THE DISH: New spots, returning favorites heat up dining scene

·4 min read

May 21—Some weeks there is one big food story to cover while others are about the small bites out there. Here's some of the latest food news.

Chef's Choice Noodle Bar has flourished since opening May 7 at its new location at The Marketplace.

The plan was to only offer dinner service for the first month, but owner Nick Hansa said the staff and kitchen are ahead of schedule and ready for the lunch crowd. Lunch service begins Monday at 11:30 a.m.

The Noodle Bar Express, allowing guests to pop in for quick to-go bowls, plates and appetizers, has been slightly retooled and will be offered from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

And for those interested in the restaurant's specialty cocktails, happy hour is offered from 2 to 5 p.m. weekdays with $5 selected appetizers and cocktails.

Online ordering for pickup is available now through ccnoodlebar.com. Hansa said a delivery option will be coming soon.

Finally, the fine dining menu, which will highlight the skills of executive chef Preeda Piamfa, is set to launch in a month, Hansa said. For now, the menu features a number of "Chef Preeda Specials" including pineapple fried rice, Thai garlic spaghetti, salt and pepper garlic catfish and roasted duck over jasmine rice.

Chef's Choice Noodle Bar is located at 9000 Ming Ave., Suite J2. For more information, visit ccnoodlebar.com.

Speaking of new spots, Rosedale diners have new options with the openings of Blue Table and a new Garrison's Seafood Express location, both in the same shopping center at Gosford and Hageman roads.

Blue Table offers fine dining and authentic Thai cuisine. There are a variety of quick lunch specials as well as "special lunch" options such as chu-chee salmon ($17, a steamed fillet with a spicy red curry coconut cream reduction; and crispy garlic chicken ($12) prepared with peppers, carrots and mushrooms.

Blue Table is at 4550 Coffee Road, Suite F. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. View the menu at bluetableca.com.

This is the third location for Garrison's, which opened its first restaurant on Panama Lane in 2018 and another in Ojai earlier this year.

Living up to its name, the restaurant serves fish and chips combos with tilapia, catfish and cod ($13) as well as fried shrimp. Those looking to feed a crowd can check out the family meals, including one for $35 with 32 jumbo shrimp, fries and 12 hush puppies or the eight pieces of fish with fries and hush puppies.

Garrison's is located at 4560 Coffee Road, Suite C, next to Menchie's Frozen Yogurt. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday, with a closure from 2 to 3 p.m. daily. For more information, visit gse18.org.

And downtown diners have enjoyed the return of The 18Hundred, which just reopened. Original owners Foti and Maya Tsiboukas are back, dishing up hamburgers, shakes, fancy small plates, craft cocktails and more.

The 18Hundred is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily at 1800 Chester Ave. For more information, visit the18hundred.com.

Fried chicken still hot

The fast-food chicken sandwich wars continue with a new soldier enlisted at Burger King. On June 3, the burger chain will offer the Ch'King, its new hand-breaded fried chicken sandwich served on a toasty potato bun with pickles and a savory signature sauce. There will also be a Spicy Ch'King, which dips the chicken in a spicy glaze. Either can be ordered deluxe, which removes the pickles and adds a slice of tomato and lettuce.

Those who are loyal to the chain's Whopper won't have to choose next month. Diners who order a Ch'King through the BK App or BK.com from June 3 to 20 can also receive a free Whopper. The deal is good for one per customer. Go to "Offers" on the BK App or bk.com/offers for details.

Determined to prove "there is another way to chicken," Taco Bell has brought back its naked chicken chalupa, which was first introduced in 2017.

The dish features all-white-meat chicken that is marinated in bold Mexican spices, rolled in a crunchy coating and fried to perfection. It's then topped with lettuce, cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes and an avocado ranch sauce.

The chain prides itself on chicken innovation, having offered the crispy chicken chickstar in 2015, naked chicken chips and crispy chicken quesadilla in 2017 and recently testing a crispy chicken sandwich taco. creativity.

"When you look at the industry, you see the same sandwich being introduced as new everywhere, but at Taco Bell, being a follower isn't our philosophy. We've listened to our fans and we're confident this is the perfect time to bring back this fan-favorite," said Liz Matthews, Taco Bell's chief food innovation officer, said in a news release. "The naked chicken chalupa is just the beginning of Taco Bell's chicken offerings this year with more unexpected menu items being introduced at a later time."

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.

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