Hello Steelhead Coffee Torrance!

Steelhead Coffee hits the South Bay!

The popular coffee shop that has two locations in Long Beach and a location in Laguna Hills has now hit Torrance!

There’s nothing like having some freshly brewed artisan coffee to kick off the weekend and that’s just what I did on a fine Friday that marked the end of the work week.

Steelhead Coffee’s location in Torrance is cute and small. It’s located at the lobby of the office of the Daily Breeze Newspaper. With a very minimalistic design, I could definitely see how this would be a great place to simply enjoy a warm cup of coffee.

Their menu consists of drip coffee, cold brew, cortado, lattes and cappuccinos. One can add vanilla, lavender, caramel and chocolate to their drinks too.

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I found their caramel latte to be so smooth. It was not too rich but yet perfect for a slightly sweet kick to start off the morning.

Asidefrom their coffee and tea offerings, Steelhead also offers various pastries from Bakers Kneaded; a wholesale Los Angeles bakery that offers organic whole grain breads and pastries.

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I instantly became a fan of their almond croissant. With its crispy, flaky skin on the outside topped with sliced almonds and almond paste in the inside; this croissant was the perfect pairing for my caramel latte.

The food offerings doesn’t stop however with bread and pastries because there is more at Steelhead Coffee! The Steelhead Kitchen offers a variety of freshly made hot dishes such as congee, avocado bread and even a Steelhead burger!

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I got to try their congee and was amazed at all the wonderful ingredients in the bowl. The rice porridge had fresh persian cucumber, kimchi, sriracha mixed in toasted sesame and soy sauce and topped with soft-boiled egg.  It was definitely one of the most special rice porridges I’ve ever seen or had!

It is no surprise Steelhead Coffee has been such a hit in their first three locations.  From their sweet sips to their savory treats; one is sure to smile and have a an amazing start to the day!

For more smiles; please see my latest Yelp review on Steelhead Coffee Torrance.

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Hello Newberry Coffee and Tea!

Coffee, Tea and Newberry!

There’s a new place in the South Bay to get a good cup of coffee for cold days  or an iced cold boba for chilly days.  Newberry Coffee and Tea just opened up this January 2019 in Torrance, CA! Newberry Coffee Roasters gets all their coffee beans from Brazil, Columbia, Indonesia, Panama, Guatemala and Hondura and they roast their coffee locally in Los Angeles weekly. Being a big coffee and boba fan, I had to check this place out.

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Since it was a rather warm day in Los Angeles, my eye was on their Favorite Blended menu. Two in particular caught my eye; the Caramel Frappe and the Taro Milk Molly

For those looking for a great day kickstart, the Caramel Frappe is one that I recommend! With espresso,  caramel, coffee jelly and oreo; it’s the perfect blend of coffee and sweet. I liked the hints of caramel within in the espresso. Typically espresso drinks can be a bit too strong for me but here they do it just right.

The Taro Milk Molly has milk, taro, panda boba and custard. This one is a classic boba drink for those who like simple and sweet.

The frappe and molly were just two of the drinks that I enjoyed. They have many more in their Favorite Blended menu but you can also customize and make your own!

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It’s always nice to see a nice new coffee shop. Newberry Coffee and Tea Company hits the spot for when craving some coffee or boba!

For more smiles, please my Yelp Review on Newberry Coffee and Tea Company!

Hello Thai Hub Torrance!

Thai food is one of my favorite types of cuisine and I’m always on the lookout for a good place to find some great Thai dishes. This 2019, there’s a new “hub” in Torrance just for that!  Thai Hub Torrance Street Food and Dessert Cafe just opened up this new year and is quickly becoming a go-to Thai place for those in the South Bay (and beyond).

Thai Hub Torrance says that their love for Thai food is “infinite” and this is evident in the menu consisting of a large variety of Thai dishes. One can find authentic dishes such as  E-Sarn Rice Sausage, Tom Zap Baby Pork Rib soup, Thai Papaya Salad and Ka prow Grounded beef.

A good way to try out their different offerings is through their lunch set. The lunch set is offered daily from 11am through 3:30pm. I’ve found that these are great deal to get a glimpse of their variety.

Their Pad See Ew lunch set is one of my favorites.

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The Pad See Ew comes with egg, wonton soup and two chicken wings. The chicken wings happen to be one of their appetizer offerings too! The Thai style breaded chicken wings are scrumptious! Served piping hot, each bite gives a delightful crunch. Not to be outdone is the wonton soup that consists of  fully stuffed chicken and shrimp wontons, tender BBQ pork and bok choy. The star of this lunch set of course however is their  Pad See Ew. The fact rice noodles have a good mix of eggs, Chinese broccoli and chicken.

Another popular lunch set and one that I also really like is their Yellow Curry Chicken.

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Yellow Curry Chicken is a staple in Thai cuisine and here at Thai Hub they really know their curry! The Yellow Curry is full of flavor! There is tender chicken breast, potatoes, onions and carrot. It’s great over the white rice and mixed with hard-boiled eggs that comes with the set. On the side is their Spicy beef Salad. This salad has a bit of kick to it because of the spicy lime dressing. There is grilled beef, cucumber, lemongrass, tomatoes and mint.

I am happy to see this new “hub” for Thai food in Torrance! It’s one amazing new addition to the South Bay this 2019!

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Thai Hub Torrance.

 

Hello Offset Coffee!

“While it may seem small, the ripple effects of small things is extraordinary.”

Hello 2019! The new year is upon us! I am happy to write about a small new coffee shop that is sure to bring extraordinary eats and drinks to many this new year.

Offset Coffee opened up in Torrance, California just this December 27, 2018. The owners are two locals who simply love coffee. They wanted to share their love of coffee via opening up the only multi-roaster coffee shop in the South Bay.

Walking in, I instantly became a fan of the small and simple cafe. It definitely sets an “offset” type of mood from the hustle and bustle of a busy life. Very simple. Very basic. It’s all about taking a breather and simply enjoying the coffee here.

Their menu consists of various coffee delights ranging from drip coffee to cortado and flavored lattes.  Flavored lattes are vanilla, hazelnut and lavender. They also offer cold brews, Mexican cokes and hot chocolate.

Upon my visit here, my mom and I tried the hazelnut latte and cappuccino, respectively.

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The hazelnut latte was simply delightful. It had the right hint of hazelnut flavor in the cup. It was nutty, sweet and creamy and a perfect match to the pastries we would also try on this visit.

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The cappuccino was also great. A perfect starter for the day with it’s rich and bold flavor.

To go along with are cups of coffee, we tried two of their fresh baked pastries. Offset’s pastries are from Bakers Kneaded. Bakers Kneaded bakes daily in Los Angeles organic whole grain breads and pastries from California sourced and grown ingredients.

First up we tried the bombolini.

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Talk about heaven in a bite. These Italian doughnuts are filled with custard that simply melts in the mouth. It is no wonder these sell out almost daily at the shop.

The next pastry we tried was their almond croissants.

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The almond croissants have a buttery, flaky crust topped with powdered sugar and almonds. Inside is a lovely almond paste that is simply perfection.

Trying out Offset Coffee was great way or shall I say an extraordinary way to start the new year.  I cannot wait to have more “offset” days.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Offset Coffee,

Hello Brunch at Restoration Kitchen and Wine!

Blessings and Brunch!

Happy Easter Hello Kitty Foodies! Easter is more than just eggs and candy. It is also about peace, love, family and friends. For this easter not only my tummy full but my heart as well as I got to enjoy a wonderful brunch with my mom at  Restoration Kitchen and Wine in Old Torrance, California.

The brunch menu at Restoration Kitchen and Wine just arrived this February. When I heard they were offering brunch, I knew I had to check it out. I had previously dined for dinner at Restoration Kitchen and Wine and was utterly delighted with their savory dishes. I knew brunch would nonetheless be equal in excellence.

Signature dishes on their brunch menu include classics such as french toast, corned beef hash and steak and eggs. There also some special Restoration dishes named after their wonderful staff such as Becca’s Scramble with 3 eggs, sausage, tomatoes, kale, cheddar cheese and multi grain toast  (named after their Kitchen manager, Rebecca Foley) and Wes’ Turkey Sandwich with yuzu mayo, sprouts and multi grain bread (named after co-owner Wesley Takiguchi). Though primarily breakfast egg dishes do appear on their brunch menu; they do have several items also seen on their dinner menu such as their Furikake Fries, Wild Mushroom Flatbread and Slow Roasted Beet Salad.  For my Easter Brunch, I chose to do a mix of their brunch items and some of their dinner dishes.

Easter brunch started off with an order of their Furikake Fries.

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The Furikake Fries are sprinkled with nori komi furikake. The seasoning of mixed sesame seeds and crunchy seaweed bits was definitely a nice touch. The fries were crisp and had great flavor. It also came with a wonderful side of wasabi aioli. The wasabi aioli was unique, tasty and great for dipping. It had subtle wasabi flavor but enough to give a different kick to the aioli.

The fries were a great starter to what followed next. The brunch menu’s savory dish selection is excellent and one is in for a treat with any of their items.

Their signature selection includes different hash dishes.

There is the Corned Beef Hash.

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This hearty dish consists of corned beef, carrots, cabbage, onions and potatoes topped with a sunny side egg. It also comes with multi-grain toast. Who says corned beef is just for St. Patty’s day?

The other hash dish on the menu is the Short Rib Hash.

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The Short Rib Hash is definitely my new brunch favorite. The short rib was perfectly tender and meaty and went well with the butternut squash, green onions, tomatoes and potatoes that it came with. Similar to the corned beef hash, it was also topped with a sunny side egg and accompanied with a multi-grain toast.

For meat lovers, the classic Steak and Eggs on the menu would be the perfect choice.

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Restoration Kitchen and Wine’s Steak and Eggs comes with an 8 oz choice NY steak, two eggs, breakfast potatoes and multi-grain toast. Dinner for breakfast or breakfast for dinner? This is one very fulfilling dish!

From Furkiake Fries to Short Rib Hash and NY Steak and Egg, our tummies sure were full but so were our hearts!

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Each savory dish almost made us too full for dessert but who can pass up a new sweet dish on the menu.

Their Strawberry Shortcake just recently hit the menu and it is a must try for every one who has a sweet tooth.

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This delightful dessert has house made honey biscuits topped with lemon cream, fresh strawberries, vanilla ice cream. Each bite was pure heaven.

It was a wonderful morning to spend Easter brunch at Restoration Kitchen and Wine. Blessings and brunch; I could not ask for more on this beautiful day.

Hello Stonefire Grill Torrance!

Stonefire Grill is all about community and family. First started by sisters Mary and Maureen Harrigan in 2000, this fast-casual dining concept quickly grew to nine Southern California restaurants and now it’s opening up its 10th location in Torrance, California.

I recently had a chance to check out the newest location and quickly became a fan. It is the perfect restaurant to enjoy good eats and good times with family and friends.

Stonefire Grill has quite an extensive menu that has items every one in the family can enjoy. They’ve got pizza, sandwiches, pasta, signature salads, grill items and more. There is some thing for every taste bud.

I started my meal here with their chicken tortilla soup.

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The chicken tortilla soup is garnished with jack cheese, cilantro, avocado and tortilla chips. The small is a pretty fulfilling bowl that is sure to warm your heart and your tummy. They’ve also got a large that is perfect for sharing.

Speaking of sharing, perfect sharables are items from their grill section. From chicken to meat and seafood, Stonefire Grill’s grill items are slowly cooked overnight and finished over a live mesquite fire for their sauces. Each item is made to order and comes with a salad (Garden Caesar, Cartwheel or Greek), a small side item and 2 freshly baked breadsticks.

The breadsticks are Stonefire Grill’s signature item and is one that should not be missed when coming here.

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Breadsticks are freshly made and come out so soft and warm. Marinara sauce and buttermilk ranch are available as dipping sauces. I tried it with buttermilk ranch and instantly fell in love.

It was hard not to be full after the soup and breadsticks but I just had to save room for their grill items. My personal favorite from the Grill menu was their boneless chicken breast and tri-tip.

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The chicken can be garnished with mesquite bbq or lemon garlic. I chose to get my dish with lemon garlic. It was one of the tastiest chicken dishes I have ever had. The chicken  was perfectly tender and I loved the lemon zest it was flavored with. There were also small chunks of garlic on top that added a nice but subtle garlic flavor.

As for the tri-tip, one can get it with mesquite bbq or pepper garlic topped with gorgonzola butter. I chose to get it with mesquite bbq. Just like the chicken breast, the tri-tip was a winner. The beef cut was lean and every thing about the meat was on point. It was flavored perfectly and matched well with my side of garlic mashed potatoes.

The grill menu is not just about meat however because one can also enjoy some items from the sea. The Meditteraean sea bass is a Stonefire Grill favorite.

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It comes with sustainably farmed Branzino with fresh lemon, olive oil and red chili flakes and is served with a bed of farro salad. It’s a beautiful, healthy plate.

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The Farro Salad comes with farro, caramelized onions, basil, parsley, green onion, walnuts, parmesan, lemon and olive oil. I liked the mixture of ingredients. Each truly stuck out and enhanced the farro fabulously.

It doesn’t end with the savory items here however because Stonefire Grill has some awesome sweets as well!

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Their desserts are made from family recipes and are prepared every morning. They’ve got their signature carrot cake, cheesecake, fudge brownies and cookies. Each item can be served as a half or as a full.

The carrot cake was my personal favorite.  It was so moist and complete with walnuts and creamy cream cheese frosting. The heavenly cheesecake was indeed heavenly and nicely topped with fresh blueberry sauce. The fudge brownies were also great. Soft and chewy, it was chocolate bliss.

The food is something everyone can enjoy and it’s a great place to share some good meals. I also noticed that everyone at Stonefire Grill was pleasant and willing to give a hand; just like family. In fact when I came, tip proceeds went to the Pediatric Therapy Network. This place truly is about the community.

Stonefire Grill has it’s grand opening in Torrance tomorrow, February 6.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Stonefire Grill Torrance.

Hello Beach Vibes at Brio LA West Yelp Elite Event!

Four courses. Eight plates. Epic. That is the Yelp elite way.

In my last blog post, I happily announced that I once again am blessed to be part of the Yelp Elite Squad. Just recently I was blessed too to be part of one of the first LA West Yelp Elite events of 2018; Beach Vibes at Brio.

This event was epic  for a variety of reasons!

  • 1). It was my first elite event ever as a Yelp Black Elite (woohoo here’s to 10 years and counting!)
  • 2). It was in the South Bay (woohoo hometown!)
  • 3). It was a four course dinner with eight plates (woohoo full of deliciousness!)

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Upon arrival at the venue, we were all given complimentary pink cosmos. It truly was the start of a special night!

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For the savory treats, we first were all treated to some small plates.

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Chopped salad had tomatoes, grilled corn, cucumber, smoked gouda, marcona almonds, avocado, lemon vinaigrette and chile lime ranch. This was healthy, crunchy and tasty. The chile lime ranch stood out and brought so much flavor.

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Roasted beets and whipped feta was the other small plate for our starters. This had red and gold beets, macron almonds and lemon vinaigrette. The red and gold beets were the perfect color for us Yelp elites (hmm doesn’t it remind you of the Yelp badges? 😉

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Third small plate of the night was a favorite for many. The Shrimp n Grits had black pepper shrimp along with creamy smoked gouda polenta. It had a curry like flavor that was out of this world!

From small plates to entrees, we sure were in for a treat that night!

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First up was the Bucatini Pomodoro. This lovely vegetarian dish had san mariano tomatoes, basil and burrata. The huge burrata topping was wonderful!

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The Skirt Steak was the other main entree of the night. Two 8 oz steaks prepared medium and topped with chimichurri were served to us Yelpers. Tender and tasty, it was a true treat!

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Alongside the two savory dishes, we were also treated to some frites accompanied with sriracha ketchup, creamy horseradish and sweet chile aioli!

But wait there’s more…..

How could we end the night without a bang? We got not one but two desserts!

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For closers that evening, we had a Warm Berry Cake that was toped with vanilla gelato and berry compote and Brio’s Gooey Chocolate Cake that was topped with hazelnut gelato, nutella crispies and whipped caramel! It truly is sweet to be elite!

Four courses. Eight plates. Happy Yelper!

2018 Epic Yelp Year, here we come!