Saturday, March 21, 2020

La Farola Empanadas - Costa Mesa

My latest review for Times OC is about La Farola Empanadas. Read it online at the LA Times link below.

Though I filed this review before the events of this week, you might be interested to know that La Farola’s signature item is serendipitously designed for these times of “social distancing”.

They can and will sell their empanadas parbaked so that you can finish browning them yourselves in your own oven at home.

Not only did they taste just as good as when I had them in store, it inspired me to write this:

“And as the wonderful smells wafting out of the oven filled my kitchen, I realized it was the closest I’d ever come to being in an Argentinian household with a maternal figure like Galvan baking empanadas for her family.”

So support this restaurant and others like it in any way you can.

Eat well, stay safe, and be kind to each other!

Click on the link below to read my story:
La Farola Empanadas - Costa Mesa

Monday, March 09, 2020

Brown Sugar Boba Ice Cream Bars

It may not be as coveted as Costco toilet paper or bottled water right now, but these brown sugar boba ice cream bars have been flying off the shelves since November. Stores who are rumored to carry them can’t keep them in stock for longer than a few hours. Some markets have even instituted a per person limit.

A few weeks ago we encountered them for the first time at a bakery in Rowland Heights. They cost me a little under $12 for a box containing 4 bars, which I’ve since learned is nearly two times what the supermarkets charge.

Overpriced as they were, they were incredible! The Taiwanese makers of these treats have managed to completely capture the experience of having a brown sugar boba milk drink in an ice cream bar. The “boba”, despite being suspended in the icy confection, are still chewy, stretchy, and taste exactly like they were freshly made.

The secret? They aren’t boba; they’re tiny pellets of mochi, which doesn't seize up like rocks when frozen. It’s a genius substitution that perhaps we can all learn from. Like instead of buying pallets of bottled water as if Covid-19 is affecting what comes out of the faucet, maybe invest in a Brita?

Monday, March 02, 2020

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken - Santa Ana

This article about the recently opened Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken in Santa Ana represents a first. It’s the first time this legendary Memphis-based joint has landed in Orange County, but it’s also the first time my byline has appeared in the Los Angeles Times!

With it I’m happy to announce that the chicken is fantastic and that I will now file my restaurant reviews for TimesOC, LA Times’ Community News publication serving Orange County that appears in the Sunday paper for all OC subscribers!

So join me as my exploration of OC’s best new restaurants continues! And try this chicken!

My sincere gratitude to Ada Tseng, TimesOC editor, for bringing me on board and editing my story! A big thanks to Don Leach for the beautiful pictures! And thank you to those of you reading for all your support all these years!

Now go out there and subscribe to LA Times or pick up a copy of the Sunday paper (Ralphs sells ‘em by the door)!

Click on the link below to read my story:
Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken - Santa Ana