On the Line: Konstantine Marougas Of El Amerikano, Part One

Categories: On the Line

Photo by LP Hastings
Time to get cooking

A year ago, I spotted a new establishment in downtown Fullerton while en route to a chef interview. Owned by the same group that handles Kentro Greek Kitchen, I finally sat down with the team that bounces between the thriving concepts-- specifically, Chef Konstantine Marougas.

How would you describe the cuisine of El Amerikano?
It's a fun American kitchen with a Latin flair.

How do you balance overseeing the kitchens of both Kentro and El Amerikano?
We spent a lot of time putting systems and great management in place at Kentro, so by the time El Amerikano opened, that restaurant was pretty solid. I have been devoting most of my time to El Amerikano, but because both restaurants are so close (50-feet, door-to-door) I can always check in on the other, regardless of where I am.

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Fins Poke Fusion, New Poke Restaurant, Serves Poke and Unagi Sandwiches

More poke! More fun!
Did already we already mention poke is blowing up all over? I think we did. But here's more proof.

Sushi Zone, an all-you-can-eat sushi joint in Mission Viejo, has rebranded itself as Fins, a restaurant specializing in poke bowls where you can choose your flavor (either a house spicy mayo vinaigrette, a ponzu blend, or sesame shoyu), and your fish (salmon or tuna), your base (spring mix, white rice, or brown rice) to make poke bowls of your chosen size (either a regular for $8.95, or a large for $11.95). Extras like avocado, masago, or octopus can be added for a $1.

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This Can Cheese 3D Printer Is the Future

Cheese printer.

It's rare that I can just see something and say, "That thing, that thing is the future," but I just watched a video of a 3D cheese printer, and well, tomorrow is yesterday. It's just so magical, and I don't want to say too much as to rob the contraption of its majesty.

Just know that the video after the jump is one of my new favorite YouTube videos.

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Taco Bell's Biscuit Taco Keeps the Dream Alive

Photo by Ryan Cady
That's some nice chicken

Remember those Taco Bell Waffle Taco things? And that weird hash brown Crunchwrap majigger? Well, if you don't, surely you've noticed that Taco Bell is inexplicably open when most of its pot-addled clientele is asleep, the traditional American breakfast hours of 6 to 9 a.m., serving up shit that nobody asked for, like a Sausage 'n Gravy Crunchwrap.

Sidebar with me? Isn't it weird that Taco Bell hasn't tapped into "traditional" Mexican breakfast dishes like huevos rancheros, or anything involving chorizo? I mean, nobody expects authentic from the Bell - that's honestly part of its appeal - but if your entire marketing strategy is to make a breakfast that's somehow drastically different from everyone else's, maybe think about working within genre of food you serve? Instead of just making ANOTHER sausage/egg/cheese breakfast sandwich that happens to be shaped differently.)

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BurntZilla Throws A Party Tomorrow!

BurntZilla Facebook
Hot dog! Hot dog! Hot diggity dog!

Okay, it's considered a grand opening celebration. But if you're a faithful Forker, you'll know they rolled up doors on Valentine's Day. Party time is excellent in our book, so our ears perked up when words like "free" and "grand prize" were dropped.

Long story short: You can expect some family friendly enjoyment Sunday morning. Prepare for an early lunch with the following incentives:

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Sangria Sampler at Lazy Dog Cafe, Our Drink of the Week!

Edwin Goei
Down with the doggies.

There are already a few OC restaurants that let you bring the dog. But the Lazy Dog chain pretty much invites your pooch to come along. You have to sit outside, of course, with the other pet parents, but the patio is exactly the place you want to dine at Lazy Dog when these hot early-summer days turn into warm evenings. For a nominal fee, there's even a menu for Fido: either burger or chicken, served with brown rice. And a bowl of water is always complimentary.

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The Churro Ice Cream Sandwich at Downtown Disney Is the Most Disappointing Thing I've Ever Eaten

Categories: Dishney

Photo by Charles Lam
This picture holds false promises

[Note: Disneyland doesn't actually run the California Churro Cart. The ice cream sandwich is still pretty horrible, though]

The Churro Ice Cream Sandwich at Downtown Disney is served with a napkin, a spoon, a knife, and a fork. That should be your first warning.

Standing in line at the California Churro Cart in front of the Lego Store, you'll feel a little uneasy. You'll see the stacks of hockey puck-esque rolled churros sitting in the display case distinctly without ice cream between them -- your second warning. The people ahead of you ordering the sandwiches will walk away with two separate containers, one full of vanilla ice cream scooped from a cooler that sits to the side of the cart and the other containing two churro wafers, re-dusted in cinnamon and sugar after being removed from the display case by the always exceedingly polite person working there.

That'll be your final warning before you step up, order, and realize that the churro ice cream sandwich might not be as good as it looked on Instagram.

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Latina America 50 Best Restaurant, Manzanilla, Hosts Some of the Best Chefs in Latin America this Saturday, March 28

Categories: Tijuana Sí!


Let me first say that Tijuana Sí! is back after a long break, mostly due to a busy schedule, and back with a big event announcement this weekend at Ensenada's Manzanilla by Latin America 50 Best chef, Benito Molina. A huge injustice happened last year when putting together the first ever San Pellegrino list of the 50 Best Restaurants in Latin America--one of the founders of Modern Mexican cuisine, and one of the most respected chefs in Mexico was slighted, but in the Fall of 2014 in Lima, Peru, Manzanilla was finally placed where it belongs, among the best restaurants in Latin America.

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Ronin Burrito, A New Late-Night Sushi Delivery Service, Opens

Categories: Now Open

This one is called The Wanderer.
Ronins are wandering samurai with no home, swords for hire. So kudos to whoever named the new Ronin Burrito, a sushi delivery service that serves UCI and its environs like Ippo Sushi and DelSushi.

If you look closely though, Ronin Burrito is different from those two. Its menu and focus is more like Fountain Valley's Samurai Burrito in that it serves exactly the same kind of food: uncut sushi rolls which can be called a burrito if you're stretching the definition.

But just like its established rivals Ippo and DelSushi, Ronin Burrito doesn't start delivering until 6 p.m. and then stops for the night at 2 a.m.

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This Is How You Make a Giant Chocolate Easter Egg

Imagine laying that one..

Lent is almost over, which means it's almost that time of the year when I start craving hollow chocolate shells of bunnys, eggs, and Santas left over from Christmas (chocolate doesn't really expire, right?) Most of them are going to be the manageable-but-not-quite-satisfying, small-enough-to-hold-with-one-hand sized, but if you look around you might find one of those obscenely giant ones.

Ever wondered how the nicest ones are made? Well, if you check the video after the jump..

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