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Cravings Food Trucks

We’re Down For The Fire That Are Spicy Bulgogi Dumplings

Every time we see dumplings offered on a menu, we have to order it. Dumplings, for us, is that one dish that everyone can share, bringing a table together and setting the tone for a great dining experience. If you’re a fan of savory, pan-seared dumplings, you’re going to want to check this out.

The Mad Dumplings truck created these exclusive pan-fried bulgogi beef dumplings for this year’s FOODBEAST’s AYCE Asian food Festival NOODS NOODS NOODS presented by Original Cup Noodles, taking place on Saturday, Jan. 27 in Santa Ana, CA.

The dumplings are served over a bed of spicy sesame gochujang noodles and are garnished with scallions, kimchi, and topped with sesame seeds.

Noodle lovers and fans of Asian fusion food should definitely check out this year’s NOODS Festival. You can purchase your tickets here. Ticket types include Marketplace (buy as you go), or VIP (all you can consume for three hours).

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Hit-Or-Miss Video

These Hungarian Chimney Cakes Are The Steamy Dessert You’ve Never Tried

Newly opened in Anaheim, Calif., House of Chimney Cakes is bringing a delicious traditional Romanian pastry to Southern California, just in time for winter. So, get ready to push the donuts and churros aside and make room for chimney cakes!

Chimney cakes

Evan Lancaster/Foodbeast

These slightly crispy, flaky cylinder-shaped pillars of dough are referred to as “chimney cakes.” As it cools, these cone-shaped pastries let steam out from the top, creating the smoking chimney effect.

This Romanian dessert is made from Hungarian sweet bread that’s baked in a rotating oven, then coated with a sweet glaze.

Sporting a consistency between a donut and a churro, House Of Chimney Cakes in Anaheim gives guests full-control of toppings, but serves a variety of cakes rolled in cinnamon and sugar, crushed Oreos and even Fruity Pebbles cereal.

Chimney cakes

Chimney cakes can also be filled with Nutella, or soft serve ice cream, and topped with customizable flavors like s’mores. You could also just load it up with fresh fruit, either way, it’s going to be delicious.

So, for all you pastries lovers out there, just follow the smoke signals and head over to House Of Chimney Cakes.

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FOODBEAST Restaurants

Which Orange County ‘Wich To Have in Hand This National Sandwich Day

Any ingredient you can imagine, piled between two slices of your favorite bread, a culinary expression of culture, creativity and convenience – who doesn’t enjoy a sandwich?

What better way to celebrate our collective love affair with the world’s tastiest invention — amusingly named after a gambling aristocrat — than dedicating an entire day to them? This year, November 3rd is National Sandwich Day, so let’s get rolling and look at the best Orange County has to offer.

Habana

Costa Mesa and Irvine, CA

Does the thought of scrumptious Latin-inspired food keep you up at night? Luckily, Habana is open past midnight and the “Media Noche” is the perfect bite to satisfy those late nocturnal cravings. This Cuban style pressed sandwich is loaded with slow roasted pork, jamón, Swiss and all the fixings, as well as a tantalizing roasted garlic yellow mustard aioli that makes the whole thing melt in your mouth.

Stockyard Sandwich Co.

4th St Market, Santa Ana, CA

Whoever thought to add tuna salad to the already delicious grilled cheese deserves a medal. The crew at Stockyard Sandwich Co. earns the gold for their take on the classic because the ciabatta and cheddar make it better. Tasty tuna and crisp pickles meld together in a gloriously salty and tangy experience that’s only elevated by tomato and red onion. House-made chips or tater tots are included with the order, so you’ll surely find happiness at this 4th Street Market standout.

The Recess Room

Fountain Valley, CA

At The Recess Room, a trendy energetic vibe meets innovative cuisine. If your interests lie between the bread, the “Pork Belly BLT” has your name written all over it. Thick slabs of succulent, rich and flavorful kurobuta pork set the tone for this ‘wich; the charred edges alone will get your mouth watering. Arugula, tender Roma tomato, and chipotle aioli fill out the rest and beer battered fries come on the side. Just remember, there is never any shame in filling your belly with pork belly.

Pandor Artisan Boulangerie & Cafe

Anaheim, Newport Beach, Long Beach, and Orange, CA

Artisan French bread and aromatic coffee highlight this charming breakfast spot – oui, s’il vous plait! If you dream of sipping espresso while savoring a Croque-Madame along the Champs-Élysées, Pandor Boulangerie and Café can at least get you halfway to realizing your fancy.  Served atop a Provençal loaf, this delicacy of jambon ham, cheese, creamy Béchamel sauce and eggs over easy evokes the finest of Parisian sensibilities.

The Iron Press

Anaheim and Costa Mesa, CA

Please excuse the language, but the “Hot Mother Clucker” is so delicious, profanity is entirely necessary. On this ‘which, you’ll find tender, free-range Jidori chicken coated in a spicy buttermilk batter and stacked amid jalapeño waffles, along with zesty slaw, buffalo sauce, and jalapeño maple syrup. This delectably obscene creation will have you exhaling “&#%$ that is good!” between gulps of water. I would keep the pitcher close by.

The Kroft

Anaheim and Tustin, CA

What’s the coolest thing since sliced bread? Sandwich dipping. At The Kroft, thinly cut prime rib slathered with horseradish mayo and caramelized onions are the passengers on a French roll vessel certified for dunking, especially when it’s into Au Jus dip. With your Prime Rib Dip in hand, throw in some panko fried cheese curds and you’ll be on a voyage of delicious discovery.

Civic

4th St Market, Santa Ana, CA

CIVIC’s house-made pesto is the key that truly unlocks the flavor of its juicy, free-range chicken breast burger. Its basil is garden fresh, the olive oil enhancing the herbs while not being too soggy. They then throw savory sun dried tomatoes, arugula, melted Swiss cheese on a delicate yet crispy bun, proving that you can still get your fill without completely wrecking that healthy streak you’ve been on.

Two Birds

TRADE, Irvine, CA

For the “Bird In The Hand” sandwich, you’re going to need twice the standard gripping action, especially if you order double chicken for $3 (as you should). The massive portion towers on a cornmeal bun, seasoned, crispy poultry dripping with slaw and special tiger sauce. Don’t be intimidated, a fork and knife can make tackling the monster more feasible. Add a side of waffle fries and an Arnold Palmer truly bring the Southern comfort home.

Blackmarket Bakery

Costa Mesa and Santa Ana, CA

When the lunch bell rings, countless kids across the country dig into a timeless classic, the staple of every childhood diet. Blackmarket Bakery will take your fondest peanut butter and jelly sandwich memories to the next level. The Über PBJ is a layered masterpiece of creamy peanut butter, signature berry jam, shaved almonds, and fresh berries slathered on pieces of toasted 6-grain. You’ll never think about a PB&J the same again.

Dog Haus

Santa Ana, CA

What is the meaning of life? Was the dress black and blue or white and gold? Is a hot dog actually a sandwich? These are the questions of our time. Including frankfurters on this list might land me in the doghouse with some, but perhaps spending time at Dog Haus will provide a new perspective regarding this controversial debate. Whatever you decide, you’ll surely leave satisfied by the chain’s signature beef sausage combinations, each served on a fresh King’s Hawaiian Rolls. The popular “SOOO CALI” is garnished with wild arugula, spicy basil aioli, crispy onions, avocado, tomato, but you also have the option to craft your own.

The Little Jewel Of New Orleans

Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA

Nestled in the heart of Chinatown, this outpost of authentic Southern cooking truly is a treasure. Each of their Po’boys is rich in bayou flavor; choices liked golden fried catfish, oyster, and shrimp come with mayo and all the fixings. Ask for a ‘crown’ on your sandwich, a topping of melted sharp cheddar and hand-smoked honey bacon, you’ll be glad you did.

Hollingshead Delicatessen

Orange, CA

At Hollingshead Delicatessen, family owned and operated since 1963, every Hero (sandwich) has its Demon (sandwich). On the path to righteousness, you will encounter beef, ham, turkey, cheddar, mayo, mustard, lettuce, and tomato heaped on a French Roll. Luckily, giving into the dark side only means swapping for pastrami, Swiss, and an onion roll – well, and maybe partaking in the diverse beer section that features 22 different brews on tap every day.

Tortas Sinaloa

Santa Ana, CA

The fact that Mexican cooking, predominately embodied by the tortilla, has developed its own type of sandwich is a testament to the universal appeal. At Tortas Sinaloa, there are 60 different combinations to choose from, but the Torta Ahogada, a carnitas sandwich drenched in chili tomato sauce, lime juice and red onion is the best. Add some avocado and queso, and don’t forget to indulge in some of the liquid refreshments like tamarind or horchata.

The Carving Board

West Los Angeles, CA

When pasta ends up on a sandwich, it is a match made in carb heaven, and the meatball sandwich at The Carving Board is your ticket to those exquisite, pearly gates. Sliced all beef meatballs covered in a homemade marinara and melted mozzarella are served between Parmesan spaghetti bread (yes, it’s exactly what you think it is). Extra marinara on the side makes this pièce de résistance all the right kinds of saucy.

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#foodbeast Hit-Or-Miss News

How Culinary Piracy Is Shaping The Orange County Food Scene

It’s often said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. However, for food industry entrepreneurs, recipes are created without protection — making original ideas free game for anyone willing to commit culinary piracy and repurpose adopted concepts for personal and monetary gains.

Recently, the topic of culinary piracy, specifically within the Orange County, Calif. food scene, became the focal point of discussion on FOODBEAST’s weekly podcast, The Katchup. Hosted by FOODBEAST Co-Founders Elie Ayrouth and Geoff Kutnick, The Katchup featured special guest, chef, and food personality, Josh Elkin.

If social media has provided anything, it has become a utility — a metaphorical looking glass into the world of food, if you will — that we can use at our disposal to find new and interesting trends.

With that said, now, perhaps more than ever, social media is providing tangible evidence that culinary piracy is thriving within a vibrant O.C. food scene.

Instagram has become a haven of food plagiarism, spawning a new breed of culinary copycats eager to emulate the next trend  — without fear of legal repercussion and void of originality.

‘Pros And Cons’

The Loop, a well-known handcrafted churro spot in Westminster, which opened in 2016, is just one OC-based spot being affected by this blatant example of what Ayrouth has dubbed as “swagger jacking.”

Culinary piracy

@TheLoop/@Churroholic

Churroholic, which opened in June, has striking similarities to The Loop — from the actual shape of their product, all the way down to website aesthetics. Although, it seems doubtful that Churroholic is innocently trying to gain inspiration from their O.C. predecessor, considering their branding is almost identical.

Although, Churroholic doesn’t seem like the only business “swagger jacking”oval-shaped churros. In fact, there’s a place in Kuwait literally called The Loop Cafe, with no official affiliation to either of these Orange County brands.

In some cases, copying someone’s concept for profit is illegal. Just ask Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg. But, when it comes to food, there are few laws preventing businesses from “swagger jacking” their competition.

Shrimp Daddy, a purveyor of Hawaiian-inspired pineapple shrimp bowls, and a regular vendor at Smorgasburg LA, has become an inspiration for the trendy poke chain The Low-Key Poke Joint.

culinary piracy

@ShrimpDaddy/@TheLowKeyPokeJoint

An online debate broke out on The Low-Key Poke Joint’s Instagram page after several users began commenting about the resemblance to Shrimp Daddy’s pineapple bowl.

Though this all might seem like a back alley reproduction of someone’s intellectual property, it can be argued that Instagram has made food ideation and creation extremely territorial.

Kutnick explained that Orange County is in a unique place in the food world, essentially because craft dining is just recently becoming a trend in the area, which might be contributing to the exponential occurrence of copycatting.

“Orange County is in this weird place, because everywhere craft dining is becoming a thing. That’s why there’s so much copycatting here, it’s because there’s this entrepreneurial mindset that’s almost like, ‘I’m an entrepreneur and that’s better than a chef.'”Geoffrey Kutnick, Co-Founder of FOODBEAST

Perhaps that’s why OC-based bubble tea maker Main Squeeze decided to replicate Dominique Ansel’s What-a-Melon Soft Serve. How would the Cronut-creating genius feel about having a recipe snaked about a month after it debuted at his West Village bakery? Someone should tweet him.

culinary piracy

@DominqueAnsel/@MainSqueezeOC

As the “swagger jacking” continues, Birthdae Cake, a small ice cream shop located in Fountain Valley is evidently also a fan of Ansel. Birthdae Cake’s recent posts show off a new s’more creation, that looks exactly like one of Ansel’s Frozen S’mores.

culinary piracy

@DominqueAnsel/@Birthdae Cake

Yet, similarly to the other instances of culinary piracy there is no mention of the S’mores creator. However, Birthdae Cake did manage to photograph their product from the same angle.

It seems like creative ideas must remain locked in a kitchen vault or they are poached and sold for profit. Let’s not forget egregious acts of culinary piracy on the corporate level as well. Burger King swiped the Vulgar Chef’s Mac N’ Cheetos concept and there was nothing he could do.

But, Burger King has no face in the community. The businesses in this article are all a part of a tight-knit foodie community within Orange County — which makes it seem much more deceitful.

Being an entrepreneur is not easy, but there should be ethical standard when it comes to directly repurposing someone else’s idea.

Ayrouth further explains, “A big part about being an entrepreneur is noticing something and capitalizing on it. So, just because you’re not first to do something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try — or do it better — there’s a lot of things you can innovate and do better.”

Business owners can do as they please. Still, creating culinary doppelgangers for the sake of Instagram fame is only inviting ethical dilemmas for the offending copycats.

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5 Hidden Food Gems In Anaheim, CA


If there’s one must-see foodie destination in Southern California, it’s the Anaheim Packing District. Located in the heart of the city, the District is lined with amazing eats in a variety of different styles and flavors that embody the culture of the surrounding city.

We recently had the chance to hang out with one of our favorite food bloggers, Kristi Keith, who runs the well-known Instagram foodie account @BlondesWhoEat. Kristi ate her way through the Packing House and even ventured deep into the city of Anaheim to grab a few extra bites of her favorite eats in our Hansen’s-presented series.

Starting out at Pandor Artisan Bakery for a decent breakfast was the perfect way to start the day. At Pandor, Kristi took on Pandor’s legendary dessert creation, the K2 Dornut. The highly Instagrammable K2 features Pandor’s version of fried croissant, known as a ‘dornut’ —  a layered mountain of fluffy, sticky, mouth-watering sweetness. The K2 Dornut is filled with vanilla and chocolate custards, whipping cream, all in between freshly sliced strawberries and bananas. The entire dornut mountain is drizzled with maple syrup and topped with anything from cereal to cookies. It’s safe to say the Internet is still drooling after that K2 experience.

Photos by Christian Bourdeau

Next, we slid over to the The Kroft for a cheeseburger and fries. But, this is not just your ordinary burger and fries combo. The Kroft goes all out in the presentation of their cheeseburger fries, topped with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and Thousand Island dressing — basically all the ingredients that make a dish really hard to share.  

Still, Kristi had places to go and tacos to eat. So, naturally, she pulled up a seat at Urbana located on the first floor of the Anaheim Packing District. Urbana’s Taco Trio is a must-order even when it’s not Taco Tuesday, featuring a Baja Fish taco, Taco Al Pastor served in a blue corn tortilla, and some delicious Arrachera Steak in a handmade flour tortilla.

It’s easy to see that Kristi has a giant sweet tooth that sometimes takes two desserts to satisfy, so it’s no surprise she ended up at The Iron Press to munch on one of the greatest waffle inventions to come out of Southern California: the “Are You Cereal” Dessert Waffle. It’s made with Cap’n Crunch Cereal both inside the batter and crumbled on top, making for one dessert that’s NOT playing when it comes to over-the-top deliciousness.

After spending some time at the Packing House, Kristi was still hungry for more. Literally. After all, she doesn’t run the @BlondesWhoEat Instagram just because. Plus, when you pull up to Pour Vida Latin Flavor  for their famous Blue Corn Chilaquiles — there’s no turning back. A plate full of blue corn chips, topped with cheddar cheese, sour cream and a fried egg make this authentic chile Chilaquiles one of the most memorable in the city.

Thanks Kristi, we now know that blondes do have more fun!


Created in partnership with Hansen’s

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Cravings Restaurants Sweets Video

Rolled Ice Cream Tacos Are The Summer Treat We All Deserve

This blistering summer, we’re looking for new and creative ways to beat the unrelenting heat. Rollin’ Creamery, in Orange County, CA came up with an ingenious method of elevating the rolled ice cream trend: Rolled Ice Cream Tacos.

The liquified ice cream is poured onto a flat ice cream roll machine and leveled off before being shaped into sweet creamy curls. They’re then placed onto custom made waffle taco shells and topped with a bevy of sweet additions like sprinkles, gummy candy, cookies, and crumbles.

You can find a variety of different flavors, as well as traditional rolled ice cream available at the Fountain Valley-based location.

Like with most ice cream, each taco has a pretty short lifespan before it begins the melancholy melting process. Make sure to cut back on your photo taking time and enjoy the treat before it’s too late.

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#foodbeast Brand Cravings FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss

You Can Now Eat Delicious, Raw Cookie Dough At This Shop In California

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The edible cookie dough trend has left New York and come on a direct flight to sunny California, where the weather is warm and people are willing to eat anything once!

California Cookie Dough is located in Orange County, California where the shop specializes in safe, edible, and delicious cookie dough in a variety of flavors. Served in a flavored cone and can be topped with a variety of toppings, you can create your own that matches your personality perfectly (*whispers* try the blue velvet).

If you’re wondering how it’s safe to eat, this edible cookie dough is made using pasteurized eggs and heat treated flour, so it is fine to consume without baking. No more tummy aches like childhood, *phew*.

Also, since you can’t have cookies without milk, they’ve got you covered on that, too.  No need to bring the Nesquick. They’ve got it fresh on tap.

California Cookie Dough is located on 18854 Brookhurst St. in Fountain Valley, and is open six days a week, and always has new flavors to try on deck.

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Cravings Restaurants

‘Hang Ten’ With This Incredible Surf N’ Turf Burger

Surf or turf?

Have you ever had to choose between a beefy burger or some fresh seafood? Thanks to our pals over at Slapfish, you’ll never have to.

Chef Andrew Gruel, the genius behind the fast-casual seafood restaurant chain, just created a new Surf N Turf Burger.

The massive burger features beef patties, thousand island dressing, tomatoes, chives, grilled onions, and a juicy lobster.

Cheese lovers will want to take a seat. The lobster is sliced into chunks and cooked in a creamy cheese sauce before going into the burger. Talk about decadent.

You can find the Surf n’ Turf Burger on the menu of all Slapfish locations. We recommend grabbing some extra napkins, cause this thing looks pretty damn juicy.