Tag Archive: restaurant review

We ate out at a restaurant!

As a FOURSOME!  Meaning all four of us ordered from the menu and ate the food that was prepared in a restaurant kitchen and I didn’t pack up ANYTHING to bring!! Weeee! It was a big moment.

We went to Pushkin’s Restaurant (again) because it’s entirely gluten and dairy free, and remains one of the best brunches we’ve ever had.  They have a vegan menu too, although P wanted bacon and eggs so we didn’t regard that menu this time.

They don’t even have (cow) butter on the premises!  They make everything – hollandaise, baked goods, etc. – ALL with vegan butter!!  Basically this restaurant is my dietary dream.

Kyle got a BLT.

V got waffles.

I got avocado toast.

P got two eggs, with hashbrowns, greens, and bacon.

We also got a side of eggs and bacon for the rest of us to share.

I let him order his own meal, which he loved.  He said “I want the bacon one with no peanuts or cow milk”.  Ha.  I clarified his order, but as you can see, his priority was the bacon.

For the record, the night before, we told him we were going to the restaurant and I was asking him if he knew what he wanted.  He thought about it for a bit and then later said “mama, let’s get a plan before we go to the restaurant tomorrow”.  I asked if he wanted to look at the menu in advance to see what they had and he immediately nodded and said “yeah, let’s look at the menu and you can read me all the options and I can pick out what I want…do they have bacon?”.  HE IS SOOOOO MY CHILD!!!

The waffles were sooo good.  I stole a few bites from V and I think they were the best thing any of us got.  They came with maple syrup and vegan butter.  Delish.

Kyle’s BLT came with fries, which he managed to leave alone.  It WAS 8:30 am after all.  He said is was awesome.  And we both still think it’s maybe the best brunch in town.

I swiped some eggs too because they were cooked perrrrrfectly.

Here’s what I got!  It was a huge portion – each of those halves are like mini baguettes.  I ate half and saved the rest for later…I didn’t want to push my stomach since I was still recovering from my GI bug and I was also stealing bites of the bacon and egg sides we got.

Buddies.

I gave him his dose after the meal and then we packed up the leftovers to bring home.  I also got a strawberry rosemary scone to take home…because why not??

Leftovers for lunch.  I offered the fries to the kids but P didn’t want any (?!?!).  V, however, was thrilled at the offer and ate every last one.

LA LA land, day 8

Last day of fun in the LA sun…started with a run on the beach.

Followed by a cold shower (again!! gah!!) and a trip to Gjusta.

The hype is for a reason.  The place is drool inducing and the people are all super friendly and nice and even though you feel pretentious for being there, there’s somehow the most laid back feel at the same time.  Everyone seemed to know everyone’s names and regulars were talking to the baristas, and they were super helpful EVEN THOUGH THEY DON’T SERVE DECAF.

They also had an oven that was broken so they were limited in the bread options.  Lucky for me they had the one I wanted.

I spied this rye seed thing in the case and immediately asked what it was and if I could have it on my lox breakfast plate. He said sure! It also comes with labneh, lox (I let him pick which he wanted to give me) and all those yummy capers and pickled things.  I put it in the back of the car for safe keeping since it was my lunch on the road. Kyle got a hummus and turkey sando for his lunch.

We ordered breakfast too naturally.

I got a biscuit with jam and asked for a fried egg too, so they just threw it on the side for me.

Exactly what I wanted.

Kyle got a bagel egg and bacon sammie thing.

We took it to a park in Westwood so the kids could play while we ate…we were hoping to get them a little exercise before trapping them in the car for hours and hours.  They had already eaten at the rental house before we left so they were perfectly content to collect sticks and climb while we noshed.

My biscuit was so good.  I don’t know what made it unique, but it wasn’t like any other biscuit I’ve had.  It was more whole grain like or something?  But not “healthy” tasting.  But not buttery tasting either.  And the jam had a zing to it – maybe cranberries?  Sadlt the egg was cold, but that wasn’t the fault of Gjusta.  That would be due to the heinous staff at Starbucks who lost my order.  And after waiting 20 minutes I finally was like hellooooooo??? And they were like, hmmmmm.  And the kids in the car were like LK^(%$JDBFO*S&^)*$Y%RLFHI. So that was a real lose lose.  Starbucks can’t figure out a decaf order for the life of them.  What is so complicated!?!?

Finally we hit the i-5.

Lunch break!  Kyle took over driving so then it was my turn to dig in.

SO GOOD!

Miracle of miracles we only stopped ONCE on the whole drive home!?  Crazy right?  It was long, but V slept for 2 hours so that was awesome.  P only slept for 45 minutes, but he can listen to the same 7 books on cd on repeat and still think it’s a treat, so he’s easy to keep entertained.

And now we are home sweet home.

LA LA land, day 7

Spring breakin’ like no other.

I started the day in the most LA way I could.  With a spin class and then moon juice.  I couldn’t help but sip the kool aid.  It tastes like bee pollen and silver and alkaline water.  He he.  Kidding.

I mostly took the spin class because our rental house’s hot water was out and I was really wanting a decent shower.  YAS was around the corner and I had such a good class earlier in the week so I went on their site and discovered a service called zenrez.  It’s like class pass but for yoga type classes.  They had a deal for $20 for the class so I went for it.  Normally you have to buy a membership or a bunch of classes at YAS, but not with zenrez.  The class was good, but I liked my Saturday one more.  Still, it was a nice sweat, followed by an even nicer (warm!) shower.

I walked to get moon juice after (and bought a bunch to take back to Davis with me because I couldn’t pick just one!) and then walked back to meet up with Kyle and the kids.  We drove to Santa Monica for a donut breakfast at Sidecar.  Errrr doughnuts…I guess they use the proper spelling because they so fancy.

We got an apple fritter and a maple bacon glazed doughnut to share. They had a GF one, but it didn’t sound very good.  It was blackberry or something like that.

I only wanted a few bites, because I went next door to Juice Served Here.  I tried a few and they were all so good, but I eventually chose the S (Brotein shake).

It had macadamia nut mylk, which is what totally sold me.  As well as bananas, dates, vegan protein powder, almond butter, and cacao.  I mean how amazing does that sound!?!?!

Yes, LA has one thing down and that is food that makes you feel virtuous.

We spent the morning at the park and Kyle and I just hung out while they played.  It felt super relaxed.  We needed a few things from the store (diapers and wipes stat!), so we swung into WF on the way home.  We ended up getting lunch there too because they had a kale Caesar that was calling to us both.

I jazzed mine up with extra dressing (Follow Your Heart’s vegan dressings are all open at the WF hot bar which makes me SO JEALOUS because I can’t even find them in any local stores anymore).

Added salt and pepper chips to make my salty cravings happy.

ZZZZZ.

Another afternoon, another park.

Vacations are different with kids, but if the point is taking it easy, we were so winning.

As you can see, we had no real plates to speak of…which is why I got a little klepto at the WF salad bar.

The above is a sausage, broccoli, potato hash for the kids’ dinners and oatmeal prepped for them the next morning (last one in LA).  I had been bringing their food to the restaurants with us for breakfasts during the trip, but I wanted to feed them earlier on our last day so they could have some AM park time before the long drive.  Anyway, we grabbed burgers for our last night in town.

I’d read a few great reviews for Pono Burger (the mission and the food), and their Venice location was right near all the other places we’d been frequenting in our rental neighb, so it was easy peasy to swing in and get our food to go.

Kyle hemmed and hawed over a couple of different items on the menu, but ultimately chose the burger with fig jam and brie.  Crazy good reviews from him.

With a side of fries and some seasoned mayo that I used for my burger.

I got the Asian themed one with slaw and avo and a sesame sauce that sounded amazing.  It was good, but a little dry.  I think they may have left off one of the sauces?  it was still good, because I used a bunch of Kyle’s mayo.

Honorable mention goes to the farmer’s market salad that took the runner up spot and I’d probably order it next time.  They also have a quinoa burger that was calling my name and an Asian salad that I almost ordered.  Such a great menu…next time!?

Local beer from the brewery across the street. Not bad, but no Saint Archer.

And THAT’S how you end a trip in LA LA Land.

LA LA land, day 6

Flashback to the day before driving as distracted as ever on Autopia.  V was super into, can’t you tell?!?!  HA.  We thought the kids would sleep in since they were up so much longer and later the day before soaking in all the Disney mania, but no.  Up and at em before the sun.  Eesh.

I went on a run and showered, while Kyle went on a run with V.  We timed everything out so that they met us at breakfast on the way back from their run.

I’m already missing this place.  The Hive is quintessentially LA, but not pretentious about it.  They have soooo many delicious vegan, gluten free, paleo, whatever treats.

I ordered a chai tea (they don’t have decaf coffee – boo) with soy milk while waiting for Kyle to arrive.

It was hard to pick, but I did the “build your own” bowl thing with chia pudding, almond butter, cacao, maca, blueberries, strawberries, pecans and GF granola.  I KNOW RIGHT!?!?!

Kyle got the Bee’s Knees smoothie with added hemp protein, which he was nice enough to share with little miss thang.

I gave her some of my blueberries.  😀

Mr. P had pancakes, and I offered him some of my maple syrup on the side, which delighted him.

I felt full when we left, but in a healthy way.  Kyle and I had fish and chips for dinner at Disneyland, so we were desperate for something wholesome. Off to the park!  Kyle and I wanted to sip on the rest of our drinks and be lazy.

The laws of gravity defy this one.

Eventually we made it home to change into bathing suits.  It was so warm out! The plan for the day was beach.  Valley girl’s plan for the day was popcorn. P was too busy building sand castles, but V made sure to take care of him and deliver bites right into his mouth every once in a while.

The sun felt so so good.

Before naps, we drive to Santa Monica for lunch at one of our old favorites, Huckleberry.

We got a few things to-go that we intended to share.

But Kyle ended up eating the quiche and meatballs and I ended up eating the salad and carrots.

And then we shared the bread and white bean puree.  The white bean dip used to be my idea of heaven on Earth, but sadly, it was a little different this time.  Still good, but not to die for good.

The carrots were the star of the order.  They were SO good!

The kids ended up napping for-eh-VERRRRR (and then woke up super grumpy – the nerve!!) so we didn’t have time to head back to the beach that evening.  Instead we drove to the Promenade for some shopping.  Davis is pretty limited in terms of clothing stores, so we decided to take advantage of being in a mega fashion area.

I bribed them with Jamba Juice.  It’s SUCH a treat to them and is nice for me because it’s a trustworthy place to prepare them something packed with real whole foods.

They split a smoothie I created – almond milk, bananas, strawberries, no ice (it’s too cold for them).  And they both finished their own!!

We didn’t have much luck shopping, but it was nice to be out and about anyway.  I did get a nice bathing suit, so that was good.  This will be my first summer in SO LONG that I’m not nursing or pregnant!!  You can probs read between the lines on why I needed the new suit…  😉

Back home we fed the littles before getting our own dinner scene going.

Kyle and I wanted very different things so we just figured we should go to get take out from two different places and appease both our palates.  The beauty in Venice (and Abbot Kinney) is that it’s quite easy to do that.  I got raw vegan fare from Cafe Gratitude (again) and he got pizza from GTA (again).

His pizza smelled like the best thing ever.  It had bacon and cheese though, so duh.  I was regretting my order the whole ride home, until I opened the bag and saw my beautiful pile of kelp noodles with nut pesto and the extra dressing that Kyle knew to ask for.  I re-doused my already drenched meal in the extra sauce and had a feast.

Cafe Gratitude has had bad press in Nor Cal (and has since shuttered) but I have nothing but stellar things to saw about their food.  Glad I got to try both the things I had been wanting on the menu.

I had a field day with my bag of treats from Disneyland after the kids were in bed.

Like, I legit couldn’t decide where to start so I just nibbled bits and pieces of everything.

The winner of everything was the almond covered toffee below.  HOLY MICKEY!

So glad Kyle spent the $$$$ when I was hemming and hawing about it in the store.  He’s always right.  Don’t tell him I said that.

LA LA land, day 4

The real world all went back to work on Monday, but we got to keep on vacationing.  🙂

Breakfast with my squad at Coral Tree Cafe.

Kyle and I studied here together a few times in college…and went here on a date very early in our relationship…so even though the food is mediocre, it’s still a special place.

We started with coffee and a chocolate chip scone.  The scone was delish.  Probably the best part of the meal.

They charge an obscene 75 cents extra for soy milk (per cup), but were generous enough to give a second refill and soy milk (free), so that made it worth it.  They even gave me mine in a to go cup.

I wanted the GF pancakes, but they were out of the batter, so I settled on two scrambled eggs with potatoes and bacon.  Pretty much the opposite.  I really wanted the scone more than anything else  😉  I gave V a bunch of my eggs and potatoes. Kyle got a scramble with potatoes too.  Everything was lacking salt.

V nibbled from our plates and P ate pancakes that I brought him.  They both had some dried fruit and applesauce that I packed as well.  Per usual, I dosed him after he had a full belly.

Then we hit the road to Newport Beach to hang with my fam.

Look at the four generations of women!  My G-ma is 90* going on 60, for real.

I ran out of space on my phone for pics, but we played with my family (my parents and aunt were there too) and went swimming in my g-ma’s pool and basically soaked up all the sun and family time until lunch.

I fed the kids at my gma’s while Kyle ran to Native Foods in Costa Mesa to get us some lunch take out.

Kyle got this burger which looked legit.  It’s the Native Oklahoma Classic with a seitan “meat” patty, melted cheddar, caramelized onions, organic tofu bacon, BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, carrots, tomato, red onions and romaine.  Noms, right?

I got the sesame kale macro bowl with added avo and extra sauce.  Usually it comes with tempeh but they were OUT OF TEMPEH!?!  It was delish though, because hellooooo, look at those ingreds?!

We left after eating, and the kids passed out before we even hit the freeway.  They slept the whole ride home and woke as we were parking on campus.  We wanted to get them some Bruin gear, but didn’t have time when we went earlier because the student store had already closed.

Classes of 2031 and 2033?

We went to a park on the way home and then met up with my girlfriend for a dinner date.

We got take out from Mendocino Farms…I got the quinoa and kale salad with avo and spicy potato salad on the side.  Both were huge and I didn’t finish either…but then instead of dessert I ended up going back and having the rest of the salad because I really wanted more of something savory on the late night.  I spent the night packing food and getting everything prepped for the next day at…D I S N E Y L A N D. Weeee!!!

*We stopped counting at 90 🙂