Feb 03

7 Seas Sports Bar

My friend and I came here for sushi, we both ended up getting burgers instead.  The sushi selection was too disappointing.  I guess I shouldn’t go to a bar looking for sushi, my mistake.  However, their food was actually pretty decent for bar food.

The location is in downtown Garden Grove, pretty easy to find, and parking was not bad at all.  The bar is pretty big, and not crowded during lunch.  However, there was a football game on TV, and 100% of the customers were men watching the game while the female bartender attended to everyone.  Yup, the bartender was serving the food and the drinks to both the bar and the tables.  Although it was just her, she was very attentative, and never felt like we needed to fight for her attention.  Great service.  Although mostly quiet when we were there, the customers would occasionally scream loudly when goals were scored.  It got pretty annoying.

Nachos from 7 Seas Sports Bar

I ordered a bourbon burger with their Sea Salt Black Pepper fries.  My friend got a teriyaki burger with the same fries, and nachos for the appetizer.  The sauce on my bourbon burger suspiciously tasted like teriyaki sauce bourbon.  Not a bad burger, but I wouldn’t reorder what I got.  The fries were amazing though.  I don’t normally care too much about fries, but those were pretty addicting.  If you ask for a side of garlic aioli, it will make the fries 10 times better, not that it needed it anyways.  The nachos were not bad too.  Pretty average nachos, nothing really stood out.  Typical faire with jalapenos, guacamole, tomatoes, I think 1000 Island, and of course nacho cheese.

The Bourbon Burger that tasted like Teriyaki Sauce, with AWESOME Sea Salt Black Pepper Fries!

I think this would be a good hangout spot with friends on a weeknight.  Just be sure to avoid game nights though, oh yeah, and the sushi too.  The regular food is decent, and the service is awesome.  I’d definitely come back here for their happy hour drinks and food.

7 Seas Sports Bar is located at:
12941 Main St
Garden Grove, CA 92840

Hours:
Sun-Thu: 11 am – 12 am
Fri-Sat 11 am – 2 am

Jan 17

Juicy Burger

Juicy Burger.  Yup, that’s the name of the joint, not a description.  My friends and I stopped by here for lunch after we failed to get rush tickets at the Pantages across the street.  Parking seemed non-existent in this area.  Luckily, we all took the metro (+1 to tree huggers).  Going into the restaurant, the order window is immediately to your left, and a row of maybe 6 or 7 tables lie straight ahead, and probably about 3 or 4 more to your right side.

The Juicy Burger sign next to the register.

Ordering consists of filling out your request on a pad of paper and handing it to the cashier instead of them punching in your order on the register (-1 to tree huggers for wasting paper).   My order consisted of a half-pound beef patty (cooked medium), with onions, lettuce, thousand island, all on a regular roll bun.  It didn’t take too long before my order was up, and the presentation of the sandwich looked great.

My Half-Pound Juicy Burger

However, after taking a bite of the meat, it failed to impress.  There was no pink in my medium-cooked patty.  I also wasn’t a fan of the bread; it was too soft, almost like biting into a puff of air.  I could barely taste the dressing.  It lacked flavor in pretty much every area that needed it.  It did live up to its name though.  The burger was very juicy… and messy.  More messy than juicy actually.  They probably should’ve actually called it Messy Burger instead.  Although I might make it sound pretty bland, it really wasn’t that bad of a burger.  It just didn’t impress or stand out from any other burger joint.

 

Juicy Burger is located at:
6340 Hollywood Blvd
Hollywood,  CA 90028

Hours:
Sunday – Saturday: 11 AM – 3 AM

Nov 28

Stix & Straws

Stix & Straws is a small little restaurant located just outside of downtown El Segundo.  Peering in, the restaurant reminisces of those abnormally sanitary yogurt shops, with bright colored furniture that could be mistaken for a daycare center.  They atmosphere is really cute as they use hedgehogs as their brand mascot.  The owner, or at least I THINK she’s the owner, is a pretty Asian lady that goes by Amy.  If you come by a couple of times, she’ll recognize you and event start small conversations with you.  Because of all this, their service is very welcoming.  I’ve actually been eating here for a long time now, well, until they got rid of their lunch special, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Stix & Straws

Examining their menu, you’ll notice they have a small variety of meats such as beef, grilled chicken, battered fried chicken, pork, sausage, shrimp, and event tofu, or veggies.  However, their sauces are what makes the meal worth it.  They have 13 different sauces, about half of which I could really care less for.  The ones I do recommend are Sweet Garlic (I usually order at least one of these), Thai Peanut, and Spicy Chipotle.  After ordering your food, you’ll notice that it actually takes about 15 minutes for them to get the food out.  I think it’s due to the fact that they cook your food as you order it instead of having something sitting under a heating lamp.  When you’re on a time crunch for lunch, it actually sucks spending a good portion of your break waiting for your meal, especially for a place that seems like a fast food restaurant.

The hedgehogs are telling you "poking is wrong".

The Hedgehog Mascots

A typical combo comes with two stix of meat of your choice on a bed of cabbage, a side (I usually get the sweet potato fries), a scoop of rice, and a drink.  For the longest time, they had this as their lunch special for $5, which was awesome, because that’s a good amount of food for that price.  However as of recently, they removed their lunch special (maybe it was too popular?).  So now the price is around $6 to $8 depending on the side and type of stix you get.  Without the lunch special, the value isn’t worth it as there are other competitive eateries out there for around the same price.

A typical lunch combo.

A typical lunch combo.

This place is good to try out if you’ve never been here, but unless they bring back the lunch special deal, the value is not really there.  For those prices, Stix & Straws might actually do well as a food truck vendor instead.

 

Stix & Straws is located at:
310 E Grand Ave
El Segundo, CA 90245

Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 11 AM – 8 PM

Oct 16

Genkiyaki

A place that serves NINJA TACOS and NINJA FRIES.  Do you really need any other reason to try this place?

 

Genkiyaki Entrance

This place is hidden in a small strip of stores next to a gas station on Bellflower and Del Amo Blvd.  There are too many stores for the amount of parking allotted to the whole.  If you’re going to eat here with some friends, be sure to carpool, because there really isn’t any other option.  Upon entering the store you will notice a huge, but cute mascot on the right wall skewering some meats like kabobs and holding a spatula in the other hand.  Heading toward the counter, you’ll notice that their menu is actually rather typical for any teriyaki bowl fast food service.  HOWEVER, you’ll also notice that the corner between the mascot and the main menu is a smaller menu with fun items like GYOZA (wait… wut?), NINJA TACOS, NINJA FRIES, and DEATH TACOS!!!

 

Ninja Mascot

The gyoza and the sauce left me with the feeling that something was missing.  The flavor was lacking some sort of kick to it, and the dipping sauce tasted rather watered down.  I think what would make a great gyoza sauce for this place would be katsu sauce, but unfortunately I don’t think this place carries that.  So you’ll have to bring your own when you decide to visit this place… or not get the gyoza at all.

 

Genkiyaki's Gyoza

The next thing I tried was the ninja tacos.  These are just a Japanese take on Korean tacos, the only difference is that instead of using KBBQ meat, they use chicken soaked in teriyaki sauce.  Yes… all it was was a teriyaki-style Korean taco.  Having tried the Korean counterpart, which set the bar pretty high for what fusion tacos should taste like, I was a little disappointed in the overall taste.  Although it wasn’t bad by any means, it just didn’t live up to the name NINJA TACO, but for $1 each, they’re definitely a better value than $2 Korean tacos.  I was somewhat tempted to try the Death Taco, because with a name like DEATH TACO, it’s just asking to be challenged.  While I was contemplating the challenge, I noticed two teenagers a couple of seats over decided to take on the mighty tacos.  After both of them finished their tacos, they lost all expression on their face for about a good 60 seconds.  After the first 60 seconds, they both bolted straight to the bathroom (and probably shared a bowl of regurgitated “death”).  Of whatever desire I have of trying the infamous Death Taco, that ship has sailed.

 

NINJA TACOS!!!!

Moving on to the fries, which was remarkably similar to a fusion of carne asada fries and a teriyaki bowl.  What you get on a bed of fries is grilled chicken topped with teriyaki sauce, some sort of liquid cheese, onions, cilantro, and some sort of mildly spicy sauce.  Using carne asada fries as a reference point, I was very content with this item.  It was filling, and I never got tired of the taste, which has a little bit of everything.  Sweet, salty, savory, and spicy.  It’s probably the only thing worth recommending on their menu actually.  The explosion of flavor can’t really be described in words; it’s just something you will have to try on your own!

 

NINJA FRIES!!!

Overall, it’s a nice place to bring friends to for a quick dinner.  There really isn’t anything mind-blowing about their ninja food.  Restaurant and parking space is limited, so expect to vulture around a little bit.  This is just one of those places you would go to once and just tell everyone that you know what a ninja taco taste like.

Genkiyaki is located at:
5526 Del Amo Blvd
Lakewood, CA 90713

Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 11 AM – 8 PM

Jun 30

Stone Oven

Gourmet Sandwiches and Salads

This place markets itself as a “gourmet” sandwich and salad shop.  Hidden beneath the Atrium in Newport Beach’s Fashion Island is another delicious southern California sandwich chain.  Their menu has only seven sandwiches and seven salads ranging from sandwiches such as BBQ Beef Brisket, Garlic & Basil Chicken, Tuna Salad, to salads like Asian Chicken, Walnut & Green Apple, and Southwest Chicken Ceasar to name a few.  All the sandwiches cost $8.45 and salads are $8.75.

I ended up getting the BBQ Chicken Sandwich, which consists of BBQ chicken, cheddar cheese (I usually get mine without), smoked Applewood bacon, onion crisps, and mayo (I subbed chipotle mayo instead), and a side caesar salad (without cheese too).  Their fresh baked foccacia bread is a great complement to their ingredients.  The flavors are not too heavy, and at the same time, not light on taste.  It’s a great balance of flavors that tingle the taste buds just the right way.

BBQ Chicken Sandwich with Caesar Salad

Their service is pretty typical for any takeout place.  Waited maybe three minutes to get my food.  What is nice is that you can see the cooks prep up your meal in front of you.  The stone oven is next to the register as they pull out the bread, and it goes down an assembly line like Subway as they fill the order.  I just wished they had a bigger menu or allow substitution of meats in their sandwiches, but all that comes with a fee at this place.

Overall, I like this place.  I’ve been here three times already, and each time has been better than the previous.

Stone Oven is located in the Atrium of Fashion Island at:
151 Newport Ctr Dr
Ste A104
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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