Saturday, September 27, 2008

LTK bar & kitchen

We met up with Renee and her dad, John, at the LTK Bar and Kitchen (Legal Test Kitchen) in Boston last night. It's on Northern Avenue near the Bank of America Pavilion (formerly the Boston Pavilion) and boy, there sure was a lot of traffic getting there. We had 6:00 reservations so it probably didn't help that it was kind of still rush hour in the downtown area.

Anyway, we both ended up parking in the garage there at 255 Northern Avenue and it was quite expensive since we went over the 2.5 hour time limit (and even though we got our tickets validated). So just a warning to anyone that parks in that garage: watch the time while you're in the restaurant so you can get a 50% discount on your parking! Yikes! $18!

This was the second time Tony and I went to this place. The first time was a couple of years ago when it first opened up and we were going to see a Bryan Adams concert at the Pavilion. We thought it was just so-so back then. It seemed better this time around food wise, at least the three of them were pretty happy with their dishes (yes, my review is coming!). The atmosphere is really hip and modern, and it was kind of loud in there which was too bad because John is a little hard of hearing. Our waitress seemed kind of cold at first (she spoke super quickly!), but then warmed up to us and turned out to be really sweet during the rest of our visit.

Renee had the Lobster Pad Thai dish and she thought it was delicious. It was kind of cool how they gave her that huge piece of lobster! She couldn't even finish it all, so I'm sure it'll make for some really yummy leftovers.

John had grilled tuna with a lemon caper sauce on the side. They let you pick two sides when you choose the grill option so he got the potato au gratin and spinach. He, too, couldn't finish his dish which probably gives you an idea of how big their portions are.

Oh and it's not pictured here but Renee ordered a red salad as an appetizer and it was quite large so the three of them were able to split it. She said it was a little on the bitter side so I think it was raddichio, but I couldn't try it since the dressing had nuts in it.

Tony ordered the paella dish and it smelled really good. He said it was pretty good and that he was glad it wasn't like other paella dishes he's had where they were almost too spicy to enjoy. He said the mussels were quite sandy though.

I ordered two of the appetizers as my entree: the mussels and the crab rangoon. The mussels were cooked in a garlic and white wine sauce as stated in the menu, however (and this is my beef with restaurants) they did not mention that the dish comes with tomatoes in the sauce. I absolutely fricken hate when they don't list all the major ingredients in a menu description! I didn't say anything and just moved them aside in the bowl, but it really ticked me off.

My mussels were really sandy too, which was a huge disappointment. But what was worse was that five were tightly closed. For those of you who don't regularly eat mussels, that means that they were unedible. I think there were only like 15 to 18 in the bowl to begin with, so I was quite bummed that 1/3 of them were no good.

The crab rangoon was pretty good, but basic. I can't eat the sauce it comes with so I'm sure they would've tasted better with them. Next time (if we go back there) I think I'll do what John did and order from the grilled menu.

The dessert was quite yummy though, thank goodness. We shared a rather large piece of chocolate cake and the restaurant's "BCP" dessert. The BCP turned out to be their rendition of Boston Creme Pie.

Although my food was subpar, we had a nice time meeting and talking with John. The Malbec wine we shared was quite good, too. :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

yoki, again!

Funny how my last post was about Yoki, too.

I took Renee here for the first time on Sunday after our excursion to Portsmouth, NH. She had the Backdraft Maki (salmon, cucumber, and avocado) and Idaho Maki (sweet potato) rolls.

I had a Salmon Skin roll which was really tasty. It came with carrots though, so I pushed them out and gave them to Renee. I also had a roll that I can't remember the name of, but it had tuna, yellowtail, and salmon in it plus some wasabi flavored roe on top. It was very yummy.

Okay, that's all I can say about it because I'm making myself hungry for sushi now. :-)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

yoki sushi + the independent

We met Mike and Erin at our favorite sushi restaurant, Yoki, in Medford last night. First of all, I am just so happy that we have another "couple" friends that like sushi as much as we do. Second, Yoki is definitely our favorite place for sushi. We have never had a bad experience there -- the sushi is consistently delicious and the wait staff is super nice. Mike and Erin liked their sushi so I think we made a pretty good recommendation (i.e. there wasn't a speck left on anyone's plates).

Mike had the Spider Maki (soft shelled crab tempura with tobiko, cucumber, avocado, spicy mayo and sweet soy sauce) which was one of my favorite rolls before I discovered my avocado allergy [insert sad, pouty face here]. He also had the Rock 'n Roll Maki (jumbo roll of yellow tail, salmon, white fish, avocado, and scallions with sweet soy sauce). A nice surprise is that this roll is fried in tempura batter, too, so it gives it a crunchy texture.

Erin also had the Spider Maki and a California Maki (crabstick, cucumber, and avocado).

Tony had the Rock 'n Roll Maki and the Good Time Maki (cream cheese and cucumber topped with smoked salmon). He thought that the cream cheese taste was a little too powerful but Erin and I thought it was really good.

I had a Negihama Maki (yellow tail and scallions roll), Sake (salmon), Ikura (salmon roe), and O-Toro (fatty tuna) Nigiri sushi and it was all so yummy. The O-Toro was something that they had as a special, seasonal item that night and it was super fatty. Super fatty = super yummy!

Afterwards, Tony and I went to the Independent in Union Square in search of dessert. We saw my new coworker, Elissa, there with her boyfriend which was a nice surprise. Unfortunately, we couldn't sit at the bar with them because the place was packed, so we went over to the other side of the restaurant and managed to find two seats there.

We shared the profiteroles dessert and it was so good! We both ordered a glass of the Riesling wine but Tony didn't care for it as much as I did because it was more of a sparkling wine and he thought the bartender gave us Prosecco in error. He didn't hate it because his glass was empty by the time we left. ;) Anyway, a fabulous dessert and we were so glad to see that the Independent was full of people.


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