Cafe Bolivar: Santa Monica


I had breakfast at a cute little latino inspired, contemporary corner cafe on Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica.  Yesterday, my sister was in a rush to get to work so we grabbed sandwiches.  I had a chicken pesto with avo, and my sister grabbed a vegetarian sandwich, the Vegan Torta, which had a black bean spread.  They have fresh fruit smoothies, so Kai had the Papaya, Mango, Strawberry.  I had a ginger, mango, yoghurt drink, called Lassi’s.  They were different, but I love the flavor of ginger even if the strands would get stuck in my teeth sometimes.  Way to start the day with a healthy breakfast!  The side salad was a simple spring mix with a light vinegarette, walnuts, and bleu cheese crumbles.

Today is Saturday so we had more time to wait 25 minutes for $3 arepas, Venezuelan inspired mini sandwiches, made with fresh baked arepa bread.  Don’t have big eyes.  One is tiny, but can prove to be quite filling.  I tried the chicken and a vegetarian one that had avo, mango, cheese, and rosemary.  It came with a pesto-ish sauce on the side.  It was my 5 minutes of Heaven today.  And they have tables set up front so you can bring your dog.  We brought the cute Bonjook. ;D

The adorable Bonjook

Oh yeah, don’t forget the tea and coffees.  They looked good.  I don’t drink tea or coffee often though.

xoxo

Kristie Manning

Fireflys: Spanish Tapas


Appetizers are all under $10, with a price range of $3.50 for tomato bread to $10 for Terra y Mare skewers [grilled shrimp, filet mignon, chorizo sausage, salsa verde].  I usually go and order the load of appetizers, such as bacon wrapped stuffed dates ($4), baked mac and cheese ($8) , and shrimp a la diabla ($10).  Together for a group of 3 the bill usually comes out to between only $75-$100.  Especially with a group, a pitcher of flavored mojitos or sangria’s is a prerequisite with dinner.  Tuesday’s is Salsa night, at the Paradise location.

perfect lamb chops with lentils

shrimp ceviche

baked mac and cheese

Conveniently located across the Hard Rock Casino at 3900 Paradise Rd.
For RSVP call 702-369-3971

Another location is downtown at 1 Main St.
For RSVP Call 702-380-1352

Enjoy!
xoxo
Kristie Manning



Shuseki: Izakaya


Price Range: $$

Alcohol/Sake: Yes

Atmosphere: Casual

5115 W Spring Mountain Rd
#117
Las Vegas, NV 89146
Neighborhood: Chinatown

(702) 222-2321

If you’re looking for traditional late night  Izakaya (Japanese bar food) and sake or Japanese beer,  Shuseki is the spot.  It’s delicious, and portions are large, and affordable.  My daughter’s favorite things to order are the tamago omelet (sweet egg), karaage chicken (fried chicken), and a large musubi with ume.  I like to order the japanese oshinko (pickles).  They are really traditional style, and the grilled rice ball which has a katsuo flavor and is really large like the musubi.  The sushi is pretty good, but I like larger appetizers like tofu agedashi.  They also have yakitori, (meat and veggies on a stick).  My fav is the bacon wrapped asparagus. I haven’t tried their gyoza’s but they look fresh, not like those frozen cheap kind they serve everywhere.  Their menu is big with pictures and they have variety from traditional sushi and elaborate specialty rolls and sashimi, to yakitori, to appetizers, and bentos, and bbq or noodles, or katsu curry rice plates and other unique dishes.   And for desert, try some mango mochi ice cream, or honey toast (with ice cream.)

There’s lots of parking, and with the casual atmosphere, it’s good for kids and big groups.  They serve beer and wine and sake for 21+.  In this economy, it’s cheap and large portions match their flavor.  It’s value exceeds it’s cost. Shuseki is hands down one of my favorite spots in Las Vegas, and they are open late.  Try Shuseki with a group of friends, or for a first date spot.o

Gyoza (I haven’t tried them but they look good)

Tsukemono/Oshinko (traditional pickles: cucumber, eggplant and cabbage) $2.99

Grilled onigiri (rice ball) available in different flavors. $1.50

Yakitori starts at $1.50 a stick

Asparagus bacon is my favorite. $1.50

The sushi selection is big and delicious

I haven’t tried the Katsu Curry yet, but how can you go wrong with that?

Try the Honey Toast for dessert.

xoxo

Kristie Manning

Uncle Bo’s Cheap Bistro and Lounge.


My last trip to Hawaii my plane didn’t land until 9 pm.  I had to drive to Wahiawa to pick up my daughter.  by 11 pm I had to decide where to eat.  It was Zippy’s or some of the other late night asian picks downtown.  I thought a walk through China Town with my 5 year old daughter wouldn’t be a good idea.  And late night eats like Toho’s are more bar like karaoke places for adults.  And she wouldn’t enjoy Sorabol.  So I decided to take a drive to Kapahulu and eat at Uncle Bo’s, previously Auntie Pesto’s, one of my favorite spots.  Don’t be fooled if from the outside it looks like a shack, inside is a contemporary and swanky lounge.

I usually go there with my good friend, John Taitano.  It’s one of his favorite spots, especially to drink.  Behind the bar, they have a $10,000 bottle of King Louis XIV (15) on hold for him.  (retail $2k) It breaks down to $150 a shot.  The fine cognac named after the French King, Louis the XIV comes in a baccarat crystal decanter.  The first time he offered me a shot, I had bronchitis, and shouldn’t have been drinking, but I couldn’t refuse a shot of this fine cognac.  It was great, but then I got more sick later that night.

The first time I ever ate escargot was at Bo’s.  To my surprise, I love the buttery taste of escargot.  They have traditional pupu’s like poke or seared ahi, crab cakes, butter garlic clams, or spinach artichoke dip.  And their menu varies from tasty original pizza’s, pastas, steaks, and fresh fish and seafood like opah, opakapaka, and fresh sea bass.  Everything on the menu is highly affordable between $5 and $30 depending if you order some fries with your beer, or a steak and lobster dinner.  They offer a cheap price range and an array of many flavors, a taste palette for every person.

Try the filet mignon, FOR ONLY $20

I felt a little silly walking in to Uncle Bo’s at 11 pm with my 5 year old daughter as it is a young, trendy atmosphere, and drinks are all around.  I had 1 blue moon w/ an orange, and an appetizer, and they had a Keiki menu for the little one.  She had a grilled cheese with fries.  For desert try the oreo haupia mud pie ($6), or the lychee, watermelon, or mango sorbet ($5).

xoxo

Kristie anning