Tag Archives: restaurant rave

Lucky Liu’s Chinese Restaurant San Diego

Lucky Liu's Chinese Food San Diego

Now this is what I call lunch! Just a small sampling of the delicious food at the all new Lucky Liu’s Chinese Restaurant in downtown San Diego.

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Grant Grill San Diego

Grant Grill Restaurant Week Dinner

Earlier this week I was lucky enough to attend a preview of the San Diego Restaurant Week menu at Grant Grill inside the gorgeous US Grant Hotel.

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Queenstown San Diego: At Home Feel with Downright Delicious Food

Queenstown San Diego Mac and Salmon

It’s always exciting when a new spot opens in your neighborhood. Then that excitement quadruples when the place has delicious food, awesome ambiance, fantastic service and the best sangria ever!!!

Dining Room at Queenstown San Diego

That place for me is Queenstown.

Queenstown San Diego

After befriending the genius minds behind the new restaurant, they were kind enough to invite me in last weekend for their “Friends and Family” brunch on Saturday morning.

French Toast at Queenstown San Diego

The brunch menu was filled with classic favorites like the french toast and bacon seen above, as well as the “Queens Street Farmer” with 3 eggs, heirlooms tomatoes, lamb sausage and a sourdough baguette.

Queenstown Street Farmer Breakfast

Then they brought it big with some totally unique and awesome items, like my favorite, the “Oink”!

Queenstown Brunch Oink with Jalapeño Cornbread, Pulled Pork and Poached Egg

Scrumptious homemade jalapeno cornbread is topped with mouth watering houison pulled pork, a poached egg and garlic kale.

Queenstown Brunch Oink with Jalapeño Cornbread, Pulled Pork and Poached Egg

I would eat that cornbread and pulled pork all day long and not be upset about it at all!

My next favorite dish was the Mac & Salmon.

Queenstown San Diego Mac and Salmon

Who doesn’t love mac and cheese?  Then make it the best mac and cheese ever AND add salmon and prosciutto, I’m so in!

Queenstown Mac and Salmon

They also threw in some southern favorites like Chicken and Waffles….

Queenstown San Diego Chicken and Waffles

… and shrimp and grits.

Queenstown San Diego Shrimp and Grits

Both excellent options as well!

There was actually not one thing on the brunch menu that I would not order again or recommend to a friend. Everything was delicious, it’s really more about what you’re in the mood for.

Sweet and Classic: go for the french toast!

New and Amazing: go for the Oink!

Sweet, Salty and Southern: go for the Chicken and Waffles!

Rich and Creamy: go for the Mac & Salmon!

Whatever you decide on, be sure you order it with a pitcher of Mint Prosecco Sangria!

Queenstown San Diego Prosecco Mint Sangria

Seriously, best. sangria. ever….

… and I’m a sangria snob!

You also can’t go wrong with a Blood Orange Mimosa… ever!

Queenstown San Diego Blood Orange Mimosa

I took the steps leading into the restaurant seriously…

Steps into Queenstown San Diego

… and hung out for about 6 hours on Saturday!

Dining Room at Queenstown San Diego

It really feels like you’re at a friends house when you’re there, just relaxing, warm and cozy!

Patio at Queenstown San Diego

From the bright colored patio, to the sleek bar, the details in Queenstown are amazing!

Bar at Queenstown San Diego

Bar at Queenstown San Diego

After snapping pictures all over the place, the fun and stylish table next to me asked what the pictures were for.  After talking Little Leopard Book for a few minutes, I found out the girls work for San Diego fashion week!

Brunch Guests at Queenstown San Diego

Already pulling in an awesome crowd and they’re not even open yet!

Outdoor Fire Pit at Queenstown San Diego

Pull up a seat by the fire pit, or out on the front lawn, grab a pitcher of sangria and relax!

Dog Friendly Outdoor Seating at Queenstown San Diego

When you’re at Queenstown, you’re at home!

Bar at Queenstown San Diego

Queenstown opens its doors to the public tomorrow, April 10th at 11 AM!  Come in for lunch or dinner any day of the week and be sure not to miss brunch on Saturday and Sunday!

Queenstown is located at 1557 Columbia Street, San Diego, CA 92101.

AIJÓ Miami: How Miami Does Surf and Turf

Whitney Bond with Aijo Brickell Staff

While in Miami last week I had the pleasure of dining at AIJÓ Restaurant in the Brickell neighborhood.

My good friend Ben that I was visiting recommended that we go to AIJÓ for dinner on my first night there.  The food, service and drinks were so amazing that I knew I had to come back and write a new LLB “Restaurant Rave” all about the Miami hot spot! AIJÓ’s director René Buroz set everything up for a fabulous dinner the next night!

Aijo Brickell Miami VIP Dining Room

Ben and I dined in their VIP private dining room, sipped some wine and had a great time!

We started off with a couple of their signature appetizers including the Gyoza Pork Dumplings…

Aijo Gyoza Dumplings

And the Oishi O Niku…

Aijo Oishi O Niku

Oishi-O-what?  The dish consists of beef tataki, oranges, shiso leaves and fresh shaved black truffle. Yum!

We then sampled some of their Signature sushi rolls.

Aijo Sushi Roll

Aijo Sushi

I’m not going to lie, I’ve had a lot of good sushi in my day and this was some of the best I’ve ever had!

We also tried the Tempura Rock Shrimp…

Aijo Rock Shrimp

… and the slow cooked pork belly with sweet and sour sauce.

Aijo Pork Belly

It’s under there… I promise 🙂  And it’s scrumptious!

For the main course… yes there was still a main course after all of the above!

MASAKO BONE-IN RIB EYE

Oh and a main course it was!

A 24 oz prime rib eye aged 21 days, marinated in a garlic, ginger, cilantro soy and served with a side of buttery truffle ponzu explosion sauce.

Explosion sauce?  More like explosion-of-flavor sauce!

MASAKO BONE-IN RIB EYE

The sauce was amazing, but the steak alone was so tender and flavorful, it didn’t even need sauce.

MASAKO BONE-IN RIB EYE

This dish is perfect to share with a few friends… even though Ben and I managed to eat it all on our own 😉

…and still somehow ate this trio of desserts as well!

Aijo Brickell Dessert Trio

See those little pastries in the middle, they’re called Nutella Arruchadito and they’re crispy phyllo dough baskets filled with nutella, and they’re amazing… but to be honest, I do have a slight Nutella addiction!

After dinner, I was honored to sign their “Wall of Fame”!

Whitney Bond signing the Aijo Brickell Signature Wall

If you’re looking for a fun night out in Miami with great service and amazing food, check out AIJÓ… and get the ribeye… trust me on that one! You will not be disappointed!

Tell Antulio that Little Leopard Book sent you, he’s the manager there and will take great care of you!  If you sit at the bar be sure to ask for Nara, his signature drinks are delicious and he’s a really fun guy!  If you’ll be eating in the dining room be sure to request Karen, she was our fantastic server both evenings and she’s super sweet!

AIJÓ is located at 1331 Brickell Bay Dr. Miami, FL. 33131, for reservations call: (786) 452-1637 or visit their website at www.aijorestaurant.com.

Rama Thai San Diego: Taking Thai Food To Another Level

Fresh Veggie Tofu Spring Rolls

I was first introduced to Thai Food when living in LA… and it was love at first bite!

Pan Fried Roti Bread with Yellow Curry

Then I was introduced to Rama.  And my love affair with Thai Food was taken to another level!

There is literally nothing I have eaten at Rama that has not been totally, irresistibly delectable. And as you’ll see through the course of this post… I’ve had a lot of things!

Above you’ll see their fresh tofu, vegetable spring rolls, a deliciously light way to start your meal at Rama, then, there it is, the absolute most delicious thing ever.  Pan Fried Roti Bread with Yellow Curry Sauce.  Holy cow, there is nothing I don’t love about this simple, little appetizer!

I am so beyond grateful that my friend PK ordered this the first time I ever dined at Rama, now it’s my go-to appetizer!  It also inspired my first homemade curry sauce recipe in my Indian Chicken Curry Pitas!

Beef Thai Salad

When the owner found out I wanted to do a “Restaurant Rave” on the spot, he generously brought out some samples of his favorite dishes, in addition to my regular “go-to” items!

First was the Thai Steak Salad, thin slices of beef top delicious mixed greens, mint, scallions, green onions and thai chilies for one meaty, scrumptious salad!

Next, was the Vegetable Tofu and Eggplant with basil, garlic, bell peppers and onions.  The perfect meal for all my vegetarian friends out there!

Thai Tofu and Eggplant

Next, he brought out a couple of tasty seafood dishes, the Coconut Lemon Grass Grilled Tiger Prawns and Pan Seared Scallops in Chili Sauce.

Coconut Lemon Grass Grilled Tiger Prawns

Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Chili Sauce

Is anyone else’s mouth watering?

Both seafood favorites were packed with flavor, while still maintaining a light, fresh taste.  I would highly recommend the scallops, like really highly!

Last but not least was my other “go-to” dish, the Drunken Noodles with Chicken.  A simple Thai meal, turned into one of my favorite dishes of all time at Rama!

Drunken Noodles with Chicken

Now it’s confession time.

  • Confession #1: I was alone at lunch when all of this food appeared on my table.
  • Confession #2: I was sitting on their sidewalk patio and people walking by looked at me really funny!
  • Confession #3: I ate 90% of this food.
  • Confession #4: I wish I had worn looser pants so I could have eaten 100% 😉

If you’re in San Diego or visiting in the near future, do not miss this unforgettable Thai food!

My aunt was recently in town for a conference and said this was the best Thai she has ever had. One of my best friends that lives in Miami said this is his favorite restaurant in all of San Diego. So if you don’t believe me, take their word for it 😉

Rama is located at: 327 Fourth Avenue, San Diego, CA. 92101 (Between J & K St.)