HOTSPOTS OF THE WEEK: SAKU SAKI, CUBAN EXPRESS, JAMBA, KONA ICE DESSERT TRUCK, SAM’S PIZZA, FAMILIA BARRIOS | Showcase

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1232 W. Avenue K Lancaster

Fortunately for us, we have quite a few delicious Japanese restaurants here in the Antelope Valley.  Such was the case last week when I was craving my absolute favorite food—Sushi with a capital S! My taste buds and cravings were so happy that our sushi restaurants are still open, even if it was for take-out. The 2 specialty rolls for $17 is available—however, I opted for my usual, sushi burrito and one specialty rainbow roll. Spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, crab mix, cucumber and avocado wrapped in soy paper, topped with eel sauce and no rice make up the burrito which has become one of my favorites as it is not only unique but light crunch and fabulous. I enjoy the soy paper as well as the no rice part. The rainbow roll was chock full of crab mix, cucumber inside with salmon, tuna, shrimp, yellowtail and avocado outside, then drizzled with eel sauce—spectacular flavor from beginning to end; savory start with a sweet finish. Open Monday and Wednesday-Saturday 11:30AM-9:30PM; Sunday 12pm-9pm; closed Tuesday for take-out only. Serving up all your favorites—appetizers, sushi, sashimi, traditional Japanese entrees, noodles, combos and dessert.  Check out the website www.sakusakisushi.com. 

628 W. Lancaster Blvd Lancaster

Last week being in a Cuban kind of mood, we picked up dinner—ropa vieja sandwich for him and since I’m counting calories, the chicken bowl for me. The sandwich had the perfect amount of garlic with great flavor—bread nice and soft, tasty melted cheese and a hint of peppers. Simple and delicious with a little bit of a kick at the end. I took a small bite and indeed it was quite delicious. Amazing how a few spices and flavors mixed together can turn into such an incredible sandwich. He added a side of the garlic fries which are sliced really thin and just the right amount of garlic creating a delicious and tasty treat. My bowl had marinated grilled chicken pieces, rice and some pretty darn yummy black beans that I poured over the rice. This too had a great flavor—perfectly cooked and nicely seasoned moist chicken a great accompaniment to the rest of the bowl. For dessert we shared the guava and cheese empanada. Warm, sweet guava juice with the most delicious melted dessert cheese mixed together dripping over the fried pastry dough as I took the first bite. Absolutely heavenly. Open daily 11AM-9PM for outside dining & take-out.

43530 10th St. W. #101 Lancaster

Looking to get healthy and enjoy an active lifestyle? If so, then try some Jamba juice fruit smoothies, blissful bowls, all-natural baked goodies, steel-cut oatmeal, sandwiches or any of their other healthy choices. So many delicious options—classic, plant-based or power smoothies and everything is packed full of the good stuff—nothing artificial, everything fresh. I tried the peachy green goodness bowl—peach juice, mangos, peaches, kale, pumpkin seeds, bananas, organic granola, strawberries and chia seeds. Full of delicious, fruity and healthy goodness Arissa chose the Peach Perfection smoothie. The peach is very particular about her associates. Mangos, strawberries and two kinds of fruit juice ensure that she’s always seen with the right people. After all, she has a reputation to maintain. And, not to worry her reputation is in tack and she was delicious to boot! Nadine, on the other hand chose not let the summer end without one more fling with Blackberry. Not only does it bring fresh island vibes with pineapple and coconut, but it’s also rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C to help boost your immunity as the temperature rises—healthy and delightful. Open for take-out & delivery daily 7AM-9:30PM with 2 Palmdale locations as well.

They bring the fun to you—shaved ice, delicious flavor and the tropical Kona ice experience that includes steel drum music, colorful lights, joyful servers that will surely please everyone like it did us, last Wednesday at 20th St. West & Ave. N. Their fb post said 4-8PM, so we were there right at 4, not wanting to wait in line—they are so popular that people can’t wait to get their delicious cold treats especially last week with the temps in the triple digits. The truck was so bright and cheerful looking and being first in line, we tried to make a decision ASAP. Our choices were cherry, blue raspberry, cotton candy, watermelon, pink lemon, pina colada, tigers blood, island rush and mystery flavor—sounds really sweet, but not to worry you can feel good about what you’re eating as everything is under 50 calories per serving—sweetened with stevia and fortified with vitamins C and D, so sweet and healthy. I asked what the mystery flavor was and the sweet young lady looked at me, smiled and said, “it’s a mystery”! I chose the pina colada—flavorful, cold and refreshing. Check the website to find out where they will be next www.kona-ice.com

3011 W. Rancho Vista Blvd. suite G Palmdale

Tucked on the east side of the shopping center, facing Marie Kerr Park is a little pizzeria baking up delicious pies. With a very small menu but a great big taste you will find pizza, bread sticks, cheese sticks, wings, antipasto and garden salads and did I mention pizza? Medium Hawaiian pizza (Canadian bacon & pineapple), small antipasto, cheese sticks and dinner was served. No fuss, no muss—just picked up the phone, ordered and picked it up. The pizzas here at this little eatery are made to order using a two-cheese blend and baked on dough prepared fresh daily. The crust was tasty with the perfect texture and the combination of flavors were on point—sweet and savory. The surprise of the evening came from the cheese bread—soft, salty and doughy exterior with a very cheesy and flavorful interior, giving us a great big explosion of taste, fabulous, I might add! The salad, although individual was enough for the both of us and was full of lettuce, tomatoes, pepperoncini slices, pepperoncini and topped with a heap of grated mozzarella cheese—fresh, crisp and delicious. Open Sunday – Thursday 11:30AM-9:30PM; Friday & Saturday till 11PM for take-out and delivery.

7704 Pearblossom Hwy Littlerock

Chorizo and eggs, three shredded beef crispy tacos and three $1 street tacos (asada, chorizo and carnitas)—the perfect brunch for taco Tuesday! Though, there is a Barrio’s taco truck usually parked at the corner of L-8 and 50th St. West, my friend Jackie and I decided to eat at the actual restaurant in Littlerock where we could enjoy a sit-down meal outside under the tent. Luckily for us, there was a slight breeze, so it was quite enjoyable. The crispy tacos had a nice amount of deliciously seasoned beef, shredded lettuce, two cheeses and topped with sour cream—scrumptious, juicy and I really enjoyed the cold sour cream, putting it over the top. This plate was served with rice and bean that were both very tasty. Chorizo and eggs are a favorite of mine and they tasted just as good as when I make them with the toast and mound of hash browns completing the plate, making for a very satisfying breakfast. Jackie enjoyed the very robust flavored street tacos taking them to the next level by adding the spicy salsa one drop at a time! Open daily 10AM-9PM for outside dining, take-out, delivery and catering.

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