Tag Archives: California
I had my very first express facial experience at Face Haus in West Hollywood last week and it was awesome. Don’t get me wrong, I love a long, luxurious day at the spa – but often times I’m so crunched that I can find a free day to devote to just the spa. (more…)
I was recently invited by Chuan Spa at The Langham Hotel in Pasadena to come in and try their signature Chuan Yu Facial (1 hour 15 minutes / $230). It was glorious! If you’re looking for an ultra special Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day gift, this is a luxurious and thoughtful spa gift that anyone would love to have purchased for them. (more…)
Planning a weekend getaway to Lake Arrowhead?
Find out the best things to do and what we loved about this California mountain town up at 6,000 feet …
The Slanted Door has been on my restaurant must-eat list for a long time. I’ve made several trips to San Francisco, but could never score a reservation. Luckily during our recent trip to SF, we were able to get a lunch reservation! Do note, the pricing at lunch is the same as it is at dinner.
Located inside the historic Ferry Building, The Slanted Door offers waterfront reviews in their modern dining room. We visited on the weekend and it was packed! Which explains why The Slanted Door is California’s top-grossing restaurant raking in a huge mark-up on spring rolls and vermicelli noodles and earning $16.5 million in annual sales.
We could not miss their famous Crispy Imperial Rolls ($13). My Asian mom would flip out if she knew we paid that much for two spring rolls – but seriously, Paul and I agreed that these were some of the BEST Vietnamese style rolls we’ve ever had. Chef Charles Phan got it right with his mix of shrimp and pork shoulder roll that you wrap in lettuce, mint leaves and vermicelli noodles. This is a must-order.
Since it was lunch and we were planning a lot of sightseeing that day, we opted for the lighter dishes on the menu so we didn’t pass out after. The Grapefruit & Jicama Salad ($12) featured red cabbage, pickled carrot and candied pecan for a nice satisfying crunch to our meal. All of the fresh flavours melded nicely together.
We also really enoyed a Seasonal Corn Salad with juicy bits of charred grilled corn with meaty mushrooms and green onions. (more…)
Planning a quick weekend stop in and around Hollywood, California?
LA is HUGE and it’s hard to figure out where to begin. Most tourists make a stop in Hollywood and there’s just so much to do. It’s a great place to start to see the iconic LA symbols. Here’s my mini travel guide of things to eat, see and do in and around Hollywood in 72 hours!
The Original LA Farmers Market – Before a big day in Hollywood I always like to grab lunch at The Original LA Farmers Market for local eats from the mom & pop food stands. It’s less of a market, more of a food court but there is still lots of fresh produce, fish and gourmet specialty products on offer. My go-tos include the chocolate-covered raised donuts from Bob’s Doughnuts, the mixed po’ boy from The Gumbo Pot and the Brazilian BBQ buffet at Pampas Grill.
The Grove – This outdoor shopping mall is quintessential LA with big stores like Nordstrom, Anthropologie, J. Crew and Topshop – it’s a great way to do some shopping and then grab some lunch or see a movie after. It’s attached to The Original Farmers’ Market.
It’s quite the fancy shopping experience with valet parking, shoeshine service, a trolley car, decorative fountains and the nicest ‘mall’ washrooms I have ever seen in my life! My favourite stores at The Grove include Cost Plus World Market and The Veggie Grill for a quick bite. Make sure to also stop for a Sprinkles cupcake. (more…)
Winery with a pool? Um, yes please.
One of the most unique wineries we visited during our recent trip to Napa + Sonoma was Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyersville, CA. Because where else can you day drink sparkling wine out of a pink can, while laying poolside at a gorgeous winery?
Bachelorette parties take note. You’ll want to rent a poolside cabana (from $170) for you and your girlfriends. The rate includes pool access, towels, a private shower, a cabine, lounge chairs, an umbrella and sparkling wine for four. I also found the menu pricing for food and wine to be very reasonable and we had great customer service from the moment we arrived.
Here’s the view of the Francis Ford Coppola pool
We booked a full day at Francis Ford Coppola Winery and booked a tour, tasting, pool passes and ate lunch poolside. If a cabine rental is too steep for you, consider booking a pool day pass instead (from $35). Do make reservations ahead of time by calling direct. We went on a slow day and were able to get a spot in-person. I had a problem using the online booking system, so just call to see if there’s room even if it may say sold-out online.
Make sure you set aside some time to walk around the grounds and look at all the movie memorabilia at Francis Ford Coppola Winery. It’s part museum, part winery and part resort all-in-one. All it’s really missing at this point is a hotel – which I’m sure will come soon. (more…)