Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Dala Horse Swedish Lunch Special at The Dala Horse

Road trip time! This is the final week before the Labor Day holiday and your last chance to enjoy the summer break. This was actually a previous road trip up to the San Francisco Bay area. You actually have three choices on the route up north from Los Angeles, California. I had already tried previously going up the Pacific Coast Highway or the US Route 1 and the quicker Interstate 5. For this random road trip we mix it up and take Highway 99 up north. Route 99 brings us to our first pit stop in this quaint Swedish town of Kingsburg and our first random meal.

We have for today, The Dala Horse Swedish Lunch Special. This is their specialty of the house and is just awesome. This unique treat starts with a Swedish potato sausage and then you add some Swedish Meatballs. A side of lingonberry sauce is ready to coat the sausage and meatballs. We then have some toasted orange rye bread and a change up of fries instead of potato salad. Finally we have a fantastic rice pudding to complete our random meal.

Random Mealers please enjoy the final days of summer. I will be back next week as I am going on another foodcation this week!

Found at The Dala Horse in Kingsburg, CA.

(Nikon D700, 85mm, f2.8, 1/200, iso 200)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Lomo Saltado at Mario's Peruvian Restaurant

We have the Lomo Saltado for our random meal of the day. This has to be the best place for the Lomo Saltado in my opinion. Stuck in the middle of an indiscreet mini mall we have Mario's Peruvian Restaurant. I have had the Lomo Saltado at other restaurants before and it has always been good but Mario's takes it to the next level. This meal just seems so simple but the way it all blends together is where the magic is. We start with strips of seasoned beef, and with mix it together with french fries, red onions, tomatoes, and parsley. I believe that everything is sautéed together with some extra secret spices and it just makes your mouth happy. Mario's version of the Lomo Saltado is a bit more saucy and this is a good thing. The extra moisture is extra awesome flavoring. This is truly a fantastic random meal!

Found at Mario's Peruvian & Seafood Restaurant in Los Angeles, CA.

(Nikon D700, 50mm, f2.8, 1/80, iso 800)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mesquite Grilled Salmon at Fishbar

We have the Mesquite Grilled Salmon for our random meal of the day. This is another RMOTD Photographer edition as the Salmon was the more photogenic dish. I actually came here with three of my coworkers and they all ordered the salmon and I had to be different and order a random meal. The salmon has a slightly smoky flavor and was cooked perfectly until it melted like butter in your mouth. The side of Caesar salad is lighter than a traditional recipe and also adds Parmesan crisps. The lightness of the salad along with the excellent salmon makes this random meal a healthy one at least for my coworkers.

Found at Fishbar in Manhattan Beach, CA.

(Nikon D700, 50mm, f4.0, 1/80, iso 640)

**RMOTD Photographer**

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cornmeal Jalapeño Waffle for National Waffle Day at The Waffle

Random Meal of the Day brings an order of the Cornmeal Jalapeño Waffle for National Waffle Day. Yes, August 24th is in fact national waffle day. There is a food holiday controversy as some sites list the wrong day national waffle day. To add to the confusion, there is also another date for "International Waffle Day." So back the featured waffle. We start with a cornmeal waffle infused with diced jalapeños mixed into the batter and baked into a crispy waffle. The jalapeños mixed into the waffle gives it a subtle kick without overpowering the waffle flavor. We then added a crispy boneless fried chicken breast covered with a white sawmill gravy. Finally a side of bacon infused greens completes this random meal. So Random Mealers, go out today and enjoy National Waffle day with a southern style waffle treat or a completely random waffle twist!

Found at The Waffle in Hollywood, CA.

(Nikon D700, 50mm, f4.0, 1/250, iso 200, +0.33ev)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Baked Creme Brulee French Toast at Julienne

A great breakfast in the middle of the week is always an awesome thing. Today for our random meal of the day we have a Baked Creme Brûlée French Toast. This is definitely the most interesting take on french toast that I've ever had. The texture was different that what I was imagining when I think creme brûlée. It is more silky smooth and melts in your mouth and not crunchy like I expected. It is so much more decadent than a traditional french toast. It was almost dessert like which is a good thing. The french toast is covered with a fresh strawberry sauce and creme anglaise which was just an awesome finishing touch.

Found at Julienne in San Marino, CA.

(Nikon D700, 60mm, f5.6, 1/80, iso 800, +0.67ev)

Monday, August 22, 2011

ROCK'N Crab Cakes at Rock'N Fish

An order of ROCK'N Crab Cakes highlights our random meal of the day. This is the lunch size portion consisting of two moist and tender crab cakes. We add two grilled vegetable skewers and a wonderful side of crispy sweet potato fries. After you get to enjoy this random meal, you then get to enjoy a gorgeous beach view.

Found at Rock'N Fish in Manhattan Beach, CA.

(Nikon D700, 85mm, f4.0, 1/160, iso 200, +0.66ev)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cajun Scrambled at Cajun Kitchen Cafe

We have the Cajun Scrambled for our random meal of the day. The Cajun scrambled for some reason just hits the spot each and every single time. Normally I would drive all the way out to Carpinteria, California just to eat breakfast at Cajun Kitchen Cafe and then head north to spend a day at Santa Barbara. For this random meal, I decided to head to Ventura for a Day Trip and any good day trip starts off with wonderful breakfast. The Cajun scrambled seems just so simple. We start with two scrambled eggs mixed with some spicy diced hot sausage. We then blend in some cheddar cheese into the scrambled eggs for just the right extra kick. Finally we have side of potatoes to round out another awesome random meal.

Found at Cajun Kitchen Cafe in Ventura, CA.

(Nikon D700, 50mm, f5.6, 1/80, iso 640)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ropa Vieja at Habana

We have for our random meal of the day a marvelous order of Ropa Vieja. Ropa Vieja is a dish consisting of a shredded Cuban beef pot roast. The beef has a semi sweet flavor and also has a spicy kick blended in. We start with of course a slowly roasted beef and mixed with roasted red peppers, tomatoes, garlic and onion. The Ropa Vieja is served with a side black beans and rice. To complete the random meal we have a side of maduros plantains prepared two different fashion. You get one serving extra crispy and one serving melt in your mouth soft. This is another awesome random meal.

Found at Habana in Costa Mesa, CA.

(Nikon D700, 85mm, f4.0, 1/125, iso 500)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chicken Apple Sausage Scramble Crepe at La Galette Creperie

We have another Random Meal of the Day Photographer edition with an order of a Chicken Apple Sausage Scramble Crepe. It was kind of funny, because it was actually breakfast time when we arrive at this restaurant and I went straight for the dessert crepe while my friend had a delicious savory breakfast crepe.

Found at La Galette Creperie in San Clemente, CA.

(Nikon D700, 50mm, f4.0, 1/500, iso 200)

**RMOTD Photographer**

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Whopper at Burger King

We have the Whopper for today's random meal. Funny thing is that this is my third ever Whopper. I always seem to gravitate towards the chicken sandwiches whenever I visit Burger King. Today's photo was shot for the first time using a generic led video light with a large umbrella diffusing the light overhead of the Whopper. I also used a reflector to try to lift the shadows but I think I need a second light source to make the food pop. Funny thing is that it would have been easier to use a couple of external speedlights. I did gain more than two stops of light using the led video light vs just using the available ambient kitchen lights. I am just having fun with my random meal today.

Found at Burger King in Pasadena, CA.

(Nikon D700, 105mm, f5.6, 1/160, iso 2800)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fantastic French Toast at Marston's Restaurant

We have an order of the Fantastic French Toast for our random meal of the day. Yes the french toast is in fact fantastic. We start with two slices of thick cut sourdough bread that is dipped in an egg batter and then rolled in corn flakes. The french toast is then sprinkled with powder sugar and topped with fresh strawberries. The Fantastic French Toast has this delightful crispy outer crunchy crust. The crispy toasted corn flakes shell really give the french toast a unique twist. The french toast was voted "Best Breakfast in California" by the Food Network Magazine in 2010. Awesome!

Found at Marston's Restaurant in Pasadena, CA.

(Nikon D700, 85mm, f4.0, 1/160, iso 1250, +0.33ev)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ramsay's Fresh Crab & Angel Hair Pasta at Lido Restaurant

We have an order of the Ramsay's Fresh Crab & Angel Hair Pasta for our random meal of the day. Lido was actually featured on Chef Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmare twice. The second time was for revisit and the owner passed with flying colors. Well, I finally decided to try out the restaurant and guess who seated me, the owner! I was actually able to meet someone famous that was featured on a food show! Our light and refreshing order of starts with a bed of Angel hair pasta with a lobster reduction sauce. The pasta is flavored with chili, garlic, scallions and basil. A healthy portion of crab is sprinkled on top of the pasta and completes our random meal.

Found at Lido Restaurant in Manhattan Beach, CA.

(Nikon D700, 85mm, f4.0, 1/125, iso 220, +0.33ev)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

BBQ Wonton with Egg Noodle Soup (Mi Hoanh Thanh Xa Xiu) at Pho Thai Long

We have BBQ Wonton with Egg Noodle Soup today for our random meal. The menu also lists this as Mi Hoanh Thanh Xa Xiu. I actually been to this restaurant twice already and yesterday was going to be the third visit but unfortunately I found out that the restaurant had closed down. I think that it is always a sad day when a restaurant closes. Sometime it is not really the food but the location and lack of foot traffic in the area that causes this sad event. On both occasions here the food was excellent. At least we have a photo to remember this delicious random meal.

Found at Pho Thai Long in Hawthorne, CA.

(Nikon D700, 50mm, f5.6, 1/80, iso 1000)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pasta Pancetta at Fritto Misto

Pasta Pancetta is our featured random meal of the day. This is an interesting random meal as in my mind the dish is "Bacon Pasta" which will be awesome. The good thing is that this dish is really more than just about the Pancetta. The dish gives us more of a complex taste than meets the eye. We start with Pancetta which is an Italian version of bacon. The main difference between Pancetta and bacon is that you get more of a smokey favor from bacon while the Pancetta gives more of a pure pork flavor. We then add caramelized onions and sundried tomatoes. The tomatoes and onions cut into the richness of the Pancetta and balances it out. Finally we add this awesome garlic cream sauce onto a wonderful tomato fettuccini pasta. The flavored fettuccini is the extra kick that really enhances this random meal.

Found at Fritto Misto in Hermosa Beach, CA.

(Nikon D700, 85mm, f2.8, 1/160, iso 800)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mongolian BBQ at Gobi Mongolian BBQ House

We have Mongolian BBQ for our random meal of the day. I still remember the very first time I ever had a some Mongolian BBQ. I was expecting the more typical ribs and whatnot and ran into something a bit more random. This was way back when they didn't have the Mongolian BBQ chains in the malls. Now it is more common but it does not mean that you can't give your craving a more upscale dining experience. This is where Gobi Mongolian BBQ House shines. You still get to create your own random creation but it is really up to you to make your creation shine. I believe that is Fiery Mongolian BBQ plate does shine as it is featured in Popular Plates magazine.

Found at Gobi Mongolian BBQ House in Los Angeles, CA.

(Nikon D700, 105mm, f5.6, 1/125, iso 2000, +0.33ev)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Chef's Salad at Fresh & Easy

We have a light and refreshing Chef's Salad for today's random meal. Sometimes a quick lunch can hit the spot. The chef's salad has ham, turkey, boiled egg, carrots, cheese and of course lettuce. This is my go to random meal.

Found at Fresh & Easy in El Segundo, CA.

(Nikon D700, 50mm, f4.0, 1/250, iso 200, +0.33ev)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Choco Taco

We have the Choco Taco for our random meal of the day treat. This is a fun treat that was calling my name. Awesome!

Found at a random Ice Cream Truck in Los Angeles, CA.

(Nikon D700, 35mm, f5.6, 1/250, iso 200, +0.33ev)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Miso Seabass & Tempura at Katsu

We have a Miso Seabass & Tempura for our random meal of the day. Another day and another adventure. I actually found this restaurant on Yelp and for some reason I have never ever seen it before even though I have passed by it at least a dozen times. After trying the wrong door we finally found Katsu. Good thing I found the restaurant as I really wanted to try the Japanese seabass. We have a savory grilled miso marinated seabass that is light and refreshing. We pair the Japanese seabass with an assortment of veggie tempura and a bonus shrimp tempura. You leave satisfied after eating a light and refreshing random meal.

Found at Katsu in Manhattan Beach, CA.

(Nikon D700, 85mm, f4.0, 1/125, iso 450)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chicken Mole Enchiladas at La Sirena Grill

Our random meal of the day brings us some Chicken Mole Enchiladas. I have been wanting to try my first ever Mole sauce for the longest time now but I haven't randomly run into this yet until today. I initially was all set to order some fajitas with some grass fed carne asada until I read the additional menu with several more dishes and I saw it, Chicken Mole Enchiladas. I was sold! The enchiladas starts with grilled white meat chicken wrapped in a corn tortilla. Jack cheese along with a smoky semi sweet chocolate mole sauce is poured over the enchiladas. We then garnish the dish with chopped red onions, cilantro and sprinkled with a queso fresco cheese. One adventure down, countless more random meals to go...

Found at La Sirena Grill & Cantina in El Segundo, CA.

(Nikon D700, 85mm, f4.0, 1/125, iso 200, +0.33ev)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Arroz Con Pollo Plate at Sol y Luna

We have an order of the Arroz Con Pollo Plate for our random meal of the day. The Arroz Con Pollo is chicken and rice. I remember the first time I really started paying attention to the actual name of a chicken and rice dish after watching an episode of "Throwdown with Bobby Flay" and they featured the Arroz Con Pollo. The only problem is that the restaurant was located in New York and I am located in California. Ever since then, I have been on the lookout for some really good Arroz Con Pollo in California. So off I drive 27 miles to the "Valley" to order a plate of Arroz Con Pollo. The was actually so good. It seems like such a simple concept and needs to be executed well. Fortunately for me, this was an awesome dish and so worth the drive.

Found at Sol y Luna in Tarzana, CA.

(Nikon D700, 35mm, f5.6, 1/50, iso 1000)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bacon Swiss Crispy Chicken Sandwich at Carl's Jr

I was watching this new show "Suits" and one of character Rachel who happens to be the resident foodie had a very interesting line. "Being a foodie doesn't mean only liking fancy food." So for our not fancy food and a meal that I enjoy, we have the Bacon Swiss Crispy Chicken Sandwich for our random meal of the day. Everything just seems to be better with bacon. Yum!

Found at Carl's Jr in Pasadena, CA.

(Nikon D700, 105mm, f4.0, 1/125, iso 5600)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pho Bo Vien (Beef Ball) takeout at Golden Deli

We have an order of Pho Bo Vien or Pho Beef Ball for our random meal of the day. It is kind of funny how sometimes you want to try an item but you really are not in the mood to wait. Good thing restaurants invented the takeout order. I was actually browsing Jonathan's Gold 99 Essential Restaurants for 2010 and saw that Golden Deli was on the list. The funny thing is for years this restaurant always seemed to have a long line and this list just may have made it longer. So, takeout it is.

Found at Golden Deli in San Gabriel, CA.

(Sony A55, 30mm, f5.6, 1/50, iso 500)