Hello Napa Rose Surprise Birthday Dinner!

This year my birthday was a extra special as I got to celebrate at a very special place; Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel.  For weeks this was a surprise and I did not know until the actual day of my birthday that this would be where I would be celebrating. It’s without a doubt I was so excited to find out I would be dining here.

Napa Rose is a flagship restaurant of Disney that has gotten many awards since it opened in 2001. Just this 2019 Napa Rose was honored their eight AAA Four Diamond award. Napa Rose has also been recognized by Wine Spectator, the Orange County Register and Southern California Restaurant Writers Guild. They are consistently recognized as a top food ranking Orange County restaurant.

Napa Rose consists of both a lounge and a main dining room. Both spots are quite lovely and I was fortunate enough to spend some time in both. We started off with at the lounge where we had some celebratory cocktails for my birthday. The lounge has a classic yet comfortable ambiance perfect for some summer cocktails. It is filled with mini wooden tables and comfortable chairs. The lounge is filled with Napa Rose’s staple rose.

Our choice of cocktails at the lounge were the Summer Kiss and Napa Passion.

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The Summer Kiss consists of Hendricks Gin, Combier, fresh Lemon Juice, St. Germain, and Absinthe Rinse while the Napa Passion had X Fusion, Parrot Bay Rum, Pineapple Juice, and Strawberry. Both drinks were refreshing and great for a summer evening.

Soon after we were off to the beautiful main dining room. Napa Rose pays tribute to California’s wine country as well as the rose that are in the vineyards of Napa. This was truly reflected in the main dining room. Each table in the restaurant has roses  and the image of the rose is seen in the restaurant’s carpeting, lighting, handrails, chairs and even the staff uniforms. In the main dining area there are murals with showing Napa’s vineyards. There is an amazing wine cellar with over 600 bottles and there is a wall adorned with signed, premium wines by winemakers and vineyard owners.

Napa Rose’s menu changes seasonally and it’s entrees are made from the freshest ingredients of California. Currently their menu is for the Summer 2019 season in the Wine Country.

We started off our meal here with a complimentary bread basket.

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The bread basket included  sourdough, cheese bread, and cracker bread covered with parmesan cheese. My favorite was definitely the cheese bread. It was so soft and delightful.

For our appetizers we chose  the Zucchini Blossom.

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This was one amazing appetizer with golden fried zucchini filled with lemony ricotta cheese on top of zucchini pine nut relish. The litter batter was perfectly crisp and the ricotta would ooze our with each bite. It was a great way to kick off a a meal here.

For our main courses we tried the Pomegranate-glazed Veal Osso Bucco and the Quail Stuffed with Prosciutto Wrapped Summer Peach.

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The Pomegranate-glazed Veal Osso Bucco  was served with Apple-Orange Relish and Sautéed Gnocchi. The Quail Stuffed with Prosciutto Wrapped Summer Peach was complimented with Nectarine Relish and Cornbread Stuffing.

Both dishes were excellent and perfect with Pinot Noir. They were plated beautifully and wonderfully prepared. I loved the unique touches of each dish with their respective sweet relishes to compliment their meats. The quail which was stuffed with a peach slice was amazing. It was savory with a hint of sweet. It was also very light.

For dessert I was surprised with a very sweet treat via a Pineapple Streusel Crumble Crunch Bar.

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The Pineapple Streusel Crumble Crunch Bar. what a coconut vanilla sorbet on top and a coconut creme on the bottom. It was very tropical and was a lovely way to end a wonderful meal here. I loved how it was not too sweet but yet had the nice hint of both pineapple and coconut. There were also some little bits of strawberry dollops on the side

Dinner at Napa Rose was everything I could ask for and it really made for one memorable birthday experience for me. The venue was beautiful, the food was of excellent quality and the memories made were priceless.  I’m so thankful and blessed to have had dinner at such special place for my birthday.
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Hello Mix Mix Kitchen Bar!

Just this May 2019; Michelin released the first ever California statewide list of Bib Gourmand selections. The list highlights “exceptionally good food at moderate prices.” One of the restaurants listed was Mix Mix Kitchen and Bar.  Located in Downtown Santa Ana, Mix Mix Kitchen Bar is the global inspired restaurant concept by famed Chef Ross Pangilinan. The restaurant is not new to earning recognition. In 2017; they also Orange Coast Magazine’s 2017 Restaurant of the Year!

Chef Ross Pangilinan was previously the executive chef at Leatherby’s Café Rouge at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa. In 2017; he opened up Mix Mix Kitchen Bar. Since it’s opening; the restaurant has earned both awards as well as the hearts of foodies from all over.

Chef Ross Pangilinan’s dishes have a hint of Filipino flare and European touch. The menu is filled with unique and tasty dishes and one of the best ways to go while visiting is trying out their “Oui Chef” tasting menu. For $65; diners get to partake in 5 dishes personally picked by the chef himself.  I got to try the “Oui Chef” tasting menu recently and had the most amazing time!

Our meal first started off with Chicharrones and spicy vinegar.

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Chicharrones; a classic Filipino snack; was the perfect starter for our big meal.  The Chicharrones were thin and crisp and great when dipped in the Datu Puti vinegar; a well known Filipino vinegar.

Next up; we were presented with several of Mix Mix’s famed snacks..

First was the Seared Albacore Tostada & Filipino ceviche.

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The Seared Albacore Tostada came with avocado, seaweed, Japanese dressing, sriracha aioli, radish on top of a round crisp tostada. On the side was the Filipino ceviche with coconut lime dressing, tangerine, avocado, Thai chili and bits of pork crackling.

One of the nicest things I liked about the Oui Chef tasting menu was it was customizable to guests. One guest can have a different dish versus the other if the other guest has different dining preferences (non-pescatarian, vegetarian etc).

Since I am non-pescatarian; I was presented with a lovely plate with Chorizo & Potato Croquettes and Bacon Wrapped Date.

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The Chorizo & Potato Croquettes came with jalapeno lime aioli, Oaxaca cheese while the Bacon Wrapped Date came with harissa yogurt, Marcona almonds. Both were lovely and full of flavor! I loved the softness of the croquettes and sweetness of the date.

The snacks did not end there as next was a plate of Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon salad to share.

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This had watermelon, tomato, candied pistachio and white balsamic gastrique. Pieces of crisp toast were placed on top. I loved how they made this seasonal dish with watermelon. It was so refreshing for a summer night.

Next up were several selections from Mix Mix Kitchen Bar’s small plates menu.

The first was Short Rib Bao Buns.

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It is rare to find bao buns at restaurants and I have to say that this is one of the best that I’ve ever had! It was packed with braised short rib topped with pickled onions and cilantro. It also had ”pho” cream which gave a pho like taste to great small plate!

Pork Cheek Adobo was followed as our next small plate.

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Adobo is a famed Filipino dish and one knows a Filipino restaurant is good based off their adobo! I am happy to say Filipino Chef Ross definitely knows his adobo. This small plate was delicious and was accompanied with tasty garlic fried rice and chimichurri. It reminds me of home.

The dish served with the Pork Cheek Adobo was the restaurant’s Market Fish selection dish.

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The Market Fish was a lovely looking plate. The fish was roasted barramundi and it was accompanied with Spanish beans, Spanish chorizo, zucchini and pickled chili emulsion. Healthy and delightful are two words that come to mind.

Soft Egg Raviolo awaited our palates next.

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The Soft Egg Raviolo had a soft cooked egg in the middle of a large disk of stuffed black pepper pasta, topped with herb ricotta,  guanciale, parmesan and brown butter. The egg yolk oozed out of the middle as I sliced this delectable dish. The ravioli itself was so soft and cooked perfectly.

Our following starter plate was a surprise. It was the Rabbit Guitar Pasta.

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The pasta itself is representative of guitar strings and hence the name “Guitar Pasta.” On top was shredded meat that at first we were debating whether it was chicken or pork. It turned out to be Fryer Rabbit; a lean young rabbit with fine-textured white meat. This dish is not on the menu but a special of the restaurant. It was definitely one of their more unique dishes!

At this point; we were getting quite full but up next was the main entree; New York steak and Lamb.

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Once again; Mix Mix Kitchen Bar got it right! Both meats were cooked medium and were so tender. Accompanied with brussel sprouts and potatoes; it felt like we were at high end steakhouse. The lamb was another off the menu special.

The desserts were a sweet ending to a very special tasting menu. We got not one but two of their famous desserts.

First up was the Chocolate Fondant.

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Our waiter described this as a lava cake like type dessert with passion fruit cream, salted caramel on the side. The chocolate itself was so rich and smooth. It was dark chocolate at it’s finest. The passion fruit cream gave a nice, sweet offset to the dark chocolate.

Our last but definitely not the least dessert was the Tropical Verrine.

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Once again; Chef Ross Pangalinan pays homage to his Filipino roots with this dessert that is a twist on the Filipino halo- halo. It had coconut panna cotta, macadamia nuts and tropical fruit and mango sorbe and ube ice cream. Definitely save room for dessert as this sweet treat is pure heaven!

Oui Chef experience at Mix Mix Kitchen was the most amazing culinary experience. I can definitely see why this restaurant won Orange Coast Magazine’s 2017 Restaurant of the Year and is on the list of Michelin Guide California 2019 Bib Gourmand. Chef Ross Pangilinan along with Chef de Cusine; Ross Harris came up with some of the best dishes ever and provided us with a dining experience we will never forget! Oui Chef!

For more smiles; please see my Yelp review  on Mix Mix Kitchen Bar.

Hello Portland!

Whenever I visit a new city; visiting their local eateries is definitely on the top of my list of things to do. There’s something wonderful to be discovered by eating and drinking at the places the locals love. This is exactly what I did on my recent trip to Portland, Oregon! Join me in this blog post as I reminisce about some of my favorite eats in PDX!

Coffee and Tea

Did you know that Portland is the 3rd most caffeinated city in the US; following San Francisco and Seattle?  Being the coffee aficionados that we are; we definitely had to make our way to some of the best coffee and tea spots in town!

Stumptown Coffee was the first coffee spot that I thought of when I was first planning my Portland trip. It’s only appropriate that this place is associated with Portland because Stumptown happens to be one of the early nicknames of the city.

We visited Stumptown’s largest cafe, in Portland’s Old Town and tried their Hazelnut Latte as well as their Woodblock Mocha. The Woodblock mocha is made out of Woodblock Chocolate. Woodblock Chocolate is from a Portland Oregon family-run, bean-to-bar chocolate manufactory.

Both the Hazelnut Latte and Woodblock Mocha had rich, bold flavors that were perfect for kicking off a lovely day in Portland. Stumptown Coffee definitely knows their coffee!

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Cafe Umbria was the next coffee spot we tried.  Based out of Seattle, Washington; Caffè Umbria is a full-service, wholesale coffee roaster with Italian roots. Their specialities are authentic Italian espresso.

We visited Cafe Umbria’s Madison Cafe location in Portland. The coffee house at Madison is located in a historic Georgian style building. It is a relaxing and classic cafe that is great for relaxing after visiting the Portland Art Museum nearby.

I throughly enjoyed my Matcha Latte. It had the perfect hint of sweetness and flavor of matcha. I also enjoyed the complimentary dark chocolate that they gave along with the coffee.

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Aside from great coffee; we were also able to try some amazing tea places during our Portland Visit.

Townshend’s Tea Company  is a tea shop with several locations in Oregon. They specialize in several loose leaf tea; black, green, white, chai, herbal; as well as other beverages with tea as the main ingredient.

We visited the location in historic Mississippi Avenue in North Portland. The cafe here  was formerly a 1940s carpentry shop. This made for a unique environment.

For our trip; I chose to get their special Mint Cream Latte. It was made out of half Mt. Hood Vanilla, half organic Peppermint. It was made latte-style like their chai tea. This tea was lovely and reminded me a lot of the Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies. I loved how it had a special Oregon touch via the Mt. Hood vanilla.

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The Spice and Tea Exchange in Portland was one of my favorite tea spots for some to-go coffee for home.

Located at the heart of Portland on Broadway street; they offered an abundant amount of teas. Among their various teas offerings were black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong tea, herbal tea, pu-erh tea and matcha tea.

I chose to get three bags to take home;  Bonita Peach Roobios,  Creme Brûlée tea and Gone Bananas Tea. The Gone Bananas is my favorite, It has sweet flavors of vanilla, banana and rock sugar combined with bourbon and rum extracts. It smells just like banana and has the perfect hint of banana flavor too!

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Donuts

Aside from being well known for their coffee; another treat that Portland is known for is for their donuts! In fact; they are home to not just one but two famous donut shops! We of course got to try both 😉 during this trip.

Voodoo Doughnuts was definitely the one donut I shop I did not want to miss. I had several people recommend this place when I first mentioned I was going to Portland.

Located in Portland’s Old Town district; it was definitely be an adventure coming here. There is even the large “Keep Portland Weird” sign right across from the location. As eccentric as it’s surroundings are; so is the shop itself with it’s pink decor and giant donut hanging from the ceiling.

We chose to get the famous Voodoo Man donut as well the Guava Colada. The Voodoo Man donut was filled with raspberry jelly and is topped with chocolate frosting and a pretzel stake. The Guava Colada had guava jelly and was topped with vanilla frosting, flake coconut and a toothpick umbrella. The donuts were tasty and not too sweet.  I can definitely see why they are famous! They’re not only uniquely cute but scrumptiously delicious.

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Bluestar Donuts is the other famous donut shop in Portland. I had previously tried Bluestar Donuts when their California location opened up in Abbot Kinney. I however didn’t want to miss the place where it first originated from; Portland!

I tried the Bluestard Donuts location at Mississippi Avenue. It was a cute and small shop that offered several of their regular favorites as well as one of kind items.

For this trip we chose to get the Chocolate Almond Ganache and Meyer Lemon Key Lime Curd. The Chocolate Almond Ganache is brioche ring glazed with dark chocolate made from natural cocoa powder. It is topped with chopped salted Marcona almonds. The Mayor Lemon has their signature brioche  stuffed with a curd made from Meyer Lemon and Key Lime purees. The outer shell is dusted with powdered sugar. For chocolate lovers and lemon lovers; these donuts are for you. Bluestar definitely brings out their flavors with their donuts!

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Savory

From coffee, tea and donuts; my Portland trip couldn’t be complete without trying some of their famous restaurants for brunch, lunch and dinner. I was fortunate to try some of PDX’s well known restaurants; with two even being headed by James Beard award winning chefs!

Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen was one of the first spots we got to try in Portland. It is a popular spot in downtown Portland famous for their pho, banh mi & other Vietnamese favorites.

For lunch we tried the Papaya Salad, Crispy Rolls and Coconut Chicken Curry. The Papaya Salad was definitely a favorite. With it’s julienne green papaya, shrimp, peanuts, bell peppers, onions, basil, & lime vinaigrette; it was so refreshing for a hot day in Portland. The Crispy Rolls and Coconut Chicken Curry paired well together for a nice light meal.

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Umami Cafe located at the Portland Japanese Gardens was another amazing place we tried for lunch in Portland.

The cafe is located in the heart of the garden and is designed after Kyoto’s Kiyomizu-dera temple. Surrounded by the beautiful trees and plants; it is such a serene place to enjoy a mini meal.

I truly enjoyed the Hojicha with Fried Rice. Their Hojicha tea comes from the Tokyo-based Jugetsudo tea company, while their yakitori chicken style fried rice comes from the Japanese food company, Ajinomoto. It’s a perfect light meal after walking around the beautiful gardens.

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Tasty n Alder located in downtown Portland is an amazing place for brunch, lunch or  dinner. This modern steakhouse is super popular and always has a line. It is definitely worth the wait though.

Tasty n Alder lives up to the “Tasty” in it’s name and has some truly amazing dishes.

My favorite entree here was the Duck…Duck….Steak! It consists of lovely double R Ranch teres major on a stick and it is complimented with potatoes confit in duck fat, onion sour cream and a sunny duck egg. The steak was cooked just right and was so tender. The potatoes were amazing.

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Bistro Agnes in West End, Portland was definitely a favorite in our books. We loved everything in this cafe that is headed up by 2017 James Beard Award winning chefs Greg and Gabi Denton.

We were treated with Amuse Bouche; complements of the chef. We loved the creamy  soup that the chef gave. We had also had Warm Asparagus appetizer with morel mushrooms and gratineed sauce bearnaise. The starters were wonderful but there were even more treats awaiting in the main courses. For our entrees; we had the Mussels Mariniere, Beef Short Rib Bourguigon and Truffled Vegetable Pithivier. The Truffled Vegetable Pithivier was my dish and it was mouthwatering to say the least. I was in love with the butternut squash, oyster mushrooms, black truffle, leeks, chèvre & comté in the  puff pastry that was complemented with truffled vegetable demi. Je t’aime Cuisine Francaise.

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Higgins  in downtown Portland was the next James Beard awarded restaurant that we tried.  Higgins is owned by Greg Higgins; a James Beard award winner of Best Chef Northwest.

We kicked off our meal here with a lovely Roasted Beet Carpaccio with black sheep fresh cheese, horseradish,  pomegranate molasses, sumac and pistachios. For our entrees we enjoyed the specials of the night; Hangar Steak, Pan Seared Pacific Cod and Salmon. I loved the rich sauce in my Hangar Steak; it was so savory and flavorful.

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Sweets

It just wasn’t savory treats we enjoyed because we also had some sweet treats that made our trip to Portland even sweeter!

Portland is well known for Salt and Straw but we decided to go with a different route by trying Wiz Bang Bar; the soft serve bar that is sister to Salt and Straw.

Located at the fabulous Pine Street Market in Portland; this spot was perfect after walking around during a 98 degree day in Portland!

I was also ecstatic to get to try two Portland favorites combined in one because they were offering Blue Star Old Fashioned Donuts soft serve. It definitely had that donut taste.

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Pix Patisserie was the best spot of all. This hidden gem on Burnside street is a little slice of France that landed in Portland. For us, this is the best dessert and coffee spot in Portland!

They have the most amazing lattes. The Oregon hazy latte is simply the best. It has the perfect hazelnut taste and it tasted so fresh. The Fleur de Sel latte was also a winner with the lovely caramel taste.  They have amazing macarons but the must try is their Macronuts. Macronuts are a combination of French macarons and donuts. The Macronuts are made fresh and come out piping hot and oh so soft. I am still dreaming of my visit here and wish to be back!

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Portland was truly a wonderful time and I loved each and everyone of our culinary adventures here! Hello Kitty Foodie loves PDX! Till next time…

Hello Kitty Foodie Year in Review 2016!

One of my favorite blogs posts that I write every year happens to be one of the ones I write at the end. That post is my Hello Kitty Foodie Year in Review. I always look forward to this post because it’s the perfect reflection of the year that has passed and I can look back fondly at many happy moments. This year I’m changing it up a bit by starting something new with Hello Kitty Foodie Bests :).

I’ve been very fortunate this year to have had some wonderful Hello Kitty Foodie adventures from the West Coast to the East Coast. Below is my 2016 Hello Kitty Foodie Best of 2016.

Hello Kitty Foodie Best Breakfast/Brunch Places 2016

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! This year I tried some amazing places that truly defined the good in “Good morning”

 

Blue Star Donuts (blog post March 2016)

Originating in Portland, Oregon, these gourmet brioche donuts made their way to Los Angeles via a new shop in Venice on Abbot Kinney. The Pineapple Pistachio Pina Colada,  an exclusive flavor to the LA location was on the top of my favorites here!

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Salt Creek Grille (blog post: August 2016)

Though popular for happy hour, one shouldn’t miss out on Salt Creek Grille during brunch! From beignets to my favorite Monte Cristo sandwich, folks are sure to be full of breakfast smiles.

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Hello Kitty Foodie Best Asian Appetizers in 2016

From egg rolls to dumplings, how can one not love Asian appetizers! I found some some amazing Asian eateries serving up some unforgettable starters.

Blue Basil Asian Cuisine (blog post: January 2016)

Blue Basil’s crunchy Vietnamese egg rolls are to crunchy-licious and packed with flavor!

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Sisters Thai, The Ordinary Cafe (blog post: May 2016)

I discovered one of the best Thai spots in Fairfax, Virginia via  Sisters Thai. Their Angel wings are enough to make me want to fly back to Virginia..

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Din Tai Fung @ Del Amo (blog post: December 2016)

The XiaoLongBao is the most popular dumpling dish on the menu and it’s for good reason! It’s a dumpling and a soup rolled in one!

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Hello Kitty Foodie Best Unique Eats 2016!

American Tandoor (blog post: July 2016).

I found the best Indian fusion restaurant during my travels. Located in Tysons Corner, Virginia is American Tandoor. Their menu has traditional Indian cuisine as well as dishes that have the influences of contemporary American and Asian cuisine.

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Old Ebbitt Grill (blog post: July 2016)

Old Ebbitt Grill is the oldest restaurant in Washington D.C. It was established in 1856. It is  a place full of history and classic American eats. Dining here was truly a historic moment for this blogger.

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Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong (blog post: August 2016)

The popular Seoul based Korean BBQ franchise opened up in Torrance this year. This place is not your ordinary Korean BBQ place. They have the most amazing corn and cheese side to go along with their premium pork and beef K-bbq.

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O Young’s Rock Pot Gardena (blog post: December 2016)

Hot pot, rock pot! Perfect for the chilly weather are the rock pots from the newly opened O Young’s Rock Pot in Gardena. Now I have another reason to visit Pacific Square aside from the Sanrio Surprise store there! 😉

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Hello Kitty Foodie Best After Eats Treats!

How about some dessert or a little cocktail after some delicious eats? There were some newly opened eateries this year that gave that much needed sweetness after the savory.

Pressed Juicery @ The Point (blog post: September 2016)

Pressed Juicery opened up at El Segundo’s The Point this year! I love Pressed Juicery’s version of ice cream. The Freeze is a soft serve cool treat that is made purely out  vegetables, fruits, nuts and almond milk.

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21 Square Bar and Kitchen (blog post: October 2016)

Thanks to a Yelp Elite event, I got to try first hand this new Torrance restaurant located at the Torrance Marriot. This  Torrance based restaurant pays tribute to the South Bay town via some of signature dishes and drinks. They have unique cocktails as well as nitrogen ice cream to please your palate after dinner.

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Hello Kitty Foodie Best Fast Eats in 2016!

Life can be crazy and we can always be in a run. Thankfully there are some places that offer quick yet yummy meals!

Pink’s Hot Dogs Del Amo (blog post: December 2016)

The famous hot dog chain finally opened up at Del Amo Fashion Center. There is a crazy gourmet hot dog for everyone. I was a fan of the Golden Rings Dog. It was a pure messy delight!

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Lemonade Del Amo (blog post: December 2016)

I got to try out some healthy, happy eats at  the newly opened Lemonade at Del Amo Fashion Center. Fresh eats, savory and sweet; this place had it all!

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Hello Kitty Foodie Best Places to Indulge 2016

Treat yourself! You deserve it! This year I got to fine dine at some extraordinary establishments.

Flemings (blog post: February 2016)

Fleming’s Steakhouse is a wonderful place to celebrate and indulge! From their prime rib to their Fleming’s potatoes to their lava cake and creme brûlée, one is sure to be happy and fulfilled! I sure was ;).

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American Eats Tavern (blog post: March 2016)

Jose Andres’ restaurant at the Ritz Carlton at Tyson’s Corner in Virginia pays a wonderful tribute to American cuisine using the best ingredients from the U.S. I love their Eisenhower Stew.

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Founding Farmer (blog post: July 2016)

This East Coast restaurants specializes in American inspired real food and drink.  Their spicy fried chicken and Jefferson donut  is one amazing  American dish  and one I will not forget.

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Suburbia (blog post: August 2016)

Suburbia is Chef Tin Vuong’s newest South Bay Venture. Alongside with Chef Tin Vuong’s partner Jed Sanford, they bring modern neighborhood eats with an emphasis in new American dishes to this place in Redondo Beach. Just like his other eateries this place is simply superb!

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Hello Kitty Foodie Best Places for Sanrio Treats 2016!

It truly was sugar, spice and Hello Kitty nice this year! From special events to speciality shops, there were plenty of Hello Kitty (and friends) treats to enjoy throughout the year.

 Chococat and Pompompurin’s 20th anniversary @ Plan Check Kitchen and Bar (blog post: June 2016

Sanrio and Plan check planned a kawaii and delicious array of special Pompompurin and Chococat themed eats and drinks! The Pompompurin grilled sausage sandwich was almost too cute to eat!

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AFC Hello Kitty Sushi (blog post: June 2016)

AFC Sushi offered a special Hello Kitty sushi for their 30th anniversary! It was and still is the cutest sushi ever!

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Hello Kitty Cafe Pop Up  (blog post: July 2016)

The Hello Kitty Cafe Pop Up at the Irvine Spectrum is pure happiness. This was true Hello Kitty (Foodie) Heaven with their Hello Kitty inspired eats and drinks. It’s every Hello Kitty Foodie’s dream come true.

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The above my readers is my Hello Kitty Foodie Best of 2016! From West Coast to East Coast, it’s been quite a foodie-licious year! I’ve been so blessed to have been able to travel and check out so many amazing eateries this year.

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I’m definitely looking forward to the adventures 2017 has to bring! Thank you dear readers for coming along in my Hello Kitty Foodie 2016 journey.

Hello Nick’s Manhattan Beach!

I love downtown Manhattan Beach. Beach side, sunny downtown Manhattan Beach is pure bliss and some of my most relaxing and favorite moments are spent there. One of the areas in downtown that I particularly like is the Metlox Center. It’s home to the cute Papyrus store, the refreshing healthy spots Lemonade and Nektar, the oh so sweet Le Pain Quotidien and the recently opened Nick’s Manhattan Beach.

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Popular in Laguna Beach, Long Beach and San Clemente, my curiosity was quite peaked to try Nick’s Manhattan Beach and I finally got the chance today during lunch out with my good college friend.

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We started off our meal with Asparagus Fries. It’s crispy, hot and fresh asparagus spears coated with parmesan. There is buttermilk ranch dipping sauce on the side.

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For our main entrees my friend and I decided to split our entrees. My friend got the Ribeye Melt. In between two crispy grilled sourdough bread was sliced ribeye, swiss cheese, grilled onions and mustard bacon sauce. This sandwich is perfect for meat lovers. The ribeye is packed in there and makes for a pretty hefty sandwich. The grilled sourdough bread along with the swiss cheese is nice! It gives a cheese toast type of feel.

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For my entree, I chose the Buttermilk Fried Chicken. I was simply amazed the moment it came out. It was such a huge, drool worthy dish. It came with whipped mashed potatoes, buttermilk biscuit, country gravy and roasted sweet corn on the cobb. The buttermilk fried chicken was simply divine. It was boneless fried chicken with a crisp outside and tender chicken in the inside. The whipped mashed potatoes were so creamy and soft and the country gravy that topping was wonderfully thick. The buttermilk biscuit was soft and nicely baked and the corn on the cob was sweet and nice. This dish was simply perfection.

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Nick’s Manhattan Beach is nice addition to Metlox Center and a location I am sure to visit again. It’s a beautiful restaurant with divine dishes. Every single minute I was here I was impressed. The location was on point. The atmosphere was lovely. The food was amazing. In a town where fine dining restaurants are abundant and delicious eateries can be found in every corner, Nick’s does an awesome job of standing out in bringing fine dining heart and flavor. Their meals have a home like feel yet with a classy twist. It just brings me a smile when I think about it.

For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Nick’s Manhattan Beach.