breakfast

Dunkin’ Donuts

Everyone in SoCal has been going a little too cray, cray about Dunkin’ Donuts now that it’s finally here! My friends and I went to Whittier to check out what Dunkin’ Donuts is all about since it’s so popular in the east coast.

Not only do they sell donuts and coffee, but they also have breakfast sandwiches! Since it was a little after lunch, I just got myself an iced vanilla coffee and a blueberry donut. I had to get the blueberry donut so I could compare it to other blueberry donuts I’ve tried before.

The iced vanilla coffee was made exactly the way I like it! There was no addition of sugar or cream. It was just the coffee and the vanilla sweetener for a little less than $2. It’s more on the sweeter end for a vanilla coffee compared to Starbucks or Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

The donut wasn’t too exciting, unfortunately. The blueberry flavor was light that you could barely taste it. The donut was like any other typical blueberry donut. They were nothing like the duffins aka blueberry donuts that are like muffins from M & M Donuts. Apparently, the donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts are not anything too special.

I guess I’m not too surprised that it’s a-ok here because Yelp gives them 3 stars with only 60 reviews.

Aside from the coffee and donut, the interior layout had a modern taste to it. They made it comfortable enough for customers to hang out in the area. So comfortable that I made a new friend! This little girl kept looking at me whenever I turned around. She was quite an entertainment as my friends and I were hanging out!

Thanks Stanley for treating us all out! It was good seeing the Lee Family out with us spontaneously!

 

 

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Happy Birthday to Me!

Woah. I. Am. 25. Years. Old. Can you believe it? I never thought this day would come. I remember turning 18 and thought that would never happen. Same with turning 21. Turning 18 and 21 are pretty significant turning points in life. Some may think turning 25 isn’t anything too special but rather depressing. I remember reading someone’s Facebook status that said, “I turned 25. What am I supposed to do? Rent a car?” Somehow that status stuck with me until I turned 25 recently. I knew that I was going to rent a car once I turned 25. Not just any car but a convertible Mustang GT for the day!

I don’t know what it is about that Mustang but it’s just a fun car to look at and drive especially with the top down in SoCal! So on my birthday, I didn’t even sleep in. I actually lost some sleep the night before because I was FaceTiming with Briana for almost an hour and a half! She was the first one to wish me a happy birthday! Thanks girl!

The picture above looks like we were having a virtual sleepover! Sorry the picture is so big but I just don’t want you to forget how she looks like since she’s one of my close friends!

I wanted to take advantage of driving my Mustang all day so I picked it up at 8 AM. On my birthday, I like to treat my mom out. I started doing this since college when a friend suggested that I buy flowers for my mom on my birthday. It’s nice to always give back to someone who always gives like my mom.


In the morning, I took my mom to a hipster coffee shop hidden in Dana Point called JC Beans Coffee HouseYelp gives this coffee shop 4.5 stars with 191 reviews. What’s so popular about this place is how cozy and friendly it is with the service and ambiance. There can be a long wait in the drive thru lanee but I say it’s best to sit down inside and sip your coffee!

JC Beans Coffee House is small but I love the layout of it. There are books on the shelves that you can check out but also purchase!

You can also sit outside which my mom and I did as we were sipping on our drinks. I was working on my blog as she was browsing the web on her iPad. She got a cup of coffee and I got a Vanilla Chai Latte. We both shared a pastry and with those 3 items together, the total was around $10-$12. It’s a little more on the pricey end but worth the ambiance and the taste.


My mom was pretty impressed how I took a picture of my drink and the pastry. Looks hip, right?

After an hour or so, we decided to get back on the road and make use of my Mustang. We drove down on PCH with the top down and made a stop at Laguna Beach. We took some pictures and walked around. I really don’t know where we were exactly in Laguna Beach but we found a good spot to hang out!


It was such a beautiful day. The sun was shining, there was a breeze from the waves, and it was my birthday! Perfect day.

The view was so breathtaking that I really felt like I could just sit there and enjoy the beach as a living.

My mom took a candid picture of me that I thought looked pretty nice! Go mom!

By afternoon, my mom and I grabbed lunch with my sister at Panini Cafe in Corona Del Mar, right on PCH. Panini Cafe is a Greek, Italian, and Mediterranean kind of a restaurant.  They are located in eight different cities within Orange County and LA County. So you can’t miss one! The one we went to currently has 4 out of 5 stars with 289 reviews on Yelp.

We first ordered the Hummus Trio as an appetizer for $8.95. This large plate of hummus had the traditional garbanzo, black bean, and edmame hummus. The pita bread and the three different kinds of hummus easily filled us up!

After all that hummus, I got myself a healthy Mediterranean Greek Salad that was mixed with onions, Roma Tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese in balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

This beautiful green mountain made me feel clean! Actually, there may have been a tad bit too much dressing but overall, I enjoyed the various fresh vegetables mixed together for $8.95.

Beware that if you go to Panini Cafe on PCH in the afternoon, get there a little early because parking might be a little tough to find and it can get packed in the restaurant. Due to the busyness of the restaurant, there was a lack of quality customer service. I wasn’t too upset about it because I didn’t want to let that ruin my birthday lunch! Luckily, there was dinner to make up for it.

We headed back home in my Mustang, of course. I relaxed for a little bit at home and started to get ready for dinner at Laguna Beach with some friends! I curled my hair, did my make up, and slipped on my pink floral dress from Zara. The best part about this dress was that I bought it for only $10! I’m pretty sure it was originally priced at least $80 or so. Pretty good stinkin’ deal, right? It was my first time ever wearing it since I bought a little more than a year ago and I just had to save it for a perfect occasion like this!

So Cindy and Elaine came over to carpool to K’ya Bistro that is located on PCH.

Huge thanks to them for letting me put the top down and have their hair-do get a little messy. I say it was worth the mess!

I decided to have dinner at K’ya Bistro because it was on PCH. Again, I just had to take advantage of my Mustang by driving up and down PCH since it’s a perfect road to have the top down. I also just wanted to have dinner somewhere new and different. So I found this restaurant just from Yelping around and read great reviews about it. Yelp shows a solid 4 out of 5 stars with almost 700 reviews!

Right when you enter the restaurant, there’s a bar where you can order some drinks while waiting to be seated.

They’re known for their tapas of American and Mediterranean food. We all shared a little bit of everything. We started out with some Truffle-Parmesian Fries and Spiced Sweet Potato Fries at $5.50 each. They were pretty addicting to eat, so be careful!

I ordered one of their popular items, Lobster Mac and Cheese. They really knew how to stuff that Mac and Cheese with lobster! It was everything that I imagined it to be like. The Mac and Cheese had the perfect homemade texture and cheesiness to it. The lobster was melted smoothly with the whole Mac and Cheese.

Unfortunately, I have no pictures of what I ate there because I was too distracted talking to my friends at dinner. I definitely have to come back here again and get that Lobster Mac and Cheese and take a picture of it! As for now, enjoy the pictures of my beautiful friends!

Whatever item you get on the menu, I’m sure that you’ll enjoy it a lot as my friends did. We all liked we got whether it was the salad, fries, empanadas, or any other tapas.

Thank you everyone for celebrating my 25th birthday with me! I’m excited to see what this new age has in stored!

Goodbye and Happy Birthday!

As I’m getting older, I’ve realized how much harder it is to gather friends together in comparison to when we were in college or even before then. Briana, Hannah, and I are hours and hours apart from each other. We are all spread throughout California! Luckily, during the summer we were able to get together for the first time in a long time. We did a “Goodbye Briana” and “Happy Early Birthday (to me)” get together with some friends.

Friday night, we first met up at my favorite taco truck in LA, El Chato. We got there early to beat the crowd! We were the second ones in line.

Note to everyone: Get there at 8:45PM and you will definitely beat the crowd. El Chato never disappointments me with their juicy meat and fresh salsa.

We continued the night at Soop Sok Karaoke in K-town where we sang our hearts out. I have to say that I was surprised how some of my friends were some secret rappers. I’ve got some talented friends who can really rap in English and in Korean! (Derek and Josephine! I’m talking about you guys!)


For about eight people singing for a few hours, it wasn’t too expensive at Soop Sok Karaoke. We each probably paid about $10 max per person. Yelp shows a lot of positive reviews on Soop Sok Karaoke. There’s a large selection of songs to pick from, spacious rooms for large groups, and decent service. With all of that, Yelp gives them 4 out of 5 stars with more than 100 reviews.

Briana, Hannah and I spent the night in LA so we can explore the city more the next day. For brunch, we went over to Grub, a comfort food restaurant hidden in the neighborhoods of Los Angeles. On a Saturday morning or afternoon, this place does get busy. So make sure to give yourself ample amount of time to find parking and to be seated.

Side note: Got that red printed dress from H&M for $10!

We parked in a residential street right behind the restaurant and got seated in approximately 20 minutes. They first served us some cereal as a complimentary starter. Ain’t that funny? It was pretty funny and cute to see something new like tho at a restaurant.

The three of us decided that we were going to share everything! From the brunch menu, Briana chose the “Friggin’ Amazin’ French Toast”.

This wasn’t just an ordinary French Toast. They were buttery croissants cover in cinnamon vanilla batter which gave that French Toast taste. It was topped with maple syrup, pecans and homemade raspberry butter. ($10.99)

Hannerz got the “Ooh La La! Egg Sandwich”.

This breakfast sandwich was like the high class version of McDonald’s McMuffin. Side note, I love McDonald’s breakfast menu and so does everyone else! This Egg Sandwich had fluffy scrambled eggs, melted cheddar cheese, and two slices of bacon strips, all sandwiched in their special croissant French toast.  ($15.25)

 I got the “Hooked!” which was a tuna melt.

LA Magazine voted Hooked! as the best tuna melt in LA! It’s a secret recipe to make that tuna salad. So no wonder that tuna melt was indescribable!

After several bites of our first plate, we rotated them clockwise to try the next one. I think my favorite would have been….all of them! They were all so good in it’s unique way. I would recommend getting all three if you’re with a group of friends. Who knew you could make french toast with croissants? The Grub really knew how to turn traditional homey food into something more unconventional! That’s why it has 1,200+ reviews on Yelp with 4 out of 5 stars!

Before heading back home, we decided to pick up some coffee for the road! We were all pretty tired from a long night and from the food! We found a hipster coffee shop down the street from the Grub called Cafe Americano.

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This place is a small shop that carries a lot of drinks on their chalkboard menu!

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There’s not a lot of space in this coffee shop but they do have a room next door where people perform throughout the week!

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Cafe Americano is more of a place where you pick up a drink and go. Because it’s a little cramped, it’s definitely not a great place for groups. Parking is also a challenge since the lot can hold less than a dozen spots for a plaza that has about a dozen stores.

Some of their popular drinks include Honey Vanilla latte or the Spanish latte which Briana and Hannah both liked!

We weren’t at Cafe Americano for too long because we were ready to head back home! I had a lot of fun with these girls! I’m so glad we were able to get together before the summer ended! I can’t wait for all of us to meet again soon!

Spontaneous Road Trip: Day 3

Day 3 was our last day of our Spontaneous Road Trip and we maximized every minute of it pretty well! For breakfast, we went over to Stacks’ in Campbell, California. This cute breakfast joint is located in the old town area of Campbell. It almost has a thousand reviews with 3.5 stars according to Yelp.

This restaurant had an old school feel to it where the ambiance and the customer service felt homey. Instead of sitting in a booth, we sat on those stools and felt pretty hip.

Note to everyone: I wasn’t going to bring this up but felt obligated to. Please don’t judge our outfits. We wore the same outfit two days in a row because we were so comfortable in them. Thanks Gap for making hip and comfortable clothes!

Kat and I decided to share a plate since we weren’t too hungry but knew we just had to eat something before the long drive back down to sunny SoCal. We got a huge plate of an omelette with a bagel and hash brown on the side. I don’t know how one person can eat all of that but I suggest that you share this meal with a friend!

The omelette definitely satisfied us for the morning and couldn’t have asked for a better breakfast! So afterwards, we took PCH to head back home. We wanted a scenic route but we mainly wanted to see Pfieffer Beach which is known for this beauty:


Look at the sunlight beaming through the doorway! How beautiful is that? Thanks Aaron for telling me about this before the road trip! Unfortunately, we missed the exit for this! We lost reception several times on PCH and forgot to pay attention closely for this beach. Oh well, there’s always next time!

On our way down, I took over the wheel since Kat drove majority of the time on our road trip. I love driving and singing in the car so I didn’t mind the long drive!


After one or two hours of driving, we had to pull over because we saw a field that we just had to take a picture of.


This just reminded me of Lion King. I felt like I was in a safari and it was just me and the animal kingdom.


I won’t forget this selfie picture we took together because it was our first of many times of pulling over to the side of the road to take some awesome pictures.

This was our second time pulling over when we saw this beach that was so bare yet so beautiful!


The sand was abnormally really rough and we saw people with metal detectors walking over all the beach hence those footprints. I was surprised that people still used those because the last time I saw someone using one was when I watched Save By The Bell back in the 90’s.

Ok, at this point I’ll be sharing a bunch of pictures we took when we pulled over on PCH.


In the picture above, I felt like we were in Hawaii because the colors of the water were so vibrant!

When we were closer to sunny SoCal, we called a few friends last minute to see if we could stop by their place. Luckily, we were able to visit Sarah! She gave us a tour of her place, fed us with some fruits and desserts! Her place was such a good resting point physically and mentally! She always has words of encouragement than can easily lift people up! Kat and I agree that stopping by her place was a perfect way to conclude our trip!

Thanks Sarah for always sharing your love! By the way, it was nice meeting Nemo in person!

After Sarah’s place, we made one last stop, home! It was a bittersweet moment when we went our own ways! It’s always nice to be back home but I was sad that our adventure had to come to an end!

Huge thanks to Kat for EVERYTHING. Literally! I don’t even know where to begin. Thank you for being spontaneous with me during this whole road trip. I know I’ve said this many times to you in person but I am so very thankful that we went on this trip together because of all those photography moments we shared. I’m so glad we went to the V3 Conference together in June where we both learned how to make good pictures. We were finally able to apply what we’ve learned into practical use during this trip! Thank you for appreciating the art of photography and taking such artistic pictures of me and of our trip. You really have an eye for photography. I can’t wait for our next road trip once you’re on break from medical school or even our next photography session! Thank you again for making this road trip so memorable!

Old Vine Cafe

Though I’ve been to The Camp, located in Costa Mesa’s hipster area, a billion two times for Milk and Honey, The Black Market Bakery, or Umami Burger, for some odd reason, I never made the effort to check out other restaurants there. Old Vine Cafe was one I had yet to check out. Luckily, my friend, Hannah, was in town and was craving it. So Sunday afternoon, Catherine and I went to the Old Vine to meet up with Hannah. It’s a great place to check out because Yelp shows some solid reviews. This place has more than 1,200 reviews with 4 out of 5 stars.

It was surprisingly busy when we got there late afternoon! We waited for 30-45 minutes to get seated but the wait wasn’t actually too bad only because we were having an intense conversation! So time actually flew by pretty quickly.

Catherine and I shared the Pumpkin Spice French Toast with fruits and dried nuts.

I have to say that I loved it! The flavor of it wasn’t too heavy and the texture was almost soft like a pound cake. The French toast seemed more like a dessert than any sort of meal. It reminded me of the softer and sweeter version of the Asian brick toast. Downside about this French Toast was that it was more on the pricy end of about $15. It doesn’t hurt to try it once though!

Hannah got the Caramel Apple French toast. Now, her French toast looked like a masterpiece!

I wouldn’t mind going back just for that French Toast. Maybe I’ll actually try it in the morning rather than as a late afternoon lunch meal.

Thanks Mrs. Kim for coming all the way down to Orange County to hang out with me and Catherine! Please tell your hubby that we said thank you for treating us out! We were thankful for all the wisdom you shared with us! Can’t wait to learn more from you!

Sidecar Doughnuts

January 27, 2013 was the first and last post I wrote on Sidecar Doughnuts. It’s almost been a year the last time I tried Sidecar Doughnuts! Now, one year later Sidecar Doughnuts is more successful than before!

The first time I tried their doughnuts was at Kean Coffee when they didn’t really have a doughnut shop and now this time, they have a real shop! I came here in the morning to grab some coffee and doughnuts with Elaine and Jane.

Inside of Sidecar Doughnuts.

Inside of Sidecar Doughnuts.

We were lucky enough to find seats outside since there are literally no seatings available inside. This doughnut shop is more like ‘take it to go’ kind of a place. Outside, there were pots decorating the walls bringing a hint of a hipster vibe.

Sitting outside with Elaine.

Sitting outside with Elaine.

Sidecar Doughnuts serves drinks from Stumptown Coffee that is based in New York. It’s a popular coffee shop to check out if you’re ever in New York or even in the LA area. I got one of their lattes that was $4 and I also got a huckleberry doughnut which was $3. It was quite a pricey breakfast but the quality of the latte and the doughnut made it worth the $7.

Huckleberry doughnut and latte.

Huckleberry doughnut and latte.

Elaine got a latte also with a Passion Fruit doughnut. This doughnut had a tangy taste to it from the fruit but it kind of evened out with the cream. I probably wouldn’t try the Passion Fruit again because of the tanginess to it. It’s a unique doughnut though since there aren’t a lot of places with a Passion Fruit flavored kind of doughnut.

Passion Fruit doughnut and latte.

Passion Fruit doughnut and latte.

As we were eating and sipping on our drinks, we were served numerous samples of their doughnuts. All of their samples were so good! I think I probably had a total of 2 or 3 full regular sized doughnuts that morning because of their samples. Just with the latte and a doughnut though, you can easily get stuffed.

It was nice to finally check out Sidecar Doughnuts in its actual shop. I probably wouldn’t come back here again anytime soon just because it is kind of pricey. It’s a place to check out if you’re around the area or if you’re a doughnut connoisseur. Check it out at least once since it is a one of a kind of doughnut shop with quality doughnuts made using seasonal fruits.

Thanks Elaine and Jane for a fun filled start in the morning! We were there for awhile having a good time laughing and eating some good doughnuts! Hope the three of us can meet again sooner than later!

L to R: Elaine, Me, & Jane

L to R: Elaine, Me, & Jane

Anepalco’s Cafe

I met up with Christian for breakfast one last time before he had to go back to the east coast. We met up at Anepalco’s Cafe in Orange which is only a few minutes away from Mainplace Mall. We met up pretty early because I was afraid of the crowd. It seemed like a busy and popular place according to Yelp. Luckily, there wasn’t a crowd at 9AM so we got seated pretty quickly. It’s a small restaurant so it’s probably best to not come in with a big group. Max of going in a group of 4 is probably best.

Front of Anepalco's Cafe

Front of Anepalco’s Cafe

FYI. Parking is a little weird. There’s only one row of parking which is right in front of the restaurant.There’s not a lot of space to park unless you get there early. You can park in the back of the building but it only has a few spots or you can park across the street.

Christian and I both ordered Anepalco’s Chilaquiles. It’s the most popular item on the menu. I was really excited to try the chilaquiles because it’s one of my favorite kind of Mexican food. My best friend, Chelsea, introduced me to chilaquiles for the first time in 2007 when we went to Manzanillo in Mexico. That was when I fell in love with chilaquiles for the rest of my life. But ever since then, I wasn’t able to find anything exactly like the chilaquiles from Manzanillo here in California. I have to say that the Anepalco’s Chilaquiles was pretty close to that from Mexico.

When the waiter brought our food, it was love at first sight. I was amazed by the beauty of its presentation when the food was right in front of me.

Top view of Anepalco's Chilaquiles

Top view of Anepalco’s Chilaquiles

After one immediate bite of it, I felt like I was in love with chilaquiles once again just like back in 2007. The tortilla chips had the perfect texture of not being too crispy or too soft. The chilaquiles was surrounded by this sauce which was a flavorful addition to it, but even without the sauce, the chilaquiles was still so good. It was so good that Christian and I had a moment of silence to embrace the goodness of it.

This was worth my 9 bucks. If you ever crave for chilaquiles, this is the place to go to. If you’ve never tried chilaquiles before, then make sure you try it at Anepalco’s Cafe first, please. Pretty please. By the time we were done eating within an hour, the restaurant was starting to get busy as there was a wait to get seated.

Christian, when you’re back we’ll check this place out again! I’m glad we got to hang out one last time before you leave!