Sunday, June 28, 2009

As many of you know that chocolate comes from all over the world and tastes completely different from one another depending on its origin. We tried the Varietal Line with chocolates from Madagascar, Columbia, Ecuador, and Venezuela. I have had Recchiuti quite a few times now since I am a big chocolate fan, but I am never all that amazed. Only recently was I captured by their hot chocolate line. As for their regular chocolate... meh... this box proved the same. Must say thanks to Ms. Lin to share this box of chocolates. I will make life easier for you and copy & paste their description as well as tell you what I think.

Madagascar - "Criollo cacao beans, grown in Madagascar's extraordinary island environment, crown this chocolate the most complex of all four Varietals. Hints of a slight tang are perfectly balanced with waves of gentle fruit to create the Madagascar Varietal's elegant complexity."

Columbian - "The single cacao bean varietal from the Chucurreno region of Colombia yields a balance of berry and spice notes matched with burgundy hues. A long, slow finish and elements of wine provide the perfect precursor for the Ecuador Varietal."

Ecuador - "The straightforward intensity of this chocolate, made using single cacao bean varietal from Ecuador, exhibits a truly remarkable persistence of flavor. Smokey tobacco notes, a hint of earthiness and a rich, coffee color make this piece the most dramatic of the four Varietals."

Venezuela - "Lake breezes in the Sur de Lago region of Venezuela provide a unique climate for growing cacao beans and result in a distinctive flavor. Less complex than L'Harmonie, the Venezuelan exhibits pure, delicate nut and caramel tones."

Maybe there was suppose to be a certain order to eat the chocolate but we chose our own path. I decided to start with Madagascar as I think the South American chocolate would be much better. Lets just say I was right. The flavor was all over the place and not in a good way, it had an awkward lingering flavor. This was our least favorite. Next we tried what I thought would be better, the Columbian, and it was very rich. The flavor was deep and it just popped. I had a suspicious feeling that the remaining two pieces would be iffy. The Ecuador chocolate was not as flavorful and didn't have a multi-level taste. It was solid but nothing special. We ended the box with a trip to Venezuela. The chocolate was good but to be honest, I did NOT taste any of the things they wrote so lavishly about. I love my delicious chocolates but this box certainly underwhelmed. All the descriptions I copied from their website makes me think... ummm what a bunch of lies! We definitely did NOT experience such complex flavors. To be honest, they taste about the same except for the Madagascar chocolate. I have not been converted a fan to Recchiuti yet, but a sample of their hot chocolate has gotten me a lot closer to converting. O=9

Friday, June 26, 2009

Orange County Reviews

230 Forest Ave
85 °C Bakery Café


Ajisen Ramen


Bistro d'Asia
BJ's Restaurant & Brewery
Black Forest Bakery Cafe
BlackMarket Bakery
BlackMarket Bakery (B-day)
Bluewater Grill
Boston Market
Boudin Sourdough Bakery & Cafe
Boulangerie Pierre & Patisserie
Break of Dawn
Bubba Kahuna's
Bánh Mì Chè Cali


C & C Express
Cafe Blanc
Califonia Pizza Kitchen (CPK)
California Fish Grill (Foothill Ranch)
California Fish Grill (Irvine)
Capital Seafood
Carl's Jr
Cham Sut Gol
Cham Sut Gol (2)
Chef Chen
Chinatown Express
Chris' & Pitt's
Chuao Chocolatier
Claim Jumper
Coffee Bean
Coffee Zone
Corea BBQ (Freshia Market)
Cosmo's Italian Kitchen
Cream Pan
Cream Pan (2)
Crystal Jade
Curry House
Cơm Tấm Thuận Kiều
Cơm Tấm Trần Quý Cấp


Dairy Queen
Đinh Thiêng


El Torito

El Torito Grill
Eva's Caribbean Kitchen
Eva's Caribbean Kitchen (w/ Tofu)


Five Guys Burgers & Fries
French's Bakery
Fukada (2)


Genki Living
Givral Bakery
Gloria Jean's Coffee
Godiva (2)
Guppy House


Hans' Ice Cream & Deli
Harry's Deli
Hatam #2
Hidden Kitchen
Hokkaido Fair Part I, Mitsuwa
Hokkaido Fair Part II, Mitsuwa
Hokkaido Fair Preview, Mitsuwa
Home Town Buffet
Hyatt Regency Orange County


Ikko Japanese Restaurant

Incheonwon BBQ House
Inka Mama's


Jack's Bakery
Jerry's Dogs
JJ Bakery
JJ Bakery (B-day)
Joe's Italian Ice & Petrucci's Ice Cream
JS Bakery
JS Bakery (2)
Juice Stop


Kaori Sushi
Kappo Hana
Kobe Fugetsudo
Korea House B.B.Q. Buffet


L & L Hawaiian Barbecue
La Brea Bakery
Lakeside Chinese Cuisine
Layer Cake Bakery
Le Diplomate Cafe
Le Diplomate Cafe (2)
Leatherby's Cafe Rouge
Leatherby's Cafe Rouge (Media Dinner)
Lee's Sandwiches
Liang's Kitchen
Lotus Chinese Eatery
Lucille's BBQ
Lucille's BBQ (2)
Lục Đinh Kỳ


Marche Moderne
Marche Moderne (2)
Marche Moderne (3)
Maw 'n Paw Kettlekorn
Milk + Honey
Mozambique Steakhouse & Coastal Lounge
Mr. Stox


New Seoul BBQ Buffet
Newport Tan Cang Seafood
Nice Time Deli
Niko Niko Sushi (Costa Mesa)
Niko Niko Sushi (Irvine)
Nirvana Grille
Nordstrom Cafe
Nordstrom Cafe (2)
Nước Mía Viên Tây


OC Fair Part I
Ono Ono Hawaiian BBQ
Original Pancake House
Original Pancake House (2)


Palace Bakery
Paris Baguette Bakery
Paris Baguette Bakery (2)
Pescadou Bistro
PF Chang's
Phúc Lộc
Phở 99
Piccomolo : Italian Ice Cream
Pizza Hut


Ramen Festival, Mitsuwa
Red Lobster
Red Velvet Asian Cafe
Royal Kitchen


Sabatino (2)
Sabatino (3)
Sabatino - Lunch
Sam Woo BBQ
Sam Woo BBQ (2)
Sam Woo Seafood Restaurant
Sango Sushi
Santora's Hot Wings
Santouka Ramen
Savy Donuts & Smoothies
Seafood Noodle House
Seasons 52
Shik Do Rak
Shin Sen Gumi
Shin Sen Gumi (2)
Sky Express
Spice Thai
Spicy City
Starbucks (Airport)
Sushi Murasaki
Sushi Riki
Sushi Wasabi
Sushi Zen Bistro
Sushi Zone
SweetSpot Baker's Workshop


Tabento Sushi
Taléo Grill
Taste of Asia
Thai Bite
The Boiling Crab
The Burnt Truck
The Cellar
The Clubhouse
The Clubhouse (2)
The Hat
The Lime Truck
The New Shogun
The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar
Toranj Persian Grill
Trabuco Oaks Steakhouse
Tradition by Pascal (Dine Newport Beach '10)
Tutto Amore Gelato
Tutto Fresco


Urban Thai Bistro


Vientiane (Lao & Thai Food)


Wasa Sushi
Wasa Sushi - Happy Hour!
Wasabi Sushi
Wetzel's Pretzels (Anaheim)
Which Wich
Whole Foods Market Huntington Beach


Yard House - Happy Hour!

Yogurtland (Downtown Fullerton)
Yu's Garden
Yum Cha Cafe

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Laguna Hills Mall around here is barely staying afloat with stores shutting down all the time. It is a very sad mall, but they are trying to open up a lot of different dining places to keep it alive. Lil Bel informed me that they opened a Pinoy Pam's Best inside the food court on the second floor. I have been meaning to check it out for a long time. Finally she dragged me there one day with the temptation of them selling turrón! lol We all know my crazy love for turon! MMmmmMM delicious! Sadly, I was tricked! They said that they didn't have it that day and check back tomorrow. So I only bought a box of Lechon, Roast Pig, for home. For the price it was not bad and the meat looked pretty good, but the flavor was a bit bland. The Filipino sauce did help a lot but I will have to agree with Ms. Lin that the Chinese one is a bit more flavorful. Still, I am a carnivore so I will take either when available. O=9 I don't discriminate! lol
As I was saying, they tricked me! I excitedly came back the following day and asked if they had the turrón.... NOPE... check back tomorrow again! I was like... boooooo! It's a trick! They just want me to keep coming back and spending money by dangling the dream and dashing my hopes of turrón! lol I decided to try their dishes since I was there. You can choose rice or noodle but I opted for Pancit, noodles. The flavor was pretty good even if the noodles were a bit soggy. There was actually a lot of content, both meat and veggies. For my 2 items I chose the Fried Shrimp and Lechon. As you can see, everything I ordered was fried. O=9 There was very little shrimp and it was your normal fried shrimp, nothing too special. It's something you can get at Costco for a lot cheaper. The pig was deep fried and a little bit different from the box of meat I bought. I like the skin a lot more here because it is so crispy, but the meat was quite a bit fattier than the ones in the box. The meat was more tender in the combo than the ones I bought the day before. They both still taste good and have a crispy texture. The food here is decent but definitely not one of the best Filipino places I have had, but as good as you get around these neck of the woods. You will have to stay tuned to the day I finally get me some turrón! lolPinoy Pam's Best
24155 Laguna Hills Mall, Suite # 2360
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
(949) 678-9128
Pinoy Pam's Best on Urbanspoon

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I am so lucky and fortunate to be friends with Chef Crenn who was able to get me in short notice. Luce is pretty booked these days so if you would like to go, be sure to book ahead of time. They are currently offering a 4-course Michelin Menu for only $60. Congratulations to Luce and Chef Crenn for obtaining 1 Michelin Star! *even though she deserves more ^_-* It is an awesome deal for the wonderful food you get. Where else can you get a lobster course for that price? Especially in SF! lol As I have mentioned in my previous post that I love the fact that she is so personable. She always takes the time to come out and greet her guests to make sure everyone is enjoying the food. I always get a nice cozy feeling when I am here. It makes the meal that much better when you know the Chef is actually there and cares so much about the people dining.To start off the night we had an amouse bouche of Fromage Blanc, Hazelnut Puree, and Roasted Beets. The thing that looked like a macaron was very delicate and melted/crumbled in my mouth. I loved the texture. It reminded me of a delectable breakfast cereal. The beets were really exemplified on the palate. All the components came together in harmony.Due to my “vegetable” allergies… **achoo** lol O=9 We didn’t get the salad course and got a special treat from Chef Crenn. She delighted us with a hollowed egg shell filled with Dungeness Crab, Pickled Apple Ginger, Crème Fraîche, Uni, American Sturgeon Caviar, and a toasted Brioche. The uni is blended with the ginger and apple. It was a beautiful, rich, and velvety texture. Normally I hate ginger but this was very smooth and flavored well. The apple adds a delectable crisp texture and the ginger complimented the crab well. I really enjoyed the crab that was super fresh and extremely flavorful by itself. This was such a delight and a special treat! ^_^On the menu they list that Sweetbread & Tongue, Egg Pancetta Jus, and Potato “Espuma”. A quick search on the web said that “Espuma” was foam. I am not sure if I heard wrong or maybe we had a slightly different dish, but my notes are a little different. It was Sweetbread, Beef Tongue, Sweet Onion, a Slow-cooked Egg, and Potato Touille. The flavors were superb. I loved the sweetbread’s flavor and texture. The deep smoky flavor sang in my mouth. I thought the beef tongue was super tender and flavored to perfection. It just melted in my mouth. The egg was beautifully done. It almost felt like air. If you weren’t told that this was a cooked egg that it was so tender that you’d swear it was raw! Lol My friend was so funny. He loved all the thin crispy veggies and was asking if there was any way he could purchase a bag of them to eat at home! LolFor the palate cleanser we had a Coconut Mint Snow. I thought the flavor was superb. The airy snow had such a finely grated coconut texture that melted and ruminated inside the mouth. It was a great compliment to the previous course. Everything was so light and delectable that you could eat this for non-stop and still feel whimsical.I called/texted ahead for this course. What meal would complete without my beloved Foie Gras!?! The next course was a Seared Foie Gras served with a Persimmon Truffled Couscous and Micro Greens mixed in. Let’s just say that I LOVE Dominique even more now!!!! If possible! O=9 The foie gras was seared to perfection. Before, during, and after the dish I was still trying to convince my friend that he shouldn’t have the foie gras since he is not a big fan and that I would “gladly” help him eat the dish. O=) The salt crystals at the edge were heavenly to bring out the flavor. I almost had to defend my succulent piece! It’s that I’m a slow eater and try to savor my favorite part, the foie gras, as those who have finished around me start eyeing my treasure! Lol The persimmons were a nice light touch to compliment the foie gras and enhance the salty flavor. How can you every go wrong with adding truffle oil to the couscous? The couscous was nicely cooked. They were al dente on the outside but cooked thoroughly inside.When you think the evening can’t get any better… next came the Lobster course!!! Mmmmmmmm! This is on the tasting menu and what a great deal! It’s Lobster, Potato Gnocchi, and a Bone Marrow Bubble. Delish! The lobster was tender and flavorful. As many of you know, I am a huge fan of lobster. I kept trying to stick my fork onto Ms. Lin’s plate to usurp her dish… not the first time I did it that night. O=9 The gnocchi were done wonderfully. It was chewy and so fragrant. Everything had a delectable fragrance and the sauce delightful & creamy… then I discovered the salt crystals… Wham! A surge of flavor that was simply superb!As a special treat, we were given an extra course of Suckling Pig with Eggplant Caviar and Pickled Apples. The suckling pig was tender and wonderfully cooked. All the meat fell off easily by the simple touch of the fork. Underneath the juicy cut was a wonderful surprise of pork belly! ^_^ It’s one of the best parts because it absorbs the most flavor.This might be a shock to all, but my favorite dish of the night was probably the Squab “In the Forest”. Even though the foie gras and lobster are super close, but the squab just stunned us all. Included is a Leg Confit, Pomegranate, not sure if the center was a type of “confit”, and a vanilla brioche *not sure if I heard right*. Lol OMG it doesn’t matter, this dish was simply D-I-V-I-N-E! I swear that I didn’t want to hear the sound of my silverware hit the bottom! >_< OMG, the rolled squab was mind numbingly good. I’m salivating at the mere thought of its astounding flavor and texture! You get the slight hint of liver flavor ruminating around. The meat was so tender that I thought I had died and gone to heaven! Lol Ms. Lin didn’t say anything about the centerpiece after taking the first bite, she just kept telling us to start eating it so that she would not build up our expectations… we both took a bite and our jaws dropped! Lol Later, we were let in on a secret of where the meat comes from. The squab comes from a Buddhist & Zen farm where they whisper to the squab. Whatever they did, it sure is working! I might have to ask for the name of the farm so I can order some delicious meat! As it turns out the, the centerpiece was breast & skin wrapped in prosciutto circumference with a port wine reduction. Ms. Lin was coming back the week after for her birthday and I was so jealous. I really wished I could be there or if Ms. Lin could bring me a delicious gift of squab for Thanksgiving! LolRounding out the night was a duo delight. That night we had a Huckleberry Financier and a Coconut-Lime Sorbet. The crumb under the sorbet was delightful. It added a great crunch to the soft texture of the sorbet. I couldn’t get enough of the crumbs. The huckleberry was fresh and plentiful in the financier. I thoroughly enjoyed the financier. Everything just came together greatly.To top the evening off we were given a Chocolate Mignardises. It was a wonderful evening of food and fun. We had a great time chatting and were very fortunate to get in last minute. The food was amazing and left me wanting more! I was up in SF for the Foodbuzz Festival and we had a great evening at the food fair but this topped the evening off! On the same trip, Ms. Lin and I went to Ad Hoc and we both agree that Luce was much better! I love Chef Dominique Crenn! Be sure to check out this wonderful menu. They are only offering this menu from November 1-21st. I am giving this post priority for great reason! ^_^ I hope all you foodies out there get a chance to taste the wonders of Chef Crenn and at a wonderful price! If I lived up in SF, I’d come back once or twice a week! She’d be so sick of me by the end of the month! Lol Hurry and book a reservation now! Bon Appétit!Luce
888 Howard St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 616-6566
Luce in San Francisco

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sorry for the slow posts and thank you to all my readers for being so patient with me! Thanks for all the support. I am running really behind in catching up @_@, especially with so many planned trips coming up. Hopefully I will catch up to the current month soon. O=9 For a while I was super addicted to Yogurtland. Ironically, I used to detest them and was an avid follower of Pinkberry. Now that my "affair" with Pinkberry has ended since the taste has changed as they have been bought out. I lost my love for "froyo" but as my friends and I always run out of stuff to do, we turn to Yogurtland since it is usually open late at night. They have sample cups that you can ask at the counter to try the flavors out. I guess one day the light bulb went off in my head and I realized that the froyo there was not bad! lol Suddenly a new addiction began. This location is near Kaori Sushi and a great place to grab a quick bite before or even after dinner. I had some time to kill on one of my visits and I decided to have some snackage. ^_^
As many people know, you are not allowed to take photos in these places! Boo! At least the sign is there so what can you do! It's stupid but whatever. lol So what do I do instead? Sneak out the door and take a photo, then go back in to eat my froyo. O=9 Got to beat the system somehow! lol They also have self-serve ice water with strawberries inside. The froyo and toppings are self-serve as well. Everything is done by weight. It's actually a lot cheaper than any place with a set price and you can have it anyway you like. I try out new combos all the time but I always get Mochi topping! That visit I got Mint and Mango flavored froyo topped with Mochi and Condensed Milk. Lets just say it was an ooooddddd combo and I didn't quite like the mint flavor with everything. I wish I had just gone the simple route to get the Plain Yogurt and Mango plus some Mochi. Simple is best. That way you can taste the natural tart flavor and not everything is fighting for your senses. My love for Yogurtland has died down since but I still have to pay homage to them. Hmmm maybe I need to get some froyo this weekend. It is a good place to go late at night with your friends as you have run out of options in OC since everything is closed by 9pm!! lol

122 W Orangethorpe Ave
Fullerton, CA 92823
(714) 738-9900
Yogurtland Fullerton Downtown on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I have always had a soft spot for Hot Dog On A Stick. It is a common chain that has been around 1946 and you can usually find it inside the food courts of malls. Of course now I barely hang out or go to the mall, but I saw a coupon for Hot Dog On A Stick... heck yah! lol Buy 2 get 1 FREE! It was time for me to pay them another visit and refresh my memory. My signature choices are the Cheese On A Stick. I can never remember which type, American or Spicy Jack, is my favorite so I always get one of each just in case. So that is already 2 items and now for the free item... I actually really like their Shoe-String Fries but I saw something new on the menu! They now offer Funnel Sticks with just Powdered Sugar, Raspberry, or Chocolate Syrup. I am glad I took their advice to try this delicious new item. Technically it was the "free" item so what did I have to lose. lol It was fantastic. A tiny morsel fried to perfection! The outside is crispy but the inside still had the delicious chewy texture. I could eat a hundred of these in one sitting. Don't even think about the calories, but I think that is what makes it good. I hope they keep this delicious new treat on the menu because it makes me want to go back more often! Wish I had more coupons too! lol
Even though the Cheese On A Sticks have always been favorite, it really depends on who makes it and if you eat it while it's piping hot. I don't think the batter has changed much since I was a child but I think my tastebuds have. Don't get me wrong, I still love the classic taste but it doesn't have the same "Oomph" as they did before. Of course nothing is as good as it was in your memory, but lately I have not had any strong desire to revisit them for an old favorite. The coupons do help to motivate me though. O=) To be fair, I took this order home so the cheese was all solidified and the congealed texture didn't help. After a quick reminder, I think I like the regular American Cheese because it has a stronger cheese flavor when compared to the Spicy Jack. Hopefully I will remember this post the next time I go there... although I always get one of each, but now I am thinking 3 orders of the Funnel Sticks!!! lolHot Dog On A Stick
24155 Laguna Hills Mall
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

Blog Widget by LinkWithin