Every year we grow a bit older and we come to new realizations about life and what it means to us. What was once important to us may no longer be important and what was never important become important. Life's a trip isn't it? So what does that have to do with today's blog post?

My dear friend Nhu celebrated her 35th birthday last week and invited 26 of her very closest friends to a little wine and dine at Basically this little gem is a loft space where creative chefs like Stevie Cho put on meals for a small group of like minded individuals who have the same love for food and life. A wonderful space and a marvelous time we had....

That night we had a sample of Kimchi Deviled Eggs as we started to pour a nice glass of wine to celebrate the night. The table was filled with handmade details that really set the mood off. Saying hello to some old faces was a real nice treat as well.

Next was a slow roasted pork belly slider tucked in between a King's Hawaiian Bread. Inside was some sort of pickle that really gave it a contrasting flavor that really brought the whole thing together. As we toasted the birthday girl, you can see the staff putting together our meals. 

I met Nhu back in college... way back in 2001... so it has been a good minute. She's one of the most sneakiest people I know. She will try to pay a tab behind my back, sneak in some money into my wife's purse when I try to pay for something... you get the idea but over the years, we have decided to play it neutral cause she knows I will take it to the next level... lol. But my wife and I love this girl.. she's one of the most careless individuals I know. She will give anything and everything you ask of her... well that is if she loves you ;) and so capturing some genuine moments of this girl who hates being in front of the camera makes me happy. 

Stevie Cho is here prepping our main course of prime rib sided by some home mashed potatoes and corn to match. Look at the brown on the crush of this roast!

Friends on friends on friends... all enjoying this sliver of a moment before getting back to the madness of the world. Grabbed a few candids of everyone having a good time... I wish all the minutes of our lives was this great.

Knives and meats... my kind of joint. Plate me please...!

In typical Nhu fashion, she surprised one of her friend's with a surprise dessert and candle for her birthday... just sharing her moment with her girl.... and below you can see this girl who rarely smiles this large captured by yours truly. Truly a rare moment indeed lol...

So another year older, another year wiser, we take all of our experiences and mash them into what is our reality. What was once important to me has taken a backseat to all the things that have taken on a new significance in my life. Our time is definitely short in this world and this day was a reminder to me to live life like it was meant to be. 

I love you to the Muon and back my dear! Happy 35th birthday.... your smile brightens all of our days and big shoutout to Stevie and his crew for making this night quite the enjoyable evening. Cheers!


First trip to Burger Parlor in Downtown Fullerton

The love for food is always a tug of war. We all love to eat but eating too much leads to bad places... the California Foodie scene is strong and the social media game for food is even stronger. Restaurants, food trucks, fusion dessert, ethnic.. we have it all here in Socal... but today I will be starting off my first food blog post with a burger shop in DTF (downtown Fullerton).

Located right in the heart of DTF on the East side of Harbor Blvd, Burger Parlor is nestled in a loft-like space where they make a variety of burger and burger accessorized sides. My assistants Hector and Nancy have been telling me to check this joint out for a minute but finally stumbled across it just over the weekend. Coincidently a few days ago I started the change in my eating habits... it's not really a diet per say but it's a diet which consists of watching my portions. 

I used to eat until I couldn't eat no more... my stomach would stretch with great joy but then I started the inevitable weight gain. So in order to continue enjoying my lifestyle, I will still eat what I love but will eat up to 75% of my stomach's full capacity. Hopefully this goes well.... so today's blog post didn't consist of beautiful greasy, dirty and calorie filled foods... well sort of. 

For all of your connoisseurs of beer, here is your selection on tap to choose from. 

Below we started off with the Snack Shack which is basically a chili cheese fries in a bowl. I love ketchup with my chili fries so it was quickly added after I took this shot.  

As my wife and I chowed down on the Chili Fries while we waited for some friends,  I quickly realized that I was getting full... so I was in a tough spot. Forget my own commitment to my portioning diet or just munch of someone else. So as I went up to order my son's junior meal, I ended up eating half of his. Sad isn't it?

Our friends ended up getting the Vegan burger and the Danish Blue with a side of waffle sweet potatoes. Both look delicious and cooked well.

I spoke with the manager who gracious allowed me to take some photos of the kitchen and then putting together a Captain Crunch Milkshake. Tasted just like a bowl of milk and cereal. Made with love and lots of soft serve. 

We ended up coming into the restaurant between the lunch and dinner rush so we didn't have to wait but by the time we were leaving, it started to get very crowded. 

Cool little spot if you are into boutique burgers... next time I will come in for the Old Fashion or Smokey.

Til the next,
Andrew Manley