Monday, May 29, 2017

North Italia (New) - Santa Monica

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North Italia opening in Santa Monica
on May 30th!

you've probably followed me to the Pasadena opening of
True Food Kitchen last September, see more HERE

So, just ahead of the Grand Opening in Santa Monica,
I was invited to one of the media preview nights,
as the staff prepares for their opening  debut.

A beautiful patio off 2nd Street
as you walk into North Italia.

A nice high celling dining room.

My friend said it reminded her of True Food Kitchen.
She was surprised when I told her both were owned
by the same company.

"Every restaurant and venue tells a story, it has a 
personality.  That personality usually takes over and becomes
what it was meant to be - a new restaurant, special dish, or 
a design approach."

~ Sam Fox
Fox Restaurant Concepts

 See What Jay Eats...

Chef's Board

with prosciutto di parma, artisan cheese, burrata,
marinated eggplant, roasted pepper,
castelvetrano olives and marcona almonds

Such a great starter!

While we were working on the First Course,
the kitchen was working on the rest of our order.

When you can't decide between two pizzas
and it's suggested that you order 1/2 and 1/2,
You Do!

with roasted mushroom, cipollini onion
and smoked mozzarella.

I love mushroom pizza

with mission fig, goat cheese and arugula. 

A nice balance between a bit sweet and salty.

Short Rib Radiatori
with parmesan cream, fresh horseradish,
wilted arugula and herbed breadcrumbs.

The pasta, "Radiatori" looks like small radiators,
hence the name.

When your server tells you that it's a
12 hour braised short rib that is so tender,
it just falls apart, I just had to order it.

It was so tender, such good flavor too.

And on that note...
It was time to look at the dessert menu.

But a latte first!

They do know how to make a good cup of coffee,
love the sugar cubes.

Strawberry Mascarpone Tart
with lemon cream and basil on an almond crust.

I have to admit, I've had all of the desserts
and this is a new one.  A great Spring dessert.

(Italian Donuts)
served with a Meyer lemon curd and vanilla mascarpone.

A Must Order!

Thanking server Eric for another great visit.
He's one of the trainers at this Santa Monica location.

In a previous visit to North Italia,
here's some of Eric's recommendations.

White Truffle Garlic Bread
with house made ricotta, mozzarella,
grana padano and herbs.

Garlic and Truffle,
could it get any better?

Italian Meatballs
with marinara, pecorino
and served with grilled bread.

Yup, there are meatballs under
all of that cheese and sauce.

Squid Ink Mafaldine
with shrimp, calamari, acqua pazza, mint, 
fennel pollen and calabrian chili.

If you love seafood, this is the dish to order.

Visit North Italia in Santa Monica!

I was telling someone in the kitchen the other day,
for a chain restaurant, the Italian food is pretty good.
It's something that I could eat on a regular basis.
It has flavor without being overly rich and
contemporary but still connected to traditional roots.
The menu isn't huge, but what they do serve is very good,
something for everyone.  The service is very good too...

Go check them out!

1442 2nd Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 382-2460


Lunch:  Monday - Friday
11 am - 4 pm
Dinner:  Sunday - Thursday
4 pm - 10 pm
Friday - Saturday
4 pm - 11 pm

Saturday - Sunday
10 am - 4 pm

Don't forget!

Thank You!
Karsha Chang
Nerissa Silao
Eric Felly

NOTE:  I was a guest of North Italia.
I thank them for their invitation and hospitality.
All comments and opinions are strictly my own.

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi

Friday, May 26, 2017

Ritter's Steam Kettle Cooking (New) - Alhambra

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Located at the old Green Papaya Thai Restaurant
on Valley Blvd in Alhambra stands a new restaurant,
Ritter's Steam Kettle Cooking.

When you see the building,
you'll say "this looks like a McDonalds!"
Yup, it used to be...

What's steam kettle cooking you ask?
Cajun/Creole dishes cooked in unique jacketed steam kettles.
The steam offers a food cooked evenly and without over cooking.

Chef Ritter spent 12 years honing his craft at the Oyster Bar in
The Palace Station Casino in Las Vegas.  The Alhambra location
is the 3rd steam kettle cooking restaurant, after Santa Ana and
Huntington Beach.  

Sat at the bar in front of the steam kettles
watched the playoff games

 See What Jay Eats...
New England Clam Chowder

A traditional bowl of chowda. 

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

Who doesn't love bacon?

Chowder Fries

The best of both worlds!


Choice of mussels or clams,
I opted for BOTH!
Cooked in butter, garlic, lemon and basil clam broth.

I really enjoyed the mussels,
found out they're from the Pacific Northwest,
really good.

Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp sautéed in white wine butter garlic clam sauce
topped with fresh basil & lemon served over linguine.

Earlier in the day, we were talking about
shrimp scampi with linguine
and so I needed to order it when I saw it
on the menu.

Just what I wanted!

Ritter's Famous Pan Roast 

A tomato based creole dish with Cajun Trinity
(onions, celery and bell peppers) served with rice
and choice of lobster, shrimp, crab, chicken & sausage, or clam.

We ordered the 'House' with shrimp, crab, clams & lobster $24
Such a great dish!

Beignets for dessert

Who doesn't like fried dough dusted in powdered sugar?
So good!

This was my 3rd visit to Ritter's and each time
I enjoyed it, how could you not with beignets to end the meal?
It gives me a taste of Louisiana in Southern California
and now closer to me.
I'll be back for more Cajun and Creole dishes!

1800 W Valley Blvd.
Alhambra, CA 91803
(626) 872-6464

Open Daily
11:30 am - 9 pm

NOTE:  I was a guest of Ritter's Alhambra.
I thank them for their invitation and hospitality.
All comments and opinions are strictly my own.

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats  Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi