Hello Bird's Nest Cafe!

Hello Bird's Nest Cafe!

I love discovering hidden gems and Bird’s Nest Cafe in South Central LA; is truly one of them. Nestled close to the Metropolitan Courthouse and the Los Angeles Tech Trade College is Bird’s Nest LA. There’s not many other eateries around and one wouldn’t expect to find such a cafe here. I am so glad however to have found this wonderful and cute cafe.

Bird’s Nest Cafe primarily offers breakfast items such as breakfast burritos and omelettes and sandwiches. They also have burgers, salads and an extensive offering of coffee drinks.

Well known for their breakfast burritos; I chose to get one of these during my visit here.

My chosen burrito was the Upriser. True to it’s name this one burrito that rises to the top. It’s packed with flavor and ingredients! Typically this burrito has bacon but I chose to get it with chicken. Other ingredients included eggs, avocado, pico de gallo, hashbrowns, cheddar and mozzarella. It was very hearty and fulfilling. It was accompanied with a refreshing arugula salad with watermelon cubes and vinaigrette dressing.

Bird’s Nest Cafe also offers several sides to pair with your meals here. I spotted zucchini fries, one of my favorite sides ever, and I knew I had to get it.

I absolutely loved the zucchini fries here! They came out piping hot and fresh. The batter was so flavorful. It came with chipotle aioli dipping sauce that made for the perfect dipping sauce. This side paired very well with my Upriser burrito.

Last but not least; I had to get a latte here. I heard someone say that Bird’s Nest Cafe has the best lattes in town. Being a latte lover; my curiosity was peak.

I chose to get a vanilla bean latte and it indeed did not disappoint. It was smooth, slightly rich and not too sweet. It had just the right hint of espresso.

Bird’s Nest Cafe was an amazing place to visit. I would’ve never expected so much good food and drinks here. It is a true hidden gem.

For more smiles please my Yelp review on Bird’s Nest Cafe.

Hello Brunch at Restoration Kitchen and Wine!

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 Painter’s Tape!

Hello Painter’s Tape!

Painter’s Tape, the newest neighborhood restaurant in Gardena has very simple instructions for customers walking in. They are as follows: 1) Show up with fun people. 2) Visit the cashier to order a refreshing beverage and couple dishes each to share with the fun people. 3) Eat, drink and be merry. 4) Leave happy, sleep well, repeat steps 1-3.

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Even without the instructions however, I already knew that I would come out of here as one happy Hello Kitty Foodie from Painter’s Tape because of several reasons. The first reason being I was recommended here by my friends from another favorite restaurant of mine; Chubby Rice. Joe and Chef Linda Lau of Chubby Rice are food connoisseurs that I trust and respect and I knew any restaurant they like, would be top-notch. Owner of Painter’s Tape and chef  Atsushi Takatsuki, happens to also be a chef alum of Manhattan Beach Post just like Chef Linda. Chef Atsushi was once chef de cuisine of Chef David LeFevre’s fabulous beach city restaurant.

I also knew I would like Painter’s Tape because I found the inspiration behind the restaurant name so heartwarming and wonderful. Chef Atsushi grew up in Gardena and his father ran a commercial painting business in Gardena for 40 years. The restaurant’s name is a tribute to his father and to his hometown! Being someone who also is very close to the South bay and a true Daddy’s girl; I love the background story behind Painter’s Tape.

With all the above being, said I was already quite happy walking into Painter’s Tape with even no instructions ;). Little did I know that the smile on my face would get even bigger after trying their food. 😉

Painter’s Tape specializes in modern American cuisine. The menu consists of three sections: breads and sandies, eggs and potatoes and vegetables. It’s a tapas style and perfect for enjoying with friends and family.

Our meal here started off with Painter’s Tape’s Potatoes Bravas.

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I’ve always been a fan of potato dishes but this dish has to be one of the most unique potato dishes I’ve ever had. It’s a mix of soft potatoes and potato chips topped with paprika, garlic mayo and a soft egg. Poking the egg yolk and letting it mix in the potatoes was true happiness and yumminess. It has a bit of spice to it and I just loved the mixture of flavors.

Next dish was the Stewed Organic Rice.

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This dish is also not your ordinary (porridge) dish. It is tomato and chicken bone broth topped with egg yolk and crispy things! It is an egg-cellent dish that is very flavorful. The yolk when mixed with the porridge gives the perfect texture for one hearty dish.

After trying something from both the Eggs and Potatoes section and the Vegetables section; it was time to try something from Painter’s Tape’s Bread and Sandies section.

We first tried the Shabu Shabu Steak Bun.

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My family and I are quite fond of the Japanese nabemono hotpot dish of thinly sliced meat and vegetables boiled in water; but never did we anticipate having shabu shabu as a sandwich! Painter’s Tape makes shabu shabu sandwich a reality. The Shabu Shabu Steak bun has the thinly sliced meat, worcestershire sauce, tomato confit and spice shake all in one. The seasoning of this sandwich is simply divine.

The other item that we tried from the Breads and Sandies section was the Japanese curry and cheddar donut.

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This donut came fresh from the kitchen and upon slicing the donut delicious curry and cheddar came oozing out.

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Similar to the Shabu Shabu Steak bun, this was very pleasing to the palate. The curry just had the right tone of hot Asian spices. The cheddar mixed in with the curry made for a very creamy and smooth filling!

Last but not least, we tried their Texas toast.

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The Texas toast was toasted just right and had perfectly crisp edges! I loved the topping of honey and condensed milk. It made for just the sweetest ending to this fabulous meal.

Painter’s Tape had very simple instructions for their customers and after dining here I can say; those instructions are on point! Definitely come with fun people. (A meal with family is always wonderful). Definitely order a couple of dishes (I assure you will love each and every dish you try). Lastly you will definitely leave happy (I left with a smile on my face). Thank you Painter’s Tape! Painter’s Tape, the newest neighborhood restaurant in Gardena; it truly is nice to see you in the neighborhood ;).

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For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Painter’s Tape

Hello Brunch @ Baran’s 2239!

Hello Brunch @ Baran’s 2239!

Baran’s 2239 has been on my list of places to try ever since they opened up in 2016. Their co-owner and executive chef, Tyler Gugliotta, is a South Bay native-born and raised in Torrance. Similarly owners Jonathan and Jason Baran are residents of Redondo Beach. Being a local, I’m all about supporting restaurants in the South Bay :). 

Aside from their special tie to my South Bay hometown. I was very intrigued with Baran’s 2239 overall and their tie to great food.  The Barans family is no stranger to food. Their family owned the famed Brothertons Farmhouse on 2239 E. Colorado Blvd in Pasadena for over 50 plus years. The 2239 in the Baran’s restaurant name is homage to the Farmhouse’s restaurant.  The Farmhouse was home to many hometown favorites in Pasadena.  Baran’s 2239 is taking its queue from that fabulous restaurant and serving up some amazing dishes that the whole South Bay and beyond is buzzing about!

Just last month, Baran’s 2239 recently started serving brunch. I am a big fan of brunch and Baran’s 2239 brunch was simply calling my name! All of their offerings are made from scratch and in-house. Their seasonal and locally sourced food is provided by Gugliotta’s family farm, Weiser Farms.

I came for brunch here on Easter Sunday and it truly was a blessed and beautiful meal!

The meal with my family started off with trying their daily special donuts and muffins.

Today their fresh made donut of the day was the Creme Brûlée Donut.

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When the creme brûlée donut came out it, it came with the cutest Easter surprise! Baran’s 2239 pastry chef added a homemade little peep on the side. Not only was the peep cute it was delicious as well. It was made out of lavender. (Sorry cute peep, I ate you hehe!) It was the perfect pair to the creme brûlée donut. The creme brûlée donut was so soft and tasty. One bite and the sweet creme brûlée filling oozed out.

Alongside the donut, we were served their Strawberry Cheesecake Muffin.

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This again was one amazing pastry creating! The strawberry cheesecake muffin had fresh strawberries inside and it was accompanied with delicious cream cheese on the side. It was just like a cheesecake but in muffin form. Hmm who can say no to cheesecake in the morning? 🙂

For the main entrees, we got their Smoked and Spiced Chicken and Waffle.

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Baran’s 2239 is well-known for their fried chicken. Their fried chicken here is prepared in a very unique way. It is first smoked and then fried, and afterwards coated with a soy sauce and chile. Normally the fried chicken is served solo for dinner but for brunch they beautifully pair it with a crispy waffle, pecan sauce and candied nuts. The flavors of this dish simply fall out. You have the smoky, sweet and spicy chicken alongside the sweet, buttery waffle. It is brunch bliss with this dish!

Our second entree for Easter Brunch is one of Baran’s 2239 most popular dishes, their Indian Egg.

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The Indian Egg is Baran’s 2239’s version of the Scotch Egg.  The Indian Egg is a dish consisting of a soft boiled egg that is wrapped in a ball of lamb sausage. It is served with yogurt, cucumber and curry jus.

I am not surprised that the Indian Egg is so popular with every one. I love how it is lightly fried and how perfect the egg is soft-boiled. The flavors of the lamb alongside the creamy yogurt and spiced curry are without a doubt pleasing to the palate.

Easter is a time for new beginnings and my brunch trip here with family is a new beginning of a new tradition of coming to Baran’s 2239. I cannot wait to return and indulge in more of their delicious dishes!

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Baran’s 2239.

Hello Brunch @ Salt Creek Grille!

Hello Brunch @ Salt Creek Grille!

Salt Creek Grille  first opened up Plaza El Segundo in 2007.  With its mesquite grilled menu and hand crafted cocktails, it’s been a favorite for many South Bay locals for lunch, dinner and happy hour. Did you know however that they also offer brunch on Saturdays and Sundays? Every Saturday and Sunday they offer brunch from 10:30am-2:30pm.

I recently got to try the brunch on a beautiful Saturday and I had a very blissful brunch experience. The brunch menu consists of so many delicious entrees that include quiches and special egg and sandwich creations by the chef. Customers can also choose to get the Salt Creek Grille lunch items during brunch.

My brunch experience here started off with their beignets.

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This brunch beignets offering consist of five powder sugar-coated crisp pastry cream-filled apple fritters. The beignets are on top of raspberry drizzle and there is bourbon caramel sauce on the side for dipping.

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These beignets are simply amazing. They come out from the Salt Creek Grille kitchen perfectly fresh. I love how light and fluffy these delightful donuts are.

The next item I got to try is Salt Creek Grille’s newest brunch offering. This is no other than their honey fried chicken and waffles.

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Salt Creek Grille does very well in their creation of this classic salty and sweet dish. Three pieces of juicy honey fried chicken are on top of a thick Belgian Waffle. The fried chicken consists of juicy pieces of chicken breast, thigh and leg. Off to the side is maple syrup for dipping as well as sweet butter for the waffle topping.

My favorite brunch offering during my brunch visit at Salt Creek Grille was the Monte Cristo.

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The Monte Cristo simply blew me away at first bite. This breakfast sandwich consisted of brioche bread dipped in egg batter, tavern ham, roasted turkey breast, swiss and Dijonnaise. At the bottom of the sandwich was raspberry melba sauce and at the top of the sandwich was sprinkles of powdered sugar. There was fresh fruit on the side to compliment the sandwich.

I just found this sandwich to be indulgence at it’s finest. The brioche just had the perfect crispy texture. I love how the flavor of the Dijoinaise enhanced the tavern ham, roasted turkey breast and swiss. The raspberry melba sauce and powdered sugar gave a nice sweet touch.

This sandwich was excellent and I was even more impressed when I heard the story behind the Monte Cristo at Salt Creek Grille El Segundo. General Manager  Christina Grenart shared her story behind the Monte Cristo with me. When she was a little girl, she would visit her grandma. Together her and her grandma would share Monte Cristo sandwiches made out of French  toast. When she got older and got married, her husband worked at Disneyland and she would often eat Monte Cristo sandwiches at Disneyland’s French Quarter. The memories of eating Monte Cristo sandwiches with her grandma and enjoying Monte Cristo sandwiches at Disneyland inspired her to bring the Monte Cristo to Salt Creek Grille. She worked with the chef at Salt Creek Grille to make their own version. From the touch of the raspberry melba sauce to the tavern ham, Cristy and the Salt Creek Grille chef perfected this brunch sandwich.

The brunch offerings at Salt Creek Grille are amazing but as mentioned earlier in this post, customers can also partake in many of favorite lunch items during brunch. One favorite healthy options is their fish tacos.

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 The fish tacos consist of mesquite grilled seafood, cabbage slaw and pico de gallo on top of the customer’s choice of corn or flour tortillas. It is accompanied with black beans and  citrus brown rice. The fish inside the tacos are the Chef’s selection.

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This particular brunch day, the tacos had a mix of halibut, sea bass, salmon and mahi mahi. The tacos were packed with plenty of fish. It is definitely a seafood lovers ideal meal.

For beverages at brunch, folks can enjoy many of Salt Creek Grille’s handcrafted cocktails, craft beers or their Stumptown coffee! I tried their Stumptown chocolate cold brew.

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Wow, this chocolate cold brew with milk is chocolate milk and coffee caffeine crazy deliciousness. I loved how the coffee had that nice hint of chocolate. It’s definitely one that will bring a bit of perk to your morning 😉.

The brunch at Salt Creek Grille is great start for any weekend! The entrees are very fulfilling and delicious. Each item is well prepared by the talented chefs of the restaurant and is sure to bring a happy smile to your face. Salt Creek Grille is not only great for lunch, dinner and happy hour but is also excellent for brunch!

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review about Salt Creek Grille’s brunch.