Two OC Starbucks to Sell Beer and Wine.. Permanently?

Categories: Chain Reactions

Does this entice you?

For a few years now, Starbucks has been testing selling wine and beer in a few stores and that program is finally to go official.. in the same stores that they were tested in.

Starting now, a Rancho Santa Margarita Starbucks and a Huntington Beach Starbucks will be offering wine, beer and a new evening small bites menu after 4 p.m. I mean hey, you could go to one of the new wine bars in Santa Ana, but if you realllly love Starbucks..

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Nekter Juice Bar: Fresh Food Items and Free Drinks!

Photo by Anne Watson
Spinach, berries and nuts = lunch

Nekter's gone through renovations, updates and promotions in the last month. If you're a fan of their liquid nourishment, we've got all the juicy updates ahead.

Why would a brand with "juice" in their name decide to add items that don't require a straw? Because eventually they all do. Starving people cannot should not live on liquids alone. Sometimes you just want to chew.

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South Coast Plaza Opens Sugarfina And Harry & David

A blue box we might be able to afford

If we've learned one thing in recent months, it's that sweets make the world go 'round. Chocolate factories and pastry schools take it to another level, but you can't beat a storefront peddling tasty morsels in fun packaging. Which is exactly why the halls of South Coast Plaza welcomed two heavy hitters for the holidays.

Those who miss Harry & David can rejoice in their temporary home over on Level 1 in Carousel Court. Gourmet edibles, Royal Riviera Pears and . . . .wait for it . . .

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Seafood City Now Open In Irvine

Anne Marie Panoringan
Hunger waiting game

We'd never seen such a sight. So many Filipinos descending upon one area in Irvine. We thought we were in Daly City Cerritos. It took three cycles to turn around the corner of Armstrong and Barranca on opening day. It made The District look like Cars Land.

Seafood City adds to the list of ethnic supermarket brands (Wholesome Choice, Farm Direct, Mitsuwa, H-Mart, Zion, Super Irvine and both 99 Ranch Markets) to call this seemingly vanilla landscape home. We shook our head in disbelief just writing that. The next time someone gripes about a lack of good eats that aren't a chain around there, just rattle this list off and see if they can comprehend.

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Yoshinoya Changes Its Chicken Back To The Way It Used To Be (And Other News)

Categories: Chain Reactions

Edwin Goei
Yoshinoya's new "Asian BBQ Wings"
If you read this blog with any regularity, you'll know that I have an unshakable affinity for Yoshinoya. It's one of the few fast-food joints other than Jack-in-the-Box that I eat regularly and actually like. Perhaps it's because I grew up on this stuff (in fact, I think it's exactly because I did) that I railed against it when the chain started to serve its chicken in chopped up little pieces to copy its closest competitor, The Flame Broiler.

This happened three years ago. And since then, I've adjusted, adding my own hacks when I order the chicken bowl.

But now, it seems that Yoshinoya has decided to quietly change it all back to the way it used to be. The dark meat, crispy-skinned chicken is now sliced into spears and served separately from the vegetables instead of being hacked into indiscriminate chunks and thrown on top of the veggies. But at the same time it righted a wrong, Yoshinoya went and changed something else I loved on the menu: the Sesame Wings.

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Din Tai Fung At South Coast Plaza Opens TODAY!

Anne Marie Panoringan
On your mark

They were originally scheduled to open this past spring, right? But you know how it goes. Especially from a highly anticipated chain moving into a coveted corner location. When you knock McDonald's down, it better be for a gold mine.

With Uniqlo scheduled to open after Labor Day (there's currently a pop-up store by the carousel) and Din Tai Fung welcoming the Asian invasion, the Sanrio wing of South Coast Plaza will never be the same again. Kudos to long-term planning.

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We Eat It So You Don't Have To: 7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded

Photo by Ryan Cady
Good lord.

Before I got a chance to try the Doritos Loaded, my working lede for this article was "Three fat white guys walk into a 7-Eleven. They never walk out."
I wish that lede were true.
I wish it were applicable.
I wish I were dead.

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I Liked Taco Bell's U.S. Taco Co. ... Until I Went There

Categories: Chain Reactions

Photo by Ryan Cady
If they're good

So, when I found out that U.S. Taco Co. -- Taco Bell's attempt at cornering the more well-to-do market -- opened in downtown Huntington Beach this week, I messaged my editor, and asked if I could review it, and then I got ready.

I got ready to head down to Huntington Beach and enjoy myself. Sure, the clientele were going to be douchey. I would probably have to pay for parking. The food would be overpriced, the employees judgmental, and the d├ęcor would undoubtedly scream "2 hip 4 u" harder than a Bushwick DJ loft. But in spite of all that, I was ready to defend the place because I firmly believe that what matters is that food tastes good -- food isn't sacred, it doesn't have to be healthy, and it doesn't owe you anything except its flavor, and I already had a whole bunch of diatribes ready about who cares that tacos don't traditionally include gravy or fried chicken. I was ready to defend U.S. Taco Co.

But then I went to U.S. Taco Co.

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Fast Food War's Latest Spicy Development Is a Step In the Right Direction.. Now Go Hotter

Categories: Chain Reactions

Pictured: Progress

It's kind of fun watching the United States fast food wars. The fast food customer base isn't getting any larger, so now for any of the big chains to grow, they literally have to steal customers from each other.

We saw it a bit ago, with the reintroduction of the Big Carl, the Bonus jack, and every other fast food burger that looked or tasted like a Big Mac, and now fast food has gone on to its next weapons upgrade: Heat.

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We Eat It So You Don't Have To: Burger King's Fabled Chicken Fries

Photo by Ryan Cady
Good god.

I write this from a place of ecstasy. For today, upon this green and golden earth, a benevolent God shone His mighty visage upon the human race, and smiled, raining down upon the good people of His Creation all the blessings befit a Paradise upon the Earth.

Burger King's Chicken Fries are back.

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