Green Bliss Cafe @ Downtown Fullerton

This is such a treat for me to introduce Green Bliss Cafe in the heart of Downtown Fullerton! It’s green, organic, modern and has an understated elegance. It is light, bright and airy and everyone here is very warm and friendly. I never drink straight black coffee, but when I was offered to taste the fresh brew I was blown away. It wasn’t bitter or burnt like Starbucks! I actually didn’t have to sweeten it or add any cream. The coffee is definitely the star here!

I really love what Rita Ho, owner of Green Bliss Cafe, did with the space. Her love for organic, natural, eco-friendly products are displayed beautifully on the shelves. I love that pops of color such as the turquoise glass chandelier and the lime green seating against the dark wood tables.Not only does Rita provide delicious organic coffee and pastries, but she also has eco-friendly products and eco-books available!I just adore these hand illustrated cards on natural kraft card stock with brightly colored matching envelopes.“Garden Bon Bons”….yeah…I almost picked it up and tried to eat it. **chocoholic**And here is the adorable and sweet Rita Ho. She was definitely a joy to work with! She is someone that all of us photographers dream of working with! Laid back, sweet, friendly, trusting and very personable! You’re a doll Rita! My love for coffee is not just a “love”, but an addiction. I must, I repeat, MUST drink one cup a day. My day doesn’t start until I have my first cup. Coffee makes me happy. Coffee can cheer me up from a bad day! Coffee can cure my headaches! Yes, it’s true! It’s cured many a headaches for me in the past. 😛MMMM, just look at that froth! One mug for me please!The baristas here are very experienced and they know how to make a fantastic cup of coffee without the need for any sugar or cream! Now that is what I call a BARISTA!

Chapter One Gastropub | Santa Ana

It’s Friday and what better way to celebrate than to have lunch in downtown Santa Ana at a gastropub! Chapter One is located on Broadway in downtown Santa Ana and offers such unique plates! You must check out their menu when you go because the menu that you find online is very limited. Of course their Moscow Mule is famous, but since it’s in the middle of the afternoon I thought I should stick to a non-alcoholic drink. 😛

Anyway, I thought that I knew what I wanted when I looked at the menu which was a sweet potato waffle sandwich, but when our waitress told me the special burger of the day….HELLOOO! Foie gras burger with duck fat fries! Um…yes please! I’ve been to Slater 50/50 in Anaheim Hills and had their Thanksgiving burger which was good. I’ve also been to G Burger in La Habra and had their Truffle burger and was another good burger. But Chapter One….that’s where the burger is! MMMM….my Foie gras burger was absolutely divine. Of course it was accompanied with fries cooked in duck fat! 😛 Here are some shots of the food and the decor! Enjoy…I sure did.

Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine | Irvine

What better way to end a full day of work on a Monday than to have happy hour ? I can’t think of any better way. 😛 Andrei’s is a fantastic restaurant with wonderful modern architecture and decor with exceptional food to match! My favorite drink is called the “Geisha Drop” which is a martini but has such a fruity flavor that I could hardly taste the alcohol. Dangerous! By the last sip I was completely red in the face. Their happy hour appetizers are to die as well which included their short rib sliders and homemade veggie chips with wasabi cream dipping sauce, an adult version of grilled cheese sandwich and a bbq chicken flat bread. But how can we leave this amazing lounge area without having dessert? Of course we got the chocolate sampler. 😛 I polished off the chocolate pot de creme…delish!! Heaven was in that cup and it was the pot de creme.

Well after all that food we had to walk it off right? Er…more like work it off. I made Wilma be my model while I ran around her trying to adjust my lighting as I tested out my new toy…Pocket Wizards! It was freezing and windy that Monday night, but you wouldn’t be able to tell by the serenity in Wilma’s face. Thanks girl!!

 

 

The Ritz Restaurant | Newport Beach

Orange County Restaurant week is a must for all foodies. My love for food has lead me to try many restaurants throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. For this year’s OC restaurant week Vanessa and I thought The Ritz in Newport Beach was the one for us!

While on their website I decided to look through their regular dinner menu and came across the most unique appetizer dish “Escargots en Croute”. Don’t ask me what it means, but the appetizer had me at “escargots”. It is described as “Baked in individual Crocks under a flaky Puff-pastry Crust with Walnuts, Parsley, Lemon Juice, Garlic & Red Wine”.

Oh yeah, did I also mention that the prix fixe menu also came with Lobster bisque and yet I still had to order the Escargots en Croute? 😛 Yeah, I’m a little piggy, I proudly admit that.

The entree was 8 oz sirloin that was tender and juicy and cooked to perfection! A+ they really do know how to cook their steaks. It also came with a free dish of creamed corn that was broiled to a crisp on top…delish! Don’t let the picture of the sirloin fool you. That slab of meat was bigger than it looks here.


The trio of desserts was good, but I’ve had better elsewhere. The trio consisted of raspberry creme brulee, key lime tart and chocolate cake. It was a good sampler though.

The service was impeccable. You cannot complain when your waitress serves you in a tux! The prix fixe menu also came with a free glass of wine, which was a plus and completely appreciated. The Ritz also had live music and the band played beautifully. I enjoyed my time there and would definitely visit again for a special occasion.

Asia de Cuba | Los Angeles Photographer

Dine L.A! I am a foodie and I love to experience new restaurants and different cuisines. Asia de Cuba has been on my “must try” list for many years. Finally, my friends and I had the opportunity to finally get together and try this unique restaurant. The restaurant sits at the top of the Mondrian Hotel overlooking Los Angeles. The outdoor patio has a spacious layout with vine archways and huge terra cotta planters. Next to the dining area was an outdoor pool and cabana where all the cool L.A. crowds laid out during this warm Sunday afternoon.

The dining concept was a bit of a shock to all of us because we were only allowed to choose 2 appetizers and 3 entrees as part of the “family style” eating experience. So all of us agreed to order the calamari salad and the duck lettuce tacos. Both were delicious especially the calamari salad which consisted of bananas, cashews, fried tender calamari with a citrusy vinaigrette. Absolutely divine! The duck lettuce tacos were equally as delicious especially topped with hoisin sauce!

Unfortunately, I forgot to document the main courses! Argh, I could hit myself with my camera! However, the entrees were not memorable at all! We were all very disappointed in the portion size. You see, as per Asia de Cuba’s fine print, everything is portioned accordingly. We had 5 people in our party and we expected the entrees to feed all five people. When the fried tofu course was brought out there were only two bricks of overly saturated soy sauced fried tofus with a small side of edamame salad. The fried tofus were extremely salty that none of us at the table could take more than one bite!

Then the butter fish entree was placed in front of us 5 starving girls and there were only 2 tiny pieces of butterfish to be split between all of us! Are you kidding me Asia de Cuba?? I know that this is Dine L.A. and that the rates are reduced for this special event, but c’mon! Two tiny pieces of overly salted tofu bricks and two miniscule pieces of butterfish?

Lastly the panko crusted chicken breast with chimichurri sauce…ok, the breast did cover most of the plate, but it was so thin that you could see through it! Ok, that was an exaggeration, but you get the point. Definitely not worth the $28 for lunch or shall we say “afternoon snack” or the $15 parking fee.

We were all too happy to leave and get on with our day. But before we left….a few pictures to document our day at the swanky Mondrian Hotel!