CHOMP! Views

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Trip to the OC! Cali-for-ni-a!

Last weekend I went to the OC for my cousin's wedding at Tustin Ranch. It was a beautiful wedding on a beautiful day and they are such a cute couple! Best wishes to them!

But being in a different city means trying new foods! :P I was traveling with family so didn't do the usual food fest like I normally would, but still got some yummy stuff.

Lunch on Friday started with dim sum. My parents and I were walking around this Asian shopping center and decided to go into this place.

Capital Seafood Restaurant
2700 Alton Pkwy #127
Irvine, CA 92606
(949) 252-8188
Price (lunch): $$

Turns out they were doing dim sum at the time. Sure! I haven't had it in a while.

Chinese Broccoli $4.25~ We got 2 orders of these. Always a favorite of mine. Super tender... even the stalks. Better than Dallas. 

Pork Shu Mai (4) $3.25~ Giant shu mai. My dad wanted them. My mom and I don't really care for it, but I have to say it had pretty good flavor. 

Deep Fried Shrimp Dumplings (3) $2.25~ My dim sum favorite. Theirs was good. The outside was crispy with chewy mochi-like texture and slightly sweet. With the savory shrimp on the inside. I approve!

We initially went in this restaurant because my dad wanted some Cantonese soup noodles. Unfortunately they didn't have any. So we got some Singapore Seafood Vermicelli (thin vermicelli noodles, shrimp, BBQ pork, onion, cilantro, curry powder) $12~ Pretty big portion for lunch. Good flavors. The shrimp was tender and plump. Not bad at all.

We also got Preserved Egg and Pork Congee $9~ It was a pretty big bowl. But too much soup/rice, too little egg and pork. We basically scooped out all the eggs and left the rest. The pork was super salty. Tender but too salty. I've had way better.

Good start to the trip. My parents took my sister and her bf there again on Sunday after I left for the airport.

Overall Experience:

In the same shopping center was 85°C Bakery Cafe. The main reason we were there. haha. Love this place!!

85°C Bakery Cafe
2700 Alton Pkwy.
Irvine, CA 92606
(949) 553-8585
Price: $

From bottom left. Mocha Walnut bread, Bolo, Bread with dried shredded pork, Red Bean bread, Taro filled bread, Baked Custard bread, and Milk Custard bread (top right)
All together under $11.40~

The place was packed. Not a lot of different selection but good enough. You can't find most of these in Dallas. All delicious. The milk custard bread was my favorite.

Overall Experience:

My sister and her bf flew in Friday night. She had specifically requested Japanese ramen while we're in Cali... so I wanted to take her to my favorite place in the whole world for ramen! I picked them up and went straight to Mitsuwa Marketplace. Can you believe that my favorite place is in the food court of a Japanese supermarket? It is amazing.

Mitsuwa Marketplace
665 Paularino Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 434-1101

Santouka Ramen
Shio Ramen (Salt ramen with special pork; Large) $11.40~ 
The pork is Toroniku, which is pork cheek. It is so tender with just the right amount of fat. It's like buttah!! The pork makes this my favorite. But the flavor of the broth and the texture of the noodles are also spot on. I went to the Santouka in Osaka, Japan and had the same thing and the ones in Cali were pretty damn close. Talk about consistency! So jealous of people who have access to a Mitsuwa. My sister approved. She can be quite picky sometimes. So yay! Win for me.

Some other vendor...
Her bf got a Katsudon (fried pork cutlet on rice) $7.50?~ It usually comes with egg on top but he said he didn't want it. Not very good... The pork cutlet was not crispy at all, and it was just over rice and some onions. Not very satisfying.

Overall Experience:

After dinner, we decided to go check out the OC Night Market. A friend of mine told me about it right before I flew to Cali. We love night markets, so definitely wanted to go check it out.

OC Night Market
OC Fair and Event Center
88 Fair Dr.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Parking $7~
Admission $5~

It sucks that we have to pay for parking and admission. Normal nightmarkets are free in Asia. But since this is more of a special festival.... AND we're on vacation. Let's do it!

We were all kinda full but I had a few places I wanted to check out. I had done some research online before going. Duh! :P

The main one I wanted to go to was Crunchy Boy. I wanted the Ube Lumpia (with green tea creme fraiche) $2.50~ 
Ube is basically purple yam. And lumpia is like a Filipino egg roll. It was so freaking amazing. Best thing ever!! Well maybe not ever, but definitely the best thing I had in the night market. I should've just given them all my money instead of trying other stuff. Still regretting it now. The green tea creme fraiche made the dish. It was like a mix between whipped cream and melted ice cream. It paired fantabulously with the crispy lumpia and sweet ube. Don't judge, but I totally licked the container to get the rest of the sauce... Just take all my money and gimme more!!!!!!!!

My sister wanted grilled squid. It's one of her favorite night market foods when we go back to Taiwan. We found Calvin's BBQ.
Grilled Squid on Skewer. Looked good and smelled even better. But the taste was meh. The seasoning wasn't what we expected. It was disappointing...

Hugo Foods
Fried Stinky Tofu (with sweet pickled cabbage) $5~ 
It sure smelled stinky! But good stinky tofu can be really tasty. My sister and I wanted to give it a shot. While waiting we heard someone say it's not as stinky as it should be. After trying it, we both agreed. Neither the smell or the taste was strong enough. I think the pickled cabbage should've been more sour than sweet. It was also meh.

The other place I was looking for was Belly Up because they had listed a green tea ice cream. Turns out it was a Coconut Slushy with Green Tea Ice Cream $6~ 
It sounded pretty cool so I gave it a shot still. It was an actual coconut with shaved ice and coconut water and then topped with green tea ice cream. They were packing up shop when we found them because they were pretty much sold out, but they were able to get one out for me. Presentation is great. A little messy to hold since the water down the sides of the coconut. The green tea ice cream was good. I wanted more tho. The ratio of the coconut water to the ice cream was off, and once I've mixed it all inside the coconut, it didn't have enough flavor.

I really should've just taken all the money I spent and gotten a bunch of the ube lumpias. [sad face] But oh well, at least I tried different things.

Overall Experience:

Saturday night, after the wedding we had a big family dinner since a lot of my aunts, uncles, cousins are also in town. We also wanted to celebrate another cousin of mine who recently go married too but didn't have a reception.

Shanghailander Palace
1695 S Azusa Ave.
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
(626) 839-7777

We had 2 large round tables. The food came family style on a lazy susan. My dad was the one that ordered for everyone. The food was pretty tasty! We all liked it. But according to my mom, it was laced with MSG. She's allergic so she really couldn't eat much of anything...

Shanghai Style Braised Pork. Supa fatty pork. No other way is better! :P

Eggplant in Clay Pot

Black Pepper Beef

Sweet and Sour Short Ribs

Tofu and Seafood Soup

Crispy Chicken

Xiao Long Bao (pork soup dumplings)

Mixed Veggies and Rice

Sauteed Eel

Tempura Fish. The tempura batter had seaweed in it. Added some unique flavoring. It was good!
Black Sesame Ball in Wine Soup

Overall Experience: 

We were all stuffed after the meal. It was really great to see all my relatives. Most of whom I haven't seen in over 6 years!

Overall a good trip! Just too short! I flew home Sunday morning...


No comments:

Post a Comment