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Melrose Umbrella Company (Los Angeles, CA)

[Translate] When I came across and visited Melrose Umbrella Company, I thought this is not the typical cocktail bar and in ways, it isn’t. At first glance, I was presuming it’s a hipster bar that would care a lot about their drinks (which they do) and have this standoff-ish demeanor that some bars’ staff might carry out (which they don’t). When you enter this spacious place, it feels like a step in time circa 1920s with exposed wooden beams and vintage umbrellas tucked in between the panels of the wall. It feels cozy and historically cool without trying too hard...

Dinner at Hinoki & The Bird (Los Angeles, CA)

[Translate] One of the lovely dinners I’ve had while in Los Angeles was at Hinoki & The Bird. While the cuisine of meshing New American cuisine (specifically California cuisine) with Asian flavors isn’t a new thing, especially in this city, what really sticks out here is the location and the venue. The restaurant is found at the luxury condo tower The Century and the valet parking is right in front of the restaurant. (Don’t go to the parking lot since it’s a different rate.) The restaurant has gorgeous mid-century modern architecture and furnishes with the warm glow of the candles..

Sidecar Doughnuts (Santa Monica, Los Angeles, CA)

[Translate] Sidecar Doughnuts is a popular doughnut shop that started in Costa Mesa back in 2012. The Santa Moncica location that we visited opened nearly three years ago and since been one of the places to get a very good, if not excellent, doughnuts in the Los Angeles metro area. What appealed to me initially are the flavors. It’s familiar yet creative enough and it doesn’t look gimmicky compared to other shops (e.g. I don’t need to see a cute panda face on my doughnut to want to eat one). What I liked the most based on that visit was..

Weekend at Martha’s Vineyard – Lovely Island but An Adventure to Get There

[Translate] I recently went to Martha’s Vineyard (MVY) for a weekend getaway with a friend — and what a getaway that was. The journey to the island was admittedly much more arduous than what we have anticipated. Originally we have booked flights directly from JFK to the island but for both ways, it’s been either extensively delayed (for the first leg) and canceled on the way home. Like I’ve overheard from one of the locals say on my van taxi ride to the ferry terminal at Oaks Bluff from MVY airport, it’s a lovely island because it’s relatively remote and..

Relaxing Time at Loews Miami Beach Hotel – SOAK Cabanas and Lure Fishbar (Miami, FL)

[Translate] If there was a day I felt like a pampered (and very well fed) person while in Miami, it was spending the day at Loews Miami Beach Hotel. This hotel recently underwent a $50 million dollar renovation that gave the hotel a fresh, sophisticated look. When we walked through the tall palm tree-lined path to the pool, we were mesmerized how stunning it is. It looked glamorous and it’s not too far from the beach. We had the cabana and it’s practically a mini studio apartment. We had our private bathroom fitted with a walk-in shower with a large..

Santorini by Georgios at Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach (Miami, FL)

[Translate] One of the relaxing (and very stomach fulfilling) days I have spent in Miami was at Santorini by Georgios at Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach. We’ve explored Little Havana during the morning to check out the predominantly Cuban community and had fresh pressed sugar cane juice then drove down to South Beach for some sun time. Santorini by Georgios feels like a local Greek restaurant since it’s a family owned joint despite the fact it is in a boutique hotel. This not a bad thing at all since everyone greets and treats you like you are a friend or part..


OTL Miami, A Great Cafe in Design District (Miami, FL)

[Translate] If there’s a coffeeshop/cafe that I wish there was a version of in NYC, that would be OTL. The large, bright, airy space that is minimialist and admittedly, very Instagrammable and the food and beverages are healthy-ish and satisfying. There’s wi-fi to work and it doesn’t get too loud when it gets busy here that you can do some work, if needed or have a casual breakfast or lunch meeting here. Also, it’s in the heart of a fabulous shopping neighborhood of Miami Design District, where there’s many designer boutiques (Fendi is next door to OTL, Prada is down..

Dinner at SushiClub (Miami, FL)

[Translate] A casual observer/tourist walking through Miami would notice that Asian and Asian fusion restaurants are quite popular. One of the newer entrants to this category is SushiClub. Imported from Argentina, this two-month old restaurant is fitted in a spacious, dark, sexy place that evokes a nightclub but it does serve pretty solid food and drinks. We started off with the Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne and passion fruit caipiroska and the kitchen sent out an amuse bouche of stewed black beans topped with avocado puree and a side of plantain chips. The Champagne was delightful and the caipiroska was fruity..