Sunday, December 31, 2017

Lao Xi Er Noodle House- Arcadia, CA

Lao Xi Noodle House- Arcadia, CA: Exterior

Lao Xi Er Noodle House (老西兒面馆) is a recent entrant to the San Gabriel Valley noodle scene, specializing in Shanxi style noodles. Located in the southern part of Arcadia, Lao Xi Er adds a different perspective to a mélange of varied dining options located less than one block away from one another, not limited to Italian (Alex Di Peppe's), Vietnamese (Pho-licious), Japanese (Mako Sushi), Mexician (Cabreras), Taiwanese (Cafe Fusion), and Chinese (Fishing Boat Chinese Cuisine).

After hearing about Lao Xi Er from Clarissa Wei's post on Eater, we visited and since then, Lao Xi Er has become one of our go-to places for noodles. Within its small, humble surroundings (there are around 10 tables in the restaurant), the husband-wife duo and their team serves up a small selection of noodles, soups, dumplings, and a handful of appetizers and entrees that are quite well-executed.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Mesa Verde- Santa Barbara, CA

Mesa Verde- Santa Barbara, CA: Exterior

Having enjoyed vegan/vegetarian focused restaurants in the past (Cafe Gratitude, Real Food Daily), we started off a visit to Santa Barbara by visiting Mesa Verde for lunch. It had been positively reviewed on multiple websites, and its own website showcased beautifully crafted vegetarian cuisine.

Housed in its own quaint grey and green building, parking is a tight, only having a few dedicated spots in the parking lot.  Although we arrived relatively late for lunch (around 2pm), we still had to wait more than 10 minutes for a table. The restaurant was near capacity, and employees were busy in the kitchen and serving customers seated indoors and outdoors. The environment was still relaxed, with locals enjoying a wide number of items from the menu.

Mesa Verde- Santa Barbara, CA: Helios (Carrot, Strawberry, Lemon)

The owner happened to serve us that day, and apologized for the wait. After ordering and asking for his input on recommended lunch items-- the Patatas Bravas Tacos and Picadillo Empanadas came highly recommended--he provided us complimentary samples of Helios, a cold-pressed juice composed of carrot, strawberry and lemon. This was quite light and refreshing, with the hint of lemon accenting the carrot and strawberry pleasantly. I loved the mason jar cups too. (A regular order of the juice would come in a glass bottle)