Vintage Canvas, El Segundo

Yes, I’m interrupting this food blog to write a review on a painting studio. I had such a good time that I thought you should know about it too.

Vintage Canvas is a small painting studio in El Segundo.  I will be the first person to admit that I can’t draw, let alone paint, but I was excited to try one of these classes. Some of my friends had posted the paintings they had done at similar painting studios in other parts of the country, so I was very glad to find one right here in the South Bay. They provide all the supplies you will need. They don’t serve food or drinks, but you can bring your own if you’d like. The artist themselves will guide you step by step in order for you to recreate their painting. You can throw any negative experiences that you may have had in art class in school. The instructors are there to help. My instructor was the owner, Linda. She was very patient with all of us. She answered any questions we had and would come over to check our progress, offering suggestions and encouragement.  I found the experience to be very relaxing. Just putting the paint to canvas in itself was soothing. No cell phones, no distractions, just simple paint and canvas. Time just flew on by. Before I knew it, it was time to sign my name on the canvas.  Although we all painted the same thing, it was nice to see everyone’s own personal touch. At the end of the class, I felt very accomplished and eager to try another painting in the future.

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"Tranquility" My first masterpiece :)


If you’d like to bring home your own masterpiece, check out Vintage Canvas’ website. They have classes almost every day of the week which run  two or three hours long depending on how detailed the painting is. If I can do it, you most definitely can too!

Vintage Canvas

118 W. Grand Avenue

El Segundo, CA 90245

Disclaimer: the only compensation I got from Vintage Canvas was a feeling of accomplishment when I finished my painting.

 

Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe El Segundo, CA

My Mexican food challenge began in El Segundo in a small strip mall that hosts Valentino’s Pizza & Katmandu furniture, two places I’ve seen a ton of times during my tenure in the South Bay. Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe opened last year  and seemed pretty popular with local workers in the area as it was practically filled to capacity when I stopped in for some lunch.

It’s a good sized place. Not too cramped, not huge. I liked how it let a lot of natural light in. Definitely set the lively mood. If that wasn’t enough, numerous Mexican flags hung like banners through the area. There were even some pinatas & Cinco de Mayo signs around. An all year Cinco de Mayo feel? I could go for that.

I started off with the obligatory chips & salsa. I found the chips a bit hard while the salsa was slightly spicy. Nonetheless I couldn’t stop eating and I had to remind myself not to fill up before lunch. Yes the menus had your usual tacos & enchiladas but also more entrees like carne asada & steak picado.

I sipped on some sweet and milky horchata while I waited for my meal. It had a very strong cinnamon flavor that went perfectly with the cool & breezy day we were having.

Moments later, my carnitas arrived. The meat fell apart, it was just so tender and golden. The best part were the fatty bits! Yes I know, so bad, but so good! The rice was also very warm, with a hint of lime and firm to the bite. The refried beans tasted fresh, along with the cheese that was still stringy as I went for each bite. The pico de gallo had bits of jalapeños that gave it a little kick that contrasted the other flavors of the dish very well.  I tried to make a small taco with the meat, guacamole, & beans but the corn tortillas were super warm! I instead just ate the tortillas alongside the meal which were fresh, sweet and came apart very easily when torn. The portion was pretty big and I ended up taking some of it home.

I really enjoyed my meal at Teresa’s. The service was also very attentive despite how busy it was. I’ll be sure to be back soon to try more of what they have.

 

Looking for more Mexican restaurants?
Teresa's Mosaic Cafe on Urbanspoon

Follow That Food Truck: Ludo Truck

Ah Chef Ludo. I was first introduced to this popular chef when I attended LudoBites 4.0 amidst a bunch of food bloggers and the FoodDigger staff.

I enjoyed my meal and would love to attend another LudoBites but they do fill up quickly so I went for the next best thing, the Ludo Truck.


So when the big red truck (with the equally big red….rooster) rolled into the South Bay, I was thrilled. A date with this truck was long overdue.

Fellow foodies had raved about the honey lavender biscuits but sadly they were gone by the time I got there. Oh well…

What was there however was the chicken strips which I decided to try. The outsides were crunchy, the insides were very moist. The tender meat had a mild je ne sais quoi to it. Literally. I don’t know what it was, I can’t put my finger on it. Even my husband was wondering what they fry the chicken in because it sure didn’t taste like fast food. Whatever it was, it made the crispy strips extra delicious.

The fries were also cooked in the same oil that I still can’t put my finger on. Crispy golden outsides with a hint of salt with a warm & mushy interior. How *do* they do that?

I did like my meal overall although I admit that the price ($8.00) seemed a bit steep for what I got but it is gourmet right? I want to try the biscuits next time the truck comes by. I’ll be sure to be at the front of the line that day. Lesson learned. So I say check out the Ludo Truck. Just don’t come super hungry though because it will take a lot for you to get filled up!

Looking for more Food Trucks?

Ludo Truck on Urbanspoon

Follow That Food Truck: Jogasaki Sushi Burrito

Ladies and gentlemen, rumors of the fabled sushi burrito have spread far and wide in the greater LA area. I can assure you it’s real. I have proof.

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I finally caught the elusive Jogasaki truck when they stopped at the ADM Eat Fleet. I guess I was super excited because I was the first person in line. Didn’t take long for them to open up though, about 5 mins or so. I survived.

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I opted for the lobster burrito wrapped in soy paper which was an additional charge but no biggie. In the end I ended up paying around $10 for lunch. It was an average price for sushi. The sushi did take a little bit to prepare but that’s to be expected anywhere you go.

The taste was all in all very fresh from the soy wrapper to the sticky warm rice and of course the lobster. Really what set it apart from the sushi you’d find elsewhere is how portable it was. It’s eaten like a burrito so it’s unique in that respect. Its taste was on par with other sushi I’ve tried. The burrito just gives it a quirky feel.

I’d try the other offerings that Jogasaki has to offer the next time they come to the South Bay. Yes granted it’s a food truck so the options are obviously limited, but I’d like to try some more. The service was quick and friendly and the sushi had a good taste. Just be sure to bring your appetite if you want to try them out. The portion is very generous and you’ll probably want to save the rest for later.

Looking for more Food Trucks?

Jogasaki Sushi Burrito (food truck) on Urbanspoon

South Bay Oktoberfest

Can you believe how fast September has gone? This Saturday will mark one of my favorite months of the year, October. Along with that is yes, the obligatory Oktoberfest. You don’t have to venture far from the South Bay to enjoy the festivities.

Photo courtesy of BWR PR

El Segundo’s own Rock n Brews annual Rocktoberfest celebration is already underway with live music in its newly expanded outdoor beer garden, Munich beers, games including beer pong tournaments, and of course a German inspired menu that includes schnitzel, three types of bratwurst, and apple strudel. Starting at noon every Saturday & Sunday of this event, the first 50 people will receive $1 liters of Hofbrau beer. The event runs through October 30th so be sure to check it out!

139 Main Street

El Segundo, CA

 

Palos Verdes

 

Photo courtesy of Bread & Butter PR

 

Nelson’s at Terranea Resort is hosting an Oktoberfest Celebration on October 9th from 3-11pm. The restaurant will feature a German menu which includes a traditional Bavarian cheese spread, homemade potato dumplings, Bavarian pork sausage, and wienerschizel.

The event will also include stein holding contests and music from the Rhinelanders.

Nelson’s

Terranea Resort

100 Terranea Way

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Crush Bistro El Segundo

Yes I took you all back to 1999 with the title. I didn’t mean to, it was just the first thing that came to mind when a fellow foodie suggested I should try The Crush Bistro in El Segundo. If you’ve ever been to Main Street in El Segundo, you know how “Mayberry” like it can be. All poised, manicured lawns, walkable streets, the sun shining, the birds practically singing Zip a Dee Doo Dah… get my drift?

Well the interior of Crush is the opposite of all that. Mellow, chic, laid back. It could be downright sexy if it wanted to at night. It’s a small spot. In fact I was the only one there that afternoon. They had a small wine bar, and also a small menu. Despite that, it did take me a few moments to order.
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I decided on the pulled pork sandwich that came with a small macaroni salad that was al dente. The bread, crusty and chewy. The meat was tender with a mild heat that lingered with each bite. After I finished my lunch, I felt rather full. I’m glad that the side of macaroni wasn’t that huge because I already had a lot of starch with the bread. With low key service in a laid back atmosphere, Crush has a lot of potential. I hope it does well and adds a nice vibe to sleepy downtown El Segundo!

403 Main St
El Segundo, CA 90245

The Crush Bistro on Urbanspoon

Media Lunch: Sammy’s Wood Fired Pizza & Grill

I was treated out to lunch last week by the kind people at Wagstaff Worldwide. I was informed that Sammy’s Wood Fired Pizza & Grill started right here in SoCal, San Diego to be exact. Lucky for the South Bay, we get to try it out without going outside of our bubble! I was told that it was more than just a pizza place and the first course set that straight.

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Let’s face it, lobster bisque isn’t found at a pizzeria. Sammy’s definitely proved it was different than any other pizza place in town. They did a good job with the soup to book.just the right combo of salty, savory, and creamy.

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Up next were the shredded duck quesadillas. I could have sworn they were pork if it wasn’t marked as duck on the menu. It wasn’t as fatty as duck would be which is what I liked about the dish. It was just tender and sweet with a pinch of heat.

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Up next was the ahi poki. The flavor was so mild, I’ll go out on a limb and say it was a good palate cleanser, at least for me! It was very refreshing. I savored all the light dishes because it’d be pizza time soon.

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This was one of my favorite appetizers. This is the one I’d order for sure if I was to eat here again. The bread was warm and soft and the EVOO went very well with the hummus. It felt like a healthy snack.

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I loved this salad simply because it was so colorful. The mozzarella was in fact, very fresh. I could make a meal out of that alone. I enjoyed all the veggies but I’d leave the edamame out if it was up to me. It was just a bit on the tough side.

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The first pizza we tried was the brie with truffle oil and wild mushrooms. I’m probably the biggest brie fan around but it made for a very rich pizza. Just one slice would be plenty for me.

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Now, I was looking forward to trying this arugula & pear pizza simply because I’d never had a pear pizza. The prosciutto and pear were a surprisingly good combo. It was another one I’d order again.

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We took a break from the cheesiness and had a very refreshing crab stack. It was just too pretty to take apart but the server did just that. If I was watching my waistline (which I am) I’d order this right here. We had to share but this was the one I’d like to myself.

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We closed out lunch with a gigantic cotton candy that brought the carnival to us…

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As well with the messiest but tasty sundae. Again just a few bites of this & the cotton candy was enough for me.

I thank Wagstaff for hosting a delish lunch! Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza is a good place to stop by for lunch in the El Segundo area.

780 B-S Sepulveda Blvd
El Segundo, CA 90245

Sammy's Woodfired Pizza on Urbanspoon

Z Pizza

There’s a small plaza off Maple in El Segundo that’s always buzzing with activity due to the many businesses in the area. If you’re not in a hurry, it’s best to sample these restaurants off peak hours as the lines are known to go out the door in some instances.

One of these restaurants in this crowded plaza is Z Pizza. It’s a local pizza joint with ready made pizza as well as made to order ones. They also had a gelato station in the shop which made me wonder how it does. Judging from some of the near empty bins, I’d say it does pretty well. I’d have to sample it another time. As for right now, I was there for just a pizza.

They do offer 2 slices of pizza & a drink combo so I went with that. The Napoli pizza had a crispy crust. The cheese was warm but it didn’t ooze off the pie like I had expected. If I had more time, I would order a fresh pizza because there’s nothing quite like it.

Z Pizza also has sandwiches and salads if you’d like less carbs for that particular day. Although Z Pizza won’t become my go to for delivery, it’s good for a quick pizza craving.

829 N Douglas St
El Segundo, CA 90245

Z Pizza on Urbanspoon

Wiki Wiki El Segundo, CA

I hadn’t been to this particular plaza in El Segundo in a long while. I had just finished buying accessories for my skates so I figured since I was already there & parked, why not? Especially considering how this parking lot is full of accidents waiting to happen.

I went in to Wiki Wiki knowing that it wouldn’t taste like I was back on my honeymoon in Maui. However, for a quick & cheap lunch, it’s good. The menu had Hawaiian specialties like loco moco & spam musubi. However, I was in the mood for BBQ.

I went with the Hawaiian BBQ mix which was just meat on top of meat. Chicken, beef, short ribs, it was all there, and it was all delish too. I of course am a rice fanatic & loved that too. The macaroni salad, yes a staple in Hawaii, and, let’s face it, at a lot of restaurants these days wasn’t all too great. Yes it was passable but that’s about it. Wiki Wiki isn’t bad for a quick lunch, especially in this busy plaza in el Segundo. There’s so many Hawaiian options in the South Bay, I’ll keep looking!

630 N Sepulveda Blvd
Ste 4B
El Segundo, CA 90245

 

 
Wiki Wiki Hawaiian BBQ on Urbanspoon

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