Thinking back to the good ol' college days at San Diego State University (SDSU) in the mid-90's, what comes to mind is hanging out (*ahem* loitering) in front of the bookstore steps, chili cheese fries at the Courtyard Cafe for lunch, checking out guys in Kappa Alpha, long study days in the old library, and my usual morning cup of hazelnut coffee from Creative Juices.
My fondest memories include the friendships that I have made during my years at SDSU. One dear friend in particular is Shaye, a fellow former business classmate and mommy extraordinaire.
It was over 10 years since Shaye and I have seen each other. We think we met in one of our pre-business classes, Accounting 201, when we were put into groups. A close friendship between the both of us quickly formed and had so many laughs and good times with our other long-lost friend, Paul. When we recently re-united on Facebook and realized that we have a similar passion for food and writing about food, we had to meet for what Shaye calls a "food-venture".
And so we did. At Bleu Boheme in Kensington....
Shaye and I met for a very early dinner at 5:00 PM in the cute neighborhood of Kensington for some delicious French goodness at Bleu Boheme. For a long time now, I have craving moules frites so not only was I excited to catch up with Shaye, but I really wanted a bowl of succulent mussels and crispy french fries.
The restaurant re-opens for dinner at 5:00 PM so we patiently waited outside and talked about my upcoming trip to Las Vegas for my "thirty-something" birthday and the food adventures that I scheduled, including a recommendation by Shaye and her hubby. The friendly staff promptly unlocked the door at 5:00 PM and we were seated at a perfect little table by the large window facing Adams Avenue.
This was my second time to visit Bleu Boheme. We went here for a work lunch when it first opened a few years ago and I had the NY steak paillard. It was very good, so I was looking forward to dining here again.
Every Tuesday evenings they have a prix-fixe dinner menu called "Bohemian Menu" for only $22.00. What a deal! However, it wasn't a Tuesday, but if you arrive before 6:00 PM, the $22 three-course meal is available. We jumped on that.
We started off the bread on a mini block, which was so cute. I have no idea what kind of bread it was, but it was soft, warm, and clearly baked fresh in-house. One of my pet peeves is cold bread and rock hard cold butter so that was a plus and a special treat.
Ohhh, we both started off with the "Petite Soupe à l’Oignon Gratinée" or French onion soup. YUM. I took my spoon to cut through the Gruyere cheese as if I was opening a gift. Inside was a fabulous combination of sweet caramelized onions, beef consomme, and croutons. So darn good, especially taking a spoonful with the cheese. Heaven!
Big surprise. I ordered the "Moules Marinières and Pommes Frites". The mussels were steamed in white wine and had garlic shavings and parsley. The aroma of the white wine broth smelled pleasantly delicious. The mussels were good in taste but I was hoping that it would have "wow"ed me more in flavor. On the regular dinner menu they have different variations of moules frites, so next time I'm going to try the "Moules à la Crème d’Ail" - yes, with garlic cream sauce *drool*.
Mmm, a small plateful of pommes frites served right in front of me. This could be dangerous. Although it was a fried plate of the simplest and most perfect food in the world, the potato, I didn't like the rosemary that was on it. Rosemary, to me, is a great universal herb, however... a little bit goes a LONG way and the rosemary was too overpowering for my taste. I did notice Shaye picking off the rosemary on her fries also, which prompted me to do the same after trying to welcome the flavor. Can I suggest chopped parsley? I also wished that they were cooked a bit longer. I love crispy fries.
Shaye took my suggestion to try the "Confit de Canard, Sauce au Poivre Vert", duck confit with a green peppercorn sauce. I had such a GREAT duck confit experience at the Restaurant at The Pearl Hotel with the crispy skin and fall-off-the-bone duck meat that I wanted her to experience the same. I missed reading on the menu that there was a sauce on it, so when it was served I was afraid that my "crispy skin" praise was false due to the peppercorn sauce. However, Shaye enjoyed her duck and said that there was crispy skin to eat. *Whew* The duck was very delicious and the sauce did compliment it well.
This little dish was our final course and it was a perfect way to end the evening -- "Mousse au Chocolat" with a thinly sliced strawberry, sprig of mint for garnish, and chocolate sauce. So good.
Shaye and I, in those two hours, caught up on the last ten years of our lives to include our marriages, raising and having children, our days at SDSU, and what is next in both of our futures. Oh yeah, and when our next "food-venture" will be. Hodad's, I believe. Burger Quest. Yes.
Din Tai Fung – La Jolla, CA
6 days ago