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Joani Macaroni's Profile

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Good food in Victoria

We'll be staying at the Empress too - one night closer to the end of the month - please let us know what places you enjoyed within walking distance (perhaps 6 blocks or less?). Thanks! We're looking for casual/cafes also.

Aug 05, 2013
Joani Macaroni in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Shrimp & Grits for breakfast - Dee-licious!

Hard to describe effectively; between medium & dark brown, not heavy, thinner than regular gravy. Tasty in its own way but not overpowering.

Just had Cajun shrimp and cheesy grits elsewhere for comparison (no gravy included), paying $3 more, and did not like it as much, although I did appreciate that the shrimp were shelled. I won't name this place but it was east of the 55 freeway. But the décor was fun, service quite good.

Will have to check out Dommy's suggestion next . . . (thanks!)

Jun 09, 2013
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

Shrimp & Grits for breakfast - Dee-licious!

Visited the South several years ago but don't recall any of the grits I had back there being as good as the breakfast I had this morning.
Shrimp, grits, and brown gravy (sounds disgusting, I know!) but it was just heavenly. Savored this bowl of southern satisfaction at The Hangout in Seal Beach (on the corner of Main across from the pier).

May 25, 2013
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

Bahooka is Closing

Thanks for letting us know. 30+ years isn't a bad run for a restaurant. Will have to stop in for old time's sake, as well as see my alma mater (RHS) across the street.

Feb 16, 2013
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

Orange County for large family meal.

We've had several family events at Northwoods Inn in La Mirada, which is off the 5, not too far north of the 91. Food and service was good, should be do-able with your budget, and they list the banquet rooms for 20+ people. That would be great to allow the younger ones to roam within an "enclsoed" area, rather than the main dining area. They would probably be able to accommodate you with a modified family style meal.

Phone: (714) 739-0331
14305 Firestone Blvd.
La Mirada, CA

Mar 03, 2012
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

Anything new in SB/OC area?

Anything new in the Seal Beach or northern Orange County area?

Noticed in Dec. that Old Town Cafe was under new management but didn't see too many folks there - has anyone tried it recently? We were there for breakfast just before it changed and it did seem like both the service and food were slipping a bit. We were sad to see that happen as it was a nice family place. We hope the new group is doing well.

Katella Deli has added a new specials menu which is venturing into a bit more upscale/trendy food. Nice to have some additional selections to choose from. Most of the old favorites still seem to be available although the format of the main menu went from family-cutesy to elegant/upscale looking. Looks like the place is gradually updating.

Feb 04, 2012
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

New Cuban in OC: Bella Cuba

Thanks for the post on a new place and some specific tips. Not being familiar with Cuban food, I appreciate the insight. Good to hear of some new spots opening up.

Dec 27, 2011
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

Long Beach eats

Café Piccolo - last time we drove by this place (about 6-8 weeks ago) it had a banner over its sign with the name of a new restaurant. Haven't tried the new place yet and don't recall the new name. We did enjoy eating there before "curtain call" at the Long Beach Playhouse. You can park in the Playhouse lot, walk to the cafe, and walk back for the performance. Beats eating elsewhere and trying to get a spot in the lot just before 8 . . .

Sep 25, 2011
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

OC - Taco Surf now open in Westminster

At long last another Taco Surf location has opened up - at the northeast corner of Westminister & Springdale in the old Casa Gamino location next to the Rivera by the Fireside. We've been waiting about 6 months since the "Coming Soon" sign went up. I haven't been there yet but hubby went there for lunch today and said it was pretty good, and the place (which opens for lunch at 11:00) was filled up with locals by the time they left at about noon. I think this may also be the largest Taco Surf, and great to have it so close to us.
Has anyone else been to this location yet? How does the food compare to the other locations?

Sep 07, 2011
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

Kimmie's Cup in Orange

Was this the location in Orange? You were there recently? We had very good service, and I don't know Kimmie or anyone there (or at the other locations) personally, so my review was completely an honest evaluation.

You said everyone around you was attended well except for you, and you wonder why. I wonder too. That's just odd. Were you seated in an awkward place to reach? They are so busy in there that the tables are rather close together. We sat at the counter, so perhaps the service is better there. The gals were mostly young, but we didn't see any slouches among them, and any that came by seemed happy to help us if we caught their eye.

But there are plenty of other places around Kimmie's that would appreciate your business and have good food too. We like Felix's (Cuban), Filling Station, Blue Frog cafe, and of course there's always Watson's and Rutabegorz. Enjoy!

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Filling Station
201 N Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866

Felix Continental Cafe
36 Plaza Sq, Orange, CA 92866

Rutabegorz Restaurant Orange
264 N Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866

Aug 31, 2011
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

Kimmie's Cup in Orange

We had a delightful breakfast at Kimmie's Cup this morning in Old Town Orange.Kimmie's has grown from one location to several in the Orange County area, and now even one in Nevada.

This is the first time we've eaten at any of them, as there are so many fun places in Orange near the Traffic Circle to try. Kimmie's is just south of Gastropub.

We arrived and placed our name on the list outside the doorway. There were several tables outside as well as lots of tables and a counter inside, and the place was busy - a good indicator! This location is really a charming place, and a model of efficiency. The layout of the long room is really well-thought out - from behind the counter the staff can see just about all of the indoor tables and be there within a few short steps.

We opted for the counter instead of waiting longer for a table. KImmie's coffee cups are cute, oversized and chubby, and offers of refills were frequent and friendly. The staff of smiling gals is attentive and fast with service and requests. Our breakfasts came relatively quickly considering the crowd, and hubby remarked that he had never had a hotter breakfast, perhaps because the kitchen was just a few feet away. Don't expect the plates to match, either - there's a certain homey charm to a variety of different patterned dishes, sort of like grandma's country kitchen. And everything seems quite clean as well - kudos to the manager who really knows her game!

Both our breakfasts were quite good - hubby had a homestyle plate - Country Scramble, with gravy over the entree and the side of biscuits. I enjoyed the "Irish Benedict" with minced corned beef hash on English muffins topped with poached eggs and sauce. I liked the choice of potatoes or fruit, and was offered 2 options - either melon chunks or a bowl of berries. The berries were fresh raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.- a nice change of pace from melon. Hubby managed to finish his (just barely) and I opted to take home half of the Benedict to enjoy later for a small lunch, since we finished breakfasting about 10:30.

A charming environment, friendly & fast service, tasty food at reasonable prices - all in all, a very nice breakfast. Just one exception - with one long wall of brick, tiled floor, open kitchen and no booth seating, (no acoustical buffer) the din was quite loud, so folks were raising their voices accordingly to be heard by one another. Not a problem for those used to lots of noise, but for those of us with sensitive ears . . . well, next time I'll bring some ear plugs! Kimmie's is too good to pass up!

City of Orange Location
190 South Glassell Street
Orange, CA 92866-1478

(714) 288-2899

Aug 27, 2011
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

Ethiopian Food?

We've been to Tana and enjoyed it. It's a small spot in a small strip mall (with a Kenyan restaurant nearby- we haven't been there yet). A little tricky to find. Very casual. Not the place to go if you're in a hurry; relax and enjoy is more the mood, and if it's busy you may have a longer wait. It's been reviewed here about a year ago, the reviews were informative. Not for those who don't like touching their food (although you can use utensils) as you use the "bread" which is soft, pliable, somewhat spongy, to use to pick up the rest of the food, as I recall.

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Tana Ethiopian Restaurant and Market
2622 W La Palma Ave, Anaheim, CA 92801

Aug 26, 2011
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

Tasty Thai in Huntington Beach - Mike Thai Bros. Bistro

Mike Thai Bros. Bistro

Where: 8935 Atlanta Ave. (at Magnolia), Huntington Beach

Contact: 714-960-1008, mikethaibistro.com

Hours: 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. daily. Lunch specials 11-3 daily

Also: Takeout offered; delivery within four miles

Lunch specials for $6.95 include a small salad and either dumplings or spring rolls, depending on the day, along with the entree. The menu indicates which dishes are spicy/hot, which for a Thai novice like myself is very helpful. Service was very quick, food very appetizing, and very tasty. Generous entree servings - both of us gals took home left-overs.

Spotted this place in an OC Register article by Marla Jo Fisher. A good place for lunch for the locals; decor is fresh & minimal. (Would prefer a bit more ambiance for dinner.) Mike is also a very friendly guy.

Aug 25, 2011
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

Huntington Beach Rec: Trejo's Mexican

Thanks Porthos, we'll give this a try. Sounds tasty.

Aug 06, 2011
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

Breakfast in S.B. at Rivers End Cafe

Enjoyed breakfast at this beachside cafe yesterday. First time there. Will definitely go back again for their tasty crabcake Benedict with Habanero sauce. The eggs were cooked just to my liking - slightly oozy but not runny, and the Habanero sauce was mildly hot (for me, which is probably mild for most folks). The friendly waitress said I was in for "a little bit of heaven" and I'd definitely agree - really yummy. She mentioned that it is seldom ordered, probably because it is one of the higher-priced breakfast dishes, because of the real crab cakes. But they were very tasty and worth it (IMHO). Online menu does not list them.

Pluses: relaxing environment, friendly service, sea views. Indoor seating available also.Parking available right at the cafe.

Downsides: There is a parking fee but we parked up on the street above and walked in easily. There's a handy public restroom right alongside the cafe, but it is a barebones beachside version and that means wet sandy floors and no privacy.

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Rivers End
15 1st St, Seal Beach, CA 90740

Jul 23, 2011
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

Afternoon tea for mom & daughter?

Thanks Oerdin - sounds like a lovely event with "family tradition" potential.I'll check it out.

Jul 16, 2011
Joani Macaroni in San Diego

Excellent pastrami and/or corned beef sandwich in OC?

Morebeerhere-
Try Katella DELI in Los Alamitos (west of the racetrack) and then let us know which one you like better. Das, pharmnerd and I agree that for pastrami, the DELI may be more to your liking. But if you are east of the GRILL, you may not want to make the trek to the DELI due to the gasoline prices. . .

BTW, the DELI is now adding an additonal menu to the regular menu, so if you're in the mood for something new, they do have some new selections for dinner. I don't usually do burgers, but the one I had there (on the new menu) was pretty tasty.

Jul 16, 2011
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

Excellent pastrami and/or corned beef sandwich in OC?

You ate at Katella Deli in Los Alamitos, right? (Love their coleslaw!)
There's also a Katella Grill in Orange . . .

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Katella Deli-Restaurant
4470 Katella Ave, Los Alamitos, CA 90720

Katella Grill
1325 W Katella Ave, Orange, CA 92867

Jul 15, 2011
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

Afternoon tea for mom & daughter?

Thanks everyone! - we had a wonderful time at the Tea House at Los Rios, which just celebrated the 100th "birthday" of the charming little bungalow that the houses it. Enjoyed our tea and platters out on the front porch - lovely breezes. Very relaxed (don't go if you're in a hurry!) and leisurely - just perfect for our day. The several members of the staff I interacted with were very pleasant and helpful. Everything quite tasty. Lovely setting;several other quaint homes converted to shops/cafes along the same road - nice to browse in.
Parking right there can be a challenge (only about ten spaces at the teahouse) and street parking is restricted. There is lots of parking at the park around the corner and easy walk to the tea house, or across the railroad tracks at the parking garage. Strolled through the antique mart too. Going during a weekday was perfect - no crowds to deal with.

Jul 14, 2011
Joani Macaroni in San Diego

Best Sandwhich in Orange County?

What makes it so special? Is it the ingredients or the dressing? Any ideas? I need a great chicken salad recipe for a big group . . .
Thanks!

Jul 14, 2011
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

Need a BBQ caterer in San Pedro

Thanks! These sound great!

Jul 12, 2011
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

dog friendly restaurant

Main St. in Seal Beach is pretty dog-friendly - you can leave your dog just outside of some of the cafes (several have people seating right at the sidewalk), and some stores have water bowls near the door (bring a water bottle along to fill them). We breakfasted last week at Crema Cafe and several people had small, well-behaved dogs with them in the patio area. Not sure about a big dog or dogs there though - you could call and ask. The "patio" is a narrow access way from Main St. back to set-back stores, so having a large dog sprawled across the walking path might not work with food servers, but perhaps way at the back or very close to the front. For those who don't want the pets or flying fur, there's a small inside cafe area as well.

In Huntington Beach just south of Slater there's a breakfast & lunch place in the park and any size of well-behaved dogs are welcome. Park Bench Cafe.

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Crema Cafe
322 Main St, Seal Beach, CA 90740

Park Bench Cafe
17732 Goldenwest St, Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Jul 12, 2011
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

Need a BBQ caterer in San Pedro

We're planning a party for a very lively 90 year old and going with a picnic theme. Need a caterer or local restaurant that will send out a couple of people to BBQ at the location, which has a BBQ grill on site, and can do salads/sides as well.

Thanks!

Jul 08, 2011
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

Afternoon tea for mom & daughter?

Looking for a place to meet for a gal's day out - somewhere (half-wayish?) between Garden Grove in OC and Rancho Bernardo in SD. A setting in a garden would be even more wonderful!

Jul 06, 2011
Joani Macaroni in San Diego

Huntington Beach, lunch recs

You're right on target HBFoodie! Besides that, they were going a month ago! Time to close this thread!

Jun 17, 2011
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

Mishi's Strudel in San Pedro

Nicole, I thought that if a food establishment provides in-house seating for eating, they have to (legally) also provide a restroom. Even if they have only one (mainly for staff) they still have to allow their customers access. Am I wrong about this? Anyone know?

Jun 11, 2011
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

Best Sandwhich in Orange County?

My guess is, the "older ladies" won't mind the men for a moment as long as they remember that there are "ladies" present and don't default to the "man cave" level of behavior . . . ;-) And with your good word on the subject, perhaps other guys will feel free enough to try it. Or you can opt for the patio area seating or possibly get the sandwiches to go and find a less geriatric (oops, I mean "more diverse!") environment to enjoy them in. BTW, there did seem to be a "pub" like place that might fit the bill, on the same side of the street closer to the main corner - maybe they've got sandwiches . . .

May 22, 2011
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

BC Cafe in Rancho Cucamonga?

Reporting back - This place was great! We both enjoyed our lunches - she had a burger which she (a former vegetarian) really liked and I had the turkey club sandwich with avocado, bacon, cream cheese and cranberry sauce - excellent. Even the iced tea was good!

The service was genuinely friendly, and very attentive. We arrived about 11 a.m. and saw stacks of their legendary humongous blueberry pancakes fly by, and our only regret was we live too far away to come back for breakfast on a regular basis!

Thanks Robert & Attran - this was a great recommendation! I was half expecting a "hole in the wall" place but this is a large, well-run, and popular "hometown" establishment. There were lots of interesting selections on the menu, which was entertaining in itself - a laminated book with menu listings on the right and advertisements for local businesses on the left!
I wouldn't normally give 5 stars to a diner, but this one deserves it.

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BC Cafe
701 S Indian Hill Blvd, Claremont, CA 91711

May 21, 2011
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

Best Sandwhich in Orange County?

I think they are looking for a (multiple generation) family crowd rather than the sports bar or singles crowd, and when we were there, there were a number of guys with families or as part of a couple. This is a family place featuriing really good comfort food with a trendy twist. - at least, that's how I'd describe "the vibe" - as compared to the previous establishment (Black Sheep Bistro). On the other hand, there's a small area to the right of the entrance with high tables and stools - perhaps they'll install a TV there for the guys . . .

The sandwiches & prices I described were quoted from the current menu, but of course you need to add beverage, tax and gratuity. And Joani is neither a grandma, nor in her 60s and probably would not be described as matronly by the average person. (Mature perhaps, but not matronly!)

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Nana Jean's
303 El Camino Real, Tustin, CA 92780

May 21, 2011
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area

Best Sandwhich in Orange County?

We love Katrella Deli and eat there often but noticed over the last several years that once in a while sandwiches are not always as lean as they used to be. We do let the server know and it is taken care of, but most of the time their sandwiches (and everything else) are very good.

May 20, 2011
Joani Macaroni in Los Angeles Area