December 2022 Rundown

We got the Xmas box too and it was great. Sweetbread “shepherd pie” was a highlight. I only wish he had put in more bread!


:joy: I know what you mean @boourns

Agree with you about the sweetbreads being a highlight!

Was so busy reheating and a bit buzz from :wine_glass: so I didn’t pay much attention to :camera: lighting, etc. but in case anyone’s curious, below is a before and after of the sweetbreads shepherd pie:

Sometimes I look at LQ’s for menu scratching my head :thinking: but then I see how it all works after the 1st bite.

For fine dining takeout, I appreciate his the most for ease of reheating, etc. He’s been at it for a while and it truly shows.


Speaking of…

10 Piece Iki Sushi

Yuzu Shio Ramen

Shichida Junmai | Saga

It was nice seeing Iki busy and humming along on a weekday night. :hearts:

Happy Holidays Y’all!


Iki still brings it!! Lovely folks too and they went overboard with that new outside area… LOL! Good for them. :slight_smile:


True lol. It’s workin on concert nights. My girlfriend and I thought we were going to have a quiet weeknight dinner but it was crowded. Thankfully, concert goers don’t linger. :slightly_smiling_face:


An early morning at The Original Farmers Market for fuel before holiday shopping at The Grove!

Beignet, Cinnamon Roll, Coffee & Espresso w/two Scoops of Foam. Okay we’re ready! First up…

See’s Peanut Brittle is one of the main staples of my December diet… and I buy boxes of it for everyone I can think of. :blush:


Paradise Dynasty at South Coast Plaza. Is it as good as DTF? Some items are definitely as good or better. The menu has more options with entrees like king pai chicken, honey walnut shrimp and others.

The XLB are very good. Splitting hairs. Paradise Dynasty has much more soup. Very good skins.

Pork chop fried rice reminded me of the OG DTF. Nice sized portion of pork albeit no bone. Rice is fluffy and delicious.

Pea shoots had excellent wok hei and excellent garlic flavor. It’s the first time that my son asked for seconds of veggies.

Original noodle soup with shrimp and pork dumplings. The broth was very refreshing and tasted almost like chicken ramen broth.

The veggie egg rolls were fine but a pass. They sent out the red bean buns midway through the meal. By the time we ate them the bun was very dense and tough. The red bean xlb at DTF much better. The food court at Bloomingdale’s has been completely transformed with Bruxie, fancy egg place, Mochinut, churro place, Phoholic, tea shop and this very intriguing Chinese shrimp ramen broth joint.


We went in October and found the flavors of the XLB a touch muted. DTF is still the house favorite.

The vegetables were very good.

There were only 2 of us so we didn’t try other menu items.


Hadn’t heard of the place until you mentioned it (and then I did a quick internet search). Is the place known for being bad? :frowning: Sorry to hear about how bad it (esp the uni) was. :frowning:

honestly not sure what it’s reputation is…but it was briefly discussed in this thread. but the tl:dr is:

Fashion media person picks up sushi/bento around the pandemic, starts selling bentos on IG w/ stolen bento photos from other japanese chefs, gets featured in LA times with said stolen photo and profits.



Holy sh*t.


Is Phoholic open?

I go to South Coast a fair amount and always stop over to Little Saigon for eats, but I was on a marathon shopping trip for fancy frock and I decided to try the Shrimp Ramen place because they had a good selection of dry noodles (My favorite.). I got the Wonton with a side of cucumbers and was very happy with my lunch!

Noodles were very good. They held on to the sauce well and an excellent bite.

The Wonton was really good! Big pieces of Shrimp!

All in all, I was very happy with the quality and cost of the meal. It came out pretty quick and was very filling. And the better news… found my dress. YAY!


I don’t think Phoholic and the tea shop are open. The signs downstairs said opening Spring 2022 so maybe soon? I had no idea this food court area existed. Did this replace Holsteins or was there another restaurant?

Nice dress.


Yeah, I went last month for more shopping and to pick up a Shimamoto noodle kit (Not my jam) and it wasn’t open yet, so that is why I got excited. I dunno what is going on with construction there since they appear to be super behind and no real movement between visits. Opted to got to Rodeo and pick up some Brocolini from the steak place and steel pan pizza. Glad to have both :slight_smile:

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Dunsmoor last night for a birthday celebration. Brilliant! Sat at the counter-always fun. Baby albacore, Bison tartare (probably my dish of 2022), wood roasted Belon oysters, Rainbow trout, Brussels and Raclette gratin, cornbread for dessert. Brought 2012 Jacquesson 740 Dégorgement Tardif and 2013 Francois Carillon Puligny-Montrachet Perrières to wash it down.


Love dress! :champagne:


Last min pic dump from recent trip (all Morro Bay, unless otherwise noted). I’ll cross-link in the appropriate sub-forum.

Petit Valentien in Santa Barbara continues to please, although their prices have inc’d 50% since 2019 (I’m not complaining, just making an observation). The $5 charge for Trader Joe’s tea did hurt a bit, though. Could’ve used less dressing on my salad, but the pork was really nicely fried. I also would’ve liked the poached pears to have been a wee bit softer.

I checked the website just now, and they apparently offer Ethiopian for weekend brunch (we were there on a weekday).

Alessia Bakery was quite tasty. Good raisin roll. Peanut butter cookie (not pictured) was nice and tender (a bit too cakey for partner).

First night in Morro Bay was Mi Casa. That salsa is perhaps the best restaurant salsa I have ever had. Homemade mole on shortest enchiladas I have ever seen. Very tasty. Our server on that night was slinging pastries the following night elsewhere in Morro Bay. Werk, gurl!

Chōwa bowl (Asian fusion). Both the beef bowl (skewered meat threw me off) and ramen were curiously sweet. Food was fine, but not a place I would return to.

X-Mas dinner at Sycamore Resort in Avila Beach. Partner had high hopes for this; I had no expectations since I hadn’t looked at the website. :wink: Butternut squash soup was tasty but totally solidified (so was more of a loose mash). Prime rib looked completely overcooked but was thankfully tender enough. Mashed potatoes tasted mainly of butter, which is not bad, but had a curiously gray color and oddly grainy texture, which made me wonder if at least some of it had come out of a box.

Partner’s crème brûlée was also a bit grainy. And he was very, very sad when it was apparent that the whipped cream was something like Reddi-wip.

Aggressively perky and efficient service (she came out to clear off the table nearly right after we had finished the entrées) and the inspiration quotes on blocks on the fireplace mantle did not exactly conspire to great an upscale environment. I thought it was okay enough for $75pp on a holiday evening.

Dorn’s Breakers Cafe. This is the place that charge you a credit-card surcharge b/f you, you know, actually use a credit card. The pancakes are very good, although I think the best pancakes I’ve ever had were at some random cafe in Medford, OR (I cannot remember the name for the life of me).

Petra Cafe in SLO. It was… fine? Portions are deceptively enormous, so you don’t need a side (unless you are truly starving).

Tacos de Mexico (no accent on their website, so I’ve left it off here so there’s no confusion). Super serious and, uh, hard cashier fit in well w/ the industrial and no-nonsense setting. I am not a taco connoisseur, but I’d be happy to have this in LA. Lengua was the best one we tried (pastor, pollo, asada).

Would you believe they have totally respectable Japanese food (and along the touristy Embarcadero, of all places!). Fast-talking host said that he was also responsible for bussing and taking orders b/c there were only 3 of them working that day. Kudos to him for doing a fine job. The tempura didn’t use the right batter, but Sergio was otherwise in the house b/c that thing was fried SO well. A large (IMHO) portion of short rib for my bento box, and there was basically no gristle or any other tough connective tissue in the “meat” portion (LOVELY). Nicely marinated, too. Neta was quite large (I don’t know enough about sushi to say much otherwise, other than I thought it was very tasty). Reminds me of Kaido (RIP).

Can you also believe there is boba and taiyaki in Morro Bay??? It’s kind of an interesting story:

No non-dairy creamer here, which is a plus, IMHO (they do have substitutes for cow’s milk). Boba is indeed nicely soft and chewy, as advertised.

I appreciate that the taiyaki isn’t the disturbingly large size you find at Somi Somi. The prob is that small taiyaki is mainly batter. The oreo filling was good; the red bean was way too sweet (and I assume not made in-house).

I wanted more of that delicious Mi Casa salsa, but maybe it wasn’t a different chef. It was still good but not quite at the transcendent level as b/f. The housemade tamales also looked suspiciously similar in size and shape to the enchiladas I had the other night. Chicken in green sauce (filling for partner’s burrito and not pictured) was very good. The burrito was HUGE.

Side of albóndigas was comforting and home-y.

Decided to stop at The Funk Zone in Santa Barbara on the way home. Holy h*ll, this place is bougie. $18 cobb salad was quite small (somewhere btw what I would normally consider a side and a entrée size). Quality of the ingredients (esp the bacon) was beyond reproach. But the salad was overdressed and could’ve used a much stronger bleu cheese (and I don’t think there was any bleu cheese that wasn’t already incorporated into the dressing). I could see Gwyneth Paltrow really enjoying this salad. I do not know her.

Partner’s fried chicken was very good.

Croissant was $5. Outermost layer was shattery, giving way to a(n overly) chewy interior. Good butter flavor.

Happy New Year to all.


Can give you some different recs next time you come to the area!

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We are thinking of making Morro Bay an end-of-year ritual for a bit, so I need to remember to ask! Or you could start sharing now… :slight_smile:


One bottle of beer and a few repeats of Auld Lang Syne…at home! Happy New Year!