Posts Tagged 'WINE'

December 25

I made plans to go visit one of my favorite girls in San Francisco and it turned out to be the biggest eating frenzy with friends from all over meeting up! Lillian is in SF, but I called Tien, my cousin to see if she would be down for a fun trip and join us. She of course said yes, which is already enough to make me so happy.  First things first: dim sum. I never go to SF without eating dim sum. It’s what we do. In Orange County, you can’t visit without eating Vietnamese food because that’s what we do well. In SF, you eat Chinese food because that’s what they do well. Shanghai Dumpling House is now my absolute favorite place for dim sum right now, mostly for the egg puff pastry. I can eat about 10 of those in one sitting, it’s so good. I also love love the spicy wontons, lionshead meatballs, green onion pancake, and of course, xiaolongbao.




Delicious egg puff and spicy wonton with peanut sauce


The biggest boba cup I have ever had. Oh, and there’s milk pudding inside as well. Yummers. We need one of these in Orange County…and one is probably popping up as I speak.

On top of that, right before the trip, I found out my girl Tam from law school is visiting family in SF as well!! She flew in from DC the same day as me, and got our other friend Erica to come out as well. We met up at Kokkari Mediterranean Restaurant and basically tore the place up by being at least 5 octaves louder than all other tables around us. Oh, and 3 free desserts is the cherry on top.
















December 12

I never talk to anyone at the gym although I do Group X classes and never wear headphones. I keep to myself, finish my workout in an hour and go on my way. One day, I attended a zumba class with T that nearly made me pass out. It was so intense and fun, I looked up where else he teaches. Little did I know that I would make so many fun friends that also love T’s class, zumba, dancing, and eating! Natali hosted an international holiday party for all the zumba peeps, and we all brought dishes from our ethnic backgrounds. We had Vietnamese egg rolls and fried rice, Filipino pork/chicken adobe,  Brazilian chicken salad with potato chips, Japanese sushi, Mediterranean fried balls, Mexican tamales with rice and beans, and of course, tons of desserts.  After the meal, I felt like going to zumba just to work off what I ate. Here are some of the peeps I work out/dance/party with on a daily basis…

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December 05

Last weekend, some old friends and I went to Orange Hill for brunch. Nothing special, just a beautiful Sunday for a champagne brunch. The restaurant sits atop a hill overlooking the city of Orange. The weather was a solid 85 degrees on a Sunday afternoon, sitting with good friends, sipping champagne while eating smoked salmon to your hearts content.  Yes, we sat at the restaurant eating and drinking for five solid hours. The food was spectacular for a brunch: crab legs, smoked salmon, caviar, and banana flambe freshly made outside on the patio. It doesn’t get much better than that for OC living.

Look at that view, that food. How can i think i am are anything but lucky to be here.  It’s almost a sin how much I ate that day and how happy I felt.


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November 22

above photo: taken by leanne roberson

The reason for this trip is to find out bar results away from home. I recently took the CA bar exam to become licensed as a lawyer, but the stress of finding out results almost overwhelms the actual exam itself! We decided to book a last minute Napa trip and just GO AWAY for the weekend. Well, as it seems, I found out on Friday night that I did pass the exam, and so Saturday and Sunday were full of happy phone calls and wine tastings!!! I highly recommend anyone taking the bar exam to take a trip somewhere, near or far, when you find out results for an exam. Whether the result be good or bad, you can always justify the trip!!!! Read more …

August 25

OOOOOHHHHH I think I’ve found my favorite wine bar in Orange County!!! Kat and Leanne have been here a few times and they rave about it.  We booked a date and we all trooped to downtown Fullerton for some lunchtime drinking!!! We had the baked brie [amazeballllls] and the pan fried goat cheese with sundried tomato sauce…. and the best sangiovese I’ve ever had. We also shared a bottle of chilled rose to start, but it was quickly outdone by the most amazing Sangiovese by Altamura. We will be back very very soon to taste the huge selection of beers as well!!

The best Sangiovese I’ve ever had.

Baked brie. Wow.

Impressive beer selection!


Paul and the ladies!!

This place is right next to Twisted Vine, and in our drunken state, took pictures right in front of it. Sigh.

June 17

Brtini graduated from high school today. The same one her sister Leanne, Kat and I graduated from 10 years ago. Our 10 year reunion just passed. Crazy. I feel so old.

June 13

Every few months, my two best friends and I have dinner with our favorite professor of all time, Gina Gruwell. She was out high school French professor who took us abroad after our senior year, and she was the one that taught us all how to backpack and travel. She and her husband Rod have been our mentors and inspirations since we met them 14 years ago. It’s amazing to me that this year is our 10 year high school reunion, and we still keep in touch with all the people we treasured the most from that time. I’m very blessed to have these relationships still…and cheers to many more years of wining, dining, and traveling!!!!

gorgeous table settings

Me digging into the caprese salad and Kat opens the Prisoner, a group favorite red.

Gina made the most amazing dinner. 2 in thick steaks with mash potatoes and veggies, topped with an insanely delicious peppercorn sauce. [she tweaked the recipe from Morton’s but I personally think her reduction is much better than Morton’s]. We brought over 5 bottles of wine from our latest trip to Napa, but Gina had a chilled bottle of white waiting when we got there, then opened one of HER favorites called Grey Wolf after we finished off ours, and then topped off the night with a malt scotch whiskey tasting. Goodness, i’m getting drunk just thinking about it…

Oh, and she also made amazing portobello mushrooms for the vegans! i wanted to eat this whole as well.
the original 4, but we’ve expanded to include the boys as well *_*

I got a new Club Monaco dress that fit this occasion perfectly, but I’ll have to do the outfit shoot later. I also forgot to do a group photo! =/ Next time, we are going to go out to a Thai restaurant, my favorite one, so I will have to be sure to take one!
May 17

Carhartt was once of our favorite tasting rooms on this trip. Although the wines were just alright, we had the best time here. It’s the smallest tasting room in Los Olivos, literally a small walkway, and out into the back patio area. We went in about 5 times, and then left about 5 times to do other stuff. When we came back the last time, Mike Carhartt good-naturedly gave us the tastings, and also goofed around with us for tons of fun photos. On the way out, we think we saw John Cleese as well! … but we are not certain. I blackberry googled John Cleese’s pic, and it looked a TON like him!

The beginning of a million shots of us and the door

1st tasting

ready for the 8 tastings!

zooolander face

Mike Carhartt’s zoolander face cracked me up

I think this is the shot that converted me to a 50mm fixed lens


the above sign made me laugh…and what tien said about it made me laugh harder

I LOVE this pic of Kat and Leanne!

…and I LOVE this pic of me and Tien

taking pics of each other