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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

JP23 BBQ Smokehouse celebrates its 1st anniversary in Fullerton, CA

On the busy corner of Harbor Boulevard and Commonwealth Avenue, sits JP23 BBQ Smokehouse. Jacob Poozhikala is the brain-child behind this venture. JP is Jacob’s initials plus his 23 friends from college are behind the enigmatic name. Since college, BBQ and sports have been in Jacob’s life, from his roots in Canada to moving to SoCal. Like every die-hard BBQer, you need to name your smoker for luck. At JP23, Elmer is its name. Luck has been on his side as they celebrated their 1st anniversary on St. Patrick’s Day 2014 and hired General Manager Adrienne Bennett to handle the front of the house with her proven drive of making happy patrons and successful restaurants.

Let’s sample some of Elmer’s creations:

JP23Wings are slow cooked and smoked with pecan, cherry, and hickory wood. The Honey Chili Wings were sweet and slightly spicy. It was reminiscent of a sweet Asian chili sauce commonly served with lumpia. The smoked flavor from the wings came through and paired well with the sauce. They were tender and juicy. Thumbs up, way up!

JP23 BBQ Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Bruxie introduces The Bold Blend – new custom crafted coffee

In February 2014, Bruxie, the waffle sandwich icon of Orange County (coming soon to San Diego and Denver), introduced The Bold Blend - a new custom crafted coffee. Bruxie Partners, Kelly Mullarney and Dean Simon, are always reaching for the next level. What would be better with waffles? Coffee, of course! Kelly oversaw the 4-month process from bean selection to blend to roasting. The locally roasted coffee features a proprietary blend of 100% fair trade imported coffee beans. The days of coffee urn sitting on a warmer for hours or as the Europeans like to call American coffee, sock water, are a thing of the past. More and more restaurants are taking pride in serving a really good, nay, a great cup of coffee to their patrons.

To read more and see slideshow, please visit:
Bruxie on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Cassoulets & Frog Legs at Pinot Provence in Costa Mesa, CA

Chef Alfonso Ramirez’s creativity turns into the “wow effect” for patrons who dine at Pinot Provence in Costa Mesa, CA. Using French techniques and seasonal ingredients, Chef Alfonso turns out dishes that even impressed my friend from Paris. He has a passion for French provincial cooking using high quality ingredients to make the “rustic flavor” that makes you crave even more.

Let’s take a “taste” drive through the newest weekly culinary theme night menu items:

Spring Snap Pea Salad is topped with pea tendrils, la quercia prosciutto, burrata cheese, and drizzled elderflower vinaigrette. The sweet vinaigrette balanced out the spicy notes from some of the spring greens. Burrata was creamy and paired well with the smoky, salty prosciutto. Thumbs up, way up!


OC Food Diva

Pinot Provence on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

320 Main is modern comfort food with a twist in Seal Beach, CA

Jason & Rebecca Schiffer started serving hand-crafted cocktails long before it was chic. To bring their menu to the level of their libations, they recently appointed Chef Jaime Carrano to head the back of the house in October 2013. Working in prestigious kitchens of Thomas Keller (Bouchon Beverly Hills) and Charlie Palmer (Aureole NYC and Charlie Palmer at South Coast Plaza), Chef Jaime’s background shows through in his approach to food and presentation. The eatery and drink house is a small space with a lively atmosphere. The tables and booths are cozy, great for a night out with friends, yet intimate enough for date night.

Let’s take a look at some of the menu offerings:

Grilled Octopus is served with white beans, pickled jingle bell peppers, upland cress, and parsley vinaigrette. The octopus was extremely tender. I loved the smoky flavor from the grill. The white beans were a little gritty, but were overcome by the refreshing flavors of the rest of the vegetables. Even though this was a starter, I could see this as a healthy entrée as well. Thumbs up!


OC Food Diva

320 Main on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 9, 2014

24 carrots welcomes Top Chef star to their family

24 carrots is a family-owned full-service catering and event company servicing Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego counties. On January, 23, 2014, 24 carrots announced that Ashley Santo Domingo was appointed Executive Chef. Chef Ashley competed on Season 9 of Bravo’s Top Chef and was nominated for the James Beard’s Rising Star Chef in the Pacific Northwest in 2008. In Chef Ashley’s new role, she will partner with Creative Art Director, Arpi Torosyan to create and evolve memorable appetizers, dishes and desserts of 24 carrots. She will also oversee the menus at 24 carrots’ bistros across Orange County.

Here’s sample of the creativity that could be part of your next event:

Crispy Pork Belly appetizer: I adored the crispy skin and subtle Asian flavors. It contrasted nicely with the pickled red cabbage.


OC Food Diva

24 Carrots Catering and Events on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 3, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Last week to pick up Girl Scout Cookies

This is your last week to pick up your beloved Girl Scout Cookies! New packaging has been unveiled this year. Girl Scouts of the USA and ABC Bakers are committed to sustainability and preservation of critical natural resources by eliminating the carton on Thanks-A-Lot®, Lemonades™, and Cranberry Citrus Crisps and purchasing Green Palm Oil Certificates –Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  

Two new flavors unveiled this year:

·         Cranberry Citrus Crisps are crispy cookies made with whole grain, full of tangy cranberry bits and zesty citrus flavor. It has 9g of whole grain per serving and made with real fruit and does not contain high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils or palm oil, artificial flavors, sweeteners, or colors. The texture is very crispy, like an English biscuit and would go great with a hot cup of coffee or tea. The cranberries really stand out in flavor and have a chewy texture.

·         Chocolate Chip Shortbreads are made with chocolate chips nestled in bite-size, gluten-free shortbread cookies. They are made with real chocolate chips and butter and do not contain artificial flavors or colors, high fructose corn syrup, palm oil, or hydrogenated oils. You can even tell that these are gluten free. They taste just like a chocolate chip shortbread cookie. The chocolate chips are soft and just melt in your mouth. The shortbread tastes buttery and works well with the chocolate chips.

Here’s a story of Girl Scout success:

As a top cookie seller in Orange County, Girl Scout Junior Ella Chang from Tustin knows a thing or two about setting goals and taking action to make them a reality. In her first year selling cookies as a Girl Scout Brownie in 2012, Ella was the #4 cookie seller in Orange County, selling 3,578 boxes. Last year, she set the bar even higher and sold 3,642 boxes – becoming the #2 seller from over 16,000 participating Girl Scouts. Ella was motivated by her troop’s plan to use their cookie proceeds to help others. The troop donated their proceeds to sister Girl Scouts in New York who were affected by Superstorm Sandy.

In 2013, more than 16,000 Orange County Girl Scouts sold more than two and a half million packages of cookies, earning funds for their troop activities, camp, community service projects, travel and more. All Girl Scout Cookie proceeds stay in Orange County to provide leadership experiences, safe facilities, trained volunteers and financial aid for more than 22,000 Girl Scouts.
Where to find them:
·         Sales in front of local stores through March 9, 2014.
·         Girl Scout Cookie Booth Locator

For more information:

GIVEAWAY: If you’re an Orange County, CA resident and would like to win a box of Girl Scout Cookies, please use one of these methods to enter:
·         Share this article post on OC Food Diva’s Facebook Page
·         Retweet this article post on @ocfooddiva Twitter Page
·         Please enter by March 9, 2014. 2 winners will be announced on March 10, 2014.