Bakers & Baristas | Artesia, CA

During last week, one of my best friends (Carry) and I had a dinner date which then carried over to a dessert date. Tucked away in a rather average sized complex in Artesia lies Bakers & Baristas.

Apparently, it’s a fairly new establishment (soft opened in July, 2015) that despite what the name implies, offers more than just coffee and pastries. Salads, toast and sandwiches are on their menu throughout the day and of course, since it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere, they have a selection of wines, bottled brews and local brews on tap.

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Toriki | Tokyo, Japan

 As some of you may know, Steven (the fiancé) and I recently went on our annual vacation slash post Second anniversary trip. For this year, we decided to go to Japan since I haven’t been home in so long and, it’s always good to have your fiancé see where you grew up as well as to experience the culture that you’re so used to. Turns out, it’s a country that’s on his bucket list and righteously so due to the fact that Japan turns out to be a.) every chef’s dream to visit and b.) probably the culinary mecca of the world (aside from France, of course).

Anyway, since we literally drank and ate our way through Tokyo, I figured it’d be perfect to start my “Foodventure” series; A series of posts that feature what I ate and where I had it. Obviously, Los Angeles – being my home base wouldn’t really be considered as a “Foodventure” but, this is my ode for all the other culinary escapades I’ve had and have yet to go on

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Life Lately 2.0

These “life lately” themed posts REALLY come in handy when you’ve been neglecting the blogosphere for a while. Although I’m looking to expand more on the key things that have recently happened in life, I figured that I should whip up one quick post that summarizes all that’s happened since July of this year in case I, once again, neglect and completely forget to do so.

1.) I got engaged!
My goodness, I feel like that’s news that is blog worthy however, I just wanted to savor the feeling and keep it between friends and family first. It was not big nor too little but it was perfect. Exactly how I wanted it to be and that just goes to show how Steven knows me.

2.) My best friend came out to visit
Well, technically speaking, not really. She flew out to San Francisco but had no plans to come down to L.A. (how you skip SoCal is completely mind-boggling to me, btw). Since it was 4th of July, Steven was off so we decided to turn it into an uber spontaneous road trip. It was totally worth the 8 hours on the road and not much sleep since I don’t know when I’ll get to see her too.

3.) Summer = Beach
SoCal summer is absolutely perfect due to the abundance of beaches and beautiful weather. Obviously, my friends and I had to indulge.

4.) USC Football Game
Disclaimer: I am not a Trojan fan. Cool? Cool. Being that I work for USC and have no access to actual NFL games out here in L.A., I accepted an invitation to watch one of the first few regular college season games. These are the times where I miss living in New York so. damn. much.

5.) Petit Trois makes Top 2 on 10 Best New Restaurants on Bon Apetit!
…and Steven has been their Sous Chef since March too! Oops, once again, I have utterly and completely neglected my blog. Plus, they made it to Top 2 for Bon Apetit’s list of 10 best new restaurants across America.

6.) I went home to Japan
And also probably hung on to my father like a koala about 75% of the duration of my trip. It’s hard being far from my dad since I’m such a daddy’s girl. In addition to that, Steven came along so he got to experience Japan for the first time. Definitely blogging more about this!

7.) Ate Chicken Sashimi
…and didn’t die. Nope, salmonella definitely ain’t got nothing on me! Ah, Japan, I love you. There is surely no place like home.

8.) Attended a Yelp Elite Event
I attended my first ever Yelp Elite Event the moment I got back from my trip. It was at Sardo’s, a cool bar located in Burbank. The swag I received from the event was amazing and I can’t wait to get to go to another Yelp Elite event.

So that’s a quick round-up of things that have been going on with me. Hoping that I could start blogging regularly again! How have all of you been? Let me know!

 

 

 

Sharksteeth, Undisclosed Location

If you think the food scene in Los Angeles isn’t popping, then think again. We have underground supper clubs around here and grabbing a seat isn’t easy at all. Not to mention the fact that there are also a bunch of restaurants where reservation methods are on a ticket purchase basis as well.

Sharksteeth is a sister “supper club” of Wolvesmouth. However, instead of replying to email blasts from Wolvesmouth and crossing your fingers to see if you’ve won a coveted spot to enjoy their food, Sharksteeth sends out an email notification letting you know when their tickets go on sale. It’s very much like Ludo Lefebre’s Trois Mec but even more low key since the dinner is set at an undisclosed location.

Sharksteeth serves a six course meal, all of which are announced during the dinner itself. You’re free to roam around the location during dinner and take a look at the menu that they post over the face of their fridge. Drinks on the other hand are BYOB. All 20 diners (technically 10 with all their plus one’s) bring their own bottle and it’s quite an experience. As the dinner progresses, diners interact with each other and not only do they share the drinks they’ve brought, but they exchange conversations as well. A great dinner AND new friends? Sounds like a great deal of fun to me!
Now this girl loves her Pouilly-Fumé! It’s basically wine that’s purely made out of sauvignon blanc and lighter on the palate – a complete plus if you’re not an avid wine drinker like me (please don’t judge me, lol). Continue reading

Revamping

Oh boy, so much for making promises to myself about regularly updating this blog! But trust me, I do have plans. Initially, I wanted this to be a personal blog about my adventures (and mishaps). However, after sitting around and really focusing on what I’d like to write, I’ve realized that most of you will see an influx of food photos and entries.

That being said, I will take time off to gather my thoughts and hopefully come back within a couple of months to write posts about life, love and a whole lot of food.

A Very Grammy Christmas

IMG_0352Big OOPS moment. For a minute there, I had the ultimate brain fart and couldn’t come up with the will to blog despite all the good things that have happened to me since my last post. Anyway, let me backtrack and go over something I went to that was pretty cool. Steven was able to score 2 free tickets to go see the taping of “A Very Grammy Christmas“. It’s going to air on CBS Television at 9:00PM tonight (December 5th) and it’s the first Christmas show that the Grammy’s are doing.

Anyway, taping was at the Shrine Auditorium by USC so you guys can only imagine the immense traffic that Steven and I had to go through that night. We live extremely close and the drive only took 10 minutes but we spent 30 minutes just to find parking while battling with traffic. Long story short, I thought we were never going to be able to make it to the show since the show supposedly started at 8:00PM and you had to be inside by 7:30PM but, we made it anyway! Yay!

Performers for the night were: Ariana Grande (and Big Sean who suddenly popped up on stage to perform “Best Mistake” with her), Tim McGraw, Mary J. Blige, Maroon 5 and Pharell. Pretty cool line-up if you ask me but, I was really there for MJB, Maroon 5 and, to see how much of a vocal powerhouse Ariana Grande really is.

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Ariana Grande opened the show with “Santa Tell Me” which, in my opinion, was a cute take on a Christmas Carol crossbred with a love song. I’m not one for Christmas carol’s so this was nice. You would never catch me listening to this type of song though, trust me. Then she popped out again to perform Best Mistake with Big Sean. Since I had a sucky digital camera with me, I wasn’t able to take photos due to the dim lighting and spotlights hitting my eyes and therefore the lens. However, she and Big Sean got a little PDA going on and, who doesn’t like a bit of action from celebrities right?

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Tim McGraw came on after and surprisingly had the entire crowd roaring. Much of you already know that I’m not a huge fan of country so I was praying that somehow, Nelly would pop up out of the corner and they’d sing “Over and Over”. Sadly, Nelly never showed and Tim sang 2 of his songs which I’ve never heard of.

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Smoke filled the stage after Tim walked off. Then LL Cool J went on and introduced Mary J. Blige. After LL’s spiel, guess who was shrieking at the top of her lungs like a true fan girl? Yup, you got it. It was me. Mary J. Blige went on to sing “Therapy” which is off her new album, The London Sessions and then finished off her set by singing “One” which originally included U2. So glad to have finally seen her live since she’s such an amazing singer.

IMG_4864 IMG_4866After Mary J. Blige, drums came rolling out on the stage and I knew, Maroon 5 was next. Of course LL Cool J had to introduce them but the band had already walked out on stage while they were recording LL’s introduction of the band. I swear, I had never seen a crowd go crazy and yes, I definitely contributed to the craziness myself. The chaos within the auditorium went up a notch as they started playing since they started off with a medley of “This Love” and “Animal”. Um, Adam Levine, I’m not one for being a home wrecker but god damn, you are SO. EFFING. HOT.

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One more photo despite the icky quality of my digital camera, lol.

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Last to perform was Pharell with his funky hat and cool sneakers. He’s such a great producer and recording artist but… let’s stick to RECORDING artist. I don’t know if it was a one time thing but he wasn’t much of a good performer during the taping. I swear to the music gods, I almost dozed off while he was singing. But hey, it could have been a bad night for him since he just earned a Hollywood Star on the Walk of Fame.

Overall, performances were cool and it’s always nice to watch tapings of shows but, the brat in me just refuses to listen to the producers demanding you to clap, stand, sit, go apesh*t and look excited. However, these were two free tickets and a cool date with le petit ami so, why the not, right?

The Liebster Award

Thank you Foreign Filipina (Rica) for the Liebster Award nomination.

“Liebster is a word with German origins meaning dearest, sweetest, kindest, and beloved. The Liebster Award exists only on the internet, and is an award given to bloggers by bloggers. The award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers. The purpose of the Liebster Award is to recognize and discover upcoming talent in the blogosphere through a Pay it Forward initiative.”

So Rica totally caught me off guard and put me in a total “Awww” moment. It’s amazing how I’ve never heard of the Liebster Award until now and, it’s also nice to know that there are things like this that help people discover new blogs, work and material. So once again, thanks Foreign Filipina for nominating me, it feels good to know that you think this blog has potential.

There are some rules involved with this award:

  1. You must link back to the person who nominated you (but cannot nominate them)
  2. You must answer the 10 questions given to the nominee before you.
  3. You must select 10 blogs with under 200 followers to answer your 10 questions.

Here are my answers:

Why did you start your blog?
I’ve been blogging all throughout high school – my famed teenage years and I blogged a little in college as well. It all stopped when I moved to New York for absolutely no reason. Then, a few months back, I logged into my old blog (which is now private, lol) and looked into my old entries. You guys have no idea how much I was laughing, feeling a heavy heart and even getting mad. Point is, I had something to remind me of all the things I’ve been through and what type of person I really am. So that’s how I started this blog, to keep track of my ups and downs in life and, to look back to one day.

What has blogging taught you?
No one’s perfect and you don’t have to be too. I know that life is mostly a competition but blogging shouldn’t be. Am I jealous of another blogger who has a shit ton of Louboutins? Hell yeah I am. But that’s not who I am nor can my lifestyle keep up with that. I’ve learned that if I keep it real and show what my interests are – no matter how different I am from my friends on the blogosphere are, they will still read about me and comment and be fun to talk to.

Photo-blog or well-written post?
Ah, I’m such a visual person so I should really say photo blog BUT, I babble so much and appreciate a fellow babbler so maybe a well-written post? I would say both because if a photo could tell a thousand words then a photo and a well written post would give you a million words.

What motivates you to keep on writing?
I hate to sound narcissistic but my future self motivates me. If I go somewhere and do something and I realize, “omg, I want Sara in the future to remember this and how she felt during that time” then best believe that I will write about it.

If you could live in one country/ city for a long period of time where would it be and why?
I would go home to Japan and enjoy time with my family out there because I rarely make time for them – which is bad but something I’m most definitely working on.

What’s the best travel/ blogging advice you have received?
blogging advice: Keep your blog up and just be you.
travel advice: pack light and don’t forget your toothbrush.

What’s your must have travel companion?
My travel pillow, iphone (which I use as an iPod and form of entertainment), book and hard candy (to help my ears from popping in high altitude)

Do you prefer traveling alone or in a big group?
I prefer traveling alone or with one more person. A big group would be overkill.

Favorite dish that’s not from your country?
Al Tang Chigae. Korean spicy fish roe stew.

Any tips or advice for people who are looking to start a blog?
Write about you and your interests. It’s tiring to try to be someone who you’re not so you might as well be you and be proud about it🙂


My nominees (and I’m not sure of their follower count nor am I sure if they’ve ever been nominated but I love their blogs so I will nominate them anyway):

Oh Penda, I am Aileen, Be the Plebeian, Left over Jinx, The Creative Lass, Hello Aia, I’m Socially AwkwardThe Yellow Pad Chronicles

…And I lack 2 because the other blogs I like to read have a BAJILLION followers.😐


Here are my questions for you:

1. Why did you start your blog?

2. What do you love about blogging?

3. Where was your last, best vacation?

4. Favorite dish that’s not from your own country?

5. What’s the best travel advice you’ve received?

6. If you could move to any part of the world right now, where would you go and why?

7. How did you pick your blog’s name?

8. What is your guiltiest pleasure?

9. If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

10. What advice would you give someone about to start a blog?