Soaking up the Sun at the LA Times – The Taste Sunday Block Party 

I still can’t believe that it’s already fall and that summer is behind us. Thankfully, I was able to capture the end of summer in a fabulous foodie fashion and made delicious memories. Over the Labor Day weekend I had the opportunity to attend The LA Times – The Taste Sunday Block Party, where I got the chance to sip refreshing spirits and munch on tasty treats at Paramount Studios, CA.

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Photos from the Sunday Block Party  

The afternoon affair was complete with all the Labor Day BBQ favorites, but with a gourmet twist. Sliders with chunks of lobsters was Slapfish’s contribution and Dog Haus served their dogs on buttered brioche bread with all the fixin’s – Yum!  Salt and Straw, a Portland based Ice Cream Shop that recently opened a branch in LA, was a favorite among attendees as the temperatures that day reached the 90s.  I also got a chance to participate in an educational champagne tasting class where my wine glasses were never empty – cheers!

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More photos from the Sunday Block Party 

Chef Jet Tila of 101 Asian Dishes you Need to Cook Before you Die and Judge on Cut Throat Kitchen was also among several celebrity chefs at the event and he entertained attendees with a live cooking demonstration. I was luckily enough to snap a photo with this awesome Asian American as I allowed my belly to digest all the scrumptious samples from event.

I absolutely miss summer, but am excited about all the upcoming holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas! Which holiday are you looking forward to most?

XOXO,

Rockstar

 

 

 

 

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Checking out the NEW Justice League Ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA 

Over the Labor Day weekend I came across a ridiculously awesome Flash Sale for a Six Flags Annual Pass. During that promotion I was able to get an upgraded Gold Pass with admission for the rest of 2017 and all of 2018, free parking, plus bonus “Holiday in the Park” ticket for a friend for just $80! Seemed like an amazing deal and since it’s been ages since I lasted visited Six Flags Magic Mountain I thought it’d be a great to revisit a theme park with my favorite DC characters and thrilling roller coasters!

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DC area at Six Flags Magic Mountain 

I was completely thrilled at how they marketed their rides and restaurants. They had rides dedicated for Green Lantern, Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, you name it! And if you’re a Flash fan, they have a “Big Belly Burger” – the best burgers across the universe according to Barry Allen.

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Cyborg at the Hall of Justice & the Bat Signal

Recently, they added a new family friendly ride called “Justice League: Battle for Metropolois” – held inside of “The Hall of Justice.” The interactive 4D ride allows guests (known as the “Justice League Reserves”) to shoot for points to rescue members of the Justice League captured by Lex Luther and The Joker. At the end of the ride, guests can view points earned and their shooting accuracy. If you love videos games, you’ll definitely love this ride!

My friend and I went on an incredibly hot day, so we can’t wait to go back during the winter season when it cools down. We stayed mainly in the DC area, but there are many other sections with some really cool coasters. Their season passes are also very reasonably priced and if you go twice it pays for itself.

Who’s your favorite DC superhero?

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

Delighting in delicacies at the Lexus Grand Tasting (LA Food and Wine Festival) in Santa Monica, CA

All my travels this summer have been local, and while a part of me longs to fly away and explore new uncharted territories, I’m extremely lucky to have one of the most dynamic cities in my backyard – Los Angeles. Recently, I alongside my friend @foodiejudge (of Instagram) were invited to The Lexus Grand Tasting at LA Food and Wine at the historic Barker Hanger in Santa Monica where we wined and dined with some of the countries best chefs.

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Some tantalizing treats!

Twenty-five celebrity chefs from LA restaurant staples such as Bazaar By Jose,  Astro Donuts, and Alexander Steakhouse plated the event and I was really impressed by the attention to detail placed on each dish.  My friend and I enjoyed the diverse offerings and there were quite a few stations that incorporated exotic ingredients such as caviar, foie gras, and truffles. So fancy!! And of course there was plenty of beer and wine to go around.

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Barker Hangar

Aside from the beautifully executed dishes and distinct alcoholic beverages, the venue location was also equally spectacular. The dramatic ceilings made for an impressive entrance to showcase some of Lexus’s specialty cars. I especially loved the car that was covered in LED lights. The event was definitely lit!

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Celebrity Chef Brian Malarky and event goodies!

The afternoon event was sophisticated and fun, without being stuffy or arrogant. I especially loved how accessible the chefs were even got a photo with Celebrity Chef Brian Malarky, judge on Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games, and mentor on ABC’s The Taste! Overall, this was a great event and I can’t wait to go back next year!

 

What’s your favorite exotic ingredient to indulge in?

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

 

 

 

 

Savoring flavors at the Los Angeles Times – The Taste 

When I think of Labor Day Weekend I think of families and friends coming together to enjoy food and friendship, so when it came time again to attend the LA Times Annual Tasting event I was thrilled for another evening of scrumptious noms and sips. Saturday evening’s event entitled “Dinner with a twist hosted by Jonathan Gold” was almost too hot to handle, but a treat when enjoyed with people with great taste!

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Food samples and Jonathan Gold, Phil Rosenthal and me!

During the tasting my friends and sampled some unique flavor combinations in the Paramount Studios Lot. Some of my favorites were the black ink squid soup dumplings from Little Fatty as well as the lamb bacon and fig from Wolf. Yum! But the highlight of the night definitely was watching Phil Rosenthal (I’ll Have What Phil’s Having), and LA Time’s Food Critic Jonathan Gold speak about their culinary adventures on stage.

News coverage for Tour Taiwan 

The evening also supported tourism for various countries and naturally I gravitated towards the motherland. The Tour Taiwan booth allowed “The Taste” attendees to sample Tea Station’s latte with artwork and boba and play games to win prizes. I was briefly interviewed as a past Miss Taiwanese World titleholder and got to mix and mingle with some other media personalities.

Which country has the best food?

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

 

Marvel’s Inhumans Panel at Ballroom 20, San Diego Comic Con 2017

I’ve a veteran convention goer, but San Diego Comic Con is a completely other animal. The standard logic in making the most the most of a conventions don’t apply SDCC, and giving yourself enough time to secure an activity is of utmost importance.

World Famous San Diego Comic Con

For me, I absolutely love attending panels and I saw on the Comic Con app the new Marvel TV Show: Marvel’s Inhuman in Ballroom 20 – I definitely wanted to see that! So, after I hopped off the trolley, I headed straight to Ballroom 20 – arguable SDCC’s second most popular Hall. BTW, I highly recommend taking the trolley if you’re not staying in the Gaslamp District. Driving and parking in this area is really tough and expensive.

Trolley ticket and Ballroom 20 schedule on the SDCC app

I was advised by some friends that if there’s a popular panel that you want to watch you should sit in on the panels before it to secure a spot. Not knowing if the new Marvel series would be a hit or miss I decided to sit through all the two panels beforehand. Luckily, the shows at least peaked my interest.

Ballroom 20 – SDD’c 2nd most popular hall

When I first entered Ballroom 20, I was blown away by the sheer size of the room, the room capacity is 4800 and and while it wasn’t overflowing, I’d say about 90% of the seats were taken. There were multiple screens for people to watch the panels so even at the back of the house attendees could still enjoy the panels.

After looking for single seats I was able to secure one about mid-way in the room. The Season 4 actors and actresses from “The Strain” all came out and they even showed us an exclusive clip from an upcoming episode. In a nutshell “The Strain” is an American horror drama television series about vampire zombies, and while it’s not really my type of show, it was cool chat with the cast.

Cast of Legion

The panel following was “Legion,” a series tied to the X-Men franchise. They showed an amazing silent film style clip of the mutants fighting to “Bolero” an orchestral piece by Maurice Ravel, and while the two ideas seem to clash it was so tastefully done. Prior to coming to this panel I knew very little about this series, but I left wanting to watch the entire series. Thankfully FX renewed Season 2 and the series is expected to air in February 2018.

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Cast of Marvel’s Inhumans

Finally Marvel’s Inhumans Panel was up. I was beyond hungry at this point (my stomach kept growling at me), but was thrilled to learn all the juicy details on ABC’s newest series. The entire cast came and spoke about their auction experience and gave us some insight to their character. A number of them told us how they had no idea who they were auditioning for and after they were casted understood some of the very strange requests from the directors. It was pretty hilarious.

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Inhumans Panel

They then showed us a few teaser clips from the premier episode. One was of the royal family having a discussion on next steps and another was a battle scene between two unexpected characters.

The one thing I thought was silly was that they were going to show a premier of Inhumans THAT night – but it was scheduled to show right after this panel and at a location 15 minutes away. Good thing I’ll get to catch it at home on September 29th (8/7c).
Which show excites you most? “The Strain,” “Legion,” or “Inhumans”

XOXO,

Rockstar

 

 

The Poke Shack Grand Opening at Beverly Hills 

One of my goals this summer was to eat healthier by incorporating more fruits and vegetables into my diet, and limiting my carb intake. I often found it difficult to do both without sacrificing taste, but with an increase of poke shop poppin’ up, I’m able to accomplish both goals – so when my foodie friend (@Foodiejudge on instagram) invited me to the Poke Shack’s red carpet event to celebrate their Grand Opening I couldn’t say no.

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Look at all the toppings!

The VIP event certainly was a show stopping one complete with a red carpet, live DJ spinning pop tunes, and photographers capturing every moment. I waited in a very short line to order my bowl, and since they’re customizable so you’re bound to have a great meal since you’re picking all the ingredients. I love salmon so I ordered two scoops of that and a scoop of ahi tuna. Both fish choices were really fresh and tasty, and they have an enormous selection of mix-ins and toppings so I definitely loaded up! However, next time I will omit the diced mangos since they tasted a bit unripe.

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Yummy Poke Bowl!

I think one thing that makes this poke spot special is their bamboo rice! I’m cutting traditional white rice out of my diet (as I mentioned above), so this was a nice substitute. My poke server also made a pretty flower design with a radish before handing me my bowl, which I felt like was a nice touch. Overall it’s a solid place to enjoy a healthy meal especially in a posh and sophisticated neighborhood like Beverly Hills.

 

 

What kind of mix-ins do you like in your poke bowl?

 

XOXO,

Rockstar 

Wining and dining at the Pacific Wine and Food Classic at Newport Beach 

Orange County is home to “the real housewives”, beautiful beaches, and some amazing restaurants so it should come to no surprise that there’d be a spectacular outdoor festival to wrap up summer in pure California style. Over the weekend I partnered with Trip.com (a travel app) to attend the Pacific Wine and Food Classic at the Newport Dune Waterfront Resort (Newport Dunes, 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach, Ca 92660), where more than 100 food and beverages were prepared by some of Orange County’s finest chefs and mixologists.

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Tropical treats at Newport Beach!

If you need a vacation this resort-style tasting basically transports you to a relaxing getaway. With the event held on the sand overlooking the dunes, I enjoyed the warm weather and scenic view. The water glistened and the weather was perfect with the sun shining brightly with a small ocean breeze. Most foodies have to choose environment or food quality, but both were equally desirable here. I loved the variety of food available at the tasting and felt that the samples were light and evoked the essence of California cuisine. Some of the small bites that I enjoyed included fusion tacos, seared sashimi, scallops, gazpacho and sliders just to name a few.

VIP Patron Patio

I spent quite a bit of time at the VIP Patron Patio as the area was equipped with fun photo booth opportunities and unique booze infused creations. I had a patron infused pineapple popsicle, which kept me cool under the hot sun. The area also had several couches and seats for patrons to lounge around while enjoying the beautiful day – something I took full advantage of 🙂

Food samples and Simon Majumda of Food Network

During the event guests could also watch different cooking demonstrations of executive chefs signature dishes on the Fisher & Paykel / DCS Culinary Stage. Food Network Star, Simon Majumdar of Cutthroat Kitchen hosted and provided his own culinary tips and tricks as well.

I had such an amazing time at this tasting and one thing that I loved about this event was that it was well organized and not too crowded. The lines for each vendor were all very manageable and it was such a classy affair. I’d definitely come back next year, but will wear flip flops. I made the mistake to wear wedges not realizing that it was actually on the sand. Nevertheless, a great event and one where I think all adults would enjoy.

 

Whats your favorite food to enjoy on the beach?

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

My First Time at San Diego Comic Con

AHHH!!! So it finally happened! I FINALLY got a badge and attended the world famous San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) – the mothership of geek conventions and the crown jewel of San Diego. And let me tell you SDCC definitely deserves all the hype and recognition of being the Con of all Cons, because it is. When I stepped off the trolley, I was beyond overwhelmed. There were lines everywhere and I wasn’t even inside the convention yet. But after I got my bearing I just took it all in and remembered that just being there was exciting!

World Famous San Diego Comic Con

Space wise, I wasn’t even close to covering the entire convention ground and I went four days! I didn’t dare brave the “Hall H” Line, which is a like a convention in and of itself – for virgin SDCC goers like myself, it’s in essence THE place to be to see popular blockbuster panels like Big Bang Theory, Justice League, Game of Thrones etc. People camp out at least a day in advance and if you planned to do Hall H on Saturday, be prepare to camp out on Thursday!

Hall H Line

And no joke, there are people who had legit camping tents and padded mattresses. I’ve been to other big scaled conventions (ie. Wondercon Disney D23, Anime Expo) where the hard-core fans camped out, but never had I seen it in this extreme fashion. There was a line to get into the convention, a line to see panels (other than Hall H), autograph lines, an “exclusives” line, concessions stand line, line to take pictures… actually they were more like mobs of people –  ha! Regardless, there were lines galore!

Justice League Autograph Panel

But, would I do it again, ABSOLUTELY! There’s no other convention quite like it. Sure there are other conventions where there are shorter lines or no lines, but the shear size and star power that this convention can attract is like no other. Where else can you get a sneak peak of upcoming trailers, autographs or photos from the entire cast from your favorite tv show, cosplay with groups of nerds, and hang out with geeks from all over the world? And don’t even get me started on the shopping. Nerd heaven!!!

DC Photoshoot – Where is Wonder Woman?

Now I get that getting a badge is extremely difficult, but the convention geek scene expands past the convention doors and the entire city basically welcomes the nerd herd to seek refuge at the Gaslamp District and beyond. There are TONS of giveaways just outside the convention, so even if you don’t have a badge you can still have a great time geeking out just like the rest of us.

As virgin SDCC goer, I didn’t really know what to expect, but if you love superheros, cosplayers, toys, free stuff, celebrities, this is the place to be – with or without a badge. I’m sorting through my photos and boy was that an adventure.

What part of SDCC are you most excited to read/see? Cosplay? Panels? Shopping? Life outside the Convention? Let me know below!

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

 

 

 

 

 

NEW rolled ice cream at “The Joint” in Garden Grove, CA

Rolled ice cream is all the craze and Garden Grove recently welcomed a new addition – appropriately called “The Joint Creamery” (13281 Brookhurst Street)Tucked away in a strip mall, this little hidden gem has colorful creations that would certainly stand out in a crowd, and with the weather heating up this is a great place to cool down.

Rolled Ice Cream Menu

The trendy dessert shop created quirky names to match their unique creations such as “Franken Beans,” “Cracked Ice,” and “Pineapple Express,” and the fun doesn’t stop there. Patrons can select one of the popular combinations and have the exotic flavors crafted before their eyes. I ordered “Purple Rain” to test out their taro ice cream.

Purple Rain 

Everything worked well together and ice cream is always one of my favorite desserts to indulge in especially in the summer. I’m curious to try the galaxy, which is a sesame favored. What flavor would you be interested to try?

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

Confessions of a Beauty Queen and the New Miss Taiwanese World

One year ago, I entered in beauty pageant and while I felt that I didn’t fit the pageant girl mold, I decided to go for it and take it as a learning opportunity.  Hey if I could take these free classes to improve public speaking, grace and etiquette, why wouldn’t I take advantage of it? And so the journey began…

As a Taiwan ambassador I took part in many community engagements, holiday parades, and networked with local council members in the greater Los Angeles area. Some events were more glamorous than others, and while I likely will retire from this world it did teach me quite a bit, but not in ways I’d expect.

Miss Taiwanese World 2017-2018 and Me, Miss Taiwanese World 2016-2017

I am who I am… by this I mean I’ve grown to accept that I am a multi-layered individual who is always going to challenge the status quo. I’ve never fit in anywhere and always stuck out – most of the times unintentionally. In some ways participating in a pageant, helped me understand that I was born to stand out, not blend in. I embrace my quirks and imperfections, and while I still have a long way to go in becoming who I’m suppose to be I think I’m heading the right direction

To all the current and future titleholders… Take advantage of every moment to shine, You are worthy and never let anyone tell you otherwise. I can’t wait to see where the new year will take you and how much you will grow along the way.

 

XOXO,

Rockstar