Orange County

Creamistry – Ice Cream in No Time

by Franklin on August 12, 2014

Have I found my favorite ice cream spot? Does it really have to be all the way in Irvine? And does it have to be nitrogen blasted? Pretty much, yes. Creamistry, as the name suggests uses cream and chemistry to make ice cream. They mix premium cream and flavors and blast freeze it with liquid nitrogen. It’s like how an impatient person would make ice cream, but the taste and texture is so unique and delicious.

The first time I had Creamistry, I had the cookie butter and Cap’n Crunch. You don’t want the Cap’n Crunch on top — you want it crushed up and mixed into the ice cream. The cookie butter was so rich and cinnamony. The best part about nitrogen blasted ice cream is that it is fresh. Ice cream in the freezer could have been made weeks or even months before. Ice cream shops could have made it days or hours before you are eating it. Nitrogen blasting ensures that the ice cream you are eating now wasn’t ice cream yet like just a minute ago. It kind of boggles the mind.

My all time favor flavor here is just the premium ice cream with crushed up Cap’n Crunch. The base milk flavor is such a nice smooth blank slate. The Cap’n Crunch is such a classic flavor. The sweet, corn and caramel flavors come through in a different way. It’s like eating the cereal with milk, but to a totally different level. Don’t look for any other flavors. I’ll be sticking to this basic recipe from now on. I’m even going to ditch the cookie butter. Shocking, I know.

Some may be a bit wary about eating something that has been heavily doused with liquid nitrogen. Who knows what it’s doing to my insides? I mean, if you drink even a little bit of liquid nitrogen, you can die (I’m pretty sure). Who is to say that just mixing it with some ingredients is ok for consumption? Who cares for now. It’s delicious and it makes ice cream like magic. Just don’t forget the Cap’n Crunch.

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Popbar inside the Anaheim Packing District is a popular spot to visit. They offer gelato on a stick, and they dress it up with toppings and drizzles to your liking. It really isn’t anything special, but the fact that you can dress up your own “naked” ice cream pop makes it fun and specific to you. You can dip in chocolate half way, all the way, stick some nuts on there or other flavors. It’s all up to you, and it is all delicious. After getting your grub on inside the Anaheim Packing District, Popbar is a popular destination to get your dessert.

Hers was a pistachio pop with half dark chocolate and white chocolate drizzle. The dark chocolate had pistachio and the white chocolate had waffle cone crumbles. Mine was a chocolate bar with half dark chocolate with pistachios. The pistachio bits is a must. It’s rare to have pistachios at an ice cream joint, and I think more places need to offer it. The pistachio and ice cream/gelato was delicious. The chocolate mixed in with the gelato was good as well. The best was the waffle crumbles. It was like having a waffle come, but not.

Popbar is a delicious ice cream alternative to your average ice cream in a cup or cone. Their flavors are great together and it is fun to eat gelato on a stick. It does get a bit pricey though, and for the amount of actual ice cream you are getting, there are better places that offer more for your buck. This is the Packing District though. You come here for the fun hippie skippy atmosphere and good food — the high prices come with that. It’s fun to try it once, but it’s definitely not OMG “take all my money” good, but for sure, the best ice cream spot you can eat with one hand.

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Urban Plates – Farm to Pate on a Budget

by Franklin on July 24, 2014

Urban Pates in Irvine is a game changer. Their “farm to plate, and won’t break the bank” concept is simple and appealing. You get fresh ingredients inside their fresh and delicious plates, and it’s all within your budget.

I really like the grilled wild ono Ni├žoise salad. It had green beans, organic egg, organic tomatoes, potatoes, capers, marinated olives, and a mustard/champagne vinaigrette. The grilled Ono was seared nicely and had a great flavor. It was clean, meaty and delicious. The mustard champagne vinaigrette was perfect in this salad. The capers gave a nice salty flavor and seasoned the fish nicely.

Once I saw steak, I had to order it. It looked so juicy and medium rare. The seasoned natural beef was precook end, and had a uniquely red hue to it, like almost too red. It was cooked perfectly! The red in the beef wasn’t raw, but a perfectly cooked medium rare. I ordered this with Mac and cheese and Brussels sprouts. The Mac and cheese was superb, your standard creamy and cheesy Mac and cheese. The Brussels sprouts were tasty too. Beef and Brussels sprouts sure a great combination. The Brussels sprouts was cooked with bacon, and gave the vegetables so much good flavor. The trio, beef, Mac, and Brussels sprouts was such a classic combination.

We ordered the quinoa and sweet peas salad on the side to just balance the beef and rich flavors out. I liked the crisp from the sweet peas and enjoyed the bite from the quinoa. It was fresh and brightened everything we ate. It made for a great palate cleanser.

We ended things with a chocolate chip cookie. It was just there sitting near the checkout station. It Was nothing special, but a pretty good chocolate chip cookie nonetheless. Eating healthy at times is overlooked because it either tastes “healthy” or it’s too expensive to eat healthy. UP really balances the two nicely. The interior is relaxing with earthy tones and architecture. The cafeteria style ordering is efficient and convenient. Orange County, you have done well.

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Walking into Sancho’s Tacos, I was enveloped by their Mexican style and interior design. From the unique art on the walls and the various paintings, you can’t help but feel the culture of the beach and Mexico. We ordered our food, went to the beach and had ourselves a little beach front picnic. The views were good and the food was tasty. This was definitely different from the LA tacos and burritos I am used to.

The Breakfast burrito, also known as the sawed off burrito, had eggs, skillet potatoes, and melted cheddar jack cheese. Bacon and chorizo eggs were in the mix as well. The burrito was tasty. The chorizo helped flavor the while burrito nicely. The skillet potatoes was a nice starch to round out the burrito. Of course, melted cheese is always welcome, and there was plenty.

The taco for me was a miss. The OG taco which has tri tip, onions, cilantro tri tip and chubbie sauce. The tri tip was good as a steak, but not as taco meat. Not to say that it was too high quality or anything dumb like that. It just tasted too clean and flavorless. The tortilla was stale and brittle. This chubbie sauce that everyone talks about was alright, but a proper hot sauce is always a necessity on tacos. Writing this just makes we want to go to my taco guy and devouring a couple proper tacos.

When it comes to Mexican food, I am very particular and quite harsh. Maybe I just don’t have the OC tongue, but I trust my taste buds. The textures and flavors just didn’t do it for me. The burrito was alright, but the taco, their namesake, was just not where it needed to be. It’s possible I just went on a bad day or I was just unlucky. I will definitely give this another try when I am in Huntington Beach. Hopefully, I won’t need to bring my taco guy to HB.

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Coffee Code – The Sweet Life

by Franklin on June 16, 2014

Coffee Code, to me, was a stumble. Wanting some dessert after dinner, this seemed like the perfect spot. The fun atmosphere and unique atmosphere is what made this place attractive.


We had the white chocolate latte and cafe con leche. Both were velvety smooth and sweet. It was a perfect sweet dessert style coffee for our waffle. The little bits of toffee in the care con leche was a nice touch. These dessert coffees were a nice change from the super dark straight black coffee I have every morning.

The mochi waffle was quite nice. It had a chewy texture like mochie, but still had the added bready consistency of a waffle. Layered with ice cream and whipped toppings, this waffle was definitely meant to be a dessert. I absolutely loved the texture of this. Though a bit soggy from the toppings, the inside was where the magic was.

Coffee Code was a nice place to hang out and a have some coffee. It offers pretty much waffles and coffee. The simplicity of it all just makes it a specific destination. What’s a better trifecta combination that coffee, ice cream, and waffles? Can’t really think of it just yet.

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