Hello Yelp Elite Event at Stonefire Grill!

Yelp Elite Events in the South Bay are my favorite! Being a South Bay girl; I was so excited to see a Yelp event in my hometown; Torrance! Not only was it in Torrance; it was also at a place that I have been wanting to go back to for awhile; Stonefire Grill!

I first visited Stonefire Grill during their soft opening last year and absolutely loved it. This Yelp event allowed me to revisit and discover some new items.

Our Yelp Elite Event first started off with the Stonefire Grill’s Whole Roasted Cauliflower.

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It is a gigantic warm cauliflower that is also gigantic in flavor. Topped with lemon tahini and chopped parsley; it truly is a treat.

After the cauliflower; we were all treated to a wonderful buffet filled with some of Stonefire’s classic dishes!

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The buffet consisted of Stonefire’s bbq chopped salad, breadsticks, pesto pasta, mesquite bbq chicken and tri tip, lemon garlic chicken and tri tip, garlic mashed potatoes, meatballs and pizza.

It was my first time ever to try Stonefire’s BBQ chopped salad and I absolutely loved it They served it vegetarian style and it had mixed greens, black beans, roasted corn, carrots, red cabbage, cilantro, Jack cheese, tortilla strips, tomato, scallions along with buttermilk ranch.

It was also my first time to try their meatballs and pizza! The meatballs came in signature mesquite bbq meatballs and spicy bbq. Both flavors were great! For the pizzas; they served mesquite bbq and Stonefire’s “favorite.” The “favorite” had homemade pesto, avocado, red onion, mozzarella, feta cheese and fresh basil. It quickly became my favorite too especially since it had lots of avocado!

The feast continued on with dessert as we got try an assortment of Stonefire’s classic desserts!

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We got try Stonefire’s Heavenly Cheesecake topped with blueberry, Stonefire’s famous fudge brownies, Stonefire’s Incredible Carrot Cake and Sandy’s cookies. The carrot cake will always be a favorite of mine but I was also impressed with Sandy’s cookie. It was my first time trying this and I loved the oatmeal-based cookie with heath bar, dark chocolate chips and walnuts. It’s actually named after Sandy; a Stonefire Grill family member!

It truly was a feast that evening and am so happy to have gotten the chance to try some new things; thanks to this Yelp event!

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on YEE: A Feast at Stonefire Grill Torrance!

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Hello Yelp Elite Event: Cocktails & Cars Casino Royale Style!

So fancy! Busted out the cocktail dress, dancing shoes for one special night last night at the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo. It was the Cocktails and Cars Casino Royale Style Yelp Elite Event to kick off spring!

With the amazing drop box of this premier museum showcasing cherished old automobiles, all of us Yelp elites were in for one amazing treat. The night was full of entertainment and good times. Todd Elliot Entertainment brought a magician for some magic and amazement. The Swing Dames brought us back to the 40s’ with their lovely voices and LA Pix DJs had us all dancin’ the night away.

It was also foodie galore with some fabulous food booths. Feelin’ fancy and feelin’ full after all the delicious treats!

From Pink’s Hot Dogs, I got to enjoy a turkey dog with chili and cheese. Hearty, meaty and simply classic just like the classic cars we were surround with. It was perfect with Essentia Water

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Wanu Water put a little more fun in the night with their black cherry and peach passion water. 10 essential nutrients and 10 calories per serving!

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Tacos Primo gave us the VIP treatment with fresh made carne asada beef and  al pastor pork.

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These tacos were the perfect match with Siete tortilla chips.

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New York Food Company booth brought out soft and savory kimchi pork buns and cucumber shots.

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The fancy night continued with some fabulous drinks.

I was introduced to Tentera Coffee Roasters and instantly became a fan because of their good cause. Tentera means ‘good causes’. 2% of all Tentera coffee sales are currently donated to their partners which include the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and 1% For The Planet. I loved their pour over coffee and how I instantly had a fresh brewed medium roast.

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More fun drinks were to be found at Happy Lemon. Salted cheese drinks are their most popular offering and I was so happy to see that along with their Sunmerry Bakery rainbow roll cake.

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The rainbow roll cake from Happy Lemon was just the start of the delightful desserts that evening because there were not one but two places to get ice cream!

Smitten Ice Cream brought out some of their best flavored nitrogen ice cream flavors such as earl grey, cookie dough with pretzels and chocolate chips, strawberry buttermilk. They even had their chocolate vegan pops! I chose to get my all time uh-mazing favorite the cookie dough with pretzels and chocolate chips. I drizzled some brown sugar caramel over the ice cream and was in sweet heaven!

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Not to be outdone was Wanderlust Creamery. I felt like as I was in an around the world trip as I had Ube Malted Crunch flavor inspired by the Philippines, Sticky Rice Mango inspired by Thailand and Japanese Neopolitan inspired by Japan. The Ube Malted Crunch had malted milk and real sweet purple jam. The Sticky Rice mango had house made real milk coconut cream and swirls of alphonso mango puree. The Japanese Neopolitan had a trio of Japanese classics; match, hojica and black sesame.

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Cookie Zombie  incorporated our favorite kid snacks into their cookies! That night they had Snack Time cookies that had King size Twix, salty pretzels and Heath Bar bits, Circus animal cookies with Circus Animal bits; and Cookies and Cream can lies with Crushed Oreo cookies & Ghirardelli white chocolate chips. Their Cookies and Cream cookies were the winner of Best Homemade Cookie at Cookie Con LA!

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Cheesecake de Granger had cheesecake cupcakes. They had lemon, Welch’s grape and peanut butter and jelly cheesecake cupcakes!

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From entertainment to food; The Automobile Driving Museum was one happening place that evening. Surrounded with 130 plus vintage, antique and muscle cars; it was one classic evening. I could not have asked for a better way to kick off spring!

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For more smiles, please see my Yelp Review  on Cocktails and Cars Casino Royale Style Yelp Elite event.

Hello Milk Bar Vegas!

Every time I go on travel, I truly try to make the most of it and have a sweet time! When I went to Washington DC, a couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of getting some treats at Milk Bar DC. Who would’ve thought that I’d be able to try Milk Bar again a few weeks later but now on the West Coast.

As those who read my last blog post know, I recently had got to eat at the very delicious Momofuku Vegas at The Cosmopolitan. When there is a Momofuku, then of course there is a Milk Bar. In bright neon pink lights, shines the cute Milk Bar at the second floor of The Cosmopolitan. 

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Like my trip to Milk Bar DC I was once again in true bliss with the all the delicious sweets they had to offer. Needless to say,  I once again got a variety of goodies. (Hmm as I stated earlier, i try to make the most of it when I travel! 😉

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I was such a fan of Milk Bar’s cookies from my DC trip, that I got a couple more here at Milk Bar Vegas.

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One of the nice things about visiting Milk Bar Vegas was I got to try some cookies that I didn’t get DC location and thus I got some new favorites and old favorites. This go around my cookie selection included the compost cookie, cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow cookie, chocolate chocolate cookie, corn cookie and their blueberry cream cookie. What can I say? I’m a true cookie monster err kitty. 😉

The compost cookie is what I was told is Milk Bar’s most popular. It’s a chew cookie that is packed with pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, graham cracker, butterscotch and chocolate chips. I love how they combine salty and sweet.

The cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow is a chocolate chip cookie with a twist. Along with chocolate chips, there are crunchy cornflakes, gooey marshmallows and mini chocolate chips.

The chocolate chocolate cookie is for all the chocolate lovers! It’s double chocolate heaven with chocolate cookie dough and chocolate crumbs. It’s a rich brownie but in cookie form.

The corn cookie was the other cookie I didn’t get to try. I’ve always been a fan of corn bread and this cookie reminded me of that. It has the just the right sweetness and butter flavor that I love from corn bread. This was my favorite of all the cookies!

Aside from the cookies, I absolutely was a fan of the Milk Bar soft serve. When in DC, I tried their cereal milk soft serve and thus in Vegas I was curious to try the other flavors.

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I’ve always wanted to try the birthday soft serve. I loved this birthday layer cake flavored  ice cream that was surrounded with rainbow sprinkles. It’s not my birthday but it sure was party time for my palate with this!

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Milk Bar Vegas has crack pie soft serve! It’s no secret that crack pie is one of their top sellers. The crack pie’ signature gooey butter flavor can be found in this delightful, creamy soft serve. This is definitely one of my favorite flavors.

Speaking of crack pie, I couldn’t let a trip to Milk Bar pass without getting some crack pie.

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The crack pie is as addicting as I remember it! Buttery and simply melts in your mouth. Hmm it can be dangerous that there is Milk Bar in the West Coast now ;). Oh Vegas, you and your vices hehe.

Lastly I got a trio of Milk Bar’s truffles. The truffles were an item that I never got to try in DC and thus I was excited to try them out.

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Milk Bar has three cake truffles. They are birthday truffles, chocolate malt cake truffles and strawberry lemon cake truffles.

The birthday cake truffles were the first ones I tried. They say this is a “birthday party in a bite” and it is indeed true. These truffles are made out of vanilla rainbow cake mixed with vanilla infused milk. It is then coated with white chocolate and rolled in rainbow cake crumbs. Sweet and moist, party flavor indeed!

The chocolate malt cake truffles were divine! This is another treat for those who love chocolate. These truffles are made out of rich chocolate cake mixed with malted milk. It is also coated with white chocolate and rolled in malted milk crumbs!

Last but not least were the strawberry lemon cake truffles! I love both strawberries and lemons and so this combo truffle was a neat treat! These truffles consist of vanilla cake mixed with lemon juice and then it is coated with white chocolate and rolled in strawberry milk crumbs. It’s a strawberry shortcake with lemon flavoring!

Vegas has always been a sweet place to visit for many but for me I now I can truly say my heart has a sweet spot for Sin City, thanks to Milk Bar Vegas. Milk Bar’s slogan is “we’re here to make your day a little sweeter.” They truly have done that for me and making my trips a little sweeter. 😉

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Milk Bar Vegas! 

Hello Paris Baguette Bakery Cafe!

Bonjour Hello Kitty Foodies!

We now have a  little taste of France in Redondo Beach! Paris Baguette Bakery Cafe has recently opened up in Redondo Beach and this place is sure to make you say “Je T’aime Paris Baguette.”

It is truly not hard to fall in love with this cute little bakery cafe. Walking in you are greeted with a wonderful assortment of French bread and pastries. They have a wonderful array of both sweet and savory goodies for you to enjoy. Among the delicious sweet treats are raspberry cream cheese and blueberry cream cheese croissants, lemon pain aux raisin bread and chocolate croissants. (I love how the raspberry cream cheese croissant has lots of sweet raspberry jam in it! I also love that the lemon pain six raisin bread has swirls of cream cheese on top!) Savory delights can be found in their ham and cheese panini and their hash brown bread. (I am simply crushing how the ham and cheese panini has a hint of pesto! This Hello Kitty Foodie is also enamored with the hash brown bread that is packed with a whole hash brown, ham and cheese!)

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To go along with their fresh baked offerings, Paris Baguette has a full coffee menu with iced coffee, lattes, cappuccinos, americanos, mocha and drip coffees!

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It is no secret that I love cute coffee houses and Paris Baguette just made me oh so happy with their fragrant cup of hazelnut coffee. A croissant plus their coffee is truly a match made in heaven!

Last but definitely not least, is their beautiful desserts.

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It is truly every sweet tooth’s dream come true here. They have various cream puffs, fruit tarts, cheesecake, cake rolls, cakes and macarons! They also have “Delightful Bites” of cookies in cranberry almond flavor and salted caramel chocolate in cute small mason bars. These sweet treats are perfect for a small afternoon snack or dessert!

From their freshly bakes French bread and pastries to their fresh brewed coffee and their beautiful cakes and dessert, it is hard not to fall in love with Paris Baguette! It makes my heart happy to see this new bakery open up in Redondo Beach!

Je T’aime Paris Baguette!

Hello Back Home in Lahaina!

It’s always nice to be back home…..

I last dined at Back Home in Lahaina a couple of years back. With life’s busy schedule, I haven’t had the chance to be back until recently during a lunch with friends. I must say I truly enjoyed myself and found myself thinking how there really is no place like home….

Our meals here started off with some delicious appetizers via lumpia and spam musubi.

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Lumpia is a favorite and classic Filipino appetizer. Being Filipino, I was pleased to see Back Home in Lahaina sticking to the traditional Filipino egg roll. Their version was packed with meat and vegetables just like how my mom makes it home. 🙂

For my main entree here I chose to get a combination of Lahaina fried chicken and beef katsu. My combo plate came with macaroni salad, ramen salad and chicken sausage fried rice.

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The Lahaina fried chicken has always been a favorite of mine. With its crisp, sweet batter and tender chicken; this Hawaiian fried chicken has delicious written all over it. The beef katsu was also another crunchy, delightful meat. Both paired well with the fried rice. Back Home in Lahaina has several options for their fried rice and I chose to get it with chicken sausage. It was very fulfilling. Last but not least was their ramen salad and macaroni salad. Both are very flavorful but it is the creamy, soft macaroni salad that wins me over every time! The whole meal just reminded me the comforts of home cooking and happiness with the ohana.

Aside from the drool worth savory eats, Back Home in Lahaina has some amazing desserts. Baked right it house, they have quite a variety. The cookie offering itself is amazing. They have  Kahelani cookies, rainbow cookies, Kylie’s paradise cookies, peanut butter cookies, chocolate crunch cookies, Mauna Kea cookies and Choco-coco oatmeal cookies! There is a cookie for every sweet tooth.

My favorite is the Mauna Kea cookies. The powdered sugar on top of the crisp shortbread is simply to die for!

If you’re more of a cheesecake or person versus a cookie person, than have no fear because there’s plenty of dessert offerings for you too! They have Haupia cheesecake, chocolate delight cheesecake and jello cheesecake. They also have Haupia cake.

The Haupia cheesecake and Haupia cake is great for anyone who loves coconut. The cake is so soft and moist and consists of angel food cake along with some coconut cake. The chocolate delight cheesecake has rich, chocolate mousse that is perfect for the chocolate lovers in the world. Last but not least is the jello cheesecake. This one is my personal favorite. I love the layer of jello on top of the soft cheesecake and crunchy crust.

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To go along with my savory and sweet eats here, I had a nice refreshing glass of passion orange guava. This drink is great for hot days like today.

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Back Home in Lahaina was an amazing place for dining with friends today. From their appetizers to their entrees and to their sweets, there was something tasty for every one! It truly is nice to be back home ;). Being back home makes me smile. 🙂

For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Back Home in Lahaina.

Hello Yoshinoya Japanese Kitchen: New Taste and New Look!

Last Fall, I wrote a article on South Bay Foodies about Yoshinoya’s new fall offering, Asian BBQ wings. I was so delighted with the this new sweet and spicy appetizer and could not wait to find out what other delicious offerings Yoshinoya would come up with in the future. Now with the start of 2015, I am once again a delighted foodie because Yoshinoya has more new tasty treats for us all! They are bringing to us all a new taste and new look this year via the very first Yoshinoya Japanese Kitchen.

The Yoshinoya Japanese Kitchen recently opened in Westchester, CA near LAX. I was one of the lucky to be invited to checkout the new flagship restaurant. From the moment I entered, I was already impressed with the bright look and modern feel of the new place. It has an open kitchen design and a warm orange and bright green theme throughout. The lighting inside is awesome as well. The new place is just warm to the eyes and has a very inviting feel.

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Along side with their new look and new cool store, Yoshinoya is launching exciting new items! I got to try many some of the new offerings as well as some old favorites during their grand opening weekend.

The exclusive tasting started with one of their new offerings, the vegetable spring rolls. These spring rolls are packed with fresh veggies and served with sweet and sour dipping sauce. It’s served fresh and hot making them perfectly crunchy and crispy.

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The other appetizer I got to try is my old favorite, Asian BBQ wings. These wings continue to delight me! It has a the sweet bbq flavor but there is a spicy kick to it! They’re messy, lick you fingers kinda good. 😉

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For my main entree. I decided to try the two newest items on the menu, pulled pork and chicken tenders. The pulled pork is tender, shredded pieces of pork with a little bit of spicy kick. It is very similar in flavor to the Asian BBQ wings. The chicken tenders are made from all white meat chicken and come with your choice of dipping sauce; bbq, buttermilk ranch and honey mustard. I found both new entrees very pleasing to the palette. They are both flavor packed but very different in taste. The pulled pork is for the more adventurous foodie who likes a little spice. The chicken tenders are for the more conservative foodies who just want something classically simple.

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The new entrees are delightful but I also saw many of my fellow foodies ordering their grilled tilapia. It’s a oldie but goodie healthy entree at Yoshinoya and a favorite for many.

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All the savory eats and treats were accompanied with a cool, refreshing sweet tea!

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Last but not least to this exclusive tasting was the dessert. We got to try Yoshinoya’s cookies. They have chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin. I was pleasantly surprised at how good these cookies were. The oatmeal raisin was so soft. The chocolate chip cookie had big chocolate chip chunks!

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It was quite a feast at my visit at Yoshinoya Japanese Kitchen. I was happy and full foodie. It’s a new year and Yoshinoya new look and new taste is sure to bring in new foodies and old foodies and make them smile.

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For more smiles, please my recent Yelp review on Yoshinoya Japanese Kitchen.

*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 Diddy Riese!

It’s one of the very first places I learned about as freshman at UCLA. I learned about it from my roommate Vicky and I can still remember the very first night I visited this sweet little cookie shop with friends in the heart of Westwood. It was a cold night and the lines were filled with UCLA students. It didn’t take too long for me to realize what the hype was all about. It was all about 25 cent cookies (now 35 cents) and $1.75 ice cream sandwiches! Now whenever I visit the campus or am in Westwood, Diddy Riese is a must stop. Aside from the chance to get some of their yummy and very affordable cookies, going to Diddy Reese brings back so many memories for me of happy bonding times with Bruin friends

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The moment I walk into Diddy Reese, I am always pleasantly greeted with the sweet aroma of fresh baked cookies. The display of colorful and sweet cookies is always brings a smile to my face and I react like a giddy UCLA freshman all over again ;). There are so many delicious flavors to pick from!
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They have cinnamon sugar cookies sprinkled with golden cinnamon specks and sweet little sugar dots. They also have white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, which happen to be my favorite Diddy Riese cookie flavor of all.

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Chocolate fans will always be happy here! They have both white chocolate chip and chocolate chip.

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If one wants to deviate from the traditional chocolate chip cookies and live on the cookie edge a little, Diddy Riese has candy chocolate chip and chocolate chip with walnuts.

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For those who want an even more sweetness in their life, there are chocolate white chocolate, chocolate chocolate chip and peanut butter.

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All of these cookies are a great deal at 35 cents each! Surprisingly I saw they offer the cookies at even cheaper price if you get the day old cookies. You can get a dozen for $2.50! That is only 20 cents a cookie!

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Diddy Riese cookies always bring a smile to my face and they’re sure to bring a smile to others as well. They offer special tins and boxes of cookies that make for great gifts. It’s perfect for this holiday season.

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Diddy Reese makes Hello Kitty Foodie one happy Cookie Monster err meant Cookie Kitty ;).

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