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ATTENTION!! On the left hand column, you will find links to search by cuisine or city. You will also find a restaurant index of all of the places I have written about on the column on the right. If you enjoy the site, please bookmark the site and tell a friend! You can also subscribe to be notified when the site updates by entering your e-mail address in the box on the left. Happy Eating!

Please visit our partner sites DiningOutInOC.com for info on OC restaurant openings and special culinary related events, Booze It Up OC for info on OC 21+ events and Brunch In OC for info and reviews on weekend brunches. You can also find Griffin as one of the "experts" over at LocalCuisine.com

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Kids Restaurant Week Starts Tomorrow!


The first annual Kids Restaurant Week is coming to Orange County tomorrow. The event will run from Sunday June 27th through Saturday July 3rd. A ton of Orange County restaurants will be offering either a great price fixed deal on a family style dinner or will let kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entree, all week long. Here is a list of participating restaurants. Click on the restaurant name to get details on the special each restaurant is offering.

118 Degrees - Costa Mesa
Anaheim Whitehouse - Anaheim
Ayumi Sushi and Grill - Huntington Beach
Beach Pit BBQ - Costa Mesa
Beach Pit BBQ - Tustin
Beach Pit BBQ - Orange
Bluewater Grill - Newport Beach
Bluewater Grill - Tustin
Brasserie Pascal - Newport Beach
California Pizza Kitchen - Anaheim Garden Walk
Cedar Creek - Brea
Cedar Creek - Laguna Niguel
Cedar Creek - San Juan Capistrano
Chaparosa Grill - Laguna Niguel

Chaparosa Grill - Tustin
Chomp Rockin Sushi - Fullerton
Crystal Jade - Irvine
Don The Beachcomber - Huntington Beach
Fire and Ice - Anaheim Garden Walk
Johnny Rockets - Garden Walk Anaheim
John's Incredible Pizza - Buena Park
JT Schmid's Restaurant and Brewery - Anaheim
JT Schmid's Restaurant and Brewery - Tustin
K'ya Street Fare - Anaheim
Lulu's Creperie Cafe - Laguna Hills
Marios by the Sea - Dana Point
Marmalade - Tustin
Marrakesh - Costa Mesa
Matador Cantina - Fullerton
Medieval Times - Buena Park
Newport Rib Company - Costa Mesa
Newport Rib Company - Ladera Ranch
Nirvana Grille - Laguna Beach
Nirvana Grille - Mission Viejo
Pat and Oscar's - Multiple Locations
Pirates Dinner Adventure - Buena Park
P.F. Chang's - Anaheim Garden Walk
Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen - Anaheim
Redbrick Pizza - Multiple Locations
Riptide Sushi - Mission Viejo
Ruby's Diner - Multiple Locations
Salt Creek Grille - Dana Point
Savannah Chop House - Laguna Niguel
Steer Crazy - Capistrano Beach
Strike Bowling - Tustin
The Beachcomber - Newport Beach
The Derby - Mission Viejo
The Melting Pot - Irvine
The Melting Pot - San Clemente
The Melting Pot - Brea
Which Wich - Santa Ana
Wingnuts - Aliso Viejo
Wingnuts - Costa Mesa
Zimzala - Huntington Beach

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Roy's Summer Ohana Tour - By V



Griffin was recently invited down to a media event at Roy's but was unable to attend. I was happy to take his place as "assistant writer" at this event! Roy's is one of my favorite restaurants. I absolutely love their food. My favorite dish at Roy's has to be the butterfish. Unfortunately, they didn't serve that at this event, but I did get to try some other great dishes.

Below are some pictures of the food they sampled at the event.


Ekolu Tuna Roll


"Rim Fire" Calamari


Sweet Corn & Blue Crab Crusted Barramundi



If you visit three different Orange County or Los Angeles Roy's restaurants over the summer, you will earn yourself free dessert, a gift card and you will be entered into a drawing to win a trip to Hawaii. See the press release below for more info!


ROY’S RESTAURANT DEBUTS L.A. OHANA TOUR

Guests Invited to Say Aloha to Chef Partners’ Innovative Takes on Roy’s Classics Menu

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (June 2, 2010) – Roy’s, the internationally renowned Hawaiian Fusion® Cuisine dining restaurant, today announces the launch of its L.A. Ohana Tour, a new rewards program designed for diners to experience the creative chef variations on popular menu items offered at each location.

From June 9 until August 31, 2010, guests are invited to visit three Southern California Roy’s restaurants to receive dining rewards and be entered to win an all-inclusive trip to Hawaii, where guests will enjoy a personal dinner with founding chef Roy Yamaguchi.

The Roy’s L.A. Ohana Tour details include:

* An inaugural trip to a participating Roy’s restaurant, where guests are awarded an Ohana Tour card to present at the next Roy’s location
* On the second visit, guests will receive a complimentary Chocolate Soufflé (with purchase of entrée)
* At the third location, guests will receive a $20 gift card (with purchase of entrée) and entry into the Hawaii sweepstakes
* Restaurants participating in the tour include Roy’s Anaheim, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Pasadena, and Woodland Hills locations


“In the Hawaiian culture, ‘ohana’ means family,” said Leiala Whattoff, V.P. of Training & Development, Roy’s restaurant. “We designed this tour to thank our frequent guests and encourage new guests to experience our exquisite food and the aloha spirit with their friends and family. By visiting three of our Southern California locations, guests will receive delicious rewards and the chance to win the ultimate dining experience in Hawaii.”

Each location’s Chef Partner is trained by Roy Yamaguchi but are encouraged to infuse their own style and inspiration into Roy’s Classics menu items. The L.A. Ohana Tour will give guests the opportunity to experience these different tastes and variations each time they visit a new location.

Please visit the Roy’s website for additional details at www.roysrestaurant.com
Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine on UrbanspoonRoy's on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mil Jugos - Santa Ana



318 W. 5th Street
Santa Ana, CA

714-836-4601

www.miljugos.com



After reading the write-up in Orange Coast Magazine about Mil Jugos in Santa Ana, V and I decided that we had to try it. Mil Jugos is a very small (4 tables I think) Venezuelan joint that specializes in Cachapas and Arepas. A Cachapa is a stuffed griddlecake made with a sweet corn batter. An Arepa is like a toasty cornbread roll that is made into a mini sandwich filled with meat and/or cheese. It is sort of like the Venezuelan version of a slider.

V and I decided to each get an Arepa and share a Cachapa. V decided to get a Arepa Pabellon ($3.75) which has shredded lean beef cooked with garlic, tomatoes, red bell pepper and onions and then topped with black beans and freshly grated cheese. I ordered the Arepa Asado ($3.50) which was described as round eye cut meat cooked in a rich wine and brown sugar sauce seasoned with garlic, capers, olives, salt and pepper. We decided to share the Cachapa Con Queso Blanco ($5.00) which was filled with sliced white cheese with fresh cream.

Mil Jugos also serves a variety of sandwiches including a hamburger. Their sandwiches come with a side of fruit salad and a side of their special chicken potato salad. They looked like a great deal at around $5.00, so I decided to also order the Italian Sub ($4.75) at the last minute.

First out of the kitchen, at lightning speed, were the Arepas.


Arepa Asado


Arepa Pabellon


The corn muffin bun was extremely hot. It was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The filling of the Arepa Asado kind of reminded me of BBQ Brisket. It was sweet and a little smoky. I did not see or taste any olives or capers though. The Arepa Pabellon was really tasty. The meat was juicy and bursting with flavor. If I were to return, I think I would get the Pabellon again, but skip the Asado. Both of the Arepas were made better with the addition of a chimichurri type sauce that they brought to the table. It was pretty spicy though, so watch out.

Next up was the Italian Sub. The menu said that the sandwich came with prosciutto, pepperoni, salami and provolone cheese. I saw meat in the sandwich, but there was definitely no pepperoni. The sandwich itself wasn't horrible, but would have benefited from some pepperocinis and red onions. The sandwich was covered in shredded lettuce and balsamic vinegar. The fruit that came with it was fruit and the special chicken potato salad was a little weird, but pretty good.


The Cachapa was a lot tastier than I was expecting. I'm pretty sure I saw them actually cutting fresh corn off the cob in the kitchen to make the batter for the Cachapa. The griddlecake itself was nice and sweet and almost reminded me of that corn mush they scoop on to the plates at Mexican restaurants like El Torito. The cheese inside the Cachapa was sweet and creamy, cheesy goodness. I would definitely order this again, but I really want to try the ham Cachapa next time.


V and I both really enjoyed our food at Mil Jugos and we are eagerly anticipating our return. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone that is looking for some darn tasty, unique food at a great price.
Mil Jugos on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Taste of Greece 2010


The 32nd Annual Taste of Greece Festival is returning to Irvine from June 25th-27th, 2010. The festival will be held at St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Church (4949 Alton Parkway, between Culver Drive and Jeffrey Road, Irvine, CA 92604). More than 11,000 quests are expected to attend the three-day festival, which will feature Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, authentic Greek dancing and boutique booths.

Festival Hours are 5:00 PM-10:00 PM on Friday and Noon to 10:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $3 per person. Seniors 65+ get in free on Saturday from Noon-5:00 PM. Children under 10 are always free.

I was recently invited down to a tasting to introduce the media to all of the wonderful food that will be served at this event. The items I got to try are below. I believe this represents most of the food that will be served, but not all of it.



SAGANAKI served with PITA BREAD

Kasseri Greek Cheese sautéed in butter, flamed with Brandy and finished with fresh lemon


LOUKANICO

Grilled homemade Greek Sausage served with Feta Cheese


DOLMATHES

Grape Leaves stuffed with a mixture of Lamb, Beef & fresh mint served with Avgolemono Sauce


GREEK SALAD

Mixture of Romaine & Iceberg Lettuce topped with red onion, cucumbers, red & green bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, with a herb vinaigrette


CHICKEN SOUVLAKI

Skewered Chicken seasoned with herbs marinated with olive oil and grilled to perfection, finished with fresh lemon juice


GRILLED LAMB CHOPS

(Affectionately known as ‘Greek Lollipops’)


PASTICHIO

(The Greeks version of Lasagna served with Béchamel Sauce)


SPANAKOPITA

A spinach pie laced with Feta Cheese & baked in a phyllo dough


TYROPITES

Three-Cheese filling baked in phyllo dough



DESSERT



BAKLAVA

Delicate flavors of pastry phyllo layered with Walnuts & Butter, drenched in a Cinnamon Honey Syrup


GALACTOBOURIKO

A sumptuous sweet egg custard layered with pastry phyllo and enveloped in a Honey Syrup


KOURAMBIETHES

(Powdered Sugar Butter Cookie)

A Butter Cookie traditionally served at festive occasions

(If it sticks to the roof of your mouth, it has been made correctly)


I tried all of the food above and it was all very good, although I wasn't a big fan of the Pastichio. Something about the nutmeg in it just threw me off. My favorite items were the Spanakopita, Tyropites, Kourambiethes and Loukanico. If I had to pick one item I liked the best, it would be the Loukanico. The greek sausage had a wonderful flavor to it, kind of similar to Kielbasa. It tasted incredibly good with the Feta Cheese.

If you're a fan of Greek food and culture, make sure to get out to this event. It only happens one weekend a year!