Hello Al Noor!

Featured on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” Al Noor was the perfect place for this Hello Kitty Foodie to try Pakistani food for the first time. As a big fan of Indian food, I was curious to see the differences between Indian food and Pakistani food. Al Noor had many similar dishes to my favorites in Indian Cuisine such as  chicken tikka masala. Upon closer look at the menu though, I noticed there were definitely more meat dishes versus vegetarian dishes. After a little research, I did find out this is one of the main differences in Indian versus Pakistani food. The Pakistani diet has more meat while the Indian one is more vegetarian.

Here at Al Noor, they start off the meals with a little complimentary appetizer consisting of sliced up cucumbers, onions, lime and green sauce. This starter is supposed to cleanse the palate and prepare visitors for the bold and rich dishes to come.

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On my first trip to Al Noor, I decided to try one of my favorite Indian dishes, chicken tikka masala. This is one of the most popular dishes at Al Noor and I wanted to try the Pakistani version of it. When it was served, I noticed right away the big chunks of boneless chicken pieces. Meat definitely defined this dish but sauce was not lacking. It had lots of sauce that was garnished with fresh cilantro.

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I loved the rich and creamy sauce in this dish. The herbs and spices in the sauce along with the tender chicken pieces made for one great tikka masala dish. Top it off with Al Noor’s steamed saffron rice, and one is sure to be pleased.

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In fact I was so impressed with the chicken tikka masala, that I came here again with my mom. My first trip was with some friends and I just had to share this restaurant with my mom.

For this second trip, I decided to try another dish that is a favorite of mine at Indian restaurants. Whenever I go to any Indian restaurant, the spinach dish, saag paneer is one that I always order. It is almost like my measuring stick on how good an Indian restaurant is because it is my absolute favorite. Call me Popeye Kitty, I like my spinach. Here at Al Noor I was intrigued to see they have a similar dish not vegetarian. They have chicken palak.

Similar to Indian restaurant’s saag paneer, the chicken palak is spinach based. Al Noor’s version has pieces of chicken and spices along with the spinach.

Once again i was a fan of the large pieces of boneless chicken in this dish. It is true Pakistani restaurants like their meat. I was pleased with the creamy spinach and this again was a perfect pair to the rice.

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The other dish that I tried at Al Noor was the chicken tala gosht. It is one of Al Noor’s special authentic dishes. This dish had pieces of chicken fried and cooked with green chillies and fresh tomatoes. It’s a great tomato based dish.

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It was here at Al Noor that I learned about Pakisitani food. The Pakistani food emphasizes more on the chicken, the beef etc but still has the same good flavor and sauces found in Indian cuisine. Both Indian cuisine and Pakistani cuisine give this Hello Kitty Foodie plenty to smile about. Creamy dishes full of flavor, perfect for dipping in naan, how can I not smile.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Al Noor.

Hello True Food Kitchen @ The Point!

“Honest food that tastes really good.”

That phrase is painted on the wall of True Food Kitchen at The Point and was the first thing I noticed when I walked in. Yes, once again Hello Kitty Foodie is at South Bay’s newest destination for shopping, dining and entertainment and this time it is to check out True Food. Kitchen.

Ever since The Point opened and ever since I spotted True Food Kitchen I have been intrigued with this restaurant’s concept. Their website says “You don’t have to be a die-hard Yogi to dine at True Food Kitchen. You need only a desire to give your body nutrients, and your palate something memorable.” I love Yoga but in no means am a Yogi either. I am all for happiness, health and overall balance however and reading that on True Food’s website made me just want to try this place out.

One happy and relaxing Friday afternoon, I took some much needed “me time” and checked this place out. With a beautiful wide open space feel including an open kitchen, I instantly took a liking to True Food Kitchen
I learned that their menu is seasonal. Currently they are on Volume One: Summer menu. A menu consisting of various starters, pizza, salads, sandwiches, entrees and drinks, I was first attracted to their “Natural Refreshers” They have all kinds of house made drinks consisting of natural ingredients like coconut, turmeric, ginger etc. It’s reminded me of being at a juice bar. I loved the various names of their drinks to. They have “Medicine Man,” “Kale-Aid,” and “Hangover Rx” among the cute names
Upon talking to the waitress, I learned their “Sparkling Watermelon Soda” was their most popular drink and I decided to order that. When my watermelon soda came out, I knew instantly I would like this drink. Pretty in pink and made with watermelon, lime, cane sugar and sparkling water, it had Hello Kitty written all over it ;). The pretty presentation was matched with a pretty good taste as well because it was so refreshing. it was perfect for the hot summer day! The drink is not too sweet but definitely has that great watermelon taste. I was a fan of the pieces of fresh watermelon that was on top of the drink.
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To match my sweet sip, I need some savory bites and once again upon the recommendation of the friendly staff at True Food Kitchen, I chose to get a dish they suggested, the street tacos. Their street tacos come in a trio with either grass-fed steak or sustainable fish and is topped with avocado, cotija cheese, tomatillo salsa, sour cream and anasazi bean. Being a non-fish eater, the grass-fed steak was my natural choice of meat. I loved the light tortillas that were packed with toppings! There was a generous amount of meat, veggies and more! I have to say my favorite topping was the cotija cheese. This really enhanced the flavor of the taco. The grass fed beef was great as well. It was perfectly lean and tender.

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Overall the street tacos and the watermelon soda made for quite a tasty meal that made this Hello Kitty Foodie smile! My favorite is that everything was so fresh! Farmy fresh happiness! From their natural refresher to their tacos made with grass fed steak, it was a healthy, happy meal. Here at True Food Kitchen they say “health starts with gratitude” and I can definitely say I am grateful for my visit here!

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For more more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on True Food Kitchen.

Hello Hopdoddy Burger Bar at The Point!

Who’s your doddy? ;)

Hello Kitty Foodie found herself hoppin’ back to  El Segundo today to check out Hopdoddy Burger Bar, the newest restaurant at The Point.

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Popular in Austin, Texas, Hopdoddy is now in the South Bay bringing their perfect union of burgers and handcrafted beer. Their name actually comes from the Handcrafted Beer (Hop) and (Doddy), the nickname given to the native cow in Aberdeen, Scotland. Everything is made daily in-house from their french fry sauces to their in house grind black angus beef to their freshly baked hamburger buns!

Hello Kitty Foodie was so lucky to be part of a special friends and family preview today! I was so happy to get a special first glance at this newest burger joint!

Every Hopdoddy experience starts out with fries first! The truffle fries here come with aioli sauce. You however can also request special sauces such as their Chipotle ketchup and their ranch dressing!

I really loved their truffle fries! it was crispy and fresh and sprinkled with lots of truffle. The aioli sauce is perfect for dipping. This was my favorite dipping sauce. The Chipotle ketchup came as a close second. It’s a ketchup with a slightly sweet kick! Even without the sauces however, the fresh fries are terrific.

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As delicious as the fries were, I had to save room their famous burgers! I was so excited to try the burgers here and right from the start i was impressed. They use all natural ingredients and you can personally see them grinding all their meat in house. No hormones, all natural, the burgers are made with the best ingredients!

i learned from the general manager that the Primetime burger is an award winning burger and decided to try this! When this was served, I could instantly see why this burger has gotten so many rave reviews. It’s one delicious and messy burger consisting of Texas Akaushi Beef, brie cheese, truffle aioli, arugula, caramelized onions, and steak sauce. The sweetness of the caramelized onions, the melted brie cheese and the truffle aioli all came together to bring a saucy sweetness and flavorful delight to this burger! Similarly, the deliciousness was enhanced with the thick and moist beef patty and the soft baked buns.

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Aside from the Primetime burger, another classic favorite here is their Magic Shroom burger! My friend got this and Ioved it’s simple goodness. This burger has angus beef, local goat cheese, field mushrooms, mayo and basil pesto! If you love mushrooms this burger is for you. It had a generous serving of fresh and tasty mushrooms. Similar to the Primetime was the hefty and juicy meat patty!

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It’s not all about burgers here though because Hopdoddy has excellent drinks! They’ve got a good selection of drinks on tap, sips for adults, sweet shakes, maine root sodas, iced teas and lemonade.

I personally tried their ginger lemonade and found it to be amazing! It’s refreshing and not too sweet. It’s great for the hot summer days!

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Aside from the ginger lemonade, I got to try their shakes! I am a big lemon fan and when one of the servers recommended the Lemon Olive Oil Biscotti, I knew i had to try it. I instantly fell in love with this shake when it came out.  A lovely lemon concoction was presented to me! It’s a thick milkshake filled with house made ice cream, lemon, local extra virgin olive oil and topped with a biscotti and whip cream. Great tart flavor with bits candied lemon rind inside, this was a very good dessert!

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Hopdoddy Burger Bar gave Hello Kitty Foodie plenty of reasons to smile today! Their burgers are some of the best I’ve ever had! The truffle fries were equally amazing as well as their ginger lemonade and their shakes! i love this new addition at The Point! What can I say, I am a Doddy’s girl. ;)

For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Hopdoddy Burger Bar!

Hello Back to School, Hello Kitty (Foodie) Style!

People always say “Time flies when you’re having fun!”  From Hello Kitty’s Supercute Friendship Festival in early June to My Melody and Little Twin Stars’ anniversaries at Comic Con, it’s been quite a summer full of Hello Kitty happiness! Alas, summer is coming to an end but that doesn’t mean the Hello Kitty smiles will stop! It’s almost time to go back to school and Hello Kitty Foodie is here to make sure all of the Hello Kiddies will be supercute and stylin’ when they go back to school!

Loungefly has the cutest selection of backpacks available!

They always say polka dots bring lots of luck! This Hello Kitty green/white polka dot polka dot is sure to bring cute and luck this school year!

photo credit: Loungefly

         photo credit: Loungefly

It’s a new school year and who doesn’t  want a bright and happy year full of fun!  This Hello Kitty tie-dye is sure to make the year a colorful one!

photo credit: Loungefly

               photo credit: Lounge fly

It’s My Melody and Little Twin Star’s 40th anniversary this year! The cute bunny and twinzies not only want to celebrate their anniversary, they want to celebrate school with all the Hello Kiddies too with these new Loungefly backpacks!

My Melody wants the sweetest school year ever for every one!

photo credit: Loungefly

photo credit: Loungefly

Little Twin Stars are wishing upon a star for the best school year ever!

photo credit: Loungefly

   photo credit: Lounge fly

Hello Kiddies are Hello Kitty Foodies too and Lougefly brings supercute to lunch time with their new lunch boxes!

Sweet an apple and cute as a kitty, is this Hello Kitty with red bow lunch box!

photo credit: Loungefly

               photo credit: Loungefly   

ABC, 123, Hello Kitty wants to make sure all the kiddies are happy and full so that they can study hard! This Hello Kitty nerd with chalkboard lunch box will help with that!

photo credit: Loungefly

            photo credit: Loungefly

The fun and cuteness does not end when summer ends! Hello Kitty is there to make sure of that! Hello Kitty hugs and smiles for the best school year ever to all the Hello Kiddies!

Hello ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen @ The Point!

The newly opened The Point in El Segundo continues to impress this Hello Kitty Foodie with their lineup of retailers and restaurants! The latest to make me smile is Shophouse Southeast Asian Kitchen.

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I am a big fan of Chipotle. Many of you may know this already because of previous Chipotle blog posts or instagram photos. When i heard about Chipotle having a sister restaurant with a similar concept with Asian food, I was intrigued and knew I had to try it one day! This sister restaurant is none other than ShopHouse SouthEast Asian Kitchen. Just like Chipotle, they allow customers to make their own creations! They have a build your own bowl concept where you can create bowls filled with yummy food inspired by Thailand and Vietnam.

I never had a chance to try ShopHouse because all the locations were a bit far from me but lucky for this Hello Kitty Foodie, the newest location opened up recently at my new favorite hot spot The Point! On grand opening day, ShopHouse also gave a special treat of free bowls for everyone from 12-7pm.  I was one of the lucky ones who got to partake in the celebration.

Though they have pre-set bowls via their House Favorites, I chose to build my own bowl! I got a bowl filled with brown rice, pork and chicken meatballs, their seasonal vegetable kale and green curry. I had it garnished with green papaya slaw and topped it with crushed peanuts, toasted rice, crispy garlic and some Thai chilies.

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My bowl came out in a wonderfully colored array filled with healthy veggies and lots of meatballs! I was impressed. Tastewise, I found my bowl to be very good! I was surprised to have it be a bit on the spicy side. The spicy kick most likely is attributed to the green curry and Thai chilies. I really liked the pork and chicken meatballs. They were of good size. They were cooked well and tender. I was one happy and fulfilled kitty with this bowl

To add a sweet note to my meal here, I got a complimentary coconut rice and mango parfait for dessert. This dessert is mini but packed with flavor! There is plenty of sticky rice in the little shot glass and is topped with a decent layer of sweet mango. I am a big fan of mango and liked the mango topping the best!

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Overall, I was a fan of my first visit to ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen at The Point. I liked creating my own bowl and found the food to be very yummy. I loved the friendly service and was touched with the complimentary dessert.

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I know I will be visiting The Point very often. It is my new favorite spot after all and i am sure many of those visits will include visits to ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen! Thanks for the smiles on grand opening day ShopHouse!

For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Shophouse Southeast Asian Kitchen at The Point!

Hello The Point!

Today the newest shopping and dining destination in the South Bay opened in El Segundo at the corner of Rosecrans and Sepulveda. This place is  The Point.

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What’s it the point of The Point? Hello Kitty Foodie will tell you in this blog post!  One of the points is to make your sure all the kitties are stylin’ in the very best outfits! The Point has some amazing retailers that shoppers are sure to love. From Michael Stars to Lucky Brand and No Rest for Bridget, Hello Kitty Fashionistas will be happy! Another point of The Point is to make sure every kitty is full and happy! After  all the fun shopping, Hello Kitty Foodies will have plenty of eateries to wine and dine!

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Among the popular eateries now open are Shophouse, North Italia and True Food Kitchen!

Shophouse SouthEast Asian Kitchen is a sister restaurant to Chipotle! Here foodies can make your own bowls filled with food culinary inspired by Malaysia, SIngapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

North Italia specializes in modern Italian cuisine with handcrafted pizzas and fresh pastas! This kitty had the privilege of trying out their food already and can say each item is definitely handcrafted with love!

True Food is all about honest and healthy food! Healthy hello kitty foodies, this place is for you!

Coming soon to The Point are even more delicious spots! These spots are sure to bring a happy smile!

Hopdoddy Burger Bar will bring to The Point the ultimate place where one can combine crafted burgers and beers on tap. Eat, drink, relax and repeat, my kitties!

Mendocino Farms fresh and healthy sandwiches will be coming soon! Healthy kitties will love it!

Smitten Ice Cream, a place well-known in San Francisco willbe bringing their made to order ice cream to the South Bay soon via their outdoor stand at The Point! It will be sure to bring some sweet smiles to all!

Sugarfina will make life even sweeter when they bring their gourmet candies to The Point in October 2015! Hello Kitty Foodie is so excited for all these places! The al fresco dining and the cool outdoor atmosphere at The Point is perfect. It’s a spot to eat a good meal, have a refreshing drink and simply enjoy life. The point of The Point is to be everyone’s happy place! How can one not smile at that the thought of that? Hurry up and get to the point!

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For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on The Point!

Hello North Italia @ The Point!

Ever since I saw The Point being built El Segundo, California, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the opening of the eateries that would be housed there. Some of the most popular restaurants would now have a home in the South Bay! Finally the time has come for The Point to open up! This is The Point’s grand opening week and one by one the new restaurants are opening up. One of the first restaurant to open it’s doors this week is North Italia.

The very first North Italia opened up in 2002 and they specialize in handmade pizzas and pastas. The theme of the restaurants is “A love letter to Italy” where every thing is handmade with love.

Today I got to experience North Italia for a lunch out and try first hand their made from scratch lovely dishes.

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Stepping in to this North Italia, one cannot help but feel an instant love for the restaurant. It is beautiful inside. There are huge hanging lights up above and a really nice open kitchen in the back. The dark wood interior gives a beautiful classy feel. Diners can also choose to dine outside, a choice that my friend and I made. Pretty flower vases adorn the wooden tables outside.

To match the lovely look of the restaurant is their lovely menu consisting of small plates, pizzas, sandwiches, salads and main entrees.

To start, I got to try the Grilled Cauliflower small plate. It’s a wonderfully plated dish with fried egg, baby asparagus, toasted bread crumbs, pancetta cream and lemon.

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The taste of the lemon is instant at first bite of this dish. The runny egg offsets the lemon and gives a unique take on this dish. It’s one of the most interesting takes I’ve ever seen.

For our main lunch entrée, my friend and I tried their Margherita Pizza.

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It’s a classic Margherita with mozzarella, fresh basil, olive oil and red sauce. With its hot baked dough, crispy edges and fresh mozzarella the pizza was one lovely pizza.

I love the concept of North Italia and their fresh take on Italian cuisine. Handmade with love, North Italia has found a happy place in Hello Kitty Foodie’s heart.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review of North Italia.

P.S North Italia is the sister restaurant to another eatery at The Point, True Food Kitchen (blog post for True Food Kitchen coming soon ;).