Sunday, May 1, 2016

Great Wine Festival 2016 Hits OC Great Park May 21st

(Special discount code below) Wine wine wine. You can't whine when you've got wine so May 21st ought to be on your calendar this year as the day you get to imbibe and enjoy. In just a little under three weeks, you could be sipping on some delicious wines at the OC Great Park at the 2016 Great Wine Festival hosted by Legal Aid Society of Orange County (LASOC), a non-profit dedicated to providing civil legal services to veterans, the homeless, low-income families, and the elderly. Spend the afternoon with many other wine enthusiasts for a great cause and partake in all-inclusive tastings from 30+  wineries, breweries, spirits providers, and restaurants. We've even got a special code for our readers to use to get discounted tickets so read on!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Grits in Fullerton Upscales Your American Dinner

"I try to hit every sense in each bite."
If there is one thing we can count on Chef Cody Storts to do, it's to make good food. He possesses a particular acumen for the right mixture of ingredients onto a plate, no matter the style, and everything is presented in a bold, satisfying way. You've certainly seen the likes of the chef in several restaurants in Orange County over the years but Grits is his first full-fledged restaurant that was introduced to the Fullerton community initially as a brunch destination. However, that fare has changed a little bit and recently, the hot spot has thrown dinner on the menu. We were invited in to give this a gander, and we left with our bellies quite a bit fuller and our faces grinning wide.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Vegan Hit, Cafe Gratitude, Expands to Orange County

As the Orange County community grows more cognizant and particular about its dietary intake, it also has shifted to some more plant-focused initiatives which is not a bad thing at all. In fact, Duc and I have been moving towards more vegetable-heavy meals ourselves so when word that LA-based Cafe Gratitude, the well-known vegan restaurant with several locations, was coming to our area, we were quite interested. They focus on 100% organic, plant-based foods but the menu has always veered in the direction of typically savory, meat-forward dishes which made us even more curious as to how they could turn those into vegan versions. While this OC location would bring the same philosophy to the area as its LA and SD counterparts, it would also take on an OC flair and introduce a craft beverage program (led by Jason Eisner). Upon invitation, I went out to taste a few of their dishes and see just how this outpost could become a county favorite.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Five Spots to Explore During Dine LBC 2016

If there is one thing we've noticed that people go crazy for, it's restaurant week deals. Starting tomorrow and running through May 1st, you'll be able to dive right into some killer steals of meals in Long Beach when Dine LBC (formerly known as Eat LBC) kicks off! April 23-May 1 will see the tens of restaurants in the Long Beach area showcasing some of their top picks on their menus at discounted paired prices. Choose from $20 dinners up to $50 dinners and get a little taste of what Long Beach has to offer. We've picked out five joints that might be great for your bellies based on our previous visits - check them out below:

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Restauration in Long Beach Pulls in Farm Fresh Flavors

If you're on the hunt for somewhere to eat in Long Beach that focuses on sourcing their ingredients from as local, sustainable, and organic farms as possible, you might want to stop into Restauration. At first glance, it looks like someone's humble abode had been outfitted with tables and chairs for entertaining guests. The name itself is a combination of the words "restoration" and "restaurant" and we could see that the layout had hints of both concepts. Helmed by Chef Phil Pretty, the restaurant focuses on a menu that highlights seasonality and "from scratch" as possible. We were invited to give them a look-see as they geared up for Dine LBC running April 23-May 1.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Kihon in Long Beach Proves a Real Catch for Dine LBC

If there is one cuisine that we do not hesitate to try more of, it's Japanese. Sushi, ramen, udon, izakaya - the styles always lure us in with their simplistic-yet-nuanaced ingredients and deliberate attention to detail. With the annual Dine LBC week coming up this year from April 23rd to May 1st, we were invited to explore the participating restaurants and Kihon caught our eye. We had remembered when they first showcased their fare at the 2015 launch party with an impressively tasty smoked octopus carpaccio. What else could they have up their sleeves? Apparently, a lot of deliciousness.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Fig & Olive Lights Up Spring Menu with Zest

Every few months, restaurants with season-focused menus clamor to bring in the best of nature's wares and showcase the flavors that burst from produce at the height of their maturity. Fig & Olive seeks the same and with the onset of spring, they launched their matching menu March 14th of this year, featuring bright dishes that flaunt vegetables and fruits while remaining aligned with their French Riveria-inspired style. Focusing still on their use of olive oils but now with the addition of the season's bounty of early citrus and overall color, Fig & Olive has several new dishes showcased but has also brought back some favorites. I was invited one evening to take a look at some of the highlights.