White Elephant at The Globe Belgian Gastropub, Our Drink of the Week!

Photo by The Mexican
No pink elephants afterward, for sure...

Most everyone that visits the Globe Belgian Gastropub in Garden Grove's perpetually unloved Main Street historic district gets beers, and understandably so. But usually overlooked among the Chimays and craft suds is a full bar, with a cocktail menu that shows promise. And while the current offerings rely on vodka a bit much, the Globe bartenders redeem themselves with the White Elephant, the best dessert booze I've had since polishing off my bottle of Buffalo Trace bourbon cream last month.

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TK North Factory, Obanyaki Vendor, at Costa Mesa Mitsuwa For This Weekend

Categories: Food Festivals

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Flickr User Varin Tsai
Hot hockey pucks!

Do you know what an obanyaki is? It's a Japanese waffle-like filled pastry that goes by many names including oyaki, imagawayaki and "sweet pumpkin." The latter is what TK North Factory has apparently decided to call them, even though most of the ones they're going to be making contain red bean, custard and caramel, and not actual pumpkin, sweet or otherwise.

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Long Beach Lunch: The Village Grind

Photo by Sarah Bennett

The East Village Arts District has seen its fair share of coffeeshops come and go. From the days when the Blue Nile Cafe occupied the two-story storefront on the bottom of the Broadlind Hotel building to the subsequent years, when the location and its connected corner unit became the Broadlind Cafe, then Sipology and now The Green House.

Around the corner from this seemingly revolving door of buzz-disseminators, however, is the East Village's most stalwart coffeeshop--The Village Grind. And while it may not be as sleek, trendy or bustling as the others with Broadway frontage, this cozy hideout has everything you need for a free-wifi workday or a quick patio lunch.

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5 Amazing Pumpkin Products at Trader Joe's

Categories: Five Great...

Photo by jarchie

Pumpkin: the edible symbol of America; the squash that represents togetherness (read: gluttony). The annual autumn muse of Trader Joe's.

Okay fine, pumpkin is everyone's muse during the fall. But Trader Joe's is different. It's that overachiever in class everyone wants to hate, but can't because they actually are good at everything (and they're actually really nice and friendly, too).

Name any general item of food, and you'll find its pumpkin version at Trader Joe's. While you're doing that, here are five of the overachiever's greatest accomplishments.

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Clay Oven Offers Tandoor-Cooked Thanksgiving Turkeys For Pre-Order

Tandoori Turkey.
For the past 22 years Geeta Bansal's Clay Oven Indian Restaurant in Irvine has been making turkeys in its tandoor for Thanksgiving. And every year around this time, they offer it for pre-orders. It's a downright tradition.

This year, a bird goes for $74.95 and serves at least six. They're skinless and marinated in a herb and spice blend before being roasted in the superheated barrel-shaped ovens. They're also stuffed with an spice and vegetable infused basmati rice, and comes with a cranberry chutney on the side, because, hey, what's a Thanksgiving turkey without some sort of cranberry sauce.

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Capital Noodle Bar: Ni Hao, Hainan

Categories: Now Open

Photo by Jennifer Fedrizzi
Good noodles, too!

The last time I had a perfect plate of Hainan chicken rice, it was in Singapore at some random hawker center I probably couldn't locate now if you gave me a map. Other than Savoy Kitchen in Alhambra, the undisputed king of Hainan chicken rice in Southern California, I've found very few restaurants here that do it well. It's a hard dish to nail because it's also the simplest. Technique and timing trumps everything; there's nowhere to hide mediocrity.

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5 Great Orange County Beers for an OC Autumn

Photo by There's more to fall beer!

It may not feel like Summer Solstice has actually passed in Southern California, but we still reap the benefits of tasty beer made for cool air and fuzzy boots. We might not be seeing too many scarves or coats, but Orange County brewers are so good that they don't need the weather to change to make you enjoy fall beer. Here is a lineup of some excellent beers that are perfect for autumn, and while the list is numbered, they're all top picks.

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Creamistry Opens In Long Beach

Categories: Now Open

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Photo by Dustin Ames
Ice cream eventually.
Creamistry, one of the first nitrogen ice-cream shops to open in OC, is now in the LBC. Belmont Shore to be exact. It opened this week.

For those of you reading in Long Beach who haven't been to the original Irvine location, here's what I wrote previously about it:

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Rollie's Bakery & Mexican Cafe Closes; Kaminariya Yakitori Dining Opens in Tustin

Edwin Goei
Rollie's in 2008.
Rollie's Bakery was one of OC's few Bolivian restaurants, specializing in salteñas, which are "ostensibly empanadas, but few in Latin America are so sturdy that they can contain broth inside their shells," as Gustavo wrote in his Hole-in-the-Wall column back in 2009.

The restaurant opened in 2008 and has graced these pages many times for those salteñas, winning "Best Empanada in 2010".

Now it has been replaced by a new yakitori restaurant called Kaminariya that competes against Honda-Ya, which is still packing them in a few blocks away. The yakitori is made from from Jidori chicken, but so are the karaage (sesame chicken), simmered giblets stew, and fried cartilage.

You can see what else is made with the chicken on their Facebook.

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On the Line: Sheri Drewry Of Wilma's Patio, Part Two

Categories: On the Line

Photo by LP Hastings
Sitting pretty

Check out the first part of Sheri's interview over here.
Then keep reading today's installment below . . .

Hardest lesson you've learned:
That life is not fair.

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