Salsa brunch at Kokopelli

I was a bit unsure about Kokopelli, a Mexican joint that opened up this past October, because in my experience, most places with 3.5 star and below ratings on Yelp are just mediocre. But when it comes to foreign cuisine, Yelp reviewers are often a bit off… And after coming here for brunch, I don’t know what some of those Yelp reviewers were smoking because Kokopelli serves up very authentic, vibrant and flavorful Mexican cuisine! We were absolutely floored with each dish.

Salsas! (From least spicy to most spicy) Pico de gallo - tomatillo, chile morita, red onion, lime juice Escabeches - pickled veggies and jalapeño Espuma de mar - pineapple salsa with habanero Robo de dante - roasted pumpkin seed salsa with serrano and bell peppers Castigo Azteca - charred chile de arbol and peanut salsa Lagrimas de Lucifer - beets and roasted habanero peppers

Salsas! (From least spicy to most spicy)
Pico de gallo – tomatillo, chile morita, red onion, lime juice
Escabeches – pickled veggies and jalapeño
Espuma de mar – pineapple salsa with habanero
Robo de dante – roasted pumpkin seed salsa with serrano and bell peppers
Castigo Azteca – charred chile de arbol and peanut salsa
Lagrimas de Lucifer – beets and roasted habanero peppers

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Good Fella Korean Bistro

I’ve been to what are probably the two best places to dine out in Urbana-Champaign: Black Dog and Huaraches Moroleon. So it was time to discover something new. Thankfully, my friend suggested Good Fella Korean Bistro, which was certainly a step up from the Korean eateries right next to campus in terms of breadth of menu items and flavors.

Banchan

Banchan

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Knife and Tine

If you have some time, you should probably make a trip to Knife and Tine, where Southern cuisine meets modernity. If you search for this restaurant, you may come across the nasty Time Out review, but you should disregard it because our meal was the exact opposite from what was described blow by blow in that article.

Bread and fig butter

Bread and fig butter

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Little Bad Wolf

Little Bad Wolf is a tavern-like establishment with well thought out comfort foods that will fill you right up. Disclaimer: do not come here if you are on a diet.

Steak (shiitake pate, bulgogi, pickled carrot and cucumber) and pork (Japanese BBQ, pickled carrot and daikon) baos

Steak (shiitake pate, bulgogi, pickled carrot and cucumber) and pork (Japanese BBQ, pickled carrot and daikon) baos

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High Tea… in St. Louis

One of the last things I had expected to have in St. Louis was afternoon tea, but thankfully, my friend suggested that we go to The London Tea Room to celebrate her birthday! This cute establishment was started up by two British ladies, and it’s the perfect place to stop by for just a pot of high quality tea in the cafe or an afternoon outing for afternoon tea in a casual setting.

Left: Macarons (earl grey, berry), tiramisu, raspberry cakes and fruit tarts Right: Earl grey tea

Left: Macarons (earl grey, berry), tiramisu, raspberry cakes and fruit tarts
Right: Earl grey tea

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Orchids in DC

Every time I’ve been to DC, I have wanted to check out the annual orchid exhibition, but I always ran out of time to go. So this time around, I made a point to make it to the exhibit, which boasts hundreds of different orchids! I would highly recommend making a stop in here!

Blazing Treat

Blazing Treat

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Rose’s Luxury

When I was in DC recently, my friend took me to one of the hottest restaurants in the capital called Rose’s Luxury, and it was certainly worth the 1.5 hour wait. We were greeted with the fluffiest milk bread with butter that was whipped to perfection. I could not stop lathering it on!

IMG_4894 Japanese milk bread and honey butter with fennel seeds

Japanese milk bread and honey butter with fennel seeds

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Roka Akor

We hardly ever go out for dinner during the popular Restaurant Week because restaurants are very crowded, the menus are usually not very innovative, and we are often too enticed by items on the regular menu. But I am so glad we decided to head over to Roka Akor (Chicago location), the Asian fusion restaurant that I’ve been wanting to make it to for way too long.

Crispy prawn and chirashi maki

Crispy prawn and chirashi maki

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