Vinoteca Espresso Cafe & Wine Bar

A few months ago, I got to try out Vinoteca's Espresso Cafe one early morning at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. The #PowerPatio is equipped with wifi, charging ports, and TVs to maximize one's experience while there. The cafe opens daily starting at 6:30 am, so one can come in before work to grab a cup of coffee. With Italian pastries such as their scrumptious Connoncini and roast imported from an Italian family in Seattle, Vinoteca is the perfect place to start the day off! 

After work, Vinoteca is transformed into a modern and sleek wine bar with Italian dishes made for sharing. From various pizzas to different types of crudo, Vinoteca is perfect for after work drinks and food or even a nice dinner with friends or significant other. The wine program is extensive, with sommelier Luca Bruno creating a unique Italian wine experience that showcases the finest examples of classic terroir of Italy. A full bar is also available for those who seek something else. 

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Vinoteca at the Four Seasons has become a versatile and trendy spot that strives for not only a great environment, but also a restaurant with delicious food and drinks. With so much to offer, I'm excited to see how Vinoteca will do in the LA scene! I have yet to check out the wine bar, but hope to soon with a couple of friends! 

Bruichladdich Tasting @ Lock & Key

This past Wednesday, I had the pleasure of attending the Bruichladdich Tasting at Lock & Key. The tasting is paired with four different courses, with an introduction to each course by ambassador Alex Goode as well as Chef Cyndi Tran. The event was hosted in the patio of Lock & Key, and the decor was gorgeous! 

Drinks were served at the bar as well as tray passed appetizers, and we got the gin & tonic and strawberry mule to start. The smoked trout salad on cheddar brioche was divine, and we had to indulge in seconds and thirds! 

First Course-

Bruichladdich Scottish Barley paired with Smokey Bacon Vinaigrette and Grilled Asparagus Salad

The Scottish barley was my favorite of the four, and it was crisp and light to the taste. The salad was also a nice refresher to the meal, and I loved how the chef paired it with crispy salmon skin and soft boiled egg. Great textures in this course overall. 

Second Course-

Bruichladdich Islay Barley Rockside Farm paired with Kunamoto Oyster

This was another fantastic whiskey we tasted, and Alex educated us on the roots of this Islay Barley. The smokiness of the whiskey made the Kunamoto oyster taste like a summer barbecue of oysters on the grill! 

Third Course-

Port Charlotte Scottish Barley paired with Paned Seared Scottish Salmon

The whiskey got more peaty as the tasting went on, and this one was nice and smokey. At 40 ppm, it is considered one of the more peatier of the whiskies. The salmon served as a nice contrast to the Port Charlotte, and it was delicious!

Fourth Course-

Octomore 7.1 paired with Butter Scotch Cream Cheese Tarlette

The grand finale of the Octomore 7.1 which happened to be the peatiest whiskey in the world at 208 ppm. Lagavulin and Laphroaig were only around 120 ppm, which is moderate in comparison. The cheese tarlette was a nice sweet offset to the Octomore, and I loved the crust and the overall textures and taste. 

The Bruichladdich tasting was a fantastic evening of delicious whiskey and fantastic food. We had a wonderful evening learning more about Bruichladdich whiskey and its origins, and I am glad to have been able to try the world's peatiest whiskey! Thank you Lock & Key for inviting us out!  

Lark Cake Shop

3337 W Sunset Blvd
Los AngelesCA 90026

I used to come here a lot as I fell in love with their ice boxes (then I moved away), and upon returning this time, everything was just as consistent as last time, if not better! I came in with a group of friends and got the Oreo & gingerbread icebox, and various cupcake flavors. 

The icebox is similar to a Mille feuille in that they do layer by layer of cream and Oreo crisp. The end results in a delectable fluffy treat that is delicious! Similar to Lady M cakes but lighter and smaller, and in my opinion, more unique. My favorite is the Oreo- you have to try it! 

I also got the chocolate peanut butter, red velvet, berry, chocolate mousse, and coconut vanilla cupcake. The cake part is moist and soft, and there is even filling on the inside! The frosting is perfect- they have amazing cupcakes which I highly recommend. I took the cupcakes home to my roommates and they said it was the best cupcake they've ever had! My personal favorite was the chocolate peanut butter as it was very decadent and rich. 

Lark Cake Shop's specialities will not disappoint; I can see why they've been around for years! The recipes have been perfected and the really know what they're doing to their desserts. They even opened another location in Pasadena, and I'm guessing the quality will be just as good. You know where to find me if I need to get my sugar fix!

Chelo Creamery

18558 Gale Ave
City of Industry, CA 91748

New dessert shop opened up in Rowland heights! This place really reminded me of Zero Degrees with their boba sundae, Chabet, and sorbet that they offer. We decided to order an artic ice, boba sundae, and a gelatoroon to share between the four of us. 

For the artic ice, we got lychee and mango with custard and graham cracker on the bottom. The sorbet paired really well with the graham crust, and it was a good combination overall! Good sorbet flavors.

The boba sundae with milk tea gelato was delicious- it tasted exactly like a boba sundae and the boba was warm and soft. This one was actually our favorite of the three! The milk tea gelato was creamy and soft, and its flavors complemented the boba perfectly. 

We got the cookie butter gelato for the gelatoroon, and the cookie butter gelato was our favorite flavor! Loved the texture of the cookie butter in the ice cream, but the macaron was a little hard. 

Great new spot that opened up in Rowland Heights. I heard their mochi waffles are really good, so I'll definitely be back to try that. Hope this place does well as it has potential!

Puffect Bakery Cafe

385 S Lemon Ave
Walnut, CA 91789

I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this place. Upon coming in, I ordered several character macarons, a red velvet egg waffle with cream cheese frosting, and two tea drinks. 

The drinks came out first- and my peach apple green tea was like half sweetened. It was more on the bland side... though it did have fruit bits inside. The macarons came out next- and although they were pretty cute, I've seen better ones. The taste on some of them were slightly too sweet, and one of the macarons was too crunchy. My hello kitty horchata was like a sugar overload, I couldn't even finish one. Overall, the macarons were decent on presentation, but taste was only okay.

The girl forgot about my red velvet egg waffle so I had to order again and wait even longer. The waffle was the best thing they had- I love the pairing of the frosting and the puff! It did come out nice and crisp on the outside but as it got cold it got super soft. They do have other flavors of egg waffle which is really unique! Definitely something they can capitalize on. 

This place does have a great variety of dessert options to choose from, but some items could be done better. There's so much potential though, hopefully Puffiest does better! 

Milk Bar

16051 Brookhurst St
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Came here after seeing their fruity pebble rainbow bar which looked absolutely delicious. The employees immediately greeted us and asked us if we wanted to try any flavors. We tried a few, but the cookie overload and half baked was our favorite. 

We ended up ordering a green Thai tea and jasmine milk tea with boba which came in cute little jars. For ice cream, we got the fruity pebble sandwich with cookie overload, which was humongous! Good thing we decided to share one. It was decent overall, but nothing special besides the presentation. 

The green thai tea was not strong enough- it was a little too milky and not as sweet- kind of watered down if that makes sense. I did not get to try the jasmine milk tea, but my friend said it was pretty good.

This place has tough competition next to Fusion Tea Bar! We'll see how it goes! Nothing I would go out of my way for.

Ice Que

401 W Main St
AlhambraCA 91801

A funnel cake ice cream sandwich exists! When I realized that it was only served on Thursdays from 5-8pm, I literally dropped everything I was doing and booked it there. Seriously. It took around 40 minutes, and when I arrived around 6:15 pm, the place was basically empty!

They now offer three flavors for the funnel cake- strawberry shortcake, blueberry pie, and cookie butter with oreos. I chose the last one, and it was absolutely amazing! The funnel cake was a nice hot contrast to the cold ice cream, and the cake was crispy and light on the outside but soft on the inside. The textures went so well with the ice cream as there were crunchy bits everywhere. Seriously one of the best ice cream sandwiches I've had. This place surpassed my expectations!

I also saw that they have cookie butter millk tea and horchata milk tea, and the nice cashier gave me a sample of the cookie butter milk tea. I LOVED it as it was more thick and creamy but had a great milky flavor. I will definitely be back to get their milk tea and try the other desserts! Super impressed with my first impression here!