Healthy and delicious...together? It's actually possible; the prime example being avocados, that fruit that elevates eggs and burgers while nourishing you with Vitamin B, C, and E. It's quite possibly the one food that vegans, vegetarians, paleos, ketos, and carnivores can all actually agree on and, for once, share.
Avocados can be enjoyed year-round but, before the summer ends, try some of these local dishes that make the most of them and will keep you cool.
9. Avocado and Shrimp Cocktail at Creme de la Crepe (Long Beach and Hermosa Beach)
Inside this French restaurant is an appetizer that may sound strange at first--an avocado and shrimp cocktail--but hear us out. It's not a drink (there's a touch of alcohol in it, though). Avocado cups filled with shrimp and whisky cocktail sauce are laid out on a bed of spinach. It's simple and refreshing, which is exactly what an appetizer should be.
424 E. 1st Street, Long Beach, (562) 437-2222 424 Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach, (310) 937-2822 cremedelacrepe.com; Twitter: @cremedelacrepe
8. Avocado Tempura at Sushi in Motion (Brea)
Sweet potatoes, green beans, and zucchini are usual victims of the tempura treatment but, at Sushi in Motion, so is avocado. The avocado tempura is exactly what you think it is: slices of avocado battered served with wasabi ranch. If that's not enough avocado for you, try the fire bird sushi (spicy tuna stuffed jalapeno with avocado, eel sauce, in a fried roll) or a sort of traditional caterpillar roll.
2445 E Imperial Hwy, Unit H, Brea, (714) 255-1505; sushiinmotion.com; Instagram: @sushiinmotion
7. Mil Jugos (Santa Ana)
Mil Jugos is a Venezuelan restaurant known for its arepas (corn bread filled with meats like chicharron and carne mechada), empanadas, and cachapas (sweet corn bread with filling). For an extra 75 cents you can (and should!) add sliced avocado to your arepas; it melts seamlessly into the oils of the meat and absorbs flavor from the caramelized corn bread's insides.
320 W 5th St, Santa Ana, (714) 836-4601; miljugos.com; Twitter: @miljugos 6. Dogzilla at Dogzilla and Burntzilla (Irvine)
Avocadoes on a hot dog aren't an everyday thing, and that's exactly why the Dogzilla dog is so great. Instead of traditional ol' mustard and ketchup, this dog is topped with grilled onions, Japanese mayo, teriyaki sauce, furikake, bacon bits, and avocado and is served in toasted King's Hawaiian buns.
Dogzilla, Irvine, (714) 805-8857; dogzillahotdogs.com; Instagram: @dogzillahotdogs Burntzilla, 14407 - 14493 Culver Dr, Irvine, (949) 392-5995; burntzilla.com; Instagram: @burntzilla
5. ABC at Peter's Gourmade Grill (Tustin)
We've all seen or had a burger with avocado in it, but not all are on the level of Peter Gourmade Grill's ABC Burger. A classic at the restaurant, this burger consists of hand-formed patties, white and cheddar cheese, thick slices of bacon, and avocado inside of toasted potato buns. In each bite, you can taste the juiciness of the meat, smokiness of the bacon, and contrasting creaminess of the avocado.
14311 Newport Ave, Tustin, (714) 832-2099; gourmadegrill.com; Twitter: @gourmadegrill
4. Avocado Avalanche at Tastea (Costa Mesa and Garden Grove)
There's a drink for everyone at Tastea, but lovers of creamy ones should consider the Avocado Avalanche, a classic avocado smoothie. The avocado flavor is rich and not too sweet, which makes it ideal for those who can't down Starbucks frappucinos or hyper-sugary drinks from 7-Eleven. Remember to drink using a boba straw instead of a thin one, though--it goes down extra smooth.
10189 Westminster Ave, Garden Grove, (714) 539-1832 1175 Baker Street, Suite E-21 Costa Mesa, (714) 634-2622 tastea.net; Instagram: @drinktastea 3. HB Avocado Original at Avocado Cafe (Irvine)
It's all in the name. Yes, nearly every menu item here has avocado in it, just like the cafe's name implies, and it's all toothsome. But the one we like best of all is the HB Avocado Original. Here's what Anne Marie has said about it:
Light mayo, mustard and tomato are standard regulation on the HB Avocado Original tuna sammy, but it's the remaining ingredients that reel us in. White cheddar and sprouts are two of our favorite toppings-- subtle, but impactful enough to make a difference. Cucumber and soy bacon bits sound meh in theory, but give the crunch this sandwich craves.
6060 Scholarship Dr, Irvine, (949) 752-0523; avocadocafeirvine.com; facebook.com/AvocadoCafeIrvine
2. Poke Bowl with Godzilla Sauce at Poke District (Orange)
The poke craze is still amongst us, but who can complain? The sushi-in-a-bowl concept is just too perfect for the extra heat. Those who want to cool down in the summer should opt specifically for Poke District's poke bowl with Godzilla sauce--that is, avocado aioli. For a creamy mouthfeel, ask for sliced avocadoes to go on top of your rice and seaweed.
1924 N Tustin St, Orange, (714) 602-7907; poke-district.com; Twitter: @poke_district
1. Avocado Ice Cream at A La Minute (Orange)
Few places in Orange County do avocado desserts well--and almost no one makes avocado ice cream the way A La Minute does. The former winner of our "Best Use of Avocado" category, it highlights the avocado's best qualities and uses vanilla bean and honey to accentuate the flavor. Here's Charisma's take:
Made using a liquid nitrogen process, the ice cream's texture is exponentially creamier and softer than the regular churned kind. Served in either your choice of cup or cone, portion sizes are bountiful and make for a solidly refreshing treat.
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117 N Glassell St, Orange, (714) 363-3470; alaminuteicecream.com; Instagram: @alaminute