The Local List

Hungry girl looking for the next adventure.

Brunch at Vitaly

It has been hard trying to keep up blogging, working, and eating out as much as I should, so when I had a free Saturday morning, I knew I had to skip Rooster Cafe and try a new spot.  Unfortunately, Vitaly was a bummer.
 

Vitaly is tucked in the back of the Camp in Costa Mesa.  It is an Italian (fairly authentic) restaurant that serves, breakfast, lunch and dinner, has a coffee bar, gelato and baked goods.  It really tries to offer everything you could want.  The dinner sounds really good – homemade pastas; the baked goods are tasty; and the coffee options are delicious.  However, the breakfast was unimpressive.
 

For $8.50, you get your choice of a three egg scramble or omelet. However, if you want anything in your eggs its at least another $1.00 for every item you add.  The eggs come with potatoes, but I was only given 4 potatoes…yes F-O-U-R.  It also comes with a side of some type of pita bread but the bread had zero taste.  So you pay $8.50 for three eggs.  It wasn’t that the omelet tasted bad, it just isn’t worth the effort of going to the Camp, dealing with parking and spending $9 to still be hungry.
 
I know it’s weird, but when I asked for ketchup for my breakfast, this was all I got.  BUGS ME SO MUCH!

 

3.0/5.0 because the coffee is great, but I will try the dinner just to round out the review.

Kobbideh Kebob

Two of the most magical words known to man kind.  And one of the best places in Orange County is Panini Cafe.  Although its a Southern California chain, they don’t skimp on the portions and don’t skimp on the taste.  Although you can spend $20 a person, you won’t go home hungry.
thelocallist, kelsey mills, hungrygirl mills
chicken kebabs
Panini Cafe is open for brunch, lunch and dinner and is located both in Newport Beach and Irvine.  There is always a crowd at both locations, but you usually don’t have to wait too long.  On a trip for lunch, we waltzed straight onto the patio and ordered the chicken kebob special and of course, the Kebob of my dreams.  The meals come with either basmati rice (my favorite) or wheat rice pilaf (not bad) and then a choice of three different types of salad.  Believe me when I say you cannot eat it all.
thelocallist, hungrygirlmills
kobbideh!!!
The food is so tasty, and came out hot.  The price is steep [for lunch] (see update below), around $10-$15 for the complete meal, but it’s not an everyday lunch spot so I was willing to pay a bit more.  However, on this particular occasion they forgot about our food and didn’t really apologize or make up for the situation.  For a “quick” lunch it took them 25 minutes to bring out our food after asking about it twice.  I haven’t had issues here before though, so hopefully its just my curse of bad service not an everyday thing.
thelocallilst
humus platter
Panini Cafe also has obviously paninis, soups, salads, and other types of kebobs.  I also need to try their brunch because it looks great (and huge).  They also have a to-go menu which I noticed has a family four pack of food.  Yeah I might not have a family of 4 but this is definitely going to be on my list of fast, healthy dinners.  Don’t judge me…
thelocallist
breakfast sandwiches
update: I was schooled in the expense part of this post.  It may seem expensive to me at lunch, but you can get out of there for about $15 for dinner and the food is really about two meals.  The chicken kebob special is definitely worth ordering for lunch as its the same amount of food but for only $10.
 

4.0/5 for great food, a good ambiance but so-so service.


A great lunch spot, dinner, and even drinks.

3-Thirty-3 was always a place I avoided in college because it is where the “old people” went to hang out on a Friday night.  Well apparently now I am that “old” person and I am definitely hanging out there on a Friday.
 
the local list
build your own burger and sweet potato fries

 Not only is it a fun place to people watch, grab drinks or a late night bite, it is also great for lunch or dinner.  As we all know, it’s my birth-month this month, so when co-workers offered to treat me to lunch we easily chose 3-Thirty-3.  With large booths for big parties, high tables for a group of 2 or 4, or the bar, 3-Thirty-3 can fit any group size.  It definitely gets crowded on a weekend, so call ahead. 

 
the local list
view from our booth…yup on the water.
There is valet parking or you can park on the other side of Sol and walk over here.  The food is great and is a large enough menu to please all diet constraints.  At lunch you have the option of making your own burger (yup, just like The Counter), the salads are HUGE, and the chicken tenders and calamari are some of the best I have had. (especially when drunk)  And for dessert you cannot miss out on ordering the apple pie, it was crazy good.  The drinks might be on the pricier side, but just split a bottle before you cab over here…makes for a happier night anyway!
 
the local list
sweet thai spiced calamari
 
I also have heard they have a build your own breakfast burrito and bloody mary bar that sounds really enticing, anyone tried it out before?
 
the local list
breakfast burritos AND bloodys?! (pc: yelp)
3.5 for great food, lots of space (if you have a table), great drink selection but higher prices.

The Playground, brunch edition.

If you don’t remember, I visited The Playground for dinner a few months ago.  It was so good (especially the fried chicken – dont ask just get it).  So when my boyfriend’s plans for our brunch fell through (aka he didn’t check to see if the restaurant was open on Sundays), I remembered the Playground serves brunch and we headed over to try it out.

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Another trip into LA

steak and eggs
I know, I know, I travel far too much on the weekends, but I like to have fun.  This past weekend was no different and I headed up to Los Angeles for the day.  I started out my morning at easily the best brunch spot I have ever had – Eggslut.
Gusto
egg, sausage and cheese
view from the counter
steak, eggs, chimichurri sauce, argula

For those that haven’t been to Grand Central Market, it is definitely worth visiting.  Once a hole in the wall locals only spot, trendie LA foodies have started to rent stalls and open up their places in a food cart sort of way.  Eggslut is one of these places and has a counter that you order at then sit at the bar to eat your food.  I ordered the steak sandwich which was legit, and I watched the guy basically pour butter into every part of the steak. (DELICIOUS)  My boyfriend, Phil, ordered one of the breakfast sausage sandwiches.  His by far was the better sandwich.  For $20, we were stuffed and had such a good meal.

cold brew growlers at Stumptown
Next we went to Stumptown Coffee, you might remember it from my Portland report.  This LA one has a VERY different vibe, is totally LA hipster, and totally a place you go for the “scene.”  It was still great coffee but quite pricey.
Gusto
For dinner I met a girlfriend for my birthday (its the beginning of my birth month) at Gusto in West LA.  It was a cute Italian spot full of families, couples, and groups of friends.  The vibe was really nice, and the wait staff was extremely attentive.  The food was really good.  Everything we had was shared plates and homemade Italian plates.  I don’t know what the bill was, but the menu was well priced for what I thought.  It was a little “Beverly Hills” feeling for me but I would definitely come back here for a date or special event.

Now I need to stop eating food for a while…

Eggslut on Urbanspoon

Great weather means outdoor seating…

This weekend is supposed to be fabulous, and there is nothing better than eating outdoors in Southern California. (Just wear sunscreen!)  As you already know, I am a HUGE breakfast burrito fan, and brunch is kinda a big deal in my life so I thought I would share one of my favorite spots – Rose Bakery Cafe.  I am a little scared to share this secret, but it already is packed so what the hell.

If you aren’t ordering the California Breakfast Burrito with Spinach tortilla, then I recommend any of the other wraps.  As I mentioned before, I tend to order tuna sandwiches to compare sandwich places, and this place knocks my socks off.  Any of the sandwiches or wraps are exceptional, but the best part about Rose is the baked goods.  Fresh made donuts and cakes and goodies galore.  Some might even say that the donuts here are the best in OC (thanks D for the introduction!)

If you are looking for a brunch, if you are hungover and need take out, or if you want to just sit and bask in the sun with some good food and great people watching, this is your spot.  Even John Elway comes here…

5/5 because I really can’t figure out anything negative about this place…

Brunch – the most important meal of the day.

Brunch is starting to become one of my favorite meals.  I am not a big fan of breakfast foods – as a kid I would ask for soup before school.  (My parents must have thought I was so weird.)  Now, I can manage some eggs, bacon and potatoes, lots and lots of potatoes.

My go to spot is usually Nate’s but this weekend my boyfriend dragged me out of my comfort zone to go to an old spot we used to hit weekly – Rooster Cafe.  I ordered the huevos rancheros and my boyfriend got a breakfast burrito.  I feel like I am cheating, but that sh*t was delicious.

The huevos rancheros might seem small because its only one “taco” but it comes with a heaping pile of red potatoes.  I couldn’t finish the plate and the salsa was perfect.  The breakfast burrito was…just so perfect.  Nate’s has the best hangover, greasy upon greasy, burrito.  Rooster Cafe has the perfect breakfast burrito.  We got it without cheese (lactard), and it actually almost felt healthy?  Not really an explanation you want of a breakfast burrito but believe me it is worth trying.

They also have lunch items that looked pretty good.  The line can be quite long, parking limited, but they have seating outside.  If you are willing to wait, definitely stop by here next Saturday for some good home cookin’.

4 huevos for good food but long lines and little seating.