In Westminster California is an eclectic, yet somehow generic Thai cafe. You can get food, bubble tea, and a number of desserts. When told that the crowning culinary achievement of this small establishment was something called "Toast Box" I was skeptical. It was described as a hollowed out loaf of bread with the insides chopped up, toasted and placed back inside the empty husk and drizzled with sweetened condensed milk. At the urging of my mother and siblings I gave in and tried made the trip to Westminster, where they didn't place a loaf of bread in front of me; they placed this:
That is a far cry from some toasted crumbs soaked in milk! This thing was cream cheese frosting, ice cream, sweetened condensed milk, fresh fruit, chunks of sweet (french toast sweet) bread and topped with a scrumptious macaroon! I mean, I love my family but if this had been described to me accurately in the first place I would have spent my whole vacation in the Tebo Tebo Tea Lounge. There was so much to this dessert, and all of it complimented each other so well, it was like your taste buds are holding court to a room full of extremely polite flavors all attempting to put the others before themselves.
There are a number of places that serve Korean BBQ, and I'm not familiar with the correct term, but I'm talking about an all you can eat joint where waiters bring you whatever raw meat you want and you grill it in the middle of your table. I made the foolish mistake of ordering a rather intimidating food; shrimp. As it turns out, shrimp doesn't come to you in their perfect pink little spirals, they've got antenna, legs and scales. I had to ask my restaurant neighbors how to even begin eating the monstrosities, and by the time I was finished with them I felt like the mercenaries in District 9. I enjoyed my meal at Gen Korean BBQ in Huntington beach. It was all you can eat, but if you didn't finish something you had to pay for it. Overall the quality was well worth the price and it was a delicious meal.
Medieval Times is about the kitschiest dinner show around, and it is absolutely fantastic. Audiences are thrust into the midst of a Medieval tournament. Seating is sectioned so each group cheers on a specific knight for the fights. The food is pretty good, but it certainly fits the theme. Within a half hour of being in the building I was tearing into half a roast chicken with my bare hands while cheering for "The Red Knight". My cheering subsided as our knight was killed in the first bout. I spent the rest of the tournament sulking and drinking pepsin from my goblet.
Elvis!? Karaoke Studio
I cannot sing. I enjoy singing on occasion, but that will never change the fact that I cannot do it. Because of this dichotomy, I have naturally been drawn to the popular Japanese business model of rented Karaoke rooms. These are small rooms that you rent for an hour or two with a group of friends with your own private Karaoke machine. You are free to sing your heart out to absolutely any genre you want and only the people you choose need suffer through a butchered rendition of "Pretty Woman". Elvis!? Karaoke Studio in Costa Mesa is a small establishment that offers these amenities as well as too expensive refreshments. It's not the nicest place in the world, but it's a blast with the right group of people.
End of the Line Concert
On the subject of music; a couple friends of mine have joined a band and I'm excited to get to see them in concert while I'm in town. They've thrown together a little rock band called End of the Line and they sound fantastic. Give them a listen!
Pathfinder is a Pen and Paper RPG in which the players assume the roles of various adventurers in a land of magic and adventure. If there is a token nerd character in any movie you watch it's almost guaranteed that he's into these types of games. This game is similar to Dungeons & Dragons and I can't wait to sit down and force my parents to play a session and record the audio.
Honorable Mention: Irvine Woodbridge Movies 5 is a small theater in Irvine that shows movies that are not quite on blu-ray yet for $2. It is fantastic.
I don't know how many of these I will manage to check off my list in September as I will be busy sleeping on a beach or playing board games (it's my vacation, I'll do what I want).