REVIEW – The Loop Handcrafted Churros – Fullerton, CA

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Address: 1101 N Harbor Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92832
Hours: Sun – Thur: 12PM-11PM
              Fri – Sat: 12PM-12AM
Phone #: (657) 217-5008
Website: http://www.theloopchurros.com

Date Visited: July 23, 2018

Here is how the interior of the store looks like.

They also have a water/utensil station on the side for self-service.

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Churro I got: Matcha Crunch with vanilla ice cream.

This churro consisted of regular churro with matcha coating sprinkled with fruity pebbles. Then this churro is set on top of a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a cute The Loop cup.

The texture is really good. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. 

Disappointment: I couldn’t really taste the Matcha despite this being called “the Matcha Crunch” and one of the signature suggestions on the menu. 

Suggestion: If you want the full flavor of the matcha or any of the flavored churros, don’t overlap them with a strong, overpowering flavor like fruity pebbles.

Ice cream: The ice cream tasted like something you would get from Dairy Queen, which is good. I personally prefer the ice cream from Churroholic over the ice cream from The Loop. 

There are photo spots in the store for instagram photos.

I like the light fixtures of the place. It’s very light yet impressionable. And the color gold compliments the white space very well. I also think the mason jar tip jar is pretty cute too.

My overall rating of this place would be:

4/5

Fresh Brothers, Irvine, CA – Review

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April 16, 2018 (Monday)

How I Found Out?: My old church friend told me about it. He was bragging about how fresh pizza from here is. 

Address: 13258 Jamboree Rd, Irvine, CA 92602
Phone: (714) 598-2828
Hours:

              Mon-Thurs & Sunday: 11:00am-9:00pm
              Fri & Sat: 11:00am-10:00pm

The exterior of the restaurant looks like this. It is located by the Tustin Market Place and its confusing at first due to shadow that glooms over the signs. However, the environment and the feel of the place is very nice and soothing. Lots of greenery from the plants both on the ground and high up from palm trees. There’s a water fountain display and lots of tables outside with bright yellow parasols for those who enjoy dining outside in the sun. 

The interior is done with the color theme of neutral black, white, and wooden textures to give a clean feel. The countertops are stainless steel. Pops of color for point and hunger-sensation is red and yellow. There are multiple TVs displaying various movies, news, tv shows to cater towards various age groups. The new is neatly organized, but I think it would’ve been better if the two clear menus on the either end would be either white or red, because it was hard to see. 

They have on the wall and off the wall, hand menu as well. I will recommend using the hand menu because there’s pictures to refer to, which helps a lot. So I’d say the menu on the wall is for the formality. 

There’s many options for drinks. Either you chose the bottled options or fountain drink option. I’d say fountain cuz you get more options. There’s iced teas, both sweet or unsweetened, if you’re feeling the crave for some tea. I personally like the clear caps provided for concealing the fountain drink cups, because it allows you to see what you’re drink. (That’s just my thing). It seems like they maintain the place very well because the area with condiments and utensils was very clean. 

After placing your order, you are given a table number to place on your table (only if you are ordering for “here”). Each table comes with its own napkin dispenser, parmesan cheese, and (I believe) Italian seasoning.

What I Got: Personal size Da Works with added pineapple toppings. (Yes, I’m part of the pineapple crew).

It’s the perfect size for one person who can’t eat a whole lot. Even if it is on a small plate, the amount of toppings made for it.

This little dude of a pizza was literally
over an inch thick despite it being a
thin crust pizza. 

I am a vegetable muncher, basically a human bunny. I eat my vegetables raw with no dressing and enjoy the taste and texture of the vegetable itself. So that being said, the vegetables on this pizza was very fresh. Freshly cut and freshly made. I have to say the pineapple bits made things all the more better. 

I have to mention that they were very generous with the toppings. I was thoroughly surprised. 

I got full after my 2nd slice and then was done by my 3rd slice. Overall, my experience at this pizza place was good. 

One thing I didn’t particularly like was how overly cooked my cheese and pepperoni was on top of my pizza. They were all just melted together and I didn’t get the whole cheese stretch experience or got to each my pizza without the difficulty of the whole top of the pizza sliding off. 

Rating: I would give this place a 4/5 stars. 

LOL Bubble Tea & Coffee – Fayetteville, NC – Review

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This is my 3rd time visiting this place and every time, they don’t disappoint. I think their shop name is pretty funny.

How I Found Out?: My friend told me about by bragging how he got bubble tea through snapchat. Then I looked it up on Yelp.

Why Posting About it so Late?: I was being a turtle these days…

Address: 5044 Yadkin Rd, Ste 101, Fayetteville, NC 28303
Phone: (910) 758-9439
Hours:
    Tue-Sun: 11am – 9pm

Bubble Tea (Drink): I’ve tried their Strawberry Slush, Caramel Milk Frost, Green Milk Tea. All 3 of the drinks were all up to standards. I like how they don’t overly sweeten their drinks.

Pudding: The pudding is an optional addition to your drinks. I’ve tried milk & custard so far. Their custard pudding was really good. It had good consistency and flavor, without overpowering the drink’s flavor. Milk pudding had the same consistency as the custard one, except it had a very powdery favor, which was a downer. If you’re trying out pudding, I would recommend going with custard.

Bubble Tea/Boba Pearls: Referred to as bubble tea or boba, this is probably the main reason you go to a bubble tea shop. Their boba pearls were chewy, but slightly more leaning towards the cooked side.

It’s essential to control the temperature and the duration when cooking boba pearls. Overcooking it would loose the chewy texture, but undercooking it would make it too hard and allow it to freeze when it’s inside cold drinks. So finding the very balance and ratio is the key to happy customers. 

Egg Waffle: There are a lot of flavor options to choose from. I chose milk chocolate. It’s very good. The edges are crunchy/soft. The egg part is fluffy and soft. Just a good balance. I actually saved leftovers to eat later in the day and when I tried it hours later, it was still good despite a slight decrease in the crispiness.

Popcorn Chicken: There are spiciness level options to choose from for this one. I went for the spicy option [as always]. I found the little pieces of I think it’s spinach? adorable. The green color creates a nice contrast with the saturated orange tones. Each piece of the popcorn chicken had a crispy exterior and a chewy interior. The spiciness made each bite more enjoyable. I think the cute, hot pink cup it comes in also does a great job of igniting the appetite within you.

Overall, my experience at this bubble tea joint was nothing but excellent. The staff are bubbly, bright, and friendly.

I would give LOL Bubble Tea & Coffee 5/5 stars!

Panera Bread – Skibo, Fayetteville, NC – Review

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Panera Bread has clearly established itself as one of the most favored shops. I’m pretty I’m not the only who would always crash at a nearby Panera Bread to do my homework and write my long papers.

Panera is known for their healthy and delicious food. They have also developed their customer service to reach out to those who are unable to come to the shop by offering delivering services. Drive-thrus have become a common sidekick to recent Panera shops-attracting busy, on-the-go consumers as well.

I personally love the nice, calm, and soothing environment of Panera Bread. The interior has always had wood and their trademark shade of green to illustrate a natural, relaxing, homing place for people of various needs to come together. Every Panera I have been to has always been clean and cared by friendly staff. And somehow, its the style that never gets old. It’s a timeless design for sure!

One of my concerns when I go to a cafe or study spot is security of my belongings. I worry about leaving my belongings at the table to get my order sometimes if the current environment isn’t very ideally safe. So the fact that Panera brings your order to you is definitely a plus!

Today, I visited a nearby Panera in 11 months!! It’s been forever! I seriously missed my favorite study/munch spot so it was nice to stop by.

ADDRESS: 1933 Skibo Rd, Fayetteville, NC 28314
HOURS:
MON-SAT: 6AM-10PM
SUN: 7AM-10PM

I got 3 items:
– Green Passion Smoothie
– Pecan Braid
– Spinach & Bacon Souffle

My never-fail, go-to is their Green Passion Smoothie. It is just soooo good!! When I took a sip of it and tasted the exact same taste I’ve had back home…it was nostalgic. It felt like I was home once again. Just sitting in my neighborhood’s nearby Panera, enjoying my usual smoothie. I’ve never been away from home period and it’s been almost a whole year. Being able to taste and feel at home in a place located across the whole country in North Carolina was amazing. It helped re-energize me to keep going.

I’ve always liked anything with pecans, so I decided to give their Pecan Braid a try. Surely, it was good. It had a firm, but soft texture with good balance of sweetness and nuttiness. Definitely a great choice for a little dessert!

Before enjoying my sweet dessert, I filled my tummy up with a little souffle. This is my first time trying their souffle at all. Their Ham and Cheese one sold out before I reached the cashier, so I went with their Spinach and Bacon option. It was delicious! The souffle had a light, fluffy exterior with a slight crisp. When you sink your teeth into it, you come into contact with the soft, moist interior filled with warm cheese and spinach filling. It just hits the spot with the little bacon that’s resting on top to add a little boost. I thoroughly enjoyed taking each and every bite of my souffle and would definitely come back for more!

My overall experience with this Panera was up to expectations and left very satisfied! I’m happy that it’s within close distance and would love to visit when I can.

I give this Panera 5/5.

 

 

H Mart – Cary, NC – Review

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H Mart isn’t something new, but it is to this area. This H Mart was established just recently and is the new Hot&Popular shopping/grocery spot to people dwelling in/around the area.

Address: 1961 High House Road, Cary, NC 27519
Phone: (919) 535-5900
Web: http://nj.hmart.com
Hours:
– Mon-Sun: 
9:00AM~9:00PM
Bike Parking: Yes
Accepts Android/Apple Pay: No

The front exterior of the newly established H Mart is quite a view to see. I personally love the style of it. It give a warm-homey, yet stylish feel.

When you enter the entrance, you will be faced with the produce area with the food court to the right and cosmetics to the left.

The cosmetics section is [as expected] very organized, bright, and white themed to give a clean/fresh look. It also gives the products the chance to pop and shine. For the most part, the most noticable products displayed has to be the ones from the brand Tony Moly.

Tonymoly-logo

Tony Moly is a well known brand, not only to the asian community, but also the international community. The brand is known for their adorably packaged products that works well as well as look incredibly cute.

Adjacent from the cosmetics section is the food court. It is hidden by a brick wall, but you will be able to tell because of the restaurant signs along the wall. The brown, brick interior really brings the warm and rustic elements to life. The color and flooring choices are clever because it looks clean and hides any missed mess.

The produce area is well organized and fully stocked fresh fruits and vegetables of various diversity. The quality of the produces I picked up were all fresh and good shape. As for the rest of the neighboring produces, they all seemed to be just as good.

They have a dedicated Kimchi Section packed with various types of kimchi. I personally am a kimchi eater [with a obsession] so this section definitely caught my eye. And I think any other kimchi eater would appreciate the dedication and the noticeable sign to boot.

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While browsing through a market, you cannot leave out the food sample booths set up all over the place. These booths are heavily concentrated near/towards the seafood section, which is on the opposite side of the kimchi section.

The seafood section is another sight to see with bustling groups of people sampling and lining up to get their fresh seafood tidied up by the friendly staff. I snapped a pic of the fresh shrimp displayed. They have separate pile for headless-shrimp & regular shrimp. I think that is a very good idea because as someone who loves cooking, I find it nice that they have two different preparation for different uses depending what you are planning on making.

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As expected, each aisle is very well organized in a very efficient and cleanly manner. I found it very clever how they hung tools needed to use the ingredients on top.

Last, but certainly not least, I’m going to cover their amazing bakery: Tous le Jours. This bakery is very well known franchise, that has established itself as one of the rising stars in the bakery business alongside Paris Baguette. Every H Mart is known for having a Tous le Jours bakery inside, so this was no surprise, but the interior and the decor was pretty on pointe!

I purchased some bread from here and I have to say, “Pretty Good~!” It’s hard to find korean bakery around here so it was nice to get a taste, but I do wish they had more variety than they had; however, I do understand the limited space issue so it was fine.

Overall, my experience and impression of the hot&new H Mart located in Cary, NC was great and have a lot of high hopes for it in the future. I do recommend paying a visit if you are in the area and are in need of asian food or just want a to grab a bite to eat.

I give this H Mart a 5/5 stars.

I am what I eat

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There’s a saying like this:

“You are what you eat.”

When I first heard this phrase, I didn’t understand it. However, after being apart from home for the longest I have ever been (6 months), I can say that I definitely understand. Before I knew it, the cultural food I took for granted became part of me. Just after a week of eating unfamiliar food, I thought of home and regretted all those times I complained about eating the same Korean food all the time. As I was looking back, I realized those tantrums were very childish and conducted with lack of careful thought and consideration. Basically, I did not know what I was talking about.

Now I learned to appreciate the things I had, the moments I made with the people around me, and the common Korean dishes I took granted for.

These two are some of the Korean dishes I tried at local Korean Restaurants around my area. I savored each bite and as the flavor seeped into my tastebuds, it reminded me of home and those precious to me.

I believe this is a great experience for me to really understand and grow from.