VIDEO: Best New OC Fair Foods + FLASH Ticket Giveaway!

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It’s that time of year! Food festivals are in full swing, and it’s your turn to get in on the gastronomic fun. Check out the details below on how you can enter to win a pair of tickets to this year’s epic Orange County Fair!

First, if you needed a reason (or many deep-fried reasons) to go this year, it’s all right here below. I was lucky enough to get an invite to check out the most unique new foods at the OC Fair, and let me tell you… you’re in for a treat! Check it out:

One of my favorites is the deep-fried pickle stuffed with peanut butter, which works surprisingly well thanks to the tartness of the pickle, the creamy sweet-saltiness of the peanut butter, and the fluffy batter surrounding it all.

If you’re looking for a more substantial meal, try the Cubano Fusion Burger from Tasti Chips. It’s filled with savory goodness and is layered with texture and flavor.

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For dessert, I highly recommend Texas Donuts’ gigantic Fireball whisky-infused caramel donut. They’ve also got a Samoa giant donut, for you Girl Scout Cookie lovers.

Speaking of dessert, you see that caviar-topped Twinkie in the video, right? Although a $125 caviar Twinkie might sound a little crazy — or a even a lot crazy — it’s all for charity. If you have the means, the heart and the curiosity to try it, I highly encourage you to do so, because all proceeds go to CHOC – Children’s Hospital of Orange County. You can find this bite at Chicken Charlie’s.

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Other unique new items you’ll find this year include Kool-Aid brined pickles, Wasabi Bacon Bombs, Frosted Flakes chicken strips, bacon-wrapped pork belly on a stick, and even a gigantic funnel cake burger.

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As for the more classic battered and deep-fried innovations, try the the deep-fried Starbucks, deep-fried birthday cake or the Australian Battered Potatoes with their special Outback sriracha sauce.

There’s also a deep-fried SlimFast, for those who prefer a side of irony along with their fair food.

Bottom line is, there’s something for everyone. Unless you’re on a raw diet, of course. Now, how do you win?

Here are two ways to win your pair of tickets:

Instagram

  1. Follow me on Instagram (@tanayas.table) so I can direct message you to redeem your prize
  2. Comment on the image with the Krispy Kreme triple cheeseburger (yep, there’s that too!) saying why you want to win, and tag whom you want to take
  3. Entry closes at noon on Sunday, 7/26. This is a flash giveaway, so act fast and spread the word so if your friend wins, they’ll (hopefully) take you! 😉
  4. Wait for the winner (chosen at random, to keep it fair… since I want you all to win!) to be announced that same afternoon. Good luck!

Twitter

  1. Follow me on Twitter (@TanayaG) so I can direct message you to redeem your prize
  2. Retweet this tweet to enter to win, and reply to the tweet tagging whom you’d want to take with you
  3. Entry closes at noon on Sunday, 7/26. This is a flash giveaway, so act fast and spread the word so if your friend wins, they’ll (hopefully) take you! 😉
  4. Wait for the winner (chosen at random, to keep it fair… since I want you all to win!) to be announced that same afternoon. Good luck!

Also, heads up – there’s another foodie event giveaway coming up very soon!

You can get your tickets to the OC Fair here, or enter on Instagram or Twitter (see above for entry rules) to win!

On a quick side note, I’m about to go abroad and cover a month of food and travel in Hong Kong and India to share with you all. The Tanaya’s Travels section will be in full effect soon!

Check out what you can expect to come by visiting the travel section here, or from the navigation bar on the left. Also feel free to follow my travels on Twitter and Instagram to see the photos and videos while I’m on the road. I’d love to have you join me virtually!

More updates to come, as well as videos and giveaways. Cheers!

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VIDEO New Opening: 4th Street Market, SoCal’s Most Epic Food Hall

Watch the video for a taste of the good eats you can find at this hip new food hall!

Check out the 1-minute video for a taste of the good eats you can find at downtown Santa Ana’s new food hall!

There’s a hip new food hall in town, and it’s the best one I’ve seen yet! Located in downtown Santa Ana, this new hub of cutting-edge eateries and small food businesses just opened and is ready to please palates.

My wonderful foodie friend Kelli and I ventured over to the new space over the weekend, and we were impressed at how it exceeded our expectations for design, variety, and innovation in their food offerings.

Tanayas Table 4th Street Market Food Hall

I started off with a Radical Botanicals rawktail, which is a raw (non-alcoholic) cocktail made with citrus and coconut milk. It was so delicious, and really settled my stomach to prepare my body for all the awesome food we were about to consume.

Tanayas Table 4th Street Market Radical Botanicals Pressed Juice Raw

Although there are 15 highly select food and drink vendors (there’s even a bar called Recess, by the Playground folks!), we finally settled on the Thai “khao soi” noodles from Jason Quinn’s Noodle Tramp, and the tater tot pork poutine from Stockyard Sandwich Company.

The noodles had a perfect bite and chew to them, and the sauce was rich in flavor and complexity. The tater tot poutine had juicy pork, plus a fried egg on it… so in other words, it was also amazing! The video above has more on these dishes.

Tanayas Table 4th Street Market Khao Soi Noodle Tramp Poutine Stockyard

After enjoying our food in the outdoor patio decorated with bold, colorful graffiti art and planters, we went back inside for some dessert.

Chunk-N-Chip really stood out to us, and what caught my eye the most was their champagne cookies and their French toast with bacon ice cream! I had to get it in sandwich form, I tell you. Who doesn’t want a little libation AND breakfast in their dessert, right? Ha.

The storefront is the ice cream sandwich maker’s first brick-and-mortar, as it started as a food truck. Claudia, the lovely owner, told us they are expanding their flavors and cone options. For now, they have brownie and red velvet waffle cones, but they will soon be rolling out at gluten-free, vegan cone.

I also went behind the scenes to create this video for the making of their brownie batter cones. Trust me, you need to try it for yourself!

Tanayas Table 4th Street Market Chunk N Chip Ice Cream

There is so much more to try at the newly opened 4th Street Market, and I can’t wait to be back soon for the rest.

Check out the video above for the food in action, as well as some shots of the awesome decor. LOVED the quotes from famous foodies on the ceiling!

To find out more on the 4th Street Market, and for hours and directions, go here. Until next time, cheers!

New Opening: Prova Pizzeria + DineLA Week

Lorenzo shows us the top pies created at the newly opened Prova Pizzeria.

VIDEO: Lorenzo shows us some of his favorite pies at the newly opened Prova Pizzeria.

During dineL.A. Restaurant Week, we were invited to go behind the counter at Prova Pizzeria and taste West Hollywood’s newest authentic Italian pizzeria.

Upon walking in, there was already a sense of warmth and welcoming. Once I learned the story behind the passionate owners, it made even more sense. Chef Vito and his brother Lorenzo are from Italy, and their passion shows in their warm and welcoming attitude, as well as in their third-generation, 100-year-old family dough recipe.

The dough is a fusion creation, with influences from Sicily, Bari and Naples. As a result, the dough is thin, yet has a nice rise and chew around the edges of the crust:

20150122_145040Lorenzo was on hand to personally show us the ropes behind their mouthwatering pizzas with unique toppings, such as the “La Vito” (pictured) which consists of savory mortadella ham, creamy stracciatella cheese and crunchy pistachios. It was definitely my favorite pie, although the “Margherita D.O.P.” that we also tried — which is on the DineLA menu — was also outstanding.

We also had appetizers such as the Assorted Olives & Taralli (an imported Italian pretzel) and the Speck (smoked prosciutto) & Mozzarella, as well as the Carciofi salad, which had artichokes, arugula and pine nuts. All had a great acidity and tartness to them to balance out the delectable pizzas.

As you can see in the video above, I even got to fire my own pizza in their wood burning oven! Prova is a fast-casual concept, so it’s perfect for lunch, dinner or even a post-night out quality bite.

20150122_145053DineL.A. runs through this weekend (Feb 1, to be exact), so I highly recommend getting yourself over to your favorite restaurant on the list for a special three-course menu at a special price.

However, even if you miss dineL.A., just know that it will be back… and that there is no wrong time to get a taste of Prova Pizzeria. Service, efficiency, authenticity and quality… this place really does have it all, and it made me miss my days in Italy! Lorenzo’s hospitality and jovial spirit really made me feel part of the Prova family, and I can’t wait to get back for another slice — or two — of that “La Vito” pizza!

20150122_145043You can check out Prova Pizzeria’s website for the menu, as well as for more information on visiting the new West Hollywood eatery. Ciao!

 

VIDEO: Inside Koala Tapioca, Westwood’s Newest Eatery + Boba Spot

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The Taiwanese-Vietnamese fusion café concept that started as a food truck just opened in brick and mortar form, right in Westwood.

I decided to take my fellow Bruin friend Anshu along with me to our old stomping grounds to check out the media preview event for the new joint, Koala Tapioca.

Looking back on our four years at UCLA (and plenty of excursions in Westwood), it’s crazy to think how much has changed in the area. However, with the addition of Koala Tapioca to the Westwood Village scene, it’s safe to say that this place is a valuable addition.

Check out the one-minute video for the inside scoop (and sip!) on the hottest new cafe in Westwood.

Check out the one-minute video for the inside scoop (and sip!) on the hottest new cafe in Westwood.

Koala Tapioca was founded by recent UCLA graduates David and Vincent, who had a solid business strategy coming straight out of college.

While their brick and mortar location was in the works with construction and permits, the duo used that time to get a food truck going to do some market testing with their product.

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Popcorn Chicken with Fried Sweet Basil

They perfected their food with low overhead costs, while also building a solid social media following in the meantime.

The truck, previously called Koala Tea, was a hit… and now they’re ready to open their doors, with great momentum behind them in the form of loyal foodie fans and Twitter followers.

Banh Mi

Banh Mi

Koala Tapioca offers a variety of unique and traditional coffee and tea drinks (with boba, if you’d like!) as well as Taiwanese and Vietnamese food. The fact that they have free Wi-Fi and board games is just the cherry on top! All I can say is I wish we had this place when I was at UCLA.

Check out the video above for a peek at the tasty snacks and drinks that this awesome little spot in the heart of Westwood has to offer.

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You can find more information on visiting Koala Tapioca here. Stay tuned for a Dine LA Restaurant Week new opening post coming soon. Cheers 🙂

VIDEO: Behind The Scenes Of Baker CakeMaker & LA Cookie Con

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L.A. Cookie Con and Sweets Show is coming this Sunday! This means unlimited tastings of a variety of gourmet sweets, lots of demos and other fun activities going on, plus a guest appearance from Ron Ben-Israel of “Sweet Genius” on Food Network. For anyone with a sweet tooth, this is the must-attend event of the year, and I’m not even sugar coating!

I am so excited to be an official blogger, and it was a pleasure to be invited to the planning meeting last week for a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to successfully pull off such a huge event. There are over 3,000 sweet lovers coming to attend this weekend, and the planning meeting meticulously ensured that everything will go as smoothly as possible, with vendors preparing to offer plenty of delicious samples for all.

L.A. Cookie Con Official Blogger Badge Tanaya's Table

It was great to meet so many of the vendors who were passionate about their creations… I’ve put together a video below to give you a peek into what our day was like.

Also, here’s the most exciting part: Nancy Tei of L.A. Cookie Con was sweet enough (pun intended… ha ha) to set up a code for my followers, so anyone who enters ‘TANAYASTABLE’ will get $3 off their GA or VIP tickets. UPDATE: The event is now sold out, but I will do a giveaway of some items from select vendors of L.A. Cookie Con in the coming week!

Here’s a peek into the planning meeting at AMLI Lex on Orange in Glendale:

Click above for a peek into the L.A. Cookie Con planning meeting with all the wonderful vendors!

Click above for a peek into the L.A. Cookie Con planning meeting with many of the wonderful vendors!

One of my favorite new sweets purveyors, Baker CakeMaker (who also will be at the show) gave us an inside tour of the bakery. The video, choc-full of ensaymadas, Oreo-stuffed cookies and more, is below.

Baker Cakemaker opened not too long ago, but the unique bakery is already setting itself apart from existing bakeries around the Hollywood area. What makes it so unique is that it doesn’t focus on your typical French pastries like many of the bakeries in Los Angeles do. Instead, owner and chef Aris Rodriguez has decided to fuse Filipino and other Asian influences along with European and American baking techniques and flavors.

The results are below. See you at L.A. Cookie Con!

Going behind the bakery with Chef Aris, owner of Baker CakeMaker

Going behind the bakery with Chef Aris, owner of Baker CakeMaker – check out those ensaymadas!

L.A. Cookie Con ~ A baking, pastry and sweets extravaganza ~ Sunday, January 25th 10 a.m. -5 p.m. ~ Pasadena Convention Center

For more information on the sweetest event in SoCal, visit the L.A. Cookie Con official website or follow them on Twitter.

Stay tuned for coverage after the event as well. Hope everyone is having a good start to 2015!