Eating Out: Kokoro Sushi

The wife and I went to a sushi place that we just happened to find on Yelp. We were originally looking for an All-You-Can-Eat sushi place, but we drove to 3 different ones. 2 were closed on Sunday’s and the 3rd one didn’t have AYCE. I was craving some hardcore sushi so we kept looking and we found Kokoro Sushi on yelp.

Kokoro Sushi in Lake Forest has kind of weird decor. There are model bi-planes, model boats, random japanese items and hawaiian influenced items. I know that Hawaiian style is largely influenced by Japanese culture, but if you ever go there, you’ll know what I mean by “weird.”

So on to the food. We did the AYCE menu which was $24.95. A pretty good deal considering in Vegas they were around $20-34 for all you can eat sushi joints. We ordered hamachi nigiri, sake nigiri (salmon not the drink), tuna nigiri, edamame, miso soup and a house salad. We also got 2 specialty rolls which were AMAZING! The first is pictured here:

Spicy Lobster Dynamite Roll

Spicy Lobster Dynamite Roll

The Spicy Lobster Dynamite Roll is a crab roll with cooked lobster and all kinds of goodness on top. It was an amazing roll. I think I am going to go back there just for this roll. We also got the Red Bull Roll which is a shrimp tempura roll with tuna on sop. That was so good too. And the rolls are no shrimps. They are a good balance of rice and fish and they are pretty huge. I don’t think I’ll have to get AYCE next time. A Spicy Lobster Dymanite Roll along with a couple orders of hamachi nigiri and I’ll be good. The Lobster Roll by the way was prices at $9.50. Each order of nigiri (2 pieces) is $3. So this place is a bargain and a hidden gem to me.

So if you ever find yourself in Irvine or in Laguna and you’re looking for a kind of weird, yet very tasty and affordable sushi joint, this is definitely the place. I think you’ll really enjoy it!

Kokoro Sushi
23775 El Toro Rd
Lake Forest, CA 92630
(949) 454-1360
kokorosushi.com

Disneyland Club 33 Part 1: The Food

Hey guys. Here is Part 1 of my Disneyland Club 33 article. I have been there quite a few times in the last 2 years. Probably around 7-8 times. It is a pretty exclusive place. It was originally built to be a lounge for the original 33 Disneyland investors. It was also a place where Walt Disney would take dignitaries and any special guests of the park. The waiting list is so long, Kobe Bryant is still waiting his turn to get his membership. That should tell you how exclusive this place is. I’ll go into more details on the next post about Club 33 itself. For now, on to the food!

Vodka and 7-Up at Club 33

Vodka and 7-Up at Club 33

I started off the day with my favorite drink and the drink of choice for my friends and I, a Vodka and 7-Up. It always gets the party started right. You can see the Club 33 stirrer and the napkin. I know for some of the folks with us, it was their first time so they were definitely collection some souveniers for themselves.

Seafood and Salad Buffet at Club 33

Seafood and Salad Buffet at Club 33

To start off the meals, there is actually a buffet with lobster, shrimp, crab claws, salads, cheese, crackers, etc. There is definitely something for everyone. Alex had 3 plates like this before we even got our entrees. He had a crazy appetite and he wanted to take advantage of all of the food Club 33 had to offer. I guess if you’re going to Disneyland, the happiest place on earth, you want to make sure you get your fill. Once we were through the appetizer buffet, it was on to the main courses. Here are pictures of them. Most of us had the Chateaubriand.

Chateaubriand with Mashed Potatoes at Club 33

Chateaubriand with Mashed Potatoes at Club 33

One person had the Organic Chicken with Truffle Mac n Cheese.

Organic Chicken with Traffle Mac n Cheese at Club 33

Organic Chicken with Traffle Mac n Cheese at Club 33

Finally Rey had the Lamb Chops.

Lamb Chops with Potatoes at Club 33

Lamb Chops with Potatoes at Club 33

Definitely some good eats here!

So as you can see, the food looked delicious. It was wuite tasty as well. If you ever have a chance to go to Club 33 at Disneyland, I suggest you take the chance to go.

We had so much food coma, I didn;t even get to take pictures of the dessert bar that they feature. There is too much stuff on there as well. My favorite is the Passion Fruit Pecan Crisp. It is delicious.

So that does it for Part 1 of my Club 33 post. Keep an eye out for more picture in Part 2. I’ll show you what it looks like inside of Club 33. It is very traditional and a very nice place to eat. More to come!

June Camping: Meals Combined!

Hey folks. Now here was an interesting camping trip I took with the wife and my family to Millerton Lake just outside of Fresno, CA. It was so much fun. Usually when we head out here it’s over 100 degrees and just super hot. This time around it was perfect. The water was a little cold, but the sun kept us nice and warm. In the time we were out there enjoying the weather, we were also enjoying some good food. Some of this is typical asian breakfast food, but you’ll also notice some down home barbecue as well. Of course I was responsible for all of the cooking so have a look.

Spam, Scrambled Eggs with Tomato and Carlic Fried Rice

Spam, Scrambled Eggs with Tomato and Carlic Fried Rice

For breakfast our first morning, we had a typical Filipino breakfast. Spam, scrambled eggs and garlic fried rice. A lot of you out there my cringe at the thought of Spam. If you are a true foodie, you’ve tried it many different ways and you’ve learned to appreciate the taste of well prepared Spam. My meals of choice for this processed meat are cooked crispy as I did here on the grill, but easily done in a frying pan and my second favorite would be spam mitsubi. I’ll save that for a separate post. The eggs were scrambled to perfection with a little bit of onion and tomato with just a pinch of salt and pepper. As for the the fried rice (not shown here), we just fry up some minced garlic in butter or margarine and then fry up the white rice. It is a typical Filipino or Hawaiian breakfast and I know if you made it at home, you’d love it!

For lunch we had something pretty simple. No pictures available, but we had the Costco size hot dogs and we just made a great lunch with that by the water. We weren’t trying to get fancy, so it’s not really worth showing here. Now for dinner, that’s a different story.

BBQ Chicken while camping

BBQ Chicken while camping

On to dinner! I had a marinade that is perfect for barbecue. I used one on the beef and I used a different one to glaze the chicken. Since we started cooking pretty late, I boiled the chicken legs in salted water just to make sure they were cooked through. Once they were boiled for about 30 minutes, on to the grill! At that point it’s really glazing and getting the smoky flavor on to the chicken. Here is a nice shot the wife took of me getting the chicken going. This was definitely the hit with the nephews. They were eating them off the grill! Always love that!

The other meat I prepared was tri tip (poor man’s prime rib and I love it!) and some beef ribs. Here I prepared another Hawaiian style marinade and let the beef soak for about 30-45 minutes. Pretty much while I was prepping and cooking the chicken. There’s a bunch of stuff that goes into it, but the main ingredients are brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds and green onion. You can make your own with just those ingredients. You can add garlic or whatever else you like. Remember the great thing about my recipes is that they are very hard to mess up. They are simple ingredients simply done with a mouth full of flavor! Here’s the before shot:

BBQ Beef in Hawaiian Marinade

BBQ Beef in Hawaiian Marinade

And this is a shot of the BBQ beef wile it is on the grill. I have the tri tip on the front and the beef ribs sitting towards the back. It’s all about grill management when you BBQ.

BBQ Beef on the grill

BBQ Beef on the grill

So that is a quick look into the foods we had going during our camping trip. I have a bunch more so keep stopping by. I have food from the Del Mar fair, Clubb33 at Disneyland and more! If you like what you read, please comment below. I’d love to hear from you. If you try any of these meal recipes, let me know as well. Happy cooking and Happy eating!

Dinner Tonight: Sausage with Sweet Chili Sauce

Tonight’s recipe is one of my all-time favorites and it’s really easy to make. There are only 4 ingredients and even with that, this recipe is so flexible you can tweak it to your taste. Trust me, you’ll love this. If you like sausages and the taste of sweet and sour, this is for you. The most important ingredient and probably the least flexible is the sweet chili sauce. It can be found at any oriental market or for an arm and a leg in the asian section of your regular super market. It is typically used as a dipping sauce for lumpia (Filipino eggrolls), but here it is the main seasoning. Here is a picture of my bottle:

Sweet Chili Sauce

Sweet Chili Sauce


 If you don’t have this at home, you can substitute regular sweet and sour sauce. To me, the regular sweet and sour sauce is too much. I like the flavor of the sweet chili sauce better. Again though, with most of my recipes, you can tweak them to your taste. I give you a good baseline and then you make it your own. So on to the ingredient list…

-1 package of Hillshire Farm sausage (he big “U” shaped sausage) or your favorite sausage. I’ve used brats before too.
-3-4 carrots sliced into bite size pieces
-1 small onion jullianed
-1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
Now it’s pretty easy. Cut everything up into even sized pieces and stir fry it all together.Once everything gets cooked through, go ahead and add the sweet chili sauce. Stir fry it for another 1-2 minutes and you’re done! Super simple recipe. You can add pepper or whatever you want for taste. You know me, I always eat this with freshly steamed rice. It’s so delicious and super simple. Let me know if you try this one out. I’m sure you’ll find ways to tweak it and make it your own! Happy cooking!

Sausage and Carrots with Sweet Chili Sauce

Sausage and Carrots with Sweet Chili Sauce

Today’s Lunch: Taco Salad

Leftoever Taco Salad

Leftoever Taco Salad

Today’s lunch was soooo delicious! I love Mexican flavors. I had some leftover ground turkey taco meat and I decided to make an amazing taco salad (at least to my taste buds). Here are the ingredients:

1/2 cup ground taco meat (turkey for you health heads like me)
1 head romaine lettuce
1/4 cup diced carrots
1 corn tortilla diced
1/4 cup grated cheese (your favorite)
1/2 cup your favorite salsa
1 tablespoon sour cream (fat free for health heads again)

It’s real simple from here, just mix everything together and enjoy! I like my salad spicy so I always add some tapatio. Totally up to you. Try this out one day and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. I would add cilantro too if I had it, but my herb garden is fresh out. If you do try this recipe, let me know how it turns out or if it’s just my crazy taste buds that love this stuff!

A Quick Snack at Work

This is one of my wife’s favorite snacks. It’s the Laughing Cowspreadable cheese with woven wheat or what thin crackers. I love this snack too, but she’ll eat this all day everyday. I have an interesting lunch of leftovers too coming up today. It is super delicious in my opinion. A mix of leftover’s from 2 nights ago when we made turkey tacos. I think you may have a clue of what it is :)

Baby Bell Cheese and Woven Wheats

Baby Bell Cheese and Woven Wheats

I’m Back

Hey guys! I know it’s been awhile, but I’m back and I’ll be posting more food items. I will likely be catching up from all of the things that we’ve done, so look for a flood of posts. I’m still a foodie and still into creating new recipes. Keep an eye out!!!

Dinner Tonight: Corned Beef Brisket

I love me some Corned Beef Brisket. We usually stock up during March since St. Patrick’s Day is the only time they have a lot in stock and for cheap. I was able to pick up this pre-brined brisket at the grocery store for $.99/lb. It was a steal! Especially for brisket. We actually got 3 of them :) My favorite way to cook a corned beef brisket is in the crock pot. It comes out so delicious and you don’t have to watch it. I prepped everything the night before so all I had to do in the morning was plug it in, set it on low and let it go. Here is what I started with:

1 4lb Corned Beef Brisket with brine and seasoning packet (bay leaves, coriander, etc.)
8 Carrots (peeled and cut into 1″ pieces)
4 Potatoes (cut into 1″ pieces)
1 Small Cabbage Head (to put in at the end)

Corned Beef Brisket Preparation

Corned Beef Brisket Preparation

It’s easy to do. Just dump the brisket, the brine and the seasonings into a large crock pot. Make sure to add water to almost completely cover the brisket. Then add the cut carrots and potatoes. Store in the fridge until morning. Ten once you get up, plug it in and set it on low. Head out to work or where ever you need to go. It takes about 6 hours, but what’s great about a crock pot is, if you leave it for 8-10 hours, it’ll never over cook, never dry out and never burn. I love it. Once you get home, cut up the cabbage and either put it into the crock pot if you have a little time or put it into a sauce pan and spoon some of the liquid from the crock pot over the cabbage. Cook it on low heat for a few minutes and you have perfectly seasoned corned beef and cabbage. Here is what the finished product looked like:

Corned Beef Brisket Dinner

Corned Beef Brisket Dinner

As always the Asian in us shows with the side of rice. You can always omit that part and just have the corned beef and veggies. I hope you guys try this out sometime. It’s a great meal and always delicious. Enjoy!

Today's Lunch: Left Over Roasted Chicken

For me, lunch is more about leftovers than anything else. I rarely cook a specific lunch. You’ve probably seen a few times where I make new dishes, but they are pretty much left overs from the night before. Nothing has changed today. It’s pretty much the same thing. Last night’s oven roasted chicken with the same veggies and rice. Have a look. If you haven’t tried out the recipe, here it is again :)

Leftover Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Leftover Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Dinner Time: Oven Roasted Chicken

Instead of eating out for dinner this time, me and the wifey knew we had to stay home after eating out so much the last few days. I prepped a whole chicken earlier that day since I knew we were staying in. Here is my recipe for a sure fire, delicious roasted chicken. Let’s call it The Steel Kitchen Oven Roasted Chicken. Here we go…

The Steel Kitchen Oven Roasted Chicken w/side of oil-free carrots and potatoes

1 whole fryer chicken
1 medium onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1 lemon
2 tbs olive oil (no need to use extra virgin if you want to save some money)
1 tbs kosher salt
1 tbs fresh ground pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
3 peeled and rough cut carrots
2 washed and diced potatoes

First thing you have to remember is to prep this early. The chicken will love you for it and so will your taste buds. Be sure the chicken is properly defrosted and you have to take all of the organs and stuff out. Not a fun task, but a must do since we’ll be stuffing it later. Mince half of the onion and the garlic and begin to stuff the chicken with it. You can slightly lift the skin over the breast and push your onion and garlic mixture into all the corners of the bird. Once you get all of the onion and garlic in there go ahead and cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice every where you can. Be sure to save the lemon halves and don’t just toss them. After that is done, rub the chicken down with the oil. Once you get a good coating on the chicken, combine all of the seasonings and then generously hand rub it onto the chicken. Make sure you get under and in all the corners. Also put some under the skin where you put in the onion and garlic. Be sure to season the inside as well. Now you can go ahead and stuff the lemons halves and the other half of the onion (cut into quarters) into the chicken cavity as well. This will help season the bird from the inside out. Now if you prepped early, set your chicken in a roasting dish and into the fridge for a few hours. If you didn’t, shame on you and move on.

Befor you put your bird in the oven, be sue to let it sit out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. If you know my blog, you know why. Even cooking. While you’re waiting, pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Once it’s ready to go, you are going to bake your chicken for about an hour. If you have a meat thermometer, that’s up to a 165 degree internal temperature. Don’t worry about covering it as the oil will help keep it moist and give you a nice golden skin.

The Steel Kitchen Oven Roasted Chicken

The Steel Kitchen Oven Roasted Chicken

The side is easy to prepare. Simply cude your carrots and potatoes then pan roast them. You don’t have to use oil, make sure you start off slow and then turn the heat up once the veggies start to get tender. This is a lot healthier and it will be just as delicious. Kosher salt and pepper to taste. Here is what our finshed plates looked like. It was definitely a yummy dinner!

Oven Roasted Chicken with Carrots and Potatoes

Oven Roasted Chicken with Carrots and Potatoes

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