Friday, January 27, 2012

Philly RW 2010: Estia was my first!

Continuing from the last post about Philly's Restaurant Week, here's my first RW dining experience!

 Estia's the one that started it all

You know what they say... You always remember your first! Honestly, this has to be my favorite out of all the restaurants I've been to during Restaurant Week in Philly. If you love Greek food or are in the mood for something new and different from the usual, I highly recommend Estia! I loved the beautiful decor, romantic lighting, candles & music, and awesome service. They even busted out the crumb scrapers and that's when you know it's legit! Everything about that evening was memorable. It's a great place to impress a date, celebrate a birthday, or just wine & dine with good friends! They have big booths in the back for special occasions and various table sizes to accommodate your party size. I believe you can also book the whole banquet room downstairs, which my friends and I got to see when we went to the bathroom (located downstairs). Before we left, a server (that was preparing to go home after a long shift) saw us taking pictures (my idea, of course) and gladly helped us with our photoshoot session! If you appreciate wonderful decor like I do and decide to check out Estia, don't forget to go downstairs (where the bathrooms are), because it's just lovely.  

Okay onto what you came here for: GREEK FOOD! To start, we got our first courses, Spread Pikilia, two plates of Octupus & Calamari, and a Greek salad. All the appetizers were delicious. Z's three spreads tomato, greek yogurt, mushroom (or eggplant), and pita bread was everyone's favorite. She was nice enough to share with all of us too. This is a great starter to get if you're dining with 2-3 people. Enchante and I both ordered the chargrilled octopus and stuffed calamari, and let me just say, most well cooked octopus I've ever had!  It was sliced so thin and was so crispy, I didn't even know I was eating octopus. We made Z, who does not eat any type of seafood, try it and she actually liked it too! Did it make her cross over to the fishy side? No, but at least she can say, "I don't like the taste of seafood, but I liked Estia's octopus!" On the other side of the plate was grilled calamari that was stuffed with Greek cheese. It was tasty, but didn't live up to its big brother, the Octopodi. I wonder if that's why the RW menu this year only offers the Octopodi... 

Spread Pikilia: tzatziki, htipiti, melitzano
(AMAZING! Everyone's favorite)

Octopodi & Stuffed Calamari
(New found love for chargrilled octopus because of Estia)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Philly Restaurant Week!

It's that time of the year again! Philadelphia's Center City District Restaurant Week is happening now!

(image taken from OpenTable)

If you've never participated, what in the world are you waiting for? If you don't live in the Philadelphia area, no worries, many big cities (and local towns!) have restaurants that participate in RW at least once a year. It's a week (or two) where everyone can get dressed up and dine like you've never dined before, with 3 or more courses, and without breaking the bank. It's like Fashion Week in New York, except instead of starving ourselves to wear a gorgeous size 0 dress and celebrate with artistic designers in the fashion world, we get to eat amazing food, made by talented chefs, at the best restaurants! I attend both (when I can), but I find myself a bit more excited about dressing up for an amazing dining experience and stuffing my face with things that I might never get to eat again. I also enjoy researching restaurants (Yelp!) and looking at the RW dinner menus when reserving the perfect restaurant for the snobby foodie in me! Thankfully, they make it easy for weirdos like me by posting a list of all participating restaurants (and menus!) in Philly.

Some things to keep in mind for RW noobs:

1. The RW deal does NOT apply on Saturdays! 
RW use to run all week to Saturday, but it was chaotic and they already get enough patrons on a normal Saturday. (I know, that's the only day that most people with busy schedules can venture out into the city for Restaurant Week)

2. BOOK ASAP! makes it so easy, you really have no excuses. (Don't wait until a week before because your chances of reserving a table for the restaurant on the top of your list & at a specific time quickly decrease the longer you procrastinate)

3. Not sure where to START?
Check out restaurants that are the most expensive of the bunch or have high ratings to get your money's worth! (But make sure to research because high prices on their regular menu does not mean "amazing, blow your mind" quality food)

4. Read MORE than one REVIEW!
This is exactly why I started this blog, to help those that want an incredible dining experience, but most reviews are so limited and you don't know who to listen to. (Everyone has a different palette, so it's nice to know who the person is behind the review, and food bloggers help a lot)

5. Plan with FRIENDS!
My favorite part of going out to eat, besides the food, is sharing the meal with friends and family. A party of 5 is more fun than table for 2, so find out which day everyone is free and agree on a place to eat TOGETHER! (It's more work, but worth it! Plus carpooling together lowers parking costs in Philly)

6. Have a BACKUP restaurant just in case!
You might not get your first or even second choice depending on when you decide to reserve a table. If you're planning with a big group, reserve a couple restaurants for different days and times in case people change their mind or something comes up. (There's no rule that you can't have backup reservatons, and most restaurants give you 24 hours to cancel at no charge)


Please share your Philly RW experience with me! 
(Pictures are always welcome!)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Midnight Snack: Tea Station Las Vegas

Revisiting my crazy reunion in Las Vegas on MLK weekend, this was the first stop on the foodie train for my fellow Loveboat friends and I, Tea Station!  And how appropriate, as most of the items we ordered were popular snacks and desserts that we had devoured the summer of 2006 in Taiwan where we first met.  For those that don't know about Taiwan's "Loveboat" summer abroad program, it is basically a chance for teens/young adults (16-27 years young from N. America) with Chinese/Taiwanese heritage to explore their cultural background by traveling all over Taiwan, taking classes to learn or improve Chinese, and meeting fellow North American Asians that are in the same boat!  So what's with the nickname Loveboat?  If you don't care, by all means, skip the next paragraph to continue my review for Tea Station.  Really, I won't be offended. 

I only heard this during the end of the trip, and was told that some parents send their children to Taiwan's yearly summer camp to meet an Asian American boy or girl to court (and then marry).  Say what?  Well, not every parent knows what shenanigans go on during these trips, in fact, my parents thought it was going to be cultural experience for me and at a great bargain too ($500 for one month)!  And it was.  We did take Chinese classes every morning, do Chinese homework at night, learn songs on the buses, practice singing/dancing before performing as a group, explore all Taiwan had to offer, eat Taiwanese meals every day, enjoy the night markets, go clubbing in Taipei, AND started friendships that have lasted 5+ years so far!  And that's why it's called Loveboat.

Now back to the review for Tea Station!  So after getting off the plane around 11pm and getting settled in my hotel room close to midnight, my Loveboaters and I decided to feed our hungry bellies and catch up on life since summer of 2006.  This cafe is a great hang out spot for people who like to drink bubble tea (or any other Asian drinks/tea) and order small plates while catching up/chatting with friends.  Since it is in an Asian shopping center, it shouldn't be a surprise that to see this cafe, well, full of Asians!  But don't let that stop you from trying their delicious drinks and snacks.  

NOM NOM NOM like we're in Asia! 
(except we're in Vegas' "Chinatown")

Spicy Fried Chicken 
(way better than KFC!)

Fried Squid Balls
(basically fried fish balls)

Red Mung Bean Shaved Ice- 红豆刨冰
(much better than Rita's Italian water ice)

Green Mung Bean Shaved Ice- 绿豆刨冰
(My favorite, and healthy too!)

I don't remember what this was but it was yummy.

When deciding what to order to drink, a friend (JB) was having a hard time choosing a good tea from the "Hot Traditional Chinese Tea" list to drink.  He told me he had been eating a lot of  热气 (yeet hei, a Cantonese term literally translates to "hot air" and basically means inflammatory) foods and asked me what teas would help cool/calm his body down.  I'm not an expert in teas, but I do know that herbal and green teas are the best things to drink if you're stressed, feel 热气 inside your body, or have been eating a lot of unhealthy foods.  I told him to pick any herbal tea (亮茶) or a decaf green tea, since it is packed with antioxidants that can cleanse your body from the inside and lower the temperature so it is more balanced.  So after my tea lesson, he asked me again, "What should I get?"  To which I replied, "I don't know, my dad always chooses the right tea for me.  Try Jasmine Blossom, that's a green tea."  So he did.

"The flower is going to open! Watch!"

"Still blooming..."

"It's beautiful!" 

Meet JB and his Jasmine Blossom! 

The main reason we came here was for their bubble tea 珍奶茶.  Gee, who lives in Las Vegas, told us this place has really good bubble tea, but we were disappointed to hear that they had no more Tapioca pearls that night.  Milk tea is just not the same without the pearls, so I ordered a Mango Jelly Ice.  It was the size of my head, but oh so delicious!

An excellent drink for hot summer days!

No joke, it's the same size as my big head!

4355 Spring Mt. Rd. 
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Overall Group Grade: A
Great hang out spot for young adults who love Asian drinks & snacks.

Do you & your friends have a regular hang out spot?  Where & how often do you get together there?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Vegas Lunch: Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina

Even before I stepped onto the plane for Las Vegas, I was already daydreaming about eating at a Wolfgang Puck restaurant.  I just knew it would be amazing, no matter what I order or which of his wonderful establishments I visit.  And I was right.  I call myself a foodie and enjoy blogging about food, but now I can officially call myself a food snob after being spoiled by the infamous Wolfgang Puck!  We went for lunch on Sunday (my last full day in Vegas) after an epic night of dancing at Rain in Palms Hotel/Casino.  Some friends suggested a local diner or Hash House A Go Go, but the wait for Sunday brunch was about 45 minutes, and we were starving!  I couldn't give up my dream, so I took the liberty of looking up information for WP's Pizzeria & Cucina and called immediately.  Just our luck, there was no wait and it was not a far walk to Crystals at CityCenter from our hotel on a nice Sunday morning!

When we first got to Crystals at CityCenter, I got distracted by luxury brands calling my name to spend $$$$ on materialistic items that I don't need, but the group's stomachs brought me back to reality.  Food comes first, naturally.  Shopping can wait.  We were extremely lucky to have been seated at a long round table that was located off to the side, isolated from the rest of the restaurant and bar area.  No reservations, yet we got our very own private dining area to enjoy a fabulous lunch.  Again, we're just a lucky bunch.  The service was superb, waiter looked out for each and every one of us, the food was amazing, and even the bathrooms were a wonderful experience!

For starters, we ordered...

*Calamari "Fritto", Garlic Aioli, Lemon, Paprika

*Tomato Bruschetta, Basil, Parmesan

*Steamed Mussels, Chorizo, Marjoram, Grilled Ciabatta

I highly recommend all three appetizers, best of each I've ever had.  The calamari was lightly battered/fried, not greasy by any means, nor chewy/tough.  So what happens when you dip the perfect calamari in the most delightful garlic aoili?  You get a match made in heaven.  If you've ever had a bad calamari experience, this will convert you.  I always hesitate when ordering bruschetta because in previous experiences, they've been too small, bread rock hard, too few chunks of mushy tomatoes... but what I've captured (above) obviously shows the opposite.  The tomato bruschetta was lightly toasted and adorned with loads of tomato chunks & cheese in every bite!  As for the mussels, no words can really describe how the meat just melted in our mouths.  It was lovely.  Everyone loved the sauce at the bottom of the pan as well, great for dipping complimentary bread!

Next are the salads for those who eat lightly.  The Caprese and Asparagus salads were both beautiful (sucker for presentation) and delicious.  I ordered the Caprese salad and as a tomato lover, my tastebuds almost jumped onto the plate when I saw how big they were!  The heirloom tomatoes were large enough to share, were so juicy & flavorful, and couldn't have been complete without the soft mozzarella that sat on top.  The Asparagus salad seemed more like a starter than an actual meal, even for lunch, not too much food on the plate.

 Caprese Salad

*Asparagus Salad, Parmesan Panna Cotta, Proscuitto

The rest of the group ordered various pizzas for everyone to have a little taste.  They were more satisfying for the stomach compared to the salads (above) and were just the perfect amount for sharing (swapping pizza slices).  My favorite had to be the Mushroom, but I'm biased since I enjoy eating fungus.  The Duck Confit was a close second favorite as the taste was very unique, a special surprise unlike the other classic pizzas on the table.  Having said that, I do wish the other pizzas had more unique flavors, but maybe some people like to stick with the classics.  To each their own.

Duck Confit Pizza

Mushroom Pizza (*Bechamel, Fontina Cheese, Thyme, Arugula)

Proscuitto Pizza (*Basil Pesto, Kalamata Olives, Parmesan)

Margherita Pizza (*Mozzarella, Tomato Sauce, Basil, Parmesan )

Finally, we arrive at the sweetest part of this dining experience, the desserts.  Of course, I shouted tiramisu when I saw it on the menu before we even ordered the main meal!  Sadly, it was not real tiramisu, but a modern version of it with chocolate chips mixed in.  It was a different twist on tiramisu, but in a good way.  The Italian Doughnuts were little bites of absolute goodness!  The insides of each were so fluffy and warm, but once it is dipped in the caramel & gelato, your tastebuds will go insane because of the warm, cold, sweet, salty explosion in your mouth!  If you dine here with a party of six, and only choose one dessert (not possible but let's pretend), these doughnuts are perfect as you each get one.  And then there was the Hazelnut Mousse, which was not too memorable compared to the first two. 


*Italian Doughnuts "Zeppole", Caramel Dipping Sauce, Vanilla Gelato

*Chocolate Glazed Hazelnut Mousse, Frangelico Cream, Chocolate Shortbread

3720 Las Vegas Blvd
Las VegasNV

Overall Group Grade: A-
The average rating among my gluttonous friends on this wonderful Sunday lunch in Vegas 

*Descriptions taken from Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina's website

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Special Guest Review: Ninja New York

HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY to a special young lady who now no longer needs a fake ID........ MY SISTER [DOCTOR]!  Since the day she was born, she's always been well beyond her years, so technically she's been 21 for years now.  She's one of a kind, loud & crazy, but I'm glad to have her in my life! Happy birthday [doctor]!  Thank you for sharing your wonderful birthday dinner experience with me and my readers. 
So I'm proud to present to you my very first SPECIAL GUEST review for:

Ninja New York by [doctor]

Nestled right in the heart of TriBeCa, Ninja is one of the best Asian dining experiences you can get in New York City. I was brought by my boyfriend, Scari, on my 21st birthday and he could not have chosen a better place! At first, we were immediately attacked by a ninja host upon entering the restaurant, and I screamed like a baby panda even though I knew that was going to happen. We crept through a "secret passage way" that was like a dark cave with stairs going up and down which also smelled funny. Every step we anticipated another ninja attack but it didn't happen. By the end of the tunnel, we were once again surprised but not surprised to get attacked by the same ninja that "greeted" us.

When we finally got to our table, I said the atmosphere reminded me of an old Chinese film's prison, but in a cute way. Each table had its own private area and a sliding door. Ninjas came around and frightened us with fake, but shiny swords and yelled "hiya!" every moment you least expected. We ordered drinks, and of course, I was not carded like I wasn't all day :(. Anyhow, I ordered the Rin, a fruity concoction I described as alcoholic candy. Scari, a beer. 

As for food, we ordered artichoke dip (to keep it consistent with all Littobite's reviews), the salmon star, shrimp tempura, and teriyaki chicken to start off. The artichoke dip was so amazing I forgot to take a picture until the end! There was definitely crab meat in it which made it simply mouthgasmic. Then we got all our other food at once and devoured it almost too fast that we became stuffed within 15 min. The shrimp tempura sauce changed into 3 different colors as it somehow transformed into 3 different sauces. The teriyaki chicken had 3 different types of chicken meats and the thigh was the BEST. I had to take a food break aka rest my head on the wall and continue drinking my cocktail. Scari liked his salmon star a lot, probably because it came in a box..with shelves! Then after a few "you eat it" and "no you eat it!" we finished it all. 

Our plan was to order more as the night went on  but I had a food baby, and Scari was overwhelmed. While finishing up our adult beverages, a quirky non-scary ninja came over and performed a few magic tricks for us (which I cannot reveal because that would be sharing intellectual ninja property). We were impressed; Scari even looked up his website immediately after he gave us his business card! Legit. When we thought all the fun was winding down, 3 singing ninjas came over to our cell and sang me happy birthday while presenting me the perfect sized fruit plate I had room left for in my belly. It's like they just knew. I blew out the candle and was so glad Scari chose Ninja. He was as well. (I secretly think he chose this place because I too only wear black and am super sneaky.) I was ready to be rolled home but that's always the most satisfying feeling to me.

25 Hudson St.

Special Guest Grade: A+
This reviewer does not have a mature palette and may have been under the influence when grading

Where did you go for your 21st birthday dinner?  And where did you party afterwards?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Thrice: Brio Tuscan Grille

Let me start by saying: This is the third time I've eaten at Brio Tuscan Grille at the Christiana Mall (hence the title Thrice).  The first two times did not make me want to go back because the food I ordered were not good.  They say the third time's a charm... well, it may be true but not charming enough!  In my opinion, Brio is like Olive Garden's big sister.  The restaurant is more upscale, bigger bar area with huge flatscreens to watch sports during happy hour, nicer decor, has a nice patio to eat outside, more interesting/special dishes, pricier menu, and better wait staff.  But what good is all of that when the food is just average.  I keep thinking, "I just ordered a dud. I should have ordered X instead."  I wasn't even going to post this review because this is a chain restaurant and I didn't have too much to say about it.  But I can't be raving about every restaurant I go to, now can I?  Continue reading if you want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Brio Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Appetizer: Roasted Garlic, Spinach & Artichoke Dip $10.95

The dude (aka DB) and I always order Spinach & Artichoke dip as an appetizer whenever we go out.  It's something that has been going on since the first day we met, when I introduced him to this delicious appetizer on our first date at Home Grown!  Ever since then, he was spoiled by the best spinach & artichoke dip, so nothing can compare to that first bite.  Brio's version was still good, the wow factor being that they used crispy flat bread instead of pita or toasted, sliced Italian bread.  It's no Home Grown, but at least the cheese isn't greasy or too heavy like some places (aka Applebees).  As far as appetizers go, I can recommend their Margherita Flatbread, which I had during my second visit and that was the one thing that I really enjoyed that night!  I do recall grabbing for the Calamari Fritto Misto during the second visit as well.

The first time I dined here, I ordered the Pasta Pomodoro with Chicken, which was a huge mistake on my part.  I like tomatoes, chicken, pine nuts, and cilantro pesto sauce, but it did not mix well together at all!  The bed of angel hair only made the dish worse.  I remember how sad I was eating the bland pasta with bites of sour tomatoes here and there, and just wishing I chose something else!  For my second Brio experience, I chose another regretful dish, Chicken Limone.  Three words: dry sour chicken.  So behold, I finally chose the right entree... but it took me three tries.

Brio Grilled Salmon

Entree: Grilled Salmon $21.95
(*Romano crusted tomatoes, citrus pesto, asparagus and shoestring potatoes) 

My salmon was a good choice, but I actually did not like the crispy potato shoestrings all that much, really wish it was not there.  It was nice for garnish (if they add so much of it) but I didn't really want to eat it.  The fried tomatoes were definitely unique and presentation wise, it was really gorgeous!  I did enjoy my grilled salmon and tomatoes, but not the party of string thin fries on top.  I was also fine with the side of fresh asparagus, but they weren't magical or anything.

Brio Pasta Fra Diavolo

Pasta Fra Diavola $19
(*Penne with a spicy tomato cream sauce and green onions)

The dude's pasta was penne with a bland cream sauce that a little bit spicy and lots of grilled chicken and big shrimp. I commend them on the portion size and lots of good shrimp, but the entire dish was just okay.  After my dude's first bite, his facial expression said it all, "Meh, it could be better."

I think going there for lunch would be good because the first time we went, the table next to us were raving about the Brio chopped salad and this time, the couple next to us were in love with the Brio salad too, as well as the lobster bisque soup!  For us, we'll stick to Olive Garden for dinner because Brio is expensive for the mediocre entrees they serve.

Overall Dude Grade (food, service, decor): C-
Originally just a "C" but got bumped down because he did not enjoy all the tables being packed together, "The tables were way too close together.  It's like we were dining with strangers!"

*Descriptions taken from Brio Tuscan Grille's website

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Birthday Girl: Mikimotos

What's a better way to end the work week then going to Happy Hour with friends & celebrating with the birthday girl on a Friday evening? Absolutely nothing I can think of. We decided to hit up Mikimotos since they have one of the best Happy Hour sushi specials: Buy one roll, get second roll free (from their happy hour sushi menu) from 5-7pm! Since it's in downtown Wilmington, lots of people flock there after work and it can get crazy busy & crowded. It's almost guaranteed that if you arrive later than 5:30pm, you won't be able to find a parking spot in their free lot and/or you will have to wait in a long line by the sushi bar area. Luckily for me, I work about 15 minutes away so I don't have too many problems with that. But on Friday, we planned to meet at 6pm since the birthday girl, code name Blade, was coming from Philly. I got there six minutes before 6pm and asked how long we would have to wait in line for. The hostess said, "Probably ten minutes, but Happy Hour is over in 4 minutes. I don't think you'll be able to make it." I must have had a confused look on my face because she continued, "We changed the times to 4-6pm a couple weeks ago, sorry about that." I refused to believe it, but got a table for our party in the regular dining area anyway. I honestly thought they lied to me, but I guess too many people were taking advantage of their incredible BOGO sushi deal for those three precious hours after work everyday.

The rest of the evening went well after that. I even got lucky and helped some friends that arrived later find parking spaces by following patrons that were leaving the restaurant and asking where they had parked. Oh the things I do for my friends. How did I get over the HH time change? With lots of stories, laughing with friends, and discovering their $15 bento boxes!

My bento box: Miami Heat roll, California Dream roll, fried dumplings, spring roll

G's bento box: calamari, fried chicken, California Dream roll, Unakyu roll

L's sushi: Rock n Roll, (not sure about the middle one), Firecracker

Blade's birthday sushi: Hairy Mexican & Tiger roll

She was not a fan of the Tiger roll, but her opinion does not count as she does not have a food blog

To end this quick review, I'd say that Mikimotos never disappoints and if you're a sushi lover in Delaware and haven't been here yet, what are you waiting for? Always a fan favorite! 

Cheesecake spring roll was divine!

*This post is dedicated to the sweetest friend, so mature and motherly to our group, and the most wholesome girl I know... Happy Birthday Blade!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Yellow Fever: Le Shio

My first official meal of 2012 was lunch at Le Shio. I could not believe I never heard of this new Asian Fusion restaurant. To add onto my disbelief, I realized it's located in the Fairfax Shopping Center on Rt. 202! Anyone who lives near Rt. 202 knows that it's not known for any special restaurants unless you cross the border into PA, or drive down further southbound to the Independence Mall shopping center. It may seem out of place near a Dress Barn and Five & Below, being more on the contemporary as far as decor is concerned, but that did not affect the fresh sushi they served.

First things first, DB had to order a shrimp roll ($2) as soon as we sat down! I also ordered a plate of Gyoza (fried dumplings), six pieces for $5.50. These are very common appetizers on any Asian menu and you can never go wrong with it... right? First off, I would like to say that $2 is actually expensive for a normal shrimp roll. It doesn't matter how delicious the shrimp roll is, it is still overpriced (unless they used jumbo shrimp or different fillings besides cabbage)! On that note, DB shook his head and didn't even finish the last bite because he didn't like it. I can't comment because I didn't have any, but he's eaten a lot of shrimp rolls in his day and one that he likes to rave about is from Ming Garden. No other shrimp roll can compare to Ming Garden's crispy golden roll that's generously stuffed with shrimp, cabbage, lots of different seasonings/spices, handmade (and handrolled) by their cooks and paired nicely with a homemade duck sauce. And that one was $1.55!

Moving on to the fried dumplings: lightly pan fried at the bottom, tasty ball of filling that had a bit of a bounce when you bit into it, and a thin wrapper skin that was crisp and light, did not tear until you chewed on it. The key to a good dumpling, whether steamed or fried, is having a bit of elasticity inside, so the meat does not crumble when you bite into it nor should it be chewy or too dry. It should be "dan hou", which literally translates to "bouncing in the mouth", almost like a rubber band that bounces back when you pull on it. If you're used to thick dumplings that come out drenched in vegetable oil and burnt at the bottom, Le Shio will be a breath of fresh air.

The infamous General Tso's Chicken ($13) that DB got was not surprising at all. Now, I understand why this is almost everyone's favorite dish and why it's so highly rated, but it bothers me that there is a misconception that this particular chicken is authentic Chinese food. If you are reading this and actually believe that Chinese people eat battered chicken, fried and glazed with a spicy red sauce, then I shall bang my head at the keyboard this instant! Continue reading if you wish to learn about its American origin and the beef I have it.

Actually, its origin is not very accurate as many Asian American restaurants claim they were the first to create this dish. Peng's Restaurant in NYC would be one of them, says Wikipedia. The man it's named after, this so called "General Tso" may not have existed as there is no proof (just a name pulled out of thin air because it sounds good). Speaking of the name, how many times have I heard it pronounced incorrectly? More than I can count on my fingers. You would think that if you really loved a certain food, you would learn the right pronunciation instead of making up your own way of saying it. General Teeso's Chicken. Teechow's. Cho's. Chow's. I'm pretty sure waiters don't correct these people because they enjoy laughing in their heads, but they really should not let these people go around saying they want General TeeChow's Chicken! (FYI: the "T" is silent) Also, Chinese people that live in Chinatown, San Francisco or NYC do not eat this. It was only made for American tastebuds. And if you are shocked and still not a believer, go to China and order General Tso's Chicken. They will most likely not have it and when you get your check, there will be no fortune cookie sitting on top of your bill either. Sad right? That's how I felt when I learned from the Bloggess that chalupas were created by Taco Bell! But, if it's good, then who cares if it's authentic or not.

Back to Le Shio. Obviously, I am not a fan of this dish, so I have asked DB to say a few words about his favorite Asian chicken before departing from this topic. Although, I can say that the side of fried rice (charged extra to come with fried rice with veggies) was yummy.

DB's review:"Good, crispy, real white chicken, big portion"

We also ordered Spicy Tuna roll and Salmon roll to share. Each were $5.50 and came with 8 pieces of fresh fish goodness. Most of their basic rolls were around $5.50, which is fair. As for their Specialty Rolls (Dragon Roll, Spider Roll...etc), most were a steep $15! If you are looking for an affordable sushi place, I would recommend Sushisumo on Kirkwood Highway instead. Since I did not order their special rolls, I cannot say if it is worth $15 or not.

Now for the dish I keep thinking about and the one I gave a sneak peek at in my last post and even tweeted about, the Bird's Nest! When I first read the description, I thought it was going to be a roll, but instead I got this little bundle of joy! It should really be called "Fish Nest", as there are pieces of salmon, tuna, white tuna, and yellowtail mixed with spicy mayo neatly tucked inside the makeshift avocado walls. It was beautifully displayed on top of crispy rice paper with black & red caviar for some color. It tasted as good as it looked! And the best part? It was only $8! This was equivalent to a special sushi roll except for half the price! If you like avocados and raw fish, I highly recommend ordering the Bird's Nest!

I shall be back for this nest of goodness!
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