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Locanda Verde | New York City

day two of nyc.  i fell in love with tribeca (which i just found out means triangle below canal).  we met up with my cousins for brunch at locanda verde. sunday was about 85-88 degrees and felt like 150% humidity! although walking around downtown was awesome, it was just rough especially carrying around the 24-70mm lens.  i know a lot of people say that it is the perfect walk around lens due to its versatility, but for me (just a “photography enthusiast”), i struggled all day.  i didnt take pictures of a lot of things because it was so uncomfortable (sweat city and my shoulder hurt from having the dslr in my purse)! how do photographers do it?! do they have caddies?

taking this picture made me realize how much i need a polarizing filter. even though this has a lot of reflective glare, its one of my favorites.  also, locanda verde is a very cute brunch place.  definitely try the sheep’s milk ricotta with truffle honey and burnt orange toast! it is amazing!  the second thing i would recommend is the lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberries and meyer lemon curd! it’s what they’re known for…and you will understand why.

here is everything we ordered (if you cant tell yet, our trip to nyc was pretty much a food tour.  everyone we visited knew we loved food so tried to take us everywhere. brace yourself):

  • Sheep’s Milk Ricotta with truffle honey and burnt orange toast
  • Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with blueberries and meyer lemon curd
  • Uovo Modenese with cotechino hash, spinach and tomato hollandaise
  • Uovo Raviolo with asparagus, english peas and pancetta (there is a surprise egg in this! not loving eggs, i was very surprised when it spewed out)
  • Lamb Sausage Grinder with spicy peperonata, broccoli rabe & ricott

(more…)

By |June 28th, 2012|Food, New York, Photography, Restaurants, Travel|7 Comments

short NYC trip – part I

its good to be back home.  i had a few meetings in nyc on tuesday so i decided to make a weekend of it with the hubby! we were debating whether or not to do it since it was so last minute. but! the stars aligned perfectly and it turned out to be a very opportune time for us to go: katy (best friend. known her since i was twelve) was there for a couple of days (she has been out of the country for a month now), two of my cousins recently moved to nyc (move motivated by amazing job opportunities), contiki friends were going to be there (these are awesome people), and kyle’s cousin was in town…i’m telling you. perfect alignment.

we were only gone for 3 days/3 nights but we came back (i) 5-7 lbs heavier, (ii) with a combined total of 17 mosquito bites, (iii) with a whole lotta food pictures, and (iv) happy to have seen friends, family, and the city.

part I

meet our gracious host, lauren.  it was her birthday early last week and it just so happens that all three of us love lobster. naturally, we went to luke’s lobster on the upper east side to celebrate. how did we find this place?  yelp (have i told you how obsessed we are with this site? huge advocate.  yelp, linking foodies together one review at a time) a combined 1300 reviews (multiple locations in manhattan). 4 solid stars.  we needed to try this place.

verdict: bomb. everything on yelp is true.  get “noah’s ark” – lobster roll, crab roll, shrimp roll. it’s pricey, but worth it.  make sure you grab a blueberry soda or the mandarin orange soda!

i had to write a special caption for this photo.  kyle is strutting my new camera bag (case logic, review to come) around upper east side. reminds me of the brawny man (slightly).

happy birthday, lauren.

By |June 27th, 2012|Food, Friends, New York, Photography, Restaurants, Travel|7 Comments

Hungry Cat | Hollywood, CA

we received an email from yelp titled “lobster roll roundup.”  guess who was the first on their list?! son of a gun!  we went there awhile back and fell in love with their #1 lobster roll and #2 fried chicken sandwich!  ever since then, we like to compare any consumed lobster rolls to our experience at son of a gun.  enter the yelp email which listed hungry cat as #2.  we had to go there:

firstly, the lobster roll is ONLY available for lunch.  verdict: it was ok.  son of a gun is better.  the pug burger was also just ok.  as shown in the picture above, it was not a eater friendly burger (stacked way too high for even my big mouthed hubby).  would we go here again?  probably not. with that said, it was one of those restaurants we had on our list on yelp.  happy eatings.

Hungry Cat
1535 Vine St
Hollywood, CA 90028
Neighborhood: Hollywood

Hungry Cat on Urbanspoon

By |June 18th, 2012|Food, Restaurants|5 Comments

sugarfish and pies.

jen and i were really excited for sugarfish to open up in studio city…we have been talking about it for a month now.  saturday (last minute) we made it happen!  k and i got the nozawa special, which was perfect for two.  fish was fresh. everything tasted amazing.  we would definitely recommend the blue crab roll.  this was also my chance to test out the new 24-70mm lens.  so here are a few test photos from us playing with the camera.  lighting was a bit dark in the restaurant, so you can tell when we played with the white balance and the ISO settings.  after some beers, we continued the night at republic of pie (they have live music every saturday).

banana cream pie, chocolate pecan pie, and coconut cream pie… with coffee and tea.  overload.

By |June 17th, 2012|Food, Friends, Restaurants|5 Comments

Izakaya Sushi Ran | Toluca Lake, CA

Izakaya Sushi Ran | Toluca Lake

we decided to go to izakaya sushi ran for dinner one day because they had a pretty good happy hour deal! score. rolls here are yummy, colorful, HUGE, and even better when its 30% off.  first time here, we got: (i) the number one roll, (ii) vivid roll, (iii) super tiger roll and (iv) spicy salmon hand roll.

Izakaya Sushi Ran | Toluca LakeIzakaya Sushi Ran | Toluca Lake

it’s been a solid year or two now and now this place has become our go-to sushi place / happy hour joint (for us and our peeps).  i want to say kyle comes here once a week to grab a beer and a roll.  our favorites now that we have tried pretty much every roll:

  • my king roll – spicy crab meat, mango, jalapeño, avocado and tuna.
  • abc roll – deep fried rice and spicy tuna.
  • number one roll – shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, crab meat, albacore and fried onion.
  • baked baby lobster roll – crab meat, cucumber, avocado with baked baby lobster on top.
  • super tiger roll – shrimp tempura, crab meat, avocado, cucumber, spicy tuna and shrimp.

Izakaya Sushi Ran | Toluca LakeIzakaya Sushi Ran | Toluca LakeIzakaya Sushi Ran | Toluca Lake

  • parking: since sushi ran is located in a strip mall, it shares a small parking lot with a thai food restaurant, a dominos and a few other stores.  if you can’t find parking in the lot, there should be ample street parking.
  • service:  we love the girls here. super energetic and efficient.
  • ambience:  relative small joint.  clean. modern decor.
  • overall:  we love this place! check it out 3-5:30pm for awesome deals!

Izakaya Sushi Ran
10658 Riverside Dr
Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Neighborhood: Toluca Lake

izakaya Sushi Ran on Urbanspoon

By |June 8th, 2012|Food, Photography, Restaurants|3 Comments