Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bella Cuba Restaurant- Santa Ana, CA

Bella Cuba- Santa Ana, CA: Exterior

Recently, we were looking for another restaurant to try out near South Coast Plaza, and stumbled upon Bella Cuba. It happened to receive positive reviews from social media as well as from Gustavo Arellano from the OC Weekly, so we decided to check it out. Conveniently, it was just across the street, and housed in the same plaza as Inka Mama's, a restaurant we had just recently visited. What a coincidence!

Bella Cuba- Santa Ana, CA: Interior
Bella Cuba- Santa Ana, CA: Specials

Inside, we were met with a festive interior and plenty of hungry lunchgoers, even though it was already approaching 2 in the afternoon. Though we were first immersed in the large-printed lunch menu, a specials board was also boasted on a nearby wall. I found the addition of lomo saltado to be interesting; besides it, however, Bella Cuba does have some other Peruvian influenced items.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sagami- Irvine, CA

Sagami- Irvine, CA: Exterior

Sagami is "beloved among actual Japanese people" and is "quite possibly the only place in Orange County" that serves hitsumabushi, said Edwin Goei of Monster Munching. It didn't take much after that for me to add Sagami, a 24 year old Japanese restaurant located in the Crossroads Shopping Center in Irvine, CA, to my Orange County restaurants to visit list.

Sagami- Irvine, CA: Interior

Thoughts to try the hitsumabushi that Goei raved about in his review, however, were slightly complicated after we were seated in the cozy interior. For, a weekend lunch special page presented an additional appealing option: uni and ikura bowl. Furthermore, additional dishes to try out were posted on menu boards as seen in the above photo.

Sagami- Irvine, CA: Green Tea

Luckily, after some thought, we ordered both of those appealing dishes, and some more. In the meantime, we enjoyed the complimentary hot green tea, whose flavor was especially apparent thanks to the use of reverse osmosis water.