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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

Fresh Brothers – Fresh Thinking Fresh Pizza

Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Italian, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue When brothers Adam and Scott decided to open up a pizza joint, they wanted it to be different; they wanted it to be fresh, and created Fresh Brothers Pizza. The minute that guests bite into their food, they can immediately tell the difference from their food and that of their competitors. From salads to wings, mini meatball sandwiches to pies, they take pride in their cuisine and are serious about keeping things fresh.  First, they offer a variety of crusts. From their New MegaGrain crust, skinny or thin crust, Deep Dish, Gluten Free, and seasonal specials like their Matzah crust, they have something for everyone. Then there is their sauce which is packed with 100% fresh tomatoes (not concentrate) and all-natural mozzarella cheese.  They take pleasure in their product and never...

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Luna Grill Loving in Dana Point

Posted by on Mar 8, 2016 in Kids Eat Free, Mediterranean | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue I try to cook dinner 3-5 times a week, the operative word is I try.  With my busy schedule, I can’t always get dinner ready.  There are days that I just want to go through the drive thru and grab something, but afterward, I feel guilty. I’m supposed to nourish my family and feed them well, but I am guilty of not always doing that. My husband usually gets home around six, so sitting down in a full-service restaurant is rarely going to happen on a weekday. Where can a family like mine go and grab a fresh, healthy meal that doesn’t take two hours to be served? Luna Grill. I’ve been a longtime fan of Luna Grill, and when I was given the opportunity to try out their new location in Dana Point,...

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Stacked: Food Well Built

Posted by on Feb 1, 2016 in American, Reviews | 0 comments

  I have Graves’ disease and have been on medication for about nine months, and hoping to go into remission.  At my last doctor’s visit, it was suggested that I reduce my gluten intake to help with not only my weight gain but also my energy level.  As you know, gluten is in everything which makes it difficult to go out to eat.  When our editor asked if I would like to attend a tasting at Stacked in Huntington Beach I had mixed feelings, how would I be able to maintain my new diet and still be able to enjoy all the yummy food?  I figured that I would have a salad while my family enjoyed everything that Stacked at to offer.  We arrived at 7490 Edinger Ave to the newly constructed building directly across from Bella Terra decorated...

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Family Fun at California Pizza Kitchen

Posted by on Jan 1, 2016 in Italian, Reviews | 0 comments

 From when my now 10 year old was 5, he would request his birthday family dinner be held at CPK. So for the past 5 years we would spend his birthday dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) in Spectrum or the one off Michelson which is now closed.  My son was devastated when he learned his beloved restaurant had closed only to be overjoyed to hear that CPK would open one up in the Woodbridge section of Irvine.   The restaurant was in the most perfect location for our family.  Three blocks from my mother in law in one direction and three block in the other direction from my mother.  Our family couldn’t have asked for a better spot unless it was inside my own home.  So this location has now become my son’s CPK, it hadn’t even opened and...

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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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California Pizza Kitchen: The Next Chapter

Posted by on Sep 1, 2015 in American, Italian, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue Psst…have you heard the news about CPK (California Pizza Kitchen)?  They are revamping not only their menu but also their restaurants and I got to have a sneak peek at their Irvine location off of Alton and Jeffrey.   This location is the first remodel built from the ground up in Orange County and it is so very California focused. From inside out CPK is embodying California culture.  The building design has incorporated California’s notable environmental roots with the use of unfinished reclaimed wood.  As you walk into the restaurant you can see how different the design is as the structure is more open and warm. The opening of the area re-creates a communal space with flexible, less structured indoor seating.  No more cozying up to another family on benches as you...

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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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Pizza:90 Authentic Napoletana Pizza here in Irvine

Posted by on Jun 4, 2015 in Italian, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Pizza:90 When my family moved from Newport Beach to “rural” Irvine in the 80’s; I went from restaurants and store on every corner of 17th street to a patch of dirt that kids would BMX on off East Yale Loop and Alton.  I loved “rural” living; I mean who wouldn’t love sneaking onto farm land and pick strawberries in the moonlight?  It was a great place to grow up but what I longed for was a fast food restaurant to ride my bike to, maybe even a restaurant or two.  Seriously the closest Taco Bell was over by the Tustin Marine base and that took me a good 45 minutes to bike to.  Finally in my senior year of high school that patch of land off East Yale Loop became a center.  Throughout...

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Oggi’s Pizza Express

Posted by on Jun 3, 2015 in Featured, Italian, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Oggi’s If your kids are anything like mine then you have been to your fair share of pizza joints.  My kids love pizza and have evolved to be self-proclaimed pizza pros. What is a pizza pro?  A pizza pro is a person who can tell the difference from a good slice of pizza and bad.  A pizza pro will stand up to the pizza challenge and venture to (aka beg their mom to drive everywhere) as many pizza locations that they need to in hopes of finding the best pizza ever!  Our journey today took us to Oggi’s Pizza Express in Orange. For those of you who are pizza buffs then you know that Oggi’s is the official pizza of the Angels!!!  That’s right if you have ever had a slice at Angel...

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RA Sushi’s Seasonal Menu for Spring

Posted by on May 13, 2015 in Sushi | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the Restaurant I love everything about the art of sushi.  From the colorful meats, to the precision of the cuts, its presentation, it’s just a beautiful and best of all I get to eat it.   My most recent sushi adventure was at RA Sushi Tustin located at The District at Tustin Legacy. As I entered the restaurant, my eyes scanned the beautifully decorated room filled with red lanterns. Following our hostess to our table I eye the tables before me seeing what option my palette had in store.  Perusing the menu I notice a seasonal menu which intrigued me.  My husband and I decide to try out their spring menu along with their spring menu cocktails.  Let me cut to the chase and tell you that we made a great decision.  I chose...

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Chandler’s Restaurant and Lounge in San Diego

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the restaurant My family loves to try out new restaurants.  While we were away on a mini vacation to Carlsbad, we had the opportunity to dine at Chandler’s Restaurant and Lounge.  Chandler’s is located in the newly revamped Cape Rey Hotel (Carlsbad Hilton). We had just finished swimming in the pool and were walking towards the hotel when the aroma of garlic and truffle oil took control of me.  That was it; we had to dine there that night!  Let me just say that Chandlers did not disappoint so we made sure to have breakfast there the next day too! I will fill you in all the goodness of the food shortly, first let me tell you a little about their Chef and visionary.  Chef Pascal Vignau (French-born – so you must say...

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Mindful Living at Veggie Grill

Posted by on Jan 21, 2015 in American, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Veggie Grill If you are like most Americans, then you made the resolution to eat healthy in 2015.  That’s a great resolution and who doesn’t want to eat healthier, I know I do.  The thing with eating healthier is planning it out and to be honest there are times that I am lazy and don’t want to prep then cook a healthy meal.  The dilemma is finding a place that has healthy options, packed with proteins and also low in calories. This place doesn’t exist right?  Wrong, it does exist and its name is The Veggie Grill.  Now mind you I am not a stranger to The Veggie Grill.  If you look back at my old posts you can see that I love me The Veggie Grill and why wouldn’t I?  Veggie Grill...

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Brunching at Fig & Olive

Posted by on Jan 20, 2015 in American, Breakfast, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Fig & Olive I love to Brunch.  I know it sounds so adult of me but in all honesty I have loved to Brunch for as long as I could remember.  There is something so perfect about the blending of breakfast and lunch.  Sitting back, enjoying a long mid-morning meal with friends and family, maybe even indulging in a Blood Mary or Mimosa while discussing important topics such as The Real Housewives of______ or who wore it best.   Ahhh Brunch but alas this had all became a memory once I had kids, so I thought.  This past weekend my son and I were invited to Brunch at Fig & Olive Newport Beach. That’s right people Fig & Olive has Brunch and we got a firsthand glimpse/taste of their French Riviera inspired Prix-Fixe Weekend...

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A Taste Revolution at Pub Thirty-Two

Posted by on Nov 3, 2014 in American, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

 Looking for a taste revolution in South Orange County? Then look no further than Pub Thirty-Two!  Nestled in the Gateway strip mall of residential suburbia, Pub Thirty-Two is exactly what South County residents need to wake up their taste buds.   Orange County as a whole is going through a culinary change, enticing world renowned chefs and culinary artist to our one time quiet county.  Most of the change is happening in Newport, Laguna and Downtown Santa Ana. To find such a gem in Mission Viejo is not only exciting, but mind-blowing.  From the outside the stucco building gives no clue as to what is expected from Pub Thirty-Two.  As you walk up to the 10 foot tall distressed wood doors and open them you know you enter a restaurant like no other in Mission Viejo. As beautiful as the...

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Smashburger Opens New Location in Irvine

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in American, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Smashburger The best kept treasure of South Orange County has now branched out and opened up their newest location in Irvine. SMASHBURGER! My family has been lucky enough to have a Smashburger location close to our house so we go often. The first time I bit into their Truffled Mushroom Swiss I was hooked. Not only was I hooked but so was my son, so much so that he said he wanted a Smashburger birthday. My son has become a burger snob because of Smashburger and if it’s not a Class Smash then it’s not worth it. We have turned many friends onto Smashburger, so many that I should be asking for some stock in the company (Just kidding – but I would take an order of Smashfries and a Nutter Butter Shake...

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Veggie Grill Tustin’s Grand Opening and Launch of their Summer Menu

Posted by on Jul 1, 2014 in Featured, Gluten-Free, Mediterranean, Reviews, Vegetarian | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest of Veggie Grill We were invited to the grand opening of Veggie Grill’s newest location at the Irvine Market Place.  When we arrived, a line of eager patrons were wrapped around the building. Who wouldn’t want to eat healthy, great tasting food and with their new summer menu you have so many more amazing choices.  I have to say that this new menu is my favorite to date and I highly recommend you checking it out. I knew what was in store for me so I invited my fellow OC Mom, Chantile to join me for an amazing time.  She hadn’t been to Veggie Grill before but after our visit she became the newest convert.    Once you try it, you get hooked.  Again tasty, healthy, organic meals all made fresh to order – how...

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Leatherby’s Café Rouge – Jersey Boys Menu

Posted by on Jun 27, 2014 in American, Best of OC, Date Night, Events, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Leatherby’s If you are planning on seeing the Jersey Boys at The Segerstrom Center for the Arts, then I recommend having the complete Jersey Boys night out. Your night starts off with a unique dining experience at Leatherby’s Café Rouge.  Leatherby’s Café Rouge is offering a three course prix fixe Jersey Boys menu from June 24-July 13 which includes Tomato watermelon gazpacho, Sherry braised beef short rib and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Trio to name a few. My husband and I went before the show and wanted to share our mouth-watering night. For the first course, my husband ordered the Summer: a tomato watermelon gazpacho.  Grilled watermelon, Dungeness crab, cucumber gelee and crème fraiche espuma make this summer soup a masterpiece paired with a fabulous pinot.  It was light and refreshing,...

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Veggie Grill – Eat out, Eat Healthy

Posted by on Jun 12, 2014 in Featured, Reviews, Vegetarian | 0 comments

  My first experience at Veggie Grill was exactly one week before I was given the opportunity to taste their new menu. My best friend and his wife are Veggie Grill super fans and insisted we meet there for lunch. My friend was really excited to introduce me to their concept, 100% plant-based soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches and desserts. Now don’t stop reading because you think that this isn’t for you, trust me I wasn’t all that excited about trying them out but I did and that is why I asked to be the one to review them. At my first visit I had their B-Wing Salad: chopped romaine, avocado, celery, roasted corn salsa, creamy ranch dressing topped with their tasty “Buffalo Wings”. Why is “Buffalo Wings” in quotes, well it tastes like real buffalo chicken but instead it’s...

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Rubio’s for Dinner Tonight

Posted by on May 8, 2014 in Mexican, Reviews | 0 comments

  I’m not going to lie to you, there are nights that I walk into my kitchen and walk right back out.  There are nights that I feel tire, uninspired and plain old lazy but because I am a mom I need to feed my kids.  When I can’t get my stuff together I look to healthier alternatives but with most places still hiding their calories and ingredients online, it’s difficult to find a place to eat without doing a lot of research beforehand.  In comes Rubios.     I hadn’t been to Rubios in years but as I was talking to my mom friends, about going out dilemmas, one of them mentioned that when you go to Rubios you can see the calorie count of all their items right on their menu.   When you walk into a Rubios...

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Ketri Cafe and Market in Santa Ana

Posted by on Mar 29, 2014 in Featured, Mediterranean, Reviews | 1 comment

 I am not a food blogger, I am a food lover. Not all food, just good food. If you check me out on Yelp I have only done a handful of reviews and I really just go to places that I have heard to be good. That being said I am now reviewing my first restaurant ever, not because I want to be a food blogger, but because my experience at Ketri was incredible! Not a big deal for most people but for a person who doesn’t do this often it’s a big deal because when I love a place I support it 100% and want everyone I know and everyone they know to also support it as well. I had been following Chef Anahita Naderi’s Hidden Dinners for a few years but was never able to go. Instead...

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