Posts Tagged ‘restaurants’

Perception never falls into the simple categorization of black versus white. Perception falls anywhere within a boundless spectrum of antipodes. The problem lies with people’s ability to conceive perceptions beyond their scope. You can ask a person what type of music they love the most, while the next person may loathe that type of music. Most people claim to not like country music, yet the truth reveals that they simply have no preference for it; however, few people actually get adamant about the music. Going beyond preferences commonly exists in food and beverages. Where one person may call something “the best,” another will claim something else as better. For example, my father swears by the $2 wine from Trader Joe’s, unable to accept that pricier fine wines taste better. Some people say that no other burger can top a common burger from corporate fast food or corporate restaurants. People truly get attached to their fast food burgers and refuse to believe that better burgers exist out there. Whether or not you claim to know about the best burger in the world, I encourage you to seek out these five burgers in the greater Los Angeles area this season and give them a try. Who knows – maybe you will alter your opinions after one bite!

5. Eat Chow‘s Chow BBQ Burger

Portion size means a lot to the typical person who goes out to eat. Fine-dining restaurants focus on quality over quantity, so while fine-dining entrées appear small, it makes up for it with outstanding flavor. Generally, people want that happy medium between fine-dining and fast food, a restaurant that serves high-quality yet affordable food, something that Eat Chow specializes in. Now with three locations in Orange County, Eat Chow does not boast too much, perhaps because their foods speaks for itself. Eat Chow takes common foods and makes them well, from their burgers to the sandwiches to the entrées and more. Clearly a lot of care has gone into the dishes, evident by how much of the food’s natural flavor one can taste. In addition to the heightened food quality, Eat Chow doles up generous portion sizes too, such as in their Chow BBQ Burger. This grass-fed chuck patty comes topped with housemade barbecue sauce, smoked gouda cheese, crispy onion strings, bacon, mayonnaise, shredded lettuce, and tomatoes on a brioche bun. You can take on this huge burger for just $13.

4. Ocean Diner‘s Kiss Me Kate Burger

Different ingredients yield different flavors to the palate. Some ingredients have mild flavors, while some ingredients have extreme flavors. Some of the extreme-flavored ingredients may come with inauspicious side effects, such as spicy foods attacking the taste buds or foods invoking halitosis, or bad breath. Some of the latter ingredients taste so good that people often endure the side effects, such as garlic. For a calamity of ingredients that can cause bad breath, Ocean Diner has found just the combination. From the outside, Ocean Diner looks like your typical small-town American diner. However, Ocean Diner truly has some amazing things going on in here, such as their Kiss Me Kate Burger. This specialty burger comes with bacon-roasted garlic puree, grilled onions, and goat cheese. This $11.95 comes served with French fries, mashed potatoes, brown rice, coleslaw, or cottage cheese. As a special menu item, it will not last forever, so head over to Ocean Diner fast before this burger leaves their menu!

3. green2Go‘s Grass-Fed Bison Burger

A simple human truth states that people desire control in their lives. When someone lacks control over a situation, they may start to feel stress or panic. Give someone control, and they feel a lot more comfortable over their situation. This applies to all walks of life, including food, and green2Go gives you that control over your food. green2Go uses only the freshest all-natural ingredients to ensure pure flavor and nutrition. While you may certainly order any of their items as the menu describes, green2Go proudly offers a Build-Your-Own section where you get to dress up your favorite menu items, such as their Grass-Fed Bison Burger. This bison patty comes on your choice of brioche or squaw bread, or a lettuce-wrap, organic lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a dill pickle. From there, you can select up to four add-ons to accompany your plate, which you can pick by walking up to the BYO bar to the left of the front counter. For $16, this burger comes to you with your choice of a side salad or roasted mini potatoes.

2. Abricott‘s Lemongrass Chicken Burger

Who says that a burger must contain a ground beef patty? Not all burgers must contain beef.  We have seen multiple different types of burgers, such as turkey burgers, salmon burgers, and even vegetarian patty burgers. We rarely ever see a chicken burger, much less a chicken burger done right. Abricott would like to turn that perception around. Known for their French-Asian cuisine, Abricott remains a staple in local Pasadena food, and has attracted the attention of locals and travelers alike. Pasadena brings in huge amounts of travelers between the convention center and the Rose Bowl, and travelers often want to savor the local flavor. Abricott’s menu covers multiple forms of food, including their Lemongrass Chicken Burger. Not just any old burger, this burger contains a ground chicken patty seasoned with lemongrass, topped with tomato, onions, lettuce, and mayonnaise served on a bun with coconut tamarind sauce. At $10.95, you can taste this unique burger that few other places can match in flavor.

1. Gus’s Barbecue‘s Brisket Burnt End Burger

When one orders a burger, one can typically expect a ground beef patty supported by various toppings, correct? The beef patty usually stars as the protagonist in the story known as the burger, but once in a while a burger may feature more than one co-protagonist. For a story featuring more than one star, we turn to Gus’s Barbecue in South Pasadena. A local barbecue legend, Gus’s Barbecue has done barbecue right for such a long time that they know exactly how to apply their prized meats to other forms of food. For example, take their Brisket Burnt End Burger. This beef burger comes topped with beef brisket burnt ends, cheese sauce, pickled jalapeños, and mustard on a toasted pretzel bun. All burgers come with your choice of French fries, sweet potato fries, potato salad, cole slaw, or BBQ baked beans. You can pound this mound of meat at Gus’s Barbecue for $13.95.

The first Taste of Downtown Long Beach of 2017 will occur this week on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Free to attend for all ages, numerous businesses in Downtown Long Beach will set up booths in the East Village Arts District to serve food & drinks to guests who purchase food tickets. Guests can purchase 12 tickets for $10 online, or one ticket for $1 each at the event. The restaurants that serve at this event range from the many restaurants around the East Village to those along Pine Avenue to the handful of restaurants in Shoreline Village and Rainbow Harbor. In addition to all the food, local bands will play music throughout the night, and local artists and vendors set up to sell their merchandise and other work.

If you cannot make it out to this food fest, the Downtown Long Beach Association will host the taste once again in early June and late August. For a simple method to sample what Downtown Long Beach has to offer, you do not want to miss the next taste or two.

Everybody eats out of necessity, and not always just for the luxury. Basic meals come and go, as they simply provide fuel to make it to the next meal. But do most people simply consume their food and continue with their day, or do they stop to enjoy the sweeter things in life? Ask yourself this: do you eat to live, or live to eat? Nobody can honestly consider after-meal desserts a necessity in life, even if they possess a sweet tooth. Despite this, nature causes all creatures to prefer sweets over anything else. Should you have dessert with every meal? Not always. Can you have dessert any time you want, regardless of other factors like time and weather? Of course! Despite the increasingly cold weather approaching, one should never sacrifice desserts for uncontrollable reasons. By that notion, continue reading to see five desserts in the Greater Los Angeles area that I highly recommend consuming this winter.

5. The Loop Handcrafted Churros‘ Glazed Churro

We live in an age of technology, the internet, social media, and smartphones. The days of face-to-face interaction have died with the past, as most people spend their time in public with their faces buried in their smartphones. People use this as their means of interacting with others, and social media provides an outlet for that. Social media has also paved the way for one-upmanship, or posting something to gain more attention than the previous person – basically, “Oh yeah? Well check this out!” Especially today, we have Instagram food – basic foods made to look pretty so that customers will share it online. Plenty of Instagram food exists, such as at The Loop: Handcrafted Churros. Oddly located in a heavy Vietnamese area of Westminster, The Loop takes the basic churro and fancies it up for customers to snap away at it. Sure you could go to, say, a Costco and get a simple churro for a dollar, or you could spring $4.50 for one of The Loop’s Glazed Churro. The Loop takes one of their ready-made churros, dips about half of it in a glaze of your choice, and coats that part with a topping of your choice. It just looks so cute and fancy that you will want to share this with the digital world before you actually bite into it!

4. Pie ‘n Burger‘s Peanut Butter Meringue

Two major archetypes of people exist: the adventurous and the safe. By human nature, people prefer the familiar – after all, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This explains why corporate products can survive for so long because they continue to serve the exact same product that people grew up with. Because something has never changed over time, that must mean that people love it, right? For something traditional that the people always go back to, look no further than Pie ‘n Burger. This little diner in Pasadena has withstood the test of time with their simplistic approach to traditional diner foods in burgers, milkshakes, and pies. Pie ‘n Burger not only makes food that all customers recognize, but they make them delicious as well that rivals corporate equivalents. When it comes to pies, their Peanut Butter Meringue sets the bar high. Very few places make peanut butter pies like this, and Pie ‘n Burger does it right with just the right amount of peanut butter without making this slice feel too heavy. While the $4.50 price tag per slice feels steep, each slice more than holds its weight up.

3. Confetti Italian Ice‘s Parfait

Everyone loves sweets, but no one can deny that teenagers represent the worst demographic for controlling dessert habits. Teenagers usually have money to buy whatever they want (as long as they can afford it), and they have not grown up enough to make sensible spending decisions. As such, lots of places take advantage of that by introducing desirable foods priced just within reach that young customers will want to come back to, especially cold treats. Starbucks does this well with their blended drinks, as do some Italian Ice places. Take a stroll over to Confetti Italian Ice and you will see that they value quality in their treats instead of simply catering to as many customers as possible. Tightly nestled in a strip mall in Costa Mesa near the Orange County Fairgrounds, Confetti Italian Ice may resemble another popular Southern Californian place that does something similar, but Confetti has vastly unique flavors in their Parfait. Many places do something like this already: Italian Ice combined with soft-serve ice cream or custard. While the competition sticks to common flavors, Confetti aims for a more unique experience with flavors such as Cookie Batter, Chocolate Brownie, Cookie Dough, Birthday Cake, and more. You can get a Parfait for $3.75 for a small, $4.25 for a medium, or $5.25 for a large.

2. My Delight Cupcakery‘s Breakfast Cupcake

For over seven years now, My Delight Cupcakery has doled out some of the best cupcakes this side of the Mississippi. During their early years, I recall that they only had their mobile food truck to serve their scrumptious cupcakes out of. Since I discovered My Delight, they have since opened as storefront in a corner of Ontario close to Upland and Montclair. My Delight utilizes organic and all-natural ingredients to give their cupcakes the texture, moisture, and sweetness that makes a cupcake worth it. Prominently, their frosting does not taste overwhelmingly of butter, which many other cupcakeries seem to not pay any attention to. This allows their cupcakes to portray more of the true flavors of the cupcakes rather than the richness found in most other frostings elsewhere. My Delight rotates the flavors of their cupcakes monthly, but they will always carry their standard lineup of cupcakes, such as their popular Breakfast Cupcake: a light & fluffy buttermilk-based cupcake with bits of applewood-smoked bacon, iced with a light & buttery maple frosting, topped with more bacon, and drizzled with maple syrup. You can enjoy breakfast for dessert for $3.25 for a regular-size cupcake or $1.75 for a mini cupcake.

1. Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern‘s Old School

If you seek classic American cuisine with an artisanal touch, look no further than Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern (JFAT). Reinventing traditional restaurant faire, JFAT covers many grounds of cuisine familiar to many with their high-quality approach to cooking. Currently boasting four locations between Los Angeles County, Orange County, and San Diego County, and with a fifth location opening soon, JFAT takes what you know about traditional American restaurants and turns it up to eleven. Between brunch, lunch, dinner, and a full bar, any time of the day makes for a great time to stop on by JFAT and enjoy a bite or sip or more. Their beverage offering alone always stays current with the seasons, as they routinely rotate out their craft beer offerings as well as their fine wines. People also love the cocktails at JFAT, as the drinks here range from sweet to spicy, mild to bold, and more. On the food side, JFAT pays close attention to not only the quality, but the portions of their dishes, especially in their desserts such as the Old School. In a large glass goblet, JFAT combines warm chocolate chip cookies, vanilla bean ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, and roasted peanuts. This massive dessert that can feed at least two people costs only $12. Of course, if you have a huge sweet tooth like I do, you will want this entire bowl of indulgence to yourself. The classics never go out of style at JFAT, so check them out soon and get your dessert on.

2017 has arrived, and we welcome this new year with the reinvention and reintroduction of traditional world events. While the world will welcome the Summer Olympics and the United States will welcome a new president, the notion of bringing back something familiar spreads to other subjects as well. When something goes away for a while and returns much later, we refer to those things as classic. Some people say that the classics never go out of style, but eventually, all good things must come to an end, and classics do too. For that purpose, millennials must continually search for ways to improve or adapt methods in all aspects of life. Today’s culture revolves around two types of people: the safe, and the risk-takers. Safe people will find something they recognize and stick with it, preferring not to deviate away from the norm. Risk-takers feel adventurous and love to try new things. In general, safe people live a bland, boring life, while risk-takers live an exciting spontaneous life. Excitement gets your adrenaline pumping, so add some spontaneity to your life by seeking out these five burgers in the greater Los Angeles area this season.

5. The Black Plate‘s Kobe Beef Bacon Jam Sliders

It appears that The Black Plate cannot make up its mind. It feels like every month, they operate as something else. Something here changes every month, such as the owner or the name of the restaurant. Perhaps its terrible location right off the freeway in Westminster lends to the inconsistency here. Thankfully, through it all, their food has remained consistently memorable. The Black Plate may carry a variety of foods, from sausages to hot dogs to sliders to phô to seafood to classic entrées and more. However, I always come back to the Kobe Beef Bacon Jam Sliders. The Black Plate does not serve full burgers. Instead, they have these premium Kobe beef sliders served with spicy maple jalapeño bacon jam and melted sharp cheddar on brioche slider buns. You get three to a plate for $11. You ought to hurry over to The Black Plate to try these, or they might go through some other transformation into another restaurant.

4. Ohana Burger‘s The Daniel-San

Asian food has remained under the spotlight for quite a long time, and still remains a favorite food choice for many people. Even better, people go crazy for the food when it contains an element of fusion in it. So when people discover an Asian fusion restaurant, naturally they all flock to it, such as Ohana Burger in West LA. Located in Little Osaka replacing the previous Bachi Burger, Ohana Burger brings Japanese and island flavors to the west by introducing them to a form that Americans easily recognize: burgers. Visitors can savor this fusion best in The Daniel-San. Ohana Burger takes a marinated Angus beef patty and tops it with chili mayonnaise, a fried egg, furikake, caramelized bacon, and crispy onion rings – basically, an Asian version of the western bacon cheeseburger. Anyone who loves Asian food will fall in love with this burger, as it basically represents Asian-style BBQ in a burger. Sadly, burgers do not come with any side, but once you sink your teeth into this $13 burger, you will not require a side, as you will want to prolong this experience as long as you can.

3. Little Bear‘s Liege Waffle Burger

Breakfast: the most important meal of the day. Traditionally, breakfast restricted our first daily meals to a select few types of foods, such as eggs, meat (bacon/ham/sausage), and some bread (muffin/toast/pancakes/waffles/etc). While we used to eat these with a knife and fork, why not combine it all in one plate? The folks over at Little Bear in Downtown LA have done that already. While one can easily spot Little Bear out in the open, not too many people drive down this street, so they often miss this fun little Belgian pub. As a Belgian pub, you can expect lots of Belgian beers and Belgian foods, including Belgian Waffles, which you can eat with the Liege Waffle Burger. Served only during brunch hours, Little Bear takes a fresh-ground Angus beef patty and tops it with sharp cheddar, bacon, and a fried egg. But to give it that Little Bear twist, instead of regular buns, Little Bear uses Liege Waffles as the buns, which they serve with a side of maple syrup. With the maple syrup, I suggest using a knife and fork. However, for the true burger experience, just pick it up and dive right in. You can start off your day the Little Bear way for $16.

2. VaKA Burger Express‘ El Porky

In a condensed city such as Los Angeles, hidden gems and hole-in-the-wall places exist in every nook & cranny. If you discover or someone tells you about VaKA Burger Express and you decide to go look for them, you may require more than one try to actually locate them. If you simply drive to the address, you may completely pass by them, as they have virtually no signage visible from the street. You have to actually enter Boyle Heights’ Ramirez Liquor and make your way to the back left corner to find the counter for VaKA Burger Express. Once there, you will discover a mini burger paradise with some of the best hidden burgers this side of Los Angeles, such as their El Porky. Blitz your taste buds with this burger that features provolone cheese, crispy pork belly, six-hour braised onions: French-onion soup-style, and housemade smoked barbecue sauce. Do note that they store their barbecue sauce cold, so the first few bites may feel like a blend of hot and cold. For $14 for this burger, you will never taste another burger like this again.

1. Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern‘s Jimmy Burger

If you seek classic American cuisine with an artisanal touch, look no further than Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern (JFAT). Reinventing traditional restaurant faire, JFAT covers many grounds of cuisine familiar to many with their high-quality approach to cooking. Currently boasting four locations between Los Angeles County, Orange County, and San Diego County, and with a fifth location opening soon, JFAT takes what you know about traditional American restaurants and turns it up to eleven. Between brunch, lunch, dinner, and a full bar, any time of the day makes for a great time to stop on by JFAT and enjoy a bite or sip or more. Their beverage offering alone always stays current with the seasons, as they routinely rotate out their craft beer offerings as well as their fine wines. People also love the cocktails at JFAT, as the drinks here range from sweet to spicy, mild to bold, and more. On the food side, JFAT pays close attention to not only the quality, but the portions of their dishes. For a traditional pub entrée, go with a burger, such as their Jimmy Burger. This $18 burger comes with applewood-smoked bacon, spicy jalapeño jam, and southern pimento cheese. Although more sweet and hearty than spicy, a little bit of heat kicks in at the end, giving a full spectrum of flavor in each bite. While the menu and food at Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern looks and sounds familiar, one cannot judge a book by its cover. You cannot appreciate the flavor until you try it for yourself. Head on over to Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern at Point Loma (San Diego), Dana Point, Brea, Woodland Hills, or Santa Monica to savor American cuisine at its finest.

This Saturday, Long Beach’s 4th Street Retro Row brings back their Pour on 4th event for its second year, providing an opportunity for visitors to stroll up and down Retro Row while sampling local food and drinks. Combining a stroll with a beer & wine fest, this event covers pretty much all of the Retro Row area of 4th Street from Cherry Avenue to Junipero Street and a little bit beyond those streets to allow attendees to explore the businesses while getting sudsy. General admission costs $26, while VIP admission costs $36 and includes a goodie bag. All attendees receive a wristband and tasting glass to receive beer and/or wine samples from participating businesses for the duration of the event while supplies last. Attendees will check in at one of two check-in spots (Art Du Vin and Restauration), and from there will walk to all the different participating locations, or ride in a complimentary trolley to get from one end to the other.

Attendees must keep a few things in mind to make this event go smooth for them. First off, this event takes place outdoors and involves a lot of walking, so attendees should wear comfortable shoes as well as dress for warm sunny weather. Most important to know, the wristband only provides beer and wine tastings from participating businesses. For example, Long Beach United Boxing Club last year hosted and poured Stone Brewing‘s beers, so attendees can visit a location to sample beers. The wristband does NOT include food – attendees can buy food specials from local businesses that range from $4 to $6. For example, Lola’s Mexican Cuisine may carry some daily specials in that price range. When you check in for your wristband, make sure you pick up a map to know where to find every participating business.

Unable to make it out to Pour On 4th? See what else goes on at Retro Row by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Reminiscing back to our childhoods, we recall all the good times and bad times that significantly impacted us as children. Everyone remembers certain moments during their childhoods that has permanently affected our personalities today. Even without anything to capture those moments, we can still reminisce about the good old days through photos taken way back then. In fact, today’s society has accepted Throwback Thursdays as an homage to the good old days, when life did not bear so much worry, and we could live out our days without fear or oppression. These days, society has to deal with corruption on many levels, from governments to the internet to bullies in school and more. Like the human immune system, society reacts to these corruptions by implementing methods to combat those problems by either minimizing problems or eliminating them altogether. This may not restore the good old days, but as a society, we still like to look back to what paved the way for us to stand here today. Significantly, we remember the foods we once ate as children, even recalling the low prices. Those old signs advertising $0.10 French Fries did not lie – food stands actually sold items that now cost ten times more, or even more than that! Though we can still buy the same fast food items as back then, we have much better options today as far as finer dining without the inflated price tags. If you miss those $0.10 fries, wait until you see some of the appetizers that you can share with friends or enjoy as an entrée. I have discovered five different shareable appetizers that you can find in the Greater Los Angeles Area, and you can either enjoy these on its own or share them among the table.

5. The Abbey‘s Roadkill Fries

With all this newfangled technology and modernism going on these days, sometimes it helps to go back to the basics. We turn to the originals to inspired us to prepare for the future. For the originals, we head over to The Abbey in Seal Beach. Dubbed as Seal Beach’s legendary gastropub, The Abbey takes some of America’s favorite restaurant meals and does them well. You can taste the quality of the food here while appreciating the food styles that we grew up with. The Abbey does not try to push the envelope or invent new foods – they take what exists and cooks it up right. Look at their Roadkill Nachos on their appetizers menu. The Abbey treats nachos the classic way here with tortilla chips piled high with ground beef, grilled chicken, black beans, cheese, guacamole, salsa, and sour cream. You can order a small plate for $9.50, or go all-out for $13.50. Sure it may not seem like a new concept, but if you do not want to try something new and simply want to stick with what you know, The Abbey has the remedy for you.

4. Limerick’s Tavern‘s Irish Pub Nachos

More often than not, the hole-in-the-wall places have the best food that too few know about. From the outside, the restaurant may appear lackluster. Even once inside, the interior may appear dreary. As the old saying goes, “You cannot judge a book by its cover.” While hole-in-the-wall restaurants represent a game of hit-or-miss, the people’s voice may help to steer others in the right direction, which led me to the discovery of Limerick’s Tavern in Upland. When I first heard about this Irish pub, I expected the typical Irish faire that I encounter at every other Irish pub that I had dined at. To my surprise, Limerick’s Tavern shattered that conception with an unbelievable menu with desirable food. At Limerick’s Tavern, they serve up great gourmet food that no one would expect to find at a pub or sports bar. The dishes may represent classics, but their use of high-quality ingredients and plating presentation make them shine above the rest. Take a look at their Irish Pub Nachos. This beautiful plate of fresh home-made potato chips comes topped with chopped corned beef, pastrami, bacon bits, Swiss & cheddar cheese, sour cream, and scallions. This $10 plate of food can feed a group of four, or you can go nuts and treat yourself to this mighty fine dish.

3. The Smoking Ribs‘ Pulled Pork Nachos

As far as the style of cuisine goes, The Smoking Ribs truly lies off the beaten path. The Smoking Ribs specializes in southern-style barbecue, from ribs to brisket to pulled pork and more. As others have shown, many cultures around the world have no familiarity with American barbecue, such as Koreans and the Irish, so some may ponder about a non-Asian barbecue restaurant in an Asian part of town. However, I assure you that The Smoking Ribs stays true to its roots, boasting some top-quality smoke and meats. At The Smoking Ribs, you can go the traditional route and order a plate of meat with sides. The Smoking Ribs also offers a handful of other dishes that contain their meats, such as their Pulled Pork Nachos. For $10, you get a huge basket of nacho chips, nacho cheese, pulled pork, barbecue sauce, and coleslaw. It sounds simple, but after one bite, you will want to devour this entire thing yourself instead of sharing it, despite its large size that can feed multiple people.

2. Meat Up BBQ‘s Smothered & Covered Chili Verde Fries

Ruling over their domain of meat, Meat Up BBQ does meat good and barbecue with their own culinary twist. The barbecue does not represent completely authentic southern barbecue, but rather barbecue with a slight Caribbean influence, evident in their use of tropical and fruity flavors. Sauces range from sweet to spicy to smokey, and meats include all the bases such as chicken, pork, beef, and even a few seafood items. Meat Up BBQ does not skimp on portion sizes, so when you order anything, even their appetizers, expect a huge plate, such as their Smothered & Covered Chili Verde Fries. $10 gets you a huge basket of BBQ-rub fries topped with pulled pork chili verde and a helping of cheddar cheese. You get some barbecue with the fries, and you get some Latin influence from the pork chili verde. This huge appetizer can easily feed a family of four, and I would not attempt to eat this entire thing as one person. However, after one bite, you may want as much of this as you can handle.

1. Súp Noodle Bar‘s Shaken House Fries

The United States promotes a mixed melting pot society. We take people from all nationalities and religions, and throw them into one country to unite them together. While many prefer to stick to the original ways and stay with their traditions, many of the younger generation want to see change and mixing of cultures. This has led to the creation of fusion foods, combining elements of different cuisines together. Plenty of fusion restaurants exist out there where you can taste the best of multiple worlds, such as at Súp Noodle Bar in Buena Park. Nestled in a large strip mall in a densely Korean area, Súp stands out from the crowd with their personal take on Vietnamese cuisine in a not-so Vietnamese area. Sure they have the traditional noodle soups, noodle bowls, and rice bowls, but for those not well versed in Vietnamese cuisine, Súp eases the transition with their versions of familiar foods, such as with their Shaken House Fries. This $13 massive plate of skinny fries comes topped with Súp’s shaken short rib, minced garlic, caramelized onions, sharp cheddar cheese, and spicy tartar sauce. This represents a calamity of flavors as you have the sweetness and savory from the beef, the sharpness from the garlic, more sweetness from the caramelized onions, creaminess from the cheese, and a bit of kick and tartness from the sauce. While this can feed up to four people, after one bite, you may want this all to yourself.

Reminiscing back to our childhoods, we recall all the good times and bad times that significantly impacted us as children. Everyone remembers certain moments during their childhoods that has permanently affected our personalities today. Even without anything to capture those moments, we can still reminisce about the good old days through photos taken way back then. In fact, today’s society has accepted Throwback Thursdays as an homage to the good old days, when life did not bear so much worry, and we could live out our days without fear or oppression. These days, society has to deal with corruption on many levels, from governments to the internet to bullies in school and more. Like the human immune system, society reacts to these corruptions by implementing methods to combat those problems by either minimizing problems or eliminating them altogether. This may not restore the good old days, but as a society, we still like to look back to what paved the way for us to stand here today. Significantly, we remember the foods we once ate as children, even recalling the low prices. Those old signs advertising $0.10 French Fries did not lie – food stands actually sold items that now cost ten times more, or even more than that! Though we can still buy the same fast food items as back then, we have much better options today as far as finer dining without the inflated price tags. If you miss those $0.10 fries, wait until you see some of the appetizers that you can share with friends or enjoy as an entrée. I have discovered five different shareable appetizers that you can find in the Greater Los Angeles Area, and you can either enjoy these on its own or share them among the table.

5. Out Of The Park Pizza‘s Pizza Poppers

No matter where in the world you may find yourself, certain foods always make their way to every corner of the world. From hamburgers to hot dogs to rice and more, ingredients play a major role in the coverage of certain types of food. Big corporate chain restaurants ensure the spread of many of the more common foods, lending part to the world’s love of these foods, such as pizza. Various types of pizzas now exist because people try to get creative with how they eat pizza instead of the traditional round pizza cut into slices. For something a little more portable and fun, head to Out Of The Park Pizza. Out Of The Park Pizza does not shy away from extravagant toppings on their pizzas, coming up with different types of pizzas such as a Western Barbecue pizza or a Buffalo Chicken pizza. While they have interesting toppings for their pizzas, they have turned their pizzas into an appetizer in the form of their Pizza Poppers. Imagine a slice of pepperoni pizza that they rolled into a ball that resembles a round pastry stuffed with cheese and pepperoni, and you have Pizza Poppers. It does not contain tomato sauce – they provide marinara sauce on the side as a dip. You can order Pizza Poppers as a five-piece snack for $6.99 or a 12-piece shareable appetizer plate for $9.99.

4. Abigaile‘s Pão de Queijo

As humans, we live for variety and diversity. Unlike animals that “eat to live,” some might say that humans “live to eat.” For example, a pet dog or cat feels perfectly content eating the exact same food everyday for his or her entire life. However, if a human attempted that, he or she would go insane from the thought of it. As an aside, this regularly occurs in prisons where inmates get no choice in what they can eat. Humans crave variety, and need something different in their lives instead of living a routine day by day, and people can find diverse foods at a restaurant like Abigaile. Although appearing upscale and fancy, Abigaile actually functions like a casual gastropub, especially given their location by the beach so that beachgoers can dine at Abigaile without worry of their outfit. Perhaps Abigaile appears upscale due to their food menu, which contains some highly eclectic items such as their Pão de Queijo. A Brazilian classic, these Brazilian cheese puffs resemble a hybrid between a bread roll and a hot cheese snack. Chewy and gooey, biting into these cheese poofs feels like biting into a solid mass of warm cheese coated with butter and a slight fluff of bread. For $5, this heavenly appetizer at Abigaile comes with a side of spice honey to help complement the cheesy flavor.

3. Peter’s Gourmade Grill‘s Gooeys

How do you get the word out about your business if you do not do any marketing? You have to deliver something so good that the customers will spread the word about you. In this modern time of internet marketing and social media, all business owners need to utilize all available tools to get the word out about their businesses. Consider that many of these marketing tools have no cost to using them other than time to set up the information. Once set up, the people will do the work as long as you provide something that the people will want to come back for, such as the memorable food at Peter’s Gourmade Grill in Tustin. As a hole-in-the-wall that many people can easily drive by without ever noticing it, Peter’s Gourmade Grill only focuses on what they do best: grilling up foods with a twist, and each twist varies between each menu item. Perhaps the people continually return to Peter’s for these twists, since not many other places have the same combinations that Peter’s offers. Take, for example, their Gooeys. Originally intended as a shared dessert, this massive pile of sweet potato fries gets dressed up with brown sugar, maple syrup, and toasted marshmallows. Has anyone else ever thought of this combination? Perhaps so, but definitely nowhere else in Southern California can you find something like this. At $7.25, this can treat an entire family, as I cannot conceive any sole person devouring an entire order in one sitting.

2. Eat Chego‘s Ooey Gooey Fries

When a food truck converts to a restaurant, one can expect to find similarities between the food truck and the restaurant. When the founder of Kogi BBQ opened Eat Chego, food truck fans from all over flocked to this permanent Kogi fixture to experience Kogi in a more solid setting. As one of the originals, Kogi had one of the largest fan bases of any gourmet food truck, and continued to prosper in long lines for years to come. This popularity easily carried over to Eat Chego and also attracted countless more food fans to savor the flavor of what started a revolution. Although Eat Chego does not serve exactly what Kogi does, the flavors resemble each other, especially in the fan favorite Ooey Gooey Fries. This $6 bowl of beer-battered fries gets topped with sour cream sambal, three cheeses (Monterey jack, cheddar, and cotija), chilies, cilantro, and pickled garlic. Despite its vegetarian nature, people go nuts for this bowl, especially for the pickled garlic. The sauce adds a sour yet spicy flavor, while the cheese gives it a more gritty texture. The pickled garlic does not overwhelm the palate – it contains enough of a bite that you will immediately detect it, but the pickling essentially dilutes its potency. It adds the perfect amount of zing to this bowl. Although one can finish these fries as an entrée, because of the intense flavor profile, I suggest sharing this with a friend.

1. Smoqued BBQ‘s Burnt Ends

With a handle on what the people want, Smoqued BBQ ensures that they rarely run out of customer favorites. This BBQ restaurant in Old Towne Orange delivers classic BBQ dishes using their own recipes, while slinging out over a dozen different types of craft beers at any given moment. Their extensive food menu carries multiple variations of their signature BBQ meats, from brisket to pulled pork to tri-tip to ribs and more. Perhaps the one dish that brings customers back the most resides on their appetizers section. In the appetizers section lies the appropriately named Brisket Burnt Ends. Sure they list this in the appetizers section, and they present it in a way that multiple people can share it. However, after you bite into one of these juicy morsels, you will want the plate all to yourself. This half-pound mound of meaty goodness consists of double-smoked brisket cube ends, which they caramelize in their house BBQ sauce. For burnt ends, the pieces retain their juiciness, as the seared caramelization of the sauce on the outside seals the meat’s natural juices inside. As if the outside did not contain enough heavenly flavor, the meat itself gives a rich, hearty, beefy taste that only true grillmasters can produce. Smoqued BBQ vows to always have the Brisket Burnt Ends available for customers to order. However, if they get slammed on any given day, they may run out by the end of the day. As a result, if you desire some top-notch burnt ends, head on over to Smoqued BBQ in Orange as early in the day as possible, and order up some burnt ends for yourself for $13.49. The price tag may appear steep, but once you get hooked, you may quickly overlook that.