Hello VIP “Passport to Redondo Beach” Party at Bluewater Grill!

At the beginning of this week, I had the pleasure of attending the VIP “Passport to Redondo Beach” at Bluewater Grill. This event was the official launch of Bluewater Grill’s new waterfront dining patio and lounge.

The party had a very unique them to it. All guests were given a passport.

img_1108

This passport was the access to the VIP tour. There were six spots in the tour and each of us guests were to collect stamps at six special stations that Bluewater Grill set up.

The first station was where we each picked up our passports. This was Bluewater Grill’s Fireplace lounge.

The next station was the Waterfront Patio. This new patio is one of the largest waterfront dining spaces in the South Bay and overlooks the King Harbor marina. It includes a fire pit and lounge like couches for guests to enjoy Bluewater Grill’s delicious eats.  During the party, we got to feast on a yummy cheese and cracker platter that was paired with Bluewater Grill’s select fine wines.

img_1142

Station #3 was Bluewater Grill’s bar. Here VIP guests were treated to a Pilikia Margarita. This refreshing concoction consisted of Sauza Hornitos tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, fresh orange juice and a splash of lemon. The bartender also had a Virgin version available.

img_1107

The fourth stop of this fun party was dining room. Here guests could enjoy Fanny Boy oyster shooters. The oyster shooters could be enjoyed with or without absolute pepper vodka! Bluewater Grill doesn’t mess around with their oysters and anyone who enjoys the seafood delight would be pleased.

img_1143

Next stop of the tour was the Captain’s cabin. The Captain’s cabin is one of the dining areas at Bluewater Grill where guests can have a private party. It can seat 20-60 guests. I can personally say that this really is a beautiful area for a party.  I once had the pleasure of dining here for an event celebrating Bluewater Grill’s launch of the New England lobster and clambake.

img_1111   img_1109

At the Captain’s cabin, all of us guests got to try Bluewater Grill’s delicious crab cakes.

img_1105

Our last stop for the VIP party was the upstairs Avalon room. This is Bluewater Grill’s exclusive banquet room. Since this was the last stop of this very special night, we were treated to a variety of special appetizers.

There were jumbo shrimp and “sea bon bon” sashimi sea scallops.

img_1146

Those seafood starters were just the beginning of the treats at the Avalon room because soon after the waiters kept bringing out more dining delights.

One of the very first offerings brought out turned out to be my favorite of the night; Bluewater Grill’s Caribbean clam chowder. I loved the hint of coconut in this soup. It brought a unique tropical twist to clam chowder

img_1103

Next up was a refreshing and healthy treat. They served Bluewater Grill’s lobster mango salad. The mango was a special touch that brought a little bit of sweetness to this appetizer.

img_1104

Bluewater Grill is not purely seafood because they have some meat options as well for meat eaters like myself. They have a great duck appetizer that is served on top of a crisp wonton. I found the duck so savory and tender. How innovative too that they would pair this with a wonton! I love the combo!

img_1101

Definitely not lacking was the sweet dessert offerings! It sure was a sweet feast that included vanilla cake, chocolate cake, eclairs, cream puffs, lemon bars, fruit tarts and walnut bars.

img_1088

It was so hard to choose which dessert to get! Every thing I did try was simply amazing.

img_1102

The dessert treats were a perfect pairing with coffee. Hmm this seemed like a passport to bliss.

img_1106

It was truly one amazing night and a wonderful tour of the world of Bluewater Grill.

Congratulations Bluewater Grill on your new waterfront patio. This Hello Kitty Foodie cannot wait to be back!

img_1084

Hello Hiccups! 

Hello Kitty has the Hiccups and it’s a good thing  😉).

There’s a new coffee/boba shop in town and it’s called Hiccups.

img_0900

This delightful drink spot recently opened up in Carson, California. It’s the second location for Hiccups, with the first location being in Lakewood, California.

It is always a treat for me to visit coffee/boba shops. From enjoying a quiet evening sipping a warm cup of tea to beating the heat on warm days with a slushie, drink shops are enjoyable.

Hiccups has an extensive menu of both hot and cold beverages for every Hello Kitty Foodie’s drinking pleasure. They have iced teas, iced milk teas, mojitos, coffee, slushies, smoothies, hot teas, hot lattes and soft drinks. Some of their  drinks even have some the cutest and kawaii names (Hello Kitty stamp of approval for that 😉). Some drink names that put a smile on my face included Pinch O’ Peach (peach raspberry green tea with real peach bits), Pink-A-Boo (strawberry peach blended with ice served with strawberry bits) and Fruity Booty (mango peach strawberry blended with ice served with peach bits).

Being the big mango fan that I am, I chose to get the Mango Mango!

img_0901

This is mango flavored green tea, hand shaken with ice. I really enjoyed this drink. It was very refreshing and the taste of mango was abundant. There were even bits of mango inside the drink.

One cannot live on drinks alone and thus alongside their delicious drinks, Hiccups offers up various appetizers, noodles, soups and rice dishes. I got to try  one appetizer and two of their entrees on my visit here.

Being a big fan of egg rolls, Hiccup’s eggroll trio was my choice for appetizers.

img_0902

They give a triple treat here of crispy egg rolls filled with ground pork,  veggies and vermicelli. Crispy and crunchy, they are great!

Next up I tried the Garlic Noodle with Beef.

img_0903

When they served up this dish, the delicious aroma of garlic instantly hit the table. The aroma hypes up this dish right from the start and I am pleased to say the hype is real. Not only does this dish smelled good, it tasted good as well. The  garlic noodles was topped with lots of tender beef, flavorful onions and crispy bell peppers.

Not to be outdone by the noodles, is the rice dishes. The chicken fried rice was another winning entree in this foodie’s book.

img_0904

Similar to the noodles, the meat was abundant here. There were plenty of chicken slices along with carrots, peas and shrimp.

By the end of my meal, I was one happy camper with a smile on my face and with some…you guessed it some hiccups 😉. Yes, Hello Kitty has the hiccups and it is indeed a good thing ☺️.

img_0899

For more hiccups err smiles 😉 please see my Yelp review on Hiccups.

Hello Sisters Thai, The Ordinary Cafe!

 

Sisters Thai, The Ordinary Cafe in Fairfax, Virginia is far from being ordinary.

img_0856-1

Walking in, I could not help but be intrigued. There is a giant movie marquee with the restaurants name.

img_0955

One wall is filled with books, making the cafe look like a little bookstore.

img_0954

The place just has an overall cute, unique and homey vibe. This theme somewhat even overflows to the menu as the menu consists of a variety of traditional homestyle Thai cuisine as well as interesting Thai street foods.

To start off my meal, I chose to get the Angel wings.

img_0847-1

I have always been a fan of angel wings. Here at Sisters Thai they had three chicken wings stuffed with ground chicken, glass noodles and veggies. There was sweet chili dipping sauce on the side. Golden deep fried and perfectly crisp on the outside, this appetizer was delightful! The chicken itself simply came off the bone. The filling was well seasoned and every bite was just heavenly. This appetizer truly was an angel.

After the Angel wings, I tried the Drunken Noodles with beef.

img_0849-1

This was one spicy dish. The flat noodles were topped with plenty of beef mixed in with some spicy chili peppers, basils and jalapeños.It’s one very flavorful dish sure to bring a bit of fire to your mouth.

To offset, the heat of this dish, I had an order of Yellow Curry with chicken.

img_0848-1

I am a big fan of curry. I find the complex combinations of spices and herbs to make this creamy creation so delightful. Sisters Thai does a good job with their curry. There was plenty of thick, curry sauce with tender pieces of chicken, sliced carrots and potatoes. I was quite pleased with putting all this curry over the white rice. It was very fulfilling.

I really enjoyed dining at Sisters Thai, The Ordinary Cafe. As I mentioned in the beginning of this blog post, Sisters Thai is far from ordinary. The overall atmosphere is intriguing yet comforting. Their food is traditional yet distinct in taste. It was no ordinary day for me when I dined here.

For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Sisters Thai.

 

 

Hello Dolcezza!

During my recent business trip to Virginia, I could not help but pay a visit to Dolcezza. Dolcezza is a popular gelato and coffee spot that first opened it’s door in Georgetown in 2004 and has since made it’s way to opening more shops around the Washington DC/Virginia area. I visited the shop at Virginia’s Mosaic District in Fairfax, Virginia.

Dolcezza’s roasted coffee beans is sourced from Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Their menu consists of a variety of different espressos and coffees. The one that caught my eye was the Dulce de leche. I’ve always been a fan of dulce de leche beverages and was eager to see Dolcezza’s version of one of my favorite drinks.

img_0850-1

When my drink came out I was quite pleased to see it had a pretty design. I’ve always found it so fascinating when baristas can creatively make art out of micro foam and loved my simple, pretty latte art design.

If I was in love with the latte art, I soon found myself to have to have a coffee crush on the dulce de leche drink itself.  The latte was rich and bold  and I could taste the mix of  espresso and steamed milk. The dulce de leche taste is mixed into the espresso and the rich flavor is infused into the drink. It’s a perfect pick me up beverage.

Alongside the dulce de lehce latte, I chose to get a alfajores treat. They have two versions of alfajores at Dolcezza; one  filled with raspberry jam with lemon and the other filled with caramel. Since I was already having a caramel treat with my Dulce de leche latte, I chose to get a alfajores with the raspberry jam with lemon.

img_0851-1

With it’s soft, delicate and flaky exterior filled with a tart raspberry, I found this shortbread cookie to be quite delightful. It crumbled and simply melted in my mouth. It paired well with my dulce de leche latte.

I found it quite relaxing to enjoy a ducle de leche latte and alfajores here at Dolcezza. It was very nice to just have some downtime to enjoy a nice  day in the Mosaic District.  With a warm beverage and tasty treat, I was full of smiles that evening, thanks to Dolcezza!.

img_0845-1

For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Dolcezza

Hello Four Sisters!

I recently was on business travel to Virginia and whenever I’m out of town, I look for good places to try out. With over 780 Yelp reviews, Four Sisters Vietnamese Restaurant in Falls Church, Virginia, instantly caught my eye. With a little more research, I found out that Four Sisters has been a staple eatery in Northern Virginia for over two decades. It was originally located in Eden Center, a Vietnamese shopping center in Falls Church, Virginia before moving to the Mosaic District. After reading, so many good things, I knew Four Sisters was a place I definitely wanted to try.  I found myself there during my first evening in Virginia.

img_0807

Located at the corner of the Mosaic District, it was not hard to find Four Sisters. The restaurant has a mellow yellow hue theme, cherry wood furniture throughout and several colorful paintings around. It had a classic, welcoming atmosphere that set the tone for a lovely dinner.

To start of the evening, I had the crispy pork spring rolls.

img_0802

These spring rolls turned out to be my favorite item of the night! I loved the overall wrapper that they used. These egg rolls had a nice crisp exterior that gave the perfect crunch when biting into it. Inside the egg roll was a generous filling of pork and vermicelli noodles inside. I always am a fan when egg rolls have the vermicelli noodles in it. The long silky noodles give that extra melt in your mouth feel.

After the egg rolls, I got to try their Vietnamese Sweet and Sour Tamarind Soup with shrimp.

img_0805

This was a sweet and sour soup filled with pineapple, bell peppers, tomato, jalapeño and shrimp. Despite having a lot of jalapeños, this was actually not a spicy soup at all. It was also very much more on the sweet side versus the sour side and this could be because of the bits of pineapple that could be found throughout the soup.

Up next was the caramelized pork in clay pot.

img_0804

My palate was treated to some sweet and savory pieces of tender pork. The pork reminded me somewhat of Chinese chashu pork. It had the same sweetness to it that could be found in chashu. This dish goes very well with white rice.

Last but not least for the entrees I got to try  was the tofu sautéed with vegetables.

img_0806

I found this to  be a good vegetarian dish and liked the variety of vegetables included. There was broccoli, carrots, snow peas and bok choy. It’s a very simple entree yet nice in flavor. It was another entree that paired well with white rice.

Overall, I found Four Sisters to be a restaurant that offers a good variety of Vietnamese dishes. They offer traditional Vietnamese appetizers and soups, savory meat entrees and healthy vegetarian dishes that all have a distinct quality and taste. It is not hard to see why Four Sisters is a place well-known in Virginia because there is a dish here for every type of tatsebud!

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Four Sisters

(P.S I am Yelp review #786😉

 

 

 

Hello Shin Sen Gumi 2 Go Spring Udon Fair!

Ever since I discovered the various Shin-Sen Gumi restaurants, I have become quite a fan. My delight with the chain can be seen in my previous blog posts about Shin-sen-gumi Shabu ShabuHakata Ramen Shinsengumi and Shin-Sen Gumi Yakitori!

One of the things that I enjoy most about this restaurant is the various special offerings they have throughout the year. This April, I was pleasantly surprised with their Shin Sen Gumi Udon Fair at the Shin-Sen-Gumi 2GO restaurant at Tokyo Central! The fair featured sixteen kinds of new udon. Each week four different kinds of udon were featured.  Some of the creative offerings I saw were udon with cheesy fondue, udon with creamy crunch bacon, mushroom and avocado and udon with curry sauce and crispy pork!

On the day I came they had a creamy tomato and seafood udon.

img_0733

This creamy udon had clams in a very rich tomato broth. It had pasta like feel more than a soup. This was definitely one very unique dish.

One of the udons I got to try was the chunky beef udon.

img_0734

The chunky beef udon was a very comforting soup dish. It had good warm broth, had lots of ginger and green onions along with small pieces of chunky beef. This was something different from the creamy udon.

I really enjoyed how the udons offered at the Spring Udon Fair offered something for every taste bud. If you were craving something creamy and different, they had it. Crispy meat or hearty chicken? No problem! Savory broth or cheesy fondue? They will make it!

Udon for every type and every craving! The Spring Udon Fair at Shin-Sen Gumi 2 Go, simply made me smile.

img_0732

 

 

Hello Kitty and Friends at Universal Studios Florida!

 

Right at heart of Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida is a very special place. Here one can shop for super cute Sanrio exclusive merchandise and then after shopping eat the tastiest and cutest Hello Kitty treats ever.  It is a truly a dream come true. Where is this place? It is none other than the Hello Kitty Shop Featuring Hello Kitty and Friends at Universal Orlando Resort!
img_0459
This Hello Kitty and friends dream shop is  located along Hollywood Boulevard in the theme park. It is the first ever appearance of Hello Kitty at a theme park in North America!
img_0458
There are four specially themed areas in the shop. In the “Hello Kitty and Friends Town” area one can find a lot of cute specialty merchandise including stationery, accessories and collectibles featuring Hello Kitty and friends; Chococat, My Melody, Badtz Maru, Pompompurin and Keroppi! The “Hello Kitty Lounge” section is where one can buy home goods and apparel for those comfy days at home. Meanwhile at the “Hello Kitty at the Movies” area is where movie lovers can find cute collectibles featuring Hello Kitty and her friends reimagined with classic Universal movies. Last but not least is the favorite section of this Hello Kitty Foodie and it is none other than the “Hello Kitty Sweet Yummy Shop” section at the store. Here Hello Kitty Foodies get to enjoy kawaii goodies such as Hello Kitty dreamiscle cakes, Chococat smores, Keroppi candy apples!
img_0457
Aside from shopping and eating, one can even say hello to our forever BFF Hello Kitty herself. Hello Kitty has been known to make regular appearances, greet fans and take photos at the shop.
img_0456
Shop Hello Kitty, Eat Hello Kitty and Dream Hello Kitty! Hello Kitty Shop Featuring Hello Kitty and Friends at Universal Orlando Resort is a place of true happiness.
img_0468