Once at South Coast Repertory Pre-Show Drinks on Stage

“Once” is playing at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. You can enjoy a pre-show drink on stage at the Irish bar (part of the set) and hang out with the cast! Enjoy live music including all kinds of strings while sipping on chardonnay. This unique experience is available half an hour before the show begins. Ten minutes before curtain, you can take a seat with your drink and enjoy the show. Click here for details about pre-show drinks.

Once at South Coast Repertory audience enjoying drinks and live music with the cast.

“Once” audience enjoying drinks and live music with the cast.

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Looking for an Indian buffet? I’m always a little on the fence about all you can eat buffets; on the one hand, I’m not quite sure how long the food has been sitting out or of people serving themselves and digging through the heaps of rice or curry looking for the choice pieces of meat; but on the other hand, I love the variety and being able to make a sampler plate.  Always looking for great Indian food, I discovered Rasoi Curry Point in Tustin. I’m never looking back at another buffet!  They are located in a strip mall that looks like it has seen better days, and shares a parking lot with Cream Pan (and you have not been to Cream Pan, go now for the best strawberries and cream croissants!).  Rasoi offers an all-you-can-eat $9.99 AYCE thali, or lunch platter, that includes 5 entrees in mini bowls (yes, that’s right 5!), 2  chutneys:  a sweet tamarind chutney and a coriander chutney, raita (yogurt), rice, garlic or plain naan, appetizer, and dessert.

I go back and forth between choosing the vegetarian or a non-vegetarian meal.  They change the options so I never know what I’m getting, but that’s ok, because everything is so good.  We love spicy food and many of the dishes have quite a kick.  The service here is accommodating.  They come by often to refill anything on your platter, keeping your meal fresh and hot.  Let them know if you prefer mild and they will hook you up!  The chicken is moist and tasty in the chicken curry.  I will sometimes order the vegetarian option because I enjoy all the curry veggie options too, especially the spinach, which is rich and creamy.   The squash curry is another favorite.  Sometimes the dhal (lentils) can be a little more watery than I like, but still spicy and flavorful.

Indian Food Restaurant - Rasoi in Tustin View Post

They had me at pumpkin donuts. You know Fall is officially here as soon as you see pumpkins all around you. The smell of Starbucks PSL’s (pumpkin spiced lattes), pumpkin everything at Trader Joe’s and what’s left of any empty lots in Orange County have early signs of a pumpkin patch in the making. When we were invited to check out some gourmet pumpkin doughnuts at Poqet Donuts (pronounced “pocket”) in Irvine, we couldn’t think of a better way to enjoy some Fall vibes.

pumpkin donut gourmet doughnuts at Poqet

Pumpkin Cheesecake Donut paired with Pumpkin Latte from Poqet (mmmmm…)

Poqet’s Pumpkin Cheesecake Donut is to die for. It is everything you’d imagine and even sweeter. If you love pumpkin, then you will really love it! What grabbed us was not just the pumpkin donut, but all the other flavors available too: Maple Bacon, Campfire (think s’mores), Nutella, Lemon Meringue, Butter Salt, Apple Pie, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Cookies and Cream, Pistachio Creme Brûlée and yes, a Vegan Samoa to name a few. The list is huge & yummy. You can even customize your gourmet doughnut. Build your own by picking the type of doughnut (glazed, chocolate cake, vanilla cake or vegan), the type of filling (creams and butters, fresh fruit or jams) and finish it off with a topping of your choice (candies, spices or nuts). Amazing! You can also order your doughnuts online and pickup.

What drinks can you sip with your doughnuts? How about a hand-crafted Pumpkin Latte? If you wanted other coffee drinks, they offer others too. You can enjoy a regular fresh brewed coffee, Americano, espresso, ice blended drinks, hot chocolate or tea. And what? They even serve boba drinks! Boba milk tea and doughnuts is a brilliant pair.

poqet donuts maple bacon donut and boba

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24 hour Mexican food. Need I say mas?  Living in the OC, it can sometimes be a challenge finding those late night restaurants or 24 hour spots.  My first introduction to Taqueria De Anda was after a very late night of karaoke in Fullerton.  You cannot go wrong with greasy, spicy authentic street tacos to absorb the beer and soju!

24 hour Mexican Food in Orange County, CA

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What are the best kids meals in Orange County? We were thinking this very thing. Although we’re not fans of the typical fast food kid’s meals, except of course when they’re free, there are many restaurants that offer kid’s meals that are either a good value, higher quality, or healthier.  Here is list of restaurants that serve our favorite kid’s meals that are delicious and beautifully presented:

*Indicating beer/wine/bar/happy hour available for accompanying adults

Best Kids Meals in Orange County (Last update: 9/10/17)

Chipotle – For under $5.00, you can get a quesadilla or a nifty little build your own kit in a bento like container.  First, choose a protein.  I love the carnitas or the chicken, but be aware that the chicken is a little peppery, in case your little ones have sensitive taste buds.  Saranya’s kids like the chicken and carne asada (steak) and MaryAnne’s girls like the vegetarian taco meal with the oh so good cilantro lime rice, beans, and two toppings.  The kits come with two soft tortillas or crunchy taco shells, a cute mini bag of tortilla chips or a package of blueberries, and juice or organic milk.  This is a great little deal for an affordable price.

Best Kids Meals Chipotle

The Counter – This is one of our local watering holes.  Solid happy hour and kid’s meals make us regulars.  Although the options are the familiar kid’s menu items such as chicken tenders, grilled cheese and pb&j, they do it well.  The best value and tastiest choice is the 2 mini cheeseburgers with American cheese and pickles on Hawaiian buns.  Every combo comes with choice of a side – you can certainly choose the healthier applesauce or carrot sticks, but we always choose either the shoestring fries or sweet potato fries – both are so addictively crunchy and delicious!  It also comes with a juice, milk or lemonade.  Let’s also mention that one of the choices is a veggie kabob, a colorful and appetizing dish for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.  The manager gave us a great tip:  you can ask for a veggie pattie in lieu of the meat patties in the mini burger.  These are refreshing non-meat alternatives from places that always seem to offer plain pasta as the vegetarian choice.  Another option for multiple kids who are opting to share:  an order of their chili comes in a huge bowl.  The chili is hearty,  rich and meaty. Order a side of curly fries and you have chili fries for several happy mouths!  *Come in during Happy Hour (see our Happy Hour review for details) Mon-Fri/3-6 to feed the whole family!

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