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Happy eating!!!

Dear Food Gods, Thank you for 370 Common

Well hello again friends.  It has been awhile, mostly because it was the holidays, a little because I worked too much, and also because I just was eating too many good foods to have time to share.  But now I am back and I would like to start with one of my new favorite places - 370 Common.

free bread is always a good start to the meal, especially when its pretzel bread
370 Common is tucked away in the cute beach town of Laguna.  Surrounded by other restaurants, bars and stores, it is unassuming and appears to be just another restaurant in the long list of restauarants.  Boy, could that not be more wrong.

a different take on calamari (and peppers)
Walking into 370 Common, there is a lot of hustle and bustle going on.  Date nights, family dinners, friends chatting loudly, and the wait staff running around to best help everyone.  On this occasion, my boyfriend and I had taken his visiting parents to try out a new place.  Casual, yet expensive enough for "special occasions," 370 was spot on for this family reunion.

my go to side dish - brussel sprouts
We ordered a TON of food.  I had to roll out the door when we were done.  But it was so tasty I couldn't control my appetite.  We started with the calamari and broccolini.  The broccoli was probably one of my favorite vegetable dishes.  Although small it had an egg, prosciutto (always a winner), and Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top - I highly recommend it.

scallops on peas - a "light dish"
I ordered the mussels and brussel sprouts.  The brussel sprouts were amazing.  Legitimately some of the best I have had.  The mussels were good, but I thought the other dishes stood out.  I am not a big fan of meatloaf, but when I say its a must order I mean it.  Its bacon wrapped meatloaf on top of a huge pile of mashed potatoes.  It is heaven...I still dream about it.

beer bathed mussels
We also ordered the scallops which were quite tasty and the pork loin and mac and cheese.  Everything was so decadent, so tasty, so mouth-watering good that I can't really choose a favorite dish.  I honestly don't know what I will do when I go back - order my beloved dishes or try something new???  The struggle is real people.

pork loin on a "bed" of mac n cheese
370 Common gets a 4.5/5 in my book.  I only ding it because I want a reason to go back and give it more stars.  Definitely a great staple to have in the OC.

Costa Mesa's Corner Retreat: Plum's Cafe

I don't know how I did not visit this place before last weekend.  I have been sorely missing out in life.  Plum's is probably the best brunch that Orange County has to offer.  It has pancakes, bread pudding french toast, breakfast burritos and my fave - eggs benedict.

Eureka: How UCI got cool.

Okay, I don't know if it will make UC Irvine cool, but this new chain called Eureka is exactly what the campus needed.  Although the pub has been voted best bar in Orange County by OC Weekly, Eureka caters to the community not just students.  As much as I love the pub, it does make me feel like I am trying to relive my glory days.  Eureka doesn't judge me.

the cowboy: bbq burger

For my 100th post I give you the best restaurant in OC - Il Garage

Yes, you read that right.  Il Garage is the best restaurant that I have eaten at in OC.  While I can think of a few places that are as tasty (or tastier), this place brings something that other places don't have - a garden.  Tucked in the middle of nowhere Stanton (yes that is in OC), Il Garage is hard to find.  In fact, you have to drive along Beach Blvd and then keep driving.  Once you have found Park Ave restaurant, you must walk through it into the backyard.  Then, and only then, will you find this treasure.

Although its in a food court at an Asian market, Santouka Ramen hits the spot.

In light of my recent purchase of some airplane tickets to Tokyo next month, I headed over to Mitsuwa Marketplace for lunch.  For anyone who has been here before, you know there are many options for a quick lunch.  Udon, sushi, beef tongue (yes you read that right), curry and of course ramen.  One of my favorite ramen places in Orange County, Santouka Ramen was my first choice for that day.

And with a heavy heart I introduce to you...Iron Press

I really wanted to like this place.  Very badly.  Every time I visit The Mix, or OC Mix Mart, or SOCO, or whatever the hell that place is called, The Iron Press is always packed.  So on one sunny Saturday, I was stoked when there were tons of seats for my friends and I to sit down and grab some lunch.  I had been waiting months to have some chicken and waffles.

A piece of fried chicken and a waffle