Friday, November 12, 2010

Scot's View of LALO's Mexican Restaurant

Located at:

5063 24th St

At the corner of 24th Street and 26th Ave.

LALO's is probably the most authentic Mexican food in Sacramento. The last time I had Mexican food this good I was in Los Angeles at a mom and pop where English wasn't even a second language. 

Walking in the door of LALO's is like entering the Mexican Embassy. I have the feeling of having stepped onto a sovereign Mexican territory as soon as I passed the front door. A couple of booths on the right and picnic style tables on the left, this place is small and but oh the smell of spiced meats cooking in the kitchen hits you as soon as you get in.

The menu has an incredible array of dishes, offering meats you just can't find in any chain restaurant, barbacoa, al pastor, lingua, menudo, pazole. Some of these are only available on the weekends.

My favorites are the Al Pastor Taco and the Horchatas. The meat is wonderful and the Mexican cheese is incredible too, I really don't have the words to describe it, just mouth watering goodness.

All this for an incredibly low price as well, be careful don't order more than you can eat because you will find a way to eat it, even if you are full. It's that good.

This is not a Chevys and you are going to have to get up and pay at the counter when you are done, or you may be sitting there a while.

Taste - 5 of 5 stars (yep, you won't find better REAL Mexican food round these parts)

Price - $ (yep, the exchange rate is pretty good here as well)

Service - 2 of 5 (The waitresses were very nice to this gringo but, it would have helped if I knew the language. Also, when you are done, don't expect someone to be keeping an eye on you.)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Scot's View of Osaka Sushi

Located at:

8785 Center Parkway

Near the UA Theatre and 24 Hour Fitness

Osaka is one of our "Old Stand By" places to eat. Since Chat and I were sans Larry we decided to eat at an old favorite. In my opinion Osaka Sushi is the best sushi and Japanese restaurant in the Elk Grove area. There are many competitors that have cropped up but Osaka has them beat. Osaka has three major things going for it, the price is good, the food is very good and there is rarely a wait to sit or eat. Mikuni is the only other sushi restaurant in the Elk Grove area that has similar high level of quality but the prices are far higher. Since our Trio is not made up of "twenty somethings" looking for places where the trendiness of the bar is important, it is an obvious choice to go to Osaka.

As usual, we were seated right away and given the choice of the sushi bar or the tables. We took our usual seat at the tables, since we really like the plates and bento boxes rather than sushi ala cart. It's worth noting that the bar is nice if you want to get in quick and have ready access to the sushi chefs.

I ordered a classic, Chicken Teriyaki Dinner. The dinner comes with Teriyaki Chicken, Miso soup, Salad and White Rice. The chicken is tender, tasty and plentiful. The Miso is great, just the thing you want on a rainy day or when you are feeling under the weather, I like the little cubes of Tofu, I even like the way the seasonings make clouds in the liquid as you wait for it to cool down, just wonderful. The salad is tangy and sweet, even though it's just slices of iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, the dressing is great and makes you go back for more. If you go for lunch the Bento Boxes offer even more food for a great price you get your choice of (3 pieces California roll, 2 pieces Gyoza, 2 pieces Croquette or 1 piece Harumaki).

Chat almost religiously gets the Chicken Katsu dinner. This dish with chicken battered in Panko flakes, fried and drizzled with Tonkatsu sauce is a crispy fried delight! It comes with all the sides I mentioned before but this time Chat went out on a limb and tried something new.

Chat had the Katsu Curry, unfortunately this dish was not as good as the other dishes, There were two large battered pork cutlets covered in a sweet brown curry sauce. Although it was tasty, it was a little too sweet. Oh well, looks like she will be back to the basics next time.

We also ordered the Osaka Maki roll, this fried shrimp roll is one of my favorites. Crispy, sweet and when dipped in a little wasabi and soy sauce, makes your mouth water.

Taste - 4 of 5 stars

Price - $$$ (2 dinners, one role $48 including tip), that's a good price to stuff yourself at a Japanese restaurant.

Service - Prompt, and Accurate, Helpful 4 of 5 stars.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Scot reviews the movie "RED" Retired Extremely Dangerous

As usual, Chat did some digging to see what the critics and the Yahoo users think of the movie before we got there, and let's face it, we were a little concerned. The early reviews had the film at a C+ from the critics and B+ from the users.

I like to think I can get in the ballpark just by analyzing the movie clips and this one looked very promising (more on that in a future blog). There were explosions, sarcasm, and silliness from actors we have grown to love. Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Mary-Louise Parker and Ernest Borgnine.

I don't know what the critics were smoking, This movie is an easy A. The characters are not new to each actor. Bruce plays a supper bad-ass hero who never flinches, even facing firepower that could topple nations. John Malkovich plays a crack pot who's views are as disturbing as they are accurate. Mary-Louise Parker is the beautiful yet attainable woman who you still like even though she is chronically attracted to toxic men. This is what I want to see on a Friday night, great actors playing their best roles. Karl Urban stood out playing toe to toe with everyone else. Sharing the screen with so many giants does not leave much time to shine, but when you look back at how he survived a crappy movie like DOOM (where his performance was actually good), to play Bones in Star Trek. He is on his way again. Richard Dryfuss' character Alexander was the weakest link in the story, but let's face it, this movie was all about the heroes not the villains.

I think we all left this movie, knowing it's easily going to make it into our Blue-ray collection in a few months.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Scot's view of Paragary's

We have been making an effort to "Broaden our Horizons" and hit restaurants other than our usual haunts. Friday night my beautiful and intelligent wife suggested we try Paragary's Bar and Oven, in downtown Sacramento. Having grown up in the Sacramento area, I had heard of this place for years yet I had never gone. Well it was about time.

We arrived early for dinner, since it's our custom to try and knock out dinner before the movie.  This way, we are less likely to OD on crappy stale nachos and overpriced hot dogs. As soon as we arrived I realized I would have a chance to showcase my Mad Skillz at Downtown parallel parking.

We were quickly seated inside and treated to menus. I looked around and wondered, where is everyone? The answer to that came when we left.

The web site says "The cooking of northern Italy and southern France" I would call it "California Fusion with a side of beef" but those who don't live here may not get it.

I started with the Prosciutto, Endive and Tangerine salad, and no it's not as strange as it sounds. This salad starts out a little bitter as all Endive salads do, but the Tangerine kicks in after the first few bites and the other micro greens come to the front as well. The small amount of Prosciutto is ultra thinly sliced and placed on top, this is a good thing because too much would have ruined the salad. I liked it, but would have rather had a little less, just the greens and a slightly lower price tag.

My main course was the rosemary noodles with chicken and artichokes. Tasty and not overbearing, this meal was good but not outstanding. The noodles were a surprise, rolled wide and properly proportioned with all the other ingredients.

We skipped desert, since we had gone a long way out from where we were planning on seeing the move and had to "Get a Move-On".

As we left, we passed the patio and heard all the people we knew should have been there. Apparently the outside bar and tables were the place to be. There was the happy buzz of many people enjoying themselves, and a peak thru the gate showed a pretty courtyard and a good sized bar. That is where we will meet, next time.

Taste - 4 of 5 stars

Price - $$$$ (total dinner for three including tip $147) $50 a head is about as expensive as I want to pay for dinner so Paragary's gets 4.

Service - Prompt, Happy, Efficient 5 of 5 stars

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My First Blog

Wow, all these years. Reading, Working, Traveling the Internet and I never really added anything to it. Well hello world! Welcome to my first blog.

I suppose I should state what this Blog is about, I suppose this is about what I am about.

What can I say we all got to eat, my wife Chat, my life long friend Larry and Myself love to go out to the Movies and Dinner. Almost every Friday or Saturday we will check out the latest flick and have a bite to eat, hence the name 3 Dining Out.

Did I mention Movies. We love to watch the shows, but after years of watching and collecting movies it has become apparent there are some glaring similar themes in the types of movies we like:

#1 - Sci-Fi is King. We love futuristic movies. Who wants to see the reality of now? We all want to see a beautiful rendition of a future that could only be produced by the rendering of thousands of computers and the geeks who turn them into magic wands.

#2 - Military Hardware. Guns and men or even better women who know how to use them. Now that's the stuff!

#3 - Wanton Violence. OK this is optional, but let's face it. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly would have sucked if no one got shot. Although there is a wide latitude to violence in our trio, I quite enjoy the action violence of a great shoot out like, the bank scene in Heat, where Chat and Larry enjoy the Horror Movies scary scenes that I find soo predictable. Movie Violence is like a wine, it's all wine but each has his own pallet. (some like Burgundy, some like Rosette)

-Geek Stuff-
Really, all the world needs is another Geek spewing ramblings onto the internet. I assume it will be unavoidable for me. It's how I make my living and much of what I think about. Perhaps I will post about what I do, I'll save that for later.

Well That's a start,
See you Online