July 2, 2011 § Leave a comment
This company was established in Taiwan last year and currently has three locations listed below. It utilizes matcha (Japanese green tea) in several forms through desserts and drinks. This brand is significantly more expensive than the average price of tea (~NT 30-50), but it’s worth splurging.
I was browsing a food court (located at the basement of every department store) and TSUJIRI immediately drew my attention. A lot of people were waiting in line at a place that seemed to only sell one item, matcha. I was curious. There were a couple of tea shops within a few feet; why were people waiting in this line?
I got the TSUJIRI float with blended macha on the bottom, macha froyo and a scoop of red bean. I know this may not be everyone’s ideal dessert, but it was just what I needed. I understood why people were waiting in line and willing to pay 4x the price of a regular tea. It was delicious, full of flavor without being overly sweet. I can’t wait to go back! 🙂
Interesting facts about matcha (taken from matcha’s wiki page)
- Pound-for-pound, matcha contains more antioxidants than blueberries, gojiberries, pomegranates, orange juice, and spinach.
- It can take up to one hour to grind 30 grams of matcha.
- The flavour of matcha is dominated by its amino acids. The highest grades of matcha have more intense sweetness and deeper flavour than the standard or coarser grades of tea harvested later in the year.
- The most famous matcha-producing regions are Uji in Kyoto, Nishio in Aichi, Shizuoka, and northern Kyūshū.
May 27, 2011 § 2 Comments
YOU BAR Review Summary:
Taste: My bar tasted good. It’s hard to complain since I chose the ingredients, but I would have liked more cherries.
Cost: $22 (includes shipping and the Groupon); Roughly $1.69 per bar (normally ~$3.50/bar)
Recommendation: The quality is good. It’s also really cool to choose the ingredients and have your own label. However, without the Groupon, it’s a bit pricey for my liking. If you have the money, you should give it a try!
Earlier this month, there was a deal on Groupon (spend $10 for $25 on the YouBar website). I checked out the site and decided to give it a try.
They provide a wide selection of ingredients and a digital nutrition label on the same page which calculates every item you select. After, you can choose the name of your bar. I couldn’t think of anything more creative than “Sherene’s Bar.”
I ordered rushed shipping and then realized that they were also in Los Angeles. 13 bars arrived in a well cushioned box the next day. I wasn’t in THAT much of a rush, but it’s good to know they care about customer service. (Most people don’t make that a priority.)
Overall it was a good experience. 🙂
Ordering Process and Ingredient Choices:
Seven steps taken directly from the website.
Choose one or two
(We recommend selecting dates with any nut butter. The combination makes for a healthy custom energy bar that has excellently balanced nutrition and texture.)
(For a nutrition bar packed with more protein select extra protein and/or large bar at the top of the page.)
(For a nutrition bar high in omega 3 fatty acids we recommend adding organic flaxseeds.)
(Unless otherwise specified, all dried fruits and berries are unsweetened.)
(The addition of a sweetener will ensure a great texture for your protein bar. To keep down the sugar content of your nutrition bar, choose ‘Not Too Sweet’.)
(Unsweetened cocoa goes perfectly with any custom protein bar.)
(Customize the texture of your custom granola bar with these three great options.)
Choose one item, if desired:
(The All-One Vitamin Infusion is the perfect addition to any nutrition bar to ensure you get the vitamins needed to stay healthy.)
May 22, 2011 § 1 Comment
photo taken from the Market site
The Market at Santa Monica Place had its grand opening yesterday. It’s a collection of artisan, gourmet vendors that sell all types of food items.
I’m excited it’s here and I hope it’s successful.
Here are the vendors taken directly from the site.
A sweet treat from the streets of Malibu, Beachy Cream brings its retro-chic, organic ice-cream sandwiches to The Market.
Made with the highest quality organic ingredients, the Cookie Guru bakes cookies that are crispy, yet chewy and gooey. These gourmet delights are paired with delicious flavored organic milk, which provides a unique twist on a classic pairing.
From Denmark to Venice to Santa Monica comes N’Ice Cream, superior gelato and sorbet made fresh every morning with organic ingredients and fresh seasonal fruits.
The brainchild of a French pastry artist and an accomplished Southern cook, The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories offers 3- and 4-hour classes, chef demonstrations, special events, cookbook signings and more.
Long-time favorite L.A. baker, Hans Röckenwagner, brings an enticing soufflé bar and a fresh selection of breads, pastries and more to The Market at Röckenwagner Bakery.
Join her celebrity clientele and experience a fresh take on floral design, including one-of-a-kind arrangements and fun classes, at Jenny Barker’s Magical Blooms.
At Benedetta, each holistic skincare formula is made in small batches using certified organic and biodynamic ingredients, many California grown.
This market, kitchen and café specializes in artisanal foods and farm-to-table cooking – and the results are always delicious. The Curious Palate features unusual culinary items from around the world.
Primi Al Mercato offers small plates of unusual and creative pastas and more, made fresh on the spot – to enjoy at The Market or take home – from Valentino’s Piero Selvaggio.
Joining Primi Al Mercato, acclaimed Santa Monica-based restauranteur Piero Selvaggio brings a second eatery to The Market called Norcino, meaning “The Butcher.” The concept combines charcuterie plates with premium cheeses that will be served in a sushi-inspired fashion.
A Westside favorite, groundwork coffee company brews certified organic, fairly traded, single origin and custom-blended coffees, including Banda Geisha, Black Gold, Bitches Brew and Angel City.
Artisan, gourmet chocolates – always handmade by the company’s French chocolatier – star in L’Artisan du Chocolat’s new location at The Market.
Experience this hip and eclectic wine shop and also discover unusual, beautifully packaged gifts. A tasting room adds to the excitement of this new location of the West Hollywood favorite, Venokado.
May 16, 2011 § Leave a comment
When I tell people I’m vegetarian, one question always follows. What do you eat, tofu?
Why is tofu always the enemy? Tofu’s been nothing but amazing to me. I’ve had it in countless dishes- sautéed, fried, boiled, steamed, salty, sweet and spicy. It never disappoints.
A few years ago, V.P. Tofu opened in Monterey Park, Los Angeles. They make fresh tofu (medium, firm, fried) and soy milk (sweetened and unsweetened) daily. When I’m in the area, I go for the tofu pudding (dou hua). They sell 12 ounces for only $1.25.
Video shows you how much of a pain it is to make fresh soy milk and tofu. The music doesn’t help.
Dou hua is an Asian tofu dessert. It has a smooth silky texture and melts in your mouth. Traditionally, it’s served hot with a sweet ginger syrup. Typically, you can find this prepackaged in Asian supermarkets with the tofu and syrup separated or at dim sum restaurants.
One variation that you can’t find in the markets is the pandan flavored dou hua. V.P. only makes this on weekends. Pandan is a a green plant that has a distinct yet subtle flavor. The green color and flavor is found in Southeast Asian desserts and is often paired with coconut.
If you are near a Chinatown or in the Los Angeles area, I suggest giving dou hua a chance. It’s good to try it and even better to try it fresh!
I don’t recommend following these instructions. Another How To link. I can guarantee that you will not enjoy dou hua. If you don’t have an Asian market near you, please wait till you (1) go to Asia or (2) go to a city that has dou hua available.