Stefano’s, where family and great food meet in Yorba Linda, CA

Opened originally as Golden Baked Hams in August 2002, Frank and Colleen Stefano has grown the business to occupy two suites with dine-in and take-out service, catering, and local artisan made pantry. If you have ever been to a neighborhood Italian market, you’ll get the same great feeling when you step foot inside the restaurant. It’s all about family and great food at Stefano’s, from the homemade deli selection to the jaw-dropping creations by Chef Frankie, Colleen and Frank’s son. Their daughter, Alana, heads up the Catering and Events part of the business.

Let’s take a look at some menu items:

Acini di Pepe Pasta Salad is a fantastic blend of flavor of creamy salty feta, sweet tomatoes, radicchio, and acini di pepe (“small parts of the pepper” in English) pasta tossed in olive oil. It is light and the pasta acts like pearls soaking up the fresh flavors. Rating: 5/5

Kale Salad is kale, pepitas, carrots, dried cranberries, cashews, and cabbage tossed in stevia mayo. The vegetables are bright and colorful and the seeds and nuts added a crunchy texture. The flavor was a tad bland. It might be better with pomegranate vinaigrette to punch up the flavor and bring out the sweetness from the carrots and cranberries. Rating: 4/5

Tortellini Salad is onolicious! The tortellini is perfectly cooked and has a creamy cheese filling inside. The olives and salami bring a salty flavor which ties the whole salad together. Rating: 5/5

Italian Wedding Soup has meatballs, spinach, and acini di pepe pasta in a broth. This soup is light enough to pair with a sandwich, but hearty enough to be on its own to warm you up on a cold winter’s day. The meatballs are perfectly cooked and lend a nice beef flavor to the soup. The spinach adds a slight greenness and the acini de pepe acts as a combination rice and noodle starch. Perfectly executed! Rating: 5/5

Cubano Stefano is a Panini with Golden Baked Ham, carnitas, swiss cheese, dill pickle, Stefano mayo, and yellow mustard. This is porkolicious! The carnitas are tender and just melt in your mouth. The ham is perfectly tender and has the perfect balance of sweet and salty. This is a great take on the Cubano sandwich with Italian flair! Rating: 5/5

Bur-Gini is a Panini made with Stefano’s signature blend of chuck, short rib, and brisket patty and topped with roasted garlic, jalapeno cream cheese, bacon, avocado, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and onion. This is a fantastic burger in Panini form. The spicy jalapeno cream cheese, sweet garlic, and creamy avocado and cheese pair well with the beef blend patty for the perfect burger. Rating: 5/5

Kahlúa Caramel Coffee Cheesecake is based off of Chef Frankie’s great grandmother’s recipe. It is not as heavy as a New York-style cheesecake. The mascarpone cheese gives it a lighter and more rustic texture. Espresso beans grounds are evenly distributed throughout for a slightly crunchy texture. It is decadent and rich enough to satisfy your sweet tooth without being overly sweet. Rating: 5/5

Make Stefano’s part of your family and stop by for a meal or take one home with you!

  • Check-In for a FREE drink via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Yelp
  • Tuesday and Thursday nights – Family dinners that serve a family of four. Check out their calendar for menu and pricing.
  • Check out the holiday menu to help make your Christmas and New Year’s a little easier this year
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:
18220 Yorba Linda Blvd Ste 307A
Yorba Linda, CA 92886
Hours: Monday through Thursday from 9am to 8pm, Friday from 9am to 9pm, Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 4pm

Zōv’s Bistro & Bakery in Tustin, CA has been a culinary institution since 1987

Chef Zōv Karamardian is a legendary chef infusing contemporary cuisine with Eastern Mediterranean influences. Food and family equal success for the Karamardian family. With 27 years since the opening of the Tustin location, 7 years at Newport Coast and Irvine locations, and brand-new location in Anaheim, Zōv’s is making it more convenient for foodies all around Orange County to enjoy their fantastic cuisine.

Hummus is pureed chickpeas, tahini, and extra virgin olive oil. Zōv’s version is creamy, like a smooth peanut butter. The lemon flavor is very light, which is a good thing. The fried chickpeas add a crunchy texture and slightly salty flavor. Rating: 5/5

Zov's Bistro Tustin on Urbanspoon

Rubio’s® jumps on the bandwagon with their California Bowls

Rubio’s had a lot of changes this year. Bowls are the trendy vehicle for food right now and Rubio’s wants to be part of it. Still holding fast with the sustainable seafood, this practice will help to keep our oceans thriving and also provide its customer with a nice variety of seafood options like Alaskan Pollock, Atlantic salmon, shrimp, and tilapia.

California Bowls consists of citrus rice, black beans, and fresh romaine lettuce topped with handmade guacamole, salsa fresca, chipotle sauce, and your choice of red tomatillo salsa or salsa verde and protein option: pan-seared shrimp, Regal Springs® tilapia (grilled or house blackened), Pacific mahi mahi (grilled or house blackened), or grilled chicken. They improved on the rice since my last visit. It is more flavorful and is a hearty base for the bowl. The grilled chicken is tender and seasoned well. The black beans are wonderful with their earthy, rich flavor. The chipotle sauce is awesome, but I would ask for extra next time. I would also ask for the salsa on the side as I like to add a mix of salsas from the salsa bar along with onions and cilantro. Rating: 4/5

Great bowl option at Rubio’s and can’t wait to see what new items are to come!


  • After 2:30pm every Tuesday, The Original Fish Taco® is only $1.50!
  • Join the BeachClub for free food, offers, and keep up-to-date with Rubio’s news

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Décor: 4 out of 5 stars
Food: 4 out of 5 stars

For more information:
26612 Towne Centre Dr
Foothill Ranch, CA 92610
  • Hours: Monday through Thursday from 10am to 9pm, Friday from 10am to 10pm, Saturday from 11am to 10pm, Sunday from 11am to 9pm

More locations in California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado.Visit their website for a location near you.

Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

Bulgogi House now open in La Palma, CA

Young Park started the idea of Korean BBQ with his grandmother’s sauce. Combining this sauce with local ingredients and variety of meats, he opened Bulgogi House in 1992. Bulgogi House expanded to two locations in Rowland Heights. On November 1, 2014, the Bulgogi House added a third location to deliver a new kind of KBBQ to the OC. The grills use a ventilation system that sucks the smoke from the sides of the grill keeping you from taking the BBQ scent home with you. This is a major complaint with most KBBQ restaurants. You almost need to plan to go home after eating to either change or take a shower. Bulgogi House also has a full-service bar serving not only Korean favorites like soju, but international beers, wines, and libations. 

 To read more and see slideshow, please visit:

Bulgogi House on Urbanspoon

LCA Wine & the Neptune School of Wine now open in SOCO in Costa Mesa, CA

Nancy Milby always had a passion for food and wine. Eventually, it became so great, she left her finance career to pursue it. In 2001, she founded Laguna Culinary Arts, a multi-faceted hands-on cooking school including attached café, cheese, and wine shop and spent the next 12 years building this operation in Laguna Beach. She also led small groups to France, Italy, and Spain for the ultimate food and wine vacations. She recently sold the cooking school and moved the wine operation. LCA Wine opened on July 18, 2014. 

Nancy Milby welcomed guests as they explored the new wine retail space to browse LCA’s selection of wines from all over the world. The color wheel of wine was on display from whites to rosés to reds. 

The space is open and the bottles are arranged on wooden racks for easy display and viewing.

The Neptune School of Wine shares the space with LCA Wine. It is headed by Master Sommelier Peter Neptune and is known as the premier school for wine education in southern California. Peter has been in the wine business for 39 years and was on hand during the tasting reception and available to answer any questions we had.

Light bites to go along with the wines were provided by:

Chef Laurent Brazier from La Cuisine Culinary Arts

Herb Goat Cheese Mousse on Puff Pastry Rounds – They were light and fluffy. The goat cheese mousse was amazing–light and creamy.

Heirloom Cherry Tomato & Ciliegine Mozzarella with Fresh Basil Balsamic Reduction – The cherry tomatoes were sweet and tasted fresh from the garden. The mozzarella was soft and creamy. The sweet and tartness of the balsamic reduction brought the flavors of the skewer together for a balanced flavor.

Chef Noah Blom from ARC Restaurant

Wild Mushroom Tarts with House Made Ricotta – The phyllo dough made a crispy and light shell. The ricotta was creamy and combined perfectly with the earthy flavor of the sautéed wild mushroom with their meaty texture.

Steak Roulade on Grilled Bleu Cheese Bread – This is little bite just blew my socks off! The roulade was cooked and seasoned perfectly. Bleu cheese works well with beef and the creamy, tanginess of the cheese brought out the sweetness in the beef. I still dream about it.

Duck Tacos in Romesco Sauce with Crème – The duck meat reminded me of pulled pork. Subtle duck flavors were present. The tortillas were great and tasted like a Mexican grandma made them.

Need the perfect wine for a dinner party? LCA Wine is the perfect place to go. Check out Neptune School of Wine’s website for class schedule to bring the inner sommelier out of you.

For more information:
3315 Hyland Ave Ste H
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Melissa’s Deluxe Pantry Box Recipe Series: Quinoa Cranberry Pudding Parfait

Melissa’s Deluxe Pantry Box in this post was provided by Melissa’s Produce but the opinions expressed here are my own.