Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner at Bouchon in Las Vegas

HopAlong and I decided to spend Thanksgiving in Las Vegas. HopAlong has never travelled out of state and he's always wanted to see Vegas so off we went for 3 days and 3 nights.

We were back and forth about whether we wanted to do the buffet for Thanksgiving Dinner. If you haven't been to Vegas during Thanksgiving, the buffet lines during this time are ridiculously long, lines stretch for what seems like miles and the wait is at least 4 hours. I learned this the hard way when I went to Vegas with girlfriends a few years ago. So I booked us dinner at Bouchon and we're so glad we did because after being on your feet all day, standing in a long line when you're famished is the last thing you want to do!

I've always wanted to eat at one of Thomas Keller's restaurants. Thomas Keller is one of the most famous chefs in the world and boasts the best restaurant in the world, The French Laundry. To book a table at the French Laundry is a 3 year waiting list, people from all over the world make the trip just to dine here. Bouchon is the closest I will ever get to The French Laundry. Bouchon Bistro is like French Laundry's little brother. It's a casual atmosphere, food simple, and unpretentious. When I saw Anthony Bourdain do a segment on Bouchon, I was sold!

Bouchon Bistro is located in The Venetian and is hidden away from the madness that is Vegas. We took the elevator and walked down a long beautiful elegant corridor. Immediately, we felt as if we were transported to a palace somewhere in Europe...

The long corridor walk seemed like forever. Low and behold, there it was nestled in a quiet corner. It felt like we were part of a secret society club (invite only)...

«More on the Bouchon experience...»

We walked in and was greeted by the maître d'. She welcomed us to have drinks at the bar while we wait for our table. The ambience wasn't what I had expected it at all. I thought it would be stuffy and pretentious but it was a informal, relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

After 10 minutes we were finally seated and were escorted by the second hostess. Our waitress comes by and hand us a rather long wine list. She proceeds to tell us if we have more specific questions about wine and wine pairings, she would be happy to send down the sommelier.

She continues to tell us in GREAT detail about the specials of the day. She even had a little notepad in her hand to read off the ingredients of each dish. This is what we ordered...


Rillettes aux Deux Saumons: fresh & smoked salmon rillettes served with toasted croutons. They weren't kidding when they said the 3 secret ingredients to French cooking is butter, butter, and butter. The salmon rillette basically is comprised of salmon in solidified clarified butter and herbs. I couldn't get enough of it!

HopAlong had the Soup du Jour, pumpkin soup. He said it was awesome!

Plats principaux:

For the main course I had Poulet Roti, roasted chicken with heirloom squash, rainbow chard, pomegranate seeds & sage infused chicken jus. This dish lives up to its hype, the chicken is so moist and juicy, you'd have to wear a bathing suit to eat it.

HopAlong had the Steak Frites, pan-seared prime flatiron served with maitre d'hotel butter & French fries. Reviews say Bouchon's french fries are to die for! HopAlong and I weren't impressed, they tasted like McDonald's fries. Not bad, not good, just mediocre. Fries are fries everywhere. The steak on the other hand, HopAlong said was the best he's ever had, the meat was cooked to perfection and melted in your mouth.


I had the custard cream filled beignets with maple brown sugar ice cream.

And HopAlong had the Mousse au Chocolat Noir: dark chocolate mousse.

A sign of a good dessert...

The damage...
$139.19 sans gratuity. Not bad considering the amazing food and first class service.

They even gave us goodie bags full of caramel nut popcorn from their bakery...

This is by far the best dining experience we've ever had. I'd give this restaurant 100 stars if I could. I'm so in love, if Bouchon were a man, I'd put a ring on it!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

And The Winner Is...

Outfit #3! Thanks for voting guys & gals! We just got back from an out of state trip and we're knackered! More to come...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Please Help Choose HopAlong's Thanksgiving Outfit

We went to Napa Premium Outlets today...

Craig went crazy and bought 2 jackets, 3 shirts, a pair of jeans, and shoes...

He did a little fashion show when we got home. It took me awhile to convince him that he would look better with his shirt tucked in. I don't know what it is with men in the UK and not tucking in their shirts. It was a real pet peeve of mine while I was there. Button down shirts should always be tucked in, it looks neater and sharper. Untucked button down shirt + beer belly = SLOB!

He looks quite good, I must say (thanks to my good taste..ahem). I do give him credit for the shoes though, he picked those out all by himself! Although, he can't decide what to wear for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday...I can't either!

Outfit #1: (Chocolate brown blazer, blue patterned shirt over white, jeans, brown shoes)

Outfit #2: (Chocolate Brown blazer, brown pin stripped shirt, jeans, brown shoes)

Outfit #3:(Navy blue velvet blazer, white pinstriped shirt, jeans, brown shoes)

Which Outfit Should HopAlong Wear for Thanksgiving Dinner?
Outfit 1
Outfit 2
Outfit 3 free polls

Saturday, November 21, 2009

When One Thinks of Oakland....

these images come to mind:

Last night HopAlong and I headed out to Oakland. Yes, Oakland ranks 5th among the country's crime rate and one of the highest murder rates in California. Yes, this is gangland. Yes, sometimes riots breakout here. But this didn't stop us from exploring Oaktown's hidden gems like the Paramount Theatre, the finest remaining examples of Art Deco design in the United States. It is a beautiful venue to watch extraordinary musical talent such as The Swell Season. I surprised HopAlong with this nice gift since he is a big fan of Glen Hansard and the movie Once, one of the best Irish films ever. Hands down he said this Swell Season concert beat U2 when he saw them at the Botanic Gardens. I agree, it was an amazing and religious experience! I was stunned the whole time.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Maggie Winehouse

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

City Escape

On the ferry, in the middle of San Francisco Bay. It's a rough life!

«More Pics..»

This is HopAlong enjoying the view

This is me cramming for an exam!

This goes to the Muni Streetcars

This is the new Whole Foods in Noe Valley

Stuffing our cakeholes at Barney's

This is Noe Valley at night

This is a billboard in Union Square of a famous Filipino boxer

This is holiday season in union square...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Belfast: Us and Them

Kilometres of graffiti-daubed concrete walls snake through Belfast. They divide Catholic neighbourhoods from Protestant. But do these Peace Walls keep the hatred and suspicion locked outside or inside?

The consensus among the locals is clear if the walls came down there would be a return to intractable sectarian violence. If you pull that wall down therell be murder, mayhem, therell be blood spilt, says a loyalist resident. The recent killings of two soldiers, a policeman and a Catholic community worker, indicate that trouble is still very close to the surface. Theres walls of prejudice; walls that were built here 300 years ago and they're still here in legislation, in prejudice and bigotry', tells Republican Sean McVeigh. 'So those are the walls that are going to have to come down first. Are the Peace Walls monuments to the past or vital and necessary peacekeepers in the present?

Produced by ABC Australia, distributed by Journeyman Pictures

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Two Cocks and a Wheelbarrow

We went to the farm today!

Look!It's an Irish scarecrow!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Guess Who's In Town...

Apparently, he's in an ancient Egyptian revivalist phase

Sunday, November 8, 2009

House Passes the Health Care Reform Bill

Now on to the Senate which I hope will not die.

If you are curious how a bill becomes law in America, watch this schoolhouse rock classic...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Happy Birthday, Big Eva!

These are birthday flowers and chocolate for Big Eva! HopAlong loves his mummy!

Friday, November 6, 2009

I Was Very Naughty Today...

Old Navy has a sale going on. 50% off all coats and jackets this week amongst other things. I got this red coat which I think goes well with my flamenco poster...

I got 4 t-shirts, 2 pairs of harem cargo pants, and sunglasses. As you can see, I'm into browns this season...

Then I went to Cosco and got a set of makeup brushes for $19.99 and a Stila eyeset for 15.99...

Bad, Flippin' Yank! Bad!

This Has Been On My Mind Lately...

Turducken!(Photo from

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


It's only $1,617.

I Was On TV!!!

I went to my first live tv show! It was so fun and fascinating! I've never been in a TV studio before. My gay boyfriend is a broadcasting major and got tickets for a local daytime talk show here in San Francisco called View From the Bay, sort of along the lines of Regis and Kathy Lee. He asked me to come along and I was like, "What the heck?". They got some reaction shots of me, heehee. They were giving away audience prizes as well. But I didn't win any.

After the hour long show, they taped a national show called Everyday Living. They got some reaction shots of me here. What can I say? They like my hair! It will air the second week of January on HD comcast channel 715. Stay tuned!

I'm famous! :D

Monday, November 2, 2009

In Line for the Bus

Photo by Plomomedia on flickr

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Soup's On!

The first week of November is the time when I make my annual batches and batches of soups! I've been in the kitchen all day! Nom, nom, nom! Help yourself!

Portuguese Chourico and Kale Soup

Red Potato and Leek Soup

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