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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

Saturday Brunching at Spear Steak and Seafood House

Posted by on Aug 9, 2016 in Breakfast, Dining News, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue Brunch and me. We have a love-hate relationship. Every brunch starts out the same for me. I start by drooling over the Eggs Benedict smothered in hollandaise sauce. Oh my. And bagels. Give me a great Everything Bagel smothered in cream cheese and lox, with a sliced tomato and capers and I am in heaven. The thing is, I rarely order these. And I pine for the days I could eat the carbs and heavy creams and sauces with abandon. Now I look at that portion of the menu, half of me wishing there were no better option so I would have an excuse to just order something decadent already and half of me praying for an option that will make me feel I’m not completely sacrificing deliciousness for being able...

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GNO at Holiday in Costa Mesa

Posted by on Jul 28, 2016 in Dining News, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue As a so-called “foodie”, for me, a girls’ night out usually means dinner and cocktails in a nice restaurant with friends. I am pretty clueless when it comes to lounges and clubs in OC, so when I was invited to the soft opening for Holiday in Costa Mesa this past week, I really didn’t know quite what to expect. I grabbed my sister, which I guess makes it more of a “sisters’ night out” and off we went to 19th street, where we found Holiday in an unassuming little strip mall. Walking into Holiday, we stepped back in time to old Hollywood in the early to mid-1900s. The color scheme is black and white… black walls, white moldings and railings, a gorgeous white marble bar, black seating with white accents, black...

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Quick and Delicious Dinner at Pizza 90

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

 We dined as a guest of the venue As a busy mom, I am always looking for a new place for fast and delicious dinner. After a busy day driving the kids to all their activities and working, I wasn’t in the mood for cooking, so we tried Pizza 90 in Irvine for the first time. What I loved the most about Pizza 90 was how quick and easy it was to order our dinner. We walked right up to the counter where we could see them making pizzas with fresh ingredients. Plus, all the pizzas are personal size so everyone in my family could get their pizzas personalized to be just what their taste buds were craving. A 3rd generation craftsman oven builder in Napoli, Italy, created the oven used at Pizza 90. The pizzas are made in...

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Sensational Seafood at Market Broiler

Posted by on Jul 1, 2016 in Reviews, Seafood | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue I love seafood, and I love that my children share the same love for seafood even more. On the last day of school, I took my older son for lunch at Market Broiler at The Outlets at Orange to celebrate him graduating middle school. Before sitting down for lunch together, we spent a couple of hours finding some great fashion deals at the outlet stores. When we arrived at the restaurant, I was immediately in love. The restaurant is large and features many semi-private booths that make for a perfect intimate family dining experiences. While we were looking at the wide variety of seafood options, a loaf of warm bread arrived at our table. The bread was soft, hot and fresh from the oven. We started our lunch with a plate...

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CPK Fresh and Seasonal Summer Menu

Posted by on Jun 29, 2016 in American, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of CPK The best part about summer is all the sweet, fresh, seasonal foods that are available. Because of the abundant variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, restaurants around Orange County are adding delicious seasonal menu items. California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) is one of our favorite places to bring the family for dinner because of their diverse menu and family-friendly ambiance. When I first learned that they were adding seasonal summer menu items, I planned a family dinner out at our local CPK. Over the past year, CPK has re-imagined their restaurant design and has transformed into a chic family dining destination. From reclaimed woods to locally inspired artwork, it feels like a whole new restaurant but with the same high-quality food that families expect when coming to CPK. When we first arrived at...

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A Patio With a View At Bluewater Grill Redondo Beach

Posted by on May 31, 2016 in Reviews, Seafood | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue There are few things I appreciate more than enjoying seafood and sipping a cocktail while overlooking a fantastic view. On a recent beautiful evening, we were invited to check out Bluewater Grill’s newly renovated patio and restaurant in Redondo Beach. Living in San Clemente, it’s been a while since I’ve been to Bluewater Grill in Redondo and I was really curious as to what they would have in store with their recent updates. We started in their new outdoor lounge and patio area, overlooking King Harbor Marina, where we enjoyed some wine and cheese. The patio features a relaxing vacation like ambiance, with strings of outdoor lighting, tables for dining, and a lounge area with a fire pit. It’s even Fido friendly, offering up treats on the patio for our furry...

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Mother’s Day at Mimi’s

Posted by on May 4, 2016 in American, Events, Holidays, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue There are only a few restaurants in Orange County that cater to multiple generations like Mimi’s Cafe. Mimi’s is a dining destination where my children and my grandma would all enjoy a flavorful meal in a family-friendly environment. It has always been one of my go-to restaurants for multi-generational family celebrations, and it’s a perfect place for families to celebrate Mother’s Day together this year. Since we are going to be in Florida for Disney Social Media Moms over Mother’s Day, we had an early Mother’s Day celebration at our local Mimi’s Cafe. We had a chance to sample some of the dishes being offered on their three-course menu for $16.99 per person. For a starter, there is the option of a house salad, caesar salad, cup of soup or croissant...

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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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Fig & Olive Welcomes Spring With New Menu

Posted by on Apr 19, 2016 in Dining News, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue Spring. It’s finally here. Though Orange County leaves very little to complain about weather wise even in winter, there’s an uplifted feeling of relief I get when the days become longer. Everything feels freer and happier. Even the food goes from earthy and heavy to lighter and brighter. Bring on the citrus flavors and fresh spring vegetables… Fig & Olive sure has! And a few of us were fortunate enough to sample Chef Wilfrid Hocquet’s new Spring Menu last week. Chef Wilfrid joined Fig & Oilve as Executive Chef several months ago after working in Paris, New York and the South of France under such renowned chefs as Alain Ducasse and Daniel Boulud. I’ve dined at Fig & Olives numerous times and this menu to date was my favorite. Here’s a...

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Newport Beach Duffy Boat Lunch Spot: The Trough Sandwich Kitchen

Posted by on Apr 6, 2016 in American, Featured, Reviews, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue While on our Spring Break family staycation in Newport Beach, we picked up lunch from the popular sandwich shop, The Trough Sandwich Kitchen on the Peninsula to take with us on a Duffy Boat ride around the harbor. The Trough Sandwich Kitchen is one of the most innovative new sandwich shops in Orange County that uses high-quality meats, cheeses, and freshly baked bread. We walked into the restaurant and immediately was greeted by the friendly staff who helped us to select some sandwiches that would be good to enjoy while on the water. Once our sandwiches were ready, they provided us with everything that we needed to take lunch on the boat including utensils, and napkins. While our on the boat enjoying the beautiful sunny spring afternoon, when the kids tummies...

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Boudin Fresh New Spring Salads

Posted by on Apr 5, 2016 in American, Bakery, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue Spring has sprung at your local Boudin where they are serving fresh and delicious seasonal salads for a limited time. I recently went to Boudin with my two children to see how the salads stack against other salads in the area and the flavors of the salads far exceeded my expectations. Boudin has always been my go-to place for soup or sandwiches, and this was my first time trying one of their salads. We placed our order at the cash registers in the front of the restaurant, filled our cups with sweet iced tea, and then took a seat in a comfortable booth to await our lunch. When the mouthwatering salads arrived at our table, we couldn’t wait to sink our taste buds into the fresh and healthy dishes. We began...

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Franco On Melrose: Southern Italian in a Gardenlike Setting

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Italian, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue Considering I live in San Clemente, it’s surprising just how often I find myself making the one and a half plus hour trek up to L.A. for one reason or another. I always look forward to these trips. And I especially enjoy when I discover a new restaurant to add to my roster of favorites, which is exactly what happened recently when I was invited to a media tasting hosted by Chef Franco De Dominicis at his charming Italian Trattoria, Franco on Melrose. Chef Franco opened Franco on Melrose in 2012 after working in such notables as The San Lorenzo Knightsbridge in London, Il Buco in Beverly Hills, Jonathan Club in Downtown Los Angeles, The Wilshire Grand Hotel and The Biltmore Hotel. He also served as Executive Chef of Conference and...

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Stonefire Grill Offers Seven For Seven Lunch Specials

Posted by on Mar 29, 2016 in American, Dining News, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue Looking for a great lunch deal? Stonefire Grill’s new “seven for $7 Lunch Specials menu gives you a great reason to add their fast casual restaurants to your weekly rotation. If you’re not familiar with Stonefire Grill, this small chain with eight locations, two of which are in Orange County, is known for its simple, fresh quality ingredients with a focus on grilled meats. Its restaurants are budget friendly, family friendly and gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and low-carb friendly. In other words, there is a decided focus on what their customers are looking for. Last week I was invited to lunch at Stonefire Grill’s Irvine location at Jamboree and Culver. I brought my mom along and I’m glad I did. She had a lot to say about a few of their dishes....

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The Book of Mormon Dinner at Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge

Posted by on Mar 24, 2016 in American, Events, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge is my favorite place to dine before seeing a production at The Segerstrom Center for the Arts. The Chef at Leatherby’s, Chef Ross, is one of the most innovative chefs in Orange County and creates culinary masterpieces themed for every production in the Broadway series at the Segerstrom. While I have dined at Leatherby’s multiple times with my children, I have never brought my husband before. Since I was planning an unforgettable Book of Mormon date night, it would not have been complete without dinner at Leatherby’s before the show. The minute that we walked into the restaurant, we were greeted by the friendly staff who walked us to a table by the glass windows that overlook the beautiful Segerstrom Center. We sipped on a glass of chardonnay...

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TAPS Fish House & Brewery Ups Its Cocktail Game

Posted by on Mar 23, 2016 in Reviews, Seafood | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest of the venue Since its opening last June, I have had TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Irvine on my list of restaurants to try. I am a seafood lover and the pictures I see posted of their oysters on the half shell beckon me. Several of my foodie friends who are fans of TAPS have said, “You must go!”. It’s taken me awhile, but finally I found myself with an invitation to a tasting, tough it wasn’t for the oysters. It was for a preview of several new thoughtfully crafted cocktails created by TAPS Wine & Spirits Manager, Andrew Aoun and his crack team. As one of Orange County’s oldest craft breweries, TAPS is well-known for their award-winning beers as well as great seafood and steaks, not to mention their solid selection of...

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March Madness Munchies at Islands

Posted by on Mar 22, 2016 in American, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue March Madness is in full effect, and Islands is offering some delicious dishes that will satisfy your cravings while watching the big game. NCAA fans are encouraged to come to the lively bar at your local Islands and cheer on your favorite teams while taking advantage of their slam dunk specials. When we went to Islands this week, the bar was full of sports fans sipping on Coors light and munching on the popular Islands hot dogs. With all the times that we have dined at Islands, I couldn’t believe that I have never tried one of their hot dogs before. I headed over to the bar to find out what I had been missing, and after one bite, I was in love. Of course, I had to try both of...

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Design Your Dining Experience at Stacked: Food Well Built

Posted by on Mar 21, 2016 in American, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue After reading the story that Naz wrote on the grand opening of Stacked: Food Well Built, I have been craving their food. The location is conveniently located in the heart of Huntington Beach, across the street from the Bella Terra shopping destination. After spending the day visiting the Grandparents in Huntington Beach, our family was finally able to make our way into Stacked for dinner. We dined on a Friday evening, and the restaurant was hoppin’. There was a line that curved outside the door with families eager to try some of their delicious cuisines. We took our seat in a comfortable semi-private booth, and an employee helped to walk us through the online (iPad) ordering system. I loved the ordering system. No more having to wait for a server who...

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Raw Food, and Some Raw Fun Too!

Posted by on Mar 19, 2016 in Reviews, Vegetarian | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue On the busy little corner of Ventura Blvd in Tarzana, a new restaurant with a fresh new vibe is happening. Original décor with fresh woods and grass layered bench seating, both indoor and out, creates an amoebic feeling and right away you know you’re in for something adventurous. 118° LA was going to show a couple Moms how raw food is done. So, girl’s night it was! I grabbed a friend who loves a healthy and organic meal as much as the next and we were out to find something new and audacious. Eating organic wasn’t new for us, but we were a bit nervous about never really eating anything besides carrot sticks and cucumbers raw. As we arrived we started with a cocktail, because, after all it was “Mom’s night...

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Pig Out at Pig Pen Delicacy

Posted by on Mar 17, 2016 in American, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue There is a delicious new reason to bring the family to 4th Street Market in Santa Ana – Pig Pen Delicacy. I recently went to the new restaurant for lunch to see what all the hype was about and discovered my favorite burger in Orange County, the maple bacon jam burger. It was my first time visiting the 4th Street Market, and I loved everything about the hipster dining destination. There are multiple restaurants to choose from, a relaxed indoor dining area, and a rad art inspired outdoor dining patio. I ordered my lunch at the Pig Pen counter, opened my cold bottle of coca-cola, and then found a perfect seat on the outdoor patio. The minute that I smelled my delectable lunch, I was in heaven. Inside of a soft,...

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Ultimate Meatball Subs at Philly’s Best

Posted by on Mar 13, 2016 in American, Reviews | 0 comments

  Finding a delicious meatball sub is not easy around Orange County. The meatballs are either too crispy or too soggy and rarely ever ‘just right’. When I heard the news that Philly’s Best had introduced a new meatball sub, I couldn’t resist going to try it out. Over the weekend, I brought my biggest meatball critic, my Italian husband to put the meatball sub to the test. When I first walked into the empty restaurant, it didn’t feel promising. The staff was not the friendliest, and one staff member seemed to be a little ‘put out’ by having to leave his television show he was watching from one of the tables to place our order. After we had placed our order for a meatball sub, and cheesesteak sandwich, he placed the order and went back to feeling at...

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