"Watered-Down Ketchup Broth and Tomato Skins": A Foodie Reviews the Food in the OC Jail!

Categories: Really?!?!?

Note, jail guards: I did NOT give this book to our columnist

SO...we got a friend whose friend is doing time at Theo Lacy. And not just any
friend of a friend: this guy is someone who loves the good life, who frequented some of the best restaurants in the county...and is now relegated to eating the horrid stuff that jail guards heap on inmates. How horrid? Let the friend of the friend (who's calling himself N.S. Lechuga) describe in this letter from the OC Jail...

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Eat This Now: Beef Murtabak at Roti Mama

Categories: Eat This Now

Edwin Goei
Roti Mama's Beef Murtabak
No, another Malaysian restaurant did not just open in Huntington Beach. We still have the one, and it's essentially the same as Old Malaya Grill before it. The owner remains Nur Digiovanni, an ex-mortgage banker who used to moonlight as a caterer for the consulate general of Malaysia in LA. When she decided to open a Malaysian restaurant here a few months ago in the corner spot in a mini-mall Thai Gulf moved out of, Old Malaya Grill became only the second eatery in our county to serve the food of Malaysia.

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This Halloween, Get a Chipotle Burrito for $3

Categories: We Sell Out


It's that time of the year again. Temperatures have dropped below 80, pumpkin spice is starting to get boring, and Christmas stuff has already overstayed it's welcome. Yup, it's almost Halloween, and that means it's time for one of my favorite food promotions of the year: Boorito.

October 31 after 5 p.m., go in to any participating Chipotle wearing a costume and you'll be able to buy one their Mission-esque burritos for a paltry $3. It's perfect to soak up the Halloween party booze, especially considering that this year, Halloween falls on a Friday.

And you know what's even better? Chipotle is donating a cut of the sales to (its own) charity! Checking out the details and rules after the jump.

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This Is What Happens When You Serve McDonald's At a Fancy Food Convention


My love of fast food is pretty public. What's not to like? It's tasty, it's cheap, I don't have to get out of my car or interact with people (let's just ignore how much I feel like I have to nap afterwards, and the accelerated dying). The guys in this video agree, so much that they decided to chop up some McDonald's food and serve it in some fancy food expo.

What happens? Well, you'll have to watch the video to find out. But I got to say, people are pretty gullible.

[Disclaimer: This video is some language I can't understand, but the English subtitles are professional quality. If they don't come up, click on the little cc button in the corner]

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Pho Saigon Pearl Opens at Irvine Spectrum

Categories: Now Open

Slurp away!
As we wrote yesterday, LYFE Kitchen opened at Irvine Spectrum, right behind the new Sports Authority building and in a new building of its own. Pho Saigon Pearl also opened there this past weekend, just two doors down from LYFE.

This is Pho Saigon Pearl's second location. The first was at Irvine's Diamond Jamboree, where it remains the Asian plaza's sole Vietnamese food purveyor since it debuted there in 2011 and just recently won our award for Best Vietnamese Iced Coffee.

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On the Line: Stephen Le Of The Kroft, Part Two

Categories: On the Line

Photo by LP Hastings
Stephen Le & Matthew Tong are all smiles about the upcoming Union Maket space

Fellow Bay Area transplant and Kroft co-founder/co-owner Stephen Le teaches us the value of reading (and Excel?) in the second part of his interivew.

Read the first half of our interview with Stephen over here.
And now, on to part two . . .

Hardest lesson you've learned:
Don't let criticism break you down.

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On the Line: Stephen Le Of The Kroft, Part One

Categories: On the Line

Photo by LP Hastings
Co-founders (and owners) Stephen Le & Matthew Tong

If you haven't tried the Kroft yet, it's all good. They are making their way across Orange County, with Tustin opening next month. While I may feel a tinge of guilt when inhaling their cheese curds, a friend's commentary always rings true, "If you're going to eat bad, it better taste good." So I'll start this interview by thanking Stephen Le (and Matthew, his partner-in-crime) for a menu I have trouble saying no to.

How did the name come about?
Naming our establishment was definitely the most grueling part of starting up. We brainstormed day and night over months at a time, and agreed that it is our intention to support local farmers within our community. The word "croft" with a "C" is defined as a small, enclosed farm or pasture near a house or small tenant farm. It feels fitting to us to be called the Kroft.

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LYFE Kitchen Opens at Irvine Spectrum

Categories: Now Open

Edwin Goei
LYFE Kitchen in Henderson, NV.
LYFE Kitchen opened at the Irvine Spectrum this weekend. This is the fast-casual concept by a team that includes two former McDonald's execs, featuring a menu designed by Food Network's Jeremy Bringardner, Tal Ronnen, and Art Smith, Oprah's former personal chef. Everything offered is less than 600 calories, contains less than 1,000 milligrams of sodium, and uses every recent food buzzword in existence. It's first of its kind to land in OC. There are already 12 locations scattered through the country, and the company has plans to open about 250 more over the next five years.

I've been to other LYFE Kitchens and there's a consistency and uniformity I'd expect from a corporate outfit. Next to the entrance, there are menus in leaflets customized to whatever your dietary requirements happen to be, whether you're a vegan/vegetarian, gluten-free, or if you can eat "Everything". Above this, there's the Mark Bittman quote: "The food policy that matters most is yours".

Also in every restaurant: a wall of potted herbs, a defining feature more important to the place than Playlands are to McDonald's. Butter and high fructose corn syrup aren't used, but quinoa and kale is, and prodigiously.

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Richard Blais: If You Love to Eat, You'll Love Hungry Games

Food Network
I would probably spend way too much for a pizza.

In his new Food Network show "Hungry Games," Chef Richard Blais teaches, learns, and trivializes the way the food we chose is essentially chosen. On Monday October 20th, you can get in on the fun challenging your foodie awareness by tuning in but of course, we wanted you to get the details on what Hungry Games really entails. And because we love you sweet readers so much, we reached out to Blais for some answers just for you. The passion and knowledge he transmitted blew our minds just as much as his new show promises to. No worries, you can save the "thank you's" for later.

OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): So you've done Top Chef, Iron Chef America, Chopped All-Stars...which was the most challenging for you?

Richard Blais: Well we're talking competition with all of those and I'm a big runner so I like to think of them all as running different kinds of races. For example with the three you mentioned, Top Chef is a marathon, Iron Chef is a relay, and Chopped is a sprint. It depends on where your style fits but they all have their things that make them interesting. I enjoyed running all of them but I'm just glad that Hungry Games is not a race so to speak.

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Weekend Openings: Honda Center Eateries And Stax Cookie Bar Fundraiser

Categories: Now Open

Stax Cookie Bar
Can't. Resist.

Halloween may be a couple of weeks away, but there are no tricks in this blog post. Only treats. For hockey fans and concert-goers, your preferred Anaheim venue is launching not one, but FIVE outlets today. Everybody else can go get dessert and support some schools in the process.

We start our roundup inside the Honda Center, where Wahoo's gets all official with a party out on their patio. The first 50 fish taco die-hards to visit the Ducks Red Carpet before the team's home opener today will receive a wristband, granting them access to giveaways, a DJ and of course, dinner. For the rest of us, there are other places to try.

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