OC Food Diva Orange County restaurants

Search This Blog

Loading...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chef Joe Youkhan’s Tasting Spoon makes a stop on Eat St.

On Tuesday, September 4, 2012, Chef Joe Youkhan’s Tasting Spoon will be making a stop on Eat St on the Cooking Channel. It’s been a little over a one year since Chef Joe Youkhan’s Tasting Spoon hit the streets serving up rustic Italian food. Chef Joe has come a long way with his artisan pizzas and his love of culinary delicacies like foie gras, frog legs, and now caviar. The one word to describe Chef Joe’s food is FABULOUS! No matter if it is rustic pizza to a four-course meal, the flavor is always perfect and consistent. His food truck was custom built for him and his crew so they can crank out the best food possible, even wedding receptions and corporate events for Orange County companies like Wet Seal, Tilly’s, and ReVision Optics to name a few.

Let’s take a look back at some of the creations that have been created by Chef Joe:

If you manage to catch Chef Joe at a local farmers’ market like SoCo, he’ll definitely have some breakfast items. On New Year’s Eve 2011, Crème Brulee French Toast was on the menu. The French toast was actually made from croissants that were soaked in vanilla cream with a turbinado sugar crust. This was the best French toast ever! Normally made with white bread, the croissant offered a more in-depth flavor of buttery goodness that you just can’t get from a loaf of white bread. This reminded more of a bread pudding with a strong custardy flavor and texture. The sugar crust put it over the top and I was in heaven. What a way to end a year! Thumbs up, way up!


To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/review/chef-joe-youkhan-s-tasting-spoon-makes-a-stop-on-eat-st

Mahalo,

OC Food Diva

Chef Joe Youkhan's Tasting Spoon on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Trailer Park Truck dishes up gourmet American comfort food with a twist in Los Angeles, CA

Dave Miller toured the world with a punk rock band and worked in the music industry. When he moved to Santa Monica and saw the gourmet food truck scene hit the high note, he got an idea to bring a new food experience to hungry Angelinos. With the help of his girlfriend, Marina who came up with most of the food concepts, and chef friends, the Trailer Park Truck hit the streets on April 1, 2012. No April Fools’ joke here. I love the truck design with the hungry, beer-bellied man stamped on their truck. It’s so unique and in your face. They extend the theme to the line area with folding lawn chairs, fake grass carpeting, and a plastic pink flamingo. Now, that’s Trailer Park décor at its finest. The service is fun, friendly, and little bit rock n’ roll.

Mackin’ Cheeseburger is a take on their awesome Trailer Park burger and it’s loaded up with gooey mac n’ cheese, applewood smoked bacon crumbles, and buttery breadcrumbs. I’m not a big macaroni and cheese person, but this burger was amazing! The burger was juicy and flavorful. The macaroni and cheese was creamy, like a cheesy veloute. The bacon added a salty, smoky flavor with a crunchy texture. The bun was soft but held together well. You’ll definitely mack out on this burger until it’s gone. Thumbs up!


To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/review/trailer-park-truck-dishes-up-gourmet-american-comfort-food-with-a-twist-la

Mahalo,

OC Food Diva

Sunday, August 26, 2012

“Daily Decadence: The Art of Sensual Living” is a book of love, life, art, food, and wine

Sherri Dobay has correlated times in her life with food & wine. When you stop and think about it, that’s really what it’s all about. Imagine having chocolate cake for dessert in a restaurant, and being flooded with childhood memories of time spent in the kitchen with mom – from the aroma of the cake baking in the oven to the taste of her scrumptious creation. I totally embraced this book. Food is a big part of the “ohana”. It’s not a celebration without food made with love and a bit of whimsy. Sherri does a great job of conveying everything from her memories, very thorough recipes, to her tasting notes. She is free-spirited, sensual, and sexy. This is quite evident in her writing as she whisks you away on some of her Napa Valley adventures. There is a language of romance that you will discover or rediscover through her words and recipes. Be prepared to be entertained as well.

What I decided to do was make a full meal with recipes from the book. Let’s get started!

In the Decadence of Letting Go chapter, Deviled Eggs are what’s boiling. I love deviled eggs and am thrilled that they are now being offered on some restaurant menus. Coconuts in Fort Lauderdale makes the best I’ve ever had in a restaurant – homemade flavor that transports you back to the good ole days.  Sherri starts with a debate within her own household on the different techniques of boiling eggs. Choose your method and start boiling. Instead of piping out the yolk mixture, I used a cookie dough scoop for a bit of fun. The paprika topping made for an appetizing presentation of contrasting colors and added a bit of sweet smokiness. I think I would definitely go lighter on the relish, maybe one tablespoon instead of two. It was a little much for my palate, since it masked the flavor of the yolk itself.


To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/review/daily-decadence-the-art-of-sensual-living-is-a-book-of-love-life-art-food

Mahalo,

OC Food Diva

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sage Organic Vegan Bistro is plant-based food designed to fulfill your taste buds in Los Angeles, CA

Mollie Engelhart grew up in the vegan lifestyle. Her dad owns Café Gratitude (local, organic, vegan restaurants) in LA, Northern California, and Kansas City. Mollie never went to culinary school, but has a gene for creating masterful flavor combinations that are mind-blowing for any vegan and foodie alike. She learned mostly from watching her dad cook when she was little. She has a lively personality and loves to talk about her food. The service staff is very friendly and knowledgeable about their fare so don’t be shy if you’re not sure what to order. Most people, as did I until a few years ago, believe that vegan food is just fruits and vegetables. But the winds have shifted and I am just amazed on how good the food tastes and how good you feel afterwards. Everything is made fresh daily. Sage also has an “icekreme” counter inside called KindKreme. The kreme is made from a coconut milk base that is made fresh every morning by grinding fresh coconuts.  The icekreme is made in small batches using organic, local, and sustainable ingredients.

Let’s take a look at some of fabulous creations:

Potato Broccoli Pierogies are seared with soy ginger sauce and served over lemon kale. These are the best pierogies I’ve ever had. The broccoli mixture inside exploded with flavor – and not with just broccoli flavor but with an almost “parmesan cheese” flavor. The lemon kale was cooked to perfection and showed off its vibrant green color. The soy ginger sauce was slightly Asian in flavor but reminded me of aged balsamic vinegar – thick, robust, and slightly sweet. You’ll definitely have an OMG moment or two! Thumbs up, way up!



Mahalo,

OC Food Diva



Sage Organic Vegan on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Eat St Viewing Party - Home Cooking on the Run

We had a viewing party at my house for the "Home Cooking on the Run" episode of Eat St where Stephanie Morgan from the Seabirds truck was interviewed and showcased a few of her menu items. The OC Food Diva unfortunately made it to the cutting room floor, but enjoyed watching my fellow foodie, Tom Holmberg, from Tom's Foodie Blog discuss his reactions to Seabirds. Check out some of the fun food we made for the party:

With brand new oil, you gotta start with desserts first. Cafe Du Monde Beignet Mix. All you have to do is add water. How simple is that!!!

Roll out the dough. The 1/4" thickness was a little too thin. Try 1/2" if you decide to make this recipe.

Make sure your dough is evenly rolled.

Cut them up into squares and fry them up!

Take them out when golden and let them sit for a little while on paper towels.

Pour on the powdered sugar and your ready to eat.


Homemade ranch dressing with vegetables for the dippin'!
  

My mom's Korean Wing recipe is always a hit! Only 3 wings left after the party was over. These suckers are addicting!

If you didn't catch the episode, tune into the Cooking Channel for repeats (in Eastern Standard Time):
August 28, 2012 8:00 PM
August 28, 2012 12:00 AM
September 01, 2012 4:00 PM
September 04, 2012 6:00 PM
September 20, 2012 10:30 PM
September 20, 2012 2:30 AM

Mahalo,

OC Food Diva

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Bacon + Bakery = Baconery, a delicious equation delivered right to your doorstep

Wesley Klein has a love of breakfast and sweets. With this concept in mind, he hired some bakers to create a bacon + bakery bonanza. On September 28, 2011, his dream became a reality with the launch of Baconery, an online store to order your favorite bacon bakery treat. If you happen to be in New York City, the Wonder Café has 10-12 Baconery items daily for their guests to order. If you love sweet flavors with a little salty balance, look no further. Baconery has what you are craving.

Let’s take a look at some of Baconery’s delectable:

Chocolate Chip Cookies are good and did I mention these cookies are huge. One cookie could be your whole dessert. Whenever I have chocolate chip cookies, I love it when the chocolate is a little melted, just like they are right out of the oven. I microwaved it for 10 seconds. You can instantly get that “right out of the oven” scent when you open the door - reminded me of my mom’s baking when I was little. The cookie texture is dense almost like a brownie but the chocolate chips offer the perfect sweetness.

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/review/bacon-bakery-baconery-a-delicious-equation-delivered-right-to-your-doorstep

Mahalo,

OC Food Diva

2012 Northern California Renaissance Faire starts September 15 in Hollister, CA

Once again, her royal majesty, Queen Elizabeth, cordially invites you to attend the Northern California Renaissance Faire to be held every Saturday and Sunday from September 15th through October 14th in the picturesque vale of Casa de Fruta in Hollister, California. Come for all the traditional fun but stay for the exciting new additions this year.

In case you’ve never had the pleasure of attending a Renaissance Faire before, please allow me to enlighten you as to what you can expect. The moment you enter, you will be completely immersed into a re-creation of a 15th century English village complete with pleasant peasants, merry maidens, crooked constables, and even some aristocratic nobility meandering through the streets. 

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/article/2012-northern-california-renaissance-faire-starts-september-15-hollister-ca

Mahalo,

OC Food Diva

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lawry’s Carvery celebrates their 10th anniversary in Costa Mesa, CA

Lawry’s was started by the Frank and Van de Kamp families. Richard N. Frank is the same man who made Lawry’s Seasoned Salt into the household name it is today. Seeing the popularity of Tam O’Shanter’s original Ale & Sandwich Bar, where guests enjoy made-to-order sandwiches hand-carved from a variety of fresh, perfectly roasted meats, he knew that opened in the right location, guests who love prime rib and fans of the Lawry’s restaurants, would be open to enjoy Lawry’s famous food in a “fast food” setting. With their fantastic spice line and fine dining restaurants, this new concept was brought to life in 2002. “Lawry’s Carvery, A Cut Above” name came from the teams of company managers, family, and knowledgeable friends who also found the location, developed the menu, and designed this first location. Located in South Coast Plaza on Level Two next to Macy’s Men’s Store, the restaurant architecture is open and welcoming with light colored wood furnishings and friendly faces.

Prime Rib Chili is topped with cheddar cheese and green onions. Yes, I said prime rib chili! The prime rib was so tender unlike any stew meat or chopped beef you’ll ever have inside a chili. The chili was just the right consistency not too thin and not too thick. The beans were cooked perfectly without being mushy. The flavor was robust but not too spicy. Thumbs up!

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/review/lawry-s-carvery-celebrates-their-10th-anniversary-costa-mesa-ca

Mahalo,

OC Food Diva

Lawry's Carvery on Urbanspoon

Lawry’s Carvery celebrates their 10th anniversary in Costa Mesa, CA

Lawry’s was started by the Frank and Van de Kamp families. Richard N. Frank is the same man who made Lawry’s Seasoned Salt into the household name it is today. Seeing the popularity of Tam O’Shanter’s original Ale & Sandwich Bar, where guests enjoy made-to-order sandwiches hand-carved from a variety of fresh, perfectly roasted meats, he knew that opened in the right location, guests who love prime rib and fans of the Lawry’s restaurants, would be open to enjoy Lawry’s famous food in a “fast food” setting. With their fantastic spice line and fine dining restaurants, this new concept was brought to life in 2002. “Lawry’s Carvery, A Cut Above” name came from the teams of company managers, family, and knowledgeable friends who also found the location, developed the menu, and designed this first location. Located in South Coast Plaza on Level Two next to Macy’s Men’s Store, the restaurant architecture is open and welcoming with light colored wood furnishings and friendly faces.

Prime Rib Chili is topped with cheddar cheese and green onions. Yes, I said prime rib chili! The prime rib was so tender unlike any stew meat or chopped beef you’ll ever have inside a chili. The chili was just the right consistency not too thin and not too thick. The beans were cooked perfectly without being mushy. The flavor was robust but not too spicy. Thumbs up!

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/review/lawry-s-carvery-celebrates-their-10th-anniversary-costa-mesa-ca

Mahalo,

OC Food Diva

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The California Strawberry Commission hosted an educational symposium at True Food Kitchen in Newport Beach, CA

On Friday, August 10, 2012, the California Strawberry Commission hosted a symposium for Orange County food writers and bloggers at True Food in Newport Beach, CA. Attendees were welcomed by Jodi Reinman, California Strawberry Commission’s PR and Social Media Manager. It was an evening of delicious creations from the kitchen and informative lectures on strawberry cultivation and healthy eating. A.G. Kawamura, owner of Orange County Produce, shared bits of his professional and personal journey in agriculture and strawberry cultivation in California. His expertise in the field and passion for farming quality produce began with his grandparents on the family farm. Caryn Bailey, Rockin Mama blogger, spoke of her recent strawberry field tour and of the amazing level of commitment held by growers. David Grotto, a registered dietitian and author, delighted all with nutrition facts on this amazing berry. While his approach was sprinkled with levity, he was able to emphasize the importance of good health through good eating. A lively Q&A session followed each segment. 

California has 38,373 acres of strawberry farmland from more than 500 strawberry growers. In Orange County/San Diego area, we have 1,446 acres that are farmed from January to May with a mix of San Andreas, Palomar, Ventana, and Camarosa varieties. California produces an average of 43,000 pounds of strawberries per acre, per season. California also grows 88% of our nation’s strawberries with the ability to produce year-round. Interesting facts, the strawberry is part of the rose family and each strawberry has about 200 seeds on it.

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/article/the-california-strawberry-commission-hosted-an-educational-symposium

Mahalo,

OC Food Diva

True Food Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 9, 2012

SIMI Winery showcases wine and rustic pizza pairings in Healdsburg, CA

SIMI Winery reopened their seasonal Landslide Terazzo Pizza Café on Saturday, May 25, 2012. Visitors enjoyed a glass of wine paired with a “housemade” artisan pizza, topped with fresh ingredients from their on-site garden and prepared by SIMI Winery’s Executive Chef, Kolin Vazzoler. Landslide Terrazzo Pizza Café is open through mid-October.

Let’s take a look at some of the pizzas they are offering and that I was able to make at home:

Housemade Pancetta, Broccoli Rabe, & Green Garlic Pizza – We tried to make the pizza dough, but it just wasn’t turning out for us. So we ended up with Boboli Whole Wheat ready-made crust since we had a party of people to cook for that evening. We didn’t have time to make the housemade pancetta and could not find a good source of it locally, so we ended up using the pork belly straight up. Also, broccoli rabe was not available so we substituted regular broccoli diced into bite size pieces. We also substituted regular garlic as we could not find green garlic. We assembled the pizzas and baked them up on the pizza stone. The crust always turns out perfect on a pizza stone. The pizza smelled fabulous when it came out of the oven. The crust was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The ingredients worked well together, but the pork belly was a little too salty. We will definitely make the housemade pancetta recipe next time. The broccoli actually wasn’t bad, but I can see how broccoli rabe would work much better. Garlic is great with everything, especially pizza. This pizza was paired with the 2010 SIMI Pinot Noir. The wine went really well with this pizza. The slight fruit flavors of red cherry, raspberry, cranberry, plum, and black cherry balanced out the salty pork belly, making the pizza not so shocking to the palate. This wine also has well-balanced flavors all by itself with good structure and perfect acidity. Thumbs
To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/review/simi-winery-showcases-wine-and-rustic-pizza-pairings-healdsburg-ca

Mahalo,

OC Food Diva

Landslide Terazzo Pizza Café  on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tiny But Mighty Popcorn is heirloom popcorn packed with natural flavor

Gene and Lynn Mealhow began their journey of this heirloom popcorn in 1995, growing and cultivating it on a small scale. Gene is agronomist and organic soil consultant. In the 1990s, he met a farmer named Richard Kelty, who had kept a special popcorn variety in the family since the 1850s. Richard was yielding around 600 pounds per acre (where hybrid commercial varieties are yielding 5000+ pounds per acre). After experimenting with special organic fertilizer blends and old-world methods of seed selection, Gene and Richard were able to increase the yield an average of 1800 pounds per acre (3000 pounds per acre is the maximum this variety will produce). Richard wanted to retire, so the Mealhows decided to buy the business from him. After massive floods in 2008 and 2009, the Mealhows almost lost everything, but with help of “good food” promoters, family, friends, and local farmers they came together to help get everything back. In 2010, Tiny But Might Popcorn was born – an ancient variety of popcorn with unbelievable flavor and health benefits.

To read more and see photos, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/review/tiny-but-mighty-popcorn-is-heirloom-popcorn-packed-with-natural-flavor

Mahalo,

OC Food Diva

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Golden Foodie Awards Chef Competition Demo


The chefs had 1 hour to create dishes from a basket of ingredients, sort of Iron Chef style. Chef Greg Daniels won the competition.

To see photo slideshow of the event, please visit http://www.facebook.com/ocfooddiva

Mahalo,

OC Food Diva

Ginger Peach Glazed Chicken


You gotta try this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens, Ginger Peach Glazed Chicken.

Here's a link to the recipe: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/chicken/ginger-peach-glazed-chicken/

We roasted the chicken whole in the oven instead the grill. The chicken came out juicy and tender. The ginger, horseradish, and peach flavors worked really well together. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

Mahalo,

OC Food Diva