Hello Mix Mix Kitchen Bar!

Just this May 2019; Michelin released the first ever California statewide list of Bib Gourmand selections. The list highlights “exceptionally good food at moderate prices.” One of the restaurants listed was Mix Mix Kitchen and Bar.  Located in Downtown Santa Ana, Mix Mix Kitchen Bar is the global inspired restaurant concept by famed Chef Ross Pangilinan. The restaurant is not new to earning recognition. In 2017; they also Orange Coast Magazine’s 2017 Restaurant of the Year!

Chef Ross Pangilinan was previously the executive chef at Leatherby’s Café Rouge at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa. In 2017; he opened up Mix Mix Kitchen Bar. Since it’s opening; the restaurant has earned both awards as well as the hearts of foodies from all over.

Chef Ross Pangilinan’s dishes have a hint of Filipino flare and European touch. The menu is filled with unique and tasty dishes and one of the best ways to go while visiting is trying out their “Oui Chef” tasting menu. For $65; diners get to partake in 5 dishes personally picked by the chef himself.  I got to try the “Oui Chef” tasting menu recently and had the most amazing time!

Our meal first started off with Chicharrones and spicy vinegar.

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Chicharrones; a classic Filipino snack; was the perfect starter for our big meal.  The Chicharrones were thin and crisp and great when dipped in the Datu Puti vinegar; a well known Filipino vinegar.

Next up; we were presented with several of Mix Mix’s famed snacks..

First was the Seared Albacore Tostada & Filipino ceviche.

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The Seared Albacore Tostada came with avocado, seaweed, Japanese dressing, sriracha aioli, radish on top of a round crisp tostada. On the side was the Filipino ceviche with coconut lime dressing, tangerine, avocado, Thai chili and bits of pork crackling.

One of the nicest things I liked about the Oui Chef tasting menu was it was customizable to guests. One guest can have a different dish versus the other if the other guest has different dining preferences (non-pescatarian, vegetarian etc).

Since I am non-pescatarian; I was presented with a lovely plate with Chorizo & Potato Croquettes and Bacon Wrapped Date.

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The Chorizo & Potato Croquettes came with jalapeno lime aioli, Oaxaca cheese while the Bacon Wrapped Date came with harissa yogurt, Marcona almonds. Both were lovely and full of flavor! I loved the softness of the croquettes and sweetness of the date.

The snacks did not end there as next was a plate of Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon salad to share.

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This had watermelon, tomato, candied pistachio and white balsamic gastrique. Pieces of crisp toast were placed on top. I loved how they made this seasonal dish with watermelon. It was so refreshing for a summer night.

Next up were several selections from Mix Mix Kitchen Bar’s small plates menu.

The first was Short Rib Bao Buns.

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It is rare to find bao buns at restaurants and I have to say that this is one of the best that I’ve ever had! It was packed with braised short rib topped with pickled onions and cilantro. It also had ”pho” cream which gave a pho like taste to great small plate!

Pork Cheek Adobo was followed as our next small plate.

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Adobo is a famed Filipino dish and one knows a Filipino restaurant is good based off their adobo! I am happy to say Filipino Chef Ross definitely knows his adobo. This small plate was delicious and was accompanied with tasty garlic fried rice and chimichurri. It reminds me of home.

The dish served with the Pork Cheek Adobo was the restaurant’s Market Fish selection dish.

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The Market Fish was a lovely looking plate. The fish was roasted barramundi and it was accompanied with Spanish beans, Spanish chorizo, zucchini and pickled chili emulsion. Healthy and delightful are two words that come to mind.

Soft Egg Raviolo awaited our palates next.

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The Soft Egg Raviolo had a soft cooked egg in the middle of a large disk of stuffed black pepper pasta, topped with herb ricotta,  guanciale, parmesan and brown butter. The egg yolk oozed out of the middle as I sliced this delectable dish. The ravioli itself was so soft and cooked perfectly.

Our following starter plate was a surprise. It was the Rabbit Guitar Pasta.

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The pasta itself is representative of guitar strings and hence the name “Guitar Pasta.” On top was shredded meat that at first we were debating whether it was chicken or pork. It turned out to be Fryer Rabbit; a lean young rabbit with fine-textured white meat. This dish is not on the menu but a special of the restaurant. It was definitely one of their more unique dishes!

At this point; we were getting quite full but up next was the main entree; New York steak and Lamb.

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Once again; Mix Mix Kitchen Bar got it right! Both meats were cooked medium and were so tender. Accompanied with brussel sprouts and potatoes; it felt like we were at high end steakhouse. The lamb was another off the menu special.

The desserts were a sweet ending to a very special tasting menu. We got not one but two of their famous desserts.

First up was the Chocolate Fondant.

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Our waiter described this as a lava cake like type dessert with passion fruit cream, salted caramel on the side. The chocolate itself was so rich and smooth. It was dark chocolate at it’s finest. The passion fruit cream gave a nice, sweet offset to the dark chocolate.

Our last but definitely not the least dessert was the Tropical Verrine.

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Once again; Chef Ross Pangalinan pays homage to his Filipino roots with this dessert that is a twist on the Filipino halo- halo. It had coconut panna cotta, macadamia nuts and tropical fruit and mango sorbe and ube ice cream. Definitely save room for dessert as this sweet treat is pure heaven!

Oui Chef experience at Mix Mix Kitchen was the most amazing culinary experience. I can definitely see why this restaurant won Orange Coast Magazine’s 2017 Restaurant of the Year and is on the list of Michelin Guide California 2019 Bib Gourmand. Chef Ross Pangilinan along with Chef de Cusine; Ross Harris came up with some of the best dishes ever and provided us with a dining experience we will never forget! Oui Chef!

For more smiles; please see my Yelp review  on Mix Mix Kitchen Bar.

Hello Citrus City Grille: New Summer Offerings!

 

Citrus City Grille  in Old Town Orange was built in 1996 by three friends who wanted to bring a modern restaurant that would become a neighborhood destination. Since it’s opening; Citrus City Grille has become just that; a place where neighborhood friends gather for modern, contemporary American cuisine with a touch of Mediterranean.

Their menu consists of an amazing array of sandwiches, steaks, salads, tacos, soups, cocktails, wines and more. Just in time for the summer they are offering a summer special every day of the week. These nightly summer specials begin at 4pm:

  • Monday Pasta Night – Buy 1 pasta dish get 1 free
  • Tuesday Payback Night – Half off your entire food bill
  • Wednesday Wine Enthusiasts Night – Large selection of half off wine bottle list

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  • Thursday Beer Enthusiasts Night – Half off all beer
  • Friday + Saturday Night – Preset three course meals at just $25

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  • Sunday Night – All restaurant industry half off your food bill

In addition, Citrus City Grille always has their popular Happy Hour that runs daily during afternoon and evening hours and a $10.95 lunch box available for dine in or take out.

Summer smiles and Hello Kitty Foodie happiness are sure to be found at City Grill!

Hello 7 Leaves Cafe Torrance!

“Be the change that you want to see in the world.” Gandi’s famous words are around the cups and it appears as well on a “eye chart” decoration at the newly opened 7 Leaves Cafe in Torrance.

7 Leaves Cafe indeed is making a change in the world; the boba world to be exact and I like it! The shop that first originated in Orange County has now hit the South Bay. What makes their drinks so unique is they chop, peel, cook, stir, and press by hand from raw ingredients in order to extract real flavors to use in their drinks.

I love my tea as well as my boba and 7 Leaves Cafe has the quality that I am looking for! My favorites so far include their House Coffee as well as their Mung Bean Tea.

The House Coffee is an authentic Vietnamese style coffee with hazelnut cream while the Mung Bean Tea is jasmine tea with mung bean and pandan leaves. Both drinks are true to their name and the flavor really comes out.

Aside from drinks; 7 Leaves also offers macarons and strawberry croissants! I enjoyed some strawberry croissants with my drink and enjoyed the buttery flaky crust of the croissant and the sweet cream that oozed out from the inside.

7 Leaves is definitely making a change; a good change in bringing quality ingredients to bring out quality food and drinks! I’m happy to see this place now in the South Bay!

For more smiles; please check out my Yelp review on 7 Leaves Cafe Torrance.

Hello The Foodie Space!

Being the Hello Kitty Foodie that I am; my friends, family and boyfriend know that I always need take a picture of our food before we eat! “Wait; let me take a picture first” is common words they’ll hear from me ;). I love my family, friends and boyfriend for always being so patient while I take a picture before we eat. ❤️

It was thus a foodie dream come true for me to get an invite to The Foodie Space for Yelp Elite Week!

The Foodie Space is a special pop up that is currently at Del Amo Fashion for a limited run. Here foodies can take photos to their hearts content with an abundance of interactive art exhibits that are all food related!

Food has always been a pizza of my heart so The Foodie Space was my place to be!

My mom is my favorite foodie buddy and she is all that and dim sum for coming with me to this foodie fun place!

We had a lot of fun take photos all pho the love of food!

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The Foodie Space was pretty quali-tea and I loved it like I love boba :).

Check out my Instagram @ @hellokittyfoodie for more of my fun pictures @ The Foodie Space!

You can also check out my latest Yelp review to learn more about #YelpxFoodieSpace experience!

Hello Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute Matsuri Festival!

The Matsuri festival is an annual festival held at the Japanese Cultural Institute in Gardena, California. It’s a festival that celebrates Japanese culture and heritage and brings the community together for fellowship, friendship and good food.

The year’s festival was a lot of fun and offered some of the tastiest cuisine ever.

The Yakisoba booth was right up front and made for quite a welcoming booth for those entering the festival. Not only did the delicious aroma of the Japanese noodles attract visitors; so did the loud chants and songs of the vendors at the booth.

The Chicken teriyaki booth was one of the most sought after booths of the festival. Their chicken baos were fabulous and a tasty and true hit!

Spam musubi is always a favorite dish in Japanese and Hawaiian culture. I saw a lot of folks buying the snack and I too could not resist purchasing some of the authentic Hawaiian treat that they offered.

There were also lots of sweet desserts for folks. Aside from shaved ice, they also had taiyaki, imagawayaki and Okinawan andagi! Imagawayaki flavors included an and blueberry. I loved how fresh and hot the imagawayaki and andagi were. The sweet deep fried andagi buns were delicious!

I loved coming to the Matsuri festival this weekend. It was an awesome time having a foodie trip around Japan right here in Gardena, California.

Hello MoDo Hawaii!

Somethings in life are just meant to be together.

We have Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse and Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel and then the ultimate foodie pair; Mochi and Donut to bring us MoDo!

MOCHI + DONUT = MODO

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MoDo Hawaii is a mochi donut concept shop located on the island of Oahu. There is no reason to be sad however if you can’t make it Hawaii anytime soon because MoDo is bring mochi donuts to various Mitsuwa markets via special pop-up shops. The latest pop-up shop to open up is at the Mitsuwa in Torrance, California. This is the first time MoDo is coming to the South Bay and they will be here till July 15 2019! (They usually are closed on Mondays but they’re making an exception on the last day!)

One of the best things about MoDo is they make their donuts fresh to order! It comes straight out the fryer, freshly glazed and ready to bring happiness to all of us Hello Kitty Foodies. They’re perfectly soft on the outside and oh so chewy on the inside. The glaze or sugar on the outside give a nice touch of sweetness.

My favorite is the Lilikoi flavor. With lilikoi being one of Hawaii’s most popular exotic fruits; this donut flavor is a perfect representation of aloha in a bite.

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Flavors rotate daily and they offer two glazed types as well as one sugar flavors. You can get the donuts as half a dozen for $10 or a dozen for $20.

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MoDo truly brings a smile to this Hello Kitty Foodie! Ahh some things in life are just meant to be.

Hello Kitty 45th Anniversary Special Exhibition @ Corey Helford Gallery!

Today, Saturday, June 29, 2019 a very special exhibit is being kicked off at the Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles! The Hello Kitty 45th Anniversary Group Show
will be starting off an exhibit at the Main Gallery.

 

Artist Okuda San Miguel - for Hello Kitty 45th Anniversary Group Show

The artists featured in this exhibition will feature our favorite girl Hello Kitty along with her fabulous friends in various forms of art that include painting, sculpture and animation.

Artist Andrew Brandou - for Hello Kitty 45th Anniversary Group Show

Today’s launch event on June 29 is open to the public and is for Hello Kitty fans of all ages. Attendees will enjoy special surprises on opening night including prints of select 45th anniversary artwork and appearances by Hello Kitty.

For more info please visit Corey Helford Gallery website and Sanrio website for the latest information. The Hello Kitty 45th Group show will be from June 20-August 3, 2019.