Dining

  • Cashew nut with shrimp and rice is served at Asian Experience. Californian critic Pete Tittl ordered a similar dish, the cashew chicken. Though light on cashews, Tittl's order had the a well-executed mix of vegetables, including fresh mushrooms, bell peppers, red peppers, baby corn on the cob, some onions and a few cashews, all cooked in a chili paste that really brought punch to the plate.

    PETE TITTL: Asian restaurant in Taft an Experience to remember

    Yes, I have family in Taft and, no, they didn’t make a peep about Asian Experience before Guy Fieri blew the place out of the box on national TV. After visiting, I understand why. It’s small. It’s frequently crowded. I wouldn’t go without a reservation, particularly on a weekend night. We had been

  • A few restaurants in the food court at Valley Plaza were reopened Wednesday after being shut down the day before by food inspectors.

    Food inspectors found every diner's worst fear in mall basement

    County health inspectors went looking for plumbing problems in a Valley Plaza basement Wednesday and found every restaurant diner’s worst fear: roaches. An infestation of them. On the bright side, the plumbing issues that forced the closure of the food court the day before apparently have been

  • Cocktails for good cause? We'll drink to that

    If anyone needs an excuse to go to a nice cocktail party this weekend, here’s a good one: All of the ticket proceeds will go to help local foster children. Smart Cocktails, one of several fundraisers to be held by CASA of Kern County this year, will be held Saturday at the home of Robert and Patty

  • Valley Plaza's food court has been shut down by health inspectors due to a sewage problem.

    Mall food court shut down indefinitely

    A health inspector eating lunch at Valley Plaza on Tuesday got some unappetizing news from a restaurant staffer: Mall management had told food court tenants not to use water or put anything down their sinks because of a plumbing issue. The tip-off launched an immediate investigation by the Kern

  • In addition to beef and chicken, The Flame Broiler now offers organic charbroiled tofu as a bowl option. To celebrate the tofu, which was added to the menu earlier this month, stores will offer a free mini size tofu bowl to the first 100 customers on Thursday.

    Flame Broiler promotes tofu bowl with giveaway Thursday

    With more people embracing a less meat-based diet, it’s no surprise vegetarian options are popping up at restaurants. Eager to give vegetarians a more substantial meal, The Flame Broiler added organic charbroiled tofu to the menu. The change is a big one for the chain, which has not change its

  • Lam's Chinese Restaurant on University Avenue serves dry style beef chow fun, a specialty.

    PETE TITTL: This northeast favorite hasn't changed a bit (what a relief!)

    When a beloved restaurant changes hands, it takes time to master the nuances that make the specialities so special. No matter how much time the departing owner takes to share the recipes and processes with the buyer, it’s hard to replicate the magic, at least to the discerning tastes of the

  • The interior of Johnny Garlic's left no room for doubt about the connection to celebrity chef Guy Fieri, but the pictures are gone now that Fieri has bowed out of the chain.

    THE DISH: Guy Fieri officially out of Bakersfield

    It’s now 100 percent over: Guy Fieri is no longer associated with Johnny Garlic’s. A recent story in Nation’s Restaurant News said that the TV star/entrepreneur and his partner in the venture, Steve Gruber, have split the sheets amicably, with Fieri selling his stock to Gruber. The deal includes

  • Natty Vibe plays at the Taco and Tunes fest this weekend.

    CESAREO GARASA: Introducing Taco Tunesday

    We’ve already got festivals devoted to barbecue, chile verde, menudo, mac and cheese, bacon and more. But apparently there was a glaring hole in the marketplace. Welcome to the Tunes and Tacos Cook-Off on Saturday. Yes, tacos. The ultimate munchie paired with the ultimate munchie-inducing

  • Red Robin's ramen burger recipe includes a spicy vegetable slaw, a teriyaki and chiu chow aioli and fried jalapeño coins.

    What's the verdict on Red Robin's ramen burger?

    Feeling a little uncertain about Red Robin's newest release, a hamburger served between a pair of ramen noodle buns? Never fear, The Californian/TBC Media tried it so you don't have to. Red Robin's recipe — based on the foodie trend that started with Chef Keizo Shimamoto at a Brooklyn

  • M&M's is testing out three new flavors: honey nut, chili nut and coffee nut. Fans can vote via the candy’s Facebook page or text and the winner will be added to the permanent lineup.

    THE DISH: Local eateries become chains, M&M's tests new flavors

    Two fast-casual local restaurants each have their second locations up and running: Victor’s Mexican Grill opened at 1901 20th St. in early April while Boss Pizza opened its 5440 California Ave. location earlier this spring. ... Sonic Drive-In went going super-cool for Coachella, offering square

  • Cafe Med is hosting a 25th anniversary celebration on June 12. The Stockdale HIghway restaurant has also started up a Sunday brunch with specialty cocktails and live music.

    Cafe Med turning 25 with celebration June 12

    Cafe Med is celebrating 25 years with monthly activities leading up to a big shindig on June 12. The celebration will run from noon to 5 p.m. with lots of food and a beer and wine tasting. In addition to Cafe Med’s gourmet food, kids can enjoy hot dogs, popcorn and cotton candy. Live music will

  • Red Robin unveiled its take on the ramen burger, with a crispy seasoned noodle bun topped with teriyaki and chiu chow aioli, a medley of chili-infused shredded cabbage, carrot and onion and garnished with fresh basil.

    Red Robin offers ramen burger deal for college students Tuesday

    Like the cronut before it, the ramen burger was a big-city food fad, taking New York and Los Angeles by storm. But while local bakeries offered their own croissant-doughnut hybrid (thanks Sugar Twist and De Coeur Bake Shop), no one in town offered a burger with a crisp noodle bun. That is until now.

  • Chef's Choice Noodle Bar is celebrating five years in business with dining deals.

    Chef's Choice Noodle Bar celebrates five years with deals

    To celebrate five years in business, Chef's Choice Noodle Bar is in the middle of a five-week celebration of food and beverage deals. This week — April 18-23 — it will offer $5 chicken wontons and $9 drunken noodles (choice of chicken, beef, pork or tofu). Diners can enter the weekly drawing

  • Chicken kebabs at the Ivy Mediterranean Tapas. After ordering food or drinks, servers bring out a tray holding  about 10 small dishes: corn relish, beets, Kalamata olives, lima beans, hummus, tahini, Basque white beans, pita bread and a wonderful spread made from parsley, jalapenos, cilantro, cumin and olive oil.

    PETE TITTL: Best Bakersfield restaurant of 2016 (so far)

    I apologize in advance for sounding like a broken record when it comes to downtown Bakersfield restaurants. But yet another impressive new place has opened: the Ivy Mediterranean Tapas. This isn’t just another new restaurant. In a year full of exciting debuts, the Ivy is the best new restaurant of

  • Sherry McKinn from Sweet Tree Farms reaches out to grab a bag of peaches from customer Gina Sala at the Haggin Oaks farmers market in 2012.

    THE DISH: Bounty of the county comes downtown, and the Mark goes country

    Whether it’s at a restaurant or their dinner table, more Kern County residents are looking for local products on the menu. Now downtown Bakersfield is getting in on the act thanks to the Hen’s Roost. The organization that oversees the Brimhall and Haggin Oaks farmers markets is opening up its base

  • Pieology1

    Pieology to open Friday in Bakersfield

    My, oh, another pizza pie: Bakersfield adds to its growing list of fast-bake, custom-pizza options with the opening of Pieology this week. The pizzeria, at the Panama Lane and Ashe Shopping Center, will celebrate its grand opening Friday starting at 11 a.m. Kern’s second location (the first is at

  • What a sweet deal! Ben & Jerry's will hold its annual Free Cone Day on April 12.

    Get the scoop on Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day

    I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream — especially when it’s free! Of course, we’ll be too busy eating to make much noise Tuesday thanks to Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day. For 37 years, the popular Vermont-based chain has given back with a day of free ice cream as a thank you to its