Archive for the 'Orange County' Category

Brunch at Taco María – Costa Mesa

Taco María - Costa Mesa

My initial reaction to Jonathan Gold naming Taco María in Orange County the second best restaurant in Los Angeles was, “Wait, what?” My second reaction was, “I gotta get a reservation.”

Taco María - Costa Mesa

Chef Carlos Salgado opened the restaurant in the summer of 2013 following stints cooking in the Bay Area at Coi and Commis and running a food truck by the same name in Orange County. Serving Chicano Cuisine, Taco María’s menu is market-driven, modern, and well… Mexican.

While dinner would’ve been the ideal scenario to experience Chef Salgado’s cooking, Sunday brunch was a better fit for the Astro-Gastro family’s schedule. We met up with my O.C.-dwelling friend Courtney and her family to feast.

Taco María - Costa Mesa

Brunch, which is served only on Sundays, is a three-course pre-fixe affair priced at $36.

To start, both The Astronomer and I zeroed in on the molletes, grilled bread slathered with refried beans and topped with crumbles of queso fresco.

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{swoon} Milky Bun at Afters Ice Cream

Afters Ice Cream - Fountain Valley - Milky Bun

Meet the Milky Bun—a brilliant marriage of hot and cold, sweet and even sweeter.  Imagine a hefty mound of ice cream, embellished with crispety crunchity toppings, sandwiched between a warm glazed doughnut. I dare you not to swoon.

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{swoon} Blueberry Doughnut at M&M Donuts

The best damn #doughnut I've eaten this year: M&M Donuts' Blueberry Cake. Featured today on! #Anaheim #swoon

While making our way south on The 57 to San Diego last Friday night, the idea of stopping into Anaheim’s M&M Donuts for a taste of their famous blueberry doughnuts popped into my head. With a sleeping baby in the back seat and possible long lines to consider, decisions needed to be made quickly and assuredly. The promise of glossily glazed rings, purple speckled and piping hot, proved too enticing to resist.

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{swoon} Chả Giò Tôm Cua at Bến Lạ Restaurant

Ben La - Westminster | Best Cha Gio

While researching Little Saigon’s choicest quan nhau (watering holes) this past weekend, I tasted the very best cha gio I’ve had since living in and traveling throughout Vietnam at Bến Lạ Restaurant.

Stuffed plump with crab, shrimp, and pork, then deep-fried twice for maximum blistering, these rolls induced swoons from everyone at the table. Even when tightly wrapped in lettuce and herbs and dunked with abandon in chili-spiked nuoc cham, the cha gio remained unbeatably crisp, the translucent rice paper wrappers shattering with each bite.

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