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Monday, August 29, 2011

No Waiting at the 2nd Annual OC Foodie Fest

With a sell-out crowd last year, food truck owners were gearing up for record-breaking attendance for this year’s OC Foodie Fest. But the trucks who had loaded up to feed thousands of hungry food truck fans were rather disappointed to find that at high noon, there was a definite lack of foodies coming through the gates. Granted it was 95-100 degrees in Anaheim on black asphalt. Did the heat scare folks away? Did the long lines from last year scare folks away? Or was it the admission price? Not enough print advertising? Or some combination?

For the early admission guests, who paid a premium price for the privilege, it was surprising that many of the trucks were not yet open for business at the 10am opening. As a lady from West Covina told me, “I didn’t eat breakfast thinking that I could have a certain item at 10am and the truck was not open yet. I ended up trying something I didn’t want and was disappointed. By the time it was open, the heat curbed my appetite and couldn’t eat if I wanted to.” On the plus side, admission made you privy to short lines for the more famous vendors like The Lime Truck and Seabirds who are competing in The Great Food Truck Race on the Food Network. Lines for these popular trucks are usually 30 minutes to an hour if you don’t get there right when they open.

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/restaurant-in-anaheim/no-waiting-at-the-2nd-annual-oc-foodie-fest

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

Friday, August 26, 2011

Chef Joe Youkhan’s Tasting Spoon blazes the trail for rustic Italian street food

Debuting on July 4, 2011, Chef Joe Youkhan’s Tasting Spoon is a newbie to the OC Food Truck scene. But, Chef Joe is not a newbie to the culinary scene. Growing up in New York, his passion for food came at a young age in his Nana’s kitchen. Joe learned his kitchen skills from his father (also a chef) before he was 15. His culinary resume includes the Executive Chef of Special Events/Catering at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel and Corporate Executive Chef at Chat Noir. In 2010, he decided to open his own catering company, Chef Joe’s Youkhan’s Tasting Spoon and the rest is history. He is one of the friendliest chefs in the restaurant business.  He may have a tough exterior but he is just a big teddy bear on the inside, gracious and kind.

Bone Marrow is topped with bourbon onion jam, artisanal croustini and fresh herb salad. The presentation alone is worth the price. The bone marrow was perfectly roasted with a soft, velvety, melt-in-your-mouth texture. The bourbon onion jam provided a sweet contrast to the bone marrow and the croustinis were perfectly toasted providing the perfect vehicle to enjoy this dish. Thumbs up!

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/restaurant-in-anaheim/chef-joe-youkhan-s-tasting-spoon-blazes-the-trail-for-rustic-italian-street-food-review

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

Chef Joe Youkhan's Tasting Spoon on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chipotle Paprika Roasted Chicken

I made a roast chicken with Victoria Taylor's Smoky Paprika Chipotle Seasoning (birthday gift from Jeannie) and garlic salt. The chicken came out wonderfully flavorful. Check out their website for more details: http://www.vgourmet.com/




I served it with half calrose/brown rice mix and brussels sprouts.

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

Mark your calendar: 2nd Annual OC Foodie Fest is coming back to Anaheim, CA

In less than a week, the OC Foodie Fest is taking over the Angels’ Stadium parking lot with food trucks, entertainment, and, did I mention, food trucks! More than doubling their list of food trucks from last year, this should be foodie fest like no other.

Food

Here’s a list of the food trucks/restaurants that have been lined up:
·         AhnJooLA - Korean Snack Bar
·         BACON MANia - Anything and Everything Bacon Obsessed
·         Bakery Truck – Cream Puffs, Cupcakes and Cookies Oh My!
·         Barbie’s Q - Down Home Blues and BBQ
·         Bool BBQ - Korean BBQ Tacos & Pastels
·         The Burnt Truck - Not Your Average Gourmet Sliders
·         Cheeseball Wagon - World Famous Cheddar Cheeseballs & Sliders
·         Chef Joe Youkhan’s Tasting Spoon - Rustic Italian Street Food
·         Chomp Chomp Nation - More than Singapore! Street Hawker with American Twist!
·         Chunk-n-Chip Cookies - BOO-Yah! Artisan Ice Cream Sandwiches
·         Clancy’s Clubhouse - Food, Spirits & Sports!
·         Crepe’n Around - French-inspired Crepes at Street-inspired Prices
·         Da Munch Box - A Comfort Food Mash Up
·         Del’s Lemonade – Frozen Lemonade Fresh from Rhode Island
·         Dippin Dots - The Ice Cream of the Future
·         Dogzilla Hot Dogs – Not your Typical Weiner
·         Dosa Truck -  South Indian Street Food with a California Twist
·         Dumpling Station - Mouth-Watering Dumplings
·         Flavor Rush Truck - Rotating Menu Full of Flavor
·         Flippin Pizza - An old-school, ‘I’m from Brooklyn and you’re not’ pizza
·         Flying Pig - Asian & Pacific Rim Flavors with a French Technique
·         Front Porch Pops - A Modern Twist on an Old Favorite


To read more, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/restaurant-in-anaheim/mark-your-calendar-2nd-annual-oc-foodie-fest-is-coming-back-to-anaheim-ca


Happy Eats!


OC Food Diva

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Orange County BBQ Bonanza in Fountain Valley, CA is allowing you to be the judge

5 champion pit masters from across the nation have come to Fountain Valley, CA for the Orange County BBQ Bonanza to show off their barbeque skills and let you be the judge of who is the best of the best.

Each competitor has a sampler plate so you can try a couple of ribs from each. You can always go back and order a full rack meal of your favorite. Included in your admission, you will be given a blue People’s Choice ticket so you can cast your vote. Another way to try them all is at the VIP Rib Village. It includes all-you-can-eat ribs from each of the competitors, drinks (beer, wine, soda, bottled water), sides (from fresh green salad to mashed potatoes), and desserts (cookies and mini-cheesecake bites). You can relax at a nice table and watch/listen to live performances from local bands. It’s a wonderful way to experience the competition.

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/restaurant-in-anaheim/the-orange-county-bbq-bonanza-fountain-valley-ca-is-allowing-you-to-be-the-j

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

The Slidebar in Fullerton, CA has “Lit” the stage for good food and great music

The Slidebar has the perfect location in the heart of downtown Fullerton. When Jeremy Popoff, guitarist for Lit, was touring and eating his meals in bars and restaurants on the road, he had a vision - to build a restaurant & bar that has the comfort of home cooking, is fun, and just plain rocks. And he succeeded. Even the menu itself looks like an album cover. How cool is that? The décor is totally rock n’ roll with drums as barstools, fast classic cars mounted on the walls to a full drum set (from No Doubt) hanging from the ceiling. It reminded me of the “Wild Side” video from Motley Crue. Tommy Lee always had a tricked out drum set for each of their tours! The atmosphere is fun and the service is attentive.

Let’s get on to the food from the bitchin’ kitchen of Chef Ruben! The Seared Ahi Tuna is fresh ahi tuna, seared and served on crisp napa cabbage, avocado, crunchy wontons, cilantro and sesame soy dressing. It’s a kick-ass presentation. The ahi is perfectly seared. The avocado pairing adds a sweet creaminess to the dish. But the dressing on the salad is a little too light. The salad needs more dressing or adjustment of the level of soy sauce to kick up the flavor. Thumbs up!

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/restaurant-in-anaheim/the-slidebar-fullerton-ca-has-lit-the-stage-for-good-food-and-great-music-review

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

Slide Bar on Urbanspoon

2011 OC Fair Let’s Eat! – Part 3

Thursdays at the OC Fair meant Food Truck Fare all day long. In the off-season, Food Truck Thursdays at the OC Fairgrounds are a must-do for lunch, plus the Farmer’s Market is in full swing as well. Shop for fresh produce and products and then head over to the Food Truck stop in front of the entrance of the Pacific Amphitheatre to pick up your lunch. Check it out since it should be starting back up again now that the fair is over.

Grill ‘Em All Trucks takes burgers to a head-banging level! If you’re a rocker, the name says it all with a play off of Metallica’s album, “Kill ‘Em All” font and all. Don’t let the graphics scare you away. They have some rockin’ menu items. The Grill 'em All Bleu Cheer is a 7oz. burger topped with bleu cheese, cranberry gastrique, and Munchos. It was a bitchin’ combo of flavors - sweet, salty, and creamy. The burger was a good size. The patty was hand-made and juicy. The bun was softy, chewy, and soaked up all of the juices without getting soggy. This definitely “Hit the Lights” and shattered the bulbs! Thumbs up!

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/restaurant-in-anaheim/2011-oc-fair-let-s-eat-part-3-review

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Yojie in Los Angeles, CA is swishing Japanese fondue to a new level

Located in newly renovated Downtown Los Angeles on the corner of West Olympic Boulevard and South Grand Avenue, Yojie’s has a hip, all glass corner architecture that catches the eye. Opened in January 2010, this is a 2nd location to the flagship in Artesia. It all started when Mendrick and Michael Leelin’s mom graduated from Cordon Bleu and they took her to a shabu shabu restaurant to celebrate. She fell in love with shabu shabu and wanted to open her own restaurant. After years of research and tests in their mom’s kitchen, the flagship was born. Her sons now run the restaurants and do a fantastic job. You can see how much food has been a part of their family starting with their first family business, Goldilocks Bakeshop (with over 20 locations in California and Nevada). The interior has an eclectic vibe, good lines, and a Zen-like feel to it. Bamboo reeds between the booths make it seem intimate but leave the dining space very open and inviting. The service is attentive and friendly. Yojie is redefining shabu shabu into Japanese Fondue. They also have an extensive and unique sake menu from traditional to mixed sake cocktails. They also stock Ramune Japanese sodas with flavors ranging from strawberry to lychee – fun to drink and packs big flavor in a little bottle.

Let’s start swishing! All shabu shabu dishes are served with assorted fresh vegetables, shirataki, udon & harusame noodles, tofu, Japanese mushrooms, and seaweed. This dish is also accompanied with free refills of rice, Goma, and Ponzu sauce. Sakana is 6oz. sashimi grade Atlantic salmon, thinly sliced and beautifully arranged on a plate. The fish is so fresh it can be eaten raw like sashimi or swished once or twice in the hot pot. Don’t forget to start cooking your vegetables. They help flavor the water which in turn adds flavor your noodles and meat. The sauces are wonderful as well. Experiment with the sauces and add spicy pepper oil, green onions, daikon, or Japanese ground pepper. Thumbs up!

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/restaurant-in-anaheim/yojie-los-angeles-ca-is-swishing-japanese-fondue-to-a-new-level-review

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

Yojié Japanese Fondue & Sake Bar on Urbanspoon

Geoffrey’s Malibu is a great place to celebrate and enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean

Geoffrey’s Malibu has a lot of history. In 1948, this location opened as the Holiday House, a resort hang-out for the stars of Hollywood like Frank Sinatra and Lana Turner. In 1983, Harvey Baskin took over ownership and named it Geoffrey’s Malibu. Then in 1999, Jeff Peterson, who started as a busboy in 1988, became the proud owner of Geoffrey’s. History + Nature + Good Food = the perfect recipe for this restaurant.

Let’s talk about the food. The bread is like a Rosemary foccacia. It had a good crust on the outside, golden brown, soft and tender inside. It had just the right amount of rosemary flavor. Thumbs up!

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/restaurant-in-anaheim/geoffrey-s-malibu-is-a-great-place-to-celebrate-and-enjoy-views-of-the-pacific-o-review

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

Geoffrey's Malibu on Urbanspoon

2011 OC Fair Let’s Eat! – Part 2

Let's Eat for $2 Fridays sounded really interesting, but was disappointing. Half of a corn dog? 2 oz. of chopped pork? You end up spending more money on smaller portions of food. If you want to try lots of items and don't want to eat the whole portion, it’s the way to go. But it’s better to just come with family and friends and share the full portion or just come back to the fair another day to try more food.

Chuckwagon Concessions’ Chopped Pork Sandwich is served on a soft Kaiser bun. Sauces are on the side to slather on as you wish. The pork was perfectly cooked, soft, tender, and juicy. The flavor is so good that you really don’t need any sauce. Thumbs up!

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/restaurant-in-anaheim/2011-oc-fair-let-s-eat-part-2-review

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Charley’s Grilled Subs in Orange, CA loves their customers

Located right next to CHOC Hospital near the corner of West La Veta Avenue and South Main Street, Charley’s Grilled Subs has been satisfying hungry locals, hospital workers, and patient families since 2003. Max Do moved from Vietnam to the United States to provide for his family and build his American dream. Mr. Do has over 30 years in the restaurant industry where he started at Bob Evans Restaurant as a dishwasher, but yearned to learn more about restaurants and how to make the customer happy. As Mr. Do says, “A happy customer is a return customer.” He cares about what he serves to his customers and makes food they want to eat. As I interviewed him, he had a few loyal customers come into the restaurant. He would light up with his warming smile and say, “Excuse me, I know these customers.” Excitedly, he ran behind the counter and started making their order. This customer must have been a regular so Mr. Do knew exactly what he wanted and started cooking before he even placed his order. Now, that’s what I call “customer service”.

The Chicken Buffalo Salad is a little different from other Charley’s Grilled Subs locations. It has an Asian-flare to it. They use the buffalo-spiced chicken but adds microgreens to the iceberg & romaine, cuts the cucumbers with Asian-artistic flare, and uses Mrs. Do’s homemade Asian dressing which is similar to what you would find in a Chinese chicken salad. Won ton strips add a nice crunch. This salad attests that Mr. Do uses the main ingredients of Charley’s but customizes it for his customers. Some of his customers travel for miles just to eat this salad. Thumbs up!

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/restaurant-in-anaheim/charley-s-grilled-subs-orange-ca-loves-their-customers-review

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

Charley's Grilled Subs on Urbanspoon

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

“Word to your mother” Ice Ice Shavie is Farm Fresh Hawaiian-Style Shaved Ice

Rolling up in their meter maid truck, Ice Ice Shavie debuted in June just in time for SoCal’s hot summer. Who doesn’t love a cute penguin with V.I.P. bling? Elizabeth Wilten and Damian Windsor (an honored mixologist) came up with a new twist to authentic shaved ice from Hawaii. Instead of using the artificially flavored syrups, they use organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs to make it healthy with a little play on alcoholic beverage recipes. Sounds weird, but you have to taste it to understand their “madness” and how surprisingly great these concoctions are.

Let’s talk about da flava! The Tea Sandwich is cucumber, sugar, salt, and pepper. The only way to describe this is a spa-day in a cup. The combo sounds weird for shaved ice, but it is so good. The cucumber flavor is refreshing and reminds me of the cool cucumber slices that you get at a spa for your eyes. The salt and pepper enhance your senses and brings the flavor to another level. This is my favorite! Thumbs up!

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/restaurant-in-anaheim/word-to-your-mother-ice-ice-shavie-is-farm-fresh-hawaiian-style-shaved-ice-review

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

Ice Ice Shavie on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 5, 2011

Louk’s is the “Dancing Zorbas” of the food truck world

Once you see the Louk's white truck with the Greek lettering and smell the gyro meat, you’ll know you have arrived! Don’t let the plain white truck fool you. There’s much more than meets the eye with the food, if you know what I mean.

The Chicken Gyro is served inside a pita with tzatziki sauce, tomato, red onion, and fries inside. Yes, I said fries inside. The chicken meat is juicy, tender, and so flavorful. Most Greek restaurants serve chicken and it seems to be dry, but not here. The tzatziki sauce is a creamy delight and ties everything together. Thumbs up!

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/restaurant-in-anaheim/louk-s-is-the-dancing-zorbas-of-the-food-truck-world-review
 
Happy Eats!
 
OC Food Diva

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Roseanne Barr in Hawaii on a working mac nut farm???

Check out Rosanne Barr's new venture - macadamia nut farming?

http://www.hawaiimagazine.com/blogs/hawaii_today/2011/7/12/Hawaii_Big+Island_macadamia+nut+farm

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

Commonwealth Lounge & Grill serves chic comfort food in Fullerton, CA

Amidst the college town restaurants and bars near the intersection of Harbor Boulevard and Commonwealth Avenue, Commonwealth Lounge & Grill is a sparkling diamond in the rough serving eclectic American comfort food aka “Modern Day Supper Club”. Robert Marshall, Bryan Gonzales, and David George came up with this unique concept and opened the doors in 2007.  “Glamorous, relaxed atmosphere with a swanky flair” would be the words to describe this place. When you enter the front doors, you can almost feel the “red carpet” treatment. The dark hallway makes you feel like you’ve entered a “private club” with the “secret password”. As you round the corner into the lounge & dining area, the space magically opens up with a sense of relaxation – oversized booths, comfy couches, low lounge seating and a glowing back bar. Even if you are dining, you can help but be mesmerized by the glowing colors transitioning from every color in the spectrum. The service is top-notch, friendly, attentive yet non-obtrusive (almost stealth-like). They make you feel like a celebrity. The ambiance music is well-selected and makes you want to dance in your seat while you eat.

Let’s talk food! Prime Dip Sliders are shaved prime rib with havarti cheese on toasted sourdough rolls with horseradish aioli and barbecue jus for dipping. The prime rib is super-tender and melts in your mouth. The barbecue jus is bold and full of flavor. The horseradish aioli has just right amount of heat vs. creaminess and has a good flavor. Both sauces complement the sliders perfectly. Thumbs up!

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/restaurant-in-anaheim/commonwealth-lounge-grill-serves-chic-comfort-food-fullerton-ca-review

Happy Eats!

OC Food Diva

Commonwealth Lounge & Grill on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

33rd Annual Gilroy Garlic Festival is an aromatic feast for the senses

Gilroy is “a community with a spice for life”. One of the most important spices in life is garlic, and lots of it. Since 1979, the Gilroy Garlic Festival has grown from its humble beginnings to almost 110,000 visitors in attendance this year. If you are a first-timer or “seasoned” veteran, the festival will make your jaw drop from the famous Gourmet Alley to the cooking demos to vendors galore. The weather was hot and I commend the volunteer staff for offering water while guests were waiting in the longer food lines to keep everyone hydrated. The festivities and food will keep your mind off the heat, guaranteed!

The 2011 Great Garlic Cook-Off was sponsored by Scope and debuted their new product, Dual-Blast mouthwash, featuring a unique dual-action technology that not only kills bad breath germs, but also blasts away strong food odors, like garlic and onion. Seems like the perfect sponsor for this festival, right! They even had a booth set up with sinks to try out their new product after eating one of the strongest smelling and tasting foods on the planet. Every guest walked away with a travel-size bottle and the staff was on hand to educate people on what causes bad breath. Visit their website for more information: http://www.scopemouthwash.com/

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/restaurant-in-anaheim/33rd-annual-gilroy-garlic-festival-is-an-aromatic-feast-for-the-senses
 
Happy Eats!
 
OC Food Diva

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pogi Boy in Irvine

Going to get some Filipino food from the Pogi Boy Truck tomorrow, 8/3/11 @ 7pm. Come out and join us! They will be at Mason Regional Park, 18712 University Dr, Irvine.

See you there!

OC Food Diva