Showing posts with label oc. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oc. Show all posts

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Jimmy's Famous American Tavern in Brea

by @btsunoda

Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern, or better known as JFAT, recently introduced a new brunch menu. I was happy to learn about it and my wife and I recently visited their location in Brea.
IMG_2221
JFAT is located next to Whole Foods in the Village at La Floresta mall on Imperial Hwy just east of Kraemer Blvd in Brea. The Village at La Floresta is marketed as the hip spot for retail shopping and dining on the east side of OC.

The restaurant is beautifully decorated and quickly set the mood for Christmas. Garland was wrapped everywhere with ribbon and bows. Christmas trees were fully decked out with shiny glass ornaments.
An impressive lighted display of super premium wines is located near the entrance. Bottles of wine were lined up on the bar and they also had a fair number of craft beers on tap. TV screens were playing live sports, but it didn’t overpower the experience like a sports bar.

The restaurant is large and spacious. It is obviously designed for people to get together and converse over a good meal. In fact while we were there, there was a group of 8 that were enjoying brunch.

Totchos are simply Tater Tots topped with melted cheese and salsa fresca. 
IMG_2238
Simply stated, they are nachos made with tater tots instead of tortilla chips. Since I favor tater tots over tortilla chips, I had trouble eating just one bite. 

Knowing that this would be a meat heavy meal, I ordered the Charred Brussels Sprouts. This came with smoked applewood bacon, pinenuts and underneath it was some maple syrup. I scooped downwards in the dish to gather the maple syrup. This was a great combination of flavors and textures and was one of my favorite items that day.

The Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Malted Ale Waffles was served topped with a thick and creamy thyme gravy and applewood smoked bacon. 
IMG_2251
After pouring pure maple syrup on top of it all, I enjoyed the various taste sensations, crunchy, salty, sweet and smoky. I was quite happy with this dish.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Where to Eat In Irvine, CA During WITS '16

There'll be 500 women travel bloggers from all over the world convening in Irvine, CA in March for Women in Travel Summit! Having lived in Southern California, I'm excited to share the diversity of the food culture we have with these women. Here are ten of my picks for the more off-the-beaten and alternative places to eat in Irvine for WITS attendees to try while they're in town:

PS. If you're a female travel blogger, be sure to check out the summit schedule and see if you'd like to join!

Bruxie
14376 Culver Dr, Irvine, CA 92604
Waffle sandwiches! That's all you need to know, really. Not just sweet waffle sandwiches, but savory ones like fried chicken or ham and eggs. Because who needs bread when you have waffles? Read my review from their other location.

IMG_1881

Mick's Karma Bar
2010 Main St, Irvine, CA 92614
This small spot is hidden in an office building but rather hard to find, but it's worth it to try their award winning burgers. The meat is ground fresh multiple times a day, making for a great burger that goes well with their strawberry basil lemonade.

Santouka
14230 Culver Dr, Irvine, CA 92604 
Even though great ramen places have opened up all over the LA area in the past year, Santouka still serves some solid ramen, and some of the beste in Orange County area. Santouka is an oldie but goodie, you can't go wrong with this place when you have a ramen craving.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bacchus Bar and Bistro (Irvine, CA)

by guest blogger @btsunoda

I recently visited Bacchus Bar and Bistro in Irvine. It is an upscale wine and craft beer bar. They also have a small kitchen where prepare a selection of appetizers, burgers and entrees. The exterior of Bacchus is deceiving because it sits in a shopping center but once you step inside, you are in an inviting and spacious area with a wine bar on one side and a retail space on the other.
 DSCF6455
Bacchus offers over 350 bottles from around the world and has a wine bar where they can pour up to 60 different wines by the glass.
 DSCF6458
I learned that they received the Wine Spectator award in 2014. Bacchus also offers 6 craft beers on a rotating tap along with 20 bottled craft beers. Glancing at the list of twenty, only five were from California. Belgian beers were prominently featured; there was a selection from Iceland and one from Italy.

Like their wines and craft beers, geographic diversity seems to be the desire for the focus of their cheese offerings. France topped the list with five different varieties. Holland was second with two and the US only had a single offering: Barely Buzzed from Utah. Fans of cheese from California, Oregon and Wisconsin may feel snubbed to not make the cut. Nuts, olives and various crackers and breads were also available. I was intrigued with the yuzu marmalade and the fig jam offerings as they probably go well with the crackers and breads. Some items are gluten free.

I repeated what my server said, “lobster grilled cheese” several times thinking that he had it mistaken for lobster mac & cheese. Brie and cheddar were melted with pieces of fresh lobster and served on toasted sourdough. Brie cheese added to the ‘gooey’ factor making each bite a multisensory and delicious experience.
 grilled

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Calivino Wine Pub (Anaheim, CA)

by: guest blogger @btsunoda

Sporting events and concert venues don’t typically serve cutting edge food and so I’m always on the lookout for restaurants that are situated near these types of establishments. Calivino Wine Pub opened its doors in May 2014; located on Katella Ave in Anaheim, they are ideally situated between the Honda Center and Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
 DSCF5052
DSCF5068
The interior of Calivino Wine Pub resembled a modern cafe: stylish chairs and tables, spot lights from ceiling and single seating by the bar. Colorful wine bottles adorned the wall of the bar area.

 I began with their bacon wrapped dates and a glass of Clayhouse Adobe White Blend.
  DSCF5089
The saltiness of the goat cheese combined with the natural sweetness of the dates and honey paired quite nicely. The white blend was a good beginner’s wine.
  DSCF5085
 The honey roasted brussel sprouts with pork belly had a crisp exterior and I thought that the sweetness of the honey combined with the salty and smoky nature of the pork belly was an effective way to serve an otherwise bland vegetable. I paired this with an Argentine Malbec: Elsa Bianchi. This soft wine is ideal for the person that isn’t fond of bold complex red wines and is well suited for appetizers.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Newport Beach Restaurant Week Menu: Great Maple at Fashion Island

Newport Beach Restaurant Week starts today, January 17, and goes on until January 26. I took the chance to explore some Orange County eats, since I'm not there much, and tried out the Restaurant Week menu at Great Maple Libations and Seasonal Plates, located inside the Fashion Island. The Great Maple will have a 3-course dinner menu for $30.


After driving to OC in LA traffic, we needed a refreshing cocktail to calm down! Lucky for us, the cocktails here were pretty good.

We started with the gin drinks. I had the Midnight Pineapple with cucumber and caramelized pineapple.
IMG_3061
I like that the drinks here weren't too sweet. This was refreshing and hit the spot after the long drive.

Newport Sunrise Cooler made with G'Vine gin, basil, grapefruit, lime, Cointreau
IMG_3062
The appetizer choices included Crispy calamari, lemon caper mayo, chili flakes, olives
IMG_3057
The salty olives in the calamari were a great and unexpected addition. More fried calamari should come with olives!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Theorem: An Experiment in Coffee Tasting by Portola Coffee Lab

Theorem is a unique experience in craft coffee devised by Portola Coffee Lab in Costa Mesa. Once an hour in the late afternoons, the small room with a counter seating only six people opens up for a set menu of one of a kind coffee drinks. You can call or go on their website for reservation.

They want you to focus on the experience so no camera or phone is allowed during the tasting. I only managed to take a photo of the menu before they told me to put my camera away! Though they did let me take quick photos of the setup in between mine and the next tasting.

The menu lists four items and you can order any three for $20.
I started with an Italiano served with candied lemon. This was a play on how Italianos used to be served. Back in the day tap water tasted very mineral-y, so people tend to use lemon rind to get rid of that taste and the oil.

Next is an amazing cappuccino made using milk with 6% butterfat. This milk has a texture like no milk I've had before and it makes for an incredible cappuccino.

The Coffee Sour is an incredible non-alcoholic coffee cocktail made with a cold brew, lemon, orange flower water, orgeat, and honey. When I tasted it I couldn't even tell there was coffee in it, just a balanced, complex mocktail.

The "Enhanced Espresso" must be ordered for the whole table (for $20). Lucky for me someone there was generous enough to order it. The enhanced espresso is coffee infused with various herbs and fruits using a vac-pot (reminiscent of the Rooibos cocktail I had at The Aviary in Chicago).
This one was an extraction of cloves, cinnamon, dried cherries, almond, mint, etc.

A peek into the back room held promise for future tastings. A barrel for aging ... alcoholic coffee cocktails, perhaps?


Theorem
3313 Hyland Ave
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(949) 284-0596
http://www.portolacoffeelab.com/theorem
Theorem on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cucina Enoteca (Irvine, CA)

Cucina Enoteca is the new restaurant at Irvine Spectrum, the second venture of Cucina Urbana in San Diego. The decor in the large space varied from a rustic patio, a high ceiling with caged bulbs in the dining room, and abstract painting in one section of the wall.

Cucina Enoteca
Cucina Enoteca has an adjoining wine store, where you can pick out wines at retail price and pay minimum corkage (on Sundays, you can get free corkage for any bottle over $20 that you buy here).
IMG_6798
The kitchen is now headed by Chef Lauren "Lulu" DeRouen (formerly of Pinot Provence). She wasn't in the kitchen the night I was there so I ordered instead of having the kitchen send out stuff. They did anyway!
The kitchen sent out a trio of vasi : ceci bean hummus with piquillo jam, burrata with roasted garlic confit, and duck rillette with apricot mustard.
Vasi
All three were great - I also enjoyed combining the burrata with the duck rillette together. The fresh, creamy burrata is made by DiStefano Cheese in Baldwin Park (the same one they have at Stella Rossa Pizza).

I didn't realize they were sending out the burrata vasi, so I had ordered the burrata and speck ‘caprese’ salad, with pickled pear, arugula, candied pecan, fried shallot, and sherry vinaigrette.
Burrata Salad
Well, I didn't really mind more burrata, and this one was great especially with the pear.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Orange County Reviews

AnQi (Costa Mesa) - Red Hour
Bacchus Bar and Bistro (Irvine)
Blue C Sushi (Newport Beach)
Bruxie (Orange)
Burger Parlor (Fullerton)
Calivino Wine Pub (Anaheim)
Carolina's Italian Restaurant (Anaheim)
Charlie Palmer's at Bloomingdale's (Costa Mesa)
Crab Cooker (Tustin)
Cucina Enoteca (Irvine)
Great Maple Libations and Seasonal Plates (Newport Beach)
Hamamori (Costa Mesa)
Kaori Japanese Restaurant (Fullerton)
La Fondue (San Juan Capistrano)
Lido Deck (Newport Beach)
Nuoc Mia Vien Tay (Garden Grove)
Pizzeria Ortica (Costa Mesa)
Quan Hop (Westminster)
Quan Vy Da (Westminster)
Seasons 52 ( Costa Mesa)
Sidecar Doughnuts (Costa Mesa)
Siem Reap (Westminster)
Sushi Murasaki (Santa Ana)
TAPS Fish House and Brewery (Brea) : Brunch Buffet
Theorem by Portola Coffee Lab (Costa Mesa)
Vien Dong (Garden Grove)
Xanh Bistro (Fountain Valley)

Gourmet Pigs   © 2008. Template Recipes by Emporium Digital

TOP