Hello Kitty x Converse!

Running to the next Hello Kitty Foodie adventure is about to get a whole lot more exciting and cute! Sanrio and Converse  have come together to bring us Hello Kitty x Converse; a supercute collection of footwear, sportswear and accessories!

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The Hello Kitty x Converse collection will have a special Sanrio design on not just one but three of their classic shoe styles; the the Chuck Taylor All Star, Chuck 70 and One Star.  Aside from custom designed graphics and logos there will be a polka dot printed lining as well as a second set of laces in an all-over Hello Kitty print.

There is definitely a cute surprise within each of the shoes in this collection! Cute details include a screen printed Hello Kitty and friends on the canvas, a peek-a-boo Hello Kitty on sneaker tongue and a “say hello to me when you see me” messaging printed on foxing tape. One is sure to fall in love!

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Aside from the neat shoe collection, Hello Kitty x Converse will also have a very special  apparel collection that includes a white and red short sleeve Football Tee, a black Pullover Hoodie and a Hello Kitty printed down the sleeve. Aside from apparel there will also be matching adorable accessories such as Phone Pouch for any size phone, with detachable Hello Kitty pins; a Mini Duffle Bag in an all over Hello Kitty print and black/red polka dot Cross Body Bag with Hello Kitty accents.

The Hello Kitty x Converse sneaker collection will retail between $50 – $100, with sportswear and accessories ranging from $35 for the Cross Body Bag to $75 for the Pullover Hoodie. The collection will launch globally from converse.com, sanrio.com, and select Converse stores and retailers this August 16. Each design is supercute and you’ll sure want to say hello to this collection!

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Hello Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Syracuse!

Dinosaurs are often associated with big and bold and thus it just seems appropriate that one of the biggest restaurants as well as one of the boldest in terms of making a name for itself in Syracuse is named Dinosaur Bar-B-Que!

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que first started off in 1983 as an idea among three friends at a motorcycle gathering in Albany, New York. Founder John Stage and his friends wanted to offer good bbq to their fellow bikers and made a mobile concession that they brought to various motorcycle shows, fairs, and festivals throughout the Northeast. Fast forward to 1988, where the mobile concession stand became a full-blown restaurant in downtown Syracuse, New York. Through the years Dinosaur has been making bold waves via being showcased in various magazines and the Food Network. Now Dinosaur Bar-B-Que has eight additional locations: Rochester, New York, Harlem, New York, Troy, New York,Newark, New Jersey, Stamford, Connecticut, Brooklyn, New York, and Buffalo, New York.

Traveling to Syracuse, I knew instantly that I had to try this iconic bbq joint and did not hesitate to go to the original location on one of my nights there. Known for super long waits, I was pleasantly surprised to have no wait when I arrived! (Can we yell success and yay!!) The place was definitely crowded with eager foodies like myself but it didn’t take long for me to start of my savory meal here.

To start off I tried Dinosaur Bar-B-Que’s famous Fried Green Tomatoes.

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The Fried Green Tomatoes come in either 3 pieces or 5 pieces and are served with a side cayenne buttermilk ranch. This was the perfect starter to my meal. I loved the juicy green tomato that was fried to golden perfection. The Pecorino Romano cheese on top was a nice touch and the cayenne buttermilk ranch was a great dipping companion.

For my main meal, I decided to try a variety of some of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que’s best offerings by getting a combo plate.

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My chosen combo plate consisted of St. Louis ribs, chicken wings and bbq brisket with jalapeños along with corn bread, simmered turkey neck collard greens and mashed potatoes. This was one hearty and very fulfilling plate! The St. Louis ribs are dry rubbed and slow smoked and lightly glazed with Dinosaur’s original bbq sauce  It was no surprise to have the meat fall off the St. Louis ribs. Very tender it came off with one flick of my fork. Equal in tenderness was the bbq brisket. The BBQ brisket is also slow-smoked and then hand sliced and flavored with pickled onion & jalapeno relish. It is topped with sliced jalapeno and just has the right amount of spice. The chicken wings were also delightful and had very good flavoring. These chicken wings are spice-rubbed, pit-smoked and grill finished. I loved dipping it with the original BBQ sauce as well as blue cheese dressing. All of the meats went well with the side of collard greens and mashed potatoes.

Dinosaur’s meats are already quite tasty by themselves but if one wants even more flavor; there is a variety of sauces and rubs that you can smother and sprinkle all over.

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Sensuous Slathering is more of their traditional BBQ sauce that has just the right amount of sweet for my palate. The heat starts with the Garlic Chipotle Pepper Sauce and the Mango Tango Habanero Hot Bar-b-que Sauce. Dare if you can handle the heat with the oh so hot Devil’s Duel Habenro Hot Pepper Sauce. Lastly there is the Cajun Foreplay Spice Rub for a little more heat. (How hot can you go?_ 😉

If it does get a lot hot…have no fear because aside from savory meats, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que also has some sweet treats! They’ve got Chocolate Ice Box Pie, Peanut Butter Pie, Dino Cheesecake, Key Lime Pie and Sweet Potato Pecan Pie.

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The Sweet Potato Pecan Pie was my dessert of choice and I fell in love with at first bite. The sweet potato itself was so soft and practically melted in my mouth. I loved the toppings of pecan pie. Both the sweet potato and pecan were the perfect pair for one another.

Just like Dinosaur Bar-B-Que’s namesake of dinosaurs, this place definitely is big and bold in terms of their offerings. Their foundation is fresh, homemade and high quality and as they say they “WFDA” or “We Don’t F** Around.” Big and bold indeed. It was one intense and delicious trip here.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Syracuse.

Hello Joey’s Italian Restaurant!

Whenever I travel, I try to find the best eateries that the town has to offer. My Hello Kitty Foodie adventures wouldn’t be complete without it. On my first night in New York; I’m so happy to say that I found what has to be one of the best Italian restaurants in the town of Syracuse.

Joey’s Italian Restaurant is located in Syracuse, New York at Carrier Circle. They’ve been serving up fine Italian American cuisine since 1982 via two restaurants under one roof. Upstairs lies Pronto Joey’s which offers a casual Italian American fare. Downstairs is Joey’s Classic Italian dining that has a more formal fine dining setting.

I had the pleasure of dining at Joey’s Classic Italian and was mesmerized by the beautiful setting the moment I walked in. With its cherry wood furniture, dim lighting and perfectly set tables; the place is intimate and beautiful.

Their menu is equivalent in exquisiteness and filled with an array of fresh made pastas with veal, beef, poultry and seafood. Each of their sauces is handcrafted right in the heart of New York.

Each meal here starts off with a fresh-baked basket of bread that is accompanied with their housemade garlic butter and an olive oil and balsamic dip.

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Joey’s housemade garlic butter is reason enough to go here as it definitely one of the tastiest garlic butters I have ever had. The velvety butter perfectly melts on the warm bread and is quite addicting. It has just the right hint of garlic to it.

Each pasta speciality also comes with Joey’s house salad.

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The house salad is a delightful starter filled with a good variety of vegetables. There are tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, chick peas and mixed greens. Dressing choices include honey mustard, ranch, raspberry vinagrette, balsamic vinagrette, Caesar and parmesan.

Though one can easily get full with the warm bread and crisp salad; one definitely needs to save room for Joey’s homemade pastas. The pasta menu consists of homemade dishes such as lasagna, cannelloni, ravioli, fettuccine and lasagna. There is also house specialities.

One such house speciality is the Tortellini Carbonara.

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The Tortellini Carbonara has pork and beef filled pasta with sautéed Italian prosciutto. The sauce consists of asiago cheese, egg and cream. It’s one creamy dish and the tortellini will practically melt in your mouth.

Another house speciality is the Chicken Tetrazini.

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The Chicken Tentrazini has Joey’s housemade noodles topped with a breast of chicken sautéed with mushrooms, roasted red peppers and peas. The sauce is a light cream sauce. The mushrooms, red peppers and peas bring so much flavor along with the tender chicken breast. The light cream sauce is just right. This dish is definitely one of my favorites at Joey’s.

Not only are the pasta dishes homemade, the desserts are as well! The sweets menu is equally is an impressive and consists of favorite Italian sweets like tiramisu and cannoli along side classic desserts; carrot cake, cheesecake, citrus cake and creme brûlée.

It is very had to pass on a good creme brûlée and decided to try Joey’s version.

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Joey’s creme brûlée was indeed a wonderful ending to a wonderful dinner. On the bottom of the soft creme brûlée is rich Bailey’s chocolate. This creme brûlée is finished off with fresh cream and a fresh strawberry. The creme brûlée is silky-smooth. The rich Bailey’s chocolate is a sweet surprise and brings another depth to the dessert.

In my quest to find some of the best eateries in town, I think I succeeded in my first night in New York with the charming Joey’s Italian in Syracuse.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Joey’s Italian.

Hello Howlin Ray’s!

Summer is officially here! With temperatures spiking up to 100 degrees plus around LA, we can definitely say the heat is on. It however has been hot at Chinatown’s Far East Plaza since 2015, thanks to Howlin’ Ray’s!

Howlin’ Ray’s originally started out as food truck by a Silver Lake chef Johnny Zone and then in 2015, Johnny and his wife decided to put up shop at Far East Plaza. The rest as many will say his history…hot history.

Lines can be found snaking through the Far East Plaza for hours. It almost seems like everyone in town wants to get their hands on the Nashville Hot Chicken that Howlin Ray’s is all about. How hot do you want your chicken? The spice ranges from country (no heat) to howling’ (can’t touch this 10++).

Hello Kitty Foodie finally met Howlin’ Ray’s recently and I can say the hype is real!

The chicken comes out fresh from the kitchen from a very happy and eager restaurant crew. Watching the Howlin’ Ray’s crew is amazing. They’ve got the teamwork down and their manager Mario can be seen taking the time to say hello to all the foodies.

Chicken offerings are served with white bread and pickles and one can choose from a quarter bird, half bird, skinny jimmy (boneless chicken breast) and wings.

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The fried chicken is piping hot with the skin super crisp and oh so delicious. The chicken itself is tender and practically melts in your mouth. It’s perfect with the soft white bread and pickles that comes with the chicken. Spice level was just right and it definitely was getting hot the afternoon I tried it. 😉 It’s no surprise folks wait for hours for the crunch, the taste and the mouth watering experience.

Howlin’ Ray’s also offers The Sando; their version of the chicken sandwich.

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In between two butter buns is the crispiest boneless breast that is topped with slaw and lots of comeback sauce. Can one say crunch err love at first bite? The boneless chicken breast in this sandwich is amazing. Crispy texture, tender meat; it’s one that you’ll want to come back for over and over. Speaking of come back; the comeback sauce itself is like is lovely treat to foodies. It’s a mayonnaise based sauce with a slight hint of pepper and brings even more flavor to the already tasty sandwich.

Hello flavor! Hello heat! Hello Kitty Foodie loved Howlin’ Ray’s. It’s no wonder the Far East Plaza is so hot! Howlin’ Rays hot.

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For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Howlin’ Rays.

Hello and Happy National Ice Cream Day!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream….

Today, July 15 is one very sweet and special day because today we celebrate our favorite sweet treat; ice cream! In honor of this delicious holiday, I am sharing with all of my dear Hello Kitty Foodies some special sweet spots where you can get some awesome sweet treats!

1.) Godiva – Aside from their amazing chocolates, Godiva also has soft serve ice cream! I love their white chocolate soft serve ice cream. Served on the raspberry and rose cone, this is definitely one beautiful and delicious treat!

2.)  Wanderlust Creamery – One of my favorite things about Wanderlust Creamery is how they offer unique flavors from around the world! From Filipino ube to Japanese black sesame; it’s like you are going on an ice cream journey around the world when you eat here.

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3.)  -8C Ice Cream  – Located in Gardena’s Pacific Square Plaza is this wonderful ice cream shop specializing in rolled ice cream. My favorite is the “Peanut Butter Jealous.” I topped this with some of my favorite toppings of mango, graham crackers and oreos.

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4.) Scoops – At Far East Plaza, right across from hot spot Howlin’s Rays is a sweet spot called Scoops! This ice cream shop boosts unique flavors like lavender goat cheese, Guinness tiramisu and hazelnut passion fruit and Bianca bread. The Bianca bread is definitely one of my favorites.

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5.) Mashti Malone’s – When in Hollywood, one definitely needs to check out Mashti Malone’s. They specialize in exotic flavors from Iran. Their creamy Alfonso mango ice cream is a must for any hot day!

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6.) Melt Gelato  – In the South Bay, Melt Gelato is the place to go for crepes and gelato. Located at El Segundo at Plaza El Segundo, they’ve got both sorbets and gelato. Who doesn’t love the Italian sweet treat? My gelato of choice is their coconut macadamia ice cream.

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7.) Smitten Ice Cream  – Who wouldn’t be smitten with Smitten? Their churned to order nitrogen ice cream is smooth, tasty and simply perfect.

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8.) Bruster’s – With their handcrafted ice cream piled on a gigantic waffle cone; one can’t help but smile when getting a treat from this newly opened shop in Torrance! Cookie craze, cherry vanilla and black raspberry chocolate ice cream is calling my name.

9.) Pressed Juicery – A healthy frozen treat? Yes, please! Pressed Juicery brings healthy and happy with their Freeze! It puts a new spin on our favorite treat via this soft serve made out of cold pressed juices!

10.) Yogurtland – Our favorite Fro-yo place is now also serving ice cream! There’s classical flavors like vanilla and chocolate along with fun flavors like butter pecan and chocolate malt ball ice cream. (It’s also buy one, get one free today from 1-6pm. 😉)

11.) Afters Ice Cream – I fell in love with Afters during the Hello Kitty ❤️ Afters collaboration. Their awesome flavors include Cookie Monster and Cookie Butter!

12.) Kansha Creamery – Kansha means grateful in Japanese and I’m so grateful for this Japanese ice cream shop in Torrance. Their Mr. Universal with caramel and oatmeal cookies is the best!  Aside from scoops of ice cream, they also offers parfaits. The matcha parfait seems to be a favorite of many. It consists of vanilla ice cream, matcha jelly, matcha syrup, mochi, corn flakes, red bean paste, whipped cream and matcha ice cream.

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13.) Hisaya Kyoto Roasted Chestnuts – This chestnut shop in Torrance is chestnut galore with their offerings of chestnuts, chestnut coffee, chestnut tiramisu and chestnut ice cream! Their Mt. Fuji sundae is packed with delicious ice cream! Ice cream choices include matcha, chocolate, strawberry and chestnut flavor. 😉 This sundae is a 9oz ice cream that is perfect for National Ice Cream Day!

14.) Kream Kong Ice Cream – Seen at the OC Market, Kream Kong Ice Cream will soon be hitting up the streets via a new ice cream truck! Their offerings are handcrafted, organic and made from locally sourced ingredients. Their delicious flavors include peanut butter and jelly, ube, red velvet, avocado and banana cream pie.   Kream Kong Ice Cream  Truck will be launching this summer.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream…

I’m sure we are all now screaming for ice cream on National Ice Cream Day! All of the place above are some places that are sure to make you smile (and scream for) their ice cream. I hope every one enjoys a scoop or two 😉 today! Happy National Ice Cream Day!

Hello Island Flavor Cafe!

Summer is in fill swing. Sun’s out and it’s time for some vacation fun. An island vacation would be perfect. Perhaps Hawaii? 😉 If a Hawaiian vacation isn’t in the plans any time soon; have no fear because Island Flavor Cafe in Torrance is here to bring Hawaii to you.

Island Flavor Cafe is a new a cafe offering us the most ono dishes ever. (Ono means delicious in Hawaiian). They have all the (Hawaiian) local favorites such as oxtail soup, spam and loco moco. Their breakfast grinds actually includes not one but three loco mocos (regular, roast pork and chicken katsu). They also have daily specials. Some specials in the past include pork lau lau, hamburger curry and sweet and sour spare ribs.

On the day I visited their special was the Beef Curry Stew.

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The Beef Curry Stew is one tasty Hawaiian treat with tender beef, potatoes, carrots and lots of curry sauce. The curry sauce has a homemade feel and it goes perfect with the white rice.

The main speciality of Island Flavor Cafe however is the Furikake Chicken.

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This dish is unlike any other and I was definitely both intrigued and delighted by it. In this past I have had many food dishes such as fries sprinkled with furikake; the dry Japanese seasoning that has sesame seeds and chopped seaweed. It is only here that I got to see it sprinkled over chicken. Their version of Furikake Chicken is delicious! The chicken itself is perfectly fried to perfection. The fried chicken is topped with a nice sweet glaze and sprinkles of furikake. It’s very flavorful and definitely ono.

Hawaii maybe 2,479 miles away from Los Angeles but the taste of the islands is not. Island Flavor Cafe in Torrance will bring a bit of Hawaii to you along with some ono kine grindz 😉.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp Review on Island Flavor Cafe.

Hello Aggretsuko Season 2!

Back in April of this year, I shared the happy news about our favorite Sanrio Panda, Aggretsuko getting her very own Netflix show. Throughout season 1 of Aggretsuko; we all laughed, cried and raged on with Aggretsuko.

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I know when the first season ended, I was about to go through my own rage session…how could this cool show end? Well, thankfully there’s no need to go to into the Den of Rage and have a raging karaoke session because Aggetsuko will be back for Season 2 on Netflix in 2019!

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During this year’s Anime Expo, Sanrio and Netflix,  made the exciting announcement that there will be a season 2 coming this 2019. There’s already a teaser for season 2 which can be seen: here.

When Aggretsuko made her global debut on Netflix on April 20, 2018; we all fell in love with her day-to-day story as an office associate in the accounting department of a trading company in Tokyo. We were a part of her journey as she faced daily stresses and conflicts in a comical way.

Season 1 streamed on Netflix worldwide, was dubbed in 8 languages including English, Chinese, Spanish and subtitled in 23 languages including Chinese, Korean, English and Spanish.

This season 2 expect to laugh a little more, relate even more and rage on and on because Aggetsuko is back to grind!

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