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Friday, January 25, 2013

Blackmarket Bakery Hosts Grand Opening Fundraiser for Share Our Selves

See flyer below for more information:

Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop offers high-quality, healthy cuisine in Costa Mesa, CA

In 2007, Chef Jonathan Rollo left the Patina Group to start his own restaurant combining what he has learned from his Mom, family, and friends as well as his travels around the world. An added dimension is his passion for sourcing local, organic ingredients for a fresh, healthier dining experience. In 2008, Executive Chef Kristi Ritchey, also formerly of The Patina Group, joined Chef Jonathan and opened the first Greenleaf location in Beverly Hills. She was the perfect executive chef for the job, losing 110 pounds within a year, following a healthier diet and exercise regimen. Since then, Greenleaf has added two locations, in Century City and, in April 2012, Costa Mesa. SoCal is the perfect place for such a restaurant concept. Greenleaf is situated on the up and coming bustling restaurant row on 17th Street. Upon entering, the interior is very organic and rustic with wood-planked communal tables and adjustable bar stools, cozy wine bar, gourmet shop with local artisan products, and coffee/juice bar. The staff is dressed in working ranch attire, adding to the organic farm ambiance.

They have a large array of sides to choose from. Let’s take a look at some of them:
·         Quinoa Salad had the perfect combination of flavors and textures from the nutty almonds, sweet cranberries, and hearty quinoa. Thumbs up, way up!
·         Green Lentils tasted almost pickled and a little too sour for my taste, but might be great paired with something on the sweeter side to balance the flavor.
·         Yam, Walnuts, and Goat Cheese had a good combination of flavors and textures. The yams were naturally sweet with a soft, smooth texture. The walnuts were sweet and crunchy. The goat cheese was creamy with that unmistakable aroma at the back of the palate. Thumbs up!

To read more and see slideshow, please visit:


OC Food Diva

Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop on Urbanspoon

Saturday, January 19, 2013

“101 Optimal Life Foods” by David Grotto is full of delicious ways to a balanced body & mind

David Grotto, RD, LDN is a registered dietician with over 20 years of clinical experience to help you live a healthier life. In Section One of his book, he shows how to incorporate optimal foods for what ails you – skin, circulation, pain, nervous system, excretory system, bones, and vision. David shares some statistics of the problem or disorder. He defines the problem or disorder and talks about the optimal life foods, supplements, and triggers for the problem at hand. A 3-day meal plan of the optimal food for each problem/disorder is provided at the end. Some of the menu items have a preparation time. I would suggest trying the meal plans on a weekend when you have time to fully prepare the menu. Some items can be made ahead of time, but some need to be made and eaten right away due to the fresh fruit and vegetables that are included in the recipes.

David has incorporated recipes from all over – from manufacturers to cookbooks to restaurants. Here are the five recipes I tried:

In the Beverages section, Apple-Soy Chai Latte, courtesy of SOYJOY, was very interesting. The flavor was wonderfully refreshing and yet wonderful for a cold winter’s day. The chai tea flavor was subtle, which was fine with me as I am not a big tea drinker. The one problem I found with this recipe is that adding the soy milk in the sauce pan caused the soy milk to break. I think I would add it separately after taken off the heat but before serving so the soy milk can retain its smooth creamy texture when drinking. I would definitely make this again with the revision step with the soy milk.

To read more and see slideshow, please visit:


OC Food Diva

Saturday, January 12, 2013

“Strawberry Recipes for Everyday” cookbook shows versatility of this amazing fruit

In 2011, the California Strawberry Commission published “Strawberry Recipes for Everyday” cookbook showcasing the versatility of this amazing fruit called the strawberry. One serving of eight strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange and is packed with beneficial antioxidants and nutrients including potassium, folate, and fiber. Strawberries are not only for dessert. They can be used in salads, sauces, and more. There are 6 sections – Breakfast, Appetizers & Snacks, Sweets, Main Courses, Salads, and Beverages. 

In the Breakfast section, I tried the Soufflé Omelet with Balsamic Strawberries. This soufflé omelet tasted more like a dessert. The eggs formed a soufflé like texture (fluffy) and flavor. This recipe also uses a mix of strawberries and balsamic vinegar. Use a fine, aged balsamic like Taste It!’s ChocolateBalsamic Vinegar. It is thick, sweet, and wonderful with fruit or drizzled on ice cream. The mix of fine, aged balsamic vinegar and fresh quartered California strawberries is a phenomenal combination. The prep time is a little longer than making a simple omelet, but well worth the effort. Thumbs up, way up!

To read more, see more recipes, and photo slideshow, please visit:


OC Food Diva

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Top Food OMG Moments of 2012...

Here are my Top Food OMG Moments of 2012 (in order of occurrence):

Hope you get to try some of these in 2013!
OC Food Diva

Memphis Café turns Southern home cooking gourmet in Costa Mesa, CA

Dan Bradley, Diego Velasco and Andy Christenson decided to partner up and open their own restaurant in 1995. This restaurant really was built by their own hands – through the restoration of the old Kings Inn building all by themselves. They did a great job and almost 20 years later, they are still packing in the foodies. The exterior is simple, but when you pass through the doors, it becomes a 1950s vibe with dim lighting and vintage dining furnishings. The kitchen is small, but it efficiently pushes out amazing foods before your very eyes.

Let’s take a look at some popular staples:

Buttermilk Fried Chicken served with mashed potatoes, mustard greens, and surrounded by andouille country gravy. I have heard tales of this famous fried chicken and am honored to have finally tried it. The coating was perfect. The collard greens were the best I’ve ever had with a slight sweet flavor. The country gravy was creamy, buttery, and added a nice touch to the mashed potatoes and chicken. The gravy would also be good on buttermilk biscuits! Thumbs up, way up!

To read more and view slideshow, please visit:


OC Food Diva

Memphis Cafe on Urbanspoon

Tangata, a hidden gem of sophisticated California cuisine in Santa Ana, CA

In 2000, Patina Restaurant Group took over management of the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art’s restaurant space and named it Tangata, meaning “mankind” in the Maori language of New Zealand. Tangata uses the farm to table concept with the menu changing slightly every 2-3 weeks. They also match the cuisine to the current exhibits inside of the Bowers Museum. Through January 6, “Faberge: Imperial Jeweler to the Tsars” is on exhibit, so the menu reflects some Russian food items.

Compressed Salad of Baby Arugula is topped with manchego cheese, Fuji apples, dates, candied walnuts and tossed in pistachio vinaigrette. This salad has a brilliant combination of flavors – bitter from the arugula, salty from the manchego, sweet from the apples and dates, smoky/sweet from the walnuts and pistachio vinaigrette. This was the most perfectly balanced salad I’ve ever had. Thumbs up, way up!

To read more and see slideshow, please visit:

Mahalo and Happy 2013!

OC Food Diva

Tangata on Urbanspoon