Hello Yelp Elite Event @ 21 Square Bar and Kitchen!

Hello Yelp Elite Event @ 21 Square Bar and Kitchen!

The number 21 is very significant to the city of Torrance, California. The city was founded in 1921 and the whole city is approximately 21 square miles. Now, this October there will be another reason for why the number 21 will be special for Torrance. 21 Square Bar and Kitchen will be opening up at the Torrance Marriott Redondo Beach.

The name of the restaurant actually comes from the history of Torrance and a lot of their menu items have names that pay tribute to areas in the city.

21 Square Bar and Kitchen will be opening up in October 13 but just recently a Yelp Elite Event was held at the restaurant. A few of us lucky Yelp elites were given a special preview of some the restaurant’s signature dishes and entrees.

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The event started off with the 21 Square bar and Kitchen’s Pesto and Heirloom Tomato Salad Flatbread.

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This crispy flatbread was topped with fresh mozzarella, garden basil, chives, evoo and colorful heirloom tomatoes. It was very refreshing and light.

Along side the flatbread, we were served Shaved Brussel Sprouts.

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I really enjoyed this salad. It consisted of pickled onions, candied pecans and cider vinaigrette. I like the nice touch of sweetness due to the pecans and the vinaigrette.

The third plate of the night consisted of a dish called LYB Tater Tots.

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LYB stands for “Loosen Your Belt.” The name of this dish fits it very well because you will need to loosen your belt for sure! These tater tots are topped with capicola, mortadella, salami, sausage and is drizzled with cheddar cheese and scallions. The crowning glory of this dish is the poached egg.

Up next were the Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos.

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This taco dish consisted of a beautiful trio of mahi mahi fish tacos topped with smoked chili slaw, queso fresco, cilantro crema and salsa. These tacos spell coastal comfort food all over.

Soon after the tacos were served, a smorgasbord of carb heaven was up next.

It started off with the Dog on Board Combo.

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It was indeed a dog on a board ! On top of a small wooden surf board is a 21 cm spicy andoulle sausage (dog) marinated in their 21 and over amber ale. This sausage is sandwiched in a bavarian pretzel bun.  For those who like a little fiery kick in their meal, this spicy dog is for you!

Next up in the carb galore, was the Madrona Burger.

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This is one of the dishes that has name that pays tribute to the city of Torrance. Madrona is a popular street in the city. Just like their namesake, this burger is sure to be popular with the locals. The Madrona Burger has Strauss family grass-fed beef, cob smoked bacon, graft on cheddar, lettuce, tomato all in between an alchemy of backing potato bun! It’s big, bad and delicious!

Accompanying the Madrona Burger, were 21 Square Bar and Kitchen’s onion rings.

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These onion rings were amazing. The batter was dipped in their absolution beer and it gave   a nice sweet taste to the onion rings.

For those looking for a seafood version of the Madrona Burger, they have the Dungeness Crab Cake Sandwich.

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This is another sandwich with the alchemy of baking potato bun but instead of a burger what is in between is a thick dungeons crab cake, avocado and grain mustard tartar.

Seafood actually plays quite a role in 21 Square Bar and Kitchen’s menu. That night we also got to try some of their signature seafood dishes.

The Absolution Fish and Chips was a favorite of many that night.

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Housed in a tall Absolution beer can, were long crispy absolution beer battered cod. Alongside the fish, were crispy french fries and their awesome sauce. What exactly is their awesome sauce? Well it’s a secret but we heard there is a bit of sriracha in there. 😉

Another fabulous seafood dish of the night was their Pan-Roasted Sea Scallops.

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The sea scallops are laid on top of ricotta gnocchi, mushrooms, asparagus, peas, shaved parmesan and truffle butter. The gnocchi is perfectly soft and delectable.

All of 21 Square Bar and Kitchen’s entrees are amazing but not to be outdone is their fabulous cocktail menu. We were so fortunate to get a taste of some of their various delightful drinks.

First up was their 21 and Over Absolution Ale.

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This ale was created and craved right here in Torrance!  The whole 21 Square Bar and Crew headed over to popular Torrance Brewery, Absolution. Side by side with the Absolution, crew, the 21 Square Bar and Crew came up with this beer!

The other cocktail offered that night was their 21 Mule.

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I really enjoyed their version of the Moscow mule. It had Tito’s vodka, ginger beer and fresh squeezed lime.

21 Square Bar and Kitchen also has a version of the ever so popular Old Fashion.

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Consisting of Templetion Rye whiskey, maple syrup, chocolate bitters and scorched orange oil; this was a drink many Yelp elites enjoyed that night.

Last but not least was their house made El Dude.

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This is their house made concoction made out of Fugu horchata vodka and kahlua. It’s sweet and creamy!

For those looking for a nonalcoholic drink, 21 Square Bar and Kitchen’s has sodas and iced teas.

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Their iced tea is very refreshing and goes well with many of the dishes.

From savory entrees to tasty drinks; it seemed only appropriate to end the night with a fantastic dessert.

Made table side is their signature 21 Square Torando Sundae.

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Chef Rogelio of 21 Square Bar and Kitchen makes this sundae out of liquid nitrogen and the result is a creamy, delightful treat!

It was really a wonderful preview of the upcoming Torrance restaurant. As a South Bay native, I love that the name and dishes of this restaurant pay tributes to a great city. 21 Square Bar and Kitchen will be opening up on October 13 and I cannot wait to come visit again!

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review of the 21 Square Yelp Elite Event.

Hello Brunch @ Salt Creek Grille!

Hello Brunch @ Salt Creek Grille!

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

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

My brunch experience here started off with their beignets.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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