Dining Panda: Cooking At Home With Our New Favorite Meal Kit


By Cooking Panda

Meal kits are all the rage right now — and for a very good reason: They are so easy. You sign up, pick your plan and before you know it, there’s a ton of fresh ingredients at your door with easy-to-follow recipes. It’s a great way to explore new foods, recipes you might not pick on your own and fun food mash-ups that will change the way you eat!

Our current meal kit obsession is the Chef’d + Soy Vay pairing. If we could eat their meals every night, we would. The Soy Vay marinade literally perks up every dish, making the meals taste like something you’d have on a fancy night out. But it was all made right in your kitchen. #Dreams

Before you run off and sign up for your own Chef’d subscription, allow us to give you the low down on the best recipes to pick.

1) Without a doubt, our favorite meal was Teriyaki Wings. The flavor was perfect (thank you, Soy Vay), and following along with Chef’d instructions, our wings had an excellent sear and were cooked perfectly. And it’s a super versatile dish. You can have it for dinner, an appetizer or a party snack. This is definitely a recipe we’re happy we learned, ’cause now we’ll be making it way more often.

2) Next up, we loved the Asian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches. This time we used Soy Vay’s Asian Honey BBQ Marinade to give the chicken its unique flavor. AND we made coleslaw and potato chips to go along with it. If you haven’t made chips before, you’re going to love it. (Pro-tip: Dip the chips in the leftover Asian Honey BBQ Marinade. Trust us.)

3) And finally, for a romantic night in with that special someone, we cannot recommend the Asian Honey Cod enough! The Soy Vay Asian Honey BBQ Marinade takes the cod to an entirely different level of yummy, and when the shiitake mushrooms soak up the sauce, it’s everything you could ever want and more. It’s a seriously perfect dinner.

And did we mention that every single recipe comes with a wine and beer pairing? Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying beef tenderloin with a nice glass of pinot noir by your side.

So what are you waiting for? Click here for more information and make sure you try all of the Soy Vay recipes. Honestly, they’re all so good, we don’t how we picked just three! Make sure to use the hashtag #SoyVay to share your yummy creations!

Tags: Dining Panda, Soy Vay
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Dining Panda: Gobbling Up Mexican Street Fare At Cocina Condesa


By Cooking Panda

Studio City, California and Mexico City are more than 1,800 miles apart, but Cocina Condesa shrinks that gap with a mouth-watering selection of Mexican street food so authentic that the only thing missing is the Mexican streets. Executive chef Eddie Garcia has crafted a menu informed and influenced by his Aztec roots that makes this Ventura Boulevard hotspot a must-visit for diners looking to branch out from everyday Americanized Mexican fare.

Take the Ahi Tuna Tostaditos – a domed pile of fresh, citrus-accented tuna, cubed avocado, cucumber and sliced mango, served with small tortillas made from Mexican jicama yam beans. It’s culinary flourishes like this one that set Cocina Condesa apart from tens of thousands of taquerias jostling for your dinnertime attention. Same goes for the creamy and fiery Street Corn – served on or off the cobb depending on your mood – and the Ceviche de Pescado, which brings together mahi mahi, jalapenos and cotija cheese corn nuts with a side of fried plantains for scooping.

Ceviche de Pescado

Standout entrees include the Crepas de Langosta, which wrap a generous helping of fresh lobster in warm tortillas topped with tangy verde and pickled onions. The Chile Rellano was also a standout. There’s no great twist to Cocina Condesa’s take on this venerable Mexican classic: It’s a green chile stuffed with cheese and covered in verde. Simple, unassuming and one of the most satisfying items on the menu.

Besides their food, Cocina Condesa does a brisk business as a bar and mezcaleria, serving up all manner of tequila-based cocktails and expertly-crafted margaritas in salt, seasoning and cinnamon-rimmed glasses. The Paloma is a wonderfully refreshing citrus cocktail, bringing together Squirt, fresh grapefruit juice and fresh lime juice, while the Margarita Condesa provides a fine jumping-off point for an exploration of the diverse selection of margaritas on offer.


The best reason not to gorge yourself on Cocina Condesa’s main courses is the dessert menu, which provides a variety of outstanding sweets that remain every bit as fresh and creative as the rest of the menu. The Baby ​Churros are served hot from the fryer, dusted with sugar, gooey on the inside and accompanied by a smooth dulce de leche dipping sauce. The Caramel Cheesecake served with horchata ice cream is just the right amount of sweet and especially perfect on a hot day.

Caramel Cheesecake with Horchata Ice Cream

And the Chocolate Cayenne Brownie serves up a warm and spicy brownie alongside the Mexican standby of walnut crusted deep fried ice cream (and don’t worry, it’s not overly spicy at all).

Chocolate Cayenne Brownie

If you’re looking for street food eats with sit-down ambiance – and maybe a strong beverage or two – your search is over. Cocina Condesa is the reigning king of the streets.

Cocina Condesa
11616 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604

Tags: Cocina Condesa, Dining Panda, Mexican food
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