Food Fit for a King – A Hawaiian One

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Hello hello everyone! After our long hiatus during our book-making, Undrgrnd OC is finally back!

Today we visit King’s Hawaiian Bakery and Restaurant in Torrance, a little ways from Orange County, but definitely within driving distance. This is the same King’s Hawaiian that makes the delicious sweet rolls you find in supermarkets around the country, like Costco or Albertson’s. Here at the restaurant, they freshly bake their delicious breads, cakes, and pastries. The cakes are honestly the most amazing thing I have ever had. I don’t know what they do, but their cakes are as light and fluffy as a cloud, and the topping as delicious as a perfectly ripe peach.

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Now onto what I think is the better part of this bakery-restaurant combo-the restaurant. When you walk into the place, the decor looks right out of the 60s, with an old school diner bar and booths. However, while others may think it is outdated, it creates a welcoming, comforting environment. The menu has Hawaiian favorites like loco moco, a hamburger patty, fried egg, and gravy over rice, and kalua pork. There are other breakfast favorites as well, like eggs benedict, with a little hawaiian twist. The staff here are amazing as well, always having a small and being polite and kind, despite how crowded the restaurant is. All of the charm of Hawaii comes through this restaurant.

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If you ever are riding around Torrance or LA or even OC, and are in the mood for some of the best comfort food around, be sure to stop by King’s Hawaiian!

Andrew

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Surprise!! A Book!

OC Cover

SCAN CANS SNAC

All: WE MADE A BOOK!

Cynthia: Hey readers! It’s been a while hasn’t it!? We’ve been super busy with our book, but we’re back!

Sebastian: Surprise! So as a blog group we made a book! It’s all about the blog posts on here and different pieces of writings we made on our own.  And it’s available now!!!

Andrew: Our book is made up of our very own essays and the best of our blog posts. If you guys liked our blog posts, you’ll definitely LOVE our book.

Naomi: I know! I can’t wait for you guys to read the book. … Six high school students making a book and it has finally happened.. can you guys believe it? I would like to thank all of you guys for reading our content and following this amazing and hardworking journey. We are all truly grateful!

A: We love you guys so much for sticking with us all year, and hope you enjoy our book. Here’s a quick snippet of some of the interesting work in our book:

“My toes squirm and curl when I step into the cool sand. It slips between my toes as I walk and it sends chills up my spine. Its beautiful golden color fills my eyes and is all I can see for miles and miles. Images of my past from when mother and I used to walk along the shore, kicking and splashing water at each other, before starting our day fill my mind.”

N: In case you guys are a bit lost, our goal with @UndrgrndOC was to write, put together, and create a book full of our blog posts and our own thoughts, found through our essays. These essays, like that of the excerpt above, have never been fully read by an audience other than ourselves.

 

C: We’ve worked really hard to put together this book, and I’m sure I can say for all of us (+ Hannah and Bree) that we are extremely proud of what’s been created. Various posts from our blog and essays that we have been editing all year are included in this book.

 

S: This year has gone by so quickly, but definitely not without some late nights writing for you guys! Our book is actually available on a PDF that you guys will get very soon! Don’t worry though, we’re back to writing on our blog and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

 

A: We laboriously designed our book using Bookwright, a free program provided by Blurb to help aspiring authors publish their books. Everything in our book is 100% independently created by our book, from the cover image at the top, to the design of every page.  It’s an awesome tool, and if any of you had ever wanted to write a book, I highly recommend that you try this program out.

 

N: Although the book may not be the typical hard copy book, I love how our book is PDF format because it will enable all of you guys to acquire the book for free! To add on to Andrew’s, blurb definitely was a great application for ¨book entrepreneurs.¨ Although there are no graphics or icons options with Blurb, they do offer layouting options for pages and different types of books that one could use. Depending on the number of pages or type of ink printed, the books may be more expensive to produce.

 

C: Please check out our book when you have the time! The book is our gift to you readers, who have been so loyal to us throughout this whole year. The PDF version provides easy access with only one click of a button for anyone who wants to read.

 

S:  So a bit more about the book,  although it has blog posts that you have seen on here, for the most part it has pieces of writing that we haven’t shared that are really meaningful to us. I wrote about Taylor Swift in one section, so you can tell where my priorities lie.

 

A: Most of the things I personally contributed to the book were essays about my interests, like Star Wars and Star Trek, and other essays describing interesting things in my life. Of course, when you hear Star Wars and Star Trek in the same sentence, you know what that means; COMPARISON!

S:  I’m sure you can find something in here that everyone can relate to or enjoy. Some are more serious than others, but there’s writings all about going to the beach or even just eating IN ‘N OUT so whatever you’re looking it’s in here! So take some time and read! And share with your friends too!

 

A: The best part of putting the book together was the freedom and independence we had to choose how our book looked and was organized. Most of the time, classwork is heavily structured, so you can bet that I enjoyed making all the decisions for once.

 

S: My favorite part about writing this book was working on this together with everyone! It was so much fun writing the others on this all year and being able to talk to each other about what we like and what we should change. Trust me, a lot more work goes into writing a book than you think, and it was so nice having people I enjoy to do this with. Especially on those long days of editing. Also shoutout to Andrew who basically did all the formating on the computer for the book to look as clean as it does.

 

C: I think my favorite part about our whole book-writing journey was being able to connect on a different level with old friends and someone new. Like what Sebastian said, we spent A LOT of time together writing, editing, and putting together this book. The project was completely different from a regular group project. Rather than just working together for a short period of time, we spent the whole year together. From sitting at the same table to picking up 6 sets of materials to sharing the snacks meant for later in the day, we had plenty of time to bond. I knew 4 out of the 5 other people in this group at the beginning of the year, but I can honestly say that I’m walking away with a more positive opinion about each person. I’ll definitely remember these 5 for a long time. I mean come on, not everyone can say that they wrote a book with a group of really cool friends.

The Taco Treasure: Part 1

chav2Tacos! Tacos! Tacos!! Who doesn’t love a good street taco?

In this two part blog post series, I explore the wonderful happenstances known as taco trucks in Orange County. In the first installment, our subject is… the El Chavito Taco Truck. A favorite of high schoolers, El Chavito embodies the essence of Mexican street food; a cheap price and delicious finger food. At El Chavito, they do exactly that. Immediately after I place an order with the owner himself, I can smell the delicious carnitas hitting the grill. The smell of fresh corn tortillas and delicious meat is half the experience. Then, as I hear my number called, I feel my mouth water. As I raise the taco to my mouth to take a bite, I feel my hands began to dampen in excitement. The first bite brings a perfect flood of salty meat, refreshing lettuce, and roasted tortilla. A quick bite of crunchy radish refreshes my palate, clearing the way for another delicious bite.

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The owner of El Chavito knows his customer base to a dime and gives them exactly what they want; cheap, savory tacos. Even after he was forced to raise the price of his tacos last year, instead of raising it to 80 cents as many regulars feared, he managed to keep the prices at a low 50 cents a taco. In turn, his customer base has returned the kindness, spreading the tale of his great tacos, and making the owner successful enough to start a second truck! Anytime you’re in Huntington Beach, El Chavito Taco Truck comes with a glowing recommendation. Tune in tomorrow to see the next truck UndrgrndOC visits: Rigoberto’s.

Andrew

The Crabbiest Festival

WOW WHAT’S THAT! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a…. crab?

Hello everybody, today we’re going to visit an awesome annual event called Crabfest, hosted by the Huntington Beach Lions Club and the various LEO Clubs in the district. If you thought Crabfest was all about crab, you’re wrong! At Crabfest, not only was their succulent, all-you-can-eat crab knuckles and legs, but accompanying the star dishes were shrimp, clam chowder, and a tasty Italian vinaigrette salad, along with raffles to win amazing prizes like iPads or vacations. Though the focus of the night is on the crab, to me, nothing can beat the pippin’ hot, freshly made clam chowder, scooped up in still warm bread. The dry crunch from the bread and the creaminess of the clam chowder create a bite of food like no other.

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The servers of the spectacular seafood are none other the LEOs from the various clubs. LEO Clubs stand for Leadership Experience Opporunity Clubs and are high school based clubs from around the world. Lions Club, the organization that is hosting the Crabfest, is the mother club of the LEO clubs and is one of the largest volunteer service organizations around the world. A majority of the proceeds of the night go back to the LEO clubs, with half of all sales being given to support the high school clubs. The only thing better than delicious food is supporting charities and students at the same time. The only downside is it comes once a year. The next time you’re in Orange County in the Spring, be sure to attend the Lions Club Crabfest for a night to remember.

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Andrew

Damn son look at that dim sum!

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Hello hello!

Today our food journey takes us to the wonderful Chinese food known as dim sum at Capital Seafood. Dim sum is traditionally eaten in the morning, so don’t expect to find any restaurants doing the traditional dim sum service past 11 AM. What makes dim sum unique is the way they are made and served. Most dim sum is steamed or roasted and served in the steamer tray. Instead of ordering from a menu, patrons are served premade dim sum in little carts that roam around the restaurant, creating a truly unique experience. Capital’s dim sum is one of the best around, with the freshly made dim sum exploding in your mouth with flavor. The shumai, one of the most common dim sum dishes, is perfectly tender and seasoned, with just the right amount of salt. Capital’s variety is unmatched, ranging from traditional dishes like shumai to rarer dishes like chicken feet or mochi dumplings filled with scallops.

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Of course, when you talk about dim sum, you can’t forget about the tea. The type of tea served varies on the restaurant, but capital serves a fragrant herbal white tea. It’s the perfect complement to the often greasy dim sum. The hot tea washes down all the grease and cleanses your palette, preparing you for another delicious bite of steamy dim sum. It’s only fitting that dim sum has become one of the most recognizable Chinese foods in the world since it was originally founded for travelers, tired from a long trek down the Silk Road, served at roadside teahouses. Just as tired travelers stopped by a teahouse to get some dim sum, I always stop by Capital, and I hope you do too!

Andrew

OH MAMA

It’s Mama D’s Italian Kitchen!

This lovely restaurant has two locations; one in Newport Beach and another in Manhattan Beach. The moment you walk in, you know you’re in for a good meal. The smell of fresh pasta dough being worked and simmering goodness of their sauces is enough to make your mouth water. Their menu has all the classics; chicken parmesan, spaghetti, ect. The specialty of this quaint little restaurant is their sauces. Instead of the traditional specialty dishes, Mama D’s menu is packed with different sauces and pastas. Each customer can customize their pasta experience with any type of pasta noodle and sauce combination. Their best sauce, of course, is their signature Mama D’s Pink sauce, which is a creamy variation on the traditional marinara sauce that has just enough cheese to make your mouth explode with flavor.

Now, the service in Mama D’s is off the charts. The employees do everything in their power to make you feel at home and comfortable, from handing out freshly baked bread to customers waiting for a seat, to giving out free desserts to new patrons. The owners ensure their employees kindness by giving them bonuses for every positive mention of their names on the popular food finding app, Yelp. It’s nice to see an owner give back to their employees in an industry that’s dominated by profits and chain restaurants, and the kindness definitely conducts through to the customer.

If you’re looking for good food made with the finest ingredients, stellar customer service, and that at-home-feeling, Mama D’s is the place to be.

Andrew

The Festival

Hi! Hola! مرحبا! 嗨! Salut! Hallo! привет!

The subject for this week’s blog post is Fountain Valley High School’s very own culture festival. After a one year lapse, the culture fair has resurged at Fountain Valley once again to expose high school students to the different cultures associated with food. In weeks prior to the festival, students on campus sent in auditions of various cultural acts, including lion dances, fire eaters, and dance performances. A majority of the clubs also set up booths selling different cultural foods like Spanish sweet bread, Italian waffle cookies and gelato, Chinese chicken and chow mein.

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PC: Charlie Truong

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PC: Charlie Truong

Although many people don’t think of it, a nation’s culture is expressed in it’s food. The elegant mountains of noodles and sauce with fresh herbs of Italy show the country’s reverence for agriculture and the hilly mountains of the Italian Peninsula. French cuisine is very refined and precise, reflecting the posh, structured culture of France. British fish and chips are a symbol of the nation’s history as a seafaring nation and their reliance on fishing. Similarly, Japanese sushi’s use of seaweed and fresh seafood is a parallel to the national culture of fishing and worship of the sea. Ireland has almost become synonymous with alcohol, especially beer, thanks to the prominence of Guinness, even though Germany invented the tasty brew (the beverage is more prominent in Irish culture than German). People always assume that food developed from culture, but in fact, a nation’s culture develops from its food.

Andrew