Saturday
Apr232011

Official Campaign to Keep Kyoto Kicking!

I meant to do this for Los Caporales on State Street, but I never got around to it and my favorite mexican restaurant closed down without warning. This was extremely sad. I have since found a favorite Japanese place that is also usually empty when we go. I've decided to make it my personal mission to keep this place alive! At least until July when I move. 
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I don't know if you've noticed, but we have a new Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar here in Provo. It's near Olive Garden, Wilson's Diamonds, and in the same shopping center as Cafe Rio and the dollar movies. It used to be called Asuka (more like a sucka), but now it is Kyoto Japanese Steakhouse.

 

We ate here back when it was Asuka and did not like it. I tried it again with my sister a while later and it was still not very good. My filet lacked flavor and they had no lettuce both times I went, so no salad for me.

 

We decided to give it another shot two weeks ago when we saw it was opening again with a new name, and the improvement was astounding! I'm not sure if it's new owners or management or what, but boy is it delicious. We have been five times since then! Normally we never eat out that much, but this place is hard to resist. We're moving to the east coast soon so I want to get my fill before we leave. :)

 

The service is excellent there. The hostess, waitress and waiter, and cook are all very friendly and attentive. They even know my baby's name now. They keep drinks refilled and have never gotten an order wrong despite my picky habits. Now that we are regulars, they always throw something in for free, once a California roll and several free ice creams for my baby. We don't eat sushi, so we shared with our table mates and they said it was great.

 

The cook has all the standard grill tricks with a few fun surprises. They only have one cook now since the place is usually empty. I don't care so much about the show as the quality of the food though. I have had the filet mignon and chicken combo almost every time and it has always been amazing. So juicy and flavorful. It is always cooked to perfection and just how I ordered it. I normally don't like fried rice, but I love it here. Also, my husband despises egg rolls, but he devours the ones they give out as an appetizer for free. The salad is so good too. My mom usually doesn't like the ginger salad dressing, but she liked this one. They make it "homemade" at the restaurant and you can tell. 

 

We've also tried the Kushi Beef appetizer and it was delicious. It has a sweetish sauce that is delightful. I want to try the noodles next because everyone we've sat with says they're so good.

 

I love how well-lit the place is with lots of light flowing in through the windows. Japanese places are often kept dark, but I like to clearly see what I'm eating. It is rather empty, as I mentioned, possibly because many people like us didn't like Asuka very much and don't know that it's different now. I'm hoping to change that because I want them to be around for a long time. On the plus side, there is never a wait and you get lots of personalized attention.

 

One last tip: the portion sizes are large, so my husband and I always share a combo dinner, which usually brings our bill to about $25 before tip. We could reduce that to $20 by having water. Not too bad for date night! And once when we had five people and a baby eating, we ordered two of their "Feast for Two" meals and could not finish it despite how yummy it was.

 

Check it out and help me keep my new favorite restaurant alive! You won't be disappointed. 

 

Monday
May032010

Nicolitalia Pizzeria

Jeremy and I like to go out to eat at least once a week. Gotta keep a marriage alive, ya know? Since the resident teenager has Scouts on Wednesday nights, that is our Date Night of choice. It's great because most people don't choose Wednesday night to go out to eat so there's never any wait times! And I hate to wait. Especially when I'm hungry. I blame this world of instant gratification.

So the other night we were discussing Date Night...which means we both went back and forth commanding the other person to choose something.

"Oh whatever you want honey, I don't care."

"No whatever you want!"

"Well I don't want to choose. I always choose. It's your turn."

"Okay well I want Five Guys."

"Oh no, anything but hamburgers."

"How about Fridays?"

"They always mess up my order...how about Mexican?"

"Blah, I'm tired of Mexican."

And it goes on and on. I'll let you guess who is who.

Well Jeremy wanted pizza this particular night and that sounded fine to me. Usually this means Domino's since our local Domino's always has the Large $5.99 carryout deal and also because Domino's is FREAKING YUMMY.

But we were feeling a more Italian vibe. Specifically, I've been searching for pizza that compares to Spitony's. I know most of you have never heard of Spitony's, but their pizza should win awards. I think it has. It's a little pizza place with 1970's orange booths and Washington Redskin's paraphernalia all over the walls. How can you not love THAT? My earliest memories of playing 1980's arcade games are in that place. You know, way back when I was so young it was impossible to win at all, but pushing the buttons was all I really wanted to do anyway. It's in Warrenton, the Virginia town I was born in, and though I remember eating there often on our trips up to visit my family that still lives there, it wasn't until I was 23 and (unknowingly) pregnant that I developed an obsession. I don't think you get a real appreciation for the taste of fine food until you're an adult, and pregnancy taste buds? Oh man. That is the one thing I miss the most about being pregnant. It's like your taste buds are on drugs and every time you eat it's like tripping out in some magical fairy land of yumminess.

But I've never been high so I might be totally off.

So that has been the goal: to find a place that compares. (Not to get high! Haha!) As I mentioned before my huge tangent, we were in the mood for pizza and daring to try something new, so we went to the internets! I read reviews for just about every pizza parlor in town, and Nicolitalia's claimed to have "Homemade Boston Italian Style Pizza." I've never been to Boston, but I figured it's on the east coast, kinda close to DC (which Warrenton is very close to) and thought they might be similar. 

And I was right! They're not exactly the same, but they both make excellent pizza. The atmosphere is fun too. Nick, the owner, is really from Boston, and that accent is definitely hard to miss. Every time Jeremy goes in there for lunch, Nick shouts out something like, "Ey look! It's JAHmee!" He's a fun guy, and you feel good buying his pizza. And to me, that matters. If people are rude or annoying to me, I certainly don't want to give them my money. Recently, Jeremy took a friend to eat there, and as they left, he said about Nick, "That is my new favorite person." Ha!

I get the plain old cheese pizza, and love it. Jeremy is a fan of the Hawaiian-style pizza, which is weird since he's never liked it before. We usually split a medium (12") pizza for under 10 bucks and it's a pretty economical night out. I tried the chocolate chip pizza, and it was very good, though not comparable to a well-baked chocolate chip pizza from Pizza Inn. (If only they were always gooey and never burned!)

So go try it Provonians! It's on University Parkway across from the Movies 8 and in the building where Pudding on the Rice used to be. Enjoy!

Tuesday
Jan192010

New Moon

I wanted to write these reviews fresh after seeing the films, but that just didn't work out because you know, I spend so much time sleeping and peeing.

Watch out for spoilers. Though anyone that actually wanted to see this movie probably saw it at midnight on opening day.

Okay? Kay.

I was hoping New Moon would be brilliant enough to make me forget Twilight's shortcomings, but it wasn't. I don't think it's possible when both of the main characters, Bella and Edward, are so horribly casted by such unlikable people. The film's only bright spot was Taylor Lautner. I didn't like him much in Twilight, but LOVED him in New Moon. He was the only part worth watching. And not for the dirty reasons you're thinking of! He has a childlike innocence and humility that just warms my heart. Besides, all the abs in the world couldn't help Robert Pattinson. I was so incredibly turned OFF by his hairy shirtless scene that I was hoping for a change from the book and that the Volturi would just eat him already to put me out of my misery. But no, it was in s..l..o..w...m..o..t..i..o..n....... And don't get me started on Kristen Stewart as Bella. I can't stand her in real life, and her portrayal of Bella is just pathetic. Sure, Bella isn't the most exciting character in the book, but Kristen Stewart makes a corpse look lively.

There are far too many funny parts that weren't meant to be funny. All those blurry images of Edward that Bella sees were awkward and weird. It only makes Bella look more ridiculous. And her "nightmares" were just strange. Was she giving birth to a porcupine or having a seizure? I couldn't tell.

So why did I see this film in the first place? Well, because I feel like I have to. Twilight was written by a humble, LDS wife and mother that graduated from the school I attend now. It holds to my values about sex, though the movies certainly try to push that. I guess since they can't have the characters have sex they just have them kiss in the grossest, most sexual yet unloving way possible.

It also has a pack of werewolves that aren't terrible to look at. And that's necessary because if I only had a pasty Robert Pattinson to look at, I don't know I could sit through the whole thing. The sad part is that I saw a preview for another movie that he's in, and the scruffy bloody scenes from that movie were way more attractive.

It was certainly not the worst film I've ever seen in a theater. That might have to go to Christmas with the Kranks, Surviving Christmas, or Mall Cop. But it was still a disappointment. But I suppose it doesn't matter because all the tween-age girls and lonely twilight moms will still go see it multiple times no matter how bad it is.

A special thank-you to Jeremy for sitting through it with me. And thanks in advance for sitting through Eclipse with me when it comes out though it will probably suck as well.

Saturday
Dec192009

Coming Soon!

Look here for film, book, restaurants, and whatever else I experience. New Moon and Avatar reviews up soon!