Sunday, April 29, 2007

Pop's Cafe - Santa Ana

I was off on a Friday. Impossible! Unheard of! That can only mean one thing. I'm going to BREAKFAST!! Yeah, that opportunity is rare. So I planned on seizing the morning and running full speed with it.

I've read about this place briefly. I don't normally head North to satiate my hunger. This was something new and exciting. The only other place I've been to in this city was Ye Olde Ship, and that was excellent in a completely different way.

Pop's wasn't close to the freeway. It took a cruising thru neighborhoods to reach this destination. Fortunately, there was accessible metered parking right out front. Score. I mosey on over to find them not hurting for business. Tables were stationed out front with clusters enjoying the weather, while chatter went on inside. I grabbed a seat at the counter (my favorite place ~ quicker service IMO). As I leaned forward to snatch a menu from its holder, I took the whole thing with me. The metal flew to the floor with a clang. So much for being cool. Friendly face number one walked over to me and said that "it happens all the time". I sheepishly smile and bury my face in the selections.

I really wanted to be healthy today, but I've heard raves about the deep fried French toast. What is a gal to do? I confer with Friendly face number two. She understands my dilemma, but makes a point of asking if I'm sure I want the deep fried, "most people can't handle that". I assure her that I'm not most people. So it's settled. One gourmet omelet delite with a substitution of toast with a half order of deep fried French toast. I sip my apple juice and sit back.

A portable radio is set to an oldies station. My eyes start to wander around the space. I spy a small but impressive Coca Cola memorabilia collection perched on a high shelf. There were glass bottles from other contries, plus some nifty novelties as well. It's a small space, but they make good use of it. My meal has arrived.

Two plates are set before me. One has the best veggie omelet I've had in quite a while. Sauteed mushrooms, cheese, tomato, avocado, sprouts, and sour cream all fight for my attention. I can't help but make room for its neighbor of Irish Potatoes (hash browns with bell pepper and onion mixed in). Simply wonderful. And then there's the OTHER plate. Two slices of the richest, crispiest, artery-clogging toast a person could imagine. And syrup for dipping. I feel full just thinking about it.

I dig in with gusto. The servers compliment me on my bold choice and eating capabilities. It's all a blur. I try to shift plates around when other lone diners seat themselves next to me, but it's a bit of a challenge. I check my watch to make sure the meter is still running. Ok, there's still another 15 minutes left. I start to slow down. In the end, I might've left some hash browns, but that toast was toast. Excellent service from beginning to end. About $15 after tax and a sizeable tip. Oh, and on my way out...I thought I spotted another dining room!? Kinda like a place in Belmont Shore I've dined at. Guess it's not so unusual after all.

Pop's Cafe
112 East 9th Street
Santa Ana
(no website available)

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Thai Nakorn OPEN!

According to Cynthia Furey of the OC Register, Thai Nakorn is now open!!

Thai Nakorn
11951 Beach Blvd.
Stanton, CA 90680

10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays,
10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Fridays through Sundays.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Beach Cities Yogurt & Gelato (Grand Opening) - Huntington Beach, CA

Looks like it's Frozen Yogurt Week here on OC Food Blogs. Breaking news via CP FoodWire:

Beach Cities Yogurt & Gelato is holding its Grand Opening this week. Located near the corner of Beach and Warner, it has set itself us as a direct competitor to the popular Golden Spoon franchise less than a block away. Beach Cities seems to be counting on its healthy frozen yogurt toppings to attract business from the nearby Huntington Plaza office tower. That's a tall order given the convenience and popularity of the Golden Spoon located at the tower's base. Will moribund office workers, such as myself, be motivated enough to walk the extra block for a slightly different product? My guess is no, but we'll see. According to my friend and fellow manager, Happy Hour, Beach Cities was completely empty today at lunchtime.

Beach Cities Yogurt & Gelato offers self-serve yogurt with 12 flavors that rotate monthly. The yogurt and toppings cost $0.30 per ounce. For a limited time, Beach Cities is offering the first three ounces for free. But, don't try to get just three ounces. Happy Hour said the owner got a bit tetchy when he asked for the free, three-ounce portion. I'll review this spot sometime in the next few weeks for Chubbypanda - The Epicurious Wanderer.

Free wireless Internet access is available for all customers.

(Edit 05/17/2007: Read my full, much more favorable review of Beach Cities Yogurt & Gelato here. Happy Hour and I are now regular customers.)

Beach Cities Yogurt & Gelato
16895 Beach Boulevard
Huntington Beach, CA 92647

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New Pinkberry-clone in Costa Mesa

It seems the frozen yogurt phenomenon is finally spreading like a contagious rash down in our area.

This one's going to be located next to Video Tokyo, in the same plaza as Hashigo and Oki Doki, on Paularino and Bristol.

The flapping banner reads:
"COMING SOON: Fresh Berries and Yogurt"

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

CeFiore - Newport Beach

Orange County residents who've been waiting for pricey tart frozen yogurt with fresh fruit toppings served in trendy cafe-like settings need wait no more. No, sorry, you're not getting a Pinkberry yet. But CeFiore, owned by sushi buffet chain Todai, is opening in Newport Beach on Saturday, April 28.

CeFiore - Los Angeles (Little Tokyo) 2

If you haven't had Pinkberry, you'll probably be quite pleased with this slightly tarty non-fat frozen yogurt with a selection of fresh fruit, nuts, and cereal toppings. And if you have had Pinkberry, well, this is pretty darn close to flavor, and a whole lot closer in distance.

For a general idea, you can read my review of the Little Tokyo CeFiore .

3305 Newport Blvd. #8
Newport Beach, CA 92663

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Green Parrot Cafe

Here's some pictures I took recently at Santa Ana's Green Parrot Cafe on Main St. directly across from the Bowers Museum:

Made-to-order chicken and rice soup:

Southwestern ravioli:

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thai Nakorn's Opening Delayed

The new Thai Nakorn has not yet been given the okay by the City of Stanton to open.

According to the young gentleman (a representative of the family) who was there tonight when we arrived ready for Thai food, the inspectors seem to have found yet another thing to nitpick. So they haven't been granted the permit they were expecting to get this Wednesday.

Since the inspector's office is closed tomorrow, Thai Nakorn won't get reinspected until Monday. So the doors won't open until then at the earliest.

Thai Nakorn
11951 Beach Blvd.
Stanton, CA 90680

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Counter (Burger) coming to Irvine

I have control issues. The kind of person who admires Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally", but won't insult a chef by modifying his masterpieces. I'll examine the menu (thank goodness for online menus and faxing!) until something catches my fancy. Mom always said I was picky, and I'm proud of it. I'll just call it refined.

I was excited when I saw the newest addition to Irvine suburbia taking shape, Woodbury Town Center. I spied a Chick Fil-A, Trader Joes, El Pollo Loco, and even Panera Bread. Apparently, two of everything in the same city is the new black.

What I did not anticipate or spot initially was The Counter. A place where I call the shots. BYO Burger, baby. A clipboard outlines the 5 step process. Choose your patty (weight, too), cheese, topping, sauce, and bun. Of course, you can have more than just one of any attribute. And for those with sensory overload you can just go with some of their signature items. The original Counter is in Santa Monica, and they've started franchising this year.

I'm probably the only one excited. That just means less of a wait when it opens.
Summer 2007 says the website. I'll be there.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Thai Nakorn Re-opening in Stanton

Thai Nakorn is re-opening in Stanton this Wednesday, April 18. Here's all the new location info because I'm sure many of you will want to come out and celebrate!

Thai Nakorn
11951 Beach Blvd.
Stanton, CA 90680
Mondays through Thursdays 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.,
Fridays through Sundays 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

The Orange County Register has a little more about the update here and here.

Thai Nakorn burned to the ground three months ago. Owner Wanida Sreewarom planned to rebuild, but the Garden Grove site would take too long.

Thai Nakorn has been a beloved Orange County restaurant for 20 years specializing in the Isaan (Northern Thai) style of cooking with its pungent flavors of garlic, lime, and ground rice. Fans of the restaurant offered to help rebuild, with one fan offering to pay for a whole new restaurant.

So go check out the new location and see why Thai Nakorn has garnered so much love.

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Monday, April 9, 2007

Yogurtland to open in Irvine

Looks like the Irvine Yogurtland is well on its way to being finished. Judging by the location, right next door to Taiko, it will be a madhouse when it finally swings its doors open. I can picture it now: lines out the door, yogurt machines overtaxed, chopped fruit supplies low. It's going to be awesome!

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