Hello Orveganic!

Located in Lawndale, California is what is a hidden gem in every sense of the word. Orveganic Coffee House and Protein Bar is at the corner of a small dead end street and can easily be missed but missing this place would truly be a sad thing for it is well worth a visit.

Orveganic just opened up this past March 2018 but they are no stranger to offering healthy and tasty treats to the South Bay and beyond. They are the brains behind Healthy Butter; nut butter that can be found in several different Farmers Markets around Southern California. Taking the same kitchen where they produce Healthy Butter; the owners decided to expand and open up Orveganic; a cafe offering organic, plant Based and gluten-free dishes and drinks.

I had the pleasure of coming to this cute cafe and loved it the moment I came in. Chic and comfy are perfect words to describe the interior where they have light oak wood benches and tables. There are colorful pillows along the seating and a good display of their various offerings.

Coffee houses are always my crush and I knew I had to try out one of their coffees. Their coffees have even been chemist tested and there are 0 out of 418 chemicals and pesticides. Each of their drinks are even packed with lots of protein! For my drink choice, I chose to get the Cinnamon Vanilla Maple Latte.

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The Cinnamon Vanilla Maple Latte was truly a wonderful way to start off my meal here. Warm and nutty; it was packed with healthy goodness.

For the entrees; my friend and I chose two of their more popular dishes; the TexMex Tofu Scramble and the Almond Chardonnay Cheddar Alfredo.

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The TexMex Tofu has peppercinis grilled tofu with tomatoes, red peppers, onions and garlic. It is topped with avocado seed guacamole and is served alongside warm corn tortillas. I loved the mix of ingredients in this dish. The soft tofu along with the tomatoes, red peppers, onions and garlic were simply wonderful. The avocado seed guacamole was creamy and definitely a nice touch. One can really tell it is healthy and homemade. It really reminded me of home cooking.

The Almond Chardonnay Cheddar Alfredo was my favorite entree of the day! Who knew pasta could be healthy and tasty at the same time. This is not your typical pasta dish and instead something very special. This cheesy and yummy dish consisted of sautéed scallions, mushrooms and garlic mixed with almond mealk, cashew butter, chardonnay cheddar cream cheese sauce all over sorghum and quinoa fusilli. I loved the overall creaminess and taste of “cheese.”

I was quite full after the latte and the entrees; but I’m so glad that I tried one of their desserts! For dessert; they offer mealk shakes, chia pudding, raw jam yogurt and raw ice mealk (their version of ice cream!) I chose to get their raw jam yogurt and it sure was a treat.

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From the outside; the raw jam yogurt looks simple but inside a pleasant surprise awaits! It is made with cashew cheese yogurt and raw seasonal fruit jam with a hint of maple. I loved the fruitiness that instantly hit the palate. It has a passionfruit taste and was definitely one of the most unique and best desserts I’ve ever had.

This place is truly a gem. Every thing I tried was wonderful and surpassed by expectations. I loved how they’re able to turn in various healthy ingredients into such tasty treats. I was smiling the whole time here 🙂

Small and cute; it can be easy to not spot Organic. This place however is definitely one that Hello Kitty Foodies and friends should check out. From their fresh, hearty and healthy treats; one is sure to smile just like me.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Orveganic.

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Hello Brunch at Restoration Kitchen and Wine!

Blessings and Brunch!

Happy Easter Hello Kitty Foodies! Easter is more than just eggs and candy. It is also about peace, love, family and friends. For this easter not only my tummy full but my heart as well as I got to enjoy a wonderful brunch with my mom at  Restoration Kitchen and Wine in Old Torrance, California.

The brunch menu at Restoration Kitchen and Wine just arrived this February. When I heard they were offering brunch, I knew I had to check it out. I had previously dined for dinner at Restoration Kitchen and Wine and was utterly delighted with their savory dishes. I knew brunch would nonetheless be equal in excellence.

Signature dishes on their brunch menu include classics such as french toast, corned beef hash and steak and eggs. There also some special Restoration dishes named after their wonderful staff such as Becca’s Scramble with 3 eggs, sausage, tomatoes, kale, cheddar cheese and multi grain toast  (named after their Kitchen manager, Rebecca Foley) and Wes’ Turkey Sandwich with yuzu mayo, sprouts and multi grain bread (named after co-owner Wesley Takiguchi). Though primarily breakfast egg dishes do appear on their brunch menu; they do have several items also seen on their dinner menu such as their Furikake Fries, Wild Mushroom Flatbread and Slow Roasted Beet Salad.  For my Easter Brunch, I chose to do a mix of their brunch items and some of their dinner dishes.

Easter brunch started off with an order of their Furikake Fries.

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The Furikake Fries are sprinkled with nori komi furikake. The seasoning of mixed sesame seeds and crunchy seaweed bits was definitely a nice touch. The fries were crisp and had great flavor. It also came with a wonderful side of wasabi aioli. The wasabi aioli was unique, tasty and great for dipping. It had subtle wasabi flavor but enough to give a different kick to the aioli.

The fries were a great starter to what followed next. The brunch menu’s savory dish selection is excellent and one is in for a treat with any of their items.

Their signature selection includes different hash dishes.

There is the Corned Beef Hash.

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This hearty dish consists of corned beef, carrots, cabbage, onions and potatoes topped with a sunny side egg. It also comes with multi-grain toast. Who says corned beef is just for St. Patty’s day?

The other hash dish on the menu is the Short Rib Hash.

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The Short Rib Hash is definitely my new brunch favorite. The short rib was perfectly tender and meaty and went well with the butternut squash, green onions, tomatoes and potatoes that it came with. Similar to the corned beef hash, it was also topped with a sunny side egg and accompanied with a multi-grain toast.

For meat lovers, the classic Steak and Eggs on the menu would be the perfect choice.

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Restoration Kitchen and Wine’s Steak and Eggs comes with an 8 oz choice NY steak, two eggs, breakfast potatoes and multi-grain toast. Dinner for breakfast or breakfast for dinner? This is one very fulfilling dish!

From Furkiake Fries to Short Rib Hash and NY Steak and Egg, our tummies sure were full but so were our hearts!

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Each savory dish almost made us too full for dessert but who can pass up a new sweet dish on the menu.

Their Strawberry Shortcake just recently hit the menu and it is a must try for every one who has a sweet tooth.

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This delightful dessert has house made honey biscuits topped with lemon cream, fresh strawberries, vanilla ice cream. Each bite was pure heaven.

It was a wonderful morning to spend Easter brunch at Restoration Kitchen and Wine. Blessings and brunch; I could not ask for more on this beautiful day.

Hello Stonefire Grill Torrance!

Stonefire Grill is all about community and family. First started by sisters Mary and Maureen Harrigan in 2000, this fast-casual dining concept quickly grew to nine Southern California restaurants and now it’s opening up its 10th location in Torrance, California.

I recently had a chance to check out the newest location and quickly became a fan. It is the perfect restaurant to enjoy good eats and good times with family and friends.

Stonefire Grill has quite an extensive menu that has items every one in the family can enjoy. They’ve got pizza, sandwiches, pasta, signature salads, grill items and more. There is some thing for every taste bud.

I started my meal here with their chicken tortilla soup.

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The chicken tortilla soup is garnished with jack cheese, cilantro, avocado and tortilla chips. The small is a pretty fulfilling bowl that is sure to warm your heart and your tummy. They’ve also got a large that is perfect for sharing.

Speaking of sharing, perfect sharables are items from their grill section. From chicken to meat and seafood, Stonefire Grill’s grill items are slowly cooked overnight and finished over a live mesquite fire for their sauces. Each item is made to order and comes with a salad (Garden Caesar, Cartwheel or Greek), a small side item and 2 freshly baked breadsticks.

The breadsticks are Stonefire Grill’s signature item and is one that should not be missed when coming here.

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Breadsticks are freshly made and come out so soft and warm. Marinara sauce and buttermilk ranch are available as dipping sauces. I tried it with buttermilk ranch and instantly fell in love.

It was hard not to be full after the soup and breadsticks but I just had to save room for their grill items. My personal favorite from the Grill menu was their boneless chicken breast and tri-tip.

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The chicken can be garnished with mesquite bbq or lemon garlic. I chose to get my dish with lemon garlic. It was one of the tastiest chicken dishes I have ever had. The chicken  was perfectly tender and I loved the lemon zest it was flavored with. There were also small chunks of garlic on top that added a nice but subtle garlic flavor.

As for the tri-tip, one can get it with mesquite bbq or pepper garlic topped with gorgonzola butter. I chose to get it with mesquite bbq. Just like the chicken breast, the tri-tip was a winner. The beef cut was lean and every thing about the meat was on point. It was flavored perfectly and matched well with my side of garlic mashed potatoes.

The grill menu is not just about meat however because one can also enjoy some items from the sea. The Meditteraean sea bass is a Stonefire Grill favorite.

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It comes with sustainably farmed Branzino with fresh lemon, olive oil and red chili flakes and is served with a bed of farro salad. It’s a beautiful, healthy plate.

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The Farro Salad comes with farro, caramelized onions, basil, parsley, green onion, walnuts, parmesan, lemon and olive oil. I liked the mixture of ingredients. Each truly stuck out and enhanced the farro fabulously.

It doesn’t end with the savory items here however because Stonefire Grill has some awesome sweets as well!

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Their desserts are made from family recipes and are prepared every morning. They’ve got their signature carrot cake, cheesecake, fudge brownies and cookies. Each item can be served as a half or as a full.

The carrot cake was my personal favorite.  It was so moist and complete with walnuts and creamy cream cheese frosting. The heavenly cheesecake was indeed heavenly and nicely topped with fresh blueberry sauce. The fudge brownies were also great. Soft and chewy, it was chocolate bliss.

The food is something everyone can enjoy and it’s a great place to share some good meals. I also noticed that everyone at Stonefire Grill was pleasant and willing to give a hand; just like family. In fact when I came, tip proceeds went to the Pediatric Therapy Network. This place truly is about the community.

Stonefire Grill has it’s grand opening in Torrance tomorrow, February 6.

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

Hello Sage Bistro: Culver City!

Often times I get asked where my favorite spots are around the city. Just recently, I got to try a place that will surely hit the list as a new favorite.

Sage Bistro is a plant-based bistro specializing in vegan and vegetarian cuisine. They have a farm to table concept. Working with local farmers, Sage offers seasonal, organic and local food. There’s three locations for Sage; Echo Park, Pasadena and Culver City.

I recently got to check out the Culver City location; the biggest of all the three Sage branches. This location has a wood fire pizza oven and a full organic bar that offers 25 beers and wines on tap.

Sage’s menu is full of healthy and delicious eats. They have small plates, salads, tacos, tostadas, sandwiches, burgers, wraps, pizza, pretzels, bowls and more.  I got to try two of their items and was instantly impressed with the quality and how they were able to bring out the best of locally sustained and produced food.

The first item I got to try that night was Sage’s Bollywood Bowl.

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The Bollywood Bowl has yellow lentil daal, eggplant, tomato, potato, onion, corn, edamame, steamed kale that was topped with spicy pickled cabbage, tamarind sauce and mint chutney. It was served with flat bread. Being a big fan of Indian food, I instantly loved this bowl. It had the right spicy kick to it and the flavors mixed together perfectly. Healthy and fulfilling; it was a great start to dinner!

The next item I got to try was the Eggplant Artichoke Parmesan Pizza.

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I love all dishes with eggplant along with artichoke and thus I was thrilled to see this on the menu! The pizza crust is made out of organic heirloom white flour crust. The crispy crust was topped with marinara, pesto sauce, mozzarella breaded organic eggplant and artichoke hearts and was then drizzled with cashew alfredo. The cashew alfredo was a wonderful touch bringing a unique creaminess to the pizza. It’s a pizza unlike any I’ve ever tried and definitely a winner.

Sage Bistro definitely hits the list of places I am a fan of. Each dish I tried during my visit was phenomenal and I love their concept. It is truly amazing to have food with ingredients from local farmers who are committed to organic pesticide free farming and regenerative agriculture. This farm to table at it’s best and is my new favorite.

For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Sage Bistro: Culver City!

Hello Shake Shack El Segundo!

Back in the summer of 2016, I had my first Shake Shack experience ever during a trip to the East Coast. I love traveling to the East Coast but home truly is where the heart is and thus I am so excited to see the first ever Shake Shack has opened up in the South Bay! Yes, Hello Kitty Foodies, Shake Shack has opened its first ever South Bay location! Just this November, Shake Shack opened up at the new Apollo Landing in El Segundo, California.

Shake Shack is well-known for their burgers, fries, shakes and has accumulated quite a following through the years. From conquering the East Coast, Shake Shack is now conquering the West Coast! The newest location has all the well known treats as well as some local exclusives.  I recently shaked my way over to try out a bit of the treats at the new shack ;):

Shake Shack has so many classic burgers to choose from; from their ShackBurger to their ‘ShroomBurger and it was hard to choose on what to get for my first West Coast Shake Shack experience. Hmm I couldn’t get every thing but I could definitely get the best of two classics via their ShakeStack!

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The ShakeStack has both the Cheeseburger and a ‘Shroom Burger together along with lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce! The Cheeseburger is a true classic but it was the ‘Shroom Burger that stole my heart! I loved the crisp-fried portobello mushroom that was oozing with melted muenster and cheddar cheese. It’s unique and delicious!

The ShakeStack was complimented well with Shake Shack’s fries!

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These crinkle-cut fries were excellent with a side of cheese sauce.

The savory Shake Shack treats were great but I couldn’t leave without trying some sweet Shake Shack treats! Back in DC, I had the Washington Monu-mint custard but I’m in California now and I had to show the West Coast some foodie love ;). Shake Shack always does an awesome job of having some local exclusives and one of them at the El Segundo location is the Caramel Apple Fritter.

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The Caramel Apple Fritter consists of vanilla custard, salted caramel sauce and Apple Fritter donuts. What makes this a LA exclusive is the Apple Fritter donuts are from Randy’s Donut; a famous LA bakery and landmark. How awesome it is that two yummy foodie institutions have come together to bring is this delightful dessert!

Every thing that I tried at the newest Shake Shack location was truly a treat and I am so excited to see this East Coast eatery making its way to the West Coast! Hello Kitty Foodies for yummy smiles shake your way on over to Shake Shack El Segundo!

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For more smiles, please see my latest Yelp review on Shake Shack El Segundo.

Hello Taishi Hainan Chicken!

Hainan chicken  is hard to come by here in Los Angeles. There’s not many restaurants that offer up the Asian chicken  dish that is traditionally poached in a brine of white pepper, ginger, green onions and pandan leaves.

Thanks however to a restaurant that opened up in Redondo Beach, California, folks now have a place where they can enjoy Hainan Chicken in two different ways.

Taishi Hainan Chicken recently opened up in Redondo Beach and there are only two dishes on the menu (along with some sides!) The two dishes specialize in…drum roll please…you guessed it Hainan chicken!

Both of their Hainan dishes come with a variety of different sauces.

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The first offering here is their Classic Hainan chicken.

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It’s steamed chicken served with white rice and two sauce which are bit of sweet and spicy. This dish is perfect for those looking for a healthy option. The chicken is perfectly lean and tender.

The second offering here is their Crispy Hainan chicken.

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This is for those who want to go outside of the (bento) box. 😉 It’s a different take on the classic steamed chicken and this is fried. It’s served with mayonnaise like sauce and a sweet and sour sauce.  It’s a nice, unique take on Hainan chicken.

Now I did mention that there are only the two Hainan chickens on the menu but they do actually offer more via two side dishes.

One can get egg rolls.

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These vegetarian egg rolls are served hot and crisp and make for a great appetizer.

The other side is their fried dumplings.

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The fried dumplings are another great starter. It is equal in crispness and deliciousness to the egg rolls. (Special hint: you can get these free with a Yelp check-in)

Overall Taishi Hainan Chicken is a good place for a good, quick meal some Hainan chicken that is hard to come by.

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For more smiles please see my Yelp review on Taishi Hainan Chicken!

Hello Mo-Mo Paradise Torrance!

Paradise, as defined by Merriam-Webster is a place or state of bliss, felicity, or delight.

What if I were to tell you that paradise is now in Torrance, California? Perhaps this may sound strange to some but it is true that there is now paradise in Torrance via Mo-Mo-Paradise.

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Mo-Mo-Paradise was first established in 1993 in Kabukicho, Japan and now has over 68 restaurants worldwide. They have locations in Japan, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and the US. The newly opened Torrance location is the second location in the US, with the first being in the US.

The restaurant specializes in Japanese hotpot with a modern twist. Customers have the choice of picking between four different soup bases: Shabu-Shabu, Sukiyaki, Tonkatsu, and Kimchi.

  • Shabu Shabu which essentially means “Swish Swish” is a Mo-Mo-Paradise USA original soup base with umami from kombu, celery, onion, carrot, shitake, and other vegetables.
  • Sukiyaki is a sweet and savory soup base that is  be made using select ingredients from Japan. Mo-mo-Paradise’s sukiyaki base is imported directly from their central kitchen in Japan and is combined with a kombu broth. The sukiyaki comes with a pasturized egg that is used for a dipping sauce for the meat.
  • Tonkatsu is a soup base made with pork bone, roasted vegetables, and kombu and it is topped with Mo-Mo-Paradise’s original fried onion and garlic chili oil.
  • Kimchi is a mildly spicy soup made with pork, miso, vegetables, chili, and kombu broth topped with sautéed and fresh kimchi.

From the soup bases, customers can then add udon, ramen, pho noodles, meatballs and a variety of different vegetables from the restaurant’s Farmer’s Market. One of the funnest parts is watching the soup cook right at the table.

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Not only are there unlimited noodles, meatballs and vegetables, there is even “Mo-re” to this restaurant via their unlimited beverages at their Drink Garden. One can get Stubborn Soda, Peach Orchard Jasmine Tea, Matcha Tea and  Milk Tea along with boba, red bean and , coffee jelly, lychee jelly.

Aside from the sweet beverages, restaurant go-ers are also can enjoy savory beef curry! This compliments the hot pot very well and one is sure to be in bliss for sure.

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It is savory delights that brings this restaurant’s name to reality but the happiness doesn’t end with the hot pot. At the end of the meal, Mo-Mo-Paradise also offers unlimited ice cream. Diners can choose from black cherry, vanilla and chocolate malted crunch! From savory to sweet, one is sure to be in a state of felicity.

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 I first started off this blog post with the definition of paradise. The newly opened Mo-Mo-Paradise with its savory hot pots along with it’s unlimited curry, vegetables, noodles and sweet ice cream; can easily be a state of bliss, felicity, or delight for many foodies. This Hello Kitty Foodie was truly delighted and full of smiles.

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