Recently In…

Three weeks in San Francisco flew by just like that. 

And thanks to a host of friends and family who all love to eat, it felt like home. More SF posts to come soon ^_^

I’ve been back in Hawai’i for the past week…

…and next week I am leaving to Taiwan. Then Bali for a few nights! First time for both.

From there I’ll fly to the Big Island (craving strawberry mochi from Two Ladies Kitchen)…

…then back to Honolulu and NYC. Just in time for autumn in New York.

Photos: View from Nob Hill / driving over the Golden Gate Bridge / a visit to Domaine Carneros / the Kohala Coast of the Big Island / the afternoon tea veranda at Halekulani 

Recently in San Francisco

Aloha from San Francisco! I’ve been here for the past week and a half…and will be here for a bit more. It’s been a year since my last visit (how did that go by so fast?) and I’m happy to be back. 

This trip is a blend of work and play (which often feel like the same thing :), with some family time in the mix. Big thank you to Noelle/Josh for hosting and Greg for lending me his car. So grateful to have good friends. 

Clockwise from top-left: a visit to the gorgeous Heath Ceramics factory in Sausalito (stocked up on dishes and a new teapot); driving over the Golden Gate Bridge; family dinner with little Maddie and Benny; and early mornings at Blue Bottle. I always thought the New Orleans-style iced coffee tasted best in San Francisco.

More posts to come soon ^_^ 

Recently in NYC | Avocado Toast (and Milkshakes), Banana Pudding, and Soup Dumplings

Keep meaning to do these “Recently In…” posts on a more regular basis. One day I’ll actually get around to that ;)

In the meantime, I’m heading to San Francisco in two weeks, and then Honolulu and the Big Island a few weeks later…been craving malassadas and coco puffs like crazy. Left to right, top to bottom: 

1.  An impromptu lunch with Robyn at 456 Shanghai Cuisine. Soup dumplings, scallion pancakes, and a dish of sautéed tofu ribbons, pickled vegetables, and soy beans. 

2. On the left, ube milkshake! On the right, avocado milkshake! Monday, 6pm with D at Jeepney. Doesn’t comes close to my all-time favorite avocado milkshake, but not bad.

3.  I love everything avocado…including avocado toast! This one from Toby’s Estate in Brooklyn is topped with toasted black sesame seeds and a drizzle of tahini.

4.  Hot lattes for that one cold night we had this week. This is currently my favorite drink (so hard to pick just one) at Press Tea, a warm Caramel-Rooibos Latte.

5.  I did a Murray’s Cheese class with the Vimbly folks the other week. Nothing like starting the morning with prosecco and a refresher on the cheese basics. My favorite from the session? Chiriboga Blue!

6.  Always end up with a cup (or two) of banana pudding whenever I’m near Magnolia Bakery in the West Village…

7.  …and when I’m in the East Village, I get my banana pudding fix from Puddin’ on St. Marks. The mini has layers of graham cracker crumbs, banana cake, banana pudding, and lots of whipped cream. 

8.  More avocado toast? Yes. Cafe Gitane does one with plenty of lemon juice, sea salt, and red pepper flakes. 

9.  Friday afternoon at Corkbuzz with Matt. A blind tasting of whites followed by rosé and riesling…we need to do this more often ^_^

Recently in NYC | Steak, Pie, Duck, and Oysters

It was foolish of me to think that I’d have more time to post while back in NYC. Ahh how wrong I was! And how it is already July? Feels like this was just yesterday. I’ll be in SF for the bulk of August, and then back to Honolulu for September. And then…2013 will be coming to an end before we know it. What a hell of a year. 

1.  Monday afternoon oysters at Maison Premiere (this was just round one ;) with Shoko.

2.  A Wednesday cruise with April. Can you spot Morimoto himself at the helm? We had plenty of sushi and sake on the ride (hooray for no motion sickness).

3.  Riesling night with Greg (we need to do this more often!) at Terroir

4.  A Hamptons weekend that involved many doughnuts and… 

5.  …magret de canard. Here’s how to make it.

6.  Blueberry crumble pie at Four & Twenty Blackbirds. Whipped cream on the side. Friday breakfast with Shann (she got the strawberry-balsamic pie).

7.  Steak (with rice, of course :) and asparagus for dinner with Zach. A bottle of good rosé. Milk and one too many Jacques Torres cookies for dessert. 

8.  La Fleur d’Oranger by Le Palais Des Thés. It’s part of the Les Plaisirs Purs Collection which also includes La Menthe Glaciale, Le Citron, and La Poire.

9.  Sunset over the Hudson, never gets old. 

Recently in NYC | Uni, Matcha, Grapefruit, and Plums

1. Saturday morning, a scoop of Banana Hammock at Brooklyn Bridge Park location of Ample Hills Creamery.

2. Wednesday cocktails with Jessica at the Mandarin Oriental (still one of my favorite places for cocktails and afternoon tea). 

3.  Lunch with Pierre at Lafayette. Love the “fleur du soleil,” a housemade flower-shaped pasta with snap peas, pancetta, and mint. 

4.  Egg on Egg on Egg at SakaMai. Uni, caviar, and scrambled eggs. What a glorious combination. 

5.  Lessons in matcha with Tea Wing. Intoxicating!

6.  The beloved grapefruit tart is no longer in rotation at Dominique Ansel, but I’m excited for their new summer desserts. Think salted lemon-lime tart, sunflower tarts with mish mish, and white peach blanc manger ^_^

7.  Hot chocolate #40(!) at La Colombe

8.  Brown butter plum tart at Lafayette, complete with whipped crème fraîche. 

9.  My favorite iced coffee in NYC comes from Abraço on 7th Street.