Saturday, March 27, 2010

View of Laguna Beach

Originally uploaded by greenbeangirl74
This is why it is worth dealing with smog, high cost of living, traffic, rude drivers, crazy laws, etc - the view. Spectacular. Oh how I love the ocean and beach!

Convenience at the Beach

I was cruising around Laguna yesterday hoping to find a spot by the beach.

I just wanted to pop in for a bit and soak up some sun and waves. All I could find were metered spots and I had ZERO change on me. I remembered that the meters by the beach in Laguna only take quarters and dimes, no pesky nickles or pennies for them. Your cash of those varieties is not wanted. But what caught my eye as I drive by was the mastercard logo.

I nearly stopped on a proverbial dime when I realized, these meters take credit cards. SWEET! Now I can charge my time at the beach. That is having your cake and eating it two if I ever heard it!

Not sure if all beach meters are like this, but those near Laguna, by Las Brisas Cafe are :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


One of the great things about California is that there is a restaurant for every ethnicity, taste, creed, variety and style. From Thai to Ethiopian to French to Vegan to Raw to greasy Diner. You can find it all here. Every craze, fad, tradition and culture is represented. Now, not every one will be a favorite and today was one of those for me.

I'm saying up front that this restaurant is not one I would choose on a regular basis. Instead it was chosen by my friend, who is on a strange diet and can only eat like three things. I respect her dietary needs and we went. With that build up, where did we go, Rutabagorz.

Rutaz, as it is affectionately named, bills itself as a healthy alternative. It is mostly a vegetarian restaurant. Lots of sprouts, vegetables and dishes made with bean curd, soy proteins and sweet potatoes. However, I was surprised to note that most things are drenched in melted cheese, but I guess if you're not eating meat or anything fried, melted cheese is necessary for protein and to get it all down.

Now to say something good, the passion fruit ice tea is delicious. It is smooth with hints of fruit that do not overwhelm.

Rutaz is turning 40 this year so every month the three restaurants will be featuring a dip special for only .40. At the Fullerton location, where I was today, it was the black bean hummus. I must say it was AWESOME. I could eat a gallon of that, so good. They also have really amazing pastries and cookies. When you walk in, it's the first thing you see, a giant case of them taunting you and begging to be eaten. Each one is made on site, and you can taste the difference. The restaurant opened serving only homemade soups and cheesecakes in 1970. It was also among the first to capitalize on the coffee trend and serve espressos in a casual environment that wouldn't kick ya out.

I remember the coffee drinks being delicious, from college. Some are even of the alcohol variety and with those delicious pastries, how can you go wrong? You can't.

I had not been to Rutaz since the early 90s and I probably won't add it into heavy rotation. But if you're in for the healthy variety, want a variety of vegetarian cuisine, I highly recommend it. Their salads are ENORMOUS. They are practically served in a giant mixing bowl.

I think I would have been happier if I had gone with the bbq chicken salad instead of the enchiladas verdes. I don't know why I ordered them. There was hint o' chicken and LOTS of cheese. My friend had a highly customized salad of some variety that you couldn't replicate if you tried. But the great thing about Rutaz is that they will do it for you, occasionally with a small up charge.

There are three Orange County locations: Fullerton, Orange and Tustin. Each one is housed in a reconstituted, historic building. No new construction for Rutabagorz (a twist on the vegetable Rutabega). They believe in using what is already here and want you to feel good about what you eat.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ode to Yogurtland

I have found my new heaven and it is almost healthy.

The other day I met a friend for froyo. Frozen yogurt is the new cupcake. There are a million different places to get it, seriously. There is Pinkberry, Golden Spoon, Cherry on Top and now my new mecca, Yogurtland. It is that good.

To be honest I was hooked when I found out the featured flavor is Red Velvet Cake Batter. OMG! OMG!! Although every flavor is delicious from the Vanilla Cookie Wafer to Coconut, Strawberry, Yuzu Tart, Madagascar Vanilla or Peanut Butter. You can request little sample cups from the cashier and taste to your hearts content. Although they will only give you one or two cups at a time.

Since it is self-serve you can make your own creation unabashedly. I did a base of the vanilla cookie wafer, cheesecake, strawberry and coconut. AH-MAZING!

The other great factor is the topping bar, everything you can think of to put on your frozen yogurt from fresh fruit to candy to crushed graham crackers, oh my.

All of this for .30 an oz. Kid you not! Only .30/oz. This treat is healthier than coffee, I'm sure, and cheaper. I smell a new addiction for me. I have been twice already this week.

So far I have been to the one in Irvine at The Marketplace and the one in Tustin near State College. The one in Irvine is my favorite. Find your nearest location and go!