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May 2017

    5 Delicious Foods to Eat in Southern California

    Los Angeles is no stranger to the food scene. You can find a ton of unique eats there, but LA isn’t the only place in Southern California to eat delicious food. Below are some of the best things I ate during a recent SoCal trip (Ventura, Anaheim, Irvine, & Orange). Enjoy!

    1. Golden Latte + Green Dream Smoothie Bowl Harvest Cafe

    I had just finished a run on Ventura Beach and was super hungry, but I didn’t want to eat something that would undo my workout. It was also kind of early so I had to find a place that was open. Harvest Cafe in downtown Ventura checked all of those boxes. Their golden latte is made with homemade cashew milk and turmeric. No coffee! Turmeric can have a strong flavor, but this tasted creamy and slightly sweet. The green dream smoothie bowl was a nice addition to the latte. It was light yet hearty. I felt satisfied and healthy after I finished eating here.

    2. Goat Cheese Naan ADYA

    Adya can be found in the Anaheim Packing House. If you are looking for something non-Disney related to do around Disneyland, definitely check this food hall out. Adya has a traditional oven to make naan in, and I saw this naan made right in front of me. It was the perfect size as well, probably as big as my hand. The naan part was fluffy and warm and was stuffed with the perfect amount of goat cheese- not too much or too little. This was one of my favorite eats at the Anaheim Packing House.

    3. Sweet Potato + Cheese Pretzel Coffee Tomo

    If I told you this was a pretzel, would you believe me? It is stuffed with sweet potato and cheese, which seems like an interesting combination but it was really yummy! The pretzel was freshly baked and the bread part was still warm from being in the oven when I got it. It wasn’t too sweet or too savory. If sweet potato and cheese isn’t your thing, Coffee Tomo has other kinds of pretzels on their menu that I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

    4. Green Chilaquiles Anepalco

    The first time I had chilaquiles was at my friend’s house. His grandmother is Mexican, and she would make this dish for parties. Years later, I have not been able to find chilaquiles that taste as good as hers, until I went to Anepalco. Located in Orange, CA, Anepalco is known for their chilaquiles. They have a red and green version. Both are amazing, but the green one was my favorite. The tortilla had absorbed the flavors in the green sauce and the pumpkin seeds added a nice crunchy texture that complimented the rest of the dish. Also, my mouth is watering right now.

    5. Grilled Cheese Animal Style In-N-Out Burger

    Believe it or not, this was my first time having In-N-Out. My friend knew that I was an In-N-Out virgin and said that she would order for me. She literally told me not to say anything at the register. She ordered an off the menu item for me: a grilled cheese, animal style. A grilled cheese here is just like a regular burger minus the bun. I don’t think I have had anything that tastes so good. It’s probably a good thing we don’t have any of these here, or else I would be 20 pounds heavier.

    6 of the Most Delicious Foods I Ate in Manhattan, New York

    The food scene in New York rivals that of other big cities. Almost every major and micro cuisine is represented in the Big Apple. Here are some of the best things I ate during my trip to New York. This list is based on no particular criteria whatsoever, and the list goes in no particular order. And, seriously, you have to try the cronut when you’re there. You just gotta. You can thank me later.

     

    1. Blood Orange Almond Cronut Dominique Ansel Bakery

    Dominique Ansel Bakery, in SoHo, is the original NYC spot where the cronut was invented. Yes, there was a line out the door. Yes, I woke up early on a Saturday morning in New York to stand in line (alone) so I could get my friends and I some cronuts. Yes, it was totally worth it, and, yes, I would definitely do it again. Ever since they started selling cronuts, they have changed their cronut flavor every month, and a flavor has never been repeated!

     

    2. Butter Roasted Monkfish Union Square Cafe

    Union Square Cafe can be found in the Gramercy/Flatiron district. The monkfish came in a mushroom broth with turnips, napa cabbage, and toasted croutons. The fish was cooked perfectly. The mushroom broth brought all the components of the dish together. The broth had a strong, yet not overpowering, mushroom flavor, which I appreciated since sometimes vegetable broths can be a bit bland. Also, fun fact about this restaurant- you don’t tip here! The tipping costs are included in the food prices on the menu.

     

    3. Hot Stone Bowl Bibimbap BCD Tofu House

    Bibimbap is one of my comfort foods. At BCD Tofu House in Koreatown, I ordered just that. My favorite part about this dish is the layer of crunchy rice that forms at the bottom of the bowl. It adds a nice texture and complements the rest of the components in the dish. There are many BCD Tofu House locations on the east and west coasts. If you’re in the New York or Los Angeles area, you should check this place out!

     

    4. Smoked Salmon Tartine Bar A Vin

    My friends and I found this Financial District restaurant by accident and during their happy hour nonetheless. It was meant to be. The smoked salmon was super fresh, and the capers added the perfect tartness to the overall flavor of the tartine. We also had some amazingly delicious oysters, which were only $1 each since it was part of their happy hour deal. They weren’t too briny, they were big, and they had a lot of meat in them. It was my first time eating oysters from the east coast actually on the east coast!

     

    5. Dumplings Buddha Bodai

    I was so excited to stumble across Buddha Bodai, a vegan restaurant in Chinatown, since I don’t eat meat and most dumplings have meat in them. I finally got to try soup dumplings, or xiao long bao. You have to eat them fast or else the hot soup inside will overcook the dumpling wrapper. The cha siu bao was wrapped in this really fluffy, slightly sweet bao bread, and the filling inside was savory with an umami flavor. Needless to say, I was pretty satisfied after I ate here.

     

    6. Shrimp Ceviche Los Mariscos

    This little pocket of sunshine hidden inside Chelsea Market only does Mexican, street style seafood. Tacos AND fish? It was like a pescatarian dream come true. They had small plates of different kinds of ceviches, seafood tacos, etc. The shrimp ceviche was packed with flavor. It was spicy, citrusy, and the shrimp was not overcooked. The portion size was not too big, which is ideal since, if you’re in Chelsea Market, chances are that you want to try more than one thing.

     

     

    Sleek + Comfy NYC Outfit & Tips on How to Pack Like the Smart Stylista You Are

    Recently, my friends and I went to New York for a little vacay. NYC is a city that has a lot to offer. There are a ton of places to see, food to eat, and street style to appreciate. I could not wait to explore it with my friends, but first I had to get through the hardest part (in my opinion): packing. It’s always a struggle trying to figure out what clothes, shoes, and accessories to pack for a trip. Although I am getting better at it, I have a tendency to go overboard. I wind up packing things I do not wear, forget to pack things I do want to wear, and I end up wearing the same 2-3 pieces. I would not consider myself a master packer (yet!), but here are some packing tips and travel style advice, with outfit details, that help me avoid overpacking without compromising style points.

    1. Slip dresses

    Want to pack a chic outfit but don’t know where to start? Start with a slip dress. They aren’t bulky and pack super easily. There are a variety of slip dresses out there, like this one from Asos. Depending on the climate of the destination you are traveling to, you can buy a long or short one and style it with or without tights. They also come in a ton of different colors. Usually, slip dresses have lace trim which elevates the overall look of an outfit from casual to chic. Slip dresses are also perfect for layering. You can wear a t-shirt or blouse underneath or style it with a bomber jacket from the Who What Wear Collection at Target.

    2. Neutral Colors

    Packing clothing pieces that are neutral colors will allow you to mix and match items and increase the overall number of outfits you have in your arsenal, aka suitcase. Classic neutral colors include white, black, and gray. However, muted green, like the jacket above, navy blue, and maroon can also be considered neutrals. When you pair these more colored neutrals with the classic neutrals, your outfit possibilities are endless, and you’ll turn heads as you walk down the streets of your vacay destination.

    3. White Sneakers

    If you have been keeping up with the latest fashion trends, then you know that sneakers are becoming increasingly popular. Sneakers are also the perfect footwear to pack when traveling since chances are that you will be doing a lot of walking. Like slip dresses, you can dress up white sneakers by pairing them with a dress, like I did here. You can also style them more casually with some jeans. There a many white kicks on the market right now, the ones I am wearing are the white Canvas Old Skool by Vans.

    4. Compression Bags

    Maybe you want to bring a ton of slip dresses, neutral pieces, layering options, and sneakers. Maybe you feel like you need them all and can’t bring yourself to eliminate any from your travel wardrobe. It’s ok, we have all been there. If this is you, then compression bags are your friend! By using compression bags, you will be able to save some space in your luggage for those extra pair of shoes you want to bring and fit more clothes in your suitcase. I use these compression bags from REIFit what you can in the bag, roll out the air, and watch the bag decrease in size. No vacuum necessary. It’s, like, magic! (Ok, more like physics. Yay physics!)