Kareem’s Restaurant – Anaheim, CA – Best Falafel in Orange County

Kareem’s Restaurant – Anaheim, CA – Best Falafel in Orange County

Kareem’s Restaurant is a family owned restaurant that has been passed down a generation to Kareem herself.  This is a restaurant where you can taste the love in their food.  They provide great service and you feel like part of the family.  Kareem’s is famous for their Falafel.  I must admit I haven’t been the hugest Falafel fan.  Usually Falafel I have tried is dry and grainy.  Not these, Kareem’s Falafels are moist and full of flavor and taste great dipped in their Tahini.  Kareem’s offers the best Falafel that I have had hands down.  They also have a ridiculously good Hummus and Fatoush Salad.  They also offer a Falafel mix which is sold in nearby stores.  Check out Kareem’s Restaurant for Falafel and Hummus heaven.  Love, peace and Falafel Grease!


Falafel Plate with Hummus


Chicken Kabob Plate with Hummus


Fatoush Salad





Dog Haus – Great Burgers, Hot Dogs and Sausages

Dog Haus – Multiple Locations – Great Burgers, Hot Dogs and Sausages

Dog Haus is a new Hot Dog, Sausage and Burger chain that has been popping up across Southern California.  I dig it and it’ s a great restaurant with nice atmosphere and delicious food. One thing that sets them apart is all their items are on Kings Hawaiian rolls. That sweetness of the Kings Hawaiian bread with the saltiness and acidity of their sauces sets their food off. They specialize in Hot Dogs and Sausages but their burgers are on point as well.  They have a FreiBurger with White Cheddar, Fried Egg, Haus Slaw and French Fries that is to die for. I would highly recommend trying this burger. Also their tater tots are close too perfection, they are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside providing great texture. You can get the Tater tots with Chili Cheese and don’t forget to ask for a side of Buttermilk Ranch. Dog Haus has seasonal specials too, like the Turducken Sausage (Turkey, Duck and Chicken), so be on the lookout for those. The trick at a restaurant with so many choices is to know what to order. I recommend the FreiBurger, Holy Aioli Burger and Chili Cheese Tater Tots. Check this place out for affordable delicious food and they also offer Craft Beers.  I am going to be gaining a lot of calories at this place.  Love, Peace and Chili Cheese Tator Tot Grease!
The Hangover Burger with Fried Egg, Chili and White Cheddar Cheese
Turducken Sausage (Turkey, Duck and Chicken)
Chili Cheese Tater Tots
Ave Maria Burger with Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions and White Cheddar Cheese
Cheese Tater Tots
The FreiBurger with French Fries, Fried Egg, Coleslaw and White American Cheese
Hot Dog Slider

Top 10 Shabu Shabu/Hot Pot Restaurants in Orange County

Top 10 Shabu Shabu/Hot Pot Restaurants in Orange County

Shabu Shabu is a Japanese dish featuring thinly sliced meats and vegetables dipped in a boiling broth.  These types of restaurants have been all the rage these days offering many types of variations and varieties.  This includes different types of meats and seafood, broths and dipping sauces as well as noodle soup or porridge after finishing the main meal.  I grew up eating home cooked Shabu Shabu and when I had Shabu Shabu in restaurants it didn’t really compare.  I felt there was no reason to eat Shabu Shabu at a restaurant if the home cooked meal was of better quality.  Now with so many Shabu Shabu restaurants popping up and the quality significantly improving people of all ages and origins can enjoy it.  Shabu Shabu restaurants are offering different styles and variations so everyone can have their own favorite.  Here are the top 10 Shabu Shabu restaurants in Orange County.

  1. Shinobu Shabu Shabu $$ – Westminster, CA – Shinobu Shabu offers great quality meat and great service. Besides the superb cuts of meat and friendly service they have several things that make them shine above other Shabu Shabu restaurants. If you want to eat at a Shabu Shabu restaurant in a big group that is sometimes difficult and you cannot interact with your whole party because a lot of Shabu Shabu restaurants offer only a bar style setting.  Shinobu offers a bar as well as tables to accommodate for large parties and allows for a better social setting.  Shinobu also offers a decent amount of Beer and Sake.  Also save room for dessert and try their very own Asian Funnel Cake, Black Sesame Ice Cream or Mochi Ice Cream.


Shinobu Shabu

  1. Shabu Shabu Bar $$ – Santa Ana, CA – Shabu Shabu Bar offers the best quality meats including Wagyu, Kobe, Prime and Ribeye Beef as well as Kurobuta Berkshire Pork and Jidori Wild Chicken. They have delicious Goma Sauce where you crush your own sesame seeds and Ponzu Sauce. Also don’t forget to check in on Yelp because they usually have an offer available.


  1. Little Sheep $$ – Irvine, CA – Little Sheep is Mongolian Hot Pot. They have a unique aromatic broth using fresh ingredients such as Goji Berries, Black Cardamom, Ginseng and other herbs which vary greatly from the normal Shabu Shabu broth. They also offer some delectable handmade noodles that shine above any of the other noodles offered from other Shabu Shabu restaurants.  They have a multitude of items to choose from ala carte that you can add to your meal including Fish balls with Fish Roe inside, Kumbocha and Lotus Root to name a few.  They also offer a sauce bar to create your own sauce to your taste.  Little Sheep has a lunch combo special for 9.95 which is a steal for all the items included and compared to other lunch combos that usually start at 14.95.


Little Sheep Combo Special

Little Sheep’s Lunch Combo

Little Sheep 4

Little Sheeps Yin and Yang Broth

  1. Paper Pot Shabu $$ – Diamond Bar, CA – Paper Pot Shabu offers a unique way to hold their broth, it’s actually in a real paper pot and they use conduction heating to boil the broth. Paper pot is not their only gimmick they offer high quality ingredients as well. They offer a Bulgogi Shabu Shabu which is Korean marinated beef that was divine.  Paper Pot’s Wow combo is also interesting which includes Sausage, Wontons, Rice Cake, Fish Cake and Ramen.


Paperpot Shabu

Paperpot Shabu Bulgogi

PaperPot Shabu’s Bulgogi

  1. SWSH Shabu Shabu $$ – Irvine, CA – SWSH gets its name by the sound it makes when you “swish” your meat through the broth with your chopsticks. SWSH’s interior has a modern contemporary look including both tables and bar seating. They also have an extensive Sake menu.  Make sure to leave room for dessert because SWSH offers a Green Tea White Chocolate Fondue with fresh Fruit and Cake.


  1. Boiling Point $$ – Irvine and Garden Grove, CA – Boiling Point is Taiwanese Style Hot Pot and it’s a little different than other Shabu Shabu or other Hot Pot Restaurants because they serve all the ingredients already inside the bowl already cooking when they bring it out. So your pot comes heaping with the combo of meat and veggies that you order. They offer combos such as House Special, Seafood and Tofu, Korean Bean Paste, Beef, Pomelo Flavor, Taiwanese Spicy, Japanese Miso, Thai and Curry Fish Ball.  These combos include interesting ingredients such as Fermented Tofu, Clam, Quail Egg, Pork Blood Cake, Pork Intestine, Octopus, Cuttlefish Ring, Fuzhou Fish Ball, Lobster Fish Ball, Pork Belly, Pear, Fried Tofu Skin and Lotus Root.  They also offer a Snow Flake Ice Dessert, Macaron Ice Cream  and a variety of Milk Teas, Sodas and Slushies.


  1. Tabu Shabu $$ – Costa Mesa, CA – Tabu Shabu offers Snake River Farms and Meyers Farms Beef. Most Shabu Shabu restaurants offer a soup at the end of your meal that the server will make for you with your noodles. Tabu Shabu takes it to another level with their savory egg porridge.  Tabu Shabu also offers low carb or paleo on request if needed.


Tabu Shabu

Tabu Shabu Egg Porrige

Tabu Shabu’s Egg Porridge

8 .Mokkoji $$ – Irvine, CA – Mokkoji has some unique offerings including a option for Beef Belly which I haven’t seen offered at Shabu Shabu before, get ready for some fatty meat.  You can add on a Porridge option at the end including a Squid Ink Porridge.  They have both Goma and Ponzu sauces and their Ponzu is a very good tangy citrus ponzu.  On their tofu Mokkoji is branded on which provides great presentation for their Shabu Shabu.



  1. East West Shabu Shabu $$ – Garden Grove, CA -East West Shabu Shabu was one of the OG’s to the Shabu Shabu game. They started before most Shabu Shabu restaurants in OC and on this list. They have always provided solid meats and sauces at a reasonable price.



  1. California Shabu-Shabu/Cal Shabu $$ -Fountain Valley and Costa Mesa, CA – Cal Shabu is another one of the original Shabu Shabu restaurants in Orange County with 2 different locations. They have some unique artwork on their walls at their Costa Mesa location and Salmon roses have been spotted at their Fountain Valley location. They have affordable lunch specials and the option of two item combinations.


California Shabu Shabu


Fideo by Mick – Irvine, CA – Great noodles with many versatile flavors

Fideo by Mick – Irvine, CA – Great Noodles with many flavors

Many of you have probably been to or have heard of Mick’s Karma Bar. It has been consistently rated as one of the top burgers in Orange County. Well Mick decided to open another restaurant called Fideo by Mick offering what…bowls of noodles. Burgers to noodles you ask, how does that translate. Well it translates into delicious ‘noodly’ ‘brothy’ goodness. Stop by and try the different options including Phuket Beef, Braised Pork Belly , Curried Chicken, Lamb Ragu and Salsa Verde (Pork). All noodles are specially made for his restaurant offering a thicker wider ramen noodle then you have probably experienced. I was skeptical but the noodles, broth and ingredients work. The broth is very favorable and the noodles are of high quality and go well with the fragrant ingredients. Also if you aren’t feeling noodles you can substitute rice as well.  They have some creative drinks that are amazing including a Strawberry Basil Lemonade and Passionfruit Mint Lemonade.  Make sure to stop by and don’t be surprised if Mick himself comes to your table to chat.   Love, Peace and Phuket Beef Grease!





Passionfruit Mint Lemonade

Passionfruit Mint Lemondade


Premium Fish Sauce

Pork Belly Appetizer complimentary

Pork Belly compliments of Mick

Phuket Beef

Phuket Beef

Curried Chicken

Curried Chicken

Chili Verde

Chili Verde

Chili Verde I think


Braised Pork Belly

Braised Pork Belly

lamb Ragu I think

Lamb Ragu



Thuyen Vien – Anaheim, CA – Healthy Vegetarian Vietnamese Food that tastes delicious.

Thuyen Vien – Anaheim, CA – Healthy Vegetarian Vietnamese Food that tastes delicious.

Healthy Vegetarian food that tastes delicious? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Not when you go to Thuyen Vien. Now let’s face it, if it was up to me I would eat Sushi, Prime Rib and Carne Asada Fries everyday. But I can’t because I have a mortgage and bills to pay and I want to weigh under 300 pounds. So when I’m looking to eat a healthy meal that is reasonable on the pocket book I turn to places like Thuyen Vien. They offer delicious food at reasonable prices that are healthy alternatives instead of a burger and fries. The trick at Thueyn Vien is knowing what to order because they have a pretty extensive menu. I’ll tell you what to get and don’t bother with the other items. Their Thai Pumpkin Curry, Garlic Chicken and Bun Bo Hue Royal Noodle Soup are the business.  They will make you forget you are eating vegetarian food.  The Pho and Egg rolls are also decent as well.  Make sure to check them out as a staple to eat healthy throughout the week at a great price.  Love, Peace and Garlic Chicken grease!


Pho with Beef


Bun Bo Hue Royal Noodle Soup – Awesome fragrant dish



Pumpkin Thai Curry – Very Delicious





Fried Tofu


Bo Luc Lac – Shaken Beef



Thailand Fried Rice



Kung Pow Chicken


Egg Rolls


Banana Flower Tacos


Garlic Chicken – Could substitute this for real chicken any day.


OPM Restaurant and Lounge – Huntington Beach, CA – Modern Restaurant and Lounge

OPM Restaurant and Lounge – Huntington Beach, CA – Modern Restaurant and Lounge

OPM Restaurant and Lounge is a large modern lounge/restaurant and eclectic take on New American Cuisine.  The restaurant has beautiful modern decor and styling.  It is a great place to grab a craft cocktail or for a special event.  You could come here just for a table for two or they are able to handle a large party.  This is the new hot spot in Huntington Beach to be seen.  Most of the food is meant to be shared and they have an extensive menu that will have the “epicurious” try a multitude of items.  OPM has everything from a raw bar ranging with Kumamoto Oysters, different Ceviches and a Seafood Tower as well as Crudite plates, Charcuterie, Cheese plates, Potato Spring Roll Cones, Bacon Corn Bread, Pork Belly Buns, Chicken Lollipops, Yuzu Cheesecake and Foie Gras Ice Cream.  Their craft cocktail menu has some interesting libations including “Phuket its Friday,” their take on an alcoholic Thai Iced Tea.  Restaurants that have a very imaginative menu sometimes suffer in the flavor and taste category but OPM’s chef’s execution is on point.  When you want to hang out or grab a drink at a fancy lounge, check out OPM and did I mention they have a DJ after 10, offer bottle service and a secret bar!  OPM Restaurant and Lounge is going up on a Tuesday or for that matter any day.  Love, Peace and Foie Gras Ice Cream Grease.


Kumamoto Oysters


Bone Marrow with Raisin Jam and Parsley Salad


Short Rib Croquette


Bacon Corn Bread


Potato Spring Roll Cone


“Phucket its Friday” – Alcoholic Thai Iced Tea




Yuzu Cheesecake, Foie Gras Ice Cream and Green Tea Tiramisu


They use Teddy Grahams in their dessert!


Ramen Dojo – San Mateo, CA – Spicy Garlic Pork Ramen

Ramen Dojo – San Mateo, CA – Spicy Garlic Pork Ramen

Finally got to try the famous Ramen Dojo in Northern California in the Bay Area. Does it live up to the hype? It depends on how you like your ramen. If you prefer spicy ramen then this is a place to try. I on the other hand prefer a creamier non-spicy ramen broth. I enjoy Miso or Tonkatsu Pork Ramen broths with great depth of flavor, but to each his own. You do have the option to choose the spiciness of your ramen and I did try both spicy and non-spicy versions of their Garlic Pork Ramen. I respect the craft of Ramen Dojo and the high quality Ramen that they offer including the quail egg included at no extra charge and presentation.  No disrespect to NorCal but I think SoCal has the ramen game on lock. Love, Peace and Spicy Garlic Pork Ramen Grease!


Garlic Pork Ramen


Spicy Garlic Pork Ramen


Flying Fish – Freeport, Grand Bahama Island – Best Dining in the Bahamas

Flying Fish – Freeport, Grand Bahama Island – Best Dining in the Bahamas

Nowadays it takes a lot to impress me when I visit different restaurants even internationally. Flying Fish impresses and brings so much more. This is a great example of a restaurant that is truly molded and created from the heart. Chef Tim Tibbits has won many accolades and awards for Flying Fish in the Bahamas, some including top ratings for best fine dining restaurant in the Bahamas and Top Chef and restaurant honors on many lists. None of these rewards really talk about what else his restaurant adds to the community, employees and his vision. Chef Tim takes local and sustainable ingredients and flavors and makes them his own. He also has designed the interior and whole restaurant to his vision which comes together very nicely. His restaurant was immaculate compared to any other restaurants on the island and even compared to the best fine dining restaurants around the world he is on par.  I appreciate his the simple yet truly elegant aesthetic of his restaurant. I also appreciate the fact that he cares for his employees and has helped them better not only their careers but lives and well being. Making a difference in the community on top of running a top quality restaurant is paramount in Tim’s vision. Flying Fish is located on the water and he takes full advantage of this with large windows throughout the restaurant.  But it is taken to the next level with outdoor seating on the dock right on the water. On Sundays the chef himself plays live music on the guitar and sings (He sings and plays almost as well as he cooks, which was a pleasurable surprise, taking any requests along the way). Eating here on Sunday is truly a magical experience.

Well we haven’t even got to the food yet. Flying Fish offers tasting menus and well as a la carte options. They offer a vast menu including local seafood and dishes as well as beef, pork and vegetarian options. They are well known for their burgers which the patties are made in house with no fillers. But the true stars of the show are the seafood dishes including some of the local ingredients such as the Local Stone Crab 3 ways including a whole Stone Crab Claw, Crab Cake and Crab Cole Slaw. Also the Wakame Salad with King Crab was amazing offering great texture, contrast in hot and cold as well as unique flavors.

Seeing a chefs dream and vision fully materialized is an amazing thing and you can witness it here at Flying Fish in the Bahamas. Bravo Chef Tim Tibbits for sharing it with us. Love, peace and Stone Crab Grease!


Local Stone Crab –  3 ways: Stone Crab Claw, Stone Crab Cake and Stone Crab Slaw







Swiss Burger with Gruyere, Mushrooms and Grilled Onion Remoulade with Potato Twirls


Flying Fish BLT with in-house cured and smoked Pork Belly Bacon and Truffle Mayo


Wakame Salad Alaskan King Crab, Avocado, Mango, Cucumber, Sweet Soy Reduction and Crispy Rice – Amazing flavors, textures and contrast of temperature


MacDaddy Burger


Hot Wings






Chef Tim Tibbits playing some awesome tunes







Pueblo – Costa Mesa, CA – Spanish Tapas without traveling to Spain

Pueblo – Costa Mesa, CA – Spanish Tapas without traveling to Spain

Spain is one of the most sought after food countries and destinations to visit.  Hugged by the Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea it has a multitude of Seafood options.  Pueblo is located in the SOCO plaza which is becoming a new hang out  for hipsters in Costa Mesa.  SOCO offers home decor and fashion/design shopping as well.  Pueblo brings Spanish style tapas meant to be shared to Orange County.  Their dishes are meant to bring friends and families together in a communal setting.  They do a great job by offerings traditional Spanish tapas with their own signature twists.  Pueblo offers a great wine, beer and cocktail selection.  Must try dishes are the Squid Ink Paella and Short Rib Crudo.  Love, Peace and Squid Ink Paella Grease.



Grilled Bread with Marinara


Duck breast and Foie Gras




Short Rib Crudo








Crispy Chicken




Chorizo with Lentils




Brussels Sprouts with Mercona Almonds




Crispy Potatoes with Chili Sauce




Skirt Steak




Squid Ink Paella – Amazing Dish




Charcuterrie Plate with Duck Pate


Crispy Baby Squid


Queso Fundido with Goat Cheese







Fried Oysters


Creme Brulee Bread Pudding




Tinto De Verano -Very refreshing wine cocktail





Top 12 Healthy Restaurants in Orange County

Top 12 Healthy Restaurants in Orange County

It’s the new year and you have been lagging on that diet to shed those holiday pounds.  But who wants to eat steamed vegetables with a wheat grass smoothie.  Here is the list of the top 10 best places to eat (in no particular order) that taste great but will keep you looking lean and mean.  All these restaurants listed have healthy options that aren’t lacking in the taste department and will keep you coming back for more.  Here is to a healthy and DELICIOUS 2015.

1. Chicken Maison $$ – Santa Ana and multiple locations in Los Angeles, CA – Chicken Maison offers healthy Mediterranean Cuisine. Try their Spicy Lemon Garlic Rotisserie Chicken and prepare to be amazed. The rice, Potato Salad and spicy sweet garlic are great sides to include on the combo meal.  Don’t forget to ask for       that extra Garlic Sauce for your Chicken and Pita bread for a flavor explosion.



2. Au Lac $$ – Fountain Valley, CA – Au Lac is a nice sit down restaurant specializing in Vegan and Live/Raw Food. Au Lac has some truly unique and innovative plays on Vietnamese and other ethnic cuisine. They have a take on Vietnamese Pho that surprisingly tastes better than a normal Pho and its vegan!  This place is a must try on anyone’s list.


Au Lac Spring Rolls

3. Native Foods Cafe $$ – Multiple Locations in Orange County and Los Angeles, CA – Native Foods Cafe is a fast casual vegan restaurant serving made from scratch food that is not only good, but good enough to be enjoyed by non vegans as well. They have daily specials and a frequent membership club with discounts. Their Twister Wrap and Ensalada Azteca are both must try items. 


4. PokiNometry $ – Anaheim, CA – There should be a PokiNometry near every work place, to give the option of a fast and healthy lunch. PokiNomety offers Poki which is a Hawaiian dish including raw cubed fish, spicy seasoning, vegetables and sauces.  PokiNometry specializes in rice bowls, salads or nachos where you choose your fish, sauces and toppings.  To keep your bowl healthy go with the brown rice or salad options and stick to the Ponzu and Soy Sauce choices. 



5. Green Tomato Grill $ – Orange, CA – Green Tomato Grill offers fresh, local and organic ingredients cooked to order made with unique sauces and marinades from around the world. All calories are listed on their menu in the restaurant ranging from 400 to 700 calories. The Thai Peanut Bowl and Fried Green Tomatoes is a solid hit and ask to try out their different sauces to find your favorites.  If you check in on yelp you can get a free Chili Lime Popcorn. 



6. Tender Greens $$ – Multiple Locations in Orange County and Los Angeles, CA – Tender Greens uses a farm to fork philosophy and works with sustainable practicing local farms. They offer a variety of different entrees, salads and sandwiches. The great healthy options include Salt and Pepper Chicken over Salad, Herb brushed Albacore over Salad, Grilled Thai Octopus Salad and Tuna Nicoise Salad.


7. Kaju Tofu $$ – Garden Grove, CA – Kaju specializes in Korean Soon Doo Boo (Soft Tofu Soup). You can choose from no spice, mild, medium, spicy to very spicy and choose your favorite type flavors ranging from Beef, Pork, Seafood, Kimchi Beef, Dumpling, and even Ham and Cheese. They also provide you a plethora of Banchan (appetizers) at no extra cost ranging from Kimchi, Spicy Cucumbers, Fried Fish Cake, Bean Sprouts, Small Fish and Potato Salad.  Soon Doo Boo is a healthy option as well as their Vegetable or Mushroom Bibimbap which is a variety of vegetables in a hot stone pot of rice.  Just try not to splurge too much on the free Banchan. 



8. Veggie Grill $$ – Multiple Locations in Orange County and Los Angeles, CA – Veggie Grill is fast food vegetarian restaurant that has flavorful food that non vegetarians can enjoy as well. Veggie Grill has a Santa Fe Crispy Chickin Sandwich that tastes better than a real chicken sandwich. Their Quinoa Power Salad and Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes are also delicious options.


9. Tortillaz Healthy Mexican Grill $$ – Irvine, CA – Offers fresh healthy Mexican food. Tortillaz makes their tortillas in house and you can choose from Wheat, Spinach, Tomato Basil, Flour and Corn. You can also get Jicama and Guacamole instead of Chips.  The standout has been their Carne Asada Burrito with a wheat or spinach tortilla and don’t forget to grab a good helping of their creamy cilantro sauce from the salsa bar.  The creamy cilantro sauce makes the burrito 2x as good. 


10. North Shore Poke Co. $$ – Huntington Beach and Cerritos, CA – North Shore Poke Co offers a variety Hawaiian Poke. They offer 8 different styles of Poke, where you choose your fish and then get it over white rice, brown rice or cucumbers. The popular flavor is their Waimea which is a in-house blend of their spicy mayonnaise.                



11. Seabirds Kitchen $$ – Costa Mesa, CA – Seabirds started as a food truck and has since transitioned into a casual Vegetarian sit down restaurant located in The Lab. They offer a wide variety of menu items that changes with the season. Things to try include the Purple Taquitos, Burnt Brussels Sprouts and Beer Battered Avocado Taco. 



12. Healthy Junk $$ – Anaheim, CA – Healthy Junk offers all your favorite comfort foods in healthy, vegan and gluten free options. Their menu consists of Chili Cheese Fries, Nachos, Corn Bread, Fish N Chips, Salads, Burgers, Sandwiches, Tacos, Fajitas, Pizzas and Dessert.


The best food and restaurants to eat at in Orange County – #1 Orange County Food List