Sugarfish, Los Angeles, CA

Simple formula, fluidly executed.

Sugarfish is a no-brainer choice by for a quick sushi meal any time of the week, Sunday lunch included. Branded with the name of a celebrity chef, there is no doubt this restaurant chain devises some clever marketing gimmicks. The so called ‘trust me’ option is no real omakase but a mere set menu. That could be quickly forgiven in the name of good food with a more than reasonable price tag.

Even the deluxe ‘trust me’ features rather common fish selection but the quality is good. Sushi rice was prepared with care. Food was served as soon as it is ready and every single piece was at the right temperature. Nothing was too hot nor too cold. Sushi rice was as close to body heat as it could get. And the seaweed on the rolls? Perfectly crisp. It is not very often to get this kind of quality on table service.

The best part? You can get a very satisfying meal with no more than $40. The portion is just right. Don’t worry about having to go home hungry.

85C Bakery, Irvine, CA

I never understood the hype around 85C. They certainly have some decent pastries but nothing really justify a crazy long wait. The taro bun came close but not close enough. The sea salt coffee is only appealing to bubble tea drinkers. Any semi serious coffee lover would not be completely satisfied with this creamy sugary coffee drink.

If you grow up being spoiled by wonderful European patisseries you will laugh at the people lining up for 85C. However, if you manage to come here at an odd hour to quickly snatch up some pastries with little to  no wait, you won’t be too disappointed.