About once a week, my partner and I get 24 sweet hours to actually do whatever the heck we want. In Southern California, that leaves it WIDE open. Recently, we drove down to the OC for a chill date night.
Our first stop was one of our favorite breweries, Noble Ale Works. We’ve been visiting since they opened in 2011 because their beers are balanced and creative! I love classic beer styles also, but I usually opt for something new and inspiring. Noble always comes through.
On this visit, I tried the Cinnamon Roast Crunch. It was delicious! This beer was a twist on their Naughty Sauce Stout–a milk stout with Portola Coffee Lab’s coffee that’s golden in color and oh, so creamy! Noble’s site says it best, “The addition of Saigon Cinnamon to Naughty Sauce makes it taste like the milk left in the bowl after a certain breakfast cereal that my mom would reward us with from time to time as kids.”
After treating ourselves to a delicious beer(trying to be responsible!), we realized we needed to eat something. We ended up at Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai in Buena Park. In retrospect, we should’ve stopped here first, but it wasn’t too far of a drive and it split up our next activity–Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar!
This was our second visit here and it was as good as the first! There are several options, but I like ordering the Kitakata ramen. It’s a shoyu-based pork broth ramen with chashu, bamboo shoots, and green onions. I love to customize mine with little extras–this time I chose corn and the seasoned egg. The broth is light, yet very flavorful! It’s a nice contrast to heavy milky tonkotsu broths.
Their noodles are a little different–flat, wide, and hand-crumpled for texture. This ramen is so delicious I’m always tempted to finish my bowl, but with all the other sides, I end up taking about half home! The spicy shredded green onions are one of our favorite sides. They’re a wonderful addition to any ramen or eaten with a bit of rice or chicken.
The fried chicken is a must! It’s so soft inside, yet smothered with light crispy batter on the outside. The dipping sauce is savory and sweet.
We tried some spicy rice this time too. It was good with the chicken and provided some heat. We probably could’ve done without it, but we were tempted to try new items!
Can I eat now? Ha!
Next, we went to our happy place: Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar. It kills me that people are JUST now discovering this spot, but that’s good because we enjoy when it’s quiet here. That night was *not* one of those times. It’s still a must-stop when we’re in Anaheim.
In fact, it was SO busy, they were running short on glassware. I got a Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum which is basically a Painkiller cocktail–light, creamy, and tropical. He got a Krakatoa Punch which is like a twist on a Grog–tall, refreshing, and fruity. I swear we have a little collection of those light-up ice cubes in the freezer at home. Maybe I’ll make a cocktail with one soon!
One day we’ll really do it up and stay the night in the OC so we can try more places. The great thing about Trader Sam’s is that we can walk around Downtown Disney afterwards. This helps us burn off some cocktail calories and sober up before the ride home. There are so many cute things to look at in the stores too–as long as I don’t buy them all!
This was such a fun and flavorful day trip! Where do you go on your days off? Let me know in the comments below!