OC Review: Sushi Roku, Newport Beach

“Irasshai!” shouts a hostess as she leads me to my table. The sushi chefs and waiters respond in kind. Most are cheerily enthusiastic, although I can’t help but notice one waiter rushing through the room with an armful of food who mumbles the greeting under his breath in a way that suggests the Japanese-to-English translation …

Hotel Review: Four Seasons Koh Samui

My love affair with Four Seasons runs deep. I’ve been fortunate enough in my travels to stay at 26 different Four Seasons hotels and resorts, the latest being the beachfront/hillside resort on the island of Koh Samui, Thailand, which I visited earlier this year.

Quick Look: The Butchers Club Deli, Hong Kong

The Butchers Club Deli opened last year in Tin Wan, an up-and-coming neighborhood on Hong Kong’s industrial Southside. If you can find it, you’re in for an amazing steak. They open for dinner somewhat randomly, serving prix fixe meals that revolve around a certain cut of meat, with different days devoted to specific cuts. Dinner …

Hotel Review: Ovolo Southside, Hong Kong

Overview: A former high-rise warehouse turned 162-room boutique hotel, the Ovolo Southside is the first serious hotel to set up shop in the emerging Southside neighborhood of Tin Wan. The Location: The industrial Southside neighborhood of Tin Wan, adjacent to better-known Aberdeen, is a congested jungle of vertical warehouses and high-rise factories that has become …

Short Order: Pizzeria Sapori, Newport Beach

Pizza doesn’t need cheese. In Naples, the birthplace of pizza in Italy, this has long been understood. But the idea of a cheeseless pizza in America has never really caught on. The marinara pizza at Sapori could change that. It’s such a simple thing — a thin piece of dough slathered with fresh tomato sauce …

Croque Monsieur at Bistro Papillote, Costa Mesa

The croque-monsieur doesn’t typically get much respect. It is, after all, merely a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. But when it’s prepared correctly, it becomes so much more than that. The croque-monsieur at Bistro Papillote is a perfect example. Never in the long history of sandwich-making has there been a better argument for simplicity – …

Australian truffles are in season right now. Get some while you can!

Although it’s summertime here in the United States, it is winter in Australia, where black truffle season is underway. The Australian truffle that grows so beautifully in Manjimup,  Western Australia, is the exact same type of truffle (known to truffle geeks and chefs as Tuber Melanosporum) that is famously harvested in Périgord, France. These are far superior in flavor …

What to eat (and not) at Angel Stadium

It starts out like any other day at the ballpark. But by the second inning, just as the fans are settling into their seats, I have already tasted a burger, two types of nachos, a barbecue sandwich, a pepperoni pizza, a burrito, three types of tacos, a grilled cheese sandwich and a heap of garlic …

OC Press Club Awards!

Great news from the Orange County Press Club Awards last night! I am happy to announce that I received six awards — the most individual awards of any journalist at the gala. I am humbled and honored to have swept 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the restaurant-review category (for Waterman’s Harbor, Orsa & Winston …

Crystal Symphony: Feast on the High Seas!

Food dictates where I travel. I book restaurant reservations before I buy plane tickets. I choose hotels based on their proximity to where I will eat. I also like cruise ships. But I’ve learned over the years that my passion for food and my love for cruising are not always compatible. I’ve found myself on …

Quick Look: Savor Saigon food tour, Vietnam

I recently traveled back to Saigon. So much has changed since my last visit to Vietnam just a few years before. Most notably, the skyline is quickly going vertical. Fortunately, much of what I fell in love with the first time around hasn’t really changed. The food is incredible and the people are warm, welcoming …

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