Hello Manhattan Beach Post!

Ever since Manhattan Beach Post opened up in April 2011, this Social House restaurant has been one of my favorite places to dine at. Every thing that Chef/owner David LeFevre has on the menu is simply superb and it is a natural go-to restaurant for special occasions. It was thus perfect to celebrate Mother’s Day today here with my forever best friend, my mom.

Manhattan Beach Post was packed right at it’s opening at 10am but we were blessed to get a table. The biggest blessing however was being able to bond with my mom at this wonderful place.

First up for us is famous Bacon Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits.

img_2159

These fluffy biscuits with little pieces of bacon and cheddar cheese are perfectly meaty and cheesy. The magic lies with that side of maple butter though. Smother on some of that sweet butter and you truly are in for a sweet treat.

For our main entrees, we started off with Manhattan  Beach Post’s Chimichanga.

img_2167

The chimichanga here is one gigantic fried piece of deliciousness. It is stuffed with green chile pork, golden fertile egg, potato and oaxaca cheese. On top it is smothered with guacamole and there is even more guacamole along with sour cream on the side. It’s fulfilling and wonderful.

The other main entree we tried was the Huevos Tinga.

img_2168

A comfort food, that is normally found in Mexican restaurants, Manhattan Beach Post has their own version with poached egg, hominy and oaxaca cheese. I loved the tomato and chili chipotle sauce. This dish was truly full of flavor.

Manhattan Beach Post has never disappointed and both my mom and I were thrilled to celebrate here today! We were full of smiles from start to finish.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Manhattan Beach Post.

Advertisements

Hello Eggslut LA!

Egg dishes like no other is what Eggslut is all about. Upon walking into Grand Central Market, the longest line is at Eggslut.

img_2073

Folks in line are raving about the egg sandwiches such as “The Fairfax” which has cage-free soft scrambled eggs and chives, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and sriracha mayo in a warm brioche bun and they’re drooling over the “Slut,” cage-free coddled egg on top of a smooth potato purée, poached in a glass jar, topped with gray salt and chives and served with slices of baguette

I fall in line too and my curiosity peaks at each step. The concept seems simple yet I know there is something special about these egg dishes conceptualized by Eggslut Filipino chef Alvin Cailan. Upon ordering, I get the Sausage, Egg and Cheese.

img_1898-1

This sandwich consists of house-made turkey sausage, cage-free over medium egg, cheddar cheese and honey mustard aioli in a warm brioche bun. Upon first bite, it truly was love at first bite. It was like a revelation and I knew instantly why the lines were so long and why folks were oohing and ahhing. The soft eggs, oozing cheddar cheese and tender and tasty turkey sausage all smothered with honey mustard aioli made for the best egg sandwich ever! Even the brioche bun which was perfectly buttery and soft. Amazing with a capital A. It truly was an egg sandwich like no other.

It’s easy to be like Sanrio’s egg character “Gudetama” and say “meh” what can be so special about egg dishes but trust me there is nothing meh about Eggslut at all. You truly will be oohing, ahhing and smiling when you try this place.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Eggslut.

Hello Sari-Sari Store LA!

Sari-sari stores are very common in the Philippines. They are small convenience stores that can be found in many neighborhoods. Along the top of the sari-sari stores are displays of various products such as candy, soda and beauty products.

Walking into downtown Los Angeles’ Grand Central Market, I spot Sari-Sari Store. Just like in the Philippines there are several displays of common household products and consumables. Unlike the sari-sari stores in the Philippines, however, these products are not for sale. Instead what is for sale is a variety of rice bowls and that is because Sari-Sari Store at Grand Central Market is not a small market but instead a wonderful restaurant.

img_2067

Sari-Sari Store is a Filipino rice bowl stall conceptualized by Chef Margarita Manzke with business partner and husband Walter Manzke. If Chef Margarita Manzke and Walter Manzke sound familiar that is because they are the brains behind two other wonderful Los Angeles based restaurants, Republique and Petty Cash. They also are the owners of Philippines based bakery, Wildflour.

The idea behind Sari-Sari Store mainly came from Chef Margarita Manzke who was born and raised in the Philippines. She was exposed to the restaurant life early as her parents owned White Rock Resort, a hotel and restaurant just outside Manila.  Chef Marge wanted to bring to this Sari-Sari Store restaurant something “small, colorful, and casual” just like the real sari-sari stores. Every thing from the restaurant’s look to the menu is inspired by Chef Marge’s Filipino heritage.

The word “sari-sari” in the Filipino language, Tagalog essentially means “variety” and a variety is indeed found in the menu here. There is a variety of different Silog bowls; with silog meaning “singang” (garlic rice) + “itlog” (egg). The rice bowls offered included Filipino comfort food such as Arroz Caldo (rice porridge) and Filipino favorites like Lechon Kawali (crispy pork belly). They occasionally have specials as well such as Bistek Tagalog; the classic beef steak dish.

The day I went, I was fortunate to find one of my favorite Filipino dishes as one of the specials of the day. This was the Beef Tapa.

img_2043

Sari-Sari Store’s Beef Tapa bowl had marinated short ribs, garlic rice and pickled Fresno chiles. Served with the garlicky fried rice and sunny side up eggs, this beef tapa truly made my day. It was tender and full of flavor.  The tapa was marinated, to perfection, with just the right combination of soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and pepper.

The other rice bowl that hit our table that day was one of the more traditional dishes folks associate with the Philippines; adobo.

img_2044

Sari-Sari Store’s take on adobo is a Adobo Fried Rice bowl. It has Mary’s organic chicken, garlic rice, pickled chiles and fried egg. The chicken at Republique is one of the most popular dishes and it was nice to see it incorporated here Filipino style.

Now speaking of Republique; at that restaurant Chef Marge’s speciality is the pastries. It is therefore not surprising  that Sari-Sari Store’s menu has some amazing desserts. She has not one but two regular sweets on the menu via the halo-halo and buko pie. I could not pass up on trying the buko pie as it is one of Los Angeles’ times top rated desserts.

It is no wonder Jonathan Gold of Los Angeles Times loves this dessert. It is truly one of the best pies I’ve had.  The buko pie consists of coconut, coconut and more coconut. Fittingly so as “Buko” means “young coconut” in Tagalog. All of this meaty coconut is mixed into wonderfully soft custard that is on top of Chef Marge’s famous pie crust. (It’s the same pie crust that is typically only found at Republique!). I’m still drooling as I think about this dessert. My only regret is I only bought one slice! Hehe.
Sari-Sari Store at Grand Central Market is not a convenience store. It is instead a lovely Filipino stall where you can have some hearty and delicious Filipino rice bowls and the best buko pie in town!
For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Sari-Sari Store

Hello Aggretsuko’s Den of Rage!

Just recently I wrote on this blog a post about the new animated Netflix series, Aggretsuko! In celebration of the launch of the amazing show, Aggretsuko has some very special events planned for us! The first of this is her taking over Sanrio’s Japanese Village shop in Little Tokyo.

img_2047

I attended the opening up of the pop this Friday, May 4 and was simply in awe! The first thing that you will see is Aggretsuko’s office space.

img_2045

We all know Aggretsuko is a sweet red panda who struggles to make it through her day job at one of Tokyo’s most respected trading companies. We get to experience her office days first hand as we see her desk! Her super cute desk that has photos of her with her friends, a neat Hello Kitty calendar as well all the paperwork she’s assigned too (sigh! Rage!!!)

img_2063

As we’ve seen in the netflix series; her bosses are unsympathetic and give her harsh deadlines! All around her desk are her coworkers. Director Ton is bossing her around. Secretary Washimi is watching over her and then there is nosy Fenneko.

What is a red panda to do when she is pushed to her limit??  She goes into rage mode at the Den of Rage!

img_2046

Sanrio Japanese Village; the 800 square foot retail space in downtown L.A. has been transformed into Aggretsuko’s Den of Rage.  Here Aggretsuko freely goes into “rage mode” and channels her frustration through heavy metal karaoke sessions.

img_2048

All of us fans can rage along with her for two weeks until May 16! Not only will we get channel our inner red panda we will also have the opportunity to shop the largest selection of new imported and exclusive Aggretsuko merchandise in the world

img_2061

Aggetsuko’s office space and Den of Rage is truly a sight to see! Hurry on over to Sanrio Japanese Village and be a part of our favorite red panda’s world!

Hello Philz Coffee El Segundo!

I love you to the moon and back….cup of love.

Philz Coffee has officially “landed” in El Segundo! The sixth Los Angeles location just opened it’s doors at Apollo Landing; El Segundo’s premier new hot spot for casual dining.

img_1783

It is no secret that I crush on coffee houses and this new Philz Coffee is very much crush worthy. Right by their outdoor patio one will instantly spot the space themed 9×55’ mural that LA based Artist & Muralist Cloe Hakakian customized for this location. The mural has in bold letters “I love you to the moon and back” and this very much true of how this foodie feels about this new Philz Coffee.

img_1785

Philz Coffee is all about brewing every cup “One Cup at a Time.” Each of their “cups of love”  are crafted to every individual customer’s taste with the goal of making people’s better days. It surely made my day today. 🙂

img_1784

They recommend that the first cup to try is “Philz Way.” Philz Way consists of a cup of love with medium sweet with cream. My new favorite is the Mint Mojito. This drink has fresh mint with just right hint of sweet.

img_1786

The blend that was refreshing, flavorful, creamy and so smooth. I instantly fell in love with my cup of love. It was unique, tasty and wonderful.

In addition to my Mint Mojito; I got to try several of Philz Coffee’s different food offerings.

img_1788

I loved their savory offerings. The Mediterranean Avocado Toast has egg, chives, zatar, olive oil, sea salt and pepper while their Hummus and Tomato Toast has feta, chives and sumac. Both were excellent!

Their sweet treats were equal in deliciousness. From cookies to croissants; every thing paired well with their coffees. Some of my favorites include the white chocolate cashew cookies, the almond croissant and the blueberry muffins.

img_1787

To the new Philz Coffee; welcome to the neighborhood. I am so happy you have landed at Apollo Landing. I love you to the moon and back already ;).

img_1782

For more smiles; please see my Yelp review on Philz Coffee El Segundo.

 

 

Hello Yelp Elite Event: Cocktails & Cars Casino Royale Style!

So fancy! Busted out the cocktail dress, dancing shoes for one special night last night at the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo. It was the Cocktails and Cars Casino Royale Style Yelp Elite Event to kick off spring!

With the amazing drop box of this premier museum showcasing cherished old automobiles, all of us Yelp elites were in for one amazing treat. The night was full of entertainment and good times. Todd Elliot Entertainment brought a magician for some magic and amazement. The Swing Dames brought us back to the 40s’ with their lovely voices and LA Pix DJs had us all dancin’ the night away.

It was also foodie galore with some fabulous food booths. Feelin’ fancy and feelin’ full after all the delicious treats!

From Pink’s Hot Dogs, I got to enjoy a turkey dog with chili and cheese. Hearty, meaty and simply classic just like the classic cars we were surround with. It was perfect with Essentia Water

img_1696

Wanu Water put a little more fun in the night with their black cherry and peach passion water. 10 essential nutrients and 10 calories per serving!

img_1698

Tacos Primo gave us the VIP treatment with fresh made carne asada beef and  al pastor pork.

img_1697

These tacos were the perfect match with Siete tortilla chips.

img_1699

New York Food Company booth brought out soft and savory kimchi pork buns and cucumber shots.

img_1703

The fancy night continued with some fabulous drinks.

I was introduced to Tentera Coffee Roasters and instantly became a fan because of their good cause. Tentera means ‘good causes’. 2% of all Tentera coffee sales are currently donated to their partners which include the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and 1% For The Planet. I loved their pour over coffee and how I instantly had a fresh brewed medium roast.

img_1700

More fun drinks were to be found at Happy Lemon. Salted cheese drinks are their most popular offering and I was so happy to see that along with their Sunmerry Bakery rainbow roll cake.

img_1702

The rainbow roll cake from Happy Lemon was just the start of the delightful desserts that evening because there were not one but two places to get ice cream!

Smitten Ice Cream brought out some of their best flavored nitrogen ice cream flavors such as earl grey, cookie dough with pretzels and chocolate chips, strawberry buttermilk. They even had their chocolate vegan pops! I chose to get my all time uh-mazing favorite the cookie dough with pretzels and chocolate chips. I drizzled some brown sugar caramel over the ice cream and was in sweet heaven!

img_1713

Not to be outdone was Wanderlust Creamery. I felt like as I was in an around the world trip as I had Ube Malted Crunch flavor inspired by the Philippines, Sticky Rice Mango inspired by Thailand and Japanese Neopolitan inspired by Japan. The Ube Malted Crunch had malted milk and real sweet purple jam. The Sticky Rice mango had housemate real milk coconut cream and swirls of alphonso mango puree. The Japanese Neopolitan had a trio of Japanese classics; match, hojica and black sesame.

img_1706

Cookie Zombie  incorporated our favorite kid snacks into their cookies! That night they had Snack Time cookies that had King size Twix, salty pretzels and Heath Bar bits, Circus animal cookies with Circus Animal bits; and Cookies and Cream can lies with Crushed Oreo cookies & Ghirardelli white chocolate chips. Their Cookies and Cream cookies were the winner of Best Homemade Cookie at Cookie Con LA!

img_1701

Cheesecake de Granger had cheesecake cupcakes. They had lemon, Welch’s grape and peanut butter and jelly cheesecake cupcakes!

img_1704

From entertainment to food; The Automobile Driving Museum was one happening place that evening. Surrounded with 130 plus vintage, antique and muscle cars; it was one classic evening. I could not have asked for a better way to kick off spring!

img_1707

For more smiles, please see my Yelp Review  on Cocktails and Cars Casino Royale Style Yelp Elite event.

Hello Orveganic!

Located in Lawndale, California is what is a hidden gem in every sense of the word. Orveganic Coffee House and Protein Bar is at the corner of a small dead end street and can easily be missed but missing this place would truly be a sad thing for it is well worth a visit.

Orveganic just opened up this past March 2018 but they are no stranger to offering healthy and tasty treats to the South Bay and beyond. They are the brains behind Healthy Butter; nut butter that can be found in several different Farmers Markets around Southern California. Taking the same kitchen where they produce Healthy Butter; the owners decided to expand and open up Orveganic; a cafe offering organic, plant Based and gluten-free dishes and drinks.

I had the pleasure of coming to this cute cafe and loved it the moment I came in. Chic and comfy are perfect words to describe the interior where they have light oak wood benches and tables. There are colorful pillows along the seating and a good display of their various offerings.

Coffee houses are always my crush and I knew I had to try out one of their coffees. Their coffees have even been chemist tested and there are 0 out of 418 chemicals and pesticides. Each of their drinks are even packed with lots of protein! For my drink choice, I chose to get the Cinnamon Vanilla Maple Latte.

img_1425

The Cinnamon Vanilla Maple Latte was truly a wonderful way to start off my meal here. Warm and nutty; it was packed with healthy goodness.

For the entrees; my friend and I chose two of their more popular dishes; the TexMex Tofu Scramble and the Almond Chardonnay Cheddar Alfredo.

img_1426

The TexMex Tofu has peppercinis grilled tofu with tomatoes, red peppers, onions and garlic. It is topped with avocado seed guacamole and is served alongside warm corn tortillas. I loved the mix of ingredients in this dish. The soft tofu along with the tomatoes, red peppers, onions and garlic were simply wonderful. The avocado seed guacamole was creamy and definitely a nice touch. One can really tell it is healthy and homemade. It really reminded me of home cooking.

The Almond Chardonnay Cheddar Alfredo was my favorite entree of the day! Who knew pasta could be healthy and tasty at the same time. This is not your typical pasta dish and instead something very special. This cheesy and yummy dish consisted of sautéed scallions, mushrooms and garlic mixed with almond mealk, cashew butter, chardonnay cheddar cream cheese sauce all over sorghum and quinoa fusilli. I loved the overall creaminess and taste of “cheese.”

I was quite full after the latte and the entrees; but I’m so glad that I tried one of their desserts! For dessert; they offer mealk shakes, chia pudding, raw jam yogurt and raw ice mealk (their version of ice cream!) I chose to get their raw jam yogurt and it sure was a treat.

img_1427

From the outside; the raw jam yogurt looks simple but inside a pleasant surprise awaits! It is made with cashew cheese yogurt and raw seasonal fruit jam with a hint of maple. I loved the fruitiness that instantly hit the palate. It has a passionfruit taste and was definitely one of the most unique and best desserts I’ve ever had.

This place is truly a gem. Every thing I tried was wonderful and surpassed by expectations. I loved how they’re able to turn in various healthy ingredients into such tasty treats. I was smiling the whole time here 🙂

Small and cute; it can be easy to not spot Organic. This place however is definitely one that Hello Kitty Foodies and friends should check out. From their fresh, hearty and healthy treats; one is sure to smile just like me.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Orveganic.