We had two very unique maritime experiences during our dinners over the weekend. First, on Saturday night, we had dinner at Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills where I’ve eaten many times before. The food is phenomenal. I was really excited to show the food off to Shannon.
400 N. Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Phone: (310) 205-5444
We ordered an artichoke salad, which is made with baby artichokes and shaved parmesan. It is called Carciofi. It was absolutely spectacular, super fresh, and felt like I got the fiber I needed.
After that, we ordered the Spaghetti di Farro, which is made with spelt pasta, which I found out, is another kind of coarser grain almost like whole grain. The pasta came with ricotta cheese and lemon zest on top which was absolutely phenomenal. It was light and delicate especially compared to what came next which was the Risotto Nero.
The final dinner we got was the Risotto Nero, which is a seafood risotto with squid ink. Now I’ve had a bit of squid ink in my food before. I have a sneaking suspicion this is traditional Sicilian. When the plate came out it actually looked like mud. We were laughing so hard. It was so dark it literally looked like refried black beans except glossy. It almost made me nervous to taste it. When I actually ate it it was absolutely delicious and unbelievably phenomenal.
Although it was impossible to figure out what you were eating since everything was covered in the dark ink. Again, I don’t’ think anything was wrong with this dish it tasted wonderful just appearance-wise it wasn’t what I was expecting and I’m sure something traditional and Sicilian.
After our fantastic dinner at Il Pastaio we wandered around for a while and stopped in at the Harajuku crepe place which has been reviewed so well, but honestly we were just too full to eat there. We then walked and drove a bit more and then ended up going to get tea and dessert at Urth Cafeé.
267 S. Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Phone: (310) 205-9311
This is a spot I love hitting in Beverly Hills. It is the most perfect coffee shop you could ever imagine except for the fact that it is a little bit on the crowded side. Everything they do there they strive for all the modern, millennium, sustainability, organic, and eco-friendly in each and everything they serve. One of the most wonderful things that I should have just had as a meal itself was their Macha Green Tea Latte. The whole rest of the world are coffee drinkers but me, but I do love me a good cup of green tea. The Macha Green Tea Latte is just phenomenal. It has a bit of condensed milk in it for sweetness and it ends up being so filling it is a meal in itself.
We also got a wonderful chocolate tiramisu. Unfortunately at that point I was so full I wasn’t even able to finish it, which is truly remarkable when you put me up against a tiramisu. The tiramisu was just great.
I’ve also had their blueberry cobbler before which is possibly one of my favorite desserts on the planet.
The other totally bizarre maritime experience we had at a restaurant was last night at Sushi Planet.
951 S. Westlake Blvd., #114
Westlake Village, CA 91361
Phone: (805) 379-9844
I’ve ordered shrimp at sushi restaurants probably 100 times maybe 200 times. Last night I ordered the Ebi, which is live shrimp. In my past experience the shrimp is normally cut just north of the tail. The piece with the tail is served as sushi, which is incredibly fresh because the shrimp was alive just before it got to your table. The head and body of the shrimp is generally dipped in tempura batter and fried. This time the Japanese waitress simply looked at me and said, “Live??” I said, “Yes!” assuming, of course, it was Ebi, which was recently alive as opposed to regular shrimp sushi which is not live just before they deliver it to you. Little did I know what she was actually referring to…well, I’ll get to that in a minute.
Our Ebi dish arrived and I see it hasn’t been battered and I think, “Oh, okay, they are just delivering the head as cold sushi. That is fine. That’ll be good.”
So, I go to bite into the back of it and I think to myself, “Gosh, this shell is really hard. I can’t bite into it.” Then I turn it around to look at its face, as I am about to eat one of the eyes to try to impress Shannon. The thing twitches and looks at me. I almost peed in my pants and I dropped it and screamed which also frightened Shannon as I was screaming like a schoolgirl. It appears that what they meant by live was that they cut the front half of the shrimp off but the front half of the shrimp was still alive and now on my table. LOL. It no longer had legs so it was unable to run away from me. It was looking at me. The antennae were moving. The little feeder parts near the mouth were all twitching and moving about. Shannon said that it was probably just a reflex action but when I stopped and thought about it for a moment the shrimp was probably still able to oxygenate because it is some kind of a lower evolutionary fishy critter. The brain and spinal cord are still intact at least at the top part. I am imagining this poor thing sitting there looking at all of this going on around him, horrified, feeling the pain of someone biting into his spinal cord. At this point, I started to freak out just a little bit and worried about what I was going to do. Normally, if this happened in nature, I would put the animal out of its misery. I asked Shannon if I could just take the heads outside and crush them. She didn’t like that idea so I had to figure out what to do. So, I took my chopstick and did a brain-ectomy on the poor shrimps to make sure their brains were fully destroyed and they were no longer conscious there-by releasing their shrimp-y souls into the atmosphere. It is rare that I can’t eat something, but I just didn’t have the stomach to eat the heads and the goo that I created inside the heads afterward.
The service was very mediocre, but the food was spectacular so I don’t know what to say. Go there when it is not crowded. I highly recommend that you allow plenty of time for your meal and don’t come ravenously hungry like we did. It very possibly was because it was the night before Memorial day which was a Sunday night and they just weren’t expecting the crowd. The food on the other hand was absolutely phenomenal.
I will give both restaurants a thumbs up on the food and Il Pastaio gets a double thumbs up on the service. It is just an unbelievably exquisite place.
Also, while we sat there, Shannon who is a sports car buff, saw approximately 10 Porsche Panameras make a right turn off of one of the streets which lead us to believe it was either the same person driving round and round the block or a Porsche dealership doing test drives.