by KitchenRebel on January 10, 2015

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We went to Bocanova for lunch.

Beautiful location. Nice decor. This place had an upscale but laid back vibe.

The beef short rib empanadas came out piping hot. They were not bad, but not good either. One of those dishes that sounds way better than it tastes. The menu is where I should have left this one.

He had the fried chicken sandwich, also just ok. Not the worst fried chicken sandwich I’ve ever tasted, but also not something either of us would volunteer to eat again.

I had the mussels with sofrito and stuff.. Also just ok.


The drinks were excellent. Whiskey Sours and Moscow Mules were perfect.

I had such a good time here. But that may have more to do with the drinks and the company.

Brown Sugar Kitchen

by KitchenRebel on December 10, 2014

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I finally visited the popular Brown Sugar Kitchen and I don’t really understand what the big deal is. The place smelled really great, but the food was mediocre at best.

Fried chicken was awful.  Sure it was freshly fried and juicy, but not something I’d want to eat again. This chicken was trying too hard. Probably one of the worst versions of fried chicken I’ve had in a long while. So bad I couldn’t finish it, even at $4 a piece.

Waffles were fluffy and light, but not something I would eat again either. I know they have brown sugar in their name, but damn, just how much brown sugar do you need to put on a waffle!

Cheesy grits and eggs were not bad.

Poached eggs – one was over cooked, one was undercooked.

Coffee was just awful. Over roasted, unbalanced, bitter brown shit. Just thinking about it makes me want to never drink coffee again.

$45 for breakfast for 2, before tip.
I’d gladly pay $50 to NOT have had this food or dining experience.


I’m totally baffled why anyone would wait in line for this food or dining experience. The place is small, crowded and cramped. Tables right on top of each other. We were literally touching elbows with the table next to us. Forget about having a private conversation!
And waitresses kept leaning over us to refill coffee and water. So much contact and touching from the wait staff, and other strangers because its so small. When did it become ok to lean and reach over someone, elbows in their face, while they’re eating?! Thats not something I even do to people I’m intimate with.  Ya know.. basic table manners!

If I had to wait in line for this food and dining experience, I’d have been pissed off.
This is one of those places that proves that you don’t need to actually be good, to be popular and trendy. The hipsters will come. And they will eat any shit as long as the perception is that its fancy and its hard to get a table.

I would never take anyone here again. I would never go here again. Not when there are so many better options, in better neighbourhoods in the East Bay.
I wouldn’t eat this food again if it was free!



by KitchenRebel on October 2, 2014

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This was one step up from fast food, like a slight upgrade to an In-And-Out burger. No charbroiled taste that comes with a restaurant burger, but pretty decent and inexpensive. I like that they had shakes with interesting add-ins. The shakes were good and the perfect size too. 

Left here happy and satisfied with no complaints. I’d eat here again.unnamed-5

Lotus of Siam

by KitchenRebel on September 30, 2014

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Dinner at Lotus of Siam was insanely good. I’d fly to Vegas just to eat here.

Their famous Garlic Prawns.. oh my fucking gods.. just ridiculously good. Everything that’s said about Lotus of Siam is true and understated.

I love Thai food. LOVE LOVE LOVE Thai food.
James Beard award winning Lotus of Siam, known to be America’s best Thai Restaurant and the best Thai food you can get outside of Thailand.

It’s now become my mission in life to eat everything on this menu.

Five Stars!

Spice Monkey

by KitchenRebel on May 14, 2014

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We stopped by The Spice Monkey for a quick bite after meetings. It’s been on my list of places to try for quite some time, and I’m so glad we did!

Two words – Hot Shwang. A delicious refreshing Gin, Lemon, St. Germain, Cucumber, Thai Chili Lemongrass Tincture cocktail.

You want one. You want three.

I’d go back just for this drink. In fact I am going back just because of this drink. Our bartender, Kenny, mixed perfect drinks and provided excellent service. We love you Kenny!!

Oh yes. everything else we had was pretty good too.

We shared the Monkey Fingers (chicken tenders) they were just perfect. Not something I’ve ever said about chicken tenders. The picture does it no justice, we were sitting outside, and quite frankly once I tasted it, it was so yummy I didn’t care about taking a better shot.


I had the Cambodian Steak Salad with crispy rice vermicelli and garlic-lime vinaigrette.

photo 3We also tried the turkey burger, made with turmeric and granny smith apples.


I liked his Turkey Burger more than my salad, and he said preferred my salad to his burger, but neither of us wanted to swap. So I think we liked what we were eating AND what the other was eating. We decided that means we have to go back!  I’m looking forward to trying other dishes on the menu.

See you on Friday delicious Spicey Monkey.

Animal House Monkey Peeler

by KitchenRebel on April 24, 2014

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I call him Cas, short for Casimir.

I’m a sucker for cute fun kitchen goodies. I love playing in the kitchen.

This Animal House Monkey Peeler is not only cute, its a great little peeler. For under $8.

I’ve had it for about 4 months and its still sharp, blades seem to be holding up well. And it makes me happy every time I use it. He’s my favourite peeler.



The Fat Lady

by KitchenRebel on April 9, 2014

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Date nights at The Fat Lady Bar & Restaurant isn’t really date night with my man, its more like we’re both going on a date with The Fat Lady. Its all about the steak. And after a Fat Lady steak you need a nap, not a work out.

I would be bothered that he sometimes seems more excited (I’m talking Cartman going to Casa Bonita excited) about Fat Lady dates, than a date with me, but the steak really is THAT good.

Organic grass fed beef. Melt in your mouth, moan out loud, do a happy dance while you eat good.

We’ve eaten here regularly over the past 3 or 4 years. At least once a month. And each and every time he has the New York Strip. And each and every time his steak has been perfectly cooked.  And each and every time I try other dishes, I get a taste of his steak, and no matter how good my meal is (the Lamb is superb), I regret not ordering the steak.

The first time we went to The Fat Lady our waitress told us we should come back for the steak, she promised it would become our steak place. She was not wrong.

He loves the New York strip so much that he doesn’t order it anywhere else. He claims loyalty to the perfect steak at The Fat Lady.

And the lamb. OMG the lamb. Its birthday meal good. I want to eat half a dozen lamb chops. They remind me of home.

The fried calamari is perfect. Exactly what you want fried calamari to be.

The only problem I have with The Fat Lady is the difficulty deciding between lamb, beef, calamari and dessert because I really want them all EVERY time.

Don’t forget to save room for desert. The desert sampler is my favourite. A little bit of everything on the desert menu – Pana cotta, Espresso Creme Brûlée, Chocolate Torte, Assorted Cookies (Omg the chocolate chip cookie – I could eat a bucket of them) with berries and cream. Everything on this sampler platter is lovely.

The Fat Lady is an Oakland institution. Old school, no frills, good quality meat, drinks and service. There is nothing about the Fat Lady we don’t like.

We love you Fat Lady, Till next time



Bacchanal at Caesars Palace

by KitchenRebel on November 21, 2013

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To me buffets are like the day time strip clubs of food. And where better to try a strip club, I mean buffet, than Vegas.

Bacchanal at Caesars Palace was worth the visit. And worth every penny of the $100 for two price tag (excl drinks) for sheer amount of food on offer.  It’s really more all about the experience than the food.

My favourite out of all the dishes I ate were these mini burgers. I could have eaten nothing else and been happy. I would go back just for these delicious little burgers. Surprisingly juicy, perfectly charred. Just thinking of it makes me wish I had a dozen of them right now..


The crab legs were sliced length wise and were HOT. A nice change from the standard cold crab legs. Melted butter and so many dipping sauces to choose from, they could not have been easier to eat.
We had to stop ourselves from eating nothing but crab.

Walnut Shrimp from the Chinese Station. We could not get enough of these shrimp. Fresh out the fryer, crunchy, sweet, tangy. Soooo good.

The individual fry baskets in the Fried Food section were rather adorable. Little mini fry baskets with chicken wings, potato wedges and other things I can’t remember. Cute, but not very good.

Meat station was what you would expect from a 5 star hotel carvery station. But with so many other choices we barely touched the meat.

Bacchanal’s famous dessert station had a large selection of stunning and beautiful desserts.

From gorgeous truffle cakes

To creme brûlée

and everything in between..

and I mean everything.
I tried just about every dessert on offer. None of them were particularly good. Surprisingly the dessert station was the most disappointing.

We ordered drinks and never touched them because the Mexican section had the most delicious Agua Frescas.
Bacchanal lived up to it’s 5 star reputation. Worth a visit if ever you want to eat enough food to feed a small town in one sitting.

Fried Chicken Wednesdays

by KitchenRebel on October 23, 2013

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Fried Chicken Wednesdays at Ben’s. Todd claimed those words spoke directly to his heart, so we had to try it.

A hole in the wall located in the Jack London Square Produce Market. This is a proper dive – greasy tables, boxes of, what I presume (and hope) is supplies and produce, stashed everywhere. No customer service – the sweet older couple running the place are too busy working for that.
It gets busy. The wait can be long.  That couple works their asses off, hustling non stop, so you almost don’t want to ask for anything because Grandma and Grandpa are so busy.  I wanted to help them out, take some orders or bus some tables.

After we ate he said, “That lady could yell at me and I’d still tip her”

A real Mom and Pop restaurant. It felt like visiting an auntie that might yell at you, but fixes you food and leaves you happy, belly full, and with a lil something to take home.

All the reviews were correct, Ben’s is a gem.

The food was fresh. Delicious. AND Cheap!  ‘home cooked’ Chinese Food.

This was no Tu Lan, he liked the food more than I did.  I thought it was pretty ok Chinese food.  Fresher than the average Chinese place because they are right in the produce market.

After we paid, she hugged me and gave me some fresh fruit from the market to take home. How awesome is that, I felt like I got a tip!! I’m officially in love with her.

I think take out is the way to go at Ben’s.

Go to Ben’s. Get take out. Support this awesome hardworking couple.


Duck Noodle Soup

by KitchenRebel on September 14, 2013

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This Duck Noodle Soup from Lotus of Siam was simply wonderful.