Monday, December 29, 2008

Olive Ball Appetizers

I feel bad that I haven't posted a new recipe in a while, so here's an old favorite. I think I'll be making this for a New Year's Eve party this week. The dough comes out flaky and warm, and the combination of sharp cheddar and salty olives makes them addictive.

Olive Ball Appetizers
(Man, I wish there was a better name for recipe called "balls," but there isn't.)

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup margarine (or butter)
¼ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 cup Bisquick
1 jar (5 oz.) jar stuffed green olives

Mix together the cheese, margarine, and Worcestershire sauce, then add the Bisquick. With your hands, knead into a dough. Drain and dry the olives on paper towels. Once (mostly) dry, wrap each olive in dough. Place onto a greased baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Enterprise Fish Co.

225 State St. Santa Barbara, CA
Phone: (805) 962-3313

After a day of cleaning house, my hubby made an amazing suggestion to head up to SB for a spontaneous dinner. On the drive north, while our stomachs growled, we listed off all the places we could eat. We settled on the Enterprise Fish Company, a restaurant we'd enjoyed once before, and enjoyed even more yesterday.

Enterprise has a chain restaurant decor to it, but it's crammed with SB locals. Hands down, the best part is the food. Enterprise serves mostly seafood, any style you like it, and they rely on buttery, rich sauces and sides.

As an appetizer, I highly recommend the Cajun Popcorn Shrimp. They're breaded in a light, spicy flour and fried so perfectly crispy that we never leave any on the plate. Served with a creamy mustard or tomotillo dipping sauce - both very different and flavorful.

The lobster bisque soup is a little fishy - not my favorite. But Enterprise serves it with a pastry crust that's so buttery and decadent, it's more like Yorkshire Pudding than plain ol' puff pastry.

My husband enjoyed his steak last trip, served with cheesy potatoes Romano (twice baked potatoes loaded with Romano cheese). This time around he tried the chicken club sandwich - also fantastic, he says, but couldn't point out exactly why. Just a solid, yummy sandwich.

This trip I was feeling famished and splurged to try the Scallop Risotto. I'm so glad I did. After the shrimp appetizer, a dinner salad, and bread, the plate was so rich I was only able to eat a few bites. But they were amazing. The scallops were the largest I've ever seen, pan fried to perfection and sweetly flavored. They were served over a super-creamy and rich parmesan risotto and steamed spinach. It was one of those dinners you want to close your eyes to really taste the full effect of every bite.

So if you're in the Santa Barbara area, walking down State Street, stop by the Enterprise Fish Company for some decadent seafood. Just watch your wallet - plates range from $10 to $25 (more, if you're a lobster fan) but you certainly won't leave hungry or unimpressed!

Monday, December 22, 2008


I started going to gingergrass when I started working at my current job. It's a fairly trendy version of Vietnamese food, but they have deliciously creative dishes, and all of the dishes carry over the amazing flavors and combinations that you find in traditional Vietnamese food.

2396 Glendale Boulevard
Silver Lake, CA 90039
(323) 644-1600

There are many great dishes to have here, but I tend to stick to a few that are my favorites. But before I get into the dishes, here's something you should know about me: I do NOT like tofu. I am simply not a tofu person. My mom was a vegetarian for a while when I was young, and it was a nightmare for me, because she would put tofu in everything. However? gingergrass blew my opinion about tofu out of the water.

One of my all time favorite dishes at gingergrass is their tofu lunch plate. Instead of the chewy, flavorless substance I was accustomed to, I was delighted with soft, textured bites. Maybe it was the crunchy shell that is created as they cook it, or their general method of making it, but it's fabulous.

In fact, you really can't go wrong with one of their three lunch plates. In addition to the tofu, they have a pork chop lunch plate and a wok tossed chicken lunch plate. All are delicious. All are served with their amazing Vietnamese "cole slaw" and broken rice, a combination of which could be its own mini meal.

As for dinner, my co-workers and I have tried a bunch of their entrees. The bo sate, shaking beef, and the wok tossed noodles are all favorites. I've never tried their noodle bowls, but they seem to be well liked as well.

Also not to be missed are their drink specials - the basil lime elixir is my absolute favorite, and the "gingergrass gingerale" is very tasty as well. And if you're in the mood for a caffeine fix, the Vietnamese coffee is crazy good. Brewed fresh for you into a cup of condensed milk, if you pour it over ice you are sure to avoid that after lunch food coma. They constantly have unique special appetizers, entrees, and desserts. The lychee panna cotta is absolutely to die for, and I was gutted to not find it on the specials any longer when I went last.

Prices are a bit on the expensive side, but are still reasonable depending on what you order.

Good for:

- lunches, work or otherwise
- fairly healthy fare
- beverages
- tofu


- Three of the guys I've gone with have not felt full after eating at gingergrass. If you order correctly, you get more than enough food, but beware of entrees like the lemongrass chicken, because it's chicken on the bone, and a bit more paltry than other dishes.

Adriana's overall rating: 8/10

Friday, December 19, 2008

Pickwick's Pub

Pickwick's Pub
21010 Ventura Blvd
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
(818) 340-9673

I never went to the old Pickwick's but my fiancee and I are big fans of how it is now. We met up with a few friends for dinner and drinks one night and have been fans ever since.

We love the small, cozy feel of the place and we have loved every dish we tried. They serve British pub food - fish and chips, shepherd's pie, bangers, English breakfast complete with English bacon and beans. Everything is delicious. They serve other food such as burgers and tacos but we stick with the British food.

Service can be a bit slow at times and it can be hard to find a table on certain nights, but for a cozy, fun, yummy place where we always feel welcome, Pickwick's is our choice.