Hello Sanrio ❤️ Sugarfina!

Hello Sanrio ❤️ Sugarfina!

Tips for the ultimate Hello Kitty Foodie diet:

For lunch eat some 🍣 Hello Kitty Sushi.

For happy hour and relaxation time, indulge in some 🍾🍷Hello Kitty Wine! Lastly for some sweets and treats, enjoy with the newly debuted Sanrio ❤️ Sugarfina candies!

Hello Kitty Foodies our sweetest dreams are coming true as Sugarfina and Sanrio come together to bring us the cutest candy collection ever!

I am absolutely ecstatic with this new Sugarfina collection! Sugarfina has always played a sweet part of this Hello Kitty Foodie’s life (as can be seen in several of past Hello Kitty posts). Past favorites have included their But, First Cocktails collection (Cheers Kitties!)


It now looks like I will have a new cute favorite from Sugarfina with the debut of this new collaboration with Sanrio!

I am head over heels in love with the two new Hello Kitty inspired gummies that they are offering! Yes, Hello Kitty Foodies; there are not one but two Hello Kitty candies! One is a gummy in the shape of Kitty’s signature bow and the other is a Hello Kitty gummy in the shape of her face. The flavor’s for both are Hello Kitty inspired. The bow gummies are flavored like sweet strawberries while the Hello Kitty face gummies are flavored like apple pie; Kitty’s favorite food and Mama Kitty’s speciality!


To make it even more kawaii; both candies are included in a Sugarfina limited-edition bow-shaped bento box!


Not only is Sugarfina debuting Hello Kitty Sugarfina candies; they are also going to offer candies inspired by some of Hello Kitty’s favorite friends; Keroppi, Gudetama, My Melody, Chococat and Badtz-Maru. After all; it can’t be a sweet party without your sweetest friends!


Hello Kitty’s friends’ special treats are equally as kawaii and sweet! The collection includes the following:

Gudetama’s Lazy Gummy Eggs: tasty orange juice flavored gummy eggs. Don’t be lazy with eating these. 🍳😉


Keroppi’s Donut Pond Jelly Beans: tart key lime flavored jelly beans straight from the Donut Pond. 💚


Chococat’s Chocolate Caramels: chocolate caramels sprinkled with sea salt! These are inspired from Chococat’s cute chocolate-colored nose. 🍫


My Melody’s Sweet Pearls: pretty chocolate pearls made of delicious chocolate and dipped in a fancy pink and white pearly shell. They are so sweet and beautiful just like My Melody! 💕


Badtz’s Maru’s Mischievious Pops: crunchy chocolates filled with popping candy! So mischievous yet so delicious. 🤣


Hello Kitty and her friends’ Sugarfina candies are all available for purchase in individual cubes.


They also can be bought in Sugarfina’s first-ever Pop-Up Candy Bento Box. The box is a magnetic box that opens to reveal a special surprise of a pop-up diorama featuring the Sanrio characters.


The entire  Sanrio ❤️ Sugarfina collection will be available in-store and online Monday, September 18th. The first 25 people in line at Sugarfina boutiques will receive a free Sanrio character cube of their choice.

There will also be several special events to celebrate Sanrio ❤️ Sugarfina! Sugarfina and Neiman Marcus will host launch events in Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Dallas, New York, Oakbrook, Honolulu and Vancouver. Hello Kitty herself will be present as well as Sugarfina founder Rosie O’Neill. Folks attending can sample sweet treats and be the first to shop the new Sanrio ❤️ Sugarfina candy collection.

Last but not least, there is one more sweet surprise for Sugarfina and Sanrio fans via the Hello, Tokyo Dreamcation Sweepstakes! You can win a trip to Tokyo! Enter here https://wn.nr/BqPmNk

Hello Kitty Foodies will sure be in for a sweet treat with the Sanrio ❤️ Sugarfina collections! Kisses to Sugarfina! This Hello Kitty Foodie is so excited!


Hello Goldilocks Carson!

Hello Goldilocks Carson!

Hello Goldilocks! No, I’m not talking about the blonde, curly haired little girl who’s friends with the three bears. Instead, I am talking about the Filipino restaurant and bakeshop, Golidlocks.

Goldilocks is a popular Filipino restaurant that first originated in the Philippines in 1966. With 450 branches in the Philippines, Goldilocks slowly made it’s way to the US in 1976. Most of the restaurant chains are in Northern California but they are starting to open up in Southern California as well, with the most recent opening being in Carson, California, this last February.

I had previously dined at the Goldilocks in Cerritos, California and remember being a fan of not only their traditional savory Filipino entrees but their sweet delightful sweets. When I heard about the newly opened restaurant in Carson, California, I was so excited to check it out. I soon found myself dining here for dinner with my mom.

Goldilocks Carson has many Filipino favorites such as the classic Filipino peanut broth stew kare kare. Here at Goldilocks they have a vegetarian version as well as the traditional version with oxtail and tripe. I got to try the traditional version here. The Goldilocks kare kare has oxtail, tripe, beef and assorted vegetables slow cooked in peanut sauce and served with a side of bagoong. I was such a fan of the thick peanut  sauce. It was perfect over white rice.  I also loved the good mix of vegetables in there. There was plenty of cabbage and green beans as well as eggplants.


Another savory dish I tried was the guinataang sitaw at kalabasa. This is dish consists of green beans and squash sautéed in coconut milk with spices and topped with shrimp. I really enjoyed the crispy green beans, soft squash and creamy coconut milk broth.


The guinataang sitaw at kalabasa is a good veggie dish but does have shrimp. For those  looking for pure vegetarian dishes, they do have a couple here such as the sizzling tofu sisig. This dish has tofu cubes sautéed with garlic, onion, green and red bell pepper and is served on a sizzling plate.


Another favorite by many at the newly opened Goldilocks Carson, is the Pancit palabok. Their version of the rice noodle dish was topped with thick savory garlic sauce, crushed chicharon and sliced boiled eggs. It is also supposed to have shrimp, diced pork, tofu and smoked fish flakes but for this go around, I didn’t see it. It was very classic, light and simple.


Aside from the delicious savory desserts, Goldilocks Carson had plenty of sweet delights.

They have my favorite boat tarts. These mini pies have always been my favorite pastries. They come in three flavors, macapuno, langka and ube and are topped with a cashew.


Of course, not lacking here is Goldilocks famous cakes. They have so many fabulous flavors but I love their classic mango cake and the choco mocha crunch. I also love that they can make custom cakes like Hello Kitty.

It is nice to see Goldilocks open up a branch at Carson, California. Carson has always been a good place for Filpino food and from Goldilock’s savory dishes to their sweet treats (like Hello Kitty cake), it is a new Filipino haven for foodies.

For mor smiles, please see my recent Yelp review about Goldilocks Carson.

Hello Tacolipino!

Hello Tacolipino!

“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in a Filipino restaurant anymore.” (Hehe, that’s my spin on the famous line from the Wizard of Oz.)

Tacolipino is a Filipino restaurant but it definitely not your typical Filipino restaurant because this restaurant is a Fil-Mex restaurant offering Filipino  fusion dishes with a Mexican twist.

Yes, the fusion even begins with the name of this place. “Taco” + “Filipino”  = “Tacolipino.”

The influence of Mexican cuisine can be seen right from the start as they offer up complimentary chips and salsa to all guests.


Their menu has a little bit of Filipino and a little bit of Mexican and some dishes are mix of both. For example, they’ve got sisig tacos, burritos with bistek beef and nachos with adobo chicken.

I was quite curious to try a fusion dish and chose to get Fries with Cheese and Chicken Adobo.


I liked this twist on the classic take of cranes asada fries that is often found at Mexican restaurants. There were lots of tender chicken adobo and drizzled on top was lots of cheese that reminded me of Cheese Wiz.  This is one unique appetizer. The incorporation of chicken adobo brings some Filipino flavor to a dish that normally would not have any pinoy taste in at all. This fusion dish is quite nice.

The other item that I got to try from Tacolipino is their sisig.


Though they offer their sisig in their tacos and burritos, I chose to get the sisig separate. I did this because they also offer garlic rice here and I love combining sisig and garlic rice together.

I love the presentation of their sisig here because it comes out in a sizzling platter and right on top is a sunny side up egg! Crispy sisig combined with egg is always a delightful dish.

Though I enjoyed my sisig with my garlic rice, I can definitely see this being good on tacos and burritos.

It’s refreshing to see how Filipino flavor is incorporated into Mexican cuisine. Tacolipino does a nice job in combining two cultures into one.

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


Hello Baked Turon!

Hello Baked Turon!

Happy Fourth of July Hello Kitty Foodies!


Fourth of July… a time with family and friends filled with fireworks, smiles and good food! There are celebrations all across the USA and I’m sure many will be at parties partaking in some good eats and happy times. For this blog post, I share one of my favorite Filipino desserts and one that will be present at the Fourth of July party I will be at.


Ingredients: butter, powdered or brown sugar, phyllo dough, jackfruit, banana

Turon or banana egg rolls is a favorite of mine. Typically made with lumpia or egg roll wrappers, this recipe I share has a twist because instead of egg roll wrappers, phyllo dough is used! I fell in love with the phyllo dough when I went to a dinner at a friend’s house and she made a baked chicken casserole with phyllo sheet wrapping. When I recently watched an episode of Adobo Nation on TFC and saw the use phyllo dough for turon, I was intrigued and knew it was something that had to be tried.

Phyllo dough can be found at the frozen section of your favorite grocery store and usually come in sheets of twenty. They are to be kept frozen until ready for use and you need to follow the instructions on the box on how to thaw. While thawing, the ingredients for the turon can be prepared.

Cut the jackfruit into little pieces and cut the bananas in half-length wise about 3 inches in length.

Once the phyllo dough is thawed, brush with butter, place jackfruit, bananas and sugar inside and roll.

Brush the phyllo dough again with butter and then place in oven for oven,

Bake for 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

Roll the turon until they are golden brown and bake for another 10 minutes.

Last but not least is the syrup topping for the top of the turon. The syrup is made with brown sugar and water.

Place 1 cup of sugar and 3/4 cup of water in a saucepan and stir the mixture.

Put the saucepan on medium low heat.

Let the mixture simmer, stir and cook for 30 minutes. You will know it is ready when it becomes caramel colored and is thick and bubbly.

Drizzle this sauce all over the turon.

The result is some delicious turon! The phyllo dough sheets are long, so you can cut the baked turon in half to have smaller banana egg rolls.

One of my favorites about the above is the turon is baked and not fried! It’s a healthier version! Yay!

Hello Pastor Chef Asian & American Grill!

Hello Pastor Chef Asian & American Grill!


Located in a small strip mall across from El Camino College in Torrance, California is a hidden gem named Pastor Chef Asian and American Grill. The menu for Pastor Chef Asian and American Grill is a smorgasbord of amazing eats of Italian, French, Continental, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Southern, Peruvian and Filipino food. That’s right, you read it right, Filipino food. It’s so hard to come by a place serving great Filipino food and I was quite excited to see this place serving up Filipino fare at it’s finest. The owner of this place is Chef Ron Melchor, a Filipino and a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.

Since it’s been awhile since I’ve found a new place serving Filipino cuisine, I chose to get Filipino food during my visit here.

I tried the Pancit Bihon Guisado. It’s rice noodles with sautéed vegetables, pork and chicken. This dish was delicious and I was quite a fan of the big chicken and pork pieces. The meats were marinated to perfection and seasoned so well that the flavor was simply oozing out. The noodles were silky, soft and long and melted in the mouth.


The second dish that I got to try here is a favorite of mine. I tried their sisig which they call the “D’Original Sisig.” It is grilled pork belly, jowls and ears with onions, vinegar and citrus juice. It might not be a dish for everyone based off the description but this dish served sizzling is a must try for anyone up for Filipino food. The vinegar and citrus juice along with the crispy pork come together to make a tasty pork dish that is great with white rice. Here at Pastor Chef Asian & American Grill they know how to make a good traditional sisig. They also know how to do a fusion version via another sisig dish with “Sisig” tacos.


Although, I was super excited about the Filipino food here. I cannot wait to come back and try their other cuisine as well. They have some delicious non-Filipino food that I come quite curious to try, The chicken marsala, the lomo saltaldo, the honey fried chicken are all dishes that I wish to try out in future visits. They also have some tasty desserts (red velvet cake, maize con hielo, halo halo) and delicious drinks (mango smoothie, cookies and cream ice blended) that have me knowing I will be back.

Pastor Chef Asian and American Grill’s tagline is “Creating Heavenly Eats” and I must say their dishes are heavenly and made me smile.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Pastor Chef Asian and American Grill.

Hello Comfort Food from Crispy House Inc!

Hello Comfort Food from Crispy House Inc!

Comfort food!

Definition (according to Wikipedia): Comfort food is traditional food which often provides a nostalgic or sentimental feeling to the consumer, and is often characterized by a high carbohydrate level and simple preparation. The nostalgic element most comfort food has may be specific to either the individual or a specific culture.

Every one has their own comfort food and often times it can be the ones not necessarily the healthiest yet the ones that you can treat yourself once in awhile. Two comfort foods that are associated with the Filpino culture are the crispy pata (fried pork dish) and kare kare (peanut butter stew with oxtail, vegetables).

In Artesia, California, there is one restaurant that offers both of those dishes. Crispy House Inc.
The restaurant is newly named Crispy House for it was formly known as Magic Wok. It’s a place many people flock to for their many Filipino comfort foods.

It is the crispy pata here that they are well known for. Reasonably price, made fresh and oh so wonderfully crispy, the crispy pata is the trademark of Crispy House Inc. This dish is one that is often served at special occasions. It is comfort food at it’s finest because it definitely reminds the consumer of happy memories of parties and celebrations. It is also one that is for those once in awhile treats. With the crispy and crunch outer skin and tender pork meat, it is a tasty but only once in awhile treat!

Pairing well with the crispy pata is the kare kare. Similar to the crispy pata, Crispy House Inc does an excellent job with this stew. It is a savory dish with thick peanut butter sauce that is perfect over white rice. The oxtail meat is simmered to make a rich, flavorful broth. More than the oxtail though, I am a fan of the vegetables that are in this dish. There is bok choy, long beans, and eggplants!

Magic Wok and now Crispy House Inc. is a place where once can simply enjoy traditional Filipino favorites that remind one of the comfort of family and the comfort of home. Eating their comfort food, can simply make one person smile.

For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Crispy House Inc.

Hello Thanksgiving day dessert: leche flan!

Hello Thanksgiving day dessert: leche flan!


Happy Thanksgiving kitty friends! I hope you’re all having a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends!

Normally Thanksgiving dessert is filled with pumpkin-licious treats but my favorite pumpkin pie may have some competition now thanks to my mom’s homemade leche flan!

As I mentioned in a previous blog post , my mom has been trying out various Filipino baked goods and leche flan is the latest.

Below is the recipe
Ingredients: seven egg yolks, one whole egg, one can condensed milk, three tablespoons sugar

Place three tablespoons of sugar into the bottom of a small oval aluminum pan. Hold the pan above an open low flame until the sugar is melted and caramelized. Ensure that the melted, caramelized sugar is spread evenly through pan and then let it cool. On the side, mix the seven egg yolks, one whole egg, and one can condensed milk. Pour the mixture into the aluminum pan and on top of the cooled caramelized sugar. Cover the aluminum pan with aluminum foil and steam for 35 to 45 minutes. Let the flan cool and invert onto the serving plate.

Move over pumpkin pie, this leche flan is the new Thanksgiving dessert to bring smiles.

Hello Mom’s Baked Filipino Desserts!

Hello Mom’s Baked Filipino Desserts!

My mom has been on a baking kick recently! She’s been experimenting with various Filipino kakanin. Kakanin is Filipino term for Filipino sweet delicacies. They are sweet desserts that typically include coconut milk and sweet rice. One special main ingredient that is never missing is love. These desserts are always made with a labor of love. They’re typically served at family parties and special occasions.

One of my favorite Filipino desserts that my Mom has recently made is cassava.

Ingredients she used for this sweet dessert are: 2 packages of grated cassava, 2 cans coconut milk, 1 can condensed milk, 4 eggs and macapuno strings.

First up for making this was she preheated over to 325F.
She then mixed all of the above ingredients in a mixing bowl and then poured it into a rectangular pan. After baking for about 30 minutes, she topped the cassava with the macapuno strings, spread it evenly and then put it back in the oven for another 30 minutes. The result of this was a wonderfully soft cassava cake. I loved the overall soft consistency of the cake throughout and the macapuno strings on top were a nice touch! It gave a perfect sweet kick!


The other Filipino kakanin that my mom recently experimented making is karioka! Karioka is a sweet sticky rice ball deep fried.

Ingredients for the main rice ball are 1 cup sweet rice flour, 3/4 cup coconut milk, 2 cups cooking oil and 1 cup shredded coconut. For the outside glaze, ingredients are 1/2 cup coconut milk and 1/4 cup brown sugar.

My mom didn’t have any shredded coconut and so she went with a using kaong instead. Kaong is sugar palm fruit in syrup. To make this dessert, she mixed the sweet rice flour, coconut milk and kaong and then from the mix formed little balls. Each dessert ball was then deep fried until golden brown. The glaze was made separate. The coconut milk was boiled and then brown sugar was added. Once the glaze sauce thickened, the karioka balls were dipped in. The result of this was a nice, sweet karioka. Outside it had the perfect crisp and inside it had a sweet mochi like texture. The kaong was a pleasant twist giving the karioka an extra little sweet kick right in the middle of the dessert! This was my mom’s first try making these cute little snacks and she did an awesome job. They were yummy! 🙂


I’m very proud of mom and love how she’s learning to make all these Filipino desserts! All of the ones she’s made so far have been a success and have brought out some smiles at our family parties! Yay mom & yay to happy desserts! 🙂

Hello homemade tofu sisig!

Hello homemade tofu sisig!


Ingredients: firm tofu, red onion, red bell pepper, jalapeño, lemon juice and mayonnaise

One of my favorite Filipino dishes is sisig. It’s a popular entree where various meats are marinated in a sour liquid like vinegar or lemon juice and then seasoned with salt, pepper and other spices. Traditionally this dish is made with pork and various parts of a pig but I honestly I’ve never been a fan of the traditional way. 1.) I don’t like pork. 2.) It seemed very unhealthy. In the past, I’ve really preferred and liked a chicken version of the dish. Now, that it is the Lenten season and I’m on my “no meat for 40 days” journey, I went with trying out a different type of sisig or a vegetarian version made with tofu.

First up for this was to deep fry the small firm tofu cubes until golden brown and crispy.

In a separate pan, the red onion and red bell pepper were sautéed.

The fried tofu and jalapeño were added next and mixed with the sautéed onion and bell peppers.

Lemon juice was added for the seasoning and a little bit of mayonaise was added into the mix.

I like this tofu sisig so much better than the pork version. It eliminates the unhealthy pork and it’s place is the healthier but tasty tofu. I often have a hard time introducing my vegetarian friends to Filipino food, so it’s nice to have options like this that can put a nice, vegetarian twist to a classic Filipino dish.

Hello Cafe de Cebu!

Hello Cafe de Cebu!

Once in awhile I get the pleasant surprise/honor of being followed by certain restaurants on twitter. Some time last year a newly opened restaurant called Cafe de Cebu started following me. Located in Las Vegas, Nevada, I placed this restaurant on my places to try in Sin City.


On my most recent trip to Vegas and looking for new places to eat, I found myself at Cafe de Cebu. After reading several positive reviews and seeing many delicious looking photos, I knew it was time to mark this off of my list of bookmarks and try it for myself.

It is a little, cozy restaurant with made to order dishes. The whole place and menu is very simple. The menu consists of appetizers, entrees and desserts. They also have a special treat for those with a yelp app and who check in via yelp.

With a Yelp check-in, diners can get one free Ngo-Yong. Ngo-Yong is a crispy egg roll filled with spiced ground pork and veggies. This little egg roll turned out to be my favorite of all the items I got to try this day. Freshly fried and made, the egg roll was served super hot. Outside the wrapper was perfectly crispy and crunchy and reminded me of classic Chinese egg rolls I used to eat as a kid. Inside the egg roll was stuffed with ground pork, bamboo shoots, garlic, onions and Chinese spices consisting of star anise, cloves, fennel seeds, cinnamon and Sichuan pepper. All these ingredients combined to make a slight spicy and flavorful filling.

The entrees I got to try for my first visit at Cafe de Cebu consisted of different varieties of entrees from vegetables to pork.

For our veggie dish, we ordered chop suey. I was a fan of the nice variety of vegetables in this. This vegetable dish had cauliflower, baby corn, snow peas, red bell pepper and broccoli. The vegetables were stir fried and then mixed with a thick, starch based sauce. 20140120-145723.jpg

Another dish that was filled with some yummy vegetables was our noodle dish. For noodles we ordered the pancit bam-i that was made up of canton and vermicelli noodles, veggies, chicken and pork. For the veggies, there were plenty of carrots, cabbage and my favorite, shiitake mushrooms. I really liked the soft shiitake mushrooms mixed in with the equally soft noodles. There was a very distinct, unique delicious taste!

After the vegetables and noodles, were the more hearty of entrees consisting of protein.

From the specials of the day, we ordered Kaldereta. Kaldereta is a beef stew with a tomato broth base. Their version had bell peppers, green peas and carrots. This dish had a very savory and spicy sauce that went well with white rice


For our pork dish, we got sugpa liempo which is made up of freshly grilled seasoned pork belly slices. This restaurant specializes in many Cebuano pork dishes and it was very evident in this dish. The pork belly was lean, tender and marinated and grilled just right. It was even tastier when dipped in vinegar.

The last entree we ordered was the boneless bangus or milkfish. As most of my blog readers know, I do not eat seafood and so I cannot comment taste wise but I did like the nice presentation of this fish. It was served with tomato, green and white onions and mango sprinkled all on top of the fish. It looked very fresh and appetizing (and did not smell fishy 😉

On our table were various sauces that could be used to compliment the dishes ordered. It was interesting to see a pinakurot sauce. We learned from our waiter that this is their own recipe of pinakurat (notice they used a letter “o” versus an “a.” Pinakurat or pinakurot is spiced vinegar sauce. I also found the ngoniong spicy sauce for the egg rolls nice for dipping the Ngo-Yong.


A lot of the above dishes were my first time to hear about and to taste. Therefore this dining experience was a tasty learning adventure for me! At the end I found myself with a new favorite egg roll, loving a new style of noodles and informed about different sauces. I don’t exactly know how Cafe de Cebu found me on twitter many months ago but I am very happy and thankful they did because it was the start of my curiosity of this place that led to eventually me trying it out. It was truly a pleasant dining experience of new food.

For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp Review about Cafe de Cebu.