Behind The Counter: See’s Candies Opens At Newport Beach Fashion Island

See the video below for a *sweet* look behind the counter at the newest See's location!

See the video below for a *sweet* look behind the counter at the newest See’s location!

Here are a few of my favorite things: Chocolate, I Love Lucy, and behind-the-scenes, hands-on experiences (if you couldn’t tell from my previous posts!).

So, when I got the chance to attend a pre-opening See’s Candies party with fellow blogger friends at Fashion Island in Newport Beach, I jumped at the chance.

I was especially excited to learn that we’d get to go behind the counter and assemble our own boxes of See’s chocolates. The first thing I thought of was the “Job Switching” episode of I Love Lucy when Lucy and Ethel work at a chocolate factory and hilarious shenanigans ensue with the speedy chocolate conveyor belt.

Turns out, that episode was filmed at the historic See’s Candies factory on La Cienega in Los Angeles!

TT Sees Candies Bordeaux

What seems to give See’s chocolates their distinct taste is their chocolate-making process, which remains consistent since the first store opening back in 1921. See’s is one of the remaining few, if not the only one, to still age its chocolate. No wonder they sell over 26 million pounds of chocolate each year!

We learned how to pack the chocolates into our boxes just like the See’s workers are expertly trained to do, and got to take home quite a few goodies as a result! So many, in fact, that it will last me a good week… unless I decide to get chocolate wasted.

TT Sees Candies Pecan

As for flavors, I got the Apple Pie & Pecan Pie seasonal holiday truffles, as well as Butterscotch (for my mom), Maple Walnut, Dark Butterchew, Dark Bordeaux (my all-time See’s favorite!!), Pecan Bud (like a turtle), plus the Peanut Butter Crunch and Strawberry flavors to make a custom creation.

Check out the behind-the-counter video below to find out what it is!

Check out this 1-minute video to go behind the counter with me at the newest See's Candies location!

Check out this 1-minute video and come behind the counter with me at the newest See’s Candies location!

What’s great about going into a See’s Candies store anytime is that you will always be treated to a free sample when you visit. With over 100 sweet varieties at each location, you can visit every day and still never get bored!

Of the multitude of chocolatey choices, See’s has kept the Bon Bon, Maple Walnut Cream, Chocolate Walnut Fudge and Victoria Toffee recipes exactly the same throughout the decades. Sometimes you just can’t change a classic.

Their top five best sellers are the Milk Bordeaux (I personally adore the dark version), the Scotchmallow, the California Brittle, the Pecan Buds and the Almond Buds. Which are your favorites?

...or do you like ALL of them? (photo via Huffington Post)

…or do you like ALL of them? (via Huffington Post)

While we’re going back in time, if you’d like Huell Howser to show you around the See’s factory from back in the day, check out this See’s Candy – California’s Gold episode.

Back to the present: the Fashion Island store just held its grand opening the very next day after I filmed the video above, and is located near Macy’s in Fashion Island at 401 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660.

I already can’t wait to get back to try some more flavors… and to get another Dark Bordeaux chocolate truffle while I’m at it! See you there ;).

TEMP TT Sees Candies

Copyright 2014 Tanaya Ghosh

Video Edition: Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches, Shark + Pho Tacos, Oh My!

Pho tacos and Thai tea boba with milky popsicle swirl-ins? These things actually exist, thanks to Rakken and Pop’d Up. Here’s a quick little video to give you a taste of these bites and more from last weekend’s 626 Night Market held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, CA.

With that, here’s my first-ever vlog episode, with more to come!

Copyright 2014 Tanaya Ghosh

Click to see the night market bites in action!

Other highlights included a craveworthy Hawaiian-inspired pineapple and bacon-wrapped “Terrier-ki” dog with wasabi mayo and a nori seaweed garnish from Tokyo Doggie Style, which was voted one of the top 6 food trucks in Los Angeles. I can see why, with not only their innovative Japanese fusion food truck creations, but also their stellar customer service!

626 NM Tokyo Doggie Style Hot Dog

Their buns are sourced straight from New England, and the care they put into crafting their food really shows. We also tried their “OG” fries, with kimchi, cheese, steak and caramelized onions. Sinfully delicious!

626 NM Tokyo Doggie Style Fries

We also had shark tacos from La Sriracha Macha, with legal shark meat from Australia. The shark meat actually tasted like a mild, firm fish, and the Mexican Sriracha sauce was a nice complement to the taco. The pho tacos from Rakken (as seen in the video) were also moist, savory, complex, and actually tasted like pho in taco form!

626 NM Pho Taco

Last but definitely not least, check out the Fruity Pebbles macaron ice cream sandwich from Dolcissimo Bakeshop! Vanilla ice cream and Fruity Pebbles-flecked giant macarons, rolled in some more of the sweet, colorful cereal for a crunch. It’s magical, unique and oh so delicious… like milk and cereal, in frozen, giant macaron form! It’s the stuff dreams are made of, people.

Copyright 2014 Tanaya Ghosh

There are two more 626 night markets coming up this summer, so stay tuned by visiting the 626 Night Market website! Additionally, Monterey Park is having its inaugural night market this Friday, July 25. Check out the MPK Night Market website for more information. So many night markets, so much delicious food and fun to be had!

Speaking of which, check out the unique bites and foodie highlights from last month’s DTLA Night Market right here. Until next time, let’s all just admire this glorious macaron…

Copyright 2014 Tanaya Ghosh

…just sayin’.