COD Restaurant - Gogobot Tasting event

Gogobot members were in for a treat this past week for our COD tasting event.  COD - "Catch of the Day" Seafood Restaurant, located on busy 3rd Street in Mid City, is currently in their soft open and will be officially open in a few weeks, but a few of us lucky Gogobotters got to have a tasting here of their most popular dishes.  

The space is beautiful, with exposed beams, track lighting, sleek modern atmosphere and striking graphic fish artwork - after all, their focus is on seafood!  

 Happy guests in the COD Seafood space

Happy guests in the COD Seafood space

The Catch of the Day is displayed on ice, like at fresh fish markets, in front of the kitchen, in full view of the dining room. Can't get any fresher than this, everything smelled of the ocean.  Really cool that they are so confident in their product that they would display it for everyone to see.  

 I can't wait to eat these, look how fresh these are 

I can't wait to eat these, look how fresh these are 

Marcus, the owner of COD, who also happens to own the EMC and Wokano Restaurant chains around LA, was an extremely gracious host.  He's not only an owner, he's an amazing chef - he's the one that creates the dishes served at these restaurants, and he teaches each kitchen how to execute his dishes.  

 (left) Audrey, our Gogobot Community Manager, and Marcus, owner of COD, EMC and Wokano Restaurants

(left) Audrey, our Gogobot Community Manager, and Marcus, owner of COD, EMC and Wokano Restaurants

After a few drinks at the bar, mixed by talented bartender Sydney, we all sat down and were treated to one of the best meals I've had in recent memory.  Starting us off, we were presented with the following:

 Aji - Spanish Mackerel, with ginger sliver, in ponzu sauce with a sprinkling of chive

Aji - Spanish Mackerel, with ginger sliver, in ponzu sauce with a sprinkling of chive

Each bite screamed freshness, the aji was very sweet and the punch of the ginger and ponzu were perfect accompaniments to this dish.  A perfect bite and a great start to an outstanding meal.  Our table mates all started exclaiming their delight at the presentation of our next dish - 

 Santa Barbara UNI!  Can't get any fresher!  Presented with soy sauce and wasabi

Santa Barbara UNI!  Can't get any fresher!  Presented with soy sauce and wasabi

Santa Barbara Uni - delicately placed on a leaf on top of its' own spiny shell, over crushed ice.  Served with soy sauce and wasabi.  The uni was so fresh, it needed nothing else, bursting with creamy, rich flavor.  

 Bluefin tuna poke

Bluefin tuna poke

Poke is the hot trend currently in LA, with poke shops popping up on every corner.  COD's poke is elevated by their ingredients, with the use of bluefin tuna, mixed with avocado, cucumber, seaweed and topped with crispy garlic.  The mixture of these top notch ingredients in this sauce made this a must order next time I'm here!  

 Beautiful oysters

Beautiful oysters

As EMC Seafood (I've dined both locations in K-town and in Topanga Canyon and I love them both!) is known for their happy hour oysters, it's no surprise that COD also has a beautiful oyster selection.  Plump and sweet, the kushi oyster was my favorite, followed by shijoju and then fanny bay, but all of them were top notch.  The skilled shucking of the oyster was noted, as not a bit of shell residue was slurped up in each briny bite.

 Quinoa and Kale salad

Quinoa and Kale salad

A kale salad was up next, and was a welcome accompaniment to all the seafood dishes.  Finely chopped kale was expertly paired with quinoa, pickled red onion, cranberries, goat cheese, almond slivers and tossed in a light vinaigrette.  Light, with bright flavors, our side of the table finished this in record time.

 Crab toast, why are you so beautiful so you make me eat you

Crab toast, why are you so beautiful so you make me eat you

The beautifully constructed crab toast was next, thoughtfully already cut into pieces for easy sharing.  The fresh crab meat perched on top of the crusty grilled toast, with greens, grapefruit and pickled onion was delightful, I might have to say this is the evolution of the popular avocado toast that's popular around town at the moment, think next level California roll without the rice. 

 Crispy Pork belly

Crispy Pork belly

Our servers gave us a tip when they set this dish down - many of them pointed out that this was their favorite dish of the whole menu.  But wait, this is a seafood place, I didn't expect this crispy pork belly to be as good as it was - but it was.  Cubes of crispy glazed pork belly in a slightly sweet glaze, with jalepeno slices for the fire eaters (me!).  I couldn't stop eating this dish.  Make sure to order this when you go, I'd say this was a MUST order.

 Crispy spicy tuna

Crispy spicy tuna

Next up, in a cute cast iron plate presentation, was their crispy spicy tuna bites.  Can't resist these - two bite morsels of savory creamy tuna, with crisped rice adding that texture.  A combo that always delivers. 

 Wild Sea Bream from New Zealand, with ginger, green onion, and house made chimichurri, presentation before de-boning

Wild Sea Bream from New Zealand, with ginger, green onion, and house made chimichurri, presentation before de-boning

 Sea bream, de-boned and ready for digging in

Sea bream, de-boned and ready for digging in

The showstoppers of the night - whole fresh sea bream, flown in from New Zealand - with fresh ginger, green onion, and house made chimichurri.  The whole fish presentation is another way COD shows off its' fresh seafood sourcing.  The servers let us take a photo before de-boning them, letting us easily enjoy the whole fish without worrying about bones.  The chimichurri was a nice twist on the traditional flavors of ginger and green onion, the burst of flavor from this sauce elevated each bite.  

 Truffle uni pasta with hand cut noodles

Truffle uni pasta with hand cut noodles

I've had my share of uni pasta in my day, but once this dish was put in front of us, I could not stop compulsively eating it. For one, this is TRUFFLED uni pasta.  Well, add truffles to most things to add that umami punch, I'm game.  Secondly, more of that addictive Santa Barbara Uni, can't get enough of it.  Lastly, freshly made and in house cut pasta.  This dish oozes of quality, and this is another must order dish when you come here.  

 Braised Beef Cheeks with mushroom quinoa

Braised Beef Cheeks with mushroom quinoa

This is the last of the savory dishes, and when I cut into it to split between my table mates, my fork SANK into the beef.  No knife needed - this beef cheek was braised and seasoned expertly.  They also managed to make quinoa so creamy, that I thought it was polenta. This was another surprise of the night, as it was not seafood, but was done so well that it would rival any dish at a high end steakhouse.

 Okinawan fresh purple candied yams with house whipped cream

Okinawan fresh purple candied yams with house whipped cream

The first of the desserts - Okinawa, known for their purple yams, was the source for this sweet bite.  The candied yam was surprisingly not too sweet, which is usually my concern for desserts in general. This had the perfect amount of sweetness and potato-y texture, and with the house whipped cream gave it an extra richness.

 Put a fork in me, I'm done - chocolate bread pudding

Put a fork in me, I'm done - chocolate bread pudding

Chocolate bread pudding, was the final dessert and dish of the night.  A perfect send off.

 Menu

Menu

Here's a photo of the menu and what we had.  I can't wait to go back and try some of the other dishes that we didn't try tonight.  

 Gogobotters!

Gogobotters!

And here's all of us, after the meal!  The biggest thank you to Marcus and his great team at COD Seafood!

Adventure on!  Gogobot.com

Things we buy on Amazon - Part 3

Whew, it's been over half a year and I haven't updated this blog in awhile.  So guilty! :( 

The continuation of my Things we Buy on Amazon series is a good place to pick it back up as anywhere...so here it is! 

Headphone Earpads for MDR7506 MDRV6 MDR-7506 MDR-V6

 So cheap, so good

So cheap, so good

Why I ordered it:  

The expensive set of headphones that I had from when I was at Netflix (A Sony pro grade set) are a great set of headphones.  However, the ear foam pads start disintegrating after not using them for 5 years.  The thin plastic that covers the foam pads had started flaking off, sticking to my skin and making a mess of things.  I thought the headphones were done for, but then saw that I could just replace these. 

Do I like it? 

Yep!  They were cheap and were easily installed.

Do I use it? 

Daily!  I brought these to work after my cheapo headphones from groupon broke (which I also liked a lot, because I could switch to microphone mode on them easily and skip songs with a click of the integrated button), but these headphones block out a lot of noise and help me focus on getting work done during the day.  I admit that the pads sometimes get loose and I have to re-attach them, which is annoying.  I might spring for a more expensive replacement in the future but for now they work, so why replace things that work? 

 

Plush Rabbit Dog Toy

 Ready for the dog sacrfice

Ready for the dog sacrfice

Why I ordered it:  

Our rescue dog Miles loves ripping apart stuffed animals - I think the record time I saw him rip into one and pull out its' stuffed "innards" was about 5 seconds.  Now that he's the ripe age of almost 3 years old, he savors the destruction for a little longer and "toys" with his stuffed victims, so they usually last, on average, a few weeks per stuffed toy.  Amazon, by far, has the best deals on toys like these.  The prices they charge at pet stores is criminal. (Once saw a stuffed dinosaur dog toy for 55 dollars!)  

Do I like it? 

Our dog certainly did.  The ears were filled with a crinkly material, each leg had a squeaker in it, and if you squeezed the body it made a grunty noise.  So much happiness in one stuffed animal.  

Do I use it? 

The joy my dog took into ripping out each piece of this stuffed toy made it worth every penny.  

Alexander's Steakhouse

During Thanksgiving break, we managed finally go here for a dinner.  I say "finally" because I kept hearing epic things about this place.  It took over an El Torito that had been there for ages, and when it El Torito shut down, and Alexander's took over, I didn't think much of it, until the rave reviews I kept hearing.  Figured it was a perfect place to celebrate my friend Vicky's birthday.

We made reservations through Opentable.com.  No issues there.  Upon arrival, while we waited for Vicky and Cam to arrive, we sat in their comfy waiting area while Owen sipped on a red wine he liked (didn't think to remember to ask what he drank.)  He seemed to enjoy it.  

Once Vicky and Cam got there and we were seated, we were hit with the bad news.  They had run out of prime rib.  Bummer!  The menu had plenty of other things to offer, however.  This is what we ended up getting - 

 

 Amuse bouche - a little scallop with a thin slice of radish, green tasty oil, a nice little bite to start things off 

Amuse bouche - a little scallop with a thin slice of radish, green tasty oil, a nice little bite to start things off 

 Furikake Caesar Salad - 65 degree egg, furikake, parmesan, garlic, caper anchovy dressing.   A nice salad I enjoyed thoroughly.  

Furikake Caesar Salad - 65 degree egg, furikake, parmesan, garlic, caper anchovy dressing.   A nice salad I enjoyed thoroughly.  

 Lobster Kabocha squash soup - poured into the bowl tableside, a beautiful hearty soup that Owen LOVED.  

Lobster Kabocha squash soup - poured into the bowl tableside, a beautiful hearty soup that Owen LOVED.  

 Sorbet course - I honestly forget what this was.  I remember the bits around it were tasty. 

Sorbet course - I honestly forget what this was.  I remember the bits around it were tasty. 

 Both Owen and I got this - the New York Strip truffle special, as it's truffle season.  

Both Owen and I got this - the New York Strip truffle special, as it's truffle season.  

 Truffle Mac and Cheese, because we're already going all in on the truffles.  So rich.

Truffle Mac and Cheese, because we're already going all in on the truffles.  So rich.

 Baked Idaho potato.  I liked this as a counterpoint to all the rich truffle flavor

Baked Idaho potato.  I liked this as a counterpoint to all the rich truffle flavor

 A shot of Vicky's filet mignon. A beautiful piece of meat. 

A shot of Vicky's filet mignon. A beautiful piece of meat. 

 As it was Vicky's birthday, they brought out this really thought out mini sampling of desserts

As it was Vicky's birthday, they brought out this really thought out mini sampling of desserts

 The end of the meal - banana flavored cotton candy. 

The end of the meal - banana flavored cotton candy. 

The verdict - excellent food.  The service was good, but it does drag - there were long instances between courses, so don't have plans for later in the evening.  We didn't mind as we were busy catching up.  It was a meal worthy of a special occasion.  Guess we'll have to come back for the prime rib next time.  

 

Alexander's Steakhouse

0330 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014 

Things we buy on Amazon - Part 2

More Amazon buying.  I think UPS hates us for all these boxes always being delivered to our place. 

Norpro Silicone Egg Pancake Ring Round

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Why I ordered it:  

More egg related items.  I love egg mcmuffins, but am trying to avoid the bread, so I'm trying to use the egg rounds to mold the eggs into circles.  

Do I like it? 

I like the concept of them...but...

Do I use it? 

I haven't even used these since I bought them.  I washed them, and they're ready for when I feel like using them but I never think about using them when I'm cooking.  Maybe I can use them for something soon.  Ah, the shame.

 

Smartworks ACO-12/2285 Black Auto Console Organizer

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Why I ordered it:  

The trunk of my car is a mess, and it's been like that for awhile.  I bought this to help organize all the floating items I had in the back.  

Do I like it? 

It's WAY smaller than I thought it would be.  TINY, even.  

Do I use it? 

No, although it's in my car waiting for me to put items in it.   Maybe I'll have time to go through the junk in my car during the holidays.  

 

Brass and Walnut Pro Pumpkin Carving Tool Kit

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Why I ordered it:  

Halloween was right around the corner and I had a pumpkin to carve for work.  They had a contest, first prize was $100!

Do I like it? 

It looks very well made, and way better than the cheap plastic crap I usually see at drugstores to carve pumpkins.  

Do I use it? 

Not at all.  I didn't even take it out of the package and they're sitting in our utensil drawer right now.  We had just gotten back from Japan and Halloween was on a Thursday this year, so how did I think I was going to be able to carve an elaborate pumpkin by Wednesday night?  I'm an idiot.  At least I have them for next year. 

Tiara Cafe

It seems that I've found a new tradition in going to Unique LA (shout out to Sonja Rasula!) and having brunch afterwards at Tiara Cafe.  Conveniently across the street from California Market, where Unique LA takes place on the penthouse floors, it's an easy choice for me after shopping for crafty goods.  Plus, since parking is rough in downtown LA, as much as I know there are GREAT places around, it's hard to want to re-park after getting the 6 dollar special rate parking from Unique LA.  

I've been here 3 times - the first time when Starry Kitchen was here and would take over their kitchen - that was an amazing dinner - and 2 other times for brunch.  

Here's what I had:

 Short Rib Hash with poached eggs

Short Rib Hash with poached eggs

Delicious!  Poached eggs, hollandaise, lovely short rib medley with fingerling potatoes, and a little wilted greenery.  Upon piercing the yoke and letting the runny egg mix with all of the items on the plate, it brought everything together.  Comfort brunch at its' best.  This was perfect on a cold, LA winter day.  

On my first brunch at Tiara, i had this: 

 Croissant sandwich with egg, ham and side salad

Croissant sandwich with egg, ham and side salad

Pretty solid breakfast sandwich, although I think the short rib hash I had more recently was superior to this.  

Service is ok, decor is a little wacky (think princess taking acid, then decorating her room) parking is rough around that area but as I mentioned earlier, if you're around there I think it's a great place to stop in.  

Tiara Cafe

127 E 9th St
Los AngelesCA 90015