Izakaya Ku – Fountain Valley, CA. If you have gone down Bristol and are in the know about Japanese Izakaya restaurants; It is well known that Kappo Honda and Shin Sen Gumi are the two heavy hitters in the area. Well a new Izakaya has now popped up: Izakaya Ku and it looks like it could be the David to these Goliaths. An Izakaya is a Japanese restaurant offering a wide selection of alcohol (sake, beer and cocktails) and small plates ranging from multiple cooking methods and styles including grilled yakitori and robata, sushi, noodles, shabu shabu, salad as well as boiled, fried and some fusion dishes. These restaurants give you a chance to try a little bit of everything and encourage sharing and eating family style, a great place to grab dinner and drinks with friends after work. Their prices and portions actually beat most Izakayas and the quality of food is rather high. One of their signature dishes is the seared mackerel. The waiter will bring the mackerel on a plate and sear it with a torch table side. You can see the blue flames dance as it crisps the skin of the mackerel, a sight to behold. Other tasty treats are smoked quail eggs, renkon (chicken mousse sandwiched between two lotus roots), beef tongue with guacamole and a curry cheese gratin. I would highly recommend checking this place out to grab some drinks and good food for a reasonable price. Love, peace and seared mackerel grease!
Carthay Circle – Anaheim, CA. Carthay Circle is a new restaurant located inside DisneyLand’s California Adventure. It is a high end New American Restaurant where reservations are highly recommended. Carthay Circle pays homage to the original Carthay theater as well as Hollywood’s golden age. They have a lounge downstairs where you can order drinks while waiting. Their bar tender and drink menu are exquisite. They have many unique drinks and options. They have a drinks served with perfect ice spheres from locally sourced purified water and other unique offerings served with whipped egg whites. If you want to drink in Disneyland this is the place to go. The food on the other hand is interesting but a little pricey for what they offer. Good thing I went with a friend that works at Disney Corporate. A 40% special Holiday discount helps a lot especially when your parties total bill is over 300.00. You can get a huge pork chop, pasta, burger or steak. Some of the best dishes are their cheese stuffed biscuits and duck wings. Great drinks and discounted high end food at the happiest place in the world, I guess it doesn’t get much better than this. Love, Peace and Cheese Stuffed Biscuit Grease!
My Canh – San Francisco, CA. So it’s 2:00 am and I’m looking for a place to get food after hitting up the bar scene on Polk Street in San Francisco. One of my good friends who grew up in SF suggests one of his favorite restaurants growing up: My Canh. My Canh is famous for Crab Soup. It is rumored a customer once offered the restaurant 70K for the recipe and they respectfully declined. This soup is one of a kind. I have never had a soup like this and I have frequented many Vietnamese noodle restaurants and have been to Vietnam. The Crab soup comes with crab legs, sliced pork, pork blood, pork cracklings and udon noodles. The broth is a thick rich broth about the same consistency as a steaming whipped egg yolk, it is very interesting and the flavor complexity is off the charts. The cracklings give it a textures crunch and the crab is obviously delicious. Here’s an OCFoodList tip: ask them to crack your crab legs for you. If requested they will crack your legs and put the crab meat in the soup. That certainly came in handy as I was highly inebriated and the last thing I wanted to do was touch soupy crab legs and work meticulously to get every bit of crab out. I was very happy I was able to check My Canh on my trip to the Bay Area. Love, Peace and Crab Soup Grease.
Brenda’s French Soul Food – San Francisco, CA. OCFoodList likes to travel every now and then to try food in other locations; So when I heard about Brenda’s French Soul Food I thought, “I like French food and I like soul food, I’m in.” But then I also realized I like every type of good food. Regardless I was definitely glad I tried Brenda’s soul food. This quaint casual eatery is located in Downtown San Francisco. It gets pretty crowded but luckily I called ahead and there was no wait. The decor is very unique and looks like a modern New Orleans cafe. They also had a live jazz band which was a nice touch. Chef Brenda grew up in the West Bank of New Orleans so her food definitely has that true New Orleans flavor. The food was ridiculous here and when I say ridiculous I mean ridiculously good. We started with Watermelon Sweet tea, then a beignet flight which included a traditional, chocolate filled, apple filled and crawfish and cheese. Yes I did say a crawfish filled beignet, it was dusted with Cajun seasoning and I actually enjoyed the savoriness. For our entrees we ordered the BFC (Brenda’s Fried Chicken) and Pulled Pork eggs Benedict. I love fried chicken and this was one of the best I’ve had. It is a Cajun style fried chicken with a little bit of kick served with a hot pepper jelly that you can dip the chicken in and a side of collared greens. The eggs Benedict was served on their homemade cream biscuits and was amazing with the pulled pork. It also came with a side of grits. If you ever travel to the Bay Area I would highly recommend Brenda’s. Love Peace and Brenda’s Fried Chicken Grease!
Live Jazz band
Watermelon Sweet Tea
Beignet Flight – Crawfish, Apple, Chocolate and Traditiona
Inside of the Crawfish Beignet
BFC – Brenda’s Fried Chicken with Hot Pepper Jelly, Collard Greens and Homemade Cream Biscuit
Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict with Grits
Houston’s Irvine, CA. Houston’s is a restaurant that offers classic American with a diverse and versatile menu. Houston’s is owned by the HillStone Restaurant Group. They have been offering quality food since 1976. Originally started in Los Angeles, CA they have since expanded nationwide with 13 different brand restaurants including the likes of Bandera, Gulfstream and R + D Kitchen to name a few. Houston’s offers a variety of dishes ranging from prime Rib, Sushi Salad, Ding’s Chicken Sandwich, Pork Ribs, Filet Mignon, French Dip Sandwich, Scottish Salmon and a variety of sushi (that is good quality may I add). Every dish is delicious but two dishes have stood out to me over the years. The House Smoked Salmon and Hawaiian Ribeye. The house smoked salmon is different than any smoked salmon I have had. It is house smoked and made creamier than a normal smoked salmon and served with toast points and a creamy spread, definitely a must try. The Hawaiian Rib Eye sounds very deceiving, A Rib Eye in a teriyaki like sauce used to disguise a not so savory cut of beef? It is quite the opposite, a delicious quality ribeye cut, marinated in a light pineapple soy ginger marinade bringing out the flavors of the delicious marbled ribeye. I crave for this cut of beef and to be honest I’m not the biggest steak person. Try out Houston’s and you won’t be disappointed, but make sure to make a reservation if you don’t want to wait. Love, Peace and Hawaiian Ribeye grease!
Gulfcoast Fish Sandwich with Kale Salad with Peanut Vinaigrette.
Coconut Shrimp Roll
Pork Ribs with French Fries and Coleslaw
Filet Mignon with Coleslaw
Hawaiian Ribeye with Kale Salad – To die for!