The Local List

Hungry girl looking for the next adventure.

Boats, brunch, booze, baseball, bread…

Oh hey there weekend! Thank goodness you have arrived.  After a long week I like to usually unwind on my lovely couch with all the trashy tv I missed during the week, and sometimes sleep through the commercials or boring parts and then eventually make it off the couch to grab food, only to return again.  Well this weekend, we both should try something different.  I will be finding my way to LA but you should check out these sights…

Newport Beach Boat Show – Do you like yachts? Did I really just ask that…Anyway, Newport thinks you do and is having a event to show them off.  Fifteen bucks for adults, at the Marina Village.

excuse me…who can afford these?
Baseball Exhibit at The Nixon Library.  America’s Favorite pastime and your favorite president together at one location.  Just kidding, I like football.  But the Nixon library is supposed to be beautiful.  Wear your little league uniform and get in free.

photo cred: yelp
Wine lessons and tastings at Laguna Culinary Arts on Sunday.  For those wanting to learn about wine or just want to blow $200 on three classes, head to SoCo on Sunday April 8, 15, 22. $175 for all three classes.

National Grilled Cheese Month at Shuck.  I am sorry this is the most amazing thing I have ever heard.  Who doesn’t like grilled cheeses!!!  Enough said.

Margarita flights…that’s a thing apparently.

 Red O, the new swanky want to be Javier’s, is now hosting Sunday brunch.  And you KNOW it includes Endless Bloody Marys, Tequila Sunrises and mimosas for just $20. I’m in.

my wacky, windy weekend.

I need a weekend from my weekend sometimes.   I usually love planning events and get togethers. Lately, I have tried to NOT plan anything because I am so tired from working, but somehow I end up busy as ever.  This weekend was no different…

I started out my weekend with a girl’s night out at Crow’s Bar.  I’ve been before and cannot recommend the food more.  The burger and duck fat fries are a must have.  They also have a crazy variety of craft beer and wines.  And the happy hour there is such a deal.  I unfortunately decided to get the halibut sandwich and GREATLY regret that decision. But I devoured my fries so didn’t starve!
Saturday I tried something new and walked a 5k at Anaheim Stadium.  It was for the American Heart Association.  It was SO crowded, but it was fun because we got to walk on the field.  This is the fourth stadium I have walked on (Wrigley, Dodgers, Fenway).  The OC Marathon is coming up in May and I think I may sign up for the 10k…is anyone else running this?
After walking, we had to treat ourselves so we went to Anthill Pub.  If you haven’t been it is a great place to check out for beers.  Also the sweet potato fries are bomb.  It is located on UCI campus so you will have to deal with some weird grad students, and frat boys that have had one to many pints, but the beer selection is great and they even have some wine.  Tip: its cash only.
Our last spot for the weekend was Newport Peninsula.  My old stomping ground – when I was young and naive and cheap.  I met a big group of friends at Newport Beach Brewing Company for a birthday party.  I cannot tell you how much I despise this place.  The college kids like it because they have a special beer and a shot deal for about $7.  The beer, however, is disgusting.  Not only that, the shots are worse than well and are warm.  The place is so crowded you can’t move, and smokers sit on the patio and the smoke comes straight into the hot, sticky room.  Did I mention I hate this place?  
If you want a place to go out there are other options.  Rudy’s has dancing, Malarky’s has darts and pitchers, Mutt’s has scooners, and the District isn’t bad.  But if you are like me and are over the age of 25, its probably best you don’t come down here and just go to places like Costa Mesa or Santa Ana. 

What new place or activity did you try this weekend?  Any recommendations for others to check out?

Beer is my Boo.

I have a love hate relationship with craft beer.  I love how good it tastes, I hate how bad it makes me feel the next morning.  For those that don’t know, craft beer means it comes from a brewery that makes a limited supply of that type of beer.  That’s it, but apparently it’s the trendy thing to do.
beers on beers on beers
For a fun escape from the OC, my boyfriend took me to San Diego for a few brewery tours.  Living in San Francisco for three years, I was forced to love craft beers.  San Diego is also a mecca of these types of beers and we easily found several to try.
We started off our day at Green Flash Brewery.  We did a brewery tour and tasting.  The tour was an hour long and was VERY informative.  If you aren’t interested in the making of beer, don’t do it – you will be so bored.  I enjoyed it because one day I would like to try to home brew (you know in my spare time).  Green Flash is known for their West Coast IPA.  IPA’s are very bitter and what beer drinkers call “hoppy.”  I personally love it, but it’s not for everyone.
last time these bottlers will be getting use at Green Flash

The great part about this brewery is that it has Food Trucks to satisfy those munchies that happen after drinking too much beer.  That night we got some waffle nacho fries and chow mein.  Both were pretty delicious, and by that point I would have eaten anything.

fries…not many left because I ate them all.
Next, we went to this restaurant called Waypoint Public in North Park.  It was a fairly new restaurant but they had more craft beer options then food options.  We got another round of beers and split a burger and fries.  Here is where the fatty in me needs to tell you how tasty this place was.  If you have the option, go here.  The fries were unbelievable to be honest.  The burger was good but I could have had a whole meal of those fries.  Even if you don’t have the option, go here.

Then we went to Hess Brewery.  I got the flight (of course I did) and had a few IPAs, a Pale Ale and some weird beer of the season.  I hated ALL of them.  They were just so hoppy – even for me.  I would skip this place for the beer, but the vibe was pretty good.  They even have board games!
good beer selection at least
We ended the night at this place called Coin-op Game Room.  Skip it.  Honestly it was a disaster.  The beer selection is great but its theme is literally an arcade, there are games everywhere and the layout just makes it very crowded and loud.  (Guess I am getting old.)  San Diego is a great place to visit for beer and food, and only a couple hours away.  Check it out.

A little Monday morning pick me up.

Well folks, we are back to the daily grind.  I hope you all had a great weekend.  I sure did and have lots of great eats to tell you about.  But since it’s Monday, we should start with a cup o’ Joe (or tea).

I met one of my girlfriends at Milk + Honey this past Sunday.  Located at “The Camp” (read: hipsterville), it is a cute cafe serving small bites and coffees and teas.  We both got a peach iced tea which was delicious.  (Health conscious people note: it was already sweetened.)

We also wanted to munch on something, so we ordered the acai bowl and shaved ice.  Both have fresh fruit and are really tasty.  The place is tiny, so we had to wait for a spot to sit, but they have a cute outdoor patio for nice weather occasions.  Prices were decent for the size of things, but it is definitely more expensive than your $2 Starbucks burnt coffee, and tastes much better.  If you like the cafe/coffee shop vibe and good people watching, this is your place.

Burger Stop on Urbanspoon

An International Weekend

During the week, I try and eat healthy as much as possible because I know that when the weekend comes I won’t be able to say no to all the goodness that restaurants offer.  I have many friends who are able to eat at a restaurant and order a salad, hold the sauce; pastrami sandwich, hold the cheese..etc.  I just can’t follow that rule.  (And I am even lactose intolerant!)  This past weekend was NO different. 
Alaskan Roll

 I started off the weekend with a low carb diet – sushi.  (I am kidding people. I just recently learned that a sushi roll is as bad for you as a white bread – thanks Alex – but that won’t ever stop me.Because it was Valentine’s Day weekend, I decided to splurge and went to a new place called Sushi Sankai.  We ordered a sashimi poki salad, a roll, and a sashimi plate.  The price came to $50 – steep for normal occasions, but fairly reasonable for sushi.

Thoughts?  EXTREMELY fresh fish, especially the hamachi (yellowtail) and salmon. Unfortunately the tuna was a bit hard to eat; the texture just didn’t make it very edible.  But I would recommend for a nicer dinner with parents, a date, or if you are a balla’ shot calla’ – then everyday obvi.
:bim bi bap:
Later on that weekend I tried something different – Korean.  I have had lots of Korean BBQ places, but don’t stray from the meat.  This restaurant was more of a Korean fusion type place.  Hashigo Korean Kitchen surprised me.  It was mild and tame enough for this white girl, but it offered a lot of variety and spiciness for others.  I tried the tofu stew, which was surprisingly good, and I even ate some Kimchi!  But the best thing that I tried were the garlic chicken wings.  Finger lickin’ good!  The tacos were just okay… They also have a Korean burrito that I want to go back for.
:bul go gi:

 The last stop on my International Tour of Orange County was a Peruvian restaurant next to Sushi Sankai (we traveled far this weekend) called Inka Mama’s.  I have never had Peruvian food before (besides Picca, but that was just sad), and wasn’t quite sure what to have.  I was surprised to see that a lot of the dishes incorporated french fries.  I decided on a chicken-veggie dish and was pleasantly surprised.  It might be located in a lot across from South Coast, but its definitely a “must try” place!

Lomo Saltado
What new places are you going to try this weekend?  Going out of town or to an event? Let me know:

Day Trip to LA

I traveled to LA a few weekends ago to catch up with my family and some friends from college.  Los Angeles is a great place for a day trip.  The museums, the art galleries in Culver City, Downtown LA bars and clubs, and of course my favorite – the restaurants.

Venice Canals
My parents live near Venice, so I grew up in a very unique area of the world.  Lots of different types of people: families, hippies, homeless you name it.  Well now its the trendy spot and Abbot Kinney is the place to be.  (On a sunny day, you won’t even be able to walk down the street it’s so crowded!)
I started off my day at Zinque on Abbot Kinney and Venice.  It’s a very trendy spot that serves brunch on the weekends.  We ordered a burrata sandwich (added prosciutto), an egg-white frittata, homemade granola and yogurt, and a tomato mozzarella panini.  The burrata sandwich was the best thing we ate, I could barely keep the sandwich to myself before my family ate it all.  I also feel weird about saying this because I am never “that girl” but the granola was un-freaking-believable!  It was not too chewy, not too hard and the  tart yogurt brought out enough sweetness of the granola.
Later that day, I had dinner at a restaurant called Picca.  It was in an unassuming location at the edge of Beverly Hills where my old dentist’s office was.  Pretty weird pulling up, and had to valet as there was NO where to park legally.  (All permitted parking and no lots.)  I was really unimpressed by this place.  It’s supposed to be Peruvian, but it kind of was just a hot mess.  Additionally, the service was HORRIBLE!  The hostess even told my friend that she was a liar!  (Long story, but eventually my friend proved her wrong.)  It’s a place to be “seen” but its not worth your time, or money.
First Fridays at Abbot Kinney
Tourist Tip: A fun sunny day adventure is walking around Abbot Kinney, window shopping, and grabbing a bite to eat.  Or if you make it on the first Friday of the month there is a food truck festival.

It always comes back to the burger.

As a Friday treat, one of my old roommates took my boyfriend and I out to Umami for dinner.  Now I have been to Umami before, and I honestly wasn’t impressed (to the point I bad mouthed it.)  Well on Friday, I ate my words…and a lot of good food too.
Manly Burger

Gourmet burgers are usually disappointing.  Last time I got a truffle burger, and while it was good, it was small and just okay.  This time I asked the waiter what he recommended – the Manly Burger.
tempura onion rings
I am SO glad I asked him because it was phenomenal!  It’s a beef burger with, get ready for it, bacon lardon (think huge slices of the fattiest bacon slices), beer-cheddar cheese, and smoked-salt onion rings. Of course I also ordered some sweet potato fries and an Ommegang Amber to wash it all down.
sweet potato fries
The truffle fries are also great, and the craft beer selection is wonderful. They supposedly have good dessert but we were too full to even think about eating something more.  The burgers ARE expensive though and the size isn’t anything special.  For those hungry people they do have a double-double!
:original burger – fried cheese, ketchup, truffles:
Umami Burger on Urbanspoon