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Endless Food & Fun In Huntington Beach – Who Wouldn’t Want It.

January 22nd, 2011 4 comments

 

Due to scheduling, I unfortunately missed this event at Endless Food & Fun in Huntington Beach.  It seems like my kind of place too — A giant one-stop destination for endless FOOD, fun and entertainment that includes a Buffet, Restaurant, Bars, an Arcade, Lazer Tag, and so much more.  The possibilities are seriously endless.  Our Guest Blogger, Bonnie was recently invited there and reports about it below.  I can’t wait to go.

 

 

Endless Food and Fun lives up to its name! There’s a brand new entertainment complex in Huntington Beach, Endless Food and Fun, and on Wednesday night they sponsored a private, complimentary event specifically for the local hospitality industry. Due to my connection with the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum, which donated numerous items to one of EFF’s themed dining rooms, I scored an invitation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In fact, I was personally treated to a VIP tour of all 47,000 square feet of this awesome complex.  Our first stop was their upscale restaurant, Delicioso! where parents can dine in comfort and style while the kids play nearby. The attention to detail was very much appreciated by the interior designer in me – they even thought to soundproof the room.

 

 

The next stop was the 200 foot long Las Vegas–style buffet, which serves fresh food that changes every night.  They even have a manned pasta “station” where you can personalize the dish any way you want. This night I opted to do just that — I asked the Chef to combine two different sauces, two kinds of cheese, asparagus, garlic and linguine, and my custom creation turned out quite tasty.

 

 

 

 

I dined with friends from the Museum in the Surf’s Up themed dining room, which is loaded with vintage surfboards and other memorabilia that was donated by the Museum. It even includes an exhibit board that I personally put together for the Museum’s Surfin’ Exhibit back in 2006. Plus, I got to meet two Surf legends, “Local Hero” inductee David Nuuhiwa and first ASP World Pro Champion Peter “PT” Townend.

 

 

After dinner, I continued on my personal tour with owner and operator Andrew, who showed me the other three themed dining rooms, the arcade, and the 7 private party rooms, which are used not only for parties, but for tutoring children after school as well. It’s a true multi-purpose facility.

 

 

Finally, we came to the pride and joy of EFF, which is their laser tag arena. The room is chilled to 64 degrees on a constant basis and it may be the most innovative laser tag arena in the nation. Though I did not partake in the laser challenge this night, it looks like a lot of fun.

 

 

Endless Food & Fun has two bars that serve an excellent selection of beer and wine. One bar is in Delicioso! which is only open on Friday and Saturday nights. I plan to take up their offer of dinner there in the near future, as I really had a great time and can’t wait to go back - Thanks Keeli!

 

 

Thanks Bonnie — I can’t wait to go to Endless Food & Fun.  Who wouldn’t want that?

Skatin’ The LBC Beach Path For A Patio Lunch In Shoreline Village.

July 11th, 2010 No comments

Chips and Tableside Guacamole Fresco at Tequila Jack’s Beach House Cantina in Shoreline Village, Long Beach (the LBC) — After skating from the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool (near Belmont Veteran’s Memorial Pier) on the beach path to Shoreline Village, we relaxed with drinks, appetizers and Tacos at TJ’s.

We’ve skated, biked and walked the beach path in Long Beach hundreds of times before — It’s a particularly good path for skaters, since it’s extra wide and smooth compared to other local beach paths.  It’s generally less crowded and offers great views too.

Wanting more, we limited ourselves to one Hand Shaken Cadillac Margarita each, since we were already contemplating a ride on the Passport as an easier trip back to our starting point (haha), but we skated back — And no SUI or SWI for us!  Pictured is the Grilled Vegetable Taco and not pictured is the rest of the day, since the camera battery died after a long night.  We need a back-up for all the action.

It was a good day for a patio lunch – Tequila Jack’s always seems willing to accommodate.

Not Just A Restaurant In Newport Beach: It’s “A Restaurant” In NB.

May 30th, 2010 1 comment

Have you been to A Restaurant in Newport Beach?  It occupies The Arches original location.  We’re sorry to report that we don’t care for the name “A Restaurant” at all, but happily the menu, atmosphere and Happy Hour prices make up for it.  The bar lighting is irresistible too, especially during Happy Hour which starts earlier than most in town (3:00 – 7:00pm).  During that time ALL sophisticated appetizers and drinks are half off.  If trying to save, it’s the best time to treat yourself to A Restaurant food, since it’s a little on the pricey side.

Posted from top to bottom — We tried the Steak Tartar, which is rarely seen on menus these days.  We were excited by its offering, given that it’s been years since we had it.  And we shared the Chicken Liver Terrine.  We liked the creamy Pate, but unfortunately didn’t care for the Tartar, which was chopped too chunky and had too much Worcestershire mixed in.

We loved the Burger with Caramelized Onions, Blue Cheese, Bacon and Arugula that comes with French Fries, and the Flatbread with 3 Cheeses and Bacon is quite rich, but good tasting too.  It’s best to share these appetizers amongst as many as possible.

A Restaurant has A Market next door, which sells freshly baked goods, Wines, Cheeses, Sandwiches, Salads, pre-packaged gourmet foods and merchandise and more.  We couldn’t stop staring at the amazing Cinnamon Rolls.  Both A+ locations are worth frequenting.  Our recommendation is A Market for breakfast and A Restaurant for Happy Hour.

Direct to A Restaurant – They have one of the cutest websites we’ve seen.

We’ve Fallen In Love With SideDoor In CDM – Look For The Red Key.

April 10th, 2010 2 comments

SideDoor Entrance

Have you been to SideDoor yet?  It’s an English-style Gastropub in Corona Del Mar off Poppy and PCH.  You may not know about SideDoor until now, but if local you’re surely aware of the Five Crowns Restaurant.  It’s been in CDM for over 40 years.  Last year Five Crowns carved out a space to create SideDoor, which officially opened in November 2009.  It’s absolutely brilliant!  Just look for the red key hanging on the outside to find SideDoor.

Five Crowns Restaurant

We loved everything about this place and plan to go back many times.  It’s comfortable and stylish, serves amazing food, fun drink options and the service is well above average.  You’ll certainly have questions about the Cheese and Charcuterie and the servers will be able to answer them — We especially recommend Ben who is quite knowledgeable and cute.

Cheese & Charcuterie at SideDoor

In addition to the Cheese (Cow, Sheep, Goat & Bleu) and Charcuterie (Proscuitto, Salame & Bresaola) options, SideDoor’s Menu is impressive.  Our goal is to try everything.

Flight of Draught BeersCountry Duck PateMac'n CheeseChicken Pot Pie

We started with a Flight of Draught Beer — Favorite of all (this visit) was the Allagash Curieaux.  And we tried the Country Duck Pate, StilCheddar Mac’n Cheese and Fish’n Chips.  Also pictured is our neighbor’s Chicken Pot Pie.  We didn’t have it, but did try their Smokey Blue Cheese Potato Chips (not pictured) and really liked ‘em.  Our pub table was a large shared one with nice, fun people, which added to the experience.

Fish'n Chips

The Fish’n Chips are excellent, which is important for an English-style Gastropub.  Having been to England three times and dined in several authentic English Pubs, we think SideDoor holds up in many ways — We appreciate its lighting, colors, ambiance, feel, comfort and decor.

GimmeMores Dessert

Pictured directly above is the GimmeMores, SideDoor’s version of S’Mores.  They’re assembled with homemade Marshmallows, rustic Bread and pressed Chocolate, similar to a Panini.  They’re different and surprisingly good.

SideDoor InsidePreparing the Cheese & CharcuterieSide Door Sampler (5 Choices)Inside Side Door

SideDoor is long and somewhat narrow inside with several cozy dining spots – Tall tables, cubby holes next to fireplaces, couch benches, large chairs, or belly up at the bar.  It’s an extraordinary place I’d like to frequent and look forward to going back soon.  It’s bloody awesome!

Lycheetini At 8 Steers Is A Favorite Martini In Orange County.

February 7th, 2010 No comments

Lycheetini at 8 Steers

Damn this Lycheetini is good!  It’s at 8 Steers Fish & Steakhouse Restaurant in Costa Mesa.  It’s a Martini made with Lychee Fruit.  Before walking over to The Art Institute of California (Orange County) for a fundraising event, we had the best Martinis and $2 Kobe Sliders during Happy Hour.  What a deal.  The Kobe Sliders are fabulous with Horseradish Mayo and Dill Pickles.  I already want to go back for the same – Both are too tasty to switch up8 Steers serves terrific food and drinks, so get in there.  They need more business and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t have it.

Do These Hangover Remedies Actually Work? We Post Them Just In case.

December 29th, 2009 1 comment

FernetI’m not sure if the following hangover remedies actually work, but thought the information was interesting and may be helpful to some.  Hopefully I won’t need ‘em this year, but it’s handy just in case.

COFFEE:  While Coffee does NOT help sober you up, it can provide some relief for that pounding headache.

RAW EGGS:  Salvation for hangover sufferers could lie in downing raw Eggs as they contain a chemical ingredient called N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC).  It is thought that NAC boosts the body’s ability to mop up destructive chemicals called free radicals, which build up in the liver as enzymes break down alcohol.  Free radicals are normally destroyed by a naturally occurring enzyme called glutathione, but reserves can be low after periods of heavy drinking.  
 
BURIED UP TO YOUR NECK IN SAND:  In Ireland, it’s said that the cure for a hangover is to bury the ailing person up to the neck in moist river sand.  I don’t think I’ll be doing this.
 
PICKLE JUICE:  In Poland, drinking Pickle Juice is a common remedy.
 
Now why Fernet-Branca?  Fernet (pictured) is a type of spirit known as an Amaro – Italian for ‘bitter’.  One theory is that the bitterness is a cure for the body to begin producing saliva and digestive juices.  Herbalists say that it’s the combination of herbs found in Fernet that make it the ideal cure.  More than 40 barks, roots, herbs, fungi and spices go into Fernet.  These include Myrrh, Orris Root, Saffron and Cinchona Bark.  In fact, when the original formula was conceived in 1845, it was born as a medicine.  Decades later, Fernet is recognized as being healthful.  Give it a try, if necessary.

What’s Up With Tapas Restaurant In Newport Beach?

December 22nd, 2009 No comments

Lamb

We finally visited Tapas Restaurant Night Club in Newport Beach near the John Wayne Airport — It’s only been open about 16 years.  Under the Hot and Cold Tapas Menu, we tried the Lamb Chops Madrilenas, Cheese Fundido and Artichoke Toasts

Fundido

We prefer to emphasize the positive on Nibbles of Tidbits, but we’re also truthful in our reports.  I deferred the Tapas review to my dinner guest, who wants to remain anonymous (she’s infamous, ha).  She wrote the following:

After wondering for years about Tapas Restaurant Night Club in Newport Beach, we finally got the chance to visit this venerable institution, which has been tucked away in a strip mall for the last 16 years. The dictionary definition of Tapas is “small snacks that are often served as an appetizer along with alcoholic drinks, originally from Spain” — Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, after our visit tonight our conclusion is that this concept is all tapped out.

First, the restaurant itself has lost whatever appeal it used to have on a visceral level — it is now dirty, dusty and damaged. Second, the food sounds good on the menu but it is just plain BLAH. For example, the Artichoke Hearts tasted like they came straight out of a can (they even had that can smell to them). The bread was stale and tasteless and the Cheese “Fundido” — which was baked Manchego and Goat Cheese with Spanish Chorizo – sounded divine but was barely edible (congealed). Ditto with regard to the bland Potato (Bomba). The only good Tapas we tasted was the Lamb Chops.

Equally tasteless was the décor, with broken tiles lining the floors everywhere and Spanish outfits hanging from the walls that were literally covered in dust. Finally, we were served on plates that did not even remotely match! In sum, don’t bother with Tapas as they are all tapped out. 

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Tapas Restaurant Night Club’s sustainability must be through the night club, bar and entertainment.  We wish all restaurants well, thus hope they take more pride in their Tapas (for its namesake and for Pete’s sake), and why not tidy things up a bit?!

Pomegranate Drink Taste Test Comparison Party.

November 3rd, 2009 1 comment

Pom 009

We were going to run this report on Examiner.com for National Liqueur Month (October), but didn’t have the necessary “Liqueur” to qualify for that category.  And since it’s now National Pomegranate Month (November) and I received POM Wonderful’s New Pomegranate Nectarine and Pomegranate Kiwi the very same day we planned this drink comparison, we substituted it in place of the Liqueur.

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We set out to make 6 different Pomegranate Drinks and rate them.  The numbered rating cards are from one of my favorite boardgames, iMAgiNiff.  They come in handy for taste test comparison parties like this.  We got all our recipes from the PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur site, but used POM Wonderful’s Juice in place of the Liqueur.  We’ll post about the PAMA Liqueur later this month.  Overall, we found the recipes very adaptable and most tasted fantastic.

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For this taste test, we made a Margarita and unblended Daiquiri, respectively posted above, and Pomegranate Juice with Club Soda, a Blushing Lady, a Pomegranate Juice Lemon Drop and a Martini, respectively shown below.  POM’s Juice substituted well for all — We particularly favored the Pomegranate Nectarine Juice, which is refreshing and flavorful on its own.

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And since Pomegranate Juice is so good for you, we felt we received a healthier buzz, if you will. :)

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We garnished the drinks with a variation of Lemon wedges and twists, Lime slices and Pomegranate Seeds (fabulously in season), then determined our favorites.  Our number one cards were awarded to the Margarita and Martini– Both tasted as if they were prepared by a professional mixologist and thus made us very happy.

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We found the Pomegranate Juice and Club Soda a refreshing combination for any day, since it was the only drink without alcohol.  We’d probably pass on the Blushing Lady next time, but give the Pomegranate Lemon Drop an honorable mention.  Overall, we think PAMA’s recipes are good and look forward to trying their Liqueur.  And we always appreciate having POM Wonderful’s Juice — It’s the best 100% Pomegranate Juice.

Best Happy Hour In Orange County Is At Bayside.

September 11th, 2009 1 comment

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So far we’ve determined that Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach has the Best Happy Hour in Orange County.  Their Tapas Menu is fabulous.  This visit we had the Crab Cake with Herb Cabbage Slaw and Chipotle Aioli (above) and  Fusilli Carbonara with Bacon and Parmesan (below).

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And the Sliced Beef Sirloin with Roquefort Blue Cheese Leek Fondue (below) is divine.  As like our last visit, the Tapas were top quality and excellent tasting.  The Bayside Tapas Menu is served daily from 5 to 9PM in the Lounge and on the Terrace.  Each item is only $5.95 and unique Martinis and select glasses of Wine are available for $6.

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Most Happy Hours end at 7PM — We appreciate that Bayside’s Tapas Happy Hour lasts until 9PM.  We’re still searching for a restaurant that can top their selections, service, prices and hours.  If so, we’ll surely report about it.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar Deals.

September 3rd, 2009 No comments
flemings

During the month of September, Fleming’s Steakhouse & Wine Bar is offering a few great deals.  Be sure to stop in each Wednesday for a complimentary tasting of their Prime Burger Bar Menu.  They serve 5 Gourmet Burgers that you’ll get to try for FREE — Every Wednesday in September, between 5 – 7 PM, they’ll be serving a different mini version of each Burger.

flemings

And if you can’t make it there on a Wednesday, another September deal is the 5 for $6 until 7 – Translated, they’re dishing up 5 Appetizers, 5 Wines & 5 Cocktails for $6 (each) until 7 PM.  All menu items are usually twice the price.  Pictured here, we had the Tenderloin Carpaccio with Creole Mustard Sauce (excellent) and a Fleming’s Prime Burger with Bacon, Cheese and Onion Rings, along with a tasty Glass of Pinot Noir and a Kettle One Martini.  Our total bill was only $26.  This deal is available 7 nights a week throughout the entire month of September.

Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub & Restaurant – The Jig.

May 3rd, 2009 1 comment

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This Durty Nelly’s is an Irish Pub in Costa Mesa, unrelated to the other Durty Nelly’s at the top of the Google results — They’re in Mallorca, The Village of Bunratty Co Clare, Nova Scotia and Perth City, far away from this one – I’ll get around to those someday. :)

Until in Spain, Ireland, Canada and Australia respectively, we visited the Durty Nelly’s in California — They advertise a lot in The Clipper Magazine and I drive by it often.  I had to get the place out of my system — It sounds fun and its ads promote Live Music, Karaoke, Happy Hour, and 2 for 1 Lunch and Dinner. 

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I like all that, but we only caught the Happy Hour, which has good prices.  It appears that Durty Nelly’s is pretty much a bar with bar food, but in fairness they’ve got a large pub menu and I’m not aware of their specialties.  We shared the Fried Macaroni & Cheese Bites, a Hamburger & Fries and an Artichoke. 

The service was good, but overall I expected a little more from the place — I’m not sure why.  I was also hoping for a dart board, shuffle board, pool table, or games of some sort, but didn’t see any.  The appeal for me next time would be the Live Music, or a stiff Cadillac while watching people sing Karaoke, HA.

See what many others have to say about Durty Nelly’s on YELP:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/durty-nellys-costa-mesa

Bar Food At The Harp Inn, An Irish Pub in So Cal.

October 22nd, 2008 1 comment

It’s been open for twenty years, but we just recently stopped in for the first time.  A friend called to get together – Her criteria was that she wanted to go to a place where she can eat, drink and smoke on an outdoor patio.  I told her there’s not too many places left for all that, but then called The Harp Inn to learn they’re still one of them.  She got what she wanted. 

And the food wasn’t bad either.  The Salads were fresh, the Jalapeno Poppers were served with Celery and Carrots (a healthy bonus), and the service was friendly.

The Harp Inn has live music most Thursdays through Sunday.  It starts at 9:30p.m., unless otherwise specified.  They also offer several television screens for sports enthusiasts.  It’s quaint and casual.  We’d go back again for the same and to perhaps catch one of the bands.

Related Link:

http://www.harpinn.com/index.html