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Tru Grits: Modern Asian Fusion Restaurant

Posted by on Jan 12, 2018 in Dining, Family | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue I love when I stumble upon a hidden dining gem in Orange County, and that was the case when I brought my family for dinner at Tru Grits in Anaheim. After a fun day at the Disneyland Resort, we were in search of something delicious and new for dinner that was within close proximity of Disneyland. I had heard a lot of buzz surrounding Tru Grits and decided to bring the family for dinner. The restaurant is located in the most unexpected place – the lobby of a local hotel! Normally, a hotel restaurant is ‘average,’ but that is not the case with this delicious dining destination. The cuisine is modern Asian fusion style that is 110% kid-friendly. Since it was our first time dining at Tru Grits, we decided to...

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Viva Los Tacos Event + Giveaway

Posted by on Jan 12, 2018 in Dining, Events, Giveaways | 1 comment

  Things are getting festive at the MainPlace Mall this month for Viva Los Tacos, a celebration of food, culture and art. Aiming to please, Viva Los Tacos will introduce some the best taco items, chefs and menus the Orange County, Long Beach and Los Angeles areas has to offer to 1,500 attendees. Viva Los Tacos will be held on Saturday, January 27, 2018, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (VIP admission at noon) at MainPlace Mall in Santa Ana. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample tacos from the following confirmed Orange County, Long Beach and Los Angeles restaurants / catering companies: Amor Y Tacos, Botana Express, Carnitas El Momo, Del Real Foods, Día de Los Puercos , El Pepino Loco, El Pollo Norteño, GoodFellas Taco Catering, Infinity Sauces, Kitchen Culture Catering, La Vegana Mexicana, My Taco Guy,...

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What to Expect at Bella Terra’s New Restaurant: The Public House by Evan’s Brewing Co.

Posted by on Jan 9, 2018 in Dining | 0 comments

 We visited The Public House by Evan’s Brewing Co. as a guest of the restaurant. Bella Terra in Huntington Beach recently gained another restaurant on its property that offers foodies and beer enthusiasts another place to dine and indulge. The Public House by Evans Brewing Co. is the brewery’s second tasting room and restaurant which opened approximately a year after its first location in downtown Fullerton. The venue itself gives off a casual vibe to patrons as they walk in. With multiple TV screens playing various shows and dim lighting to set the mood, the open space is complete with high top and low top tables, bar, and an outdoor, intimate patio space complete with fire pits and keg stools. On Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. through midnight, patrons enjoy live music performed by local musicians. The menu...

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It’s France vs. Italy at Bluewater Grill

Posted by on Jan 4, 2018 in Dining, Family | 0 comments

  Bluewater Grill is kicking off the 2018 Bluewater Second Tuesday Monthly Tasting Series with a January 9th showdown between Europe’s two famous fish stews paired with hand-selected wines from each country. Following the special events, seafoodies will be able to declare which centuries-old dish is best: French Bouillabaisse or Italian Cioppino. The “French Bouillabaisse vs. Italian Cioppino Tasting Event” – planned for Tuesday, Jan. 9 at Bluewater Grill restaurants in Newport Beach, Redondo Beach, Temecula and Phoenix; Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill in Coronado; and Bluewater Avalon on Catalina Island – are part of a month-long competition between the two European fish stews. The $34.95 tasting event features separate bowls of French Bouillabaisse, made with saffron and garlic, and a tomato-based Italian Cioppino, paired with a glass of French Pinot Blanc and an Italian red, respectively. For the first...

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Las Brisas: Ocean Breezes and Delicious Cuisine

Posted by on Jan 3, 2018 in Dining, Family | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue Being invited to Las Brisas is always a welcome treat for us. We love the new menu items that continue to take us by surprise, the views, of course, are stunning and the genuine interaction with their staff (feels like family) always continue to delight us; full of laughter, kindness and impeccable service. A new midday menu has been introduced; exploring fresh ideas and keeping true to the classic favorites. You’ll discover great choices for the light eater, the seafood lover and all things comforting to many of us. Our favorite starters hands down and we think our smiles give it away; Guacamole and the Classic Ceviche with a generous basket of chips. If you are a lover of either or both, you’ll be delighted by their flavors. Order the Laguna...

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2017 Orange County New Year’s Eve Dining Events

Posted by on Dec 29, 2017 in Dining, New Year's Eve | 0 comments

  Looking for somewhere to ring in the New Year? These are the hottest dining spots to ring in the New Year in Orange County. Ways & Means Oyster House 21022 Pacific Coast Hwy Huntington Beach, CA 92648 All aboard for Ways & Means Hawaiian New Year’s Bash! Throw on your cheesy Love Boat costume and get ready for a night of music & dancing! Guests can enjoy themed cocktails, costume contests, and giveaways all night long! Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails 2607 Main Street Irvine, CA 92614 Start the year off in a charitable way with Andrei’s special New Year’s Eve menu (100% of the net profits are donated to The Andrei Foundation). For $89 per person, with an optional $30 wine pairing, guests will enjoy a three-course prix fixe menu, fun party favors and complimentary champagne toast...

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Extreme Beer Festival

Posted by on Dec 20, 2017 in Dining, Events | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue “Extreme Beer: A beer that pushes the boundaries of brewing through creativity and innovation.” This definition, which was featured in the festival’s program book, truly describes what Extreme Beer Festival is all about – showcasing independent breweries who are experimenting with flavors, evolving beer styles, and shaping the future of the beer industry. We had the pleasure of attending Los Angeles’ inaugural Extreme Beer Festival at the California Market Center on Saturday, December 9. Between the afternoon and evening sessions, attendees collectively tasted more than 200 beers from over 60 breweries. Arriving to the festival’s location was fairly easy – thanks to the train and a prominent ridesharing app. After we shared an elevator ride with attendees to the 13th floor, we were surprised to see a fairly large yet intimate...

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Back Bay Bistro: Brunch with Santa

Posted by on Dec 7, 2017 in Christmas, Dining, Holiday | 0 comments

  Back Bay Bistro welcomes guests to celebrate the holidays with family, friends, great food and Mr. Claus himself at Brunch with Santa on Saturdays, December 16 and 23. The restaurant will be open on Christmas Eve as well with a special Sunday Brunch with Santa featuring fresh seafood and bottomless mimosas. Brunch seatings are available from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. with a visit from Santa from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. For those who wish to dine out on Christmas Eve, Back Bay Bistro is hosting a gourmet, six course Christmas Eve dinner highlighting seasonal sides, three main course options and festive desserts with seatings from 4 – 7:30 p.m. Christmas Eve Dinner Menu: First Course Winter Mixed Greens with candied pecans, cranberries and blueberries with raspberry vinaigrette Second Course Roasted Tomato Bisque with garlic croutons and...

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Back Bay Bistro: Stress-Free Holiday Meals

Posted by on Nov 29, 2017 in Dining, Holiday, Thanksgiving | 0 comments

 Sponsored Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year because it is the one holiday where I host all of our family and friends. This year was a little bit different for me because I had planned a major surgery to be the day before the holiday so that I would have my family home to help me with the recovery. Everyone in my family insisted that I cancel Thanksgiving, but after almost twenty years of hosting the holiday I looked for other options to make hosting easier, and that was when I learned about the Back Bay Bistro Thanksgiving to-go option. With Back Bay Bistro being the premier place for families to dine out on Thanksgiving, I knew that the to-go meal would not disappoint and that my family would be able to enjoy a delicious meal while...

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Creating Memories at Mimi’s Cafe

Posted by on Nov 28, 2017 in Dining | 0 comments

 I am a Mimi’s Ambassador Whenever my daughter has a day off of school, we spend the afternoon having lunch together. We love trying new places around Orange County and also dining at some of our favorites like Mimi’s Cafe. It had been awhile since we had dined at Mimi’s Cafe, and we always tend to dine at the restaurant during dinner, so we decided to stop in for lunch on Veterans Day. When we arrived, there was a line that went out the door. Everyone in Irvine had the same idea in mind of having lunch at Mimi’s Cafe that afternoon. The staff worked quickly to get every guest seated at a quick pace, and within minutes we were sipping on ice tea and looking over the lunch menu. While we were looking over the menu, our server...

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Food Network Star Pays Visit to OCSA’s Culinary Students

Posted by on Nov 28, 2017 in Dining, Education | 0 comments

  Laughter filled the room as celebrity Chef Alex Guarnaschelli impressed Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) students from The Mekjian Family Culinary Arts & Hospitality Conservatory with her expertise and down-to-earth personality during an exclusive OCSA master class held on Thursday, Nov. 9. Executive chef at Butter restaurant in New York City, Guarnaschelli is also a winner of the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and a judge on “Chopped” and “Chopped Junior.” Early in her career, she spent seven years cooking at restaurants in France, including Guy Savoy and La Butte Chaillot. OCSA students, parents and VIP guests excitedly filled the school’s Event Center for a private demonstration from Guarnaschelli about creating herb-infused olive oils to transform an ordinary meal into a gourmet dish. She cooked olive oil with thyme, curly-leaf parsley and rosemary, and used it...

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Mom’s Night Out Holiday Cooking Class

Posted by on Nov 27, 2017 in Christmas, Dining, Education, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

  Enjoy a night out with friends or a special date night where you can learn some cooking basics, drink wine, eat what you cook, and have a great time! The classes provide hands on, practical culinary experience under the guidance of Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA)’s renowned Chef Instructors in their world-class teaching kitchens. Monday, December 4th – Fresh Pasta Anyone? Monday, December 11th – A Night in the Mediterranean Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Cost: $60 per class Ages 21+ Cost of registration includes beer and wine! Registration is currently available...

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2017 Orange County Thanksgiving Dining Guide

Posted by on Nov 14, 2017 in Dining, Holiday, Thanksgiving | 0 comments

  Enjoy a Festive Thanksgiving Dining Where It’s Warm, Welcoming and Wonderful at one of these premiere Orange County Restaurants. Back Bay Bistro 1131 Back Bay Drive Newport Beach, CA 92660 Back Bay Bistro welcomes guests to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with a festive gourmet buffet featuring slow roasted turkey, holiday sides and more with the unforgettable waterfront atmosphere on Thursday, November 23 from 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. For those who wish to enjoy their Thanksgiving meal from the comfort of their own home, Back Bay Bistro is offering Thanksgiving To Go. Call ahead by November 22 to reserve your professionally prepared whole turkey and a selection of favorite holiday sides. NOV. 23 BUFFET MENU DETAILS: Fresh Salads Field Greens with Apples and Dried Cherries, Walnut Vinaigrette Grilled Asparagus Salad Spaghetti Squash Salad Beets with Goat Cheese Wild Mushroom Salad...

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Orange County Veterans Day Dining Deals

Posted by on Nov 7, 2017 in Dining | 0 comments

  Local restaurants are honoring the men and women who have served our country by offering complimentary meals and dining specials to active and retired military personnel this upcoming Veterans Day weekend. Thank you to all who have served our country, and have created a safe place for us to raise our children. The Blind Pig Kitchen + Bar 31431 Santa Margarita Pkwy Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688 On Saturday, Nov. 11, The Blind Pig will honor all veterans with buy one get one free draft beers all day. The Blind Pig Kitchen + Bar in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA serves up shareable gourmet American cuisine, by Executive Chef Karl Pfleider, with an expansive selection of craft beers and specialty craft cocktails, by Bar Manager Ryan Autry. The speakeasy-style bar and eatery’s menus change seasonally with eclectic and imaginative...

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A Taste of Hawaii at Ono Hawaiian BBQ

Posted by on Nov 6, 2017 in Dining | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue My family loves Hawaii and misses everything about it.  It’s been 350 days since we left and we can’t wait for our next trip back. To ease the pain and sadness, we try to bring a bit of Hawaii into our daily lives.  My daughter takes Hula lessons, my son is learning to play the ukulele, my husband wears Hawaiian print loungewear, and I buy Hawaiian scented candles.  What our family loves to do together, to take us back to our days in paradise, is eat. When Ono Hawaiian BBQ invited us in for a tasting, we immediately said ‘yes’ and drove to Buena Park for a little taste of Hawaii. Brightly lit with Hawaiian accents here and there, Ono Hawaiian BBQ took me back to North Shore.  My family ordered...

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Best Places for ‘Saturday’ Brunch in Orange County

Posted by on Oct 27, 2017 in Dining | 0 comments

  When we think about making plans to go out for brunch, most of us look into Sunday brunch. Unfortunately, everyone else has the same idea in mind, and the restaurants are often crowded, making it hard to have an enjoyable meal. A lot of restaurants are starting to recognize this and are hosting beautiful ‘Saturday’ brunches giving families more options to enjoy brunch during the weekend. These are our favorite places to have ‘Saturday’ brunch with your family in Orange County. Ways & Means Oyster House, Huntington Beach Enjoy the ocean breeze and bottomless real-fruit mimosas during Saturday brunch at Ways & Means Oyster House. Boasting a dog-friendly patio overlooking the Huntington Beach Pier, this seafood restaurant is the go-to spot for Saturday brunch and day drinking. From 10am -3pm, , guests can enjoy bottomless fruit mimosas and...

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5th Annual Champagne & Oyster “Sip & Shuck” Fundraiser

Posted by on Oct 25, 2017 in Dining, Events | 0 comments

  For the 5th consecutive year, The Deck on Laguna Beach and Driftwood Kitchen, together with The Bungalows at Pacific Edge Hotel, will host “Sip & Shuck” on Sunday, November 5 from 2-6 p.m. to benefit Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Orange County. The event will give guests the unique opportunity to experience a variety of hand-shucked oysters, champagne, sparkling wines and more from around the world, all while enjoying panoramic ocean views at the oceanfront restaurants. Executive Chef Rainer Schwarz and his team will also prepare delicious tastes from The Deck, Driftwood Kitchen, and Hendrix. The event will include beverages from Casamigos Tequila, Laguna Beach Beer Company, Nolet’s, Veuve Clicquot, Bianchi Winery, Kendall Jackson, Tito’s Vodka, Reyka Vodka, Piper Sonoma, Cote de Roses, Nicholas Freuillate, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Ketel One, Sailor Jerry, Lavazza Coffee, Volvic Water, and...

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Date Night: Le Dîner en Blanc in Orange County

Posted by on Oct 19, 2017 in Dining, Events, Featured | 2 comments

  From global phenomenon to highly sought-after “secret”, Le Dîner en Blanc will take over one of Orange County’s public spaces on November 2, 2017, for the first ever refine pop-up epicurean event. Over 100,000 foodies and cultural enthusiasts around the world have already embraced this unique event. As stated very eloquently by the New York Times: “There are picnics and there are Picnics”. This très chic picnic is equal parts mystery tour, pop-up feast and je ne sais quoi! Launched in Paris nearly 30 years ago by François Pasquier and a handful of friends, Le Dîner en Blanc de Paris now attracts over 10,000 people each year. What began as a “friends and word-of-mouth only” event has grown into an international epicurean sensation in nearly 80 cities in more than 30 countries. While the technology behind the event...

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Saturday Brunch at Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails

Posted by on Oct 16, 2017 in Dining | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue The reason that I love supporting Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails is that 100% of their net profits benefit The Andrei Foundation, which supports many charitable causes and organizations. How amazing is that? The owners opened the restaurant in honor of their son who was a great philanthropist and was passionate about how eating healthy can impact your health. Not only is your family giving back to our community by dining at Andrei’s, but you’re also going to savor some of the finest cuisine in Orange County. Recently, Andrei’s just introduced ‘Saturday’ brunch, and I went with my husband last weekend to taste some of their new dishes. I loved that there is finally an option of having brunch on Saturday, and we enjoyed the complimentary valet parking when arriving at...

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Caliente Southwest Grille

Posted by on Oct 3, 2017 in Dining, Family | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue Costa Mesa is a hot spot for great family dining spots, and we recently discovered a new favorite, Caliente Southwest Grille. The hidden gem has a family-friendly dining area, small outdoor dining area, and delicious food. When we went to Caliente last week for the first time, there were so many delicious menu choices that it was hard to decide. The menu features a fresh and healthier take on classic Mexican food dishes. We started our meal with some fresh guacamole and chips on their outdoor patio. We all shared our favorite parts of the day while sitting around a table together. I was the one in our family who had the hardest time deciding what to order. I was grateful for some fantastic recommendations that the staff member gave me...

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