Hello Gringo Bandito Spicy Yellow!

Hello Kitty Foodie is seeing yellow this Cinco de Mayo! 💛

Our favorite Gringo Bandito hot sauce is having a very special release this Cinco de Mayo!  On May 5 they are debuting their brand new ‘Spicy Yellow’ sauce. It is the newest flavor release since their popular ‘Super Hot’ variety went on sale in 2016.

You will definitely be saying “Hola” to hot with this brand new sauce! Made with Scotch Bonnet and Habanero peppers; the sauce is the hottest Gringo Bandito flavor to-date and It is definitely not the faint of heart and it’s perfect for those who like it fiery. As with the other Gringo Bandito hot sauces; this has 70% less salt than many competitors, is gluten free, contains no preservatives and is all natural.

Spicy Yellow will be released on Cinco De Mayo (Sunday 5/5) and will be available exclusively on Amazon.com and Gringo Bandito’s official online store.

Advertisements

Hello King’s Hawaiian Grill @ Dodger Stadium!

Take me out to the ballgame….for some Hawaiian food!

Dodger Stadium says aloha via King’s Hawaiian Grill! Located at the left field pavilion at Dodger Stadium is King’s Hawaiian Grill. This is the second season that the Hawaiian favorite is back and they’re offering several ono (that’s delicious in Hawaiian ;)) dishes that’ll make you feel like you’re in Dodgertown, Hawaii!

No Dodger game is complete without a Dodger Dog and at King’s Hawaiian Grill they have a very special version. The Hawaiian BBQ Dodger Dog is served on King’s Hawaiian hot dog bun and is topped off with smoked pull pork and King’s Hawaiian original sweet pineapple bbq sauce!

img_1335

I loved the smoked pulled pork and the nice sweet pineapple bbq sauce that was smothered all over! It’s definitely a taste of the islands in a very unique way; Dodger style.

One of my favorite Hawaiian treats is dole whip and they have not one but three different versions at King’s Hawaiian Grill. Choice of dole whip flavors are pineapple, raspberry and strawberry. I can’t pass up on a classic pineapple dole whip and it turned out to be the perfect treat for a hot, spring baseball game!

img_1337

Best of all the dole whip comes in a souvenir Dodger hat helmet. You can choose from Dodger blue or pink! I bleed Hello Kitty pink 😉 and so I had to choose a pink one :).

In addition to offering all these delicious dishes; King’s Hawaiian has partnered with Dodger Legend Steve Garvey for special events at the King’s Hawaiian Grill throughout the Dodger season. 

Saying aloha at Dodger’s Stadium via King’s Hawaiian Grill will truly make you feel like you’re in paradise in Dodgertown.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on King’s Hawaiian Grill!

Hello Blazin’ Hens!

With the arrival of spring; it really is blazin’ in the South Bay! The heat is on especially at Blazin’ Hens in Redondo Beach!

Located at Slider Stop; is Blazin’ Hens a fried chicken joint offering Nashville hot chicken, sliders and poutine like tots and fries! I recently had a chance to visit this hotspot and I have to say it was one blazin’ hot time!

img_1281

Blazin’ Hens chickens are  Jidori style chicken that they prepare by brining for 24 hours. The chicken is then dipped in buttermilk or whole milk, depending on the cut and it is breaded. They fry the chicken right after you order to ensure the best quality. I really love how the chicken comes out so fresh, juicy and tender!

At Blazin’ Hens you have the choice of a half hen, whole hen, breast and wing, leg and thigh, tenders, wings or sliders.  Their sliders are made with another South Bay favorite; King’s Hawaiian buns.  Chicken spice level include plain (no seasoning), mild (guajillo), medium (cayenne), hot (habanero), x-hot (ghost pepper) and blazin’ (carolina reaper). I got the mild and it already had quite a kick to it! Hot!

To go along with the hot chicken; one can choose from their various sides. It is tots and fries galore here! Choices include regular tots or fries, sweet potato tots, garlic tots or fries, truffle tots or fries, gravy tots or fries, loaded tots or fries, mash and gravy, coleslaw or Nashville tots or fries and San Diego tots or fries (that includes carne asada, avocado, cheddar and jack cheese, cilantro, onions, chipotle mayo, avocado cilantro ranch and cotija cheese).  I really liked the gravy tots! It’s their version of poutine and comes with bacon maple gravy, cotija cheese, parsley and a topping of sunny side egg!

Blazin’ Hens is definitely the place to be this spring! Get your heat on and kick off spring with in the hottest way!

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Blazin’ Hens!

 

Hello Rakkan Ramen Redondo Beach!

After visiting Tokyo late last year, I truly found an appreciation for all things “umami.” What exactly is umami you may ask? Umami is actually one of the five basic senses. The other four being sweet, sour, bitter and salty.  Rakkan Ramen is all about umami and offering dishes that are full of flavor. There’s five locations in Japan; four of which are in Tokyo. No need however to fly all the way to Tokyo however to get a taste of Rakkan Ramen because there are actually three locations in the USA and they are all in Southern California! The three locations are in downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Redondo Beach. The latest one to open is the one in Redondo Beach.

I recently had a chance to visit the Rakkan Ramen in Redondo Beach and my senses were instantly transported back to Tokyo.

My meal here first started off with their Rakkan Buns.

img_0756

There are three offerings of Rakkan Buns; pork, chicken and vegetable. My choice was the chicken buns. This starter indeed was a definition of sensory overload. Two steamed buns were filled with crispy chicken, milk, sesame, baby mix greens with teriyaki sauce and mayonnaise.  I loved the melt in your mouth softness of the steamed buns followed by the delightful crisp of the deep-fried chicken. A mix of the mayonnaise and teriyaki sauce was delightfulness to the palate.

After such a savory stater, next on the table was the star of the meal; the ramen. Here at Rakkan Ramen; they have four different types. Amber, Pearl, Garnet and Ruby. The ramen are just as special as the names of the gemstones they are named after.
Amber is their soy sauce ramen and their most popular at Rakkan. Pearl is the salt sauce ramen that uses specially selected Japanese salt and white soy sauce. lt is Rakkan Ramen’s “healthy” ramen. Garnet is the miso ramen that is well-known in Hokkaido. While ruby is the shrimp miso ramen made with shrimp paste and shrimp slowly boiled in olive oil to concentrate the umami flavor.
Upon my visit, I tried the Garnet ramen.

 

img_0754

The Garnet uses original blended miso and has vegetable broth, sesame paste, grilled pork, green onion, bamboo shoots and seasoned egg served with thin noodles. I instantly became a fan of the vegetable broth! I love that they used vegetable broth to help keep the dish healthy yet tasty. This in itself makes it a winner in my book. The seasoned egg along with the tender pork were superb. With an addition of their chili sesame oil; this ramen dish made for one hearty meal. The umami flavor was evident throughout the whole meal.

I am very happy to see Rakkan Ramen in Southern California. It’s a little taste of Tokyo here at home.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Rakkan Ramen Redondo Beach.

Hello 189 by Dominique Ansel!

Chef Dominique Ansel is known world-wide as the inventor of the cronut; the delightful sweet treat that is a hybrid of a croissant and donut. His culinary expertise however goes beyond the sweet as he does savory as well as can be seen in his first ever restaurant venture, 189 by Dominique Ansel.

189 by Dominique Ansel is located in  The Grove Los Angeles; a popular shopping and dining destination. The Grove is the perfect location for Chef Ansel’s first savory undertaking as it a beautiful and bustling place located right at the heart of LA. As special as The Grove is, the name of his restaurant is also very special and unique. The number 189 is the bakery address of Chef Ansel’s original bakery address in New York (189 Spring Street) and also happens to be same street address for this restaurant in LA (189 The Grove Drive).

I recently got to dine at 189 by Dominique Ansel and it truly was a beautiful and special evening. The restaurant itself is located on the second floor above Dominique Ansel’s bakery. From tables that overlook The Grove’s famous water fountain to intimate booths with backgrounds that resemble Chef Ansel’s famous croissants; this restaurant is lovely.

The dinner menu consists of “Small”, “Medium” and “Large” and all dishes are meant to be shared family style.

We started off our meal with the Butternut Squash and the Hand-mixed Acorn Squash Gnocchi.

img_0724

The Butternut Squash was a beautiful plate with long pieces of butternut squash in Vadouvan coconut curry, treviso and orange fennel salt. The soft butternut squash was full of flavor from the coconut curry. I loved the sweet and slight spice of the curry.

Equal in delight to the tastebuds was the Hand-mixed Acorn Squash Gnocchi. These small and soft dough dumplings simply melted upon first bite. I loved the brown butter taste. Garnishing this dish were young radishes and sage. These little touches added a nice crunch to the gnocchi.

For our next dish, we tried another “Small” plate; Seared Organic Hen of the Woods Mushrooms

img_0725

This was a very unique, earthy dish. The hen of woods mushrooms were topped with shaved parmesan and dipped in fresh egg cacio e pepe sauce.  The egg sauce was thick and popped out the flavor of the mushrooms.

For our main dish, we had the Grilled Lamb Chops.

img_0726

The lamb chops were phenomenal. They were perfectly grilled with a nice char. Dipped in mustard seeds, they made for a great savory dish. The meat was sweetly offset with pickled farmers market black plum.

No trip to Chef Ansel’s restaurant would be complete without a sweet treat. Each savory dish we tried was excellent but we couldn’t leave without trying one of his special desserts.

To wrap up this special evening, we tried “On the Half Shell.”

img_0727

This has to be one of the most beautiful and special desserts I’ve ever had. On top of rocks were dark chocolate molded in oyster shells. These dark chocolate “oysters” were topped with lime sorrel gelée, mango jam, sea salt ice cream, oat crumble and one edible crispy pearl made out of chocolate. This dessert was truly exquisite and a must try!

The evening ended up not being over quite yet because post dessert we were delightfully surprised to an invite to a small room where there is a “granola bar.”  Each guest is invited to fill a bag with the restaurant’s housemate granola. There are toppings such as golden raisins, dried pineapple and sweet meringue. It’s the restaurant’s way of saying thank you the guests as well as giving guests “breakfast on the house” for the next day. This was a wonderful surprise and a lovely souvenir for the evening.

img_0729

Visiting 189 by Chef Dominique Ansel made for a fantastic evening out feasting on excellent dishes full of flavor and unique touches. I have been a fan of Chef Dominique Ansel since he created the cronut. Now I am not only a fan of Chef Ansel’s sweet creations but his savory ones as well.

 

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on 189 by Dominique Ansel.

Hello Thai Hub Torrance!

Thai food is one of my favorite types of cuisine and I’m always on the lookout for a good place to find some great Thai dishes. This 2019, there’s a new “hub” in Torrance just for that!  Thai Hub Torrance Street Food and Dessert Cafe just opened up this new year and is quickly becoming a go-to Thai place for those in the South Bay (and beyond).

Thai Hub Torrance says that their love for Thai food is “infinite” and this is evident in the menu consisting of a large variety of Thai dishes. One can find authentic dishes such as  E-Sarn Rice Sausage, Tom Zap Baby Pork Rib soup, Thai Papaya Salad and Ka prow Grounded beef.

A good way to try out their different offerings is through their lunch set. The lunch set is offered daily from 11am through 3:30pm. I’ve found that these are great deal to get a glimpse of their variety.

Their Pad See Ew lunch set is one of my favorites.

img_0423

The Pad See Ew comes with egg, wonton soup and two chicken wings. The chicken wings happen to be one of their appetizer offerings too! The Thai style breaded chicken wings are scrumptious! Served piping hot, each bite gives a delightful crunch. Not to be outdone is the wonton soup that consists of  fully stuffed chicken and shrimp wontons, tender BBQ pork and bok choy. The star of this lunch set of course however is their  Pad See Ew. The fact rice noodles have a good mix of eggs, Chinese broccoli and chicken.

Another popular lunch set and one that I also really like is their Yellow Curry Chicken.

img_0422

Yellow Curry Chicken is a staple in Thai cuisine and here at Thai Hub they really know their curry! The Yellow Curry is full of flavor! There is tender chicken breast, potatoes, onions and carrot. It’s great over the white rice and mixed with hard-boiled eggs that comes with the set. On the side is their Spicy beef Salad. This salad has a bit of kick to it because of the spicy lime dressing. There is grilled beef, cucumber, lemongrass, tomatoes and mint.

I am happy to see this new “hub” for Thai food in Torrance! It’s one amazing new addition to the South Bay this 2019!

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

 

Hello Calo Kitchen and Tequila!

Ever since Apollo Landing opened up in El Segundo, I have eagerly awaited for what restaurants would be added to the plaza. They were already home to my favorite Philz Coffee El Segundo and Shake Shack; and I was excited to see what other delights would be coming. I’m happy to say that the new Calo Kitchen that opened up is now on the top of my favorite restaurants ever.

Calo Kitchen just opened up this Fall 2018 and it is already one place that I really love and enjoy dining at. It’s a beautiful two-story restaurant with the bottom floor dedicated to an open kitchen and bar and the second floor dedicated to a more private setting with a view. Not only is the restaurant modern and chic; the service and food is top-notch.

I love anything “From The Grill.” My favorite is  their Short Rib Enchiladas. This is the entree that they have me wanting to come back here again and again.

img_0055

The Short Rib Enchiladas are topped crispy onions and home-made creamy short rib sauce. Their short rib sauce truly makes this dish a winner. It brings so much flavor to the dish. I also liked the touch of crispy onions as it brings a nice pleasant crunch to the enchiladas. The short rib inside itself is perfectly tender. This dish comes with rice and their fabulous black beans! (Note: The black beans are also served complimentary with their chips and they are simply to die for. They are made with pork broth and definitely one of the tastiest beans I’ve ever had!)

Another favorite dish of mine is Carmelita’s Ribeye Tacos.

img_0054

These are no ordinary tacos! The ribeye comes in small skillet. There are tender strips of ribeye baked over melted cheese, mushrooms, and onions. It comes with your choice of flour or corn tortillas as well as guacamole, rice and beans. It reminds me slightly of a fajitas yet is different because of the melted cheese. It’s tasty, unique and just simply delightful!

The savory dishes are a winner but one shouldn’t pass off the sweets either. Save room for dessert folks!

img_0056

The churros here are special. They come with a surprise in the middle and as you bite in, dulce de leche filling oozes out. These hot and crunchy churros are then topped with vanilla ice cream drizzled with chocolate. It’s a dessert lovers dream come true!

Even the cappuccino at Calo Kitchen is amazing.

img_0057

The cappuccino has hints of dark chocolate and a perfect way to end a meal here.

Overall Calo Kitchen is one of my favorite places to open up this 2018 and I cannot wait to be here again!

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Calo Kitchen and Tequila.