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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ohana Dinner with a World Tour Flair...

World travel in one dinner - Japan, Argentina, Korea, and Italy!

Mochi coated in Kinako (sweet roasted soy bean powder)

Chicken & Beef Empanadas

Variety of Nigiri Sushi

Grilled Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Shrimp Tempura

Strawberries with sweet cream cheese dip

Samanco (Korean vanilla ice cream sandwich with azuki beans) & homemade Tiramisu

Ohana dinners are da best kine!

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

2011 OC Fair Let’s Eat! – Part 1

The OC Fair is back through August 14, 2011! This year’s theme is “Let’s Eat!” From some of the most delicious foods to the wackiest creations that the vendors trot out every year, it’s really what a fair is all about. They have a lot of admission specials this year. Check out their website: The best deal is the Rise and Shine – Opening Hour Special $2 general admission on weekends between 10am-11am. That’s a $9 savings per person! Please note that the admission is only good on day of purchase and ticket must be used by noon.

Let’s Eat! Juicy's has 4 locations on the fairgrounds. In Fair Square near the Blue Gate is Juicy’s Funnel Cakes. They provide the toppings, you make the choice! It is 11 inches in diameter and dusted with powdered sugar. Topping choices are cherries, fresh strawberries, chocolate sauce, or ice cream. The funnel cake was light, crispy, and not greasy at all. While it could have had a little more powdered sugar they were very generous on the fresh strawberries. Pick up the Daily Events Calendar for a "free topping" coupon. Saved $1.50 on the fresh strawberries! Thumbs up!

To read more and see photos, visit:

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sweet Basil Pizzeria Café is average Italian food in Costa Mesa, CA

Situated in a small strip mall near the corner of Bristol Street and Red Hill Avenue, Sweet Basil has a great corner location. The interior is dark and decorated with Tuscan flair. They also have patio seating if you want to enjoy the warm summer nights. While the service is friendly, it was not very attentive. The servers seemed more interested in conversing amongst themselves than with the customers.

The meal starts out with focaccia and marinara sauce for dipping. The bread is very tasty, but a little flat to be called focaccia. But if this is the same dough they use for pizza, their pizza might be pretty good. The dipping sauce was flavorful and a bit on the sweet side.

To read more and see photos, please visit:

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

Sweet Basil on Urbanspoon

18th Annual Los Feliz Village Street Fair made a comeback on the streets of LA

After a two year hiatus, the Los Feliz Village Street Fair hit the streets strong. The sun was shining bright and the scent of food from the Village restaurants lured you closer. There were lots of entertainment avenues from bands playing on several stages around the fair, carnival rides for the kids, and vendors as far as the eye could see where you could learn about new products, see new fashions, and discover community outreach programs.

Let’s talk food! Ice Ice Shavie serves Farm Fresh Shaved Ice and Syrups. Summer is here and this is a great way to cool off and make an adventurous jump from the typical flavored syrup on shaved ice to organic, fresh from the garden flavor. Please visit their website: to see more flavors and check out their calendar so you can try them for yourself. Watch for a spotlight article on this marvelous new food truck coming soon!

To read more and see photos, please visit:

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

Monday, July 25, 2011

NYC Café has the best pastrami in Laguna Hills, CA

Located in a small strip mall near the 5 Freeway and Lake Forest Drive, NYC Café shines like a “big apple”. Don’t let the white exterior discourage you. The interior is bright and colorful. Beautiful deli salads are displayed near the cashier. The service is courteous and friendly. They are happy to help you with any questions you might have.

Okay, let’s get to the food! The Pastrami sandwich is grilled pastrami, mustard, melted Mozzarella, and pickle. This sandwich is what we came for and it was out-of-this-world delicious! The pastrami was juicy and succulent. The grill process gave it a “bacon” flavor that will make you salivate for more. They are more than generous with the cheese – gooey deliciousness. The bread is perfect for this sandwich – sturdy, crusty, and chewy. Thumbs up!

To read more and see photos, please visit:

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

NYC Cafe on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Café Orleans in Disneyland has changed a lot over the years

Once upon a time, a young girl started her life as a “foodie” at a place called Café Orleans in New Orleans Square. It became a home away from home for almost 8 years. After 8 years in the restaurant, she moved into Food Concept and Product Development where the real “magic” happens. Seeing gourmet foods being made from their primary ingredients like, flour, sugar, eggs, and milk amazed her. After almost 20 years, she made it back for lunch where her story began by celebrating her 10th wedding anniversary with her own Prince Charming whom she had met in the very same place.

Café Orleans has changed a lot over the years. Café Orleans (opened originally as the Creole Café in 1966) was a table service restaurant serving delights such as the Lady Baronne Salade and The Royal Orleans Dixieland Sandwich. In 1988, it was changed into a buffeteria, meaning you started at an ordertaker and placed your order for your main entrée: from Croissant Mardi Gras to more authentic Cajun fare like the Muffaletta. You took a tray and silverware and continued on to pick up salads, desserts, and drinks along the way. A window appeared at the end and your entrees were waiting for you. Today, the old buffeteria line is a memory, except for one shining exception. The antique espresso machine that Walt Disney himself personally brought back from France is still shiny and gave comfort that not all has changed. The inside dining room has been expanded with more tables and the color scheme is now more Mardi Gras-ish, switching from the blue and white costume which made the women look more like Alice in Wonderland. The service, however, was uneventful, which is very disappointing.

To read more and see photos, please visit:

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

Cafe Orleans (Disneyland) on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Black Angus Steakhouse is a comfortable place to enjoy steaks in Buena Park, CA

Down the street from Knott’s Berry Farm is Black Angus on Beach Boulevard in between the 91 Freeway and Orangethorpe Avenue. The interior decor is like a ranch house with wooden walls. Rancher and rodeo photos adorn the walls. The booths have western flare with polished wood tables and cozy booth seats. The service is friendly and attentive. Right when you sit, they bring over their delicious warm, sweet molasses bread and whipped butter.

All of their entrees are partnered with any two of their 16 Craveable Sidekicks. Choose from Garden Salad, Caesar Salad, Wedge Salad with Bleu cheese dressing, Coleslaw, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Western Wild Rice, French Fries, Wild West Onion Rings, Classic Baked Potato, Loaded Baked Potato, Loaded Baked Potato Soup, Steak Soup, Sweet Potato Fries with maple dipping sauce, Green Beans sautéed with bacon, Steamed Broccoli with shaved Parmesan. The Caesar Salad is nicely tossed with Caesar dressing and croutons and topped with Parmesan shavings. But the dressing has a bit too much mayo which makes it a little too thick. It needs to be thinned out just a little.

The Full-Flavor 16 oz. Ribeye Steak was cooked a perfect rare with great grill marks on the outside with a nice cool, red center. The Steamed Broccoli with shaved Parmesan was steamed to perfection. The parmesan cheese added a nice salty, creamy flavor. Thumbs up with 5 stars!

The Full Pound Cut Prime Rib is served with your choice of fresh or creamy horseradish sauce and au jus. The prime was perfectly seasoned, seared, and slow-roasted with the meat being juicy and succulent. The French Fries were okay, nothing out of the ordinary. Thumbs up with 4 stars!

If you are couples dining, consider the Campfire Feast for Two. Start with warm, sweet molasses bread. Choose any Steakhouse Starter to share. Choose any two of these entrees: 8 oz. Top Sirloin, 12 oz. New York, 12 oz. Ribeye, 8 oz. Prime Rib, 6 oz. Filet Mignon, Grilled King Salmon, or Fire-Grilled Chicken. Each entrée is served with any two Craveable Sidekicks. Round out your feast with any one of their decadent desserts.

Crispy Fried Garlic-Pepper Zucchini are served with their cool cucumber dip. The zucchini is crispy and light. Be careful as they are exceedingly hot being delivered right out of the fryer. The cucumber dipping sauce is very similar to tzatziki sauce in Greek cuisine – cool, refreshing, and tasty. Our server also brought over some ranch dressing which complimented the dish nicely as well. Thumbs up with 5 stars!

The 12oz. Full-Flavor Ribeye Steak is just as good as the 16 oz. They proudly serve Black Angus beef that is aged a minimum of 21 days. The steak was well-seasoned and perfectly cooked. Sweet Potato Fries with maple dipping sauce were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The creamy sauce added a light sweetness. Green Beans sautéed with bacon were perfectly cooked, still bright green (the beans, not the bacon). The bacon also added a salty, smoky flavor. Thumbs up with 5 stars!

The Chocolate Chip Cowboy Cookie is a hot-from-the-oven giant chocolate cookie topped with Breyers Vanilla ice cream. This reminds me of my childhood, fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and the ice cream just puts it over the top. As the ice cream melts, it becomes a vanilla sauce that you can soak up with the cookie. Thumbs up with 5 stars!

Fresh Berry Cowboy Cookie is a hot-from-the-oven, deep-dish sugar cookie crowned with fresh strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and Breyers Vanilla ice cream. This is like a decadent berry tart with the sugar cookie acting as a crust with the berries and ice cream as the filling. Again, the melting ice cream forms a great vanilla sauce for the berries and you can soak it up with the cookie. Thumbs up with 5 stars!

Savings tips:
  • Sign up for the Prime Club, Black Angus’s Loyalty E-Club for special deals and coupons.
  • idine offers a dining reward
  • Watch your Sunday paper for coupons and specials.

Atmosphere: 5 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Décor: 5 out of 5 stars
Food: 5 out of 5 stars

For more information:
7111 Beach Blvd
Buena Park, CA  90620-1833

Black Angus Steakhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, July 15, 2011

Pogi Boy – finally, modern Filipino cuisine for Orange County, CA

Debuting at the Ontario Food Truck Fest in June 2011, Pogi Boy was awarded second place. Brother and sister team, Kimmie and Brent Ratificar, are the proud owners of this uniquely new food truck in Orange County. Learning in the kitchen at a young age from their parents, Filipino food is more than a cuisine, it is way to bring the family together (or “ohana” as we say in Hawaii). Both started their work careers at Disney, so service is friendly and top notch. Sadly, their father passed away in December but has been immortalized as Papa Poning on the side of their truck and on their website as “The Little Man”. Your dad would be so proud of you both!

You knew it was coming, let’s talk food! The signature item is the Pogi Boy’s Original Foot Long Lumpia. And they are not kidding. It really is a foot long! A delicious egg roll stuffed with a special ground pork mixture and a side of sweet chili dipping sauce. The lumpia is super-generous with the pork filling. Plus, it has that homemade flavor that you crave. Just like the regular size lumpia (which is normally a couple of inches long), you can’t stop eating it. Warning: this is very addictive! One is good enough for a meal, but your tummy may argue so get two. Thumbs up with 5 stars!

To read more and see photos, please visit:

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

Home cooking, Hawaiian-Style...

My mom made some ono food. Check it out:

Musubi with Nametake Mushrooms

Musubi with Ume Boshi (salted plum) in the middle

Grilled Arabiki Sausage

Grilled Teri Beef

Mac Salad with Surimi

Thanks mom for making such great food!

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bizarre Food - You Decide...

I saw these at 99 Ranch Market (local Chinese market chain) in Irvine. They are called Rooster Fries, or you guessed it, Rooster Testicles. I'm a daring girl so I went "Andrew Zimmern" on these puppies. I couldn't find any recipes on the internet so I made my own. The night before, I marinated them in garlic, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. I rendered some bacon and then fried the "fries" in the bacon fat. The texture is like a fine ground sausage with a slight liver flavor. When eaten with the crispy bacon, it's fabulous. I would buy and make these again.

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Orange County Mining Company, Orange, CA

A winding narrow road up one of the hills in the city of Orange reveals old mining tools and rail cars. At the top of the hill, Orange County Mining Company resembles an old mining camp building – weathered wood on the outer exterior, rusty mining lamps line the ramp to the entrance, and a giant weathered metal door invite you in. A wooden staircase leads you down to the hostess stand. The interior décor looks like you’ve stepped into a mine shaft from the walls with stones bracketed by wood planks to the lights simulating lanterns. All of the tables have a great view of Orange County. If you have a late seating, you can view the Disneyland fireworks from there too.

All entrees include the Farmers Market Salad Bar, their specially prepared hot cheese bread, seasonal vegetables, and choice of garlic mashed potatoes or rice. The salad bar is awesome! Pick up a chilled pan pie (like you’re panning for gold) and select from fresh greens and toppings on one side. On the other side, homemade pasta and vegetable salads are colorful and flavorful. As you exit the salad bar, to your left are the daily soups ranging from steak chili to split pea to chicken noodle. All of them are homemade and excellent. You can actually order Farmer’s Market by itself. As they say, “We won’t count how many times ya’all go back.”

Happy Eats!
OC Food Diva

Orange County Mining Co. on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 3, 2011

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in Irvine is a great place for lunch

Located in the Irvine Marketplace on the corner of Jamboree Road and Irvine Boulevard, it’s a great location that makes them stand out from the crowd. This shopping center has a lot of restaurants to choose from – Lazy Dog Café, IHOP, Opah, to name a few. The story started here in our OC stomping grounds, Santa Ana circa 1978, with a great recipe for deep dish pizza. Now, they have locations from California to Louisiana. Their vision is to be the very definition of WOW for the casual dining experience. Their promise is to be the best – never compromise. They certainly do not disappoint.

Half Sandwich & Soup or Salad Lunch Special is quite a deal – your choice of a large bowl of soup or a small house, Caesar, or wedge salad with half a sandwich (Classic Turkey, BBQ Chicken, Roasted Turkey Cobb, Southwestern Chicken, Grilled Chicken Club, or California Chicken) and your choice of crispy-thin or wedge-cut seasoned fries. Today’s pick was a small house salad, Classic Turkey sandwich, and crispy-thin seasoned fries. The portion is just right to keep you fired up for the rest of your work day. Thumbs up with 5 stars!

To read more, please visit:

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

BJ's Restaurant & Brewery on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hawaiian Food Galore!

Checked out 2 restaurants in Gardena that serve Hawaiian food, Bruddah's and Teri Hawaii. Bruddah's was very good. Teri Hawaii, family-favorite for over 20 years, has changed owners. The inside looks nice inside but the food doesn't look as good. We just went there for shave ice. Shave ice was a lot smaller than before. :( Look for reviews coming soon!

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva