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! 

Public School 213's New Spring/ Summer Menu

Public School 213 has always been a local hangout spot for me for drinks and snacks, and I was excited to try their new spring/ summer menu! New additions include a grilled watermelon & heirloom tomato stack, pizza di verdure, and meatballs & linguine. They have a huge selection of beers on tap, and I had The Earl of Juniper, an earl grey infused jin with lavender and lemon that was delectable. 

We started out with the grilled watermelon & heirloom tomato stack that was topped with feta, balsamic, and marcona almonds. This dish had the best textures! Both the watermelon and the tomato was super juicy, but the tomato was more soft and spongey whereas the watermelon was crisp and light. The contrast of the two really complemented each other well, and the almonds was just the cherry to the dish. Obsessed with this combination- I need more of this in my life! 

The Pizza di Verdure with zucchini, arrabbiata angry sauce, caramelized onions, basil, goat cheese, truffle oil, and lemon gremolata was next, and the combination was delicious. Lots of intertwining flavors and textures throughout, and I really liked the subtle hint of truffle oil in the pizza! 

Last but not least, the Meatballs & Linguine included the arrabbiata angry sauce, rapini, grana padano, and basil. This was the favorite of the table as the sauce had a spicy kick to it from the arrabbiata angry sauce. The linguine was cooked perfectly, and the meatballs were so flavorful and juicy! I was super impressed with this dish.

We had a great time at Public School 213, and I'm so glad we finally got to try the food! The overall theme of "school" with composition books, "incomplete" to go boxes, and school tables is so cute! Love how they have seasonal items so that the menu is always changing! 

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!  

Le Petit Paris

Le Petit Paris is a beautiful French restaurant that seats over 300 tables in on setting. I have visited once on their grand opening day, and I was excited to return to see what changes have been made! My friends and I came in during lunch time, and the decor was gorgeous as always. The high vaulted ceilings with chandeliers make it the perfect date spot or a great time with friends, and they even have a live DJ at night on the weekends playing disco and French house! 

After sitting, we started out with some drinks and appetizers. We got a homemade crostini with cream cheese truffle topped with pesto sauce that is included with every table. This was addicting to me as I love anything cream cheese! For appetizers, we got the foie gras, sea bass ceviche, and white and green asparagus with a hollandaise sauce. I loved the foie gras as it was creamy and decadent, and a hint of sweet always pairs well with the foie. The sea bass ceviche was very refreshing and light, and I loved the textures of salsa added so it wasn't al soft. Our friend was vegan, and she really enjoyed her asparagus! Perfect start to our meal!  

Next up- the white truffle pizza. We had actually requested this one as it looked AMAZING, and it was definitely up to par! Instead of using regular cheese, Chef Jeremie uses a mixture of cheese and cream cheese which made it super creamy! They are also very generous with the white truffle, and this literally tasted like the pizza of my dreams! I have included two photos, as one is not enough! 

For entrees, we got the Saffron Scallops Risotto with peas and chorizo, Vegetables Linguini (vegan), and the "Le Petit Paris" Signature Cheeseburger with bacon and french fries. First of all, let me state that French people does fries best! Makes sense as it's called French fries... but we were obsessed with these fries! We could not stop eating it even though we were extremely full, and the fries were super crispy on the outside yet steaming hot and soft on the inside. On to the actual food- the risotto was delectable! The scallops were perfectly seared, and the risotto had a nice mixture of saffron in it. The vegetable linguini was tossed in a light oil sauce which was divine! Last but not least, the cheeseburger. Juicy, succulent meat with cheese oozing everywhere... Life cannot get any better. At this point, we were way too full, so we had to take some food home. 

We did end up taking a few photos of the dessert as they were so cute, but we were way too full for dessert as we ate so much! Thank you Chef Jeremie as well as the rest of restaurant for the hospitality, we had a fantastic time at Le Petit Paris! Can't wait to return~

Lamill Coffee

1636 Silver Lake Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Three words. Salted caramel latte! I don't even drink coffee but this is definitely a must order. Lamill Coffee is very well known as they distribute their beans to numerous stores, and this shop is their only location that serves food. They do have one in Alhambra that serves strictly coffee, but my friends and I wanted to eat so we came in to check out their brunch!

We ended up liking everything on the menu, and ordered way too much food. We got all three toasts (avocado, smoked salmon, ricotta), as well as the salmon eggs benedict, grilled cheese and tomato soup, an omelette, and two pastries. Of course, we got mimoas as brunch is never complete without mimosas! They offered a grapefruit mimosa which I thought was unique, and although it was sour, it was a delicious start of my meal! 

The pastries were first to come we got the jalapeno cheese biscuit and the mushroom muffin. Both of them were scrumptious; the biscuit had bits of cheese over it and was nicely toasted! The muffin was warm and soft, and the inside had a generous portion of mushrooms. Yum!

On to the toasts- these were perfect in terms of presentation and taste! The avocado toast was paired with radish and onions which was was a nice crunchy complement to the soft avocado. Add a poached egg to complete this dish! This ended up being my friend's favorite of the brunch.

The smoked salmon was a delicious toast as well- very even serving of cream cheese, capers, and salmon. I took this home and ate it for dinner in the end.

I really liked the ricotta toast- they add walnuts, honey, and strawberries on top. The combination of everything was divine, and I could not stop eating it even though I was stuffed! 

You can't go wrong with the eggs benedict or the grilled cheese/tomato soup, and this spot was no exception. The yolk was runny for the benedict, the grilled cheese was toasted, and the tomato soup was creamy and hearty. My friend really liked her mushroom omelette (she made it all egg whites) as well. 

To finish, my friend had a salted caramel latte that we fell in love with! This was the best ending to our meal- you have to try it for yourself! I also got a lavender lemonade which I really liked as it had the perfect balance of lavender flavor and lemonade. I'm obsessed with brunch, and this restaurant has only fueled this current phase!

Lifehouse Tonics + Elixirs

7515 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046

 Mud Hut, Love Shack, Greenhouse Chip

Mud Hut, Love Shack, Greenhouse Chip

Life house Tonics + Elixirs is really differentiate themselves from other wellness bar and smoothie places as it uses extremely organic and high quality ingredients to make their drinks! Their tonics are packed with herbs and medicinal mushrooms (like the ones you get at Chinese herb stores) and taste amazing, if not better than regular smoothies!

My friends and I came in after lunch, and we fell in love with the decor. They offer very clean simple lines with cool and neutral colors to complement the store. The teal watercolor wall is gorgeous, and we could not stop taking photos of the shop!

The owner was very welcoming, and he introduced to us the various tonics that he offers and the healthy ingredients in each one.

He gave us samples of his steeped elixirs to try including:

The Bunker which is a light charcoal lemonade that was surprisingly really refreshing.

 The Bunker

The Bunker

The Fungi Palmer which is similar to an arnold palmer but they use medicinal mushrooms.

 Fungi Palmer

Fungi Palmer

Auga de Jamaica that tastes like a hibiscus tea with rose petals and other types of herbs.

 Agua de Jamaica 

Agua de Jamaica 

 Ingredients of the Steeped Elixirs

Ingredients of the Steeped Elixirs

In the end, the three of us ended up getting their blended tonics which we fell in love with! I got the Greenhouse Chip which is their most popular drink- it tastes like a mint chip but includes almond milk, cashew milk, mint extract, cacao nibs, wheat grass, barley grass, and more. There was fresh mint that was added to the smoothie straight from their plant, and I couldn't even taste the wheatgrass even though they put a large amount!

 Love Shack and Greenhouse Chip

Love Shack and Greenhouse Chip

My friends got the Mud Hut and the Love Shack- the mud hut was similar to a chocolate smoothie but way better- I actually couldn't decided if I like the Mud Hut or the Greenhouse Chip better. 

The Love Shack had pearl powder in the smoothie which is great for the skin/ complexion, and this one was similar to a strawberry smoothie but includes coconut, goji berries, rose water, passion flower, and more. 

The people at Lifehouse are so passionate and knowledgeable of their tonics, you can tell they really believe in a person's wellbeing and the products they offer! Everything from the aesthetics to the taste was perfected to every minute detail. Chinese herbs are typically known to have a bitter and sour taste, but the drinks here don't taste anything like that! So ecstatic to have found a place that offers extremely healthy yet reinvigorating and tasty smoothies!

 Menu

Menu