Joël Robuchon is one of the most well known and decorated chefs. He was named Chef of the Century in 1989, and has accumulated 26 Michelin Guide stars, more than any other chef in the world.

Joël Robuchon restaurant in Las Vegas, located inside the MGM Grand Hotel, is the lone 3 Michelin star restaurant in Las Vegas. When planning my trip to Vegas, I wanted at least one very nice fine dining experience at a Michelin star restaurant. I spent quite a bit of time researching the various restaurants, but once I stumbled onto Robuchon, with its promises of a grand bread cart and a mignardises dessert cart, my mind was made up.

A little internet research alerted me to the fact that Joel Rubochon offers a complimentary gold limousine transportation to and from your hotel to the restaurant. This was perfect for us because we were staying at the Encore, which is quite a walk from the MGM and we didn’t have a car. If you do wish to use their limo service, make sure you make your limo reservation at least 24 hours in advance, but I would advise even earlier.

The limo experience isn’t just limited to a complimentary limo, but it also provides you a glimpse into another part of the MGM Grand that is not usually viewable to the general public. Rather than taking you to the public entrance, the limo takes you to a private entrance, full of  villas, fountains, lush greens. These grounds are reserved for stars and high rollers invited to stay at the villas. Once we arrived, the hostess greeted us, and escorted us through the private sections of the MGM until we reached the restaurant.

The restaurant setting is intimate, holding only a dozen tables. It gives the appearance of entering someone’s house rather than a restaurant, with the hanging chandelier, and chairs filled with plush royal purple pillows. On the table, everything was lined with gold, from the place mats, to the napkin holders, to the silverware.

The restaurant offers a few prix fixe options as well as a full 14-16 course menu degustation ($425 per person). We were not considering the menu degustation for several reasons (budget, stomach space, time constraints). All the prix fixe menus include a complimentary amuse bouche, the famed bread cart, and the mignardises cart.  The prices vary depending on how many courses you want to have, ranging from two to four6. Robuchon is flexible and allows your party to choose different prix fixe options. A lot of restaurants I’ve dined at require everyone at the table to order the same tasting menu.

I was undecided between the four and six course menus but ended up choosing the four course. This was something I immediately regretted after sampling my first course.

Once I started browsing the prix fixe menu choices, I could definitely see why so many people end up choosing the full menu degustation. First, none of the menu degustation options were offered on the prix fixe menu. Second, while the prix fixe menus are quite a bit less in price, over half of the prix fixe choices had supplements that required an additional cost (ranging between $35-80 extra). If you choose a few of the dishes that require the additional charge, suddenly $425 for 16 courses doesn’t sound so bad. Finally, I found the descriptions and dishes offered on the menu degustation to be much more enticing than the ones being offered on the prix fixe menu.

First, our complimentary amuse bouche.

The dish came out with smoke swirling around the clear glass bowl. It was an entertaining effect. Inside the bowl was a blood orange gelee. It was cold, tangy, and a perfect way to start the meal.

I’m excited to share this new recipe. Not only does it involve one of my favorite foods (mochi), but it’s also gluten free and pretty healthy for a dessert.

I’ve been wanting to try to make a mochi mug cake for a while now because I’m obsessed with mochi. Of course, the first one I wanted to try was matcha mochi cake.

Because mochi is so dense, it’s not meant to be eaten in large quantities like normal cake. Even when I make a mochi cake, I cut them into small squares, and one or two squares is enough for me. So I didn’t really want to make it in a giant mug because it would be too much. Also mochi is hard to eat with a spoon. It’s better to be picked up and bitten into because of the chewy texture.

So rather than making it in a giant mug, I decided to cook them in these small tea cups. They came out the perfect serving size and you can eat it with a spoon or just pop it out and bite into it.

My blog turns 3 today! My life has been really busy ever since the New Year, so the anniversary really snuck up on me. I didn’t have time to do anything special, but I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on the three years.

Time has flown by, but I still enjoy writing my blog as much now as I did in the beginning. It’s really nice to have this thing that is constantly chronicling my life. It’s easy to miss the day to day changes that are always happening in one’s life, but having these posts to look back on help show the changes occurring.

Looking back at this last year, I would summarize the theme as “coming out.” For the first two years, I hid behind a purple avatar and my computer screen, fiercely protecting my privacy. This last year, I’ve slowly let go a little, stepping out from behind the screen and taking the time to meet many bloggers in San Diego and some in LA too. As a result, I’ve met some wonderful people, and transitioned many virtual friendships into real life friendships. I also got a chance to do some freelance writing for San Diego Magazine, and even faced my fear of being in front of a camera.

I’m still constantly amazed by the power of the internet and how it’s allowed me to connect to people I may otherwise have never met. I received Japanese Kit Kats I’ve been wanting to try. I found my long lost blogger twin.

I don’t have any set goals for my blog. It seems like things are constantly changing from month to month. I’m just going to go with the flow for now.

Thanks to everyone who has been reading.  Seeing that people are reading, and receiving thoughtful and nice comments are what keep me motivated to continue.  I hope in a year I’ll still feel as happy about my blog as I do now. If you’re curious, here’s what I had to say on my second year anniversary.