California Foodcation (Part 2) 2016

6/10/2016 10:12:00 PM

**** WARNING - another long post

The second half of my vacation was spent in Orange County (Irvine area). We spent a lot of time with my SO's family and friends.  There was also a wedding we attended! Of course, I sneaked in a lot of eating.

Curry House 

We just so happen to eat at Curry House every time I am dragging my luggage around (not planned). The first time was in Koreatown before I got to my AirBnB and the second time was when my SO's brother was picking us up from Little Tokyo, LA.

The menu is large and has dishes from rice, pasta, omelette rice, steak to even kid meals! The restaurant isn't very big, but it's clean, neat and simple. The service is pretty fast and it gets super packed!

The curry is pretty tasty here and I always love eating tonkatsu (pork katsu) with it. I also higly recommend getting extra spice if you like spicy, I love it! I love that you can customize any dish because they have options of adding additional ingredients to an egg, veggies, cheese and so on. Want more sauce? No problem! They have extra sauce in many sizes.

This is definitely a place to introduce someone to Japanese curry or even for ones who eat it regularly. It's delicious and with so many variation you'll never get sick of it.

Curry House 
123 S Onizuka St Ste 204
Los AngelesCA 90012
Little Tokyo, Downtown

(213) 620-0855

Nana San 

I definitely wished I had the chance to revisit Nana San to fully experience the Nana San experience. I had met up with my SO's friends there so unfortunately, I wasn't fully focused. It was such a tease!

I did try some items off the menu! I will have to say.. it was FRESH FRESH FRESH! They had 4 different oyster selections that night and I tried them all! Instead of the traditional cocktail sauce it's dressed up with ponzu and other toppings (scallions and ginger?). They were clean and delicious!

They have a very small menu, but I didn't mind at all. They have the basics and also a special menu of their freshest items.

I decided to go for the live sweet shrimp ($18) and they were the best sweet shrimps I've ever had.  For that much I'd expect it to be! Haha, they were firm, sweet and was not slimy at all. The best!! And oh my... those heads were huge and full of some delicious goodies (roe). Take me back!! Pleaseeeeee~

It's definitely a bit of a squeeze getting in because of space and how packed they are, but definitely worth a visit! The quality is A+ and sit at the bar if you can!

3601 Jamboree Rd Ste 15B
Newport BeachCA 92660

Phone number(949) 474-7373

Din Tai Fung

Here it is.. The famous Din Tai Fung! I've been waiting for this moment for so long. After finding out about soup dumplings, I've been dying to get my hands on them. It's been years and years and we still don't have them done right in Florida! The only option I have is buying the frozen soup dumplings at the market and steaming them up at home. It only cooks right fourth of the time as these little pockets of juice are so delicate.

Well... you know damn right I wanted this to be the best thing eaten on my trip.

Warning** I was not as impressed as I hoped to be, but they make some gorgeous photos!

Upon arriving we were informed there was a 3 hour waiting list. Okay, no big deal as I was expecting it to be crazy to begin with. It has to be good if the wait is this long, right?! We go off and do our own thing and come back!

FIRST- I highly suggest NOT ordering everything at once.  This was certainly my mistake.  They make sure to bring everything to your table and once these xiao long bao (soup dumplings) cool the skin hardens and say bye bye to your soup (juice).

I "started" with some appetizers and got the Seaweed and Bean Curd and their Green Beans.

Not blown away... well.. for the 3 hour wait..

We ended up ordering their Original pork xiao long bao, Pork and Crab xiao long bao as well as their Truffle and Pork xiao long bao. I was super excited and had to have them all!

So... This is when I was upset when they gave us all our soup dumplings and appetizers and left them to get cold and dry. It makes me so sad!!

But look at how beautiful this photo is! That fatty soup!

If were to talk about flavor... I was not impressed at all. I though the pork and crab roe (frozen soup dumplings) I get from the market had better flavors than the ones at Din Tai Fung. The best at Din Tai Fung would possible be the original, but the pork wasn't as moist or fatty, kinda on the dryer side. The Truffle was not as truffly as I thought they would be, and I love truffle! The worse was the pork and crab which was extremely fishy to the point I couldn't even finish them. I love crabs too.. What's up with that! So... I did not have a great time at all. 3 hour wait... and not even an hour of dining with some disappointing flavors.

The only thing that saved my meal was these delicious Spicy Shrimp and Pork Wontons! They are actually super simple, but compared to everything I had I kept coming back to this dish. The spicy sauce isn't overly spicy and somewhat sweet. It goes well with these plump wontons.

Wontons are a winner, winner!

The restaurant is actually in a beautiful location (corner of a mall) and it's beautiful inside and out. The bustling staffs and sleek interior makes you feel like you're spending good money at a good place. Maybe it was just my visit? I was just not impressed with my meal, especially after a 3 hour wait. I also didn't care much about my service either as it felt like I was rushed in and to finish my meal so they can keep the rotation moving.

Meh... but those photos though... haha! Oh well..

Din Tai Fung
3333 Bristol St
Space 2071, Upper Level
Costa MesaCA 92626

(714) 549-3388

Vietnam's Pearl

We couldn't leave without having Vietnamese food! Not knowing much about the area I was pretty much looking around on Yelp for a place and Vietnam's Pearl popped up.  It's a small and cute cafe great for a quick stop.

We ordered up the usual which are some shrimp and pork spring rolls, pho and bun (vermicelli noodles).

I wasn't really impressed with the food.. The service was pretty bad because it was only one lady handling the front and possibly just one or two guys in the back.

I wasn't much of a fan of the pho, the broth did not have the flavor for me to keep wanting to come back for it. I must be spoiled at our regular pho shop here in Florida, I used to not be a fan of it but now I love a fatty pho broth! Otherwise, the food was pretty average.

The spring rolls were tasty, but it's hard to really mess that up and the Vietnamese coffee was strong and delicious! Maybe I went on a bad day or possible there's a really good Vietnamese restaurant I must check out? Let me know!

1215 Baker St Ste B
Costa MesaCA 92626

(714) 540-2212

Capital Seafood Restaurant 

We also had to get some Dim Sum in before we leave! Sadly there wasn't that many options when I looked it up and with the time frame we were in I picked whichever was closes to us. I was able to sneak this meal in before a wedding!

The food was actually pretty tasty (Florida has been sucking lately in their dim sum game) and I was pretty satisfied. They have everything from the basics to other goodies flying around either in carts or on trays.

The service wasn't so great, but since I was in a rush I didn't care much. We also did not have a wait on a Sunday!

I would definitely come back for their dim sum. I enjoyed each dish I picked out so I'm happy with that!

See! I'm not that picky, haha!

Capital Seafood Restaurant
2700 Alton Pkwy Ste 127
IrvineCA 92606

(949) 252-8188

Urban Seoul 2.0

This is seriously the place to visit when you're the mood for fusion! The dishes are styled in a way that it's similar to tapas or small plates of delicious bar food. Normally, I'm not a fan of fusion because it's never done right, but Urban Seoul does it perfectly. The flavors are on point and the presentation is spot on!

We ordered up their Wagyu Kalbi Sliders, Pork Belly Buns and two of their tacos.

Yum, yum, yum!

The sliders were on the sweeter side, but that was just the kalbi marinate. The patty was so moist and soft it almost melts in your mouth. I'm not a big burger fan, but these sliders were amazing!

The Pork Belly Buns were delicious as well. The pork was crisp enough that it gives it a nice crunch, but not overly cooked that it's dry. The cucumber kimchi gave it a nice spicy crunch and tang.

I took a bite of the taco and they were okay. I probably was loving the other two dishes to care much about the tacos (I got them because of taco Tuesday).

I highly recommend Urban Seoul! They have a nice simple menu and each dish has a little twist to it. I also love the sleek and modern look to the restaurant. Look out for their specials!

Urban Seoul 2.0
714 Spectrum Center Dr
IrvineCA 92618

(949) 727-1900

Sushi Koto

I had to, had to! I mean, I HAD TO get my sushi fix in before I left California. Sushi Koto was still open after we had visited my SO's family so we rushed over there! We went all out and my boyfriend ordered their Sashimi Omakase and I did their Kaisendon Course (Sashimi selection served over sushi rice, with an appetizer, fried dish, hot Japanese style egg custard, miso soup & dessert). 

I was super excited! The presentation was so beautiful and the quality of the fish was amazing. We got to try many things that are not available here like jelly fish (firm and crunchy). 

My meal came with many different appetizers from cold to fried to a egg custard and a special miso soup! Oh, and don't forget the dessert.

Every dish was just so beautiful and tasty. Not to mention how simple and clean it all tasted. The staffs were also very polite and graceful.

I was so happy when I got my first glance at my main course. It was just too beautiful to eat. I was a bit sad that they did not have any sea urchin (uni, my favorite thing in the world) but the chef substituted it with TORO! 2 nice big chunks too!

I would not be able to name all the different types of seafood in our meal but the most memorable would be the toro, jellyfish, salmon, monkfish liver, roe, and sweet shrimp.

I would have to say this was my favorite meal on my whole trip. The experience at the restaurant was a really comforting one. The meal itself was amazing and I cry a little inside each time I see a photo of my food. I want it so badly again. If I lived there I would be there everyday. I love you Sushi Koto. Yum.. that toro just melts... oh the memories.
18120 Brookhurst St Unit 25
Fountain ValleyCA 92708

(714) 964-0988

85°C Bakery Cafe

This has to be my top favorite bakery. It's clean and they are always bringing out more baked goods to the front. It also taste amazing!! Everyone I've shared these pastries with are in love.

I'm not kidding when I packed my carry on suitcase with pastries and only pastries!!! I wish I brought home more too because everyone loved it so much. The buns are so light and not overly sweet. The egg tarts are so smooth, #1 hit! I also tried a salted foam tea drink from here and it was delicious as well.

This is my favorite place!!! They have both sweet and savory pastries, cakes and drinks. I could live here... happily.

85°C Bakery Cafe

2700 Alton Pkwy Ste 123
IrvineCA 92606

Phone number(949) 553-8585

Wow, so this is it for my post! I wish I could eat more... but I could only fit so much into my body. I love the food so much I'm also considering moving! That is for the future of course.

Some bonus photos! I miss you food so much....

Goodbye Cali~ Until next time... I'll remember all the food you've fed me!

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