The Local List

Hungry girl looking for the next adventure.

I have a problem.

It is my addiction to sushi.  Seriously, isn’t this like the fourth place I wrote up?  Sorry people, I will try other places, but I need some more recommendations! (Comment and let me know where I should be eating or drinking at or maybe doing some more educated like visiting an art museum…)

Anyway, I found another hole in the wall place – Kaisen Kaiten.  This means decent prices and usually just okay sushi.  Wrong, wrong, wrong.  This fish is super fresh.  And unlike other places I have mentioned, the sushi chefs are actually Japanese.  The waitresses have to wear horrible kimonos and the place is technically a revolving sushi place and it smells horrible inside, but believe me when I say its worth it. 

This place does the “pay by the plate” deal, where they stack your plates at the end to determine what you ate.  I don’t recommend anything on the revolving sushi.  It’s gross and its for amateurs.  Sorry it’s the truth.  The real deal is ordering from the menu.  I recommend the yellowtail and tuna as always, but the hand rolls are the real specialty.  A lot of sushi places have hard, crunchy hand rolls.  Here, they do it right.  You get out of there for a decent price and they have beer happy hour specials Monday-Friday.  Luckily its around the corner from my house…thank you god.

Kaisen Sushi on Urbanspoon

Post-Thanksgiving Hangover

Well it’s been awhile since I gave you anything worth while or a must eat.  And now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time for you to go out and try something new.  Taco Asylum at The Camp is just the place.  While it is a bit over-priced, it definitely is delicious. 

This is a nice place to add into your “every once in a while” spots, although I wish I could go all the time.  My favorite thing to do is get the taco flight.  Short rib is a must eat, the fried chicken is delicious, the duck is a yelp favorite and their surf in turf is quite good.  They have a shrimp special that changes all the time as well as a house special.  When we went it was a habanero duck confit sopa – SO spicy, but really good.  They also have homemade sauces for the tacos as well as fresh juices (definitely helps cut the spice).  They have a revolving tap full of local brews and a wide selection of wines.  Although parking is a pain, the food is worth the trip and the staff is super hipster and fun to talk with.

It seems I always crave sushi on Sundays, which as most of you know is the worst day to get “fresh” fish.  However, Sushi Box still seems decent, and for the price it’s a steal.  Sushi Box is a little hole in wall restaurant located in Costa Mesa.  Although the rolls aren’t pretty, the fish is good.  I love their yellowtail and tuna, and the salmon is pretty tender too.  The best part about this place is their lunch specials.  For under $10 you can get a California Roll and 5 pieces of sushi.  I personally enjoy the sashimi plate, which comes with three pieces of tuna, salmon, yellowtail and whitefish along with a salad and edamame.  Yes it isn’t fancy, yes it isn’t true sushi, but for a low price it is worth the fresh fish and large portions.  Bonus: you can make your own rolls for under $5.  I mean come on, it can’t get better than that.

Now that the holidays are upon us its time for parties, festivities, and going out.  And what better thing to do with friends and loved ones then head to a rodeo.  Okay, not really, but there is a bar in Anaheim serving up some amazing food and playing some awesome music.  The Ranch is located in the most odd places, at the bottom of an office building, but once you step inside you are transported to the heart of Texas.  This is a line dancing bar – if you want to booty grind, go somewhere else.  And this isn’t JUST a line dancing bar, it is line dancing only.  You have to know what you are doing.  This sounds frightening and scary, but believe me when I say it is a blast.  If you are adventurous enough to try it out, people are very friendly and help you along the way.  Some songs are easier to learn than others, but kick back a few cocktails, put on your cowboy boots and get out there!

Taco Asylum on Urbanspoon

While you are out this weekend…

When hungry, must eat.

the “doughssant”

So I’m not a big donut person.  I know its sinful, but I just can’t wrap my head around the sweetness and heavy dough.  However, there is this new concoction called the cronut that has become the new “it” thing at bakeries all over the country.  A cross between a donut and a croissant, the Fusion Tea Bar serves their own version.   The “doughssant” is filled with a sweet cream filling with croissant dough and all the sugary goodness that is a donut.  Whether you are eating it for breakfast, or a mid day sugar rush, this is definitely worth a try.  Just try and cut yourself off after one; I don’t want to be recommending diabetes.

burgers, fries, shakes, fried chicken, prosciut

Fried chicken and waffles.  No I am not talking about Roscoe’s; I’m talking about the new fine dining restaurant (I kid) called Bruxie.  It is the latest in brunch spots and is popping up all over the place.  They are opening up their newest location in Costa Mesa, but you can also go to Irvine and Old Town Orange.  They have your standard fried chicken and waffles and other savory sandwiches, but they also have an assortment of sweet waffles, belgium fries, and my personal favorite, Frozen Custard.  Trust me, its better than a milk shake.  It is a Midwest Treat that California is lucky to finally discover.  Bruxie is giving the OC a new take on traditional sandwiches and breakfast foods.  It’s always packed though, so be ready to stand in line.

base+size+flavor+toppings+liquid nitrogen

November in OC means 85 degree weather right?  Unfortunately that is the case right now.  (I never thought I would miss the foggy nights of SF.)  However, warm weather means ice cream is still an appropriate food group.  After a long day at work, or for some fun on a tame Saturday night, stop in at Creamistry.  The thing with this place is that they make your ice cream right in front of you.  No seriously, right in front of you.  Their “thing” is that they use liquid nitrogen to freeze your chosen flavors into ice cream specifically for you.  You pick your base – they even have dairy free – then your flavors, and then your toppings.  Oh and by the way, they have cookie butter.  I am not kidding.  I will warn you, the “personalized” touches do take a while so on busy nights expect a 30 minute wait.  Good luck not craving this place.

P.S. This post puts me at 1000 viewers.  Thanks guys for all of your support!  Hope you are trying out some of these amazing places, and be sure to tell me any of your favorite eateries or events in the OC!

Creamistry on Urbanspoon

Heaven

When I think of Bear Flag, I think of heaven.  Seriously it is a wonderful hidden gem in South Orange County.  You can visit the Newport Peninsula location, but I highly recommend the Crystal Cove one.  (Staff is a bit older and a bit…quicker.)

The seafood here is fresh, tasty and mouth-watering.  I recommend trying the panko fish tacos because its cheap and good.  But then, you should focus on the fish of the day board.  The ahi tuna burritos are the best, but any type of burrito or grilled taco will have you singing its praises.  For those that like clam chowder, this one is pretty good.  I hate chewy clams, but this chowder isn’t too creamy or too chewy.  They have a little bit of everything for all eaters (but you have to like fish.)  The ahi tuna poke (raw fish cubed with sweet soy sauce, seaweed and sesame oil) isn’t well priced or made with the best quality fish, but if you are starving you can buy it by the pound to go.  They always have the game on, and have bottled beer and and wine for those stressful nights – make sure you check out their nightly specials online.  For fun, you can try to catch a lobster in their claw game.  If you like seafood, this is a place that can’t be missed.

Bear Flag Fish Co. on Urbanspoon

What did you do this weekend?

Weekends are always too short.  This past weekend was the first time that I got to stay in Orange County for an entire Saturday.  (Wedding season is the worst for travel.)  Being local meant lots of new adventures.

ramen, Ajisen Ramen, Japanese food
Ramen, Fried Tofu and Cutlet Curry

Dinner time at Diamond Jamboree
For anyone who has visited this shopping market, you know that it is like Disneyland for Asian food.  Parking is a nightmare, so try the parking structure first before you battle for spots in the lot.  One of the best restaurants in that area is Ajisen Ramen.  It has ramen (duh), sushi, udon, and rice dishes.  They also have boba for you die hards.  The ramen comes out within minutes of you ordering and is so large that you will not need to eat for the rest of the day.


haven gastropub, beer, orange
Mac n Cheese, Beer flights, and Burger and fries

Drinks at Old Town Orange
This area is probably one of my favorites in OC.  It looks like it came straight out of a movie, with the roundabout and “main street’ walking areas.  There are lots of great restaurants in the area that I must try, but Haven Gastropub has been talked up so much I finally had to stop in.  The food is supposed to be unreal, but I was only there for the drinks.  The draft menu changes often and the wine list is almost two pages long.  I will definitely be coming back here for the mac and cheese though.  It smelled unreal!

Clementes seafood
Fish tacos, shrimp ceviche, fish in Ranchero dressing

The best “hole in the wall” seafood joint
When I find a meal that leaves me speechless I always have to ask myself if I am just starving or if the food is really just that good.  I can say with full confidence that Clemente Seafood was the best hole in the wall Mexican food that I have found in Santa Ana, let alone all of the OC.  It is some of the freshest fish that I have had, and the sauces and breading that they cook the fish in is so flavorful.  The shrimp ceviche is their best seller, but the fried fish tacos were my favorite.  I already told the owner they should expect me to be there at least once a week.  This place should be a must try on everyone’s list, seriously people…

Clemente Seafood on Urbanspoon

TGIF and TG for Chinese food.

Thank god it’s Friday.  Especially after the week I’ve had.  It’s the last weekend to celebrate Halloween, first weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving; that means a lot of fattening food people.

This weekend is all about Chinese Food for me.  With one of the best dim sum restaurants in the world opening up next year, its time we got serious about all the different varieties available in the OC.  Here is a list of some of my favorites.

dumplings, chinese

Cheap, Fast, Quick
No I am not talking about your ex, I am talking about A & J Restaurant.  Most people won’t understand that Taiwanese food and your traditional Chinese food are not similar.  The beef noodle soup is one of their best dishes, as well as the Thousand Layer Pancake.  Go in and try something new, it is very authentic and tastes great!

dim sum, chicken feet, chinese

 

Dim. Sum.
If you haven’t had it, you need to.  And Capital Seafood has the best.  Dim Sum is a brunch time meal, served in Southern China and Hong Kong.  Some items served at this dinning experience are dumplings, BBQ Pork Buns, and chicken feet.  (Don’t worry I wouldn’t eat them either).  My roommate swears by their fried rice with chicken sausage.  Even if you don’t make it for dim sum, the food at dinner is some of the best Chinese food I have had.
 
things to do in OC, OC, foodie, food blog in OC, food blog, OC food blog, Orange County, Orange County blog, travel, things to do in Southern California

Baked Goods
Now this is a must try for me, but it’s a yelp favorite.  In the heart of Buena Park, there is a little bakery called Micasa.  It has typical baked goods you would find at any bakery, but it also has Chinese pastries and all for a decent price.  Fruit tarts are under a dollar and they even serve don tats (egg custard tarts for newbies). 

Check out these places too: 85C, Seafood Cove #2, and Guppy House.  What’s your favorite spot? I’m dying to try some new places out!

Capital Seafood on Urbanspoon

Weekend wrap up

So while your hangover is still fresh, I thought we could remember all the great things about this weekend.
things to do in orange county, food blogs in OC, OC blogs
Tapas style with an Asian Flair.

A MUST Eat: The Playground is the beginning of a new era for Santa Ana.  A once sketchy area has now become the new hipster central, and this restaurant is in the middle of it all.  Fresh food with a different menu every day. 
If you are a picky eater, ask for substitutions or don’t like sitting next to strangers then you suck don’t come here.  This place is a food novel, starting with great cocktails and ending with the best Toffee Sticky Pudding anyone could imagine.  Best meal in Orange County yet.

things to do in orange county
Pizza, beer and sports: a true man’s spot.

Pitfire Pizza may be a chain, but it’s a pizza lovers delight.  The Burrata Pie is delicious, as is the Pitfire Sasuage for meat lovers.  For those that don’t like pizza the salads and sandwiches are also a hit!  Great beer selection for pretty decent prices in East Costa Mesa.  There is also a “speakeasy” in the back called Pie Society for those that enjoy a good Old Fashioned.

things to do in orange county, santa ana
Breakfast done right.

Hangover Cure/Best Breakfast Burrito in Orange County is at Nate’s Korner.  Yeah it’s in Santa Ana, yeah you have to drive there, yet you will not regret this.  Largest juiciest burrito you will find for a decent price, but it get’s crowded so call ahead.  If that one person in your party doesn’t want a burrito, there are sandwiches, salads, bagels, etc.  Buyer beware, the double cheeseburger  with bacon will give you a heart attack.

Nate's Korner on Urbanspoon