Over the weekend I had the opportunity to attend the 2nd Annual Sino-US Cultural Industry Summitat the historic Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. This non-profit organization and industry event brought restaurateurs and media alike to gain insight on the future of the culinary industry. Topics such as “Culinary Industry Trends,” “Cooking in LA’s Melting Pot” and the “Culture of Sharing” were shared in three collaborative panel discussions.
Guests checked-in bright and early on Sunday and were greeted with a spread of finger food and drinks. We then migrated to the main ballroom and listened to different members of the restaurant community on their perspective of how the cultural landscape evolved. Powerhouse Theresa Lin (Julia Child of Taiwan), Alexis Readinger (Hospitality designer), and Celebrity Chef to the stars Lulu Powers (Will Smith, Madonna, and POTUS Bill Clinton) spoke about their experiences and gave advices to other aspiring women on how to build an empire.
In another panel CEO of Umami, Hannah An of The District by Hannah An, and Director of Food/Beverage of Four Seasons explained how they utilize this new wave of marketing techniques and as well as the latest food trend to see for 2018. Both plant-based menus as well as a resurgence comfort food (such as fried chicken, milk shakes, home-made pho etc.) but with a twist, were heavily emphasized in this panel discussion as were a growth in fast fine dinning establishments – restaurants that give you a gourmet meal without the formal dinning experience.
What home-made type of comfort food would you be most excited to try when dining out? I’d love to see how restaurants will replicated BBQ shortribs!
I can’t believe that the Justice League movie is coming out this week! (!!!!) I already reserved my movie tickets to watch it on Thursday night, but to celebrate I’m going to dedicate this week’s blog posts with all things Justice League – yay!!! So today’s post will be a throwback to when I cosplayed as Wonder Woman at LA Comic Con.
Saturday, October October 28th was epic on a number of fronts! It was the day when all San Diego Comic Con returning attendees entered the lottery to purchases badges (I’ll be returning! Yay!!) and the entertainment lineup at LA Comic Con was beyond amazing! My friends and I made sure to allocate enough time to get a wristband to watch a private Black Eyed Peas Concert and see Dwayne Johnson, more commonly known as The Rock! And of course we kept our eyes opened to recruit Justice League mini shoots! There were tons of guests dressed for Saturdays event and a designated DC meet-up outside the convention center. I got to hang-out with various members of the Justice League and strike some fierce poses with gang. Everyone was so nice and it’s great to see all the characters brought to life. I especially loved all the kids cosplays! The Batmans and Flashes were adorable!
After the DC photoshoot my friends headed towards the main stage to catch a glimpse of the A-list celebrities. Stan Lee made an appearance when the entire Black Eyed Peas came up to talk about their new Alternate Reality Comic Book vision and “The Rock” one man act was a great closer for the evening. Afterwards my friends and I migrated to the Nova theater to see a front row seat at the Black Eyed Peas concert – but that’s story for another blog entry.
I think you all know who’s my favorite Justice League member, but who’s yours?
I’ve been on an enormous cosplay kick these last few months so it shouldn’t be a shock that I spent so many days portraying different characters throughout October. (Click here for more cosplay!) The week and weekend leading up to Halloween was beyond exhausting and I’m still contemplating how I lasted – ha!! So, my apologies for being MIA on the blog, but lets get right to the good stuff! Here are some photos and reflections from Day 1 (Friday) of LA Comic Con formerly known as Stan Lee Comikaze! Last year was the first year I attended this convention and for readers who are curious about what a geek convention is like this is a good one to start! It’s no where near as crazy as the famous San Diego Comic Con but there are a good number of vendors and celebrity guest attendees! Friday was a pretty low-key day where guests could focus on shopping and snapping photos of their favorite cosplayers. I dressed up as Chun Li from Street Fighter met up with the adorable Cosplay Parents. I also saw someone dress-up as Jem from Jem and the Holograms and there were a number of girls dressed as Cammy, making the Chun-Li vs. Cammy battle one for the books. It was great to see so many familiar faces at the convention and while my goal was to do all my shopping that day, I took a ton of photos with friends and fans. On the floor, Hot Topic sold four exclusive LA Comic Con Funko Pops along with other seasonal Pops at their booth. I successfully purchased the last Halloween Town Sora – isn’t he so kawaii?!
If you could pick any character to battle Chun Li would you pick?
Customizable healthy fast food is all the rage and with poke places poppin’ up it’s seems that the trend is really catching on. However, there’s a new healthy concept in the mix and I was invited to be among the first foodies to experience the next big thing! LA let’s welcome customizable ceviche bowls at Ceviche Gloria (Yelp)!Similar to poke bowls guest can select from a range of seafood options and mix-in toppings. Yet, unlike poke, which is rice and/or salad based, the seafood portion is substantially more generous and the highlight of the dish. Patrons have the option to add traditional ingredients such as octopus, fish, or shrimp or they can add exotic ones like abalone, and/or scallop – yum!
After the proteins are selected guests can choose various fruits and vegetables. I opted for tomato, mango, pineapple, cucumber, apple, avocado, then added their creamy chipotle sauce, a greek-yogurt based sauce – making it an even healthier alternative. Once all the ingredients were added to a large mixing bowl the chef tossed and moved the ingredients to a perfectly portioned bowl for me to enjoy. The ingredients compliment each other well and the price-point is extremely reasonable – less than $7 – that’s a steal if you ask me! They also serve some amazing fried tacos and bottled beverages imported from Mexico. If you’re a big coke fan you’ll love these bottle as they use real sugar cane sugar. Overall, I had a really great experience and hope that this new concept will flourish and grow. This particular location is based in a marketplace filled with shops galore and in the coming months I can imagine this venue becoming the next hipster invasion. But until that happens, this small hidden hole-in-the-wall restaurant has something for everyone.
Which would you order? A ceviche bowl or deep fried tacos?
P.S. I reached 1000 subscribers on my Instagram and am throwing a $25 gift card contest! Enter here.
Food brings people together and with the weather cooling down it’s the perfect time to gathering around, and enjoy a warm meal shared among family and friends. Hot pot is one of the best ways to enjoy a roaring broth with protein and vegetables. At Tokyo Shabu Shabu (141 N Atlantic Blvd #100B, Monterey Park, CA) everyone can take charge in cooking their favorite ingredients, and this interactive meal is fun (and healthy) for people of all ages. You just pick up your item, dip it in the soup, mix it with your sauce and pop it in your mouth 🙂 Guests start off with a choice of one of their 16 broths and unlike many shabu shabu places they have some pretty unique flavors. They have everything from traditional Japanese dashi kombu boiling water to spicy kimchi to Tom Yum. I had the opportunity to try four flavors and the yellow curry was my fav – yum!They also have some really great quality protein including wagyu chuck-eye roll, certified angus beef rib eye, and premium Colorado lamb. And for the non meat eaters they offer a platter of seafood medley.Overall the meal was very satisfying and I had a great time with my foodie friends as we had an opportunity to try a lot of different items. There are three locations – Monterey Park, Pasadena, and Rowland Heights – spread across Southern California so hungry guests can get their fix for healthy and delicious food. (Bonus: They also offer Happy Hour too!) Eating healthy is one of the top new years resolutions, so why not get a head start and enjoy good company too!
Eating healthier is definitely one of my New Years resolutions – whats yours?
When Harry Potterland officially made their debut at Universal Studios Hollywood I was beyond excited and couldn’t grab a season annual pass fast enough. After many butterbeers and attempts at perfecting my spells (I probably shouldn’t quit my day-job :P), I’ve often have worked up an enormous appetite. Thankfully, on the Citywalk there’s a great restaurant that will fill your tummy with plenty of protein options.
Samba Brazilian BBQ Steakhouse (1000 Universal Studios Blvd, Universal City, CA 91608) is a chain restaurant with tons of protein options fit for the hungriest carnivore. Conveniently located near the parking structure, tourists and locals alike can enjoy bold flavors of your favorite cuts right in front of you. While many restaurant bring you a steak plate, the servers at this establishment come around with a stick of meat and carve you a slice right in front of you. Talk about service!
They have all sorts of meat options ranging from top Sirloin to tri-tip, to bacon-wrapped chicken, to pork lion and pork ribs – though the lamb was my favorite. They also have a salad bar to pair with your meat options, and pairing the savory steak with plantains is a great contrast of textures and flavors! Additionally, there’s samba performers that come to entertain guests. So, if you’re looking for a cool spot to chow down, Samba will fit the bill.
When I lived in Glendale I use to visit Eagle Rock frequently. Highland Theater (Yelp) played new movie release for $5 movies on Tuesdays/Wednesday and my friend and I would often eat at Folliero’s (Yelp) afterwards. However, the surrounding area lacked authentic East Asian options and I often found myself driving 30-45 minutes away to Monterrey Park or San Gabriel when I craved Chinese food or drinks. *cries* Recently Eagle Rock welcomed Bobalicious (Yelp), a bubble tea shop, that serves refreshing drinks at affordable prices.
The shop is located in an unassuming strip mall, but once you enter you’ll be floored by the enormous teddy bear and bright pink decor. I decided to order a strawberry yogurt drink with agar and found it to be a great sweet treat. I also took a sip of my friend’s cucumber drink with boba, and loved how light and refreshing it was. The size of the beverage is almost twice that of a typical boba tea shop and for $4 is a bargain. They also serve snacks in containers that fit on top of your drink, which makes it convenient should you need to grab and go. However, if you decide to sit and chat with some friends at their shop their taste in music is on point. There were playing 90s music on my visit and everything on their playlist reminded me of the good ole days.
Growing up I’ve had the mentality to wait – for the latest gadget to go sale, the hottest trend to cool down etc. and while that’s a great philosophy to abide by I’ve learned over the years that nothing lasts forever and that some things are worth the investment. I’ve always wanted to see Michael Jackson perform live, and since he’s gone I won’t ever be able to change that. As a result, I always make it a priority to watch live performances because I won’t know if I’ll get that opportunity again in the future. Last Friday my friend invited me to watch Coldplay at the Rose Bowl Stadium and while I’ve heard nightmare stories about parking and traffic (there was a Dodgers Game, Lakers Games, plus another concert going on in the area), but I knew that it’d be worth it.
To avoid the $40 parking fee at the Rose Bowl Stadium my friend and I parked at the Parson’s Parking Lot ($15 onsite) and took a shuttle to the stadium. If you pre-order your shuttle tickets online it’s $5 versus $10 round-trip at the venue. The show start time was 7pm and we parked at 6:30 and got to the venue at 6:50, just enough time before Swedish singer Tove Lo performed. She belted out her hits including: Talking Body and Habits. Cold Play came out around 9pm and boy was it a psychedelic performance! Each audience member had a light-up wristband, there was fireworks, and lots and lots of lights. Even after the performance I think I was still seeing stars. haha…
Music feeds the soul, and listening to a performance live has is an experience that in unmatched. Your eyes and ears get this rush from the audios and visuals, and you’ll find yourself dancin’ and fist pumpin’ to the beat. I was definitely up and off my seat when Coldplay performed Yellow, Paradise, and Something just Like This – it just couldn’t be helped. They did an amazing show and I was glad that I got to be a part of it.
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.
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!
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?
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!
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.
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.