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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

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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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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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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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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Dinner With a Spectacular View at BLK Earth Sea Spirits

Posted by on Jan 2, 2016 in American, Seafood | 0 comments

  Huntington Beach. Downtown Huntington Beach to be specific. As a lover of live music and local bands, I always look forward to heading to the downtown area for Surf City Nights on Main Street, but to be honest I’ve always been at a loss for where to go for dinner. When you drive from San Clemente, you’re hoping for something at least a little memorable and while there are some fine enough local joints and restaurants, not much has jumped out at me that I can look forward to. So, I was excited to receive an invite to the recently opened BLK Earth Sea Spirits. I’d heard good things and was hoping for a Downtown Huntington Beach find. Set just off the ocean, this sister to BLK Burgrz features a restaurant that wows with incredible sweeping views of...

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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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Limited-time Lobster Mascarpone Beignets at Slapfish

Posted by on Oct 13, 2015 in Dining News, Events, Seafood | 0 comments

 Slapfish has recently announced that they will be adding the Lobster Mascarpone Beignets to their menu starting on Monday, October 19th through Saturday, October 31st at their Huntington Beach restaurant. “The Lobster Mascarpone Beignet was created for Foodbeast’s inaugural Oozefest event, which took place earlier this month,” explained Chef Andrew. “Little did we know that the beignet would be such a tremendous hit and earn Slapfish a first place trophy at the event! We’re thanking everyone who voted for us – and everyone who was not able to partake – with the opportunity to enjoy the Lobster Mascarpone Beignet for the last two weeks of this month in conjunction with National Seafood Month.” Chef Andrew’s Lobster Mascarpone special can be found at Slapfish in Huntington Beach (19696 Beach Blvd., in the Newland Center at Adams). Those interested in more...

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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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Crabfest is back at Red Lobster

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 in Seafood | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Red Lobster I am so fortunate to have started my kids eating seafood at a young age that two out of three of them love seafood. With my seafood loving kiddos, we couldn’t wait to try the limited-time dishes available during Crabfest at Red Lobster. When we first arrived at Red Lobster, the kids were captivated by the tank of live lobsters in the waiting room. Watching the lobsters kept them entertained the entire time it took for us to get a table. Once we were seated, we were provided a basket of their popular cheese biscuits. The biscuits were warm and practically melted in my mouth with every bite. The biscuits held over our appetite until our delicious seafood dinners were served. My husband went big and ordered the Ultimate Feast that...

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Five Must-Have Seafood Dishes at Slapfish Irvine

Posted by on Aug 4, 2015 in Featured, Reviews, Seafood | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Slapfish College students attending UCI, and families living in the surrounding areas are in for a treat with the opening of the all-new Slapfish Seafood location in the University Center (right across from UCI.) Slapfish brings sustainable seafood, and rich, bold flavors together to create some of the most delicious seafood dishes available in Orange County. Slapfish is the first place where my “picky eater” finally gave into eating seafood for the first time. It is still the only place where I can get him to enjoy the health benefits of sustainable seafood. While Slapfish is known for their rich and savory lobster roll, they also have a lot of other dishes that I highly recommend trying, including the lobster lettuce roll. The Chowder Fries! I would never have expected this dish to...

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Chef Deb’s Seafood Shines At Sol Cocina

Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in Mexican, Reviews, Seafood | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue When looking through any menu one of the first things that usually catches my eye is fresh seafood. This is especially so as the weather heats up. Just give me a few oysters and some ceviche and I’m a happy camper. To me it’s guilt free indulgence. So, needless to say when Sol Cocina’s Executive Chef, Deb Schneider introduced her new Baja inspired seafood menu at a recent tasting, I was all in. Chef Deb has built a reputation for serving up traditional Baja dishes with her own modern take emphasizing big bold flavors and the freshest of ingredients. And now for those who appreciate a lighter side of dining her new seafood offerings are an exciting and welcome addition to her menu. Says Chef Deb, “With this menu, we’re pulling...

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King’s Fish House Annual Lobster Festival

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in Featured, Reviews, Seafood | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of KFH New England’s finest lobsters have arrived at King’s Fish House offering families the freshest lobster dishes to enjoy in a fun family-friendly dining environment. Last week, our family dined at King’s Fish House in Laguna Hills for the first time, and the restaurant immediately became our new favorite family seafood restaurant. We took a seat on the outdoor patio where the kids immediately felt at home. The tables were covered with fun red and white checkered tablecloths and the decor had our family reminiscing about our last trip to the east coast. Our server greeted us with a plate of warm bread and soft butter that our kids devoured within seconds. The bread was soft, warm and was the perfect prelude to our dinner at King’s Fish House. We started dinner by...

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Sushi Roku Opening Soon at Fashion Island

Posted by on May 1, 2015 in Dining News, Seafood, Sushi | 0 comments

 Orange County will soon be home to Sushi Roku, a contemporary sushi experience unlike any other in the region. With a menu of fresh, global ingredients presented in one-of-a-kind dishes, Sushi Roku transcends borders while still respecting Japanese tradition. The first concept to debut in Orange County from Innovative Dining Group, Sushi Roku’s 6th location is slated to open at Fashion Island in Newport Beach on June 1st. Sushi Roku has been credited for being the pioneer of contemporary sushi, with a diverse menu that unites traditional Japanese cuisine and vibrant global flavors with the seasonal bounty our California landscape provides. Sushi Roku uses the finest, freshest fish from around the globe with the kind of artistry that can only be executed by a seasoned sushi chef to ensure an unparalleled sushi experience. Certified sake sommeliers and mixologists have...

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LobsterFest at Red Lobster

Posted by on Apr 6, 2015 in Reviews, Seafood | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Red Lobster Since I was just a little kid, I have been wanting to try eating at Red Lobster. With there only being locations in North Orange County, our family has never made the drive up to try the restaurant until now. When I heard the advertisements that LobsterFest was back, then we made plans to have a Friday night dinner at the popular family seafood restaurant. When we arrived at the restaurant – it was packed! Every table was filled with families enjoying fresh seafood dinners together. Our kids felt comfortable dining at the restaurant with its relaxed family feel, and their favorite thing aside from eating in a barn-themed restaurant was the giant fish tank filled with live lobsters! The kids menu was loaded with healthy dining options including broiled fish,...

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Tasting Perfection With Lail Vineyards At Bluewater Grill

Posted by on Mar 30, 2015 in Seafood | 0 comments

  Few pleasures rank higher in my book than enjoying a glass of wine complimented by well-paired appetizers along with it. If this ranks high on your list of things to do, imagine an evening spent tasting and comparing several great wines, one an “absolutely perfect” 100 pointer… a “first” for me. Such was a recent evening spent at Tustin’s Bluewater Grill as Michael Updegraff, the Managing Director of Napa’s Lail Vineyards walked us through two of their Sauvignon Blancs and two of their Cabernets accompanied by several small plates by Chef Jason Mazur. So what was on the tasting menu? We started with Blueprint 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, a new world style “crowd pleaser”. This one is citrusy and bright and gets 92 points from Robert Parker, Jr. The Wine Advocate and retails at $40. “This Blueprint has intense...

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Awesome’sauce’ New Slapfish Seafood Restaurant in Newport Beach

Posted by on Feb 6, 2015 in Featured, Reviews, Seafood | 0 comments

  Growing up in Newport Beach, the Peninsula was my teenage hangout. I would work my Summer nights at Original Pizza, and then spend the rest of my free time laying out on the beach or riding bikes along the boardwalk with my girlfriends. Now that I am older and have children, I love bringing them back to the place where I had so many memories growing up. The only thing that has curbed us from bringing the kids down to the Peninsula on a regular basis was the lack of decent dining. For many years, there was only a handful of restaurants that were “family-friendly” in the area until the recent opening of multiple new family-friendly restaurants on the Peninsula including Slapfish Seafood. My girlfriend and I were excited to check out the new restaurant, so we planned...

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East Meets East: Sustainable Salmon Slider Recipes

Posted by on Jan 29, 2015 in Recipes, Seafood | 2 comments

 Are you a seafood lover? Maybe you have a grilled seafood dish you’ve come up with that your family and friends love. Well, Slapfish is looking for fresh ideas that celebrate sustainable and where possible local ingredients for their recipe contest with the winner’s recipe earning a place on the soon to open Newport Beach location’s menu. Beyond bragging rights, the winner will also be able to order their creation for two months for free! Sounds fun right? Well, I think so and with some encouragement from Shelby Barone, I decided to see what I could come up with. My first challenge was selecting a sustainable seafood to work with. I chose salmon because there are sustainable sources here, its Omega 3 offers health benefits, and it’s a natural for the grill. When thinking about how to prepare it,...

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Eat Healthy in the New Year at Slapfish

Posted by on Dec 30, 2014 in Seafood | 0 comments

  In his ongoing quest to present a real American seafood experience that revolves around fresh, sustainable fish prepared simply with big flavors, Slapfish Executive Chef/Owner Andrew Gruel will introduce a month-long series of specials to help with keeping New Year’s resolutions. Beginning January 5th, the weekly specials will incorporate the freshest seafood in the following light and flavorful dishes: • Wild Pacific Albacore Tuna BLTA w Verde Sauce — no BREAD, 100% Paleo • California Powerbowl – kale, salmon, local black cod, almonds, quinoa, avocado, cucumber, lemon vinaigrette. • Shrimp and Avocado Taco with a Spinach Hummus Spread served over a toasted whole wheat wrap. • Paleo Antioxidant Shake with Raspberry, Blueberry and Chia Seeds • No Fry Sweet Potato Fries with Smoked Salmon Sauce Slapfish’s Chef Gruel will also spend the first few weeks of the year...

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Best of LA: Hermosa Beach Fish Shop

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 in Featured, Reviews, Seafood, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the restaurant There are many fun things to do outside of Orange County. Unfortunately, many families (including mine) don’t know of a good place to dine in Los Angeles. Having lived in Orange County all of my life, I am always surprised that I still don’t have any favorite Los Angeles dining destinations until now. When in Hermosa Beach earlier this summer, we were in search of a healthy place to get dinner, and discovered the Hermosa Beach Fish Shop. When we first walked into the Cape Cod styled restaurant, we were greeted by friendly employees that walked us through the ordering process. The menu process is designed so that families can get exactly what they are craving when coming to the restaurant. It is simple! You pick a fish, pick a marinade...

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Driftwood Kitchen Opens in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Jun 22, 2014 in Dining News, Featured, Seafood | 0 comments

 Driftwood Kitchen has just opened in Laguna Beach bringing ultimate beachfront dining to guests in Orange County. The restaurant features the freshest seafood, steaks and handcrafted cocktails to enjoy while basking in the beautiful panoramic ocean views. “Driftwood Kitchen focuses on California cuisine that’s inspired, yet prepared simply, with a focus on seasonal ingredients and the ocean that’s right in our backyard,” commented Chef Rainer Schwarz, Partner in Sentinel’s restaurants, which include The Deck on Laguna Beach and Fireside Tavern in Costa Mesa. “I draw inspiration from many places for this menu and I have partnered with some of the best purveyors around, but the primary focus will be on the diversity and freshness that the ocean provides us with.” Chef Rainer’s menu will feature innovative, yet approachable dishes including the following: Octopus “a la Plancha” Taco Mexican wild...

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