Double Down on the Whiskey this Repeal Day

Repeal Day is December 5th, and we can only imagine that you’re gathering your crew, Expendables-style, to hit some of Southern California’s best whiskey bars. Where do you begin your malty quest? Allow us to help you out by suggesting some of these spots who know how to do whiskey right.

 

Puzzle
La Mirada

Beyond the fact that Puzzle has over 10 different kinds of Old Fashioneds, a major reason you’ll want to begin here is that they make their bitters, liqueurs, Amaris, cordials, vermouth, and ginger beer right there in house. This may result in a pricier cocktail but you can taste the difference as soon as you dive in. The staff knows everything you can imagine about whiskey too, so this puzzle is actually a no-brainer.

 

Mesa
Costa Mesa

For the small plates/loungey/dancey vibe you’re looking for, hit Mesa; their shareables (especially the iron skillet mussels) go great with nearly everything, especially the Buffalo Trace Old Fashioned they’re famous for.

 

The Recess Room
Fountain Valley

One of Fountain Valley’s strongest (okay, maybe the strongest) gastropubs is ready and waiting for Repeal Day. In addition to their monster beer list and top-notch Build-Your-Own-Charcuterie options, The Recess Room absolutely slays it with a Whiskey/Bourbon/Scotch list that’s ready to impress. Grab any of their expertly mixed cocktails, especially the Smoke & Mirrors (butter-infused Lot 40 Whiskey, maple syrup, angostura & pecan bitters) or the Barrel Aged Improved Irish Cocktail (Powers Gold Label, Cointreau, luxardo maraschino, house orange bitters, Peychaud’s Bitters, and absinthe rinse).

 

The Blind Rabbit
Anaheim

It’s very possible you’ve stood directly in front of the Blind Rabbit in your time without even knowing it: the uber-cool speakeasy is actually hidden behind a fake wall in the Anaheim Packing District. With a killer special Repeal Day cocktail menu and an elite-level prohibition-era design, you won’t want to spend the big day anywhere else.

 

Firefly
Studio City

Somebody you know has probably told you to go to Firefly at some point. You better start listening to ‘em: they’ve got probably the best patio in the Valley, great food, and a pretty extensive scotch, whiskey, and bourbon list. Get over there and see for yourself.

 

The Lincoln
Venice

If you want to drink in a building that feels like an old car, The Lincoln is your spot. They have an abundance of rockstar whiskey cocktails, and it’s pretty mandatory that you enjoy them on the patio that’s made them famous in Venice for day drinking. The Feelings Catcher — with your choice of whiskey, lemon, basil, aloe, and blackberry —  is sure to make you feel all warm and fuzzy, just the way our forefathers would want.

 

Seven Grand / Bar Jackalope
Downtown LA

You’ll see Seven Grand on every LA whiskey roundup for a reason: their whiskey list is absolutely gigantic. The bartenders know their stuff too, so any question you could ever have is something they’ll know the answer to. Head to the back of the bar to find Bar Jackalope, a (not so secret anymore) “secret” area devoted entirely to Japanese whiskey.

 

Holiday
Costa Mesa

Looking to dance your brains out while you celebrate the big day? Look no further than Holiday, the dancey/clubby/loungey haven you’ve been wanting. Live music and DJs lay down the tone, but the cocktails are tasty and just what you need this holiday season (see what we did there?). They’re big fans of Knob Creek Whiskey, and, well, you should be too.

 

Messhall
Los Feliz

Did you know that this Loz Feliz spot — that does $1 oysters and tacos, mind you — also does excellent cocktails backed up by a strong whiskey list? Well, you do now. Tell the bartender you like whiskey, and give them free reign to make you something. You’ll be happy you did.

 

The Blind Donkey
Pasadena & Long Beach

Not a lot of bars ride the line between divey and classy the way The Blind Donkey does; the whiskey list is hard to beat and with music at volumes you can actually stand, it might be the best place to find that husband/wife/new best friend you’ve been searching for.

 

Wolf & Crane
Little Tokyo

If Japanese whiskey is your thing, Wolf & Crane is your favorite bar that you never knew about. They have a massive collection of different Japanese whiskeys, carefully crafted cocktails, and a perfect vibe (not to mention a knockout location between a hundred different great spots to eat). You’re welcome in advance.

 

Harvard & Stone
Los Feliz

We’d be remiss not to include this eastside hotspot from the Houston Bros (the wizards behind Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, No Vacancy, and more), as they do one of the best old fashioneds in LA. The R&D Bar in the back is also nothing to scoff at; rotating bartenders consistently do it up with full creative license on their concoctions with themes ranging from Knocked Up to Hey Arnold to Zelda. And plus, why wouldn’t you want to celebrate Repeal Day in a bar that looks like it’s straight out of prohibition?

 

 

 

By Wilder Shaw

Wilder Shaw is a regular 100eats contributor who
definitely can’t decide where to spend Repeal Day.
Help him choose on Twitter and Instagram.

Twirl Them, Slurp Them, Just Get Those Noodles in Your Belly

They come in all shapes in sizes and can be found anywhere. It’s true - they have already achieved world domination. Our only hope is a fork, or a pair of chopsticks if they’re handy. You can twirl them. You can slurp ‘em. All that matters is the noodles end up in your belly. To help you fight the good fight, here’s a list of places to indulge in the most delicious noodle dishes around.
 

THE RECESS ROOM | FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CA

The dark depths and flavors of the sea come to life in The Recess Room’s Seafood Pasta, which utilizes squid ink to imbue a subtle salinity and charcoal hue to the base tonnarelli noodles. A medley of succulent shrimp and calamari further enhance the brine and a mouthwatering beurre blanc ties it together. The petite tomatoes, lemongrass and a healthy shaving of pecorino Romano add some tangible pizzazz to the dish and will have you diving in for more.

There is no shortage of delicious seafood here in SoCal, so why not pair it with tender tonnarelli noodles at The Recess Room in Fountain Valley

There is no shortage of delicious seafood here in SoCal, so why not pair it with tender tonnarelli noodles at The Recess Room in Fountain Valley

 

NOODS NOODS NOODS | SANTA ANA, CA

In January 2018, the noodle culinary conquest comes to a head with the 2nd annual NOODS NOODS NOODS in historic downtown Santa Ana. Presented by FOODBEAST and sponsored by NISSIN, maker of the Original Cup Noodles, it’s all noodle everything in every variety you could ever want. Noodle aficionados: this is a must. In conjunction with this noodle-fest, a massive Super Smash Bros competition goes down simultaneously at the E-Sports arena. Slurp those noodles while watching pro-gamers go head to head! Attendees can expect newsworthy desserts, sandwiches, tacos and tons of noodle-inspired dishes.

Get ready for never-before-seen noodle creations in Santa Ana this January at the epic food festival NOODS NOODS NOODS, presented by Foodbeast and NISSIN

Get ready for never-before-seen noodle creations in Santa Ana this January at the epic food festival NOODS NOODS NOODS, presented by Foodbeast and NISSIN

 


JINNY’S PIZZERIA | SANTA ANA, CA

You shouldn’t have to use your noodle to know that you can never go wrong with spaghetti and meatballs. At Jinny’s Pizzeria, your mind (and stomach for that matter) will be overjoyed as you dig into hefty beef-only meatballs, perfectly cooked pasta and a house-made tomato sauce that earned them an “OC Weekly’s Top 10” award. The grated Parmesan and side of garlic bread deserve a “molto bene”!

Fear not, Jinny's Pizzeria at 4th St Market has your noodle-needs covered

Fear not, Jinny's Pizzeria at 4th St Market has your noodle-needs covered

 

FIREFLY | STUDIO CITY, CA

For a romantic night in an intimate, trendy setting, Firefly is the place to be, and the Mushroom Pappardelle is the dish to order. Delicate hen-of-the-woods and oyster mushrooms adorn the wide, flat noodles, which are covered in saporous truffle butter and light ricotta cheese. The creamy sauce emphasizes the richness of this one-of-a-kind entrée.

Craving Noods...? Don't skip the decadent Mushroom Pappardelle from Firefly in Studio City

Craving Noods...? Don't skip the decadent Mushroom Pappardelle from Firefly in Studio City

 

SHUCK OYSTER BAR | SANTA ANA, CA

For a place known for mollusks, Shuck Oyster Bar’s fettuccine alfredo more than holds its own as an alternative for those who would rather yuck than shuck. The velvety soft sauce pairs wonderfully with supple roasted veggies and plump shrimp, so you’re not missing out on getting that seafood fix. For a seafood fix, order the Lobster Mac. It’s creamy, rich flavors will have you falling in love.

Not many noodle dishes are more satisfying than a great bowl of Mac n Cheese. Add some lobster for the ultimate comfort food fix at Shuck Oyster Bar

Not many noodle dishes are more satisfying than a great bowl of Mac n Cheese. Add some lobster for the ultimate comfort food fix at Shuck Oyster Bar

 

RED ENVELOPE | SANTA ANA, CA

Noodles can be a bridge between cultures. Nowhere is that more evident than at Red Envelope, 4th Street Market’s standout Vietnamese Fusion Comfort Food eatery. Mexico meets Southeast Asia in their “Phorrito”, which is comprised of braised brisket, bean sprouts, jalapeño, white and green onion, lime sauce, cilantro and rice noodles wrapped in a flour tortilla. Drizzle some sriracha on that bad boy if you dare. If you’re more of a purist and prefer broth, their “Pho-lly Loaded” is incredible. Pho yes!

Load up on fantastic Pho and other noodle-focused fusion dishes at Red Envelope at 4th St Market in Santa Ana

Load up on fantastic Pho and other noodle-focused fusion dishes at Red Envelope at 4th St Market in Santa Ana

 

MAMA D’S | NEWPORT BEACH, REDONDO BEACH, AND MANHATTAN BEACH

Do you ever get homesick for your mom’s cooking? Well, do yourself a favor and get to Mama D’s, where your melancholy for home will evaporate into the smell of delightful pasta and the welcoming, friendly environment. As you admire the artful, crayon creations that decorate the walls, pink is the only color you need to remember; as in the Original Pink Sauce, a masterful concoction of cream and marinara that elevates any noodle. Throw in some tasty chicken or bay scallops for a one-way ticket to bliss.

Mama D's in Newport Beach reminds us of mom's home cooking with not only outstanding noodles, but homemade sauces as well

Mama D's in Newport Beach reminds us of mom's home cooking with not only outstanding noodles, but homemade sauces as well

 

TATSU RAMEN – WEST LOS ANGELES, CA

Variety is the spice of life but thankfully, Tatsu Ramen in West LA makes it slightly easier to choose via iPad menus. Their signature Tonkotsu broth simmers for 14 hours and the ramen noodles are al dente and scrumptious. Distinctive ingredients like seaweed, pork chashu and soft-boiled egg are available, as are flavor bombs like black garlic oil and sweet umami sauce. Try one of the trademark bowls or let you inventiveness run wild - Tatsu has a ramen for everyone.

Ramen is never to be forgotten when it comes to noodles. Visit Tatsu Ramen in LA for a flavorful experience

Ramen is never to be forgotten when it comes to noodles. Visit Tatsu Ramen in LA for a flavorful experience

 

ELBOWS MAC N’ CHEESE | BREA AND CERRITOS, CA

Elbows on the table are encouraged when you visit Elbows Mac n’ Cheese — it’ll give you more leverage as you devour their robust macaroni skillets. Feeling a little under the weather? “The Hangover,” a breakfast mac of egg, onion, potato and of course Muenster cheese will do the trick. “Macsala” blends exotic spices, peppers and paneer cheese to deliver a taste of India. In this case, once you go mac, you’ll always go back.

Get down and dirty, and super creative with your noodles at Elbows Mac n Cheese

Get down and dirty, and super creative with your noodles at Elbows Mac n Cheese

 

PHNOM PENH NOODLE HOUSE | SEATTLE, WA

Since the birthplace of noodles lies across the great blue Pacific, it’s no surprise that some of that squiggly goodness landed on the West Coast. If you’re yearning for an authentic taste of Cambodia, no need to change time zones, just head north to Seattle’s popular Phnom Penh Noodle House. The triumph of a decades-long dream, this delectable food is highlighted by the special rice noodle, which comes laden with gulf prawn, calamari, fish cakes, fish balls, sliced and ground pork, green onion, cilantro, and roasted garlic.

If you find yourself in the great northwest, be sure to stop by Phnom Penh Noodle House for their special rice noodles

If you find yourself in the great northwest, be sure to stop by Phnom Penh Noodle House for their special rice noodles

 

 

Written By: Ben McBee

We All Scream For CHEESE Please

Like two tortillas in a quesadilla, cheese brings everyone together. Whether you enjoy bleu cheese on a burger, or picnicking with gorgonzola and Fuji apple slices, there’s a cheese for every occasion. Chances are you’re already thinking of your favorite variety. To celebrate this universal love for cheese, let’s check out some of OC and LA’s best places to indulge in those cheesy cravings.

 

Oozefest III | Santa Ana, CA

On October 14, 2017, the 3rd annual Oozefest hosted by Foodbeast, returns to Santa Ana, delivering all kinds of cheesy flavors to your taste buds. The event will feature some of the gooiest dishes around courtesy of fantastic local vendors including Hopdoddy, Slapfish and more. It's an all-you-can-eat-and-drink event, so if you were wondering to cheese or not to cheese, we would go with the first option. Tickets available at: foodbeast.ticketspice.com/oozefest-3

Get down on cheese-tastic grub like this pulled pork grilled cheese sandwich and at OOZEFEST III | photo courtesy of 100eats

Get down on cheese-tastic grub like this pulled pork grilled cheese sandwich and at OOZEFEST III | photo courtesy of 100eats

 

The Recess Room | Fountain Valley, CA

If you’re love for cheese is so deep, you can feel it in your bones, the Recess Room’s Bone Marrow Mac & Cheese has your name all over it. A blend of fontina, mozzarella, béchamel and fun, spiral trottole comes together in a cast iron skillet. Tender meat and oxtail marmalade form the heft of this comfort food, while candied jalapeños pack the knockout punch.

The Bone Marrow Mac and Cheese from The Recess Room will have you already planning your next visit to this Fountain Valley hot spot | photo courtesy of 100eats

The Bone Marrow Mac and Cheese from The Recess Room will have you already planning your next visit to this Fountain Valley hot spot | photo courtesy of 100eats

 

Shuck Oyster Bar | Costa Mesa, CA

Salty, rich, and oh so smooth, the grilled cheese at Shuck Oyster Bar marries curds to crustaceans in a succulent partnership. You can choose Crab Louie, juicy lobster or even chorizo to stack between savory slices of cheddar and Parmesan. It’s even cut it into sharable strips that you can easily send swimming in a bowl of delicious clam chowder.

The Grilled Cheese sandwiches at Shuck are the definition of cheesy | photo courtesy of 100eats

The Grilled Cheese sandwiches at Shuck are the definition of cheesy | photo courtesy of 100eats

 

The Blind Rabbit | Anaheim, CA

Enter through the sake barrels and leave through the secret bookcase. But while you’re sipping the inventive spirits at this 1920s style speakeasy, indulging in the sophisticated Duck Confit Mac & Cheese is a must. Dapper servers will carry the tender dish concocted three cheese béchamel sauce and essence of truffle to your lamp lit table, and once the old timey piano starts playing, you truly are transported to an era long past.  

Don't skip the Duck Confit Mac and Cheese at The Blind Rabbit during National Cheese Month, you'll regret it | photo courtesy of 100eats

Don't skip the Duck Confit Mac and Cheese at The Blind Rabbit during National Cheese Month, you'll regret it | photo courtesy of 100eats

 

Jinny’s Pizzeria | Santa Ana, CA

Sometimes, there’s no a need to reinvent the cheese wheel - or cheese pizza for that matter. At Jinny’s Pizzeria, they excel at simplicity, and their herbed ricotta highlights a delectable lineup of cheeses, always grated in house. That isn’t to say they don’t succeed at the more complex pies though, like their signature Bee Sting, which mixes spicy tomato sauce with pepperoni and dash of sweet honey. And extra cheese for just $2? Count us in.

What better way to honor cheese than with pizza...? Grab a slice at Jinny's located at 4th St Market in downtown Santa Ana | photo courtesy of 100eats

What better way to honor cheese than with pizza...? Grab a slice at Jinny's located at 4th St Market in downtown Santa Ana | photo courtesy of 100eats

 

The Iron Press | Anaheim and Costa Mesa, CA

Move over wine, cheese’s new sidekick is beer. At The Iron Press, they’re also challenging the notion that brews and breakfast can’t coexist. Enter the Chick Mac-Net; an ingenious creation built with Kraft mac and cheese, fried chicken, a cheddar waffle and a drizzle of maple syrup, which pairs wonderfully alongside a locally-crafted pale ale. Both men and women will find it simply irresistible.

The Chick Mac-Net from The Iron Press is the ultimate savory indulgence | photo courtesy of The Iron Press on instagram

The Chick Mac-Net from The Iron Press is the ultimate savory indulgence | photo courtesy of The Iron Press on instagram

 

The Attic | Long Beach, CA

In a cozy, unassuming house on Broadway, the next step in cheese evolution has occurred – Mac n’... wait for it… Cheetos! Tender pasta comes laden with cheddar, mozzarella, jack, green onions and crumbled, flaming hot Cheetos. If that doesn’t satiate your curiosity, their Sweet Fungi, Hey Shorty, and The Clucker offer even more extravagant toppings like sautéed mushrooms, braised ribs and fried chicken. Can’t decide? The Attic’s friendly and knowledgeable staff will help guide you to cheesy bliss.

If you like your mac and cheese with a little kick, The Atttic is the place for you this October | photo courtesy of @meetjakob on instagram

If you like your mac and cheese with a little kick, The Atttic is the place for you this October | photo courtesy of @meetjakob on instagram

 

The Melt | Irvine, CA

With locations across Texas and California, The Melt signifies one small step for man, one giant leap for cheese-kind. The chain’s trademark Meltburger comes oozing liquid golden goodness on top of an Angus and Wagyu beef patty, pickles, and Melt sauce, all of which is stacked on an artisan bun. Calories be damned, we’ll stop the world and melt with you.

Meat + cheese are a match made in heaven... try the new Melt Burger this National Cheese Month at The Melt in Irvine, you won't be disappointed | photo courtesy of @cyneats on instagram

Meat + cheese are a match made in heaven... try the new Melt Burger this National Cheese Month at The Melt in Irvine, you won't be disappointed | photo courtesy of @cyneats on instagram

 

Black Sheep GCB | Anaheim, CA

Grilled. Cheese. Bar. These are three words we never thought we would see together, but you should be glad we were wrong. At this Anaheim Packing House standout, the cheese comes to life right before you’re eyes. Manager Taylor Vuong layers the goods atop fresh bread from OC Baking, pops them in the press, and out comes magic, gooey to the core. For those seeking adventure in their sandwich, we suggest raclette, cornichons, pickled red onion, and potato chips.

If the words 'grilled cheese bar' peak your interest, you might want to head over to the Anaheim Packing District... like right now | photo courtesy of Black Sheep GCB on facebook

If the words 'grilled cheese bar' peak your interest, you might want to head over to the Anaheim Packing District... like right now | photo courtesy of Black Sheep GCB on facebook

 

Café Gratitude | Multiple Southern California Locations

Has this collection got you down? Fret not; Café Gratitude is there to lift your spirits. It’s affirmation based menu is chock full of delicious plant based ingredients, including cashew queso fresco for those with a lactose intolerance. Feeling fabulous? That means Raw Mexican Lasagna is your choice, made from heirloom tomato, squash noodles, cilantro pumpkin seed pesto, sweet corn, and cacao mole. Whatever you decide, you’ll leave healthy and uplifted.

Stop by Cafe Gratitude for a less guilt-inducing 'cheese' experience | photo courtesy of @tableforlily on instagram

Stop by Cafe Gratitude for a less guilt-inducing 'cheese' experience | photo courtesy of @tableforlily on instagram

 

Written by Ben McBee

Where to Celebrate National Rum Day in Orange County

Vodka, tequila, and gin, move aside — it’s rum’s time to shine. Whether you prefer white, gold, dark, or a blend of each, rum cocktails not only give serious island vibes, they are also a incredibly satisfying. Maybe your vice is a classic mojito, or perhaps you’d rather sip on a decedent goji berry rum cocktail. Either way, there is a rum drink for everyone in the OC to enjoy on National Rum Day, August 16th.

 

Habana

For Habana, National Rum Day is no joke. The Cuban and Pan-Latin cuisine restaurant will be giving out coins for each rum dessert or rum drink purchased on National Rum Day between the hours of 2 PM - 5 PM and 10 PM - close. The coins can be redeemed for a five cent mojito on your next visit. The holiday’s featured rum dessert is seriously delicious. Habana will be serving up a Cuban rum cake, so you can eat your rum as well as drink it. They also kill it on the drinks front. You can opt for a classic mojito, or spice it up with Sangria Blanca, a refreshing drink made with white wine, passion fruit rum, apple liqueur, marinated fresh fruits, and finished with a champagne float. For the rum savvy, try the Rhum Flight, which includes three premium sipping rums ranging from light to full bodied.

Authentic Rhum Cake and fresh Coconut Mojitos! Eat your rum and drink it too at Habana in Costa Mesa | photo courtesy of 100eats

Authentic Rhum Cake and fresh Coconut Mojitos! Eat your rum and drink it too at Habana in Costa Mesa | photo courtesy of 100eats

 

 

Hatch

Tiki cocktails are staple to this Union Tustin Market spot. Using rum from around the world to make their tropical Tiki drinks, you can’t go wrong with a slider and cocktail from Hatch on National Rum Day. Take a trip to the tropics from 2 PM - 9 PM, and sip on their three special rum cocktails, each only $6. Choose from The Black Cherry, made with Santa Teresa 1796 Solera Rum, cinnamon simple syrup, and fresh squeezed lime, The Kraken Mule, made with ginger beer, and lime, or The Kraken Punch, made with pineapple juice and LA crafted small batch grenadine. Hatch will also be offering $2 tastings of Cutwater Spirit's Three Sheets Rum, an exclusively special rum, as well as raffling off Kraken Tiki Mugs.

Hatch is offering three specialty cocktails this National Rum Day | photo courtesy of 100eats

Hatch is offering three specialty cocktails this National Rum Day | photo courtesy of 100eats

 

The Recess Room

The Recess Room serves up some of the most unique spots in the OC. Not only is their food epic (bone marrow mac and cheese, anyone?) but their creatively constructed drinks are downright delicious. The must-have rum refreshment at this fountain valley spot is their Goji Bear cocktail made with goji berries, Platinum 3-Star Rum, aperol, house goji berry syrup, fresh lemon juice, egg whites, and lastly, garnished with three goji berries. Some other winning rum cocktails at The Recess Room are the Rum DMC made with bitters, honey, lemon, champagne,and  honey syrup and Love You Rum Time, made with rum, passion fruit falernum, absinthe, and bitters and served inside a whole pineapple.

Treat yourself to some Goji Berry and rum magic over at The Recess Room this National Rum Day | photo courtesy of 100eats

Treat yourself to some Goji Berry and rum magic over at The Recess Room this National Rum Day | photo courtesy of 100eats

 

The Blind Rabbit

The Blind Rabbit not only offers up excellent libations and bites — it also offers patrons the chance to live out their dream of sipping on a drink in a 1920’s speakeasy. This themed restaurant and bar is built for savvy bar goers and the hidden entry way draws in many adventure loving drinkers. The speakeasy serves up over five decadent tiki drinks, including The Four Swallows (rum, benedictine, grand marnier, maraschino liqueur orange bitters), The Dark & Stormy (aged rum, gold rum, lime ginger beer), and Sucking The Monkey (coconut & spiced rum, young coconut water lime, pineapple orange flower water). For National Rum Day, however, The Five Spices of Death, the Official Tiki Drink of the Blind Rabbit, cannot be missed. Made with aged rum, smith & cross, absinthe black strap rum, pineapple grapefruit, Chinese 5 spice lime, and barrel aged bitters, it’s perfect.

The Five Spices cocktail at The Blind Rabbit cannot be missed | photo courtesy of 100eats

The Five Spices cocktail at The Blind Rabbit cannot be missed | photo courtesy of 100eats

 

Don The Beachcomber

This kitschy beachside restaurant serves up some delicious tiki drinks. Their signature tiki cocktail, the Rum Barrel is made with SIXTEEN ingredients and served in their own “rum barrel” mug. The delicious blend of silver, amber, and Demerara rums work together to create this sweet-tart balanced drink, perfect for celebrating National Rum Day. For mai tai lovers, Don will treat you right. Their 1930’s classic mai tai recipe has been known to bring its own little island breeze to all those who drink it.

This sixteen ingredient cocktail is the answer to your National Rum Day prayers | photo courtesy of Don The Beachcomber

This sixteen ingredient cocktail is the answer to your National Rum Day prayers | photo courtesy of Don The Beachcomber

 

 

But, What About Waffles?

Waffles have always been an underrated part of breakfast and brunch. Trendy avocado toasts and Benedicts have swept the spotlight from these griddly pieces of perfection, no matter how many people learn how wonderfully their pair with fried chicken. But not today — not on our watch. Here are our favorite spots to get our favorite golden brown treats.
 

CIVIC

Santa Ana

This beautiful waffle haven tucked inside 4th Street Market just might be the best place to get your breakfast on in the whole building. Sure you can go basic, with a beautifully fried Belgian waffle topped with cinnamon sugar, but you can also go a little less basic with white chocolate macadamia nut waffle, or you can go even LESS LESS basic with their chorizo waffle, topped with avocado, pickled jalepeños, crema, cotija cheese, and a sunny side up egg. I think we all know what the clear move here is.

Waffles at 4th Street Market's CIVIC are far beyond basic | photo courtesy of CIVIC

Waffles at 4th Street Market's CIVIC are far beyond basic | photo courtesy of CIVIC

 

The Iron Press

Anaheim

Beer and waffles: that’s what The Iron Press is about. Regular waffles? Bingo, they got ‘em. Waffle sandwiches? Yep, got that too. Waffle fries? Not really a waffle but they’re delicious so it still counts. If you’re looking to up your traditional waffle craving, hit up their “Cap N Crunch”, a beautiful monstrosity of cereal-infused waffle with a milk drizzle and vanilla ice cream. LEMME GET AN AMEN!

Waffle everything is available at The Iron Press, including this dessert | photo courtesy of 100eats

Waffle everything is available at The Iron Press, including this dessert | photo courtesy of 100eats

 

Sweet COMBforts

TRADE, Irvine

If you can get past the name — which I’m convinced is a riddle designed to trick you — you will find the dessert mecca you never knew you wanted. The move here is waffles on a stick in the shape of honeycomb (hence the name) and topped with such luxuries as cheesecake bites, Oreo cookie butter, strawberries, and a whole lot more. Oh, and they have some of the tastiest, most colorful milkshakes in Irvine to go with your waffle.

The dessert waffle you never knew you wanted is courtesy of Sweet COMBforts, located at TRADE in Irvine | photo courtesy of Sweet COMBforts

The dessert waffle you never knew you wanted is courtesy of Sweet COMBforts, located at TRADE in Irvine | photo courtesy of Sweet COMBforts

 

Bruxie

Orange & Other Locations

Bruxie expertly rides the line between the soul food world of chicken & waffles and the breakfast world of eggs & waffles. You can get your hands on a fried chicken sandwich on a waffle at the same time your friend gets their hands on a crunchy breakfast waffle with maple syrup and powdered sugar. Power to the waffle. Power to the griddle.

Waffle sandwiches have been redefined by Bruxie | photo courtesy of Bruxie

Waffle sandwiches have been redefined by Bruxie | photo courtesy of Bruxie

 

Flappy Jack’s Pancake House

Orange

Don’t be fooled by the pancake shoutout in Flappy Jack’s name; it’s just as much a spot for waffles as it is for pancakes. These bad boys are served up classic diner style, with a creative twist. They have a unique flowery shape and can be topped with strawberries, pecans, cinnamon apples, and the rest of the homestyle waffle favorites you crave. Don’t be afraid to go Hawaiian style either, with pineapple & coconut flakes both baked in and served on top.

The prettiest waffle you ever did see | photo courtesy of @jissacj on instagram

The prettiest waffle you ever did see | photo courtesy of @jissacj on instagram

 

Howlin Ray’s

Chinatown

If you haven’t heard of Howlin Ray’s by now, you’re probably hiding in a chicken-less hole. Straight from Nashville, Howlin Ray’s has been making waves as the probably-best chicken in LA, with a line that usually lasts at least an hour. What does this have to do with waffles? On Saturdays and Sundays, they do some of the best chicken and waffles in the city, that’s what.

Get some incredible waffles to pair with that famous HOT Chicken on the weekend over at Howlin' Rays | photo courtesy of Howlin' Rays

Get some incredible waffles to pair with that famous HOT Chicken on the weekend over at Howlin' Rays | photo courtesy of Howlin' Rays

 

Fred 62

Los Feliz

Simplicity is the key at Fred 62, and their Strawberry Beret is just that. And since Fred 62 is open 24/7, you can experience the joyous harmony of a golden brown waffle, strawberries, and powdered sugar farrrrr into the night. Plus, science says they taste better after last call anyway.

Wonderful waffles available 24/7 at Fred 62 | photo courtesy of Fred 62

Wonderful waffles available 24/7 at Fred 62 | photo courtesy of Fred 62

 

Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles

Hollywood & Other Locations

There might not be a more iconic chicken & waffles spot in LA than Roscoe’s. Though the chicken and waffles tradition is rooted in the south, it’s safe to say Roscoe’s took the lead on making it a thing in Southern California. The waffles are a grand slam, and nobody will shame you for drenching them in hot sauce AND maple syrup. It’s the Roscoe’s way.

Roscoe's waffles are iconic, get your syrup ready | photo courtesy of Roscoe's House

Roscoe's waffles are iconic, get your syrup ready | photo courtesy of Roscoe's House

 

 


Wilder Shaw is an LA-based writer and comedian who treasures any excuse to eat waffles for “research”. Follow his griddley adventures on Twitter and Instagram.

Asian Fusion invades Santa Ana

In the melting pot food culture that is Southern California, Asian fusion is a popular food trend that seems to be taking over in many locations. Downtown Santa Ana has become a breeding ground for many joints that are blowing up the OC food scene.

 

Bonestock

Owner Tommy Vu wanted to keep to tradition alive at this joint located at the McFadden Public Market on Main Street. Bonestock serves up the one-stop traditional Vietnamese cuisine done up a little bit. You can find the street food standards such as spring rolls and pho. Some dishes here are done with a twist, however, like their Spring-ception, which is a pork/shrimp blend with a variety of mushroom, carrots, and onions along with a Vietnamese house sauce, all wrapped in a spring roll, and, their Pho-tine, an Asian twist on the Canadian comfort standard, served with a Pho gravy, brisket chunks, and queso fresco.

Bone Stock's 'Springception' is a perfect display of asian-fusion grub | photo courtesy of 100eats

Bone Stock's 'Springception' is a perfect display of asian-fusion grub | photo courtesy of 100eats

 

En Tu Boca

Carlo Castaneda, a one-time chef under McFadden Market owner Leonard Chan, ultimately wanted to start a joint where he could create his own menu. Carlo’s Filipino heritage was his inspiration for En Tu Boca concept. The spot’s menu includes tacos, burritos, bowls, and nachos done the traditional way with Carnitas and Carne Asada or infused with Filipino fusion items such as Adobo Chicken and Pork Belly. Boca also takes traditional Hispanic sauce, crema, incorporating Filipino flavor like Calamansi, a citrus flavored by orange and lemons.  

Fill your tacos with filipino-flavors at En Tu Boca, located at DTSA's McFadden Public Market | photo courtesy of 100eats

Fill your tacos with filipino-flavors at En Tu Boca, located at DTSA's McFadden Public Market | photo courtesy of 100eats

 

Red Envelope

Located at the 4th Street Market, Chef Michael Pham takes the Vietnamese tradition he grew up with and incorporates with the American and Mexican traditional comfort food. The shaken beef nachos fuses the traditional Mexican dish with Asian flavor with seared diced Angus beef and wonton chips served with standards like sour cream, avocado, and pico de gallo, along with the shaken beef cheese melt, that incorporates the American favorite Philly cheesesteak with Vietnamese and Mexican flavors.   

Red Envelope is serving up shaken beef nachos at 4th Street Market | photo courtesy of 100eats

Red Envelope is serving up shaken beef nachos at 4th Street Market | photo courtesy of 100eats

 

Dos Chinos

For any foodie living in Orange County, this name should be really familiar. Starting off with their artistic looking food truck, they now have multiple brick and mortar locations at 4th Street Market and Trade Food Hall in Irvine. Dos Chinos took Asian fusion by storm by incorporating Vietnamese and Filipino cuisine inside tacos, burritos, and nachos, as well as on top of fries, including their ever popular stoner fries stacked with carne asada, chorizo fried rice, bolsa roasted pork, Monterey Jack cheese, Southeast Asian verde sauce, all topped with a fried egg.

Get your Latin-Asian fusion fix at Dos Chinos, located inside DTSA's 4th Street Market | photo courtesy of Dos Chinos

Get your Latin-Asian fusion fix at Dos Chinos, located inside DTSA's 4th Street Market | photo courtesy of Dos Chinos

 

Yojiie Japanese Fondue

Co-founder Mendrick Leelin wanted to incorporate an art gallery and restaurant into one at this hit Shabu Shabu joint. Since opening its doors in 2007, Yojiie has been serving up traditional Japanese Shabu Shabu and Sukiyaki, also known as Japanese Fondue. Guest are given fresh ingredients, which includes thinly-sliced beef, all which can be dipped into a broth of your choice.

When shabu meets fondue | photo courtesy of Yogiie 

When shabu meets fondue | photo courtesy of Yogiie 

 

Ninjas with Appetite

Starting off originally as a food truck, Ninjas with Appetite does more than just show off their ridiculously good looking food concoctions on their social media pages. While Ninja’s Asian/Mexican fusion blends have become a common presence in the downtown Santa Ana area, their portion sizes help them stand out. Such items like the teriyaki burrito, loaded with crispy garlic fried rice, grilled sliced steak loaded in teriyaki sauce, topped with lots of melted cheese, has attracted customers with heavy appetite.

Be sure to bring your appetite when visiting one of DTSA's ultimate asian-fusion destination, Ninjas with Appetite | photo courtesy of Ninjas with Appetite

Be sure to bring your appetite when visiting one of DTSA's ultimate asian-fusion destination, Ninjas with Appetite | photo courtesy of Ninjas with Appetite



 

Mom's Secretly Want Their Kids To Eat At These OC Dining Destinations

Having family dinner night doesn’t have to mean burgers for the parents and chicken tenders for the kids. Gone are the days of sacrificing healthy, delicious meals just to find a spot with options for the younger generation. If you’re looking for a new go-to spot for your next family dinner, check out these Orange County spots. Not only are these restaurants favored by parents for their delicious, elevated flavors, they also offer great kids at affordable prices menus that break away from the mundane.

 

4th Street Market

4th Street Market is full of legendary concepts. Between Dos Chinos, Falasophy, and Jinny’s Pizzeria, there are so many great options for the whole family, but it gets better — the Santa Ana food hall recently released a kids menu. Four of the concepts will have their own kiddie options, but some highlights include the Cheese Quesa-Pita from Falasophy, the Chicken Teriyaki Bowl from Mar, and Carne Asada Tacos from Dos Chinos. The food hall also houses three delicious dessert spots — Front Porch Pops, Treatery, and Chunk N Chip. After they eat, the kids can play the games while you hang out on in the airy outdoor patio. Even the pickiest youngster will find something to love at 4th Street Market!

Kids and adults alike will love the varietal food options, not to mention the award winning patio which comes complete with games, at 4th Street Market in DTSA | photo courtesy of 100eats

Kids and adults alike will love the varietal food options, not to mention the award winning patio which comes complete with games, at 4th Street Market in DTSA | photo courtesy of 100eats

 

Urban Seoul 2.0

Located at the Irvine Spectrum, Urban Seoul 2.0 is the second location for Urban Seoul, but with an expanded menu. This is the spot to hit if you have adventurous taste buds. Some favorite items for the adults include Garlic Edamame, Chorizo Kimchi Fried Rice Skillet (chorizo, bacon, pork belly, kimchi, garlic, rice, pickled red onions, fried onions, green onions, sunny side up egg), and PBLT (pork belly) sliders. Urban Seoul 2.0 has a great kids menu that strays away from the ordinary mac and cheese and hot dogs. It features Popcorn Chicken and Rice, Gogi Quesadilla, and Cheeseburger Sliders — YUM.

Cheeseburger Sliders for the kiddos, and adventurous flavorful options for you can all be found at Urban Seoul's secondary location in Irvine | photo courtesy of Urban Seoul

Cheeseburger Sliders for the kiddos, and adventurous flavorful options for you can all be found at Urban Seoul's secondary location in Irvine | photo courtesy of Urban Seoul

 

Pandor

Specializing in authentic freshly baked bread, pastries, breakfast, and paninis, this French Boulangerie themed cafe offers appetizing options for both kids and parents. The breakfast menu features a special kids menu in smaller portions for their little bellies ! For "Le Petit Dejeuner," you and the kids can enjoy sweet options like PB&J French Toast, Nutella French Toast, and delicious House Made Granola Parfait as well as savory dishes like the veggie Farmer’s Omelet and Scrambled Egg Sandwich.

Crepes au chocolate please everyone's tastebuds at Pandor | photo courtesy of Pandor

Crepes au chocolate please everyone's tastebuds at Pandor | photo courtesy of Pandor

 

Coliseum Pool & Grill

Summer has arrived, which means grill outs, pool days, and beach picnics. The Coliseum Pool & Grill at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach is the perfect spot to ring in the warmer weather, poolside. For the adults, we love the Colosseum Tempura (shishito peppers and shrimp with sweet chilli aioli), Blackened Cobia Fish Tacos, Roasted Salmon Salad, and Mary’s Chicken (brown rice, brussels sprouts, roasted butternut squash, dried cranberries, pistachios). For the young taste buds, the grill offers a Kids Mozzarella Thin-crust Pizza, Grilled Salmon, Chicken Quesadilla.

Enjoy a sunny weekend meal with the whole family | photo courtesy of Coliseum Pool & Grill

Enjoy a sunny weekend meal with the whole family | photo courtesy of Coliseum Pool & Grill

 

Din Tai Fung

For the Asian fare lovers out there, Din Tai Fung is one of the most popular spots right now for killer dim sum. Located at South Coast Plaza, Din Tai Fung features a long list of buns, dumplings, noodles, and fried rice. For the parents, we recommend starting off with the Cucumber Salad. For your mains, try the Truffle & Pork XiaoLongBau (soup dumplings), Shredded Pork Fried Rice, or Noodles with Sesame Sauce. A lot of Din Tai Fung’s offerings are smaller portions, making them great for the kids with elevated taste buds. They’ll love the Pork Dumplings, Chicken Fried Noodles, and Vegetarian Fried Rice.

Little dumplings for little hands! Din Tai Fung at South Coast Plaza provides top-notch Dim Sum for both youngsters and grown ups alike | photo courtesy of Din Tai Fung

Little dumplings for little hands! Din Tai Fung at South Coast Plaza provides top-notch Dim Sum for both youngsters and grown ups alike | photo courtesy of Din Tai Fung

Get Juiced

Summertime is officially here in Orange County! With the sun out longer and the weather warmer it is the perfect opportunity to grab a refreshing fresh juice, smoothie, or bowl! Usually, summertime treats are sweet, delicious, fried and full of fat (hello, fried ice cream). Fortunately, there is also a plethora of healthy and tasty options for your warm weather needs! Take a look at a list of some favorite Orange County spots for delicious and healthy quick bites!

Get Juiced in OC this summer at spots like KRISP Fresh Living | photo courtesy of KRISP

Get Juiced in OC this summer at spots like KRISP Fresh Living | photo courtesy of KRISP

 

CIVIC
4th Street Market, Santa Ana

Breakfast, burgers, and juices. YUM! CIVIC’s approach is unique in that you can get massive, delicious and decadent breakfast burritos that are out of this world; or order top notch and downright yummy burgers that are too good looking for your Instagram feed AND order fresh, cold pressed juices to wash it all down. Try their jalapeno cucumber lemonade-fresh to order, or, if you’re looking for something more satiating but also on the lighter side try the peanut butter banana smoothie. Fun fact: CIVIC makes their own peanut butter!

CIVIC's PB & Banana Smoothie, featuring house-made peanut butter! | photo courtesy of CIVIC

CIVIC's PB & Banana Smoothie, featuring house-made peanut butter! | photo courtesy of CIVIC

 

KRISP Fresh Living
TRADE, Irvine

This fresh juice bar just opened its doors at TRADE, the new food hall in Irvine. Using all organic ingredients, KRISP aims to preserve the maximum amount of enzymes and nutrients from the produce used. Their cold pressed juices are custom-made and use only the highest quality ingredients that are both raw and organic. Not into juice? They also have raw smoothies, acai bowls, and vegan ice cream. Healthy AND delicious? Check!

Cold-Pressed Green Juice from KRISP Fresh Living at TRADE | photo courtesy of KRISP

Cold-Pressed Green Juice from KRISP Fresh Living at TRADE | photo courtesy of KRISP

 

Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop
SoCo Collection, Costa Mesa

“Eat Well. Live Well.” Committed to using the finest and freshest local ingredients, Greenleaf wants to give customers an affordable yet creative dining option in a fun, comfortable, and relaxed environment. From building your own salads to burgers, pizza, and tacos, there is an option for the health conscious, gluttonous, vegetarian and vegan! Greenleaf also specializes in a wide range of juices and protein shakes depending on your needs. Try the Garden Greens filled with spinach, kale, romaine, cucumber, celery and lemon to get all your greens in. Need that protein shake? The ABC’s is full of almond butter, banana, chocolate protein and chocolate almond milk. Grab one on the go for lunch (or dinner, you do you).

Get your healthy on at Greenleaf | photo courtesy of Greenleaf

Get your healthy on at Greenleaf | photo courtesy of Greenleaf

 

Birdie Bowl & Juicery
The OC Mix, Costa Mesa

Tucked in the OC Mix, Birdie Bowl welcomes guests with its wood paneling and ever-changing chalkboard, Birdie Bowl and Juicery offers acai and pitaya bowls, fresh, cold-pressed juices and ‘mylk.’ Try the classic bowl with acai or pitaya and top it with fresh berries. Need something a little sweeter and full of chocolate? The chocolate bowl will please your cravings. Cold pressed juice flavors are fun and not your typical run of the mill with golden chia and minted melon making waves on the menu. And don’t forget about their mylks-homemade nut milks ranging from classic mylk, to chocolate mylk and pineapple and strawberry mylk.

Birdie is the cutest juicery in town, located within The OC Mix | photo courtesy of Birdie

Birdie is the cutest juicery in town, located within The OC Mix | photo courtesy of Birdie

 

Growl Juice Pub
Old Towne, Orange

Tucked in a cute little alleyway in Old Towne Orange, Growl Juice Pub specializes in cold-pressed juice, smoothies, and pitaya and acai bowls. And if you’ve been going a little hard on the junk food, their detox cleanse or elixir will get your body in reset mode. Shot, elixirs, and waters will give your body the restart it didn’t know it needed; cold pressed juices will quickly get those greens in and smoothies and acai or pitaya bowls will fill you up if you’re looking for something on the lighter but also satiating side. Depending on your need (detox, reset, just-looking-for-lunch), Growl Juice Pub will satisfy.

Reset your body with Growl's detox cleanse | photo courtesy of Growl Juice Pub

Reset your body with Growl's detox cleanse | photo courtesy of Growl Juice Pub

 

Blue Bowl
Orange

Specializing in only smoothie bowls, Blue Bowl is the place to go if looking for something delicious, full of superfoods and downright aesthetically pleasing for your Instagram feed. What is also cool about Blue Bowl is you, dear customer, get to create your own, starting from the base (acai, pitaya or steel cut oats), to literally customizing layer by layer of what you think would make the perfect bowl. Ranging from fruits, nut butters, granolas, dried fruits, seeds, honey and agaves, every creation is spectacular, satisfying… and almost too pretty to eat.

Build your own bowl of superfoods at Blue Bowl in Orange | photo courtesy of Blue Bowl

Build your own bowl of superfoods at Blue Bowl in Orange | photo courtesy of Blue Bowl

 

 

OC's Hottest Cold Treats

Summer is coming! You know what that means… ice cream! Oh my, bring on the creamy, cold sweet. If you’re anything like me, you already have a few favorite spots to grab your favorite iced sweet treat, however, branch out this season and take a look at this roundup of the hottest cold treats in Orange County to kick off summer!
 

Front Porch Pops

4th Street Market, Santa Ana

It’s “Happiness on a Stick” — need I say more? What’s more nostalgic than popsicles? Front Porch Pops brings all your childhood happiness back with innovative flavors ranging from fruit, creamy and a mix of both. ‘Ain’t Misbehavin Mojito’ and ‘Vietnamese Coffee’ are just a few flavors on the menu and if you want that creamy, citrusy nostalgia go for the ‘Orange Creamsicle’, I promise it’ll be better than the one you find in the frozen section at your local grocery store.

Front Porch Pops offers a variety of innovative seasonal flavors | photo courtesy of 4th St Market

Front Porch Pops offers a variety of innovative seasonal flavors | photo courtesy of 4th St Market

 

Chunk N Chip

4th Street Market, Santa Ana

Ice cream sandwiches! With a ‘build-your-own’ vibe you get to perfect your own ‘sammich’. With fresh, ooey-gooey cookies, homemade small batch ice cream made with simple, fresh and local ingredients… what’s not to get excited about? Also, all of the flavors are unique and flavorful! Try the unexpected, like pear gorgonzola with orange marmalade or keep it classic with cookies n cream. Unexpected creations are strongly encouraged.

The ideal summer Ice Cream Sammich' is at Chunk N Chip | photo courtesy of @tanayas.table

The ideal summer Ice Cream Sammich' is at Chunk N Chip | photo courtesy of @tanayas.table

 

Sweet COMBforts

TRADE, Irvine

What’s another foodie staple that screams summer? Anything on a stick! We’re talkin’ delicious, freshly made Belgian Liege waffles on a stick drizzled with chocolate, white chocolate, and sprinkled with colorful toppings. Pair it with a solid scoop of creamy, cold ice cream and your summer is made! Create your own decadent flavors from fruity to chocolatey. Toppings range from Oreo bits, cheesecake bites and strawberries and with your picturesque waffle on a stick in hand, you're ready to take on the world

Belgian Life Waffle 'POPS' from Sweet COMBforts | photo courtesy of @mizz_ro_ro on instagram

Belgian Life Waffle 'POPS' from Sweet COMBforts | photo courtesy of @mizz_ro_ro on instagram

 

Milk Man Ice Cream

McFadden Public Market, Santa Ana

Looking for something classic, delicious and freshly made? Check out Milk Man Ice Cream. Located in Downtown Santa Ana’s newest food hall, McFadden Public Market, Milk Man is mixing things up this summer. All of their ice cream is freshly made using premium ingredients. ‘Old Fashioned’ is in their slogan so you know you can count on delicious shakes, floats, sundaes and three-tiered ice cream cones.

Milk Man offers their homemade ice cream flavors daily at Downtown Santa Ana's newest food hall, McFadden Public Market | photo courtesy of @alliosn

Milk Man offers their homemade ice cream flavors daily at Downtown Santa Ana's newest food hall, McFadden Public Market | photo courtesy of @alliosn

 

Treatery

4th Street Market, Santa Ana

You’re looking for something sweet but don’t necessarily want ice cream? Treatery is your spot with classic and decadent desserts to cure that sweet tooth. If you want something convenient, tiered and delicious, grab a parfait, decadence layered to perfection for exactly what you’re craving.

Refreshing parfaits are the perfect summer 'TREAT' at Treatery | photo courtesy of 100eats

Refreshing parfaits are the perfect summer 'TREAT' at Treatery | photo courtesy of 100eats

 

STAX Cookie Bar

Irvine

Go decadent at Stax and get the Stuffed Smookie -- warm cookies stuffed with nutella then topped with ice cream! Cookies, waffles, ice cream, frozen yogurt, cream rolls -- these are just a few items on Stax Cookie Bar’s menu. Known for making cookies in-house every day, including gluten-free and vegan options, as well as ice cream that comes chock-full of natural, delicious ingredients, Stax is the one stop shop for all your sweet needs. Try the classics like their ice cream sandwiches, perhaps the rolled ice cream, or maybe even the creamritos (ice cream burritos) -- your cravings have just been crushed.

Mint Chip-filled Creamritos from STAX | photo courtesy of STAX Cookie Bar

Mint Chip-filled Creamritos from STAX | photo courtesy of STAX Cookie Bar

 

I am.

The Anaheim Packing District, Anaheim

Liquid nitrogen snowball, need I say more? Located in the Anaheim Packing District, I am is known for their Korean rice balls dipped in liquid nitrogen to create a frozen treat. Even cooler (pun intended), the aesthetic of the snowballs are very pleasing to the eye and makes for the perfect Instagram photo-op. If ice cold rice balls aren’t your thing, I am also offers ice cream covered in your favorite toppings, smoothies for the health conscious, and shaved ice. Bring it on Summer!

Shaved Ice topped with fresh fruit from I am | photo courtesy of @vyt92 on instagram

Shaved Ice topped with fresh fruit from I am | photo courtesy of @vyt92 on instagram

 

 

Eat Well, Feel Good

 

Southern California is not only a mecca of year-round warm weather and a set of abs. The local beach-lifestyle has also bred a number of oversaturated diets trends. It’s time we acknowledge that shedding our winter coat doesn’t equate to ridding ourselves from all things flavorful. Indulging in a healthy, savory bite brings life to the monotonous, weekly meal prep ritual, and Orange County is flooded with a myriad of healthy, reinvigorating eateries for all our summer beach body gains.

BUTTERLEAF

Located in one of the OCs newest food halls, TRADE, Butterleaf is vegetarian food for non-vegetarians. Their menu features an expansive list of plant-based items, but Butterleaf is not your average veggie joint. The concept serves up Avocado Bombs (tempura avocado), Veggie Chowder, the Signature Butterleaf Burger (made with sweet potato, kale, melted onions, kimchi sauce), among other delicious, healthy bites. Get ready to be WOWed at how tasty veggies can be.

Irresistable Avocado Bombs from Butterleaf, located at TRADE

Irresistable Avocado Bombs from Butterleaf, located at TRADE

 

MAR

In a place swimming with poke purveyors, MAR stands out above the rest. A modern MARiscos eatery with a Hawaiian twist, it is filled with an infinite abyss of delicious pre-made poke bowls. Nestled inside Santa Ana’s 4th Street Market, MAR has become the poke version of fro-yo with its Vegan, Rainbow and Coconut Mango poke bowls. For a healthier bowl, add on those veggies and substitute your white rice for brown. Some other amazing options include a raw fish salad and a zucchini noodle base bowl. Whichever option you choose, eating healthy has never been tastier so long as you go easy on the sauce. Fish is a great healthy protein choice, so go get your omega-3 fatty acids in at MAR in Santa Ana.

Varietal Poke Bowls from MAR, located at 4th Street Market

Varietal Poke Bowls from MAR, located at 4th Street Market

FALASOPHY

Originally a food truck, Falasophy now has a spot at 4th Street Market. The Santa Ana eatery features a menu centered around falafel, hummus, and traditional Lebanese street flavors. While a falafel bowl doused in tahini sauce falls more on the heartier side, these high-fiber deep fried fritters are rich in plant protein and healthy fats. Made with pickled red cabbage, Persian cucumbers, tomatoes, hummus, and falafel, it’s hard to say no to Falasophy’s Ultimate Hummus Bowl. For those who live and die for tahini sauce, indulge in Falasophy’s Organic-Quinoa Tabouli salad for an ample balance.

The powerfully filing 'Ultimate Hummus Bowl' from Falasophy, located at 4th Street Market

The powerfully filing 'Ultimate Hummus Bowl' from Falasophy, located at 4th Street Market

SHUCK OYSTER BAR

It’s safe to say the majority of SoCal natives are well-versed in all things sushi, but when looking out for your figure, it's probably best to skip all that rice. Luckily, Shuck Oyster Bar carries a healthier alternative — oysters. Shuck Oyster Bar is served up fresh oysters, which provide an immense vitamin boost and are packed with minerals such as iron and zinc. The bar resembles a brewery, except instead of a list of brews, it’s loaded with a diverse list of oysters that are delivered daily from over 60 farms. With oysters readily available from throughout the U.S., it’s merely impossible to resist the temptation of not trying more than one. Oysters are low in calories and high in protein, which makes it a great a post-workout meal. Raise your oysters for a toast and shuck ‘em all down at Shuck Oyster Bar!

Oysters are packed with healthy minerals, served up daily at Shuck Oyster Bar in Costa Mesa

Oysters are packed with healthy minerals, served up daily at Shuck Oyster Bar in Costa Mesa

CAL SHABU

Prepare your food one bite at a time in a broth fondue at Cal Shabu. The beauty of Cal Shabu is the ability for the consumer to create their own taste while managing their portions. Their wide selection of lean, uncooked, thinly sliced meats accompanied by freshly cut vegetables makes room for flexibility, allowing the consumer to be the chef. Cal Shabu offers a variety of condiments including garlic, green onions. and white radish and a number of protein choices, like boneless chicken, Atlantic salmon, bay scallops, New York beef and center cut pork tenderloin — all resting in the health-conscious shabu-shabu broth.

You're the Chef at Cal Shabu, meaning you can make your meal as healthy as you wish

You're the Chef at Cal Shabu, meaning you can make your meal as healthy as you wish

ALTA BAJA MARKET

Alta Baja Market is a deli, a grocery store, and an educational space. This Santa Ana spot serves up a copious amount of breakfast goodness all designed to set a healthy tone for the rest of the day. A couple notable mentions include the pecan butter, banana, and local honey bagel, and the cream cheese, veggies, avocado, and citrus pepper bagel. Pair your bagel with a Mija Bowl — a bowl of greek yogurt assorted with fruit, Daughters granola, and local honey, and opt to dine in or take it to go. We recommend dining in, as the budding downtown Santa Ana culture only lends to Alta Baja’s charm.

A flavorful veggie-topped bagel for breakfast available at Alta Baja, located at 4th Street Market

A flavorful veggie-topped bagel for breakfast available at Alta Baja, located at 4th Street Market

MESA

Oftentimes ordering a salad for dinner seems reasonable when dieting, but nothing screams boring more than chowing down heaps of bland lettuce and leaves. Mesa offers local, experimental, and sustainable salad entrees perfectly suited for folks in search of a flavorful dose of greens. Start off with a plate of savory bite-sized ahi tuna tacos wrapped in watermelon radish shells. A great main dish is the Avocado Grapefruit Salad — a filling salad mixed with sliced avocados, segmented ruby grapefruit, blood orange, shaved fennel, and fennel topped off with citrus shallot vinaigrette. Not only are Mesa’s salads perfectly portioned, but all their produce is sourced from local farmer’s markets.

Ahi Tuna "Tacos" at Mesa are served in watermelon radish shells

Ahi Tuna "Tacos" at Mesa are served in watermelon radish shells

NATIVE FOODS CAFE

Native Foods Café is the ultimate vegan paradise whose alluring charm has managed to captivate the hearts of meat-lovers throughout Southern California. The hardest part about eating healthy is turning down junk food, but with a well-balanced, beyond flavorful organic menu, Native Foods has taken away the guilt that accompanies the joys of a mouth-watering burger, nachos, and tacos. Their Native Chicken Run Ranch is a scrumptious burger packed with native chicken, romaine, carrots, red onions, and ranch dressing that will leave your mind distorted when you realize the chicken is actually tofu. This gluten-free, non-GMO cafe has opened another path for alternative meat fulfillment without sacrificing quality, texture, or taste.

Watermelon Poke Bowl at Native Foods Cafe is exceptionally colorful and flavorful

Watermelon Poke Bowl at Native Foods Cafe is exceptionally colorful and flavorful

URBAN PLATES

Living a well-nourished lifestyle can be easily fulfilled at Urban Plates. The all organic restaurant follows a cafeteria-style format with a fine dining semblance. To begin, order one of their high-quality proteins, like grass fed steak, free-range chicken, California pole or line-caught albacore tuna. Then, order your sides as you trail down the visually appealing assembly line. This eatery has cultivated a menu that focuses entirely on sustainably sourced ingredients and prides itself on serving real fresh food daily, in scratch-cooking fashion. This means that regardless if you choose a sandwich, soup, or plate, Urban Plates is guaranteed to deliver a limitless amount of healthy options.

The Beet Salad at Urban Plates is next level

The Beet Salad at Urban Plates is next level

TRUE FOOD KITCHEN

Forget compromise. Forget calorie counting. Forget going easy on the sauce. True Food Kitchen is a picky eater’s utopia and the health-conscious foodie’s ultimate Shangri-La. By using sessional ingredients, True Food Kitchen offers a dynamic, rotating menu that is guaranteed to please even the ficklest of eaters. True Food Kitchen is extremely transparent with their ingredients and preparation so there are no surprises on why you're consuming. With food that’s so incredibly good, you’ll feel healthier just by staring at it.

Pan Roasted Chicken with broccolini, heirloom potato and chermoulafrom True Food Kitchen

Pan Roasted Chicken with broccolini, heirloom potato and chermoulafrom True Food Kitchen

Your Mom will Love these Darling Tea Time Spots for Mother's Day

Raise those pinkies up high and pull out the fine china because this Mother’s Day calls for treating mother dearest to a lavish spread at a sumptuous tea party. Afternoon tea, paired with a delectable assortment of decadent treats, is a perfect way to spend quality time with mom, and Orange County is filled with some of the best locations when looking to host a dainty tea party.   

PB&J finger sandwiches at Habana, perfect for Tea Time with Mom | photo courtesy of 100eats

PB&J finger sandwiches at Habana, perfect for Tea Time with Mom | photo courtesy of 100eats

Habana

Habana is a Cuban, Latin-American establishment for those seeking a uniquely serene restaurant experience instead of the usual run-of-the-mill spot. The dimly lit, romantic interior might scream date-night, but Habana’s outside patio carries a colorfully vibrant, lively ambiance, creating the ideal atmosphere for a Mother’s Day brunch. The Cuban-inspired brunch will feature slow-roasted Lechon and paella, omelets made-to-order, plantain pancakes, a seafood tower and carving station, fruits, salad, and of course, a dessert.

Omelettes made-to-order at Habana's Sunday Brunch | photo courtesy of 100eats

Omelettes made-to-order at Habana's Sunday Brunch | photo courtesy of 100eats

 

Pamela’s Tea Room

Pamela’s quaint, victorian tea room touts hard-to-find British delicacies and treats, making it a perfect spot for Anglophiles. The Tea Room’s homey charm is best known for its award-winning scones, an exquisite variety of finger sandwiches, and fresh pots of unlimited English tea. Some of their most popular teas include the Yorkshire Gold and the PG Tips, but various herb teas are also available for moms that love natural health benefits.

Freshly baked treats at Pamela's Tea Room | photo courtesy of Pamela's Tea Room on Instagram

Freshly baked treats at Pamela's Tea Room | photo courtesy of Pamela's Tea Room on Instagram

 

LSXO

LSXO, an extension of Bluegold at Pacific City and a spin-off of “Little Sister,” is a Vietnamese-haute cuisine parlor with a speakeasy feel. The small, intimate restaurant debuts afternoon tea daily with open-faced roast beef finger sandwiches and truffles. Although LSXO is known for their Vietnamese fusion entrees, their Chinese-inspired teas, such as the Hong Kong-style Milk Tea and London Fog, are guaranteed to make your mother smile with warmth.

Afternoon Tea done right at LSXO | photo courtesy of LSXO 

Afternoon Tea done right at LSXO | photo courtesy of LSXO 

 

Spring Tea Garden

This Mother’s Day spoil your mom at Spring Tea Garden with a “one-of-a-king” — or in this case, queen, tea experience. With a generous selection of vintage tea party hats to choose from for those ready to relish in the classy affair, Spring Tea Garden boasts an elegant yet cozy ambiance, three tiers of food that are far from lackluster, and a fine selection of over 20 teas, need I say more?

Spring Tea Garden in Fullerton does it right | photo courtesy of @debbyle on Instagram

Spring Tea Garden in Fullerton does it right | photo courtesy of @debbyle on Instagram

 

Royal Tea & Treatery

Royal Tea and Treatery is modern day tea house specifically tailored for mothers who thought their days of eating out had come to an end due to dietary restrictions. This dairy-free, gluten-free facility is engulfed in a vivacious yet sophisticated décor, appearing like an Alice in Wonderland dream, and offers five different tea packages with tea from India, China, and Africa.  

Royal Tea and Treatery, a modern day tea house | photo courtesy of Royal Tea and Treatery is modern day tea house

Royal Tea and Treatery, a modern day tea house | photo courtesy of Royal Tea and Treatery is modern day tea house

 

The Tea House on Los Rios

Located in the Los Rios historic area in San Juan Capistrano, The Tea House on Los Rios is a whimsically styled cottage that offers a luxurious Prix Fixe Mother’s Day lunch menu. Known as the Traditional Mother’s Day High Tea menu, the special includes a freshly baked currant scone, homegrown basil soup, a farmer’s market green salad, an assortment of upscale sandwiches, and a glass of champagne.   

The Tea House on Los Rios offers a variety of finger sandwiches alongside their tea selection | photo courtesy of The Tea House on Los Rios on Facebnook

The Tea House on Los Rios offers a variety of finger sandwiches alongside their tea selection | photo courtesy of The Tea House on Los Rios on Facebnook

 

Paris in a Cup

Nestled in Historic Old Towne Orange lies a French themed tea salon, Paris in a Cup. Why fly to France when a little piece of Paris has been brought to Orange? Plus, this year, Paris in a Cup will have a “Paris Memories” themed Mother’s Day celebration designed to build fond memories over a cup of tea with mom.

Tea time isn't complete without adorable bite-sized desserts | photo courtesy of Paris in a Cup

Tea time isn't complete without adorable bite-sized desserts | photo courtesy of Paris in a Cup

The OC Chefs You Can't Miss in 2017

The world of restaurants is ever-evolving, and no one is immune to the brute force of inevitable change that comes with the industry. Across Orange County’s kitchens, old faces are ushering out as new Head Chefs step up to the plate, bringing with them modern technique, innovative flavors, and an immersion of fresh passion to their newly-acquired helms. 2017’s fresh batch of OC chefs is one to keep your eye on.

 

Alex Moreno of Habana
Executive Chef

Chef Alex Moreno’s passion for Latin fare can be traced back to his learning days behind the line in LA. Names like Spago and Bastide fleck his professional timeline, in addition to experience with recipe and menu developments. His talents have even been displayed in the limelight, seen by top chefs and celebrities -- we’re talking winning Chopped and cooking for the likes of Van Halen and Destiny’s Child as a Tour Chef. Now he’s taken on the role of Executive Chef at Cuban dining locale Habana. Once the doors of Habana Irvine open (located at the Spectrum, expected to open in 2017) look out for Moreno’s signature flare and new menu additions, including Afternoon Tea in the Habana Cafe.

 

Kristy Gunn of Shuck Oyster Bar
Head Chef

SOCO’s Shuck Oyster Bar is not Chef Kristy Gunn’s first rodeo, and while it’s the young chef’s first taste as Head Chef, it’s not without the hard work and paid dues emblematic of a chef’s life. Going from prep to line cook, to working under innovative Chef Jason Quinn, this woman chef left no stone unturned, finally leading her to the ranks of Head Chef at Shuck. With her latest career move coinciding with the oyster bar’s full kitchen remodel, Gunn found an opportunity for a menu expansion. Think comfort food classics like Beer Battered ‘Shrooms, Tomato Bisque in a lobster stock, and Shuck’s first ever dessert, Bread Pudding Bites. Make your way to The OC Mix at SOCO and see for yourself what one of the youngest chefs in Orange County has prepared.

 

Anne Marie Damaso of Sweet COMBforts
Executive Chef & Co-Owner

In the restaurant game, Anne Marie Damaso wears two hats: 1. Entrepreneuse and 2. Belgian Liege Waffle Buff, two key components to waffle house brainchild, Sweet COMBforts. Since her days spent in the kitchen as a young girl with pastry-filled dreams, the Central California native looked for new ways to push the boundaries when it came to plating, and soon found joy in Belgian Liege waffle creations, a European street food that fittingly is traditionally eaten with your hands. You can find Sweet COMBforts opening up at TRADE in Irvine, where Damaso and her team look forward to bringing a new level of sweet indulgence.

 

Fernando Valladares of Portside
Executive Chef/Co-Owner

Chef Fernando Valladares has been passionate about food since he was just a kid playing in his mother’s kitchens in LA and El Salvador. After an educational stint at Le Cordon Bleu, Valladares took to an internship at South Coast Plaza’s Charlie Palmer, then onto other finer dining experiences such as the St. Regis in Dana Point and The Montage in Beverly Hills among the ranks for Scarpetta by Scott Conant. While such hoity-toity restaurants make up his culinary journey, Valladares credits humility as his greatest virtue in the kitchen. With his newest project Portside opening in TRADE, Irvine’s first food hall, Valladares aims to serve the community a healthy and chef-driven seafood menu.

 

Rashad Moumneh of Falasophy
Executive Chef & Owner

Rashad Moumneh has one mission for Falasophy, his Lebanese eatery: to meet at the crossroads of street food and healthy. Moumneh took to family recipes to offer exciting and all-natural falafel, hummus, and Lebanese street food to Orange County in an otherwise lackluster falafel market through the first Falasophy food truck. He takes pride in being one of the few food trucks to offer a full-on vegetarian (and sometimes vegan) menu, so when DTSA’s 4th Street Market had an opening, he found a brick-and-mortar for his food concept, with doors finally opening just January of this year. Within the small business incubator, Moumneh is bringing an expanded menu with new vegetarian items for food hall goers to enjoy.

 

Jay Lacuesta of Twenty Eight
Executive Chef

Jay Lacuesta is still newer to his role as Executive Chef of Twenty Eight (formerly ran by Top Chef Shirley Chung) but is no stranger to being behind the line. An alum to both Le Cordon Bleu and Jose Andres’ Think Food Group, Lacuesta learned that food is meant to be an experience. Under the mentorship of Chef Chung, Lacuesta developed his appreciation of playing with various flavor profiles and unique ingredients, which can now be found in his transformative menu at Twenty Eight. The shift from Fine Dining Chinese cuisine to New American Roasthouse is no easy feat, but Lacuesta’s biggest strides so far? Bringing a meat-centric menu to Twenty Eight’s table, with items like dry aged Kurobuta pork shoulder and a 40 oz. bone-in ribeye.

 

Ross Pangilinan of Mix Mix Kitchen Bar
Executive Chef & Owner

Chef Ross Pangilinan is growing into an industry-household name, with his latest entrepreneurial endeavor at DTSA’s Mix Mix Kitchen. Even with a resume that boasts a stint in France’s double Michelin-starred Les Trois Marche, along with over ten years with Patina Group from sous to Executive Chef, opening fusion concept Mix Mix in DTSA undoubtedly highlights Pangilinan’s coup de maitre. Mix Mix really kicks it up a notch with playful menu items like Pork Rind Nachos, Seared Foie Gras Bunuelo with al pastor spices and charred-to-perfection pineapple. Reintroducing humble foods infused with global fine dining influence, Chef Ross is changing OC’s food scene in ways that deserve some serious kudos.

 

Ryan Sumner of Lighthouse Bayview Cafe
Executive Chef

In an established culinary environment like Southern California, enter new kid on the block, Ryan Sumner, the fresh-faced Executive Chef of Lighthouse Bayview. A California native, the young chef has managed to put some real experience under his chef’s hat, from his classical training at Le Cordon Bleu to moving on to Charlie Palmer to work under Chef Seakyeong Kim. Sumner was offered the coveted position of Exec Chef at the waterfront concept, Lighthouse Bayview, with the promise of creative liberty to make a menu that speaks most to the young chef, all at the ripe age of 26. With the freedom to put full passion into his very first menu, Chef Sumner is whipping up New American continental favorites with a modern twist, like Croissant French Toast for brunch and a red wine braised short rib dish flaunted on the dinner menu.

Garrett Dunbar is Saving The World, One Burrito at a Time

Garrett Dunbar of OC Burrito Project
is making a difference...
one burrito at a time

OC Burrito Project founder Garrett Dunbar has a mission: to improve the lives of Santa Ana’s homeless community, one burrito at a time. Like many things in life, it was not one single event that led to the entire existence of another, but rather all the dots connecting to create something wonderful. For Garrett Dunbar, a passion for helping others, a law education, and an internship at the Orange County Office of County Counsel all led to the start of the OC Burrito Project.

A Passion For Service
Throughout his education, Garrett committed himself to numerous community service opportunities. As a high schooler in Palos Verdes, he volunteered with Los Hermanos, a group that took on many community-oriented projects, including helping meal assistance programs. Later, when Garrett was an undergraduate Political Science student at UCLA, he participated in the “Swipes for the Homeless” program, where leftover meal “swipes” were donated to the homeless so they could have a meal in the university’s dining hall. It was always Garrett’s plan to go to law school and work at his father’s law firm, however, once he started school at Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, he quickly realized he needed to be doing something more fulfilling – something beyond himself.

A Call to Something Greater
When Garrett found himself feeling unfulfilled at law school, he wasn’t sure where to go next. He had invested so much time and money into a career he thought he was supposed to be doing. Garrett notes “I didn't feel comfortable simply leaving it all together, so I started looking for ways to incorporate the law into things I enjoyed.” Having grown up in Southern California with a passion for the environment, he pursued legal internships at Orange County Coastkeepers and the Surfrider Foundation. These internships inspired Garrett to use his background in law to bring justice to low-income communities which are disproportionately affected by pollution.

It was in his final year at law school, when Garrett began an County Counsel internship at the Civic Center in Santa Ana that inspiration for what would later become the OC Burrito Project struck. “I walked past around 500 homeless people that had encampments throughout the area and I was absolutely in shock.” When Garrett asked his supervisors and authorities what was being done about the problem, he kept finding himself at a dead end. Between broken links for homelessness support and public officials that didn’t seem to care, it seemed like nothing was being done about the problem. Rather than give up on the issue, Garrett found inspiration for the project he’d been looking for: helping the homeless.

The Project

When his inspiration struck, Garrett was also working at his school’s law library. He started reading about how to form a nonprofit in California and get 501(c)(3) status. He says he could finally “use [his] passion for helping people and knowledge of the law to start doing something tangible” for those who had been ignored. The idea to use burritos as the vehicle to help the homeless came from Garrett’s finacé, who previously had been involved with the South Pasadena Burrito Project and suggested he volunteer with them and see how they function. After learning about this, and other burrito projects in the LA and Orange County area, he realized none of them had the wraparound support that the homeless community needed in terms of food, mental health services, job training, legal aid, and substance abuse counseling, and so he established the OC Burrito Project with these services in mind.

When the project first began in November 2015, Garrett, his fiancé, and six friends assembled 150 burritos in his apartment to pass out to the people living in the encampments surrounding the Civic Center. Through the event, Garrett learned more about the complexity of issues that accompany homelessness and knew if he wanted to serve the homeless like he set out to do, he was going to need to get the community involved. Through GoFundMe pages and social media, they were able to scale up the number of burritos they wrapped and attract more volunteers. In the project’s first year, they rolled over 4,000 burritos, put together 2,500 goodie bags with toiletries and snacks, handed out thousands of articles of clothing and pairs of shoes, and introduced more than 100 different volunteers from the community to their homeless neighbors. If they were to continue this kind of growth, however, Garrett needed to find a commercial kitchen and fast.  

4th Street Market’s East End Incubator Kitchen (EEK)

After struggling to find the kitchen he was looking for, Garrett reached out to 4th Street Market. to use their commercial kitchen, EEK. They almost immediately responded and asked Garrett about his project and his future plans for it. Since October 2016, the OC Burrito Project has been rolling burritos in either the EEK itself or Foodbeast Kitchen Studio. On his first day in the kitchen, he says he was “so awestruck by the equipment and working alongside actual chefs and catering companies I almost didn’t know what to do with myself.” Garrett says EEK has allowed them to decrease their cooking time, meet their storage needs, and cook a lot more beans and rice than they ever could in his apartment. What’s more, they are able to walk straight from the kitchen to distribution. His favorite part of the kitchen, though, is how easy the three-stage sink has made cleanup!

Garrett Dunbar started the OC Burrito Project by making 150 burritos in his apartment with ingredients bought using his financial aid money and now serves the homeless community of Santa Ana in ways he never imagined. Looking to the future of the OC Burrito Project, Garrett is excited about using the program to educate and inspire the community to break down the stigma surrounding homelessness, as well as focus on advocacy, outreach, and developing services full time.

Upcoming Music-Inspired Tasting Menus at Mesa

“Frank Sinatra”, "Talking Heads", and Florence & The Machine" inspired
Tasting Menus at Mesa

THESE MUSIC-INSPIRED CHEF'S TABLE DINNERS TAKE PLACE
AT MESA EVERY TUESDAY,
WITH A UNIQUE THEME FOR EACH MONTH OF 2017

The Frank Sinatra Chef's Table Menu will be available starting on April 4, 2017

The Frank Sinatra Chef's Table Menu will be available starting on April 4, 2017

Each Chef's Table dinner is held on all Tuesdays of each month. A new theme will be implemented on the first Tuesday of every month. First Reservation available is 5PM, last available at 9PM.

Reservations available at mesacostamesa.com


UPCOMING CHEF'S TABLE DINNERS

APRIL: Frank Sinatra
MAY: Talking Heads
JUNE: Florence & The Machine

"For the Frank Sinatra dinner, I was inspired by the very first kitchen I worked in: French 75 in Laguna Beach. It seemed like every time I would walk through the dining room with red velvet booths, dim lighting, and an old school fine dining feel, Frank would be playing through the speakers, giving the restaurant even more of a classic and romantic feel.
This is a homage of sorts to my time at French 75 -- classic french dishes, paired with the timeless voice of Frank Sinatra."
- Chef Niki Starr

Frank Sinatra Tasting Menu

APRIL, 2017

Inspired by timeless music and timeless food

COURSE 1

French Onion Soup, short rib, puff pastry

COURSE 2

Foie Tourchon, pickled cherry compote, mâche, onion ring maldon salt served with rustic loaf

COURSE 3

Coq Au Vin served with cauliflower puree
*served table-side

COURSE 4

Chocolate soufflé with hot chocolate ganache and chantilly cream
*served table-side

Foie Tourchon, the second course of the Frank Sinatra Chef's Table Menu

Foie Tourchon, the second course of the Frank Sinatra Chef's Table Menu

Tickets available at mesacostamesa.com

 

For more information or interview requests please contact

Bobby Navarro at 100eats - Events and Promotions.

bobby@100eats.com

714.673.8117

100eats.com

Orange County Salad Roundup

 

Like the good bears that we are, we’ve definitely fattened up during the winter months. Now that spring is here, though, there’s nothing to stop us from getting back on the health train. Luckily Orange County is chock full of great options for that, like these killer salads that we’ve so graciously compiled for you right here.

House Salad from Jinny's Pizzeria at 4th Street Market | photo courtesy of Frances Tang

House Salad from Jinny's Pizzeria at 4th Street Market | photo courtesy of Frances Tang

 

Habana
Costa Mesa

Fun fact: Habana actually means “salad heaven”. The Costa Mesa Cuban local fave has some great ones, all $15 or under for dinner. Give the Organic Baby Spinach Salad (with herbed goat cheese croutons, crispy jamon serrano, avocado, tomatoes, red onion, and orange ginger vinaigrette) or the Ensalada Catalan (romaine, heirloom tomato, fried goat cheese, raw garlic, olive oil, and red wine vinaigrette) a shot to experience said heaven.

Habana's Roasted Vegetable & Mixed Greens | photo courtesy of @stylereportmag on instagram

Habana's Roasted Vegetable & Mixed Greens | photo courtesy of @stylereportmag on instagram

 

Fresh Brothers
Multiple Locations

You already know that Fresh Brothers puts together a rock-solid lineup of pizza and wings, but did you know that they also put together a rock-solid lineup of BBQ chicken, Greek, and other salads? Did you know that they also ALSO put together rock-solid options to build-your-own-salad? Of course you did.

Fresh Brothers' Caesar Salad | photo courtesy of Fresh Brothers

Fresh Brothers' Caesar Salad | photo courtesy of Fresh Brothers

 

Shuck Oyster Bar
Costa Mesa

Your go-to Costa Mesa oyster spot (that frequently rocks $3 oysters and no corkage) will be your go-to seafood salad spot once you get your hands and mouth on one of the ocean-friendly salads Leonard Chan's team is serving up. If the Crab Louie doesn’t do it for you, their garden salad with your choice of smoked salmon, shrimp, crab, or lobster definitely should.

Crab Louie Salad at Shuck Oyster Bar | photo courtesy of 100eats

Crab Louie Salad at Shuck Oyster Bar | photo courtesy of 100eats

 

Jinny’s Pizzeria
Santa Ana

Sometimes the most soul-soothing meal is a hearty Italian chopped salad. Jinny’s Italian, with romaine, radicchio, Castelvetrano olives, radicchio, red onion, tomatoes, mozzarella, and house giardiniera dressing should do exactly the trick. See ya there.

From left, Jinny's Italian, House, and California Caesar Salads | photo courtesy of Frances Tang

From left, Jinny's Italian, House, and California Caesar Salads | photo courtesy of Frances Tang

 

Butterleaf
Irvine

Okay, so Butterleaf doesn’t exactly have salads, but they do have veggie bowls and if you’re trying not to eat like a monster all the time, Butterleaf still has your back. Coming soon to TRADE in Irvine, we suggest you try out one of their build-your-own bowls; choose from brown rice, quinoa, or freekeh, then pile on your veggies -- choices of kale, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes-- , and douse ‘em in either citrus honey sauce, tiger sauce, or herb sauce. Also available as a wrap, if you hate forks.

Avocado Quinoa Salad Bowl | photo courtesy of Butterleaf

Avocado Quinoa Salad Bowl | photo courtesy of Butterleaf

 

Greenleaf
Costa Mesa

The obvious move when it comes to Greenleaf is to build your own salad, since they rock a near-perfect list of ingredients to choose from, like agave-roasted walnuts, Thai chili, and grilled flat-iron steak. But if you feel lazy/so inclined, you can grab one of their house favorites, like Lemongrass Chicken (Scarborough Farms baby mixed greens, grilled chicken, mango, grilled pineapple, jicama, popcorn shoots, toasted coconuts, cashews, Thai chili, and lemongrass lychee) or Mexplosion (Scarborough Farms baby mixed greens, black beans, pico de gallo, cilantro, avocado, sunflower seeds, tortilla strips, queso fresco, roasted pepperoncini blend, and spicy chipotle orange bbq sauce).

Build Your Own Salad at Greenleaf | photo courtesy of Greenleaf

Build Your Own Salad at Greenleaf | photo courtesy of Greenleaf

 

East Borough
Costa Mesa

The beloved Costa Mesa Vietnamese restaurant may be known for their sandwiches and rice bowls, but the salads at their disposal are big-time winners. You can go for the Grapefruit Salad, ( red & Napa cabbage, cilantro, basil, candied peanuts, shallots, and citrus vinaigrette), the Pickled Mango & Kale (pickled mango, black kale, red onions peanuts, toasted sesame seeds & coconut,  and sesame vinaigrette), or the Vermicelli Noodles (spring mix, herbs, bean sprouts, cucumbers, peanuts, fried shallots, egg roll, and citrus vinaigrette). Don’t be afraid to add chicken, tofu, pork, shrimp, or pork belly either.

Vegan Black Kale Salad at East Borough, with pickled mango, toasted coconut and cashews | photo courtesy of East Borough on instagram

Vegan Black Kale Salad at East Borough, with pickled mango, toasted coconut and cashews | photo courtesy of East Borough on instagram

 

Mead’s Green Door
Orange

Locals lose their mind for Mead’s be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Part of that is no-doubt due to their cult favorite Taco Salad. For under $10 you can nab this miracle snack packed full of greens, buffalo cauliflower, black beans, tomatoes, corn, olives, avocado, and pepitas. If you order two, we promise not to tell anybody.

Green Power Salad with Smoky Tempeh at Mead's | photo courtesy of Mead's on instagram

Green Power Salad with Smoky Tempeh at Mead's | photo courtesy of Mead's on instagram



 

Wilder Shaw is an LA-based writer and comedian who loves salads and doesn’t care what anybody thinks. Follow his leafy green adventures on Instagram at @wildershaw and Twitter at @wildershaw_.

Biggie Smalls Inspired Tasting Menu at Mesa

“Biggie Smalls” inspired Tasting Menu

THESE MUSIC-INSPIRED CHEF'S TABLE DINNERS CURRENTLY TAKE PLACE AT MESA EVERY TUESDAY,
WITH A UNIQUE THEME EACH MONTH OF 2017

The Biggie Smalls, Notorious BIG Chef's Table Menu will be available starting on March 7, 2017.
Tickets available at mesacostamesa.com

Biggie Smalls, Notorious BIG Tasting Menu

From BIG to small...

COURSE 1

Hypnotize
Carrot curry soup, coconut crème swirl, carrot fleur de sel

COURSE 2

Mo Money Mo Problems
Foie custard with golden caviar, honey comb, gold flake  

COURSE 3

Going Back To Cali
The best fucking cali burrito you’ve ever had -- short rib carne asada, french fries, tomatillo salsa, secret sauce, napa cabbage slaw, house made with a flour tortilla, served with tapatío packets and lime wedges

COURSE 4

Juicy
Alizé Coconut Sorbet, white chocolate, house made waffle cone

 

Future Music-Food Pairing Dinners at Mesa

Each dinner is held on all Tuesdays of each month. A new theme will be implemented on the first Tuesday of every month. First Reservation available is 5PM, last available at 9PM.

Reservations available at mesacostamesa.com

April: Frank Sinatra
May: The Talking Heads
June: TBD

National Noodle Month

We love our noodles. We really, really, really love our noodles. Southern California has gone through a noodle renaissance ten-fold across its melting pot food scene, so the next step logical step is exploring the frontier of ultimate noodle-fusion. And no better time than March, the National Month of Noodles, to find our top picks for noodle dishes reinvented throughout OC and LA. Prepare thine selves.

Shuck Oyster Bar's Uni Pasta with uni beurre blanc and squid ink pasta.

Shuck Oyster Bar's Uni Pasta with uni beurre blanc and squid ink pasta.

Jinny’s Pizzeria | DTSA

By now you know all about 4th St. Market (You do, don’t you? You do.), so it should come as no surprise that we want you to head straight over to Jinny’s. The menu is loaded with all kinds of great pies, slices, and garlic knots, but the reason you’re here is the spaghetti & meatball pizza. Perfectly al dente spaghetti + meatballs + basil + parmesan = a highly successful piece of pasta-pizza.

Pig Pen Delicacy| DTSA

Mac and cheese both just reached a whole new level of American comfort food with the Bacon Mac & Cheese Burger from Pig Pen. Candied bacon, house chuck, and a slice of melted cheddar are sandwiched between none other than two mac and cheese “buns.” This noodle beast is not for the weak.

Pig Pen Delicacy's Bacon Mac & Cheese Burger | Photo courtesy of Pig Pen Delicacy via Instagram

Pig Pen Delicacy's Bacon Mac & Cheese Burger | Photo courtesy of Pig Pen Delicacy via Instagram

Shuck Oyster Bar | Costa Mesa, CA

Who knew a stellar pasta dish could come from the likes of a boutique oyster bar? Just don’t question the Uni Pasta being whipped up for your daily pasta consumption. Squid ink uni pasta isn’t anything new, but where else can you watch your uni being shucked right in front of your face? Enjoy buttered ebony strands decked with freshly shucked uni (delivered fresh daily always) and bask in the carbo-glory.

Vaca | Costa Mesa, CA

Top Chef Amar Santana took the tapas scene by storm with Vaca’s modern Spanish fare. So to tackle noodles in Spanish food, enter Fidegua, a crunchy noodle paella of with crisp leeks, clams, and garlic chive aioli. Just add a Vaca Tonic to that mix and you’re done.

Vaca's Almejas Y Fideos, a traditional toaste noodle paella | Photo courtesy of Julie Khuu via Yelp

Vaca's Almejas Y Fideos, a traditional toaste noodle paella | Photo courtesy of Julie Khuu via Yelp

Tatsu Ramen | Fairfax, CA

Ramen Burgers stepped in as some of the OG noodle game changers, but where have the ramen sam’iches gone? Tatsu Ramen still offers their signature Ramen Burger to this day for the one reason that it is one well made piece of meat between precise noodle buns. Crisp house ramen noodles vessel a rich patty of medium rare wagyu beef with shoyu glaze and a soft boiled egg. Looks like the Ramen Burger isn’t going anywhere.

Tatsu Ramen's signature Ramen Burger | Photo courtesy of Tatsu Ramen via Instagram

Tatsu Ramen's signature Ramen Burger | Photo courtesy of Tatsu Ramen via Instagram

Burnt Crumbs | Pacific City & Los Olivos

Sure you could walk into Burnt Crumbs and order one of their many excellent sandwiches (like the Crispy Pork Shoulder, with salsa verde, chili lime mayo, and chicharrones), but what you really want is the Spaghetti Grilled Cheese. Burnt Crumbs will do it up with pressed spaghetti and fresh mozzarella on sourdough, for a cool $9. Why did it take so long for somebody to think of that?

The Spaghetti Grilled Cheese, all thanks to Burnt Crumbs! | Photo courtesy of Burnt Crumbs via Instagram

The Spaghetti Grilled Cheese, all thanks to Burnt Crumbs! | Photo courtesy of Burnt Crumbs via Instagram

The Carving Board | Tarzana, West LA, & Hollywood

Ramen burgers work very well. We all know this. It only makes sense that The Carving Board decided to go the same route, but with spaghetti. Get over to The Carving Board to try their Spaghetti and Meatballwich for a beautiful monstrosity loaded with sliced all-beef meatballs, mozzarella, and homemade marinara, all between parmesan spaghetti bread (exactly what is sounds like). With even more marinara sauce on the side, of course.

Carving Board's Spaghetti and Meatballwich | Photo courtesy of David Adir via Instagram

Carving Board's Spaghetti and Meatballwich | Photo courtesy of David Adir via Instagram

Elbows Mac n’ Cheese | Cerritos & Brea

Committed to noodletarians everywhere, Elbows has brought the ultimate gift for the pasta passionate: Mac n Cheese bites. Forego your forks and dig in hands first with a fistful of these insane deep-fried munchies. Macaroni noodles are dressed in the signature four cheese blend, then breaded and fried to crisp perfection. If your mac desires require something more, go ahead and grab a slice of Mac n’ Cheese Pizza. Call it a win-win.

Komodo | Venice, CA

For those noodle soup on the go needs, ditch the spoon and get yours hands on Komodo’s notorious Phorrito. Ribbons of marinated Angus beef, rice noodles, thai basil, onion, jalapeno, hoisin, and cilantro (don’t forget all the pho seasonings) get wrapped in a flour tortilla for this fusion creation. Just call ahead of time. This guy is seasonal and ready to break some noodle lovers’ hearts.

Komodo's elusive Phorrito | Photo courtesy of Komodo via Instagram

Komodo's elusive Phorrito | Photo courtesy of Komodo via Instagram

Morinoya | Los Angeles, CA

Izakaya houses have become dime-a-dozen in the bustling LA Asian food scene, but Morinoya’s got a little hidden gem of authentic Japanese proportions tucked away in their small plates selection: Green Tea Soba. As in matcha green tea + cold soba noodles. Always cooked to perfection and always paired with the appropriate accoutrements of negi and dipping sauce, these chilled noodles seem to hit the spot for true soba aficionados.

Morinoya's traditional Green Tea Soba noodle dish | Photo courtesy of @kkkirsten_ via Instagram

Morinoya's traditional Green Tea Soba noodle dish | Photo courtesy of @kkkirsten_ via Instagram

This information, including content, photos and links is to be sourced as listed above. Photo content without sourcing is to be credited to 100eats.

 

 

For more information or interview requests please contact

Kayla Glass at 100eats - Promotions Coordinator

kayla@100eats.com

831.359.2077

100eats.com

Marvin Gaye Inspired Tasting Menu at Mesa, February 2017

“Marvin Gaye” inspired Tasting Menu

THESE MUSIC-INSPIRED CHEF'S TABLE DINNERS CURRENTLY TAKE PLACE AT MESA EVERY TUESDAY,
WITH A UNIQUE THEME EACH MONTH OF 2017

The Marvin Gaye "Valentines" Menu will be available starting on February 7, 2017.
Tickets available at mesacostamesa.com

Marvin Gaye Chef's Table
 

Aphrodisiac Influenced

COURSE ONE

Lets Get It On
Oysters on the half shell with coconut curry foam, fingerlime caviar, micro cilantro

COURSE TWO

Mercy, Mercy Me
Roasted tomato Calabrian chili bisque, gruyere grilled baguette

COURSE THREE

Ain't Nothing But The Real Thing
Pomegranate braised short rib, parsnip puree, fresh pomegranate, crispy parsnip chips

COURSE FOUR

How Sweet It Is
Flexible chocolate ganache, milk chocolate sorbet, white chocolate cookie crumble, toasted meringue

Future Music-Food Pairing Dinners at Mesa

Each dinner is held on all Tuesdays of each month. A new theme will be implemented on the first Tuesday of every month. First Reservation available is 5PM, last available at 9PM.

Reservations available at mesacostamesa.com

March: Biggie Smalls, Notorious BIG
April: Frank Sinatra
May: The Talking Heads

All photos courtesy of Sarah King

We're Guiding You to OC's Best Happy Hours of 2017

Happy Hours, Anti-Happy Hours, Social Hours, Hoppy Hours...well, this could go on for a while. Orange County’s food scene has evolved into a nucleus of quality mid-afternoon and after work menus, offering libations from humble house mixers that hit the spot to cocktails of craftsman proportions for slower sippings (and a small bites pairing or two if you’re lucky!) all at hard-to-beat prices. These local establishments bring menus that make the top of our list for the best excuse to indulge in post-office outings with colleagues and friends alike. Cin, cin.

Habana's house sangria is the perfect pairing for your next late night visit | Photo courtesy of Taylor Loren via Instagram

Habana's house sangria is the perfect pairing for your next late night visit | Photo courtesy of Taylor Loren via Instagram

Kiyomizu | DTSA

One of DTSA’s newest eateries, handroll house Kiyomizu embraces supreme simplicity with one primary formula: crisp nori, warm sushi rice, and seafood delivered daily to uphold the highest quality. When the handrolls are this fresh, what else could you possibly ask for? How about an everyday Happy Hour, with Golden Road Brewing’s Point the Way IPA for $4, Hangar 24’s Orange Wheat for $3, and edamame or pork sausages for $2 to pair with made-to-order handrolls. KANPAI!

Shuck Oyster Bar | Costa Mesa, CA.

Shuck Oyster Bar is a sharp little spot inside the food hall concept The OC Mix in Costa Mesa, and they promise the finest shuck with their guarantee of incredibly fresh oysters, just one day out of the water. For happy hour, you’ll find $2 fresh oysters (selected varieties), plus $2 off all alcohol.  Our drink of choice? A shot of the whisky-barrel-aged soju, Migaki, racking up to $3 a shot from the hours of 2PM to 6:30 PM Monday through Friday!

Hatch | Tustin, CA.

Hatch is the sliders-centric brainchild of local restaurant tycoon Leonard Chan, and probably the only space where you can be transported to a seamless fusion of mid-century modern and tiki aesthetic with one of the widest happy hour lineups around. Mai Tai Mondays are for all day $6 Happy Hour Mai Tai’s. Tiki Tuesdays feature a rotating weekly special for a discounted tiki cocktail. Monday through Friday Happy Hour selections range from draught beers $3.50-$5, house wines for $5, and $2 off select sides and entrees. Mahalo indeed.

Habana | Costa Mesa, CA.

It’s too hard to pass up the exquisite Cuban fare of Habana when it comes with late night happy hour Monday through Sunday. Swing by between 10 PM to 1 AM (2 AM Saturdays and Sundays) and enjoy $5 on sangria, classic mojitos, wells, and more! Feeling hungry? Bites are $7 each until midnight, with delectable varieties like Pork Croquetta Fries and Ropa Vieja Sandwiches with mango slaw. Who needs sleep when it means more time for eats!

It's never too late to grab a chilled glass of Habana's famous sangria | Photo courtesy of Habana via Instagram

It's never too late to grab a chilled glass of Habana's famous sangria | Photo courtesy of Habana via Instagram

Mesa | Costa Mesa, CA.

Mesa in Costa Mesa calls their offering an “elevated happy hour”, and they’re not kidding. When you can find crafted Old Fashioneds and Manhattans on happy hour, you know you’ve hit a great spot. The menu includes bar bites for $5 including shishito peppers and sweet potato fries, and get a variety of pizzas or grilled marinated shrimp for just $7. Enjoy high-end cocktails like a Moscow Mule, sangria and margaritas for just $7 as well.

The Iron Press | Multiple Locations

Savory waffle sandwiches are fun enough on their own, but The Iron Press has kicked it up a notch with Happy Hour from Monday through Friday for the ultimate post-work pick-me-ups. From 3 to 6 PM, beat the traffic and stop by to enjoy $10 beer flights, $5 pours, and a select $3.50 pour from their 30 rotating taps. $2 tater tots and waffle fries will help fill you up for the long commute back.

SOCIAL | Costa Mesa, CA.

Come by new-American hotspot Social for their “Social Hour,” where signature craft cocktails and tasty eats are enough to keep you coming back. Between Tuesday and Friday, step right up to the rustic bar and choose among $7 classic cocktails like a Paloma, Old Fashioned, Gimlet, and more. Take $2 off all draught beer, and $6 gets you any house red or white! Not to mention delectable petite dishes like Brussel Sprouts with honey, Louisiana-style house Tasso Ham, honey, and hazelnuts, or maybe something heartier like the Bacon & Pimento Grilled Cheese. But when these eats are $8 a piece, why not enjoy one of everything? Though we do warn you to hurry, the Social Hour menu is only featured between 5 and 6 PM.

Social's signature cocktail, Monkey Business, only $10 during Social Hour | Photo courtesy of Social via Instagram

Social's signature cocktail, Monkey Business, only $10 during Social Hour | Photo courtesy of Social via Instagram

Citizen Kitchen | Fullerton, CA.

Citizen Kitchen offers happy hour Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 7 PM. Located inside The Hotel Fullerton, Citizen is getting rave reviews from locals and hotel guests alike for their cuisine and craft cocktails. Find tasty gourmet bites like their amazing polenta fries, shrimp skewers with caper and olive vinaigrette or a lamb “martini” - mini lamb chops served in a martini glass. Citizen pairs house wines and craft beers with these delectable bites for just $4 during happy hour. Don’t forget to try The Little Burgers People Like, also known as New York strip sliders with house-made ketchup, goat cheese, arugula and spiced tomato jam. Just keep your eyes peeled...rumor has it a new and improved Happy Hour menu is on the horizon!

Expect more happy hour offerings in the near future, like this blood orange concoction, at Citizen Kitchen | Photo courtesy of Citizen Kitchen via Instagram

Expect more happy hour offerings in the near future, like this blood orange concoction, at Citizen Kitchen | Photo courtesy of Citizen Kitchen via Instagram

Chapter One: the modern local | DTSA

Chapter One is one of the hottest bars in OC, located in the heart of Santa Ana’s burgeoning downtown district. Join them for “After Office,” their aptly named Happy Hour, Monday through Friday from 3 to 7 PM. The After Office Menu includes: $5 tapas plates, half-price draft beers, $4 fresh fruit infusion shots, $5 house wines, $6 specialty drinks, and if you’ve got your whole crew with you, select wine bottles for just $20. Serving local, sustainable cuisine, Chapter One offers $5 apps like duck fat fries, fried pickles and stuffed jalapenos during happy hour. Staying for dinner is an extra treat - make sure to try one of their specialty burgers, pork belly buns or the rich and delicious butternut gnocchi.

Duck fat fries are the perfect pairing with Chapter One's house mule, only $5 on Mule Mondays | Photo courtesy of Chapter One via Instagram

Duck fat fries are the perfect pairing with Chapter One's house mule, only $5 on Mule Mondays | Photo courtesy of Chapter One via Instagram

Red Bar | Irvine, CA.

Red Bar boasts one of Irvine’s top choice happy hours, and it’s not hard to see why. Daily offerings from 3 to 7 PM include food and libation options. Think Pork Lumpia for $4, Three Cheese Flatbread for $5, and featured house cocktails for $5.50. Among the drinks, we suggest the Dealer’s Choice option, just pick the spirit and let your bartender do the rest.

Red Bar's crowd-favorite Happy Hour menu on display | Photo courtesy of Hotel Irvine via Instagram

Red Bar's crowd-favorite Happy Hour menu on display | Photo courtesy of Hotel Irvine via Instagram

Barley Forge Brewing Co. | Costa Mesa, CA.

Brats, burgers, brews. Barley Forge has done it right so far and has stayed ahead of the local game since its inception, with West Coast and German style beers brewing just behind The Camp and delicious sandwich and sausage pairings to match. To keep themselves in front of the local brewery pack: Grilled Cheese Tuesdays, and unconventionally fun Happy Hour with nine carefully crafted sandwiches to choose from, like romage de Meaux brie with D’anjou pears on sourdough, or the Onion Jam Grilled Cheese. The added bonus of insane cheese goodness is found in the full pour beer pairing that comes built into the price of each sammie.

Barley Forge's Cuban Grilled Cheese | Photo courtesy of Barley Forge Brewing Co. via Instagram

Barley Forge's Cuban Grilled Cheese | Photo courtesy of Barley Forge Brewing Co. via Instagram

25 Degrees | Huntington Beach, CA.

25 Degrees is not your run of the mill burger bar, elevating customer experience with dim light and sexy ingredients enough to drag you out of the bustle of Downtown’s Main Street with agreeable submission. Their daily (yes, Monday through Sunday) Happy Hour menu is culmination of foods and drinks, with the likes of $2 french fries, sweet potatoes, and onion rings, $5 Boback hotdogs, and alcoholic refreshments ranging from $4-$6. Munch on, sip long!

25 Degrees' wells and sweet potato fries are all up for grabs during happy hour | Photo courtesy of 25 Degrees HB via Instagram

25 Degrees' wells and sweet potato fries are all up for grabs during happy hour | Photo courtesy of 25 Degrees HB via Instagram

Bistango | Irvine, CA.

Bistango offers maybe one of the longest happy hours in OC, you could almost call it “happy half-day”! From 4pm to close, Bistango offers a special small-plate menu and discounted drink prices. Tucked in the center of Irvine’s corporate business district, Bistango is a delightful fave of locals with its spacious outdoor patio with hanging lights and fountains and also a great indoor bar, live music filling the space several nights a week. Be sure to try their Moroccan Lamb Sausage with apple raisin chutney, or the amazing wild salmon skewer on cucumber salad.

Bistango's Happy Hour boasts elevated dishes like the lamb sausage with apple raisin chutney | Photo courtesy of Bistango via Instagram

Bistango's Happy Hour boasts elevated dishes like the lamb sausage with apple raisin chutney | Photo courtesy of Bistango via Instagram

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For more information or interview requests please contact

Kayla Glass at 100eats - Promotions Coordinator

kayla@100eats.com

831.359.2077

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National Bloody Mary Day: Your Cocktail Guide to Ring in The New Year

It seems like Bloody Marys become more popular every day. Starting the day off right? Curing your hangover from the day before? Either way, they’re unstoppable, and since it’s coming up on National Bloody Mary Day, here are some of our favorites, plus what they put in them, for those of you who can make it out of the house on New Years Day.

 

SHUCK OYSTER BAR | COSTA MESA, CA

This Costa Mesa Oyster bar is nestled into the SoCo Collection's OC Mix, and they're pumping out the freshest seafood fare. But wait, they also offer an exceptional drink selection, including their own take on the beloved Bloody Mary. Soju based, this Bloody is for anyone and everyone. Fresh tomato juice is combined with a heavy pour of Soju, house made habanero honey hot sauce, and a garnish of the house pickles - cucumbers, carrots and olives. Add that spicy, salty Tajin all around that rim rim and your tastebuds are sure to dance any hangover away.

Shuck's Soju-based Bloody with oysters | Photo courtesy of @foodieonfleek on Instagram

Shuck's Soju-based Bloody with oysters | Photo courtesy of @foodieonfleek on Instagram

SOCIAL | COSTA MESA, CA

Among Social’s rock solid brunch menu, you’ll find a multitude of morning drinks (because the morning is the best time to drink, according to real science that we didn’t just make up). Definitely go for the Social Mary, with your choice of vodka, Social’s excellent homemade Bloody Mary mix, seasonal vegetables, and lemon. See, there’s vegetables, so it’s healthy.

Social's life-saving Bloody Mary | Photo courtesy of Social via Facebook

Social's life-saving Bloody Mary | Photo courtesy of Social via Facebook

TAPS FISH HOUSE & BREWERY | BREA, CORONA, IRVINE

Sometimes all the beer and all the breweries in all the world won’t do the trick -- lucky for you Taps has a rockstar Bloody Mary. Choose a vodka, then they’ll load it up with their very own Taps Bloody Mary mix (which is #onpoint), bacon, fresh veggies, and a cream ale back. You’ve got all those things in your house, right? Of course you do. Get to work.

Taps' Bloody Mary and impressive garnish (or meal on a stick?) |  Photo courtesy of Taps Fish House via Facebook 

Taps' Bloody Mary and impressive garnish (or meal on a stick?) |  Photo courtesy of Taps Fish House via Facebook 

THE HANGOUT | SEAL BEACH & HUNTINGTON BEACH

The Hangout does multiple Bloody Mary options, ranging from basic (with jalapeño-infused Tito’s, so really, just how basic is?) to their Elite Surf N Turf, in a 16oz pint glass, complete with Grey Goose, a crisp strip of bacon, two jumbo shrimp, olives, fresh cut celery, lemon, lime, and a salted rim. Pretty hard to beat.

The Hangout's Bloody Mary, bathed in a heavenly light for its godsend status | Photo courtesy of The Hangout

The Hangout's Bloody Mary, bathed in a heavenly light for its godsend status | Photo courtesy of The Hangout

JIMMY'S FAMOUS AMERICAN TAVERN | BREA

Jimmy’s just kind of lost their minds when they were designing their perfect Bloody, because they pretty much made an entire meal out of it. For only $15 you can do the Meal Mary, a beastly creation full of Absolut Peppar, Bloody Mary mix, bacon, a blue cheese olive, chilled shrimp, pepperoni, jack cheese, pepperoncini, and a jalapeño “bedeviled” egg. That right there, is a morning cocktail for the ages.

Jimmy's Famous American Tavern's Bloody Mary to help you get away with drinking at 10 AM | Photo courtesy of Jimmy's Famous American Tavern via Facebook

Jimmy's Famous American Tavern's Bloody Mary to help you get away with drinking at 10 AM | Photo courtesy of Jimmy's Famous American Tavern via Facebook

Wilder Shaw is an LA-based writer and comedian who hopes restaurants keep making bigger and bigger Bloody Marys. Follow his morning adventures on Instagram at @wildershaw and Twitter at @WilderShaw_.


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For more information or interview requests please contact

Kayla Glass at 100eats - Promotions Coordinator

kayla@100eats.com

831.359.2077

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