Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mini Food Truck Festival - July 2012

Every Friday, Grub 'N' Go is held at the Chase Suite Hotel in Brea, CA and features different food trucks every week. This is like a mini-food truck festival in front of a hotel!

I recently went to Grub 'N' Go, earlier this month. The food trucks, who were there on the day that I went, were "The Lime Truck" (featured on "The Great Food Truck Race: Season 2"), "White Rabbit", "The California Grill Truck" (not to be mistaken with "The Grilled Cheese Truck"), and "The Lobsta Truck". I was able to try something from every truck, except for The Lobsta Truck, mainly because I didn't have enough room for more food. I left with a happy stomach.


The guys from The Lime Truck were nicer in person than they appeared on The Great Food Truck Race.

I tried the "Duck Confit" from the Lime Truck. I wanted to try something that sounded/seemed exotic and interesting. It was good and I would order this again.
I also ordered the passion fruit aloe limeade from The Lime Truck. It was very sour citrus-y...maybe too sour citrus-y for my taste.

I tried a 3-taco combo from White Rabbit. I chose the beefsteak (left), pork tocino (middle), and chicken adobe (right). The pork tocino (pronounced "toe-see-no") was the best of the three that I tried. The tacos also came with a side dish and a drink. I chose the garlic rice for the side, which was ok.

I got a grilled cheese sandwhich from The California Grill Truck. You have a choice of cheese, meat, vegatable, and sauce. I chose the bulkogi (marinated ribsteak), basil, and mozarella cheese with garlic mayo. I've tried different variations of grilled cheese sandwhiches and this was pretty good...better than most that I've tried before.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Buick Discovery Tour - January 2012: Chef Ming Tsai

I recently attended the Buick Discovery Tour event which was sponsored by Buick and Food & Wine and it was hosted at the St. Regis Monarch Resort in Dana Point, CA. The were several vendors in attendance, such as Buick, Pastry Chef Ben Roche, Chef Josiah Citrin, wine aficionado Michael Green and Celebrity Chef Ming Tsai. For foodies or food fans, the Buick Discovery Tour is the event to visit where you get to learn and hear from many chefs while learning about Buick and its vehicles. This is a culinary rock concert meets luxury car show. It also helps that the tour is always hosted at beautiful locations. The Buick Discovery Tour is currently visiting several U.S. cities with the following at: SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, California with Chef Michael Psilakis on January 21 & 22, 2012; Stratta at Montelucia Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona with Chef Ming Tsai on January 28 & 29, 2012; and Westin Beach Resort Spa in Fort Lauderdale in Miami, Florida with Chef Michael Psilakis on February 18 & 19, 2012. For every guest that attends this event, Buick donates proceeds to the Feed Foundation.

Ben Roche is a pastry chef at Moto restaurant in Chicago, IL and co-host of the series ‘Future Food’ on Discovery’s Planet Green network. Chef Roche was also known as the most innovative pastry with a bit of a mad scientist. He prepared for us "walnut and blue cheese" ice cream and chocolate malt balls. Walnuts and blue cheese sounded like very strange flavors for ice cream, but this flavor combination really went well together and the ice cream was very flavorful. During his demonstration, he used liquid nitogen to prepare the ice cream for us which was very entertaining and a joy to watch.

Many attendees had a chance to view several Buick models as well as test drive the Buick vehicles. Some of the models that were on display were the Enclave, Regal, Lacross, and Encore. I didn't do the test drive as I was actually interested in photographing and learning more about the vehicles on displays, although I didn't get to view all the models that were there on display. All the vehicles were really beautiful and it was great learning about them.
Chef Josiah Citrin is the executive chef and owner at Mélisse Restaurant in Santa Monica, CA where he specializes in French Cuisine. At the event, he prepared for us "hokkaido sallop with lime, basil and prawn salt over cauliflower mousse". It was a beautiful display and very flavorful. I particularly enjoyed the cauliflower mouse.
Michael Green is a wine aficionado and is always informative, and entertaining when he attends these events. At this event, he explained the history of the two wine that were in front of us.

Please excuse me for being ignorant while I'm not a wine drinker. The lemon slice, crackers and cheese were paired up with the white wine and red wine for a great taste.
Best of all, Celebrity Chef Ming Tsai gave a great cooking demonstration at the end of the event. I have seen Chef Ming on "The Next Iron Chef" as well as making a guest appearance on "Top Chef", but he was very entertaining and more delightful to watch in person! He prepared "chicken and tri-bell pepper chow mein" for us at this event.

At the end of his presentation, many attendees got to take a photo with Celebrity Chef Ming Tsai as well as get an autograph copy of his book, "Simply Ming: One Pot Meals". In case you missed this event in your city or your city never got a visit from the Buick Discovery Tour and you are a fan of Chef Ming Tsai, he is also a chef for the Macy's Culinary Council where he may still have a chance to visit your area for a cooking demonstration.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Macy's Culinary Council Chef Marcus Samuelsson - 2011

After dining at Macy's "Kitchen Signature", I went over to the store's kitchen department, located right next to the restaurant, where Chef Marcus Samuelsson's cooking demonstration would be. Chef Marcus prepares American cuisines with influences from Sweden and Ethiopia.


I saw Chef Marcus put on another cooking demonstration for the Buick Regal Discovery Tour in December 2010. I enjoyed the event at that time, and as usual, he put on a wonderful demo and was happy to take photos with his fans afterwards. He was always friendly and professional in real life.

During this recent demonstration, everyone in the audience got to taste a sample of what he prepared. He prepared for us "ripped pork", "boiled fingerling potatoes with roe vinaigrette" and "pickled cabbage". I didn't care much for the pickled cabbage, but enjoyed the other items that were prepared for us.







Ripped Pork


Boiled Fingerling Potatoes with Salmon Roe Vinaigrette

Pickled Cabbage

Signature Kitchen at South Coast Plaza's Macy

Last month, I visited Macy at the South Coast Plaze in Costa Mesa, CA for Celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson's cooking demonstration. Because I got there early before the demonstration, I decided to try something at the store's restaurant, Signature Kitchen. I was very surprised that a department store had an in-store restaurant and this was the first time I saw one! It seemed that this restaurant served many signature dishes by various celebrity chefs like Chef Marcus Samuelsson, Cheft Cat Cora, and Nancy Silverton. From my understanding on yelp, this was a three in one type of restaurant.

The customer services overall was ok, just average. The staff was friendly, but I hadn't noticed them serve the food faster than other eating establishments. I didn't like how there were no areas for trash after you finish dining there and I didn't like leaving a messy table with an empty basket and used napkins on it, but I didn't have a choice. If there were trash areas here, it wasn't clear or obvious and I didn't see them.

I ordered the turkey burger with garlic fries and bottled water. The burger and fries also came with free condiments. I actually didn't care for the condiments. The burger was well-seasoned and I enjoyed every bite into the burger! While I did actually enjoy the garlic fries, I think I had better elswhere.






My overall dining experience here was ok, so I would probably come back to try some other items on the menu.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Pasta Joe's Italian Fusion Restaurant

I've seen the Grand Opening sign for Pasta Joe's before from visiting Asia Buffet located in the same parking lot. I came in here at a different time before dining in for a different reason, and I was immediately drawn on the cleanliness and modern decor, albeit small. I finally came and dined in with some people. It wasn't that busy for a Saturday evening, but that meant the space was roomier and this place was also still new. We got served by sexy Wade who was helpful, friendly, infomative and funny. This was also the first time that we had a restuarant ask for feedback to improve wherever it was needed which was actually nice.

We ordered two Italian Sodas, one mango and one strawberry. We liked both flavors and the drink wasn't overpowered by heavy carbonation or sugar. We also ordered the Fried Calamari with the Marinera Sauce which tasted fresh. The cream of corn soup was complimentary and that was also very good.


We also ordered the Italian Sausage Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce (image on right) and Baked Bacon Penne in Alfredo Sauce (image below) after seeing a few other yelpers ordering them. Both tasted very delicious, and I usually don't like pasta dishes at restuarants!
All the dishes were light, fresh - not canned or frozen - and filled you up without making you feel fat and sleepy. The prices are pretty reasonable and the portions were perfect, but you also get soup with your meal. I like the fact that the tv was on the Food Network channel. We'd come back and we'd recommend this place to others.


Ask for Wade, even if he's not working!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Chef Marcus Samuelsson Visits the Macy's South Coast Plaza Home Store in Costa Mesa!

Are you a fan of Chef Marcus Sammuelson? Do you enjoy attending cooking demonstrations? Visit Macy's South Coast Plaza Home Store in Costa Mesa, CA on Saturday, December 3rd, 2011 at 2pm! For more information, visit this website!

I didn't know who Chef Marcus Sammuelson was until last December at the Regal Discovery event in Los Angeles. I hope to make it to his cooking demonstration on Dec 3rd!

The image here does not belong to me. I do not know who the photographer is, so I can't give proper credit where it is due.

Friday, November 11, 2011

L.A. Cupcakes + Art: Vegan Cupcake Competition 2011

Urban Food Crawl's hosted its first annual vegan cupcake competition on Sunday, November 6, 2011 at Hold Up Art gallery in Los Angeles, CA and it was a success. I wasn't (and still am not) a vegan, but it was quite an experience for me.

Bake You Happy was also the winner of the L.A Auto Show on Food Network's Cupcake Wars. I vaguely recognize them, but I do remember watching the episode!

Best Overall Cupcake Winners (TIE):
Amanda’s Bakery & Cafe: Maple Crumble
Bake You Happy: Tahitian Vanilla Salted Caramel

Best Overall Cupcake Runner-Up
Clara’s Cakes: Neapolitan

Best Classic Flavor Winner
Jamaica’s Cakes: Red Velvet


Best Classic Flavor Runner-Up
Crushcakes & Cafe: Pumpkin Spice

Most Unique Flavor Winner
Courtesan Cupcakes: Raspberry Rose

Most Unique Flavor Runner-Up
Raw Bites: Lavender & Double Cacao with Strawberry Puree

The proceeds from the art sales with go to the Best Overall Cupcake Winners’ charity of choice! Amanda’s Bakery & Cafe will be donating to L.I.F.E. Animal Rescue. Bake You Happy will be donating to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Amanda's Bakery & Cafe



Babycakes NYC - They have several locations including Los Angeles!



Bake You Happy - Winner on Cupcake Wars



Clara's Cakes



Courtesan Cupcakes



Crushcakes Bakery & Cafe



Jamaica's Cakes



No Udder Desserts



Raw Bites Happy Food

Sweet Alexis