Food, ramblings, and um.. ya food.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Pasta Pomodoro-Huntington Beach, CA

I am always looking for new places to eat around work. Some places are ok, a few are a hit, while others fall under the "now I know" category. Pasta Pomodoro have impressed me enough times for return trips. I know Pasta Pomodoro is a chain, originating from norther CA, but it's a shift from the lunch monotony. The Huntington Beach branch is located inside Bella Terra.

The side of the restaurant looks nicer than the front. They have outdoor dining area which is nice at lunch time.

This is their lunch menu. The prices should still be good. Subject to change, blah blah..

Once your order is in, they serve you sourdough and pesto in garlic and olive oil, to tide you over until your meal comes out. Nothing too outstanding about the bread but the pesto sauce is yummy.
With every lunch special, you get either a salad or soup. The salad is a mixed greens, tomatoes, carrots, gorgonzola and balsamic dressing. Once, I got a slightly whithered salad but that was the only time.

The soup is refreshing and light w/ veggies and buttered croutons. Either is a good choice w/ the lunch special.
Here is the meatball panini. They don't skimp on the cheese nor meatballs. Actually this is probably my favorite item off their lunch menu. I love the spicy (not really spicy) tomato dipping sauce. Sometimes I ask for extra pesto sauce so I can have two dipping sauces w/ the panini. The bread is buttered to a crunchy golden sear. And having the sauce on the side keeps the sammich crunchy down to the last bite. Also, the meatballs are not greasy as you would expect.

The chicken panini didn't impress me so much. I found the chicken a bit too dry and not as flavorful compared to the meatballs.
Next is the chicken parmigana w/ penne pasta, dressed up in red sauce. Pasta is cooked al dente. Chicken was actually moist, not like the chicken panini. Breading for the parmigana was a tad soggy for my tastes. But it's still a nice dish, (remember you do get a side salad/soup).
Besides the meatball panini, I liked this dish as well. It's their Healthy Fish. They use chunks of salmon, asparagus, basil, all rolled up in red sauce w/ their linguine.
Pasta Pomodoro
7811 Edinger Avenue, Suite 100
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
tel: (714) 897-8062

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Old Vine Cafe - Costa Mesa, CA

Located in the back corner of The Camp, is this quaint little cafe. If you are familiar with The Camp, then you should know that this isn't just an ordinary cafe. Everything made here is made fresh daily, everything, even the granola. All the ingredients used are also brought in locally (Community Supporty Agriculture).

(Nice rustic welded out sign)

(el store front)

Their menus are actually printed pages tacked onto easels. Something different, something new.

My buddies arrived and we settled on these delightful dishes. First was the Bruschetta. The Crostini was quite soft. So soft that I had to use a fork and knife or end up with a lap full of the toppings. The Buffalo Mozzarella was simply amazing. It was velvety soft and creamy. The Spanish Olives were a tad salty for me. (Honestly, I do not like olives all that much..) I think I could have gotten a tub of the Mozzarella and have been a happy little idiot for the rest of the night.

One of my buddies got the Artichoke Halves. The artichoke was still slightly crunchy and the proscuitto slightly salty and crispy. Its too bad I only had small bites of it.
My other buddy got the Ahi Crisps. These were actually my fav dish of the night. The wonton crisps were light and airy without being oily. The ahi was fresh and tender. he wasabi creme fresh and the sweet soy were nice compliments to this light dish.
I ordered the Lasagnette. The sheets of pasta were cooked perfectly, yielding to each bite yet still tender and firm. Cubes of organic zucchini was slightly bitter, offsetting the semi sweet tomato sauce nicely.

Quoting from their website: "The cafe gets its name from the ancient vines of the old world wines of western Europe. "Old vines" are synonymous with wines of a unique quality, expressing the earth in which they are grown through the flavor of the grapes."

Old Vine Cafe, old classics with fresh new spins. Definitely worth repeated trips. I will warn you tho, don't get mad if I won't share.

Old Vine Cafe
The Camp
2937 Bristol St. Suite A-102
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Curry House - Cypress, CA

Ah My Curry House
May your Curry never cease
I am an addict

I can honestly say that I have been going to Curry House for YEARS. I mean, since back in 1990. It started with the small restaurant in Little Tokyo, situated on the edge of Downtown LA. Then as they years went by, Curry House grew and branched out. And lucky for those in OC, the Cypress branch spurred. Ever since I found out of its location, it has been in my regular rotation of restaurants I regularly rely on for relished indulgences.

One of my favorite dishes at the moment is the Menchi Katsu Curry. It is served w/ a bed of rice and a side a crisp, fresh salad and a wedge of tomato, lightly drizzled w/ their signature Japanese dressing. And, of course, their famous Japanese style curry. Menchi Katsu is Curry House's unique creation: a hamburger patty, seasoned w/ spices and onions, then coated w/ probably panko or bread crumbs This is then deep fried until the outside is golden crunchy and the patty is throughly cooked on the inside. I love the crunchy and rough texture on the the outside, and the contrasting soft and tenderness on the inside.

The things I love about this place is their great service, high quality of food, and consistency in flavor. In all my years coming to Curry House and its various locations, the food remains incredibly the same.

One of the drinks I like to get is their iced green tea. Yes, we all had green tea in some form or another. But I like CH's version of the old classic tea. There is a subtle sweetness to the cool green concoction. Yet that does not distract from the boldness of the green tea. Iced green tea goes well with most of the dishes in CH. And an added bonus: you can get free refills.

Curry House: time tested, Polar approved. I know there are many other blogs about it, but I felt that my blog wasn't complete w/o it, for it being one of my favorite places to dine.

Branches located in Little Tokyo, West LA (Sawtelle), Gardena, Torrance, Puente Hills, Cypress, Irvine, and San Diego.

Curry House - Cypress, CA
10953 Meridian Dr., #P
Cypress, CA 90630
tel. (714) 527-6224
M- Th 11:30 am - 2:00 pm - LUNCH
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm - DINNER
Fri 11:30 am - 2:00 pm - LUNCH
5:00 pm - 9:30 pm - DINNER
Sat 12:00 pm - 9:30 pm - (open all day)
Sun 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm - (open all day)

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tokyo Deli, Huntington Beach, CA

I am always looking for new places to eat, especially around where I am working. And when I saw the construction for this place, I have to admit, I was a bit excited and a bit skeptical at the same time. I didn't want this place to be another generic hole-in-the-wall for me to pass by every week, and neglect it for its lack of quality food. So far, I have had 4 of their bowls as well as 2 of the plate dishes.

I forgotten to take my camera with me, on the two occasions I went there on the spur-of-the -moment lunch decisions.

Tokyo Deli does not disappoint. They have rather large bowls and decent portions. All the food is piping hot and comes packed. Most of their bowls have the meat, veggies, and rice that soaks in the teriyaki sauce, as you eventually get to them.

I managed to snag these 3 pics.

This is their sesame chicken bowl. They serve it with a side of veggies on top of the rice. Usually, some places use left-over chicken for a dish like sesame chicken. But the chicken was very moist and tender. The sauce they use is cross between Teriyaki and donkatsu sauce. It was actually tasty w/o being overly too sweet.

The Beef and Onion bowl. I was rather surprised that it wasn't just beef and onions. Infact, I wished that this bowl had no side veggies like their other bowl and just the beef and onions. The soy-beef broth seeped into the rice, making it flavorful as well.

They also have a wide variety of sushi here. I managed to grab their Superman Burrito. Its a full Roll, cut once. It has tuna, salmon, crabmeat, avocado, cucumber, all wrapped in soybean paper. It was good. Nothing to extra-ordinary about it. Fish was fresh so that's always a plus. Off their menu, I count 29 different type of rolls, all ranging from $6.99 to $8.99.

One dish I tried but do not have a pic is their Katsu Curry. On a bed of rice, they put a cutlet of chicken katsu and tossed in a generous helping of their curry. The katsu was tender and not overly battered. It also came w/ a cool side salad w/ their miso dressing. I am quite picky when it comes to curry. And I didn't like their curry all too much. But everything was good. They also carry a variety of drinks - the usual soda fountain drinks to Iced green tea, Calpico, and canned iced coffee.

Overall, it's a great place for a quick bite to eat, esp during the workdays (if you are close by like me).

Tokyo Deli
6255 Bolsa Avenue
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
M~Su 11:00AM to 8:30PM

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hang A Ri Noodle House - Garden Grove, CA

Posted under OC Food Blogs.. enjoy ^^


Monday, July 02, 2007

Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill - Cerritos, CA

I apologize for the hiatus. I got the case of the lazies for a bit. But back to the eats~! Ahhh BBQ. As many cultures are there in the world, there are just as many types of BBQ, if not more. Nestled in the outskirts of the the parking lot of the Cerritos Towne Center is a Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill.

(Yes, I took this from the website cuz I fergot to take one)

Me and my brother arrived around 1:30 PM on a Friday afternoon, wanting to try something new but relatively close by. I was surprised to find the place still packed with patrons, mostly business men and women. Also, we were in time to grab their lunch special, which comprised of a short list of 1/2 sandwiches, a WR Signature Side, and a side salad or soup, all for just $10.00. We both ordered a 1/2 BBQ Tri Tip Sandwich, side of their signature fries and a side soup of clam chowder (not shown).

But before any of the items came, we were given these awesome rolls right away: freshly baked, garlic butter rolls. Crispy on the outside, warm, tender, and soft on the inside. I polished off 4 of these before my food even came out.

(MMmmmm wait.. this is just for starters?)

We also ordered a 1/2 slab of their baby back ribs, sitting pretty on top of their Signature Peanut Slaw. These ribs were tender, fell right off the bone, and on the sweet-tangy side. One of the best baby backs I have had yet to date. The coleslaw was crisp and fresh. Not too heavy on the" slaw-dressing" neither. The peanuts also added a nice crunch to the slaw.

(I want my babybaby babyback baby..)

Then came the 1/2 BBQ Tri Tip Sandwich and this did not disappoint. In fact, it was very tender and moist. The mounds of tri tip they put on were roasted to prefection and slivered off onto the slightly toasted buns. Their signature fries were just ok. I didn't find anything spectacular about them to warrant the "signature". (The clam chowder not pictured was ok to me. Personally, I do not like the grittiness you get from not washing the clams throughly but it was ok.)

(More tri tip plz ^^;;)

Overall a great value for an awesome 1/2 sandwich and fix-ins. The service was great and waiters/waitresses were very attentive.

Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill - Cerritos, CA
12801 Towne Center Drive
Cerritos, CA

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Peers ^^

I have been give the privilege to join the fine bloggers of Orange County Food Blogs. ^^;;

My post about one of my fav ramen places have been posted and can be seen there.