Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bootlegger's Brewery (Fullerton)

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The Tasting Room - a new tasting room is in the works and should be open early in 2013.  I like this dumpy looking room though.  It's just so raw.


 
The beer selection available by the sample, pint or growler.




Wild Fire Wheat - a smoked hef!




Nice.




I don't remember what this was or what else I had as it's been months since my initial visit. 



 See, while there we met some dude.  This dude was friendly and talkative as hell and well, I lost track of time, failed to photograph every beer and really savor every nuance of beer.  Before I knew it, I had consumed my flight and was ready to move on to the next brewery.  Anyhow, I enjoyed the beer I had.  My favorite was Black Phoenix stout.  


  
I guess this means I will have to return to sample the beer again.  I got no problems with that.  Hopefully, next time, the dude we ran into won't be there so we can really get into the beer.  The guy was nice though.  Apparently, he is or was in a band.  Check em out here.  I'm fairly certain he is the dude playing lead.  Rock on!



Thursday, December 20, 2012

Telegraph's Reserve Wheat Ale

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You know how sometimes you'll drink or eat something and swear it's the best thing of it's kind...then days, weeks or months down the road, you'll re-visit "said item" and you're like, "wtf?"  


   
Well, I was fearful of that when I bought a bottle of the stuff.  Yes, fearful.  Leave it to me to be fearful of something alcohol related, right?  Anyhow, I first had this at Fig in Santa Monica and while I fell in love with the beer, I was hesitant to have it again out of fear that it wouldn't taste the same, that I wouldn't feel about it as I did the first time I poured it down my gullet.  See, the first time I had it, I was a few cocktails into the evening and well, you know how things tend to taste better when you are already going down that road?  Well, I was well underway...


 
Anyway, I had to have it again - and that I did.  Well, this time my facilities were all in order (or as normal as they're ever gonna be) and would you know it, my verdict was the same.  SCORE! WIN! FTW!  I love this beer.  My absolute favorite beer this year.  It is so delicious.  I even bought a few bottles to gift for Christmas as a matter of fact.  I'm even ordering a keg of it for a special even this coming year.  If you can find it, it's well worth the 11-12 bucks.  It's not bitter at all, it's highly drinkable, it's not too boozy...  Just an all around exceptional product!         



CarmeLa Ice Cream (Pasadena)

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The menu on 12.15.12



I am always tempted to try their affogato and ice cream sandwiches but I can't stray from going simple - and by simple, I don't mean vanilla.



I got 3 scoops - roasted sweet potato, candied pecan & orange vanilla bean sorbet.  My favorite of the trio was the sweet potato.  The candied pecan was great too but the sorbet was amiss for me.  The flavor was good but the texture wasn't.  Rather than it being creamy, this one was borderline icy.  Texturally, this was the worst I've had from Carmella.  Shame shame.


 
I was tempted to buy some ice cream to go like I usually do but I'm on a budget cuzz of Christmas and all...



Then again, I could have gifted some homemade marshmallows, candied nuts, hot chocolate mixes, etc.  But I didn't.  I'm making my own concoctions to gift this time around.  More on that...eventually.



Jessie was with me this time around (hence the reason I got 3 scoops and not 2) and he got dark chocolate with cacao nibs, cranberry orange thyme sorbet and salted caramel.


 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bar Ama (Los Angeles - Downtown)


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Signage.




Cocktail list.



Ama Old-Fashioned.



Cerveza.



Alice's Cooler.



Puffy Tacos - The signature dish here.



Carne Guisada Puffy Taco with hierba santa sauce.



As much as I love the chef's signature dishes, I especially enjoy the small plates, appetizers and sides.



Crispy sunchoke & pickled potatoes - just your everyday potato salad with grapefruit segments.  Huh?  Yup, but it's really good.



What did you expect from a Tex-Mex restaurant? 



Cauliflower and Cilantro Pesto - Delicious.  Even more so, with the addition of...



..."Busdriver" Sauce.  It is a vinegar based hot sauce composed of 5 different chiles.  It was rather mild with a bit of smoke.  The acid from the vinegar was on the money but I wish the heat was cranked up a bit.  They intend on selling this stuff.  I'd grab a bottle.



How did they become favorites?  They had just opened their doors to the public half an hour before we showed up!  I kid.  



Chalupa - Our least favorite dish of the night.  It reminds me of something I put together at home when there is nothing substantial to eat.  I'd recommend passing up this dish.


   
The Nacho.



Queso Fundido with added chorizo.  They also have a really good looking guacamole if this chip n dip combination is too heavy for you.



A portion of the bar.



Puffy Taco #2 - Shrimp Smoked with jalapeƱo cream.



Brandy Alejandro.



Table setting.



Dessert Menu.



Chocolate Rice Pudding. 



More food.



They have menudo on weekends (how Mexican of them) so I'll be sure to return to try that out.  


 

As much as I liked this restaurant, I still like Baco Mercat better.  Either way, you can't go wrong.