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Hook, Line, & Sinker Seafood

 2077 N Oxnard Blvd
Oxnard, CA
 

"One Bite and You're Hooked!"

Oxnard: a city about 60-90 miles north away from LA where your 106FM plays country music and tractors are their BMW’s. (Just kidding if you’re from Oxnard)

I was a bit shocked when I came up to Oxnard on a brief business trip. What am I going to eat in this “middle of no where?” Supposedly this seafood restaurant is THE place to go in Oxnard. Even citysearch gave it the highest review.

Lets start with the positives. The service was GREAT. The owners were so much nicer than most restaurant owners in LA. (or perhaps it was due to recent management change in 12/06) The cashier gave me a complimentary drink since I was an out-of-towner and even gave me a 1/2 off deal on my clam chowder cup since it was slightly raining outside.

Now the “needs improvement” part: Being in the “countryside” has its downfalls. First, halibut smelled like they JUST caught it from the ocean — that strong seeeaaa smell. It might have been better if they included some lemon to the dish. However, as they promise, it was deep fried to a PERFECT crisp. I found clam chowder to be a bit salty… but they were quite generous with their ingredients!

Just because it’s out of major city doesn’t mean the price is cheaper, either! Although I was tempted to get coconut shrimp, it was $6.95 for 5 pieces of shrimp. That’s more than $1 for one shrimp! (Is that average?)

Although I’m heading back, if you’re in Oxnard and have some time-off, you should visit the world-famous diving spot near Channel Island (about 10 miles away from Oxnard) or enjoy the beach in Santa Barbara (30 miles north of Oxnard). The coastline is beautiful… about 380 miles away from San Francisco.

Halibut Taquitos

Fresh halibut rolled in flour tortillas (approximately 8 pieces), fried to a perfect crisp, topped with sour cream, pico de gallo, and cheese

Clam Chowder - New England Style

The works. Half off if it rains!

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Cafe Crepe

 1460 3rd Street Promenade
Santa Monica, CA
 

Crepe Paradise

EXCELLENT crepes. This is my second time to this wonderful creperie and they get it right every time. There are 3 things I look for in each crepe:

1) Thickness of pancake base: thin yet thick enough to wrap ingredients in a small bite

2) Innovative ingredients: most creperies have “the works” (nutella, banana, strawberry) but not many offer grand marnier, rum, coconut, or cognac in their crepe

3) Taste of the ingredients that compliment each other: even though you think nothing can get better than adding a little nutella, imagine biting into chunks of hazelnut drenched with grand marnier

You can enjoy their great drink menus (coffee, non-alcoholic, alcoholic) with your crepe. I especially like their martinis and coffees (illy’s). If you aren’t feeling sweet-toothed, you can also get a wide variety of panini, baguette, or other savoury crepes (eg. made with egg, cheese, ham, tuna, chciken, smoked beef, etc)

This little bar/lounge can’t be situated at a better place. It’s located right on the corner of Broadway and 3rd Street promenade (the ultimate outdoor shopping street) across from the Macy’s parking lot. Park in Macy’s structure since the first 3 hours are free but (shhh…) no one checks even if you park more than 3 hours! No validation ticket necessary. However, there is a $3 parking fee after 5pm… so go around 4:30pm to catch the Santa Monica sunset!

Remember to drop by the world famous Santa Monica Pier and do a little shopping spree on 3rd Street promenade!

Speciale de Cafe Crepe

Nutella, Hazelnut, Grand Marnier, Banana

Love Portion

Sweet and rich martini: Godiva chocolatier rum, hazelnut, other stuff

Gummy Bear

Refreshing mango/pineapple maritini

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Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant

 8039 Beach Blvd
Buena Park, CA
 

A Real Country Experience

Voted OC’s Favorite Brunch & Dinner

Located by America’s first theme park entrance, Knott’s brings OC what real country is all about: fried chicken and all you can eat fresh fruit jams!

Mrs. Knott’s is known for their famous FRRRRied Chik’en and their jammin’ jam. (Please note I prefer Honey Kettle’s fried chicken vs. Mrs. Knott’s)

BREAKFAST:
You’ll get a variety of choices all below $10.
Pro: unlimited Knott’s Jelly and Jam for toast and biscuits!
Con: I found their pancakes to be super spongy and white, their grapefruit a little dry, no fresh squeezed fruit juice, and a line to be a little long past 10am.
*Breakfast starts at 7:00am and brunch starts 9:30am.

DINNER:
Knott’s dinner menu is a little bit more impressive. Their menus are SET (meaning you’ll mandatory get fried chicken, pudding, pie, and mashed potatoes). They’re all so yummy. I especially liked their warm toasty buttery biscuits! MmMMm!

IMPRESSION:
It’s so country, all waitresses are white grandmas who give you a glimpse of what Mrs. Knott might have looked like. They’re all very sweet and southern bells-alike. I’m not sure if it is legal but my friend and I wondered why all buss-boys were african american grandmas with white aprons and black dresses (the ones you see in gone with wind). Well, maybe it was purely coincidental.

There are three rooms in Mrs. Knott’s kitchen. I’ll stay away from the room with an artificial pond since that room is a little murkier than the rest of the restaurant and smells a bit like chlorine. The other two rooms are much more cozy and roomy.

OVERALL:
If you’re missing a little southern soul, this is the place to come and eat like it’s your mama’s house. I’ll come back for their dinner but probably not for breakfast. I didn’t try their brunch buffet, but I heard it’s voted OC’s best for years. Remember to pick up a jar of boysenberry and strawberry jams on your way out! They make excellent gifts for moms and tea-lovers!

Three Stacks

Three spongy pale pancakes with a ball of butter!

Blueberry Muffin

Crispy outside, soft inside. Perfect!

Dinner Entre

Large: $13.50, Lunch portion: $10.50

This dinner includes: Fried chicken made with the original Mrs. Knott’s recipe, soup or salad, home-made biscuits served with Knotts jelly and jam, mashed potatoes and gravy, kernel corn, and a slice of pie for desser

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Opah Restaurant & Bar

 13122 Jamboree Rd
Irvine, CA
 

Opah::: chic & sleek bar/restaurant in heart of Irvine

Two things to know before going to Opah:

1) Opah (aka. moonfish, sunfish, kingfish, Jerusalem haddock): a fish usually caught in hawaii. Order “SEA” on the menu (eg. fishes like opah, sea bass) not “LAND” (lamb, prime rib).

2) Have a well-stocked wallet or a credit card ready

First impression: “Zen meets NYC” interior (glass tables, little zen stone on each napkins, open firepit), a well-stocked bar, a lot of hip young white folks in a city of asians. LOVE their warm toasty bread! Each loaf comes hot & fresh in an individually packed sandwich bag!

Second impression: snobby hostess

Third impression: Great presentation of all dishes.

I had special for the night — a rack of lamb resting on mashed potatoes. Perhaps my expectation far surpassed the reality. I wasn’t too impressed with the “special.” First, the waiter didn’t even ask if I wanted a well done/medium/rare meat. I had a pool of blood in the middle of the rack… and I usually order a well done. Second, it was a bit difficult to cut the lamb since the meat was so stiff. I had to fight to get the meat off the fork.

I had taste of my cousins’ sea bass and opah. They were excellent. I especially liked their sea bass (melts in your mouth) and “bang bang shrimp”~ Mmmm!

I would definitely go back for an after work cocktail. After all, a little snobbishness is harmless in OC. Right?

Tower of Sweet Potato Chips - A Tower of Parmesan Sweet Potato Chips at Opah Restaurant & Bar

A Tower of Parmesan Sweet Potato Chips

Better with sauce. A somewhat “healthier” alternative to tower of onion rings. It could be more crispy.

Rack of Lamb - Lamb Chop at Opah Restaurant & Bar

Lamb Chop

Stiff. Bloody. Stubborn little lamb.

Lobster Bisque - Lobster Bisque at Opah Restaurant & Bar

Lobster Bisque

Excellent soup but without any “stuff”— they could have at least added a little lobster meat!!!

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Diho Siam Restaurant

 1835 Newport Blvd Ste D154
Costa Mesa, CA
 

Pad thai in Costa Mesa

Diho Siam offers two types of food: Chinese & Thai. I mostly come here for Thai food. Actually, make that just pad thai.
There’s nothing special about this place, except a convenient location if you work somewhere in Costa Mesa and you’re craving a clean, average tasting Asian food without spending a fortune.

Be aware!
There’s no beverage listing on the menu, thus you won’t find out how much you actually paid for your can of coke until your bill comes out — $2.45!!! The thai ice tea was 3/4 ice… not much content.

Double aware!
They’re extremely stingy with # of shrimps given out on each dish. I had 1 shrimp on my pad thai whereas my coworker who ordered the “shrimp fried rice” (note how this should be a shrimp dish) received 4 pieces of shrimps. I thought there should have been a little more shrimp on those dishes.

Overall: eh. Perhaps I was a bit surprised at the quantity of food given. Quality was a little bit above average. I would be surprised if any Thai restaurant messed up on making pad thai.

Pad Thai

Better than regular pad thai. Has some taste, not dry, not much quantity

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Fisherman's Outlet Restaurant and Market

 529 S Central Ave
Los Angeles, CA
 

Ghetto Fabulous

Yes, it’s in the heart of ghetto. In fact, right next to the famous skid row in Downtown Los Angeles. Si, no one speaks English (nunca!). But do I care? No… because their seafood is so ghetto fabulous!

Although I couldn’t find restaurant health rating, I haven’t gotten sick YET and I’ve enjoyed every experience. Fish & chips – at reasonable price o’ $6.95 is best I’ve had in US. (I had the BEST fish & chips at London in Covent garden, but this one trails right behind it.) They are extremely generous with their seafood portion as well as fries… none of that annoying MOUNTAIN of fries topped with a tiny piece of fish fillet.

You won’t see a menu here… just point to the huge board menu or just make sure to bring an amiga/amigo with you, as none of the workers speak English.

Pro: No tip. Fast service. Great seafood at great cost! Huge variety of seafood (choose from salmon, halibut, swordfish, mahi-mahi, tuna, sea bass, orange roughy, giant shrimp, scallops, tiger shrimp, catfish, whole boned trout). Mountain of fries and seafood. Comes with coleslaw or rice.

Con: lunches only from 10am-3:30pm M-Sat. unfortunately closed for dinner since the area is so ghe-tto), stingy with sauce (garlic buttersauce, canjun sauce, teriyaki sauce). No one speaks English. Although there are many tables outside of the restaurant, it was too crowded. A few bums asking for money or food outside of the restaurant.

Think seafood for lunch, and direct yourself to Fisherman’s Outlet.

Deep Fried Fish Plate (Fish & Chips)

Deep fried fish served with fries, slaw, and sauce

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Brownstone Cafe

 305 N Harbor Blvd Ste 117
Fullerton, CA
 

A Hidden Jewel in heart of Downtown Fullerton

Brownstone Cafe is a hidden jewel in heart of downtown Fullerton. It’s tucked away in a small Spanish courtyard with a small fountain in the middle, an open skyline that lets in a warm ray of sunlight on Sunday mornings. It’s the place you want to be caught reading a book, conversing with friends, or simply enjoying the sunlight.

The best time to go would be between 9am and 12noon. It’s not too crowded, away from the busy city life, and offer excellent breakfast/lunch menu.

My friends rave about Brownstone’s fluffy scrambled eggs. FLUFFY. I tried their Mediterranean Omelet and I was not disappointed. If you want to try an omelet, get either spinach & mushroom or mediterranean (spinach, tomatoes, red onions, black olives, feta cheese, mozzarella cheese)

I was a little disappointed with their pancakes. I tried the peach pancakes and found 3 medium sized pancakes with canned peaches on top. Nothing special about the pancakes.

The service was excellent. You’ll never find yourself with an empty cup of coffee. I’ll recommend brownstone cafe to my friends in a heartbeat.

Also try other Downtown Fullerton venues such as Spadra (on commonwealth) and Roman Cucina (right next to Brownstone for dinner). There are a lot of other “random” cafes in Downtown Fullerton that has live performances as well. (steamers= jazz, rocking taco=dueling piano competition, internet bar=new bands)

Peach Pancakes

3 pancakes topped with peaches and whip cream, 2 bacon or 2 sausage, seasoned potatoes

Mediterranean Omelette

Spinach, Tomatoes, Red Onions, Black Olives, Feta cheese, Mozzarella Cheese

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Red Robin Gourmet Burgers

 1500 E Village Way
Orange, CA
 

Happy place

A happy place where waiters sing “happy birthday” every fifteen minutes. If it happens to be your birthday, the entire restaurant will clap for you when you blow out your candle(s). A jolly atmosphere featuring full “American” menu (lots of burgers, fries, specialty drinks, beer). I particularly liked the balloon lady who really took “balloon making” to the next level. loved the experience. had a marvelous time with family!

Towering Onion Rings

Onion rings are actually “stacked” acc’d to the size. Too much batter vs. onion content. Wished onions would be thicker. Comes with two dips. Crispy just enough. I prefer my onion rings with honey mustard.

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Osaka Japanese Restaurant

 1923 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA
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Hakata Ramen Shinsengumi

 2015 W Redondo Beach Blvd
Gardena, CA
Showing entries 1 - 10 of 37
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