Vitaly: best gelato in the OC

May 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

Roberta, my foodie partner in crime and Italian gelato expert told me that a new italian shop opened in Costa Mesa last week and that they have the best gelato in the OC. With that recommendation, of course I had to go! And yes, she’s right, it’s amazing. The gelato is so incredibly rich, both in texture and in flavor. I tried the ricotta with peaches and the pistachio and I’m already planning my next trip back :)
Vitaly
Vitaly

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Brunch at Canéle

February 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

This might sounds crazy but this place is my favoritest brunch place in the world. Yes, it’s that good. And I LOVE brunch. The baked pancake with lemon curd is ridiculously good, but really, order anything from that magic oven, it’ll be delicious.  The carmelized leeks on baguette is amazing. Drew had the duck hash with perfectly fried eggs. It’s a good thing this place is in LA as otherwise neither my wallet nor my heart would probably be able to handle it. canele-LAcanele-LAcanele-LA

Cucina Enoteca: an update

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.
cucina enoteca
cucina enoteca
cucina enoteca
cucina enoteca

Umami Burger – Costa Mesa

May 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve known about Umami Burger for a long time, but never made it to one of their many LA locations.  Now, they’ve finally opened up in OC.  It’s in the same spot Valhalla Table occupied and looks like they didn’t change the setup that much, which means it’s a pretty small space.  If you want to eat within an hour of arrival, I’d come before 6pm.  We ordered the umami burger, the port & stilton burger, the cheesy tots, and an ice cream sandwich.  The umami burger was definitely better than the port & stilton, though it was almost too sweet.  The cheesy tots were the best!  The ice cream sandwich was just so-so (cookie was way too hard, came right out of the freezer).  It’s expensive for just burgers, though comparable to The Counter.  If you have a hankering, it’s worth a try, otherwise I’d wait and let the crowd die down a bit.  In any case, Drew and I agreed, it’s good, but doesn’t hold a candle to Father’s Office.
Umami Burger - Costa Mesa
Umami Burger - Costa Mesa
Umami Burger - Costa Mesa

Shopping and Good Eats at the OC Mart Mix

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.
OC Mart Mix
OC Mart Mix
OC Mart Mix
OC Mart Mix
OC Mart Mix
OC Mart Mix

The Playground – Downtown Santa Ana

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.
The Playground - Santa Ana

The Playground - Santa Ana
The Playground - Santa Ana
The Playground - Santa Ana

restaurant review: cucina enoteca

December 19, 2011 § 1 Comment

Last weekend, we checked out a new Italian restaurant that opened at the Irvine Spectrum.  It’s called Cucina Enoteca and is part of the same family of restaurants as Cucina Urbana in San Diego.  I’ve been meaning to try Urbana in San Diego, but we’ve just never gotten around to it so how fortuitous that they opened Enoteca just down the street from us!  I would highly recommend reservations as it’s right across from the movie theater at the Spectrum and thus get lots of theater goers before and after movies.
Overall we had a really yummy meal.  Our pear and gorgonzola pizza had a nice crust, not burnt and not soggy.  Our pasta dish had just the right amount of sauce with a nice spicy kick.  Sorry I don’t have pics of the main dishes, we were so hungry, I couldn’t wait to take a pic first :p  It was opening weekend so they definitely had some service kinks to work out as our server seemed quite overwhelmed.  We had a reservation for 8:15, but weren’t seated until 8:40.  We didn’t get any water for 10 minutes and didn’t get our order taken until close to 9.  Still, I think we’ll be back as we really did enjoy the food and they have some good happy hour specials from 3-6pm.cucina enotecacucina enoteca

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