Mila's Kusina

Filipino Teriyaki House

6661-949-9696

43633 15th St. West

Lancaster

Last week I went in uncharted territory, even for me! I had heard lots of great things regarding this authentic Filipino restaurant, so baby steps, especially when it is something new! I walked up to the counter and looked at all the delicious looking items in the various hot trays—the server was very enthusiastic with a great big smile. They have both a breakfast menu with four items for $6.75 plus tax and an all-day menu with 1-item combo for $5.99 plus tax and 2-item for $8.99 plus tax. Tilapia and lumpia (mini eggrolls) are separate. I chose the BBQ chicken on a stick and pancit or Filipino rice noodles. They rotate items daily with BBQ chicken, BBQ pork, fried tilapia, fried milkfish and pancit every day. Upon opening the box, I was pleasantly surprised—everything looked so fresh had a delightful aroma. I dove into the chicken as I just knew it was going to be good and it exceeded all my expectations—fabulous, flavorful and juicy. The noodles were ridiculously yummy especially with a little sweet & sour sauce. I understand that the lumpia is not only sweet and savory but excellent as well—next visit. Both food and service are amazing. Open Monday thru Friday 7AM-6PM; Saturday 7AM-4PM and closed Sunday. Dine-in, take-out and delivery.

Sugary Donuts

661-729-6611

43637 15th St West

Lancaster

I have been eating donuts for over 60 years with maple bars being my favorite, that equates to a lot of maple bars over the years! Well, last week I had the best one yet! It was so delicious and almost creamy tasting, that half way thru I looked inside to see why, and it was because it was so just so fresh, grease-less and done with extreme perfection and I don’t use those words lightly. They have definitely raised the bar on maple donuts—of course, the rest of the dozen was just as wonderful. I purchased these in late afternoon, so that was even more important as they tasted as if they came right out of the oven. The menu is very typical with cake, buttermilk, jelly filled, lemon filled, and Bavarian crème filled, iced with sprinkles, chocolate chips and fruity pebbles, glazed, old fashioned, bars, twists, cinnamon rolls, apple fritters, bear claws and the list goes on! They also have bagels and cream cheese, muffins and croissants in a myriad of flavors. If you are thirsty—coffee, tea, hot cocoa, orange juice and milk are available or try one of the many blended iced coffees (mocha, vanilla, caramel, java chip, Thai tea, mango and taro) Open Monday thru Saturday 6AM-6:30PM for dine-in, take-out and delivery with Postmates.

Maribel’s Cakes, Bakery and Café

661-942-4969

44205 20th St. West

Lancaster

Treat yourself to one of the cafés many savory and mouth-watering pupusas, Mexican and Salvadorian tamales, breakfast burritos and other Mexican breakfast plates, burritos, quesadillas, gorditas, sopes and many other great dishes or enjoy a delectable pastry from a nice selection of delicious handmade desserts or maybe even a cake as Maribel has been baking up a storm over the last 25 years. Amazing aromas surround you as you walk in this quaint little café and bakery that you can enjoy as you wait for your order to take home. I started with the bean and cheese pupusa—very tasty and the pickled cabbage gave it that extra little bang!

Next, were the tacos—perfect choice; two very moist, well-seasoned chicken and steak tacos, both served with cilantro and onion nestled on top of two soft corn tortillas. The meat in the tacos was “melt in your mouth” delicious and after dousing with the famous house salsa they were heavenly. I also enjoy one of their heavenly Mexican pork tamales—delicious from the very first bite. For dessert I had the famous cinnamon coffee cake which has been my absolute favorite forever and did not disappoint—sweet, moist and yummy. Open Mon-Sat 9AM-5PM for take-out. Limited food menu but full line of fabulous dessert, bakery items and don’t forget about the horchata!

Baracoa Cuban Restaurant

661-265-9463

853 Auto Center Dr. Ste F

Palmdale

From their Cuban heritage to the tables of their restaurant, Baracoa brings you the best Cuban food off the island! Cuban style cooking is a combination of culinary arts from around the world blending the flavors of tropical, African and European cuisine. The menu is filled with yummy dishes—empanades, ceviche, papas rellenas (deep fried mashed potato balls), vaca frita (tender shredded beef seared crispy), ropa vieja (signature shredded beef braised with bell peppers & wine-based tomato sauce) plus many other specialties. My choice was the Cubano—traditional, classic Cuban sandwich with slow roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard and aioli pressed in Cuban bread. Peasant style dining with aristocratic tastebuds—undeniably delicious, outside crispy, inside cheesy. The essential ingredient is the roasted pork marinated in a mojo sauce—citrus, garlic and oregano; well, that explains the fabulous flavor! I washed that incredible sandwich down with a delicious glass of the award winning Unibroue Tripel—mildly hoppy palate with notes of grains, fruit and spice with a smooth, dry finish. Excellent dinner combination. Open daily 11AM for indoor and patio dining and take-out, order online at baracoacubanrestaurant.com. Check out their ghost kitchen—Fat Tony’s for Italian entrees (baked penne, spaghetti pomodoro, pasta garlic and oil, chicken piccata, shrimp scampi, fettucine alfredo and more) delivery and take-out only.

Xalisco Bar and grill

661-951-2261

42525 10th St. West

Lancaster

This Mexican restaurant features authentic, delicious and satisfying cuisine with an emphasis on seafood—ceviche, cocktails, and a large variety of seafood entrees from oysters and scallops and grilled fish filet topped with crab, abalone, octopus, calamari and shrimp. The menu includes appetizers, salads, soup, traditional Mexican fare, combos and special plates plus breakfast entrees including chilaquiles and menudo. I chose the chicken salad, bowl of chicken tortilla soup, shrimp ceviche and a blended mango margarita. The salad was presented so beautifully with punches of red, green and purple and filled with red onions, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes and nicely seasoned moist grilled chicken.  The soup was filled with large tender chunks of assorted veggies, sliced avocado, tortilla strips and an ample amount of cheese on top. The flavor was incredible—warmly spiced, savory and ever so satisfying. My ceviche was extremely delicious and bursting with citrus flavor, plus had the perfect ratio of shrimp to veggies (tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro and onion) with avocado slices on top—excellent! Let’s talk about the margarita—slight variation of the classic with mango flavoring added—frosty, creamy, tart and sweet; so luxurious, making it the perfect drink to pair with the rest of my dinner. Open Tuesday thru Thursday 11AM-9PM; Friday 11AM-10PM, Saturday 10AM-10PM, Sunday 10AM-8pm and closed Monday. Indoor and patio dining, take-out and delivery available.

Karen’s Kitchen #2

840 W. Palmdale Blvd.

Palmdale

661-947-0550

Karen’s Kitchen #3

W. Avenue L

Quartz Hill

Tucked away in a small strip mall in West Palmdale is Karen’s kitchen #2. It’s small in-size but big on taste and the menu touts themselves as Home of the Three-Egg Breakfast! From old-fashion omelets to down home breakfasts, country lunches and everything in between—Karen’s kitchen has it all. After a thorough perusal of the menu, I ordered the Two Egg Breakfast with Grits and English Muffins.  My eggs were cooked to a perfect over-medium (whites cooked thru and just the right amount of creamy yolk to go over my grits)! Some people enjoy grits with salt and pepper, butter and occasionally gravy. I, on the other hand, prefer them with a little sugar with my lightly salted eggs on top! So, I had a little sweet and a little salty in each bite—the perfect combination of flavors at least in my book! Probably one of the most iconic breakfast foods would be good ol’ pancakes, so I ordered a short stack and after adding just a little maple syrup, I had the most ridiculously amazing and delicious fluffy buttermilk pancakes, ever! Open daily for breakfast and lunch, with breakfast being served all day 7AM-2PM with indoor and outdoor dining, take-out and delivery. Both locations are owned and operated locally by the same family.

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