Friday, May 29, 2009

Clockwise from left: Denim shirtdress at Anthropologie, straw trilby hat at J.Crew, Voom by Joy Han strapless denim dress at Bloomingdale's, Woven sandal and denim flower choker by Lanvin at Barney's,

The last time I remember voluntarily wearing chambray was sometime in the 90s. But all the cute denim pieces coming out lately are making me rethink dresses and accessories made of jean material.

fette sau

I was hoping to do my Napa Valley post today but I don't have my pamphlets on me and wanted to do that wonderful place justice, so I'll hold off for a bit. Instead, let me show you the carnage that took place last night at Fette Sau.

Fette Sau in Williamsburg, Brooklyn holds a dear place in our hearts because Mika and I made some really wonderful friends there last year. We came back yesterday, in fact, to celebrate our "one year anniversary" with Zoe and Carl. We happened to share a table a year ago and bonded over chunks of barbequed meat and beer. We've been great friends ever since. It's really a quirk of fate that we even met because Mika and I weren't planning on going to Fette Sau that fateful spring night. We were on our way to Roebling Tea House when we got sidetracked by this wonderful barbeque joint.

We each got about 2 1/2 pounds of meat each on our trays (which comes down to 1.25 pounds per person). Zoe had somehow discovered that yesterday was National Brisket Day so we had to get hefty servings of the tender, juicy beef brisket. It was sooooo delicious. Another winner was the pork belly, which had ridiculously soft and moist chunks of meat hugged by heart-palpitation inducing fat. It was so soft you could cut pieces with a fork. The Angus beef boneless spareribs were a letdown, though. The meat was not as tender as the brisket and a bit dry. Always get your ribs on the bone, I say.

Mika and I made the controversial decision to order habanero chips, which caused us a lot of sadistic pleasure and pain. The chips had a yummy barbequed flavor for about 2 seconds before the habanero heat slammed into our throats and tastebuds in waves for about, oh, 2 minutes. We kept thinking we'd get used to the heat eventually so we kept munching at these fiery chips, but we were wrong. It was painful every time. I might want to try that again.

Those averse to extreme spiciness should consider getting the pickles as sides, which were so fresh, crisp, gorgeously green and tart. Mmm-mmm. Beer fiends will also love this place for their ever changing selection of microbrews. Standouts were the Kelso Fette Sauv, a light lager brewed especially for the restaurant, and a Belgian White beer that was quite lovely.

That Fette Sau delivers is just one more reason for me to consider moving to Brooklyn on the next apartment hunt. That lovely pork belly and a microbrew brought to my doorstep?! Mmm ... Until then though, it's another great reason to visit my favorite borough.

Where: 354 Metropolitan Avenue between Havemeyer and Roebling, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211. Tel. 718-963-3404


Cute little baubles by Pade Vadra on sale today at Ideeli. I just like the fact that they're not generic, and can't be duplicated just by going down to the fashion district. The leaves on the necklace on the right, for instance, are made of jade, which I find very cool. And how adorable is the little turquoise seahorse? Awww.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

gasp! elizabeth & james shoe line!

Elizabeth & James' shoe line is now available at Shopbop! I'm jonesin for the sexy gladiator heels and the pointy black pumps with little buttons running down the back of the shoe to the end of its racy stiletto heel. Zexy! Prices range from $270 to $325.

dessert truck

It's not fair. Dessert Truck makes indulgence way too easy. After a delicious late dinner at Yakitori Taisho with Mika, Monkey and Buddha, we were nicely satisfied and not really seeking to stuff ourselves silly. But then Buddha wondered out loud, "I wonder if the Dessert Truck is still there ... " and then there was no turning back. I've been badly wanting to try the sweets served up by former Le Cirque pastry sous-chef Jeremy Chang but I always end up too stuffed for dessert when I'm that area. Today, though, I would not be stopped (well, I also had my boyfriend with me, which meant I wouldn't have to face the guilt of devouring the entire dessert on my own).

We ordered the warm molten dark chocolate cake ($5) with olive oil ganache, hazelnuts, sea salt, and a scoop of chocolate ice cream (they ran out of vanilla, and what's so wrong about chocolate on chocolate anyway?). The dessert was phenomenal. The cake was rich and moist, and the filling wonderfully warm and oozy. The hazelnuts, which were seemingly coated with some sort of brittle, provided a wonderful crunchy contrast to the molten cake. I imagine they'd be addictive even on their own. This dessert is. Worth. Every. Calorie.

East 55th Street, just off the northeast corner at Lexington from Monday to Friday, 12 noon- 3PM
St. Mark's Place (8th St) and 3rd Avenue from Monday to Sunday, 6PM to 12 midnight

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

feeling the blues

Mykonos dress and lapis gladiators at Anthropologie, necklace at Club Monaco, Brewster tote by Tory Burch at Bloomingdale's

I am suffering from vacation withdrawal and find myself dreaming about escaping to someplace with bright skies and blue waters wearing these pretty things ...

zac brightens up my dreary day

This adorable Zac Posen poplin drape dress brings a bit of sunshine into my dreary, gloomy, first-day-back-at-work-from-a-long-vacation day. On sale for $550 from $1,100 at Neiman Marcus' midday dash.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

piroshky piroshky

We went down to the Pike Place Public Market last Thursday after lunch and realized it was not the best decision. When we got there, there were so many things we wanted to try from the stalls that we wish we hadn't eaten beforehand. We decided to come back on another day when we were hungry so we could try the goodies sold there. One place that had us particularly intrigued was Piroshky Piroshky, a Russian bakery with a ridiculously delicious smell wafting out of its doors and all manners of flaky, delicious-looking pastries tempting us from their shelves and windows.
The Russian piroshky is basically a stuffed pie with a variety of fillings. Typically, Russian piroshky's contain beef and onions or potatoes and mushrooms. In Seattle, they put a local spin on piroshky by making varieties with smoked salmon pate and smoked mozzarella brocolli with mushroom. We came back for piroshkies on a Saturday at around 4pm when we hadn't had a proper lunch. There was a line snaking out of the store with customers patiently waiting for their turn to get a piroshky. It turns out that this bakery is quite an institution in Seattle. It's been visited by Anthony Bourdain, and the storefront is papered with rave reviews. When we finally reached the front of the line, we ordered a smoked salmon pate piroshky; a rosemary chicken, rice and mushroom piroshky; and a spinach, egg and cheese piroshky.
The best one was definitely the smoked salmon pate piroshky. The creamy filling was such a wonderful contrast to the firm bun. The other two piroshkies were freshly baked and thus had quite hot filling still when we bit into them. But both were very good too. The pastries were deliciously flaky, and the savory fillings so flavorful and satisfying. For dessert, we grabbed a cherry and white chocolate piroshky, which was to die for. Overflowing with cherries and delicious without being cloyingly sweet, we devoured the piroshky in under a minute. This is one store I definitely wish we had in New York. I would probably consume at least one piroshky a week if we did!

Where: 1908 Pike Place, Seattle, WA 98101

Friday, May 22, 2009

the best thai food in the us. period.

When we got off the cab at a dodgy looking complex off the Vegas strip, I seriously thought we were having dinner at a dingey Asian takeout. Push open the doors to Lotus of Siam, though, and you're in for a wonderful surprise. It was 7PM on a Sunday and the restaurant and its waiting room were packed to the gills. We stood there reading the reviews that covered the walls proclaiming this little Thai joint as the restaurant where Vegas' star chefs come to eat, as the place where the best Thai food in the country is served. When we were told the wait would be an hour, we struck up a deal with the host to keep us on the list while we quickly got changed for our night out the hotel. We came back in 45 minutes and were promptly rewarded with our table for four. The waiter recommended a great dry Reisling sweet enough to stand up to the spiciness of the food (I don't recall the name, but just trust their recommendations, they know their stuff).

I was extremely excited to find crispy catfish salad ($13.95) on the menu. This salad was a staple at every Thai meal I've had in Asia, and I was always so sad that I couldn't seem to find it in New York. Lotus of Siam's version consisted of of deep fried catfish, fresh chili, lime juice, peanut, cashew nut, cilantro, and sliced green papaya. It wasn't as spicy as the best ever catfish salad I had (which was of course on the streets of Bangkok) but it was very refreshing next to the lip-numbingly hot dishes we'd ordered.
We ordered stuffed chicken wings ($8.95) as well, but the yummy crispy pieces disappeared way too fast for me to take a picture. I did get a chance to snap a photo of the deep fried bean curd ($6.95). So good with the sweet and sour sauce with chopped peanuts.
One of the stars of the meal was the steamed sea bass served atop a bed of drunk man noodles. The fish was soft and flaky, and the drunk man noodles so tasty. The dish was completely wiped out.
Another favorite was the spicy chicken green curry. I love how it isn't overwhelmingly spicy at first. It draws you in and lets you taste the flavors of coconut milk and kafir lime, and then wham! It hits you over the head with the spiciness. Mmmm.
The crispy duck rounded out the meal. I love duck in most shapes and forms, and this spicy concoction with crisp skin and flavorful meat was no exception.
We capped off the meal with dessert, of course (no pictures, sorry). Definitely leave room for the sticky rice topped with coconut ice cream, which is so refreshing and not sickly sweet. If you have any more space to spare, the banana fried roll is another good one to try.

Definitely a place I'll keep coming back to. I may never ever touch a slot machine in Vegas (I didn't at all during the trip), but I'll make sure my tastebuds get a whipping from Lotus of Siam every time.

Where: 953 E. Sahara Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89104 (3/4 East of Sahara Hotel) Tel. (702)735-3033

Monday, May 18, 2009


Landed in San Francisco a few hours ago, and finally FINALLY got my In-and-Out burger! When Mika went to get In-and-Out in Vegas, Sonu was introducing me to my very first Vegas cocktail—you know, those ones that are maybe 20 inches long and filled to the brim with margarita, colada or martini and a smattering of gummi worms? Well obviously, a cocktail like that and In-and-Out don't really mix, so I had to miss the burger. But today, I finally got a tasty cheeseburger with crisp lettuce, tomatoes and onions, and a thick and yummy chocolate shake (when I asked Mika if we could share a shake, I got a very point blank "No"). Happiness. Now like a little piggie, I'm going to go take a nap, because that's what vacations are all about! Gorging on yumminess and then taking a nap before all those calories get used up. Vegas posts to come soon but for now back to the vacay!

Friday, May 15, 2009

wink is not playing fair

Oh Wink. It's just not right to show me three different things that I MUST HAVE when they cost between $209-264. I mean, that sage colored dress alone is killer. UGH. Not fair at all.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Off on a vacation to the West Coast, starting with Sin City. I'm a Vegas virgin so I'm really excited for the first leg! I have put in a few scheduled posts but blogging may be sporadic in general as I am leaving the laptop at home and mooching off my boyfriend's camera. But being out of touch is what a vacation's all about right? See ya on the other side!

sexy wedges

Oh. Ohhhhhhh. I NEED these wedges. They are too darn sexy!

Bebe knows their sexy shoes, they really do. They manage to straddle the line between sexy and stripperella. I love the idea of wedges because they can add on the inches without me getting stuck in subway grates and cobblestones. And I really need those inches. Today I was standing on tippy toes out of habit while talking to a co-worker at his cube. Another co-worker says, "Oh for a second there I thought you had grown because you looked taller! But no, you're just on tippy toes!" Argh. I told her if I grew at all I would send everyone a Memo. Oh yeah, they would know.

aa is giving me flashbacks

Doesn't the new bodysuit from American Apparel totally remind you of Cher and her c-razy costumes back in the day?
Though it is a pretty interesting piece to experiment with, if I had the nerve or somewhere to wear it (I don't think my office would look too kindly on that bodysuit and pencil skirt ensemble above). I haven't really gotten into the bodysuit trend because the complication of well, having to pee bothers me. Signs that I really am in my late 20s ... *sigh*

sample sale alert: luca luca

I'm not the world's most rabid Luca Luca fan, but a sample sale is a sample sale, and I wouldn't wanna deprive anyone of important information. So here goes:

Wednesday to Friday, 20 to 22 May from 9AM to 6PM
Tuesday to Friday, 26 to 29 May from 9AM to 6PM
Saturday to Sunday, 30 to 31 May from 11AM to 5PM

Luca Luca Showroom at 19 West 36th Street, 4th Floor


everything's better embellished

And it's even better when you discount it. Of course, it would be the best if money was no object to me because even at the deepest discounts, I can't afford these! But if YOU can, Eluxury is lopping off an extra 30% from already discounted wares today. Which means these gorgeous shifts by 3.1 Phillip Lim are now priced at $279 (from $795) and $353 (from $850). Not bad at all if you have a trust fund.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

the lure of absinthe

Oh dear sweet absinthe ... we've had some good times, haven't we? There was that night in Düsseldorf, when Sonu and I doublefisted absinthe and cocktails (I had a White Russian, she had a Singapore Sling in honor of our buddy Ben). That night ended with Sonu dropkicking a beer glass in a club and me saying, "That was a really good kick!" while getting pushed out the door by Johan and Ben, who were flabbergasted at our inane drunk antics. There was also that night at a jazz bar in Prague, when we had flaming B52 shots done with absinthe, that subsequently put Nathalie's sweater arm in flames. Hmm.

I need me some more absinthe nights ... that means you, Kathryn, and our long awaited absinthe date at Apotheke ... and you, Zoe, for that much delayed White Star night. I already know what I'm going to have: the Hemingway-inspired Champagne-and-absinthe cocktail. Or maybe I'll just get that sweet Art Nouveau contraption above and serve absinthe out of the comfort of my own home? Oh the possibilities ...

today i want ...

This stack of textured bangles by Amrita Singh, on sale for $49 at Ideeli. I'm just scared to buy them without trying them on because I have teeny tiny wrists that most bangles just slip right off ...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

not always black and white

On my ride back uptown from apartment hunting on the Lower East Side, my iPod was blaring and I was deep in thought, but somehow this guy beside me decided I was really interested in conversing with him. Aside from the supremely annoying question, "Do you have a soulmate?" he also said, "You really like black." Huh? That's got to be the most inane thing to say in New York, where black is practically a uniform.

But dammit, while I decided to completely ignore this strange fellow, his commentary on my color choices did make me think. Maybe I should rethink a new neutral, like this look from Zara:
Or chuck a little bit of color into all the black:Anything so the weirdos will leave me alone on the subway ... and cabs ... and 8th Avenue ...

Monday, May 11, 2009

being an adult sucks

I applied for the very first loan of my life today to cover expenses for my move, and so I'm the bank's b*atch for the next two years. Thus, I'm not allowed to splurge on anything for the next two years, as well. Not even gorgeous Herve Leger dresses on sale at Gilt Groupe like this one that's going for $528 (from $1,490). Not even the super beautiful ombre Herve that I've been coveting forever (not that I ever had a chance; it sold out in minutes). Sigh. Double triple sigh.

mmmm missoni

Splurging on an M Missoni dress is itself a dream for me, nevermind an actual Missoni (dear lord, one dress costs as much as my rent!). This M Missoni on sale at Neiman Marcus for $507 (from $845) would be such a dream to own, but will have to remain a fantasy for me since I have about that much money going towards a deposit and credit check fee v. soon for what I hope, hope, hope will be my new home ... crossing fingers, toes, eyes (?!) for luck ...

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Chikalicious sounds like it would be the name of either a Filipino restaurant or a Filipino gossip website, but it's actually a chic little dessert bar in the East Village named after one of the proprietors, Chika Tillman from Japan. I went there today with Wendy, our dear friend and broker extraordinaire who's been patiently helping me sift through a million and one apartments. We had a lovely time chatting over pretty desserts.

We agreed that this 20-seat dessert bar is more suited to ladies than men due to the tiny portions. According to the website, the 3-course prix fixe menu is composed of American desserts with French presentation and Japanese tasting portions. In plain English, these desserts that will feel like a mere tickle in a grown man's tummy.

I don't really drink coffee anymore but I had to order a latte ($5) for this dessert session, and I was completely charmed by the tea cup they served it in. I think I want some delicate porcelain teacups for my pad now too.

We were served an amuse bouche of vanilla ice cream set on a bed of vanilla lemongrass gelee. It was delish but not very photogenic.

Wendy ordered the lemongrass panna cotta with pineapple sorbet and cilantro agar agar gelee. The panna cotta was really good; it reminded me of the Filipino dessert maja blanca a little bit. It was a very refreshing and almost tropical dessert with the gelee and the sorbet.

I ordered the warm chocolate tart with pink peppercorn ice cream and red wine sauce. I have to say I was quite underwhelmed by the dessert. It's a cross between a molten chocolate cake and a tart, and I think I would've been more satisfied with chocolate cake. Cake would've been easier to dip into the yummy red wine sauce and the pink peppercorn ice cream. The most intriguing part of my plate was definitely the pink peppercorn ice cream. Sweet and spicy, and the taste lingers long after the last bite.

To cap off our meal, we received a plate with three kinds of petite fours. My favorite had to be the marshmallow coated with coconut flakes. So yummy. I'll have to figure out a way to replicate that one.

It was a very nice experience, for sure, but now that I've tried it I might not be too keen to go back. It's simply too little for too much, I feel (or is that just because I was famished from Bikram class? Something to consider). I might swing by Chikalicious' Dessert Club across the street just to give their menu a whirl. But this place left me with a been there, done that kinda feeling. But I'd say it's something to try at least once!

Where: 203 East 10th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues. Strictly on a walk in basis, four guests per party max

happy mother's day!

I can't believe that this year, I actually have a bunch of friends my age who are already (or will very soon be) mothers! Goodness. How did we go from prom to motherhood in a flash?

I'm getting my mom a belated Mother's Day gift because I'm seeing her in less than two weeks, but I had to go searching through the Williams-Sonoma website anyway for ideas. They have so many cool things there! I wanted to get this Ebelskiver Filled-Pancake Pan for my mom, but Mika pointed out that it's not so much a gift for her as for me because I want to be the guinea pig for the lovely Danish puffy pancakes that they make. I'm still considering getting it for her anyway ...

How delish do those pancakes look? Oh, I'm definitely tempted ... Another very cool contraption that I found is something that my mom probably won't want, but I want it! It's more of a European thing (or a wine guzzler thing): the Penguin Sparkling Water Maker.

Once upon a time when I was an intern in Germany, I despised sparkling water. I was so annoyed, I remember, that our office only had sparkling water. I guess being with a Finn for the last two and a half years, and consuming copious amounts of wine in that time has changed my point of view about sparkling water. On some days and some occasions (like during terrible hangovers) sparkling water is amazing. A crate of Pellegrino can be bought for a reasonable price at Costco, but using a sparkling water maker is really so much better for the environment.

I covet this Pizza Cue Grill so badly, but alas, nowhere to grill in Manhattan so it's a lost cause. For those lucky enough to have a grill in their backyard (just lucky enough to have a backyard, dammit!) this seems like a great contraption to have. Me, I'll have to be content with buying pizza across the street ...

Saturday, May 09, 2009

saturday night

I'm sitting on my couch on a Saturday night with a silly little smile on my face because I'm just so darn happy. After an eventful week, all I wanted to do with my Saturday night was to sit at home and veg, so I'm very happy to be doing that. But I'm also all smiles because I decided to treat myself and get some beautiful pink peonies to stare at. It never ceases to amaze me how much happiness a few blooms bring.

As if I wasn't already beaming uncontrollably, I also got in Serendipity from Blockbuster. It had been awhile since I last saw the movie so I'd completely forgotten the story. It was like watching it for the first time all over again. OH. MY. GOD. It is such a good movie! It was extra special watching it now that I live in New York—especially since I live about 4 blocks from Serendipity! Unbelievably, I've lived in this apartment for almost 2 years now and I've still never stepped in there. That movie has given me an incredible urge to go now. One last thing Mika and I will have to do before the big move!

speak low

What a morning ... I wake up to a call from my good friend announcing they're having a baby! And I'm just um, recovering from all those cocktails last night. It totally made me feel like I'm on a whole other track from the rest of my longtime girlfriends. Their calendars in Manila are crammed with weddings and baby showers. Me? Um, I popped my Dark & Stormy cherry last night! Yay.

But hey, my very first Dark & Stormy cocktail ever really was quite a moment. Last night, Zoe and I ventured to DUMBO to celebrate my new friend Amanda's birthday. It was my first time in DUMBO and I was so fascinated with the place. Quite hip, and the apartments are to die for. Made all the apartments I've seen in Manhattan during my hunt seem really ... lame.

But I digress. The party was at Speak Low, a cool lounge tucked under Rice. They make some very good cocktails. Historically conscious recipe-wise, and using good spirits and fresh locally grown ingredients. I started with a green tea gimlet which was absolutely refreshing. Next I had The Presidential, which was the drink of the night, involving two kinds of rum, orange bitters, and what other essentials a mixologist might put in there. Yumminess. But the revelation of the night for me was the Dark & Stormy. Why had I never had this drink before?? Rum, ginger beer, a little bit of candied ginger ... mmm mmm mmm. So good.

Speak Low has a nifty happy hour where you can get a couple of steamed buns and Tsing Tao for about $8 (I think? My memory's hazy) from 5-7PM. I had the pork belly steamed buns last night and while they don't quite hold a candle to the Momofuku version, they're still pretty darn good.

Where: 81 Washington St., below Rice restaurant, Brooklyn, NY 11201

baby talk

Woke up today to the wonderful news that some good friends of mine are expecting a little bundle of joy very soon! I won't divulge the names here because I'm sure they'd like to spread the news themselves. I'm so so happy for them and the news sure puts me in the mood for dreaming up baby shower ideas. has this adorable baby bird shower theme that I so want to try out. I hope we land a great apartment so I can throw the shower there!

Friday, May 08, 2009


... this embellished tank dress by Stella McCartney for Net-a-porter. L-O-V-E. That's all ...

froyo wars

People have been telling me for awhile now that Red Mango is soooo much better than Pinkberry, but I'd never really been inclined to investigate. Previously, I'd only had Red Mango once and the yogurt was pomegranate flavored so I couldn't really compare. Today though, with the sun out and shining, I couldn't resist getting a cup of froyo when I saw Red Mango right across the street from where I had lunch with my colleagues. With an already extremely full belly, I strode up to the counter and ordered a small original topped with blueberries and mochi. As soon as I took my first bite, I knew the empacho (loosely translates to being so full you feel sick) would be worth it. Red Mango's yogurt is so much more ... substantial, for lack of a better term. The addictively sweet and tangy yogurt is thick and creamy. The soft and fluffy mochi were bigger than what one gets at Pinkberry, and toppings were generously given. I inhaled the entire cup before I got back to the office. And yes, every bite was worth the dizziness I now feel from my gluttony.

sample sale alert: devi kroell

Snag sumptuous Devi Kroell bags and shoes at ridonculously low prices at the sample sale which runs from Wednesday to Friday next week, 13 to 15 May from 8:30AM to 6:30PM. The sample sale takes place at 55 Fifth Avenue, 17th Floor, between 12th and 13th Streets (dangerously close to my Bikram Yoga place ... ACK!). Shoes start at $50 while bags start at $120. Devi Kroell makes such lovely, lovely satchels in gorgeous python. The python Zurich shopper is totally droolworthy, and the classic long hobo is just all about easy luxury.
I wonder if there's any chance of finding one of the gorgeous python chain link evening bags at below $200? I wouldn't mind Might be worth braving the sale to find out!

Thursday, May 07, 2009


Have you seen the latest J. Crew catalogue? Of course you have ... I'm the only person living under a rock, completely oblivious to it ... In any case, I love this picture. I never thought off-the-rack bridal wear could be so appealing.

So cute! And then for the honeymoon ...

My posts are so monochromatic today ... my taste must be trying to match New York's dull weather. Hopefully there'll be more color in my life soon!

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