Niyaz’s Top 20 O.C. Dishes of 2016

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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!

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Grits’ Pancake Balls featured on Foodbeast

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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’ “California Love” Beer Dinner highlights the Golden State in 6 plates

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So far this year, Grits Fullerton‘s beer dinners have seen Chef Cody Storts explore, among several themes, Blood & Guts with Noble Ale Works and The Dirty South with Golden Road Brewing. But he had yet to properly mine his home state of California for inspiration.

For the “California Love” beer dinner Sept. 9, the Grits crew set out to prove why the West Coast is the Best Coast.

They tapped Chico, California’s Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, their Barrel Room and popular Beer Camp series for six beers to pair with courses highlighting the traditional twists and out-of-bounds ideas Chef Cody’s known for.
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Grits Fullerton hosts “California Love” beer dinner with Sierra Nevada Sept. 9

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It’s going down Sept. 9 at Grits Fullerton! The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Barrel Room will unleash some valued treasures for the One-Night-Only “California Love”-themed beer dinner by Chef Cody Storts.

RESERVE YOUR SEATS before they’re gone at www.gritsfullerton.com by selecting 6:30 P.M. SEPT. 9 on their reservations page —Dinner is $100 per person plus tax & tip.

YOUR CHANCE TO WIN: Visit this post on their Facebook page for a chance to win 2 seats at the dinner, just by sharing the post! See you there Orange County!!

Grits Fullerton celebrates 1st anniversary with Golden Road at “Dirty South” Beer Dinner

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Grits Fullerton—Orange County chef Cody Storts first solo venture, with partners Darlene and Erik Arevalo—celebrated its 1-year anniversary June 24. The Downtown Fullerton restaurant serves as a modern diner, dishing out Storts’ insane takes on brunch, lunch and dinner classics.

For their first birthday, Storts teamed with Victor Novak, brewmaster of Los Angeles’ Golden Road Brewing—which just opened its first Orange County in Anaheim’s Platinum Trianglefor a 6-course beer dinner dubbed “The Dirty South,” paying homage to Storts childhood years spent in the South.  … Read more…

Grits Fullerton releases “Dirty South” menu for Beer Dinner Friday, June 24—You can win 2 tickets!

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Grits Fullerton is headed to The Dirty South this Friday, June 24, as Chef Cody Storts teams up with Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing and Golden Road Pub Orange County for a 6 course beer dinner featuring brews you’ve never had before. Tickets, $135, including food, drinks, tax and service, are available here: bit.ly/GritsAndGoldenRoad.

The restaurant is holding a contest through Thursday evening to give away 2 seats to the dinner. You can get those details at the Grits Fullerton Facebook Page. Keep reading for the dinner and beer menu. … Read more…

6 O.C. burgers that honor National Burger Day all year long

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If blood type were determined by what you ate, I’d probably be blood type cheeseburger, or cheeseburger/pizza (kinda like Type AB). Not saying it’s a good thing, just saying there’s something about a grilled/seared/charbroiled beef patty with gooey cheese, cradled between two pillowy buns that I just can’t get enough of.

In celebration of National Burger Day, here’s 6 burgers in Orange County that I could always go for, no matter the day! … Read more…

Grits Fullerton & Noble Ale Works Blood & Guts Bonanza + June Beer Dinner Announcement!

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Working with multiple chefs and business owners in Orange County allows me to draw from multiple influences and perspectives. My various clients inspire me in different ways. In the case of Grits Fullerton, the creativity of Chef Cody Storts and Co. has always been what’s drawn me to the place.

I won’t ever forget my first bite of Fried Chicken Skins with Fresno pepper jam, or one of my new favorites of his, Thai Balls, with pancake balls, fried pork cutlet, raw shallot, jalapeno and cilantro, with a drizzle of fish sauce maple syrup. Like a banh mi for breakfast as made by Hunter S. Thompson.

Grits is a celebration of food and family, and accordingly, the restaurant has scheduled monthly beer dinners in partnership with breweries. The goal is to create a memorable experience for diners and beer drinkers alike. Past breweries included Stone and The Bruery, but for the restaurant’s May dinner, Cody and Grits Beverage Manager Boozie the Beer Guy turned up the mayhem and paired with Noble Ale Works for a Blood & Guts Beer Dinner on Friday the 13th of May.

The dinner came a week after Noble won big for their beers at the 2016 World Beer Cup, and were also awarded the honor of best small brewery in the world. ALL OF PLANET EARTH. Insanity! Noble’s Brewmaster Evan Price brought the heat too, producing unique beers including one with cochineal (essentially bright red beetle juice) and another (absolutely delicious brew) made with some interesting coffee beans.

Even though it’s my job, I was slightly afraid of this one, not because I don’t trust Cody, but because I’m not too keen on pig heads, brains, blood and the like. I know offal doesn’t mean awful, but it’s not like I’m eat intestines and snout for dinner every night.

Trust fall in progress …   … Read more…

Grits Fullerton & Noble Ale Works team for ‘Blood & Guts’ dinner Friday the 13th

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Noble Ale Works Brewmaster Evan Price and Grits Fullerton Chef Cody Storts

Grits Fullerton and Noble Ale Works are teaming up for a for a Blood & Guts themed 6-course ‪beer dinner‬ FRIDAY THE 13TH! This one isn’t for the faint of heart!!

This event will be a one of a kind test of original craft beers from Evan Price of Noble Ale Works‬ with dishes from Chef Cody Storts of Grits Fullerton‬ and, because of their huge wins at the 2016 World Beer Cup last week, this dinner just became a celebration of Noble’s hard work and originality. You won’t want to miss what Cody’s cooking up this time.

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Cody prepping pig’s head

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Friday the 13th of May.
COST: $100 plus tax and tip.
TICKETS: http://bit.ly/GritsAndNobleBeerDinner

Keep reading for food and beverage menus, plus our awesome (super metal!) poster for this event! … Read more…

Grits Fullerton: The New American Classic

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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.

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