Hello The Depot Torrance Birthday Celebration!

Hello The Depot Torrance Birthday Celebration!

This year with the pandemic; I wasn’t quite sure how my birthday would be. I however got the most wonderful surprise dinner from my boyfriend when he ordered from The Depot Torrance.

The Depot has been in Torrance for 29 years! First opening up in 1991; it has been a favorite of many South Bayers for celebration special occasions. Being a South Bay native; I had never tried this place and thus was excited to be able to try it for my birthday.

We started off the birthday dinner with their famous bread basket.

The Depot’s bread basket comes with cheese rolls, regular rolls, crispy cracker bread and banana bread. The bread is accompanied with regular butter and garlic pesto butter. My favorites from the bread basket are the cheese rolls and the banana bread. The cheese rolls go really well with the garlic pesto butter! It’s so flavorful.

I loved how the bread is not too heavy and it still gave room for some appetizers that my boyfriend had also prepared. (A special mention to my boyfriend Jay who also prepared the most delicious stuffed mushrooms and eggplants!)

For our main course; we had  filet mignon and lamb chops alongside yam mashers, sautéed mushrooms, zucchini and herbed asparagus.

The filet mignon and lamb chops are some of the best that I’ve ever had. The cuts were so tender! They were cooked just right. The meats also went really well with the yam mashers and veggies. I absolutely loved the yam mashers. They were soft and creamy with just the right flavoring of sweet potato. The mixed vegetables were also quite amazing. The asparagus, spinach and zucchini were quite tasty. Every single item on the plate was excellent.

Though we did not physically dine out this year; I can say that my birthday dinner this year was still one of the best birthday dinners I’ve ever had. I can truly see why The Depot is so popular for all these years. Their food is just perfect for special occasions.

For more smiles; please see my Yelp review on The Depot Torrance.

Hello Ube!

Hello Ube!

Ube love! In the last year or so I’ve been seeing a lot of purple everyone and I’m loving it! I am so happy to see all the products highlighting the purple yam from the Philippines. Because ube is my u-bae for this summer; I wanted to share a few my favorite ube products that I’ve gotten to try!

Trader Joe’s Ube Purple Yam Flavored Ice Cream

Trader Joe’s is stepping up their ube game with offering a few ube products including a ube waffle/pancake mix but my heart still belongs to the very first ube product they offered; Ube Ice Cream. Being Filipino; I’m used to ube ice cream from Philippine brands like Magnolia and I wasn’t quite sure how Trader Joe’s would compare. I was quite pleased to see that TJ’s got it right. Their ube ice cream wasn’t just purple flavor; it indeed had the right purple yam taste. It was sweet, creamy with hints coconut and vanilla…just like ube!

Big Boi’s Ube Butter

I wrote about the Filipino butters in an April post and though all the flavors were delicious; I really liked the ube a lot! I loved spreading the smooth ube over pandesal for breakfast. So masarap!

DD’s Treats Pandesal

Ube Pandesal has recently become one of the most popular items in the ube craze. One can even order ube pandesal on Etsy! Thankfully for me; there are several different homemade vendors that I’ve found making delicious ube pandesal. DD’s Treats located in Lakewood, California is one of them. She has a variety of different ube pandesals. One can choose from ube cheese filling, yema cheese filling and ube cream cheese. They’re all so delicious that I can’t pick a favorite. Aside from ube pandesal DD’s offers other ube treats such as ube Spanish bread and ube crinkles.

Mom’s Kitchen Ube Flan and Ube Ensaymada

Mom’s Kitchen in Gardena, California also offers ube pandesal along with other tasty ube offerings. Her ube pandesal is also quite tasty. It is filled with cream cheese. My favorite from her ube offerings however is the ube flan cupcakes. These are the best! The bottom of this treat is a soft ube cupcake and then on top is a sweet, creamy flan. It’s two classic Filipino desserts combined in one and it practically melts in your mouth.

Mom’s Kitchen also has amazing ube ensaymada. Soft ube bread is covered with butter and sugar and then topped with lots of grated cheese. It’s a perfect breakfast treat, a sweet snack or a delicious dessert.

Munch Bakery

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Munch Bakery who sells at the Farmers Market in Torrance offers fresh macarons in a variety of flavors! I first wrote about them in a post back in April 2017. They are more popular than ever. Ube is one of the flavors that always sells out. It has the just the right hint of the flavored yam.

I love ube and this summer I am super happy to discover so many different ube treats along with getting to support some local small businesses as well!

Hello Kitty x World Market Collection: Sports Edition!

Hello Kitty x World Market Collection: Sports Edition!

Back in August 2019, I wrote about a cute collaboration between Hello Kitty and World Market. It was an exclusive collection with a theme of Omatsuri; a special Japanese festival. This summer Hello Kitty and friends are back at the World Market with a new whole new look and another special theme! Just in time for summer; Hello Kitty, Keroppi, My Melody and Badtz Maru are getting sporty with the Hello Kitty x World Market Collection: Sports Edition!

My favorites from this line include the Hello Kitty Friends melamine plates. I really love the designs on these plates because it really showcases the Sports Edition theme. The plates feature tennis player Hello Kitty. water polo player Keroppi, rhythmic-gymnast My Melody and a soccer player Badtz-Maru.

Not only are these plates super cute; they are super light weight; thus making them the best plates to use for Hello Kitty Foodie dining at home.

Just like the last collection; there is once again a gigantic and awesome Hello Kitty Cookie jar. For this cookie jar; Hello Kitty is all dressed up in her best tennis player’s outfit with a skirt featuring her classic red bow. She even has a matching tennis racket!

Alongside the cookie jar; World Market is offering a matching Hello Kitty coffee cup. We all know cookies and coffee are the perfect match 😉.

The cookie jar, coffee cup and the melamine plates definitely are perfect for summer treats!

But wait there’s more….. World Market is also offering A-Sha Taiwanese noodles in different Sanrio packaging. Can the kitchen get anymore cuter this summer? Even Badtz Maru can’t complain!

Hello Kitty and friends are definitely the champions in the kitchen this summer! This (super cute) Hello Kitty x World Market Collection: Sports Edition is now available at a World Market near you. 😉.

Hello Van Leeuwen Ice Cream @ The Point!

Hello Van Leeuwen Ice Cream @ The Point!

It’s been five years since The Point had their grand opening in El Segundo. Since their opening in 2015 they have continued to bring a variety of premier restaurants and shops. This 2020 is no exception! Just recently; Van Leeuwen Ice Cream opened up shop at The Point.

Originating from NYC; Van Leeuwen offers premier “healthy” ice cream. They’ve got classic flavors made out of milk, cream, cane sugar and egg yolks along side vegan flavors made with cashews or oats, coconuts and cocoa butter.

Van Leeuwen has a motto of “a life without anything good is bad” and they truly make “good – good” ice cream. I tried their vegan Cookies and Cream Caramel Swirl for my first visit and it was definitely out of this world excellent. It’s a creamy vegan ice cream with Tahitian vanilla bean, dark chocolate chip cookies sandwiched with cream filling and house made caramel. It was wonderfully smooth with a nice hint of coconut milk that I did not expect. It was unique and tasty! I will never view vegan quite the same again!

Van Leeuwen is definitely a good addition to The Point and it’s opening is just in time for these hot summer days! What are you waiting for…get to The Point as the best vegan ice cream awaits you there ;).

Hello, Thank You and Farewell Sanrio Gardena!

Hello, Thank You and Farewell Sanrio Gardena!

Hello, thank you and farewell Sanrio Gardena. Today I visited Sanrio Gardena for the last time ever.

The store will permanently closing on June 30, 2020. This store is the oldest Sanrio store in the US (they’ve been there for 42 years) and it breaks my heart to see them close. This store played a big part in my love for Sanrio and Hello Kitty as I’ve been visiting this store since I was three years old (back when they were Gift Gate).

My favorite character back in the day was Tweedle Dee Dee! Who remembers the cute Sanrio teddy bear?

The store even has a role in the name of this blog. “Hello Kitty Foodie” came about as a tribute to my dad who would take me to Sanrio Gardena in between cooking sessions at home. 😊

There are so many memories at this store that are near and dear to my heart.

It was here that my parents bought me my very first Hello Kitty, My Melody, Ahiru No Pekkle pencil cases and tin boxes that I would use in grade school.

It was also here that my dad bought me my first Pippo plush because I loved pigs. I would take it with me to the UCLA dorms as it was my first time ever to be away from home.

It was at Sanrio Gardena that participated in Sanrio’s Pompompurin shoe hunt for Pompompurin’s 20th anniversary.

I’ve also said “Hello” to Hello Kitty for numerous meet and greets (Holidays, Girl’s Day) throughout the years.

My mom and I have had so many happy conversations during our visits with Mie; the owner and Evelin; who is part of the Sanrio Gardena team. I was so touched today as I walked out of the store for the final time and Evelin told me to “please say hello to your mom.” ❤️

Shopping there today was so bitter sweet and my last haul consisted of lots of pink and lots of My Melody and Hello Kitty. 💕

Thank you Sanrio Gardena, Mie and Evelin for the memories and smiles through the years 💕. You’ll always have a special place in this Hello Kitty girl’s heart. I will miss visiting your store 😔 and the Sanrio world won’t quite be the same without you.

Hello Sanrio x Leather Treaty!

Hello Sanrio x Leather Treaty!

Leather Treaty; a brand that makes personalized leather accessories is now offering more Sanrio leather accessories!

I first discovered Leather Treaty when I went to Sanrio Puroland. I got his (Dear Daniel) and her (Hello Kitty) keychains for my Dear Daniel 😉 and I.

Last year I was excited to see their items once again at the Hello Kitty and Friends Around the World Tour. I got a special bracelet and keychain there as souvenirs. I’ll always treasure them and remember the happy times from the pop-up.

Now I am very happy to see them expand their Sanrio offerings. There’s more cuteness and more characters!

They have a variety of bracelets and keychains featuring some of our favorite Sanrio characters; Aggretsuko, My Melody, Keroppi, Gudetama, Badtz Maru, Cinnamoroll, Pompompurin and Hello Kitty!

The bracelets are definitely a favorite of mine. They’ve got a variety of different designs and colors. I really like mixing and matching the bracelets with my outfits.

I also can’t help but love the keychains! You don’t necessarily have to use them for keys. I have a few that hanging on some of my Hello Kitty purses. They’re a lovely touch to bags.

I really love how one can personalize each item! It truly makes the accessories unique! I’ve personalized my bracelets and keychains in different ways! Some have my name while others have my Instagram tag (@hellokittyfoodie). How will you personalize yours?

To order and get your own very special bracelet or keychain; check out Leather Treaty’s website. 🙂

Hello Kitty x CASETiFY!

Hello Kitty x CASETiFY!

I’m super excited for the latest supercute colloboration between Sanrio and CASETiFY! #HelloKittyxCASETiFY

CASETiFY is a Hong Kong-based company that designs and produces different phone cases and electronic accessories. This latest collaboration with Sanrio offers two capsules: Hello Kitty Mini Mart and The Signature Collection. The Mini Mart has limited edition “Milk” cases while The Signature Collection has classic Hello Kitty designs.

Among the supercute offerings are iPhone cases, MacBook cases, iPad folios, charging pads and even Apple watch bands!

I love the Apple watch bands!  I’m always on the go with work and my Hello Kitty Foodie adventures and it’s my watch that keeps on me on check (and now with the Hello Kitty x Castify bands they will keep me cute too!)

Other popular offerings are the special edition Floaty Cases, the Hello Kitty customized cases and the new CASETiFY Puffy Case.

Part of the launch also includes two brand new CASETiFY products. There is the new adhesive 2-in1 Grip Stand which comes in four designer Hello Kitty prints. These 2-in-1 grip stands are super helpful for handling/standing up phones. The other new item to debut is CASETiFY’s UV tech sanitizer. This has mercury-free sanitizing lamps and an embedded wireless charger. This is perfect for the current times because it helps disinfect screens and replenish Phone batteries. Helpful and cute! I am a fan!

Shop this supercute collection by visiting the below link:

https://www.casetify.com/invite/3z533v

Hello Manpuku Torrance!

Hello Manpuku Torrance!

In Japanese “Manpuku” means “to be happy with a full stomach” and happy indeed we were this Mother’s Day with our 神戸ビーフ Japanese Wagyu Kobe Beef dinner.

With the current stay at home order and no dine in restaurants; this Mother’s Day was certainly a little bit different from the rest. However I still wanted it to be special. I ended up finding the perfect takeout spot for the special occasion via Manpuku Torrance.

The Torrance location is one of four US Manpuku locations. The others locations are in West LA, Costa Mesa and West Hollywood. Manpuku actually originated from Tokyo and they currently still have five locations in Tokyo.

The restaurant specializes in Yakiniku dining or Japanese bbq. “Yakiniku means “grilled meat” in Japanese. Typically the experience at Manpuku would include grilling and cooking the meats right at the restaurant table. Alas due to no dine in; we weren’t able to do that but we were able to enjoy some quality food from Manpuku right at the comfort of our home.

Manpuku currently is offering various take home bento boxes. Well known for the premier quality of their meat; I chose to get the US Kobe Beef BBQ Bento. Along with the US Kobe Beef bbq; the bento box had edamame, homemade kimchi, bean sprouts, fried tofu, potato salad, cabbage salad and rice. There was also miso soup on the side.

神戸ビーフ Japanese Wagyu Kobe Beef is well known for it’s flavor and tenderness. Manpuku’s meat was definitely of high quality. It was very tender and very tasty. The matching sides were superb as well. I really enjoyed the cabbage salad which had a lovely garlic flavored dressing. The kimchi with a slight kick also was a good side. The potato salad and rice were fluffy and delightful. Overall the flavor profile of the whole box was excellent and made for a very special meal.

Indeed Manpuku was the a great spot for takeout Mother’s Day. Moms deserve the best and here at Manpuku they indeed had the best beef and best bento box I’ve ever had. We were definitely “happy with a full stomach.”

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Manpuku Torrance.

Hello Mother’s Day Cakes @ 85C Bakery Cafe!

Hello Mother’s Day Cakes @ 85C Bakery Cafe!

Through the years, 85C Bakery Cafe has been a go to place for my mom and I whenever we want some fresh bread, tasty coffee and boba and sweet treats. This Mother’s Day 2020; things are a little different on how we will celebrate but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy our favorite 85C Bakery Cafe treats.

This Mother’s Day 2020; 85C Bakery has debuted a new delectable dessert that is perfect for sharing with mama. This new cake is the Mama Nana!

The Mama Nana is a Banana Brûlée cake consisting of chocolate chiffon cake layered with fresh banana and vanilla creme brulee. It is covered with fresh cream, fresh strawberries and blueberries. As a lovely finishing touch it is decorated with a chocolate flower. Not only is this cake absolutely gorgeous; it is so delicious.  The cake is so soft and the brûlée is so creamy. I also love all the fruits in this cake. Fruity, sweet and oh so tasty!

Aside from the Banana Brûlée, 85C Bakery Cafe is also offering four other delightful cakes for their Mother’s Day line up. They’ve got Mango Creme Brûlée; Classic Tiramisu, Deluxe Strawberry and Red Velvet!

My mom is the sweetest person I know and she deserves the sweetest treats on her day; Mother’s Day!

You too; can enjoy sweet 85C Bakery Cafe treats! They have these cakes and more at your local store. Hurry on over and get something special for the special mom in your life.

*Items in this post were provided for a complimentary basis to facilitate this review. This blog post was accurate when published and reflects the uninfluenced opinion of the blog writer.

Hello Caps and Corks: LA Street Foods!

Hello Caps and Corks: LA Street Foods!

Just this February 2020; I wrote about Caps and Corks a newly opened liquor store in Torrance, California that was offering some amazing food via breakfast burritos and submarine sandwiches. Their food quickly gained a lot of popularity in the South Bay community and beyond. Now there’s another reason for foodies to rejoice as Caps and Corks recently just debuted a new LA Street Foods menu!

It was just Cinco de Mayo this week and the timing could not have been more perfect to try the new tacos that are part of their LA Street Foods Menu. It was a double celebration as it was not only Cinco de Mayo but also Taco Tuesday!

They offer three types of street tacos; carne asada, pollo or al pastor. All the street tacos are on corn tortillas with the customer’s chosen meat along with toppings of cilantro, onion and spicy or mild salsa.

Happy Cinco de Mayo indeed as these tacos were quite tasty! I tried all the meats and thought each one had it’s own unique flavor. I would have to say though my favorite was the Al Pastor as I thought the seasoning really stuck out. The pork was also perfectly tender. I will definitely be back for these tacos regardless of whether it is (taco) Tuesday or not.

Another reason for me to come back to Caps and Corks is to try the rest of their new LA Street Foods menu. In addition to tacos they have burritos; quesadillas and hot diggity dogs! Yes! You read it right they’re offering a variety of different hot dogs offered the same way as what you’d find at your local LA street vendor back in the day (pre-quarantine!) and yes this includes bacon wrapped hot dogs!

The new additions to Caps and Corks menu are definitely a fiesta for the tummy and can’t wait to try the other offerings.