CHIKO

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I Have been wanting to check out CHIKO for a while now but every time I read OK reviews and got a cold feet. They recently introduced some brunch dishes and we gave the place a try. It is a causal place and you order at the counter. Service was friendly.


Shrimp & Grits
This was a great deal. Small shrimps were cooked right and grits was flavorful and spicy.

Wagshal’s Chopped Brisket Soy brined soft egg, furkake butter, and rice
At $18, this dish was a total miss. Some brisket pieces were dry and the rice to meat ratio was way off. Where were the vegetables to make it a more balanced dish?

Broccoli Cheese Muffins

I got the recipe from mbg. It was pretty good.

Ingredients
2 teaspoons ghee
1 cup chopped broccoli florets
2 cups almond flour
2 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
¼ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 6 wells of a muffin tin with cupcake liners or parchment paper.
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well.
Scoop the mixture evenly into each prepared well.
Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.
Allow to cool, then transfer to an airtight container. Store at room temperature until ready to eat.

Del Mar

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6/23/2019

The first time we had brunch at Del Mar, our experience was fine. Our second experience left a bitter taste in our mouth. The prices were high and the portions were way too small to make any sense. We will not be back.


Gazpacho de Melocotón Chilled Peach Gazpacho, Roasted Yellow Tomato, Elderflower
We like a good gazpacho and the main reason we decided to brunch here. When the server placed it in front of us, we were shocked. At $14, it amounted to over three dollar per spoon! We should have said where is the other half and sent it back. It tasted pretty peachy and was refreshing but as soon as you started, it was already finished!

Pulpo a la Gallega Classic Galician Style Octopus, Crushed Potatoes, Smoked Pimentón
This was a disappointing dish considering Spanish restaurants are famous for their octopus. It was simply braised without char or anything.

Coca Mallorquina Mallorcan Bread, Manchego Cheese, Crispy Pork Belly, Fried Quail Eggs
At $18 I though you would get a decent portion, but I was wrong. Three tiny pieces. The bread was crisp but it needed more pork belly.

Zaytinya

6/15/2019

Zaytinya was the first restaurant we tried over two years ago when we moved to the area. Our second experience was good but I felt that the portion to the price ratio was off.


Bantijan Bil Laban crispy eggplant, roasted garlic yogurt, pistachio, barberries, mint-cardamom spice
It was an interesting crispy eggplant dish. Crunchy exterior and soft interior. They could have been more generous with yogurt and pistachios. There was no sign of barberries and was replaced with unseasonably pomegranate seeds.

Octopus Santorini grilled Mediterranean octopus, marinated onions, capers, yellow split pea purée
It was a good dish. Favorite of our waitress. The octopus had nice char but a bit salty.

Hünkãr Beğendi traditional Turkish braised lamb shank, eggplant-kefalograviera purée
I felt like this dish was the best value. It was a total comfort food. Silky eggplant with mild braised lamb shank.

Convivial

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6/9/2019


Petits Pois a La Francaise braised English peas, carrot and lettuce, celery root sauce, crispy sunchoke, sunflower seeds
Chef Cedric Maupillier has always been great with vegetables. So naturally I had to order this dish. It was pretty good and light. The crispy sunchokes were addicting and were covering peas, carrots and celery roots. I thought considering the ingredients, it was a bit pricy at $19.

Full English Breakfast egg, toast, beans, sausages, mushroom, tomato
I have been eyeing this dish for a year now and finally convinced my husband to get it. Guess what? He loved it. Only if he would listen to me more often!! The sausage was a bit overcooked. The black pudding was earthy and tasty. Bacon was flavorful. I wish it came with a more rustic bread than a plain old white.