Hello Whole Foods LA West Yelp Elite Event!

Whole Foods in El Segundo is celebrating 10 years! The amazing 65,000 foot store opened their doors to LA West’s Yelp Elite Squad recently to celebrate a decade of fun eats and enjoyable shopping!

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It was just last Fall 2016, when The 2nd Bar opened up in Whole Foods in El Segundo. This delicious place has vegan, vegetarian and classic eats along with 36 beers on tap, wines by the glass and a Health-Ade Kombucha on tap. Our Yelp Elite event at Whole Foods started off with a lovely dinner here at The 2nd Bar where we got to try some of their dishes.

First dish was the Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

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I’ve always been a big fan of brussel sprouts and here at The 2nd Bar they gave a dish full of crispy, healthy brussel sprouts!

Second dish was the Kale Caesar.

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Similar to brussel sprouts, I also love kale! I liked this twist on the traditional Caesar salad. This salad consisted of baby kale sprinkled with shaved parmesan and rye bread crumbs! Can we say, yum?!

Third course was the Cauliflower Nachos.

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This vegan dish was my favorite offering of the night. It had fried cauliflower with chilies, pico de gallo, cilantro, lime and avocado lime crema. I loved how this crispy cauliflower dish was packed with flavor.

Our last main entree was their NY Steak and Frites.

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A juicy strip loin was served with her butter and french fries! This was a very fulfilling dish.

Along with the savory eats, we sipped to Kombucha cocktail and Domaine de Cala.

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The meal at The 2nd Bar was just the start of the night because soon after we were off to scavenger like hunt throughout Whole Foods! Our mission: to find ten tasting stations and try out the different Whole Foods offerings.

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The ten stations were:

  •  The bakery section: This station was highlighted by French baker Xavier who offered us three types of bread.
  • The specialty cheese section: This station featured cheese blends from Spicy Mo’s.img_0887
  • The specialty drink section featured Buzz Box. These are juice boxes for adults! Who ever thought one could have Long Island iced teas, Whiskey Lemonade or margaritas from a juice box?!
  •  The sushi station had Kikka sushi. They had a vegan firecracker roll, crunchy shrimp tempura, tuna nigiri, salmon nigiri, crunchy shrimp kafir lime and spicy salmon avocado.
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  • The mochi station featured Bubbles Mochi from Hawaii. We got to taste mango, vanilla and passion fruit mochi!
  • The Kogi station had some of Roy Choi’s fabulous kimchi quesadillas. img_0885
  • The Health Aid Kombucha station had more Kombucha flavors for us to try! Pomegrante, ginger, apple…it was kombucha like no other!
  • The juice bar had even more drinks via four refreshing juices.
  • The Beyond Meat station was a true treat for vegans! They had some meaty yet not meat sandwiches for all of us to try.
  • Last but not least was the smokehouse station. They gave us one hearty tasting plate filled with brisket, collard greens, mashed potatoes and Mac and cheese.

Mission accomplished! The Yelp Elites and the ladies of Table 1 made it through the ten course tasting stations! With plenty of giggles, girl talk and happy eats, it was quite a night! Happy 10 years Whole Foods El Segundo!

Just like Whole Foods El Segundo, this Hello Kitty Foodie is also celebrating something very special. This event marks my 1000th yelp review! I could not think of a more perfect way to celebrate than via a lovely and fun night out Yelp Elite style! It was a night full of Yelp fun and smiles!

For more smiles, please sees my 1000th Yelp review  on The Whole Foods LA West Yelp Elite Event!

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Hello Yelp elite gold badge 2017!

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This 2017 is off to a golden start! I’m so happy and honored to once again be part of the Yelp Elite squad.

Yelp has played a special part in my love for writing and doing food reviews. I can’t believe it’s been 9 Elite years. It has definitely been an awesome nine years and I’m looking forward to many more as my Yelp journey continues.

This 2017 is actually a very special year for my Yelp journey because this year I will reach 1000 reviews. This year also marks what I call my “road to black.” If I am lucky and privileged to be elite again next year, it will be ten years of elite and I will be getting the black badge!

As I move forward to another year of reviews, Yelp events and happiness, I’d like to invite all my blog readers to join me in my journey to 1000 reviews and to the black badge 😉 @ http://hellokittyfoodie.yelp.com.

Thanks every one for your support and love! This year will be golden and amazing for sure.

Hello Yelp elite gold badge 2015!

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Oh happy day! Triple gold! I was so happy today when I opened up my Yelp page and saw a sparkly, shiny new Yelp elite gold badge for 2015!

I can’t believe it’s my seventh yelp elite badge! It seems like only yesterday that my Yelp journey started. It’s been quite a Yelp journey so far. There’s been interesting moments (I once got a marriage proposal via Yelp. No wedding for me though lol. I don’t think the guy liked Hello Kitty. 😉 Haha! The only shiny thing I’m sporting these days courtesy of Yelp is my elite badge). 😉 There’s been heartwarming moments (I once got the sweetest card from the folks at Susie Cakes). There’s also been some frustrations (I was a little sad after I wrote a four star review for a bakery and someone from there sent me nasty note complaining about a picture I took of their croissant. After I wrote the nicest review, all the could comment on was about a picture they didn’t like). Most of all, there’s definitely been lots of unforgettable, fun moments! (I love all the friends I’ve made through Yelp! I’ve also loved all the events I’ve been to! Thanks to my Yelp friends, this once shy little Yelper is slowly coming out of her shy little shell). All of these various Yelp experiences have made me into the Yelp Elite that I am today and I continue to write Yelp reviews with the hope that they can be helpful to others and just maybe make some smile.

I am so thankful for the another year to be Yelp elite. I can’t wait to see what this Yelp year will bring!

SYOY (see you on yelp) and smile!

Hello Kitty Foodie Year In Review 2014!

Another year has gone by and here we are at the end of 2014. The time has come for me to write my year in review blog post. I always look forward to writing this because it gives me a chance to look back at wonderful occasions spent with family and friends. One of the most rewarding aspects about being a blogger is getting to experience several different events. These opportunities to try out various eateries around town is made even more special when they’re shared with the people closest to me. It is also through these events, that I have made several friends who have become my brunch buddies, lunch friends, dinner companions and forever foodie friends. In this blog post, I share the memorable occasions of 2014. Some that I write about are media events while others are good times spent with friends and family but all of them are special.

January kicked off with the newly opened Grimaldi’s Coal Brick Oven Pizzaria. It was awesome to be one of the first to try this place and since then I’ve been back several times with my friends!

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Lastly, also in January I had a nice get together with my friend Angela who I hadn’t seen since grad school. During this lunch, I got to try the ever so popular, elusive ramen burger!

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One of the most memorable occasions during this first quarter was the Yelp LA West Elite Event Pajama Party. It’s not every Monday, one is lucky enough to party in Hello Kitty pajamas. 😉
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The middle of the year marked another fabulous Yelp event via the Yelp Patriotic Party on the Battleship Iowa. It was a red, white and blue Sunday Funday with yelp swag all over, a live band, photo booths, magic shows and lots of food and drink for my Yelp friends and I to eat, drink and be merry!

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Soon after that I embarked on a fun cruise and vacation to Canada! There was plenty of fun foodie adventures during this time of the year! From dining adventures on the Holland America ms Zuiderdam to visiting CNN’s 2012 must visit restaurant New Town in Vancouver Chinatown to trying the popular Tim Horton’s, this kitty had terrific (foodie) trip full of smiles!

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Come summer time, I was one busy, happy blogger bee err kitty. 😉

June started off with an invitation to try out the newly opened Hermosa Beach Fish Shop. Offering fresh seafood goodies, this place is a must try for seafood fans. I enjoyed everything we tried from their fish shop chowder to their crab cake sandwich.

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Also June, I was thrilled to be one of the first to try The Standing Room Hermosa! I am fan of the awesome little shop inside a liquor store in Redondo Beach and was so happy for them that they have their own restaurant now right in hip and happening Hermosa Beach!

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In July, I got to join the .grand opening celebration of the 2nd Lee’s Sandwiches in the South Bay! It was a day full of bahn mi bliss! 😉

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Also in July, I got to cover for South Bay Foodies one of my favorite charity events, The 8th Annual White Light, White Night Event. White Night, White Light is always such a very special evening. Proceeds from the event benefit Walk with Sally’s mission to help out many families impacted by cancer. It was one memorable night filled with lots of love and light and plenty of smiles.

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I then got to celebrate the end of the summer in one of my favorite ways, via the OC Fair. It was a fun day filled with food, games, friends, shows and some Hello Kitty!
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Fall time is always memorable for me and this year was no exception as I celebrated my birthday at my favorite Addi’s Tandoor. Thanks to one of my dearest friends, I discovered this fabulous Indian restaurant and I got to celebrate my birthday here.

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November was truly unforgettable because I got to go Hello Kitty Con! It was truly a dream come true as I got to attend the Hello Kitty Con VIP night and opening party. It was Hello Kitty heaven for me and just pure bliss. It was and will always be one of my top events!

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As I was typing this blog post, my heart could not help but be filled with gratitude. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how blessed we are and just to be thankful for what we have. I was blessed this year to partake in all these various events, parties and get togethers and I am so very thankful for that. I am also thankful to all of you who have been reading my blog and have followed my 2014 foodie and blogger journey. Hello kitty hugs to all of you! I can’t wait to see what sugar, spice and hello kitty nice adventures await for me next year. I’m sure there will be more smiles to come. 🙂

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PS

The WordPress.com stats helper kitties prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog and I got the below stats as part of the report (wow, I am touched!):

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Thank you all so much for the blog love!! 🙂

Hello LA West Elite Event Pajama Party at Jinky’s Cafe!

It’s a Monday night and I’m all dressed up in Hello Kitty pajamas! Who parties on a Monday and in pajamas, no less? This Hello Kitty Foodie does! Yay for the LA West Yelp Elite Event Pajama Party at Jinky’s Cafe in Santa Monica! 🙂

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Jinky’s Cafe is a cute little place offering breakfast all day. What better way to enjoy breakfast but then in pajamas. 😉 On Monday night, Jinky’s Cafe’s Santa Monica location had a special pajama party for LA West Yelp Elite squad. I was one of the lucky to attend.

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Many of the Yelpers chose to get a taste of Jinky’s popular mimosas but I chose to get a cup of their freshly ground coffee. Coffee and breakfast is always a great combination and their cup of joe was the perfect partner for the treats we got to try at this event.

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We were served a plate with french garden omelette, coconut flaky french toast and red velvet pancakes. It was a nice trio of some their popular dishes. The french garden omelette consisted of fluffy egg whites with zucchini and tomatoes and boursin cheese. The soft creamy cheese and the fresh veggies made for a very nice omelette. The coconut flaky french toast had coconut flakes, strawberries, blueberries and powdered sugar all on top of egg bread. The coconut definitely made this french toast unique. Out of all the three the red velvet pancakes were my favorite. It had sprinkles of powder sugar and swirls of mascarpone frosting. The red velvet pancakes were deliciously decadent, soft and sweet.

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Aside from the triple treat dish that we were served, we also got to try various samples of Jinky’s gourmet chili at this event. Jinky’s has over twenty different gourmet chili dishes of various flavors and spices. The first chili that we got to try was the Boston Turkey. It’s a tomato- free chili with lean ground turkey and chili pepper puree. I liked the little chunks of chili pepper that brought an extra kick to the sweet chili.

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The other chili we got to sample was the Himalayan Beef. This chili had ground beef, garlic, ginger, Serrano and Kashimiri chilies and Indian spices. This was lot spicier than the Boston Turkey. Even with just a small taste, the intensity and hotness came out.

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We definitely got a nice breakfast spread this night with all the things we tried. Unfortunately we didn’t to try some of their other offerings like some other Yelpers that night but from what we did try it was definitely breakfast bliss for my friends and I!

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For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on the LA West Elite Event Pajama Party at Jinky’s Cafe.

Hello Yelp elite gold badge 2014!

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2014 is off to a happy start! It truly made my day today and put a big smile on my face when I saw a bright, shiny yelp gold elite badge for 2014 on my Yelp page! It means a lot to be once again part of the Yelp elite crew.

My Yelp journey started in August 2007. I was getting ready for a work trip and just happened to stumble upon the very helpful and informative Yelp page. It was nice to see people’s recommendations of various places and soon enough I too started writing reviews.

Through the years, I’ve gotten to be a part of some memorable Yelp events. From going to a Trucks N Toys Drive to a Bollywood event to a Hollywood Museum tour, each event has been amazing and special. I still remember my very first Yelp elite event, the Karaoke Elite Event at Backstage Bar and Grill. The fact that one of my Yelp friends got this shy Yelper to go up on stage (at my very first event) to sing a duet of Moves Like a Jagger is proof alone of how much I love Yelp and my Yelp friends. (Oh alright, I love karaoke too haha 🙂 but it still took courage to go up and sing the Christina Aguilera part 😉 )

Some of my Yelp friends have become some of my closest friends as well. From finding out what the latest food trend is (pie or macaron), to who’s going to win the Stanley Cup (I’ll always throw that octopus but never eat it 😉 to where’s the next PYE (private Yelp event), the conversations with Yelp friends are always UFC (useful, funny, cool in Yelp lingo 😉 )

It’s been an amazing journey for this Yelper and I’m looking forward to what this 2014 will bring Yelp wise. I’m so honored and touched to be once again Yelp elite! SYOY (see you on yelp 🙂 )

Hello Kitty Foodie Year In Review 2013!

Today I attended my last PYE (Private Yelp Event) for 2013.

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It was another special fun filled event of good food with good friends. Another happy memory to be added to the list of sugar, spice and hello kitty nice moments of 2013.

2013 was an amazing year filled with many memorable moments. Looking back I feel so blessed and thankful that I got to be a part of several wonderful foodie events this year. In this blog post, I share with you a few of some of the memorable ones.

My first event for 2013 was for a Yelp event held at the Cheesecake Factory. The Tropical Sunsets Yelp Elite Event made us feel like we were in paradise as we feasted on unlimited sangria and tropical iced tea, various Cheesecake Factory treats and ‘Lette macarons.

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At the end of first quarter of the year, I got to try Euro-French cuisine at Joie De Vivre Yelp Elite event held at Dominique’s Kitchen. Some highlights of the French feast of the night were the savory mushroom risotto and the creamy Creme brûlée. This event was very meaningful to me because my blog post about that event garnered me some recognition as I landed on Dominique’s Kitchen’s press page. (Thank you so much Dominique’s Kitchen!)

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When summer started, I got to attend various South Bay Foodie events. My favorite was the red carpet 7th Annual White Night White Light Event by Walk with Sally. It was wonderful to see so many folks and businesses come out for this chairty event supporting mentoring programs for children who have parents or siblings with cancer.

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Mid-summer I was one proud UCLA Bruin as I attended the 6th Annual Nachos and Networking UCLA Alumni Event. Blue and gold spirit was felt all over. The victory bell was present!

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I ended the summer with the Flavors of Belize PYE where my friends and I tried Belizean food for the first time. Ten courses and three desserts made for one interesting night of discovering new cusine.

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With the start of fall, came another blessed birthday celebration for me. I got to try chicken and waffles for the first time at the popular LA hot spot Roscoe’s. I definitely felt the birthday love because my photo from that birthday outing became my most liked instagram photo for 2013!

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A couple days before Thanksgiving, I joined my friends for Filipino Asian Fusion PYE @ La Fang. I’m always so thankful for events like these where I get to spend time with some of my closest Yelp friends.

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Towards the end of the year was the wonderful opportunity to be a part of the Jackson’s Food and Drink Tasting Event. It truly was an honor to be chosen to be one of the first to try out some of Jackson’s new offerings.

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As this year comes to a close, I look back with a heart full of gratefulness for all the blessings, the opportunities given to me and the friendships that have been formed. I thank each and every one of you who have taken the time to read my posts. Thank you so much for being a part of my happy little adventures and I look forward to sharing with you all more sugar, spice and hello kitty nice moments this 2014!