Eat This Now: Monkey Balls at Chapter One: The Modern Local

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Photo by Gabacho Jeff
Insert teabag joke here...

I spend so much time at C4 Deli in downtown SanTana that I've neglected its big sister, Chapter One: The Modern Local. So I swung by the other week to have myself a full meal: crunchy jalapeño poppers, a gigantic hamburger (make non-Sriracha hot sauce available, Argie Jeff and Gabacho Jeff!) and more Friscos that a healthy liver should be able to support.

Dessert seemed impossible, but then I noticed a new item: Monkey Balls.

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Judgmental Expat East Coaster Visits California Dunkin' Donuts, Whines About His Experience

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Dave Lieberman
Look, ma, no line!

I'll admit it. I was one of those breathless hype monsters who posted with glee about the impending opening of Dunkin' Donuts in California. I grew up in New Jersey; Dunkin' coffee flowed through my veins so early and so often it probably stunted my growth. To this day, the thought of a Dunkin' Donuts French cruller makes me salivate.

I tracked their every move. I even allowed their PR company to rip off my post about how to order coffee. I literally couldn't wait--and then a friend of mine sent me updates about the line at the first location in Santa Monica that included the words "hundreds" and "hours" and "blocks". I couldn't drag myself all the way to the People's Republic of Santa Monica to fight for parking and wait hours and hours for a doughnut and coffee.


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Get Free Krispy Kreme THIS FRIDAY (If You Talk Like a Pirate)

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Arrrr mateys, it be that time o' the year again. This Friday, Sept. 19, you can get a free Krispy Kreme donut if you show up to a store and talk like a pirate because, guess what, it's talk like a pirate day.

This is honestly one of the more fun free food promotions.

Better yet, if you show up in full pirate regalia (rules after the jump), you'll get an entire dozen donuts for free so you can be captain o' the cubicles, if just for one day.

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27. Avocado Ice Cream at à la minute

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Photo by Charisma Madarang
Avocado: Now in dessert form

Behold our annual 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!

Editor's note: This week, we're turning over our 100 Favorite Dishes mega-listicle to Charisma Madarang, editor of the fabulous 7Deadly magazine and one hell of a food writer whose posts have rightfully received national attention. Take it, Charisma!

Tucked among the rows of antique shops at the Orange Circle, à la minute slings nitrogen-crafted ice cream: ice cream instantly frozen by pouring liquid nitrogen over small batches. Although clichéd in OC (it's been passé everywhere else for at least a year now), à la minute understands the science behind the process and does their homework. The result: the liquid nitrogen successfully minimizes the size of ice crystals, making for delectable, creamier ice cream.

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29. Milky Bun at Afters Ice Cream

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Photo by Charisma Madarang
Worth the lines
Behold our annual 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!

Editor's note: This week, we're turning over our 100 Favorite Dishes mega-listicle to Charisma Madarang, editor of the fabulous 7Deadly magazine and one hell of a food writer whose posts have rightfully received national attention. Take it, Charisma!

By Charisma Madarang

Your first bite into a "milky bun" starts with a layer of warm, pillowy donut, then ends with a soft release of cool, sweet ice cream. This sensation repeats itself over and over again, until your fingers are covered in a stunning mess of sticky glaze and sugar.

The doughy confection hails from Afters, a joint (that's psst, already looking to open another location) notorious for inspiring 3-hour long lines that stretch past the neighboring Office Depot. A milky bun begins with the ice cream and toppings of your choice, then gets stuffed and sealed into a glazed or plain donut.

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SusieCakes Costa Mesa Grand Opening This Saturday

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Photo courtesy of SusieCakes
Oh yeah, they're also known for cakes

Before cupcakes became oh so trendy (shut the hell up, Sprinkles), there was a place in Newport cranking them out for locals. Their preservative-free philosophy kept 'em fresh, and employees would gently remind you to keep sweets away from the chilly confines of your fridge. This Weekling had a thing for the extra burst of frosting they would inject in each one, giving them away as party favors for a birthday years ago.

Jump to the present, and Susan Sarich's brainchild now has branches in Northern California and throughout the Los Angeles area. SusieCakes is about to launch their second Orange County shop in the trend-setting South Coast Collection (a.k.a. the same neighborhood as ARC and The Iron Press). Our ears perked up when we heard something about "free", so here are the details.

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Interview with A La Minute's Executive Chef Ryan Berk

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Scoop it up!

I sat down with A La Minute's executive chef and owner Ryan Berk at his new location in the Orange Circle to literally get the scoop on what all of this liquid nitrogen buzz was about. As we began to chat in the vintage farmhouse-esque creamery, Berk graciously made sure every flavor was brought to our table. It was like the clouds opened up and there was the answer to all of my hot summer day's prayers.

How'd you get started?

I've always been passionate about food. Running around in the yard, growing strawberries and tomatoes as a kid. I really liked the ideology of food and where it was coming from! I got started in the industry when I was 14 at a little Thai restaurant in my hometown, Redlands. I started as a dishwasher and sort of made my way up to a cook position. I was the only white kid in the kitchen getting trained by all of these Thai ladies. That's where I really gained a respect for culture and where the food was coming from.

Did you always know this was something you wanted to do?

I think it just evolved. I would save up every year to travel somewhere around the world. Right when I turned 16 I would go somewhere whether it was, India, West Africa, or South America. I would just leave and experience a bit of culture. I've always wanted to understand where different food was coming from. I don't know where the passion came from, but I've always just loved food.


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Blackmarket Bakery To Open At Downtown Santa Ana's Santora Building

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Courtesy of Rachel Klemek
Hyarrr, DTSA, prepare to be boarded!
Blackmarket Bakery owner Rachel Klemek has signed a lease to open a bakery in the Santora Building at 211 N. Broadway in downtown Santa Ana, in a space that was previously a clothing store.

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Now Open: 1st US Location Of Meet Fresh At Diamond Jamboree!

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Anne Marie Panoringan
Decisions, decisions

Who doesn't want to be at the shiny and new place? It's only been open a week, but Meet Fresh in Irvine isn't hurting for business. In fact, I stood in line for at least 20 minutes opening night before placing an order (and that was a Tuesday) at this Taiwanese chain open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

A co-worker told me she had friends come from as far as San Diego, even San Francisco, to check out the first spot in the United States. You could say they have a following. Although the same co-worker also mentioned that this company was starting to close some of their other outlets.

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66. Kouign Amann From The Crema Cafe & Bakery

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Anne Marie Panoringan
Tasty delight

Behold the beginning of our annual 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!

See also:

Since I don't live close to the water, I'll be the first to admit that driving to Seal Beach is a bit of a trek. It took a recommendation to find myself along Main Street, and a subsequent visit to interview Tarit Tanjasiri and finally check out the baked goods.

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