August 9, 2016

In Love With..


Who needs a bikini body when there are so many great restaurants to eat at? 

~Want to have a posh camping experience in the city? Then hike your way over to One Door North, a new American bar and eatery with decor and cuisine that pays homage to the outdoors and the spirit of adventure. Perfect for summer, which may I remind you, is all year round in San Diego. This is not your typical "camping food" though. No Chef Boyardee around here! I personally inhaled the Pan Seared Seabass that was served with the most buttery sweet corn succotash in less time than it would take to set up a tent. They even serve smores for dessert. I'm telling you, legit camping in heels. 

~Parc Bistro-Brasserie and the Corner Draft House are only two blocks apart, but the two restaurants couldn't be more different. Here's how I would depict the two: the first is Charlotte Gainsbourg eating oysters ($1 each during HH) and sipping rosé, while the latter is Jennifer Lawrence eating truffle fries and drinking an amber ale. Both are wonderful. 

~I have a crush on Madison. I feel like she's a lady on the streets but a freak in the sheets. At first glance, it seems like you're walking into a small neighborhood bar. But as you progress through the 3k square foot indoor/outdoor space, it turns into a dining room, complete with a sky-high vaulted ceiling made of wood joinery and cedar walls in colorful geometric patterns and shapes. And she knows that the way to my heart is through my stomach. She charms me with Mediterranean inspired dishes like the Belgian Salad with Ahi and the Gnocchi with Jumbo Shrimp. Trust me, you have to meet this girl.

~I know I'm throwing a lot of feminine references at you today, and I may have been listening to Beyonce for hours, but this next place I want to tell you about is my version of Baby from Dirty Dancing. Piacere Mio is the little sister to the wildly popular Buona Forchetta, but she sure lets loose once you give her a chance. I met Baby by accident, while on a hunt to try a new place on my lunch break. I fell in love quickly.. with each item that was set in front of me. From the steaming hot doughy bread served alongside an herbal infused olive oil, to the lightly fried calamari, and of course the freshly cooked Ravioli di Carne ai Fungi, everything was so delicious. I'm not even kidding, even my iced tea was on point. You know why? Because nobody puts baby in the corner!!! 
{Come ooooon. You knew that was coming.}

natasha

June 12, 2016

In Love With..

Smoked Trout, Pullman, Kewpie, Parsley & Caper Shallot Salad, Trout Roe at Herb & Wood

-We're well through my birthday month, and it has been the best one in decades. Three decades to be exact... Yes kids, I am officially thirty. How wild! With that being said, the past few weeks have been jam-packed with amazing activities, and if you're interesting in hearing about what I've been up to, please, read on..

-Kicked this month off by spending Memorial Day weekend relaxing in the desert. We stayed at the La Quinta Resort, which embodies every ounce of fabulousness that is associated with being a Waldorf property. It was absolutely relaxing. I indulged in a facial at the spa, noshed on some delicate scallops at Morgan's in the Desert, and kept cool with a few vodka lemonades by the adult pool. 

-After two days of soaking up the sunshine by the pool, I decided to liven it up a bit and drive two hours northwest to LA. The highlights of spending 24 hours in the city of Angels was definitely our stay at the posh Beverly Hilton, and brunch at Republique. Thank gawd for those yelp tips, because it urged us to get to the popular restaurant a little earlier and miss the outrageous line that circles around the corner after 9 am. 

-The following weekend the girls and I jetted off to Vancouver! What a stunning city. We got extremely lucky with the weather, so plenty of outdoorsy activities ensued. It's so lush and green up there that I just wanted to be outside. Always. Since it was everyone's first time to Canada, we willingly partook in all the touristy musts: conquered the Capilano Suspension Bridge, biked around Stanley Park, and wandered around Granville Island. Some of my recommendations? The Rosewood Hotel Georgia is just stunning! We loved the convenience of having a rooftop bar, a speakeasy and one of the best restaurants in the city right there on the property. I have nothing but great things to say about our dinner at Hawksworth, which exudes excellence in every criteria - ambiance, food and service. Also had great meals (and then some) at L'Abattoir and west OAK

-In between the weekend trips I've been trying to get caught up with the evolving restaurant scene right here in San Diego. Let's see.... here are the places that stand out in my mind: Coasterra offers some of the most stunning views of the downtown skyline with a side of guac. Jayne's Gastropub is my new favorite hidden gem, serving an eclectic menu full of traditional English favorites, in the confines of a charming cafe setting. I opted to have my actual birthday dinner at Herb & Wood, and it was honestly the most perfect way to celebrate. Malarkey's new place is breathtakingly beautiful. From the second I walked in, I was instantly transported back to 1903, circa Picasso's blue period.. feeling like I was joining him for a chilled glass of white wine in his house in Spain, while we munch on some freshly caught seafood, blissfully unaware that the hustle and bustle of Little Italy is just outside the door. 

-This latest weekend was spent with some of my best girlfriends that came into town for the birthday festivities. We decided to get a room at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, so we could catch up at a cabana by the pool, sneaking off only to enjoy some treatments at the spa, before getting ready for dinner at Avant. It is such a beautiful property that really made our staycation feel like we were far, far away from responsibilities of real life. 

natasha

April 9, 2016

Copenhagen, Denmark - Part III

Before coming to Copenhagen, I spent several days exploring around Stockholm and Riga. 
Both places were relatively small in comparison to the Danish capital,
so it was a nice change of pace to immerse myself in this busy metropolitan city.

On our last day there, we ventured outside the city centre and away from the mainstream attractions. 
We first headed towards the uber-hip district of Vesterbro,
passing through the red and green light districts on our way.  
I absolutely love the urban vibes in this underground part of the city. 
It's actually the way I've always pictured Scandinavia.. just really effin cool.
 Later that day, we decided to check out the self-declared free state of Christiania.
I'm not even sure how to begin telling you about it, because it kind of blows my mind.
First of all... what is it exactly?
Christiania is a neighborhood that spans about 84 acres, and houses nearly 850 residents. 
What started out as a "social experiment", is now considered by many as a giant hippie commune.
Known as the free town, Christiania is regulated by special law,
 which transfers parts of the supervision of the area from the municipality of Copenhagen to the state. 
I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I walked through the gates, but I quickly fell in love with the culture.
I highly respect the residents of Christiania for marching to the beat of their own drum.
They use their own currency, and wave their own flag.
They eat organic food, smoke weed, and love the arts in all forms.
And they are absolutely, positively worth a visit.
After walking for miles and miles on our last day in Copenhagen,
we worked up quite an appetite. 
In true form, we had to salute our Scandinavian adventure with an amazing meal. 
We selected Kødbyens Fiskebar as it has quickly build a reputation as one of the top ten seafood restaurants in Europe. 
Why else? Tuhhh.
They always say that looks can be deceiving, and the fish bar is no exception.
Hidden in the midst of the edgy former meatpacking district, 
the restaurant looks like a simple fish shop from the outside.
But true beauty exudes from the inside, 
where the former protégé of Noma's René Redzepi, Anders Selmer gives ordinarily hum-drum dishes 
a "New Nordic Cuisine"-style twist.
We managed to snag a seat around the dramatic cylinder-shaped aquarium in the centre that doubles as a raw bar, 
and proceeded to nosh on the most gorgeous dishes that protruded out of the minimalistic kitchen.
It was the perfect way to end our trip, and if you find yourself in Copenhagen anytime soon,
I highly recommend for you to stop by and try this place for yourself!

natasha

January 30, 2016

Copenhagen, Denmark - Part II

Our first day in Copenhagen was a bit of a whirlwind. 
After circling around the city center and seeing some of the major touristy sites,
we opted to be a bit more concentrated on the second day.
We kicked our adventure off with a visit to the Carlsberg brewery,
one of Denmark's most famous companies. 
We took a tour, saw a collection of over 22k unopened beer bottles, played with the horses,
and of course, tasted some beer. 
A well spent couple of hours, I'd say. 
How cute is my mom? Life goals.
His name was Marko.. and I fell in love.
The Swastika is an ancient symbol of prosperity and goodness in Sanskrit.
In 1881 Carl Jacobsen made it the symbol of the beer produced in his brewery 'Ny Carlsberg' which was a competitor to his father's 'Old Carlsberg' brewery.
Carl had a profound interest in ancient Greece and Rome where the symbol was also often used.
In 1940 Carlsberg stopped using the swastika symbol for good.
 The symbol can still be seen on the four life-sized stone elephants that stand as the foundation of Carlsberg's iconic Elephant Gates built in 1902.
From there we stopped by our hotel for a quick lunch at Sticks'n'Sushi,
before heading out for some more sightseeing around town. 
The sushi was alright.. (I'm a bit of a snob, having access to some of the freshest fish in San Diego),
but the museum and the botanical garden that we checked out was spectacular! 

The Rundetårn is a 17th century tower filled with a variety of exhibitions.
We happened to stumble upon the history of tattoo artistry, 
which was, to say the least, very eye opening. 

The Botanical Garden is located in the centre of Copenhagen and spans an area of 10 hectares.
It is particularly noted for its extensive complex of historical glasshouses dating from 1874,
and is the perfect place to get lost and/or take a nap.
The views from the top of the Rundetårn are stunning! Definitely worth the trip up. 

natasha