Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Chauncy Creek



 One of New England's more enjoyable provisions is the ability to cross so many state boundaries in such little time. Perhaps its the fact that I'm from Los Angeles and getting out just out of the city alone can take just too long, but either way, Maine provides a stark contrast to the weathers you put up with out West.



The first thing you notice is how genuinely green everything is; the area lacks SoCal's green-brown domesticated death desert feel where wildlife takes on a dry yellow shade; instead, plants glow in their greenness, a clear indication that the locals nor God take steps in conserving water here.



The second thing you notice: people are so damn nice here. Perhaps its the air or a simple oneness with nature; even its proximity to Canada. But expect rather a friendly smile from everyone you run into, a cool respect, and a genuine willingness to help. Amazing.



You walk on down and into a fresh view of a stream or river (we Californians don't know the difference between the various bodies of water), and lobsters are available for the picking. Weight is how you order; an order of clamcakes was added out of curiosity.



The seating is largely cafeteria style in furnishings and utensils, probably appropriate for an outdoor waterfront in Maine. I wouldn't call the pricing particularly cheap though the season perhaps dictates that; food comes out again on cafeteria trays, but you somehow don't mind.



As for the food, it comes out delightfully (yet expectedly) fresh. Perhaps that's helped by that crisp Maine air, a rare taste living in LA, but it (the food) does taste clean. One downside to the temperature was that our melted butter did end up congealing, a nice picture of what might be going on in your body, though that was no matter - we hardly needed nor touched that during the meal. One small tip: it's significantly harder to crack through a 1.5lb lobster than a 1.25lb one. Surprise?



The clamcake was unique - a first for me yet nice and delicious. I wish they weren't a limited time item. Unlike crabcakes the differing properties and delicate balance of its separate ingredients don't hold the piece together; here we see something more compressed and breaded to completion.



Mussels. I typically only like mussels for their accompanying delicious broth, but at Chauncy Creek, I liked the mussels themselves. Delicious, and I suppose that's a complement in itself.



I want to reiterate here how kind the people running this shop are, and I'm sure living and working in such a relaxing environmental view does help. Though its a bit far of a drive from any major city, it's a leisurely one, and I can imagine very well how crowded this place could become during a nice day, especially during lobster season.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Kristie Graduation Photos

Graduations are made great by the dedication and hard work put into them. I'm not going to give you a commencement speech - there are too many good ones on the internet for me to compete, but I can introduce to you our latest Doctor and Pharmacist, Kristie. Congrats!



















Monday, July 14, 2014

Manhattan Beach Post (Brunch)



Manhattan Beach Post. Its virtually known all around Los Angeles, though I'm honestly stumped as to why, except for that this might be the only long standing foodie diner in the entirety of a 15-mile radius. Is it worth the hype? If you couldn't already read my tone, let's find out!



Reservations are sometimes a pain in the ass on Opentable for Manhattan Beach Post, though it seems walk-ins are welcomely seated with a normal 35 minute wait. There are communal tables as well as the slightly more private tiny ones, though honestly, you can hear conversations of your neighbors with just a bit too much ease. There's a view of the kitchen if you're standing, and this place certainly can be described as "happening", if that matters to you.



To me though, quiet is a charm, as is privacy, and the lack of service (or to be more precise, servers much too busy to pay attention to you) wins no extra points.

FRENCH TOAST, stuffed with in house ricotta, murray farms cherries, candied almonds - 12

When you typically see stuffed French toast priced at $12 on a menu in a hipster restaurant, you imagine three fat stuffed slices, more pastry than bread. Don't hope for that here - the portions are drastically smaller, and though it is decently made, it comes a bit more dessert-y than necessary. The stuffing was quite literal here though - right in the middle of the bread slice.

TRUFFLE HONEY LACED FRIED CHICKEN, kholrabi slaw - 15

Truffle anything will attract a bit of attention on a menu, though this truffle honey should not. Not only was the truffle flavoring underwhelming, thus failing to balance the overpowering honey effect, but the chicken was actually better without its sauce. Why? it had good moisture, lacked the odd effect of the unusual honey combination (of which I expected a higher quality out of), and the slaw definately didn't fit in with the rest of it all, especially when drowning in that honey.

BENEDICT, bacon cheddar biscuit, arugula, la quercia tamworth proscuitto, hollandaise - 14

The bacon cheddar biscuits here aren't the ones popular on the menu - a similar formulation though a bit dryer than expected, lacking that essential maple butter, and definitely shaped differently. Proscuitto and arugula are two ingredients providing a premium feel to foods, and the dish certainly did look pleasing to the eye, but I question whether one of these suckers would really be worth $7 of eating.

This whole tapas style dining is becoming increasingly common in restaurants for its ability to serve tiny portions of above average food at high prices, despite their lack of fine detail on the part of recipe planning. It also allows restauranteurs to deliver food onto diner tables sooner than larger plates, allowing for an increased turnover and thus higher revenues. While if executed correctly tapas does allow restaurants to give diners a wider variety of options and higher prices, at Manhattan Beach Post's present prices I'm frankly dissapointed. It seems as if Manhattan Beach Post's sole saving grace is that unless you head to the Westside or downtown, there's no real competition. Except there's Abigaile.

If it weren't clear enough, I'm not too eager to return, and that's for a variety of factors. The food's decent, but nowhere near the prices they command or the hype they generate. And sure, maybe I did get the shit end of the stick two visits in a row, but then again, at $35+ a person, that's something nobody should have to put up with.

Thursday, July 10, 2014