>Renzo"s A Taste Of Peru — lunch with a lot of heart

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This story is running simultaneously in the Orange County Register

I waited a while to try out Renzo’s A Taste Of Peru even though I’d heard from various friends that a new Peruvian place had opened up in Irvine months ago. I usually don’t like to be the first in line when restaurants open because I think it is unfair to judge them during their first weeks when things can go wrong and everyone is still learning to deal with the flow of traffic so to speak. I like them to have some time to work out their kinks first and that way, there isn’t any excuses from either side.

When I finally visited Renzo’s for the first time I found Mr Renzo Macchiavello himself behind the counter with a huge smile on his face welcoming me into his place. My friend who came along has been a customer here since it opened so he was very familiar with the menu and was excited for me to finally try. I, on the other hand, have always loved Peruvian food due to how overwhelmingly familiar its flavors are to me — there is a huge Chinese population in Peru and a lot of the food flavors are imported from the various ethnic backgrounds including Chinese and Japanese — and I was eager to see how this place compared with the various Peruvian places in the area.

Although Renzo did not have my favorite Peruvian items on the menu, namely lomo saltado and parihuela, he did have ceviche and various arroz (rice) dishes. My friend was nice enough to allow me to pick whatever I’d like for our meal , so I selected ceviche mariscos (seafood salad), arroz con mariscos (seafood rice) and the special of the day secco de carne (beef stew).

Ceviche was nice and tart and the selection of seafood: calamari, shrimp, scallops, were all fresh. The red onions, fresh corn and sweet potato wedge are all regular items in all the ceviches I’ve had around Orange County, the only thing Renzo doesn’t include are corn nuts. However, if you so wish to have some in your salad, feel free to help yourself to them at the counter near the entry-way because they are there to for customers to snack on while they wait. If you like your ceviche spicier, by all means, let them know because the kitchen will dress it to your specifications.

Secco de carne was absolutely delicious! The rich, dark stew had layers of flavor and was perfect with the fluffy white rice it was served with. In fact, I wanted more of the sauce towards the end so I could finish off the remaining rice. All specials come with a side salad topped with a dressing similar to the green aji sauce but with  a little more tang to it.

After the beef stew, arroz con mariscos was a little bland in comparison, but still reasonable. Aji sauce is available and you can help yourself to it. I call this the ‘miracle green sauce’ because a few squeezes from the bottle will instantaneously kick the flavor-aspect up several notches. It just makes EVERYTHING taste better, and that, is definitely a miraculous feat!

I had asked Renzo about parihuela on my first viit and on my second visit a week later, he informed me he had made parihuela and asked if I’d like to try some. So on top of the parihuela, my friend and I ordered the special of the day, braised lamb shank.

After two visits I’d have to say, definitely order whatever specials Renzo has for the day because those have been winners. The lamb shank was a whole shank braised in a blend of spices, meat is fork tender and oh so addictive. I was blown away at how the sauce tantalized my tastebuds and how I couldn’t stop eating it, but more than anything, I couldn’t believe that this dish was under $10. The portion was generous and filling, but on top of that, you can taste the love put into it. Again, I needed more sauce to soak up the rice it came with.

Parihuela was good, but not what I was accustomed to. The parihuela I’m accustomed to is soupier in consistency while the one here was more ‘stewy’. The thicker liquid worked well though because when paired with the steamed rice, the sauce actually clings instead of just swishing off the spoon.

Although Renzo’s serves up Peruvian food, they do a huge lunch time sandwich business and although they are really a great lunch spot, I could eat this stuff for dinner. At the moment, the restaurant is open for lunch from Mondays to Fridays 10am to 4pm but I’m sure with some arm twisting and gentle coaxing, things might change in the future.

Specials are posted on Renzo’s Facebook fanpage every day. You can also follow Renzo’s on Twitter.

 Renzo’s A Taste of Peru, 2222 Michelson Drive, Ste 200, Irvine, CA 92612. Tel: 949-955-9053

*** Photography by Mahesh ***

>Cafe La Boheme — goth at its finest

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wings

What can I say…. Cafe La Boheme makes me think that if I was invited to dinner by Count Dracula, this would be his dining room. It is dark, it is mysterious and it is romantic in a kinda erotic sorta way? This is definitely somewhere you wanna bring your girlfriend for a night of special memories. The restaurant is furnished in black and red and along the wall are booths where you can have an intimate experience with your sweetheart.

I’ve always had good times here, service is always very attentive without being intrusive and the people who work here are….. how can I say this…… almost always incredibly attractive with awesome personalities. It must be a pre-requisite to be in good shape and attention to detail to your appearance is highly preferable!

sea scallops

Happy hour is awesome here I’m told, but I’ve always come for dinner. I’m guessing that the prices are good because if it was due to its taste, then I’d have to say, the small plates/appetizers are kinda just okay. They in no way blow me away. The crab cake is good and so are the lamb skewers, but the chicken wings weren’t good at all. The chicken tasted like its been in the freezer too long and honestly it’s just your average buffalo wings, probably tastier at your local brewery.

My experience with La Boheme has always been that their entrees are the way to go, especially seafood. I’ve had fish here as well as scallops and they were both cooked perfectly.I especially liked how there was no carbs served with the scallops but instead, a nice pea tendril, edamame and mushroom saute accompany the plump mollusks.

Valrhona choc cake

If you’re a carnivore, you may like their steaks. Even the cheaper cut of hangar steak is tasty and very satisfying and cooked perfectly to your specified temp. In any case, I suggest getting an entree and dessert instead of an appetizer and entree because the Valrhona chocolate cake is to die for! Definitely do not leave without eating this decadent gem!

Cafe La Boheme, 8400 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069. Tel: 323-848-2360

La Bohème on Urbanspoon

>Ortolan — humiliates and royally slaps us in the face — CLOSED

>Several of us south OC-ers decided to visit Ortolan for DineLA week. I was very excited about this restaurant since LA isn’t exactly a city brimming with Michelin-starred restaurants and having visited 2-star Michelin restaurant Melisse earlier this year, I was anticipating my visit to 1-star Michelin Ortolan (awarded in 2009) to be a similarly mind-blowing experience.

I had not perused a menu prior, but from previous experiences, I was expecting that an a la carte menu would also be offered if nothing appealed on the prix fixe menu, at least, that was what I thought would happen. Instead, Chef Christophe Eme had decided to fore go the regular menu all together and replace it with a prix fixe menu ($44) which we were all subjected to select from.

I was very impressed the minute I entered the restaurant. Not only was it absolutely gorgeous and tres tres chic, and as we were ushered to the back of the restaurant into the private room, I couldn’t help but notice the splendor of its main dining room, the classic elegance the restaurant exuded. It was highly reminiscent of restaurants I had frequented in the Big Apple and my heart raced at the thought of a fantastic night ahead.

After we were seated, I immediately noticed that something was off. Why were the bread plates set to the right of us instead of the left? Why were there scrolled up menus already in place? I asked if we had pre-selected a menu and everyone shook their heads. As I unfurled the menu, I recognized that it was the prix fixe menu, so I asked our server if I could have an a la carte menu as well, only to be told that Chef Eme was only serving this prix fixe for DineLA week.

Ahhh, yes, Chef Christophe Eme, husband to actress Jeri Ryan, who, with his apparently coveted resume basically “forced” upon us a prix fixe with a trio of selections for our dining “pleasure” — albeit, two items not available on the menu were offered for a supplement (egg caviar) and as a substitution (pan seared branzino).

Was it my naivete to have presumed otherwise? After all, this WAS a Michelin-starred restaurant right? This was a restaurant with ummm, well, a reputation? When I enter an establishment claiming to serve “haute cuisine“, I expect a certain level of finesse, of flair, from start to finish. I don’t expect that crescendo to appear at the beginning of the meal and going downhill from there.

After our party of five were seated — orders taken 10 minutes later purely due to our indecision — we were left sitting there for 30 minutes (34 to be exact) with only water from the initial pour and my glass of Sancerre to keep us company. The water glasses were quickly emptied and my wine pretty much down to the last sip and still, no bread, no appetizers, no food whatsoever.  As we grew more and more restless, my friend Holly (Savored) caught one of the staff finally coming to check in on us and asked “does this restaurant not have bread”. The surprised man exclaimed “oh, you didn’t get any bread?”

As I’ve constantly been stipulating, bread is always the customer’s first introduction to a restaurant, and it needs to “wow”. For a Michelin-starred restaurant, the bread failed to impress — French, ciabatta, walnut raisin — common-place breads if you will, nothing shouted uniqueness.

halibut ceviche

Because some of us ordered a 3-course meal while others ordered 4- to 5-courses, our dishes were not served concurrently — and I understand that it would be impossible to pull that off — but might I add that there was no amuse bouche to tickle our taste buds before our first course arrived.

Egg caviar (supplement $28) was our starter. Now, mind you, I was still dreaming about the egg caviar at Melisse after 6 months and although I didn’t expect a Melisse-quality egg caviar, I wasn’t quite ready for this curdled mess I was faced with. How is it possible that they haven’t mastered scrambled eggs?  Where was the refined texture? The delicacy from perfectly scrambled eggs reminiscent of puffy clouds? I took one taste and turned down the offer of a second tasting. To say it left a bad taste in mouth would be an understatement.

From the prix fixe‘s menu, tomato coulis, another appetizer was a refreshing difference. Served chilled, the accompanying yogurt sorbet’s slight tartness worked nicely with the tomato’s natural acidity, but the buffalo mozarella floating in the liquid was very dry, like the low-moisture log mozarella you can find at your local grocery store — the kind I usually buy to put in my lasagnas. These types of mozarella bake well but when served as is, can be miserably harsh to the palate. The dollop of pesto was flavorless, not what I would expect from a restaurant of this supposed calibre. My homemade pesto fared much better in comparison.

open ravioli with scallops

Apart from that I was a little confused by this dish because the menu clearly stated that there would be a “honey crispy tuile” accompaniment which was non-existent and when I posed this to our server, she apologized and said that the kitchen had ran out of it. Run out? Does the kitchen not realize it has run out of an ingredient in a dish when plating? The question is, do you still go ahead and plate a dish knowing full well you will be omitting a key component and then serve it to your customer? What goes through the mind of the final inspector before the food is sent out? Does he or she hope that the diner may somehow overlook, or not notice that something is missing?

Serving a dish without an ingredient clearly stated on the menu description is false advertising. So you’ve run out! You’re a fully functioning kitchen! Make another crunchy component you can substitute it for, but DO NOT leave out an important textural component to the dish!!

The other appetizer selections were mushroom soup with seared quail and a halibut ceviche. While the halibut ceviche was probably the only redeeming factor in the array of appetizers we sampled — thinly sliced halibut with a hint of ginger, topped with micro cilantro and a quenelle of lemongrass sorbet, the mushroom soup was mediocre at best. The soup portion was thick and clumsy, and on its own, so ordinary in taste that the ‘parmesan emulsion’ served as a much needed accompaniment to this one dimensional starter. The adorning seared quail was meaty, but dry and a bit stringy.

At this point in our meal, we hadn’t been impressed by any one thing, let alone been wowed by it. So when the first of the second courses arrived, I wasn’t very hopeful.

pan seared branzino

Open ravioli of seared scallops, yellow corn coulis and pumpkin gnocchi — the minute my knife touched the scallop I knew it was undercooked. It had that wobbly bounciness to it but I took a sliver to tasted anyway and my suspicions were confirmed — the scallops needed an extra 30 seconds in the pan. Don’t get me wrong, I love scallop sashimi, scallop ceviche, but the menu clearly says “seared scallops” and that’s what I expect when I put it into my mouth, that it is seared to its right temperature and not still raw on the inside.

This dish was an epic fail in every way. Scallops on their own should be the selling point, not the acoutrements, which by the way, were a confusing mess. Yellow corn coulis was infused with truffle which masked the natural fragrance of the corn and created a “neither here nor there” flavor aspect. The pumpkin gnocchi was undercooked leaving the center doughy and floury. However, to add insult to injury, there were grape halves and chestnuts thrown in — I mean SERIOUSLY? How exactly do all these things work together in creating a flavor balance to heighten one’s eating experience? The phrase “less is more” comes into play when I think of this culinary anomaly.

By now, as you can imagine, we were actually afraid of what the following dishes would be like. I’m certain the staff heard us complaining and I couldn’t believe my eyes when they brought us ANOTHER dish of scallops to somehow compensate for what had so far transpired. My mind was screaming “stop bringing us more food we didn’t order, let alone want to eat”, but we remained calm. Luckily, the second lot of scallops were cooked through, tender, but still, the same discombobulated accompaniments remained.

I knew my entree of pan seared branzino (or European sea bass, sometimes known as Mediterranean sea bass) was going to be a disappointment the minute they put it in front of me. It was cooked to a crisp so I wasn’t surprised that the flesh was dry. After my one and only bite of the branzino, I tackled the overcooked vegetables and swallowed the sprig of tasteless white asparagus (which by the way isn’t even in season) and took one taste of the vile eggplant puree before pushing my plate away.

The last entree selection — braised short ribs — was the only edible entree, served with polenta, olive and tomato confit. But having said that, it wasn’t a dish worthy of fine dining, let alone Michelin quality. This isn’t anything spectacular. It’s something I’d expect to find from a bistro-style or cafe-style restaurant. It just wasn’t the polished result of a dish worthy to be labeled “haute cuisine“.

chocolate ganache

Dessert time came and chocolate ganache was probably one of the most popular items of the evening. The brownie itself was good with a tasty chocolate ganache on top. The quenelle of chocolate sorbet had a bitter after-taste and the little biscuit it was sitting on was stale! So even though parts of this was a hit, it was also a miss.

The caramel panna cotta dessert I ordered was served — and I kid you not — in an empty caviar tin. This befuddled me to no end. I would’ve been okay had the panna cotta been exquisite, but this was no panna cotta. It was dense, thick and creamy, like creme brulee, and not a good one at that. It was amateurishly put together and topped with green apple flavored “caviar” spheres to give it a “tin of caviar” look. I took one spoonful and again, pushed it aside. There was nothing to this dessert except for its attempt in playing to the gimmicky illusion of opulence that Ortolan was trying to sell.

caramel panna cotta

And that was it really, just an illusion. That mirage starts from the minute you walk through the doors to the time you sit down, after that, the beautiful imagery starts chipping away from every misnomer, misconception, mistake, mis-step, I could go on and on with this.

Maybe it was the condescending attitude of the sommelier towards Holly — someone I regard highly in the world of gastronomy — and his presumptuous suggestion that she was somehow unschooled in how wine pairings work with a meal? Perhaps it was the arrogance he displayed when we suggested that maybe they could remove the branzino from the final check because two of us found it too unappetizing to even consume? Or maybe, it was how he not only did not graciously accept that the meal was in fact an epic failure, but turned around and acted as if he was doing us a favor by removing one branzino “behind the chef’s back” (he returned the check to us unamended and insisted that it was already removed when it was part of our entree substitution) which finally broke THIS camel’s back.

In my 20 years of food writing, food critiquing, and food tasting experiences, I have never felt more humiliated or more disparaged as a paying customer. I never expect to feel castigated when I’m dining out, but at Ortolan, I felt the disrespect, the insulting final slap to the face when all we wanted was an enjoyable evening out with friends and eating some delicious food while doing so. Like I had stated at the beginning of my review, I was expecting a mind-blowing experience, I guess I got my wish, except, it wasn’t the kind of mind-blowing experience I was quite looking for.

*** Photography by Mahesh ***

Ortolan, 8338 W 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. Tel: 323-653-3300 

Ortolan

>Harry’s Bar & American Grill — nice atmosphere, average food

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French onion soup

Whenever I’m in San Diego, I rely on my local friends to take me on certain dining adventures. On my recent weekend down south, I visited Harry’s Bar & American Grill with my friend for dinner.

The restaurant offers complimentary valet parking but don’t expect the valet to be always there when you arrive. If that is the case, you can easily park in the parking structure yourself or there is street parking if you are lucky enough to find it.

The restaurant itself is welcoming, the interior is warmly lit and tables nicely spaced apart and on that particular evening, there was a jazz band playing even. We opted to sit on the patio area and boy am I glad we did because the overwhelming sound from the band meant that we were able to enjoy our meal, but I was also able to hear myself speak!

Pancetta scallops

The menu is extensive ranging from tapas to appetizers to entrees and everything comes with a price-tag which is a little more than what I would expect from a restaurant such as this one. The selections sounded exciting and I was immediately enticed by the French onion soup and wanted to order my own when my friend wanted it as well. After my friend suggested that we not get the same thing so we could try more items, I selected the sea scallops wrapped in pancetta instead.

A bread basket was brought to us consisting of garlic bread and grissini — garlic bread was definitely a welcoming change from the usual boring breads I’ve encountered of late. I actually had to restrain myself from eating more although, I did munch down two slices before the appetizers arrived.

16oz bone-in rib-eye

French onion soup looked great when it arrived, complete in its little crock-pot with the cheese melted on top. However, that’s where it ended. The broth was light in color and there was no beefiness to the flavor. The onions weren’t caramelized well leaving the soup tasteless and uninspiring. I sheepishly looked at my friend and admitted that if I had gone ahead and ordered the second soup, it would have been a dining disaster.

The sea scallops on the contrary were perfectly cooked with the pancetta adding a really nice salty and crispy contrast. Unfortunately there were only three scallops to the appetizer — I could’ve eaten ten of these on my own. Served with a handful of baby greens, there was also a balsamic reduction which was really awful — tasted like cheap balsamic rather than the nicely aged Modena version. There was also a sweet chili sauce which reminded me of Thai sweet chili sauce from a bottle. The scallops would’ve held up on their own and the addition of everything else flavor-wise completely thwarted what were the best part of the meal.

rack of lamb

For entrees, we selected the bone-in rib-eye and the rack of lamb. I would have to say my rack of lamb was far better than the steak, much more flavorful although, slightly under-seasoned and very strangely served. The rack of eight chops were sliced apart, but unevenly. On the plate were four pieces — two of them with two ribs, one single rib and another, with three ribs. I was completely befuddled by this arrangement. Some pieces were great, while others were really fatty. It was okay, I just expected more for a $35 entree.

The rib-eye looked impressive, a one-pounder of a steak no less, and it was cooked correctly as requested. My complaint was for a $40 steak, it was really tasteless. Again, there was a lack of beefy flavors and the mushroom sauce accompaniment was really watery and I could barely detect the mushroomy aromas I was looking for.

Both entrees were served with roasted potatoes, green beans and cauliflower. I asked for French fries instead of the roasted potatoes but I guess the server forgot, but when I reminded her, they brought out the tastiest fries ever! The roasted potatoes were absolutely disgusting! They were hard and dry. I couldn’t figure out what exactly happened to them except probably they were pre-boiled (and not cooked through) and then pre-roasted and left sitting. It tasted like they were reheated and not fresh.

Oreo cheesecake

Desserts never appeal to me but my sweet-toothed friend wanted to see the selection and so the tray was brought out and some looked really awful — like it had wilted and melted, which it probably had seeing it had been sitting on that tray probably all night. Oreo cheesecake was selected and surprisingly, was a good ending to an otherwise, mediocre and expensive meal. The cheesecake portion was light and had a hint of citrus while the Oreo crust was enough to give a nice contrast without being overwhelming.

If you do go to Harry’s Bar, I suggest going for appetizers and dessert. Some items on the tapas menu looked interesting — truffle fries for one caught my eye. I am a firm believer that there are places you go for appetizers and drinks, sometimes, even desserts (see my Seasons 52 review), this is one of those places! I don’t believe the price tag justifies the end product received, however, www.restaurants.com offers discounted gift certificates which could be a good way to try Harry’s out.

Harry’s Bar & American Grill, 4370 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, CA 92122. Tel: 858-373-1252

Harry's Bar & American Grill on Urbanspoon

>Lemonade — a salad lover’s paradise

>BFF wanted to bring me here for the salads and boy was I glad she did. The array was amazing and what was best was that it was very affordable and extremely tasty! The ‘marketplace’ as the salad array was named offers 1-3 portion sizes ranging from $4 to $11. Each portion gives you two scoops of your choice of salad — or, one scoop of two items. We went for the three portion size plate — 6 scoops — of different salads and shared the plate.

Kale with creme fraiche was delightful with a creamy dressing while the arugula with blue cheese and mission figs was a perfect mixture of flavors in one bite — I liked how they used things in season like the figs. In fact, every salad we chose was delectable, especially the Israeli couscous with mushrooms and tossed in a truffle vinegraitte. We could get enough of it.

Another interesting thing was the ‘watermelon’ daikon — a radish which was pink on the inside and green on the outside resembling a watermelon slice. This was tossed with seared ahi tuna in a sesame dressing — very Asian inspired and very tasty!

Swiss chard and duck salad was another Asian-inspired item with a slightly sweet taste. Roasted cashews added another dimension to it giving it a crunchy texture. Brussel sprouts with balsamic and parmesan cheese was another flavorful choice.

We were pretty full by now but everything was so delicious I felt I could’ve eaten more if there was more in front of me. Lemonade also offers braised items such as beef stroganoff, miso short ribs, curries and tagines, but I didn’t try them this time. I was too excited about the salads. Lemonade also offers an array of desserts and fresh lemonade to accompany your meal.

The Lemonade we ate at was in Venice — there are 3 more locations in Beverly Hills, MOMA and Downtown LA.

Lemonade, 1661 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90291. Tel: 310-452-6200

Lemonade  on Urbanspoon

>My Battle of Cupcakes

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It really makes a difference when you’ve got something to compare with and I’d have to say, having eaten cupcakes from different businesses really gave me perspective as to what a truly great cupcake really is, so here, I’m going to compare a few cupcakes I’ve had recently — essentially, the same thing when you look at it, but a world of difference when it comes to taste. I’m not listing the addresses and phone numbers seeing some businesses have more than one location, but I’ve provided the link to their website.

Sprinkles Cupcakes has got to be one of the most popular cupcake stores around OC right now but ya know, I’ve never been highly impressed. The cupcakes are hit and miss — sometimes they’re pretty good, other times they’re really dry. Red velvet, chocolate, vanilla, I’ve tried them all. Frosting is out of control in terms of quantity and very very sweet, great for those with a severe sweet-tooth, but I like my desserts a little more well-balanced.
(3 stars)
Sprinkles Cupcakes on Urbanspoon


chocolate peanut butter

Oh For Sweets Sake Mobile Cupcakery and Bakeryis an Orange County food truck featuring a range of cupcakes which comes to you although in reality, they are parked at various locations daily and you go to them. The cupcakes definitely look better than they taste…. both the cake and frosting portion were average, there is no wow-factor when you bite into one. In fact, I stopped at one bite. I tried the chocolate peanut butter and the red velvet, both were underwhelming. The cake wasn’t moist and the frosting VERY sweet, gooey, sticky and paste-y in texture. Nothing about these cupcakes shouted uniqueness. I’ve got friends who bake better cupcakes than these. Sorry! Concept is good, but definitely fell short in flavor and texture.
(2 stars)

red velvet

Frosted Cupcakery is a little out of the way for me but I’ve tried them on many occasions when friends have brought them to a party and I quite like their selection. The red velvet, lemon, chocolate offerings are all good, the cake part moist and the frosting not sickly sweet. This is a really good cupcake and I have no trouble buying these to bring to a party or when I throw a party myself — but again, they are out in Long Beach so a little out of the way for me.
(4 stars)Frosted Cupcakery on Urbanspoon

choc cake w/pb buttercream

Meringue Bake Shop unfortunately doesn’t have a shop, they are strictly a catering business and it is such a shame because they have some of THE BEST cupcakes I’ve ever tasted! The cake is soooooooooooo moist and the frosting so delicate and flavorful without the nauseating sweetness — hands down my favorite cupcakes to date! They also have innovative toppings such as the Sweet & Salty — a vanilla cupcake with a salted caramel buttercream frosting. The MFEO was a chocolate cupcake with a peanut butter buttercream frosting — absolutely divine and I don’t often pay high compliments to sweet things.  
(5 stars)

Lemon Drop

Itty Bitty Sweets is another cupcake caterer who specializes in both standard and mini cupcakes as well as pretzels. I found these at OC Wine Mart & Tasting Bar‘s grand opening and snagged one each of the Lemon Drop and the Southern Belle (red velvet). I was a bit skeptical with these mini cupcakes seeing I had just come from a lunch where the mini cupcake was dry as dust! However, I was so pleasantly surprised by how good both the flavors tasted — I’m partial to the lemon drop though — with the cake portion moist and the frosting, though a tad too sweet for my palate, was not bad at all! Was very impressed by how the cupcakes were on the disply for quite a while and still remained moist!
(4 stars)

Oreo Dark

Cupcake Blake is one of those places you probably would never get the chance to try because they don’t have a shop and I was lucky enough to try their cupcakes off Short Stop BBQ food truck. The truck wasn’t even selling their cupcakes because they were parked next to Oh For Sweet’s Sake (mentioned above) and felt bad about selling them with the other truck parked next to them, but offered it to us for being customers. I was really impressed by these cupcakes. The cake portion was very moist ad the frosting was nice and light and  the sweetness highly palatable. In fact, my three friends who were there all raved about how good the cupcakes were and one of them even managed to convince them to sell some to her to take home even though they weren’t displayed for sale. We told the owner of the truck that his cupcakes were seriously good and were told that they were made by Cupcake Blake. I’m definitely glad to have tried these! At $2.50 a pop off the truck these are well worth it because every bite was absolutely delicious!! I hope I see more of these cupcakes around!
(4.5 stars)