Hello Ko-Ryu Ramen!

It’s almost time for the “ber” months and what perfect way to prepare for those “brrrrr” err “ber” days than to find the places offering heartwarming ramen. One place offering such soup perfect for the upcoming cold days is Ko-Ryu in Torrance. It is a nice, cozy little Japanese ramen resto that offers a creative take on the classic Japanese soup.

I came here on a relatively semi-chilly Friday night. After quickly scanning the menu, a soup called the “Garlic bomb” caught my eye. I’m often a fan of flavorful garlic dishes and was intrigued with it’s name. After first sip, I can definitely say that this soup lives up to it’s name. It’s not for the garlic faint hearted. It has both deep fried and fresh chopped garlic. There’s also lots of soft, long noodles, bamboo shoot, green onions and chashu pork slices. I got extra toppings of egg and corn as weLL. It’s a garlic power packed, flavorful ramen.

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Aside from the “Garlic bomb” ramen, I also had the chance to try their Torikara. It is an interesting take on traditional Japanese karaage. The deep fried boneless chicken came marinated with sweet and sour sauce. The torikara was a good side and match to the soups.

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To end the night, our server treated us to some complimentary mango pudding. It was my first time ever to have a mango pudding like this. It’s was chilled and in liquid form. It’s a sweet and interesting take on pudding. I’m a big fan of mango and was pleased with this unique dessert. It was a perfectly cool way to end the night.

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Ko-Ryu is a good spot for some different and tasty food. Deliciously different ramen, unique take on karaage and free dessert, this place will be great for those upcoming “brr” days!

For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp reviewon Ko-Ryu Ramen

Hello OC Fair 2014!

Two years ago I attended my very first OC Fair. Since it was my first time there, I found fair food so interesting. Deep fried what? Chocolate covered what? It was all so fascinating for a first time fair go-er like me. During that trip I found myself having a Krispy Kreme chicken sandwich. It was fair food to the finest! Unique, fun and something I would only try once!
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This year I found myself at the OC Fair once again but instead of going for the funky fair dishes like deep fried Doritos or chocolate covered bacon, I stuck to more traditional (and normal) fair food. This year’s chosen dish
was the “Fair special.” It is a plate filled with chicken tenders, onion rings and fried zucchini! Everything was perfectly fried to be golden brown and crispy. The zucchini curls with it’s somewhat sweet batter and juicy interior were the best, especially when dipped with the accompanying creamy ranch sauce. The plate was packed and perfect for sharing with friends!

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When it came to dessert, I opted out of my original choice of a deep fried red velvet cake (I had to skip out because I already had too much deep fried stuff via the “Fair special.”) and instead stuck with a peach milkshake! It’s peach season and this was the perfect peach drink. It was a hot day and this milkshake was refreshing and cool! It even had chunks of peach slices inside.

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Though I didn’t have any of the “interesting” food at this year’s fair, I still enjoyed my food and dessert choices. I also had a lot of overall! It was a fun day filled with food, games, friends, shows and even some Hello Kitty! :)

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Hello Fluffy Omelette!


I was recently watching a show on The Filipino Channel called Kris TV. In the episode that I was watching, the host Kris Aquino and her guests visted the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I was fascinated with the part of the episode where the chef demonstrated how to make what he called a “fluffy omelette.” The video above is the attempt in my kitchen this morning of making the “fluffy omelette.” This blog post is dedicated to the fun and creative way of making of a fluffy omelette.

Similar to the start of making any kind of omelette, the first step here is to crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk the egg mixture in the bowl. However instead of simply pouring the egg mixture into a frying pan, the chef from Le Cordon Bleu had a different technique. He used a strainer to pour the egg mixture through and lower it into the pot. I tried this technique this morning.

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The moment the egg was poured through the strainer and hit the pot, it automatically puffed. I liked how it formed and shaped like a fluffy cloud.

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I really liked the end result. It was a nice, light, fluffy and soft omelette with some crispy outer edges like tempura.

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It was perfectly puffy and oh so fluffy. Who knew that a simple techinique of running the egg through a strainer versus just pouring it into a pan and frying would make a difference. Fluffy omelette made my morning and put a smile on my face . :)

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Hello 8th Annual White Light, White Night Event!

Last year, I was very blessed to cover the 7th Annual White Light, White Night Event for South Bay Foodies. It was one of the very first events I ever had to cover as a media guest and one that was truly special. When I got asked to once again attend this year as a media guest for South Bay Foodies, I did not hesitate at all.

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White Night, White Light is a very special evening. Proceeds from the event benefit Walk with Sally’s mission to help out many families impacted by cancer. It is a memorable night filled with lots of love and light, with party go-ers all dressed in white.

Part of this event is the “Taste of Los Angeles.” Several of the South Bay’s finest restaurants are present to give guests a taste of their most delicious entrees. On this particular night, there seemed to be something for everyone.

Ayara Thai was present offering chicken wings and Yum Pla, Thai snapper salad. The chicken wings had a fiery kick bringing some spice to this hot evening. The Thai snapper salad had Yum dressing, tender Thai snapper on top of Chinese celery and a edible marigold.

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Coni’s Seafood brought some seafood delights to seafood lovers via their borrachos/drunken shrimp and tostaditos with smoked marlin pate, shrimp, octopus and seasnail ceviche.

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Doma Kitchen offered breakfast and lunch treats aka brunch for dinner via their kale salad and Belgian waffles. The belgian waffles were a deliciously sweet treat for the evening.

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The Rockefeller served up some savory and deliciously cheesey truffle mac and cheese. It’s mac and cheese for adults ;)

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Hudson House gave out chocolate chip cookies and bourbon milk. The chocolate chip cookies were so soft and delightful.

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Silvio’s Brazilian BBQ brought a savory BBQ chicken salad that was refreshing and light.

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Kincaid’s treated folks to their surf and turf sandwich and key lime pie. I first fell in love with Kincaid’s Key Lime pie at last year’s White Light, White Night Event and this year it was once again love at first bite and an instant key lime crush.

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Four Daughter’s Kitchen offered fresh pita and creamy hummus.

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Salt Creek Grille treated us all with butterscotch custard with salted caramel was divine.

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Last but not least was Torrance Bakery who once again gave meaning to the word wow. Their spread at the White Light, White Night Event never ceases to amaze me. Cakes, cookies, chocolate dipped strawberries…they had it all!

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It was once again another unforgettable night and I am so happy I got to be a part of this sold out event! Not only did I get to try so much wonderful cuisine (a food blogger’s dream), I got to once again be part of something special. Beyond the food and the concert (there was a concert held at the end of the evening by 80’s phenomenon Berlin), there was a truly special meaning behind this night. It was a night of hope, a night to help out kids who have faced the hurt of losing a loved one to cancer. I am thankful to have been able to be a part of an evening that aimed to bring smiles to others.

For more smiles, please see my South Bay Foodies write up on the 8th Annual White Light, White Night Event.

Hello Grand Opening of 2nd Lee’s Sandwiches in the South Bay!

It’s been almost a year since I went to the grand opening celebration of the very first Lee’s Sandwiches to open up in the South Bay in Torrance, California. I had a lot of fun during that event and so when I heard a second South Bay location was opening up, I made sure to be there for more grand opening celebration fun!
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A second location means another location to get Lee’s popular fresh hot baguettes!

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Their baguettes are used for their famous bahn mi sandwiches! I made sure sure to pick up one of those sandwiches when I stopped by the grand opening event. Since it was breakfast time, I chose to get a Bahn Mi Op La or a Vietnamese fried egg sandwich. Lee’s Sandwich’s version is packed with two sunny side eggs, pork slices, house pickle, onion, jalapeno, cilantro and their house mayonaise. A fried egg always brings a little bit more deliciousness to anything and delicious indeed sandwich was. The crispy baguette was perfect for dipping for the messy, yellow yolk oozing out from the eggs. The house pickle brought plenty of flavor! There was plenty of veggies inside. Eggs and vegetable delight!

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A grand opening celebration meant treats for all today! For every bahn mi purchased, folks could choose between getting a free iced coffee or a free baguette! Their fresh baguettes pops out of their ovens every 30 minutes!

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Their iced coffee is another Lee’s Sandwiches customer favorite. It’s a blend of Vietnamese style French pressed coffee with condensed milk. It’s perfectly smooth, nicely rich in taste, giving a morning kick to everyone who drinks it.

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It’s great to have been part of another grand opening celebration of Lee’s Sandwiches and it’s definitely a great feeling to know that another place for delicious bahn mi and iced coffee is in the neighborhood! That definitely brings a smile to this hello kitty foodie.

For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on the 2nd Lee’s Sandwiches to open in the South Bay.

Hello Tantalice Thai and American Diner!

Hockey and Thai food, two of my favorites. Who would’ve thought that I’d find two of my favorites when I recently dined at Tantalice Thai and American Diner.

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Tantalice is not your typical Thai restaurant. The moment one walks in, customers will notice a giant backdrop showcasing hockey players. This can easily be explained by where exactly Tantalice is located. It is adjacent to an ice skating rink. Formerly a sport bar, it became a Thai restaurant. Diners have a great view of the skating rink because there’s a large open window next to the restaurant tables and via that window people can watch the figure skaters skate or sometimes if lucky, a hockey game! I came here with a friend on a Friday and got a great table with an excellent of the view of the skating rink! Yay for this little hello kitty hockey fan. ;)

When my friend and I came here, it was also lunch time and so we were able to try out Tantalice’s lunch specials. Lunch specials here are served with green salad and jasmine rice. The green salad comes with a tasty and sweet house made dressing.

My friend chose to order the “Ginger Lover” dish with chicken. It comes with sautΓ©ed chicken with fresh cut ginger, celery, carrots, mushrrooms, bell peppers and onions. I tried a little bit of this dish and the ginger love was evident from the start. There’s plenty of ginger in this dish, bringing lots of flavor to the variety of vegetables and chicken. It was a tad bit spicy.

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For my dish, I chose to get the pumpkin curry. It’s my first time to ever see a pumpkin curry dish in a Thai restuarant. This place had classic red curry, yellow curry, green curry and panang curry but it was the pumpkin curry that caught my eye. I’m a big pumpkin fan and was curious to see how this dish was. My entree came with chicken in red coconut milk curry with basil, bell peppers and pumpkin. This was a very creamy and saucy dish, thus making it perfect when topped over the jasmine rice. There was plenty of pumpkin pieces mixed into the curry, making it a good dish for pumpkin fans like me. Classic curry taste but with a twist because of the pumpkins!

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Aside from the lunch specials, my friend and I also got an order of pad thai. It was a good portion of stir-fried noodles with egg, bean sprouts, green onions and ground peanuts! Pad thai is always the one dish that I like to try at all the Thai restaurants I go to.

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Dining at Tantalice Thai and American Diner was a unique experience in many ways. I enjoyed watching some good skating while some pretty tasty, distinct, full of flavor cuisine!

For more smiles, please see my recent

Hello Ramen Yamadaya!

With 8 locations in California (San Francisco, Torrance, Culver City, Westwood, Costa Mesa, Sherman Oaks, San Diego and downtown San Diego) and over 600 yelp reviews (almost a 100 from my Yelp friends) in the location nearest me, it comes as a surprise that I’ve never tried Ramen Yamadaya till today.

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Yes, today was the day I finally tried the popular and famous Ramen Yamadaya at their Torrance location. Expectations were high as I stepped into the small little ramen shop with my friend.

To start off our meal here, my friend got a plate of gyoza. Six pieces of soft dumplings were presented to us. Pan fried, the gyoza had a perfect crisp on the outside. Inside, it had a nice, flavorful juicy pork and vegetable filling.

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My friend and I decided to share a ramen combination with ramen, kara-age and fried rice. The kara-age came out first. Kara-age is one of my favorite dishes and I found this place does the delicious dish justice. Hot, fresh and crispy, the chicken was wonderful. It was seasoned perfectly and fried to golden perfection. It came with some very tasty salad. The salad was like a slaw and consisted of shredded lettuce topped with sweet dressing.

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Up next for our meal was the fried rice. The fried rice was excellent and reminded me of some my favorite fried rice dishes that I’ve only found at Hawaiian resturants. Their fried rice here had lots of little pieces of egg, chashu meat and corn! It was so flavorful and perfect with the gyoza and kara-age.

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Last but not least for us was the ramen. We got the tokontsu kotteri. It was rich and fatty ramen with black garlic oil. The pork broth was filled with their original thin noodle, tender slices of pork meat, one marinated egg with with a half baked yolk and sprinkles of scallion. We also got a side of fresh garlic on the side that we pressed and added to the broth. This ramen is one of the best that I’ve ever tried. The broth comes from 20 hours of boiling with pork bone. Thick in cosnistency, rich and creamy and with good garlic flavor all throughout, the broth was excellent. The toppings were like icing on the cake, it added an extra bit of happiness to the already flavorful soup base.

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I was very happy with Ramen Yamadaya. There were plenty of smiles after this meal.

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For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Ramen Yamadaya.