Cismontane’s Dos Cone Es


Nothing like a cold beer to cool down after rehearsal, especially when it’s only a few paces away. This was the next beer in line in my new mission to drink down the list that hangs next to Cismontane’s counter.

Hoppy, rich, slightly sweet, and smooth as can be. Despite being the highest ABV of Cismontane’s current offerings, Dos Cone Es feels like a wonderfully refreshing beer that one could drink great quantities of. As I was drinking it, I thought it might be my new favorite, but Citizen still has the edge for me.


Cismontane’s Holy Jim Falls XPA


We needed some beer for the weekend, and I didn’t feel like making the trek out to one of the big drinks stores, so I popped into Cismontane Brewing for a few bottles.

I had been meaning to try Holy Jim Falls for a long time, but the lure of the Citizen is usually to strong to resist. I did of course get a bottle of it, but I had the opportunity to branch out a bit.

This beer is hoppy, crisp, and refreshing, like many XPAs, but the distinguishing characteristic is the distinctive flavor that hits you right when you take a gulp. It took me a while to place the fruity and almost green tasting notes, but I finally realized that it reminds me of nopales, the paddles of our local prickly pear cactus!

Overall a great, refreshing beer.

Grandma’s Birthday @ Bruno’s Trattoria

My grandparents are quite the diners, always looking for new places to eat. We usually put in our two cents when we visit, and Bruno’s was our latest contribution. Some might consider this an unexpected find in Brea, but its smallish Downtown is chocked full, relatively, of cool places to eat. Bruxië, Berkeley Dog, and Gyu Kaku are just a few of the various places on offer there.

Bruno’s has a flat price of $28/bottle and $7/glass for all the wines on the menu, so we started right in with a nice 2011 Bibi Graetz Casamatta Rosé. It’s one of the driest rosés I’ve ever had, but it also had the pleasant fruitiness and juiciness that I like in this sort of wine. Then we got some appetizers―arancini, burrata with bread and salad, and a caesar salad.

Nice presentations across the board.

Nice presentations across the board.

The arancini were great. Can’t really go wrong with rice, cheese, sauce, and frying. The burrata itself was fresh and soft, and the bread underneath was excellent. The salad had beets, pistachios, and a nice vinaigrette, and went really well with the burrata and bread. The caesar salad was especially of note though. I am often disappointed with the seasoning and anchovy level in restaurant caesars, but this one was very well made.

For the main course, I made the snap decision to order the veal saltimbocca. It was that or the lasagna, so I just got whatever I blurted out when the waitress asked for my order.

I loved it! Well cooked veal, braised cherry tomatoes, dressed spinach, and a polenta cake made for a very nice plate and great flavor combinations. The 2008 Monte Antico Super Tuscan was a great match for it too.

I like a Super Tuscan.

I like a Super Tuscan.

The dessert, though, was really something else. I don’t remember exactly how we ordered it, but it was a long platter of various desserts―tiramisu on each end, torte di arance rosse with vanilla bean gelato, budino al caramello, and panna cotta with strawberries and balsamic. The torte di arance rosse is a rich and crumbly olive oil cake with a blood orange glaze and gelato on top. If it wasn’t for the tiramisu, this would be my favorite. The budino had a great balance between the custardy part, the chocolate, and the caramel. The panna cotta was very well made, and the strawberries and balsamic went well with it. Finally, the tiramisu was fantastic. It hit all the points of a good tiramisu―well-soaked ladyfingers, good balance of coffee flavor, and the cream had that flavor that is unique to tiramisu. The chocolate chips on top were unexpected, but I liked them.

Great for sharing.

Great for sharing.

Here’s a roundup of all the wine we had:

We tasted the wine rainbow.

We tasted the wine rainbow.

We got the Fontana Candida Pinot Grigio for my Grandma and her Venetian seafood stew. Very refreshing and smooth, with mellow fruit notes.

TJ’s Woodfire Pizza: The New Bianco

Earlier this week, TJ’s Woodfire Pizza announced the new Bianco pizza: white sauce, fennel, onion, sausage, fennel pollen, mozzarella, shaved parmigiano, and chili flakes. We made a special trip out today for this pizza, and the record vendor at the Antique Fair. On the owner’s recommendation, my dad forewent his usual hatch chili, and we both thought the pizza was perfect without it.

Their pizzas always look so good, too. Taken from my Foodspotting profile.