Daytrip to Socal: 10 Hours in OC

Saturday, October 4, 2014 – I go to Socal all the time. With most San Franciscans, a trip south usually spans a weekend, or at most, an additional day – either a Friday or a Monday. Going down is not a big deal for me nowadays; I’m not a tourist anymore. I just go to see people and to eat.

Imagine this: you wake up at 7:30am on a Saturday, get to the airport half an hour later, and with no carry-on or luggage on hand you zip through the empty security line. You bump into friends while waiting to board, then finally board only to find out that your friends saved you a seat up front (it’s Southwest so it’s first come first served seating). You chit chat, you decline the complimentary pretzels and stick solely to water because you know if you have long and delicious day ahead, and soon enough, an hour later, you’re landing. It’s like being at a train station and traveling to a neighboring city.

I flew into Santa Ana airport. It was going to be a catch up on OC eats kind of day. I’ve been seeing way too many pretty posts on Instagram lately. While still on the plane, I called my friend John to pick me up. By the time I got out of the airport, he was just about outside and I was ready to hop into his car and start the day.

This was the itinerary for the next 10 hours:

11:00 – Pick up Jonas at SNA

11:15 – Meet Fresh – The latest Taiwanese chain to open in America, specializing in taro ball and herbal jelly desserts. Feels like being in Taiwan! JONASAPPROVED!

Meet Fresh 鮮芋仙: Taro Balls and Herbal Jelly

Meet Fresh 鮮芋仙: Taro Balls and Herbal Jelly

12:00 – Bruxie – Fast food-ish Belgian waffle restaurant. My favorites are their fried chicken and waffle entree and their creme brulee waffle dessert. JONASAPPROVED!

Bruxie: Belgian Waffle Sandwiches

Bruxie: Belgian Waffle Sandwiches

1:00 – Afters Ice Cream – Since this was my first time, I had to go all out: glazed milky bun stuffed with ice cream and toppings. I went with Jasmine milk tea ice cream with Captain Crunch cereal. The stuffed glazed donut came hot and it was love at first bite, but every bite after was just a little too much love and I was ready for a divorce. It was good to try, but I don’t think I’d be going back unless I want to give birth to diabetes.

Afters Ice Cream: Glazed Milky Bun with Jasmine Tea Ice Cream and Corn Flakes

Afters Ice Cream: Glazed Milky Bun with Jasmine Tea Ice Cream and Corn Flakes

1:45 – Snow Monster – I loved their ice cream macaron sandwich. Their ice cream was not too sweet, and their macarons were crispy-shelled, chewy-centered, and held the ice cream well. I went with their pistachio macaron with Thai tea (they are known for Thai tea drinks) ice cream. JONASAPPROVED!

Snow Monster: Pistachio Macaron with Thai Tea Ice Cream

Snow Monster: Pistachio Macaron with Thai Tea Ice Cream

2:15 – Almond Haus Cafe – Everything made with almond milk instead of regular milk. I had their almond milk tea, half sugar. Perfect! JONASAPPROVED!

Almond Haus Cafe: Almond Milk Tea

Almond Haus Cafe: Almond Milk Tea

2:45 – PokiNometry – The Chipotle of sushi. I went for a salad bowl (instead of rice) because I’ve already been eating too much. Choose three types of fish/seafood toppings and all the toppings you want for $8. I wish I had one near work. JONASAPPROVED!

PokiNometry: Sushi Salad Bowl

PokiNometry: Sushi Salad Bowl

3:30 – Anaheim Packing District/Popbar – Ah, the newest hot spot for all foodies in the OC. It’s a two-floor building with nothing but food. Honestly, I was already stuffed when I got here. I wish I wasn’t, but there’s a limit to my stomach, so I only had a popsicle at Popbar, which has been flooding my Instagram wall as of late. I got the pistachio ice cream bar, half dipped in dark chocolate, drizzled with white chocolate, then topped with crushed waffle cone. The result? Pure mouthwatering beauty. JONASAPPROVED!

Anaheim Packing District: #mariachikids

Anaheim Packing District: #mariachikids

Popbar at Anaheim Packing District

Popbar at Anaheim Packing District

Popbar at Anaheim Packing District

Popbar at Anaheim Packing District

Popbar at Anaheim Packing District

Popbar at Anaheim Packing District

Popbar at Anaheim Packing District: Pistachio Ice Cream Bar + Dark Chocolate Half Dip + White Chocolate Drizzle + Crushed Waffle Cone

Popbar at Anaheim Packing District: Pistachio Ice Cream Bar + Dark Chocolate Half Dip + White Chocolate Drizzle + Crushed Waffle Cone

Anaheim Packing District

Anaheim Packing District

Anaheim Packing District

Anaheim Packing District

Anaheim Packing District

Anaheim Packing District

Anaheim Packing District

Anaheim Packing District

4:30 – Go home to feed the dog. Good. I needed a break.

6:30 – The Stocking Frame – The last stop was in DTLA because we were meeting other friends there. My favorites of the night include their maple pork belly, bucatini, and vegetable lasagna. It’s a super hipster spot, i.e. small portions and not cheap, but thankfully small portions was what I needed after what I just went through. I can’t say the same about the others, though.

The Stocking Frame: Melon tartare, burrata, prosciutto, hazelnut crumble

The Stocking Frame: Melon tartare, burrata, prosciutto, hazelnut crumble

The Stocking Frame: Hamachi c rudo , steamed mirin rice, yuzu blanco, pickled thai chili

The Stocking Frame: Hamachi c rudo , steamed mirin rice, yuzu blanco, pickled thai chili

The Stocking Frame: Hand cut vegetable lasagna, roasted grape tomatoes, morel cream

The Stocking Frame: Hand cut vegetable lasagna, roasted grape tomatoes, morel cream

The Stocking Frame: Maple pork belly, smoked egg yolk, house spice r ice, hot sauce

The Stocking Frame: Maple pork belly, smoked egg yolk, house spice r ice, hot sauce

The Stocking Frame: Pomodoro, fresh mozzarella, grana padano, basil leaf

The Stocking Frame: Pomodoro, fresh mozzarella, grana padano, basil leaf

9:00 – Drop off Jonas at LAX – I was stuffed and ready to go home and sleep in my own bed.

Thanks to: Alissa, Henry, Kevin, Susan and Sean for taking time to hang out, and especially to John for driving me around and carefully planning my day.

Jonas, Henry, Alissa, Susan and John

Jonas, Henry, Alissa, Susan and John

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