Hiccups Teahouse Heading to Inland Empire

Take a huge breath and hold for as long as you can until you realize that another tasty Hiccups Teahouse and Restaurant opens in Loma Linda, California on Monday, November 18.

If you’ve heard of and have eaten at this Asian fusion order-by-counter restaurant before, do 1 of 3 things for me. One: leave this page if you already know your go-to dishes and drinks (by the way, thank you for checking my post!). Two: get your curious eyes wander by looking at my food-tastic photos. Or three: read up on both my experience and recommendations during my visit on Hiccups’ most recent opening: in Santa Ana located close to South Coast Plaza and Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

When I’d visit a Hiccups, I personally like to order either a sweet drink or — depending on the location — a looped churro coated with their saccharine toppings. So on the former I crazily sipped (because I was drastically thirsty during that visit) on their Vietnamese Iced Coffee with Hazelnut, which was more mildly flavored on the nutty side than I expected. As far as my recommendation I’d automatically order their Taro Milk Tea — whether iced or hot — or the refreshing Horchata Milk Tea.

For appetizers my Man and I dived into their Popcorn Chicken and their Crispy Tofu Bites with their signature vegetarian sauce. The former showed off its perfectly juicy morsels, though I prefer a verdant dash of that fried Thai basil if Hiccups could provide them. Providing their red spicy sprinkles on the side was definitely appreciated. The latter item wonderfully returned from Hiccups’ old menu; garlicky was a prominent adjective describing these bites.

Onto the main courses: let’s first delve into their Pho, particularly their flank, tendon, and tripe Vietnamese soup. I enjoyed mostly on their flavorfully comforting broth and their impressively tender and exceptionally tasty yet atypical proteins –i.e. the tendon and the tripe. Their flank steak and thin noodles weren’t our personal faves, but what struck our taste buds the most was the insanely welcoming hotness from their freshly sliced jalapeno that unabashedly swam all over the broth.

Pad See Ew drew the most attention to me when it comes to main dishes. When I finally had that perfect opportunity to ravage this generously portioned platter, I became blissful eating a piece of beef, a piece of broccoli, and a slither of pan fried rice noodle all grabbed from my pair of chopsticks. That continued per every chopstick hold until my stomach waved a white flag towards this plentiful plate. In other words, more than 1/2 of it were destined to the leftover to-go carton.

If you need a friendly reminder of recommendations, certainly have a foodie partner or 2 help devour those 2 said main courses and/or their Kimchi Fried Pork Belly Rice, or anything smothered in Shaken Beef.

When visiting the Loma Linda location, make sure to gather your foodie crew and drink up your teas or coffees of choice without the presence of the literal hiccups.

25805 Barton Road
Loma Linda, CA, 92354
Phone: 909-478-9586


#sponsored #hiccupsteahouse #lunch #lomalinda #inlandempire #sanbernardino #foodblogger #fiathe5footer

Andrei’s Restaurant’s 10th Anniversary Featuring 10 Items for $10

Coming into a restaurant that serves fabulously delicious cuisines, and gives all of its net profits to charitable organizations is one of the most awesome feats I’ve ever attended.

It’s been 10 years since Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine and Cocktails has opened, located in Irvine surrounded by business centers and situated near the 405 freeway and the John Wayne Airport. This venerable restaurant is and always will be dedicated to the Olenicoff family’s late member Andrei and his love for the culinary stage.

To bolster his legacy and the restaurant’s mission of serving customers local, organic, and delicious foods — as well as contributing to those with disabilities — the whole month of July will put in 20% of total sales from all of Andrei’s menu items to Miracles for Kids.

This includes the alluring libations, such as the powerful Mother of Dragons vodka mix, the mellow Bee’s Knees gin concoction, and the bubbly and rosy Bastille Day champagne.

Also participating with the organization is their amazing (and convincing to revisit asap) California Ceviche, which is presented during Happy Hour on Monday to Friday from 3pm to 6:30pm. If fancy and friendship-gathering are calling, the Charcuterie and Cheese platter will do the trick — and this is served for both lunch and dinner.

Additionally, between July 1st to July 13th there are 10 tasty and substantial items that cost $10 dedicating to a full, loyal decade of the restaurant. I became enthralled with the $10 Calamari skewers that I didn’t think they needed creamy sauce at all. Other sensational platters were the deceitfully simple-looking $10 Black Angus Spring Rolls and the Market Fish Tacos. When it comes to the dessert item, the best morsel from the Andrei’s Dessert Tasting was the warm and luscious Andrei’s beignets.

Definitely dine in to this worthy, benevolent OC restaurant. Andrei would certainly be utterly content to watch his guests enjoy their meals. Regardless of the July deal, or the fact that it’s a nonprofit and charitable ordeal, I would love to return especially for little or big celebrations.

Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails, 2607 Main St, Irvine, CA 92614


#irvine #foodblogger #mediaevent #nonprofit

Afternoon Tea in Banff National Park

When tea can be sipped with best friends –and their babies — surrounded by culmination of a mountainous, arboreal, and river view inside a luxurious lounge in the 2nd floor of the Fairmont Banff Springs, the Rocky Mountain Afternoon Tea is the place to be and to make a calculated reservation.

Upon entering the Rundle Lounge in the 2nd floor of this luxurious Banff resort inside Banff National Park, the hostess and server amiably welcomed my group and me, openly offering their knowledge and arms about enjoying the high quality teas and glorious nibbles while gazing at the lovely view of this expansive nature. Featured in our afternoon tea were a multitude of loose leaf teas all tightly encased in glass jars for sniffing enjoyment before ultimately choosing which tea we would individually choose.

After perusing through different tiers of afternoon enjoyment, such as adding a bubbly sensation called the Champagne Tea, we stuck to the classic ($55 CAD as of 5.7.2019) . Plus, out of numerous distinct loose leaf teas sniffed from those jars I opted for my Canadian-residing friend’s favorite: the Organic Creamy Earl Grey.

Our classic choice comprised of a 3-tiered wooden tower showcasing fanciful bites from the savory section, sweet section, and in-between.

The top tier exposed these cutesy yet scrumptious and soft scones that immediately I wished for 5 times the amount we were offered. I’m still in disbelief that I would drool for these carbs regardless if generously smothered with their citrus cream or encompassing their gooey cranberry jam.

Since the middle section contained items that I preferred to eat last, I grabbed 5 morsels straight from the bottom tier. The Gravlax Bagel, BLT miniscule Slider, and Coronation Chicken Cone delightfully pleased my taste buds, but that diminutive Quiche (with Lindsay Bandaged Goat’s Cheddar) and Mushroom Barquette struck a lot of euphoria other than my palate. A 6th nibble, the Pistachio Pinwheel, didn’t participate in this gallery because this swirly, colorful vegan piece unfortunately was one of the most tasteless I’ve ever eaten.

Traditionally saving those adorable desserts for last, my surprisingly full mood felt okay with the Lemon and Anise Shortbread, Crunchy Matcha Profiterole, and Fruit Tart. However, the Opera Slice (Cake) and Lemon Macaron quickly elevated my mood back into bliss especially when I was finishing up that wondrously flavorful Earl Grey tea.

Afternoon tea was one of my Banff adventures — big and small — that engraved deeply in memory, even more so when accompanied with non-blood sisters and extended families. One final note: this tea interval can also be enjoyed at the Fairmont Lake Louise location, though they may be offering different leaves and different tidbits.

#Banff #afternoontea #Fairmont #Alberta #tea

Rocky Mountain Afternoon Tea at Fairmont Banff Springs, 405 Spray Avenue 
Banff, Alberta, Canada T1L1J4 


Birthday Brunch at Newport Beach’s Malibu Farm Lido Village

Saturday brunch at one of my favorite OC cities became one of my unforgettable birthday celebrations for this 5-Footer. Many favorable descriptions in this restaurant — named 1 of 2019’s Best New Restaurants of the OC from Orange Coast Magazine — popped into my mind: simple, relaxing, mellow, joyful, and subliminally unpretentious.

Sitting outdoors with a great Lido Bay view of the iconic boats, yachts, and cruises for weddings/events with a satisfying heater slightly above where I sat I enjoyed this seemingly little feast with my fiance, his brother/future bro in-law and his S.O.

For the sake of my birthday I blissfully quenched on their seasonal yet wonderfully vibrant F’Rose Cocktail. I relished every sip so slowly, and the mixture was beautifully done that my tongue detected subtle softness of the alcohol itself.

The girlfriend of my fiance’s brother happily shared the Avocado Huarache, consisted of heat flatbread jalapeño, ricotta spread, and Malibu honey lemon vinaigrette. It sounded quite fancy, but once I bit into a piece, this dish didn’t play games with my tongue. Instead, all ingredients harmonized throughout the bite.

Because I had another birthday gathering coming up within hours, I chose to eat their Fried Egg “Pytti Panna” Hash, embedding the potatoes, beets, squash, zucchini, onion, arugula, horseradish cream, and tender smoked salmon. It’s one of the most zesty and lightly feeling dishes I’ve ever consumed, and this entire dish indeed left my tummy in satisfactory level — neither feeling stuffed nor inadequate.

But the creme de la creme of all the foods from Malibu Farm Lido was their phenomenally delicious Fried Egg Sandwich. I admittedly rolled my eyes initially at the price tag of this $16 sandwich, but my careful bite on the fried egg, crispy bacon, arugula, havarti, perfectly soft country wheat toast, and notable lemon aioli slapped my mind unabashedly. My fiance and I were simply dumbfounded on this deceptively delicious handful.

The overall pricing may be personally higher than what I typically pay for restaurant breakfast/brunch, but the no-nonsense flavor profile from every item we ate and drank was worth every cent. This also reminded me of my wonderful foodie experience in Portland, Oregon, where I felt that practically every food I ate there had that farm-to-table concept. Malibu Farm Lido, I revisit you very soon regardless of occasion.

Malibu Farm Lido, 3420 Via Oporto #101, Newport Beach, CA 92663

#malibufarmlido #fiathe5footer #brunch #newportbeach #orangecoastmag

Christmas Time at Patty’s Cakes and Desserts

At this Fullerton small business shop I was cordially invited to indulge on Patty’s Cakes, a pink-smothering dessert spot filled with a plethora of sweets and other adorable delights emblazoned with holiday decor and cheer all-around.

This dessert shop wasn’t solely offering their cakes in various shapes and sizes. Present were irresistible cookies –such as my personal faves, the snickerdoodle and chocolate chip — classic ice creams from Thrifty, sophisticated coffee from Illy, and make-your-own hot chocolate at the hot cocoa station featuring marshmallow-looking snowman housing this brewed chocolaty comfort.

I had the appreciative opportunity to take home 4 cupcakes as their Christmas gift. With over 20 flavors of cupcakes to choose from I picked the ones not only for myself, but something my best friends could indulge when I visited them the next day. I don’t have a solid picture of the eventual 4 morsels, but I meticulously picked the scrumptious red velvet, the delightful butter pecan, the sensual chocolate salted caramel, and the intensely tart lemon drop.

Another considerate feature about this dessert shop is the gluten-free option of some flavors of cupcakes, which would accommodate greatly when, say, I can order ahead of time online for party guests with slightly different diets from one another.

This fun-filled holiday event may be short and sweet, but my time spent there was unforgettable, all thanks to hostess Connie @occomestibles, and the hospitable owner and staff members of Patty’s Cakes and Desserts.

Patty’s Cakes and Desserts, 825 W Commonwealth Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832, (714) 525-8350, https://pattys-cakes.com/

Disneyland’s Pixar Fest Experience on Labor Day

This is how the boyfriend and I spent my valued Labor Day Monday: visiting Disneyland Resort at its regular 1st hour of opening, then delving into Disney’s California Adventure with a sugar high before spontaneously lunching at the Park.

Since Disney’s Pixar Fest partied its last day on Labor Day, we 1st celebrated and indulged during breakfast hours with:

The Pixar Pier Frosty Parfait served in non-dairy Lemon soft serve and an icy swirl of Blue Raspberry. Taste-wise the lemon alone was all that’s needed for the flavorful moment, while the blue raspberry simply looked rather stunning.

The boyfriend couldn’t stop being curious about the Jack-Jack Cookie Num Num located right behind the entrance of the Incredicoaster. Sized bigger than the palm of my 5-Footer hand, I was glad I did not pass and say “no” for my partner to buy and bite into this luscious, soft, crumbly “deep dish” chocolate chip cookie. Had I not prematurely finished my iced coffee, I would have easily stomached this morsel before we eventually moved onto the Disneyland Park side.

While gratefully seating at Cafe Orleans at the 11 o’clock hour, I imbibed on the 1/2 pomegranate lemonade, 1/2 iced tea beverage before I lavishly engorged on Pixar Fest’s 3-Course Meal from the aforementioned restaurant.

Thanks to this Specialty Cheese Flight, my drink was included for the course. Based on the arrangement we figured that the complements would be Fourme D’Ambert blue cheese and dried apricots; Bucheron Goat Cheese and dried cranberries; and P’tit Basque Sheep Milk Cheese and dried figs. The best combination we nibbled on was baa-sking with the fancy fruit — who figured — with hints of candied walnut and/or silky honeycomb.

The familiar-looking, colorful Shrimp Ratatouille Byaldi helped digest my previous intake of that sugar-laden cookie due to its rich tomato base and tender slices of roasted zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, and of course the notably red one.

Finally dessert was Berry-Stuffed Beignets a la mode topped with sweet Brie drizzle and mascarpone ice cream. Feeling that I over-maximized the amount of sugar I consumed that day, I frankly took 2 bites of this mildly sweet sensation before I hurriedly pushed this cup to my significant other.

We wrapped up our Disneyland Resort visit after lunch to go onward with other shenanigans, but that Labor Day morning was well spent both from our wallets and our #fiamonventures time. Pixar Fest, it was a cordial pleasure to enjoy and have fun with!

#disneyland #pixarfest #laborday2018 #anaheim #disneylandfood

Pizza and Beyond at Mountain Mike’s Pizza

My appetite towered over Mountain Mike’s Pizza during Memorial Day Weekend at Lake Forest, CA, which is Irvine’s next door neighbor.

My boyfriend and his brother tagged along with me, unknowingly what we would be facing: a buffet full of salad, carbs, protein, and fat — or a mountainous array of items. It turned out that we appreciatively received the latter with a lovely side of salad (in unlimited portions) from the self-serve salad bar.

While waiting for the main course to be baked, we noshed on our customized veggies from the salad bar and imbibed on our drinks from a likewise self-serve soda station. The 1st indulgence to arrive was the warm Garlic Cheese Sticks topped with zingy jalapeno. That entire, irresistibly scrumptious plate of it would have been a sole meal had I not encountered the pizza or the upcoming poultry.

Our main source of meat came from these sinful yet juicy and equally tasty Hot Wings that are more enormously sized than a typical platter. But suddenly, the Snowy Alps pizza took its full course into our hungry sights and eager bellies.

At 14 inches this pie was already a hunk, piled magnanimously with garlic white sauce, pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and scallions. Our tummies were able to hang into at least 1 delicious, lofty slice, noting the adamant creaminess from both the cheese and the garlic white sauce. If this portion seems too entry-level for a voracious family, the whopping 20″ Mountain size may easily cling well.

Of course the dessert interval had to come by. The Dessert Pizza was terrifically soft with a just a fabulous, fragrant touch of cinnamon. I honestly salivated just by typing about this fascinating spice.

Although we conquered half of the bountiful lunch, the remaining became effortlessly devoured as leftovers, which then brings onto the next climb: burning these high calories. But observing the wowed look on the brothers’ eyes while lunching together (which has recently occurred more often than before) was worthwhile of the weekend indulgence.

***Monumental thank you to Powerhouse Communications and Raj from Mountain Mike’s in Lake Forest for the abundant lunch feat***

Mountain Mike’s Pizza

22942 Ridge Rte Dr #100

Lake Forest, CA 92630

(949) 586-4141


#mediatasting #foodblogger #foodphotographer #orangecounty #pizza