LA: Arts District, Korean ice cream, and finding angel wings (Nov 2016)

Uber and Lyft were SO cheap in LA (compared to NY). If you want to avoid looking endlessly for parking or spending a lot of money on parking garages, just take an Uber. I took one to Downtown LA.

Los Angeles 2016

Chimney Coffee House.

Los Angeles 2016

BEST. BURGER. EVER. They call this the “Rogue”.

Los Angeles 2016

The “Rogue” sandwich has 2 eggs in it. TWO. Scrambled eggs and thai style fried egg, separated by juicy sage-black truffle pork sausage, cheddar crisp (omg crispy cheese), and sriracha yuzu mayo on a toasted house made milk bun. This combo is bomb. I was amazed at how all the flavors complemented each other and surprised my tongue at every bite.

After that, I was stuffed, but I had to get ice cream at Ihwamun.

Los Angeles 2016

I got the citron and ingeolmi (their signature flavor). They’re known for their Korean flavors — try Choco Pie! Their matcha is also really good. Some of the best ice cream I’ve had.

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I always seek out wall murals wherever I go.

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The Arts District Co-Op reminded me of Chelsea market in NY. Lots of vendors selling their own unique clothing and jewelry.

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Finally found my wings.

After that, I took an Uber to Rowland Heights (20 bucks for 1 hour in traffic, crazy affordable right?!?!) and serendipitously found another set of wings.

Los Angeles 2016

Zero Degrees.

Los Angeles 2016

Boba ice cream.

Los Angeles 2016

LOVE the unique bubble tea flavors here, and they come in a glass bottle as an option (+$1.50). Everything is so fresh and they don’t use powder.

Los Angeles 2016

Water drop cake with matcha.

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Next up, Korean food at Junkabok by Mokkoji.

Los Angeles 2016

They offer 3 set menus in addition to a la carte options: the Piglet, the Piggy, and the Pigzilla. I got the Pigzilla, of course.

It comes with: small stew or hot stone + small BBQ dish + seafood pancake + braised pork cartilage. It’s enough food for 3-5 people…

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

SOOOOO GOOOOOOD.

Where to eat in Downtown Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

The most important things to me when traveling are: food, coffee, ice cream. I was pleasantly surprised with Downtown Phoenix’s hipster coffee houses, food hall with amazing vendors, ramen burgers, creative cocktails and on and on. Here they are…

WHERE TO EAT: 

Matt’s Big Breakfast, the most popular breakfast place in Phoenix.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

It was crowded but I got a seat right away at the counter.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Their bacon is the thing to get. But I really really liked the hashbrown.

Bitter & Twisted — a low-key cocktail bar/restaurant. Easily my favorite in Phoenix.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Their menu looks like a video game manual:

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You choose based on how strong and how eclectic you want your drinks.

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Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Strawberry “sundae”: zubrowka bison grass vodka with cream, strawberries, chocolate, vanilla and banana liqueurs — LOVED this!!!!!

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This is where you can find the Ramen Burger.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

It was a cool concept but the ramen part was too crispy for me. Great burger.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Typhoon chicken: fried chicken and 8 spice salt, bread crumbs, chilies, scallion, garlic and watermelon kimchi lettuce cups. Highly recommended.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Tiramisu — this was AMAZING (and alcoholic). I would’ve stayed for longer but I was drinking by myself and the place got really busy. Definitely highly recommend this place to anyone visiting Phoenix!!!!!

Desoto Central Market — I actually liked it so much, I came back the next day. It’s a food hall and beer garden and also art space.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

The outdoor beer garden.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Plenty of space and seating.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Get oysters at Walrus & the Pearl!

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Get some baos at Adobo Dragon:

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

The Larder + the Delta:

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

The best thing there? FRIED CHICKEN SKIN PO BOY. It’s just the skin, no meat, but so crispy and tasty!!!

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Pig ear “cheetos”

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Cauliflower — this was my least favorite dish.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Tea & Toast — I got their black rose latte the first time and loved it! Then I got the “london fog”, which was earl grey with lavender, also really good.

The rest of the space:

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

FOR COFFEE:

Jobot Coffee

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Great iced lattes and music. Now I’m obsessed with Odesza.

Be Coffee & Food & Stuff:

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

The layout allows for shared space with other art companies that want to use it as a venue at night.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Really loved their lattes.

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Toast with mascarpone and jam… so gooooood.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

I loved this space.

The Cafe at Phoenix Public Market serves Cartel coffee.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

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Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

FOR ICE CREAM:

Melt

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

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They have flavors like Trix, banana pudding, lucky charms, etc. all served in a Chinese take-out container with a fortune cookie.

What I Love About Miami Part I: Non-Beach Side

Since I’ve already been to Miami Beach back in 2013, I wanted to explore more of the midtown and downtown areas this time. After we landed and rented a car, our first stop was Sugarcane Raw Bar & Grill.

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It was easy to find metered parking. If you’re staying at South Beach and only staying there, you wouldn’t need a car. But if you want to explore more of Little Havana and Midtown, renting a car from the airport might be more worthwhile.

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I love outdoor seating. This place had a garden feel to it.

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Their brunch menu was exactly what I look for nowadays: fusion, innovative, unique items you will not find anywhere else.

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“Fat boy” hash with bacon jam, 2 fried eggs, truffle hollandaise. This was amazing. Look at the bacon jam underneath:

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Duck & waffle: crispy leg confit, duck egg, mustard maple. I love egg on top of everything.

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Spam musubi with foie gras and eel sauce. A huge chunk of foie combined with spam. My type of dish.

Our waiter was fantastic and even gave us recommendations on where to go next. We followed his advice and found Wynwood Walls not too far away.

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If you’re ever in Miami, definitely stop by Wynwood Walls. I’m a fan. It’s free, it’s outdoors, and every mural and art installation just took my breath away.

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So inspired after walking around this neighborhood.

Then we stopped by a little cafe that sold Azucar Ice Cream, which is inspired by Cuban flavors.

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Abuela Maria: a premium vanilla ice cream with red guava, rich cream cheese and crisp galleta Maria cookies. 

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It was pretty good! The story behind how this company started is actually pretty awesome too.

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Since we’re in Little Havana, might as well stop by Versailles Bakery (next door to its sit-down restaurant) for a snack. Or two.

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First, take a number and wait to be called. While waiting, you can look at the wonderful display of goodies to be devoured…

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The best thing here? The fresh-squeezed orange juice!!!!!!!! So amazing. And everything else too, I suppose… Can’t leave without getting a cafe con leche either!