Thursday, June 7, 2012

Winchesters Grill & Saloon of Ventura, Ca.

Wow, a lesson to myself: do not put off writing for too long because you won't remember anything. Maybe I should start taking notes and such.

This is the Winchesters Grill & Saloon.

Again, found this place on Yelp because we have not the single slightest idea about Ventura other than some of the young people living there hated it.

My friends and I (I feel snobbish everything I write it that way, "and I," not "and me." But my honor shall keep me on the right path) started off with an appetizer. It's stuffed mushroom caps with venison.

This is what the dish might have looked like in its
natural wild habitat.

This is what it looked like after a trip to the kitchen, 
with some cheese trying to escape, only 
to find out it's most happy in a human stomach. 

It also had some rice underneath, which went quite pleasant with the mushroom and game meat. People love appetizers. However, I have a theory as of why: it's the first thing that comes, and when hungry, anything's good. 

I should come up with a stamp that stamps

I ordered a bison burger, and two guys had venison burger, and one unadventurous lady wanted grass-fed beef burger. I mean, come on, really? You come to a restaurant that serves unusual animals, and you want the same animal they serve at McDonald's? I understand they were fed differently, but come on, they all moo the same!

Alright, back to what the real men ordered. So, I had bison.


Wouldn't it be crazy if you have to fight your dinner in order to eat it? But yea, I was kinda expecting something awesome when the food came, but was sorely, very sorely, disappointed.

Honestly, the store could have used random scraps
from any butcher shop and I would not have noticed.
But I'm a nice man, so I'll pretend this is really bison meat.

I mean, come on, if you tell people this is just a regular burger, and no one would stand to object, unless you can see spirits. Then you'll see a dead, or part of a, bison floating over my burger. I don't waste my food and I'm always thankful, therefore I don't get haunted. 

The flavor... I'm no Michelin star judge, so I can't really tell the big difference. The only thing I could say is that it's not that beefy. Surprise, surprise.

EMPTIED! But thinking back... it felt like
any regular burger... I would have had a better
story to tell if I had to fight the bison to eat it.

And then there's the venison burger.

Expecting some poorly photoshopped pictures?
Yea, I was, too.

You can't even see the patty from this angle, this could be a veggie burger if I didn't tell you other wise, but it's really venison, under that melted cheese. Seriously, the only thing different comparing to my bison burger plate is the sweet potato chips. We might have been tricked, what if all the patty were just McDonald's patties? Not that I'm complaining, the Big Mac was the only thing that reminded me of a land far away that I used to call "home" while I was in Taiwan. 

My friend has the nick-name:
"The Vacuum"

Aaaaaaaand the grass-fed beef burger.

"Ooooooh, grass-fed!"
"I'm sorry to inform you, the meat's really 
from McDonald's."

Ladies and Gentlemen, please behold, the FIRST DISH THAT WAS NOT EMPTIED!

What if the true reason why this wasn't finished
is because the meat actually tastes like grass?

Well, it didn't taste bad or anything, just that my friend ordered medium and it arrived well-done. But it's OK, there's a reason why my other friend's nick name is "The Vacuum."

It's like Ghost Buster, but with food! He will take on
all sorts and kinds of challenges! 

He, is what we call, a Man.

So I guess to sum everything up, Winchesters Grill & Saloon was decent. The atmosphere is like a modern old west, minus all the whores next to the piano. I actually didn't see a piano, they really should have a piano and hire some lady in corset to stand next to it, just to complete the experience, and have  some shoot outs once in a while. Our server was still in training, but she was cute, polite, and everybody had a good time. There was another server, who was so flirty, not only that she blinked at me, she also blinked at the girl at my table. Good news, she might swing both ways, just the way I like it. The food wasn't bad at all, just that they failed my imagination, badly. In conclusion, I'd give thumbs up for this restaurant.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Moqueca Part 2, with actual food this time

I did not know writing blogs would be this energy-consuming, but it's fun, I guess. This is part 2 of Moqueca restaurant, lots to write about.

Moqueca's bread is slightly more unusual comparing to others, it's toasted bread chips, sliced thin. I liked it, but maybe not for those that love the feeling of soft bread on their tongue. With the bread came this sauce... It's like salsa but tastes like pasta sauce.

Oh my god, look at me, I'm so elegant.

I think that's how you eat it, with the sauce on the bread chip.

Yea, now you know all those
pretty food magazines are staged.

That's what was provided, so I just took an educated guess on how to eat it. If you know the correct way of eating this, please leave your comments on the bottom of this blog. I may or may not choose to read it because I tend not to like mean things. I'm not that into verbal bondage.

It's hard to show how empty the bread basket is because the waiter would come and bring more of it. I think I just found out the glitch to my empty plates gauge system: It doesn't work on anything all-you-can-eat. But who cares, I don't, so neither should you.

Oh yea, we also got this salad, but I didn't care to take a picture because the salad is just a salad, nothing special. But! The dressing is, like, yogurt based or something. Not fat like the usual American stuff, the ranch stuff. I'll save that for Hooters. Man, every time, I go into Hooters, again every, single, time, I go in there, I fall in love with a waitress, or two.

It's hard to tell if this is ranch or not. It's not, totally
yogurt and stuff. 

We had four people at our table. In the menu, under the Panela de Barro, which I have no idea what it meant, says each dish serves two people. So we got two of those. Also next Panela de Barro, it says clay pot. Honestly I think they can put down whatever BS words there and I wouldn't know. It could really be  -- "Fish Poop" (Clay Pot) -- for all I can understand. Good thing I know two languages, at least I won't get f-ed over this way in Chinese.

We got one fish clay pot and a paella dish. The waiter told us that the fish in the clay pot is shark, what kind of shark I can't remember. Does it matter what kind it is? I'M EATING SHARK!

Shark in clay pot, classic Brazilian cuisine,
or at least that's what I expected.

I think I startled the waiter at the time with my excitement over the fact that I'm eating shark. Funny how he was trying to explain that this shark tastes pretty good, but later he found out that I was asking about shark just to confirm that I didn't hear it wrong, it's really shark. Now he understands how my thought process a little better now.

It was served like the portion got
bitten by a shark. Just kidding, I forgot the take
the picture when it came.

Surprisingly, mostly only me, that the dish didn't have a head of a shark in it, and the clay pot looked more like an iron pot. This is some sad times we're going through. However it tastes pretty good when you put some of this cooked shark on rice. But the paella was better in my opinion.

Pronounced "pie-eh-ya," although I would
say it like, "pay-lah," just to annoy pronunciation nazis. 
Dirty socialists, you can't ever trust them.

Now this paella with a ton of different sea food in there tasted like a carnival marching from the spoon to my mouth, then to my stomach. If my description is correct in anyway, I now know what those almost-naked dancers with feathers tastes like, they taste like seafood paella. Without a doubt, this is my favorite for the night, other than the cute waitress that I did not have the pleasure to be served with. Why can't I meet a cute girl unless I'm in a consumer status and have no way to actually talk to her and get her contact info? Does that mean I get hookers? Perhaps, but you'll never find out.

There used to be pieces of shark in there,
not any more, there were two Chinese men
at the table. Chinese people will eat anything.

Well, we managed the finish the shark clay pot. It wasn't bad or anything, but anyway, EMPTIED! Like a bauss.

I wanted to bury my face in this pot and
lick all the rice and whatever witchcraft they laid in there 
clean. But my friends might beat me. 

If I ever order this paella I could probably kill the whole pot. What can I say, the picture shows it all, it was EMPTIED! I really should get this phrase copy righted or something, this could be big, guys.

So some people were asking me to put more criticism into my blog, how about a list? I love lists, if you don't, too bad, I'm gonna make a list anyway.

Here it goes:

From 1 to Cleanness.......................Clean, didn't see any roaches
From 1 to Waiter............................The guys were pretty chill, also water class was never empty
From 1 to Tasty..............................We emptied everything
From 1 to Classy............................My friend James was there, he makes everything classy

I liked this restaurant, but would I go again? Most likely not because it's kinda expensive. I'm willing to bet I could find some awesome Brazilian cuisine with lower prices. Would I recommend this place, totally, go there at least once, if you got the wallet, go a second time, order everything. Anyway, it was a pleasant evening. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Moqueca of Ventura, Ca. Pt. 1: Drinks!

Ventura, beautiful sea-side city filled with a bunch of rich retirees living in their rich houses built on liquid because they are too rich for that solid ground non-sense. They have to have their shelter built on top of sea water because it takes more engineers and other professionals to figure out how to make a house that won't collapse in moving water. Why? How else would you spend your money that's just sitting around doing nothing?

Well, I was there for a couple days thanks to my friend's connections. Embassy Suits, baby.

The first meal we had after arriving Ventura, or Oxnard, potato potahto, was at Moqueca ( It's Brazilian food according to It also showed three $ signs, that usually means expensive. But what the heck, it's our first time there, might as well invest a little in our happiness.

I could only dream that's what I saw when
I walked into Moqueca.

Sadly I didn't walk into thousands of sexy women wearing nothing but fabulously colored feathers dancing their lives away. I did, however, walk into a waiter whom we later found out that hated his town, for a reason, though. The reason, for one, is that you have to drive at least twenty minutes for Target.

IT'S FRIGGIN TARGET, I WANT THAT 20 MINUTES OF MY LIFE BACK! But no, I can't, I can't have anything back, and we didn't even find that Target. It was so well hidden in the dark of the night, like a well trained special force soldier, waiting in the shadows for that perfect shot, except that this particular Target didn't want to take a shot, it just didn't want us to shop there. Anyway, back to Moqueca.

Drinks came first. My friend ordered this cashew juice drink. No, not the cashew nut juice, that would be ridiculous. Apparently cashew nut is...I'm too lazy to explain, but instead of the usual nut in a shell, the cashew nut actually comes from the cashew fruit, and the nut grows outside of the fruit. Pretty awesome stuff. I tried some of the drink, honestly I don't remember much, but it was similar to apricot and peach, maybe mixed.

Nectar de Caju! Caju sounds funny. I think 
I might name my son Caju, Caju Ho.

I, on the other hand, saw the Guarana Brazilia on the list. I'm always for ordering something that I have no idea what it is. It's super exciting because when you get something delicious, it's like, "yaaaaay." Then when you get something completely disgusting, you're like, "why was I born :(."

I don't get why people hate on "Diet"
so much. I think it's because they don't under-
stand the pain of being fat before.

It is also "The Best from Brazil!" I had to try it!

Because then if this doesn't taste good,
it becomes false advertisement, and I get to hurt 
somebody. Or it's simply stating Brazil got some 
crappy drink as their "best." Win-Win-Win
for me. 

Verdict: pretty good, tastes like a mix of Taiwanese Apple Sidra and Vitali. So I EMPTIED it!

I hope you understand this is taken after the meal.
It'd be kinda dumb if I finished the whole thing before
anything came to the table. Not that it's impossible...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mr. Bourdain loves his Unicorns

Sir Mr. Anthony Bourdain, my hero whom I consider living the one and true American dream, apparently appeared at the Great GoogaMooga Festival in Brooklyn's Prospect Park.

He was generous to answer some of us lowly peasants' questions. Among those who are unworthy stands a little girl, which asked Sir Mr. Anthony Bourdain how he would cook an Unicorn.

Coming from my personal hero and inspiration, the answer is only simply awesome.

"He would roast the loin, grill the legs, braise the forequarter and use the horn to pick your teeth with after the meal. For the record, unicorn marrow is delicious, he says."

All rights of this awesomely photoshop picture

First Restaurant - This Japanese Fusion One! Kiraku!!

Anyone can become a blogger and write about anything. Not me, no, definitely not me. I will not follow what the others are doing because I do my own thang. I always do my own thang.

Therefore I will start this brand new blog with my own promise of the future, might not be much, but it shall be called, "THE EMPTY PLATES!"

I will decide how tasty the food is from a certain restaurant based on how empty the plate gets.

As of last night, my brother and sister in arms brought me to the first establishment that obtained the honor to challenge me with their food. Their name, Kiraku of Berkeley,

And I, The Hungry Plate Empty-er, remembered to document it, somehow.

The first dish, Rock Shrimp Tempura, that looks exactly like pineapple shrimp balls from Chinese restaurants. However, it tastes nothing like them Chinese pineapple shrimp balls because the Rock Shrimp Tempura didn't have pineapples in it, it had Rock Shrimp in it, and it was tasty. It was so tasty, that I forgot to take pictures. Sadly, the awesome idea of this all-natural, completely-original blog idea didn't hit me until the third dish.

The second dish ordered was the fresh roll. It was mediocre, but in Asian standards, mediocre is FAILURE and DISAPPOINTMENT! Asians don't start with A for no reason, the A is a grade, not a letter.

 We only finished it because we were hungry
and possibly also because this restaurant is
kinda expensive.

I wasn't the one that ordered the food, so I can't tell you what the names of each dishes are exactly, but I could tell you what the name might be from my keen observations.

The third dish was "Broccoli That Was Probably Saute With Garlic on a Hot, Sizzling Cast Iron Frying Pan." Popular among my fellow brothers and sister, and I would say...the plate was EMPTIED! Yea, I should figure out a pose for this tag line.

The aftermath. If it didn't want to get eaten, it 
shouldn't have been so tasty.

What came next was the star of the night, "French Style Liver From Force Fed Duck on Top of Japanese Over Sized Carrot That Happened to be White." It's Foie-Gras, so by default it's good. I could go into detail about how the liver's heavy and the daikon's subtle flavor balances it out, but it would sound really pretentious. What more can I say other than EMPTIED!

Decided to take a picture while there are still food in there
because that liver's gonna be banned in California starting June.
Enjoy the sight of it before it's gone forever... in the state.

Then came the "Kimchi With Pork." Tastes just like kimchi with pork. Tasty level: EMPTIED!

Somehow I have this feeling that I need to
find some way to improve the way I blog here.

The last thing that came to our table was the "Fried Thing with Corn." Either that or it's some kind of tempura. Either way, it has corn in it. I like corn, so do most people, so this dish was also EMPTIED!

This voice inside my head is getting stronger...
Telling me to include a before-n-after feature
to this blog...

We had a total of six dishes and one was not good enough. The waitresses were pleasant, to the eye, and their attitude. I came to a conclusion that if anyone asks me if Kiraku's any good, I'd reply, "Psh, heck yea, but don't get the fresh roll, you'll probably enjoy something else on the menu a lot more." Maybe the roll would be better if they add butter and deep fry it, the American way always triumphs, AMERICA!