Food Reviews

Dinner at Atoboy (NYC)

[Translate] Though it took me some time, I finally made it to Atoboy, a highly acclaimed restaurant that explores the creative small Korean plates called banchan. The difference between the banchan you do get at most Korean restaurants and what Atoboy serves is the fact these are thoughtful plates – carefully devised flavors and ingredients and it’s a larger portion. They serve a set menu of 3 plates for $42 (and there are supplement plates if you like to accompany your meal). (more…)

Wedgewood Afternoon Tea at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena (Los Angeles, CA)

[Translate] When we drove over to The Langham, Pasadena from central Los Angeles, the pace of life here feels a little more relaxed and it truly does look like paradise on the vast grounds of this historic hotel. My friend and I came to this ornate, stately hotel for the Wedgewood afternoon tea. The moment we stepped in to its spacious marble lobby redesigned in 1911 by architect Myron Hunt. It has a stunning crystal chandelier with double French doors looking out to its center courtyard, one cannot be helped but be in awe. The lobby lounge, where afternoon tea..

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse: Highland Park (Los Angeles, CA)

[Translate] If there’s such a bakery that has an Instagram friendly space and serve excellent laminated pastries at the same time that would be Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. The space itself is slightly on the industrial style with minimalist decoration, done in tones of white, beige and grays and a touch of wood, making it a great canvas for the golden brown pastries (some dipped in colored glaze) to stand out. This particular bakery started in San Francisco, CA particularly famous for the Cruffin, a croissant dough shaped like a muffin and filled with various flavored fillings depending upon the day..

Dinner at Gwen Restaurant (Los Angeles, CA)

[Translate] I’ve been to plenty of steakhouses (especially NYC is pretty much known as a steakhouse town) and the one that feels the most well-rounded I’ve been to as of recent is at Gwen. It’s kind of odd to say, for me at least, that a restaurant in Los Angeles would provide me a better experience both in service and in food that doesn’t feel brusque and the menu is uneven that the beef steaks shine but little else on the menu would be as good or notable. What is notable about Gwen is the fact the menu is meat-forward..

Noree Thai on Beverly (Los Angeles, CA)

[Translate] Noree Thai on Beverly is a relatively new Thai restaurant from the Luv2Eat team. The chefs’ namesake eatery, which opened this week, is the most mature of the bunch with Thai-inspired design elements coming from the warm gold chandeliers and cascading art on the walls. What I adored about this place was the unabashed Thai flavors and cooking that comes from the kitchen. We started with the tum pu pla ra, a salted crab green papaya salad made with fermented fish sauce and black crab paste that was both spicy and deliciously funky fermented flavors that made this papaya..

Hotel Reviews

Afternoon Tea at Palm Court at The Drake Chicago

[Translate] If there’s a place to be to have afternoon tea in its most classic form and have great people watching, you should head to Palm Court at The Drake Chicago. There’s a harpist performing on certain times of the hour. Since its opening in the 1920’s, The Drake Hotel has maintained a British vibe becoming the home away from home for many of Britain’s royal family starting with the Prince of Wales who stayed there in 1924. Other royals — both British and non-British — have continued the tradition including Princess Diana and the Empress of Japan. Drake’s afternoon..

Chinese New Year Afternoon Tea at The Langham Chicago

[Translate] For those who celebrate, Happy New Year and 恭喜發財! When we were visiting Chicago two weeks ago, The Langham Chicago was intuitive enough to serve Chinese New Year afternoon tea. The menu is generally inspired by Chinese cuisine while still maintaining the familiar format of tiers of food, served in separate courses, and the pots of very good tea of choice. (more…)

Paradise at Ritz Carlton Okinawa (Okinawa, Japan)

[Translate] For the final portion of our visit to Asia, we flew over to Okinawa, Japan. Okinawa feels, in some essence, like what Hawaii is to the United States — the islands have its own culture, climate (it’s warm or hot year-round), strategic location for the U.S. military, and the food is a little bit different from the mainland. During our visit to Okinawa, we stayed at the fabulous Ritz Carlton Okinawa. If I had to sum up this hotel stay in a few phrases, it’s a stunning property surrounded by shallow pools, ocean and country club and the hotel..

Marriott Taipei (Taipei, Taiwan)

[Translate] The Marriott Taipei is one of the newest luxury hotels in Taipei. The largest complex of its kind in Taipei, the Taipei Marriott Hotel comprises a five-star 320-room hotel, restaurants, lounge, convention center, shopping mall and apartments. It is located on the north bank of the Keelung River, in the Dazhi district, near Songshan International Airport. As part of Marriott’s “Green Hotel Development” initiative, indigenous shrubbery and flowering plants are found throughout the hotel grounds and are interspersed with pieces of nature inspired art and sitting areas. (more…)

Fantastic Stay at W Taipei (Taipei, Taiwan)

[Translate] For the first portion of our time in Taipei, we stayed at W Taipei. The first thing that is great about this hotel is centrally located the Xinyi District that makes it easy for me to drop off my shopping bags (there are many shopping malls surrounding the hotel). It’s also a few blocks from the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and Taipei 101, the world’s second-tallest building. Nearby subway stations mean you can be whisked to the city’s shopping districts and mountain hot springs. Entering the lobby of the W Taipei, it’s technically not their lobby. As confusing as..

Recent Recipes

Pistachio Oil, Yogurt Lemon Cake

[Translate] Nounos Creamery is a family-owned creamery in based in Southampton, Long Island, NY. What makes their Greek-style strained yogurt distinctive are the cute glass jars besides the very delicious yogurt. These yogurts come in various flavors like plain, forest berries, orange fig to seasonal flavors like apple pie a la mode. The yogurt itself isn’t sweet. It has the thick, tangy characteristics that you’d expect from this style of yogurt. The fruit that accompanies the yogurt aren’t too concentrated nor sweet which really appeals to me. (I have eaten certain brands of Greek yogurt where I feel like I..

Valrhona Chocolate Cake, Mango Ginger Lime Jam, White Chocolate Lemongrass Frosting

[Translate] I’ve been a long time fan of eating and baking with Valrhona chocolate. This brand creates one of the world’s finest chocolate in the small village of Tain L’Hermitage, France since 1922. They are dedicated to creating unique, artisan quality chocolate with complex, balanced and consistent flavors. This mission of excellence continues as the gastronomic traditions of the renowned Rhone Valley find expression in every mouthwatering taste of Valrhona’s superb chocolate. Valrhona has created a range of unique and recognizable aromatic profiles by perfecting techniques for enhancing the flavor of rare cocoa beans, grown on land masterfully selected for..

Apple Cardamom Yogurt Cake

[Translate] This weekend was truly autumn. Leaves turning from shades of green to vibrant colors of reds, golden yellows, and orange. Autumn is also prime apple season. I’m not in the mood to bake a somewhat finicky pie but wanted to do an apple cake. I’ve tried out the Organic Valley Grassmilk Yogurt; a thick, tangy yogurt that has natural creamline on top that would make a perfect addition to the cake. The natural acidity would make for a tender cake and add some moisture and fat. (more…)