Friday, March 24, 2017


5955 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Tel: 323.460.4170
Cuisine: American/Seafood
$$$$ ($50+)
Sat, 03/04/2017, 8:30pm
     (4.5 Piglets)

Providence is probably one of the nicest restaurants here in Los Angeles. Chef Michael Cimarusti brings seafood with a touch of elegance and a modern flair. The ingredients are fresh and he handles the seafood with respect that it truly deserves.

The ambience is modern and gorgeous with classiness that isn't pretentious. The menu consists of 3 sets, ranging from a seasonal menu and a chef's tasting menu. We ended up choosing the chef's tasting for $220 to get a taste of all the goodness the chef has to offer. 

AMUSE BOUCHE: A shot of tequila. Who doesn't like to start off the meal with some alcohol? 
AMUSE BEETS: It was a ravioli but made out of beets. It was refreshing and light. 
AMUSE MUSSELS: This was one of my favorite dishes of the night. I loved the toast and the mussel broth with foam had so much flavor, 
COURSE ONE: FLUKE SASHIMI: Cherry Leaves and Blossoms, Geoduck. Suprisingly, this was really good. It was tender and melt in your mouth. It had a nice balance of flavors. 
COURSE TWO: LOCAL BOX CRAB (DOCK TO DISH): Hokkaido Uni, Petits Pois, Hazelnut. This was actually pretty delicious. I loved the uni and I'm usually very particular about it. I thought it was super fresh. The crab was succulent. It was a good dish. 
COURSE THREE: ABALONE: Eggplant, Turnip, Nori. The abalone was tender and not at all rubbery. I thought it was cooked perfectly. All the flavors meshed well together. 
COURSE FOUR: SPINY LOBSTER (DOCK TO DISH): Macadamia Nut, Black Truffle. Wow! Did you see how many truffles there are?! They actually didn't skimp on the truffles which I appreciate. The dish was great and the spiny lobster was easy to eat. One of my favorite dishes of the night. 
COURSE FIVE: LIVE NEW BEDFORD SEA SCALLOP: Golden Osetra Caviar, Salsify, Crispy Potato. This was one of my favs. I loved the presentation. The scallops were fresh and I enjoyed the saltiness of the caviar along with the crispiness of the potatoes. So many textures and flavors all rolled up into one dish. 
COURSE SIX: STRIPED BASS: Artichoke, Baby Carrot, Black Truffle. This dish was good. The fish wasn't overcooked, which tends to happen everytime I have cooked fish. The carrots and artichoke offered freshness to the dish. 
COURSE SEVEN: A5 WAGYU: Beet Cured in Kombu, Kale. The wagyu was delicious. It was melt in your good. I thought the beets were a nice addition but quite honestly, I would've enjoyed it just as is, without the other stuff. As good and as expensive this piece of meat is, I want to enjoy how good the ingredient is. 
COURSE EIGHT: ARTISANAL CHEESES: HOMEMADE TRUFFLE CHEESE. OMG. The cheese on this thing. It was creamy and soft and the truffle was prominent with every bite. It was just as delicious as I thought it would be and I loved every bite. 
COURSE NINE: RASPBERRY, LYCHEE, ROSE. This was absolutely amazing for a palate cleanser. I thought it wasn't overly sour and the raspberry was super prominent with each bite. I loved it.  
COURSE TEN: MEYER LEMON, BURRATA. This was also a good palate cleanser but I thought the previous course was better. I didn't really taste the burrata but the lemon was good. 
COURSE ELEVEN: ALPACO, COFFEE, BARLEY. This was a decently good dessert. I loved the ice cream and I only wish there was more of it. It tasted really good with my coffee as well. 
Overall, Providence is an amazing restaurant for a special occasion. The service was always on point and they try to make sure your experience will be a great one. The dinners can be quite long, with the chef's tasting menu being approximately 3 hours. I appreciate the detail they put into the dishes and for the amount of money spent, you would leave feeling full and satisfied. 

Notable Dishes: Mussels Amuse Bouche, Homemade Truffle Cheese and A5 Wagyu

Friday, March 10, 2017


Joe's Stone Crab
11 Washington Ave
Miami, FL 33139
Joe's Stone Crab
Tel: 305.673.0365
Cuisine: Seafood
$$$ ($30-$45)
Mon, 2/20/2017, 8:00pm walk-in
   (3.5 Piglets)

Stone crabs are one of the most sought out delicacies in Miami. The crabs have small bodies and are rarely eaten, but the claws are large and contain delicate crab meat that is so delicious, you'd want to eat 10 of them in one go. They take a bit of time to mature, but once the crabs are at the right size, the claws are detached and the bodies are thrown back in the water where they can regenerate! So enough about this bio stuff, lets get talking about this place and the food! 

Joe's Stone Crab is an iconic eatery in Miami. They have another location in Las Vegas, but I think it's always a good idea to eat at the O.G. place. The restaurant itself is massive with a huge bar where you can grab a drink while passing time for your 1-2 hour wait. Yes, the wait usually is always that length of time since they don't take reservations! 

It's casual-ish with waiters dressed up in tuxedos like the olden days. They're very proper and lack a bit of the complete service I was hoping for, but I guess if you want to focus on the food, it's pretty darn good. 

Free Bread Basket
MAINE LOBSTER TAILS (STEAMED OR BROILED-MARKET PRICE). This was just ok for me. The lobster cost around $50-$60, which I think it s a bit overpriced. The tails themselves were rubbery and a bit overcooked in my opinion. The sauce helped a bit but once lobster is overcooked, the dish couldn't be saved. 

GRILLED ASPARAGUS ($9.95). The asparagus was good but nothing special. I probably wouldn't order this again but if I need vegetables, sure, why not?

KEY LIME PIE ($8.95). This was almost my favorite dish of the night. It came as a very close second and probably the best key lime It was luscious and not overly sweet and the pie crust was amazing. I seriously loved this pie! 

MY FAVORITE DISH. JOE'S STONE CRAB (LARGE-MARKET PRICE). The crab was absolutely amazing. They come broken up for you so all you have to do is peel off the shell and eat the luscious piece of crab. We got the large, which ran about $60 ish. The crab meat was cold and sweet and came with an amazing sauce. It's worth ordering one just for yourself. 
Overall, Joe's Stone Crab was pretty good, but the service could use a bit of improvement. If I came here again, I would just stick with the stone crab and the key lime pie. We had ordered a glass of wine, which they brought out but the wrong one where we then sent it back. The waiter gave us a hard time about it. In addition, we were overcharged another $60 for another set of stone crabs that we didn't order. The waiter also gave us a look as though we were wrong. Other than that, the place was good. 

Notable Dishes: Stone Crab and Key Lime Pie

Sunday, March 5, 2017


Yardbird Southern Table and Bar
1600 Lenox Ave
Miami, FL 33139
Tel: 305.538.5220
Cuisine: Southern
$$$ ($30-$45)
Sun, 02/19/2017, 8:00pm reservation
     (4.5 Piglets)

Ever since watching an Anthony Bourdain episode on Miami, I've been thoroughly excited to try this joint. In the episode Bourdain visited this place and tried some deviled eggs, which I wasn't feeling that night. I wanted to try the fried chicken since afterall, the website is named run chicken run! 

Yardbird is situated off Lincoln Road in the heart of South Beach. The place has a very rustic feel with a casual vibe that isn't pretentious like South Beach is known for. There is a large bar upon entering where the bartenders are serving up some delicious cocktails. It's Southern cuisine at its best and I was lucky enough to chat up with a former employee at the bar who told us what to order! 

FRIED GREEN TOMATO BLT ($14.00): House Smoked Pork Belly, Pimento Cheese, Smoky Tomato Jam, Lemon Vinagrette.  This was absolutely delicious and one of my favorite dishes of the night. The tomatoes were fried crispy but wasn't greasy. The cheese added a creaminess and the pork belly added richness to the dish. I loved the tomato jam that basically tied everything together. It's a must order. 
MY FAVORITE DISH. CRISPY CHICKEN BISCUIT ($14.00): Pepper Jelly, two served. So, it wasn't my idea to order this dish since I felt we were ordering so much food to begin with, but boy, am I glad we did. This dish was amazingly simple yet so flavorful! The chicken was crispy and moist. The biscuit was flaky and not super dense. It was seriously the perfect bite. 
LEWELLYN'S FINE FRIED CHICKEN ($26.00): 1/2 Of Our Famous Bird Served with Honey Hot Sauce. This chicken was bomb. I love fried chicken and this chicken was definitely high up there as one of the best I've ever had. The chicken wasn't greasy and was moist and juicy. The sauce is what took it to another level. I loved that honey hot sauce! 
MACARONI AND CHEESE ($10.00): Pasta, Five Artisanal Cheeses, Crispy Herb Crust. I didn't love this dish, which was unfortunate cause this is one of the dishes they're known for. I fell like it fell flat of flavor. It wasn't super cheesy and pretty darn dry. It was like eating dried up cheese on pasta. 
BLISTERED HEIRLOOM TOMATOES ($12.00): Ricotta Cheese, Sea Salt, Chili Oil. This dish was also ok for me. The tomatoes were delicious and the ricotta was great as well but it was nothing special. I could do without this dish. 
COCONUT CREAM PIE: Again, I don't even like coconut but somehow, on this trip, I find myself being lured to eat it. This dessert was delicious! The coconut wasn't overpowering and the ice cream was delicious. I think I may attempt to make a coconut cream pie because of this dessert. 
Overall, Yardbird was pretty darn yummy. The service was good and the food was excellent. I thought for a Southern menu in Miami, they managed to do a good job. The place was packed when we went, so be sure to make a res. The cocktails I heard were also good, but I couldn't drink anymore since I was drinking all day in the sun. They also are planning on opening a Yardbird location in Beverly Hills this year, which I'm excited about. If you're ever in Miami though, this is worth trying! 

Notable Dishes: Fried Green Tomatoes, Fried Chicken Biscuit, Fried Chicken and Coconut Cream Pie

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Puerto Sagua
700 Collins Ave
Miami, FL 33139
Puerto Sagua
Tel: 305.673.1115
Cuisine: Cuban
$$ ($15-$30)
Sun, 02/19/2017, 1:00pm walk-in
    (4 Piglets)

Miami is booming with so many Cuban restaurants, making it hard to choose one from amongst the many. It is a blend of Spanish, African and Latin American cuisine with a hint of Caribbean. It's unique and delicious and well, Miami is the place to find the best Cuban food around. 

Puerto Sagua is a chill and popular spot located in South Beach. Serving traditional Cuban cuisine, the food tastes like it's comfort food made by a Cuban grandmother. It seems authentic and many locals have dined at this joint. 

The interior is nothing special. There is a large bar seating area upon entering and a dining room in the back where you can be escorted to be seated. It's a hole in the wall place so don't expect some fancy tablecloths here. 
CAFE CON LECHE ($3.95): This was one strong coffee made with Cuban coffee. The milkk was meh. I thought this was ok. If you like really strong coffee, this is a good one. 

SANGRIA: The sangria was delicious. It wasn't doused in alcohol and had a great fruity taste. Worth ordering. 
FRIED YUCCA ($5.95): These were delicately fried. The texture on the inside was soft like a potato. If you like fries, this is a good order. The sauce that came with it was tangy and fresh. 

ROASTED CHICKEN ($9.95): White Rice, Black Beans, Plantains. The chicken was roasted nicely and the plantains were caramelized to perfection. I just wish there was a bit of sauce to go with this dish to bring out more flavor. 

ROAST PORK SHOULDER ($16.75): Slow Cooked, Moro Rice and Yucca. This dish was actually pretty good. The rice was mixed with black beans to give it more flavor. The yucca was soft and roasted with some onions. The pork was tender dressed in their tangy Cuban sauce. If you like pork shoulder or braised meat, this is a good dish.

The pork shoulder
MY FAVORITE DISH. COCONUT CARAMEL CUSTARD ($5.75). This was absolutely delicious. For someone who doesn't like coconut, I was able to tolerate and appreciate the creaminess and the simplicity of this dessert. The coconut was prominent (though I did push it to the side lol). The custard was creamy with the caramel flavor being fairly rich. It was a great dessert for the end of the meal. 
Overall, Puerto Sagua was pretty good. It was interesting that when we walked in the restaurant, they were pushing us to be seated at the bar (probably cause we were a set of two people vs four). The menu is pretty extensive and the food is pretty authentic. The place tends to get packed at all hours of the day. If you want some Cuban home cooking, this is probably the joint to check out. 

Notable Dishes: Coconut Caramel Custard and Pork Shoulder