Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2008 recap

Wanted to get this out before the end of the year...I'll go back in and add more details and links...

Best movie: Slumdog Millionaire

Best Books:
The Billionaire Who Wasn't - How Chuck Feeney Secretly Made and Gave Away A Fortune
Three Cups of Tea
A Thousand Splendid Suns

Best meal:
Sim Ba La (two locations in the Los Angeles area) - Taiwanese foods - fried pork chop, beef noodle soup, shaved ice, etc.

Other notable eats:
Cowboy Ciao (Scottsdale, AZ)
Mi Cocina, Mi Pais (Glendale, AZ) - Ecuadorean restaurant; excellent coconut flan (best dessert I had in '08)
True Food (Phoenix, AZ)
Pizza a Metro (Phoenix, AZ) - pizza, gnocchi
Cibo (Phoenix, AZ) - pizza and crepes
Sweet Republic (Scottsdale, AZ) - artisinal ice cream
juju berri (Peoria, AZ) - the best frozen yogurt in AZ; excellent green tea yogurt
Noca (Phoenix, AZ)
Skye (Peoria, AZ) - steaks, etc.
Tin Angel (Salt Lake City, UT) - braised short rib gnocchi, soup
Settebello (Salt Lake City, UT) - VPN pizza
Tony Caputo's (Salt Lake City) - great market and sandwich
Breadbar (Los Angeles, CA) - the best french toast!
Nanbankan (Los Angeles) - yakitori
Roscoe's (Los Angeles) - my first chicken & waffles experience!
Yogurt World (San Diego, CA) - fantastic green coconut yogurt
Alan Wong's Pineapple Room (Honolulu, HI) - less expensive (and some say even better food) than his flagship restaurant (Alan Wong's); we had a fantastic meal there.
Shirokiya food court (Honolulu, HI) - heaven...
Parallel 59 (Vancouver, BC) - double almond croissant
Go Fish (Vancouver, BC) - fish and chips on the water's edge
Guu (Vancouver, BC) - izakaya; probably my most memorable dining experience of '08
Origins (Las Vegas, NV) - great Indian restaurant located just off the Strip
Jaleo (Washington D.C.) - tapas; chef/owner Jose Andres was standing next to our table for part of the meal (he was talking to other customers)
Bonita (Brooklyn, NY) - fish tacos
Max Brenner (New York, NY) - all things chocolate...
Spice Market (New York, NY)
Peshawari @ the Sheraton Rajputana Hotel (Jaipur, India) - incredible marinated chicken
24/7 @ The Lalit (New Delhi, India) - biryani
Taj President (Bangalore) and Taj Deccan (Hyderabad) - masala dosas (the thing I miss the most from my travels in India)
Thai Pavillion @ the Taj President (Bangalore)

Ruth's Chris (Phoenix, AZ) - bleh...
Chez Panisse Cafe (Berkeley, CA) - bland, overpriced food
Bistro Bernard (Goodyear, AZ)
Metro (Scottsdale, AZ)
Over Easy (Phoenix, AZ)

blu sushi (Litchfield Park, AZ)

Worst meal of 2008:
McGrath's (Salt Lake City)

Restaurants to try in '09:
The Mission
Racho Pinot Grill
Roka Akor
Atlas Bistro
Sol y Sombra
Don and Charlie's
Daily Dose
Jug 'N Barrel
Arrowhead Grill
Tutti Santi
Pasta Bar

Friday, December 19, 2008

CityNorth a dud?

Long time no blog...

Stopped by CityNorth a few weeks ago (on a Saturday night). The first phase, called "High Street", just opened a month ago (on Nov. 13). What an incredibly unfortunate time to open a new mall! The place was an absolute ghost-town. Just prior to going there, we were at Kierland Commons, and it was such a contrast. Don't know how to describe it better, but Kierland has a much "warmer" feeling compared to CityNorth. The retail mix at CityNorth also puzzles me. We spent less than 10 minutes walking from one end of the street to the other and none of the stores appealed to us, so we left. I'm guessing we won't be back anytime soon...

CityNorth seems like a dud to me - similar to my opinion of Westgate and Tempe Marketplace.

I wonder if we will ever have anything here similar to any of the following:
The Grove (Los Angeles, CA)
The Americana at Brand (Glendale, CA)
Victoria Gardens (Ontario, CA)

BTW, I got a kick out of this recent article in the paper:
Westgate remains safe despite shooting, Glendale officials stress (AZ Republic)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Automaker bailout

Funny stuff! Make sure you read the fine print...

(from The Beast)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy to have my car back!

About a month ago, Patty had the sudden urge to crash my car into the cement base of a light pole (after a long day at work, she accidentally had the car in "Drive", instead of "Reverse").

After many weeks of driving her car, while my car was in the shop, I was finally able to pick up my car today!

Here's the "before":
Ouch! ~$4,000 worth of damage...

and after:
Much better...back to "normal"!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gunmen kill at least 78 in 7 attacks in Mumbai (AP/Yahoo! News)

Gunmen kill at least 78 in 7 attacks in Mumbai (AP/Yahoo! News)

  • "The gunmen were specifically targeting Britons and Americans..."
  • "Gunmen opened fire on two of the city's best known luxury hotels, the Taj Mahal and the Oberoi. They also attacked the crowded Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station in southern Mumbai and Leopold's restaurant, a Mumbai landmark."
scary...I was just in Mumbai a month ago...staying at a "luxury" hotel and I was actually looking for Leopold's (but never made it there).

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mi Cocina, Mi Pais

Last Friday, we went to one of my favorite restaurants in the area, Mi, Cocina, Mi Pais (I've been there many times but haven't written about it before). It's a small family-owned Ecuadorian restaurant.

Here a pic of the complimentary chips and salsa they serve:
Mi Cocina, Mi Pais - chips & salsaThe salsa was packing some heat!

I had the 'Pescado a la Huancavilca' (fried boneless trout filet - $10.50). I love the pickled onion that is served on the side - it's a very nice complement to the fish. Here's a pic (w/ the pickled onions on top):
Mi Cocina, Mi Pais - Pescado a la Huancavilca
Patty had the 'Sango de Camarones' (~$11). It's basically a shrimp stew (containing eight large shrimp). The stew was excellent. Here's a pic:Mi Cocina, Mi Pais - Sango de Camarones
I also ordered a side of maduros (fried plantains) for us to share ($1.50). I love these...
Mi Cocina, Mi Pais - maduros
For dessert, we had the coconut flan ($3.50). This is seriously one of the best desserts EVER. It's more like a layer cake - with a layer of coconut cake on the bottom and a layer of ultra-rich flan on top. Here's a pic:
Mi Cocina, Mi Pais - coconut flan
If you haven't tried Mi Cocina, Mi Pais, I definitely recommend going there!

The food is always excellent and very reasonably priced. Our meal came out to around $28! (not including tip).

Places mentioned:

Mi Cocina, Mi Pais
4221 West Bell Road
Phoenix, AZ 85053

Off to San Diego for the week!

My family is meeting up there to celebrate my parent's 40th anniversary!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

True Food Kitchen

My wife and I tried True Food Kitchen last Saturday. True Food Kitchen is the newest restaurant by restauranteur Sam Fox, developed in partnership w/ Dr. Andrew Weil.
True Food - exteriorTrue Food - shot of prep area
We arrived at around 6:30 and waited for around 15 minutes for a table. The lighting on the patio seemed extremely dark so we opted to sit inside. The lighting inside was somewhat inconsistent - we were initially seated in a "dark zone" and ended up moving to an adjacent table partway through our meal.

We shared a hamachi appetizer ("Today's Raw Fish" - MP --> $11) to start. This was a "miss" for me. The slices of fish were drowning in a pool of sauce which completely covered the taste of the fish. A nice controlled drizzle of sauce would have been good. Here's an extremely dark picture, but you can at least see the pool of sauce...
True Food - hamachi appetizer
I had the "natural half chicken" w / farro, walnuts, dried fig, brussel sprouts and squash ($18). This dish was excellent - definitely one of the best dishes I've eaten this year! The chicken was extremely juicy. The best part was the skin - nicely seasoned and crispy. All of the sides were nicely prepared. BTW, I am now a fan of farro! Where can I find this stuff?!?
True Food - natural half chicken
Patty had the "turkey bolognese" ($14). Initially, we both thought this dish was a bit bland. The sauce seemed kind of flat - it was missing something. In the end, she ended liking the dish (it got better as she continued to eat it).
True Food - turkey bolognese
For dessert, we had the "flourless chocolate cake". The cake was served w/ a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. We both thought it was good, although nothing out of the ordinary. I did think it was priced a bit high at $7.
True Food - flourless chocolate cake
We did notice that the food seemed pretty light and not too oily - consistent with the theme of the restaurant.

Overall, we enjoyed the dining experience and will be back to try some more items.

Sidenote - on a recent trip to Costco, we noticed that they are selling two $50 Fox Restaurant Concepts gift cards for $80.

Places mentioned:

True Food Kitchen
2502 E Camelback Rd #135 (at Biltmore Fashion Park)
Phoenix, AZ 85073

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Here are some of the speakers we will have on the Thunderbird campus over the next week:
  • Commander, U.S. Southern Command, Admiral James Stavridis, Topic: "Security and Stability in the Western Hemisphere"
  • Co-Founder of Envirofit International, Mr. Paul Hudnut, Topic: "Sustainable Solutions: Pollution, Poverty and Innovation"
  • CEO of IFESH (International Foundation for Education and Self-Help), Dr. Julie Sullivan, Topic: "Empowering the Poor in sub-Saharan Africa"
  • CEO, Card Services JPMorgan Chase, Mr. Gordon Smith '96, Topic: "Leadership in a Changing World"
  • CEO of OPIC (Overseas Private Investment Corporation), Mr. Robert Mosbacher, Topic: "Entrepreneurial Capitalism as a Soft-Power Tool"
Last week, we had the CEO and Chairman of US Airways, Doug Parker, on campus presenting about the airline industry.

The commencement speaker for our fall term will be Luis Alberto Moreno '77, President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

What an amazing lineup!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Headed to Salt Lake City

I'm at the airport, en route to Salt Lake City, for what should be my last work-related trip of the year. I've been to a total of thirteen cities in seven weeks (my schedule). Not bad!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire

We went to a screening of the movie Slumdog Millionaire tonight. This movie has it all: action, suspense, humor, love, etc. It's a fantastic film!

The film was especially cool since I was just in India last month.

Here's the trailer:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

CHANGE has arrived!

Finally, we have some brains in the White House.

I have exercised my right to vote - have you?

Just back from voting!

I woke up at 5:20am this morning and arrived at my voting location at 5:30am. There were already 43 people in line ahead of me. The location opened at 6am and I submitted my ballot by 6:20am.

Now I've got to deal w/ a little mishap involving my car...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Headed to the airport again

I'm off to Berkeley for a night and then LA for a week.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dinner and a movie (Johnny Rockets and The Secret Life of Bees)

I'd been reading quite a bit of positive pre-opening buzz around the movie "The Secret Life of Bees", so we made plans to watch it yesterday.

Before going to the movie, we had planned to eat at Motu's Tahitian Noni Island Grill, but when we got there, it was closed. Bankrupt? I wouldn't be surprised if we see a few other places at Westgate shut down - foot traffic was minimal, given it was a Friday night. Back to the food - we decided to eat some junk food at Johnny Rockets. We shared a grilled chicken club sandwich, half rings and half fries, and a root beer float.

Everything was good. The onion rings were especially tasty. I'm generally not a big fan of onion rings, but these were quite good. My only complaint was that the chicken breast on the sandwich only covered about sixty percent of the area of the bread. Here are some pictures:
Johnny RocketsJohnny Rockets - interiorJohnny Rockets - grilled chicken club sandwichJohnny Rockets - half rings and half friesJohnny Rockets - root beer float
After dinner, we headed to the theater (which is right next to Johnny Rockets) to catch the movie. Both of us loved the movie. BTW, neither of us had read the book before, so no comparisons or expectations. Great movie - go see it!

Here's the trailer:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Why I'm Proud To Be A T-Bird!

Thunderbird is not your typical school. One of the things that differentiates Thunderbird is its strong commitment to "Global Citizenship".

In addition to educating "traditional" students via degree and non-degree programs, the school also has a program called Thunderbird For Good (TFG), which focuses on "non-traditional" channels of education.

Thunderbird recently welcomed its third class of Project Artemis Fellows - fifteen Afghan women entrepreneurs. During their two weeks on campus, the participants receive business and leadership training. The program also includes ongoing mentor support.

You can read more about their activities over the next few days via this blog.

Another project that TFG is involved with is 10,000 Women. This is a Goldman Sachs initiative to provide business and management education to 10,000 underserved women. Goldman has committed $100M towards this project! ...and Thunderbird is one of the partner schools!

Project Artemis - Afghanistan

China reassures Taiwan consumers on milk safety (from AP)

The issue is sad, but this headline makes me laugh (and wonder):
China reassures Taiwan consumers on milk safety (from AP)

Especially when you see the following associated headlines:
China orders more milk testing, HK boy sick (from AP)
5,800 Chinese babies hospitalized on tainted milk (from AP)

Trust us! Why should I?!?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Vancouver - Day 1

Took the Amtrak train from Seattle to Vancouver this morning. I was planning to do a bit of reading and sleeping during the ride, but I basically had my nose glued to the window for most of the four hour trip. The scenery along the way was absolutely stunning. Saw thousands of birds, miles of beautiful shoreline, and interesting random sights along the way.

This was my only my second trip via Amtrak in my life (two train rides in three weeks). The first trip was three weeks ago - I took a "Northeast Regional" train from DC to NYC. Pretty comfy ride but nothing too interesting. The train on the Seattle-Vancouver ride was a very nice and roomy "Superliner" (double decker train w/ seating on the upper level). The seats on this train were similar to those used for business class airplane seating. I couldn't even touch the chair in front of me with my legs stretched out (guess I'm too short ;-). Another nice amenity was a dining car - I enjoyed a marionberry crumble and hot chocolate during the trip.

A very, very enjoyable experience. I highly recommend taking this train route sometime in your life.

Here are a few pics:

For lunch, I enjoyed a bowl of ramen and gyoza at Ramen Ezogiku. Very tasty!
Here are two pics:

For dinner, I was looking for something "light" and had a nice bosc pear and arugula salad and a bowl of corn tortilla soup at Mosaic (located inside the Hyatt Regency). No pics..

After dinner, I walked around downtown Vancouver. I love this city. It has a very diverse population, it's easy to navigate, compact, very clean, has a great public transport system...and there are people on the streets! I love seeing people on the streets - something you almost never see in Phoenix. A city just seems alive when there are people out and about.

After a nice two hour stroll, I was getting hungry and stopped by Tim Horton's (which is adjacent to the hotel) for a snack. I known Tim Horton's is HUGE is Canada but I've never tried it before. I got a chocolate croissant and hot chocolate. Both were good.

O Canada!

Off to our neighbors to the north! I'm taking the train this morning from Seattle to Vancouver. Planning to enjoy the scenery along the way.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My "first meal"

Before I arrived in Seattle, my sister sent me an email asking what I wanted to eat for my "first meal" back in the States. After two weeks of Indian and Thai food (made from chicken, lamb, mutton, or "VEG"), I requested either hamburgers or pizza.

Here what we had for dinner last night:
hamburger and sweet potato fries
My brother-in-law grilled up some nice thick juicy burgers and my sister made baked sweet potato fries! So good...

Monday, October 6, 2008

In Seattle

After ~23 hours of flying and 3 hours waiting in the airport, I finally arrived in Seattle this afternoon. It's nice because my sister and her family live here so I can "recharge" a bit...

Not much improvement on the flight here - no smiles seen during the entire flight. Is it so difficult to smile? (those of you who know me know that I love to smile!)

A hot meal and beverages were served (which is better than most domestic carriers these days). Here's a pic:
Continental Airlines - domestic economy in-flight meal
Two more days here and I'm off to Vancouver...

Back in the States!

I just arrived in Newark via Continental flight 49 (a nice direct 16 hr flight from Mumbai to Newark). Have a bit of downtime until my flight to Seattle...

The flight from Mumbai was pretty uneventful. On my outbound flight to Delhi two weeks ago (also on Continental), the plane was equipped w/ AVOD (on-demand audio/video) systems w/ a massive amount of entertainment options. The system on this flight was an older system with a choice of six channels of video and 15 audio channels (continuous looping, not on-demand), so the choices were much more limited.

The food was absolutely terrible on this flight. For the first meal, I choose a "chicken" option. It may have been the worst airline meal ever (which says alot). Here's a pic:
Continental Airlines - international economy in-flight meal
We were also served a snack-pack during the flight...cole-slaw sandwiches...yum.

The second meal was a somewhat scary omelette w/ chicken sausages:
Continental Airlines - international economy in-flight meal
The worst part of the flight was the service orientation of the flight attendants. I did not observe a single smile during the entire flight! What a bunch of grumpies...the crew did not look like they were happy to be there. On one of my trips to the bathroom, a flight attendant bumped into me pretty hard - I immediately said "excuse me" and she didn't even acknowledge me!

Such a stark contrast to the service in India (and Asia in general), where everyone seems to "bend-over-backwards" to SERVE you.

On our intra-India flights (total of three), we flew via Jet Airways. I am now a HUGE fan of Jet. The service was excellent (on-time and efficient) and the food was probably the best airline food I've ever had. Two of our flights were less than an hour in length and we were served full meals! What a refreshing travel experience!

Here's a pic of a meal from one of the Jet flights:
Jet Airways - economy in-flight meal
It really makes me wonder why the U.S. carriers can't do things right. The service experience is like night-and-day. In general - terrible food, surly service, and frequent delays.

Oh well, that's all for now. I have another six hours of flying to look forward to!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Near the end of my adventures in India

Leaving India tomorrow evening...

The food has been wonderful and the sights have been incredible, but what I'm going to miss the most are my fantastic travel partners for the past week and a half. Safe travels to all of you!

Monday, September 29, 2008

In Bangalore

Arrived in Bangalore yesterday...and headed to Hyderabad tomorrow afternoon.

I'll post a more detailed update soon! Just give me two minutes...(and if you give me 50 rupees I may expedite things a bit) ;-)

Monday, September 22, 2008

In Delhi

Arrived in Delhi a few hours ago. I'm headed to Agra to see the Taj Mahal tomorrow!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

At the airport

About to board my flight to Delhi!

travel update

I'm currently in New York City. I was in DC for a few days.

Have had a fantastic time the past few days...enjoying my work activities, reconnecting with friends, and of course, eating lots of great food!

Off to India in a few hours!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fall (work) travel

Here's my (somewhat crazy) travel schedule for the next few months:

Trip 1
Wed. Sep. 17: flight from Phoenix to Washington D.C.
Sat. Sep. 20: train from DC to New York City
Sun. Sep. 21: flight from Newark to Delhi (arrive on Mon. Sep. 22)
Sun. Sep. 28: flight from Delhi to Bangalore
Tue. Sep. 30: flight from Bangalore to Hyderabad
Fri. Oct. 3: flight from Hyderabad to Mumbai
Sun. Oct. 5: flight from Mumbai to Seattle (via Newark; arrive on Mon. Oct. 6)
Thu. Oct. 9 or Fri. Oct 10: train from Seattle to Vancouver
Sat. Oct. 11: flight from Vancouver to Phoenix (via LAX)

Trip 2
Tue. Oct. 21: flight from Phoenix to Oakland
Wed. Oct. 22: flight from Oakland to LA
Thu. Oct. 30: flight from LA to Phoenix

Trip 3
Wed. Nov. 5: drive from Phoenix to Tucson

Trip 4
Sun. Nov. 9 or Mon. Nov. 10: flight from Phoenix to Salt Lake City
Tue. Nov. 11: flight from Salt Lake City to Phoenix

Purple cauliflower

We tried purple cauliflower for the first time (bought from Sprout's)...here's a pic:
purple cauliflower
Tasted the same as "normal" cauliflower...and it's supposed to be healthier for you!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Haagen-Dazs Green Tea

Long time no blog...

On our way home tonight, we were craving some ice cream and picked up some Haagen-Dazs Green Tea from Albertson's. Here's a pic of the container:
Haazen Dazs Green Tea ice cream
It was ok. The texture was very good but the green tea flavor was barely noticeable. After a few spoons, it tasted like vanilla ice cream.

I do like that there are only five ingredients: cream, skim milk, sugar, egg yolks, and green tea.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Over Easy and Cafe Lalibela

For brunch yesterday, Patty and I tried Over Easy for the first time. We arrived at 11am and put our name on a list.
Over Easy - exterior
We waited around twenty minutes and were given a choice of table or counter seating and choose to sit at the counter.
Over Easy - counter seating
Here's a shot of the kitchen from our seats:
Over Easy - kitchen
We waited over five minutes for our server to stop by and take our drink order - "The Over Easy Ice" - Cold brewed (coffee) w/ cinnamon, sweetened condensed milk & cardamom, mint garnish ($3.25). Our server dropped off the drink and left quickly to service another table.

The drink sounded much better on paper than it was. It tasted like a very light ice coffee - neither of us could taste the other listed ingredients (and there wasn't a mint garnish).

We waited at least another five minutes for him to come back and take our food order. Not a good start...

I ordered the French toast with carmelized bananas and pecans ($7) w/ a side of hash browns ($2). Patty had "The Over Easy" - Toasted brioche with spinach, fried egg & bacon sauce ($9).

The French toast was decent - four large pieces of French toast topped w/ carmelized banana, bits of pecans, and powdered sugar. The hash browns were mediocre - the exterior "crust" was okay, but the interior was liked mashed potatoes. I also thought it was overpriced - the portion was about three-and-a-half inches square. You can see the hash browns in the background of this picture:
Over Easy - French toast w/ carmelized bananas and pecans (foreground); side of hash browns (background)
Both of us were unimpressed w/ "The Over Easy". The ingredients kind of blended together and there was no real contrast to this dish.
Over Easy - The Over Easy
Not sure how to describe the food, but nothing at all stood out for me. The quality of the food and ingredients is average.

I did notice that there was quite a bit of uneaten food going back on many of the plates being returned to the kitchen.

Service was below average. Our server seemed kind of scatterbrained - in addition to the ordering delays, we waited another ten minutes after getting our bill for our server to pick up and process our payment.

In my opinion, Matt's Big Breakfast is superior. I would definitely not drive out of my way to go there for breakfast again (unlike Matt's, La Grande Orange, and Cafe ZuZu). If I lived in the neighborhood, I might go occasionally, as an alternative to LGO. Given the choice between Denny's, IHOP, and Over Easy, I might choose Over Easy.

For dinner, we went to Cafe Lalibela. CL is an Ethiopian restaurant in Tempe. It's one of my favorite places in the Valley.
Cafe Lalibela - exterior
We ordered five individual items to share:
  • Asa Wat - Shredded fish simmered with berbere, garlic and onion.
  • Doro Wat - Chicken simmered in kibae, berbere, onion and a tasty combination of seasoning.
  • Yebeg Alicha Sega Wat (lamb) - Lamb cubes simmered in kibae, onion, turmeric and herbs.
  • Misir Wat (lentils) - Red split lentils cooked with onion, berbere and herbs.
  • Tikil Gomen (cabbage) - Lightly spiced cabbage, carrots and potatoes.
I can't remember the exact pricing, but each item was around five dollars.

The items came on a large 18-20" platter with a basket of injera ("a crepe like sourdough bread made from a mixture of teff and wheat flour."). To eat, you use pieces of the injera to scoop up the food.
Cafe Lalibela - platter of five items and injera
We both ate until we were stuffed and had plenty of leftovers to bring home. If you haven't tried Ethiopian food before, I highly recommend Cafe Lalibela.

Places mentioned:

Over Easy
4031 N. 40th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85018

Cafe Lalibela
849 W. University Dr.
Tempe, AZ 85281

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Born Into Brothels

We watched Born Into Brothels tonight. I saw this movie a while ago and loved it and wanted Patty to see it. It is a documentary about a group of kids who live in the red-light district of Kolkata, India. Many of them have mothers (and grandmothers) who are prostitutes. Some of them don't even have parents. They are given cameras and taught how to take pictures.

This is one of my favorite films. It is such a touching movie. The stories of these kids range from inspiring to heart-breaking. If you see this movie (which I highly recommend that you do), you must see the extras (including the "reconnect" and childrens' commentary segments). These additions add so much to the movie.

Kids with Cameras

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Radio Milano

We met up w/ D. for dinner last Saturday at Radio Milano. None of us had been there before. The dining room is nice - somewhat similar to sister restaurant Chelsea's Kitchen, although a bit "warmer" and more intimate. We arrived at 6:10pm and were seated immediately. By the time we left, the dining room was packed and there were many people waiting for tables. I thought the dining room was a bit noisy.

Here are two pics:
Radio Milano - interiorRadio Milano - interior
Our server brought out a basket of radio bread. I liked the bread - it seemed like a seasoned and flatter version of the sourdough crust on the pizzas at La Grande Orange (another sister restaurant).

We ordered the following:
  • antipasti vegetable plate w/ burrata ($12)
  • crisped acqua pazza white fish (halibut), sautéed spinach ($17)
  • gino’s spicy shrimp pasta w/ toasted almond pesto ($15)
  • tuscan wild mushroom meatloaf au jus ($15)
All drinks are 1/2 price from 5-7pm daily. Each of us had a drink.

The antipasto plate was good, although with the exception of the white nectarines, nothing really stood out for us. Too bad none of us are olive fans...we each ate one and left the rest. For reference, Pizzeria Bianco's antipasto plate is excellent.
Radio Milano - antipasto plate
I ordered the fish entree. Overall, the dish was good. The halibut fillet was nicely browned and seasoned, but slightly overcooked.
Radio Milano - crisped acqua pazza white fish, sautéed spinach
Patty had the pasta dish. I thought this was the best dish of the three. It was full of flavor - creamy, yet not heavy. The shrimp were slightly overcooked.
Radio Milano - gino’s spicy shrimp pasta w/ toasted almond pesto
I had a few bites of D's meatloaf and thought it was pretty good. No pic.

For dessert, we shared the olive oil cake w/ housemade jam & thickened cream ($7). This dessert was just ok for me. The cake was very dense. It was like a slightly-better-than-average fruitcake. Here's a pic:
Radio Milano - olive oil cake w/ housemade jam & thickened cream
Radio Milano is a nice neighborhood restaurant. I don't think I would drive out of my way to eat here, although it would be a good place to meetup w/ friends...

The food is pretty solid and reasonably priced. I would put it on par with North and Chelsea's Kitchen.

Places mentioned:

Radio Milano
3950 E. Campbell
Phoenix, AZ 85018