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

Afternoon Tea at Ritz Carlton Buckhead (Atlanta, Georgia)

[Translate] Ritz Carlton Buckhead is set in an upscale neighborhood of Atlanta (there is another Ritz Carlton Atlanta that is about 10 miles south in Downtown Atlanta), not too far from the tony shopping boutiques and the city’s most prestigious shopping venues – Lenox Mall and Phipps Plaza. When we arrived to the Lobby Lounge, it’s a handsome, dark lounge set with a large bar toward the front, plush upholstered sofas and chairs dotted throughout the lounge. Afternoon tea is a staple at this luxury hotel. Here, the traditional afternoon tea takes place Wednesday through Sundays at 2 PM and..

Afternoon Tea at The Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman

[Translate] The Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman is currently considered the best luxury hotel in the Cayman Islands. It is a AAA Five Diamond property and occupies 144 acres across the Caribbean to the North Sound, facing Seven Mile Beach’s shoreline. When we entered the spacious and beautiful Silver Palm dining area that divides into two sections — a handsome, dark wood bar on one end and an elegant tea room flooded with lots of natural light. (more…)

Excellent Afternoon Tea at The Pembroke Room at The Lowell Hotel (NYC)

[Translate] I’ve recently went to The Pembroke Room at The Lowell Hotel for afternoon tea with my mother this past weekend. The Lowell is a boutique hotel in the tony neighborhood of the Upper East Side. When you do enter the charming Pembroke Room upstairs, it felt like I went to an elegant, wealthy grandmother’s home. It’s warmly lit with chandeliers, tables set with heavy tablecloths and fine china, and comfortably padded chairs. (more…)

Luxurious Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam & Lunch at Jansz

[Translate] On my recent trip to Amsterdam last week, I stayed at the gorgeous Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam. This hotel has heritage and prestige given its twenty-five restored 17th and 18th century houses that were once homes of prosperous trade merchants and the decadent and flamboyant Dutch aristocrats. The hotel grounds now encompass nearly an entire city block along Prinsengracht, the canal dedicated to the Prince of Orange. This hotel is still under renovations when I was there but when I entered the hotel, it felt like entering a high-end private residence. On the left of the door, you enter the..

Wonderful Stay at Alexis Hotel (Seattle, WA)

[Translate] Alexis Hotel is an upscale boutique hotel, featuring 121 eclectic guestrooms that cater to every possible personality, is about as perfectly located as a downtown hotel can be. Many of Seattle’s most desirable sightseeing destinations are within easy walking distance, as are a vast selection of top-notch restaurants. It also sits right on First Avenue, directly above Puget Sound; a few rooms do have partial water views but many face neighboring buildings. Better harbor views can be found at hotels a few blocks north. We stayed at the Fireplace Suite where it feels very cozy to curl up by..

Recent Recipes

Baba al Bee’s Knees

[Translate] Valentine’s Day is coming up and the award winning gin, Bluecoat American Dry Gin has asked me to create a Valentine’s Day inspired cocktail. Instead of doing another cocktail, I wanted a challenge and create a boozy cocktail dessert. Everyone knows baba al rum is a French classic yeast-risen cake soaked in lots of sweet rum syrup and possibly served with a side of fluffy whipped cream. Technically, this yeast cake is a great sponge to soak in any booze or flavored syrup you can dream of. I thought, “Why not something with gin?” Bluecoat gin is a beautiful,..

Blueberry Almond Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Lemon Compote for National Blueberry Pancake Day

[Translate] I may be early for National Blueberry Pancake Day (that day in the U.S. falls on January 28th) but I always feel like there’s never a bad day to make a batch of these babies and eat them. There’s something comforting about having a small or tall stack of these warm, fluffy, slightly crisp cakes with a few bright bites of blueberries at home and at your leisure. I have collaborated with Driscoll’s to highlight their fresh, high quality blueberries and incorporate them into my blueberry almond buttermilk pancakes. I wanted to emphasize the blueberries even further by making..

Cranberry Orange Pecan Rolls

[Translate] Holiday treats with the pan of un-iced cranberry orange pecan rolls Happy Boxing Day! Hope many of your friends and families had a great holiday. Many of us usually think cranberries are for the holidays but I think of them as a great sweet-tart fruit that could be used year round. I finally found some time from my crazy schedule to use cranberries (what some people consider as “America’s original super fruit”) to bake cranberry orange pecan rolls for my family. (more…)