Hello Niko’s Donuts!

Hello Niko’s Donuts!

Donut hesitate head on over to Redondo Beach now! Just this summer Niko’s Donuts opened up in Redondo Beach and it is quickly becoming a favorite among the locals.

Niko’s Donuts is owned by Niko Chea. His donuts have a special touch as they do a different first step when making their donuts. They first steam the donuts. This slight change to the process is time consuming but definitely pays off as the donuts come out so fluffy.

Among my personal favorites are Niko’s buttermilk donuts, blueberry donuts and apple fritters. The apple fritters is a tried and true favorite. It has nice crisp outer edge and, soft inside with sweet apple filling. The buttermilk donuts similarly has the perfect fried crisp. Last but not least is the blueberry donuts that are so soft and sweet.

Niko’s donuts not only has donuts but croissants, cronuts, burritos and even chicken bakes. It’s nice to see a shop that offers a variety of good donuts and more. It’s even nicer to see a new spot open up in the South Bay. 🙂

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Niko’s Donuts.

Hello Curry + Plus Torrance!

Hello Curry + Plus Torrance!

There’s another new restaurant in the South Bay! Today, October 7; Curry + Plus Torrance is having their grand opening! Being a fan of curry; I was definitely curry-ious to try it out and support a new local small business.

Curry + Plus offers authentic Japanese curry in a variety of curry flavors from traditional Japanese curry to coconut curry. On the menu are delightful dishes such as chicken katsu curry, braised hamburg curry and angus beef curry. There is even vegan curry for all the Vegans out there! Behind the delightful curry dishes is Chef Oosaki-san and he makes the curry sauce complete from scratch!

I tried recently their Jumbo chicken katsu curry dish. Everything on this plate was a winner. The chicken katsu was perfectly crisp. The dish had fresh and tasty vegetables. Last but definitely not least the curry was thick and savory. My curry-iousity was definitely satisfied (as well as my stomach). 🙂

I love that there is a new place in town to get some authentic Japanese curry. If you are also curry-ious to check out Curry + Plus; they are offering a 30% off discount on their Angus Beef Curry, Jumbo Chicken Curry, and Vegan Curry from 10/7-10/10.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Curry + Plus.

Hello Sartori Thai!

Hello Sartori Thai!

Satori Thai is the latest restaurant to open up in the South Bay! Just this September 24, a new restaurant opened up in Torrance, California. With so many restaurants and small businesses closing; it’s such good news to see a new spot pop up in the local community and I was more than happy to help support this new spot recently.

Sartori Thai offers a variety of many of our favorite Thai dishes! The owners get their supplies right from Thailand and so you are sure to get some great authentic Thai food. Among the yummy dishes on the menu are chicken satay, kra thang thong, papaya salad, chicken lab, curry, pad see ew, and pad thai. I can never pass up a place that has curry and pad thai! Those are my favorite Thai dishes.

Both the curry and pad thai are part of the lunch specials too! The lunch specials are a great deal because it comes with a side salad and egg roll.

I chose to get they yellow curry with chicken and the pad thai lunch special.

The yellow curry is a traditional Thai curry cooked with coconut milk, potatoes, carrots, onions, and topped with fried onions. I loved the curry broth. It had just the right hint of coconut and was perfect over white rice.

The pad thai was traditional rice noodles with stir-fried chicken and shrimp egg, diced black tofu, bean sprouts, and Chinese chives. It was mixed in Sartori’s own house-made sweet and sour pad thai sauce. It came with crushed peanuts, carrots, and sliced lime for extra flavoring. Their pad thai was on point. It was delicious and not too sweet. I can easily see this being their staple dish and one that will quickly become popular!

Sartori Thai is located in Old Torrance right on Sartori Ave. If you are in the area; do support the newest South Bay restaurant to open up in town.

For more smiles; please see my Yelp Review on Sartori Thai.

Hello The Depot Torrance Birthday Celebration!

Hello The Depot Torrance Birthday Celebration!

This year with the pandemic; I wasn’t quite sure how my birthday would be. I however got the most wonderful surprise dinner from my boyfriend when he ordered from The Depot Torrance.

The Depot has been in Torrance for 29 years! First opening up in 1991; it has been a favorite of many South Bayers for celebration special occasions. Being a South Bay native; I had never tried this place and thus was excited to be able to try it for my birthday.

We started off the birthday dinner with their famous bread basket.

The Depot’s bread basket comes with cheese rolls, regular rolls, crispy cracker bread and banana bread. The bread is accompanied with regular butter and garlic pesto butter. My favorites from the bread basket are the cheese rolls and the banana bread. The cheese rolls go really well with the garlic pesto butter! It’s so flavorful.

I loved how the bread is not too heavy and it still gave room for some appetizers that my boyfriend had also prepared. (A special mention to my boyfriend Jay who also prepared the most delicious stuffed mushrooms and eggplants!)

For our main course; we had  filet mignon and lamb chops alongside yam mashers, sautéed mushrooms, zucchini and herbed asparagus.

The filet mignon and lamb chops are some of the best that I’ve ever had. The cuts were so tender! They were cooked just right. The meats also went really well with the yam mashers and veggies. I absolutely loved the yam mashers. They were soft and creamy with just the right flavoring of sweet potato. The mixed vegetables were also quite amazing. The asparagus, spinach and zucchini were quite tasty. Every single item on the plate was excellent.

Though we did not physically dine out this year; I can say that my birthday dinner this year was still one of the best birthday dinners I’ve ever had. I can truly see why The Depot is so popular for all these years. Their food is just perfect for special occasions.

For more smiles; please see my Yelp review on The Depot Torrance.

Hello Ube!

Hello Ube!

Ube love! In the last year or so I’ve been seeing a lot of purple everyone and I’m loving it! I am so happy to see all the products highlighting the purple yam from the Philippines. Because ube is my u-bae for this summer; I wanted to share a few my favorite ube products that I’ve gotten to try!

Trader Joe’s Ube Purple Yam Flavored Ice Cream

Trader Joe’s is stepping up their ube game with offering a few ube products including a ube waffle/pancake mix but my heart still belongs to the very first ube product they offered; Ube Ice Cream. Being Filipino; I’m used to ube ice cream from Philippine brands like Magnolia and I wasn’t quite sure how Trader Joe’s would compare. I was quite pleased to see that TJ’s got it right. Their ube ice cream wasn’t just purple flavor; it indeed had the right purple yam taste. It was sweet, creamy with hints coconut and vanilla…just like ube!

Big Boi’s Ube Butter

I wrote about the Filipino butters in an April post and though all the flavors were delicious; I really liked the ube a lot! I loved spreading the smooth ube over pandesal for breakfast. So masarap!

DD’s Treats Pandesal

Ube Pandesal has recently become one of the most popular items in the ube craze. One can even order ube pandesal on Etsy! Thankfully for me; there are several different homemade vendors that I’ve found making delicious ube pandesal. DD’s Treats located in Lakewood, California is one of them. She has a variety of different ube pandesals. One can choose from ube cheese filling, yema cheese filling and ube cream cheese. They’re all so delicious that I can’t pick a favorite. Aside from ube pandesal DD’s offers other ube treats such as ube Spanish bread and ube crinkles.

Mom’s Kitchen Ube Flan and Ube Ensaymada

Mom’s Kitchen in Gardena, California also offers ube pandesal along with other tasty ube offerings. Her ube pandesal is also quite tasty. It is filled with cream cheese. My favorite from her ube offerings however is the ube flan cupcakes. These are the best! The bottom of this treat is a soft ube cupcake and then on top is a sweet, creamy flan. It’s two classic Filipino desserts combined in one and it practically melts in your mouth.

Mom’s Kitchen also has amazing ube ensaymada. Soft ube bread is covered with butter and sugar and then topped with lots of grated cheese. It’s a perfect breakfast treat, a sweet snack or a delicious dessert.

Munch Bakery

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Munch Bakery who sells at the Farmers Market in Torrance offers fresh macarons in a variety of flavors! I first wrote about them in a post back in April 2017. They are more popular than ever. Ube is one of the flavors that always sells out. It has the just the right hint of the flavored yam.

I love ube and this summer I am super happy to discover so many different ube treats along with getting to support some local small businesses as well!

Hello Kitty x World Market Collection: Sports Edition!

Hello Kitty x World Market Collection: Sports Edition!

Back in August 2019, I wrote about a cute collaboration between Hello Kitty and World Market. It was an exclusive collection with a theme of Omatsuri; a special Japanese festival. This summer Hello Kitty and friends are back at the World Market with a new whole new look and another special theme! Just in time for summer; Hello Kitty, Keroppi, My Melody and Badtz Maru are getting sporty with the Hello Kitty x World Market Collection: Sports Edition!

My favorites from this line include the Hello Kitty Friends melamine plates. I really love the designs on these plates because it really showcases the Sports Edition theme. The plates feature tennis player Hello Kitty. water polo player Keroppi, rhythmic-gymnast My Melody and a soccer player Badtz-Maru.

Not only are these plates super cute; they are super light weight; thus making them the best plates to use for Hello Kitty Foodie dining at home.

Just like the last collection; there is once again a gigantic and awesome Hello Kitty Cookie jar. For this cookie jar; Hello Kitty is all dressed up in her best tennis player’s outfit with a skirt featuring her classic red bow. She even has a matching tennis racket!

Alongside the cookie jar; World Market is offering a matching Hello Kitty coffee cup. We all know cookies and coffee are the perfect match 😉.

The cookie jar, coffee cup and the melamine plates definitely are perfect for summer treats!

But wait there’s more….. World Market is also offering A-Sha Taiwanese noodles in different Sanrio packaging. Can the kitchen get anymore cuter this summer? Even Badtz Maru can’t complain!

Hello Kitty and friends are definitely the champions in the kitchen this summer! This (super cute) Hello Kitty x World Market Collection: Sports Edition is now available at a World Market near you. 😉.

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!

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

The store will permanently closing on June 30, 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 as it was my first time ever to be away from home.

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

I’ve also 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