Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Magnolia Lounge

Today's Whiskie's birthday. He would have been 16 years old. I really miss him and was really depressed. I asked a couple friends to come out and they did not want to. One 'friend' had the audacity to tell me to go over to her place 20 miles away and have liquor or some crap. I am tried of going out of my way. Why can't she come out here for once. She only meets me when and where it is convenient for her.

So I ended up drinking on my own. I got the mac n cheese. The reviews were good. I was really excited about it. It looked great but the taste was kinda bland. The lemon martini was very yummy though.

I did have to wait about 10 minutes to get seated. The host asked why I was alone. The server was alright. He was a little slow though and seemed to keep forgetting that I was there even though I kept waving at him when I wanted something. In fact I wanted a 2nd martini but it never came around.

There is a large screen TV but I was seated next to a section of the wall so that my view was partially blocked. I think they have karaoke on some nights, but I'm not sure of the details. It seems pretty trendy with a good mix of young and old.

I may like to come back, though not alone, but with a group sometime.

I still miss old Whisk...he was the only true friend I ever had and I feel terrible about what happened. It really makes me question humanity.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Novel Cafe

After work, I headed to The Novel Cafe. It had pretty decent reviews from Yelp. The major complaints were that there was little to no service. I beg to differ.

I was kinda undecided as to where to eat. I walked around the block for awhile, but the only other eating places were fast food or a bar across the street. The menu presented at the front had mostly breakfast or burger items and I didn't want either. I thought I'd go in and ask for the the soup of the day or just settle for some tea and study.

If you haven't looked into it yet, the place is known for serving beer and wine as well as tea and coffee with wi-fi available.

The decor is quite pleasant. Artwork decorate the walls. Off to the side is a shelf full of books and as soon as you walk in, you are greeted by a well maintained and clean bar. It appears that the most comfortable seating is to the other side of the wall, but all those were either taken or had a reserve sign on the table. All the other ones were available and I settled for a table in the center at the back facing the door. It was happy hour! That meant $1 off the appetizers. I got the Sliders and they looked quite cute and filling. I also ordered the Gen-mai tea which came in a rather generously sized cup. I watched their big screen TVs while waiting; there was 3 of them- it was a basketball game that was on. Also while waiting, the female server was preparing flowers and brought out a vase filled with a lovely small bouquet onto my table. It was very friendly and cheerful.

The meat of the sliders was kinda tough...I think the first time and also probably the best I had Sliders was at Rubies. They had the Kobe Sliders with Hawaiian buns. However, the Sliders did come in a generous amount of nice piping hot french fries.

The ambience was really nice. It is definitely one of those places I would recommend going to alone to study or to surf the net or just to relax with a nice cuppa tea. The servers passed by with a smile but never rushed me or hassled me with the annoying question if everything is ok. The food was good, nothing really special, but I felt content and very comfortable.

The bill came out to be just under $11 and I left a $2 tip.

The only suggestion I would make would be that it would be nice if they also brought out a pot of hot water instead of just the big cup. Peet's Coffee does that- they give you a big cup of the hot tea along with a small pot of hot water. Also I don't think orange-red is a good color for a teacup. Because I'm the type of person that likes to look at the natural green color of the tea while I'm having it.

It is conveniently located across from the Pasadena City College. Since it was spring break, street parking was not too hard to find, although it is supposed to have its own little parking lot, which I missed.

It is also supposed to have live music on Fridays.

Overall- great experience...I will be back!!

Angel Thai

Excellent lunch special for under $7. You get soup, salad, generous service of rice and entree. This is the first time I've ever had green curry and it was a wonderful experience. I used to think I hated Thai food because I didn't like spicy things or things that were too sweet being overpowered by coconut milk and the ilk, but the green curry was really yummy.

My only complaint is that they used to serve fried wontons and one day they decided to stop.

Service is quick and fast. But sometimes finding parking can be a task.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Saigon Flavor

I don't really like Pho, but I like Saigon Flavor's Curry Chicken Rice. It's very pleasant as in it is not spicy, not coconut-y...it's just nice.

I called in after work for pickup. It came out to be $6.53 but when I got there, he only asked for $6.50...I felt like I got my cents back (almost- see Point08 entry in which they cheated me of my 4 cents).

They packed it really well. I was worried when I was driving back that the curry was going to spill out as I saw it being tossed from side to side in my car. When I got home and unpacked it, I found that they had taken the trouble to tape the lid down and even placed a sturdy piece of cardboard in between the rice box and the curry container.

The only disappointment was that there wasn't enough rice! Ironically I was worrying that the curry was going to spill out when at the end I had plenty of the curry sauce leftover.

I have had the Chicken Curry with the French Bread also. The bread is french and wonderful and soft. But once again, you run into the problem of running out of it before the curry.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Point08 Bar

Looking for a way to de-stress after a long drill weekend, I arrived at Point08 Bar. There was live music- a bass and a guitar playing jazz. It's less than 2 miles from my place.

Yes, I went by myself but I told the waiter for 2 and since the place was essentially empty (I arrived at 10:30pm), he let me sit wherever I want. Naturally I chose a table close to the musicians.

He asked if I would like sparking water or tap water. And asked if it was just me with almost a sympathetic look...and I said "no...my friend is on her way". I doubt I fooled him especially after 20 minutes passed. I texted a few people with little success of a positive answer. No matter. I shall enjoy the music and ambrosia alone...

There was only one other table near me with 2 diners...although a couple guys from the back trickled out later.

I ordered the Lobster corndog and a martini. The waitress suggested the Uva Bella. Well the corndog wasn't quite what I had expected as I was expecting something in the classical shape of one, but it is essentially lobster pieces dipped in fried batter with a variety of sauces and a dish of leafy greens...the Uva Bella was good; can definitely taste the grapes and was in a rather impressive and generously sized martini glass. At first I didn't feel any effects of the alcohol. I thought that maybe it was because they didn't bother putting much in it since they didn't even ask for my ID! Well it wasn't until after the meal, and though I drank both glasses of water too that I felt the effects of it kick in. Initially I was apprehensive and feeling stupid about coming alone...but later I didn't care.

Not sure if I would come back...by myself anyway. I can't say it was much fun alone. Some places are cool to go alone, but not this one...it may be a good place to go on a first date though. It has a rather small food menu so good for snacks or nibbling on a little something but not for getting full at a reasonable price. I recommend this place as a first date because of the scant food menu- there is only so much one can eat should the conversation or date go sour suddenly that one can use the excuse that they have finished dining and ready to go. I was in and out of this place in under an hour alone and I was taking my time, listening to the music whilst observing the decor. In this one section there is a mirror on the ceiling which really makes for a very interesting visual.

It does have a rather good selection of drinks as in they have their own specialties but can also make whatever you tell them to as they have a full bar. And definitely go during happy hour. It is happy hour all day Sunday.

The thing I was not happy about was that the total bill came to $13.71. I put down a $20. And the change I got back was $6.25...she cheated me by four cents. Doubt I'll ever go back because of that. Can't trust someone who either can't count or is trying to cheat you on purpose.

Parking was OK on a Sunday night after 8pm. Normally metered, but free street parking otherwise.