Archive for September, 2011

The Scoop: It’s Truly A Coop At The Chicken Coop Restaurant.

September 29th, 2011 No comments

It’s a coop in the translation of a “friendly society” of neighbors, friends of friends, long time patrons, regulars and the newly enlightened — It’s The Chicken Coop Restaurant at the point of Old Newport and Westminster Avenue.  Dinner, lunch and/or drinks in the Bar is best.

The Prime Rib (top) was the special of this day.  The Chicken Coop prices are comparably good and most entrees are served with a Salad, Baked Potato, Vegetables and Roll.

Broasted Chicken is a specialty — It’s crispy, juicy and pressure cooked to eliminate grease.

They have an Oyster Bar Menu too that offers Oysters Rockefeller, Steamed Clams, Baked Mussels, Mexican Shrimp Cocktails, Shrimp Scampi, Calamari Tacos and much more.

Enlarge MENUS for a better view. 

Their Cadillac Margaritas and Bloody Mary’s are simply marvelous — Fly me to the Coop.

OC Wine Week To Be Followed By OC Beer Week: Dine Out Now.

September 28th, 2011 No comments

It’s happening NOW folks… OC Wine Week.  It means several of the best restaurants in Orange County are offering prix fixe menus with course wine pairings — That’s FOOD and WINE for one fair price.  It’s a great time to dine out.  And for FOOD and BEER pairings OC Beer Week starts October 2nd, the day after OC Wine Week ends.  Get out there and toast!

Recouping For The New Zoo Chicken Coop Review.

September 28th, 2011 No comments

Old Newport Boulevard could tell some tales, from Sid’s on down to the Chicken Coop and extending both directions.  Though Sid’s is no mas, we plan to enjoy the fair prices, neighborhood service, specials and specialties, complete meals, and good stiff drinks at the Chicken Coop, over and over again.  More to come soon — Read what Yelpers are sayin’ now.

Tranquility Tuesday, Inspired By Wordless Wednesday And For Rest.

September 27th, 2011 No comments

Tranquility Tuesday leaves room for a few words and perhaps a picnic on a Newport Bluff.

Categories: Food Pictures & More

Judging The Los Angeles Luxury Chocolate Salon: Preliminary Report.

September 26th, 2011 No comments

Interestingly the Tequila Alquimia may be our favorite part of the LA Luxury Chocolate Salon, just kidding, sorta.  The Chocolates were good too when the lines went down, and the Tequila was needed to tolerate the lines.  The Tequila was smoooooth and we enjoyed the nice family who made and generously poured it.  As for the Chocolates, I just voted for the best.

As part of the Salon Awards Tasting Panel, I got to taste all and vote for my favorites.  The official results will soon be posted, along with additional observations about the event.

Frolicking And Fishing In The Fall Season At Crystal Cove.

September 25th, 2011 No comments

Always ready for the catch of the day (happening behind me) and frolicking on a Southern California beach, where it’s almost Summer all year long.  Officially though, it’s Happy Fall to all and just about time for warm, cozy food and a sweater.  Hearty Soups, Roasts and Chilis are on the agenda after the Watermelon is gone, and perhaps an Oyster Stew after the half shell.

The Oysters are from Gladstones in Malibu and the above was taken near The Beachcomber.

Sharks, Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs And Dinosaurs At The LA Fair, Oh My.

September 24th, 2011 2 comments

Mako Shark, Thresher Shark or Los Angeles County Fair Shark?  They do tricks.  Do you bite?

Opted for a Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog and many more bites.

Smokin’ Meats.

BBQ and Beer.

Sizing up the LA Culinary Arts Competition to see how it compares to the OC.

This Cake is correct and dedicated to all my long time friends — Blessed yes I am.

More Culinary Arts Competition Results — Cakes and Ribbons.

Table Setting Competition Results — I love the Covered Wagon idea.

Moving Dinosaurs — I wonder if they were good BBQ’d by the cavemen.

And Pre-Pulled Pork, Bacon, Carnitas, Chops, Rinds, you get the picture.

Remember all relates to FOOD here, and MILK, one of the best drinks in the world.

Learn how it’s made at the LA Fair aka Pomona Fair.

And had to find the Chuckwagon, the best BBQ Brisket at the OC Fair.

Terri’s Berries is at the LA Fair too, along with much, much, much more — Lots to do and EAT.

Ready For The Awards Tasting Panel At The LA Luxury Chocolate Salon.

September 23rd, 2011 No comments

Though they taste good, the pictured Chocolates won’t be featured at the Los Angeles Luxury Chocolate Salon this Sunday, as they’re way too basic — It’s for that reason I’m most excited to be on the Salon Awards Tasting Panel.  I want to try the unique, daring and unusual.

To simplify, I get to eat and drink all the Chocolate and Wine I want, then vote for the ones I like best.  Cool or what!?!  I’m ready to pick up the Judges Panel Ticket and get tasting. 🙂

Kids In The Kitchen: Chef Lexi And Pillsbury’s Funfetti Whoopie Pies.

September 22nd, 2011 1 comment

Chef Lexi of Kids in the Kitchen loves the Funfetti Mix Kits by Pillsbury and recently made their Whoopie Pies for a Pool Party.  They were a hit  — Everyone was excited to see and eat them.  They are much better than the Whoopie Cushions she usually brings to a party.  Thanks Lex.

Katella Deli: A Favorite For Years And Years And Years.

September 21st, 2011 No comments

Katella Deli, Bakery and Restaurant (established in 1964) has been a favorite for a long time, since the South Street Deli days, if you recall it in Los Cerritos Center (aka Cerritos Mall).

Though only the Bakery is captured here, Katella Deli is a quintessential Jewish Deli.

Impressive Bakery too, as shown here.

Wouldn’t it be fun to take a bite out of each!?

They also have a full Bar, a counter, booths and patio, generous portions, excellent Meats, good Cucumber Dressing, fresh Bread, a nice atmosphere, etc.  I’m glad they’re still around.

Cookies and Cinnamon Sugar Bagel Chips are packed to go.

And last, but should be first, I LOVE their Pickles. 🙂

Katella Deli is down the street from the Los Alamitos Race Track, if of interest.

Fancy You Say Schmancy Steakhouse Burger: Take Ten.

September 20th, 2011 No comments

Fancy Smancy or Schmancy who cares, it’s not really a word anyway — This story is most likely played, but it’s still September so the floor is mine.  Available this month only is the Fancy Smancy Steakhouse Burger at Hof’s Hut.  Have you read about it yet?  You can here.

This is our first time purchasing it at the restaurant after having it at the photo shoot.

It was cool to see my name on the menus and table tents as Winner of the Burger Contest.

It’s a splendid tasting Burger too — Hof’s Hut does a great job with it.

Try it before September 30th.

The Pilsner Room: A Long Time Great Place For Happy Hour.

September 18th, 2011 No comments

McCormick & Schmick’s Pilsner Room still serves above average Happy Hour Food — They’ve offered an ever changing menu of high quality appetizers at great prices for many years.

This day we had the King Crab Legs with a Tomato Chili Gastrique.

Current MENU and prices above.

1/2 lb. Cheeseburger with French Fries – A long time staple there that’s always good.

Risotto Balls — Enlarge menu for more description on all.

Carrot Chipotle Wings.

Dynamite Mussels, a favorite — Photo doesn’t do ’em justice.

Legume Empanadas.

Marinated Olives — Since prices are so good you can’t pack anything to go, so eat up.

California Roll.


Its interior is hipper looking these days, mixed in with appreciated old school.

View of Pilsner Room from above.

There’s an outdoor patio too. 

Entrance to McCormick & Schmick’s.

A peek inside M & S’s.

Flight of Beer — We took a couple flights.

Can’t we skip this part? 😉

Peace out — Thanks for the GC Sarnoff from my other life.

Zimzala, A Perfect Segue To Segway Tours In Huntington Beach.

September 17th, 2011 No comments

A Segway Tour of Huntington Beach purchased through Groupon ended up better than expected — The price was right, the process was seamless and riding a Segway is a blast, though I admit to being a little scared at first.  Now I wanna be a Mall Cop.  Is that joke over played in Segway circles?  Zimzala Restaurant & Bar is the post segue in that it’s FOOD related, we’ve enjoyed many great meals there (some pictured, others are here), Zimzala is also BUDS with GW Tours and HB Segway Tours offers a Segway/Zimzala Combo Tour.

We got to ride the Segways on hard and soft sand, along streets near downtown HB, on the beach path, over grassy hills, and up and down ramp ways — A fun variety of terrains.

Zimzala Salmon above, zigzagging on a Segway in HB below.

A bonus surprise of the day was running into Jack, a former co-worker, friend whom I haven’t seen in 20+ years — He happens to be Mr. HB Segway now.  Super cool.  He’s still a funny guy and provides a well run, entertaining tour experience that starts at 120 PCH in HB.

I went on the Segway Tour at the suggestion of Bonnie Joy Designs, friend and OC Interior Designer, who called out the homophone / heterograph, “segue” of the event.  Comprende?  If not look it up, as I just learned how to spell segue and ride a Segway, though ready again.

Segs on the Beach — Contact Jack and them for all the details.

View from Zimzala.

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatball Marinara This Month At Subway.

September 16th, 2011 No comments

Four Meatballs placed in the middle of the Sub, hhmmmm.  A curious thing.  I thought the Meatballs would’ve been lined up across the Bread — Makes sense right!?  A Meatball in every bite.  Am I too particular?  One theory offered regarding the Meatball’s placement is… Subway doesn’t want them falling out of the Bread when going through the toaster oven.  Could be.  Or the guy making it just didn’t care.  Anyway, it’s an okay Sandwich for $2.  Had to get it once (with Pickles hiding story emphasis) and may need to get it twice just to see how it’s made.

Long Beach Post Article Announcing Winners of Burger Contest.

September 15th, 2011 No comments

I once lived in the LBC, Belmont Shore to be exact, walking distance from a Hof’s Hut Restaurant & Bakery, now a Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, a new favorite, and I worked across the street from the view above.  Will always have a special place for Long Beach, near most of the remaining Hof’s.  Read about the Burger Contest — Long Beach Post quotes me

HH’s 60th Anniversary promotions — Grateful the FSSB Won!

Unauthorized (Nevertheless Appreciated) Stolen Table Tent Insert.

September 15th, 2011 No comments


I didn’t order the hit on table tent inserts at Hof’s Hut, but appreciate having one with my name on it.  For the record, my parent’s friends actually asked if they could take it.  I should’ve photographed it instead of scanned it — It’s hard to read, despite its wannabe size progression.  Only 15 more days to get the Fancy Smancy Steakhouse Burger at Hof’s Hut.  Still celebrating

Should I Trust The Gorton’s Fisherman? In Some Cases, Yes.

September 14th, 2011 No comments

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and taste of Gorton’s Grilled Tilapia.

It’s not something I usually eat, but it was on special and cooked up fast.  I had yet to prepare pre-cooked frozen Fish in the microwave.  After seeing and eating Gorton’s Signature Grilled Tilapia, I wanted to do it again.  The Tilapia was all white and flakey, mandatory to me.  It really doesn’t have that much of a grilled flavor, but it’s more than all right for a quick bite.

It looked like a frozen block out of the freezer and turned into an enjoyable lunch.

Happy with the results, I tried Gorton’s Grilled Fillets Garlic Butter, but they didn’t measure up.

It appeared to be made of Fish pieces pressed together and had way too many dark strains running throughout — Opposite of the Grilled Tilapia, it was sadly inedible.  No bueno.

What’s up Gorton?  I’m told to trust you — Quality consistency is important.  Who likes a hodge podge of this kind of dark meat?  Not I, but still glad you’re around.  It’s 50/50 for now.

We Say… Put It On The Menu Rubios: The Farmer’s Market Fish Taco.

September 12th, 2011 No comments

We recently tested the Farmer’s Market Fish Taco currently available at a few Rubio’s.

Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill will officially be offering the Farmer’s Market Fish Taco in October, but right now it’s being tested at select restaurants in Orange County.  I tried it and love it.

I don’t know the ins-and-outs of its future, but will surely seek it out in October.  After that, we vote Rubios put it on the menu.  It’s fresh tasting with Roasted Corn, Avocado and hand battered Fish, and especially good on a Flour Tortilla.  Keep an eye out for its official debut.

09/14/11 Update:  Corrected the name to ‘Farmer’s Market Fish Taco‘ after having it again and learning I didn’t provide its full accurate name.  My bad.  It’s still an excellent Taco.

What Happens When You Eat Grilled Asparagus?

September 11th, 2011 No comments

What happens when you eat Grilled Asparagus?  The same thing that happens when you eat any Asparagus.  The answer is here.  Grilled Asparagus is so simple yet dang good!  The pictured were tossed with Italian Dressing and grilled about 5 minutes — Toss and turn ’em until nicely charred, then plate and eat.  Or how about Bacon Wrapped Asparagus?

It’s Been Too Hot: A Round Of Strawberry Lemonade For All.

September 10th, 2011 No comments

Ours looks better than it tastes, but it was refreshing — We’re searching for a better recipe.

Los Angeles Luxury Chocolate Salon At The Pasadena Center Ballroom.

September 8th, 2011 No comments

I’m excited to be a part of The Official Chocolate Salon Awards Tasting Panel at the Los Angeles Luxury Chocolate Salon taking place September 25, 2011 at the Pasadena Center Ballroom.  I get to EAT ALL THE CHOCOLATE I WANT and vote for my favorites — Now that’s a good time!  And YOU CAN TOO if you buy a ticket.  They’re reasonably priced.  The event is a must for Local Chocolate Lovers.  Discover, savor and taste products from some of the Finest Chocolatiers and Wineries in Southern California.  Show highlights include Premium Chocolate Tasting, Artisan Chocolate Demonstrations, Chef and Author Discussions, and Wine and Beverage Tasting.  All is being presented by Taste TV.  Hope to see you there.

The Original Fish Company: Fine Dining And Fresh Fish Market.

September 7th, 2011 No comments

Happy 30th The Original Fish Company — It’s been one of my favorite restaurants for the majority of the thirty, though it’s been too many years since I’ve dined there.  Once upon a time I lived in Los Alamitos and went there all the time.  Now it’s just an occasional luxury and it was awesome to get back.  We shared an amazing meal of classic appetizers starting with the Crab Trio with chilled Dungeness, Jumbo Lump and King Crab.  I want all of the same.

Steamers with 1/2 Clams and 1/2 Mussels — The “Original” Broth is the best.

Finally satisfied a craving for Oysters Rockefeller, not often seen on menus.

The Smoked King Salmon was moist and flavorful — I used to get the Smoked Albacore a lot.

And must get their Award Winning Clam Chowder every visit.

We built a Tower of Shell — The Fish Company is still remarkable.  For fun we used the Clam Shells as mini cups to drink the Steamer Broth.  Cheers!  This night we had the nicest Server, Curtis (pictured below).  Ask for him.  I’m already standing by to go back.  Got that Jack?

Calling Out For Better Food At Del Mar Race Track. Next Year Perhaps?

September 6th, 2011 No comments

The season ends tomorrow at Del Mar Race Track.  Since it’s such a beautiful track and I love the Horse Races, I try to go every year, but man their food seems to suck.  What’s up with that?  It certainly doesn’t match the quality of the view, facilities and entertainment.

On a double decker bus approaching Del Mar, a Race Track with an ocean view.

We liked the Bob’s Card guy the best (least obnoxious), but still didn’t buy his picks.

Probably should’ve bought Bob’s Card, since I didn’t win a dime this day — Oh well.

Chef Lexi of Kids in the Kitchen peeking around a New Castle display.

View from our seats before it got crowded.

And now on to the crappy food… Sorry to say it, but we didn’t like any of the fast choices.

The Oggi’s Pizza was the best, but a little too bready.

We also had a bad Hot Dog, bad French Fries and bad Tacos, not pictured.

I had #6 (a long shot) to Place as it was approaching the finish line, but it fell back to 5th. 🙁

Took the Amtrak down to Solana Beach and then jumped on a double decker bus to Del Mar Race Track.  Look for Cathleen (pictured above) on the train.  She’s a crack up and makes a good Bloody Mary.  And hopefully Del Mar will put a little more effort into serving better food next year.  Please.  This is an official request to do so.