Author Archives: Maria

Pure Energy Cafe - Southwest Turkey Roll Up

“Healthy” Foodie Friday: Pure Energy Cafe

Starting this past Monday, I decided that it was time for a food consumption makeover.  For the past few months I’ve indulged in tons of unhealthy food, such as lots of processed foods, red meat, dairy, fried foods, etc.  And my body’s finally given me a signal that it’s “No Bueno” for me.  With that in mind, I’ve forced myself to eat more fruits and veggies, less red meat and dairy, and basically more “healthy” choices.  And just within these past 5 days, I actually feel like I have more energy and feel less “bloated” (because of all the sodium I’ve consumed) than the past few weeks!   Now the challenge is keeping this up…

So for today’s Foodie Friday lunch, I wanted to spread the healthy eating with my coworkers and opted for the Pure Energy Cafe located next to the Spectrum Gym across the street. This place offers fresh made salads, sandwiches, soups, and many grilled dishes.  They even offer fresh made juices with health boost powders.

This is the second time I’ve had lunch from this place.  Now I can say both times have been excellent!  The rest of the office had a similar opinion, giving this place a 4 star rating.  Eating healthy doesn’t mean sacrificing taste quality!

Today I had the Salmon Over Greens, which was part of their daily specials.  It was delicious!  The salmon was cooked  and seasoned well!  I also got a little daring and tried one of their “Healing Organic Juices,” which was the Potassium Drink.  This was definitely a daring drink because it consisted of spinach, celery, parsley, and carrots.  Needless to say, it tasted like exactly what was in there.  I wouldn’t quite recommend this drink unless you’re a health nut…

Other highly recommended dishes from the team included the Grilled Chicken Chipotle Quesadilla, Grilled Chicken Jalapeno Melt, Tuna & Avocado Melt, Garden Veggie Burger, Southwest Turkey Roll Up, All Natural Sirloin Burger, Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad, and Rosemary Turkey Burger.  As you can see, a lot of highly recommended items!

The only items that got a below average rating were the Turkey Sandwich and Tomato Basil Soup, just because “they were nothing special.”

However, for the most part, this place is an excellent health food cafe to check out if you’re ever around the Howard Hughes Center!

 

 

 

 

Mendocino Farms' Spanish Chicken Wrap & Summer Squash Soup

A Sunny Summer Day With Mendocino Farms…

TGIF!!! 

It’s Friday, July 20th, and it’s finally looking and feeling like summer in Los Angeles!  Just a week ago, the sun seemed to be hiding in fear of the dreaded “Friday the 13th” date.  Seemed like the weather and date correlation was a little too coincidental…yikes.

Well today’s definitely more like the southern California summer that I’m familiar with.  And in celebration of the good weather out, we chose one of the office’s favorite lunch spots, Mendocino Farms, an excellent gourmet sandwich shop!

Mendocino Farms' Spanish Chicken Wrap & Summer Squash Soup

It looks like they’ve made a couple adjustments to their menu, which I’m personally happy about, such as making the Spanish Chicken a regular menu item!  One of my faves! And yes of course, that’s what I ordered today, but as a wrap, plus bacon, and a side of the Summer Squash Soup, yum!

With the exception of a couple of peoples’ sandwiches that were a little off today, everyone gave their order a 4 star and above.  Not surprising since we were basically weekly regulars at Mendocino Farms at the previous office.

Well as I mentioned earlier, there were two orders that were a bit off today. These were the Vegan Shawarma and the Chicken MBT on Rustic White bread.  The Vegan Shawarma didn’t fare so well because the vegan tortilla wasn’t able to hold all the fillings well and became soggy and fell apart.  Maybe go for a bread option if you ever give this item a try.  As for the  Chicken MBT on Rustic White bread, the bread seemed to be a bit oily from the sauces and dressings this time around.

Mendocino Farms' Chicken MBT Sandwich

On the other hand, two people actually gave their orders 5 stars today.  These items were the Sandwich Study of Heat and the Prosciutto and Roasted Chicken, and were quoted to be “Excellent” sandwiches.  And they weren’t the first ones to say that from our past experiences.

Well this time around there were actually a couple of new sandwiches, which were on the summer seasonal menu, that also received high ratings, the Shrimp Po’Boy and the Summer Cubano.  Definitely give these a try while they’re available!  I’ve tried the Shrimp Po’Boy before, and I agree, it’s quite tasty!

Well, since there were a few people out of the office today, the 2 lower rated items kind of skewed the rankings a bit more than usual.  Therefore, this week Mendocino Farms received a 3.8 rating.  But don’t be quick to judge just from one off day, check out our past review of this place, read up on our suggestions, and then try them out for yourself.  You won’t be disappointed!

fat_black_cat

Foodie Friday: Freaky Friday The 13th Edition

It’s Friday, the 13th of July, and it’s gloomy and damp outside.  This is quite unusual weather for southern California during this time of the year.  The weather strangely seems to be connected with this superstitious date because the last time it was Friday the 13th, the weather was the same! Well, I hope it goes back to normal summer SoCal weather after today.

Well here in the office, to add to the eeriness of this day, we’ve been having a Friday The 13th movie marathon playing on our projector screen!   Hmmm, and the guy sitting next to me’s name happens to be “Jason!” …ch…ch…ch…ha…ha…ha…

 

FOOD TIME…

Hah, okay, on to Foodie Friday…

Today, we opted for another round with Ekkamai Thai.  This time around we gave this place 4.2 stars!  This is about half a star higher than the last time.  I think this time around, everyone had a better idea of what to order from this place.

Pad Ekkamai

The majority of the office ordered noodle dishes such as Pad Ekkamai and Pad See-Ew, which were given high ratings.  I myself ordered the Pad Ekkamai with combination meat (chicken, beef, pork and shrimp).  I personally found all of the types of meat to be a bit under-seasoned, except for the shrimp, which was very tasty!  Next time I’ll know to stick with the shrimp option for this dish.  But overall, the noodles were excellent and full of flavor.

For the rest of the InMotion Hosters, there were some different items this time around that were also given high ratings, such as the Sesame Chicken Salad, Garlic and Pepper Chicken, and the Shrimp and Crab in Curry Sauce.  These were all given 5 stars, so definitely give them a try!

On the other hand, there were a couple dishes that just received average ratings, such as the Chicken Pad Thai dish and the Spicy Mint Noodle with Tofu.

Spicy Mint Noodle w/ Tofu

It seams like this time around, most dishes were very well received, which leaves me to the conclusion that Ekkamai Thai definitely has more to offer than just their noodle dishes.  So next time, I’ll venture out on their menu a bit more!

Oh, and one last thing I forgot to mention, if you haven’t tried Thai Iced Tea before, definitely try it from this place!

Thai Iced Tea

Chicken Gyro Sandwich

A Hidden Foodie Treasure

As a foodie, I’m always open to new suggestions and trying new things.  So it’s always great to get a suggestion that you would’ve never thought of to try, especially if it was one of those “whole in the wall” places that turn out amazing!

Just the other day, one of our Marketing team members was looking up new, healthy places to try out in our area (somewhere in between Westchester and Culver City), and came across Aliki’s Greek Taverna, which one of our other coworkers has tried in the past and confirmed that it was good.  I was really skeptical of trying this place because of it’s location, which is connected to a Super 8 Motel!  Not the classiest lol.

So when we got there, I went straight to the front of the restaurant to check out their health department rating, which I was glad to see that it was an A!  Phew!

Well, to my surprise, I was very pleased to have given this place a try.  It’s one of the best Greek restaurants I’ve ever tried!  I was given the recommendation of trying their Gyro Sandwich with a side of Greek Lemon Potatoes.  It was absolutely delicious!  I also had a try of one my coworker’s orders, which was the Moussaka.  It’s basically like a Greek lasagna, and it was AMAZING!

Well now onto our Friday’s lunch order.  I figured I’d try something a little different, so I opted for their Chicken Gyro instead.  This was actually quite a bit of a miss this time.  Definitely not as good as the regular Gyro made of beef and lamb.  Funny thing is that the majority of the IMH office ordered the same, so unfortunately we didn’t have the best experience with the quality of their food with the Chicken Gyro choice.

Chicken Gyro Sandwich

On the other hand, I also tried another dish that another coworker ordered, which was the Athenian Chicken.  Now this is the quality that I was expecting.  It was another amazing dish!

Well, since the majority of the office didn’t get the best item on the menu, we gave this place 4 stars.  I’m sure if we order the right dishes next time around, we’d give it a 5!  So, yes we WILL be trying this place again and give it another chance because the few people that ordered the regular Gyro Sandwich and other dished gave this place 5 stars.

So in conclusion, definitely check this place out and don’t be quick to judge a book by it’s cover.  We recommend the beef and lamp Gyro over the Chicken Gyro.  And I’m sure the majority of their other entrees are excellent!

Athenian Chicken

Giant Sub Sandwich

And The Food Fest Continues…

Today marks the first Friday of Summer 2012!  The sun’s out and about and we’re very fortunate here at the LA InMotion Hosting office to be able to enjoy the clear, sunny skies through our 11th floor view.  Today’s a perfect day to go out and have a picnic, or at least eat picnic-esque food.  So today’s pick was Olive It, Westchester’s neighborhood deli.  They started off as a specialty foods distributor, then moved onto creating their own custom marinades for olives.  These days, they’ve branched out to specializing in fresh sandwiches, Jersey Shore subs, salads, and soups.

Olive It was a perfect fit for a nice sunny day.  The West Coast IMH team gave this place a 3.9 star rating, which is pretty good for this group of foodies.  Olive It really gives you your money’s worth in portion size!  Check out the size of this sub sandwich!

Giant Sub Sandwich
Not only are the portions ridiculous (in a good way), but they give you quality as well!  Their deli meats are quite tasty and they’ve got an excellent selection of side dishes.  I highly recommend their “Mom’s Potato Salad!”  The majority of people who ordered subs were very happy with their selection.  As mentioned earlier, their meat quality is great and the other ingredients, such as the cheeses and veggies were complimentary of each other.

However, the only thing that I think can be improved is their bread quality, or at least their sub rolls.  The bread was a bit too thick and dry for my liking.  But I’d give them another try with another bread option.

On the other hand, one of the only few disappointments from the group was with the Olive It Salad with chicken and feta cheese.  Their reason being was that it was a bit too healthy and an overload of veggies.  So I guess if you opt for this salad, don’t expect to get a hearty meal, though the presentation is nice and colorful.

Olive It Salad

Lastly, the other item that did not get as good of a rating was the Build Your Own Sandwich (on wheat, with tuna, cheddar cheese, and all condiments, but no mayo or oil.)  Basically, “there was nothing special about this sandwich.”

Well, for the most part, the majority of the office gave about a 4 star rating on their food orders today, so if you’re in the mood for a good deli sandwich and are in the Westchester area, definitely give Olive It a try!  One last thing, I just realized that no one here actually tried any of their specialty olives, guess I’ll be going back to give that a try!

Chipotle Sub w/ Roast Beef

 

Hangar19 Tri Tip Plate

Frrriiidddaaayyy!

It’s the second week of June and less than 2 weeks away to the official beginning of summer, but here at the Los Angeles InMotion Hosting office we’re already in summer mode!  In celebration, we choose an appropriate restaurant for the grillin’ season, Hangar19 (The Mesquite Grill).

Hangar19 Burger

Since we’ve actually already reviewed this place before, I’ll keep it short and simple.  This time around we gave this place 3 stars.  Honestly, most people would’ve given a higher rated if we were actually dining in instead of take out.  The food was pretty cold by the time it got delivered, and some of the dishes, such as the mac and cheese, did not travel well.  It was stiff and tasteless.

However, the highest rated dishes were the Tri Tip Plate with Cajun sauce and a side of Grilled Broccolini w/Lemon Zest and the Grilled Shrimp Plate.  Very tasty!

Hangar19 Tri Tip Plate

On the other hand, the Grilled Chicken Breast Plate and the Hangar Turkey Sandwich did not seem to please the palates of those who ordered them.

Hangar19 Turkey Sandwich

Though Hangar19 only received an average rating from our office, I have to say that the two dishes that I’ve tried there, which were the Italian Sausage Sandwich and the Tri Tip Plate with the side of Grilled Broccolini w/Lemon Zest have been pretty good!  So I would recommend those items, but they would probably taste much better eaten at the restaurant.

Until next time, happy eating!

Hangar19 Grilled Shrimp Plate

 

National Donut Day

Yes, It’s Fooodie Friiiday!

Happy Friday everyone and welcome to another edition of InMotion Hosting’s Foodie Friday’s!

It seems like every other Friday lately is some kind of “National (insert unhealthy food type) Day?”  Leave it to us Americans to have days of the year dedicated to glorifying unhealthy food choices haha.  Well, I’m not complaining.  I LOVE having an excuse to indulge in unhealthy treats heh.

Today’s no exception to the unhealthiness of a “National Food Holiday!”  In fact, it’s probably the most unhealthy of the food types……..

National Donut Day

National Donut Day!!!

Yet again, I only find out about it after our lunch time, soooo, this means I know what dessert I’m having for din din!

Anyway, backtracking to today’s lunch.  We opted for yet another nostalgic place that we used to order from back at the Marina del Rey office, Ekkamai Thai.  This is one of those places where you gotta know what’s good, otherwise their food can be pretty mediocre.  That being said, the office gave this place  3.75 star rating.

Ekkamai Thai

The highest rated dishes included the Pad Ekkamai (w/ chicken or beef), Pad See-Ew (w/ chicken), Orange Chicken, Steamed Pork Dumplings, Yellow Curry (w/ chicken), and the Green Curry (w/ chicken).  Basically, the noodle and curry dishes here are excellent!

On the other hand, dishes that didn’t quite get a decent rating were not given a low rating because of the food flavor or quality itself, but due to the fact that either their order was not correct or it didn’t quite settle in their tummies too well heh.  So, it’s not really worth mentioning the dishes because the rating would’ve been higher by avoiding things such as 1, make sure your order is correct. 2, Thai food can be pretty heavy and greasy at times, so make sure you have the appetite and iron stomach for it.

Oh wait, I take part of the previous statement back, out of all of the different items I’ve had at this place, the Tom Yum soup is quite disappointing.  It lacks in flavor and tastes pretty watered down.

Well, to conclude, the downside of placing large orders, such as for an office of 15+ people, would be that it’s a bit tough to make sure every order is correct.  Always sucks to be the person with the messed up food order!  Anyhow, if you’re ever in the mood for Thai and are in the Marina del Rey/South Culver City area, give Ekkamai a try!

Tender Greens Steak Salad & Tomato Soup

Getting Ready For The 3 Day Weekend!

It’s Friday and we’re soooo ready for the 3 day weekend!  It’s been quite a busy workweek here at InMotion, so a little R&R is much needed!  I’m sure most of us are getting ready for the beginning of the grilling season as well, so we opted for a healthy lunch today to make up for the overabundance of food to come!

Today’s pick, Tender Greens, is a long-time favorite of ours, which we haven’t had since we were at the last office.  This place offers delicious, fresh and healthy dishes.  They specialize in organic produce from Scarborough Farms in Oxnard and other small local farms.  Their beef comes from grain-fed hormone/antibiotic-free cows, their chickens are raised on the range in Northern California, not in cages, and their tuna is line-caught from the Pacific.

Now, that’s some health-conscious southern California talk for ya!

Not surprisingly, the office gave Tender Greens a 4 star rating!  Who said eating healthy can’t taste great!

One note though, this time around I tried something slightly new on the their menu, which was the option of having a full-sized simple salad with Garlic Herb Crostini.  I got this with their Backyard Marinated Steak and a side of the Roasted Roma Tomato Bread Soup.  I honestly was a bit mislead on them mentioning the Garlic Herb Crostini in the description (which most salads come with, but no other salad mentions it).  I thought they’d give more than just the 1 usual slice that it came with.  So all I was left with was a big pile of lettuce, which was a disappointment.  However, the steak and soup were excellent as usual!  Therefore, next time I’ll just opt for their regular Backyard Steak Big Salad, which comes with a bit more fixin’s and flavor.

Anyway, moral of the story, sometimes it’s better to stick with what you know is good at a restaurant!

Tender Greens Steak Salad & Tomato Soup

 

 

Pizza Party!

Pizza Paaarrrtttaaayyy!!!

It’s Friday, May 18th…which happens to be…National Pizza Party Day!!!

Pizza Party!

I actually only heard about this fact on the radio this afternoon AFTER today’s office lunch. So it’s a funny coincidence that we opted for pizza as this week’s Foodie Friday lunch, which was Mike the Marketing Manager’s choice for the day (since it also happens to be his birthday). Happy burfday!

Today’s pizza/birthday party was catered by Beach Pizza, located down the street in Westchester.  I was originally going to place the order at The Good Pizza, which I found had good ratings on Yelp, but I got news that Sunil (InMotion’s Co-Founder) had a bad experience there.  Yikes, guess you can’t always depend on Yelp’s ratings.

Beach Pizza was a good choice though, which the office gave a 3.5 star rating.  Remember, we’ve got a picky bunch, so this is actually a pretty good rating from us folks over here.  You really can’t go wrong with pizza!

BBQ Chicken Supreme Pizza

We got a little “adventurous” with the pizza selections and got the BBQ Chicken Supreme (hickory-smoked BBQ sauce, chicken, onions and mozzarella), The Del Rey (sun-dried tomatoes, baked eggplant, fresh garlic, mushrooms, mozzarella and romano), the Popeye and Olive Oil (spinach, ricotta, fresh garlic and mozzarella with a bit of olive oil, and the The Meat Lovers (pepperoni, sausage, meatballs and ham).

The Del Rey Pizza

We also got some mild buffalo wings and salad, which were nothing special, but not bad.  Out of the 4 types of pizzas we got, my favorites were the BBQ Chicken Supreme and surprisingly The Del Rey, which had some great flavors going on!  The Popeye and Olive Oil wasn’t bad, it was basically a more tasty cheese pizza, and The Meat Lovers wasn’t bad either, but I’ve had better.

The Popeye & Olive Oil Pizza

Well after today, I’m going to be spending some time at the gym this weekend!  This was definitely a calorie fest with pizza and chicken wings…and then a Cookies ‘n Cream cake with Cookies ‘n Cream ice cream on top!

Cake Cake Cake

Mendocino Farms

Foodie Friday at the ‘Farms…

Welcome to another edition of Foodie Friday!

This week’s lunch destination was at one of our favorite spots in Marina del Rey, Mendocino Farms!  This local chain specializes in delicious, fresh, gourmet sandwiches that consist of local Farmers Market produce.

Back at our Marina del Rey office, it seemed like we would have Mendocino Farms as our Friday lunches every other week or so, so I honestly grew a bit tired of it.  But now that we choose this place sporadically, I can appreciate their food much more.  Especially since I found one of my favorite sandwiches from this place!  However, it’s only on their menu as a seasonal item.  This sandwich is the Spanish Chicken, but I substituted the bread for a whole wheat tortilla wrap and added BACON!  This sandwich consists of Pitman Family Farm’s free range chicken breast, housemade manchego pimento cheese, romesco, paprika vinegar, charred leeks, roasted tomatoes, and Scarborough Farm’s arugula.  YUM!

Spanish Chicken

For the first time since our Foodie Friday column began, I’ve given my meal a 5 star rating!  I think what really did it for me was the added bacon in my sandwich/wrap, which they gave a very generous portion of, and the side of cream of tomato soup that I got.  It was an excellent combination of flavors!  And the cream of tomato soup had almost a cheese-like flavor too it, which went very well with the Spanish Chicken.

Needless to say, today I wasn’t the only one that gave their meal a 5 star rating.  The other winners were the Sandwich Study of Heat with a side of potato salad, the Prosciutto & Roasted Chicken sandwich with a side of pasta salad, and the Spicy Lemongrass Steak Banh Mi.

Mendocino Farms

The lowest rating that a dish from this place got was a 3.5, so basically everything that everyone in the office ordered was rated above average!  Therefore, overall we gave today’s meal from Mendocino Farms a 4.2 star rating!  The highest rated place we’ve eaten from thus far!

So if you’re ever in the LA area and are craving a good gourmet sandwich, even if you’re a vegetarian (try the Vegan Banh Mi), definitely give Mendocino Farms a try!  Honestly, their prices are a bit on the higher side, but you do get your money’s worth!

Vegan Bahn Mi