May 14, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I love my iphone pics, but a beautiful restaurant with some of the best Italian food in town deserves a few decent pictures, I think. We started with drinks, and both Drew and I highly recommend the tequila mule. Then it was on to apps, we got the chicken liver pate, which I love and Drew took only 2 bites of. We got the roasted eggplant pizza and the lamb bolognese rigatoni for entrees, both were delicious, highly recommend. And since we were starting a monthlong exercise in no sugar 2 days later, we decided to splurge and share the tiramisu. This is the place I want to go for a real treat, a true date night.
April 28, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Last summer I started coming to the OC Mart Mix for Portola Coffee. They make my favorite iced mocha. Back then most of the space was still empty but recently, it’s really gotten going. Now there’s a cheese shop, gelato shop, sushi, and waffle sandwich place a la Bruxie. In addition, there’s several interesting shops that sell things ranging from bicycles to clothes to what I call hipster antiques. On Saturdays there’s also a small farmer’s market in the parking lot. The market itself isn’t particularly exciting, but they do also invite several of my favorite food trucks so I might add it to our brunch rotation :) In any case, it’s a neat little place, definitely worth checking out.
March 22, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I’ve lived in Orange County for almost 5 years and I had never been to downtown Santa Ana. I was finally lured there by The Playground. Beers on draft are $5 and come in 7-16 oz pours. If you’re looking for bud or coors light, this is not your place. If you’re looking for interesting and awesome new SoCal brews, then you’ll love it. The food comes mostly tapas style. We got an eggplant appetizer, pork rillette, ahi tuna poke, and the playground burger. They were all good, but if you’re hungry, I highly recommend the burger. If you like the Father’s Office burger, I think you’ll like this one. We also shared a apple and fig tart with a blue cheese whipped cream. I’m not usually a fan or blue cheese in my dessert, though I’ve seen it at lots of places now. Here, since it was served on the side and I can decide exactly how blue cheesy I want my dessert to be, I love it! All in all with a great beer selection and tasty food, I think this will be one of our new favorite places in the OC.
February 28, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Drew and I both love eggs. Together we go through about a dozen a week. Recently I had the baked eggs at Cafe Stella and they were so good I decided to recreate it at home. It’s such a simple dish that I’m going to be super tempted to have it every morning this week. I’m not even going to write up a real recipe because there’s no need to measure anything. Saute some greens (here I used swiss chard, but spinach would also be fine), add any other veggies you’ve got on hand (I used frozen corn), then put into oven safe dish. Spread some goat cheese on top, then crack 3 eggs on top of the cheese. Bake covered at 400 degrees until eggs are mostly set ( a little wiggle is fine, especially if you like more runny yokes). Sprinkle on some paprika and pepper. Voila! Seriously good.
February 17, 2012 § Leave a Comment
This year for Valentine’s day, Drew and I didn’t make plans, instead we opted to stay in and have a nice meal at home. Since it’s citrus season here in Southern California, I thought a blood orange panna cotta would be perfect for dessert. It’s such a simple thing to make, just requires a little planning ahead of time and you end up with a delicious, pink dessert, perfect for Valentine’s Day. I used this recipe from Bon Appetit and really liked the substitution of yogurt for milk.