The Local List

Hungry girl looking for the next adventure.

Lemonade: a fun, healthy counter spot.

lemonade

Lemonade has recently appeared at Fashion Island’s “food court.”  Started in Los Angeles, it is another one of those places that you order your pre-made food as you walk down the line to a counter at the end.  (Think “glorified Souplantation”.)  The great part is that the food is actually quite extraordinary: fresh ingredients in ways that other restaurants of this type are just not creating.
Lemonade, salads, soup, sandwiches, Fashion Island, fast casual, sweets, the local list, hungrygirl mills, oc food blogs, things to do in OC, things to do in newport beach, corona del mar, newport coast, malls, lemons, cupcakes, food blog, foodies, OC foodies, Los Angeles

Finally Found my Heaven!

Pad See Ew (my fave Thai dish)
Madee Thai is a VERY small hole in the wall Thai restaurant on 17th street, tucked between a beauty supply store and a brick wall (literally).  For those that are scared off by hole-in-the-wall places, please don’t come here.  Because then it won’t be crowded when I show up.  This is one of the best Thai restaurants I have had in Southern California (yes the entire location), and I am afraid of spreading the word.  However, it’s too good not to share.

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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.


Summer time and the living is…busy.

Summer time in Orange County can mean laid back beach weather, or crazy adventures attending all of the summer events going on in the area.  As a “porcelained skin” (read: pale as hell) person, I prefer to go to the events then lay on the beach.  So this past weekend, I packed in my adventures and had a great time at the OC Fair and Del Mar Horse Track.
 
fried cookie dough = heaven
The OC Fair is one of my favorites.  Large enough to give you tons of options, but small enough so you don’t get overwhelmed, the fair has live animals, tons of food and rides to keep you busy.  It’s open until August 10th everyday except Monday and Tuesday.  If you check out their website there are certain discount days if you donate goods or if you go early enough in the day.  Best food we had was the fried cookie dough – trust me.  (Quick tip: bring cash for the food vendors, not all of them take credit card – and you can monitor your eating if you need that kind of self control).



biggest corn dogs ever, and I don’t mean the girls…
Del Mar Horse Races has always been a fun day trip.  You can hop on the train and head down to the racetrack to avoid all of the horrendous traffic.  Once there, grab a (very overpriced) drink and take a seat while you bet on some horses.  If betting isn’t your thing, walking around and people watching is pretty awesome too.  When I went last weekend there was a beer fest going on from all local beers.  Pretty fun because you know San Diego has one of the best collections of craft breweries.  Skip the food here and instead bring in your own sandwiches or my favorite, California Burritos!

Other things to be excited for:
Taco Asylum’s brand new menu of tacos (including Bacon PB&J!).
C4 Deli’s Cupcake and Wine Pairing Nights on Thursday.
Blaze has opened in Mission Viejo.
The Robbins Nest Wine Bar is alive and kicking in Santa Ana.
Montreal Poutine has opened in Costa Mesa.

A hidden treasure.

I have been trying to follow as many blogs, websites, people, newspapers, etc. as I can lately to learn about the new restaurant openings, closings, and OC events so that I can 1) attend obviously, and 2) try to let you know about it!  So when Stick a Fork In It mentioned a new spot called Fireside Tavern I was so excited to try it.

fireside tavern, thelocallist
So the weird thing is, this spot is in the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Bristol.  If you had convinced me to stop in without me seeing photos first I would never be caught dead.  However, I am so glad that I saw the cute photos of the place because it was the perfect spot to meet a couple girl friends for a well deserved happy hour.

fireside tavern, thelocallist

The best part about this place is that happy hour is everyday until 7PM.  That’s a long time, even for people like me that get off work at 6:30.  I can get my butt out the door and still have a glass of wine (or two) before I get cut off.  My girlfriends and I had a lot of catching up to do so we ended up staying for several hours and eventually trying some dinner menus.  The happy hour menu is great – they even have a burger on the menu!  I recommend the charcuterie board (its huge), as well as the loaded tater tots.  We tried the fish and chips (which I recommend sharing) and it was tasty but REALLY fried and greasy (to the point where all of our stomachs were hurting afterwards.)  My biggest complaint was that there were fruit flies EVERYWHERE.  I would recommend sitting in the cute patio outside to get rid of these annoying buggers.  So annoying and pretty gross to be honest…
 

If you are in the Costa Mesa/Newport/Santa Ana area, or need a break from shopping all day at South Coast, I would recommend happy hour here.  It’s not crowded, its friendly service (most of the time), and the price is just right.

3.8/5 because who has gnats in a restaurant?!  But check out the food and drinks, they are worth it.

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.