MARU lounge

Earlier this month, while running errands, we noticed a sign for MARU Lounge, occupying the previous Cafe Venti.

The restaurant, which opened earlier this month, is yet another Korean fusion restaurant. There’s been so many that have opened in the last year that I’ve lost count.

The menu is fairly simple. One sheet, consisting of food on one side and drinks on the other. The interior has a large bar area, tables, and a tv monitor showing a photo reel of their menu and drink highlights.

Like most other Korean fusion places we’ve been to, the lighting was dim and the music was fairly loud.

Fried Chicken Bowl (fusion bibimbap with mayonnaise and teriyaki sauce)

Being a big fan of Korean style fried chicken and of bibimbaps, I was definitely curious about this one. Unfortunately, the rice portions touching the stone plate never developed crusty exterior that is what makes bibimbaps so enjoyable. The flavor was good. In addition to mayonnaise and teriyaki sauce, there was a hot sauce and cubes of fries chicken. However, I really missed the crispy rice.

Bulgogi Fries

This was described as similar to carne asada fries, but with bulgogi meat and sauteed onions and peppers. We liked the thin crispy fries they used but there needed to be much more topping. Carne asada fries are usually covered in meat and cheese so you can get cheese and meat with each bite of fry. Here, the toppings didn’t stick to the fries at all. You basically had to eat them separately, or put them together manually with a fork. I liked the concept, but it needs some tweaking.

Bulgogi Udon

This was our favorite dish of the night. Thick udon noodles are stir fried with bulgogi meat, and again peppers and onions. We did notice that there were green and red peppers in virtually every dish we ordered, even ones when it didn’t quite seem to work. It did work for this one though and I liked this fusion of Korean and Japanese.

If you haven’t already figured it out, my mind was filled with tons of Easter ideas these last few weeks. Which doesn’t totally make sense because my family doesn’t do anything fancy to celebrate Easter. We mainly just eat a lot of Easter candy.

My original hope when making the Peep topped cake was that the Peep would melt like a frosting over the cake. I’ve seen people use regular marshmallows and top it on a just finished cupcake for a quick frosting. I’ve never actually done it myself though. Well, it didn’t happen with these peeps. They didn’t melt even a little despite the piping hot cake. What the heck are these peeps made of?!

Anyhow, it’s not just the Peep that makes this an Easter mug cake. It’s a white chocolate cake with Easter colored sprinkles, similar to a funfetti cake.

How festive do these look? I made bubble buns a few years ago for Easter Sunday and decided to try again, with some modifications. I opted for a non-cinnamon version and I decorated them with some Easter colored sprinkles.

These came out a little paler since they don’t have the cinnamon sugar coating. It’s not as sweet either since the sugar comes mainly from the glaze. They reminded me a little of glazed donut holes.