Hello You Art What You Eat!

Tonight a very special event is taking place at the Greenbar Distillery in the Arts District!
Avital Tours in partnership with Grennbar Craft Distllery is bringing You Art What You Eat, a unique interactive food art experience on the cutting edge of culinary experience design.
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Avital Tour is known for creating 4-course progressive dining experiences. They do food tours where you get to try different courses from breakfast to snacks  at  different restaurants.  From trying the foods to going to different kitchens to chatting with chefs, owners, and culinary experts, they create a social dining experience.

You Art What You Eat is Avital Tour’s first ever event! It is an interactive experience of food, art, and unique flavors!  There will be a variety of interactive food tastings. One can try pop chocolate balloons, contribute to an edible Jackson Pollock-esque community masterpiece via scooping up glazes with Blue Star Donuts, create your own cocktail stencils and pipe your own cheesy creations onto savory shortbread and more!

This event is from 7-9pm Thursday, April 20th and will be $25 per person.
The event will include an open bar so all food and drink is included.

Hello Unicorn Frappuccino!

Three years ago, I wrote a post here on Hello Kitty Foodie about the limited edition Starbucks  Birthday Cake Frappuccino. In that post, I  wrote “I am sucker for cutesy drinks and the color pink and this limited offering has Hello Kitty Foodie cute written all over it.” Fast forward to three years later and once again Starbucks has reeled me in with another cute, pink drink; the Unicorn Frappuccino! As much as I though the Birthday Cake Frappuccino was special, the Unicorn Frappuccino is special with a capital S.

Unicorn food is the latest “It” trend in the foodie world.  Yes, food inspired by the mythical creature with horns is popping up every where. There’s unicorn toast, unicorn cake and even unicorn noodles. Now Starbucks is offering the Unicorn Frappuccino.  Starbucks describes the drink as the following:

The flavor-changing, color-changing, totally not-made-up Unicorn Frappuccino. Magical flavors start off sweet and fruity transforming to pleasantly sour. Swirl it to reveal a color-changing spectacle of purple and pink. It’s finished with whipped cream-sprinkled pink and blue fairy powders.

Magical flavors? This Hello Kitty Foodie is sold and I found myself going to the nearest Starbucks at lunch time! I ordered it from my phone, stepped into Starbucks and there it was, sitting in its majestic glory.

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I will admit that I was impressed at the first sight of the drink. I did not expect it to come out like this at all. It really is beautiful. The purple beverage with swirls of blue is definitely eye-catching.

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Swirl the drink around with the classic green straw and you get a lovely pink hue. It’s almost too cute to drink.

Hmm but how does it taste? First sip, I instantly tasted a fruity flavor with hints of mango. A couple more sips and I started to  taste the sourness of the drink. Mixing and swirling a bit more and the drink became a bit more tart. My palate tasted the vanilla  whipped cream last. It’s definitely a very unique and not like no other Frappuccino I’ve ever had. It is unique just like a unicorn. 😉 Magical…perhaps.

The magic of the Unicorn Frappuccino will be available only for a limited time! It is available from April 19-23. It’s worth a try and definitely worth a picture perfect magical moment ;).

Hello Brunch @ Baran’s 2239!

Baran’s 2239 has been on my list of places to try ever since they opened up in 2016. Their co-owner and executive chef, Tyler Gugliotta, is a South Bay native-born and raised in Torrance just likes yours truly. Similarly owners Jonathan and Jason Baran are residents of Redondo Beach. Being a local, I’m all about supporting restaurants in the South Bay :). 

Aside from their special tie to my South Bay hometown. I was very intrigued with Baran’s 2239 overall and their tie to great food.  The Barans family is no stranger to food. Their family owned the famed Brothertons Farmhouse on 2239 E. Colorado Blvd in Pasadena for over 50 plus years. The 2239 in the Baran’s restaurant name is homage to the Farmhouse’s restaurant.  The Farmhouse was home to many hometown favorites in Pasadena.  Baran’s 2239 is taking its queue from that fabulous restaurant and serving up some amazing dishes that the whole South Bay and beyond is buzzing about!

Just last month, Baran’s 2239 recently started serving brunch. I am a big fan of brunch and Baran’s 2239 brunch was simply calling my name! All of their offerings are made from scratch and in-house. Their seasonal and locally sourced food is provided by Gugliotta’s family farm, Weiser Farms.

I came for brunch here on Easter Sunday and it truly was a blessed and beautiful meal!

The meal with my family started off with trying their daily special donuts and muffins.

Today their fresh made donut of the day was the Creme Brûlée Donut.

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When the creme brûlée donut came out it, it came with the cutest Easter surprise! Baran’s 2239 pastry chef added a homemade little peep on the side. Not only was the peep cute it was delicious as well. It was made out of lavender. (Sorry cute peep, I ate you hehe!) It was the perfect pair to the creme brûlée donut. The creme brûlée donut was so soft and tasty. One bite and the sweet creme brûlée filling oozed out.

Alongside the donut, we were served their Strawberry Cheesecake Muffin.

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This again was one amazing pastry creating! The strawberry cheesecake muffin had fresh strawberries inside and it was accompanied with delicious cream cheese on the side. It was just like a cheesecake but in muffin form. Hmm who can say no to cheesecake in the morning? 🙂

For the main entrees, we got their Smoked and Spiced Chicken and Waffle.

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Baran’s 2239 is well-known for their fried chicken. Their fried chicken here is prepared in a very unique way. It is first smoked and then fried, and afterwards coated with a soy sauce and chile. Normally the fried chicken is served solo for dinner but for brunch they beautifully pair it with a crispy waffle, pecan sauce and candied nuts. The flavors of this dish simply fall out. You have the smoky, sweet and spicy chicken alongside the sweet, buttery waffle. It is brunch bliss with this dish!

Our second entree for Easter Brunch is one of Baran’s 2239 most popular dishes, their Indian Egg.

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The Indian Egg is Baran’s 2239’s version of the Scotch Egg.  The Indian Egg is a dish consisting of a soft boiled egg that is wrapped in a ball of lamb sausage. It is served with yogurt, cucumber and curry jus.

I am not surprised that the Indian Egg is so popular with every one. I love how it is lightly fried and how perfect the egg is soft-boiled. The flavors of the lamb alongside the creamy yogurt and spiced curry are without a doubt pleasing to the palate.

Easter is a time for new beginnings and my brunch trip here with family is a new beginning of a new tradition of coming to Baran’s 2239. I cannot wait to return and indulge in more of their delicious dishes!

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Baran’s 2239.

Hello Kitty Mini Cafe at Westfield Santa Anita!

From the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck to the Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up Container, it’s been Hello Kitty Foodie happiness all over! I am so excited and happy to sprinkle a bit more Hello Kitty Foodie happiness via sharing the news of the first Hello Kitty Mini Cafe opening up.

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The Hello Kitty Mini Cafe will be opening to the public this Friday, April 7th, at Westfield Santa Anita shopping center in Arcadia, California. The super cute pink and white small will be right at the Central Court on the first floor of the mall!

Hello Kitty and her friends will welcome shoppers with goodies made fresh daily. Among the delicious treats will be yummy pies, tarts, cookies, pastries and cakes. Many of the signature menu items are similar to those offered at the Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up Container. There will also be special seasonal treats throughout the year. Along with the delectable sweets, the Hello Kitty Mini Cafe will serve up a variety of hot and cold beverages! There will also be collectible Hello Kitty Cafe merchandise including t-shirts and mugs.

I am so excited for opening of the Hello Kitty Mini Cafe! I cannot wait to visit and hope to see many of you Hello Kitty Foodies there!

Grand opening festivities will take place FridaySaturday and Sunday and the first 50 people in line each day to receive a  complimentary beverage of their choice and the first 100 people in line each day in line will get a commemorative “small gift”, to celebrate Sanrio’s ‘small gift, big smile’ philosophy.

Hours for the grand opening of the Hello Kitty Mini Cafe Hours are as follows: Friday 4.07 11am – 10pmSaturday 4.08 10am – 10pmSunday 4.09 10am-9pm! 

Hello Gringo Bandito & Chronics Taco Challenge!

Late last year, I wrote about Gringo Bandito, a hot sauce that is turning up the heat all over California.

Now Gringo Bandito along with Chronics Tacos is bringing the heat to the Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco and Music Festival in Dana Point! This April 8, 2017 will be the Gringo Bandito Chronic Tacos Challenge at KLOS Presents Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco & Music Festival. It’s the 4th annual festival and the 7th annual Gringo Bandito Chronic Tacos Challenge.

Top professional eaters from around the world will compete in this professional taco eating contest. Using their skills and speed at taco eating, ten individuals will compete for cash prizes and the highly coveted title of Gringo Bandito Chronic Tacos Eating Champion!

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Among the 10 professional eaters is well-known world-champion eater Takeru Kobayashi, from Nagano, Japan. Kobayashi, eight time Guinness Record title holder for competitive eating and he was the Gringo Bandito Chronic Tacos Eating Champion of 2015. In that contest he ate an amazing record of 144 tacos in 10 minutes. Along side with Kobayashi will be Molly Schuyller, Naader Reda, Kevin Ross, Erik Lampkin, Dave Brunelli and defending European taco challenge champion Jesse Pynnönen, from Heinola, Finland.

The fun is not just for the professionals however!  An amateur competition will be open to 8 lucky contestants. Hmm rumor has it Hello Kitty, Tuxedo Sam and My Melody want to join. 🙂

Asides from the contests, guests of the festival can try all the different Gringo Bandito hot sauces, sample various gourmet tacos. indulge in unlimited craft beer sampling, watch spirited games, see lucha libre style wrestling matches. The heat is on at Dana Point this April 8!

Festival General Admission Tickets start at $60, and VIP Lounge + Early Entry Tickets are $99. Day-of Festival General Admission Tickets (if available) will be $75 per person.

For the most up-to-date information on Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco & Music Festival, please visit:
 Website www.SabrosoTacoFest.com
 Facebook: @sabrosotacofest
 Twitter: @sabrosotacofest
 Instagram: @sabrosotacofest
 Hashtag: #sabrosotacofest

Hello Cafe 86!

Pink is my favorite color however I feel like purple is starting to make its way into my heart lately. Yes, that color purple sure is making an impact….thanks to ube!

Ube is the Tagalog word for purple yam and it’s the new “IT” dessert. It’s been making waves all over social media. From ube donuts to ube ice cream, the Filipino fave dessert has become a favorite for many foodies.

For some excellent ube treats, one should definitely check out Cafe 86. This cute Filipino cafe first opened up in Chino Hills, California and soon after opened up locations in Pasadena and Artesia, California. From the moment you walk into their cute cafe, one is sure to say “Oh my Ube.” This place truly is ube heaven.

A fan favorite  for many is the Ube Leche Flan Cupcake.

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The base of the cupcake is purple ube beauty made out of Cafe 86’s housemade ube halaya and then the top of the cupcake is the creamy Filipino dessert leche plan. The ube base and the leche plan topping is truly a match made in heaven. With this dessert you have a soft moist cake and a creamy sweet topping. Every bite is simply delightful.

Another awesome ube dessert is their ube cake truffles.  At first glance,  these truffles look like simple chocolate balls but don’t fooled because there is truly an amazing surprise waiting for you inside.

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It will truly be love at first bite of these Ube Truffles. Inside is a lovely purple colored moist cake made out of…..you guessed it ube! When I visited Cafe 86, I honestly thought nothing could be as amazing as the Ube Leche Flan Cupcake but their Ube Truffles sure is just as wonderful. It has the nice rich touch of chocolate on the outside. The inside is the soft ube cake. It is one of my favorites at Cafe 86.

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There is even more ube delight to be found in their Ube Monster ice cream sandwich.

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It’s Cookie Monster turned Ube Monster with this dessert! It’s a ube ice cream sandwich with two soft chocolate cookies filled with ube ice cream. It truly a “monster” dessert. It’s “monster” gigantic cookies. It’s filled with “monster” loads of creamy ube ice cream. You’re sure to go “monster” ube crazy with this one. 🙂

The Ube menu goes on and on at Cafe 86. Their specials change daily. Sometimes there are Ube Crinkle Cookies, Ube Crack Cheesecake, Ube Butter Bars or even Ube Vegan Bundt Cake. It’s not just about ube at Cafe 86 however. They have lots of other dessert delights like Halo-Halo Bread Pudding, Skyflake cookies and Churochi; a Cafe 86 special dessert of churro and mochi combined. In addition to desserts, Cafe 86 has various iced teas like Hibiscus Calamansi and Peach Mango,  milk teas like Thai Tea milk tea and Sea Salt Black Tea, Milk Shakes and Slush like Caramel Milk Slush and different lattes, espressos and loose leaf teas.

Yes, pink may be my favorite color but purple truly has made its way into this Hello Kitty Foodies heart. Oh my ube, I am a ube fan and Cafe 86 has a lot to do why I am. 😉

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Cafe 86.

Hell Stacked Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich!

 

With and iPad in front,  there I go  clicking, sliding, dragging, dropping and then hit the magic button of “Send to Kitchen”

This my Hello Kitty Foodies is the  process of “Food Well Built” at Stacked.

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I have so many favorites at Stacked. I love how this restaurant lets you customize every thing  from their sides to their salads to their amazing burgers.

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I am so excited that Stacked has a new item on their customizable menu. The latest and greatest addition is their Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich! Yes! Hello Kitty Foodies we can now get our fried chicken fix at Stacked.

Stacked’s new Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich has a fresh chicken breast that is hand-breaded with buttermilk batter and fried to a golden brown. It is stacked with pickles, red onion, green leaf lettuce and chipotle mayo on a brioche bun. Just like any other item on the menu, this item can be stacked any way you like. I stacked it Hello Kitty Foodie style ;).

My Hello Kitty Foodie style Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich consisted of the golden brown fried chicken sandwich stacked with green leaf lettuce, onion strings, sautéed mushrooms and mac and cheese all on top of the brioche bun. I had garlic aioli and honey mustard on the side for dipping.

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The Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich was phenomenal. The fresh chicken breast was superb in flavor and had a bit of a spicy kick to it. The addition of the crispy onion strings gave it an extra crunch! I’m also a big fan of Stacked’s creamy mac and cheese and this brought a bit of Southern deliciousness to the sandwich.

My Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich also paired well with Stacked’s delicious sides of  garlic parmesan sweet potato fries and onion strings.

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In addition the new Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich, Stacked has an amazing shake of the month this month! This month’s special shake is the Caramel Delight.The Caramel Delight Shake is inspired by the @GirlScouts Caramel deLites cookie. img_0315

The Caramel Delight shake is truly a delight! It has caramel, coconut, swirls of chocolate and is topped with the@GirlScouts cookie! I loved this new shake just as much as I loved the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich!

Stacked has always had a special place in my heart because the Stacked Del Amo location is where I got my first ever Yelp ROTD (Review of the Day).  This place is simply memorable with amazing food. The Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich just adds to my love of this place! Fried Chicken Heaven now at Stacked! 🙂