Le Chateaubriand

Le Chateaubriand is ranked No. 15 on the 50 World’s Best Restaurants 2012 Guide. During my trip to Paris, I was most excited to check out this neo bistro, with food prepared by a young self-taught chef, Inaki Aizpitarte.

There’s no set menu. Instead, diners eat the chef’s inspired menu of the day. The setting is quite sparse and minimalist. Definitely not what one would expect for one of the world’s best restaurants. But I liked the simplicity of it. There was no stuffiness, no intimidation, and welcomes patrons from all walks of life.

Chef Inaki Aizpitartey was easy to spot. He’s extremely tall, with a stubble and a devil-may-not-care attitude about him.

Once seated, we were given the menu of the day which was written in French. The waiter gladly translated everything, asked if there were any food allergies, and then whisked the piece of paper away to give the same presentation to the next table.

We watched the hot loaves of bread being cut and served to us. It was a little bit burned and probably my least favorite bread served during our Paris trip.

Poppy seed gougères

We were served five amuse bouches before the main courses began. Light airy pastry shells topped with tiny poppy seeds started the series.

Tuna ceviche

Artichoke with anchovy sauce

Raw clam with toasted sesame

This was my favorite of the five amuse bouches. Cold clams could be slurped up in one bite.

Watermelon soup with cucumbers and lima beans

With the current heat wave, I haven’t been baking. Instead, I’m making ice pops and using my microwave. I recently was gifted with a flat of avocados and they are ripening fast. So I’m coming up with different recipes to cook with them.

First up, this avocado brownie mug cake. Because it has creamy avocado in it, I got rid of the oil and the egg. The lack of egg and oil makes it super fudgy, dense and a little bit chewy, like a brownie. You can’t taste the avocado at all because of the cocoa powder, which is what I was aiming for. I do like the taste of avocados, but in this recipe, I wanted it as a substitute for egg and oil and not as a flavor for the cake.

A few friends were visiting for the day in San Diego and wanted to do some craft beer tasting since San Diego is home to more than 40 beer breweries.

One of the places we went to was Green Flash, which I had been to once briefly. The tours are only $5 and you get four tastes at the end, so we started out with the tour.

The tour was pretty entertaining and I learned quite a few things. It wasn’t too long, and soon we were enjoying our free beer tastes.

We were impressed with the beer and the reasonable prices and all ended up buying some to-go as well. There’s about 12 different beers offered, ranging from 5 to 10% in alcohol. For any beer not offered during the tour to taste, you can buy tasters for just $1. An 8 oz glass is offered at a mere $2 and a 16 oz glass at $4.