Hello Cauldron Ice Cream Torrance!

Cauldron Ice Cream is now in Torrance! The ice cream shop famous for nitrogen ice cream in puffle cones have now hit the South Bay! For those unfamiliar with puffle cones these are egg waffle cones that first became popular in Hong Kong. It gets it’s name “puffle” because the egg based batter it’s made out of puffs up when cooked.

Cauldron Ice Cream in Torrance has three flavors for their puffle. You can get it in red velvet, churro and original. When you order a puffle, the folks here fill it with some of the best ice cream in town. Some noteworthy flavors of ice cream that they offer include “Milk and Cereal” (milk ice cream with frosted corn flakes), “Sun, Moon and Stars”(creamy milk tea ice cream with notes of jasmine, oolong and green tea and star sprinkles) and “Strawberry Shortcake” (strawberries and cream ice cream cream with shortcake mixed in).

My choice for my first time here was the Strawberry Shortcake in a red puffle.

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I loved this treat when it first came out for a variety of reasons!

  1. It truly was instagram worthy! (You can get the ice cream as traditional scoop or rose). The rose is beautiful and is pretty for pictures!
  2. The puffle came out nice and warm! (Who doesn’t like fresh?)
  3. The ice cream was creamy and tasty! (The nitrogen ice cream strikes again!)
  4. It was a multi-dessert! (Ice cream, shortcake and waffle! Yes, please!!)

Overall I am so happy to see Cauldron Ice Cream now in Torrance! Pretty and puffles. This is my kinda place.

 

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Hello Somi Somi Torrance!

“The fish is delish!”

Somi Somi is now in the South Bay! The dessert spot that specializes in the Korean-inspired soft serve in ornate fish-shaped cones is the newest spot to open up at Del Amo Fashion Center.

They recently had their grand opening celebration this Friday, March 22, 2019 and I had the delightful chance to eat some of their delectable desserts!

The menu of Somi Somi consists of Ah-boong and Taiyaki.

Ah-boong is a Korean dessert consisting of soft serve ice cream in a gold-fish shaped waffle cone. Here at Somi Somi customers get to pick an ice cream flavor, a filling and toppings. Among the popular  ice cream flavors are matcha, ube, oreo and black sesame. Fillings include taro, custard and red bean and toppings include sprinkles, graham crackers and cereal treats.

My choice for my Ah-boong was ube and oreo ice cream, with a gold-fish waffle filled with taro and topped off with fruity pebbles, Captain Crunch cereal and graham crackers. This fish was definitely delish!

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The other speciality of Somi Somi is their Taiyaki! Taiyaki is actually a  classic street vendor snack in Japan that consists of a warm fish-shaped cake with red bean filling. Here at Somi Somi however they not only have red bean filling but four other filling flavors; custard, nutella, taro and cheddar.

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The Taiyaki is my favorite because Somi Somi makes them fresh right when you order. I love how the filling oozes out of the warm golden fish. This is my kinda “seafood.”

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Somi Somi at Del Amo Fashion Center is celebrating their grand opening this whole weekend with a special! It is “Buy 1 ahboong and get 1 taiyaki free” till Sunday, March 24, 2019! Hurry on over and see for yourself why “the fish is delish!”

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

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.

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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

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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 and Happy National Ice Cream Day!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream….

Today, July 15 is one very sweet and special day because today we celebrate our favorite sweet treat; ice cream! In honor of this delicious holiday, I am sharing with all of my dear Hello Kitty Foodies some special sweet spots where you can get some awesome sweet treats!

1.) Godiva – Aside from their amazing chocolates, Godiva also has soft serve ice cream! I love their white chocolate soft serve ice cream. Served on the raspberry and rose cone, this is definitely one beautiful and delicious treat!

2.)  Wanderlust Creamery – One of my favorite things about Wanderlust Creamery is how they offer unique flavors from around the world! From Filipino ube to Japanese black sesame; it’s like you are going on an ice cream journey around the world when you eat here.

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3.)  -8C Ice Cream  – Located in Gardena’s Pacific Square Plaza is this wonderful ice cream shop specializing in rolled ice cream. My favorite is the “Peanut Butter Jealous.” I topped this with some of my favorite toppings of mango, graham crackers and oreos.

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4.) Scoops – At Far East Plaza, right across from hot spot Howlin’s Rays is a sweet spot called Scoops! This ice cream shop boosts unique flavors like lavender goat cheese, Guinness tiramisu and hazelnut passion fruit and Bianca bread. The Bianca bread is definitely one of my favorites.

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5.) Mashti Malone’s – When in Hollywood, one definitely needs to check out Mashti Malone’s. They specialize in exotic flavors from Iran. Their creamy Alfonso mango ice cream is a must for any hot day!

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6.) Melt Gelato  – In the South Bay, Melt Gelato is the place to go for crepes and gelato. Located at El Segundo at Plaza El Segundo, they’ve got both sorbets and gelato. Who doesn’t love the Italian sweet treat? My gelato of choice is their coconut macadamia ice cream.

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7.) Smitten Ice Cream  – Who wouldn’t be smitten with Smitten? Their churned to order nitrogen ice cream is smooth, tasty and simply perfect.

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8.) Bruster’s – With their handcrafted ice cream piled on a gigantic waffle cone; one can’t help but smile when getting a treat from this newly opened shop in Torrance! Cookie craze, cherry vanilla and black raspberry chocolate ice cream is calling my name.

9.) Pressed Juicery – A healthy frozen treat? Yes, please! Pressed Juicery brings healthy and happy with their Freeze! It puts a new spin on our favorite treat via this soft serve made out of cold pressed juices!

10.) Yogurtland – Our favorite Fro-yo place is now also serving ice cream! There’s classical flavors like vanilla and chocolate along with fun flavors like butter pecan and chocolate malt ball ice cream. (It’s also buy one, get one free today from 1-6pm. 😉)

11.) Afters Ice Cream – I fell in love with Afters during the Hello Kitty ❤️ Afters collaboration. Their awesome flavors include Cookie Monster and Cookie Butter!

12.) Kansha Creamery – Kansha means grateful in Japanese and I’m so grateful for this Japanese ice cream shop in Torrance. Their Mr. Universal with caramel and oatmeal cookies is the best!  Aside from scoops of ice cream, they also offers parfaits. The matcha parfait seems to be a favorite of many. It consists of vanilla ice cream, matcha jelly, matcha syrup, mochi, corn flakes, red bean paste, whipped cream and matcha ice cream.

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13.) Hisaya Kyoto Roasted Chestnuts – This chestnut shop in Torrance is chestnut galore with their offerings of chestnuts, chestnut coffee, chestnut tiramisu and chestnut ice cream! Their Mt. Fuji sundae is packed with delicious ice cream! Ice cream choices include matcha, chocolate, strawberry and chestnut flavor. 😉 This sundae is a 9oz ice cream that is perfect for National Ice Cream Day!

14.) Kream Kong Ice Cream – Seen at the OC Market, Kream Kong Ice Cream will soon be hitting up the streets via a new ice cream truck! Their offerings are handcrafted, organic and made from locally sourced ingredients. Their delicious flavors include peanut butter and jelly, ube, red velvet, avocado and banana cream pie.   Kream Kong Ice Cream  Truck will be launching this summer.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream…

I’m sure we are all now screaming for ice cream on National Ice Cream Day! All of the place above are some places that are sure to make you smile (and scream for) their ice cream. I hope every one enjoys a scoop or two 😉 today! Happy National Ice Cream Day!

Hello Churroholic!

First cupcakes and then pie….now the latest food trend to be making its mark is churros!

The fried-dough pastry snack originating from  Spain and Portugal is definitely taking the foodie world by storm. These delicious fritters can be found from Costco to Disneyland. It’s not just at your local store or amusement park however because now there are specialty shops specifically specializing in the sweet treat! One of these places is Churroholic.

Churroholic is a cafe offering handcrafted churros, coffee and ice cream. They are the sister shop of popular boba shop, Hiccups and can be found next to several Hiccups locations. They have locations currently in Anaheim, Paramount and Carson, California and future branches will be opening in Whittier, South Gate and Santa Ana, California.

I recently had the (sweet) pleasure of visiting their Carson branch; the newest of all their locations. This place is definitely churro heaven. Their churro menu consists of flavors of original or glazed with chocolate almonds, chocolate sprinkle, coconut chocolate, matcha pebbles, and cookies and cream. Churros can be purchased solo or with ice cream. They also offer churro sandwiches and sundaes. As they mention on their website, dessert is definitely their passion! At Churroholic they really work to offer the freshest churro you will find in town and I noticed first hand them making fresh batches.

My handcrafted choice was the Cookie Monster ice cream and a matcha pebbles churro.

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The cutest churro with ice cream ever was served. Not only was it pleasing to the eye, it was pleasing to the palete as well.  The freshly made churro was perfectly warm and crisp. The fruity pebbles were a nice sweet touch. The ice cream was sweet and milky smooth. Hmm not only did I become a Churroholic that day but a Cookie (ice cream) Monster too.

Like many of the food trends in the past years; churros are sure to become a favorite for many. It certainly is a new dessert favorite of mine and I for one have a churro crush.

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

Hello Tin Roof Bistro!

One of my favorite local South Bay eateries is Tin Roof Bistro in Manhattan Beach. With it’s pretty mission like architecture and lovely looking interior with neat lightening, this place has always been a fun place. Their menu ranges from simple homestyle classical dishes to unique fusion entrees. I’ve enjoyed coming here with friends to enjoy lunch meals such as their soup and salad combos like their Napa Grilled Cheese, a sandwich filled with swiss cheese, roasted tomatoes, arugula and basil pesto alongside a tomato bisque soup.

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Their pizzas are great too (and $2 off @ their Bocce Hour/happy hour!)
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Just recently, I came to Tin Roof Bistro for my good friend’s Jacklyn birthday. Along with my other friends Marisohl and Mary Ann, we celebrated her birthday with happy conversations, happy times and happy eats.

Our meals started with one of Tin Roof Bistro’s more popular appetizers, the caramelized brussel sprouts. On top of a bruschetta toast were roasted brussels sprouts that were flavored with butter, lemon, garlic, anchovies and capers. The brussels sprouts were nice and crispy. The lemon flavor was the prime seasoning that could be tasted in this dish.

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For my main entree, I chose to get the housemade thin-noodle lasagna. It was a hot and fresh plate full of layers of thin, delicate noodles mixed with spinach, roasted red peppers, eggplant, mozzarella and marinara sauce. I am a big fan of eggplant and so I was very happy to see a lot of eggplant mixed in. It’s a very healthy and hearty dish.

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My friends and I tried various desserts. Mary Ann and Marisohl got the bittersweet chocolate mousse. I found the chocolate base to be on the rich side. This was offset by the sweet pecan brittles and whipped cream on top. Jacklyn got the tapioca with mango sauce and toasted coconut. I liked how the mango flavor was very distinct. My pick was the blueberry ginger pie with oatmeal cookie crust and vanilla ice cream. I liked how there is a slight hint of ginger up front, followed by the sweet ice cream, then the crispy cookie and then the mix of tart berries. It’s a very unique tasting dessert. It’s a hybrid of different flavors. All of their desserts are delicious sweet treats. I also love the cute presentation! They are all put in cute candle like looking cups.

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I was happy to enjoy another lovely meal at Tin Roof Bistro, however what made it even lovelier this time is spending it with some ladies who I’ve been friends with a long time. (I’ve known Jacklyn since I was seven! While Marisohl and Mary Ann, I’ve known since high school and college, respectively). It was nice to catch up with these girls, celebrate Jacklyn’s birthday and enjoy a good meal at one of my favorite Manhattan Beach restaurants!

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For more smiles, please see my Yelp review from my first time to dine at Tin Roof Bistro.