Bear Flag Fish Co.

It’s been a long time comin’, but I’ve finally tried Bear Flag Fish Co.! After hearing loads of positive feedback, it’s been on my list forever! I recently moved to Irvine, so all of these restaurants on the “south” side of OC are a lot more accessible to me now.

After a long hike at Crystal Cove, I stopped by Bear Flag. Poke on the brain, I knew I was going to order some. When I saw that a pound was going to set me back about $20, I settled for the 1/2 pound at around $9 and a couple fish tacos also around the same price.

The Poke was good, reminded me of Hawaiian poke you can get at the grocery stores there. I’d get it again as it wasn’t fishy and was a light but still filling “meal”.

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My Mahi Mahi fish tacos were really good. Probably one of the better fish tacos of my life. The fish was tasty and definitely fresh. Topped with pico de gallo, slaw and their special sauce, it was nothing short of everything you could want.

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My friend ordered a Mahi Mahi burrito that looked amazing. It was a HUGE serving, so I would say it’s money well spent. Includes rice, beans, fish, sauce and some fixins just like the tacos. YUM.

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So, would I come back? Yes. But only on a weekend that followed a payday!

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Fit for a Queen

The legendary Royal Hawaiian was around, and then not around, but eventually came around again. Known for their famous Lapu-Lapu’s, I’ve been wanting to visit to get my hands on the rum filled drink.

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SO GOOD. And SO STRONG. If you’re anything like me, all you need is one of these babies to get a good buzz going. Two? It would probably knock me down flat. Due to this drink, I needed to also order food.

Presenting Coconut Shrimp! Free with Yelp Check-in 😉 They were crispy, not overly coconut-y and the sweet and sour chili sauce it came with was REAL good. unnamed-2Even the little slaw that it came with really complimented everything. I would recommend this as a starter, but if you’re looking for something a little more Instagram worthy, I’d go for the Ahi Poke served in a coconut shell.

As my main course, I decided on the Hoisin Glazed Babyback Pork Spareribs. Served with pineapple-macadamia fried rice and veggies. unnamedSticky ribs are one of my favorite comfort foods and the sauce on this paired perfectly with my tropical drink.

My only cons about this place is that it’s very loud. I would not recommend for an intimate date, but if you’re looking to grab a drink at the bar with friends, you’re guaranteed a fun time. They even have a photo booth that generates fun .gifs.

Another con is that it is expensive. It’s Laguna Beach, so, it’s to be expected but honestly if I didn’t have a gift card to cushion the blow, I’m not sure if I would have thought it was worth it. Again, if you’re here just for drinks – it’s worth every penny.

If you want to be transported to a Hawaiian tiki bar with authentic feels, I encourage you to take a drive down.

 

Send NOODS

I had the opportunity to attend Foodbeast’s newest creation, NOODS NOODS NOODS. Sponsored by every college student’s favorite meal, Cup Noodles, there was a noodle theme to the festival. With little room to fail, I knew this was sure to be epic. I put on a flow-y dress to hide my soon-to-be-full stomach and headed out.

Rolled up like a boss, cause #workperks.

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ANYWAY. Like any other Foodbeast fest, VIP is the way to go. GA has a lot of killer options, but you have to pay for them. VIP has food and beer included, usually from a great lineup of restaurants! Tickets for this event started at $50 and increased to $60 (I think.)

My first stop however, was actually a paid item. I have yet to make it out to Smorgasburg LA and one of the most talked about vendors their, Shrimp Daddy, made an appearance. I had to try their garlic butter shrimp with rice and mac salad, inside a PINEAPPLE. Hawaii in a bowl…made of fruit.

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I entered the VIP area after devouring this with my boyfriend. You tell yourself you’re going to take it slow but the food just happens so fast. From spaghetti pizza to pho burritos, we tried a lot. Here were some of my favorites and my biggest disappointment.

I thought the best was the Nashville Hot Chicken Bao by Puzzle La Mirada.
They had a HUGE line, but they were also making like 4 at a time. BUT, that made this one of the freshest items there. Spicy, juicy, crispy – it was everything.

Another good one was from Neptune’s Seafood & Raw Bar in Artesia. Squid ink pasta with creamy uni & lump crab meat. I’m still getting used to the squid ink phase and uni in general, but this dish really swayed me! The crab was delicious and the noodles were perfectly cooked.

Not going to lie, I had about 3 bites of Bruxie’s insanity on a waffle. It was sooo good, but I just couldn’t bring myself to eat the whole damn thing. I present to you, the Fried Chicken Seoulmate Sandwich. Topped with cheesy, pork belly ramen.

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My least favorite was the K-Town Mac n Cheese from Elbows. I was excited to try this dish the most, but it was cold and not very tasty. Mine had about 3 noodles and the rest was kim chi. The Korean BBQ on it was tough, and it wasn’t ooey-gooey as advertised 😦

I’d say “That’s all” but I was full for the next two days 🙂

Were you at Noods Noods Noods? What was your favorite? Until next time…

 

Ooh, Shiny!

Welcome to my new domain, grubgoddess.blog! 🙂

Personal Update:  

Chya’ll…what has everyone been up to? I’ve been extremely busy working (eating) on new content. However, I haven’t been able to blog during the day, since I’m an 8 to Fiver. I also picked up a serious gym routine, so I can continue to generate drool-worthy content with having to buy bigger clothes *thumbs up* 

I’m currently working on OC Weekly’s Eat+Drink issue for the spring season. And will start the summer food issue around August 2017 (hopefully it won’t roll around too fast). There’s about to be a HUGE haul of restaurant reviews a pretty photos from my adventures – so please stay tuned! 

I’ve recently become an influencer on Zipkick – available in the app store! If you need recommendations on where to go in Orange County and wherever you are, download now! All reviews are posted by a curated list of influencers. We’re all proud foodies and strive to lead you to the best places in town. 

I think that’s it for now, but I wanted to thank you for the continued support. For more frequent updates, please add me on Instagram @grub.goddess ❤ 

 

 

The Hype: Cafe 86

Ya’ll thought I forgot about The Hype segment, didn’t you?

Fear not. Today, I’m going to review Cafe 86 located in Artesia, CA. (There is a 2nd location in Pasadena.)

This place has been haunting me on Instagram for quite some time now. As a Filipina, there was no way I could resist wanting to try their ube cupcakes with flan on top. LIKE, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

**Now, UBE is a word I’ll be using a lot. For those of you who are confused, it’s basically TARO. You know, the purple stuff.

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The Drinks: I went for the Ube Monster. Did I like it? Well considering I’ve been back twice in the past month, yes. It’s an ube milkshake, blended with chocolate cookie crumble. You can add boba, which I highly recommend. It’s then topped with whipped cream and more cookie crumble. It is extremely close in taste to a cookies and cream milkshake and it’s honestly to die for.

The Treats: I applaud Cafe 86 for having one the most moist cupcakes I’ve ever had. They have a great ube flavor and aren’t overly sweet. The slice of leche flan on top really makes it, but these things are pricey. I can understand why, they probably take a while to make and they only have them available on certain days.

Other dessert options I need to try include the Ube Tres Leches and the Ube Bread Pudding.

The Vibe: This is a cute place to hang out with friends or have dessert while on a date. Their decor features wood paneling, huge comfy couches and workers with smiles.

The Verdict: This place lives up to the hype. As mentioned, I’ve been back a few times already and I don’t see myself stopping soon.

If you try this place out or have already given it a shot, let me know what you thought!

Festival of Holidays at Disneyland

If you know me, you’ll know that one of my favorite places of all time is Disneyland! img_2272

The food found at Disneyland is OK, but mostly great with notes of nostalgia from your childhood thrown in. If you know of the gems and where to get the most bang for your buck at the parks – you’ve got it made!

‘Tis the season for holiday themed treats! Of course Disneyland (California Adventure Park) comes through with not only a couple specialty items, but an entire festival with rows of kiosks offering not one, but up to 5 or more options each! Here’s what I was able to get through:

Winter Sliderland 

UM – I love sliders, they’re my jam. There were three options at this booth: The Roasted Turkey Slider, Kahlua Pork Slider & a Praline and Bourbon Whoopie Pie. img_2268

Naturally, I tried all three. But don’t worry – I shared with a friend. The Roasted Turkey slider was dressed with gravy and cranberry sauce while the Kahlua Pork slider featured pineapple jam and cider slaw. Both were pretty darn good, but the whoopie pie was what really blew us away. With nutty, sweet pralines and a strong bourbon taste, it was something I would definitely seek out again.

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Praline & Bourbon Whoopie Pie

Abuelita’s Kitchen

After a couple rides, I built up an appetite.

I stopped by Abeulita’s Kitchen for a Chicken Cilantro Tamale topped with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde.

There was more masa than chicken, however the tomatillo salsa had a great kick to it. Also garnished with pico de gallo and sour cream, it really hit the spot.

Good Fortune’s Feast 

At the next kiosk, my partner in crime wanted to try the Adobo Pork Bao.

 

Served with shaved red onion and crispy Garlic Chicharron, this was definitely one of the winners of the day. The fluffy bao bun was like a little snowball filled with juicy pork with the delicious scent of hoisin you could smell from a mile way. The chicharron was a crunchy and unexpected, but welcomed addition.

We ended the night at Treats for Santa with a Warm Bourbon Cider. Props to Disney for the strong drink ;]

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The Festival of Holidays will be going on until January 8th, 2017. 

Cause, You Never Know.

Ready for Happy Hour?

Offering more than just drinks, YNK (You Never Know, get it?) in Irvine is a haven filled with beautiful decor, plush carpets and dim lighting to set the mood. Located inside the Irvine Marriott, it definitely falls under the “hidden gem” category. With different international inspirations for their specialty cocktail menu each month, there’s plenty of reasons to keep going back for more.

Side track for a second – if you haven’t been to the Irvine Marriott – it’s worth a visit. Even being currently under construction, the grounds of this hotel are impressive. From hidden nooks with pod-like chairs that you can hook your iPhone up to, as well as modern decor, a looker of an outside bar and a mini Starbucks, what more could you want?!

Here’s a breakdown of what I got to snack on, and why I LIKE IT, LOVE IT AND WANT SOME MORE OF IT.

My delicious adult beverage, a Paloma, with fresh grapefruit & tequila.img_1776Served in a tall glass with a copper straw. So insta-worthy ;] Very refreshing!

Left to Right: Extremely flavorful Salmon Poke with Lotus Chip, Deviled Eggs, and Chorizo & Mushroom Queso Fundido served with warm tortillas – all highlights of the night!

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Had to get in that #CheesePull tho!

I would come back again for a fun night out with girlfriends, or date night. I’m not sure if YNK hosts small events, but it would be ideal for a small bridal shower or bachelorette, for sure. So, thoughts? Are you going to stop by? Their new “ASIA” cocktail menu is available through December (Thai Tea w/ Bourbon O_O). Make sure you tag &visit them on Instagram @YNKIrvine

Thanks for stopping by!