Once upon a time when I lived in a two-bedroom condo and had no children, I considered myself to be a foodie. My wife and I would try out new restaurants with little concern about the wait time to be seated and no worries about how kid-friendly the restaurant would be. But when we fast forward to today, it’s a different story. My wife and I live in a bigger house, have two young children, and aren’t able to explore new restaurants as freely as we once did.
Regardless, one thing that has remained the same is my love of food. So whenever I finish a meeting with a client, a natural question that arises in the conversation is: “Where is a good place to eat?”
My office has plenty of fantastic restaurants nearby, but I have three favorite places that are fairly unique to the area. Here they are, listed in order from the ones with the most locations to those with the least.
This was a place that I had intended to try for quite a while, but it somehow slipped off my radar. It wasn’t until recently that I finally went there with my parents, who were visiting from out of town and wanted to try somewhere new.
Not only was The Stand a new place for us, but it also gave us the opportunity to eat something new - it was the first time I had porchetta in a burger with bacon and garlic mushrooms! Actually, it was also the first time I had porchetta, period. A big plus for us was that the kids’ menu had options that both of my kids would eat in the form of hot dogs, chicken breast bites, and even mac n’ cheese as a small side item! Towards the end of our meal, one of the employees came around with samples of their custard. It was so tasty that I came back later that week to try one of their milkshakes.
I’ve been a fan of TAPS for years and used to frequent their Brea location. They opened their Irvine location around two years ago, and since then, I’ve been a regular customer. What keeps bringing me back? Like The Stand, there are so many delicious items on their menu that it’s hard to only go there once. You just want to try it all!
One of my go-to items is their miso-marinated Chilean sea bass. When my parents or my in-laws come for a visit, we usually go to TAPS, order a few of their entrees (which includes the Chilean sea bass), and share it family style. TAPS has also provided excellent customer service every time we’ve eaten there. I especially love how our servers pay attention to my kids. Shortly after we are seated, our server puts in a “starter” for my kids so that they have apple slices and cheese quesadilla’s to keep them occupied while the grown-ups enjoy themselves!
I came across Urban Seoul by accident. One of my Facebook friends from the Bay Area posted a picture of her food and my first thought was, “I need to check this place out”! Since she’s up north, I thought that I’d have to wait to try the restaurant until I returned to the Bay Area. As I scrolled through other pictures, I realized that she took those pictures on a trip to Irvine!
Within a few weeks, my parents came into town, and my family went to the Diamond Jamboree location. Like the previously mentioned restaurants, their menu had so many items that we wanted to try that we ended up ordering multiple items and sharing everything. Some of our favorites are the Urban 3b (bibimbap), chorizo kimchi fried rice, and gogi sliders. Sometime after we visited the Diamond Jamboree location, a second location opened at the Irvine Spectrum (Urban Seoul 2.0). Because the Diamond Jamboree is a smaller restaurant, I tell clients to go to the Irvine Spectrum if they have kids. Families with children might also enjoy the Irvine Spectrum location more because they can go for a walk or browse the shops after their meal.
Regardless of what restaurant you choose to check out, I think you will enjoy the experience and probably go back for more! If you want an excuse to visit one of these locations, make an appointment with me to check up on your financial plan and then hop on over afterward! Call my office at (949) 221-8105 x 2128, or email me at [email protected].
About Mike Loo
Mike Loo is an independent financial advisor with more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. His mission is to provide a meaningful impact on the lives of clients and the people they care most about, help them make educated decisions with their money, and build a strong financial foundation for both themselves and their next generation. Mike is committed to meeting a high standard of excellence, taking the time to listen to clients’ needs, and designing strategies that aim to help clients save money and reduce debt. He seeks to fit a client’s investments into their life and educate them so they’ll understand their investments. To learn more about how Mike may be able to help, connect with him on LinkedIn, call his office at (949) 221-8105 x 2128, or email him at [email protected].
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Trilogy Capital, a registered investment advisor. Trilogy Capital and Trilogy Financial are separate entities from LPL Financial.