Hello Chubby Rice!

You had me at the name Chubby Rice.

How cute is this restaurant name? Chubby Rice is a small and cute 😉 restaurant located in Hawthorne, California. They specialize in Chinese food “made with integrity and passion.”

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Not only is their restaurant name cute, their menu is cute as well. They have a “Bite Me” section for their appetizers, a “Superstars” section for their salads, sandwiches, chow mein and soup and a “Greatest Hits” for their entrees.

It is actually not surprising that Chubby Rice has quite a delicious variety on their menu. The chef behind Chubby Rice is no other than Chef Linda Lau. Prior to Chubby Rice she was the sous chef at Fishing with Dynamite. Great food minds run in the family because her parents, Jason and Helen Lau, once ran a large Chinese restaurant in Mountain Home, Idaho for three decades. Now the Lau family has come together to bring us some amazing Chinese food here in the South Bay.

From the “Bite Me” section, I ordered their “Chubby Wings”

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I instantly had a chubby crush at first bite of these delightful wings. They’re perfectly crispy butterflied chicken drumettes. The batter that they use is simply amazing. It’s truly a deep fried delight. It even comes with sweet and sour sauce for dipping.

Speaking of sauces, they make all of their sauces here in house. They actually have an amazing line up of sauces for your dipping pleasure.

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Among the housemade sauces are cola, hot mustard, sriracha, chili oil, nam pla, bbq and ahi sauce. The ahi sauce was my favorite. It’s not typical that you find the Peruvian green sauce at a Chinese restaurant but wow I’m so glad they have it here. It was really good and perfect the Chubby Wings.

For the main courses, err the Greatest Hits, I got to try their famous General Tso’s Chicken.

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The General Tso’s chicken here is truly a greatest hit. It comes with crispy chicken thigh fried with mushrooms,and onions in sweet, chili pepper and garlic sauce. I love that it has that unique add of mushrooms and onions. It’s a different  kinda of touch to this traditional Chinese dish.

The other Greatest Hits dish that I got to try was their  Chop Suey and Chicken.

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This one was a very flavorful dish with chicken breast stir fried with celery, cabbage, bean sprouts and onions.

All of the Greatest Hits comes with choice of 2 sides: sausage fried rice, white rice, brown rice, chow mean, salad, steamed veggies, egg roll or hot and sour soup. The sausage fried rice was my favorite. Once again, I liked the creativity they had. It’s neat to see sausage added into the fried rice.

Overall Chubby Rice is more than just a cute name with a cute menu. They are a delicious Chinese restaurant that has traditional Chinese cuisine with a special uniqueness. You had me at the name Chubby Rice but you truly won me over with your food 🙂

For more smiles, please check out my Yelp review on Chubby Rice.

Hello -8C Ice Cream!

How are you going to roll this Valentine’s Day? Do you want to get “Lost in Thailand” and have a little “Chocolate Love” with your “Minions Lover” or are you simply going to be “Peanut Butter Jealous.”

No matter how you roll, -8C Ice Cream in Gardena has got you covered. 😉 

Newly opened in Gardena is -8C Ice Cream! This  new ice cream shop specializes in rolled ice cream! It’s a cool new Asian dessert trend that Hello Kitty Foodies with a sweet tooth are sure to love. Popular in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and the Philippines, rolled ice cream just recently made it to the US.

At -8C they have a very cute menu filled with names that are perfect for this love month. 😉  Flavors include Minions Lover (banana/nutella), Strawberry Shawty (strawberry/graham cracker), Oreo Land (oreo), Peanut Butter Jealous, Chocolate Love (chocolate syrup/graham cracker), Lost in Thailand (Thai Tea), Capn Crunch, Red Match (red bean/match), Rose (rose syrup) and Key Lime Pie and (lime/graham cracker). Hmm I think I have an ice cream crush on all of those haha!

One is sure to fall in love with how rolled ice cream works. It’s a quick and fun process. You choose your ice cream flavor and then the guys working at -8C will pour a cup of liquid  ice cream base in the flavor of your choice onto a giant chilled metal pan. Upon pouring the liquid ice cream it instantly starts to freeze.

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As the liquid ice cream is freezing, the guys at -8C will then add the toppings to the top of your ice cream. The toppings and the liquid ice cream are mashed and mixed all together.

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The entire mixture then is flattened out and spread thin. The final step is slowly scraping the yummy mixture from the chilled metal pan. They are scraped in strips and then the strips are rolled. The rolls then go into your cup and tada you have ice cream rolls! At -8C you also get unlimited toppings for free. Toppings include fresh fruit, cookies and graham crackers!

How did this Hello Kitty Foodie roll at -8C? I was “Peanut Butter Jealous” with toppings of mango (my forever fruit crush), graham crackers (my crunchy infatuation) and two oreos (one for Hello Kitty and one for Dear Daniel- where are you Dear Daniel? 😉 )

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Don’t be “jealous” of my rolled ice cream! Roll on by and fall in love with this new ice cream shop in Gardena! -8C is located in Pacific Square at the same plaza as O Young’s Rock Pot and Sanrio Surprises.

Happy Valentine’s Day Hello Kitty Foodies!

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on -8C Ice Cream.

Hello Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern!

Just recently near Santa Monica Pier, Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern opened up!  This is Jimmy’s fifth location. Their other locations are in San Diego, Dana Point, Brea and Woodland Hills. This new location is sure to be popular with the locals. When the location in Brea opened up last year, it didn’t take to long for it be a favorite in Orange County. It is for good reason too.  They have a wonderful menu consisting of various starters, soups, salads, burgers and flatbreads. It is a comfort food a twist, a good twist. 😉

One of the most popular dishes with the locals is their Cowboy Burger. The Cowboy Burger has a nice juicy burger that is topped with cheddar 18 and bacon and smothered with BBQ sauce. Best of all there are onion fritters on top. It is definitely drool worthy.

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Not to be out done are their flatbreads here. They have an amazing sweet and savory flatbread in their Pear, Black Fig Jam, Blue Cheese & Fontina Flatbread. It is topped with with Prosciutto & Arugula 16. You’ve got your servings of fruit and veggies all in one meal with this dish!

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It’s been raining a lot in So Cal lately. Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern has the perfect cure of the chilly weather with their Sirloin & Black Bean Chili. It even comes with cornbread that you can dip in the chili.

 

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Last but not least they have a delightful dessert menu! Sweet Hello Kitty Foodies are sure to go bananas for the “Bananageddeon.” On top of butter pecan ice cream is fresh bananas, pastry cream, pecan blondie crumbles, salty caramel sauce, candied pecans, white chocolate, and whipped cream!

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I like how at Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern they bring their own creative take on classic American food. From the pears on the flatbread to the sirloin on the chili, it’s unique. The uniqueness however does not take away from old classic goodness! Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern is definitely a place worth visiting.

Hello The Arthur J!

There are nights where you just want to indulge and feel special. Right at the heart of Manhattan Ave in Manhattan Beach avenue is one of the best steakhouses to truly indulge. This place is The Arthur J.

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This place is located at where my favorite Circa was once located.  Arthur J may have just taken over not only their location but made a place in my heart as well.

The brains behind The Arthur J is no other than the David LeFevre of Manhattan Beach Post and Fishing with Dynamite fame and Chris and Mike Simms. The restaurant is actually named after the Simms’ grandfather, Arthur J. (Some interesting trivia is Arthur J is the founder of the original Mimi’s Cafe in Anaheim as well as The Kettle in Manhattan Beach. Good restaurants run in the family!)

The Arthur J is a beautiful steakhouse has a chic look with a bit of 60s flair. Inside is nice slate floors, a bar with brass details, decorative concrete blocks and walnut siding. The beautiful architecture design was done by designers Julie Fisher and Rachel Crowl of fcSTUDIO inc.  They were the one  who created the look of Fishing with Dynamite as well.

It’s not just the look of The Arthur J that is creative, so is their menu offerings. The menu is filled with unique and tasty items. It’s a steakhouse and so much more.

For the starters, one of the most popular items is the Beef Sirloin Tartare.

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This tartare comes with quail egg, green peppercorn and rye toast. I found it to be a very impressive and unique first course. The tartare itself is flavorful in its own right but the addition of the small quail egg along with the peppercorn and horseradish gave it a twist in taste. On top of the rye toast, it was delightful.

Another spectacular dish for an appetizer is the Chilled Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail.

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Now when I say “spectacular,” I mean spectacular in every sense of the word . It’s differently one eye-catching dish with its four pieces of chilled jumbo shrimp that is accompanied with cucumber, avocado, celery and dill. It’s a spectacular seafood starter and comes with a spicy cocktail sauce.

In addition the Chilled Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, seafood lovers are sure to also love the The Arthur J’s Pan Seared Scallops.

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These scallops are beautifully seared in brown butter and garnished with celery root puree. They are perfectly soft  and sure to melt in your mouth.

Of all the starters however, my personal favorite is the Burgundian Winter Black Truffle Risotto.

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This dish had a silky consistency throughout and was made unique with the addition of pine nuts. The Burgundian Winter black truffle was sprinkled on top. I loved the mixture of flavors, the crunchiness of the pine nuts and the deliciously creamy risotto. It was simply perfection.

As awesome as the starters are here, one needs to make sure to make room for the main course. The Arthur J offers the best USDA prime. The steaks are cooked on a J&R Wood Fire Char Broiler hardwood grill. One of their most popular cuts is 16oz Prime Rib Eye. This is one of their more flavorful and rich cuts of meat.

One of the nice things at Arthur J is the variety of toppings you can add to your steak. Toppings include foie gras, caramelized onions, wild mushrooms, sunny side organic eggs, grilled shrimp, blue crab or mycelia danish blue cheese and steamed half lobster. This is the place to indulge indeed.

The buttered lump blue crab is one of the most popular toppings.

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Tender, flavorful pieces of crab are is spread generously on top of the prime rib eye.

Another topping that a lot of restaurant goers get is the seared rougie foie gras.

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The seared rougie foie gras is soft and buttery. Similar to the blue crab topping, The Arthur J does not skimp on the portion; for the foie gras is a rather big portion.

To compliment, the excellent steaks here, The Arthur J has some excellent side dishes.

One that is a personal favorite is their Spiced Acorn and Butternut Squash.

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This side dish takes me back to the Thanksgiving holiday. The butternut squash is superb and is flavored with Maple Bourbon butter and topped with candied pecans.

Another amazing side is their Vermont Sharp Cheddar Mac and Cheese.

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Their delightfully creamy mac and cheese is topped with crispy garlic bread crumbs. I love the soft elbow noodles mixed with the crisp bread crumbs!

Last but definitely not the least and not to be missed is their delectable desserts. They’ve got a fair selection of sweets.

They have a nice take on the classic pecan pie.

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The pecan pie at The Arthur J is a pecan bar with large pecans mixed in and on top. It is also served with vanilla ice cream.

The Arthur J also has a divinechocolate tart.

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The chocolate tart consists of deliciously dark chocolate that is offset with the creative addition of passion fruit marshmallows! It’s dark and tart.

The food is excellent here and to go along with the food, they have an extensive wine and cocktail list. The Arthur J’s beverage director is no other than Jerry Garbus who is an operating partner at sister restaurants Manhattan Beach Post and Fishing with Dynamite.

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My go-to drink at almost any restaurant is the lemon drop and it is here at The Arthur J, that I may have found the best lemon  drop of all.  Their version of the martini has sweet and creamy tones. It has a  sweet vanilla essence.

Overall The Arthur J is simply one special restaurant in Manhattan Beach. It’s the perfect place for celebrations, special occasions, outings with friends or a date. Best of all, it’s only a block away from the beach. Go ahead indulge. You know you want to ;).

Hello Fire + Spice: A Colorado Grill!

When the weather is going to be in the 20s…we all need a little Fire and Spice!

I recently went on a trip to Aurora, Colorado. With snow all around, scarves, mittens and boots were on the list for the OOTD. With the cold chill, it only seemed appropriate to dine at a place called Fire + Spice! Hmm who doesn’t need a little warmth during cold weather?

Fire + Spice is a restaurant located at the Denver Airport Marriott at Gateway Park. They offer Colorado dishes with a bit of traditional Southwest cuisine.

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The menu has small plates, soups and greens, specialties and entrees. They say that starting off a meal here means more than chips and salsa. I found this to be definitely true as they have unique starters such as chicken chorizo spring rolls and chipotle chicken empanadas. I actually kicked off my meal here with one of their Fire + Spice signature dishes, their tortilla soup.

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This tortilla soup definitely had the fire and the spice. It had a very fiery kick to it that definitely tantalizes the taste buds.

After such a spicy start, I sure was excited to see what more fire my meal here would bring.

For my main entree, I chose another Fire + Spice signature dish, the Chorizo Chicken.

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I was instantly amazed when they served this dish. In previous blog posts, readers may have noticed that I am a fan of Thai angel wings. Fire + Spice’s chorizo chicken is like Thai angel wings but in Southwestern form.  The chorizo chicken was boneless chicken stuffed with spicy chorizo and drizzled with chipotle cream sauce. The chicken was accompanied by cilantro rice and black beans.

At first bite, I was in love. Talk about bringing a little spice to the heart. The chicken was perfectly crisp. It was enhanced by the savory, creamy sauce with a smoky chipotle kick. The spicy chorizo brought even more flavor.  All thoughts of the cold and wind were erased with this dish!

Delightful flavors of the Southwest and warm comforts in the cold Colorado weather were definitely what I found upon my visit to Fire + Spice. I’m very happy to have dined at such a unique Colorado grill and if ever in my travels I find myself here again, I would not mind once again indulging in a little Fire + Spice.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Fire + Spice.

Hello Kitty Cafe Truck Cuteness at Del Amo Fashion Center!

A little over two years ago I was one of the first to ever to try the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck at Hello Kitty Con and it truly made me happy and giddy! That happiness overflowed in my blog post and on the first ever Yelp review of the Hello Kitty Cafe.

How can a Hello Kitty Foodie like me not love this truck? The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck is the very first ever food truck for Sanrio. The pink hello kitty truck is a truck oozing with cuteness and sweetness. Hello Kitty Foodies can get donuts, macarons, petit cakes and even hello kitty bow water bottles!

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When I heard the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck was making an appearance at Torrance at the Del Amo Fashion Center, I was super excited. Torrance is my hometown and Del Amo Fashion Center is one of my favorite places to visit. (This is no secret to my blog readers who follow my Del Amo adventures at eateries like FridaGreat MapleDin Tai FungLemonade and Brio). My favorite Hello Kitty Cafe truck was finally coming to my favorite shopping center.

Hello Kitty Cafe Truck + Del Amo Fashion Center = happiness!

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The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck arrived bright and early on this happy Saturday morning. They were parked  near the AMC theater.

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Beep beep! HK Cafe finally was in the South Bay!

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Happy Hello Kitty foodies from around the South Bay and beyond were there to see the cute kawaii truck.

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All of the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck’s signature and special kawaii offerings were there for every one to purchase.

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A 3 piece Hello Kitty cookie set was available in adorable special pink box!

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One of my favorite items is Hello Kitty Cafe Truck’s signature macaron set. I’ve had these several times and they are not only cute but delicious as well.

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Since it was a beautiful sunny California day, they also were offering their pink bow water bottles to help keep all Hello Kitty fans cool.

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Aside from the yummy baked goods and refreshing water, they also had Hello Kitty Cafe mugs and t-shirts available. 

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I have one of those Hello Kitty Cafe mugs and using it the morning truly gives me a happy start for the day. They’re perfect for the cup of coffee that you will pair with those yummy Hello Kitty Cafe macarons ;).

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It was truly wonderful to see the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck visit Del Amo Fashion Center. Del Amo Fashion Center was an awesome place for them to stop because after the sweetness of the truck, it was time for some shopping fun! This South Bay girl was all smiles this Saturday.

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The cuteness of the Hello Kitty cafe is simply delightful!

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I hope to see the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck visit the South Bay again soon but in the meantime, the Hello Kitty Cafe truck will be visiting Valencia (on Feb 4) and Glendale (on Feb 11). I hope to see some of my fellow Hello Kitty Foodies in some of the future Hello Kitty Cafe truck visits. 😉

Two years ago when I first tried the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck at Hello Kitty Con, I always hoped that they would come to Torrance and to the Del Amo Fashion Center. It is so nice that they finally came. It was truly hello kitty happiness in my hometown and a truly a special day. Come back to the South Bay soon, Hello Kitty Cafe truck! 🙂

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Hello STANCE x Sanrio collection!

I am always on the go thanks to my travels and foodie adventures! If you see girl with long hair rushing around town in pink hello kitty sneakers that is most likely to be me ;). Perfect for my days of painting the town hello kitty pink is Sanrio’s latest collaboration!

Sanrio and STANCE have come together to bring a very special sock collection! The collection will feature some of our favorite Sanrio characters like Chococat, Keroppi, Badtz Maru and of course Hello Kitty!

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Each sock pair from this collection is absolutely adorable. I simply cannot wait to rock these cute caricature socks!

I love the Hello Kitty socks. There is one that showcases Kitty in her super kawaii  red overalls.

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There is also a Hello Kitty Tomboy lite sock with her signature red bow in a jacquard knit. Perfect for someone like me who is always on the move is the Hello Kitty socks in a knitted grey run crew and tab height.

Since I’m “hopping” from one place to the next looking for my next Hello Kitty foodie adventure, I can’t help but love the Keroppi socks too!

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What can I say? Keroppi is going to help me hop on to my next pond…err restaurant! 🙂

I love everything from this new collaboration. STANCE x Sanrio doesn’t compromise comfort for style so you definitely have the best both of worlds with this.  Chococat, Badtz Maru, Keroppi, Hello Kitty socks!?! I want them all!

The Hello Kitty and friends sock collection includes both women and girl’s sizes and will be available this January 31st. You can find them at the Stance flagship store in Soho, NY, select Sanrio stores in the US and worldwide, at www.stance.com  as well at www.sanrio.com.