Hello Myung In Dumplings!

If Myung In Dumplings sounds familiar it’s because the K-town restaurant was featured by Anthony Bourdain is show “Parts Unknown” 😊. Since it’s feature on the show, numerous foodies have flocked to the restaurant in K-town. It was even part of LA Weekly’s “99 Most Essential Restuarants of 2014.” Because of it’s popularity the restaurant has opened up a branch in Garden Grove, California and just recently in Torrance, California. I recently had a chance to check out the newest branch.

Similar to other Korean restuarants, Myung In provides complimentary banchan with their dishes. On my trip here, I got to check out two sides. The first banchan I got was a nice and spicy side dish with pickled daikon, cucumber and jalapeΓ±os.

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The other complimentary side dish I tried was the traditonal Korean favorite kimchi.

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I found both banchan to be very flavorful but the pickled daikon was my personal favorite. It had a spicy kick that was a perfect match with the main entrees I got to try.

The first main item I got to try was the Dumpling beef soup. This soup was packed with flavor and packed with ingredients. It came with eight dumplings and glass noodles. With it’s warm broth and fresh dumplings, this soup was so heartwarming for the cold day.

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I also got to try another soup via the Beef short rib soup or Gal bee tang. Similar to the dumpling soup, this also had glass noodles. There are no dumplings in this soup however. This soup came instead with three pieces of beef short rib. This is also a good soup for chilly times. The broth is same flavorful broth in the dumpling soup and the beef short rib enhances the flavor even more

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Last but definitely not the least was the King steam dumplings that I got to try. True to it’s name, these dumplings are “King.” It’s huge in size and filled with plenty of pork and vegetables. I was actually pleasantly surpised at how much meat was packed in these dumplings. They are like Chinese steamed buns or Filipino siopao but I found the main wrapper to be so much softer.

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Overall, I enjoyed trying out Myung In Dumplings. Everything is made fresh and I found it all to be so fulfilling. I can’t wait to try out other items here and it makes me smile just thinking about future dumpling tastings.

For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Myung In Dumplings

Hello Umami Burger: Truffle love!

“Hands touch, eyes meet
Sudden silence, sudden heat
Hearts leap in a giddy world…”

Those are the lyrics of one of my favorite songs from the musical Wicked and it seems appropriate for this week, Valentine’s week.

Love it or hate it, the day of red and pink hearts is coming soon upon us and there are plenty of hearts leaping in this giddy world. For the foodies out there I have something that is sure to make your hearts leap and make you giddy, for this week only, Umami Burger is offering their famous truffle burger for $8. Normally, $12, Umami is offering it for $8 till February 15. How is that for making you giddy? πŸ˜‰

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The truffle burger comes with truffled aioli, house truffle cheese and truffle glaze! It’s a burger filled with plenty of truffle love! Hands touch the fresh bread, eyes meet the thick patty and sudden silence of aww with all that truffle flavor. The heart leaps with this burger.

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To further the giddiness, one should get the truffle burger with Umami’s truffle fries! It’s thin fries with truffle cheese. That pairing is love defined. It’s the perfect pairing like Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, Cinderella and Prince Charming, Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel…haha well you get the point.

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The truffle burger $8 deal is only for this hearts week, so if you’d like to partake in this LOVE-ly deal, you must hurry! Stay giddy my friends! Love, Hello Kitty Foodie ❀️

Hello Pizza Five85!

Happy National Pizza Day!

Today is National Pizza Day and what better way to celebrate it than with a visit to Pizza Five85.

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The first Pizza Five85 opened up in August last year with locations in West Covina and Hollywood and now only a couple months later, they open up their newest branch in the South Bay. Today was the grand opening of in Torrance. Located at the heart of popular restaurant haven, Torrance Crossroads, Pizza Five85 is a new hot spot offering a new way for customers to enjoy pizza.

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The concept of Pizza Five85 is “Assemble your own.” It’s a simple four step process with an emphasis on fresh ingredients.

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The first step is picking your own fresh crust, with a choice between original and garlic, then choosing your sauce; marinara and pesto, followed up your choice of cheese; mozarella, parmesan, feta or ricotta.

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Once your base is made, the fun of choosing toppings begin! They have a variety of meats. They’ve got classic favorites like pepperoni and sausage but also unique toppings like Korean bbq meat and salmon. I also was such a fan of their various veggies! Variety is big here! I saw so many different types of tomatoes and mushrooms!

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After the meat and veggies, it’s time to weigh and bake. It’s 39 cents per ounce. Right after weighing and paying, the pizza gets baked in front of you. It gets baked for five minutes in the oven temprature of 585 degrees (hence the name Pizza Five 85) :). They give a cute little red buzzer button that will light up once your pizza is done baking.

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While waiting, one can enjoy some of their drinks. I love how they have different kinds of iced tea here.

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Soon enough, the pizza is ready and a beautiful, hot, piping pizza is presented! One of the best things about this place is their unique ingredients. I got to try two types of pizza. The first pizza I got to try was my custom made one with garlic crust and a variety of veggies and chicken. It’s my first time to have a custom made pizza with garlic crust. The taste of garlic is distinct at first bite. I also loved all the veggies I got to put on my pizza! I was able to put corn, sautΓ©ed mushrooms, fresh mozarella, tomatoes, eggplant and Shiitake mushrooms. For my meat, I chose a mix of different chicken from Thai chicken with peanuts to Spicy Cajun chicken. It was a pizza that was classically my own and I loved how all my favorites came together to make not only a unique pizza but a delicious one as well. Piping hot crust, delectable and delightful fresh toppings all made one perfect pizza.

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Aside from my garlic crust pizza filled with veggies and chicken, I also got to try a more classic pizza with marinara sauce, sausage, mushrooms, pineapple and green pepper. Once again, this Pizza Five85 creation was a winner. The crust was crispy and each ingredient topping was so savory and tasty!

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I couldn’t imagine a better way to celebrate National Pizza Day today over going to the newest pizza hot spot to open up in the South Bay. I loved assembling my own pizza and was such a fan of their variety of fresh ingredients. Great concept, great ingredients and great tasting pizza. I was full of smiles the whole time I was here. :) Happy National Pizza Day, indeed! ;)

For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Pizza Five85!

Hello Nick’s Manhattan Beach!

I love downtown Manhattan Beach. Beach side, sunny downtown Manhattan Beach is pure bliss and some of my most relaxing and favorite moments are spent there. One of the areas in downtown that I particularly like is the Metlox Center. It’s home to the cute Papyrus store, the refreshing healthy spots Lemonade and Nektar, the oh so sweet Le Pain Quotidien and the recently opened Nick’s Manhattan Beach.

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Popular in Laguna Beach, Long Beach and San Clemente, my curiosity was quite peaked to try Nick’s Manhattan Beach and I finally got the chance today during lunch out with my good college friend.

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We started off our meal with Asparagus Fries. It’s crispy, hot and fresh asparagus spears coated with parmesan. There is buttermilk ranch dipping sauce on the side.

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For our main entrees my friend and I decided to split our entrees. My friend got the Ribeye Melt. In between two crispy grilled sourdough bread was sliced ribeye, swiss cheese, grilled onions and mustard bacon sauce. This sandwich is perfect for meat lovers. The ribeye is packed in there and makes for a pretty hefty sandwich. The grilled sourdough bread along with the swiss cheese is nice! It gives a cheese toast type of feel.

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For my entree, I chose the Buttermilk Fried Chicken. I was simply amazed the moment it came out. It was such a huge, drool worthy dish. It came with whipped mashed potatoes, buttermilk biscuit, country gravy and roasted sweet corn on the cobb. The buttermilk fried chicken was simply divine. It was boneless fried chicken with a crisp outside and tender chicken in the inside. The whipped mashed potatoes were so creamy and soft and the country gravy that topping was wonderfully thick. The buttermilk biscuit was soft and nicely baked and the corn on the cob was sweet and nice. This dish was simply perfection.

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Nick’s Manhattan Beach is nice addition to Metlox Center and a location I am sure to visit again. It’s a beautiful restaurant with divine dishes. Every single minute I was here I was impressed. The location was on point. The atmosphere was lovely. The food was amazing. In a town where fine dining restaurants are abundant and delicious eateries can be found in every corner, Nick’s does an awesome job of standing out in bringing fine dining heart and flavor. Their meals have a home like feel yet with a classy twist. It just brings me a smile when I think about it.

For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Nick’s Manhattan Beach.

Hello National Croissant Day!

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Flaky, buttery goodness! How can one not appreciate a this wonderful breakfast staple that simple makes you say “Oui!” A bread associated with France but interestingly enough invented by Turkish bakers, the croissant is a favorite for many! Today is the perfect day to have a croissant too because it’s National Croissant Day! Oui!

Starbucks is offering 50% off their crossiant so today for all registered cards and I just could not pass up this deal. My happy Friday morning started off with breakfast with a friend where we got to try two of Starbucks most popular croissants, their chocolate croissant and the almond croissant blossom.

It was flaky, buttery heaven at first bite for the chocolate croissant! Rich, dark chocolate oozed out of the croissant. Sweet in the inside and crispy on the outside, it was delcious.

The almond croissant blossom was my favorite though! It is topped with almond filling and toasted slice almonds! The sweet almond paste was perfection. It brought out the buttery goodness of the croissant even more. The toasted almonds were the perfect matching topping. I am such a fan of this croissant!

Thanks to Starbucks today for such a happy morning and a delicious way to celebrate National Croissant Day! I wish all my blog readers a very Happy National Croissant Day! ❀️

Hello Thai Thani!

Here it goes…I’m about to reveal one of my favorite restaurants ever. Drum roll please…Thai Thani in Redondo Beach.

I have loved this restaurant ever since I was a little girl. From lunches with my parents to dinner celebrations, this Thai restaurant has always had a special place in my heart and remains to be my favorite place for Thai food.

Lunch is my favorite time to go here because their lunch specials come with either salad or soup. I love their salad because it comes with their own housemade dressing. The salad dressing is oh so creamy. I often have a hard time choosing between salad or soup because their soup is delightful is so well. The soup that they offer is a wonderfully light and comforting soup filled with wontons and bok choy. The wontons are filled with ground chicken.
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There are two particular dishes that I always love getting here. My first favorite dish is their Stuffed Chicken Wing. It is a boneless chicken wing that is stuffed with pork, chicken, onions and glass noodles. It comes with two dipping sauces, a sweet and sour sauce and a cucumber sauce. The cucumber sauce is a like a little mini salad because it has mixture of onions and peanuts. I simply love the fried chicken wing because it is perfectly crispy. The stuffing inside is so fulfilling. The chicken is perfectly paired with fried rice.

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My other favorite dish at Thai Thani is their Pad Thai. I’ve tried many Thai restaurants but Thai Thani for me has the best Pad Thai. The flavor of the Pad Thai here cannot be beat. The noodle dish has soft noodles and is topped with a great mixture of shrimp, baked tofu, bean sprouts and crushed peanuts. Wonderful flavor and texture, these noodles are always a must for me when I come here.

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I love this place as you can see via this blog post and via my previous Yelp reviews and hope to have many more smiley lunches and dinners here in the future.

Hello Baked Kale Chips!

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Kale! Kale is my new foodie crush!

I recently bought some kale at the local grocery store with the intention of just whipping up a quick salad. After awhile though, I thought of trying to be more creative! I had heard of folks making kale chips and decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did because the process is simple and the results are delicious.

Ingredients: kale, olive oil, salt, lemon

I started off with preheating my oven to 325 degrees F.

In parallel with the preheat, I took my kale bunch and cut off the leaves from the thick stems. Once the leaves were removed, I sliced them into smaller pieces.

I then washed all of the dry kale with my salad spinner.

I placed all of the kale onto my baking pan annd sprinkled one tablespoon of olive oil, one tablespoon of seasoning salt and one tablespoon of lemon.

I then baked my kale chips until the edges were brown but are not burnt for about 10 to 15 minutes.

At first I wasn’t sure how it would turn out but it was green love at first bite! The kale chips turned out wonderfully crispy! The lemon and olive oil mix gave plenty of flavor. The addition of lemon gave a nice citrusy taste. Honestly, I really liked kale chips and I can’t wait to make baked kale chips again in the future. It’s a healthy and delicious snack and there’s nothing to not love about this dish!