Restaurants What's New

Hawaiian BBQ And Burgers Collide In This Mouthwatering Mashup

If you’re in Orange County, chances are you’ve heard of or been to Stacks Pancake House. Known for creative entrees that draw inspirations from Hawaii, Japan, Korea, and beyond, the breakfast and lunch spot has opened up a few locations throughout the area.

They’ve become a go-to spot of mine since I moved down to Orange County a few years back, so when Foodbeast had the chance to team up with restaurants for OC Burger Week, I knew that I wanted to do something cool with Stacks.

The idea we came up with takes a classic burger and amps it up with inspirations from Hawaiian BBQ. Known as the BBQ Kalua Pork Burger, the photo above is ample evidence to show just how mouthwatering the combo can be.

Owner Nixon Tanuwidjaja uses as much house-made Kalua Pork as there is ground beef in the patty for his burger. That’s met with an equally massive mound of Cheddar Jack cheese, brought together with Hawaiian bbq sauce and coleslaw inside of a Portuguese bun. A scoop of mac salad on the side completes the feast of a Hawaiian burger experience, although there’s tots, fries, or salad you can have alongside it, too.

This collab between Stacks Pancake House and myself is going to be available at all of their locations during Burger Week, put on by the OC Restaurant Association. For those not in the know, Stacks has four locations in Orange County: Newport Beach, Irvine, Dana Point, and Mission Viejo.

You can get it for pick-up or to-go from July 12th through the 18th. Recommend grabbing a few extra napkins on the way out, too.


The Michelin Guide Has Awarded These 5 Orange County Eateries The Bib Gourmand

As milestones go, it’s been a good year for O.C.’s dining scene, especially when you consider that two Costa Mesa restaurants – Taco Maria and Hana re – earned one-star ratings from the esteemed Michelin Guide, which covered the entire state of California for the first time in its history.

Originally started in 1900 by brothers Édouard and André Michelin, the guide first began as a mode of reference and review for French motorists when looking to buy a new vehicle. The guide became well trusted and widely known throughout France, and its popularity increased after World War I, upon the addition of a restaurant section in which anonymous reviewers rated the food of different dining establishments. Today, the guide ranks among the most respected culinary review resources in the world.

The guide usually gives stars out to extremely high-end restaurants with months-long waiting lists and meals costing hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of dollars. However, aside from the main category, the guide also includes a subsection called the Bib Gourmand highlighting restaurants where diners can enjoy a two-course meal and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less. Originally started in 1997, this category was established as a way to showcase hidden gems that serve food to a wider audience. On May 28, the Michelin guide announced California’s list of Bib Gourmands, spanning the state from Napa to San Diego. And five of them were located right here in O.C.: Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen, Garlic & Chives, Hiro Nori Ramen, LSXO and Mix Mix Kitchen Bar. These Michelin-reviewed establishments offer some truly unique dining experiences and are definitely worth a try.

Here’s what you need to know about each.

Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen

Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen is located in Old Towne Orange in a quaint and unassuming colonial-style building that dates back to the early 1900s. The food is inspired by Owner/Chef Gabbi Patrick’s Mexican heritage and the flavors she’s discovered throughout her travels, and she’s careful to incorporate seasonal ingredients into her culinary creations.

Garlic & Chives

You’ll find Garlic & Chives nestled in the heart of Little Saigon. It opened in December of 2014, and in the past five years, it has become one of the most popular spots in the area and is considered among the best Vietnamese restaurants in the region. It’s common to see a line out the door during the week, but it moves quickly. With dishes like deep fried salmon belly, garlic toothpick lamb and the consistently sticky, crunchy and messy chicken wings, it’s not hard to imagine the draw to this place. The chef behind the magic is a woman named Kristin Nguyen, who came from a family of Vietnamese refugees who settled in Garden Grove when she was just 7 years old. Her dishes embody both the roots she has in Saigon, as well as places she has traveled to such as Hong Kong and Bangkok. She took cooking classes in every place they went, and the dishes she learned inspired many of the popular menu items at Garlic & Chives. Needless to say, her booming passion project has been a success and a gift to Orange County’s food scene. Garlic and Chives

Hiro Nori Ramen

Hiro Nori Ramen has seven locations up and down Southern California, but the one located at Trade Food Hall in Irvine caught Michelin’s attention. The place is tiny, with only 35 seats that are often jam-packed for lunch. The attraction comes from their simple yet memorable menu, with carefully curated options that cater to vegetarians and vegans. They start with three distinctly different broths, the tonkatsu or pork bone, the soy-based shoyu, and the miso-based vegan. The tonkatsu is made by soaking pork bones for at least 24 hours, creating an incredibly rich, almost milky broth. The soy and vegan broths find their zest out of spices and soaked vegetables instead of the noticeable saltiness that overwhelms many veggie broths. Each ramen comes with your choice of thin or thick house-made ramen noodles, sautéed spinach, meaty cuts of charred chatsu pork, bean sprouts and an array of seasonal vegetables, if you order the vegan ramen. Co-owners Hiromichi Igarashi and Tadanori Akasaka came together to create this craft ramen shop with the simple shared intention to spread the experience of enjoying good ramen. With prices that range from $10 to $12 for a bowl of flavorful, individually crafted ramen, they have truly set a diversified tone to the attainability of that experience in Orange County.


LSXO stands as the most discreetly intriguing locations in this year’s Bib Gourmand list for Orange County. Behind an unmarked wooden door within the moderately upscale ocean-view restaurant Bluegold hides Tin Vuong’s 25-seat Vietnamese speakeasy. A twist of intensely nostalgic Vietnamese cuisine is served up to the lull of new age rap singles and EDM, while mismatched two-by-fours and wooden screens encompass the room. Dishes feature a multitude of items such as the popular curry-spiced lamb satay on a bed of soft egg noodles, foie gras and pho-spiced oxtail torchon, and bo ne, which is like a Vietnamese take on traditional steak and eggs made with gamey paté butter and served on a crunchy bahn mi baguette. The cuisine combines the traditional homemade with the experimental and is unapologetic in the use of spices, distinctly fishy sauces and greasy pan fries.

Mix Mix Kitchen Bar

Patrons will find the trek to downtown Santa Ana well worth the journey to experience the exotic creations at Ross Pangilinan’s Mix Mix Kitchen Bar. Gentle, unassuming prices list some of the strongest artisanal gastronomic creations offered in O.C. Mix Mix showcases a fusion of high-end French, countryside Italian and tropical Filipino accents in rotating dinner specials that start at $39 for a starter or small bite, the main course and a wine pairing. Found under the Starters list, the beets and burrata stands out as a sweet and rustic twist on many restaurants’ savory, tomato-inspired caprese salad, serving it instead with the beets, fennel, fresh strawberries, sticky candied pistachios and a balsamic gastrique. Diners will be delighted with the options of small plates like the Filipino-inspired citrusy shrimp lumpia, heavy with notes of grilled pineapple; the soft egg ravioli, made from black pepper pasta and soaked in browned butter; and the short rib bao buns stuffed with moist, braised short rib and pickled onions. Pangilinan then marries traditional rich and meaty French cuisine with that of the flour-heavy Italian in one of his most popular main courses, the duck leg agnolotti. The agnolotti is filled with roasted artichokes, ricotta and charred corn folded into a duck jus. Mix Mix Kitchen Bar is a culinary experience that will challenge your ability to flip between delightful cuisines and teach you to develop an appetite that craves the combination in globally inspired dishes served up at a reasonable price.

Click here to view Michelin Guide California 2019 Bib Gourmand

Related Links:

A Laguna Beach Local’s Go-To Dining List

James Beard Foundation’s Taste America To Come To LA This Fall

One World Everybody Eats Receives Humanitarian Of The Year Award

Article by Makani Kirwin for Sauté Magazine. Read the original article here


Come Get This Unbelievably Tender Wagyu Brisket At Upcoming Queen Mary Cook-Off

As a barbecue enthusiast, the quality of the meat you choose is essential to a proper beef brisket. If you’re using any kind of inferior meat, you better be a master of the smoke because you’re pretty much in an uphill battle. Now I’ve had briskets made with amazing cuts of beef before, but I’ve yet to see one that’s smoked with Wagyu meat.

For the unfamiliar, Wagyu beef is widely regarded as ultra-premium quality beef that’s of the utmost level of tender. And Wagyu beef brisket is exactly what The Q Joint BBQ is bringing to the world of barbecue.

Slicing up USDA Prime Wagyu Brisket, The Q Joint is an Irvine, California-based barbecue company that offers a plethora of smoked and grilled meats. This includes smoked, deboned chicken thighs, St. Louis-style ribs, and their 12-hour hickory-smoked brisket.

All their items come together in what they call The Judge’s Box which boasts: 1 chicken, 2 ribs, pulled pork, 2 slices of brisket, and 2 burnt ends.

This incredible platter of smoked delights can be found at The Queen Mary’s Waterfront Cook-Off. The annual event will be held on May 11 from 12PM to 5PM. There will be two competitions held during that day, one that pits BBQ masters together in a smokey cook-off. The other brings together some of the country’s best chili cooks to see who can craft the most delicious bowl of chili.

Sounds like heaven on earth.


9 Of The Tastiest Edible Souvenirs Orange County Has To Offer

Remind yourself of just how delicious your recent trip to O.C. was with these edible mementos.

Ah, Orange County … it’s known for beautiful weather, laid-back living and a diverse population. In recent years, it has also become a mecca for health foods, gastropubsbreweriesartisan coffee shops and gourmet sweet shops. In other words, it’s not just about the citrus. Move over oranges and make room for sweet and savory souvenirs from local merchants. The next time you’re in O.C., mark these hot spots on your must-visit list. These beautiful destinations offer an unforgettable epicurean experience and they also offer a little something to take back home when it’s finally time to go. These incredible edible souvenirs are sure to remind you to come back soon!



You probably guessed that a candy shop would show up on our list of stops, but you’ll be blown away by B.Candy’s store in Huntington Beach. Oversized treats — cupcakes with rainbow sprinkles, ice cream cones, jumbo lollipops and gobstoppers hint at the fun beyond the brightly painted doors. Indulge in Snickerdoodle ice cream or pick out your favorite coastal-themed sugar cookie. Use the store’s colorful wallpaper or treat-shaped stools to create an Insta-worthy photo, or take your treats to-go and take a walk down the pier. Before you go, grab a few of their caramel sea salt cupcakes with caramel filling, and remember that there’s no such thing as too much cake.

Barley Forge Brewing Co.

Barley Forge Brewing Co.

Kick back and have a few beers — you’re on vacation, after all. Head to Barley Forge Brewing Co., Costa Mesa’s first-ever production brewery. The company brews Belgian, West Coast and German-style beers, blending flavors from different cultures together into one delicious drink after another. Visit their brewery and enjoy their kitchen and grill menu, and don’t leave without stocking up on your favorite brew — available bottled or in a growler. Opt for one of their fruity beers, like the Nom Nom, aka a Hefeweizen brewed with mango. Or try a classic India Pale Ale, the Orange Curtain. Get it, because you’re in Orange County?!

Chronic Tacos + Gringo Bandito

Gringo Bandito

Californians certainly love their hot sauce; add a distinctly Californian flavor to your tacos or burritos with the ever-so peppery Gringo Bandito hot sauce. Gringo Bandito was created by Dexter Holland, singer of the rock band The Offspring. At first, the sauce made its way around town by way of gift, but soon enough Holland turned the DIY project into a business. Praise poured in for the spicy sauce and today the Gringo Bandito brand is well known around the world. Fun fact: Gringo Bandito teams up with Chronic Tacos every year at the Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco & Music Festival, where the two businesses host a food eating competition. Head to Chronic Tacos to experience these two Mexican flavors, and then go stock up on some Gringo Bandito hot sauce.

Dory Fleet Fish Market

Dory Fleet Fish Market

A trip to O.C. isn’t complete without a stop at the beach, nor a trip to a local market. Accomplish both goals by visiting the Dory Fleet Fish Market in Newport Beach. One of the only beachside cooperatives left in the United States, it is a registered historical landmark and local gem. The market sells an assortment of fish, crab, lobster and urchins, but arrive early because once they open the line moves very quickly. Fresh fish and live lobster are TSA approved, so don’t let your travel plans limit you. If you do decide to take seafood back home, freezing is the best method to preserve your fish and quench its stench.

Fermentation Farm

Fermentation Farm

You’ve probably heard the saying by now: Healthy Gut = Healthy Life. Dr. Yasmine Mason believes in the same philosophy and credits the saying when discussing the purpose of Fermentation Farm. Of course, Fermentation Farm offers a variety of flavored Kombucha and fermented sodas, and that’s enough to get most people in the door. But once you arrive, you’ll discover that the store has a lot more to offer than just a few types of drinks. Unique products, like coffee creamers and yogurts are readily available. But by far, Fermentation Farm’s organic veggies are the star of the show. Pick up a 16-ounce jar of Kraut, Kimchi, opt for a Pico de Gallo sauce, or choose a seasonal product. One thing is for sure: veggies have never tasted better!

Matcha LOVE

Matcha LOVE

Pop into Matcha LOVE for matcha soft serve, shakes, coffee, tea or boba. Matcha, or powdered green tea, has generated quite the buzz around O.C. Matcha is made with care and dedication; its leaves are grown in the shade to aid growth and enhance flavor. The leaves are then hand-picked, steamed, dried and finally ground into a concentrated powder. Matcha Love makes use of matcha in all of their dishes and drinks while promoting the vast health benefits of the ingredient. In fact, green tea contains 1/3 of the caffeine in coffee, but it is still considered an energizing drink. On your way out, pick up a bag of Matcha Love’s tea leaves or culinary matcha to create recipes in your kitchen.

Olive Oil & Beyond

Olive Oil & Beyond

The avid cooker is sure to have a field day inside of Olive Oil & Beyond. This Newport Beach shop, representative of the high-quality food scene you can find along the Newport coast, carries a vast selection of ultra-premium, artisan extra virgin olive oils and specialty oils, along with over 100 varieties of handcrafted vinegars. Dubbed by Olive Oil & Beyond as the best and most versatile olive oil, Tunisian olive oil will make a great addition to your kitchen cabinet. With a buttery texture and almond flavor, the oil adds another layer to every dish. If you’re feeling more adventurous, pick up a bottle of black truffle oil or roasted pistachio oil. Consider a dish that you enjoy making — but that could use a little something extra. The specialists at Olive Oil & Beyond are happy to help and bring you one step closer to the best home cooked meal of your life.

Valenza Chocolatier

Valenza Chocolatier

Here at Sauté Magazine, Valenza Chocolatier holds a special place in our hearts. Led by Master Chocolatier Amy Jo, Valenza sells Italian inspired artisan chocolates and confections. The shop is considered one of OC’s top luxury chocolatier companies, with numerous awards to attest to its praise. If you’re looking for a souvenir for a loved one, bring them a customized gift from Valenza. You pick the flavor and design and let Valenza create a beautiful gift.

Portola Coffee Roasters

Artisan coffee shops are emblematic of the West Coast, and Portola Coffee Roasters is a pioneer in the field. One of the premiere roasters in Orange County, their menu is simple and sweet, yet their flavors are sophisticated and top-notch. Modeled after a traditional Italian espresso bar, you’ll never be confused by their menu and you’ll know exactly what you’re getting. Whether you prefer drip coffee or espresso, Portola’s selection is exceptional. With multiple locations throughout Orange County, their shops are definitely worth a stop. Enjoy bar seating and conversation with the baristas at the OC Mix, or begin your foodie adventure through the Union Market with a cup of joe. Once you’re hooked, pick up a bag of their African or South American beans to take home.

Related Links:

24 Carrots: An Unforgettable Chef’s Table With Chef Nick Weber

Ways & Means Oyster House Is The Raw Deal 

One World Everybody Eats Receives Humanitarian Of The Year Award

Article by Jessie Yount for Sauté Magazine. Read the original article here

#foodbeast Cravings Features

Foodbeast Guide To 2018’s OC Fair Food

While I shed a tear for the beach bod I never really got this summer, I take solace in the fact that it’s fair season and I can just try again in the fall.

Yes, that means we’re ready to be buried in fried foods, sweets, and snacks, not unlike that kid from Kazaam.

On Friday, June 13, the Orange County Fair opened its gates to the public and we eagerly high-tailed it into the fairgrounds.

Returning are some all-star vendors like Chicken Charlie’s and Biggy’s — the Deep Fry King and Sultan of Turkey Legs, respectively, and they’ve added a handful of new items that had us wiping drool from our chins.

Check out all the new foods and returning favorites served that this year’s OC Fair. Just be sure to leave some time between snacking, for rides and games.

Deep Fried Filet Mignon (Chicken Charlie’s)

Photo: Peter Pham

This year’s star dish from Chicken Charlie’s booth is the deep fried filet mignon. Hulked out medallions are skewered together, breaded, and deep fried. Imagine eating chicken fried steak on a stick, because that’s essentially what this is. Just wish we had some sausage gravy to dunk those steaks in. Next year, Charlie.

Caramel Crack Fries (Biggy’s)

Photo: Peter Pham

I’ve always been a fan of the marriage between sweet and salty. Give me some kettle corn or a maple bacon donut and I’m a happy dude. Biggy’s new Caramel Crack Fries is a stunning example of sweet and salty that combines salty cinnamon sugar fries, a generous drizzle of caramel, whipped cream, and Fruity Pebbles cereal.

Deep Fried Pineapple (Chicken Charlie’s)

Many feel pineapple doesn’t belong on a pizza, but no one said you can’t deep fry it. Chicken Charlie’s is offering freshly sliced pineapples that are plunged into Charlie’s special pancake batter and dunked in a vat of hot oil — the origins of a delicious fruit-themed superhero.

Lasagna Nachos (Pignotti’s)

Photo: OC Fair

Looks like lasagna nachos are slowly making it into the mainstream and I’m totally on board with it. Pignotti’s version takes deep-fried pieces of lasagna noodles and douses them in a bed of rich marinara sauce before being introduced to a second friend…Mister Cheese Blanket.

Spicy Turkey Leg (Biggy’s)

Photo: Peter Pham

Hardcore carnivores will likely go straight for the massive turkey legs found at Biggy’s. This year, they’re trying something a little spicier with a Cholula hot sauce variation of the classic turkey leg. Don’t worry, you’ll still get the same smokiness and girth as a regular leg, just with a extra helping of heat.

Mermaid Floats (Candy Factory)

Photo: Peter Pham

Between all the salty meats and the scorching summer heat, you’ll probably want to track down something sweet and refreshing to cool off with. Candy Factory has a smorgasbord of floats named after mythical creatures, such as the Unicorn and Mermaid Floats. These multi-colored refreshers feature a sweet soda sprinkled stacked with rainbow toppings and a heap of cotton candy.

Ramen Burritos (Chicken Charlie’s)

Photo: Peter Pham

Another new addition to Chicken Charlie’s lineup are these chicken and shrimp ramen burritos. Ramen noodles and Funyuns are joined with Charlie’s savory grilled chicken or shrimp in a warm tortilla, offering a trio of textures. Charlie tosses the noodles in his famous House Maui sauce and some Sriracha for a gentle hit of flavor.

Spaghetti Donuts (Pignotti’s)

Photo: OC Fair

I never knew spaghetti could be enjoyed without utensils until I saw Pignotti’s spaghetti donuts. The noodles are formed using a donut mold and tossed into the deep fryer with the love of an Italian grandparent. Instead of glaze, they’re topped with traditional pasta sauces — pesto, Alfredo, carbonara, or marinara.

Bacon Wrapped Pork Belly (Biggy’s)

Photo: Oscar Gonzalez

It’s not really a trip to the fair without some bacon. Biggy’s bacon-wrapped pork belly serves guests a skewer full of bacon inception. The crispy cured strips are wrapped around hunks of tender Duroc pork belly and slow roasted. Bacon lovers will definitely want to zero in on this item.

If that’s not enough to whet your whistle, here’s everything else you need to keep an eye out for at this year’s OC Fair:

  • Ice Cream Tacos (Bacon A Fair)
  • Truffle Tots (Tater Twister)
  • Mac and Cheese Tots (Tater Twister)
  • Cheeseburger Tacos (Juicy’s)
  • Gouda Wontons (Pignotti’s)
  • Gouda Nachos (Pignotti’s)
  • Dipped Ice Cream Sandwiches (Totally Baked Cookie Joint)
  • Big Skillet Cookie (Totally Baked Cookie Joint)
  • Bubble Waffle Cone Sundae (Fried Affair 2)
  • PBJ Sriracha Funnel Cake (Dutchman’s Funeral Cake)
  • Deep Fried Cheese Curds (Tasti Burger)
  • Chili Chamoy Candy Capple (Brander Candyland)
  • M&M Donut (Texas Donuts)
  • Unicorn Cotton Candy Donut (Texas Donuts)
  • Holy Coa’s Boba Tea (Pignotti’s)
  • Poke Bowls (Eddie’s)
#foodbeast Cravings Culture FOODBEAST Restaurants

Meet The Hog Heaven: A 5-Pound Cornbread Bowl Stuffed With Your Favorite BBQ and Mac & Cheese

To say that I love BBQ would be like saying Andre the Giant was kinda tall. An understatement as huge as the man himself. Any chance I get, I talk to pit masters from all over and try to experience as much regional BBQ from across the United States as I can.

One of my first opportunities to try Kansas City BBQ led me to Ember Barbecue where I discovered the Hog Heaven, right in my own backyard of Santa Ana, CA.

Owned by pit master Derick Foster, a former marine who studied at the Culinary Institute of America, Foster grew up in Kansas City where he wanted to bring the city’s famous and  beloved style of BBQ to California. With his wife Kylie, another graduate of the CIA, the two run Ember together inside Downtown Santa Ana’s Native Son Alehouse.

The Hog Heaven is a cornbread bowl that’s filled to the brim with a three-cheese macaroni and cheese, layered with sweet BBQ beans, creamy coleslaw, and slathered with both Ember BBQ sauce and cheese sauce. Pitmaster Foster then stacks on a handful of pulled pork, St. Louis ribs, chicharron fresh from the fryer, beef brisket, and jalapeno cheddar sausage so juicy you’ll need to lay out a “Caution” sign on the floor. Finally, as a signature to his slow-cooked masterpiece, Foster finishes the Hog Heaven with more mac and cheese, cheese sauce, and Ember’s BBQ sauce.

Overall, it weights in at over five pounds and is essential a meaty birthday cake for BBQ lovers.

While the Hog Heaven is intended to be enjoyed with friends and BBQ aficionados, ambitious individuals can try to conquer this sweet and savory beast on their own. In our case, we made it last a week.

Ember Barbecue typically has 2-4 Hog Heavens available each day they’re open, so cue connoisseurs should take note if they’re trying to get their fix.


3 Things Happening To My Body After 24 Hours Of No Social Media

Day 2.

Yesterday I abruptly quit social media. Yes, the dude who co-owns a food company where social media is seemingly what keeps the lights on. Where social media has given Foodbeast’s roster of audio, written, photo and video content legs to be seen by up to a billion people every year — I quit using all of it cold turkey on February 1st.

Now, here are three things that happened to my body the first day I went dark:

1. My body absurdly tried to use Venmo as social media

I made a reference to social media as a drug yesterday. By no means am I the first to make that comparison, but never have I felt the embodiment of the addiction so absurdly as when I was taking a shit at work yesterday.

I sat on the toilet, conscientious of my posture, straightened my spine out, feet firmly on the floor making perfect perpendicular lines with the throne. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and into the crevice of my hand, the empty home screen had no social media notifications.

My fingers did their muscle memory thing anyways — they scrolled two screens over to where Instagram used to be, my crack of choice, and sure enough I thumb tapped an empty block of pixels on the home page where the purple and yellow icon once was. My mind reminded me of the month-long-journey I was on, and my body accepted the fact that Facebook and Twitter weren’t options during my bathroom time.

“What did I eat last night?” I wondered, mainly because I had the mental capacity to do so now. My emails were checked, I wasn’t in an endless hole of sifting through Tweets, mindlessly scrolling past Facebook status updates of friends — wait. Wait. I’m…


My fucking finger had found Venmo. Yes, the mobile payment app to quickly transact money between friends. A fucking app that PayPal owns. My body was thirsting for social media so hard I was mindlessly scrolling through monetary transactions my “friends” were making between each other, sometimes sprinkled with cryptic reasonings for said transactions. Sherry had paid Tommy for Lakers tickets. Damn, Sherry went to a Lakers game?! Jennifer paid her boyfriend for “sushi,” damn, they going dutch in that relationship?! Jason paid someone ‘private’ for three tree emojis — is Jason’s landscaper on Venmo now?!

I closed Venmo immediately and deleted it from my phone.


Don’t get me wrong, I use Venmo too. It’s an awesome tool that allows you to make use of the one friend who may have cash in a situation, or generally speed up transactions. On the other hand, there’s tons to be said about Venmo eroding a lot of social monetary interactions that end up making already fickle, cheap people more fickle, isolated and cheap.

Ever thought a friend was paying for your milkshake in a drive thru, only to have him send you a payment request once he’s not in your face for $3.79 and a memo “the boys getttin sugar waaaasted.” No Keith, I’m not getting sugar wasted with you any fucking longer. Social constructs say I pay for a meal, you pay for a meal — friends don’t need to go dutch on milkshakes. I have a job. You have a job. If you can’t buy your friend a 4-dollar milkshake because you’re closer to the drive thru window, we shouldn’t be driving around burning fuel any longer. We should go park your gas guzzler back home and comb through your finances.

I rant, but Venmo is a social media tool and my body sniffed it out like a junkie. I hadn’t thought to delete it in my initial sweep, but my body reminded me that I still had a bottle of social media pills in a new hiding place. Bye Venmo, at least until I know how to use you properly.


1.5. My body wanted mariscos without taking a picture

I still gotta eat. If you find yourself in Orange County, CA and want the best Mexican food for the price and the decor reminscent of an El Torito and Mimi’s Cafe’s offspring, go to Ostioneria Bahia 2. In fact, I was so enthralled with my meal I didn’t take a single worthy picture. A little bit of THC (not served at the restaurant), a couple metallic margaritas (first sip was awful, second sip was heavenly), an al pastor burrito, and of course, the star of the show: shrimp a la diabla.

Orders these as a plate, or in a quesadilla and I guarantee your mouth hole will thank you later (the other hole will beg for mercy, but it all works out in the end):

Since I have no pictures of my own, here’s a few from Yelp that I probably could have just lied and said I took:

2. I tried to access Facebook 39 times at work in 6 hours

I knew I would do it too, so by the second time I had tried to meaninglessly reward my act of responding to an email with a quick hit of “f-a-c-e-b….” I got up from my chair, grabbed some sticky notes from my social media manager’s desk, and slapped one on my monitor. Every time I stopped working to go to Facebook or Instagram on my phone or computer, I would tally it on the sticky with a pen. By 3pm I had notched 39 attempts at social media.

One particularly interesting moment was when Geoff swung by my desk to discuss an upcoming advertising campaign. Mid conversation, literally while words were coming out of my mouth about budget and view counts, I found myself back at this login screen:


Not sure what privacy law they’re breaking here, but there was my face AND a red dot with 31 notifications that I’m “missing out on.” I wasn’t logged in, yet Facebook was telling whoever was using my computer that Elie had many notifications he was missing on. 31 things, specifically.

My body was actively going through the motions of attempting to reach Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In the morning, it was every couple minutes. By the end of the day, it was every half hour that muscle memory would drive me to try and access Facebook.

3. I no longer felt physically attached to my charging cable 


We all feel “tethered to our phones,” but I didn’t realize said metaphorical description was actually a literal one.

Tethering something involves connecting one device to another. An astronaut is tethered to their ship in space because they need the connection to deliver a clean stream of oxygen to their mask and ample amounts of power to their suit. Without the tether, they’d float away into the abyss of space. They would eventually die without oxygen.


Ever been out of your house long enough that you start frantically looking for where your next phone charge will come from? Don’t you start feeling like the battery itself? Say you’re at 15% at the beginning of the day and you have a bunch of errands to run — tell me you don’t start feeling anxious that you might be caught out in the world without a phone. It’s almost as if our bodies are at 15% also. What if I get lost? What if someone calls? What do I do at red lights? How do I listen to podcasts?

Ever been in an airport and watch grown adults tethered to a wall, wires intertwined, sitting Indian-style on a dirty floor trying to get their fix–err, charge? I’ve been at plenty of food events, conventions and general bouts of walking around a city like New York where I have an external battery pack in my back pocket and an extra long 3-foot charging cable connected to my phone. I look like a fuckin’ Jetson and I’m not alone.

But today, I didn’t seem to care. I left to work in the morning with 10% charge. Outside of a few texts, calls, and an email check — my phone miraculously was at 5% by the end of the day. When I moved around the office, I no longer felt obligated to bring my phone everywhere. The first couple times I walked to the water cooler I had my phone in my pocket out of sheer habit. But by the 3rd piss of the day, and walking to lunch, I didn’t seem to need my phone, so I left it at my desk like a growing child I knew could one day take care of his or herself.

Thank you so much to all who e-mailed me yesterday!

Again, I can’t read anything y’all are saying on social media, even if these posts get shared on Facebook, Twitter or talked about on Instagram. What I do know is, those of you who emailed have been incredibly eloquent, personal and really inspiring to read. Even if you’re just saying hello, feel free to drop me a line — and I really appreciate you following along!

P.S., this wasn’t my original intent…but a lot of you have sent such incredible emails, if you want me to publish any of them in future articles, please leave a note at the end that explains that. It can be a simple ending note “I give you permission to answer this email publicly.” I don’t know if I ever would, but it started feeling like a letter-to-the-editor type thing. My email is personal though, and if you don’t mention that I will assume it’s a completely private conversation between the two of us. 

#foodbeast FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss

We’re So Down To Take Milk Shots Out of This Ube Flavored Cookie Shot

The Dirty Cookie has quickly become a favorite in the Southern California dessert world, and they’ll be bringing their edible cookie cups to Foodbeast’s Noods Noods Noods festival.


Not only will TDC bring its Matcha Green Tea Cookie Shot, but it will be making an exclusive Ube Cookie Shot, as well.

The Ube Shot will be rimmed with white chocolate, dipped in toasted coconut flakes, and filled with milk for a sweet break from all the savory items at the festival.

The Dirty Cookie made a name for itself for its unique cookie shot glass concept, as the cookies are made in-house, shaped like the adorable “glasses” and formed sturdy enough to hold the milk without spilling.

To try the matcha, and the exclusive ube shot, along with other exclusive food items from Orange County’s finest and most popular restaurants, make plans to attend Foodbeast’s Noods Noods Noods Festival, presented by Cup Noodles.

For tickets and more information, head to for the V.I.P, all-you-can-eat and drink (21 and over) section ($60), or the pay-as-you-go marketplace ($10).