Sakana, Santa Barbara

As some of you know, I love sushi. I could probably eat it every day if mercury poisoning was the “in” thing this year. I was able to take a last-minute trip to Santa Barbara for a night and Jon talked me into going for sushi (which wasn’t hard). Tucked away in the Montecito shopping center you may just overlook this little sushi restaurant but it’s OH so worth it. We had heard about Sakana from some friends and decided to take a trip over. There was a bit of a wait but the hostess gave us a ring when our table was ready so we were able to walk around the little plaza.

Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi

Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi


The restaurant has a very casual feel to it. They put all of the decoration into their sushi.


Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi

The menu at Sakana can be a bit intimidating. They have so many sushi rolls you don’t even know what to do with yourself. So instead of trying to flip a coin to decide (we would’ve needed lots of coins), we sat back and let the chef do his thing and decide on what to feed us. I think he did a very good job.

Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi

To start we received their habanero yellowtail roll and the merry go round roll. It was phenomenal and we knew we were in good hands.Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi

Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi

Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi -acaffeiantedbrunette.comNext came a big boat of fish.
Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi -acaffeiantedbrunette.comVery fresh and delicious fish of all sorts.
Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi

The sushi just kept coming. My mouth and belly were in awe and oh so happy. The next roll we received was their blackened yellowtail roll. Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi

Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi -acaffeiantedbrunette.comAnd last but not least the lobster melt.
Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi

Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi -acaffeiantedbrunette.comFrom the presentation to the sushi’s unique flavor Sakana will have you coming back for more. Sakana is one of the best places I have had sushi so far in my life actually. Definitely in the top three and I plan on going back very soon. You can find Sakana at 1046 Coast Village Rd in Santa Barbara. You won’t be disappointed.

Happy Eating!



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.




Grilled Cheese Goodness at Heywood

In NYC I had a favorite spot I would frequent at least every other week called Earl’s Beer and Cheese. My friends would say I should do their marketing because it was always one of my recommendations. It was a little hole-in-the-wall decorated with pictures of deer and birds on the walls and made some heavenly grilled cheeses accompanied with a spicy tomato soup. Now being absent of NYC and Earl’s for a while I had to find another to replace it.  Well LA, I think I found a good one.

Heywoods grilled cheeses -acaffeinatedbrunette.comHeywoods Grilled Cheese Shoppe gives a childhood favorite an artisanal twist. As you walk in you may hear some familiar music that may have you shake rattlin and rollin your way over to the counter. It was hard not to pop out of my seat and do a little boogie while I waited.

Heywoods grilled cheeses

Ooey gooey goodness is the first thing that comes to mind when you bite into a Heywood grilled cheese.Their cheese is melted to perfection and bread has a perfect “crisp” sound as you bite into your first delightful bite.

Heywoods grilled cheeses -acaffeinatedbrunette.comI plumped for their Game Changer, a unique English double-gloucester grilled into a sourdough bread. The Game Changer is topped with a light spread of organic, homemade habanero jam and gives this purple and gold sandwich a gentle kick. You can choose to have your sandwich with a nicely dressed salad and tiny cup of tomato soup for dipping or a full cup of soup.

Heywoods grilled cheeses

Jon decided on going a totally opposite route and ordered their Italian Blue Cheese. His sandwich comes with freshly sliced mozzarella topped with a creamy blue cheese, fresh walnut pesto and sundried tomatoes. Heywoods grilled cheeses -acaffeinatedbrunette.comWe swip-swapped halves and each had the best of both worlds. Mine was spicy and flavorful, Jon’s was rich and creamy.

Heywoods grilled cheeses

Heywoods grilled cheeses -acaffeinatedbrunette.comThe staff at Heywoods is friendly and helpful. Don’t be afraid to ask for a recommendation or a change to your sandwich. They’re happy to oblige. And for the vegans and gluten-free people out there, they’ve got you covered. Heywoods is open til 3am so you’ll never miss out on a tasty grilled cheese and is located at 3337 W Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles.



First Fridays in Venice

On the first Friday of each month, food truck lovers flock to the streets of Venice.

Countless food trucks line the streets awaiting hungry bellies and open mouths.

Venice food truck rally

Be warned, you will be parking a bit further than you think. Get there early and get ready to fight a bit of a crowd.

As we walked along the streets the first truck that caught my eye was the B Sweet truck. I didn’t think it was humanly possible to have such deliciousness come from a truck but I was proved wrong, very wrong. I’m hoping I don’t come across this truck for a while or I’ll be needing to do a lot more hiking.

Venice food truck rally -acaffeinatedbrunette.comSince I moved to LA I’ve been in search for a cronut imposter and they had them!

Bad news bears: They were sold out 😦

BUT just look at their plethora of bread pudding flavors…

Venice food truck rally -acaffeinatedbrunette.comStarting with dessert, we ordered their glazed bread pudding.

Venice food truck rally -acaffeinatedbrunette.comIt came out ooey, gooey and warm. The bread pudding is made with glazed bar donuts and topped with melty cream cheese frosting.

Venice food truck rally -acaffeinatedbrunette.comIt was…heaven. Just so good.

Venice food truck rally -acaffeinatedbrunette.comAnd if you don’t believe me… just look at Jon, he seemed to be enjoying it. (He may also have a slight bread pudding obsession but hey, it could be worse.)

Venice food truck rally -acaffeinatedbrunette.comWe weren’t done yet…Next came the tornado potato. I kept seeing people roaming the streets with twisted potatoes and had to have one. Wouldn’t you?

Venice food truck rally -acaffeinatedbrunette.comWe ordered their original truffle oil twisted potato.

Venice food truck rally

Venice food truck rally

Venice food truck rally

And then we saw the VCHO truck selling mexican cokes.

There’s a myth that Mexican coke tastes more natural and has more complex flavor than American coke.

Maybe it was just the really cool big glass coke bottle but…

Venice food truck rally

We enjoyed it.Venice food truck rally

After we were refreshed, it was off to fill our bellies with more food of course. Venice food truck rally

The Bun Truck is a gourmet food truck serving Korean-Mediterranean fusion. They are known for their Korean BBQ gyros and steamed buns. (But I heard their duck fat fries are delish)

Venice food truck rally -acaffeinatedbrunette.comI ordered the Katsu Bun with deep fried pork, cucumbers, cilantro and sweet & spicy sauce.

Venice food truck rally

The buns come out soft and steamy. The Katsu had a nice combination of flavor and texture. It was very spicy, I could definitely smell the flowers after. Venice food truck rally

After we were a bread pudding, potato tornado and Katsu bun in there was just one more thing left: Dessert.

We hadn’t been eating that all night or anything…

Venice food truck rally

We ordered the original churros calientes. Just like fried dough in a stick.
Venice food truck rally -acaffeinatedbrunette.comI may have been in a small food coma by the end of the night. At least I have just about a month to recover. See you all at First Fridays on Abbott Kinney in August! xx