Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Classic Eggs Benedict at Marmalade Cafe

Our random meal of the day brings us some Classic Eggs Benedict. The Eggs Benedict consists of four main components. We start with a toasted English Muffin. We then add a slice Canadian bacon or ham. This version adds three poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce tops the eggs. A side of home fries completes this fabulous random meal.

The funny thing about this random meal is the psychological barrier to the meal. I guess it started as a kid when I learned about Benedict Arnold. To recap, all I remember is that he was a traitor to his country. Why would I want to eat something that has to do with a traitor? For years I really thought that Eggs Benedict was actually named after Benedict Arnold. Well good thing for the internet to set me straight.

Another thing about me is my dislike of mustard. For some reason I thought the Hollandaise sauce has a mustard component in it. Oh how I was so wrong. It is really made with mainly eggs and butter. So I can only blame myself for not enjoying Eggs Benedict before because of my preconceptions. I guess I am taking my own lesson for today's random meal of the day.

Found at Marmalade Cafe in El Segundo, CA.

(Nikon D700, 50mm, f4.0, 1/125, iso 1400)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Grand Slam Hot Dog at Dog Haus

OK, this is a magical random meal of the day. We have for today the Grand Slam Hot Dog. The Grand Slam starts with a 1/4-lb skinless all beef hot dog. We place the hot dog on top of three grilled King's Hawaiian rolls. A slice of smoked bacon and some perfectly grill crispy tater tots sandwiches the all beef hot dog. We then add the magical topping to complete the meal; a sunny side up fried egg with pepper snow flakes.

I wonder why this concoction just tastes so good? Is it the bacon? Is it the fried egg? Maybe it is the tater tots? It has to be the tater tots or the egg or maybe the King's Hawaiian roll... The Grand Slam now takes the number one position over Oki Dog.

Found at Dog Haus in Pasadena, CA.

(Nikon D700, 60mm, f11.0, 1/80, iso 800, +1.0ev)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Peanut Butter Mochi at Fugetsu-Do

This is one of those random meals that I truly regret never having until now. We have some of the most spectacular Mochi that I have ever tasted. Maybe this is because I am a little sheltered when it comes to mochi. I typically eat the frozen mochi ice cream that you get at the supermarket. Today is the first time that I actually ate some freshly made mochi. The difference is just unreal. When you bite into the silky soft mochi and hit the specially prepared peanut butter center, it feels like a magical moment. I wasn't even hungry when I had my first piece. In reality I was really already stuffed. But after the photo opp, I decided to try just one. One became two and two became three. Load and behold I ate the whole package and yet I was still craving some more...

Found at Fugetsu-Do in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, CA.

(Nikon D700, 105mm, f4.0, 1/125, iso 1250)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Chicken and Waffles at Roscoe's House of Chicken & Waffles

We have for our random meal of the day some Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. We have an order of the Scoe's #1 with a quarter chicken consisting of white meat and 2 glorious waffles. You may be thinking, chicken and waffles? Yes, it is an absolutely delicious combination. My coworker put it best like this: "Have you ever had bacon or sausage with your breakfast?" If you did, then it will be no different than having fried chicken. You would eat it the same way as you would eat bacon or sausage. This is a Southern dish of fried chicken for breakfast or in my case lunch. Trust me, it is really enjoyable.

I still remember the first time I have ever heard of having chicken and waffles together. I was fresh out of college and working my first real full time job. My coworkers were going to order some Roscoe's for takeout and asked me if I wanted some also. In my youth, I thought they were crazy to eat chicken and waffles so I thumbed my nose at them and said "That's just gross." Well, when they came back with the food, it was the most wonderful smell. That was my one and only time that I have ever passed up on going to Roscoe's.

About a decade later, we had a consultant working with us. He was born and raised in NYC. We asked him to join us for some chicken and waffles. Well, it was almost a deja vu moment. He looked at us like we were trying to pull a fast one on him and in a typical New York style, F#C# No. Well, load and behold, when we brought the takeout back to the office and the aroma of the awesome chicken and waffles permeated the room, well, someone really wanted to try our random meal. He actually tried to buy one of our meals off us. No bribery here will make me give up my order of chicken and waffles. Good thing one of my coworker was kind and give him a wing and a small slice of a waffle. We converted a true New Yorker! He actually ate chicken and waffles for two straight weeks for dinner. He said that the workers at Roscoe's gave him weird looks for coming in every day. We kind of told him that Roscoe's is a treat and not really an everyday meal. The Consultant in turn said, it is worth the 200 sit ups he does every night for this...

Found at Roscoe's House of Chicken & Waffles in Pasadena, CA.

(Nikon D700, 50mm, f2.8, 1/80, iso 4000)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Monkey Brains Shave Ice at Get Shaved

Today our random meal of the day treat is an order of Shave Ice from Get Shaved. This is actually my third time eating at Get Shaved and the first at the actual store instead of the Food Truck. Yes I actually drove all the way to "The Valley" just to get some shave ice. We have the #4, Monkey Brains in a cute UFO sized cup. This size is perfect for sampling the many flavors of shave ice. The Monkey Brains flavor is "strawberry and banana shave ice with sweetened condensed milk". The key to eating shaved ice is to add ice cream to your shave ice. It gives it the super special extra random kick to your dessert treat. The best thing about actually eating at the store or more like shack is that you get to sit down at a table. It makes the photo opp so much easier. Get Shaved also has a drive-though!

Found at Get Shaved in Northridge, CA.

(Nikon D700, 60mm, f4.0, 1/250, iso 250)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Turkey Burger with Applewood Smoked Bacon at The Counter

We have a Turkey Burger today for our random meal of the day. The premise of The Counter is that you can build your own custom burger any way you want it. They start you off with a menu that is also a custom order sheet. Today I decided to try out the turkey burger. I think I've been converted. For some reason, the turkey burger just tasted so much better to me than the regular burgers. Maybe because it tasted unique that I liked it. I loaded this particular burger with jalapeno jack cheese, Bermuda red onions, grilled onions, organic mix greens, a hard boiled egg and a premium topping of applewood smoked bacon. Yum...

Found at The Counter in Pasadena, CA.

(Nikon D700, 105mm, f5.6, 1/125, iso 640)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Surprise Birthday Cupcakes

My coworkers surprised me today with a some random birthday cupcakes. These are home made red velvet cupcakes adorned in USC cardinal and gold. Thank you for the random meal surprise.

(Nikon D700, 60mm, f4.0, 1/80, iso 1250)

Original Chicken Sandwich at Burger King

Our random meal brings us the Original Chicken Sandwich. Back in the days when I was a young lad, this was considered a fancy meal for me. I think I really like the fact that the sandwich was larger and longer than a typical hamburger. It felt like such a deal. For me chicken was all the rage. It was the age of innocence. It was the age of Street Fighter II. I was a Guile master. Life was just simple. As time passes you reflect upon your youth and the random meals that you had back then. It is funny how it never really tastes the same as you remembered. Today I turn one year older. How times flies.

Found at Burger King in Pasadena, CA.

(Nikon D700, 60mm, f4.0, 1/80, iso 1250)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Strawberry & Strawberry Gelato on Waffle at Four Leaf Tea and Crepes

Strawberry & Strawberry Gelato on Waffle is our random meal of the day. This random meal starts with an original waffle that we load with a scoop of strawberry sorbet gelato. We then add fresh whipped cream, strawberries, toasted almonds and finally chocolate sauce completes the "Create Your Own" waffle.

This is the first post for 2011 and Random Meal of the Day is switching up the title format. I think it makes more sense this way as you do not confuse the restaurant name with the menu item. RMOTD is also not going to be a daily blog but instead will be a bit more random this year. I recently discovered that there is a color meter by Sekonic. It is the PRODIGI C-500R Color Meter and I really want it. But unfortunately for me, it is a bit pricey so I am going to sacrifice about 120 random meals to pay for this toy as RMOTD is my hobby and makes makes me Zero Dollars and Zero Cents ;) What this fancy gadget does is read the exact color temperature in a Kelvin value so that you can dial the number into your camera and get the correct and proper white balance each and every time. Do I need this? No, but I sure want it. Yes, I know, shoot in RAW and save the money but, that will be no fun.

The funny thing about this random meal was that it was a bit random. An hour after gulping down a large bowl of Daikokuya ramen and slurping all the broth up, I finally had some room for dessert. At the same time, I had to use the restroom. The thing is that I decide to take the Train and not drive because I thought it would make the adventure more fun. It is strangely weird of the total lack of available restrooms in Little Tokyo. I initially headed over to Fugetsu-Do for my dessert fix and I ended up getting the order to go. Then off to Pinkberry, and the same thing, no restroom. Really, at a large chain like Pinkberry??? So out came the iPhone's Yelp app to the rescue. I typed in desserts and Four Leaf Tea was a hop and a step away from Pinkberry. I looked at the posted pictures on the Yelp app and they looked great and the magical question was answered. Yes, they do have a restroom.

Looking at the dessert pictures on the Yelp app, I noticed some of the really good ones were back lit. Four Leaf Tea has pretty much a gigantic window so it was time for me to use a creative idea that someone thought about. I switched the dial to center weighted metering and off I went. The funny thing is that I was already an underdog compared to the pictures posted on Yelp. The difference between the iPhone yelp app and the computer version is that the computer version lists the person taking the picture while the iPhone Yelp app does not. Well, those pictures that I was trying to replicate were actually professionally shot and posted by the restaurant. You can tell by fact that the are no names of real Yelpers listed in the photos. So while I was thinking that these are actually great customer photos, they were in fact most likely back lit with a flash. No wonder they looked so good...

Found at Four Leaf Tea and Crepes in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, CA.

(Nikon D700, 60mm, f11.0, 1/80, iso 2200)