Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Thank you Pascal for many yummy memories...

It's bittersweet to say goodbye to one of our favorite restaurants in Orange County... but it's nice to know that Chef Pascal will be enjoying his semi-retirement. I guess if we're missing his bouillabaisse or soup al' oignon, we'll just have to make it to one of his wine dinners at the Epicerie.

Thanks for making our Valentine's Day dinner so yummy and enjoyable! 

As you can see, we went all out and nearly had to be rolled outta the restaurant... hello gluttony :) 

Sauteed Foie Gras 
Sauteed Strawberries in a Balsamic Reduction

Escargot Cassolette "Christine"
Toasted Pine Nuts and Garlic Butter

Soup al' Oignon "Pascaline"

Bouillabaisse "Provencal"

Thyme-Crusted Sea Bass
Seafood Chardonnay Sauce on a Tomato Concasse

Cheesecake Souffle 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Luggage Room

I first created this blog to write about all the foods I ate - which is ALOT. But with life getting busier, my metabolism getting slower, and my passion for cooking getting crazier... I need to draw the line somewhere. So I've decided to only blog about neighborhood finds... the mom and pop stores, non-Michelin rated, just plain old honest and true cooking. Hopefully along the way, I'll find some that will keep me wanting to go back for more :)

With that said... there has been a neighborhood haunt that I've gone to at least once per week for the last month! Really - it's rare that I go to a restaurant that often. I've gone to The Luggage Room in Pasadena more in the last month than I have at the gym (but I guess that's not saying much). 

The Luggage Room is adjacent to the La Grande Orange Cafe, at the metro station in Pasadena. Since the opening of Pizzeria Mozza, Angelenos have compared each pizzeria to the Mozza standard. At long last, I think they have found a match... and it's on the east side of town!

Dining Room with Large Communal Bar
 The Luggage Room doesn't have a big dining room and they don't take reservations. I've been there on both weekdays and weekends and it's safe to say that you'll be waiting for a seat by 7pm. However, there's a nice courtyard outside, as well as benches, that people hang out at with their cocktails or glasses of wine as they mingle and wait for their seats. BTW, it's free corkage for the 1st bottle (SCORE!).

Green Day Salad
- $10 -
 Lots of arugula, spring mix, with caramelized apricots and pomegranate seeds, tossed in a sweet and slightly tangy balsamic vinaigrette. The salad is yummy especially if you like sweeter dressings like me. The last time I went and ordered the Green Day Salad, they switched out the pomegranate seeds for grapefruit. Not a huge fan of grapefruit... so I hope the lack of pomegranate seeds is only temporary. But if sweet dressing is not your thing, then you'll like the Chopped Salad instead.

Brussel Sprouts Bacon Pizza
- $17 -
 One of the specials that day was the Brussel Sprouts Bacon pizza. Right... I know what you're thinking... brussel sprouts on a pizza???!!! Just wanna say - don't diss it until you've tried it. The brussel sprouts were caramelized and the bacon was loaded on. It reminded me of Thanksgiving in a pizza :) The pizza crust was thin, but still held the toppings well. The crust had a sour dough taste to it... soft and chewy - yum!

The Padre
- $17 -
What can I say about the Padre pizza... besides the fact that I've ordered it nearly every time I have been there. The pizza is a combination of caramelized figs, prosciutto, arugula, and blue cheese. The sweet and savory melds perfectly together here, and the arugula adds just a tad of bitterness. The blue cheese they use is quite strong and I've had some bites where the blue cheese overwhelmed all the other flavors of the pizza. I think next time I get it, I'll ask them to go easy on the blue cheese.

Red Velvet Cake
- $8 -
 Aside from macarons, my new obsession is red velvet. I don't think I have had a better red velvet at a restaurant than here... the cake is made up of 6 layers of red velvet cake, with cream cheese frosting between each of the layers. It's moist and not overly sweet... a decadent piece of heaven with each bite :)

I love the Luggage Room. The staff are friendly and the vibe is low key trendy. Trendy enough for a date, but low key enough for family and kids. I'll definitely be coming back ... it's been a long while since a new restaurant in Pasadena made me this excited.

The Luggage Room
260 S. Raymond Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91105