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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bulgogi House now open in La Palma, CA

Young Park started the idea of Korean BBQ with his grandmother’s sauce. Combining this sauce with local ingredients and variety of meats, he opened Bulgogi House in 1992. Bulgogi House expanded to two locations in Rowland Heights. On November 1, 2014, the Bulgogi House added a third location to deliver a new kind of KBBQ to the OC. The grills use a ventilation system that sucks the smoke from the sides of the grill keeping you from taking the BBQ scent home with you. This is a major complaint with most KBBQ restaurants. You almost need to plan to go home after eating to either change or take a shower. Bulgogi House also has a full-service bar serving not only Korean favorites like soju, but international beers, wines, and libations. 

 To read more and see slideshow, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/review/bulgogi-house-now-open-la-palma-ca

Bulgogi House on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 7, 2014

LCA Wine & the Neptune School of Wine now open in SOCO in Costa Mesa, CA

Nancy Milby always had a passion for food and wine. Eventually, it became so great, she left her finance career to pursue it. In 2001, she founded Laguna Culinary Arts, a multi-faceted hands-on cooking school including attached café, cheese, and wine shop and spent the next 12 years building this operation in Laguna Beach. She also led small groups to France, Italy, and Spain for the ultimate food and wine vacations. She recently sold the cooking school and moved the wine operation. LCA Wine opened on July 18, 2014. Nancy Milby welcomed guests as they explored the new wine retail space to browse LCA’s selection of wines from all over the world. The color wheel of wine was on display from whites to rosés to reds. The space is open and the bottles are arranged on wooden racks for easy display and viewing.

The inaugural Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival indulged the senses

As we walked up to the brand new Newport Beach Civic Center, the architecture is very aquatic and nautical – wavy lines and floor to ceiling glass for natural light. The event space in the courtyard was laid out perfectly for ample spacing between food & wine vendors so foot track moved pretty freely throughout. The color scheme was coastal with white, sandy gray, and sea foam green accented in the tents, pillows (yes, pillows on benches), and tablecloths. The morning cloud coverage stayed for a while to keep it cool.

My first mission was to get a great seat to see the first cooking demonstration of the day. The Outdoor Kitchen was set and sponsored by Whole Foods. Chef Joe Youkhan, owner of The Tasting Spoon Food Truck and Catering and winner of Chopped!, demonstrated how to make Peruvian Pork Belly Sliders. Inspired by his sous chef, Miguel, the recipe came from Miguel’s mother and then Chef Joe added his classic flair as he prepped the ingredients and fielded questions from the audience about the recipe and cooking techniques. And as expected, the Peruvian Pork Belly Sliders were onolicious! The brioche bun was branded on top with “TS” for Tasting Spoon and was butter glazed on the outside for a beautiful sheen and soft and chewy on the inside. The pork belly was melt-in-your-mouth tender and packed with flavor. This needs to go on the truck menu!

Chef Joe Youkhan and his sous chef, Miguel.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Boldo Bol serves earth-to-table Delecta-Bols in Santa Ana, CA

Chef Paul Chamberlain and his wife, Judy, opened Boldo Bol in East End Santa Ana, CA on July 9, 2014. Boldo Bol’s philosophy is rooted in the Slow Food Movement.  Their mission is to change the way OC residents dine by following these principles: honoring heritage, locally grown, day picked, nutrient focused, steamed or seared, naturally seasoned, ethically concerned, community supported, and committed to education. Whole foods are sourced within a 250-mile radius of the restaurant.

Boldo Bol’s menu is based on daily fresh ingredients. Here is an example of what you may find on the menu:

Salad Bol consists of just-picked lettuce and herbs with red pepper, daikon, yam, and pumpkin seeds. The vegetables are bright green and refreshing. The red bell peppers and yams are sweet. Daikon adds a little kick. The pumpkin seeds add a crunchy texture and nutty flavor, like a natural crouton. Rating: 4/5

Boldo Bol on Urbanspoon

Solita now has take-out services in Huntington Beach, CA

Whether it is a dinner for two or a house party, Solita has you covered. Over the summer, they launched take out service. They had a weekly “Share to Win” giveaway on Facebook and I was lucky to be a winner.

I won $50 worth of food to order. The take out menu has lots to choose from. Everything was packaged perfectly – no broken items or leaking sauces.

Cabo Loco Chicken is crispy coconut-breaded chicken with a side of spicy lemony salsa. The chicken was perfectly cooked and tender – like a fanciful chicken tender. The fried coconut breading gave the chicken a nutty sweetness. The sauce was a great accompaniment; almost like a citrus ranch dip. Rating: 5/5

1/2 pound of Carne Asada
Carne Asada Taco
1/2 pound of Red Chile Beef Borracho
Red Chile Beef Borracho Taco

The Taco Ready – Build Your Own is a ½ pound order of your choice of meat, 4 ounces of salsa, 4 ounces of salsa fresca, 2 ounces of onions, and 6 corn tortillas. We chose ½ pound of Carne Asada and ½ pound of Red Chile Beef Borracho. We had these meats before at the restaurant so we already knew we were in for a treat. Rating: 5/5

We ended our dinner on a sweet note. Churros, House Recipe is served hot with cinnamon, sugar and chocolate sauce for dipping. We also had these in the restaurant before and they are fantastic! Being from Disney, my favorite snack item of all time is their churros. But having homemade churros is a totally different story. Solita makes the best churros I have ever tasted. Now, if they had dulce de leche sauce for dipping, I would be in heaven! Rating: 5/5

Whether you dine in or prefer to take out, Solita has great options for you to have a great meal!

For more information:
7631 Edinger Ave Ste 1508
Huntington Beach, CA 92647

·         Take out hours: Daily from 11:30am to 10pm

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Solita Tacos & Margaritas on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Tortilla Republic offers inventive “farm to fork” Mexican fare in Laguna Beach, CA

Tortilla Republic opened its third location in Laguna Beach, CA over the summer. With locations in West Hollywood and Koloa on the island of Kauai, Laguna Beach seemed to be a fitting addition. The food is Mexican in origin but uses worldly flavors and techniques to make it just a little different. Each location uses natural meats and organic and locally grown produce. The Laguna Beach location is on Coast Highway with the Pacific Ocean glimmering on the other side. The interior has a beach, yet Hispanic feel to it with natural and organic tones throughout.

Let’s take a look at their brunch menu:

Sweet Chili Margarita is Cazadores Resposado, fresh agave lime sweet, passion fruit puree, and Ancho Reyes liqueur. It is slightly spicy but it tamed pretty quickly due to the sweet passion fruit flavor. It is totally approachable and refreshing. Rating: 5/5

Tortilla Republic on Urbanspoon