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 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.

Griffin Eats OC's Fan Box

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Kappa Ramen - Anaheim

Kappa Ramen
3024 W Ball Road,
Anaheim, CA 92804
(714) 828-2210

The winter coats are coming out and the heaters are being cranked up. People are busting out their scarves and opting for the hot lattes instead of the frappucinos. Yup, that's right, it's that time of year where it drops down into the freezing 60's here in the OC. This also means that it is the perfect time for a steaming hot bowl of perfectly made ramen. Luckily for me, I got just that opportunity recently when I was invited down to the newly opened Kappa Ramen by the PR rep. I battled traffic for over an hour to get to the restaurant, but in the end, it was totally worth it.

Kappa Ramen is in the back corner of a tiny strip mall off Beach and Ball in Anaheim. It's the kind of parking lot where you double check your car doors to make sure they are securely locked. When you enter the restaurant though, you are greeted by a friendly, very brightly lit interior. I was happy that the restaurant was so brightly lit because I knew my pictures would come out so much better. Therefore, I will be posting a few extra pictures to this review.

I decided to start my meal with an order of Gyoza Potstickers ($6 for 8 or $3.45 for 4) and the Chashu appetizer ($4.50). For the main course I ordered the Kyoto Ramen ($7.45) and the fried rice ($6.95 full/$3.95 half). V decided to get the Kappa Signature Ramen ($9.95).

The gyoza is available "potsticker" style as pictured or deep fried if you prefer. The gyoza was very good and cooked just right. The exterior was crispy, but not too greasy and the interior was a nice mix of pork and vegetables.

The chashu was very tender and full of flavor. We both enjoyed this a lot. It seemed to have more flavor than chashu at most ramen places.

The fried rice was the only disappointing part of the meal. The rice was very bland. It could have benefited from a lot more soy sauce and maybe some sesame oil or something. It really almost tasted like plain rice with a few vegetables thrown in. V also didn't care for the fried rice.

The Kyoto Ramen was a basic tonkotsu ramen. This is not to be confused with "tonkatsu" ramen. Tonkatsu is a breaded pork cutlet and tonkotsu means pork bones. This broth is made fresh daily by simmering chicken and pork bones for a very long time to create a milky tan broth that is bursting with pork flavor. The tonkotsu broth at Kappa Ramen is one of the best I have ever had. I think it had more flavor than some of the most popular ramen shops in Orange County including Santouka Ramen and Daikokuya Ramen. I loved this broth. The ramen was served with half of a marinated hard-boiled egg, green onions and pickled ginger.

The Kappa Signature Ramen started with the same tonkotsu broth and added organic kimchee, avocado, bean sprouts and corn. It also had the hard-boiled egg, green onions and pickled ginger. V really liked how they cut the wavy pattern into the egg. V really enjoyed her ramen as well. She thought that it was nice and spicy and had a great flavor.

Throughout the entire meal there was a small sign on the table advertising potato croquettes for only $1. After my ramen I decided I had to try one.

The potato croquette was lightly flavored with curry and contained some corn and I think carrot. I can't really remember right now. I do however remember that the croquette was very good and a fantastic deal at only $1. I highly recommend that you get one of these to complement your meal.

Overall I was extremely happy with my meal. Even though the restaurant is a bit of a drive for me from Irvine, I can definitely see myself returning. In fact, this might be my new favorite ramen shop. Now if only they could do something to improve their fried rice, they'd be perfect.
Kappa Ramen on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 6, 2010

Digg's Restaurant & Bar Huntington Beach

Digg's Huntington Beach
8052 Adams Avenue
Huntington Beach, CA 92646
(714) 960-3670

Digg's Restaurant & Bar in Huntington Beach opened their doors about six weeks ago, but just had their grand opening celebration this past weekend. They said that they were using this time to fine tune their skills to make sure that everything was perfect for their opening weekend. I think they should have taken more time. I battled traffic for about an hour and a half to get to the restaurant and was extremely disappointed with my experience.

Digg's invited the media down during their grand opening celebration to sample their food and check out the place. I was one of only four media people that showed up. The four of us were brought out three plates with four bites each for all of us to share, so I was only able to taste one bite of three of their appetizers. I got to try a beef skewer($8), a small egg roll($6) and one bacon wrapped shrimp($14). (Prices are for a full order)

The food that I tried wasn't bad, but it wasn't really anything special either. The skewers were generic, the shrimp were plain and I think that Jack in The Box has better egg rolls, and they're much bigger too. I was pretty disappointed that I only got to sample these three appetizers. The entrees at Digg's sound very good and I look forward to trying them if I ever return.

The service at Digg's was pretty awful as well. It took them almost two hours to bring out these three small samples and their knowledge of them was limited. I asked how many pieces came in a full sized order and the waitress had no idea. She said she would check with someone, but I never saw her again for the rest of the night. In fact, I think I only saw my waitress twice the entire night. She took our drink order when we first arrived and dropped off one of the samples and took a second drink order. Only half of our second drink order made it to the table. The other items were just dropped off by food runners. Throughout the night various staff members stopped by the table and said "Is this your food?" I told them that I was doing the media tasting so I hadn't actually ordered anything. They would then walk off to ask everyone else in the restaurant if it was their food.

Overall I think that Digg's has a long way to go in their service and product knowledge. They should really consider doing a hardcore training session with their staff so that everyone knows about the menu and what they are serving. Digg's is even advertising specials like "Sushi Night Tuesday", but no one seemed to know what it was. The PR rep said she would ask the owner about it, but came back and said that even the owner wasn't sure. I think these things should be thought out and planned before they are advertised.

The dinner menu at Digg's looks like it has a lot of good sounding entrees. When I first looked at their menu I even thought it sounded like a restaurant that I would not mind driving 20+ miles for. They serve a variety of steaks, acai bowls, seafood and pasta. Unfortunately I don't think I was really given the opportunity to sample enough of their food to determine whether or not it is good. If I had to judge the restaurant on the three small bites I was given, I would not recommend it. Since their menu looks so good though, I may try Digg's again someday when they have had time to work out their kinks. If they don't do it soon though, I can't see how they will survive.
Digg's Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoon