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Market Hall Bakery – Rockridge, CA

11 Jul

My sister recently moved to the area to go to school at Berkeley. As proud as I am of her, I’m selfishly excited that she moved here, because I found my soulmate in grocery stores. Market Hall Bakery has absolutely the best selections of cured meats, olives, cheeses, handmade pasta, sauces, and farm-fresh, locally-grown produce and meats. They have a spectacular wine selection and regardless of how specialized all of their goods are, they’re still affordable. We made some delish food after my outing to the market and I can’t wait to come back. I even got 1/2lb of Sopresetta Salami to go, risking the airlines taking it away. They didn’t.

Happy me! You can fly with Salami in your carry on!

Tutto Amore Gelato – Laguna Beach, CA

20 Jun

Tutto Amore is now called Docle Gelato and it is the BEST! Habanaro Chocolate paired with Mango and Banana gelato… OMG.

Eat Chow – Costa Mesa, CA

18 May

In LA, you have the luxury Mr. Chow & Euro Chow and now the OC has been granted the comfortable luxury of EAT Chow. It’s a special kind of a Fred Segal knock off, only 45 miles south of LA and attached to the boutique store, The Closet. It’s also quite affordable, unlike the aforementioned Chows.

The Turkey Chili was great, the red cabbage Ruben was delish and the Truffle Fries were incredibly addictive, but the Fried Green Tomatoes stole my heart and made me sad that Buddy had to die on the tracks (If you don’t get that reference,Netflix the movie, get an order for take-out and buy a box of tissue to keep you company). Any-who, I really liked the food and am glad we chose to go there. Plus, waiting 15 minutes for a table works out nicely when you can pick out a new tee shirt before your meal and can save 20% afterwards, by simply showing your receipt.

The two thing that keeps Eat Chow from a whopping 5 stars, are both kind of a big deal to me; Location and Diet Coke in a can… meaning, no free-fills.

If you’re going to open an amazing restaurant in the OC, at least open it in Old Town Orange, Santa Ana, Historic Tustin, or south county. Located in Costa Mesa, you may run the risk of having to sit next to Bro’s and overgrown Newpie chicks who accidentally forgot to leave their college attitude back with the sorority they left 20 years ago. If you go on a Friday night, prep yourself by wearing your people watching glasses, so you can stare unashamedly.

Pita Kitchen – Sherman Oaks, CA

21 Jan

This is one of my favorite places ever.

I used to live across the street and would smell the grills every day, and pick up takeout several times a week.

For $10, you can get freshly grilled Filet Mignon Kabobs, rice and 2 sides. My favorites are the Baba Ganoush and Greek Salad, made with REAL sheep’s milk feta and greek-styled green olives. Not only that, but TWO people could split the $10 meal because the portion sizes are massive.

Last night, 5 of us sat there before heading to the House of Blues, on Sunset, and gorged, laughed and relaxed on the patio. Sometimes, the best food is served in the more unassuming locations.

Lost Bean Organic Coffee & Tea – Tustin, CA

5 Mar

If I could rate Lost Bean on a star-rating system, I’d give it 5 stars for the following reasons:

1. It’s organic
2. You can talk to the owners and they aren’t a logo, they’re actually people (and they work there)
3. The soy chai is amazing
4. An iced Hawaiian black tea is a dream for iced tea lovers on a hot SoCal day (and even on a rainy day too)
5. They offer free wifi and don’t sweat you for how long you stay and use it

Living in OC, we’re surrounded by chains stores all day long. After the big “S” word shut down Diedrich’s, Lost Bean became my new home away from home. With my career struggling through the recession, Lost Bean helps me get away from my house and still get work done.

The Lost Bean

13011 Newport Ave # 104
Tustin, CA 92780-3516
(714) 544-2584

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