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When an Italian insists on taking you to coffee, please indulge them and let them pick the spot! My sweet 89 year old ex-neighbor from Palos Verdes drove me to Caffe Tre Venezie in Torrance and treated me to a cappuccino and hazelnut gelato as she recounted all the fun she had on her birthday with her daughters. She has become a regular at this small cafe and she conversed in Italian with the owner about the coffee they use in the cafe compared to the one she buys; in the end they both agreed that both brands were good choices:)

 

Regent Coffee in Glendale roasts their own beans, and they offer personal pour over coffee packets, as well as the usual assortment of espresso drinks.

Two Guns has opened up several locations around the South Bay, and luckily for me the one closest to me has a full menu and delicious bites like this one that may be my favorite cinnamon roll, with flakey exterior and croissant like interior wound around layers of cinnamon.

My favorite local coffee is the flat white with organic milk at Blue Butterfly, where I am now a regular, enjoying the art on the walls inside, as much as the perfect people watching front sidewalk, and the patio in the back with a tiny fountain. The day when they greet me by name, I know that I will have officially become a local 🙂

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Timing is crucial if you want your visit to Porto’s Bakery to be pleasurable. The line is usually out the door and down the street during popular meal times, so if you can visit between the rush times, you will be much happier and enjoy your visit much more. I came in one day around 1:30 PM and the wait was only about 30 minutes.

They are famous for both sweet and savory, with a selection that will leave you salivating and indecisive, especially if it is your first visit. There is a cafe on one side and the bakery on the other, so if you want to sit down and eat go to the cafe side, if you want to take it away, go to the bakery side. They also serve sandwiches and plates on both sides, so if you want more than pastries, you can also order a full meal for under $10.

 

 

 

 

They have full cakes to go and a shorter line in the bakery for the full cakes, as well as cakes that were ordered ahead of time.

 There is a hot section of their famous potato balls.

 I got two of the beef and one of the seafood (a seasonal specialty).

The seafood was slightly spicy and reminded me of NOLA type flavors, a great choice if it’s available.

They are famous for their beef potato balls and with a drop or two of tapatio or tabasco, they are addictive!

I got a sample of their sweets to go and liked every one, from the Polvoron cookie, with a crumbly almond flavor, to their cheese roll, and apple turnover. All were light, crisp, not overly sweet.

 The inside of the apple turnover; my only suggestion would be more apple please!

The three potato balls and three sweets all came to less than $7!!!!

Pictures speak volumes, and I get many ideas about where to go eat from my Instagram feed. The first time I went in, two other people also came in for the first time because of the pictures we had seen on Instagram:) I follow Eat Bearded on Instagram and Armen is one of the chefs/co-owners of Mini Kabob.

Ovakim and Alvard welcomed me as if I had entered their home when I came into the eight seat restaurant; the place is so small that the couple dining at the table closest to the door opened it for me from their seats!

They serve high quality food, done with heart and skill that can only come from people who love what they do, and they treat everyone as a new friend or old one, depending on whether it’s your first visit or thousandth time. I’ve now become a regular, introducing friends to the place, so now I feel like this is my home away from home:)

The first time I went in, I asked Ovakim what he recommended, and he said “Get the chicken breast” so I did and it was the most mouthwatering moist version I have ever eaten. The rice, onions, and grilled tomato and jalapeno were perfect compliments to the chicken and basmati rice. All this for under $15 and nearly enough for two meals!

When I saw the steak and salad, I knew I wanted that combo on another night, and it did not disappoint, with tender meat and a refreshing green crunch all for under $20.

The Lule minced chicken mixed with a bit of pork and spices is a slighter smaller meal especially paired with salad instead of rice, but big on flavor.

Or you can opt for half rice, half salad.

If you can’t decide, you can order a combo plate with chicken thigh, chicken lule, and pork, also with salad instead of rice if you prefer. I found the pork a bit dry, but still tasty.

The lamb chops are a big plate, and I ordered half salad, half rice to get a completely “balanced” meal, but it was so big I would only order this to go next time; this is the most expensive item on the menu coming in at slightly over $20.

Perhaps my favorite part of any meal here is the delightfully light garlic sauce that is served with every meal. I would eat this everyday if I lived closer to Mini Kabob 🙂 They make it fresh daily, along with their hummus.

 The lavash bread comes from a nearby bakery, and it is the only thing they do not make in house.

I’m part of the extended family now 🙂

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