Hello Van Leeuwen Ice Cream @ The Point!

Hello Van Leeuwen Ice Cream @ The Point!

It’s been five years since The Point had their grand opening in El Segundo. Since their opening in 2015 they have continued to bring a variety of premier restaurants and shops. This 2020 is no exception! Just recently; Van Leeuwen Ice Cream opened up shop at The Point.

Originating from NYC; Van Leeuwen offers premier “healthy” ice cream. They’ve got classic flavors made out of milk, cream, cane sugar and egg yolks along side vegan flavors made with cashews or oats, coconuts and cocoa butter.

Van Leeuwen has a motto of “a life without anything good is bad” and they truly make “good – good” ice cream. I tried their vegan Cookies and Cream Caramel Swirl for my first visit and it was definitely out of this world excellent. It’s a creamy vegan ice cream with Tahitian vanilla bean, dark chocolate chip cookies sandwiched with cream filling and house made caramel. It was wonderfully smooth with a nice hint of coconut milk that I did not expect. It was unique and tasty! I will never view vegan quite the same again!

Van Leeuwen is definitely a good addition to The Point and it’s opening is just in time for these hot summer days! What are you waiting for…get to The Point as the best vegan ice cream awaits you there ;).

Hello, Thank you and Farewell Sanrio Gardena!

Hello, Thank you and Farewell Sanrio Gardena!

This store played a big part in my love for Sanrio and Hello Kitty as I’ve been visiting this store since I was barely three years old.

The store even plays a role in the name of my blog. The name “Hello Kitty Foodie came about partly as a tribute to my dad who would take to Sanrio Gardena in between cooking sessions at home.

There are so many memories at this store that are near and dear to my here.

It was here I Purchased my very first Hello Kitty, My Melody, Ahiru No Pekkle pencil cases and tin boxes that I would use in grade school.

It was also here where my dad bought me my very first Pippo plush because I loved pigs. I would take it with me to the UCLA dorms a years later.

I remember participating in Sanrio’s Pompompurin shoe hunt for Pompompurin’s 20th anniversary.

I’ve said “Hello” to Hello Kitty here for numerous meet and greets (Holidays, Girl’s Day).

Thank you Sanrio Gardena, Mie and Evelin for the memories and smiles through the years 💕. You’ll always have a special place in this Hello Kitty girl’s heart. I will miss visiting your store 😔 and the Sanrio world won’t quite be the same without you.

Hello, Thank You and Farewell Sanrio Gardena!

Hello, Thank You and Farewell Sanrio Gardena!

Hello, thank you and farewell Sanrio Gardena. Today I visited Sanrio Gardena for the last time ever.

The store will permanently closing this June 2020. This store is the oldest Sanrio store in the US (they’ve been there for 42 years) and it breaks my heart to see them close. This store played a big part in my love for Sanrio and Hello Kitty as I’ve been visiting this store since I was three years old (back when they were Gift Gate).

My favorite character back in the day was Tweedle Dee Dee! Who remembers the cute Sanrio teddy bear?

The store even has a role in the name of this blog. “Hello Kitty Foodie” came about as a tribute to my dad who would take me to Sanrio Gardena in between cooking sessions at home. 😊

There are so many memories at this store that are near and dear to my heart.

It was here that my parents bought me my very first Hello Kitty, My Melody, Ahiru No Pekkle pencil cases and tin boxes that I would use in grade school.

It was also here that my dad bought me my first Pippo plush because I loved pigs. I would take it with me to the UCLA dorms years later as it was my first time ever to be away from home.

It was at Sanrio Gardena that I participated in Sanrio’s Pompompurin shoe hunt for Pompompurin’s 20th anniversary.

I’ve said “Hello” to Hello Kitty for numerous meet and greets (Holidays, Girl’s Day) throughout the years.

My mom and I have had so many happy conversations during our visits with Mie; the owner and Evelin; who is part of the Sanrio Gardena team. I was so touched today as I walked out of the store for the final time and Evelin told me to “please say hello to your mom.” ❤️

Shopping there today was so bitter sweet and my last haul consisted of lots of pink and lots of My Melody and Hello Kitty. 💕

Thank you Sanrio Gardena, Mie and Evelin for the memories and smiles through the years 💕. You’ll always have a special place in this Hello Kitty girl’s heart. I will miss visiting your store 😔 and the Sanrio world won’t quite be the same without you.

Hello Sanrio x Leather Treaty!

Hello Sanrio x Leather Treaty!

Leather Treaty; a brand that makes personalized leather accessories is now offering more Sanrio leather accessories!

I first discovered Leather Treaty when I went to Sanrio Puroland. I got his (Dear Daniel) and her (Hello Kitty) keychains for my Dear Daniel 😉 and I.

Last year I was excited to see their items once again at the Hello Kitty and Friends Around the World Tour. I got a special bracelet and keychain there as souvenirs. I’ll always treasure them and remember the happy times from the pop-up.

Now I am very happy to see them expand their Sanrio offerings. There’s more cuteness and more characters!

They have a variety of bracelets and keychains featuring some of our favorite Sanrio characters; Aggretsuko, My Melody, Keroppi, Gudetama, Badtz Maru, Cinnamoroll, Pompompurin and Hello Kitty!

The bracelets are definitely a favorite of mine. They’ve got a variety of different designs and colors. I really like mixing and matching the bracelets with my outfits.

I also can’t help but love the keychains! You don’t necessarily have to use them for keys. I have a few that hanging on some of my Hello Kitty purses. They’re a lovely touch to bags.

I really love how one can personalize each item! It truly makes the accessories unique! I’ve personalized my bracelets and keychains in different ways! Some have my name while others have my Instagram tag (@hellokittyfoodie). How will you personalize yours?

To order and get your own very special bracelet or keychain; check out Leather Treaty’s website. 🙂

Hello Kitty x CASETiFY!

Hello Kitty x CASETiFY!

I’m super excited for the latest supercute colloboration between Sanrio and CASETiFY! #HelloKittyxCASETiFY

CASETiFY is a Hong Kong-based company that designs and produces different phone cases and electronic accessories. This latest collaboration with Sanrio offers two capsules: Hello Kitty Mini Mart and The Signature Collection. The Mini Mart has limited edition “Milk” cases while The Signature Collection has classic Hello Kitty designs.

Among the supercute offerings are iPhone cases, MacBook cases, iPad folios, charging pads and even Apple watch bands!

I love the Apple watch bands!  I’m always on the go with work and my Hello Kitty Foodie adventures and it’s my watch that keeps on me on check (and now with the Hello Kitty x Castify bands they will keep me cute too!)

Other popular offerings are the special edition Floaty Cases, the Hello Kitty customized cases and the new CASETiFY Puffy Case.

Part of the launch also includes two brand new CASETiFY products. There is the new adhesive 2-in1 Grip Stand which comes in four designer Hello Kitty prints. These 2-in-1 grip stands are super helpful for handling/standing up phones. The other new item to debut is CASETiFY’s UV tech sanitizer. This has mercury-free sanitizing lamps and an embedded wireless charger. This is perfect for the current times because it helps disinfect screens and replenish Phone batteries. Helpful and cute! I am a fan!

Shop this supercute collection by visiting the below link:

https://www.casetify.com/invite/3z533v

Hello Manpuku Torrance!

Hello Manpuku Torrance!

In Japanese “Manpuku” means “to be happy with a full stomach” and happy indeed we were this Mother’s Day with our 神戸ビーフ Japanese Wagyu Kobe Beef dinner.

With the current stay at home order and no dine in restaurants; this Mother’s Day was certainly a little bit different from the rest. However I still wanted it to be special. I ended up finding the perfect takeout spot for the special occasion via Manpuku Torrance.

The Torrance location is one of four US Manpuku locations. The others locations are in West LA, Costa Mesa and West Hollywood. Manpuku actually originated from Tokyo and they currently still have five locations in Tokyo.

The restaurant specializes in Yakiniku dining or Japanese bbq. “Yakiniku means “grilled meat” in Japanese. Typically the experience at Manpuku would include grilling and cooking the meats right at the restaurant table. Alas due to no dine in; we weren’t able to do that but we were able to enjoy some quality food from Manpuku right at the comfort of our home.

Manpuku currently is offering various take home bento boxes. Well known for the premier quality of their meat; I chose to get the US Kobe Beef BBQ Bento. Along with the US Kobe Beef bbq; the bento box had edamame, homemade kimchi, bean sprouts, fried tofu, potato salad, cabbage salad and rice. There was also miso soup on the side.

神戸ビーフ Japanese Wagyu Kobe Beef is well known for it’s flavor and tenderness. Manpuku’s meat was definitely of high quality. It was very tender and very tasty. The matching sides were superb as well. I really enjoyed the cabbage salad which had a lovely garlic flavored dressing. The kimchi with a slight kick also was a good side. The potato salad and rice were fluffy and delightful. Overall the flavor profile of the whole box was excellent and made for a very special meal.

Indeed Manpuku was the a great spot for takeout Mother’s Day. Moms deserve the best and here at Manpuku they indeed had the best beef and best bento box I’ve ever had. We were definitely “happy with a full stomach.”

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Manpuku Torrance.

Hello Mother’s Day Cakes @ 85C Bakery Cafe!

Hello Mother’s Day Cakes @ 85C Bakery Cafe!

Through the years, 85C Bakery Cafe has been a go to place for my mom and I whenever we want some fresh bread, tasty coffee and boba and sweet treats. This Mother’s Day 2020; things are a little different on how we will celebrate but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy our favorite 85C Bakery Cafe treats.

This Mother’s Day 2020; 85C Bakery has debuted a new delectable dessert that is perfect for sharing with mama. This new cake is the Mama Nana!

The Mama Nana is a Banana Brûlée cake consisting of chocolate chiffon cake layered with fresh banana and vanilla creme brulee. It is covered with fresh cream, fresh strawberries and blueberries. As a lovely finishing touch it is decorated with a chocolate flower. Not only is this cake absolutely gorgeous; it is so delicious.  The cake is so soft and the brûlée is so creamy. I also love all the fruits in this cake. Fruity, sweet and oh so tasty!

Aside from the Banana Brûlée, 85C Bakery Cafe is also offering four other delightful cakes for their Mother’s Day line up. They’ve got Mango Creme Brûlée; Classic Tiramisu, Deluxe Strawberry and Red Velvet!

My mom is the sweetest person I know and she deserves the sweetest treats on her day; Mother’s Day!

You too; can enjoy sweet 85C Bakery Cafe treats! They have these cakes and more at your local store. Hurry on over and get something special for the special mom in your life.

*Items in this post were provided for a complimentary basis to facilitate this review. This blog post was accurate when published and reflects the uninfluenced opinion of the blog writer.

Hello Caps and Corks: LA Street Foods!

Hello Caps and Corks: LA Street Foods!

Just this February 2020; I wrote about Caps and Corks a newly opened liquor store in Torrance, California that was offering some amazing food via breakfast burritos and submarine sandwiches. Their food quickly gained a lot of popularity in the South Bay community and beyond. Now there’s another reason for foodies to rejoice as Caps and Corks recently just debuted a new LA Street Foods menu!

It was just Cinco de Mayo this week and the timing could not have been more perfect to try the new tacos that are part of their LA Street Foods Menu. It was a double celebration as it was not only Cinco de Mayo but also Taco Tuesday!

They offer three types of street tacos; carne asada, pollo or al pastor. All the street tacos are on corn tortillas with the customer’s chosen meat along with toppings of cilantro, onion and spicy or mild salsa.

Happy Cinco de Mayo indeed as these tacos were quite tasty! I tried all the meats and thought each one had it’s own unique flavor. I would have to say though my favorite was the Al Pastor as I thought the seasoning really stuck out. The pork was also perfectly tender. I will definitely be back for these tacos regardless of whether it is (taco) Tuesday or not.

Another reason for me to come back to Caps and Corks is to try the rest of their new LA Street Foods menu. In addition to tacos they have burritos; quesadillas and hot diggity dogs! Yes! You read it right they’re offering a variety of different hot dogs offered the same way as what you’d find at your local LA street vendor back in the day (pre-quarantine!) and yes this includes bacon wrapped hot dogs!

The new additions to Caps and Corks menu are definitely a fiesta for the tummy and can’t wait to try the other offerings.

Hello Filipino Butters from Big Boi!

Hello Filipino Butters from Big Boi!

Checking out B Sweet Dessert and Big Boi by Chef Barb Batiste has been on my list for quite awhile now. Unfortunately with the current stay at home order a visit to the West LA restaurant will need to wait. Fortunately however there is Postmates and they are offering delivery nationwide some Big Boi’s popular and famous Filipino butters!

Currently Big Boi has three flavors for their Filipino butters. They’ve got Buko Pandan, Ube and Ensaymada.

Buko Pandan consists of Buko which is the Tagalog name for young coconut. For this Filipino butter they paired it with the leaves of the Pandan plant thus giving it a sweet vanilla like aroma. For Buko Pandan Filipino butter; Big Boi has strips of coconut mixed in with a sweet creamy butter.

Ube is the famous Filipino yam with a light, sweet potato taste. This also has sweet hints of coconut and vanilla. Big Boi took the purple yam and made it into a nice, rich butter with sweet hints of coconut and vanilla. It tastes just like ube dessert.

Ensaymada is soft, sweet Filipino pastries that Filipinos often enjoy for breakfast or holidays. It is typically topped with butter, sugar and cheddar cheese. For this Filipino butter, Big Boi took the taste of the Filipino pastries and incorporated right into a butter spread.

These butters are perfect on pan de sal, crackers and pretty much anything you put it on. It’s so masarap (That’s the Tagalog word for delicious!)

It’s definitely hard for me to pick which one is my favorite! I first tried the Ensaymada and absolutely loved the buttery, cheesy taste. I next tried the Buko Pandan and instantly became a fan of the coconut strips. Lastly I tried the ube and was ecstatic with the purple yam flavor that reminded me so much of traditional Filipino desserts.

I highly recommend these Filipino butters! They are perfect for some yummy treats while we all stay at home. To order, please see the Big Boi website. Deliveries go out every Wednesday. The Filipino Butters are offered as Filipino Butter Jar sampler with all three flavors or as a 3 pack of your favorite flavor. 3 packs start at $30.

Hello Mo-Mo Paradise Takeout!

Hello Mo-Mo Paradise Takeout!

Today is Easter; a day of prayer, renewal and hope. As we continue to pray for an end to this pandemic; we also continue to move forward as a community. One way to help bring hope to the many restaurants impacted in our communities is via ordering takeout or delivery.

In my next series of blog posts; I wanted to share some of my favorite restaurants that are offering great takeout deals.

One of the top restaurants on my go-to for takeout is Mo-Mo Paradise in Torrance. I first discover Mo-Mo Paradise back in 2017. The restaurant specializing in Japanese hot pot became a favorite of mine. I was not alone in loving this restaurant as there was always a crowd and a wait every single day.

With the pandemic; Mo-Mo Paradise like many other restaurants had to find innovative ways to offer food to their many customers. For the first time ever they launched a new delivery and take-out option.

First to debut on their new delivery and take-out menu were their bowls. For $9.95 customers have the choice of the Beef Shabu Curry Bowl, Beef Sukiyaki Bowl, Pork Tonkotsu Bowl, and Kimchi Pork Bowl. .

Their Beef Shabu Curry bowl is one of my favorites because it consists of their very popular savory curry that is normally part of their AYCE side buffet. For the to-go option they pile on rich curry over layers of thin sliced braised beef, caramelized onions and carrots. It is definitely fulfilling and very tasty!

I also like their Beef Sukiyaki bowl. It is a different take of their Beef Sukiyaki hot pot. Instead of a broth they have a rice bowl topped with thinly sliced beef, gobo, onions, carrots, king oyster mushrooms, napa cabbage, kale, mushroom, tofu ginger, green onions and a egg.

If one is craving for something more similar to their traditional Shabu Shabu menu; Mo-Mo Paradise has that too! They recently added to their delivery and takeout menu; Shabu Shabu and Sukiyaki sets.

This Easter Sunday I ordered a shabu shabu set and it made for the perfect Easter feast. Right at the comfort of our home; we were able to cook and enjoy the yummy Japanese hot pot.

Each set is $45 and comes with choice of broth (tonkotsu, kimchi, sukiyaki or shabu shabu), choice of two meats (beef chuck eye roll, short plate or kurubota pork shoulder) choice of two sides (rice, udon or ramen), vegetables, sauces and condiments. One can also add a la carte such as pork meatballs.

Right now Mo-Mo Paradise even has a great deal of giving 10% off your order.

Needless to say all of our lives have turned upside down during this crisis. One of the things that remain constant however is love of family and support of community. Through different takeouts such as what Mo-Mo Paradise has to offer; I am still able to enjoy some of my favorites at home with family and at the same time be able support local eateries.

#SupportLocalBusiness #SaveRestaurants

For more smiles, please see my Yelp Review on Mo-Mo Paradise Torrance.