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May 21 2013

I’ve Been Lazy

 

I apologize for being such a lazybutt for the last month or so and not blogging all these restaurants I’ve been to. You know how life catches up to you sometimes, and you get caught in the whirlwind of it all. I have been keeping busy with my photography hobby so I’ve kind of put food blogging on hold for a little while. That doesn’t mean I’m retiring! Oh no! Food is still my passion. :D

I’ve compiled a few photos of the most recent restaurants I’ve eaten and a quickie summary of reviews :)

 

 

So, here’s where I went and what I ate – in order from Left to Right. Click on each thumbnail to enlarge to supersize your drooling:

  1. Capital Seafood – Irvine, CA: Dimsum, Chinese version of breakfast/brunch: full of shrimp! Haha. The food was decent. Customer service was not great.
  2. Portola Coffee Lab – Irvine, CA: Custard bread and skillfully decorated cup of cappuccino. So pretty I almost did not want to drink it and mess up the foam art! :D
  3. Kaju Restaurant – Garden Grove, CA:Β Spicy Soft Tofu and Crisy Rice cooked in stone pot, along with spicy kimchi (Korean version of “salad.) Super yum!
  4. Seventh Tea Bar – Irvine, CA: I was on a special diet on this day (ha!) so I tried eating healthy for lunch. I had Taragon Chicken which consisted of diced chicken, Greek yogurt, tarragon vinaigrette, shaved green apple, and scallions. It was surprisingly delicious. I’m not used to eating meat with yogurt but I found this mix a bit unique. And I had a light tea flavored with rose, sunflower petals, strawberry, as well as macarons to satisfy my sweet tooth. Overall, it was a nice little light meal, and customer service was super awesome.

 

Apr 17 2013

The Original Tops, Pasadena, CA

 

 

Love burgers, fried foods, and huge portions that can feed a village? Welcome to the Original Tops. :D

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Original Tops is a fast food restaurant that serves giant sized everything. Being a first timer here, I aimed for a “safe choice” and got a cheese burger, bun-less. So it’s the patty, lettuce, tomato, onions, thousand island dressing (mm my favorite burger dressing!). Pretty simple burger, so it almost feels as if I’m eating an In-N-Out burger. The taste is good. The meat has a spicy and smoky flavor to it.

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Since everything is sold separately here, I ordered a side of onion rings, thinking it’s just a handful little rings that I’ll probably still have room for with the burger. Lo and behold, when they called my number to pick up my order, I got…scared…looking at the huge portion of giant sized onion rings on my tray. There must’ve been like 15 huge and thick deep fried battered onion rings that could feed my entire group of friends. Granted, they are delicious – crispy just the way I like my onion rings. But it’s just too much. I was only able to eat two. Even with sharing, I still had a lot leftover to bring home. Sometimes you feel like this is how you get your money’s worth, but is it worth it blowing up your stomach over? :P

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My friend was in the same shoes, but she went for a large order of fries. She probably didn’t know it was actually really large. :D These fries are good, however. I always love shoestring fries because they are crispy, not too filling, and easy to eat.

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We also shared these chilli cheese fries. The so-called “small” sized portion is also huge. I’m starting to question this restaurant’s comprehension of the word “small.” But I was impressed that the fries, buried under layers of chilly and cheese, managed to stay crispy.

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Deep fried zucchini. Also delicious. Though the batter they use makes everything really crispy, at the same time, it is just a little too filling. I’d love to eat every single piece but I had to consider my …heart. :P

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Yup. I was surprised we were still able to walk after all this food. :D

 

The Original Tops
3838 E Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91107
(626) 449-4412

 

Apr 05 2013

Brodard Chateau, Garden Grove, CA

 

 

It was my mom’s birthday and there’s only one place she likes to go – Brodard Chateau. She likes the fine dining environment, cleanliness, quiet ambience, friendly (clearly trained) customer service by young waiters and waitresses, and of course, the food.

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We started out with two sets of appetizers of seafood egg rolls served with veggies and spicy sweet fish sauce for dipping. These are different from regular egg rolls simply because the filling is mainly crab rather than the usual ground pork. The rolls are good, except, they weren’t completely crispy like they should be. Some parts are crispy, some parts are soft. I do like the pretty presentation so that’s a plus.

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My mom wanted to eat these BBQ shrimp skewers dipped with peanut sauce. I think she thought they were suppose to be bigger. :D Luckily, she’s not the type that eats a lot so this and the egg rolls were enough for her. She’s kind of a vegetarian, that’s why. :)

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My dad enjoyed a full plate of bo luc lac, sizzling French style steak that’s cut in cubes stir fried with mushrooms, onions and pepper sauce. It’s pretty delicious. The pepper and the sauce adds a strong spicy kick.

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And as for me, I enjoyed a sizzling New York steak served on a hot skillet, with garlic sauce, mash potato and string beans. Sounds very American or French, doesn’t it? This was my first time trying their New York steak and I was pleasantly surprised. My medium cooked steak was big, thick, and juicy, and I loved the garlic sauce which made the meat more flavorful and moist.

I also had a birthday cake for my mom and they were nice enough to give me one candle. :) Overall, we had a lovely dining experience – food, atmosphere, and service. We always come here for special occasions so it’s a good thing we have not been disappointed.

 

Brodard Chateau
9100 Trask Ave.
Garden Grove, CA 92844
(714) 899-8273

 

Apr 05 2013

Matties Delectable Desserts, Winter Springs, FL

 

 

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It’s Friday, and while I’m having headache-inducing coffee withdrawal (trying to wean myself off), I figured I’d make someone else’s day with a little surprise. So I got the most popular and delicious chocolate and vanilla cupcakes from Matties Delectable Desserts and had them call my friend who works nearby and let him know that he has a surprise waiting for him to come pick up. :D If it weren’t for my friend having to sign my credit card slip, he would not have known it was from me! :P But regardless, I have to say the customer service here is awesome. The gentleman answering the phone was the most helpful, suggesting which cupcakes to get and doing me a huge favor by making the phone call for me, something he really didn’t have to do. But he went the extra mile making sure a customer was completely satisfied. And I most definitely was. It was a nice surprise for myself, too, to have this kind of refreshing customer service. I was happy that my friend was surprised, loved the delicious cupcakes, and had a very pleasant overall experience with this bakery. I highly recommend.
 

Matties Delectable Desserts
521 E SR 434
Suite 1001
Winter Springs, FL 32708
(407) 542-7663

 

Apr 04 2013

Thien An, Bo 7 Mon Restaurant, Westminster, CA

 

 

I’ve eaten at Thien An several times but this is my first time reviewing the restaurant. Thien An restaurant specializes in 7 Courses of Beef, and that pretty much means what the name suggests. It’s a beef-lover’s heaven, that’s what it is. :D Beef is served in 7 different ways – beef salad, boiled in a vinegar pot, grilled on a sizzling round skillet, beef balls, rolled in caramelized onions, wrapped in betel leaves, and beef porridge. Most of these are for you to make spring rolls out of.

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Normally, that is what I would get, the whole shebang. But this time, I went a la carte and chose the grilled one. It’s roughly 13-15 pieces of thinly sliced beef marinaded with oil and lemongrass for your grilling pleasure. It comes with all sorts of veggies, hot water and rice paper for spring rolling, and dipping sauces. If you’re not familiar with this traditional Vietnamese meal, just think of it as making your own tortilla at the taco bar. :P

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The yummy raw meat plate, just waiting for me to grill and roll. :D I’m drooling…

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Beside beef, Thien An also serves baked whole cod fish, also for making spring rolls. I know you probably think it’s weird to have the entire fish with the head attached staring at you like this. If that’s the case, just turn the head away from you. :D We got a “small” sized fish but it was still pretty big and plenty meaty. It comes out on a giant plate, decorated with fried green onions, peanuts, sliced orange, and green veggies. You just dive right in with a big spoon and knife, and break the fish apart, taking the meat out and start your spring rolling. The crispy skin is the best part. Well, at least to me.

Overall, the food is yummy here. The service is above average. Restaurant is clean, but it can get a bit noisy at times because this is more of a family style dining restaurant. And they take credit cards which is a big plus for me!

Thien An
9477 Bolsa Ave.
Westminster, CA 1838
(714) 531-1838

 

Mar 27 2013

Snow Monster, Westminster, CA

 

 

Macaroons. Ice cream. Waffles. Shaved ice. Cookie sundae. Coffee. What don’t they have here? :D

Snow Monster is a cute and cozy little desserts restaurant tucked away in the corner of a shopping plaza. They specialize in flavored shaved ice desserts. Like ice cream, but lighter and fluffier, and you can have so much more fun with it by adding all sorts of sweet toppings to it.

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If you aren’t familiar with what shaved ice (also referred to as “snow”) is, it’s a type of dessert made of very fine shavings of ice then mixed with various flavors, ranging from green tea, mango, vanilla, coconut, strawberry, etc. Then you top it off with all kinds of toppings imaginable, such as: grass jelly, slices of strawberry, cookie dough, boba, beans, coconut flakes, almonds, peanuts, etc. Since I love variety, I had my shaved ice “half and half” – two flavors of shaved ice – mango and Thai tea. I’ve had shaved ice before but never Thai tea flavored so I thought that was quite interesting. The ice is fluffy, not as icy as some other places I’ve been. This is not the same as shaved ice you’ll get at one of those shaved ice trucks at a food truck fest, which would require you to chew the pieces of ice in your mouth. :P This type of shaved ice pretty much just melts in your mouth, which is a thousand times better. My mountain of shaved ice consisted of mango and Thai tea flavors, topped with grass jelly (that black stuff), slices of strawberry, and creamy Oreo cookies. It was all very delicious. The only thing I noticed was that the ice could’ve been a bit more flavored because at times it felt a little “watered.” Especially the Thai tea one. It took like two seconds for me to taste the Thai tea and then it was water from there on. Perhaps a little more Thai tea mixed in would be better?

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Macaroons. Ice cream. Together!? Say no more. I’m in heaven. Since I’m already on a mission to seek out places that sell macaroons, not only did Snow Monster make my list, but to sandwich my one weakness with another weakness – stuffing ice cream in the middle of two delicious macaroon shells – this dessert restaurant has just boosted its ranking to the top of my list. :D How can your mouth not water just looking at the pretty and colorful presentation of the macaroon ice cream? I tried three different types: strawberry shells with vanilla ice cream, green tea shells with butter pecan ice cream, and pistachio shells with pistachio ice cream. They were all yummy. The shells are sweet, soft and chewy, and don’t fall apart when you bite on them like some other macaroons I’ve had. I love that they give you huge portions. I think I had died and gone to macaroon and ice cream heaven. Needless to say, I strongly recommend that you try this delicious macaroon ice cream at least once.

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The Belgian Liege Waffle Sundae is another choice I highly recommend. It’s vanilla waffle served under a giant scoop of ice cream of your choice. I chose green tea ice cream,Β though I think vanilla or butter pecan ice cream would’ve probably tasted better with the waffle. Still, it’s an exciting combination of warm and cold playing Twister in your mouth confusing your taste buds – but they will thank you later.

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No, I didn’t eat all this by myself. :P I had help. It was just too much goodness to not share with friends. Plus, it’s a good time when you have one of the friendliest, sweetest, and most helpful customer service staff around, who continuously kept checking in to see how everything was tasting and if we needed anything else. That’s the kind of customer service you don’t exactly expect to see in Wesminster! There is no doubt that I’ll come back here for after-dinner desserts. Gotta get more of that macaroon ice cream! :D

Snow Monster
9600 Bolsa Ave.
Suite G
Westminster, CA 92683
(714) 584-9470

 

Mar 22 2013

The Hunt for Macarons

 

 

I’ve never thought I’d ever embark on a trek in search of macarons. Never really cared for them until recently, when I had to take a bite on a friend’s macaron and it was yummy. I know there are a ton of people in the world who would go crazy for macarons, and I’m scared to say that I might be one of them now. Oh no!

I thought it would be a fun “project” to do in my free time to search for places that sell macarons without charging an arm and a leg. So far, I have found several including coffee houses, tea bars, and sweets stores around Orange County, CA, and thought I’d share them with you. :)

 

ORANGE COUNTY MACARON PLACES

Brea, CA:

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These good-lookin’ colorful macaronsΒ are from Merely Sweets in Brea. I got these to go so I can enjoy them at home while watching my favorite TV shows. :D Flavors range from green tea, raspberry, hazelnut chocolate, earl grey, pistachio, strawberry, chocolate, and a few others and they go for $1.65 each. They’re a little bigger but a little flatter, so I’m not sure which one is better – big but flat, or small but puffy (no pun intended). :P

Costa Mesa, CA:

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These little macaronsΒ are from Seventh Tea Bar in Costa Mesa, located inside OC Mix Mart. They are slightly smaller than standard and are 3 for $5. They’re fluffy but flatten once you bite on them or you can just pop the whole thing in your mouth and there goes $1.67. :P They have different flavors coming in everyday so there isn’t a chart for you to know what they have. Poor guy behind the counter has to memorize which color is which flavor. I tried the cookies and cream, chai tea, and peanut butter. They are decent.

Fullerton, CA:

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I can’t believe Wild Flour in Fullerton has been right under my nose this whole time and I didn’t even find it until fairly recently. They’re a cute little bake shop that has cupcakes, cakepops, and macarons. Macarons here are $1.65, or half a dozen for $9. I recommend half a dozen, because it’s cheaper AND you get this super cute, classy looking box! I’ve been saving these boxes. Hey, you’ll never know when you’ll need a pretty box for gifting! :D And macarons are delicious here, to my surprise. They’re firm but soft and chewy, not hard and dry. Highly recommend. Try the cassis flavor, which is like some kind of blueberry.

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The Night Owl in downtown Fullerton is a coffee house that has a small selection of macarons, but as I’ve indicated before in my review of this place, they are expensive – tiny in size and go for $1.95 each. No thanks! I didn’t buy any. :P

Irvine, CA:

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Bon Epi Patisserie in Irvine is a more expensive macaron bakery. Hey, they need money to make giant macaron signs to place in the Diamond/Jamboree shopping plaza to compete with 85 Degree Bakery! If I remember correctly, their macarons are $1.95 each. Yikes. They are delicious, and have a wide assortment of interesting flavors, like white mocha mango . However, the price is a bit steep for me. I had to try once but I doubt I’m coming back.

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It’s a bit random for a sandwich shop to have macarons, but Sandwich Club in Irvine does manage to join the macaron club by selling a small variety of flavors. Nothing special other than typical flavors like pistacchio, hazelnut, strawberry, etc. They are $1.75 each. I’ve had better.

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Many people recommend Layer Cake Bakery in Irvine for macarons so I thought, why not? Macarons are baked right in the bakery and they are $1.60 each. They do have box options, and I got a box of 8 macarons for $12.50, which saves you a whopping 30 cents. :P The flavors I got were hazenut, pistachio, strawberry, passion fruit, peach, and green tea. They taste pretty good. And I like the cute skinny box design!

Santa Ana, CA:

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I can’t believe I never knew about Dolcissimo Bakeshop inside of Main Place Mall in Santa Ana. It’s located in the food court, downstairs, right by the escalators. As often as I go to this mall, I can honestly say I rarely wander to this part of the mall, which is probably why I never knew this magical macaron place existed. :P Anyway, they have a pretty big selection of macarons and they are all yummy. The only thing is the flavors are pretty standard, nothing unique. Vanilla, strawberry, passion fruit, faspberry, black currant, lemon, pistachio, nutella, salted caramel, chocolate, and coffee. They sell for 3 for $5. I got a box of dozen for $20. Expensive, but it’s worth it!

Tustin, CA:

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These are from a new tea bar called Fusion Tea Bar in Tustin. They have signs that say they make these macarons in-house. Hmm, I’m a bit skeptical but I got some, anyway. They have interesting flavors like Thai tea shells with coconut filling, taro shells with taro and coconut filling, and Ferrero Rocher (my favorite chocolate), and they’re $1.50 each. Cheapest one so far, although a little small. I tried all three and they taste as interesting as they sound not in a bad way.

Westminster, CA:

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Lily Bakery in Wesminster only has a small selection of macarons and they’re average. And sometimes, presentation helps, too, but here they just place macarons in plastic boxes. Each box has 3 macarons for $5, and they all seem to have the same flavors: strawberry, pistacchio and chocolate. Hmph.

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I’ve always known Vans Bakery had macarons and I’ve never really bothered until now. The quality and taste are average. They go for $1.50 each. They don’t sell in bulk or anything so you’re stuck with buying individual ones or a box of 10 mini macarons for $12. I was tempted but I thought about how small they are – what’s the point? :P Flavors I tried were taro, coffee, pistacchio and orange.

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Chubbi Cakes has been around for about a year, located in the busiest intersection of all Westminster – Westminster/Brookhurst. They have a pretty good variety of macaron flavors, but my favorite ones are lavender and rose. Maybe because they’re flowers and they taste pretty good. :) Macarons here are $1.50 each. I’ve visited this place twice already, and each time I got a box of 7. No discount for buying more apparently.

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Le Versailles is a small bakery in a small strip mall in Westminster. The lady there who I assume is the owner is super friendly. She stepped out from behind the counter, approached me, and courteously asked what I’d like to buy. Her friendliness almost made me want to buy a hundred macarons. :D But considering this was my first time here, I wasn’t sure if the macarons would be good. So I told her I wanted to try just ONE to make sure. I tried a coffee flavored macaron and it was just OK for me. It was sort of bitter, and the shells and cream were a bit hard to bite into. But I didn’t want to buy just one (that I had already eaten, LOL!) so I ended up buying 4 more, with orange lemon, pistacchio, hazelnut, and earl gray flavors. They are also $1.50 each.

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Brodard Restaurant in Westminster, known for yummy spring rolls, also sells macarons. Cheapest around, $1.25 each. Not the best macarons I’ve had, but if you’re really craving macarons and don’t feel like spending that much money, these babies will do. :) I got durian, hazelnut, and taro. The flavors were quite strong, though.

 

LOS ANGELES COUNTY MACAROON PLACES

Diamond Bar, CA:

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Not knowing where to go for lunch, I randomly called up Ni Ni Bakery in Diamond Bar while searching for macarons thinking they probably don’t have any since I didn’t see any photos online at their bakery. Lo and behold, the lady on the phone said “Yes, we have macarons.” Yay! So I drove there, and turns out it’s been right under my nose this whole time. Anyway, they have a decent selection of macarons, HOWEVER, they are tiny, even smaller than the already-small standard size, yet they are still $1.50 each, and only sold individually, so none of that “3 for $5″ deal. Flavors I tried were: green tea, lavender, mango, egg yolk, and rose. I do like that the rose one is in the shape of a heart. Something different I guess. They also have “giant” sized macarons nicely decorated with flower frostings and four baby macarons on top. They’re about half the size of your palm. They looked pretty so I had to get one for $3. :D OK, not too bad I suppose. Overall, despite the fact that these macarons look cute, the taste is sub-par. Can’t even compare to ones at Chubbi Cakes mentioned above.

Los Angeles, CA:

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Bottega Louie is in downtown Los Angeles. This oh-so-famous restaurant/bakery is also popular for its macarons – its expensive macarons, might I add. $2 a pop. Yes. Although they are, indeed, delicious – nice and thick, and sweet and chewy, $2 is just too much. I feel like I’m paying $0.50 extra for the cute little boxes. Yes, they are pretty boxes, and I still have them even 3 days later after I had already devoured the 10 macaroons. :D The flavors I got were: pistachio, rose, lavender, hazelnut, and orange. This whole trip cost me $20 for 10 macarons and $7 for parking because nothing in LA is ever free. :(

 

Mar 06 2013

Pho Dakao, Anaheim, CA

 

 

Pho Da Kao Anaheim CA, bun thit nuong, vermicelli bbq pork, pork, veggies, vegetables, pho, beef noodle soup, pho noodle, beef noddle, vietnamese noodle, vietnamese food, vietnamese restaurant
I came to Pho Da Kao because my parents have mentioned they make good chicken pho. But since I’m not that big on pho, I thought I’d deviate a little and order something a little more meaty and less carbs-y (or is it ‘carb-y’?) Bun thit nuong (bun = vermicelli, thit nuong = BBQ pork) is among my favorite Vietnamese dishes. I ordered take-out and the man at the counter informed me that they are all out of bun. For a split second I was disappointed. Then it dawned on me – wait a minute, they are just out of BUN (vermicelli) but they probably still have thit nuong (BBQ pork)! So I told the man I’d like to order bun thit nuong without the bun – basically, “vermicelli with BBQ pork” minus the vermicelli. And I said, “since you don’t have any more vermicelli, could you please give me extra BBQ pork instead?” :D He looked at me weird for a few seconds but agreed anyway. The funny thing is, this is how I usually order my bun thit nuong anyway! No vermicelli, extra meat. Haha. Last time I did that was when I dined at Quan Hy.

And, much to my surprise, the BBQ pork which came with veggies like salad, bean sprouts, green onions, peanuts and sweet fish sauce was quite good. The meat was sweet, not dry, and you can taste the smoky BBQ flavor in every bite. Thanks to not having to eat the vermicelli, I had enough room in my stomach to finish the entire box. I highly recommend ordering this if you ever come here and that pho isn’t your first choice.

Pho Dakao
10692 Katella Ave
Anaheim, CA 92840
(714) 531-2009

Mar 04 2013

Portola Coffee Lab, Costa Mesa, CA

Portola Coffee Lab Costa Mesa CA, coffee, desserts, pastries, mocha, latte, expresso, bread, muffins, scones, mini pies, hot chocolate, chai, chai latte, lemonade
Who wouldn’t trust men and women in white uniforms, especially when they’re making you coffee, possibly making the most accurate measurements down to the last bean or the last drip. If you can’t trust scientists for coming up with the cure for cancer, at least you can trust that they can make a mean cup of coffee.
Portola Coffee Lab Costa Mesa CA, coffee, desserts, pastries, mocha, latte, expresso, bread, muffins, scones, mini pies, hot chocolate, chai, chai latte, lemonade
I like the idea of lab coats at Portola Coffee Lab. Gives you a sense of sanitation. :D They experiment with all kinds of coffee here, from expresso, macchiato, cappuccino, latte, americano, mocha to chai latte, rose lemonade, seasonal herbal tonics, and hot chocolate. The only thing they don’t have is white chocolate mocha, my favorite drink. So my second choice was a Belgian mocha latte on ice. It was quite thick and strong, almost as strong as Vietnamese coffee.

They have a small selection of bread, muffins, scones, mini pies, and various other pastries. I tried their custard monkey bread. It was surprisingly delicious. The top part is crispy and the custard part inside in moist and sweet.
Portola Coffee Lab Costa Mesa CA, coffee, desserts, pastries, mocha, latte, expresso, bread, muffins, scones, mini pies, hot chocolate, chai, chai latte, lemonade
As nice as the atmosphere is here, I feel it’s lacking the cozy factor. The whole lab design is cool but it takes away the warm and inviting feeling one would expect at a coffee place. Maybe it’s also because Portola Coffee Lab is located inside the OC Mart Mix so they have to share space with their next door businesses. On the upside, there is a cool looking bar area for you to chill with your coffee, while doodling on your laptop and people watching. It’s all good.

Portola Coffee Lab
The OC Mart Mix
3313 Hyland Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(949) 284-0596

Mar 01 2013

Pho Lover, Fullerton, CA

 

 

Do you know what is popping up everywhere these days, other than Starbucks on every block? Pho. That’s right, pho. Pronounced “fuh”, not “foh” or “faw” or “po”. I simply do not understand. Pho (Vietnamese rice noodle soup) is usually not my first lunch or dinner choice. Maybe I just grew up eating it so much that it’s just whatever to me. But it’s become more and more popular in the States as well as the world that it’s almost synonymous with “Vietnamese food“. It’s like sushi to the Japanese, or pad thai to the Thai, or pasta to the Italians. What about the rest of other yummy food they’re also known for? I get it all the time. Soon as I tell people I’m Vietnamese and we start talking food, the first thing they say to me is “I love pho.” Great! :P

Pho Lover Fullerton CA, pho, noodle soup, rice noodle soup, noodle, vietnamese noodle, vietnamese noodle soup, vietnamese food, vietnamese restaurant

Anyway, I somehow ran out of ideas of what to pick up for dinner on my way home from work so I resorted to looking for a pho restaurant that I have not been to. Fullerton is the last place on my mind that would have a decent pho restaurant, but Pho Lover has high ratings online so I was curious.

Tucked in a small shopping plaza next to the Little Professor bookstore (where Cal State Fullerton students go and get ripped off on buying expensive books and selling them back for less than nothing.) I stopped in and first thing I noticed was the bright colors and the cleanliness. Always a huge plus for me. I dig the green walls, although they could’ve used a less blinding shade. Haha. It appears the restaurant is owned by a Vietnamese family so there’s a good chance the pho is good.

Pho Lover Fullerton CA, pho, noodle soup, rice noodle soup, noodle, vietnamese noodle, vietnamese noodle soup, vietnamese food, vietnamese restaurant

They have a sizable menu that has many options for pho. One may get confused on which one to choose, so my advice is just ignore the menu and tell the waiter what you want in your pho. :D That’s what I do all the time. Think of it as ordering pizza and deciding what toppings you want. Simple as that. I like my pho with rare steak, well done flank, and brisket, but no tendon. The girl at the counter then suggested I get the “Pho Special” which has all that plus tendon, and she said she can take out the tendon and substitute it with more meat. Wow! How can I say no!? Great service!

For dine-in, they would place the rare steak on top of your bowl and when it comes out, you can pour the hot soup over it to cook it. But for to go, I requested that they separate the rare steak so I can “cook” it when I get home. They happily obliged. I also wanted chicken on top of all that beef and I was surprised it only cost $1 extra. 10-minute wait and my food was all packed up and ready to go. Yippee!

When I got home, I had to reheat the soup a little to make it super hot in order to cook the rare steak in. The thing that caught my attention was that all of the meat was cold. The rare steak, OK, I understand that you have to keep it cold and frozen. But the other cooked meat? I’ve never had it cold like that before so I found it a bit strange. That must mean it wasn’t fresh and they didn’t just cook it at the restaurant? That part was a bit eyebrow-raising. Regardless, it ended up being a huge bowl – lots of noodle and lots of meat. Two thumbs up. The overall flavor? Well, it’s not the ultimate best pho I’ve ever had BUT it was still fairly delicious.

Pho Lover
737 N. Placentia Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92831
(714) 996-0380

 

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