Monday, October 3, 2016

Another breakfast adventure at Rialto Cafe - (but on one of their *off* days)

You know how they say restaurants can have “hit or miss” days? Well, my second visit to Rialto Café turned out to be a testament to just that. Having had a pleasant first visit, I looked forward to another venture here. SS and I were going through our other options. We have a list of different places in the area that we want to try. But at the same time, sometimes, familiarity is also nice. During our last breakfast adventure, I couldn’t make up my mind, whether to pick one of the places we haven’t tried or to come back to Rialto, where we already had a great experience at. So I suggested that SS decide for us. He decided for the latter.

As with our first visit, we arrived a little bit past 8am. The occupancy of the place at the time was less than half. I was starving, hot (the weather lately has been unbearable), uncaffeinated, and sleepy. I went to bed around 1am, woke up at 5am, sat in traffic for a good hour and a half going to and from the LAX airport. So yeah, I needed coffee and food. Then I was going to go back home and take a quick nap before work.

The food did not come out until about 30 minutes later. I was starting to grow impatient and grouchy. Imagine an uncaffeinated, sleepy, starving Miss Kim waiting that long for food. Last time, it was twice as busy but the food came out at a reasonable time.

I enjoyed the breakfast burrito last time, so I ordered that again. We also wanted to try something new. We got the Smoked Salmon Scramble, a “very popular dish” according to the server. I love smoked salmon (or maybe I used to?), but it’s one of the things that I used to munch on often during my hunger phase moments at work, so it’s not something I particularly crave. It’s hard for me to enjoy it with as much gusto, being that it tastes like the feels of: pressure, stress, the pain of being hangry, and just mere FML moments. But since SS wanted to try it and it’s been a while for me, it’s what we ordered. We also ordered a single serving of Buttermilk Pancake, like last time.

After 15-20 mintues, we were still waiting for the food.

Waiting time dragged on…………….

And on……..

Early stages of behgorage were starting to kick in. SS was talking, but the behgorage drowned out his words. So I don’t even remember the things he said during that suffering moment. I almost wanted to leave. But if we went somewhere else, that would mean even more waiting.

So I suffered through it some more. I weakened. I fell into depression. I was hurting. I hated everyone...had all the classic symptoms of behgorage.  SS doesn’t go through behgorage. He was hungry, but remained calm and normal.

I think I was on my second cup of coffee when the food still hadn’t arrived.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Puppies and coffee - my afternoon at The Dog Cafe

Happy Fri-yay! I wish I can partake in the Fri-yay/TGIF merriment with the rest of you in the normal (whatever that is) work-world. I'm so jelly. I still have three more days to go until my long-awaited weekend starts.So it's more like a hump day for me. For the sake of Fri-yay spirit, I thought I'd brighten the mood by posting about my recent experience at a pooch cafe. 

PUPPIES AND COFFEE. ENOUGH SAID. If those two things don't put a smile on your face, then I don't know how we can be friends. Just kidding (sort of). 

I love puppies. I love coffee. Combine those two together and I am in caffeinated puppy-luvin’ heaven. I’ve heard about the popularity of pet cafes in S. Korea some time ago. So when I heard about the concept materializing here in the States, I was stoked. I had The Dog Café bookmarked for months. I finally got a chance to stop by yesterday. 

A coworker and I were both called off, so we decided to take a trip to visit some pups! I left my home around 3-ish and didn’t arrive until past four. I was able to do a walk-in. The time was 4:15. The gentleman at the front asked if we wanted to wait until five to get the full hour or if we wanted to go in now and join the 4o’clock session, but miss out on the 15 minutes. I was not going to wait 45 minutes. I hate waiting. I didn’t mind too much about the minutes that we missed. I guess the part we missed was the “introduction” time. So we missed the part where each pup was introduced, but we got caught up later. The fee for puppy time is $10pp and they check your id, get your signature, all that good stuff. I ordered myself an iced latte, another $4.36. From the posts I was reading in the past, I understand that the $10 fee included a free drink. But I guess things have changed. Or only certain drinks are free. No idea. I saw many previous posts/reviews stating how the $10 included a free drink So I was kind of surprised when he gave me the extra amount for what I thought was already included in the $10 tag.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Meat haters' petition for meatless options at In-N-Out - WTF?

When I heard the news about a petition going around, demanding that In-N-Out start offering options for non-meat-eating consumers, I just shook my head in disbelief. I believe everyone should be respected for their choices. But like…..why go out of the way to attack a well-to-do restaurant chain that has been satisfying burger -loving customers just fine for decades?

I respect the choice of vegans and vegetarians. I even like some of them. I have a long list of vegans that I follow on Instagram and Youtube.

If they don’t like meat and/or anything containing animal products, that is their choice. But this going too far, even for the preachy, self-entitled meat haters. That’s like me going in to a popular vegan restaurant and demanding that they expand their menu to cater to everyone else, i.e. meat lovers. Can you imagine there being a petition being passed around to get meat on the menu at a vegan restaurant because some entitled mofo believed that it was their right? Ludicrous, right? Right.

Having been in the industry for a while, vegans have made the top of my list of the most annoying types of diners. They come in (often to a steakhouse…yeah, A STEAKHOUSE!!) and expect a whole new dish be created just for them just because they are so special. This used to especially piss me off if it was during a maddening rush of when I used to do set tasting menus. Everything would be flowing in hurried repetition, moving like clockwork, then BAM~~

“Table 31 is Vegan,” then goes off mumblings of obscenities by the cooks and chefs, cursing them vegans. Someone has to stop what they’re doing, go make a trip to gather items to create a whole new dish just for this whiney little, self-entitled being. Sometimes that can be fun to do. But during the middle of a rush when you got ten million things going on? It interrupts the flow and can slow down the pace……once in a while, it can even have chefs fall behind, meaning more wait time for the rest of the diners. How totally selfish, right?

I like to expand my horizons with food. I honestly enjoy experimenting with vegan dishes. I have friends and family that appreciate it, so in my home kitchen, I whip up vegan stuff every now and then. If I am in the mood for vegan food, I venture into a vegan restaurant or make it myself.
I sincerely hope that In-N-Out does not fall into the scheme of the stupid petition and that they won’t change a thing on their menu. Who do these vegans (or vegetarians) think they are? I am still not too sure if the petition was started by vegans or vegetarians. I’ve been hearing vegetarians, but many social media posts are saying vegans….so I am not too sure at this point (maybe it’s both). But either way, go away!

All this In-N-Out fiasco seriously put me in craving mode last night. But it wasn’t really a cheat day yesterday, so I had to let it pass.

How do you In-N-Out? My go to is the #2, a cheeseburger, animal style, caramelized onions, regular fries (but I guess in this pic, I ordered animal style), and a diet coke. Please, In-N-Out, do not change or cater to these whiney bitches. Thanks.

On a side note.....all this vegan madness reminded me of a scene from my book. There was some self-entitled haughty bitch that came to have dinner when a set tasting menu was being served. One of the chefs had to stop what he was doing in the middle of a mad rush, step away to create a whole new menu just for this bitch. And then read what happens in the end..scenes like these have been inspired by real-life scenarios, dude. But fortunately, in my book, kissing vegan ass has a happy ending. It's fiction. 

“Chef, Mrs. Davenport would like to speak with you,” said Henry.
“The fucking Vegan? What does she want now?” he snarled, walking away from me. I exhaled in relief and continued cleaning in agony.

When Chef Wallace walked back in, there was an unfamiliar expression on his face. His lips were parsed away from each other as if there was an invisible wrench in between. It was a smile that emphasized the rustiness of his smiling muscles.

“She said it was the best meal she’s ever had,” he beamed. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Breakfast at Rialto Cafe - and ramblings about my love/hate relationship with mornings

I am not a morning person, never have been. When I was a kid, I used to have to be dragged out of bed by the ankles to get up. As an adult, I have an irritatingly loud alarm that I snooze at least a half a dozen times before dragging myself out of bed, kicking and screaming, hating life. The days of sitting in class sleepy-eyed, the hours spent stuck in heavy unending traffic, or hustling through the early work mornings fighting off the sleepiness (because I've always been such a night owl), are probably what made me a morning hater. I can’t fully function or deal with people in the mornings. On days I don’t have to wake up early, it’s often a habit to just sleep in, thankful that I have to deal with all the nonsense.   

But as I am getting older, I am starting to appreciate mornings a little more, given that I have the two necessities: coffee and serenity. I find that serenity is easier to come by way early in the morning, especially when I am not on a time crunch. When there’s pressure to fight traffic, get so and so done by so and so o’clock, or having to deal with people in general pre-eating (since I rarely eat breakfast), it’s never fun.

On a day when I have nothing to do and nowhere to go, having the luxury of feeling freedom is when I can actually appreciate the serenity of mornings.

I love the quietness of mornings…the feeling of everyone else in the world being asleep and a far reach from being a distraction. I can only get that delusional feeling when I am home though. Once I step out, the reality of the rest of the world being up kicks in.

My favorite time in the morning is probably around six or seven. Aside from the faint sounds of cars from afar and a few birds going into a symphony of chirp mode, there is no noise. The only noise I like to hear in the morning is probably rainfall tapping on my window.

I’ve tried to cut back on coffee over the years. But on days I am waking up early, coffee is necessary. Without it, I’d never come out of my sleep. The aroma of morning coffee is what I dream about the night before waking up early. Peaceful early mornings are my favorite time to write. A few months ago, I purchased a Ninja Coffee Bar and it’s been helping me cut back on my coffee expenses.

Usually coffee is the only thing I’ll have in the morning. I don’t develop much of an appetite to eat until a certain time. I mean, I get hungry, of course…but it’s like my stomach is still asleep or something and isn’t set to wake up until so and so o’clock.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The *other* hungry ones at work

If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that I regularly encounter hunger spells while at work. I can’t help it. I just get hungry. I need to eat every so and so hours. I don’t even eat that much at a time, more like graze regularly. I nibble. I become full fairly quick, and then hungry again in no time. For me, hungry spells mean grumpiness, fatigue, be lucky I am not slapping you silly just for existing…etc. Yep, that’s me and my hungry spells. But you know what? I am not the only person at work that goes through the sufferings of becoming behgopa (meaning “hungry” in Korean if you’re new around here and don’t speak Korean). I thought I was an extreme case. But OMG, there are others that are far worse than me. People thought *I* was always hungry and nibbling, or scavenging around for things to nibble on….well, wait until you hear about my *other* hungry comrades.

First, there is server M. Server M has the appetite of a stoner, always on the prowl for munchies. You should see him around the dessert station! When no one is looking, he will stick his hand in whatever and whereever to fetch out a piece of this and that to sneakily munch. When he gets caught, the look on his face totally reminds him of a young child that just got caught with his hand in a cookie jar after mommy told him “no more”.

Server M always brings his own munchies as well. Sometimes it’s fast food that has turned cold. Sometimes it’s an ice cream sandwich. I’ve also seen him bring such and such specialty food that I haven’t seen before. The boy LOVES food as much as I do! AND….. he even shares sometimes. Maybe that is why I don’t mind throwing a little bone (*ahem*), I mean, munchies his way here and there, or look the other way when his hand is sneaking its way into our mise.

A couple of weeks ago, at the end of the night, there were some leftover pastry items left. They are not served the next day, so whatever is left is a free-for-all for restaurant staff. There were maybe four or five left that night. I had saved them for fellow oinkster, server M to satiate his munchies fix. I know he could probably inhale about ten of them and still want more.

So, there they were…a sheet pan of pastries waiting for server M until he was done with his tables. I even put a note on it, stating that they were reserved all for server M. And then, along comes server L and server J….. and they’re like, “Ohhh….are these for us?”