“I’ve been in love with love and the idea of something binding us together. You know that love is strong enough…”

I couldn’t think of a title so I decided to use lyrics from the Mowgli’s San Francisco. Sorry if the above photo is out of chronological order, wanted to start the post with an “iconic” photo. I’m actually not a huge fan of the Bay but my best friend and boyfriend are from there so… what’s a girl to do? These photos are from Halloween 2016 in San Francisco… yes, you read that correctly. These photos are from last year but I’m going to go ahead and share them anyway.

First stop in the morning was Tartine Manufactory in the Mission District. I am extremely bad with directions so I took Lyft/Uber the entire time I was in San Francisco. You can find their yelp page here.

Strolled around pretty aimlessly after breakfast since I had no set itinerary for the day. I will admit that San Francisco is way more walkable than Los Angeles.

This was actually when I had first gotten my iPhone 7 so I was testing out the portrait mode. Not too shabby huh? I actually barely use this feature because it requires so much light. Nonetheless, all the photos from this post are taken on my iPhone.

Finally got to try The Rebel Within from Craftsman and Wolves. I would highly recommend the panna cotta dessert pictured above (forgot the name, sorry). The Rebel was also delicious and consists of a half-boiled egg inside a muffin. They tend to sell out earlier in the day so I would call ahead just in case.

If you love the arts (which I do), I highly recommend going to the Minnesota Street Project. This was basically a huge warehouse building with multiple galleries inside. There were a ton of things to look at and I definitely spent more time here than expected. Pictures to follow…

I believe I spent at least 3 hours here, but 2 hours should be enough time to get through all the galleries. The shirt above looks really small but it was actually several feet tall. Downside to traveling alone is not having a model to use for scale.

Every Saturday morning there is a Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building. Not sure of the exact time, but come hungry since there are quite a few things to eat here. There was also a lovely stand that sells fresh pasta/ravioli that my friend and I purchased and made for dinner.

I just noticed the guy in the back and gave myself a scare… Wanted to include this and share that Craftsman and Wolves has a stand at the Farmer’s Market.

This is by far the best crab roll that I have ever had and can be found at Woodhouse Fish. If you only have time for one meal in San Francisco, I would highly recommend getting this. I crave this all the time, but unfortunately there is nothing like this in Los Angeles.

Best way to end the trip was a visit to SF MOMA. Didn’t want to overload you guys with photos of art so I just picked a few favorites to include in the post. There are a ton of other things to do in San Francisco that are not included here, but this trip was by far my favorite.

Last but not least, I did mention this trip was for Halloween…

I didn’t get the chance to dress up for Halloween this year because I got super sick (Steven and I had costumes picked out and everything). So here are my costumes from last year. First one is obviously not very exciting and is my go to costume if I am feeling lazy. Second was supposed to be the Snapchat deer filter but I went for a more subtle deer look.

Sorry for the long post! I’ll be back soon with more adventures.


Sometimes the best kind of vacation is the one in your own backyard. I am always super busy with school, so a nice staycation is always welcome. Back in March (yes I realize it’s now November), Steven and I had the pleasure of staying at the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood. The photo above was actually our view from the room. The photo turned out a bit gloomy, but it was actually quite a pleasant site to wake up to.

Rule #1 of any vacation for me is sleeping in (if time permits). I usually like to try and get a good nights rest if possible. In complete honesty I break rule #1 all the time. It’s so hard to sleep in when traveling to new cities because there is always so much to do! However, since we were just staying in Los Angeles, we decided to sleep in a little.

Another perk of staying at a hotel is ordering room service. Steven and I usually always stick to Airbnb so this was definitely a treat. Breakfast in bed brought to you by Ivory on Sunset. The food was unfortunately a bit underwhelming and pricey. We did however go downstairs to eat at Ivory on Sunset later on and found their late night menu to be quite tasty. Not sure why there was such a huge contrast from breakfast to dinner, but if you do stay at the Mondrian, I highly recommend going downstairs to the restaurant to eat.

We decided to have a more low-key dinner and walked over to Fig & Olive (it was less than a mile away). This is one of my go to restaurants because the food is always amazing. I would also highly recommend this restaurant for brunch/lunch as well (they are very hassle free with large parties which is a huge plus). There are huge windows that allow for a ton of natural lighting during the day making it a perfect spot for brunch. For dinner, all the lights are brought down, but not to the point where you are sitting in the dark wondering what you are eating. Ambience is key, and Fig & Olive has that down to a T.

You absolutely must order some crostini when dining at Fig & Olive. If you are having any doubts, don’t because they are amazing. There are so many to choose from and I love getting a variety for the table.

My go to entree is the Truffle Risotto. I have had a few other entrees at Fig & Olive but nothing tops this risotto for me. I opted to not get shrimp this time but it pairs perfectly if you are in need of a bit more protein.

After dinner, we headed back to our hotel to check out Sky Bar. We heard a lot of good things about Sky Bar, but was pretty disappointed. The decor is lovely but the bar/pool is actually on the main floor (I expected it to be a rooftop bar). It was also pretty dead for a Friday night since only hotel guests are allowed entry. (Not sure if this exclusivity is working in their favor…)

At the end of the day, Steven and I had a lovely little staycation. This was actually the calm before the storm so to say since we headed straight to Cancun after our stay at the Mondrian. Not sure if I would recommend staying at this hotel since it was quite pricey, but I’m glad I got to discover something new in Los Angeles.

More adventures to come soon! As always, thank you for reading.


So I ended up taking a very long (unintentional) hiatus from blogging. How did this happen? School… I have been rather busy running around this semester (though that does not excuse my December absence). Classes have finally quieted down a bit, so I thought I would do a quick blog post.

Back in January (when I still had a life), I had the opportunity of attending Wolvesmouth at the Wolvesden with a close friend of mine. The experience itself is actually quite secretive and you have to do a bit of research to get invitations. I don’t want to give too much of the surprise away so I’ll describe it as a secret society for food lovers.

The dinner consisted of 9 courses (including dessert) and is made with fresh local ingredients. Multiple chefs work together in creating the menu, so it was fun to see them all rushing about in the open kitchen. This first dish is actually short rib… The black mass that looks like dessert in the back is actually a glazed short rib! Really tasty and a great first course to the meal.

The second dish was an albacore gazpacho verde which contrasted the main dish quite nicely. I can’t personally say this was amazing since gazpacho is pretty standard.

I was surprised by this next dish since the main is actually rabbit meat. I definitely do not come across rabbit very often so my opinion on this is a little torn. This main actually turned out to be a lot sweeter than expected. There are actually bits of apple all over this dish and it made the dish a bit too sweet for me.

So this was the first introduction of the “covering”… It definitely was the trend of the night because this circular overlay was used multiple times. I personally believe this made the dishes not as aesthetically pleasing. It unfortunately felt like they were rushed and were just trying to hide the food. This dish (believe it or not) is a duck gyoza with purple yam and squash puree. The veil itself was also made out of squash (just in case you were wondering).

This little duck taco was an addition to the dish above and was actually a lot better than the main. But then again, what doesn’t taste good when drenched in hoisin sauce?! I would definitely say this dish was a twist on Peking duck.

This dish was definitely the beginning of the end for me… Just a simple halibut with mushrooms in creme fraiche. Nothing spectacular about this particular dish either, but it definitely was a play on Japanese cuisine. (The ingredients also listed dashi stock which is the base for tons of Japanese dishes!)

I told you this was going to be a trend… Here you have a rather unspectacular crab cake with some shrimp hiding under a potato covering. What is it topped off with? Squid ink… I’m personally not a huge fan of crab cakes so I’m likely very biased. But then again, this is my blog.

And in continuing with the circular overlay, I present to you pork belly covered in jicama. This dish has a pork al pastor jus which indicates that this was a play on Mexican food… Still not super appetizing and was a little on the sweet side for me. (They used a pineapple reduction!) This rather unspectacular main concludes dinner.

Dessert didn’t want to be left out, so they covered this as well haha… You must think I am the most bitter person ever if I’ve somehow still kept your attention. When it comes to food, I’m generally quite picky so always expect an honest review (full of complaints) if it didn’t live up to expectation. And to be quite frank, I went into this completely blind.

So back to the point! This mysterious dessert hiding under a dark purple blanket is actually a crepe. (Another trend was fusion foods!) Here we have butterscotch with pears topped with a blueberry crepe.

Our final dessert for the night was a pâte sablée (shortbread) with cherries and mascarpone. Not the most visually stunning piece but definitely my preferred dessert of the night. 

All in all, I want to say that I wasn’t too impressed by this particular menu at Wolvesmouth at the Wolvesden. At the end of the day, the meal was too sweet for my liking since I prefer savory dishes. Paying for dinner is also quite anxiety inducing. Rather than charging you a set price, each guest is handed a red envelope. So ultimately the guest gets to decide how much dinner is worth… You have been warned!

Nonetheless, the menu does change every so often, so I might consider giving it another chance. Thanks for reading and I promise to be back soon!


Learning to let go has been a goal of mine in the recent years. Going through hell and back has not only shaped me, but has taught me to grow as a person. During this time I learned to never let someone else take control of my life. I have seen that tomorrow will always bring change, whether it be good or bad. The ultimate lesson though came in the shape of letting go of people (or situations) that were toxic to my well being.

The RiSE Lantern Festival actually took place this past weekend in the Mojave Dessert. The location was rather unspecific but sits about 30 miles outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. This trip was actually a spur of the moment decision for a friend and I. Nonetheless, fueled by our desire to let go (and the chance to wish upon a star), we made the drive out from Los Angeles with no plan and no where to stay.

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Since we had a long 5-6 hour drive ahead of us, we quickly fueled up with some avocado toast from Blacktop Coffee. It definitely feels as though avocado toast is synonymous for Californians. You can find a variant of it at almost every brunch location in DTLA.


Ran into very little traffic on the 10 freeway since we left in the morning. Made a mad dash to a hotel in Las Vegas to where our tickets were being will-called. I thought it was a little strange that the tickets were at a separate location, but things always seem to have a way of working itself out. Thankfully we stopped for the hard copy or else we likely would have been turned away! (You need the bottom tab to collect your two lanterns, mat and pen!)


Read some reviews from the previous year that stated parking would be a nightmare. The event started around 4pm and we arrived around 5pm. Getting there early actually worked out to our advantage since we were sent back to the car to put our blankets away. (You can basically bring yourself, a camera/phone, a jacket and some water!) The festival grounds are actually a good 15-20 minute walk from the parking lot so come prepared.

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After what seemed like an eternity of walking back and forth, we finally reached our destination. It was a relief to see this sign inviting us in. From this point we found something to eat (which took forever), collected our materials and got to writing. I will say that laying on a small mat in the desert is not ideal. I definitely inhaled/rolled in enough dirt for a lifetime. The ground also gets really cold as the sun sets so come prepared with warm clothing.


The excitement didn’t actually hit me until the first release of lanterns took place. For a lack of better words it was surreal. It looked exactly like the scene from Disney’s Tangled. Though I almost caught fire a few times to low flying lanterns and nearly burned my “dreams,” I realized once more that nothing beats the power of positive vibes. As cliche as it sounds, it was impossible to be in foul mood surrounded by such happiness.

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At the end of the night, we decided to just drive home rather than looking for a place to stay. We left the event around 9:30pm (ends at 10pm) and was surprised to find ourselves out of the lot in less than 30 minutes. Was 12 hours of driving worth it? Definitely! All in all this experience is one for the books and I hope to return in the years to come. Sometimes all we need is a little reminder that magic still exists. Thank you RiSE.


Sometimes I find myself needing a vacation while I’m on vacation. Uhh… Bear with me on that thought before you brush me off as insane. Japan is such an amazing country, and there’s honestly never a dull moment. You are literally always on the go because there is so much to do and see. So what better way to unwind, then to stay at a ryokan and relax in some hot springs.

A ryokan is a traditional Japanese Inn and can be found all over Japan. They’re not as common in the city, but there are tons of ryokans just a short train ride away. Japan also has an amazing public transportation system, so most places are very accessible.

Here’s a quick shout out to the shinkansen (bullet train) for getting me from one place to another so quickly. The shinkansen travels at about 160 mph (257 km/h) so I got to Hakone from Kyoto in under 3 hours. (It would have taken 6 hours by car!)


Nonetheless, a 3 hour train ride is still quite a bit of time so it’s important to stock up on some food/snacks for the trip. My choice for the day? This amazing bento box that I purchased in Kyoto Station. There’s actually a ton of different bentos you can choose from. I’m super indecisive so I spent at least half hour trying to decide.


Dozed off on the train and woke up at my destination. Hello Hakone, you were everything I imagined and more! The area does feel extremely rural in comparison to Kyoto and Tokyo. But fear not, because Hakone is a very popular tourist destination. They are quite famous for their onsens (hot springs) so you will see visitors from all over the world.


There seems to be an ice cream stand around every corner in Japan. Every day is a cheat day when you’re on vacation right? So I absolutely must eat ice cream every chance I get! Okay fine… I didn’t eat ice cream every day, but I definitely ate my weights worth in mentaiko onigiri (rice ball).

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There’s actually a bus that will take you to your designated ryokan. The buses are located right outside of Hakone Station, so no need to worry about transportation. Finally arrived at Kijitei Hoeiso after a series of never-ending winding roads. I am also happy to report that I did not throw up on anyone due to motion sickness.

The view from the ryokan was truly something else! Most ryokans in Hakone have onsens for guest use. It’s actually customary in Japan to enter an onsen fully nude (there are separate hot springs for men and women). The water is supposed to cleanse you, so you don’t want to contaminate it by bringing “foreign” objects in. The lush backdrop may be aesthetically pleasing, but it also serves as a form of privacy since onsens are outdoors.

Still not comfortable getting naked with strangers? Well fear not, because Kijitei Hoeiso lets you book their onsens for private use. I definitely took advantage of this and spent an amazing 30 minutes just relaxing in the hot spring.


Ryokans take pride in tradition, so I was immediately served some matcha (green tea) with azuki (red bean) snacks upon arrival. Let me start by saying the rooms at Kijitei Hoeiso are huge! The room in the photo houses your dining table and is later partitioned off to create the bedroom. Keeping true to Japanese tradition, the beds are actually kakebutons (floor futon) which are surprisingly comfortable.

Next to the main room was a small living room with couches, a coffee table and a mini fridge. There was also a very nice balcony, a private entryway, and a huge bathroom with a giant tub.


In the evening, a traditional kaiseki (multi-course) dinner is served in your room. To say I was spoiled during my stay is an understatement. Each of the dishes were super detail oriented and delicate. This surprisingly turned out to be my favorite meal of the trip!




The meal is compromised of small courses that included sashimi, seafood, mozuku (seaweed), pork, vegetables, eggs and so much more…You definitely get your moneys worth when staying at a ryokan since breakfast and dinner are usually included.


Dinner even came with this cute little bowl of udon that had a little flame under it to keep it warm. This particular dish is quite simple, and yet I can safely say that this is probably my favorite udon. Can someone please teach me how to make the noodles and broth?



The meal also includes yakiniku (grilled meat) for those of you who can’t live without meat. Your server will bring out a small personal stone grill for you to cook on. They’ve pretty much thought of everything to put it simply.


There’s always room for dessert right? Answer is definitely yes since this is probably the sweetest cantaloupe I have ever had. Oh and next to it is another little surprise wrapped up in a bamboo leaf.


Low and behold the mysterious looking surprise! Turned out to be clear mochi filled with a sweet paste (possibly vanilla). I’ve had tons of mochi in my life, but clear mochi was definitely a first for me. The overall meal was spectacular and included foods not commonly served in modern restaurants.

I would definitely recommend Kijitei Hoeiso or any ryokan if you are looking to time travel. Photos of breakfast at Kijitei and Hakone to come soon!

Thanks for reliving Japan with me!


Best part of traveling? Eating all the good foods without feeling guilty! The word “diet” does not formally exist in my vocabulary… It took me around 24 hours to finally get to Tokyo, so I really just wanted to pass out the first night. Fortunately I dragged myself out for snacks and stumbled upon an amazing yakitori restaurant!


Assorted Yakitori

元祖串八珍 茅場町店 (Ganso Yakitori Kushi Hacchin) is a small yakitori place located in Chuo, Tokyo. Honestly, not even 100% sure that I got the correct name of the restaurant… Forgive me, I actually can’t read any Japanese and I was super tired and hungry.

Yakitori nonetheless can be found all over Japan (and even in the States). It’s usually regarded as drinking food, so imagine beer + skewers. Match made in heaven? I think so!


Assorted Yakitori

The skewers have a lot of variation when it comes to types of meat. Popular items include sunagimo (chicken gizzards), hatsu (chicken heart), and tons of parts of a chicken that you probably thought were inedible…

Wait wait! Don’t run away! There are of course more common meats that are just as delicious (and not as frightening). Pictured above is butabara (pork belly), gyutan (beef tongue), negima (chicken + green onion), and nankotsu (chicken cartilage + green onion).

Assorted Yakitori (Chicken)

Chicken is very common in yakitori and makes up the majority of the menu. The skewers are usually cooked on a charcoal grill and are made to order. Most places in Japan even have bar seating so that you may watch your food being prepared. Just imagine a sushi bar, but with skewers rather than raw fish.

Assorted Yakitori

Here we have tsukune (chicken meatball), more nonkotsu, and quail eggs. I went all out if you couldn’t tell. But most skewers were only 100¥ ($1 USD)! How can you resist such amazing prices?! The answer = YOU CAN NOT!

Here are a few of my favorites for you:


Tsukune (Chicken Meatball)


Tsukune (Chicken Meatball)

I usually don’t like chicken very much… But I will devour it in seconds if you smash it onto a stick! Tsukune is usually covered in a tare sauce which is very similar to teriyaki sauce.

I highly recommend trying tsukune since it’s delicious (obviously) and a “safer” choice. If you’re feeling brave, then I dare you to try the more adventurous parts of the chicken. (It’s edible, I promise!)


Tamagoyaki (Grilled Egg)

Tamagoyaki (or “grilled egg”) is an absolute must try when visiting Japan. This cost about 300¥ ($3 USD) and was the highlight of my meal. I must admit that this might be the BEST tamagoyaki I have ever had! You can trust me on this one, I eat tamagoyaki every chance I get.

Butabara (Pork Belly)

Another classic is butabara or better known as pork belly. I usually ask for this shio (or “with salt”). No lie, I probably ate like 3-4 of these that night…


Gyutan (Beef Tongue)

Last but not least, gyutan or beef tongue. I realize this is not very commonly served in the United States, and I’m sure a lot of you are cringing at the idea of this. The texture is a little chewy, but it’s amazing when prepared correctly.

This wraps up my (unnecessarily long) post on yakitori. Hope you guys enjoyed it!