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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

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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Best OC Outdoor Dining at Cucina Enoteca Newport Beach

Posted by on Feb 18, 2016 in Italian, Reviews | 0 comments

  I have enjoyed dining at the new Cucina Enoteca many times since they first opened. Whenever I am in the Newport Beach area for lunch, and it is a beautiful day, it is my favorite place to dine. It isn’t just the food that I love at Cucina Enoteca, but also the ambiance. The restaurant has the most beautiful decor with colorful chic accents through the restaurant. Last week, my son had an afternoon doctor’s appointment, and I treated him to lunch at Cucina Enoteca before going back to school. The outdoor patio is the number one place to dine at this restaurant, and he was comfortable and relaxed in the outdoor dining setting. The one thing about Cucina Enoteca is that once you find your favorite things on the menu, you’ll find yourself ordering it over and...

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Costa Mesa’s Social Wows With Stunning New Desserts

Posted by on Feb 16, 2016 in American, Dessert, Dining News, Reviews | 2 comments

  I keep saying desserts aren’t my thing. And for the most part, they aren’t. I rarely make them and I typically don’t order them. My tastes tend to favor the savory side of the menu. But after being invited to try several of Social’s pastry chef, Ashley Guzman’s creations one recent evening, I am going to have to reconsider this bias. Seriously, Ashley is gifted and has a talent for combining familiar and sometimes less familiar ingredients with delightful and memorable results. Her desserts unlike those on so many menus are ones you most likely would never attempt trying to recreate at home and more than likely won’t find on menus elsewhere. So what was on the dessert menu on this particular evening? We started with Cheat Day, a devils food chocolate cake, with chocolate two ways, hazelnuts...

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Romantic Date Night at The Anaheim White House

Posted by on Feb 3, 2016 in American, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

  It feels like forever since my husband and I have been able to sneak away for a night alone. The Anaheim White House has been on my list of places that I’ve wanted to go, and when the grandparents offered to babysit the kids, I jumped at the chance to go to dinner with my husband. The restaurant is located just a short distance from Disneyland and is right in the heart of Anaheim. When we arrived at The Anaheim White House, I was in awe of the beauty of the lights and the building. It felt like we had been swept into another era upon entering the restaurant. There is extreme attention to detail with every part of the decor from the hand painted murals to the light fixtures. I was already in love with the restaurant...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Corona Del Mar’s Five Crowns Celebrates 50th With Winter Menu

Posted by on Dec 7, 2015 in American, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue It has been about 15 years since I’ve dined at Five Crowns in Corona Del Mar. That is until recently, when I was invited to a five-course tasting featuring a winter menu brought to life by Executive Chef Steve Kling in celebration of the restaurant’s 50th year catering to locals and vacationers alike. While I remember little of the actual meal I had there so long ago, I do remember the warm pub like atmosphere and mostly just having a good time with sidesplitting laughter with the family and friends I was with while on a visit from New York City. With so much time gone by and very vague memories of my first dinner there, I was unsure of what to expect The Five Crowns has been a family owned...

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Eats Kitchen Celebrates the Twelve Days of Christmas

Posted by on Dec 4, 2015 in American, Holidays, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… a Partridge in a Pear Tree.” This classic carol is the inspiration for twelve whimsical creations Chef Jason Montelibano will be serving to guests at Eats Kitchen & Bar located in Hotel Irvine. And a December 1st invitation to their media tasting celebrating The Twelve Days of Christmas, was the perfect way to kick-off this month’s festivities. Our evening began on the restaurant patio around the fire pit with a new seasonal cocktail, The Snowflake. Served in a sugar rimmed old fashioned champagne glass, this light, refreshing and not too sweet, drink blends Blueberry Stoli, sparkling wine, a little simple syrup, a bit of lemon juice to balance it out and is garnished with three fresh blueberries. I think...

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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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El Torito’s Cantina Nights

Posted by on Nov 24, 2015 in Dining News, Mexican, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue We recently had the pleasure of attending El Torito Grill in Irvine and sampling their new Cantina Menu. We’re here to tell you, you’re in for a nice surprise! Introducing a fresh fun menu and another new concept, First Friday’s each month. We can’t wait to return! If you’re feeling spicy and thirsty, try the Pica de Sandia; a watermelon purée with red pepper tequila, a squeeze of lime and agave nectar. Mmm, sure sounds good, right? Also featured is a Mezcal Y Spicy Mango; with tequila, mescal, mango purée, muddled jalapeño and squeeze of lime. You’ll find several other beverages; these were some of our favorites, we tend to enjoy a spicy fusion cocktail. As we sipped our drinks, the cantina had created a cozy environment; fire burning and a...

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Holy Cow! Holsteins Makes Tasty Burgers for the Whole Family

Posted by on Nov 23, 2015 in American, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue Before we dive into the food and drink that is served up at Holstein’s Shakes and Buns, we must address the cow statue. There’s a big ol’ pink and white one standing proudly behind the hostess station, semi-separating the entrance from the lounge, restaurant name branded on its side. It’s a three-dimensional logo of sorts, but it’s so much more. For anyone that remembers this space being Charlie Palmer’s – which is pretty much everyone that had visited South Coast Plaza within the last seven years – the bovine is the perfect symbol of the changes that have been afoot in the massive space for the past few months. In a way, the changes that it represents aren’t as drastic as you may have thought. The space is still sleek, the...

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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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Bad to the Bone BBQ So Good to the Bone

Posted by on Nov 5, 2015 in American, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue I have to confess to being somewhat cynical when anyone tells me about a good BBQ place in these parts. Every time I get suckered into going, which admittedly isn’t very often, it seems like I walk away disappointed. Sorry but oversauced, falling off the bone ribs just aren’t my thing. Especially when they’re fatty and lack that deep smoky flavor I crave. This for the most part sums up my experience, so I was a little skeptical when I and several fellow food bloggers and writers were invited to an early lunch at Bad to the Bone BBQ on a recent Saturday. My first order of business was finding the place. It’s a bit hidden away in a strip mall in San Juan Capistrano. Though I’m pretty familiar with the...

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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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Celebrating Fall At Fig & Olive

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in American, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Fig & Olive After a long hot summer in Southern California, it’s finally Fall. At last, the evenings are getting cooler… even if the days are still warm. Such a welcome change! And with that, menus are changing to celebrate the season’s ingredients… chestnuts, squash, beets, mushrooms, pears. I am a huge fan of Fall foods, so when I was invited to a dinner to taste some of Fig & Olive’s latest seasonal dishes, I was more than happy to oblige! If you’ve never dined at Fashion Island’s Fig & Olive in Newport Beach, the atmosphere is calm, open, airy, and elegant with a lounge area, an outdoor patio, and an all white indoor dining room. We were seated in the softly lit dining room inside. So calm, so relaxing, and the perfect...

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