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All posts for the day May 3rd, 2018


My Simple Hedonisms at first was an account of my everyday life from inside our family’s traditional garage doors in Arizona. You can tell I had a good childhood as my journals were really full of stories about my mom’s cooking and our family travels. My favorite is her seafood paella, I can finish a whole platter of my mom’s paella filled with shrimps, mussels, fish fillet, and clams. Every Christmas and summer, we would travel as a family. We went to Disneyland, Las Vegas, Niagara Falls – the are just some of the most memorable family outings I had. As a result of that, I have come to embrace the good life. I resolved to myself that I will pursue life’s simple pleasures and live my life to the fullest. 

I am a simple person. Just like the next guy, I appreciate good food and fine wine. There are so many restaurants, bars, and establishments that promise you that but not all of them are created equal. With my mom’s cooking and kitchen as my standard, I try old and new establishments and what they offer on the menu to see how they measure up to my standards. Unlike our family outings where we went to tourist destinations, I found myself seeking unknown places and going on adventures. I love discovering a new place – be it a simple brook I chanced upon a forest trail or a beautiful beach in a far away island on the other side of the planet. Some days I just pick up my backpack and see where my feet would lead me to.  

I love sharing my experiences and this blog has helped me reach a wider audience. I believe in providing honest reviews of the establishments I have been to so that people will be given an informed choice before they spend their hard-earned money. Let’s face it, good food and fine wine do not come cheap so might as well go to a place where you are certain to get real value for your money. 

I know we have different preferences and what I like may differ from yours but I want to share my views anyway. So, feel free to comment or send your messages about my reviews and articles. We may have different opinions but that it the beauty of life. We do not always have to agree with each other. I would much rather have a healthy discussion and give other readers a wider perspective of things. I do not claim to know everything. After all, I am just a simple man in search of life’s simple pleasures. 

I also feature other bloggers and their posts on my blog. I love collaborating with them. I know that I cannot cover everything and I am definitely no expert in a lot of matters. That is why I feature some of the best bloggers to share more information about food, wine, travel, and lifestyle with you.  

My Simple Hedonisms is like your buddy telling you his own experiences with the restaurant he has been to, the wines he tasted, and the adventures he’s taken. I try to take as many photos as possible to relive the experience so that you can feel that you were with me. It is a storytelling of personal accounts hoping that through this writing, I can take you there with me. Come and enjoy the good life with me. 

 

I chanced upon this Spanish-themed restaurant while I was driving around the suburbs of Cypress. Since it is midweek and it won’t be until Sunday when I can once again devour my mom’s cooking, I decided to give it a try. Mind you, I have a lot of expectations going inside this restaurant as they said in their signage that they specialize in paella. When it’s paella where are talking about, then I declare myself the expert and as such I have very high standards for that. 

The restaurant was a converted vintage house filled with antiques that give you a homey atmosphere. Even from the outside, I could smell the dishes that they were preparing which made my tummy grumble even more. Okay, let’s give it a try. 

As expected, their menu was filled with Spanish dishes from paella, gambas, chorizo, calamari (squid), tapa (marinated beef), tortillas, and ensaladas (salads). There was a good variety of dishes to choose from. Of course, I hastily ordered their seafood paella and their tapa. Their dishes come in family and single servings. While waiting for my order, the staff served me with water and made sure that I was comfortable. There were proper ventilation, adequate lighting, and soft Spanish music playing in the background – just enough to set the mood for a relaxed dining experience. 

So far, so good. And then the food was served. Here comes the real verdict. Their tapa or marinated beef was tender, juicy, and delicious. Each slice was cut in the right size that it is easy to chew. And then there’s the paella. I will try not to be too hard on them. I found the paella lacking in taste. Sure there were lots of seafood on the rice but it was a bit too dry for me and it is as if the flavors did not come together to create that perfect dish. As I always say, the dish should be more than the sum of its individual ingredients, there should be fusion and magic once they all come together.  

All in all, I would say that Calle Real still offers good value for your money for the service, ambiance, and food. Maybe I am just missing my mom’s paella a little too much.  

 

 

 

 

 Most of my friends say they love my job. I get to eat delicious food in fancy restaurants, drink fine wine in different bars, and go to various places that define rest and recreation. Well, I also love my job. But you see, when you love what you are doing, it ceases to become a job and then the hedonistic life takes over…  

I love eating. I eat when I am happy, I eat when I am sad, I eat when I am with my family and friends, and I eat when I am by myself. My favorite food is actually home-cooked meals, the ones prepared by my mom during Sunday lunch with the whole family. But I am also one who will try out different foods and menu in search for that perfect meal in the perfect resto. I also love knowing the historical background of particular dishes. It gives me a different perspective and profound appreciation for the meal prepared and served before me. Same goes for wine. It amazes me how long they have to be preserved for us to enjoy a good glass (or whole bottle) of wine. and of course, I love to share that knowledge with other people so that together we can understand the intricacies involved in food and wine preparation. it makes eating much more than a habit but a sacred activity connecting us with nature and history. 

I also love the outdoors. I travel for travel’s sake. I love discovering new places and revisiting my favorite and memorable spots. I travel not just within the boundaries of California but beyond to see the rest of the world. I love taking a detour and be pleasantly surprised by the adventures waiting at the next bend on the road. I love swimming and diving and encountering different creatures underwater. 

This is my life and I live it in pursuit of life’s pleasures.