party thought B-Bay was better (we're just being nice Jim. just kidding!). Truthfully. I asked my friend how you get a Zagat rating. He said you just pay some fee and that's pretty much it. Now I know that's probably not all there is to it, but if that place was Zagat rated, I know other places that could put that badge on their windows.

On a side note, I was talking to my boss about the BBB (Better Business Bureau). I asked him how you get that certification, and he pretty much said you gotta fork over a few bucks and you're cool.

So if anybody knows. Is this true? All you need to get that credential and possibly more people coming to your restaurant is money? Somebody fill me in.

Wasa - Newport Beach

1346 Bison Ave
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 760-1511
Type: Japanese food / sushi / dining

Every time I drive to my girlfriend's house out in Newport Coast, I pass by this place. I always look at it while driving. Eventually, I couldn't stand just looking at it. I wanted in. So my dining partner-in-crime (girlfriend) and I went here on a weekday night I believe. There was a few minutes' wait, but who cares. I'm trying this place dammit.

Inside, the place is pretty damn small. This isn't a very intimate place to eat as there's probably only 3-5 booths. The rest, you're sitting next to other customers so you can easily peep out what their fat asses got and they can see what your lard ass got. Okay, maybe not the best term for a sushi place, but we always order a lot, unless we're restaurant hopping.

Being in Newport Beach, I was afraid to look at the menu for one reason. The prices. I mean, this is the land of Benzs and Bimmers and Botox and mansions and millionaires. The average person here probably makes more in one day than I do in a month. Seriously. Sadly. But the menu took off a few weights off my chest. The prices-- they weren't that bad. They weren't cheap or a great deal that I recognized, but not bad. This place is also Zagat Rated. There's a small army of 4 sushi chefs working for that room.

Even though the prices as I explained weren't that bad, this wasn't a special occassion (actually it was, cuz I was with my girl. 2 points), so we still had to be a little choosy with what we ordered. This is what we came up with:

The baked dynamite appetizer ($8.95?) was small but good. I didn't put any descriptions on it under my notes, but I think it was.

baked dynamite

We got the Garlic Ponzu Treasure ($9.95). It came with 3pcs of salmon, yellowtail, and toro (fatty tuna). All 3 were seared. There was a little wasabi in it which I usually hate, but this wasn't as strong. I'd get this one again.

Garlic Ponzu Treasure me matey!!!! yarr!!!!!

We usually throw some hand rolls in the mix. Newport Roll ($4.50) and Spicy Scallop Roll ($4.25). Both were good but the scallop was a little better. I don't remember what was in the Newport Roll, but don't be scared about ordering it.

Newport Roll and Scallop Roll did their thangs.

I've been having some bad experience with "nice" places and lobster rolls. Like the time we went to Zipangu and ordered their most expensive roll the Maine Crunch Roll. Wackness. The lobster roll ($15.95) here.... no thanks. Plain as a Boeing 747 but it wasn't fly. Get it?!

strike two for "nice place's" lobster rolls

Last up, the Ninja/Spider Roll ($9.95). It was 6 pieces of "had it before and wouldn't get again." It pretty much tasted like any other spider roll that wasn't super great for me. Actually, come to think of it, I rarely get any spider rolls that are super bomb.... note to self.

soft shell crab (spider) roll. just a filler.

So 3 of the 5 orders were good. I'd still go back some time-- possibly. Just probably no more cut rolls unless they're used as fillers to get me full. There's too many damn sushi places around that this is not a place I would get attached to. My girlfriend still prefers Sankai which is like 4 miles further down the freeway. So do I.

Friday, June 20, 2008


This will probably be one of the most useless posts I've posted, but I made notes on it for some reason. I went to Wendy's when they came out with the fish fillet sandwich. I got that and some fries. The sandwich was a little crispy, but it needed extra sauce and it wasn't that big. I think the fish sandwich was like $3 something. Way too much for that. The taste was in the same league as Carl's Jr.'s and Jack In the Box's (when they had one). So anyways, this post is useless cuz they don't even have the fish sandwich anymore. So you can thank me for wasting a minute of your time. Your welcome.

bye bye mediocre fish sandwich.

Casa Alvarez - Rowland Heights

Casa Alvarez
19744 Colima Rd
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
(909) 594-6463
Type: Mexican food / dining

Back on the blogging horse once again! Giddyup.

I hit up Casa Alvarez with some friends after church one day. (Yeah, I go to church..... to make my mom happy) This place is located across the street from Happy Wok, Niko Niko, etc. and is right next to Stater Bros. on Colima-- just look at the map dammit. I've been here a few times before, so unless they pulled some nasty ish on us, I'll be going back again. If all you need to know is if the place is good, it's good. The End for you. If you're a nosey person and you wanna see what we ate, follow me....

So my friend Frans, she got the Beef Chimichanga ($7.95). As you can see in the picture below, they hook it up with the guacamole and sour cream. It's like they use ice cream scoopers for it. Nice. Frans described the burrito's brother as "fried to perfection." I take that it was good. On a side note, I forgot to mention they give you free chips and salsa at the beginning of the meal.

"fried to perfection" beef chimichanga.

It's about 6 or 7pm, and everybody's ordering their burritos and tacos. I order my breakfast classic-- huevos rancheros ($7.45). It's really hard to go wrong with this dish any time of day. I mean fried eggs with some beans, cheese, and rice is simple but hard to beat. And all you beans haters can eat a... bean. Just look how big the portion is. I had a little trouble finishing it. I would definitely get this again but there's just so many other dishes, that it'll have to wait its turn.

huevos rancheros. there's a plate under there somewhere.

You ever eat with somebody that always orders some wack stuff? They take forever to figure out what they want, and when they finally decide and their food arrives, they end up regretting what they ordered. I won't mention his name, but my homie Marcus is that guy. This particular day was no different. He got the shrimp burrito ($8.55) after much "umm"ing and "uhhh"ing over the menu. When it came, he was just like, "damn, I shoulda just ordered the chimichanga." I guess I used to feel sorry for him, but now it's just funny. He said the burrito was okay but the shrimp was overcooked, and he wouldn't get again.

shrimp burrito. okay. overcooked.

My friend Camille I guess wasn't that hungry cuz all she got was a beef taco and fish taco. She said both were good but she liked the beef taco better cuz the fish used corn tortilla. I myself like corn tortillas. But oh well.

fish taco

there's probably some beef in this taco somewhere

If you're in the area, and want a Mexican restaurant with a good sized menu, good food, decent prices for the most part, keep Casa Alvarez in mind. That's it.

Hi ho Silver... away!!!