Hello Aloha Pizza and Shave Ice Company!

Hello Aloha Pizza and Shave Ice Company!

Back in 2013; I attended the soft opening of Aloha Pizza and Shave Ice Company in Gardena, California. Ever since then I’ve been loving their onolicious Hawaiian offerings. I’m not alone in my love of their pizza because this place has 808 Yelp reviews and counting for Yelp LA! Wow 808! That is definitely some aloha love there.

Their Aloha’s Signature Pies are made fresh upon ordering and they each have a bit of Hawaiian flare. One can find Portuguese sausage, garlic chicken or even Loco Moco gravy on their pizza. Their pizza can come on a thin crust or original crust.

My favorite is Uncle’s Kalua Pie. This onolicious pizza has bbq sauce, Kalua pork, red onion, fresh cilantro and fresh mango! It’s love at first bite for me with anything that has mango! This pizza is the perfect combo of sweet and savory.

If I’m looking for something with a bit of spice; then it’s the Da’ Pele! The Goddess of Fire would sure be a fan of this fiery pie. It has pepperoni, Aloha’s Portuguese sausage, bacon, pineapple and jalapeños. Their Portuguese sausage is their own signature version and it’s amazing.

Since one can order half and half with any pie; a half and half order is perfect for when you want to mix it up a bit.

Aside from pizza; Aloha’s Pizza and Shave Ice Company has a variety of different ono pupus (appetizers) as well. They have Cheesy Bread, Hot Wings, Pineapple Ribs and North Shore inspired Garlic Shrimp.

For the Wings they’ve got 3 different types. They’ve got Volcano Wings for those who want a slight fiery flare. This has a mild spicy sauce. They’ve got Kilauea Wings for those who want even more spice. These wings are made with a very spicy sauce imported straight from Hawaii. Last but not least is my favorite 808 Wings; which is made in a Korean-inpsired sauce of fresh garlic, scallions, chili sauce, Shoyu, sesame seeds and some of their own signature secret spices. Ono, with a capital “O!”

Aloha’s Pizza and Shave Ice Company’s North Shore inspired Garlic Shrimp takes inspiration from no other than Oahu’s famous Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck! Yes! They bring their version of garlic shrimp right into the South Bay hale and so no need to go all the way to Kahuku! We’ve got our own South Bay version of Giovanni’s now! Yay for some 808 in the 310. The garlic shrimp is perfect with a side of steamed rice.

One should also save room for dessert when coming here. I always look forward to a bit of sweet treats after a meal. They’ve got Hawaiian Shave Ice and Bubbies Gourmet Mochi Ice Cream. Their Hawaiian Shave Ice is made with syrups from Hawaii, has ice cream in the middle and can be topped with mochi, fresh fruit, condensed milk and my all time favorite; boba! I was so excited to see them offer boba as a topping for their shave ice. I’ve tried the milk tea and the thai tea shave ice and they’re so ono. I love how it has that ice cream in the middle that is the perfect surprise. I also love the soft and chewy boba toppings. Shave ice with ice cream and boba is the best deconstructed boba drink!

Hele on over to Aloha Pizza and Shave Ice Company for some ono food! They treat everyone like their own ohana here too! The aloha spirit is reflected in both their food and service and that’s why I am such a fan. Mahalo Aloha Pizza and Shave Ice Company! A hui hou Aloha Pizza and Shave Ice Company.

For more smiles; please see my Yelp review on Aloha Pizza and Shave Ice Company.

Hello The Standing Room Torrance

Hello The Standing Room Torrance

There’s a bright big pink pig light that’s shining on a wooden wall. The pig stamped with “TSR” looks familiar. Soon enough I remember what “TSR” stands for and I recall some of best burgers I’ve ever had.

Back in 2013; I wrote a blog post about a small Redondo Beach burger spot inside a liquor store that was “omg” amazing. A year later I wrote another blog post about the new full fledge burger restaurant in Hermosa Beach that was opened up by the same owners. Now it’s 7 years later and I’m back to writing about the latest food venture of “TSR” or The Standing Room.

From the liquor store in Redondo Beach to the restaurant in Hermosa Beach; The Standing Room now has a new spot in Torrance, California.

The Torrance location is a welcome addition to the South Bay. It just opened up this past February. The Hermosa Beach sadly was a victim of restaurant closures due to the pandemic back in 2020 and thus this opening in Torrance is a sign of better things to come!

Similar to their other restaurants: this Torrance location offers some tasty treats! They’ve got salads, sammies, burgers and entree plates.

For my first visit to the Torrance location I decided to get a burger as that is the food that The Standing Room is most famous for.

I got The Napoleon; The Standing Room’s biggest burger! I once got this before in Redondo Beach and it’s even bigger and better now in Torrance!

On top of a ton of truffle Parmesan fries is a large thick burger smothered with tomato jam, Korean aioli and topped off with a pile of braised short rib, bacon, spring mixed caramelized onion, fried egg and three types of cheese (American Cheddar and Smoked Gouda).

The burgers at The Standing Room are my favorite but I’m also a fan of their sammies! They even have one that is perfect for vegetarians.

Vegetarians can get the Fu Fu Sammie! It has fried tofu, spring mix, onion, tomato, spicy vinaigrette and gouchu!

⁣⁣I really like this sammie! The fried tofu is good in flavor. The sauces on this sandwich supplement the tofu really well and gives the sandwich an overall sweet and spicy flavor. I also love how the bread has crisp edges.

If I said “OMG” 7 years ago; I’m saying “Ooooooooh yeah” now! This burger is a fabulous as I remember. It is packed with mouth watering ingredients and flavors. It’s gigantic not only in size but in taste too!

I am extremely happy to see The Standing Room in Torrance. It may have been seven years from my first visit at the liquor store but nothing has changed; their burgers still leave me in awe.

For more smiles; please see my Yelp Reviewon The Standing Room Torrance

Hello The San Franciscan!

Hello The San Franciscan!

Growing up in the South Bay; I had always seen this South Bay staple; The San Franciscan. Located in Torrance’s busy Sepulveda blvd is this restaurant. They’ve been there since 1963! From the street there are no windows and it always made me intrigued to see what this place was all about. Back in 2018; The San Franciscan even won The Daily Breeze’s “Hidden Gem of Torrance” award. They have also been voted in the South Bay as having the “Best Steak” for the past 20 years.

Just recently my boyfriend celebrated his birthday. Being both current Torrance locals; I thought it would be nice to support a Torrance restaurant and I chose to get takeout from here for his birthday dinner.

My boyfriend is a big salad fan and was happy to see The San Franscian have three different salads to choose from. They had a Chef’s Salad, a Shrimp Louie and a Charbroiled Chicken Salad. I chose The Chef’s Salad for us. It was one huge salad. It was a big spread of crisp greens that was topped julienne of turkey breast, ham, cheese, tomato and egg. The cheese itself consisted of cheddar and swiss! It was quite impressive as well as quite tasty. Needless to say my boyfriend who is a salad lover was quite happy.

For the appetizer; I got us the Eggplant Parmesan. If my boyfriend is a big salad fan; I am a big eggplant fan. Similar to the salad; they gave us quite a healthy portion for the Eggplant Parmesan. It consisted of several eggplant pieces smothered in delightful marinara sauce and topped with oozing layers of cheese. Though The San Franciscan is a popular steak house; they certainly could give Italian restaurants a run for their money.

Speak of steak; I definitely had to get us some prime rib here. Prime Rib is the meat that this steakhouse is famous for. Their prime rib is properly aged and slow roasted to seal in the natural juices. It is even hand carved to order. They’ve got three different cuts. They have a House Special (half pound), a Franciscan cut (three quarter pound) and the Diamond Jim (nineteen ounces). Each prime rib entree comes with warm sourdough bread, choice of soup or salad, and choice of baked potato, steak fries, fresh vegetables, or rice pilaf. I got us the Franciscan cut along with soup and rice pilaf. The soup changes daily and we ended up with Split Pea.

Overall the main entree was a winner. Our medium well prime rib was perfectly tender and juicy. The au jus was on point and perfect for the prime rib. I also quite enjoyed the rice pilaf. It was very flavorful and went well with the meat. The side soup and sourdough bread were also perfect pairs for one another. I loved that the thick broth of the split pea. It was great to dip the sourdough bread in. We were quite happy campers with this meal.

The San Franciscan is no longer a mystery to me. I am happy and pleased that I finally got to try this Torrance icon and will definitely be back. The food for here made for an awesome birthday dinner for my boyfriend!

For more smiles; please see my Yelp Review on The San Franciscan.

Hello Cherrystones Chili!

Hello Cherrystones Chili!

It’s Super Bowl Sunday and there’s a winner already in my books! Cherrystones Grill and Grotto in Gardena, California got the touchdown in my heart…err tummy 😉 with their award winning chili!

Cherrystones has been in Gardena since 1987 and they’re famous for their Hawaiian ono food along with other delicious dishes such as Prime Rib and Chilean Sea Bass. It’s their chili however that they’re most famous for. Their chili won an award at the Malibu Kiwanis 30th anniversary Chili cookout and was voted the best chili and most popular!

This Super Bowl Sunday; Cherrystones offered a variety of specials that included their chili. One of them was the Chili Tamale.

The Chili Tamale is usually only available on Chili Wednesdays but lucky for me they had this Super Bowl Sunday. I felt like the Super Bowl champ with scoring this dish! A soft tamale filled with tender beef was smothered with lots and lots of their flavorful chili and topped off with shredded cheese and some onions. Wow! It is no wonder this chili won awards because it’s some of the best chili I’ve ever had.

Alongside the Chili Tamale; I got some of their Hawaiian Fried Chicken. Once again; Cherrystones wins. The Hawaiian Fried Chicken was so ono. The chicken itself had a nice, sweet flavor.

Touchdown! Score! Cherrystone Chili for the win!

For more smiles; please check out my Yelp review on Cherrystones Grill and Grotto.

Hello Von’s Chicken Torrance!

Hello Von’s Chicken Torrance!

Last December I found the most amazing place offering Korean fried chicken via Von’s Chicken Torrance. Von’s Chicken is located in Torrance Crossroads; a busy strip mall that also houses Home Depot and Von’s Supermarket (and no; there is no relation to the supermarket 😜).

The Korean fried chicken spot offers more than fried chicken though because you also have the option of getting oven chicken.

Their oven chicken was actually the very first thing I tried here and I instantly fell in love. For oven chicken; they offer eight different flavors. They have Roast Oven Chicken, Vons Special Sauce Chicken, Garlic Chicken, Padak Chicken, Red Burn Chicken, Soy Sauce and Black Vinegar Chicken and Boneless “SSAM” chicken.

I chose to get the Roast Oven Chicken

The Roast Oven Chicken comes with two side sauces; a honey mustard sauce and a sweet and sour sauce. Both sauces compliment the chicken very well. It gives either a little spice (if you use the honey mustard) or a little sweet (if you use the sweet and sour). The chicken itself was so tender and moist. The chicken with the sauce is very tasty and a true winner.

I was so impressed with the oven chicken; that a few weeks later I was back to try their fried chicken.

For their fried chicken; they’ve got six different flavors. One can choose from Crunch Fried Chicken, Crispy Fried Chicken, Crispy Soy Chicken, Crispy Padak Chicken, Honey Butter Fried Chicken and Cristy “Yang-Nyun” Chicken.

I chose to get the Honey Butter Chicken.

For the Honey Butter Chicken; one can get it with honey butter or cheddar. I ended up getting it with both the honey butter and cheddar and it was so delicious. One could definitely taste the honey at first bite. The chicken skin itself was so crisp! The cheddar gave it a nice additional texture too.

It wasn’t too long after that I was back again. (Hmm Yelp duchess right here ☺️). This time it was to try their Boneless “SSAM” Chicken.

Boneless “SSAM” Chicken is the Korean version of lettuce wraps. Instead of lettuce; they have radish slices to use as the wrap.

I absolutely loved this dish! I really liked the mix of flavors once the chicken and veggies were put in the radish slices. Similar to the oven chicken; this came with the honey mustard and sweet and sour sauce. These sauces really enhanced the flavors. It was a nice healthy and yummy dish.

Three times a charm and my three visits here have left me feeling so satisfied and happy! I can’t wait to be back again and hope you too will be able to check this tasty place in Torrance!

For more smiles; please see my Yelp Review on Von’s Chicken Torrance.

Hello Yelp Elite Badge 2021!

Hello Yelp Elite Badge 2021!

I am super excited for my 13th year of the Yelp Elite Squad! My Yelp journey this past 2020 was a very different one from past years.

Pre-Covid; I was able to partake in an awesome Yelp event in February 2020 at Robbins Brothers in Torrance, California. At the Yelp Elite Event : Bubbly and Bling; I said YES! Yes to bubbly, bling and lots of Yelp fun.

When Covid occurred; Yelp switched to virtual events and I attended my first ever Virtual Elite Event: LA West Empanada Making with Bianca Bakery. I got to learn how to make spinach, caprese and beef empanadas.

Though I didn’t get to dine out as much this 2020; I still found myself writing several reviews to support different small businesses around town.

This 2021; I am looking forward to getting more takeout and participating in Yelp virtual events. It may still be different from past Yelp years but I am still looking forward to discovering new places and sharing my experiences.

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

Hello Year in Review 2020!

Hello Year in Review 2020!

2020 truly was a year like no other. I remember during the start of the pandemic getting asked what I would do with my blogging as there would be no more dining in at restaurants. I knew back then that despite the change that I should still blog and take food photos. If anything this year was the year to enjoy the little things, stay positive and support more than ever my favorite small businesses and restaurants.

One of my first posts after the pandemic started was a blog post about saving restaurants/takeout places in the South Bay. This ended up being one of my most shared posts of the year.

Now as we wrap up the year; I wanted to take the time to do a quick round up of some fabulous places that I got takeout this year. Some of the places I have featured in this post are new but I also included some old favorite places as well. As you will see shortly it was still quite a tasty 2020 despite it all!

Saigon Eatery

Saigon Eatery in Torrance, California was one my food discoveries this year. It definitely is on the top of my new favorite places. Their beef pho is pho-nonmenal and a true treat on cold days. Aside from pho I love their egg roll and golden bao sides.

Tomboy’s Chili Hamburgers

Tomboy’s Chili Hamburgers in Manhattan Beach, California has always been a family favorite. When I was young I remember visiting here and splitting the huge chili cheese fries with my parents. To this day I love visiting this place with my mom. Our favorite is their chicken salad wrap and zucchini fries.

Niko’s Donuts

Niko’s Donuts in Redondo Beach was another new discovery this year. This donut shop opened up right in the middle of the pandemic but quickly became a hit with South Bayers including myself. I love their special touch of steaming donuts first. They have some of the best donuts in the Beach Cities. Their blueberry donuts are a must try.

Mom’s Kitchen

Mom’s Kitchen in Gardena, California will truly make you say “Oh my Ube!” I love ube and this small business makes some of the best and most affordable ube treats! $10 will get you a dozen fresh ube pandesal. Not to be missed also is their ube flan cupcakes.

Fu Sing

Fu Sing is a tried and true place for great Cantonese takeout. It’s no secret that it takes me back to my childhood favorite Tin Sing and I will always love their Hung Shu Wonton dish and their pork egg rolls.

Market Grill

Market Grill in Torrance, California is located at Jon’s Marketplace. Who would’ve thought one could find amazing Mediterranean cuisine at a grocery store? Amazing indeed is this place. I love their Mixed Koobideh.

Addi’s Darbar

Addi’s Darbar in Redondo Beach, California has always been a popular Indian restaurant. Despite the pandemic their popularity did not waver. It’s for good reason as they truly offer the best Indian food. Their dishes are full of flavor. Our favorites include their the Tikka Chicken Masala as well as their samosas.

Pinky’s Hot Box

Pinky’s Hotbox in Torrance, California is comfort food at it’s best. Their hot fried chicken sandwiches are so good and a great way to treat yourself! They also got a nice fusion offering via their Longanisa fries.

Ubon Thai

Ubon Thai in Torrance, California offers some delicious Thai food. Whenever it comes to Thai food; my staple dishes are curry and pad Thai. Here at Ubon Thai; they make some of the best curry and pad thai. The curry is very flavorful with just the right hint of spice. Their pad thai is a great mix of sweet and salty.

Sushimon

Sushimon in Torrance, California was another fabulous discovery this year! I love their Crunchy California rolls. It’s a perfect mix of tempura and California roll. I also love getting their udon soup on a cold winter day.

Caps and Corks

Caps and Corks in Torrance, California is a surprise taco/burrito/sandwich spot inside a liquor store. Their tacos are perfect for not just Tuesday but any day. Their breakfast burritos are also a delicious way to kick off the day! All their offerings are super filling.

Von’s Chicken

Von’s Chicken in Torrance, California is a great place for Korean chicken. I was absolutely thrilled when they opened up in the South Bay. They’ve got both roast and fried chicken offerings in a variety of flavors. Their chicken is always made fresh and so you get yummy, piping hot chicken when you order. Their chicken also comes in the cutest packaging!

El Pollo Inka

El Pollo Inka has several locations in the South Bay; thus making it perfect for takeout. It is a go-to spot for many including myself. I love their different saltados!

Sweet Rice

Sweet Rice in Gardena, California was listed in the top 100 places to eat at in the country in 2020. They were #8 and I am not surprised at their high ranking. Their Jok porridge is a quite a delight and is filled with meatballs as well has century egg. Yum! It definitely hits my list of top places to eat too!

Bowl Thai

Not to be outdone from Sweet Rice is Bowl Thai; their sister restaurant. This eatery which is located in Gardena, California as well makes some tasty Thai food! I love their Green Curry and Pad Thai!

King’s Hawaiian Bakery and Restaurant and The Local Place

King’s Hawaiian Bakery and Restaurant alongside their sister restaurant The Local Place offers the most ono eats in Torrance, California. It goes without saying that their sweet treats are a true treat (think paradise cake). Their entrees are also ones that should not be passed up. I love their breakfast dishes. The char siu with the fried rice is my favorite. I also am a fan of their breakfast burrito.

Though 2020 turned out to be a much different year than we all expected; there was still much to be thankful for. I am still very blessed and grateful. I was able to still enjoy good eats with my loved ones as well as support some of my favorite places via takeout.

May 2021 be a fruitful and better year for us all! Let’s start off the year with some good vibes and good eats; shall we? 😉

Hello Randy’s Donuts Torrance!

Hello Randy’s Donuts Torrance!

I’m so excited that I donut want to hide it! Randy’s Donuts has just opened their sixth location ever as well as their second location in the South Bay! Today Randy’s Donuts opened up just off Hawthorne Blvd in Torrance, California.

Two years ago I wrote about the first Randy’s Donuts in El Segundo at Apollo Landing. Similar to the El Segundo location this Torrance location has many of their famous world class donut flavors. They’ve got their popular Glazed Raised. They have their unique Maple Raised Churros. They even have the colorful Fruit Loops donuts. There is donut for every tastebud.

With the grand opening today; they will be offering free Glazed Raised donuts from 6am to noon to every one. After noon; one can get a free Glazed donut till 8pm if you follow them on their Instagram .

For more smiles; please see my Yelp Review on Randy’s Donuts Torrance

Hello Felice Italian Catering!

Hello Felice Italian Catering!

I truly miss traveling! How nice would it be to visit Naples, Italy; the birthplace of pizza. Alas though I can’t visit Naples now; there was a way I got to eat Naples style gourmet pizza. I didn’t even have to travel outside the country much less outside my city!

Thanks to Felice Italian Catering; Naples came to me. ;). Felice Italian Catering has been bringing authentic Naples style pizza to the cities of the South Bay (Redondo Beach, Torrance, Manhattan Beach, California) since 2016. The pizza is made in a traveling wood fired oven and so you’re guaranteed not only authentic pizza but a delicious, fresh pizza too!

They’ve got a variety of different pizzas such as classic favorites pepperoni and cheese. You can also get the pizza that was born in Naples; the Margherita. (A fun fact; the Margherita was named in honor the queen of Italy when she visited Naples in 1889.) The Margherita pizza of Felice Italian Catering is one out of eight specialty pizzas. The other eight include The Chef’s Special (sausage, banana peppers, basil, red onions, pesto drizzle, garlic), the Chino Special (pepperoni, sausage, basil, red onions, jalapeños), BBQ Chicken, Greek, Spicy Hawaiian and the Blanca (ricotta, cherry tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, garlic).

Aside from pizzas; Felice Catering also offers bbq, Buffalo and garlic parmesan wings. All wings come with a side of ranch.

I chose to get a combo with the Chef’s Special pizza, bbq and garlic parmesan wings and ranch dressing.

I really liked the Chef’s Special. I loved how they had equal spread of sausage, basil, red onions, banana peppers, pesto drizzle and garlic. This pizza definitely made me want to visit Italy even more. I loved each and every topping on this pizza. There’s something really special about savory sausage with cheese and slightly sweet banana pepper. Even the sauce was on point. I loved the mix of pesto along with the classic tomato sauce.

The wings were equally as delicious. I liked both the bbq and garlic Parmesan wings but the garlic Parmesan was my favorite. I loved the crispness of the wings. The garlic flavor was not too overwhelming and it was enhanced by the sprinkles of Parmesan cheese.

Though I won’t be traveling to Naples anytime soon; I am quite happy that I got a taste of Naples without even boarding an airplane. 😉

For more smiles; please see my Yelp review on Felice Italian Catering.

Hello Niko’s Donuts!

Hello Niko’s Donuts!

Donut hesitate head on over to Redondo Beach now! Just this summer Niko’s Donuts opened up in Redondo Beach and it is quickly becoming a favorite among the locals.

Niko’s Donuts is owned by Niko Chea. His donuts have a special touch as they do a different first step when making their donuts. They first steam the donuts. This slight change to the process is time consuming but definitely pays off as the donuts come out so fluffy.

Among my personal favorites are Niko’s buttermilk donuts, blueberry donuts and apple fritters. The apple fritters is a tried and true favorite. It has nice crisp outer edge and, soft inside with sweet apple filling. The buttermilk donuts similarly has the perfect fried crisp. Last but not least is the blueberry donuts that are so soft and sweet.

Niko’s donuts not only has donuts but croissants, cronuts, burritos and even chicken bakes. It’s nice to see a shop that offers a variety of good donuts and more. It’s even nicer to see a new spot open up in the South Bay. 🙂

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Niko’s Donuts.