Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ravi's India Cuisine in the I.E.! Colton to be exact!

Ravi's India Cuisine
1091 S. Mount Vernon Ave Ste G
Colton, CA 92324
 There was a change in the hours...they now close between 3pm and 5pm.  Hey...they need a little break in between service.  So make sure you don't come during those times.

Ok, let me just preface this post by saying, I have very little experience with Indian food.  I can probably count all the times I've had it on one hand...and still have fingers left over.  I've always wanted to try it more often, but honestly didn't go because I wouldn't know exactly what to get.  This is the issue that I have mentioned before or talked to people about. I think that too often, many of us don't eat other cuisines that we are completely unfamiliar with and don't know or understand the flavors and names.  And I really do want to try it, but want someone who IS knowledgeable about the cuisine to take me and teach me.  Plus it's more fun to eat with friends...right?  

Anyhow...my God sister Karen and her family and our friends the Loh's LOVE this place and so we tried going the day before, but it was closed, but then the following day, after my Read Across America reading at the LLU Children's Hospital we went for lunch before I drove back to Vegas.  They have a great lunch special...and SO cheap!  We got a few extras to go with our lunch...which was perfect.  More than perfect actually!  So, back to my preface...I'm not going to pretend that I am an expert on Indian food and can't say whether it's the best Indian food or not, but what I will base it on is whether it tasted good to me and what I enjoyed eating because I trust my palette.

Beef samosas...Lord knows I love deep fried (almost) anything! This is served with a spicy jalapeno sauce and a sweeter tamarind sauce.  I've never had this before, so I have nothing to compare it to...but I thought it was really delicious.  I really enjoyed the heat of the jalapeno sauce combined with the sweet tamarind.  I'd get this again.

My beef curry special...it comes with (from left to right):  

Bengan Bartha (fresh baked eggplant cooked in Indian spices and tomatoes, but this had potatoes too) - Loved this! 

Lentil soup - not my favorite, salad - dressing was creamy and tasty 

Potato Pakoda (All pakodas coated with special batter and deep fried) - damn tasty! 

Nan (Popular Tandoori leavened baked bread) - which I've had enough times to know that I love nan!

Rice - because I'm a carb girl and nan and rice are perfect for my meal to eat with the curry.  

Duh!!  The beef curry in the middle.  The taste was good, but the meat was a bit tough...I think I'd get chicken next time (I tried Audrey's and her chicken was really tender).  

This whole thing was really filling.  I know for a larger person, like my friend Greg K, who is over 6 ft, feels like it's just not enough food for him...which I can totally understand.  He prefers the Indian buffet restaurants, and he told me the name of the place he likes, but I can't remember it right now.

Raita - (Fresh homemade yogurt with spices and fresh vegetables).  I know many of you probably are more familiar with Indian food, but for those of you who aren't, I'm just giving little definitions of the food. I've had raita before and love it...its coolness is perfect with the spicy curries and kills a little heat in your mouth.  I don't know what the right way of eating it is, but I put it on whatever I want and just dip it with whatever I think tastes good together.  haha

Garlic nan...I think that many of you do know what nan is...and who doesn't love bread with garlic?!  I don't think I really need to elaborate more.

Ok...again...you know my love for deep fried goodness...and I also know many of you out there share my sentiments and love for all things deep fried.  So we had to try the Pooris (deep fried Indian bread).  It comes out as these giant puffs of thin bread, and then you break into and it's this super thin bread...it's quite tasty and was great dipping and eating it with everything.  You can taste the oil from frying.

Overall, I really enjoyed it and would love to go back.  In fact...I think it's on my schedule this weekend!  One of the dishes that Karen was telling me the Loh's love is the Vindaloo...not sure which protein they choose, but I feel the desire and need to try this Vindaloo that the Loh's just can't seem to get enough of.

So...after I have it...I will let you know how I like it!  
I know that I want to continue eating and learning more about Indian food!!  I love the flavors and smells of the spices that is used.  One thing is for certain, I AM going to learn to make nan!  

 Note: the descriptions of the food I used were taken directly from the menu.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Naked Fish's Sushi & Grill in Las Vegas

Naked Fish's Sushi & Grill
3945 S. Durango Drive, Ste A6
Las Vegas, NV 89146
Neighborhood:  Spring Valley

Mon-Fri 11:30 am - 2 am 
Sat-Sun 4:30 pm - 2 am
Happy Hour Hours!
Mon-Fri 3pm-6pm / 10pm-2am
Sat/Sun 4:30pm-6pm / 10pm-2am
Woohoo!  Finally got some time to talk about a restaurant I enjoyed eating at!

These are the plates I was talking about in the video, but didn't actually get to mention completely.  There are a bunch of them on the wall signed by a bunch of different poker players.  The one in the center is signed by Phil Ivey, one of my favorite poker players.
 That Screaming O salad!  It was soooooo good!  There is a bed of thinly "shredded" daikon under the tuna...all of it combined together was so delicious, flavorful and fresh. 
The salmon was definitely buttery and so amazing.  I had to get two orders of this.  Just a note...I can't stand eating cooked salmon and the smell of it is really quite disturbing to me.  The only times I eat cooked salmon are when my God sister Karen makes it, and I love her to death and will eat anything she makes me.  I never had the heart to tell her my disdain for salmon until recently, when she offered me some salmon skin salad at a restaurant, and I took a small bite, but after that, I just had to come clean and tell her how fishy it is to me.  But if she still made it for me today, I would still eat it because she is someone I love dearly and would never want to hurt her feelings.  Anyhow...I finally discovered raw salmon and fell deeply in love with the rich, fatty, buttery feeling/taste in my mouth.  So clean and delicious.  It is truly one of my favorites when I have sushi now.
Anna got the Tiger & Dragon roll...who doesn't love crunch, spicy tuna, eel, eel sauce and shrimp tempura?!
I love kanpyo rolls!  Not many places have it...but Naked Fish has it on it's menu!  Yippee!  This may sound totally blasphemous, but we dipped the kanpyo roll into the dressing from the screaming O and it was so tasty.  

If you want to know what kanpyo is... 
You typically see kanpyo used in futomaki rolls...those big fat rolls filled with ingredients like egg, spinach, cucumber.  
I'm looking forward to talking Chef Yasuo!  So stay tuned! 

I hope you are all doing well and eating a ton of great food.

p.s. I don't know why everything is in bold...I can't turn it off.  haha  oh well.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Read Across America 2011 @ Loma Linda University Childrens Hospital

What an incredible day!  March 2nd is Read Across America day and I was so blessed to be picked as an Honorary Chair.  When they had asked me what school I would like to read at, I originally mentioned the elementary school that was a part of the high school that I graduated from, but since it's a private school, Sheri Miyamoto from CTA said she had something in the works and would tell me once things were finalized, but she thought that I would like it.  

When we finally got together to meet and share a meal, she told me I would be reading for the Loma Linda University Children's Hospital.  I can't even begin to tell you the emotions that I felt, but the tears were in my eyes and I couldn't have been happier with the choice and where I would be reading "Armadilly Chili".  

One of the coolest things about reading here was all the ties that I have to this hospital and community.  Basically my entire family has some major connections to the hospital so, this was THE perfect choice!

We all experience so many things in life, but there are very few things that can make such a strong impact.  Today was one of those days and seeing all those sweet faces, many with just big smiles, others filled with the pain they were experiencing at that moment...but overall just beautiful faces.  There were definitely moments where I couldn't hold back my feelings, where I felt completely overwhelmed with sadness because I knew that some of them were very sick and I just wish that I could take away their illnesses so they could go outside and play like other healthy kids.  

I had video of the reading, but it go cut off!!  I know! WTH!!!  I was devastated when I found it the memory was full!  But, I will still post it when I get it all fixed up...but till then, here are some pictures of my reading partner, Vice President of CTA (California Teachers Association) Dean V.  I can't even begin to tell you how much fun I had reading with Dean.   

I couldn't get pictures of all the kids...privacy stuff...you guys understand...but here are some of the great kids that I did get to take a picture with.

Aileen - just a sweetheart...sat in the front and listened. When I asked who like Hannah Montana, no one raised their hands, but she ended up picking a H.M. book to read.  
 Amanda - she was so quiet throughout the whole reading and didn't crack one smile, so I wasn't sure if she wasn't feeling well, but when we took our picture she melted my heart when she quietly asked me if she could get a copy of our picture.  I hope that I brought a little joy into her day.

Deven - was so pleasant and just sat quietly in the back
listening to our reading.  He is tall and ripped!
Jonathan - loves playing Wii and Super Mario Bros.
we have much so much in common! 

Mariela - is a fellow meat lover like me!!  woo hoo!
And loves pepperoni pizzas too!  We will get along just fine. =)

 Patricia - sweet and quiet, listened and has a great dimple!

Rozella - was loving her new book about wild horses
and definitely has the same spunk like a wild horse!
Incredible smile and enthusiasm.

 Rodrigo - he had the most amazing eyelashes!  So sweet and had such a handsome little dimple too! 

I hope that I can come back every year to read to the wonderful kids at the LLU Children's Hospital.  I can't tell you how much they each touched my heart and it is my wish that each of them will be healed and will live a very long life.  Just sitting here writing this and thinking about each child, some with oxygen tanks, others with the I.V. machines in tow, some in wheelchairs...I can't help but cry.  I want so much to take away their pain, but they are in amazing hands...all of the doctors, nurses and entire staff love these kids and you can just see it.  They are all in my prayers and I hope to see them all one day soon.

Thank you Sheri for picking me...for finding me on Twitter and for asking me.  Thank you Joanna for letting us come to the hospital and share such a fun book with these kids.  I hope that we were able to bring a little bit of sunshine into their day, I know that they definitely brought a ton of sunshine into mine.

For more information about CTA and LLUCH please go to the links below: