Thursday, October 15, 2009

OC restaurant week

I realized that to make this blog really helpful for other readers is that I need to announce all the upcoming events before I actually attended them. It's a learning curve in starting this website I suppose.

Unfortunately I was disappointed with the OC restuarant week choices that I made this year: Geisha House (Santa Ana) and Royal Hawaiian (Laguna Beach).
Geisha house in my opinion is over priced. It's more of a place you would go to be seen and to see. A trendy decor with so-so food.
I've never been to Royal Hawaiian...and when we passed by it, it was always loud with music: seemed happening. Unfortunately I was super disappointed in the food, service, and environmnet. Lesson learned, don't go back. The picture above is their rib and shrimp dinner. I would say that the quality was of "denny's" quality. Sometimes all that "noise" is just noise.
LAdine week was much more pleasing... will post more about this later.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

San Diego Adventures

So we ventured an hour outside of Irvine to San Diego in finding new adventures for the weekend for cheap or for free even!

We visited Seaport Village on our first day ~ a quaint little area by the sea with souvenir shops and restaurants. Luckily for me that weekend, they had an Artwalk right by the Seaport Village with free admission.

That night, I found an underground dancing bar in Gaslamp Quarters with no cover! We danced the night away and had a blast!

The next day, we visited Coronado Beach...beautiful beaches with white sand. We went for a 1 1/2 hour bike ride along this well paved trail. Paid $12 per person for 2 hours for bike rentals.

Our final day, we ventured to Balboa Park where we went to the Natural History Museum to see the Body Worlds 2 exhibit. It was my first time, and I loved what I saw & learned. We paid only $15 b/c we went on a Monday and b/c I printed coupons from online. It's all about doing a little research before going anywhere. Balboa Park is huge with 11 museums and many botanical gardens. The gardens are free, but museums do have admission fee. They have a wonderful thing called a balboa park pass for $35 where you can visit it all in 7 days. While we were there, we also visited the Dessert Garden, Rose Garden, Botanical Building, and the Spanish Art Village. It was free parking and free admission to most. Loved every moment that I was there... looking forward to going back to see more!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Orange International Street Fair 2009

The City of Orange have been hosting the Orange International Street Fair for the past 3 decades every Labor Day Weekend (Fri to Sun).
It was my first year going and it was a treat in many ways: festive atmosphere, variety of food choices, and craft vendors for those who love to shop!

My favorite were the very sweet lemonade & rosettes cookies. Yum! These Norweign fried sweet balls were good too!

My cousin ended up buying this really cool feathered pin from one of the vendors:

We went on a very hot day during the time I think we'll go after the heat has died down. The pros of this place was that there is no entrance fee, you can find parking in residential area for free, and there is a lot to eat... so go hungry!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Loft @ Montage Resort & Spa

Orange County Restaurant Week: Gotta Love it!

So I visited the Montage Resort & Spa located in Laguna Beach to try their prefix lunch at The Loft. I've heard very good things about The Loft. For a $20 prefix lunch, I ate:

for Starter: BRAISED LAUGHING BIRD SHRIMP-heirloom spinach and garden herbs, winter citrus vinaigrette

for Entree: MAPLE-GLAZED SONOMA CHICKEN SANDWICH-wild arugula and aged gouda, local tomato marmalade

for Dessert: GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE- coconut jam, chocolate pecan salad, praline nut ice cream

YUM YUM and more YUM.

I was able to spend a nice day enjoying the beautiful ocean view with 5 star service and delectable 3 course meal for under $30 (including tip & tax).

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I love visiting the nearest bookstores just to read and browse the wide selection of books that they have.

The reasons why I like bookstores better than the library are:

1. They carry the newest selections of books.
2. I can buy and drink a nice cup of hot coffee or tea.
3. I don't get scolded for talking too loud or being on my cell phone.

The bookstores that I usually visit are Barnes & Nobles or Borders.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Trader Joe's

Oh how I love thee...Trader Joe's. I buy majority of my grocery at Trader Joe's. I've been a faithful fan since 2001, since I moved to the OC.

Reasons why Trader Joe is the best:

  1. Cheap. I've compared some of the vegetables and other products to major grocery stores and TJ is usually 10% or more cheaper.
  2. Healthy. They have great organic, whole wheat, low fat food that I enjoy weekly.
  3. Delicious. From fresh to frozen their food is yummy! I haven't been disappointed yet.

For the price and the quality, it really can't be beat!

Check out their website and the closest store near you: TJ

**Last night I shared meal that was less than $10 for 2 people! Tuna Steak ($5), bowl of broccoli ($2), and pasta ($1.5). How can you resist TJ? I sure can't~ ;)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Orange County Restaurant Week Coming Soon!

Unite all foodies! Whenever I have an opportunity to try new restaurants especially at bargain prices, I am the first in line.

Orange County Restaurant Week is coming! February 22 to 28th. Take an advantage of their pre-fix menus at great prices for normally very expensive restaurants such as The Loft at the Montage. They range from $20 to $40.

Last month, I had the pleasure of reviewing several Newport Beach restaurants during their restaurant week. My favorite was Buddha's Favorite dinner prefix menu that was only $20!
  • Sage
  • Baja Tacos
  • Buddha's Favorite
  • Zov's


If you are like me, you like to learn something new every year, every month, or even every week!

For the past 7 plus years I have lived in OC, I have taken over 10 lessons and classes to quench that learning itch. Some of them include:


So where can you get lessons for cheap? For the most flexible schedule and lowest prices, the best place to look is your local community center. The classes are usually held on weekends & evenings, and because they are group lessons, it is cheaper than private lessons. Last summer, I took surfing lessons thru the Newport Beach Community. My lessons were every Saturday for 6 weeks for 3 hour lessons. I had the best time swimming, surfing, and enjoying the california sun.

Here are some resources:

City of Irvine Classes

City of Newport beach Classes

City of Hungting beach Classes

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hello OC peeps!

Welcome to my website: the fabulous frugal OC life!

This blog is about finding cheap and fun things to do in & around Orange County. I have been living in the OC since 2001 and I have filled my days with something new every chance I get. I am passionate about food, travel, photography, and adventure! I am also notorious for traveling to new places, learning a new hobby every year, and trying new restaurants by living within my means. Here you will find inspiration to explore Orange County on your own. Enjoy reading and happy living!