Monday, July 20, 2015
Tired of the typical wine pairing dinner that seems to inundate your event calendar? Ready to hop into a change of pace? How about a beer pairing? With the influx of craft breweries and craft beer enthusiasts, it was only a matter of time before beer found its way onto the dinner table, pair to complementary dishes. Del Frisco's Grille in Irvine picked up on this trend fairly quickly and started hosting four-course beer pairing dinners in March of this year, featuring a single brewery at a time and building an impressive menu to accompany each flavor profile. I was invited to join many other curious folks for June's beer dinner (they take place once a month) which would showcase local Golden Road Brewery and Executive Chef Sarah Daniels' take on their notes; the whole lot of us were in for quite the treat that night, and for a mere $35 per person each time, the experience was a steal!
Thursday, July 16, 2015
The OC Fair 2015 begins tomorrow so get your stretchy pants and sunscreen on! This year, celebrate with everyone at the fair in its 125th anniversary celebration. Quite the feat! This year's theme is "One Big Party" as everyone rejoices the fair since its inception in 1889. What started as a horse race has turned into a 23-day long festival with games, live entertainment, food, competitions, and loads of fun in addition to celebrating California produce. Check out more on the history here! I'm personally looking forward to seeing the Best Of food competition entries, especially the amazing structures that the cake submissions turn out. Those are quite impressive themselves. If you're looking for foodstuffs, there is a guide out online you can browse through. And if you haven't made plans to attend yet, there are two tickets waiting to be won in this post!
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Brunch is serious business for we who live in Orange County, so when the gorgeous Fig & Olive at Fashion Island in Newport Beach scratches that itch with both Saturday and Sunday options, you need to listen. As if the restaurant's perfectly planned and decorated interior was not enough to lure you into its company, they added in a "Weekend Riviera Brunch" on the weekends that will make you kick back and enjoy a leisurely time on the terrace. Available in the naturally-lit space outdoors with the extra perk of giving families one complimentary kids' meal per reservation, this brunch buffet comes at a modest price of $24 per person. Convinced yet? We were invited one typically beautiful southern California day to partake in the buffet and came away impressed by the value and quality of Fig & Olive's weekend offering so here come the tantalizing pictures...
Friday, July 3, 2015
Has it already been one year since ADYA opened its doors at the Anaheim Packing House? The time difference from when the packing house was announced to when it opened made its first year of operation fly by without much fanfare. After all, Orange County knew about the plans many years before its execution. As each of the eateries inside start to celebrate their first anniversary, we applaud their making it through the first year of business. Opening any business is difficult enough but restaurants tend to run into many complications so a big congratulations to ADYA and Chef Shachi Mehra for hitting this milestone! We have always enjoyed her food on our multiple visits so were excited to join her and others for a celebratory dinner one evening.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
"We're about the culture and the spirit of aloha and sharing that through food."
- Nino "Neens" Camilo, producer of "I Love Poke" Festival
The budding love that Orange County has grown for poke, an iconic Hawaiian dish, and the rapid availability by which the specialty has become available in the area may be recent but the "I Love Poke" Festival already hit its four-year mark this year for Orange County. A festival all about poke? Count us in! We have enjoyed it since our very first bite, and our trip to Hawaii last year only cemented our desire for poke. The tasting event and chef competition took place Sunday, June 28th at the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach, selling out its 500-person capacity and supplying attendees with high-caliber bites of fresh seafood goodness made by 11 competitive chefs.
Friday, June 26, 2015
June 8th welcomed the newest addition to the TAPS Fish House & Brewery family - a location in Irvine! Situated in The Market Place, the restaurant boasts 10,000 ft² of space in furnishings atypical of the other locations. Instead of being heavily bricked, TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Irvine features darker tones and use of distressed wood to portray a more South County appropriate atmosphere. Nevertheless, the offerings remain very similar and the emphasis on their excellent seafood and housemade charcuterie has stayed. We stopped in prior to the grand opening to preview the space, and there was much to catch one's eye.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Growing up, I was never a fan of carrot cake. It always had a strange texture, especially since the grated carrots seemed to be dry and a little hard. There was always a plastic-tasting "cream cheese" frosting on top as well. Why would you put cream cheese with carrots? It was the problem with having only store-bought, mass-produced carrot cake though. Quality control isn't 100% there, and I knew no different. Therefore, I ascertained that carrot cake was not for me. However, as I got older, I decided that maybe younger Minerva had no idea what she was thinking and I ought to give it a try. Not bad, I felt. Then I kept trying until I wanted to make some myself. Here's a version in loaf form (for easy breakfast grabbing!) using pecans and golden raisins as sidekicks. Hope you enjoy making it!