Sunday, February 27, 2011

Green Tea Red Bean Shaved Snow at Class 302

Yesterday there was actually a chance of snow in the higher elevations of Sunny Southern California. This brings us to our random meal of the day treat of Green Tea Red Bean Shaved Snow. This is another edition of RMOTD Photographer. What we have for today is Green Tea Flavored Ice that is shave into what looks like pasta. We top the shaved snow with red bean and shower the meal with with sweeten condensed milk. Larger than bite sized sweet mochi slices helps to balance the sharp taste of the green tea shaved snow.

Found at Class 302 in Rowland Heights, CA.

(Nikon D700, 60mm, f8.0, 1/80, iso 2500)

**RMOTD Photographer**

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sage Fried Chicken & Waffles at Hash House A Go Go

Today we bring our final random meal in Vegas. We ended the trip in a glorious fashion with brunch at the Hash House A Go Go. This restaurant features "twisted farm food" an was quite an experience. Hash House A Go Go was actually featured on an episode of Man V. Food. We have for today the Sage Fried Chicken & Waffles. This is a ginormous amount of food that seem to dwarf anything and everything around it. I guess only in Vegas can you find something this over the top extravagant.

The random meal of the day starts off with four massive bacon waffles. That's right bacon waffles. We are not taking about little pieces bacon bits, we are talking about an entire thick cut hardwood smoked bacon slice in each and every waffle. We then put on top of the waffle stack, two entire sage fried chicken breast. So we have an entire half a chicken stacked on top of bacon waffles. This meal was legend - ary!

Found at Hash House A Go Go in Las Vegas, NV.

(Nikon D700, 50mm, f4.0, 1/80, iso 5600)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Mexican Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin at Mesa Grill

Our random meal of the day brings us the New Mexican Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin. We continue our Vegas adventure and this was another restaurant that my friend choose to celebrate his birthday. Originally I was going to order this dish but another friend decided to order the same dish and I wanted to have different entrees to photograph. Based on the pictures that I've seen on Yelp, I knew this dish would be the most photogenic. So for today's random meal, I am just the RMOTD photographer.

The New Mexican Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin is flavored in a sauce consisting of Bourbon - Ancho Chile. A sweet potato tamale topped with a crushed pecan butter completes this random meal. I actually been to the Mesa Grill in New York City and now the one in Las Vegas and on both occasions, the food was excellent.

Found at Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NV.

(Nikon D700, 50mm, f4.0, 1/80, iso 2800)

**RMOTD Photographer**

Monday, February 21, 2011

Combo Pan Roast at Oyster Bar

"What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" unless it is a random meal. We were off to a road trip to celebrate one of my friend's birthday last weekend. The birthday boy declared for our first meal that we have the Pan Roast at Oyster Bar. This was actually formerly a secret spot from my buddy that runs He was on the trip with us and wanted me to keep the spot a secret. Well, it is no longer a secret. Well, if a secret means at least an hour wait, then I wonder what the line will be like if more people discover the place. Good news is that it is now open 24 hours.

I had the Combo Pan Roast. The combo pan roast starts with a blend of fresh lobster, shrimp and crab that is cooked in what they described as "live-action seafood cooking." It is actually a unique experience watching the chef prepare your random meal in the steam heated pot. All the seasonings and the magical broth is added right before your eyes. I choose a moderate spice level 4 out of 10. The base of the soup is a sweet and velvety smooth tomato blend. It was best describe by my friend as kind of like a blend of tomato soup and clam chowder. It just works. Just a word of warning, be careful on your first wonderful bite as the Pan Roast comes to you piping hot!

Found at Oyster Bar at the Palace Station Hotel, Las Vegas, NV.

(Nikon D700, 50mm, f5.6, 1/80, iso 6400)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Almond Pretzel with Caramel Dip at Auntie Anne's

A fabulous Almond Pretzel with a heavenly Caramel Dip is our random meal treat today. If you ever walked by a Auntie Anne's, then you know the how wonderful the aroma in the air is. That magical aroma is absolutely irresistible. The key is to walk on the other side of the mall. Well, today I forgot to walk on the other side of the mall. This then leads to the moment you bite into the soft pretzel that seems to just melt in your mouth. You then dunk the pretzel into the caramel dip and then just smile...

Found at Auntie Anne's in Glendale, CA.

(Nikon D700, 60mm, f11.0, 1/80, iso 5600)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pasta Mama at Hugo's Restaurant

Our random meal of the day brings us an order of Pasta Mama. I remember watching the first few episodes of "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" on the Food Network and hoping that they feature something near me. The unfortunate thing is that by this point, I had bookmarked hundreds of other restaurants and the list still grows to this day. I finally had a chance to try out the Pasta Mama. The Pasta Mama starts with a bed of spaghetti. Minced garlic is then combined with some dry mixed seasonings consisting of garlic powder, oregano, seasoning salt and onion powder. Beaten eggs and parsley are then combined with the dry seasonings and the pasta. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese is then mixed into the batch to complete the Pasta Mama. This is a hearty random meal.

Found at Hugo's Restaurant in West Hollywood, CA.

(Nikon D700, 50mm, f4.0, 1/80, iso 2800)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Chinese Chicken Salad at California Chicken Cafe

We have a healthy random meal of the day consisting of a small Chinese Chicken Salad. Yes, I do sometimes crave something healthy. I have always been a fan of the Chinese Chicken salad. I believe I like the tangy salad dressing combined with the crispy crunchy wontons. This variation of the salad switches out the wonton strips with crispy noodles and crunchy almonds. Plain curly pasta gives this salad a twist. I actually drove ten miles for this salad and it was well worth the drive. Yum...

The funny thing about this particular shot was that the lighting conditions were not exactly idea. This is actually the second California Chicken Cafe location that I have been to. This one is twice as large but also twice as crowded. I decide to set at a counter seat that has the table built right into the window. It was a great seat if you were just enjoying lunch. The shot was going to be a backlit shot. There was a large moving truck that was parked right in front of the restaurant and it shaded the windows enough to give it a diffused look. Well, by the time I received my plate of food, the truck had move on. This left me with a tinted window with the sun beaming directly though it. One of the keys of lighting is diffusion, diffusion, diffusion. With the harsh lighting, the plate became a dark mess even with some positive exposure compensation. I then decide to rotate the plate sideways and that helped but not enough. I then remembered to change my metering mode to center weighted and that was enough to save the shot. I ended up having a nice warm shot of my wonderful Chinese Chicken Salad.

Found at California Chicken Cafe in Venice, CA.

(Nikon D700, 50mm, 5.6, 1/200, iso 200)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Maqui Berry & Friends Tart Yogurt at Yogurtland

Our random meal of the day dessert treat brings us some self serve yogurt. We feature the Maqui Berry & Friends Tart Yogurt flavor. This is actually the first time that I have ever created my own yogurt creation. I normally go to yogurt places that serve you. It makes the tip of the yogurt so much nicer and photo ready. Mine tip kind of fell over. To make up for that, I added cantaloupe balls, lychee, kiwi and mochi drops to add some texture and color. The secret to my creation is the bottom base of the yogurt cup is actually half filled with New York Cheesecake flavor. ;)

Found at Yogurtland in Manhattan Beach, CA.

(Sony A55, 30mm, f5.6, 1/50, iso 200, +0.33ev)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Spicy Beef Salad Lunch at Ayara Thai

Our random meal of the day features a lunch sized portion of the Spicy Beef Salad. The salad consists of "grilled sliced beef, lemongrass, scallions, mint leaves, lime juice and fresh chili over a bed of lettuce." The intensity of the lime juice is reduced if you eat the beef along with the salad. An order of yellow curry and jasmine rice completes the "cute" lunch combo.

It is funny how photographing food almost everyday changes you as a photographer. Before random meal of the day, I would never consider myself as a photographer. I have a regular square day job and my day job pays for my hobby that I spend way too much money on. The thing is that I am now able to see the light. Photography is really all about lighting and what you have to compromise to to achieve the lighting that you desire. I remember that I would always avoid taking the backlit shot. I used to make my coworkers change their seat with mine because they "stole" my seat and that would make me shoot into the light instead of having the light to my back. I would scout out the lay of the restaurant land each and every time to find the idea seat. Now, it is just bring it on! The funny thing is that the shots that I was so afraid of, are the ones that seem to just have the magical pop...

Found at Ayara Thai in Westchester, CA.

(Nikon D700, 60mm, f4.0, 1/125, iso 200, +0.67ev)

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Shack Burger at The Shack

Our random meal of the day brings us The Shack Burger. This is actually the second time that I had this burger. It is actually better the second time than the first. Normally, when I am visualizing my random meal for lunch well, during the drive to work, I build it up so much in my mind that it does not live up to my memories of the original meal. Good thing today, it more than lived up to the hype.

The Shack Burger or "The World Famous Shack Cheese Burger" as listed on the menu starts with a 1/4 LB beef patty. Cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions are then added to the toasted grilled bun. The Shack Burger is then topped with a grilled sliced Louisiana hot link. This is an awesome burger. Till the next time...

Found at The Shack in Playa Del Rey, CA.

(Nikon D700, 50mm, f4.0, 1/80, iso 3600)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Moulin Rouge French Toast at Central Park Cafe

Our random meal of the day brings us an order of the Moulin Rouge French Toast. This is a unique and interesting take on French Toast. The base of the French toast is actually a Croissant. I have never thought of using a croissant as French toast. The croissant is first sliced and then dipped into a citrus batter. It is then grilled like regular French toast. Chocolate shavings are then sprinkled on top and powered sugar is snowed on as the finishing touch. Fresh sliced strawberries balances out the sweetness of the random meal. Yummy!

Found at Central Park Cafe in Pasadena, CA.

(Nikon D700, 50mm, f2.8, 1/80, iso 400)