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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Hello Yelp Elite Event: Yelp’s First Look at Randy’s Donuts

It’s so sweet to be Yelp elite and it truly was a sweet time at the recent Yelp LA Elite event at the newest Randy’s Donuts that just opened up in El Segundo at Apollo Landing.

Randy’s Donuts has been serving delicious donuts since 1962. Everything is made by hand and they even have a special, unique flour that is used just by the store! They’re all about quality and being affordable. They’re world famous for a reason.

Last night, us Yelp LA elites got to be partake in a very special celebration of their new store and we got to taste a variety of the donuts that they’re world-famous for.

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Randy’s Donuts donut menu is split between classic, deluxe, fancy and premium. Classic donuts include  glazed raised, chocolate iced cake and crumb cake.  Deluxe donuts include glazed twist, blueberry cake and maple cruller.  For those who like fancy, there is roasted coconut raised, cinnamon roll and bear claw. Lastly for the ones looking for really unique treat there are the premium donuts. The premium menu has delicious treats like red velvet with ganache and crumbs, fruity pebbles crumb and s’mores raised.

If you’re not drooling already from their extensive donut menu; then you surely will be drooling once you have the El Segundo exclusive Breakfast Donut sandwiches! During the event, we were all treated to this unique and special sandwich (and yes, we were all drooling ;).

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Breakfast Donut sandwiches are made with glazed donut rolls with maple pepper bacon, all natural sausage, cafe free eggs, hash browns and American cheese. You can even spice it up with siracha or tapatio sauce! It’s the perfect mix of sweet and salty. It was truly intense but truly delicious as well.

Randy’s Donuts El Segundo location is just the start of delicious donuts taking over the foodie world. They will soon have a Downey location, a Hollywood location and even a Manila, Philippines location and Jeju Island, Korea location.  I am so thankful to Yelp LA for this special look of the new Randy’s Donuts in El Segundo.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp Review on Yelp’s First Look at Randy’s Donuts.

Hello Philz Coffee El Segundo!

I love you to the moon and back….cup of love.

Philz Coffee has officially “landed” in El Segundo! The sixth Los Angeles location just opened it’s doors at Apollo Landing; El Segundo’s premier new hot spot for casual dining.

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It is no secret that I crush on coffee houses and this new Philz Coffee is very much crush worthy. Right by their outdoor patio one will instantly spot the space themed 9×55’ mural that LA based Artist & Muralist Cloe Hakakian customized for this location. The mural has in bold letters “I love you to the moon and back” and this very much true of how this foodie feels about this new Philz Coffee.

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Philz Coffee is all about brewing every cup “One Cup at a Time.” Each of their “cups of love”  are crafted to every individual customer’s taste with the goal of making people’s better days. It surely made my day today. 🙂

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They recommend that the first cup to try is “Philz Way.” Philz Way consists of a cup of love with medium sweet with cream. My new favorite is the Mint Mojito. This drink has fresh mint with just right hint of sweet.

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The blend that was refreshing, flavorful, creamy and so smooth. I instantly fell in love with my cup of love. It was unique, tasty and wonderful.

In addition to my Mint Mojito; I got to try several of Philz Coffee’s different food offerings.

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I loved their savory offerings. The Mediterranean Avocado Toast has egg, chives, zatar, olive oil, sea salt and pepper while their Hummus and Tomato Toast has feta, chives and sumac. Both were excellent!

Their sweet treats were equal in deliciousness. From cookies to croissants; every thing paired well with their coffees. Some of my favorites include the white chocolate cashew cookies, the almond croissant and the blueberry muffins.

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To the new Philz Coffee; welcome to the neighborhood. I am so happy you have landed at Apollo Landing. I love you to the moon and back already ;).

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For more smiles; please see my Yelp review on Philz Coffee El Segundo.

 

 

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 Shake Shack El Segundo!

Back in the summer of 2016, I had my first Shake Shack experience ever during a trip to the East Coast. I love traveling to the East Coast but home truly is where the heart is and thus I am so excited to see the first ever Shake Shack has opened up in the South Bay! Yes, Hello Kitty Foodies, Shake Shack has opened its first ever South Bay location! Just this November, Shake Shack opened up at the new Apollo Landing in El Segundo, California.

Shake Shack is well-known for their burgers, fries, shakes and has accumulated quite a following through the years. From conquering the East Coast, Shake Shack is now conquering the West Coast! The newest location has all the well known treats as well as some local exclusives.  I recently shaked my way over to try out a bit of the treats at the new shack ;):

Shake Shack has so many classic burgers to choose from; from their ShackBurger to their ‘ShroomBurger and it was hard to choose on what to get for my first West Coast Shake Shack experience. Hmm I couldn’t get every thing but I could definitely get the best of two classics via their ShakeStack!

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The ShakeStack has both the Cheeseburger and a ‘Shroom Burger together along with lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce! The Cheeseburger is a true classic but it was the ‘Shroom Burger that stole my heart! I loved the crisp-fried portobello mushroom that was oozing with melted muenster and cheddar cheese. It’s unique and delicious!

The ShakeStack was complimented well with Shake Shack’s fries!

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These crinkle-cut fries were excellent with a side of cheese sauce.

The savory Shake Shack treats were great but I couldn’t leave without trying some sweet Shake Shack treats! Back in DC, I had the Washington Monu-mint custard but I’m in California now and I had to show the West Coast some foodie love ;). Shake Shack always does an awesome job of having some local exclusives and one of them at the El Segundo location is the Caramel Apple Fritter.

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The Caramel Apple Fritter consists of vanilla custard, salted caramel sauce and Apple Fritter donuts. What makes this a LA exclusive is the Apple Fritter donuts are from Randy’s Donut; a famous LA bakery and landmark. How awesome it is that two yummy foodie institutions have come together to bring is this delightful dessert!

Every thing that I tried at the newest Shake Shack location was truly a treat and I am so excited to see this East Coast eatery making its way to the West Coast! Hello Kitty Foodies for yummy smiles shake your way on over to Shake Shack El Segundo!

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For more smiles, please see my latest Yelp review on Shake Shack El Segundo.

Hello Samosa House El Segundo!

Stepping into the newly opened Samosa House in Plaza El Segundo, I was already quite mesmerized. The floor is adorned with colorful Indian designs and the place was popping with upbeat Bollywood music. There’s a wonderful aroma of spices from the array of hot Indian food on display.  I knew that I was in for a treat at this newly opened place.

Samosa House in El Segundo is the newest branch of a family owned and operated Indian restaurant specializing in Vegetarian and Vegan dishes. Their first restaurant was Bharat Bazaar in Culver City and they’ve since branched out to restaurants in LA, Santa Monica and now El Segundo.

It was hard to choose from their various savory dishes but there was one dish I knew for sure I didn’t want to miss and that was their famous samosas.

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Samosa House’s samosas were once featured on Food Network’s  “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” and it is not surprising. This was a great start of a meal here. It was crispy pastry filled with mashed potatoes and peas. It was served with tamarind and mint sauces. I loved the crispy edges and the savory ingredients.

After the savory samosa starter, it was time for my main entree! I got a three item combo with charcoal smoked cauliflower, matar paneer and veggie chicken.

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The charcoal smoked cauliflower had crispy cauliflower in a creamy sauce. I loved the flavor of the cauliflower. The cauliflower  is really distinct because of how it is prepped. It is first marinated and afterwards smoked with a charcoal pot.

The veggie chicken was wonderful as well. The gluten nuggets were so tender. I also was such a fan of the butter sauce in this dish.

The matar paneer was my favorite. This dish was packed with flavors! It had big chunks of paneer in a tomato based sauce. I loved it over the white rice.

Aside from the white rice, the combo plate comes naan and raita or vegan soup.

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I chose to get garlic naan and had the pleasant surprise of receiving a very large piece of fresh-baked naan. Piping hot and fresh out of the oven, it was wonderful. The garlic flavor simply oozed out of the fresh bread.

Last but not least, I tried Samosa House’s ginger chai.

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The Indian tea flavored with ginger and spices was so comforting on this somewhat overcast day. It’s slight hint of ginger was just right.

I truly enjoyed every single item I tried here at Samosa House El Segundo.

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From start to finish, I was a fan. From their famous samosas to their savory dishes and their comforting ginger chai tea; this Hello Kitty Foodie was full of smiles.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Samosa House El Segundo.

Hello Whole Foods LA West Yelp Elite Event!

Whole Foods in El Segundo is celebrating 10 years! The amazing 65,000 foot store opened their doors to LA West’s Yelp Elite Squad recently to celebrate a decade of fun eats and enjoyable shopping!

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It was just last Fall 2016, when The 2nd Bar opened up in Whole Foods in El Segundo. This delicious place has vegan, vegetarian and classic eats along with 36 beers on tap, wines by the glass and a Health-Ade Kombucha on tap. Our Yelp Elite event at Whole Foods started off with a lovely dinner here at The 2nd Bar where we got to try some of their dishes.

First dish was the Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

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I’ve always been a big fan of brussel sprouts and here at The 2nd Bar they gave a dish full of crispy, healthy brussel sprouts!

Second dish was the Kale Caesar.

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Similar to brussel sprouts, I also love kale! I liked this twist on the traditional Caesar salad. This salad consisted of baby kale sprinkled with shaved parmesan and rye bread crumbs! Can we say, yum?!

Third course was the Cauliflower Nachos.

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This vegan dish was my favorite offering of the night. It had fried cauliflower with chilies, pico de gallo, cilantro, lime and avocado lime crema. I loved how this crispy cauliflower dish was packed with flavor.

Our last main entree was their NY Steak and Frites.

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A juicy strip loin was served with her butter and french fries! This was a very fulfilling dish.

Along with the savory eats, we sipped to Kombucha cocktail and Domaine de Cala.

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The meal at The 2nd Bar was just the start of the night because soon after we were off to scavenger like hunt throughout Whole Foods! Our mission: to find ten tasting stations and try out the different Whole Foods offerings.

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The ten stations were:

  •  The bakery section: This station was highlighted by French baker Xavier who offered us three types of bread.
  • The specialty cheese section: This station featured cheese blends from Spicy Mo’s.img_0887
  • The specialty drink section featured Buzz Box. These are juice boxes for adults! Who ever thought one could have Long Island iced teas, Whiskey Lemonade or margaritas from a juice box?!
  •  The sushi station had Kikka sushi. They had a vegan firecracker roll, crunchy shrimp tempura, tuna nigiri, salmon nigiri, crunchy shrimp kafir lime and spicy salmon avocado.
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  • The mochi station featured Bubbles Mochi from Hawaii. We got to taste mango, vanilla and passion fruit mochi!
  • The Kogi station had some of Roy Choi’s fabulous kimchi quesadillas. img_0885
  • The Health Aid Kombucha station had more Kombucha flavors for us to try! Pomegrante, ginger, apple…it was kombucha like no other!
  • The juice bar had even more drinks via four refreshing juices.
  • The Beyond Meat station was a true treat for vegans! They had some meaty yet not meat sandwiches for all of us to try.
  • Last but not least was the smokehouse station. They gave us one hearty tasting plate filled with brisket, collard greens, mashed potatoes and Mac and cheese.

Mission accomplished! The Yelp Elites and the ladies of Table 1 made it through the ten course tasting stations! With plenty of giggles, girl talk and happy eats, it was quite a night! Happy 10 years Whole Foods El Segundo!

Just like Whole Foods El Segundo, this Hello Kitty Foodie is also celebrating something very special. This event marks my 1000th yelp review! I could not think of a more perfect way to celebrate than via a lovely and fun night out Yelp Elite style! It was a night full of Yelp fun and smiles!

For more smiles, please sees my 1000th Yelp review  on The Whole Foods LA West Yelp Elite Event!