Hello The Brews Hall!

Hello The Brews Hall!

The first ever multi-concept brewery and food hall in Torrance, California has opened up. The soft opening was held on November 2, 2019 and a ribbon cutting was held on November 13. Today; November 18, 2019; they had an official grand opening party!

The Brews Hall consists of two breweries, a full bar and four food concepts. It’s the brain child of famous South Bay restauranteur restaurateurs Michael and David Zislis and Dave Furano. These three restaurant gurus then partnered with Comedian George Lopez and sports broadcaster Colin Cowherd.

The two breweries inside are Buzzrock Brewing Co; a four-vessel, 20-bbl brewhouse with 17 fermenting vessels and 12 serving vessel custom designed by Michael Zislis and brewmaster Justinian Caire and George Lopez’s Ta Loco Brewing Co; a brewery offering Mexican-style beers.

This place is not just for beer lovers however as foodies will love all the food offerings that they have.

Foodies who love fried chicken will love Chicken T.W.I.LI (The Way I Like It).  They’ve got sandwiches, tenders and wings; just the way you like it!

img_5525

I tried their Fried T.W.I.LI and it instantly hit the top of my list of best sandwiches I’ve ever tried. It consisted of a huge crispy buttermilk fried chicken patty smothered with remoulade, topped with tomatoes and lettuce and sandwiched between two buttery buns. No need to go all the way to the South to have good fried chicken because you can find it right here in the South Bay!

Tacos aren’t just for Tuesdays because George Lopez’s Chingon Kitchen offering tasty tacos and other authentic Mexican cuisine every day at The Brew Hall! The menu is based off of George’s grandmother’s traditional recipes and one can enjoy fresh guacamole, tacos, burritos and even loaded Cabo stuffed potatoes.

img_5639

I tried the Crispy Tacos with citrus marinated chicken. It was topped with lettuce, cheese, cream and salsa mexicana. It was was crispy, delightful and definitely something to “taco” about.

Take me out to the Ball Game and to The Herd. The Herd by Sports broadcaster Colin Cowherd brings to The Brews Hall some burgers, bets and brews! Here one can catch the latest games and scores in multi-screens that are the backdrop of the counter where folks will place their order.

img_5638

Bases are loaded with the Bases Load Fries with fries, bacon, cheese, green onions and garlic aioli. It was definitely a home run with these tasty and savory fries!

Last but not least is Rock N’ Fish Grill! This place is seafood lovers paradise with various fresh fish offerings including fish n’ chips and cornmeal battered crispy fish sandwich. They also offer Rock N’ Fish’s famous New England Clam Chowder.

The Brews Hall offers something for everyone. Whether it be a group of friends who want to enjoy happy hour or a family of four who want to bond over burgers and fries; The Brews Hall is the place to be!

For more smiles; please see my Yelp Review on The Brews Hall.

 

 

 

Hello Calo Kitchen and Tequila!

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.

img_0055

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.

img_0054

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!

img_0056

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.

img_0057

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.

Hello Tocaya Organica at The Point!

Hello Tocaya Organica at The Point!

Ever since The Point opened up in El Segundo, California; I have been a fan! It truly is a premier destination to shop and dine at.  From Italian pastas at North Italia to burgers at Hopdoddy;  this Hello Kitty Foodie has enjoyed it all.  Adding on to the diverse dining family at The Point is yet another wonderful restaurant; Tocaya Organica.

First founded in Venice in 2016, Tocaya Organica also has locations in Hollywood, Santa Monica, Playa Vista and Century City. This Tocaya Organica at The Point is the sixth Tocaya Organica location.

Tocaya Organica is a modern organic Mexican restaurant that is all about always sustainable, always fresh, always sustainable cuisine. They offer a variety of salads, tacos, bowls and burritos that are made out of the highest quality ingredients paired with bold flavors.

One of the things I enjoyed at Tocaya Organica is the ability to customize your taco, bowl or burrito with your choice of protein or queso. For meats, you have a variety of choices from carne asada to vegan picadillo. Cheese choices range from queso fresco to vegan chipotle jack.

For the bowls, one of their most popular items is the Fajita Del Rey bowl.

img_2481

The Fajita Del Rey bowl comes with sautéed poblano peppers, onions, spanish rice, black beans, vegan chipotle cream, guacamole and pico de gallo. I chose to get it with Tocaya Organic’s very special vegan picadillo. This is their own picadillo recipe featuring their house made pea-based protein that has  carrots, zucchini, onions, potatoes & tomatoes. The picadillo was made perfectly. It was soft and tasty and went well with the rice and guacamole. I combined this with the zesty flavors of tapioca, arrowroot & chipotle that came from the Vegan chipotle jack. This bowl full of vegan delights was simply amazing.

The bowls are awesome but so are their tacos too. I highly recommend getting their taco combo plate which gives you a little taste of everything because it comes with your choice of two sides and a drink.

img_2569

For the tacos, similar to the bowls; you can choose your protein and queso. I got the Cali Green taco with marinated shredded beef and manchego cheese and the Barrio Style taco with achiote chicken and jalepeno jack. Tacos aren’t just for Tuesdays friends! If you dine at Tocaya Organica; you’ll want them every day! The bold flavors of the tacos are sure to please your palate. Pair these up with some of their amazing sides and you’ll sure to be in heaven. I truly enjoyed by side of tortilla soup that had large chunks of avocado inside along with tomato, roasted bell pepper, vegan mozzarella and crispy tortilla strips. I also had a side of their soft and sweet corn tamale. Tacos plus sides equals happy foodie, happy tummy. Best of all this is all healthy! Healthy, happy eats!

As I mentioned, the taco combination comes with a drink as well. You do not want to miss their great iced teas, aguas frescas and limeades. My favorite is the watermelon but their cucumber mint and strawberry basil are also very refreshing!

Tocaya Organica at The Point is a great place to enjoy customized organic Mexican eats. It’s a wonderful addition to one of the best plazas in El Segundo!

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Tocaya Organica at The Point.

Hello Birthday @ Madre Oaxacan Restaurant & Mezcaleria!

Hello Birthday @ Madre Oaxacan Restaurant & Mezcaleria!

I’d like to start off this blog post with a special thanks to all the Hello Kitty Foodies who sent birthday greetings, texts, kind words and love! You have all really made me feel extra special and loved on my special day 💕. My heart is filled with happiness ❤️.

I truly had a wonderful birthday spent with family and friends and I got to experience dining at the newly opened Madre Oaxacan Restaurant & Mezcaleria in Old Torrance.

Madre specializes in cuisine from Oaxaca, Mexico; a city that is located in Southwestern Mexico. Oaxacan cuisine is similar to other Mexican cuisine but they have a more variety in terms of ingredients used in their dishes and this is due to the influence of the state’s diverse geography and indigenous cultures. Some of their most popular dishes have chocolate, Oaxaca cheese and mezcal.   To start off my birthday dinner, I had one of the more traditional Oaxacan dishes; the Tlayuda.

img_2835

Tlayuda is a popular snack food in Oaxaca and it is what some may call a Mexican pizza.  Here at Madre, they have various different Tlayuda and I chose to get their Tlayuda El Nopal. The Tlayuda El Nopal consisted of a very large thin, crispy tortilla that was topped with aciento paste, black bean paste, cabbage, avocado slices, radishes, tomato, quesillo, chorizo, tasajo and cecina.  It truly was a dish like no other. I enjoyed the crunchiness of the thin tortilla and the flavors of the quesillo, chorizo, tasajo and cecina.

The second dish that I got to try for my birthday dinner was their Mole Coloradito.

img_2842

There are several states in Mexico that claim to be the origin of mole and one of them is Oaxaca. Oaxaca happens to be best known for their mole and so I didn’t want to pass up trying one of the mole dishes here. As I stated earlier in this blog post, chocolate is a well used ingredient in Oaxacan cusine. This is seen in Madre’s Coloradito dish. This entree consisted of chicken with red mole, made from toasted chiles, nuts, seeds, spices and Oaxaca chocolate. It is served with rice and tortillas. The mole sauce is thick with a bit of sweetness. There is also a hint of spice in this dish because of the chiles. It is great topping for the rice and also enjoyable with the tortilla. The flavor of Oaxaca chocolate hits the palate instantly with a bit of a sweet kick and then the spiceness hits right after.

Alongside with the traditional Oaxaca food I got to try that night, I had a virgin Madre margarita.

img_2836

Madre is not only a Oaxacan restaurant but a Mezcalaria as well. Mezcal is a spirit distilled from mash made out of the steamed hearts of various species of agaves. Madre’s cocktails and spirit selection is by Barlingual. Similar to the food that they serve, Madre’s cocktails are crafted uniquely with premier ingredients.

To top the night off and make it even more special was I got surprised with a very special birthday treat courtesy of Madre via Platanos Fritos!

img_2839

My platantos fritos dessert consisted of fried plantains topped with cream and condensed milk. It was such a sweet and special birthday treat and filled my heart (and tummy hehe) with happiness.

I truly had a wonderful birthday and enjoyed dining at the newly opened Madre Oaxacan Restaurant & Mezcaleria. Once again, a thanks and hugs to all of my beloved family, friends and Hello Kitty Foodies and a special thank you to Madre for making my birthday extra special.

Hello dineLA @ Sausal!

Hello dineLA @ Sausal!

Downtown El Segundo is slowly starting to become a favorite place of mine to hang out and dine. From the hip and happening Rock and Brews to the healthy and organic Farmstand, I have come to love all the good eats that downtown El Segundo has to offer.

Last year during my birthday, downtown El Segundo opened up Sausal, a restaurant featuring nuevo rancho cuisine with Mexican and Spanish influences. Their inspiration is the wood-fire, smoke and slow roasting technique popularized by the rancheros who once were housed in the land there. Sausal is named after Rancho Sausal Redondo (Round Willow Ranch), which is the farmstead that once was in South Bay and in El Segundo. This restaurant is also the brain child of Chef Anne Conness, of Tin Roof Bistro and Simmzy’s fame.

img_9594-1

I’ve had my eye on Sausal since it opened last Fall. It seemed like a sign for me to dine here especially since they opened the same day as my birthday. I finally got the chance to dine here during dineLA! I am always such a big fan of dineLA because they always have some amazing deals where one can try out some of the most delicious eats around town. When I saw Sausal was participating in dineLA, there was no question that I had to come here.

My dineLA experience started with an appetizer of my choice. I chose to get their oxtail picadillo empanada.

img_9592-1

Three empanadas were presented to me with an accompanying sauce of tomatillo verde salsa. At first bite, I was quite impressed with the buttery, flaky crust. Divulging deeper, my palate was pleased with the tender oxtail that was inside the empanadas. Sausal does oxtail right. The oxtail inside the empanadas was so meaty and rich. Perfection.

My main entree of choice is one of Sausal’s specialty’s their duck tamale with black mole.

img_9593

The plating alone made me fall in love with the duck tamale right away. The duck tamales are encased in corn husk, topped with crumbled cotija and surrounded by mole rich sauce and squares of butternut squash. The tamale itself is filled with tender shreds of duck confit. The duck is amazing and flavorful and the mole sauce enhances the taste even more. I loved the cotija cheese and the butternut squash that added a soft texture and taste to this dish.

Overall Sausal just impressed me with their unique menu and offerings. Both the empanadas and tamale were superb. Who would of thought of oxtail empanadas and duck confit inside a tamale? It’s different and just pleasing overall. I am loving this new spot in El Segundo and it is a definite place, that I hope to visit in the future. There are plenty of smiles to be had at Sausal.

 For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Sausal.

Hello Frida Mexican Cuisine @ Del Amo!

Hello Frida Mexican Cuisine @ Del Amo!

When Del Amo Fashion Center had their Expansion Opening Celebration back in October, I was one of the many who was excited about all the upcoming new hot spots that would be opening up at the mall. Many amazing restaurants were in the line up! Just right before the holidays, one of the highly anticipated eateries opened up and this is no other than Frida Mexican Cusine.

img_9149

Frida is a popular Mexican restaurant with locations already in Beverly Hills and Westwood. It is headed by Chef Vincent Del Rio who’s concept is “Mexican gastronomy is an art.” He brings out authentic Mexcian cuisine full of traditional flavors and ingredients from his homeland Mexico City.

Hearing about the wonderful food from the Beverly Hills and Westwood location, I was very eager to try the new Del Amo location and I recently had the pleasure of doing so.

The meal here starts off with a delicious complimentary chips and salsa. They’ve got red and green salsa for your tasting buds pleasure. The red salsa has a tomatillo like taste while the green salsa has a lime like flavor.

img_9151

The savory menu consists of indeed many traditional delicious Mexican “Entradas” such as Consome de Pollo, chicken broth served with vegetables, rice and chicken and Burrito campechano, a burrito combo of marinated grilled chicken and beef sirloin with rice, beans, lettuce, sour cream, queso fresco and guacamole, wrapped in a flour tortilla.

img_9150

I happened to come on Tuesday and it seemed that tacos would be appropriate. Taco Tuesdays always makes me smile. Their traditional tacos come in soft tortillas but I chose to get the crispy taco version, one chicken and one beef.

img_9153

I liked how their tacos were topped off with lots of fresh lettuce, tomatoes and white cheese. Underneath there was plenty of tender shredded meat.

I also wanted to try a variety of their other items and chose to get the Frida platter with some friends.

img_9156

The Frida platter consist of crispy taquitos, quesadillas, mini sole and guacamole.  The guacamole is made fresh and this was perfect on top of all the appetizers! The quesadillas was oozing with white cheddar inside. The mini sole were cute and yummy small tostadas topped with similar lettuce, tomatoes and cheese that were found in the tacos. My favorite of the whole platter had to be the taquitos. The taquitos were crispy, crunchy and simply wonderful. It was filled with lots of tender chicken and drizzled on top was tasty sour cream. The guacamole on top of the taquitos was like icing on the cake! Just the perfect topping for a treat.

Not to be outdone is the Drinks menu at Frida.

img_9157

Frida Del Amo offers happy hour on weekdays from 3 to 6pm and 9pm to closing.

They’ve got various handcrafted drinks and specialties. I chose to get a virgin mango margarita.

img_9152

It was one refreshing drink and the taste of mango hits the taste buds right at first sip.

I really enjoyed my very first trip to new Frida Del Amo. It was not hard to see why Frida has been so popular since the opening up of it’s flagship restaurant in Beverly Hills. Everything I tried here was delicious and I could really tell that they used the freshest and highest quality ingredients. One can really see that “Mexican gastronomy is an art.” From the beautiful plating of dishes to the savory flavors, I was truly impressed. I was full of smiles at the end of my meal and cannot wait to be back!

Thank you Frida Mexican Cusiine for a wonderful night. This is a great addition to Del Amo Fashion Center!

img_9159

For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Frida Mexican Cuisine @ Del Amo.

 

 

 

Hello The Gardens of Taxco!

Hello The Gardens of Taxco!

Located in West Hollywood is one of the most unique restaurants in Southern California. The Gardens of Taxco opened up in 1971 and since then has been gaining recognition such for its different and entertaining concept of Mexico-style cuisine. They’ve been featured in USA Today and have over 700 reviews on Yelp.

Just recently my friends and I had a chance to try out this very special place.

Walking in, the place is dimly lit with colored lights on the tiled floor and traditional Mexican decor all over. The place is very cute and cozy.

As soon as we were seated, we were given chips, green salsa and pickled vegetables. The pickeled vegetables were something different and had a slight spice to it. Among the veggies were carrots, cauliflower and jalapeno.

IMG_5548

Soon after the waiter came and the fun of the night began. This place has no menu! In place of a menu is a waiter who describes their various dishes “Mexico City style”. He will ask if you want chicken, pork, beef, seafood or a vegetarian dish. From there the waiter describes how their various dishes are prepared. It is no ordinary description! It’s one very animated presentation!  We got to hear about “best mole in town” and chicken “born in the sauce.” The “menu” speech was full of funny, fabalous flair! I was sold on the chicken a la crema that was “born in the sauce.” He said it was super “crrrrrrreamy” (with the rolling of r’s and a special squeaking eeeeeeyyyyy at the end, how could I not be sold on trying this dish hehe) 😉

Once our entrees were ordered, the delicious five course meal started! First off was a delcious cheese quesadilla topped with guacamole. The tortilla had a perfect crisp at the corners and the cheese simply melted in your mouth. The guacomole was fresh and drool-wrothy.

IMG_5549

Second up was the albondigas soup! I’ve always loved albondigas soup and The Gardens of Taxco gives justice to one of my favorite soups of all time. The broth is flavorful and had a good mix of carrots and potatoes as well a tender meatball!

IMG_5550

The third starter was a beef taquito topped with a strip of sour cream and a side of guacamole. It was a small taquito filled lots of beef!

IMG_5551

Soon after was our main entrees! As I mentioned earlier, I chose to get the chicken a la creama. This dish was indeed “borrrrrrrn in the sauce.”  Two and half large pieces of chicken were covered in the creamiest sauce ever. The cream was light and just slightly sweet. It was so delicious and has this Hello Kitty Foodie salivating just at the thought of this dish.  It was accompanied  with refried beans, rice and salsa.

IMG_5552

Last but definitely not the least was their dessert. The fifth and final course is a bananas and cream dessert topped with a cherry. They accompany this with sherry for those who want it. The bananas in cream is sweet and creamy! It’s small yet enough to give you the sweetness that you want but not overwhelm you! It’s the perfect ending to a fabulous five course.

In between to eating all of this, we were seranaded by a very talented guitar player who sang various traditional songs by request. This was a nice touch to our evening.

IMG_5553

All in all my friends and I were full of smiles throughout the whole night. This place is definitely special.

IMG_5527

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on The Gardens of Taxco!