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! Items start at $25 and are definitely selling fast.

Favorites include 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 Save Restaurants!

Hello Save Restaurants!

Seven million hard working restaurant workers across the country can’t make income at home or have the potential of losing their jobs forever. These are the folks who’ve taken care of all of us numerous times. They’ve helped us celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and many celebrations. They were there when we bonded with family and when we had date nights. Now is our chance to help them out in a small way via ordering takeout or delivery ❤️.

Below is a list of restaurants offering takeout or delivery in my hometown of Torrance, California but in several cities around the US there are hundreds of restaurants that need your support.

21 Square (Torrance Marriot) – (310)-543-6034
85C Bakery – (310)-320-8585
Aliotta’s Via Firenze – (310) 371-9555
Andre’s at the Double Tree – (310) 540-0500
Angara Indian Restaurant – (310) 320-9090
Bagel Factory – (310) 540-2077
Benihana – (310) 316-7777
Bettolino Kitchen – (310) 375-0500
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse – (310) 802-6440
Black Bear Diner – (310) 974-9002
Blaze Pizza (Rolling Hills Plaza) – (310) 997-2771
Blue Salt Fish Grill – (310) 424-383-1789
Bombay Tandoori – (310) 303-3185
Brazilian Plate House – (310) 370-9077
Buffalo Wild Wings – (310) 542-3400
Burger City Grill – (310) 819-8486
By Brazil – (310)-782-2828
Caps & Corks Liquor & Deli – (424) 257-8619
Carl’s Jr. – various locations
Chicken Dijon – (310) 540-1499
Chicken Maison (PCH) – (310) 465-1050
Chicken Maison (Crenshaw) – (310) 257-4959
Chick-Fil-A – various locations
Chipotle – various locations
Cho Dang Tofu – (310) 373-7055
Clutch & Coffee – (424) 532-5444
Cocohodo – (310) 530-3875
Coco’s Bakery Restaurant – (310) 371-4086
Cosmic Brewery – (424) 259-2337
Crest Bar & Grill – (310) 320-9347
Curryfornia – (310) 756-6409
Da Maat – (310) 534-5533
Del Taco – various locations
Denny’s – various locations
Din Tai Fung (curbside/delivery only) – (310) 214-1175
Einstein Bros Bagels-  (310) 698-1117
El Burrito Jr. (Hawthorne Blvd) – (310) 944-9200
El Burrito Jr. (PCH in Walteria) – (310) 373-5405
El Pollo Inka – (310) 373-0062
El Pollo Loco – various locations
El Torito – (310) 378-0331
FishBonz Grill – (310) 325-2669
Foster’s Freeze – (310) 328-1375
Ginza Sushi – (310) 325-7979
Giuliano’s Deli – (310) 540-2500
Hof’s Hut – (310) 325-0470
Honda Japanese Restaurant – (310) 373-8272
Honey Dress Fried Chicken – (310) 373-3733
HopSaint Brewing Company – (310) 214-4677
Hugo’s Deli – (424) 247-7057
India Sweets & Grocery – (310) 378-9686
Jersey Mike’s – various locations
Joey’s Smokin Barbecue – (310) 257-1324
Kagura – (310) 787-0227
Kappo Irifune – (310) 782-7330
Khun 9 Thai Kitchen – (310) 328-4888
King Mediterrano – (310) 370-9438
King’s Hawaiian – (310) 530-0050
Ko Ryu Ramen – (310) 371-6638
La Bella Napoli – (310) 517-9952
Lamppost Pizza – (310) 325-4864
Lazy Dog – (310) 921-6080
LBJs Tacos – (310) 961-5296
Local Kitchen – (424) 337-1321
Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que – (310) 370-7427
Lucio’s Mexican Restaurant – (310) 328-9810
Madre – (310) 974-8005
Mashawi Grill – (310) 325-3545
McDonald’s – various locations
Mexican Riviera Restaurant – (310) 373-6600
Mezontle Mexican Grill – (310) 543-2737
Mimi’s Café – (310) 326-4477
Misto Caffe & Bakery – (310) 375-3608
New York Deli – (310) 891-1229
Norms (Hawthorne Blvd) – (310) 370-4469
Norms (PCH) – (310) 530-5516
Old Torrance Coffee & Tea – (424) 558-8050
Outback Steakhouse – (310) 750-0459
Panda Express – various locations
Panera Bread – (310) 517-0324
PF Chang’s – (310) 793-0590
Pho Hana – (310) 373-7560
Pinwheel Café Bakery – (310) 325-5055
Primo Italia – (310) 378-4288
Rascal’s – (310) 542-0022
Red Lobster – (310) 316-3133
Red Rock – (424) 329-3363
Rubio’s Coastal Grill – (310) 891-1811
Rudy’s – (310) 533-0752
Scholb Premium Ales – (424) 777-2964
Shrimp By You – (424) 347-7188
Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee – (424) 263-5091
Smog City Brewing – (310) 320-7664
Smog City West – (310) 791-1015
Snax Home of the Original Superburger – (310) 316-6631
Stacked – (619) 225-7900
Steve’s Burgers (Crenshaw) – (310) 618-8979
Steve’s CharBurger (Anza) – (310) 371-8729
Stonefire Grill – (424) 203-8800
Strand Brewing Co. – (310) 517-0900
Sub Society Incredible Sandwiches – (424) 263-5811
Subway – various locations
Taco Bell – various locations
Tender Greens – (424) 488-0639
The Dude’s Brewing Co. – (424) 271-2915
The Habit Burger Grill – (310) 406-3063
TNT Aloha Café – (310) 375-4553
Tom’s Tacos – (310) 371-0625
Top Tenders & Wings – (424) 257-8126
Torrance Bakery & Sandwich Shop – (310) 320-2722
Torrance Tavern – (310) 375-9158
Tortilla Cantina – (310) 533-9606
Truxton’s – (310) 373-8790
Ubon Thai Kitchen – (310) 326-1092
Urban Plates – (424) 999-2141
Veggie Grill – (310) 325-6689
Wadatsumi Torrance – (310) 782-7356
Wendy’s – various locations
Y Not Burger – (310) 375-4202
Yorkshire Square Brewery – (424) 376-5115

*Availability subject to change

Below are some photos of some yummy dishes from some of the above places.

IMG_8079

Dobash Cake from King’s Hawaiian

Rise and Shine Burrito from Caps N Cork

Grass Fed Steak From Urban Plates

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LYB Tater Tots from 21 Square

During this difficult time; may we all be a little more compassionate to those in need.

#SaveRestaurants

Hello Taqueria Gardena!

Hello Taqueria Gardena!

Pacific Square in Gardena; home to fabulous eateries such as Sweet Rice and Happy Lemon now has a new addition that will add even more deliciousness to the area. Taqueria Gardena just opened up this December 2019 and it is quickly becoming the go-to spot for tacos.

The new taqueria offers Tijuana style tacos topped with cilantro, onions, guacamole and salsa all on fresh made tortillas. One can get fish tacos, shrimp tacos, cachete tacos, suadero tacos, carne asada tacos, al pastor tacos and chicken tacos. There are even specialty tacos with cauliflower mole, portobello and enoki mushroom, pork belly and spicy fried chicken. Tacos are definitely not just for Tuesdays anymore! 😉

I recently visited and had some tasty taco treats!

I chose to get the al pastor tacos and chicken tacos. The flavor profile on these tacos are excellent. I love the spicy kick; the creamy texture and the chargrill on the meats. For a more fiery flavor; I even added some of their extra spicy salsa that they offer. This extra spicy salsa contains nuts and is made fresh by the same lady who makes their fresh made tortillas.

The tacos here are fantastic but they offer even more! They’ve got quesadillas, nachos and even Mexican fried rice!

Yes; you read that correctly! This taqueria offers fried rice and I knew i just had to check it out. Their version of Mexican fried rice can be purchased con carne (with meat) or sin carne (without meat).

I chose to get it with carne asada and was presented with a beautiful plate of loaded fried rice. It was topped with scrambled eggs, guacamole, chunks of carne asada and drizzles of sour cream. Yum! Similar to the tacos it was full of flavor. Fried rice has never been so unique.

Overall Taqueria Gardena is a great add to my favorite Pacific Square plaza in Gardena. I will definitely be stopping by again in the future (after some Hello Kitty shopping at the neighboring Sanrio Surprises) ;).

For more smiles; please see my Yelp review on Taqueria Gardena.

Hello Japanese Food Expo 2020!

Hello Japanese Food Expo 2020!

This January 25, 2020; a very special event happened Loews Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood, California. Right at the heart of Hollywood; the Japanese Food Expo 2020 took place. Visitors got to experience authentic Japanese food, drinks, performances and cultural experiences.

This event was presented by the Japanese Food Culture Association and there were over 30 boothes showcasing premium tastes from Japan, Tokyo Street Food, Japanese sake and beer and Japan tourism.

The Japanese Food Expo this year had the very popular Sake and Beer Alley.

Showcasing 20+ premium sake brands; one could taste various sake of all kinds of flavors from pineapple to lychee to honey citrus. There was also popular beers from Sapporo, Suntory and Asahi.

The Sake Alley was amazing but not to be outdone was savory foods. The expo had so many savory delights.  There was sushi, chicken karaage, curry, okonomiyaki, noodles and more.

One of our first stops was Cup Curry.

There was rice on the bottom, curry in the middle and cheese on top. It was the cutest curry cup ever and one tasty one too!

Another fun stop was the Karaage Stick booth.

Chicken karaage is definitely one of my favorite Tokyo street foods. Here at the 2020 Japanese Food Expo; the karaage stick had a unique touch. It consisted of two pieces of Japanese fried chicken karaage and one marshmallow all drizzled in sushi sauce. It was different and delicious!

Sushi of course could not be missing at a Japanese Expo.

There was plenty of sushi to go around courtesy of the Suzumo International Corporation. Fresh seafood made for yummy eats.

There was also Chirashi from JFC International Inc.

Chirashi sushi is “scattered” sushi. Here at the Japanese Food Expo the scattered mix was in a bowl of rice with vegetables and lots of fish

Another delightful booth featured okonomiyaki; the traditional Japanese food pancake.

Made from Osaka style Okonomiyaki flavor; this was indeed something food expo visitors were sure to like! (Trivia: the word Okonomiyaki is derived from the two words:  okonomi, meaning “how you like” and yaki meaning “cooked.”

Aside from the savory; there were plenty of sweet treats all round as well.

There was Japanese Style Popcorn that you could make savory or sweet to your liking.

Toppings for customizing your popcorn included curry honey sauce, miso honey, yukari butter and furikake butter.

Dessert delights awaited at the Matcha Soft Serve station.

The Matcha Soft Serve was topped with rice crackers “arare!” Arare is bite-sized Japanese crackers made flavored with soy sauce.

Another favorite Japanese dessert is mochi. At the Japanese expo they were serving some scrumptious strawberry mochi.

The mochi had a giant strawberry in the middle and was topped with read bean paste.

Pear- Yokan by Niigatta was one delightful treat all the way from Japan

Le Lectier Pears are grown on the banks of the Shinano river in Japan. Once they are harvested, Yokan by Niigata adds a sweet bean mixture making for a soft texture and a lovely taste.

One very popular booth was Traditional Japanese Candy Art performed by artist Candy 5.

Candy 5 was making each delicate and unique sculpture by hand and molding them. She was making customized candy art of people’s pets as well as cute character favorites. Hello Kitty love!

Speaking of cute characters; one highlight of the was the event was being a contestant of the onigiri character bento completion.

It was 15 minutes to design your own onigiri characters. My hands were shaking the whole time hehe! I didn’t win but I sure did have a lot of fun. I chose to make Hello Kitty with her boyfriend Dear Daniel.

The Japanese Food Expo was one great event! It was amazing to see and taste so many exquisite Japanese food creations and drinks. Oishi! I can’t wait for next year ;).