Niyaz’s Top 20 O.C. Dishes of 2016

Zovs_GoldenFoodies

My top food moment of 2016 … Zov winning the Golden Foodie Award for 2016 Chef of the Year!

It’s been a great year for Orange County foodies.

We have Lobster Fries, Spaghetti Pizza and Churro Loops; Top Chefs in the kitchen and new openings at such a rapid pace it’s hard to keep up. There’s been a lot of delicious dishes to try, and while I couldn’t get to them all, I did manage to enjoy my fair share of awesome plates.

Here’s the 20 best things I ate and drank this year!

Read more…

Grits’ Pancake Balls featured on Foodbeast

GritsFullerton_ThaiBallsFoodBeast

Peter Pham and Reach from the Foodbeast crew recently visited Grits Fullerton to get a taste of Chef Cody’s delicious pancake balls. Cody’s take on the Danish aebleskiver is a more-cake-like take on the European original, only Grits executive chef is doing them up his way.

For example, take one of my favorite dishes of the year, Thai Balls—with pancake balls, fried pork cutlet, raw shallot/jalapeno/cilantro and fish sauce-maple syrup. I lovingly refer to the dish as the Breakfast Banh Mi (that’s Vietnamese, I know) but one taste of this dish and you’ll understand exactly).

Cody’s also been going through the cereals of his childhood to spruce up his balls and the results are insane, and insanely delicious.

Click here to see Foodbeast’s video and article about Grits Fullerton’s Pancake Balls!

Grits Fullerton: The New American Classic

IMG_1819

Rarely do the realms of “American food” and “New American cuisine” overlap. The first term conjures steamy biscuits with pepper-speckled gravy, double cheeseburgers and hefty steaks while the latter brings to mind dishes with modern sensibilities, both in technique and aesthetic, with ingredients that are farm to table, light, local and organic. But in finding our newness, we’ve mostly left behind those classic diner traditions, that—while built on the backs of European immigrant families—have become part of our national food identity.

Grits Fullerton—the 4-month-old brunch concept from former Hopscotch/Nieuport 17 Chef Cody Storts—is the new American classic, using today’s techniques to reinvigorate old favorites. Any morning that starts at Grits becomes a great morning, and, as Chef Storts recently launched weekly dinner service, prix-fixe beer dinners and all-you-can-eat fried chicken Sundays there’s no better time than now to experience this North County hotspot.

Read more…