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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

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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Hidden Gem: The Crooked Duck in Long Beach

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Date Night, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

 When I heard about the upcoming Dine Out Long Beach, Restaurant Week 2.0, I realized that I rarely dine in Long Beach. I am always dining around Orange County, San Diego, and Los Angeles, but for some strange reason often skip Long Beach. It was time for that to change so I planned a date night with my husband at the popular local dining destination, The Crooked Duck. We dropped the kids off at their grandparents house in Huntington Beach and enjoyed a scenic drive along Pacific Coast Highway to the restaurant. When we arrived at The Crooked Duck, we were surprised with the location. The restaurant is located right in the heart of a residential community in Long Beach and looks just like a house that has been converted into a local eatery. Inside the restaurant was one...

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Sensational Slapfish Serves Fresh Seafood in Brea

Posted by on Jan 8, 2016 in Featured, Reviews, Seafood | 0 comments

  Families in Brea are in for a big treat with the opening of the new Slapfish Restaurant. Slapfish has always been my kids favorite place to go for fresh seafood that is prepared in a way that children can’t resist eating. With there being so many restaurant options in Brea, a kid-friendly casual seafood dining destination is one that the community has been wanted for quite some time. The new Slapfish location is located right off the 57 Freeway and Imperial Highway in a brand new shopping center. It features both indoor and outdoor seating with modern decor. There are accents of recycled wood, fresh white tiles and chic tables. The overall design of the restaurant is welcoming and a place where young children will feel at home when enjoying a delicious meal. While dining at the new...

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Revolutionary Churned Creamery Opening Soon

Posted by on Jan 7, 2016 in Dining News | 0 comments

 Southern California’s ice cream shop game is about to change. Churned Creamery, which has the exclusive rights to use special, automated ice cream machines from Italy, will be able to offer customers freshly churned ice cream straight from the machine for the first time at a U.S. ice cream shop. The stainless steel double batch barrel freezers are fully automated and operate with the simple plug and digital display. Ice cream flavors are made fresh, using premium ingredients and then poured into the machine, which are constantly churning and can churn for 24 hours a day. The menu features 20 housemade ice cream flavors, including: Banana Nut, Five Cereal, Black Forest Cake, Lemon Zest, Hemp, Panna Cotta, Salted Butter Caramel, Tiramisu, Whiskey & Cream, Dolce Latte, Peanut Butter & Jelly and Crème Brulee. Additionally, a variety of toppings will...

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A Hidden Gem: Park Ave in Stanton

Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in American, Reviews | 0 comments

  The last place I expected to discover one of the best restaurants in Orange County was along Beach Boulevard in Stanton. It was pouring rain, and the last thing I wanted to do was make the long drive from South OC to North OC, but I put my rain jacket on and headed out to have dinner at Park Ave. We pulled the car up to the front of the restaurant, and the valet parked our car for us. When we walked into the restaurant, I was captivated by the beautiful ambiance. The restaurant has an old 40’s feel with the bar separated from the dining room with a large velvet curtain. The minute that we took our seat at the table, we were greeted by one of the friendliest servers. She welcomed us to the restaurant and...

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Miner’s Diner in Julian

Posted by on Jan 3, 2016 in Featured, Travel | 0 comments

  During our day trip to Julian, we had an incredible experience doing the mining tour together as a family. Our kids had worked up quite a big appetite after the tour, and we walked to downtown Julian for some lunch. It was a holiday weekend, and the streets of Julian were crowded with hundreds of people. Every restaurant had more than an hour wait, but we knew that there was not any other restaurant in the area for at least a 45-minute drive outside of Julian, so we waited the hour wait to have lunch at the popular Miner’s Diner. Once we took a seat at our table, we felt like we had been swept into a different era. There were people having dessert at the soda fountain bar, children bringing up candy to purchase from the candy...

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Where’s the Beef? It’s at Del Taco

Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in Mexican, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue Craving a little protein? Del Taco has you covered with the addition of their delicious new carne asada menu items. The minute we heard about the new menu additions, we couldn’t wait to plan lunch at our local Del Taco. There are three new menu items featuring their mouthwatering carne asada: epic carne asada burrito, carne asada fries, and the carne asada street taco. Our favorite of the three is the carne asada fries. It was love at first bite for all of my kids as they devoured their favorite Del Taco fries topped with beans, sour cream, guacamole, cheese and carne asada. The appetizer is better than nachos, and I recommend ordering more than one serving. While the kids enjoyed the carne asada fries, it was the street taco that...

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Sweet Bliss at poqetDONUTS in Irvine

Posted by on Dec 1, 2015 in Breakfast, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue Dare I say it? As I have gotten older, I have slowly lost my desire to crave sweet treats – GASP! My taste buds have changed over the years where I have now found myself preferring salty over savory. I’ve tried many of the new cutting edge donut shops around Orange County that have honestly left me underwhelmed. I just can’t grasp the concept of paying almost $5 for a donut when I would be completely content with a simple sugar donut. When I heard about another new donut shop opening in Irvine, I was curious to see if it would stand out among the rest in Orange County, so I brought my two kids in for an afternoon treat. The hot new donut spot is called poqetDONUTS. It is a...

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Creating New Family Memories at The Ritz Prime Seafood Restaurant

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

 We dined as a guest of the venue Some of my fondest childhood memories were from dining at The Ritz Restaurant in Newport Beach with my parents. I would always get dressed up in my prettiest dress complete with tights and patent leather shoes before going to dine at The Ritz with my family. It was a place where we celebrated my Grandparents 60th wedding anniversary, birthdays and family milestones. When the time had come for the iconic Ritz Restaurant to close their doors, many people were saddened by the news that a place where so many of us created family memories together would be gone forever. That was until they decided to re-open their doors offering the same Ritz Restaurant that we all know and love but with a fresh new look, vibe, and location. When the restaurant...

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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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Ultimate Food Celebration with Monarch Social

Posted by on Oct 24, 2015 in Events, Reviews | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest of the venue We recently were invited to attend a launch party for a new full-service, mobile event venue called Monarch Social. A brightly colored red double-decker British bus that has been fully renovated into a high end kitchen complete with a wood fired oven. When we arrived the night sky was dimming along Pacific Coast Highway and the strings of cafe lights begin to illuminate the outdoor event area. A reggae band begin playing tunes, setting a lovely mood while guests begin to sway or tap their feet. The lot that we’ve driven by on many occasions was suddenly transformed and we felt we were in an intimate back yard environment and couldn’t wait to sample the offerings that would emerge from this hip kitchen. Peering up from our refreshing beverages we see...

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Best Brunch in OC: Who Song and Larry’s

Posted by on Oct 18, 2015 in Breakfast, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue We recently discovered the best brunch in Orange County in the most unexpected spot at Who Song and Larry’s. I’ve been hearing a lot about their “hangover brunch,” and I had to go and see what all the hype was about. When I arrived with my family at the restaurant, I was expecting a traditional brunch menu or simple buffet but was immediately impressed when witnessing one of the most expansive brunches that I have ever seen in an OC restaurant. Located throughout the restaurant were mini food stations offering exceptional culinary masterpieces and authentic Mexican food. There was homemade tortillas being made fresh to order, elote, burrito bar, carving station, chocolate fountain, and more. The food choices were endless and all in a family-friendly atmosphere. While it was the taco...

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SOCO & The OC Mix Fall Dining News

Posted by on Oct 15, 2015 in Dining News, Events | 0 comments

  SOCO & The OC Mix are one of the best places to bring your family for lunch and enjoy walking around the beautiful grounds. There are fountains and walkways making it one of the most peaceful places to relax and unwind as a family. The dining scene is pumping this fall at SOCO and The OC Mix as new restaurants are opening, and current eateries are offering unbeatable specials. If you haven’t been to SOCO or The OC Mix recently, plan a visit today! Bistro Papillote: This acclaimed French bakery and cafe in The OC Mix is now offering dinner on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening from 5:30pm-9:30pm. Chef Laurent Brazier is serving classic dishes like Pistachio Crusted Sea Bass, Jumbo Scallops, Veal Medallions, Petite Filet Mignon, and more. Farm & Culture: Grand opening in The OC Mix...

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You’ll Feel the Love Tonight at Leatherby’s Café Rouge

Posted by on Oct 12, 2015 in American, Events, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue “Can you feel the love tonight….” You’ll find yourself singing this classic song from “The Lion King” while savoring the delicious cuisine prepared by Chef Ross Pangilinan at Leatherby’s Café Rouge before going to see The Lion King at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Chef Ross is one of the most talented chefs in Orange County, and his limited-time three-course theatre inspired menus are my all time favorite. Before taking my son to see the Lion King, I surprised him with dinner at Leatherby’s. We joined our friend Anita at Diary of a Mad Hungry Woman and her friend to embark on an epicurean adventure into the jungle. Not only do I love the theatre menus prepared by Chef Ross, but also his soups. Whenever I dine at Leatherby’s, I...

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Barbecue Bliss Marie Callender’s in Redding

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

  After an active day hiking around the Lassen Volcanic National Park while on our summer road trip, we had worked up a huge appetite. We drove into the city of Redding where we checked into the Comfort Inn Hotel, and then walked next door to the local Marie Callender’s restaurant. I had not eaten at a Marie Callender’s for many years and was excited to see what was new on their menu. The kids menu was larger than I had remembered and even featured barbecue ribs! My little meat lover, Ella, didn’t surprise me with her order of the ribs with my other two kids went with the macaroni and cheese. While my kids ordered their favorite dishes from the kids menu, I was tempted by the delicious pictures of their barbecue specials. Since I had walked for...

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Dutch Bros. Coffee in Redding

Posted by on Oct 5, 2015 in Breakfast, Coffee, Reviews, Travel | 0 comments

  Before leaving the town of Redding to continue our family summer road trip, I couldn’t leave without trying some of the popular Dutch Bros. Coffee. I have been hearing about Dutch Bros. coffee forever, and couldn’t wait to see if their coffee lived up the hype surrounding their brand. There are multiple locations throughout the city, and while we went to one of their drive-thru locations, we still got out of the car to order our coffee. As we walked up to the window to order our drinks, we were immediately greeted by the friendliest staff I have ever come across at a coffee shop. They took their time to not only welcome me…but also my children! I ordered my usual latte with extra shots of espresso, and the kids ordered their smoothies. With it being in the...

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J’s Ice Cream Parlor in Redding

Posted by on Oct 1, 2015 in Dessert, Travel | 0 comments

  After spending the afternoon kayaking around the Whiskeytown Lake, we were desperate for a refreshing treat. With it being our first time in Redding, we turned to Yelp to help guide us to the best ice cream shop in town, and that was J’s Ice Cream Parlor. When we first arrived at the ice cream shop, it was located in the middle of a strip mall next to a laundromat. There were a lot of people hanging out in front of the restaurant waiting for their laundry and licking their ice cream cones. We walked into the small restaurant and was immediately greeted by a very friendly employee. She allowed our kids to sample the different ice cream before making their final delicious decision. Excited to find out what all the hype is around Gunther’s Ice Cream, the...

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Costa Mesa Gets a Little Sweeter with the Opening of Creamistry Bristol

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in Dessert, Reviews | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of Creamistry “I scream…you scream…we all scream for…ICE CREAM!” Who doesn’t love ice cream? And we can’t deny that Creamistry ice cream is the best! Along with the opening of The Halal Guys and the new Creamistry Bristol location, the two dining destinations are bringing back to life a once quiet strip mall in the heart of Costa Mesa. Families can have dinner and dessert all in one convenient location. After having a delicious dinner at The Halal Guys, I walked with my daughter next door to try this new Creamistry location. Just like other locations, the restaurant was squeaky clean, adorned in white, and the counters were covered with magical white clouds. If you haven’t been to a Creamistry location yet, ordering is as easy as 1-2-3. 1. First you select a base...

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NYC Meets the OC with the Opening of The Halal Guys

Posted by on Sep 29, 2015 in Featured, Mediterranean, Reviews, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue Who doesn’t love New York City street food? The last time I was in New York, I took the subway in freezing temperatures to get myself a gyro from The Halal Guys. Guess what? OC locals no longer have to fly across the country, and put on snow boots to get some of America’s favorite street food from The Halal Guys. Because they are opening their first Southern California location right here in Costa Mesa on October 2nd! I had the pleasure of taking my daughter with me to a pre-opening of The Halal Guys to see if they are living up to the NY reputation. The minute that we walked in the door, we were greeted by friendly staff that walked us through the ordering process. Ordering is simple. 1....

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Creating Culinary Memories at Roy’s Fashion Island

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Featured, Reviews, Seafood | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Roy’s Roy’s was the first “fancy” restaurant that my little foodie daughter, Ella, had dined at when she was just about two years old. We were dining with my parents for a special occasion, and I still remember her being mesmerized by the fish tank and being kept happy during dinner with their complimentary children’s plate. Almost ten years later I returned with her to Roy’s for a special Mother/Daughter dinner to have our two favorite foods, steak, and lobster! Roy’s has recently introduced a limited-time surf and turf pre-fixe two-course menu for $32.95. The theme for the evening was lobster as we started with their popular Lobster potstickers. The potstickers were a little bite of heaven served with spicy Japanese miso butter sauce, and prepared with ginger, garlic, and Thai basil. We...

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