Hello Urban Plates Manhattan Beach!

Hello Urban Plates Manhattan Beach!

This November 25, 2019; Manhattan Beach will hold the grand opening of the 18th ever Urban Plates location. I first became a fan of Urban Plates when they opened up their Torrance branch earlier this year.  Well known for their made-from-scratch meals using ethically-sourced ingredients; I fell in love this Fall with their food.

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Similar to the opening of the Torrance location, Urban Plates Manhattan Beach held a a pre-grand opening celebration where they paired with a charitable institution supporting the local community. Urban Plates Manhattan Beach paired up once again Torrance-based nonprofit  The Volunteer Center.  It was an evening of good food all for a good cause!

I’ve loved Urban Plates ever since I tried their Torrance location. Favorite Urban Pltes dishes of mine include their Curry and Tofu Vegetable Braise, their Antioxident Salad and their Hummingbird Cake. The same great taste can be found at Manhattan Beach but there is even more as they also have added a new Plant Based Bowls menu. This includes vegan and gluten free delightful dishes! This menu is only at the Manhattan Beach location and not the Torrance one.

The new Plant Based Bowls menu is not the only new thing as Urban Plates Manhattan Beach restaurant is actually going be debuting something else very special this holiday season. They are going to be a launching a #GoodIsServed social media campaign. Urban Plates will be delivering 100 meals to local first responders on Thanksgiving Day and along with this the restaurant is telling their fans to also share their “do good moments” this holiday season.   With every Instagram post that shows someone’s own “do good moment” (tagging @UrbanPlates and hashtagging #GoodIsServed), the restaurant team will also donate a meal to the The Volunteer Center. Urban Plates will donate up to 500 meals as part of this campaign.

Urban Plates continues to amaze me not only with their great food but with their great heart that goes with helping the local community. #GoodIsServed

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Urban Plates Manhattan Beach.

*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 The Brews Hall!

Hello The Brews Hall!

The first ever multi-concept brewery and food hall in Torrance, California has opened up. The soft opening was held on November 2, 2019 and a ribbon cutting was held on November 13. Today; November 18, 2019; they had an official grand opening party!

The Brews Hall consists of two breweries, a full bar and four food concepts. It’s the brain child of famous South Bay restauranteur restaurateurs Michael and David Zislis and Dave Furano. These three restaurant gurus then partnered with Comedian George Lopez and sports broadcaster Colin Cowherd.

The two breweries inside are Buzzrock Brewing Co; a four-vessel, 20-bbl brewhouse with 17 fermenting vessels and 12 serving vessel custom designed by Michael Zislis and brewmaster Justinian Caire and George Lopez’s Ta Loco Brewing Co; a brewery offering Mexican-style beers.

This place is not just for beer lovers however as foodies will love all the food offerings that they have.

Foodies who love fried chicken will love Chicken T.W.I.LI (The Way I Like It).  They’ve got sandwiches, tenders and wings; just the way you like it!

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I tried their Fried T.W.I.LI and it instantly hit the top of my list of best sandwiches I’ve ever tried. It consisted of a huge crispy buttermilk fried chicken patty smothered with remoulade, topped with tomatoes and lettuce and sandwiched between two buttery buns. No need to go all the way to the South to have good fried chicken because you can find it right here in the South Bay!

Tacos aren’t just for Tuesdays because George Lopez’s Chingon Kitchen offering tasty tacos and other authentic Mexican cuisine every day at The Brew Hall! The menu is based off of George’s grandmother’s traditional recipes and one can enjoy fresh guacamole, tacos, burritos and even loaded Cabo stuffed potatoes.

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I tried the Crispy Tacos with citrus marinated chicken. It was topped with lettuce, cheese, cream and salsa mexicana. It was was crispy, delightful and definitely something to “taco” about.

Take me out to the Ball Game and to The Herd. The Herd by Sports broadcaster Colin Cowherd brings to The Brews Hall some burgers, bets and brews! Here one can catch the latest games and scores in multi-screens that are the backdrop of the counter where folks will place their order.

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Bases are loaded with the Bases Load Fries with fries, bacon, cheese, green onions and garlic aioli. It was definitely a home run with these tasty and savory fries!

Last but not least is Rock N’ Fish Grill! This place is seafood lovers paradise with various fresh fish offerings including fish n’ chips and cornmeal battered crispy fish sandwich. They also offer Rock N’ Fish’s famous New England Clam Chowder.

The Brews Hall offers something for everyone. Whether it be a group of friends who want to enjoy happy hour or a family of four who want to bond over burgers and fries; The Brews Hall is the place to be!

For more smiles; please see my Yelp Review on The Brews Hall.

 

 

 

Hello Gringo Bandito 2019 Private Reserve!

Hello Gringo Bandito 2019 Private Reserve!

This Thanksgiving 2019; hot sauce lovers will have something extra to be thankful for as Gringo Bandito releases their 10th special edition,  2019 Private Reserve. This will be their final Private Reserve hot sauce with only 350 available. It will be released Thursday, November 21st at 9am PST! This exclusive hot sauce has a tasty blend of red fresno and habanero peppers. This years; Special Edition Private Reserve will be released in two different package tiers; Super Duper or Cheapskate.  The Super Duper package includes a bottle with a warm purple label printed on silver foil material. It will be placed in a wooden pine box with a clear cover. The premium package will also will have  an extra bottle of Private Reserve (Cheapskate) along with a specially printed 4”x3” patch, t-shirt and two limited guitar picks. The Cheapskate option will be a bottle with a small label.
One lucky customer who buys the Super Duper package will be chosen at random to receive an extremely rare  (#1 of 1) giclee print of this years Private Reserve label signed by Dexter Holland. One can purchase the Private Reserve starting on November 21 at www.gringobanditostore.com
Hello Tendon Tempura Carlos Jr!

Hello Tendon Tempura Carlos Jr!

There’s a new place in Torrance for some tasty tempura!

Located in Old Torrance is Tendon Tempura Carlos Jr! It’s a brand new tempura spot owned and operated by Carlos A Pinto of Hannosuke fame.

Carlos’ love for tempura begin at an early age when he went to Japan from Peru. It was there that he learned to love tempura and when he went to the United States; his passion for tempura was enhanced when he started working at “Nihonbashi Ten-don Kaneko Hannosuke;” a famous Japanese restaurant that opened up in Torrance.

This year Hannosuke will sadly be closing it’s Torrance shop but Carlos didn’t want the love of tempura in the South Bay to stop and he decided to open up his own restaurant and hence the opening of Tendon Tempura Carlos Jr!

Tempura love can definitely be seen in the cuisine offered here. Their tempura is deep fried in original Koromo batter that is made by precise gram of water and flour. They also only use 100% plant oil and combine it with Japanese sesame oil to fry their tempura. Tendon Tempura Carlos Jr. also has a special secret sauce called Tare/Tsuyu sauce.

Yesterday was their grand opening and I was one of the first lucky 100 that tried their Special Tempura bowl. It had white fish, 2 shrimps, kakiage, seaweed, shishito pepper and half boiled egg!

The freshness and overall quality of the tempura was the best. It felt like I was in Tokyo once again.

There is no need to fly all the way to Tokyo however to find tasty tempura because it can be found right here in Torrance! Today, November 2, 2019, Tendon Tempura Carlos Jr will have it’s first full regular day from 11am-9pm.

For more smiles; please see my Yelp Review on Tendon Tempura Carlos Jr.

Hello Urban Plates Fall Favorites!

Hello Urban Plates Fall Favorites!

The Fall Season is upon us and we are starting to see the change from summer heat to winter cold. Soon it will be the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. In preparation of the Christmas season; I find myself wanting more healthy and affordable food. Urban Plates Torrance is the perfect place for healthy, delicious food that won’t break the bank.

Urban Plates dishes are healthy, and scratch made. The chefs use organic whenever possible. Their beef is grass fed and grown in Australia and this is used in one of their more popular dishes; the Chimichurri Grass Fed Steak. The grass fed steak is topped with Argentinian herb sauce made out of fresh parsley, red bell pepper and purple onion. This steak dish comes with charbroiled rustic bread that comes from artisan bakers Urban Plates has partnered with. At only $15; it’s a dish well worth it’s value. It’s one of my top choices at Urban Plates not only because of it’s price but because it is so fulfilling and healthy.

Urban Plates menu changes with the season and this Fall; Urban Plates has the perfect dish for the season via the Lamb Osso Bucco. The lamb is also Australian grass fed. In this dish the lamb shank is slow cooked and served with mint gremolata and mashed potatoes. Not only is this a healthy and tasty dish; it is affordable at only $17. I loved how tender the lamb was. I could tell it was made out of quality ingredients!

One can indulge in several delightful desserts too at Urban Plates. Each dessert is baked and made fresh in house.

The Banana Cream Pie is a delightful pie with vanilla bean pastry cream, bananas, caramel sauce in a freshly baked graham cracker crust. It is topped with house made chocolate shavings. This is one of my favorite desserts here.

Another phenomenal dessert is Heaven and Hell. It’s angel food cake layered with devils food cake and topped with peanut butter cream cheese frosting. I was in (dessert) heaven after tasting this one.

Urban Plates has gluten free desserts too via their Gluten Free Chocolate Cake. Rich and decadent; this is fabulous for chocolate lovers.

There is also the beautiful Vegan Parfait that is surprisingly made out of beets.

There are also some delightful drinks that are made out of raw fruits and juices. Ginseng Green Tea and Pomegranate Cranberry replenishers are two drinks that bring out the best of fall flavors.

From the quality of dishes to the wonderful flavors; it’s not hard to “Fall” in love with Urban Plates this Fall.

*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 March of Dimes OC Signature Chefs Auction!

Hello March of Dimes OC Signature Chefs Auction!

This October 24, 2019 a very special event will be happening at the Marriott Irvine Spectrum! It’s the annual March Of Dimes Orange County Signature Chefs Auction. Top Orange County chefs will be joining forces to raise critical funds to benefit the March of Dimes’ mission to lead the fight for the health of moms and babies.

The Co-Lead of the Night is none other than  Chef/owner Ross Pangilinan of Mix Mix Kitchen and Bar . He will be joined over fourteen of the area’s most prominent restaurants chefs of Orange County. The chef line up includes Chef James Hamamori of Hamamori; Co-Lead Chef of the Orange County Signature Chefs Auction; Chef Greg Daniels of Harley; Chef Michael Puglisi of Electric City Butcher; Chef Nick Weber of 24 Carrots; Chef Dan Morton of Del Frisco’s Grille; Chef Leonel Deleon of Marriott Heirloom Farmhouse; Chef Rainier Schwarz and Alan Aguinaga of Hendrix/Driftwood; Chef Eric Samaniego of Michael’s on Naples; Chef Luis-Gomez of Vaca; Chef Jorges Valines of Bluegold;  Chef Gabbi Patrick of Chaak; and Chef John Park of Toast.

To be honored at the event is Ms. Scharrell Jackson,  a local women’s advocate, entrepreneur, and Founder of the non-profit Leaders in Heels. She will receive the March of Dimes Champion Award for her outstanding commitment, advocacy, encouragement, and service to women.

The evening will begin 6:00 p.m. with an extraordinary tasting of the most desirable cuisine, prepared and served by culinary masters from top local establishments.

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There will be also a special dessert program followed with a live auction, offering an opportunity to bid on insider packages and unique experiences.

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For more info, please visit the Signature Chefs website

Hello Matsuri Festival at Mitsuwa Market!

Hello Matsuri Festival at Mitsuwa Market!

This weekend Mitsuwa Market in Torrance had their annual Matsuri Festival. The Matsuri Festival is a Japanese Festival celebrating Autumn. This festival at Mitsuwa had lots of food for the whole family to enjoy.

Some of the food booths were sponsored by some of the popular Japanese eateries in the South Bay.

Shin-Sen Gumi was offering some of their tasty Yakitori. Choices were Arabiki Sausage, Tsukune (Chicken meatball) or Negima (Chicken thigh and onion).

Tsujita LA was present serving their popular Tonkatsu Ramen. It had tender pork belly (charsiu) with green onions, kikuge and seaweed.

Chinchikurin was present serving their tasty Hiroshima Okonomiyaki. Their Okonomiyaki had 11 layers of green laver, sesame seeds, egg, dried kelp powder and dried bonito powder, batter, noodles, green onions, sliced pork, bean sprouts, cabbage, tempura crisps and Otafuku Okonomiyaki sauce.

After eating some delicious Japanese food; there were lots of Hello Kitty games for the young and young at heart to play. I spotted some cutie Hello Kitty items.

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Matsuri Festival at Mitsuwa Marketplace was a fun and delicious way to welcome this fall season!

Hello Bahay Kainan/BaBoys!

Hello Bahay Kainan/BaBoys!

October is Filipino 🇵🇭 American 🇺🇸 History Month and Bahay Kainan/BaBoys is the perfect place to celebrate. Their menu brings classic Filipino favorites with an American twist.

Bahay Kainan first started off in 2001 as a catering business by Philippine immigrants. Elizabeth and Guillermo Ferido. The served only traditional Filipino food and hence the name Bahay Kainan; Tagalog for “Home Cooking”. In 2016; they added the name BaBoys when their son Guilbert Ferido; a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena; took over as head chef. He added the name “BaBoys.”  The name “BaBoys” has a special twist as in Tagalog it means “Pork” while the “Boys” can is a reference to American young men.

The new name, “Baboys” with a Filipino American twist was perfect for the new Filipino fusion menu that Guilbert Ferido created. Inspired by his Mom’s cooking of lumpia he incorporated the popular Filipino appetizer into a burger and made the Lumpia burger.

The Lumpia Burger consists of a Lumpiang Shanghai Patty in between two Hawaiian buns and topped with slices of cheese, Asian slaw, tomato, scallions and smothered with garlic aioli and banana ketchup. Filipino classic lumpia is often dipped in the popular Filipino condiment banana ketchup and even that is creatively incorporated in this burger.

Alongside the Lumpia Burger; are other Filipino fusion items such as fries topped with Sisig (Filipino minced pork, chopped onion, and chicken liver),  Tocino (Filipino sweet pork) Burrito and Bistek (Filipino beef steak) Onion Rings.

The Bistek Onion Rings are a favorite of mine on the menu. Filipino Beef Steak is a dish I’ve loved growing up. The traditional way is thin slices of beef with lots of onions stewed in soy sauce and lemon juice. Here at BaBoys; they have lots of beef and lots of onions but the onions consist of fried onion rings. There is also garlic parmesan cheese and cotija cheese. It’s Filipino and American cuisine paired perfectly.

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With it’s Filipino American cuisine, Bahay Kainan/BaBoys is the perfect place to eat this Filipino 🇵🇭 American 🇺🇸 History Month.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Bahay Kainan/BaBoys

Hello Sidecar Doughnuts Torrance!

Hello Sidecar Doughnuts Torrance!

Zoom zoom! Hello Kitty rolled 🚗 into Rolling Hills Plaza in Torrance recently to check out the new Sidecar Doughnuts.

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First established in 2012; the Torrance location  is the fourth Sidecar Doughnuts location. The other shops are Costa Mesa, Santa Monica and Del Mar.

Ever since their first shop in Costa Mesa; Sidecar Doughnuts has been committed to serving the “World’s Freshest Doughnut.” I (along with Hello Kitty 😉) saw this first hand when I visited the new Torrance location. This new location has a big window where visitors can see happy workers busy preparing fresh doughnuts. The doughnuts are fried in small batches every hour. Each doughnut has unique and delightful ingredients such as foraged huckleberries and Niman Ranch bacon. There’s even the the Basil Eggs Benrdict which has a poached egg and Benton’s ham.

This October was the perfect time for me to visit Sidecar Doughnuts because they have a Fall month specials featuring my favorite pumpkin! They have the Vegan Pumpkin Chai; a Vegan pumpkin cake doughnut, topped with warm-spiced vanilla chai glaze. There is also the Pumpkin Pie and Everything Nice; which is a bullseye doughnut, topped with pumpkin glaze, whipped mascarpone pumpkin mousse, house made ginger snap crumble, roasted & salted pepitas, and Vermont Maple Syrup.

The Pumpkin Pie and Everything Nice was my favorite. I loved how the pumpkin flavor simply exploded out of this delectable treat. The pumpkin mousse oozed out. I also liked the crunch that the ginger snap crumble and the pepitas gave.

Not only did their monthly specials include an ode to the pumpkin; they also had a special donut in honor of Filipino American History Month. Chef Chad Valencia of Lasa LA  partnered with Sidecar Doughnuts to bring us all the Manila Vanilla Sweet Potato.

Sweet Potato in Tagalog is ‘Kamote,”  Chef Valencia took inspiration from kamote cue a famous street snack in the Philippines and created  this sweet potato & vanilla cake doughnut. He then topped it with brown butter-muscovado glaze and Maldon Sea Salt.

At first bite, I instantly tasted the sweet potato and my senses were transported back to the sweet streets of Manila.

Not only will you be treated to the best sweet potato doughnut when you purchase this but you will also be helping a good cause.  A portion of proceeds of every doughnut sold goes to Immigrant Families Together.

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Alongside the fresh doughnuts, Sidecar Doughnuts offers some fresh and tasty coffee too! Their lattes here are amazing. I tried the latte with Jacobsen sea salt caramel and this cup of Joe went well with the doughnuts.

You are sure to smile with Sidecar Doughnuts. Zoom zoom! Roll on over to Rolling Hills Plaza and check out the new Sidecar Doughnuts! I’ll be sure to be rollin in again soon. 🙂

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review

Hello Kitty Pumpkin Patch @ Tanaka Farms!

Hello Kitty Pumpkin Patch @ Tanaka Farms!

It is the start of October and Fall is here! As many of my Hello Kitty Foodies know this is the start of my favorite pumpkin season! This year I got to kick off the start of Fall and pumpkin season with two of my favorites; pumpkins and Hello Kitty at Tanaka Farms!

Two years ago on this blog I shared the start of the collaboration between Sanrio and Tanaka Farms in Irvine. Since then the collaboration has brought Hello Kitty enthusiasts to Orange County. At the farm; guests can enjoy a wagon ride around the 30 acre farm that features several wonderful photo ops with Hello Kitty and her friends!

My Melody welcomes visitors to the sweet strawberry fields.

Hello Kitty welcomes guests to enjoy a sunshine filled day where the sunflowers grow!

There’s a U-Pick veggie garden where one can pick seasonal veggies such as radishes! Hello Kitty loves being healthy and picking fresh vegetables!

There’s a giant corn maze where one can see stalks of corn. Hello Kitty is excited to see if you can figure out the maze!

During pumpkin season can see pumpkins of all sizes! Among the pumpkins one can see Cinderella pumpkins, Fairytale pumpkins, Porcelain Doll pumpkins, Jarrandale pumpkins and Polar Bear pumpkins!

The Fall Harvest Festival at Tanaka Farms is every weekend from September 21-October 31. Say “Hello” to Tanaka Farms and you are sure to “Fall” in love with the annual pumpkin patch featuring Hello Kitty and Sanrio friends!