Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Umami Burger (California & More)


Umami Burger (California & more) on The Episodic Eater


As you might remember from my last Umami Burger post, this is a small chain that knows how to do burgers (and everything else) right!  Last time, I went to the opening of the Irvine location, but after seeing this Umami Burger across from the Anaheim Packing District, I was itching to check this spot out!


Umami Burger (California & more) on The Episodic Eater


One shot of the interior before we get to the food!  This location was converted from the old Packard Building, which was established in 1925.  A bit of history, which they weaved into the surroundings and atmosphere.  I loved it!


Umami Burger (California & more) on The Episodic Eater


I was invited to try the newest offering here, the Pumpkin Spice Latte Burger (ohmyohmyohmy!), but I couldn't help but sample a few more treats as well.  :)  For one thing, the Welsh Rabbit Burger, exclusive to the Anaheim location was calling my name...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Vital Farms at Jimmy's Famous American Tavern (Dana Point, CA)

Vital Farms at Jimmy's Famous American Tavern (Dana Point, CA) on The Episodic Eater


I was recently invited to a dinner to welcome Vital Farms to Southern California, held at Jimmy's Famous American Tavern.  In addition to learning tidbits about the Austin-based egg-producers, we enjoyed a fantastic dinner with dishes especially created by the chef to feature Vital Farms' eggs!

Also, because Vital Farms wants to roll out the welcome to its newest customers (you and me!), they're offering a coupon for you try them out!  Click here to print it out and find out the closest retailer near you.


Vital Farms at Jimmy's Famous American Tavern (Dana Point, CA) on The Episodic Eater


Before we get to the food, is this not the cutest box ever?  It's reason enough to have the package jump off the grocery shelf and into my shopping cart!


Vital Farms at Jimmy's Famous American Tavern (Dana Point, CA) on The Episodic Eater


Now to the food!



Chive Bedeviled Egg
with Applewood Smoked Bacon
served with ‘Southern Fizz’

Vital Farms at Jimmy's Famous American Tavern (Dana Point, CA) on The Episodic Eater


What a lovely dish, yes?  Definitely a lovely way to show off the yellow yolks, plus the jalapeño on top was simply devilish!  Also, almost dish was served with an accompanying cocktail or wine.  Check out the Southern Fizz in the picture below.  Yum!



Drinks: from L to R
‘Southern Fizz’ – Bulleit Bourbon, Ginger Syrup, Lemon, Egg White
Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc, Sonoma
Hahn Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Zov's (Anaheim, CA)

I have a very long history with Zov's, so when I found out that a new location was opening in Anaheim, I was happy to be invited to a sneak peek before the grand opening!


Zov's (Anaheim, CA) on The Episodic Eater


In 1987, the same year that Zov's opened, my family was new to the Tustin area when I began going to kindergarten nearby.  Well, I ended up going to elementary school in another city the following year, but luckily my dad had already stumbled upon Zov's Bakery and Cafe.  We have been loyal customers ever since!

Since then, the restaurant has expanded to Newport Coast, Irvine, and Santa Ana.  The newest location in Anaheim is absolutely beautiful and Chef Zov Karamardian was there on hand with Chef Louie Jocson to welcome us!


Zov's (Anaheim, CA) on The Episodic Eater


The magnificent interior, designed by Charles Ramm, was absolutely stunning.  Personally, I couldn't wait to make my way to the gorgeous bar and order a drink!


Zov's (Anaheim, CA) on The Episodic Eater



Melon Mule
Grey Goose melon vodka, fresh lime juice, ginger beer, simple syrup

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival (Newport Beach, CA) #2

Newport Beach Wine Food Festival (Newport Beach, CA) #2 on The Episodic Eater


After yesterday's amazing Day 1 of festivities at the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival, I was wondering if it would be possible to match the festivities.  No worries needed though, because it was absolutely lovely!


Newport Beach Wine Food Festival (Newport Beach, CA) #2 on The Episodic Eater


As I teased yesterday, I attended the Indoor Kitchen Cooking demo by Shirley Chung of the soon-to-be-opened Twenty Eight.  (Update: see my media dinner and grand opening posts)  She made a spectacular dish right before our very eyes starting from the unprepped fish...


Newport Beach Wine Food Festival (Newport Beach, CA) #2 on The Episodic Eater


...and ending in this beautiful banana leaf-wrapped dish.  Amazing!


Newport Beach Wine Food Festival (Newport Beach, CA) #2 on The Episodic Eater


Now, to even more food!  Some of the participants were the same as Day 1, so make sure to head over there to see them all, plus the beautiful decor and atmosphere.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival (Newport Beach, CA) #1

Newport Beach Wine Food Festival (Newport Beach, CA) #1 on The Episodic Eater


So you would think after last month's L.A. Food & Wine Festival (see posts 1, 2, 3 & 4), I would have been wined and dined to my heart's content.  But come on folks, it's me!  Also, this is a different take on a food festival with all of the restaurants hailing the lovely city of Newport Beach!


Newport Beach Wine Food Festival (Newport Beach, CA) #1 on The Episodic Eater


Before I get to the over 20 dishes that I ate on Day 1 (I'm a maniac, I tell you!), I want to give you a bit of the flavor of the atmosphere and the lovely surroundings for this beautiful event!  So hold on while I set the stage...

*Update*: Day 2 post here

Newport Beach Wine Food Festival (Newport Beach, CA) #1 on The Episodic Eater


The grounds were simply amazing, with gorgeous tents, beautiful people, and some of the most well-known chefs just hanging around signing books, participating in cooking demos, and having fun too!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Benley: A Vietnamese Kitchen (Long Beach, CA)


Benley: A Vietnamese Kitchen (Long Beach, CA) on The Episodic Eater


Last year, I was in the mood to eat somewhere nice, but I was honestly too lazy to make a trip to L.A. or Southern Orange County.  I headed to the restaurant guide of my choice and found that Benley: A Vietnamese Kitchen was close by and highly rated!  Check out a quick recap of my first meal here.

Then, why hadn't I heard of Benley before? It is tucked into the very corner of the most inconspicuous strip mall, which I had actually passed many, many times before.  Luckily, someone uncovered this hidden gem for me, so I can pass it along to you!


Benley: A Vietnamese Kitchen (Long Beach, CA) on The Episodic Eater


Let's take a look at the food!



Garlic Chicken Wings
cánh gà chiên tởi

Benley: A Vietnamese Kitchen (Long Beach, CA) on The Episodic Eater


I love these garlic chicken wings.  They were crunchy on the exterior with tender chicken on the inside, with the mostly incredible tangy, garlicky glaze on the outside.  This is one of those dishes that makes you second guess having good manners just so you can lick your fingers at the table.  :)



Phở tái
with rare slices of steak

Benley: A Vietnamese Kitchen (Long Beach, CA) on The Episodic Eater


Phở is such a comforting dish and this is no exception!  The broth was flavorful, the beef was tender, and the usual accompaniments of bean sprouts, lime, mint, basil, and sauces were fun to play around with as well.