The Kirin Hut
4025 W. Ave L-8, Lancaster
Tucked away in a strip center off 40th St. W and Ave L is a Chinese restaurant with an extensive menu of traditional Chinese entrees plus a secret menu with various chef specialties, a large variety of hot and cold teas, soothing milk teas, slushies and smoothies. Having lunch with friends last week proved to be not only fun but delicious as well. Joy was giving us suggestions of various items she has enjoyed over the multitude times she has dined there—Shanghai noodles, vegetable fried rice and egg foo young. Anne thought everything sounded good so they opted to share, promising me a bite or two! Boy, oh boy one bite was all I needed, as all three were amazing, especially the egg foo young or Chinese omelet. This dish stood out with its delicious vegetable filling, slight umami flavor, hint of sesame oil in the egg mixture and the savory gravy, creating a delectable classic dish. I enjoyed the cashew shrimp—traditionally prepared with that familiar taste of stir-fried vegetables and succulent shrimp in rich brown gravy, excellent flavor. Open Tue.- Thur. 11am-9pm; Fri & Sat till 9:30 & Sun 12-9PM; closed Mon. for dine-in, take-out and delivery.
Sammy’s/Martina’s Mexican Restaurant
2761 W. Ave. L, Lancaster
Craving Mexican food, I stopped by for lunch last week with Arissa. Starting off with tostadas de ceviche—absolutely delicious, the little bits of cilantro and cucumber put it right over the top—and the lime gave it a zing of citrus awakening.
Two soft tacos served with rice and beans was our shared entree. One chicken and one shredded beef—both were overflowing with lettuce and cheese. The chicken was soft, moist with a wonderful flavor and the shredded beef was well seasoned to create a very rich taste.
Now, I saved the best part for last—deep fried ice cream for dessert! I’m not sure if my description will be adequate for the most amazing deep-fried ice cream I have ever had, but here goes—big scoop of vanilla ice cream, coated, deep fried, then served with caramel and chocolate sauce, whipped cream and cinnamon sugar tortilla chips. I was just amazed at the incredible flavors I was tasting and enjoying—fabulous treat! Open for breakfast, lunch & dinner featuring dine in, take out, kids’ menu, menudo and albondigas (meatball) soup served daily plus domestic and imported bottled beer. Open Mon. thru Sat. 8am-8pm and Sun. 9am-4pm.
2066 W. Ave. J, Lancaster
What do creamy cheese foam tea, milk tea, boba, smoothies, slushies and hot pot all have in common—you guessed it, you will find all of these at a little café called Mr. Boba. Word of mouth brought me here, and the intriguing menu keeps me coming back! I couldn’t wait to try everything, but that will take quite a few trips. On this day I ordered the egg rolls (traditional with veggies—great flavor), popcorn chicken (interesting seasoning, moist and crisp), taro milk tea with boba (Arissa said, “the perfect drink, done right”), jasmine green tea with cheese foam (layer of milk & cream cheese sprinkled with salt—sweet with a savory finish) and mini hot pot (simmering hot soup). The hot pot was not only fabulous and flavorful but healthy as well—full of Chinese veggies, fish tofu, imitation crab, glass noodles, half boiled egg, large shrimp in a premium kelp broth with ponzu sauce for dipping. The beautiful and colorful creation was brought to the table on a heating block with steamed rice—simply fun and fabulous. Open for dine-in, take out & delivery Sun.-Thurs 11AM-9PM; Fri. & Sat. till 10PM.
The Village Grille
44303 Sierra Hwy, Lancaster
After three months, they are finally open and I couldn’t wait to enjoy breakfast. I ordered the French toast combo—four triangles of thick, yummy French toast sprinkled with powder sugar and after the first bite I noticed a hint of cinnamon which put them right over the edge, followed by four pieces of crispy bacon and two perfect over medium eggs. After the first piece of French toast, I added the syrup and topped it off with my eggs. I just love the flavor when the sweetness of the syrup meets the saltiness of the egg with the yolk dripping all over the concoction.
My companion decided to have lunch—a patty melt, consisting of half pound patty on grilled rye bread with grilled onions, Swiss & American cheese served with choice of French fries or salad and, of course he opted for the very delicious French fries! The mixture of the two cheeses and the very tasty, well-seasoned meat made for a very nice flavor—great sandwich. Open daily 7AM-2PM serving breakfast and lunch—dine-in or take out. Daily specials, kids’ menu, senior menu, beer and wine are all available in a clean, remodeled restaurant with a very friendly staff.
The Salt Lick Tavern
14700 Elizabeth Lake Rd., Lake Hughes
This fairly new restaurant is very aptly named as it is horse country in Lake Hughes. We stumbled upon this rustic looking restaurant while out for a drive and as we walked in, we were greeted by a friendly server named Mel who guided us to a big round table in the corner. The restaurant was open and spacious with windows everywhere plus a front and back patio. It reminded me of a wood cabin—very western with two deer heads mounted on the wall. I noticed there was a quaint bar on one side with beer, wine and cocktails—a cold glass was in order. Offering a wide range of choices from the casual—Philly cheesesteak, calamari fries, nachos and the Cubano to gourmet—roasted sea bass, Nashville tenders and smoked hangar steak. Daily specials constantly changing with the creativity of the chef. We chose the citrus poached shrimp with bloody Mary cocktail sauce and the steak burger and fries. The biggest, meatiest and succulent shrimp ever with a dipping sauce to die for—just incredible. The burger was big, perfectly seasoned, juicy and delicious. Open Tuesday -Friday 4-9PM; Sat. & Sun 11AM-9PM for dine-in and takeout.
Fresco II Mediterranean Restaurant
1311 Rancho Vista Blvd, Palmdale (AV Mall Restaurant Row)
This newly renovated Mediterranean restaurant that we have all come to love is now open. A brand-new menu has been created with some of the familiar dishes like the bowtie Fresco and New York Meatball pizza with some new dishes—gourmet charcuterie platter, saganaki opa (fried Kasseri cheese flambed with Greek brandy and lemon—sounds fabulous), Greek zucchini fritters and so many more. This Mediterranean hotspot is where tradition is defined, especially through the delicious bread with garlic dipping sauce made in-house. The menu has everything from appetizers to salads to pizza to hearty pastas. There are lots of dishes with seafood as well. Adding any one of their new specialty craft cocktails will make dining a whole lot sweeter. Being the first dine-in customers and a little too early for dinner, my companion and I shared the Swiss burger—Angus beef, bacon, roasted garlic aioli, arugula, caramelized onions & mushrooms, balsamic reduction on brioche with French fries. And, yes this tasted just as fabulous as it sounds—the giant meatball size burger was cooked to a perfect medium and combined with the veggies was exquisite. New summer hours—daily 4-9PM for dine-in and delivery.