Staying at the Encore, this is probably the most adult trip I’ve ever taken to Vegas…with the exception of tiny little heat-induced tantrum outside Serendipity.
Super excited to wake up this morning. Threw on a Canadian Tuxedo, kissed my sleeping man and Wonton good-bye, and prayed for sunny weather as I drove across the Bay Bridge. My dear friend Nancy, fried chicken and a stroll through Berkeley’s Elmwood neighborhood awaited me. Ah…friendship and fried chicken and waffles for brunch! Stoked!
Nancy’s vintage beauty:
My vintage beauty:
Nancy’s buttery egg tart:
My OMG waffles and fried chicken:
Distracted by the puffy beignets topped with homemade jam, I missed out on the grits…so next time!
Hmmm…amazing. Best, most tender and juicy chicken ever. And those waffles! Those waffles! Like…they’re like….made of air and wrapped in a buttery crust!
icing on top brown sugar butter on top was running into Rikki, who ran the dining room. Every restaurant wishes they had someone in their orbit like her, because she exudes warmth and radiance like the sun. She’s quick with a smile and able to navigate massive hordes of hungry people with the charm and grace of the people’s queen. True hospitality! Yeah!
BROWN SUGAR KITCHEN – Oakland
2534 Mandela Parkway Oakland, CA
4th of July fireworks. A cabin nestled in the woods. Pancakes. Hiking Heavenly. Roadside burgers. Friendly people. Guns N’ Roses Use Your Illusion I & II. Ombre skys. Sunning at the lake. BBQ ribs. A really bad Nick Cage movie followed by a really good one. Cotton-candy clouds. Moon-lit clouds. Watermelon for breakfast.
One last hurrah. And a little pug named Wonton on his first real vacation.
In sickness or in health, solo or with friends, I’ve always managed a good time here (even when stood up. Yes, that’s happened, too.) So I was really stoked Marc was able to come with me. We bumped into the Boyy design team on the corner of Prince. She was in Chloe boots and a Pendleton poncho, he in a white suite and matching panama hat, embodying the title of amazing looking couple. Coincidently, I happened to have their Slash hanging from my shoulder – how apropro.
After exchanging friendly hellos, we made out way to Macao’s basement, where the drinks are always on point and delicious. Being sick this night, I opted for Ginger Beer.
The best thing about being in NY isn’t the food or the restaurants…it’s about seeing the littlest of the Ley clan in her natural habitat – which is anywhere near food. (Just kidding). But seriously. In this case, The Meatball Shop. I love catching up with little sis – listening to her talk about future hopes and dreams, and most importantly, just knowing that she is happy. It’s even better, when catch-up is over meatballs, mash and gravy, and mac and cheese. Delish!
Despite growing up with during the years of the Just Say No campaign, I didn’t have the
willpower to Just Say No to my biggest vice…a fully loaded bagel from the Bagel Store
before The Meatball Shop. It nearly did us in, but so worth it!
THE MEATBALL SHOP – NYC/WILLIAMSBURG
|170 Bedford Avenue New York, NY 11211
We lost ourselves in Tokyo, and in exchange found so much….from ramen heaven tucked away in Roppongi basements, to hidden gems that line the side streets of Shibuya and Shinjuku. We logged miles on foot, by train, up the subway, down the subway, and on repeat. A quick stop for a beanie, scarf, life-saving gloves and a matcha green tea latte at Mos Burger (to rest our weary toes and hack into some wifi), and we were off again…
I hear Disneyland is surreal. I suppose being in Disneyland Tokyo with cultural differences makes it even more surreal. Kids didn’t scream and shout, they politely waved and smiled. There were orderly long lines as I waited and rode my first spaceship ride. Whoop whoop! That place was dope, with the exception of the twenty minutes I spent looking for Marc.
My first time to the happiest place on earth – Tokyo edition, was preceded by an earthquake…a soft lullaby that gently swayed all sixty floors of our Tokyo Bay hotel. But apparently, 5.0 is nothing for the locals.
A Haiku for my last post on Japan feels appropriate, but I lack the motivation. Instead, I’ll pretend to wake up again in a ryokan swathed in five layers of comforters (ahhhhh) on a tatami mat, while mineral spring baths and a most wonderful kaiseki dinner and breakfast await. And yes, that is a syphon in the hotel bar.
Ahhh, Ginza. It’s a little slice of snack heaven on earth. Smile-inducing Belgian waffles followed by a dash across the busy intersection to Wako, where I passed the luxury goods as if I had tunnel vision, up to Ladurée for a macaroon, then back down towards (insert choir music) food mecca. Everything my greedy little heart and eyes desired…I could find here. With our tummies satiated, I slowed down long enough to pet a Celine bag on our way out.
I left Japan with a mad crush on fur-hooded shearling-lined green parkas – it was the choice coat for every other girl here, and they all wore it well. Upon returning to Japan, I’ll be sure to make a reservation at Inakaya, lest we be turned away again by the friendly sumo-like doorman. Silly us to think we could just show up.
I do really miss being able to get over-priced bottled hot green tea from the vending machines everywhere.
I admit, I drink instant green tea. In fact, I’ll boldly admit to loving it since discovering it eight years ago. I’ve never found it again since…until now. Ha!
To reacquaint myself, this time when we were in Japan, we searched, asked, and ducked into every grocery, corner, mom and pop, and convenience store. How do you say “nada” or “big fat zero” in Japanese? Absurdly, Marc found it while grabbing some snacks from the gas station on a pit stop to the airport. He bought out the store – all two bags. What a man.
But (insert choir music)…we found them by the shelf-full at the airport gift shop(!!!!), conveniently located next to the green tea Kit Kats. (Ironically, this is where instant green tea and I met all those years ago, a chance encounter as I was unloading leftover Yens.) Hmmmmphr! At the airport, of all places. I guess only foreigners dare to drink instant green tea.
Cuz he looks pretty dope in his panda scarf from Harajuku….here is Wonton: