Sampling at Savor Santa Ana in DTSA 

Santa Ana is a popular destination for authentic Mexican eats and treats, but did you know that Downtown Santa Ana (DTSA) is home to more than forty different ethnic and fusion restaurants? During the Savor Santa Ana tasting event last week guests were invited to take stroll through DTSA’s brick sidewalk or hop on a charming trolley to sample some rich and flavorful bites

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DTSA’s bites and entertainment

With tickets in one hand and a map in the other guests explored the vibrant and historic community. The aromatic smells from the booths combined with live performances made the evening one for all the senses to enjoy. My friend and I throughly enjoyed sampling so many different cuisines but I’m very partial to the shrimp taco from Hectors on Broadway (OC Weekly feature) and Milk Man‘s itty bitty ice cream made from scratch.

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More shots from Savor Santa Ana

Santa Ana is such an exotic neighborhood with so much flair and thankfully we can continue the celebration with Santa Ana Restaurant Week  (September 24th – September 30th) and Taste of Santa Ana (September 30th). There’s a FREE BBQ tasting at Lola Gaspar on Sunday September 24 from 12-2, but you need to RSVP through the link above. Secure your spot! And your favorite blogger will be doing a giveaway for two complimentary tickets to the Taste of Santa Ana – so be on the lookout for upcoming posts.

Which restaurant are you most excited to try in Santa Ana?

 

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

 

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13 Moments in 2013

IMG_04142013 was a year of extremes – the highs were high and the lows were extremely low. It was a roller coaster this year, and while a lot of changes happened I felt that I’ve grown tremendously from them. Here are thirteen moments of 2013

1. Spotted celebrities in the Golden State! I attended KLG and Hoda’s (The Today Show’s 4th Hour) on location shoot in Hollywood, CA (blog post) – yes that’s Jaleel White otherwise known as Steve Urkel (!!!), Alton Brown during his “Edible Inevitable Tour,” Youtube make-up guru Ben Green (blog post) at the LA IMATS (blog post), and Giada De Laurentis at South Coast Plaza for her book tour (blog post). It was a star-studded year!  

2. Chopped off my hair and donated it “locks-of-love,” an organization that gives wigs to children with cancer (blog post).    

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3. Growing up I went to a language school on Saturdays, so this year I relieved my childhood memories by watching tons and tons of toons (not ashamed of it!) – including (in no particular order) 6 or 7 seasons of Pokemon, All Batman the Animated Series, Batman & Beyond, My Little Pony, and Justice League episodes.  I’m up to season 4 for Sailor Moon (I was Sailor Mars for Halloween) and currently… I am on Season 3 of the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles! They don’t make cartoons like they use to.

4. A promise was broken. My heart shattered and I couldn’t comprehend the abandonment and betrayal. I felt helpless and naive for believing the best in people and while I was no saint in this marriage, the decision to have it end was already made for me. Divorce is a difficult process, but tackling it all while enduring tremendous health, financial, and family problems during the day and nightmares at night – I just couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t keep it all together and I honestly felt doomed. I’d never felt so hopeless than I did during that month.

I never like asking for help, but I extended my hand out – ashamed – but God was merciful and showered me with love and compassion. He knew that I couldn’t carry the burden myself and sent brothers and sisters to pray for me, hug me, spend time with me. I slowly regained my strength and confidence and while that extremely vulnerable moment could have easily consumed me, my God is good gave me light through the darkness.

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5. Visited the “Happiest Place on Earth” twice and attended the D23 Expo (A Tradeshow for Disney Enthusiasts.) There’s something magical about this theme park and while the tickets are outrageously priced, Disney sure knows how to create a moment.

6. Drove across the United States from Boston, MA down to Pensacola, FL all the way west to Orange County, CA.  My favorite spots included: Belgium Beer & Mussels from Monk’s in Philadelphia, PA, Coconut Cake from Peninsula Grill in Charleston, SC (Yelp Review), Red Royals from Joe Patti’s Seafood in Pensacola, FL (Yelp Review), Real Rootbeer from Tombstone Sarsaparilla  in Tombstone, AZ, (Yelp Review) just to name a few.

7. I’d been a dance teacher for 15+ years, but completely stopped all forms of this art. This year I took it upon myself to learn and teach the iconic Michael Jackson Thriller routine to my most difficult students – teachers, ahh!! But it was a success

8. I had the best meal of my life (and most expensive – blog post) at O Ya (Yelp Review) in Boston, MA. The food is out of this world and while my teacher’s salary can’t justify the bill, it certainly is a once in a lifetime place to appreciate amazing food.

IMG_1299 IMG_13049. Received two “Review of the Day” (ROTD) features on Yelp’s Homepage for my write-up for Deli-licious (Yelp Review) & IKneadLove (Yelp Review); completed “2013 Yelp 100 Reviews Challenge” – just barely; and reached an enormous milestone – 500 reviews!

10. After sending many resumes, cover letters, and enduring “thank you for applying” letters/emails – I finally secured a job as a school counselor. Thank you God for trusting me to help these students.

11. I lost my German Shepard, Boomer. He passed away in his sleep. I miss you!   photo (14)

12. I spent nearly every other day with my grandma who had two major surgeries. She’s getting older and spending time with her priceless. No one every said that they regretted spending time with loved ones.

13. I made the switch over to wordpress, achieved over 90+ “likes” on facebook (facebook page), and hosted my first blogger event at Deja New (Yelp Review).

No one every said that growing up was going to be easy, but I hope that I’ll be able to take on the new adventures in 2014 with more courage, confidence and savvyness. My goals for 2014 include: laughing more, worrying less, and taking every opportunity to enjoy the moment. Here’s to 2014!

What are you looking forward to in 2014?

XOXO

Rockstar

Sushi Lunch Special @Hashigo Sushi in Huntington Beach, CA

IMG_0742Sushi is one of those food items that is so simple and so wonderful. Unfortunately, many of the quality sushi restaurants are also an arm and a leg, which is definitely not a sexy characteristic. But alas, a fair compromise for quality and price could only lead to one thing- lunch special, horray!

I discovered Hashigo Sushi (Yelp Review) through a fervent search on Yelp and let me tell you this little sushi shop was NOT an easy find. But after discovering it nested right in the corner between the Java Cafe and the Bank of America, I knew that this was going to be legit. But to my surprise, this literally hole-in-the-wall, was ultra elegant and super chic. Completely caught me by surprise and I was actually nervous on whether a lunch special here would even be a worthwhile investigation… it was, but I’ve definitely been in situations where the restaurant appearance and food taste did not share the same caliber of excellence.  Yeah… not fun, but not the case for Hasigo Sushi!   Image

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I sampled the three cut roll special, complete with miso soup and salad for $10. It was a very filling meal and the presentation was impeccable.  This is definitely the type of restaurant I would take colleagues or prospective clients to impress. Everything was just awesome and if you’re in the Huntington Beach area, this restaurant is definitely worth checking out!

What’s your favorite sushi lunch spot?

XOXO

Rockstar