La Fiesta Brava Restaurant Venice

There’s a small family owned restaurant in Venice that is serving up some authentic mexican food. You may not think to come in when you walk by La Fiesta Brava on Rose Avenue, you may actually notice the bars on the windows and not look back. I probably wouldn’t have but I heard the food was excellent so I hopped in for a bite last week.

There’s no tablecloths, everything is at a bare minimum here, but La Fiesta Brava is a nice little hole-in-the-wall. No frills needed.

And with very good prices might I add. La fiesta brava, mexican, venice california -acaffeinatedbrunette.comLa Fiesta Brava is very humble. What looks to be an average restaurant is actually a little gem. The restaurant doesn’t serve liquor but is conveniently located next to one so you can BYOB right on over.

To start we ordered some of their fresh guacamole.

La fiesta brava, mexican, venice california

Jon tried their burrito. The burrito came stuffed with beef, beans and rice. La fiesta brava, mexican, venice california

I had the chicken enchiladas. The marinated chicken gave the enchiladas lots of flavor and the beans were excellent. La fiesta brava, mexican, venice california -acaffeinatedbrunette.comIf you’re looking for a quick bite at a very good price, La Fiesta Brava is a great little place to stop by. It is located at 423 Rose Ave
Venice, CA 90291.





Reel Inn Malibu

There’s a little shack in Malibu that’s serving up some great “fast food” seafood. Known for its way of ordering and their fresh seafood, Reel Inn is a great place to stop in when craving some fishies from the sea. Timing is everything here as the line can get pretty hectic so come early. Not a good place to be waiting in line on an empty stomach. Reel Inn has the perfect atmosphere to enjoy a brew on a sunny California afternoon and the daily catch. Reel Inn, Malibu

Ordering is easy as 1, 2, 3…literally. Just choose your fish, how you would like it prepared and two of their homemade sides. Reel Inn, Malibu

Don’t worry about dressing to impress here, most people walk off the beach to grab some grub. Dining is indoors and outdoors so you can enjoy the sunny day. Reel Inn, Malibu

Reel Inn, Malibu

I’m a big calamari lover. When I was growing up I would always go to City Fish in Connecticut to grab some calamari for lunch before heading off to the park. So of course I ordered their calamari. The calamari comes lightly breaded and fresh. Reel Inn’s calamari was good but I was hoping for a bit more flavor. Reel Inn, Malibu

For my main meal I decided to try Reel Inn’s special of the day, Mahi Mahi cajun style with rice and home fries. The Mahi Mahi was cooked to perfection and cajun style gave the seafood a nice flavoring.  Reel Inn, Malibu

Jon tried the ahi tuna with fries and slaw. He asked for sushi grade and it came out perfectly. Reel Inn, Malibu -acaffeinatedbrunette.comIf you’re looking for some quick seafood in Malibu, Reel Inn is a great place to go. Their portions are generous and the seafood fresh. Consider this low key gem your ace in the hole. Find Reel Inn at 18661 Pacific Coast Hwy in Malibu.




Lemonade LA

I’m a huge lemonade fan. If it’s tart and sour you’ve won me over.

Luckily, I knew of the mother of all lemonade places: Lemonade. Difficult name, right?

Oh, and they have sunflowers so that gave them extra brownie points in my book.

I guess you could describe their food as Southern comfort with a modern twist.

DSC00616Lemonade is one of the rare places that is delicious and affordable…and actually pretty healthy. Foodies rejoice!


Lemonade is set up like a cute cafeteria. You can pick as many items as your heart desires to put on your plate. The prices are based off of the amount of proportions you choose and each portion is about $2.50. Not bad, not bad at all.

Oh and a little secret? You can do half portions so…for say 3 portions, you can try 6 items.


I ordered their passionfruit pepper lemonade and my lips puckered immediately. If a lemonade can make me pucker my lips, it gets a gold star.

The blood orange lemonade was also good, sweet and flowing of juices.DSC00615

Sharing plates is a great idea because the portions are actually pretty big and then you get to try even more (more to try! that’s usually how my mind works).


Portions from left to right:

Pineapple chicken, green beans, coconut, apple jerk dressing

New Mexican chili roasted butternut squash, white corn

Soba noodle, kimchi marinated vegetables, toasted peanuts

Brussels sprouts, red flame grapes, pistachio, parmesan

It was a bit of a mix of diverse dishes but each dish was full of flavor and the ingredients mingled perfectly together.


And of course when you’re going down the line…you notice the desserts. I had to get their lemonade cake. It was worth the bit of indulgence. DSC00618Lemonade has a ton of different locations around LA. This one was in Venice located at 1661 Abbot Kinney Boulevard. It’s a great place to grab a quick on-the-go meal and of course, a refreshing lemonade on a hot California day.

Pucker up!


Vietnamese Sandwiches

MM..mmm…I have all kinds of goodness today…in a sandwich.

This is not just any sandwich, it’s a delicious Vietnamese fusion sandwich that my friend Nick turned me on to.

vietnamese fusion sandwich - a caffeinated brunette

It’s great for lunch, brunch, dinner, linner, anything

vietnamese fusion sandwich - a caffeinated brunette

It’s a perfect fresh-tasting sandwich, packed with flavor that will knock your knickers off.

What you will need:

  • Chinese Char Siu Pork (You should be able to find the glaze in a Chinese grocery store or check out the recipe below)
  • French baguette
  • Cucumbers (sliced lengthwise)
  • Celery (thinkly sliced)
  • Cilantro

Char Siu Pork Marinade:

  • 1/2 teaspoon 5 spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons sherry wine
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon thai chili sauce (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated

Sauce to spread on the baguette:

  • Mayonnaise 
  • Hoisin Sauce

Mix mayonnaise and hoisin until it makes an orange paste. About 2 parts mayo to 1 part hoisin.

How to make:

1. Lightly toast the baguette for 3 minutes in a toaster oven.

2. Spread the sauce on the top and bottom of the baguette.

3. Place thin slices of Chinese Char Siu Pork on top.

4. Place cucumbers, celery and a heaping of cilantro.

Enjoy and thank you to Nick for the delicious recipe!