San Diego

Happy Monday!

Happy 2nd day of March!

Sunny SoCal hasn’t been so sunny for the past few days. It’s been nice to get a new change of weather for once. We got some grey clouds and lots of heavy rain to hopefully cure the drought. Hopefully. Probably not to be realistic.

Anyway, sometimes the gloomy weather can be a damper especially for the start of a new week. I thought I should lift up the mood with this awesome song that has been stuck in my head for the past 24 hours.

One. I love Tegan and Sara. Their music is awesome. Two. I love the cheesiness of this song. How can this song not bring a smile to you?

Note to readers: I have not seen the movie.

Well SoCal residents, I hope this song made you realize how everything awesome. I just wish I could be wearing a cape, put one hand on hip, other hand punched into the air, and fly away

Pokinometry

I need to be honest with everyone about myself. Here we go. I’m not a huge fan of sushi. I know, I know. Please don’t judge me. BUT! I’m slowly starting to like it now mainly because of Pokinometry. Pokinometry is in downtown Anaheim on Harbor Boulevard, located walking distance from Center Street Anaheim. This place has been getting quite a lot of attention as everyone is looking for any sort of place that has poki. Yelp rates Pokinometry 4 out of 5 stars with 838 reviews. The concept of this place is like Chipotle where you go down the line to choose what items you want for your burrito. At Pokinometry, you first pick the main base of your bowl whether it’s rice, chips, or salad. Then, you pick how many scoops of fish you want. A medium size is 3 scoops and for a large is 5 scoops. If you’re indecisive or want variety of fish, you can pick and choose 3 to 5 different kinds of fish. If you only love salmon, then you can have all scoops be salmon. Afterwards, you can choose a ponzu, soy sauce, or a mayo based sauce. Finally, you want to top off your bowl with smelt eggs, onion, or sesame seeds. Then wah-lah. You have a pokibowl!

I surprisingly enjoyed my poki bowl a lot because of how fresh the fish was and the smooth texture of it just melted in my mouth. The medium bowl might look like it’s not enough to fill you up but don’t let the size deceive you. Pokinometry knows how to stuff the bowl with its poki!

I have to say that I prefer a poki bowl over sushi. Pokinometry is more on the affordable end where it’s a little over $10 for a medium bowl compared to eating sushi at a restaurant can cost almost $20 including tax and tip.

Thanks Briana for being my co-host on my Tastemade appisode of Pokinometry and thank you Christian for your assistance on recording!

For more of my Tastemade appisodes, click here!

Twenty Four

In exactly a month, I will be turning a quarter century! I have no idea what I will be doing in exactly a month but last year for my birthday, my friends and I took a mini trip down to San Diego. We spent a night in San Diego near Gas Lamp. We got dressed up for the night and headed out! Big thanks to Linda for doing my hair and make up!  For dinner, we walked over to Spike Africa’s. They’re not known for African food as odd as it may sound because of the name of the restaurant but they’re known for their fresh seafood. With almost 800 reviews, Yelp gives this bar and seafood restaurant 4.5 stars. I ordered the lobster roll and thought it wasn’t going to be enough, but I was totally wrong! There was avocado and a lot more lobster than I expected in that roll! I was quickly stuffed from it! Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel because some of my friends were in pain from walking in high heels. Once we got to the lobby, we took a quick fun group picture that represents the wannabe version of the Real World of San Diego! Then on our way up to our room, we had to take another group selfie in the elevator of course! So when we all had the right shoes on, we walked around Gas Lamp and checked out some stores. We stopped by Chocolat Cremerie for some dessert since Yelp showed some solid ratings for this place. It currently has 4 out of 5 stars with 700+ reviews. Honestly, whatever you get here will fulfill your sweet tooth. Our foodie adventure didn’t just stop at Chocolat Cremerie. We ended up walking over a few shops down for some pizza. We ordered a box of half pesto chicken and half pepperoni pizza at midnight. I’m not sure what made us get pizza but it definitely completed our night! We had a simple night of eating, walking around, and eating some more in good company! The next day, we got brunch at Cody’s in La Jolla, California. We had to go here because Yelp gave this place 4 stars with more than 490 reviews. The high ratings were due to a beautiful scenic view of the beach as you eat outside in their patio and the fact that breakfast is served all day! Can’t go wrong with that! I ordered their french toast which turned out to be an amazing artwork visually and in flavor! They knew how to turn food into a piece of art by topping off the strawberries and candied walnuts in a beautiful mess. The fluffy french toasts and the marscapone honey butter were a perfect combination as it had a perfect amount of sweetness to it. Because we were eating so much throughout this short trip to San Diego, we had to burn off the calories by strolling down the beach! We rented out a bike for an hour and took turns pedaling down the pier! It was definitely a good workout! After eating and working out so much, we headed back home. It was quite an adventure with these girls! I cried from laughing so much with these girls! Thank you Chelsea, Elaine, Josephine, Linda, and Stacy for the generous gifts and for joining me in celebrating my birthday last year!    

Taqueria De Anda

I’ve been going to Taqueria De Anda since high school thanks to my friend, Daniel Torres, for introducing me to it. There are seven locations spread throughout Orange County. So don’t worry Orange County residents, there’s plenty of taqueria love to go around. One of the best things about this place is that it’s opened 24/7!

Majority of the times that I’ve been to Taqueria De Anda, it’s always been at night. Late at night that is. Somehow, Mexican food is best eaten when it’s late. There’s no other type of food that I can really think of that satisfies the hunger past 11PM. Perhaps it’s the fact that when you realize you’re hungry late at night, you want to get something that is cheap, good, and that can be served immediately. Taqueria De Anda meets all of those three requirements easily. With that said, how could you say no to Taqueria De Anda?

So I went there with some of my friends after midnight (of course) and ordered a little bit of everything from the menu. As we ordered in line, they made it right in front of us. So everything was fresh from the grill. We first got the Carne Asada Quesadilla.

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We also got the Al Pastor Quesadilla. The cheese was oozing out of the quesadillas and the meat was so tender that it melted well within the cheese.

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When it comes to their tacos, they’re a different story compared to the quesadillas. They really know how to stuff a 3inch in diameter tortilla with a lot of meat. When you eat these tacos, it gets a little messy just from the meat and the salsa but you have to add salsa to your tacos! The meat itself is juicy enough without the salsa but that salsa gives the tacos a fresh feel to the whole taco experience. 20140705-022602-8762433.jpg

If you need rice with your meat, then go for the burrito. If you want to go big, then definitely go for the burrito. If you are starving, then the burrito will bring justice to your hunger. 

Anything you get from here will not disappointment you. The quality of their meat has remained consistent from the many times that I’ve been here.

Check out my Tastemade appisode on Taqueria De Anda when I went there with Briana, Derek, Doug, Eric, and Phil. Thanks friends for the late night foodie adventure!

Mick’s Karma Bar

I am in love with Mick’s Karma Bar. Love is quite a strong word to use but I genuinely do mean it in this case. This restaurant is a tiny burger joint hidden in between corporate buildings in Irvine, California. I like that it’s hidden because it’s like my own little secret but it’s actually not that much of a secret. A lot of people know about it because it’s so darn good! You know it’s a worthy place to check out when Yelp shows 1,300+ reviews with 4.5 stars.

If you want to eat inside the restaurant, make sure you get there at an odd hour because they can probably seat about 12 to 15 people. There are plenty of seats outside, but you probably want to sit inside depending on the weather. The Karma Burger is a popular one on the menu. They’re also known for the Habanero Burger which was awarded in 2012 as the Best Burger in Orange County. Because a burger won an award, I knew I had to try that one out with a side of chunky fries and their popular Strawberry Basil Lemonade. The habanero spread gave a little kick which was enough to want more of that burger! I was tempted to get another Habanero burger because the burger itself had that homey taste to it. It was simple until that habanero spread came through and changed my whole taste buds. Even if you don’t like spicy food, I would still suggest trying out the Habanero Burger. There’s only a hint of spiciness to it so it’s bearable. If you get their fries and a side of their special dipping suace, it’ll help your taste buds simmer down. The Strawberry Basil Lemonade will definitely help you cool down too. It’s refreshing with the sourness to it and I love the pieces of strawberries mixed in with the basil. If you don’t want anything sour, then try their Mojito Iced Tea. It has more of a neutral flavor compared to the lemonade one.

If you’re ever near John Wayne Airport in Orange County, please make time and room for Mick’s Karma Burger! I’m so glad that I don’t work near Mick’s Karma Bar or else, I would be eating there everyday for lunch!

Check out my Mick’s Karma Bar appisode on Tastemade featuring my friends Elaine and Eric! Thanks Elaine for craving Mick’s Karma Bar and thank you Eric for driving us around! Thank you both for joining me on Tastemade appisode!

Tastemade

I found this new app called Tastemade through Kristie Hang who I follow on Twitter. She’s a food blogger in the 626 area and has given me great tips when I went to go check out Newport Tan Cang. She’s definitely a valuable resource when it comes to food and social media. So when she tweeted about Tastemade, I knew I had to check it out!

(This is why I love the power of social media! You just learn new things!)

I quickly downloaded the app and fell in love with it immediately! It’s basically video blogging about the restaurant you’re checking out. What sets Tastemade apart from other social media outlets is that you get a better feel of what the restaurant is like through video rather than just looking at one or two pictures. Sometimes, pictures don’t do justice of how hipster the ambiance of the restaurant is like or even the what the food itself is like. Tastemade enhances your visual sense of the whole food experience.

What’s even more awesome about Tastemade is that they made it easy for users to create a fun video. The app has lot of templates with cute fonts and theme songs to choose from.

You first check in at the restaurant, then pick the template you want to use. The app will then direct you to the next step of the Tastemade process which is to do a 10 second introduction about yourself, the restaurant, or whatever you would like to say. Afterwards, you create various shots of the restaurant. Then, for 15 seconds you talk about the meal.

You shoot another footage of the food and of your friends eating. The last part is the wrap up! And wah-lah! You are done making a Tastemade video! How awesome is that?

I’ve had this app for a little more than a month and I’ve produced 15 videos so far! My first video was pretty rough but I’d like to think that my creativity in Tastemaking has improved! Check out all of my videos here.

I love this app for several reasons that may sound cheesy. One. Like I mentioned earlier, it shows the experience of the restaurant in a different perspective. Two. It challenges me to be creative and to improve my public speaking skills! Three. From this app, I’m able to find new restaurants to check out! So don’t worry, you don’t have to post videos if you don’t want to record yourself. It’s still fun to follow Tastemakers. Four. It’s simply fun! Having my friends be part of the videos and be goofballs makes it so much more fun! The food and the app itself really brings me and my friends together! I’m always looking forward to make more videos.

I hope you download it soon so we can follow each other! Make sure to find me on Tastemade @TinaTalksToday!

Fun Friday!

I recently injured my neck pretty badly to the point where I couldn’t get out of my bed and had to call in sick. So I told my friend, Phil, about my neck situation and his response was that I have TNS aka Taco Neck Syndrome. As weird as it may sound, TNS is real, my friend. It’s so real that there’s a commercial about it and therapy for it! But what is TNS? Yeah, that’s what I asked myself when I first heard of it from Phil. Here’s what it is:

Wasn’t that hilarious? I’ve watched it several times by now but it somehow cracks me up every time.

Ok, TNS isn’t that real but I did strain my neck somehow and felt like I had TNS. Luckily, I’m doing a lot better now compared to earlier this week so I’m ready for the weekend!

I hope this commercial starts your weekend off with a good laugh. Have a fun filled weekend and treat yourself to a Big Beef Burrito from Taco Bell!