Food Reviews

Bae Ice Cream (Los Angeles, CA)

[Translate] If you are looking for a soft serve ice cream cafe that has a particular modern, moody aesthetic that is quite Instagrammable that would be Bae. Not to say their ice cream is bad at all; it’s tasty and the shop is located in DTLA (Downtown LA)’s Little Tokyo neighborhood. Their signature flavor, so to speak, is the activated charcoal flavored with pineapple called “Heartbreak.” The charcoal doesn’t give off any flavor and the pineapple is quite delicate that you’re getting a gentle flick of fruity acidity than an intense pineapple flavor. src=”https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1907/31710664538_a226a249e7_c.jpg” alt=”Mixed Feelings – Activated charcoal wih..

Apothéke LA (Los Angeles, CA)

[Translate] If you ever been to Apothéke in New York City, you generally would expect something similar to the new-ish cross country location Apothéke LA. Both are located in each city’s respective Chinatown and both are easy to miss if you are trying to look for the entrance to the bar. The one in LA, my driver flew past the driveway entering to the parking lot of Apothéke LA as the overpass leads into Lincoln Heights. The white brick building is behind the fence next door to street art filled walls surrounding the area, right where the LA River resides...

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..

Hotel Reviews

Lunch at Le Cinq (3* Michelin, Paris)

[Translate] We had lunch at Le Cinq at the very posh Four Seasons George V hotel in Paris. I was generally excited for this particular meal is because of Executive Chef Christian Le Squer currently cooks here and I recalled of the wonderful lunch I had in 2010 when he worked at Ledoyen. We opted for the 4-course lunch (145€ per person) since we still have a long day of eating. Starting off our meal was a “mises en bouche” of a plate set with a ginger jelly balloon, raspberry truffle has a liquid center, and a crispy jigsaw shaped..

Luxurious Dim Sum Afternoon Tea at La Chine at Waldorf Astoria (NYC)

[Translate] La Chine at the Waldorf Astoria is a grand, luxurious haute Chinese restaurant. Renovated in colors of black, gleaming gold and silver, fuzzy banquettes and a black marble bar. The layout is like an old-school power room surrounded by orchids and dim lighting. I’ve been in the search for solidly good high-end Chinese food in New York City (I’m speaking of the ones I’ve eaten Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong) and based on this dim sum afternoon tea experience, I think this is a good bet. The service was professional and friendly. The plush atmosphere feels comfortable. The food..

Lovely Stay at Hôtel du Louvre (Paris, France)

[Translate] When my traveling companion and I were in Paris, we stayed at the grand Five Star Hôtel du Louvre, a Hyatt property. The hotel is located at the busy intersection of the Avenue de l’Opera and Rue de Richelieu near the famed I.M. Pei pyramids at the Louvre. It’s very conveniently close to the Opéra Garnier and the Palais Royal. Place Vendôme, Place de la Concorde, the Marais neighborhood, and the Tuileries Garden. Built in 1855, this hotel is one of the oldest in the City of Lights (it was a former mansion of the Champagne family Taittinger). It..

Heaven on Earth – Hotel Hermitage (Monte Carlo, Monaco)

[Translate] I would daresay, I have stayed and visited at a fair number of luxury hotels but by far my favorite is Hotel Hermitage in Monte Carlo. Everything about this hotel is beautiful and luxurious from the moment you step through the rotating doors and be greeted by the sight of fresh flowers (we saw hydrangea first then orchids) at the comfortable, pastel colored main lobby, all done up in Belle Époque style. This hotel was built in the early 1900s and is one of the two best luxury hotels in Monte Carlo. Its competition the Hotel De Paris is..

Afternoon Tea at Hotel Metropole (Monte Carlo)

[Translate] Note: While we were traveling around Paris, we’ve stopped over to the glamorous principality of Monte Carlo. I will be writing an overview post of this side trip summarizing it all but I’m writing the individual dining establishments first before getting to the aforementioned. During our stay in Monaco we stopped by Hotel Metropole for afternoon tea (there is an epic lunch at Joël Robuchon but I’ll get to that post in due time). The beautiful pastries and confections on display are from Robuchon’s kitchen. This is not exactly the traditional afternoon tea fare that you’d presume; there’s a..

Recent Recipes

Great Local Ingredients from OurHarvest

[Translate] I’ve recently found out and shopped at OurHarvest. Our Harvest is an online farmers market that connects us consumers to local farmers and food producers (currently for the NYC area only). Through partnerships with farmers, fishermen, and food artisans, OurHarvest purchases and sources their products locally to maximize freshness; hence ensuring quality and traceability while keeping costs down and combating hunger at the same time. For every delivery above $25 it receives, OurHarvest also donates a meal to a family in need through its relationship with the Food Bank of New York City. My recent shopping haul consisted of..

Happy 4th of July!

[Translate] Hope all my fellow American readers had a great and safe Independence Day! I celebrated with my friends and family the U.S.’ freedom with style. We started off with a luxe note with Petrossian Caviar. Petrossian started in the 1920s by two Armenian brothers – Melkoum and Mouchegh Petrossian – to Parisians. The brand has dominated this luxurious trade and continued to strive for the best of the fresh, high quality caviar produced. (more…)

Many Uses with KitchenAid – Blender, Pasta Maker, and Convection Oven

[Translate] KitchenAid Convection Digital Countertop Oven & Diamond Blender; Pasta Excellence Set Our friends at KitchenAid sent me their amazing household products of the Diamond Blender, Countertop Digital Convection Oven, and Pasta Excellence Set (pasta stand mixer attachments since I own their Artisan Stand Mixer). Since spring is finally here and how can’t you not feel inspired to cook and bake anything? Strawberries are one of the ingredients that are prominent in spring and for breakfast, I like making smoothies besides my cup of coffee. It’s quick and easy for my busy mornings shuffling to work. I made batches of..