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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

Shin Sen Gumi coming to Irvine’s Woodbury Town Center

Posted by on Sep 8, 2016 in Asian, Dining News | 0 comments

  Shin Sen Gumi, the popular Japanese restaurant known for its authentic Hakata-style ramen, is coming to Irvine. Considered one of the most respected Japanese dining chains in Southern California, the Woodbury Town Center location will be its second Orange County location when it opens in late September. Shin Sen Gumi’s first Orange County ramen shop opened in Fountain Valley in 2000 and 16 years later, it continues to draw long lines daily. In addition to its award-winning ramen, the Irvine restaurant will also be the first Shin Sen Gumi location to offer udon, another traditional Japanese noodle soup, as well as a vegan menu that will include cold tofu, curry udon with a broth made using kombu seaweed instead of the traditional bonito fish flakes; Yaki ramen, a stir-fried noodle dish, and cold ramen or udon noodle salads....

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Family-Friendly Sushi at Wokcano in Santa Ana

Posted by on Jul 26, 2016 in Asian | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue Wokcano opened up in Santa Ana a little over a month ago. It is an Asian restaurant that has an excellent bar and serves Sushi and other Asian favorites. My husband and I along with our toddler were invited to have a lunch date here. We went around 1:00 PM and it was not overly crowded. We were quickly seated and left to look over the menu. We decided to start with their crispy garlic Brussels sprouts and some shishito peppers in soy sauce. We loved the Brussel sprouts. They were crispy, and the garlic was not overpowering. My three-year-old was gobbling them up. He thought the crispy outer pieces were chips, and they were so very flavorful. The shishito peppers were cooked to perfection, but we would have liked them...

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Huntington Beach’s Asian FlavorFest – Wokcano

Posted by on Jun 8, 2016 in Asian | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue I always enjoy the prospect of a dinner out, especially when it’s sushi, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese. Basically any Asian cuisine and you can count me in. And as much as I love to cook, I never feel as if the effort I put in to making a great Asian dish compares to the flavors I can get out. So I was happy to receive an invite to try the recently opened Wokcano in Huntington Beach. This small Southern California specializes in sushi, creative rolls, dumplings, and other Asian inspired dishes. I grabbed my partner in crime, Janice and to Huntington Beach we went. Based on the address, I was expecting Wokcano to be located at Bella Terra, the shopping area just off of the 405 at Edinger. It’s actually just a...

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Roy’s in Newport Beach Opens for Lunch

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Asian, Dining News, Reviews | 0 comments

  I have to confess to having never dined at a Roy’s before, even when vacationing in Hawaii, where acclaimed Chef Roy Yamaguchi’s Pacific Rim restaurant got its start. Although there is a Roy’s in Fashion Island where I shop frequently enough, I never found my way there. Perhaps because if I’m at Fashion Island, it’s normally during the day and my perception has been this restaurant is on the pricey side and therefore more of a dinner sort of a place. This changed recently when I was invited to try Roy’s for lunch with a few fellow food bloggers and writers. So off I went and I soon discovered that Roy’s had only very recently started serving lunch, which is great because this high-end chain now gives folks a chance to try their menu at perhaps more budget...

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Epic Korean Fried Chicken at Krave Asian Fusion

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in Asian, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

  I am always in the mood for a new food adventure. When I heard all the buzz about the popular Korean fried chicken being served at the dining hot spot, Krave Asian Fusion, I couldn’t wait to come in for dinner. The restaurant is conveniently located in the heart of Irvine, right across the popular Hotel Irvine. I brought my two kids along with me for dinner to get their opinion of the delicious dishes, and ever since we went, they have been begging me to bring them back for more. The restaurant has a modern, relaxed, family-friendly ambiance with stellar service. We took our seat at one of the comfortable booths and couldn’t wait to sink our taste buds into the cuisine. We started with the salmon avocado salad that featured Persian cucumber, tobiko, crabstick, and pea...

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Temakira to open at University Center this fall

Posted by on Nov 6, 2015 in Asian, Dining News, Sushi | 0 comments

  Temakira, the popular sushi-inspired hand roll shop, will open a new location at University Center this fall. Temakira is a restaurant inspired by Brazilian creativity and Japanese tradition. “Temaki,” meaning hand roll and “kira,” meaning together, is an innovative way to introduce a new form of sushi in a contemporary setting. The temakis are made-to-order, crafted by wrapping a piece of nori or seaweed, in a cone shape that holds a selection of rice, raw fish, veggies and sauces within. The roll is large enough to hold by hand, yet easy and fun to eat. Signature hand rolls include the Calientail, combining yellowtail, avocado and cucumber with extra spicy sauce or the Viva, wrapping up shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, cucumber and viva sauce with white rice and crisp nori. Customize your rolls with the options of soy paper,...

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Best Sushi Take-Out Sushi in OC: Shinkou Sushi & Poke

Posted by on Nov 3, 2015 in Asian, Featured, Reviews, Sushi | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue I LOVE sushi. But that wasn’t always the case. For a long time, I could not stand sushi. I would avoid eating it at all costs. What I didn’t realize was that I just hadn’t experienced eating decent sushi yet. As my husband continued to try and persuade me to try sushi at different places, I finally began to cave in and found that sushi can be delicious when it is prepared properly and when made with high-quality ingredients. Slowly, I have begun to find my favorite places to eat sushi, and recently discovered the best place in Orange County for take-out sushi Shinkou Sushi & Poke. Let’s be real. As parents to three children, we are always on-the-go. We don’t always have time to cook dinner or eat at a...

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Drink Pink at Sushi Roku

Posted by on Oct 26, 2015 in Asian, Dining News | 0 comments

 In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Sushi Roku Fashion Island will encourage guests to Drink Pink as it donates $1 from the sale of a special cocktail and “mocktail” from Sunday, October 25th through Saturday, October 31st to support Mission Hospital’s Breast Health Center and Women’s Wellness Center in Mission Viejo. The funds will be raised in conjunction with the hospital’s annual “Think Pink” campaign led by the Valiant Women, a support group that is dedicated to meeting the medical, surgical, educational and spiritual needs of all women. During this month of October, the group highlights a Breast Health Wall of Honor, a beautiful collection of tributes to honor breast cancer patients and survivors, to create awareness for the importance of mammograms and raise funds to support diagnostic care and treatment for breast cancer. The...

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OPM Serves Up Bold Flavors

Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 in American, Asian, Date Night, Italian, Reviews, Seafood | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue One of the aspects I enjoy most about food blogging is having the opportunity to try restaurants I might not have heard of or thought of because they’re not in my neck of the woods. Such was the case when I was invited to try the recently opened OPM in Huntington Beach. With Chef’s Tastings and special events, including an 80’s New Wave Music night, a masquerade party, a fashion show, speed dating, live DJs and more, OPM is part restaurant and part club attracting a young couples and girls’ night out crowd. Having taken over and completely redefined the space for what was once The Tap House, there is plenty of room for large parties and dancing. There is even a speakeasy downstairs with it’s own bar for private parties...

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Date Night at Mizu Sushi Bar and Grill

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 in Asian, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue I love sushi so whenever I hear about a must try spot I can’t resist.  The most recent discovery did not disappoint.  Tucked in The Tustin Market Place right in the middle of the center, where the old Tower Records resided, you will find Mizu Sushi Bar and Grill.  As you drive up to the complimentary valet you know that this location is special.  The frosted doors with Mizu’s name etched onto them open to a scene from a movie. The waterlike lighting, sleek design and live DJ transport you to a new way to dine in Orange County. Mizu, which means water, offers a unique fusion of Japanese and Korean flavors.  Their dishes are artfully prepared and they use some of the best and freshest sushi my mouth has ever...

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Burntzilla: Two Food Trucks Collide and make a Home in Irvine

Posted by on Jul 8, 2015 in American, Asian, Best of OC, Reviews, Uncategorized | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest I love truck food.  Where else can you try the most amazing gourmet food at half the cost?  I have never been into the food truck culture of waiting for hours in line or following their every move on my phone, which means I miss out on a lot of good food.   If there is an event and I happen to be there I try every truck out knowing that it will be a long time before my next feast.  Now if I were a genie of sorts, I would create a situation where food trucks would have stationary home and I could go there whenever I wanted to feast in their magic.  Abracadabra Kalamazam may I present to you Burntzilla!!! Located in a strip mall on the corner of Culver and Walnut in...

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Sushi Roku Brings Authentic Japanese Cuisine to Fashion Island

Posted by on May 29, 2015 in Asian, Featured, Reviews, Sushi | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Sushi Roku Fashion Island is quickly becoming the hot spot for dining in Orange County especially with the newest addition, Sushi Roku opening on June 1st. Last night, we made our way over to Fashion Island for a sampling of their menu and left excited about coming back for more. After spending a year abroad in Japan as a teenager, I always find myself comparing sushi and seafood to the authentic cuisine I enjoyed while living in Japan. There are few places that I have found that can make sushi comparable to that of which I enjoyed while traveling abroad, and Sushi Roku is one of them. Although I only had a couple of small bites of their sushi, it was enough to have me convinced that this new restaurant is one of the...

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Authentic Chinese Food at Fortunes Noodle Bar

Posted by on May 13, 2015 in Asian, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the resort The last place I thought I would discover delicious Chinese food would be at a resort. After eating our way through the Latin Food & Wine Festival at Harrah’s Resort Southern California, we surprisingly found ourselves still hungry. Before heading up to our room for the evening, we stopping into Fortunes Noodle Bar for a quick bite to eat. We took our seat at a comfortable booth inside of the restaurant and was immediately greeted by a friendly server. They took our drink order and recommended we start with an order of their popular pot stickers. In a blink of the eye, the server was back with our drinks and appetizer. Not only did we get premier service, but also delicious cuisine. The potstickers were crispy on the outside and boasted...

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Authentic Japanese Cuisine at Shiki

Posted by on Dec 2, 2014 in Asian, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Shiki After spending a year schooling in Japan when I was younger ,there is nothing I love more than good Japanese food. While I wish that I had brought home from Japan the talent of making Japanese food ,but I can’t even manage to make a decent bowl of sticky rice. Since I lack the talent of making palatable Japanese food, we dine out for Japanese food on a regular basis. While we have our regular local places for Japanese food, we are always looking for somewhere new to try, and we recently discovered a new favorite – Shiki in Orange. We had driven past the restaurant what feels like a million times and we were excited to bring our kids to try out this popular Orange County Japanese restaurant. Shiki has been...

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Fast and Tasty Japanese Food at Tokyo Bento

Posted by on Sep 14, 2014 in Asian, Featured, Reviews | 1 comment

  My daughter and I love Japanese food. When I saw that Tokyo Bento was coming to the Aliso Viejo Town Center, I could not wait to plan a lunch date with my daughter. Before spending the afternoon at the Festival of Children this past weekend, we went to Tokyo Bento for lunch. When we first walked up to the restaurant, we could smell the aroma from the delicious food lingering in the air. Once inside we found a large sign that explains how their restaurant is laid out. It is a 1-2-3 step ordering process where customers can customize their order to their liking, kind of like a Chipotle. We started by selecting the type of rice (or bao) before picking the meat and sides. These three steps were simple, but it was the sauces that had us...

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Urban Seoul 2.0 Comes to The Irvine Spectrum

Posted by on Sep 9, 2014 in Asian, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest of Urban Seoul 2.0 I have to admit, my exposure to Korean food has been somewhat limited to Korean Barbecue Short ribs, which by the way I love, so I didn’t know what to expect when invited to a media tasting at the newly opened Urban Seoul 2.0 at The Irvine Spectrum. This is Restaurateur Bronnie Lee and Chef Kacy Jun’s latest venture and like its sister’s Diamond Jamboree location, its foundation is Korean, while also pulling from other Asian as well as Mexican influences that are so popular here in Southern California. The restaurant boasts an outdoor patio with a well-lit open atmosphere inside. Its hip decor is industrial minimalist featuring metal and wood surfaces, a polished stained concrete floor and orchids to soften the edge. Two colorful original paintings including a mural...

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Best Kids Meals in Orange County at Kabuki

Posted by on Aug 28, 2014 in Asian, Best of OC, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Kabuki After spending a year living in Japan before getting married, I am always in search of authentic Japanese food in Orange County. I recently surprised the kids by taking them to lunch at Kabuki at the Irvine Spectrum for Japanese food. From the moment that we walked into the restaurant we were swept into the Japanese culture. It is not just the food that makes a restaurant authentic as much as the staff, ambiance and overall feel when walking into a restaurant. We started our lunch with a warm cup of green tea and the Gyoza dumplings. The dumplings come with a sweet sauce, small salad, and were lightly fried. It was a perfect prelude to our lunch. The highlight for families dining at Kabuki is their kids meals. Kabuki has created...

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Traditional Chinese Fused with American Flavors at Spicy City

Posted by on Aug 13, 2014 in Asian, Reviews | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest of Spicy City The name may say Spicy City, but whether you like your Chinese food spicy or more on the mild side, you’ll find it here. Owner Tony Xu, who is originally from Hunan China, bought this restaurant located in Anaheim Hills and reopened in January of this year with the ambition of bringing both the traditional, authentic dishes he remembers from home along with more American-influenced Chinese style dishes that are popular here. At a recent tasting, several of us were invited to try several of their dishes, some traditional and some American-influenced. Traditional Dishes:  Kung Pao Chicken I love Kung Pao Chicken but too often the meat has an odd processed texture. Not so here! The cubes are marinated in a soy mixture and coated with a light ginger, garlic sauce...

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Hip and Superior Quality Sushi at H2O Sushi and Izakaya in Costa Mesa

Posted by on Aug 30, 2013 in Asian, Date Night, Reviews | 0 comments

  Finding restaurants that truly make an impact on you is one of the things we love about dining out.  Heading out for date night with my husband, we tried a relatively new sushi restaurant and were delighted to learn they would strive to make an impact.  The hip vibe and superior quality sushi at H2O Sushi and Izakaya in Costa Mesa makes for a perfect date night, family sushi night, or a night out with friends. What’s immediately striking about H20 Sushi and Izakaya when you first walk in is the atmosphere!  Not only is interior design amazing, but it’s very spacious and extremely well laid out.  Offering multiple dining options; you can choose to sit right at the bar, or at one of the numerous tables, or if you want or more private options – reserve one...

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