Wednesday, April 29, 2015

SORTEDfood Dinner Party!


On Monday, I attended the most unique dinner party of my life!  The Food Bloggers of Los Angeles hosted the talented and hilarious guys of SORTEDfood as they make their way across America on their #LostAndHungry tour!

I almost, almost submitted some of my recipes from Vintage Zest, but you know that I like to stay behind the camera.


Jamie, Ben, Barry, and Mike may have been lost, but they were definitely not hungry after their dinner with us in L.A.!  Here are a few behind-the-scenes snaps of the night.  :)


SORTED food Dinner Party on The Episodic Eater



Too many cooks in the kitchen?  Nah.  Half of us were documenting the process on social media!  I tweeted and Instagram-ed my fingers off.  :)

SORTED food Dinner Party on The Episodic Eater



A few of the guys paired up with our lovely food blog members, like Jamie here with Emily!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Boysenberry Festival at Knott's Berry Farm


Knott's Berry Farm's Boysenberry Festival on The Episodic Eater! #KnottsSpring


Growing up in Southern California, Knott's Berry Farm was one of our absolute favorite places to go for rides, fun, and food!  Yes, I was a tiny foodie right from the start, and this place contributed to my food education.  Seriously, my love of funnel cakes started the first time I headed to the Log Ride and caught a whiff of these magical treats.  Little did I realize that the amusement park actually had its roots from a connection to food.  I'll share the history later on, but first let me get to the Boysenberry Festival!


This year's Boysenberry Festival will be 16 whole days from March 28 to April 12, 2015.  Tons of "Boysenberry Bites," dazzling entertainment, gourmet food, and the Wine and Craft Brew Garden will make this year's festival unforgettable!


Knott's Berry Farm's Boysenberry Festival on The Episodic Eater! #KnottsSpring


I was invited to a media tasting event, where I got to experience what's in store for this year.  Believe me, you definitely want to have a look... and then you'll want to have a taste!


Knott's Berry Farm's Boysenberry Festival on The Episodic Eater! #KnottsSpring



Normally, I go to the trouble of describing each dish in detail, but in this case, the pictures speak for themselves.  At the end, I'll post my favorite, can't-miss dishes, but in the meantime... enjoy some serious boysenberry eye candy!



Boysenberry Flautas


Fried Fun Bun
with Boysenberry Cream Cheese Topping

Knott's Berry Farm's Boysenberry Festival on The Episodic Eater! #KnottsSpring


A peek inside the fun bun.  Fun indeed!


Knott's Berry Farm's Boysenberry Festival on The Episodic Eater! #KnottsSpring



Fried Cheese Curds
paired with spicy boysenberry dipping sauce

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Locanda del Lago (Santa Monica, CA)


Locanda del Lago (Santa Monica, CA) on The Episodic Eater


I was recently invited to a special dinner at Locanda del Lago celebrating the wines of Italy!  In honor of Cantine Provenza of Lombardia, Italy, Michelin-starred Chef Gianfranco Minuz prepared a four-course Lombardian dinner perfectly paired with wines by Provenza.

We were warmly greeted by one of the winemakers, who introduced each wine with the start of every course.


Locanda del Lago (Santa Monica, CA) on The Episodic Eater


It was a lovely dinner in one of the mainstays of the Third Street Promenade for over 20 years, Locanda del Lago.  That's a feat in L.A., considering how often wonderful restaurants turn over.

The restaurant itself prides itself on being a window on Lake Como.  Having visited the region several years ago, the ambiance, the food, and the people certainly reflect the hospitality and charm that I remember well.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Philly's Best (Southern California)


Philly's Best (Southern California) on The Episodic Eater


Are you hungry?  Well, if you aren't now, then you will be by the end of this post!  I visited the first location of Philly's Best in Fountain Valley, which was opened in 1992 by native Philadelphian Bob Levey.  I ate so much and loved it all.  I'll tell you about it soon, but first, let's get the backstory behind Philly's Best!

First of all, the entire team (pictured below) at the store feels like a family.  It is such a cozy neighborhood shop, which has since expanded to over 20 locations.


Philly's Best (Southern California) on The Episodic Eater


In fact, while I was there, one customer showed up who has eaten at Philly's Best since the very beginning.  A lot of reminiscing goes on over a good sandwich, am I right?

Also, a first-time customer came in to try some steak sandwiches to go.  Bob insisted that he tried a hoagie, and packed up one to try along with his order.  This is the friendly atmosphere that I noticed during the entire lunch time that I was there.


Philly's Best (Southern California) on The Episodic Eater


Are you ready to get to the food?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Juice It Up! (California)



Juice It Up! (California) on The Episodic Eater


It's mid-way through February already!  Do you know what that means?  It is American Heart Month, and Juice It Up! locations everywhere are celebrating by promoting some extra heart-healthy juices, smoothies, and açaí bowls.  Seriously yummy stuff!  I met with one of the scientists who makes sure that the menu is not only nutritious but delicious, and it was really eye-opening.  They really put a lot of time into researching health benefits and flavor combinations to make sure the best of the best ends up on the menu!

Let me show you through some of the favorites I tried, plus one secret off-menu item that I absolutely loved!


Juice It Up! (California) on The Episodic Eater


This was my first trip to the newest Huntington Beach location because it officially opens in a couple weeks!  In fact, if you are available for the grand opening on March 1st, make sure to join the festivities and show up early (first 50 customers) to enjoy a free juice or smoothie!


Juice It Up! (California) on The Episodic Eater


Now, to the sweet stuff!

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...