Hello Taqueria Gardena!

Hello Taqueria Gardena!

Pacific Square in Gardena; home to fabulous eateries such as Sweet Rice and Happy Lemon now has a new addition that will add even more deliciousness to the area. Taqueria Gardena just opened up this December 2019 and it is quickly becoming the go-to spot for tacos.

The new taqueria offers Tijuana style tacos topped with cilantro, onions, guacamole and salsa all on fresh made tortillas. One can get fish tacos, shrimp tacos, cachete tacos, suadero tacos, carne asada tacos, al pastor tacos and chicken tacos. There are even specialty tacos with cauliflower mole, portobello and enoki mushroom, pork belly and spicy fried chicken. Tacos are definitely not just for Tuesdays anymore! 😉

I recently visited and had some tasty taco treats!

I chose to get the al pastor tacos and chicken tacos. The flavor profile on these tacos are excellent. I love the spicy kick; the creamy texture and the chargrill on the meats. For a more fiery flavor; I even added some of their extra spicy salsa that they offer. This extra spicy salsa contains nuts and is made fresh by the same lady who makes their fresh made tortillas.

The tacos here are fantastic but they offer even more! They’ve got quesadillas, nachos and even Mexican fried rice!

Yes; you read that correctly! This taqueria offers fried rice and I knew i just had to check it out. Their version of Mexican fried rice can be purchased con carne (with meat) or sin carne (without meat).

I chose to get it with carne asada and was presented with a beautiful plate of loaded fried rice. It was topped with scrambled eggs, guacamole, chunks of carne asada and drizzles of sour cream. Yum! Similar to the tacos it was full of flavor. Fried rice has never been so unique.

Overall Taqueria Gardena is a great add to my favorite Pacific Square plaza in Gardena. I will definitely be stopping by again in the future (after some Hello Kitty shopping at the neighboring Sanrio Surprises) ;).

For more smiles; please see my Yelp review on Taqueria Gardena.

Hello Eat Fantastic Cafe Torrance!

Hello Eat Fantastic Cafe Torrance!

The origins of Eat Fantastic Cafe have a bit of a Greek touch. In 1979 a man passionate about food left Greece to pursue his dream of sharing fantastic food. He started the very first Fantastic Cafe. Years later his son who had the initials of “E.A.T” brought the first Fantastic Cafe to Los Angeles, California and Eat Fantastic Cafe was born! Now 41 years later; Eat Fantastic has a new location in Torrance, California offering what they’re well known for…fantastic food!

The very first food item that the cafe offered in 1979 were burgers. Shortly after they started introducing more other fantastic foods and some of what I would say are my favorite indulgence foods.

It was in 1981; that they introduced their first breakfast burrito. Breakfast burritos are definitely one of my favorite ways to start off. I just had to check out Eat Fantastic’s version.

I chose to get their Original Burrito that has eggs, choice of meat, hash browns, shredded cheese and salsa. My choice of meat was sausage but other options are bacon or sausage. You can even get all three meats via their Trio Burrito or if you really want to indulge; you could get their Fantastic Burrito which has the three meats and a grilled cheese tortilla.

Eat Fantastic’s Original Burrito was definitely very fulfilling. It’s pretty large and size and perfect fo sharing. I loved the warm tortilla, the oozing shredded cheese and chunks of sausage mixed in with scrambled eggs and hashbrown. It was definitely fantastic.

If breakfast burritos are my breakfast indulgence; my snack indulgence is zucchini sticks. Eat Fantastic has offered zucchini sticks since 1984.

The Zucchini Sticks is one of two of Eat Fantastic’s hand cut sides. The other being onion rings. They are battered and breaded daily. I chose to get mine with a side of ranch dressing but you can also choose to get it with their Fantastic sauce.

Overall the zucchini sticks were a great treat! They were nice, crisp and piping hot. They really went well with the ranch dipping sauce. It was so addictive and so fantastic!

It is so fantastic that Eat Fantastic has a new location in Torrance. This 2020; they’re also supposed to open in Long Beach and Downey. More fantastic food to come! I can’t wait to eat more (fantastic) food!

For more smiles; please my Yelp review on Eat Fantastic Torrance!

Hello The Little Door!

Hello The Little Door!

In busy and busting 3rd Street in Los Angeles; there is a place with two wooden doors. No sign whatsoever; one can easily pass by but beneath those two unassuming doors is a truly enchanting and magical place called The Little Door.

The Little Door restaurant was the winner of the “Best Romantic Restaurant of LA” by the Los Angeles Times in 2016 . It also has been consistently listed as one of the Most Romantic Restaurants in the World. It was on the list in 2017 by Architectural Digest and just this 2020 was listed by Big 7 Travel.

It’s the perfect spot for special occasions and I recently got to celebrate here with my boyfriend on his very special day; his birthday!

Walking through past the two wooden doors; we were immediately amazed by the beautiful ambiance. As we entered; we were seated in their romantic courtyard. It is a garden like setting that had real red stem roses and twinkly lights up above. Each table was illuminated with candles making for a lovely setting.

Aside from their gorgeous atmosphere; The Little Door is well known for their delightful French Moroccan cuisine. Chef T. Nicolas Peter of The Little Door makes his dishes from organic produce from local farmers. His menu is carefully crafted with the best, fresh and seasonal ingredients. We sure were in for a treat this evening.

We started off our meal here with two fabulous appetizers.

We tried “The Mezze” and The Fresh Goat Cheese and Pistachio Tart with a Trio of Roasted Beets.

Both plates were wonderfully plated. They were so colorful and beautiful! Each dish looked to be prepared with the utmost creativity and love.

“The Mezze” was an assorted Mediterranean appetizer platter with hummus, devil eggs, house made pita, flatbread, kibbeh, falafel and spanakopita. It was light, healthy and fresh. It was a great starter to kick off a special night. Favorites included the spankapoita and it’s flaky dough and rich spinach filling as well as the creamy hummus.

The Fresh Goat Cheese and Pistachio Tart with a Trio of Roasted Beets had wild honey, preserved lemon, ginger & argan oil vinaigrette. The tart was my favorite. With it’s crisp crust and creamy filling; it was wonderful. The beets added a nice sweet touch to this dish.

From the appetizers; we then were treated to two wonderful entrees.

I chose to get the Grilled Prime Ribeye Steak with Sel de Guerande, Herbs & Cracked Black Pepper.

The Grilled Prime Ribeye Steak was accompanied with Potato-Leek Gratin and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate. The ribeye itself was a big portion of juicy, tender beef. The potatoes were soft and delightfully creamy. The brussel sprouts were a wonderful surprise and one of my favorite parts of this dish. They had a slightly burnt crisp offset by sweet pomegranate. Everything came together wonderfully and made for such fulfilling, hearty entree.

My boyfriend had an equally delightful dish via The Mustard and Pine Nut Crusted Rack of Lamb with Madera Wine & Smoked Garlic Demi Glaze.

The Crusted Rack of Lamb with Madera Wine & Smoked Garlic Demi Glaze is one of the most popular dishes at The Little Door. It comes with Yukon Gold Potato Puree and Green Lentil Ragu. I loved how the outer layers of the lamb chops had bits of pine nut, The Madera wine was drizzled all over the plate. Perfect texture; perfect plate.

Last but not least we couldn’t end a sweet dinner without a sweet birthday treat! For dessert; my boyfriend chose to get the Chocolate Pot de Creme.

Their version of the French dessert custard was divine. The chocolate was rich and creamy and topped off with berries. It came with heart shaped almond biscuit was the buttery and perfectly flaky. Love!

The Little Door was definitely a place we will always remember. It made for a very romantic and wonderful evening with their enchanting garden and exquisite cuisine. It was a very special place to celebrate a very special day for someone very special.

For more smiles; please see my Yelp review on The Little Door.

Hello Caps and Corks: C&C Grill!

Hello Caps and Corks: C&C Grill!

Who knew that the best eateries in town could be found in liquor stores? Back in 2013; I shared my OMG moment and excitement when I found one of the best burgers in the South Bay at a liquor store in Redondo Beach. My blog post then was about the The Standing Room; an amazing little eatery inside a liquor store. Now it’s 2020 and I am once again in awe because of another great spot in ….you guessed it…. a liquor store!

Caps and Corks recently opened up in Torrance, California. It’s not your ordinary liquor store because off to the left side of the store is a lovely surprise with C&C Grill; a grill offering breakfast burritos, sandwiches and burgers.

C&C’s claim to fame is their breakfast burritos which they say are the best in town. After trying their “Rise and Shine” burrito; I would have to agree.

C&C’s “Rise and Shine” burrito is definitely one of the best burritos I have ever had. The “Rise and Shine” burrito is packed with goodness. It has shredded jack and cheddar cheese, eggs, hash browns and salsa. You could even add up to three meats (bacon, ham, sausage) along with avocado and jalapeños. You can also choose to go healthy with subbing egg whites. Vegetarians can also partake in a veggie burrito with onion, bell pepper, tomato, mushroom, shredded jack and cheddar cheese, eggs, hash browns and salsa.

I got it with sausage and it was so hearty! It definitely was perfect for rising and shining.

The good eats doesn’t stop with the breakfast burrito however as they offer several delightful sandwiches as well. Their sandwich categories are: “Hot and Heavy Subs”, “Grilled and Cheesy,” “Cold Hearted Subs, ” “Basic “B*tch Cheeseburger” and “Sweet Nothings.”

The “Hot and Heavy Subs” consists of hot sandwiches with unique names such as “Not So Plain Jane (roast beef)” “Big John Stud (pastrami and turkey),” and “Phat Albert (pastrami).”

I chose to get the “Philthy Philly Cheesesteak.”

The “Philthy Philly” is indeed one messy err philthy sandwich. It’s oozing with juicy cheesesteak and melting provolone. One can also get it with cheese whiz. It is also loaded with mushrooms, onions, sweet peppers and drizzles of mayo. It was meaty and delightful. It’s definitely hot and heavy!

If you prefer cold over hot subs; then the “Cold Hearted Subs” are for you. They’ve got a variety from Turkey to A.L.T (avocado, lettuce, tomato). There’s also The Italian Job with genoa salami, pepperoni and cappy (spicy ham.)

The “Basic B*tch Cheeseburger” is a single or double cheese burger with American cheese, lettuce and tomato. Something tells me this isn’t no ordinary cheeseburger!

The “Grilled and Cheesy” Sandwiches are various grilled cheese sandwiches. You can get a grilled cheese sandwich in traditional grilled cheese way or with meats such as pastrami, bacon or ham. One can even added flaming hot cheetos! Oh my!

Lastly they’ve got “Sweet Nothings” via a PB&J Sandwich and Nutella and Banana Sandwich.

Sometimes the local liquor stores have the best surprises err best burritos/sandwiches in town. 😉

For more smiles; please see my Yelp review on Caps and Corks: C&C Grill!

Hello Japanese Food Expo 2020!

Hello Japanese Food Expo 2020!

This January 25, 2020; a very special event happened Loews Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood, California. Right at the heart of Hollywood; the Japanese Food Expo 2020 took place. Visitors got to experience authentic Japanese food, drinks, performances and cultural experiences.

This event was presented by the Japanese Food Culture Association and there were over 30 boothes showcasing premium tastes from Japan, Tokyo Street Food, Japanese sake and beer and Japan tourism.

The Japanese Food Expo this year had the very popular Sake and Beer Alley.

Showcasing 20+ premium sake brands; one could taste various sake of all kinds of flavors from pineapple to lychee to honey citrus. There was also popular beers from Sapporo, Suntory and Asahi.

The Sake Alley was amazing but not to be outdone was savory foods. The expo had so many savory delights.  There was sushi, chicken karaage, curry, okonomiyaki, noodles and more.

One of our first stops was Cup Curry.

There was rice on the bottom, curry in the middle and cheese on top. It was the cutest curry cup ever and one tasty one too!

Another fun stop was the Karaage Stick booth.

Chicken karaage is definitely one of my favorite Tokyo street foods. Here at the 2020 Japanese Food Expo; the karaage stick had a unique touch. It consisted of two pieces of Japanese fried chicken karaage and one marshmallow all drizzled in sushi sauce. It was different and delicious!

Sushi of course could not be missing at a Japanese Expo.

There was plenty of sushi to go around courtesy of the Suzumo International Corporation. Fresh seafood made for yummy eats.

There was also Chirashi from JFC International Inc.

Chirashi sushi is “scattered” sushi. Here at the Japanese Food Expo the scattered mix was in a bowl of rice with vegetables and lots of fish

Another delightful booth featured okonomiyaki; the traditional Japanese food pancake.

Made from Osaka style Okonomiyaki flavor; this was indeed something food expo visitors were sure to like! (Trivia: the word Okonomiyaki is derived from the two words:  okonomi, meaning “how you like” and yaki meaning “cooked.”

Aside from the savory; there were plenty of sweet treats all round as well.

There was Japanese Style Popcorn that you could make savory or sweet to your liking.

Toppings for customizing your popcorn included curry honey sauce, miso honey, yukari butter and furikake butter.

Dessert delights awaited at the Matcha Soft Serve station.

The Matcha Soft Serve was topped with rice crackers “arare!” Arare is bite-sized Japanese crackers made flavored with soy sauce.

Another favorite Japanese dessert is mochi. At the Japanese expo they were serving some scrumptious strawberry mochi.

The mochi had a giant strawberry in the middle and was topped with read bean paste.

Pear- Yokan by Niigatta was one delightful treat all the way from Japan

Le Lectier Pears are grown on the banks of the Shinano river in Japan. Once they are harvested, Yokan by Niigata adds a sweet bean mixture making for a soft texture and a lovely taste.

One very popular booth was Traditional Japanese Candy Art performed by artist Candy 5.

Candy 5 was making each delicate and unique sculpture by hand and molding them. She was making customized candy art of people’s pets as well as cute character favorites. Hello Kitty love!

Speaking of cute characters; one highlight of the was the event was being a contestant of the onigiri character bento completion.

It was 15 minutes to design your own onigiri characters. My hands were shaking the whole time hehe! I didn’t win but I sure did have a lot of fun. I chose to make Hello Kitty with her boyfriend Dear Daniel.

The Japanese Food Expo was one great event! It was amazing to see and taste so many exquisite Japanese food creations and drinks. Oishi! I can’t wait for next year ;).

Hello Bird’s Nest Cafe!

Hello Bird’s Nest Cafe!

I love discovering hidden gems and Bird’s Nest Cafe in South Central LA; is truly one of them. Nestled close to the Metropolitan Courthouse and the Los Angeles Tech Trade College is Bird’s Nest LA. There’s not many other eateries around and one wouldn’t expect to find such a cafe here. I am so glad however to have found this wonderful and cute cafe.

Bird’s Nest Cafe primarily offers breakfast items such as breakfast burritos and omelettes and sandwiches. They also have burgers, salads and an extensive offering of coffee drinks.

Well known for their breakfast burritos; I chose to get one of these during my visit here.

My chosen burrito was the Upriser. True to it’s name this one burrito that rises to the top. It’s packed with flavor and ingredients! Typically this burrito has bacon but I chose to get it with chicken. Other ingredients included eggs, avocado, pico de gallo, hashbrowns, cheddar and mozzarella. It was very hearty and fulfilling. It was accompanied with a refreshing arugula salad with watermelon cubes and vinaigrette dressing.

Bird’s Nest Cafe also offers several sides to pair with your meals here. I spotted zucchini fries, one of my favorite sides ever, and I knew I had to get it.

I absolutely loved the zucchini fries here! They came out piping hot and fresh. The batter was so flavorful. It came with chipotle aioli dipping sauce that made for the perfect dipping sauce. This side paired very well with my Upriser burrito.

Last but not least; I had to get a latte here. I heard someone say that Bird’s Nest Cafe has the best lattes in town. Being a latte lover; my curiosity was peak.

I chose to get a vanilla bean latte and it indeed did not disappoint. It was smooth, slightly rich and not too sweet. It had just the right hint of espresso.

Bird’s Nest Cafe was an amazing place to visit. I would’ve never expected so much good food and drinks here. It is a true hidden gem.

For more smiles please my Yelp review on Bird’s Nest Cafe.

Hello Yelp Elite Black Badge 2020!

Hello Yelp Elite Black Badge 2020!

Hello and thank you Yelp LA! Yelp Elite 2020! I’m super happy to be part of Yelp Elite squad 2020.

This is my 3rd year with a black badge, my 12th yelp elite badge and my 13th year being a part of Yelp overall 📝

When I look back at my old reviews; sometimes I laugh 😂 (I once wrote a review about a hockey team), sometimes I say “OMG” 🤦‍♀️ (my first Yelp event was a karaoke event) and sometimes I just fondly reminisce of some very memorable moments ♥️ (lunches with family and friends).

This past Yelp year; I got to be part of the Yelp Elite event at Stonefire Grill and it was indeed a fun event with Yelp friends and yummy food. I can’t wait to see what this next Yelp year brings.

Thanks for following my journey along on Yelp! The Yelp journey this 2020 continues on…

SYOY (see you on yelp) @ http://hellokittyfoodie.yelp.com

Hello Kitty Foodie Year in Review 2019!

Hello Kitty Foodie Year in Review 2019!

2019 simply flew by and here we are at the end of the year with my last blog post for 2019. My Year in Review is always one of my favorites to write because it gives me a chance to reflect, remember and share some of my favorite moments of the year! I am truly blessed and thankful.

Hello Kitty Foodie Best Travel Foodie Destinations 2019!

I had so much fun visiting both Portland and Oahu this year! From coffee spots in Portland to breakfast eateries in Oahu; I sure did have a lot of fun Hello Kitty Foodie adventures.

Bistro Agnes (blog post: June 2019)

Bistro Agnes in Portland, Oregon was one of my favorite places for dinner.

I had their Truffled Vegetable Pithivier and love this dish with butternut squash, oyster mushrooms, black truffle, leeks, chèvre & comté in a crispy puff pastry. It was even complemented with truffled vegetable demi. 

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Stripsteak by Michael Mina (blog post: December 2019)

Stripsteak was one of the best steakhouses I tried this year! This place really made my trip to Oahu memorable. Their Washugyu flat iron was so tender.

Hello Kitty Foodie Best Local Eats 2019!

I love traveling but there’s something really special about new places right at home.

Thai Hub Torrance (blog post: January 2019)

Thai Hub Torrance was a great little Thai place that opened up in the South Bay this year Their Yellow Curry Chicken with tender chicken breast, potatoes, onions and carrot was one of my favorite curry dishes that I got to try. 

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Rakkan Ramen Redondo Beach (blog post: March 2019)

Rakkan Ramen reminded me a lot of my Toyko trip. With their umami dishes; I quickly became a fan. Their Rakkan Ramen buns are the best in town!

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Blazin’ Hens (blog post: April 2019)

Though not new to the South Bay; it was only this year that I tried Blazin’ Hens! Needless to say; I absolutely loved their Nashville fried chicken.

Their Jidori style chicken dipped in buttermilk makes for the most juicy, tender chicken. Hot and fresh; their chicken is the best.

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Shiok: Asian Street Food (blog post: September 2019)

Shiok; opened up at Rolling Hills Plaza this year and became a quick favorite of mine. I love their take on Asian street food. Their crispy golden baos are awesome! Outside it is a crisp golden brown bun and inside is steamed pork with egg. 

The Brews Hall (blog post: November 2019)

The first ever food hall/brewery concept arrived to the South Bay this fall! With two breweries and four food concepts (Mexican, Chicken, Seafood and Burgers); I along with the rest of the South Bay found this the place to be!

Hello Kitty Foodie Best Breakfast Eats 2019!

Kicking off the day with a smile is a must and these breakfast places truly made me smile.

Modo Hawaii (blog post: June 2019)

Mochi Donuts was all the rage this year! When Modo Hawaii opened up a pop-up shop at Mitsuwa Marketplace in Torrance over the summer; folks lined up for hours. Their Lilikoi Mochi donut was definitely one of my favorites to eat for breakfast with coffee.

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Tasty N’ Alder (blog post: June 2019)

Tasty N’ Alder was my favorite brunch place in Portland.

Duck…Duck….Steak breakfast with double R Ranch teres major on a stick with potatoes confit in duck fat, onion sour cream and a sunny duck egg was a hearty and great dish.

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Liliha Bakery (blog post: December 2019)

Liliha Bakery in Ala Moana Center in Hawaii was a great place to have Hawaiian style breakfast. I couldn’t visit the Islands and not have Loco Moco. Here at Liliha Bakery; their loco moco had thick gravy, gooey egg yolk and tender burger patties. It was truly ono.

Hello Kitty Best Desserts 2019!

2019 was sweet! From local desserts to tropical desserts in Hawaii; I had one sweet year!

Somi Somi Torrance (blog post: March 2019)

Somi Somi Torrance is an amazing dessert place that opened up in the South Bay this year. I loved their take on Ah-boong. My Ah-boong with ube and oreo ice cream in gold-fish waffle filled with taro and topped off with fruity pebbles, Captain Crunch cereal and graham crackers was amazing. My kinda “fish!”

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Cauldron Ice Cream (blog post: May 2019)

Cauldron Ice Cream has some of the prettiest desserts. They offer ice cream in rose shapes. They are also inside puffle cones or egg waffle cones. It was instagram and drool worthy!

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Pix Patisserie (blog post: June 2019)

Pix Patisserie was one of my favorite places in Portland. Their macronuts (French macarons + Donuts) were so soft, sweet and perfect. I should also list this place in the Best Coffee Places list because their lattes were so delightful! Their Oregon Hazy latte is a must try when in Portland.

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Urban Plates (blog post: October 2019)

Urban Plates Torrance is one amazing place for healthy dishes full of flavor. From savory to sweet; they have scratch made food that is so enjoyable. I particularly am fond of their freshly made desserts. They are not only beautiful but tasty too!

Roy’s Waikiki (blog post: December 2019)

Roy’s Melting Pot Soufflé with Lappert’s Ice Cream was definitely one of my favorite desserts during my trip to Oahu! It takes 30 minutes to prepare and comes out so soft and with oozing hot chocolate. It was paired with sweet vanilla Lappert’s ice cream. It was two Hawaiian desserts in one!

Best Coffee and Tea Places 2019

Offset Coffee (blog post: January 2019)

Offset Coffee is on the top of my list of best coffee shops in the South Bay. Their hazelnut latte is perfectly creamy, nutty and sweet.

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Steelhead Coffee (blog post: March 2019)

Steelhead Coffee is another new amazing spot in the South Bay. Their caramel latte made for a great morning drink that wasn’t too rich or too sweet!

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Stumptown Coffee (blog post: June 2019)

No visit to Portland would’ve been complete without trying Stumptown Coffee! I throughly enjoyed sipping their smooth lattes.

Their Hazelnut Latte and Woodblock Mocha were perfectly rich and bold.

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7 Leaves Cafe (blog post: July 2019)

The new 7 Leave Caffe in the South Bay quickly became one of my favorite places for boba and tea. With real flavors and raw ingredients; their drinks gave a whole new look to the boba scene.

Urth Caffe (blog post: December 2019)

I was thrilled to find out Urth Caffe came back to the South Bay. Their fresh made coffee is some of the best out there! They also have baristas who make amazing latte art!

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Best Foodie Experiences 2019

All my foodie experiences are fun but there are some that were simply very memorable!

189 by Dominique Ansel (blog post: March 2019)

Located at The Grove Los Angeles; is Chef Dominque Ansel’s first restaurant venture. Though we did not try his famous cronuts; we were treated to a wonderful unforgettable meal. Their grilled lamb chops dipped in mustard seeds was a savory, delightful entree and is one of the best lamb dishes I have ever tried.

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Mix Mix Kitchen and Bar (blog post: July 2019)

Mix Mix Kitchen and Bar by Chef Ross Pangilinan was one of our favorite places to visit this year. My boyfriend and I tried the “Oui Chef” tasting menu and each dish that came out kept getting more and more delicious. I loved Filipino Chef Ross’s take on adobo. His Pork Cheek Adobo came with with tasty garlic fried rice and chimichurri. It reminded me of home cooked Filipino food.

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Napa Rose (blog post: September 2019)

I got to celebrate Napa Rose for my birthday year and loved every single moment of my dinner there! Our entrees of Pomegranate-glazed Veal Osso Bucco and the Quail Stuffed with Prosciutto Wrapped Summer Peach were executed perfectly and made for a phenomenal dinner. I loved the pleasant surprise of getting a birthday treat with the Pineapple Streusel Crumble Crunch Bar. It was such a sweet birthday!

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2019 was one amazing year and I definitely had some wonderful meals with wonderful people this year! Thank you to all those who were a part of my Hello Kitty Foodie adventures this year. I can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store for this Hello Kitty Foodie!

Hello Oahu!

Hello Oahu!

They say “Ono” means delicious in Hawaiian. On my very first trip ever to Hawaii; I can say I definitely had lots of “Ono” eats in Oahu. Join me in this blog post as I reminisce about some of my most ono eats in the islands.

Beachside Bliss

When one thinks of Hawaii; one thinks of tropical weather and the water. Thanks to my hotel; BeachComber Waikiki I was able to soak up the sun and enjoy lots of good eats right by the pool.

Right at the lobby of the Beachcomber; is the Hawaiian Aroma Caffe; a lovely caffe known for açaí bowls, coffee and other treats.

The first thing I got to try here is their Acai Bowl.

Their Acai Bowl consisted of strawberries, pineapples and blueberries all piled on top of frozen açaí. It was a nice, icy treat perfect for a sunny day!

I got to try Hawaiian Aroma Caffe for breakfast too and it was once again pure beachside bliss.

They have various waffles that they serve here and I chose to get the Guava Waffle. This lovely waffle was topped off with fresh fruit, maple sauce and whipped cream. I also got to try their Morning Feast. This was a fulfilling plate consisting of two eggs, three bacons, three Portuguese sausage, salad and toast. It went perfect with their Coco Choco Mocha drink.

Hawaiian Aroma Caffé is well know for their coffee and I loved their drinks too! Their lattes are super smooth and so tasty! So Ono!

Hello Kitty Snacks

Aside from tropical weather and the beach; did you know Hawai’i has lot of Japanese jnfluence? I saw this while visiting the Shriokiya Japan Village Walk at the Ala Moana Center. It was here that I found the most amazing Hello Kitty waffles from Kulu Kulu.

The Hello Kitty Waffles are offered in a variety of flavors and we chose to get it in red bean and matcha. Not only were they super cute; they were super ono too!

Breakfast Bliss

I shared some breakfast bliss already earlier with my experience at Hawaiian Aroma Caffe but I got to have even more morning delights when I visited Liliha Bakery.

Located at the Ala Moana Center; I had breakfast here before a shopping day. My morning feast consisted of Loco Moco and a Country Style Omelette with Portuguese sausage!

Loco Moco and Portuguese sausage are well know Hawaiian treats and so I had to make sure I had some during my trip. Here at Liliha Bakery they did it right! The Loco Moco gravy was perfectly thick and went well with the runny egg! The Portuguese sausage was also just right!

Farm to Table

We hear “Farm to Table” all the time now but Hawai’i puts a different meaning to it! When I visited Tropical Farms; I experienced the true farm to table with their famous macadamia nuts!

The farms has a variety of macadamia nut trees and you even crack your own nuts. They have a variety of macadamia nut flavors such as Kona coffee, caramel glazed, Maui onion and honey roasted!

Fine Dining Hawaii Style

Live. Love. Aloha.

It was a treat yourself kind of trip with experiences at not one but two restaurants by two famed restauranteurs; Michael Mina and Roy Yamaguichi!

Mele Kalikimaka! I had the most lovely Hawaiian holiday meal at Michael Mina’s Stripsteak in Waikiki!

Here we were treated to their Signature Duck Fat Fries Trio that came with truffle aioli, sriracha ketchup and garlic herb oil. My favorite dipping sauce was the truffle aioli.

We also had their Waipoli Greens that consisted of shaved vegetables, beet noodles, kukui nuts, Pomegrante molasses. The beet noodles were so unique and added for a nice touch to this salad.

Last but not least we had the most delicious entrees and sides. We had the Washugyu flat iron and Miso Scottish salmon along side their mac and cheese with black truffle and Parmesan and spicy fried rice with five spice pork belly.

The experience at Stripsteak was truly one of the best steak house experiences I’ve ever had!

My other one phenomenal fine dining experience occurred at Roy’s Waikiki! Roy’s Waikiki is by celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi. I had been wanting to try a Roy’s for awhile now and was so happy to try it at the place where it all started; Hawaii!

Our meal here started with Braised Short Rib Tacos with Avocado Crème. With its crispy shell and tender short rib filling; this was one great starter!

Next up we had the Waipoli Greens. This butter leaf lettuce salad had blue cheese remoulade, spiced maple bacon and stuffed croutons! I loved the sweet dressing and the savory croutons. They matched perfectly!

For the entrees; we had Garlic Buttered Filet Mignon, “Chinese Style” Steamed Opah, Slow Braised Honey Mustard Grilled Beef Short Ribs! Each dish was huge and very fulfilling!

Last but not least we had Roy’s Melting Hot Soufflé! This was a double treat because it was served with Hawaii’s famous Lappert’s Ice Cream! I loved the overall rich chocolate being combined with sweet vanilla!

Whether it be a simple cute breakfast by the pool or a lovely dinner by some of Hawaii’s most famous chefs; I had the most amazing time for my first ever trip to Oahu.

My trip to Oahu was truly filled with “Aloha” in every bite! All the places I tried were so “Ono.” Mahalo Hawaii for one unforgettable food journey!

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Hello Urth Caffe South Bay!

Hello Urth Caffe South Bay!

A couple years ago after Hello Kitty Con; I visited for the first time Urth Caffe in downtown LA. They made me a latte with a Hello Kitty design and I instantly became a fan. Now five years later, Urth Caffe has opened it’s 9th location and it’s in the South Bay! Yay!

This actually is not the first time the caffe has had a location in the South Bay. A fun fact is that the very first Urth Caffe location was in Manhattan Beach, California in 1991. That first branch was very successful but unfortunately closed. Now the popular caffe known for heirloom, organic coffee and tea and farm-to-table eats is back at the heart of the South Bay in Hawthorne, California! A grand opening was held just this October 27, 2019.

What makes this new South Bay location so special is this their commissary and cafe  is co-located. All of their baking, cooking, catering and coffee roasting is done at the Hawthorne facility. There’s a large open window right next to the caffe where visitors can personally see the Urth Caffe coffee roasting process.

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I recently visited and was in complete awe of the gigantic location. I loved seeing the organic coffee roasting and the fresh bread being baked. I also got to enjoy breakfast there with my mom and it was indeed morning bliss.

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The Urth Caffe latte was as good as I remembered. It also was beautifully decorated. I didn’t have a Hello Kitty design on mine but it definitely made me smile. It was a ray of (coffee) sunshine that simply made my day!

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My choice for the latte was the Spanish latte. This sweet, creamy caffé latte inspired by coffee in Barcelona is one of their most popular drinks! My mom chose their Honey Vanilla latte. Her lovely latte consisted of natural vanilla, a touch of honey, espresso and steamed milk.

For breakfast, I chose to get the Chicken Pesto Omelette.

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It was a three egg omelette with grilled chicken, pesto, mozzarella and goat cheeses. It came with a side of fresh bread and a nice serving of locally grown mixed greens salad. The omelette was very fulfilling and it made for a great first meal of the day!

We also go to try their Nutella Girella Bun. 

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This bun was simply divine. It was a flaky, buttery croissant with Nutella spread, hazelnut ganache and roasted hazelnuts.

It was one amazing morning visiting Urth Caffe and I knew then that I would be back soon.

Two days later I decided to check Urth Caffe out for lunch. Lunch was as delicious as breakfast.

I really love how their dishes are so healthy. My boyfriend chose the healthy Caravan Kale Salad.

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This was one beautiful salad consisting of organic Tuscan kale, organic red quinoa, Persian cucumbers, roasted yams, red onion, pita chips and fresh mint. It was tossed in their pomegranate vinaigrette and then topped off with ricotta salata cheese.

For my lunch entree; I chose their ever so popular Chicken Curry sandwich.

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I chose to get this in a pita bread. The pita was stuffed with chicken breast, raisins, onions, celery in a curry sauce & mayo. It was very tasty and fulfilling.

Whether one is kicking off the day with breakfast here or taking a lunch break or simply on a coffee run, Urth Caffe is definitely the new place to be in the South Bay!

For more smiles please see my Yelp review on Urth Caffe South Bay.