Santa Ana

Euro Caffe

I finally got the chance to hit up Euro Caffe in Santa Ana with Linda, Stacy, and Josephine. I’ve been meaning to check this place out for the longest time! I had high expectations about this place because of what people were saying about it and of course because of Yelp. It showed a solid 4 out of 5 stars with more than 250 reviews.

I ordered one of their popular drinks, Spaniard Latte. When I learned that there was a Spaniard Latte, I got really excited because I was reminded of Urth Caffe’s Spaniard Latte which is AWESOME. There’s a light roasty kick to the latte that I like.

The artwork of the Spaniard Latte at Euro Caffe was beautiful! They definitely gave me a lot for a small size. I was surprised that it was drizzled with honey, but I thought to myself ‘Hey that is somewhat different than your usual latte’. When I had a sip of it, there was that Spaniard kick, but the honey did not conclude the taste very well.

I was hoping that the honey would have a subtle taste and blend well with the latte itself. Unfortunately, the honey seemed too heavy and sweet that it overpowered the whole Spaniard Latte experience. I thought I was judging too soon about it, but I wasn’t. At one point, I had to scoop out the honey.

I do love honey though! It never does any wrong to me but somehow, honey and I just did not work out that day.

Aside from the latte, my friends and I ordered a brownie, chocolate chip cookie, and the Greek Goddess crepe. There wasn’t anything too special about the brownie or the chocolate chip cookie. So I would suggest you to not order either of those.

A beautiful dessert presentation can be so deceiving unfortunately. At least it looked good and tasted alright. I think the looks made up for the lack of flavor.

The Greek Goddess crepe was probably the best item that was on our table. It was filled with nutella, strawberries, bananas, and honey. You can’t go wrong with nutella ever!

Our gathering at Euro Caffe was a major overload on sweets that day. Even though the latte didn’t meet my expectations, I wouldn’t mind coming back and trying out their Nutella Latte since it’s another popular drink. I am a little hesitant to go back to Euro Caffe in general because of that Spaniard Latte. But! If I’m with a friend who decides that they want go to Euro Caffe, I would be a tad bit inclined to go and give them a second chance.

Thank you friends for checking out Euro Caffe with me! I’m thankful that we were able to walk off all those sweets by shopping around!

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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!

Surprise Briana!

Briana, Christian, Mark and I were in a group text to plan a hangout since we were all in town for the holidays. Christian and Briana were able to meet up, but Mark never really responded if he was free. As we were all texting, I started another group text with just Mark and Christian saying that we should surprise Briana for her belated 25th birthday. Mark and Christian were down to surprise her! So last minute Christian bailed on the hang out and Mark continued to remain silent in the group text with Briana.

Christian and I trolling Briana.

Christian and I trolling Briana.

Planning this mini surprise gathering was challenging but exciting. I like to say it was pretty successful though since Briana was a little upset that Mark didn’t respond at all and that Christian bailed. So it worked out that she was expecting to not see them!

We surprised her in downtown Fullerton where we grabbed brunch at Rialto Cafe. The wait was about 30-40 minutes long. We decided to take some hipster pictures while we were waiting since Briana was dressed up all cute and there were a lot of good spots to take pictures. Here are some pictures from our quick photo shoot by the restaurant:

Briana was a natural! I didn’t have to direct her that much!

Once we got seated, Briana suggested what was popular at Rialto Cafe according to Yelp-Rialto Cafe. As she was doing her research on Yelp, I remembered that whenever the four of us came together to hang out, we usually had a set role. Back in the day, Mark was always the driver, Christian was the DJ playing music in the car, Briana would be the one to look through Yelp to find out what to eat at the restaurant, and I would be the one to plan where to meet. It was funny how Briana was on top of her duty of Yelping even though it’s been awhile since the last time the four of us hung out.

For brunch I got one of the popular items which was the smoke salmon with scramble, hash brown, and wheat toast on the side.  I’m not sure why people like this a lot but maybe it’s because of the salmon. It was a little too simple for me but maybe that’s another reason why it was a popular item.
Smoked Salmon Scramble

Another popular item on the menu was the stuffed French toast which Briana got. I would’ve picked this over the smoke salmon because it was sweet! Downside was that there was no meat. I kind of need my meat for my meals.
Stuffed French Toast

It was so nice to catch up with Mark, Christian, and Briana. Our group dynamic hasn’t changed since we’ve all been separated. Hanging out with them brought a lot of memories back. As we were eating, we were talking about cool apps for our iPhones.

Tutorial on Cart Wheel from Mark

By the way, we are kind of a tech savvy group of friends. More so with Christian and Mark. They’re always on top of that and so Briana and I are always in the know thanks to them. Some things we learned from them at brunch was about the Cart Wheel app from Target. It helps you save money for various products at Target by using the app.
Target's Cart Wheel App

Another handy dandy app is Tab where it helps you split the bill from the restaurant if you’re with multiple people. You basically take a picture of the bill and the app will then divi it up. You can even add names to each item on the bill!
Tab App

Thanks to Christian for introducing Tab to us, we were able to easily split up the bill! After Rialto Cafe, Mark had to head out.
Group picture at Rialto Cafe

Briana, Christian, and I went over to Green Bliss literally across the street. It’s a hip vegetarian cafe that serves sandwiches, coffee, and tea. Because it was a warm day, Briana and I both got an iced vanilla latte. The expresso was so strong that we wanted a refund. You could barely taste the sweetness of it. Luckily, the customer service was above and beyond that they were willing to give us a refund. They were willing to make adjustments for us, but we just wanted our money back and get Milk and Honey instead.
Green Bliss

I want to give Green Bliss a second chance next time since the customer service was superb, the ambiance and decor there was quite eccentric in a good way, and it had good reviews on Yelp-Green Bliss! I’ll come back for you Green Bliss! Don’t worry!

After Green Bliss, we headed over to Costa Mesa. We shopped a little at South Coast Plaza and then grabbed a drink at Milk and Honey where we felt at home! Briana and I got our usual Peach Aloe Tea which you can’t go wrong with at all and Christian got shaved ice.
Milk & Honey

We talked and laughed a lot that day. Oh man, it was honestly a fun day hanging out with them. It made me miss our college days when we were young and had so much freedom to play and go on so many adventures! It was nice to know that we were able to just pick up where we left off.
Last Group Picture of 2013
Thanks Christian and Mark for being good actors to surprise Briana! Briana, hope you had as much fun as I did hanging out with them! Happy belated 25th birthday!

Ballerina Diana Vishneva

Cindy and I spontaneously attended the World Premiere Diana Vishneva on The Edge at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, formerly known as Orange County Performing Arts Center, on Wednesday night. Before the show, I saw brief clips of her previous performances and I was in awe of her technique. So I was more than excited to see her performance live.

Diana Vishneva's Show at Segestrom
The first performance of the show was called “Switch”. Cindy and I were actually pretty confused about it. Unfortunately, we didn’t read the storyline in the program ahead of time. So as we were watching, we were completely lost in the choreography and the emotions involved. I thought there was a love triangle in a Matrix themed choreography but Cindy thought it was about a family drama between a mother, father, and a daughter. We were both completely wrong.

Diana, the main character, was trying to live in such freedom as she watched a couple enjoy life. She tried to find enjoyment within art and life, but she struggled to find a balance within both. At the end, you could tell she felt defeated for not being able to live in solitude within art and life as she took off her pointe shoes.

There were heavy emotions involved of frustration and restlessness within Diana. After reading the storyline, everything all made sense!

Her second performance “Woman in a Room” was totally a different story with more confusion for me and Cindy even though we read the story behind it. Both performances were almost like looking at a canvas that only has a splat of paint on it. You stand in front of it with a pensive look on your face wondering what does this splat of paint mean? You come to a conclusion that you have no idea how this became an artwork. Well, that’s basically how Cindy and I felt about the whole show. We had no idea what was going on.

We weren’t the only ones who felt like this about the show. We overheard some other audience members leave the show with a question mark and an unsatisfying performance. Perhaps that is what Diana wanted to leave us with. The whole show was more philosophical than I expected it to be. I was hoping there to be more classical ballet with traditional techniques involved, but it was mainly contemporary ballet. It was an experience watching today’s classical ballerinas go for modern day ballet choreography.

Thanks Cindy for watching this performance with me! I know it wasn’t what we expected it to be but I hope it broadened your understanding of what ballet or in general dance in mean. It can mean anything!

I’m sure you wanted to watch Diana Vishneva perform more of a classical ballet like this:

El Carbonero

I had my first El Salvadorian food thanks to my co-worker, Hanan! She took me and several other colleagues to one of her favorite El Salvadorian restaurants in Santa Ana called El Carbonero.
El Cabonero

Majority of us got what their known for pupusas and stuffed it with vegetables. Two or three pupusas can easily fill you up. If you don’t know what pupusas are, they’re kind of like pita bread where you can put meat and vegetables in like a pocket sandwich. You top it with their refreshing salsa, sprinkle some cheese over and then bam, you’ve got your pupusas ready to be devoured.
Pupusas

If you want some sweets, then check out their El Salvadorian horchata and their banana empanadas for dessert. Both the drink and the banana are winners!
Food and friends

Thanks Hanan for taking us to El Carbonoero. It was nice to eat with co-workers outside of work for once!