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#foodbeast Cravings FOODBEAST Video What's New

Get These Cheesy Fried Balls of Carbonara In The Bay Area

When it comes to Italian street food, some of the most beloved are arancini and its close cousin, suppli. While essentially both are rounded balls of rice with fillings, the subtle differences can be found in suppli’s oblong shape as opposed to the roundness of arancini, and the ragu filling of arancini in comparison to suppli’s composition of mincemeat and/or chicken giblets and tomato sauce with the risotto.

That said, when the imagination of Pollara Pizzeria in Berkeley, CA was stretched, they came up with seemingly a cheesy pasta version of the two. Dubbed carbonara fritti, the deep-fried balls of cheese and pasta are also filled with guanciale (cured pork cheeks) and creamy carbonara sauce. It’s all a mouth-watering affair, especially when you picture the gloriously creamy pull, which makes for an even better experience.

Carbonara fritti is definitely doing everybody a service by making your favorite bowl of breakfast carbonara into a more snackable, on-the-go form.

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#foodbeast Features Restaurants Video

Gold Bars, Blow Torches, And Giant Steaks: Barton G. Is Serving Up New Craziness

Barton G. is a restaurant in Hollywood, CA that is the epitome of EXTRA. From gigantic rat traps that present mac ‘n cheese to over-the-top rubber duckies accompanying decadent desserts, culinary theatrics are in play for every dish served at the swanky spot. Keeping in line with their penchant for the dramatics, Barton G. has included two new menu items that are sure to blow us away with the visuals and, of course, taste.

For carnivores looking to level up their steak experience, look to the B.G. Platinum Ranch Tomahawk For 2, a 32oz. KERWEE Silver Grade Australian Wagyu Ribeye with charcoal yucca “logs” and charred tomato — all with the backdrop of a platinum cow’s skull standing as a monolith of deliciousness.

Finish that steak up in a sweet way with Barton G.’s newest dessert, the Dolla Dolla Bills Y’all, a literally RICH chocolate ganache and dulce de leche tart, under a gold brick shell torched table side by a waiter donning a welder’s mask. Liquid nitrogen chocolate–feuilletine golden nugget ice cream is served on the side for maximum dessert vibes.

So for a dining experience that plays to your visuals as well as your palate, hit up Barton G. for a night of foodie flair and whimsicality that one will never see anywhere else.

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#foodbeast Cravings Culture Features FOODBEAST Restaurants Video

Utensils Not Necessary For This Massive Filipino ‘Kamayan’ Feast

A kamayan style dinner in Filipino cuisine is one where utensils are not used and an extraordinary amount of food is eaten with one’s hands only. The impressive spread is served on top of banana leaves and can feature a decadent list of Filipino dishes that range from crispy fried pork belly (lechon kawali) to sweet cured sausages (longanisa) to a whole fried tilapia. Such tasty items rest atop a mountain of rice and make for a true eye-gasm on its incredible presentation alone.

Though this setup sounds like something out of your deepest cravings and wildest food fantasies, such a lavish feast can be found at MFK By Aysee in Anaheim, California. The modern Filipino restaurant serves up kamayan feasts on the regular, accommodating large parties to fulfill their insatiable appetites.

Served up by Chef Henry Pineda, the kamayan feast at MFK By Aysee is the perfect meal for your whole crew. Squad goals are easily met with one giant kamayan spread. Just imagine gathering up a proper band of hungry foodies, all with the singular objective to go HAM on the festive gala of gluttony laid before you.

Yeah, I know, I’m drooling, too.

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Food Trucks

The Lime Truck Owner on Using Corporate Irvine to His Advantage [VIDEO]

The Lime Truck, season 2 winner of Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race,” has taken their Southern California fusion food from just one truck back in June 2010 to four roaming trucks today.

Truck owner, Daniel Shemtob, recently spoke with CNN Money in regards to his tactics in leading the bustling trend in Orange County, just south of Los Angeles.

Irvine, CA is a very interesting city to build up a food truck scene in, quite different from Los Angeles and other cities, because of the city’s suburban incorporated vibe littered with corporate and chain influences.

Shemtob mentions that he utilizes the chain restaurant atmosphere permeating throughout the city, and the lack of chef-driven restaurants in the area, to his advantage. Our guess is that the stereotypically stale environment ends up making the food trucks more glamorous and sought after. Plus, all the corporate parking lots make great food truck meetups — giving blue-collar and white-collar citizens mobile, chef-driven food courts just outside their work places.

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Adventures

Delicious Chinese Food at Capital Seafood [ADVENTURE]

With locations dotting California, Nevada, and China, Capital Seafood is a family-run restaurant chain with some well-respected dim sum, fresh seafood and traditional Chinese dishes. I’ve heard great things about their food for quite some time, but it wasn’t until we were invited out to their most recent location opening in Irvine, CA that I got to taste what everyone else was talking about.

Along with some of our core FOODBEAST team, and a round table of some of OC’s eclectic food blogging illuminati, we joined Capital Seafood’s James Tea, the managing partner of the brand, for a voiced-over 11-course meal that showed off the best of restaurant’s awesome menu.

Here’s a look at what we tried, in order of how it came out:

  1. Whole Winter Melon soup with assorted seafood (Fresh Whole winter melon, shrimp, scallops, squid, crabmeat, mushroom)
  2. Filet Mignon Satay Skewers (Filet Mignon Cubes, Lemongrass)
  3. Assorted Dim Sum Platter (Sui Mai, Vegetable Eggrolls, Shrimp w/sugar cane, crab wontons, chicken potstickers) butterfly shrimp
  4. Roasted Peking Duck (Fresh Duck, scallions, starch bun, hoisin sauce)
  5. House Special Lobster w/ E-mein noodles (Lobster, scallions, spices, jalepenos, garlic, fresh noodles)
  6. Capital’s Filet Mignon Cubes (Filet Mignon, butter, garlic, spices)
  7. Honey Glazed Walnut Shrimps (Shrimp, Honey glazed walnuts, honey dew, cantaloupe)
  8. House String Beans (String Beans, garlic, spices)
  9. Pan Seared SeaBass (Seabass steak, sweet soysauce dressing)
  10. Chef’s Fried Rice (Shrimp, scallops, squid, crabmeat, eggwhites, dried scallops, Japanese Seaweed)
  11. Almond Cream Souffle (Almond, Ginko Nuts, Water chestnut Diced)

James (above) was kind enough to spend the evening at our table, explaining what each dish was at it came out, making sure we knew the effort that went into the prep and quality of each ingredient and making sure we were…let’s face it, liquored up.

To the drinks’ credit, the reasonably priced signature cocktails were exquisite. Everything from the Asian Peartini (my personal favorite) to the C-Bar Martini, everything tasted great, and went down a bit too easily.

Seafood + Watermelon in a soup? I knew I was in for some interesting stuff for the evening, and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get behind this particular dish. Sure enough, it was complex and delicious. The seafood melody with the sweetness of the melon really brought multiple levels to every sip of the soup. Game changer:

Roasted Peking Duck (pictured above, and in the two photos beneath this paragraph) is a definite winner. Imagine fresh duck, scallions, starch buns and hoisin sauce in every bite. There’s a bit of a sweet aftertaste, and the duck falls apart in your mouth. Everything works fabulously together, and there’s plenty of texture in the bun and the duck to help you enjoy this dish.

Let me jump in here. The picture above is the House Special Lobster, a fabulous dish made with lobster, scallions, spices, jalapenos, garlic and fresh noodles. Arguably one of the best dishes of the night, as well as my personal favorite, The Honey Glazed Walnut Shrimps, featuring shrimp, honey glazed walnuts, honey dew and cantaloupe (get all of them in one bite and you’re in for the treat of your life).

Did someone say Whiskey? Someone did. James was kind enough to bring out the Chivas for the table, and everyone proceeded to get extra toasty. For some reason the whiskey made the Almond Cream Souffle we had for dessert even tastier. The souffle was top-notch, a concoction of almonds, ginko nuts and diced water chestnuts. Winner:

Pictured below with James is Capital‘s executive chef Erik Soukaphay, the architect behind all the dishes we’ve shown here. He came out and had a drink with us before going back to his…architectural duties. Kudos on an awesome dinner:

Capital Seafood

85 Fortune Dr Suite #329, Irvine, CA 92618
Tel: (949) 788-9218

Photos by Marc Kharrat

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Cravings

Dirty Sanchez Baja Burger

Dirty…spicy…unhealthy…all the qualities in a burger that is more-than-likely absolutely delicious. Our friend Nick recently made a trip out to San Diego to check out the burgers at Nicky Rottens, and the result is a look at this Dirty Sanchez Baja Burger. This multiple layer burger rocks a beef patty, topped with chili, pepper jack cheese, jalapeños, lettuce, tomato, homemade salsa, guacamole, sour cream and a giant onion ring. So. Hungry.

 

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Restaurants

West Coast Customs To Redesign Chronic Tacos Restaurant

West Coast Customs Logo Chronic Tacos

Autoblog is reporting that a Chronic Tacos location in Corona, CA is teaming up with West Coast Customs (WCC) to launch a ‘modified taco shop.’ Exact details are sparse about how WCC will help redesign the shop, but we can definitely expect an over-the-top nature if MTV’s ‘Pimp My Ride’ and TLC’s ‘Street Customs’ are a precedent.

Chronic Tacos currently has 38 locations mostly in Southern California with a few located in Nevada, Arizona, Mexico and Canada. WCC continues Season 2 of ‘Inside West Coast Customs’ on Velocity.

 

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Adventures

Les Amis [ADVENTURE]

Where friends gather for Lebanese food — when we saw that tagline, our wandering group veered off the beaten pub crawl path and grabbed a table. Les Amis in Fullerton, CA is as nonthreatening as ethnic Lebanese places come. They have a simple but expansive menu, an orderup desk accented by a beautifully decorated indoor seating area that makes you feel you’re spending a pretty penny on your meal, when in fact, you are not.