The Mill

San Francisco is a city full of artisan coffee and it’s also a city that makes me feel totally ashamed about drinking Starbucks (sometimes). The Mill, a collaboration between Four Barrel Coffee and Josey Baker Bread, is the newest establishment on Divisadero where you can get your caffeine fix and carb it up with a chunky piece of toast. Not only did I enjoy my almond milk latte and cinnamon sugar toast, I was delighted with the exposed rafters and classic white herringbone tile. The custom wood shelves add warmth and are a great backdrop to display all the houseware goodies. It’s places like this that make me love SF.

Images via here

SF Eating: Mission Chinese

Mission Chinese Food San Francisco

Named second best new restaurant in America by Bon Appetit in 2011…not too shabby for a hole-in-the-wall Chinese spot located on Mission St. Mission Chinese is  “non-Chinese Chinese” food. Come here if you want to put things like cumin lamb belly or salted cod fried rice in your tummy. There will probably be a wait because they don’t take reservations (like most SF restaurants) and you will leave smelling like the food, but you’ll be happy and full. Happy eating!

*They may not be new, but they’re new to me.

Image: Bon Appetit

T-Party

Alice Waters, the queen of organic, local and sustainable lifestyle, will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of Chez Panisse, a little ol’ restaurant in Berkeley, maybe you’ve heard of it? In honor of this occasion and to also raise money for her Edible Schoolyard project, a program that educates students on growing and cooking their own food, the chef has partnered with Levi’s on a limited-edition collection of t-shirts designed by Sofia Coppola, David Byrne, Dave Eggers and Maira Kalman.

The shirts will debut this Wednesday, August 24, at a lunch in San Francisco on Maiden Lane, just off Union Square. If you’re in the area please come support and have a yummy boxed lunch (and you can come say hi to me!).

T-shirt designed by Maira Kalman

T-shirt designed by Dave Eggers

T-shirt designed by Sofia Coppola

T-shirt designed by David Byrne

T-shirt designed by Alice Waters

Images: Vogue and Levi’s

NY Diary: Day Four

It’s my last full day in NY and what better way to start it off than with breakfast pizza!

Motorino

What is breakfast pizza you ask?? I asked myself the same thing, but without knowing the full details, I was very excited to be starting my day off with something involving breakfast AND pizza! Today was our Brooklyn day and the BF and I met up with friends, Jeff, Lisa, An and Jeremy at Motorino to get some grub. Our friends were hypin’ this place up and I was not disappointed. I was a little weary about egg on my pizza because of a prior experience as a teeny bopper in Paris, but egg on pizza is enemy no more. The fresh farm eggs were cooked to perfection, the basil was aromatic and the crust was thin, light and bubbly…my mouth is watering, yum.

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Mast Brothers

After our brunch, we all wanted something a little sweet so we stopped into Mast Brothers. This chocolate shop felt like an old school establishment. They have all there beautifully paper wrapped chocolate bars displayed in the front and you can sample any of their flavors before purchasing. The chocolate making process is in full view for everyone to see and we were lucky enough to get an impromptu tour of the factory even though they were done touring for the day. I felt like I was in Willie Wonka, very cool.

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Brooklyn Art Library

Right next door is the Brooklyn Art Library, a cute boutique carrying paper goods, vintage books and small treasures. If you are looking for the perfect notebook, this is the place. The Sketchbook Project was also on display when I was there.

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Fresh Kills

I stopped in quite a few vintage furniture stores and Fresh Kills had some great pieces.

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Future Perfect

Another furniture store carrying new furniture and some very unique items.


Futureperfect

Moon River Chattel

This was my second time at Moon River and it’s hard not to leave this shop without a purchase, even if it’s just some fresh licorice. A lovely home store with a frenchy, vintage feel. I bought a dop kit for my BF. He was happy.

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Kiosk

Back in Soho, I wanted to check out Kiosk per a friend’s recommendation. It’s semi-hidden except for the big neon arrow pointing you down a seedy hallway to the shop. Interesting things from interesting places is what they sell and the objects are all displayed gallery style with witty descriptions telling you about each piece.

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Blaue Gans

Another late dinner with friends Sammy and Allison at Austrian restaurant Blaue Gans. I had been here before except it was a somewhat blurry night last New Years Eve. I was there for all but five minutes, danced to a some Gaga and was off to the next spot. It was nice to actually sit down and have a civilized meal this time around. The sausage and pretzle were delish, but the spaetzle left a lot to be desired (especially according to my German BF).

Blauegans

Let’s Play House – Ace Hotel

I was so ready to burn some calories at Let’s Play House at the Ace (a monthly night a friend hosts), but after catching up with friends and a few too many glasses of wine and beer, it was not to be. Until next time…

Acehotel

images: Brooklyn Art Library, Fresh Kills, CitySearch, Moon River Chattel, Refinery29, Zagat, Ace Hotel

NY Diary: Day Three

It’s in the high 50s today in Cali and it almost feels like I’m back in New York (har har). Not really, but it’s cold enough here to wear one of my super thick knit sweaters (actually it’s my BF’s sweater, really into stealing his clothes these days) and I’m wishin’ I was back in the Big Apple. So it’s my third day in NY…

Cafe Cafe

And I need to get a latte to start my day. It’s my medicine. Cafe Cafe is my go to spot in Soho. Encountered this little cafe when I stayed at the Soho Grand last year and it’s super close to where I stayed this time around. Convenience is key when you are barely awake and functioning. There’s nothing overly fantastic about this place but my BF is very picky about his chai teas and he enjoys it here (just make sure to ask for extra chai). It feels very “international” to me for some reason, hostel-like almost, but not in the gross, finding a used band-aid in the shower kind of way. They have yummy blueberry muffins, too.

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Bookmarc

Shopping continues and we make our way over to the West Village. It’s very hard for me to pass up bookstores, so when I saw Bookmarc I was ecstatic. Bookmarc is Marc Jacob’s newest venture….it took me about 1.5 seconds to get it 🙂 I like books and I like Marc Jacobs so it was a match made in heaven. This shop carries a variety of great titles, some out of print, and an array of very affordable MJ goods, such as pencils, notebooks, key chains, wallets, totes, etc.

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Castor & Pollux

Women’s apparel boutique carrying modern but feminine lines. It’s a cozy little shop and I walked away with a super cute blue chambray dress.

Castorpollux

Elizabeth Bauer

Home store we popped into before gettin’ our grub on. There are unique furniture pieces with some small home goods. This designer loves color and pattern so it was right up my alley.

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Gruppo

If you like perfectly cooked, super thin crust pizza than this is your spot in the East Village. A mini blizzard started as we made our way to Gruppo, so to sit down in a warm place and have pizza served to you was heaven. My only critique is that there could’ve been more flavor in the sausage, but I was a pretty happy camper.

Gruppos_pizza

Guggenheim

I love the Guggenheim. If I lived in New York, I would probably come here all the time. Although, I’m not an art buff, I have such respect for the architecture and I just love nerding around in museums. I would come here on a weekday afternoon to avoid the crowds, and then I would stop in at Cafe Sabarsky, an Austrian cafe, for some coffee and strudel. It was my BF’s first time here and unfortunately a lot of the exhibitions were closed, but he got to experience the Gugg and we enjoyed some Bauhaus action.

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Tretorn

I’m an overpacker. Always have been. I probably brought at least a dozen pairs of shoes last time I came to NY and only wore about three pairs. So this time, I was really good, so proud of myself. Big mistake! I kept my eye on the weather reports, I knew it was gonna snow, I knew the streets would be filled with that black ice, and I still did not bring the appropriate shoes for some reason. So after a few days of slidin’ around town, I broke down and purchased some functional shoes. After an exhausting day of shopping and culture, I was determined to find the perfect pair of shoes. I dragged my BF to a million shops in Soho (such a good sport) only to end up at the very first store we went to, Tretorn. Scored some galoshes and lace up boots, both on sale. Holla.

Tretorn

Ryan McGinness

After resting up a bit, I met up with my BFF to check out the opening night of Ryan McGinness’ ‘Black Holes’ at the Phillips de Pury gallery in the Meatpacking District. McGinness’ ‘Black Holes’ is a series of round paintings on canvasses and wood panels, blasting fluorescent arabesque patterns.

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Northeast Kingdom

Ended the night with a late meal at Northeast Kingdom in Bushwick Brooklyn. This restaurant is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, part cabin, part Grandma’s living room. They’re all about local food here and they list all the “farms & friends” that grow and raise their ingredients on a big chalkboard. I filled my belly and took a car back into Manhattan because it was late and f-ing cold. Food + sleep = good times.

Northeast_kingdom

images: Cafe Cafe, Racked, Veranda, Elizabeth Bauer, Gruppo, FreshnessMag, Brooklyn Street Art, Northeast Kingdom

NY Diary: Day Two

This was shopping day! My favorite day of all days no matter where I am. We started in Soho and made the usual stops, Uniqlo, Topshop, Pearl River Mart (love me some unnecessary chotchkies), etc. We then made our way over to Nolita and poked our heads in a few boutiques.

Barker Black

This is a man store. I might have missed this unassuming boutique, except that my BF is a closet shoe whore, so we popped in. Barker Black combines forgotten craftsmanship with modern design. Specialized craftsmen are at the heart of Barker Black and you can see that in every shoe. A pair will cost you a hefty penny, but I bet these babies will last you a lifetime.

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Love, Adorned

This is a beautifully curated store. They carry art, tools, interior goodies and awesome jewelry. We walked away with some good smelling hippy incense.

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The Quality Mending Co.

Great vintage selections at this shop. Some vintage boots, clothes and bags for women, mostly for men. They also have their own line of canvas bags: duffles, totes and a really cute bowling bag shape.

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Maryam Nassir Zadeh

Womens clothing boutique carrying a unique assortment of lines, shooz and pretty amazing jewelry. I’m still kicking myself for not purchasing a Creatures of Comfort dress that was on sale!

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We ended the day with a late dinner at Smith & Mills. To say this place is cozy is an understatment. It’s very, very small and you can see the chef in plain sight preparing your meal behind the bar right next to the bartender. We popped a squat at the bar instead of waiting for a table and our meal was delish. The smoked ricotta with honey app is nom nom city! The bathroom is worth a peek as well…it was an old elevator shaft repurposed as the restaurant’s wc. Good food, good vibes and a great example of what you can create with a small space. My only complaint is that every article of clothing I wore that night, including my hair, smelled like I was in a small restaurant with no ventilation. Oh well…

Sm

images: Barker Black, Love, Adorned, The Quality Mending Co., Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Smith & Mills

NY Diary: Day One

Day One:

Unless you’re flying first class to NY, Jet Blue is the way to go. I get kinda antsy on flights that are 4+ hours, so that little tv screen on Jet Blue flights does me good. Although, I did lose 20 minutes of my life watching Housewives of Orange County and I hated myself for it.

Took a car into the city because my bag weighed about 50 lbs. and there was no way in H-E-double L that I was lugging that monster up and down the subway stairs by myself. Good Luck Car Service is in my speed dial, cheaper than a cab and you get to ride in style if you request a town car. The process of booking your car is a little questionable, but my car has always shown up. I think my driver had just scarfed down some KFC before picking me up, so that smell along with my grumbling stomach led to a mild case of car sickness.

Made it to Hotel Halmos in Soho where my BF was waiting. So glad to be done with the travel portion of my trip and ready to have my first meal in the city. Headed over to Frank in the East Village to have a cozy Italian meal and we were not disappointed. Having an innate desire to one day own my own cafe/restaurant/bar, or at least design one, I’m always paying attention to how restaurants are set up. This joint was definitely small and quaint but perfect. It was very homey without feeling grandma-ish and Black Keys blasting through the speakers was a nice touch. Try the antipasto at the bar, bruschetta and pasta with lamb ragu…if you have room, try the tiramisu, too! And if a bartender by the name of Ryder is fixin’ your drinks, give him a big ol’ tip.

Frank

image: Frank

New York Diary

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Seems like my recent trip to NY was so long ago (sigh)…I’ll be posting about my stops and shops this week to revive the wonderful feelings of being on vacation (which reminds me I should post about my Chicago trip last fall). The above latte and chocolate croissant were enjoyed at La Colombe in Tribeca. This spot is for serious coffee drinkers only…don’t even think about ordering a chai tea latte here.

I Want to Go to There

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I hope a certain someone is planning a special Valentine’s date ;p

image: Soho House

Mas Malo, Bottega Louis & Villians Tavern

It has been a while since I’ve hung out in Downtown LA and my how things have changed. Saturday night was a mènage à troi of amazing design, good eats and good drinks. We started the night celebrating Mika Y’s bday at Mas Malo (newer and a bit more sophisticated sister of Silver Lake’s Malo). My eyes were moving up and down and side to side, taking in all the interior design details of the restaurant, all while stuffing my face with chewy chips and wiping my tears from the burnt habanero salsa. Designer Tracy Beckmann did an amazing job with the design.

Next stop was Bottega Louis, right across the street. I had been wanting to check out this place for a while and I’m so glad we stopped in to get a little dessert to satisfy my sweet tooth. Why is it that macaroons always look so cute?? Anywho, this place made me feel like I was in New York and I love being in New York. The design is simple and modern, yet very classic. Crips white walls, moldings, white marble, medium wood tones with gold accents…yum. Can’t wait to come back and eat!

We ended the night at Villians and I seriously felt like I was in a dream. This place was amazing, super moody, unique drinks, and live music…it was a different world. Right when you walk in, there is this striking mirror behind the bar. Apparently, it was an old Gothic arched window, rescued from a Brooklyn church and re-purposed as a mirror…which is making a bit more sense now because I kinda felt like I was in Brooklyn. The ‘Stanley’ will be my drink of choice at this joint.

Hope everyone had a great weekend, too!

images: via eater la (and here), south park in la