eating > republique, la

You guys, Beyonce eats here.



It’s like this place was built for Instagram. The photogenic dining area. The natural light. The fake old world charm. The vanilla almond milk latte art.


This place is very delicious and well deserving of all of the hype.


LOOK AT THOSE KOUIGN AMANN LAYERS. I got the pistachio raspberry one sooooooo perfect. You get that traditional caramel-y bottom and croissant-like layers with the added bonus of tart fruit and crunchy nuts. YAY.


I also had the mushroom toast with the hollandaise on the side. Fluffy scrambled eggs, earthy mushrooms in a red wine sauce, thin slices of (Parma?) ham, and wilted spinach. All on a crusty slice of bread. Perfect weekend food.

This place is beautiful and delicious but also expensive and popular. We waited in line for close to 30 minutes at 8ish on a Sunday and I paid $28 (+tip) for the 3 things above. My face at the register: O_O.

Still, I’d do it again. I really enjoyed it.

Also, good luck trying to get past this and not picking up a pastry or two.


Republique: 624 S. La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA


eating > hudson house, redondo beach

I’m feeling extra smug for eating at this place given the famous-factor of the chef. This meal topped off an absolutely gluttonous day in LA. #yolo #pantsdontfit

I really enjoyed everything we ordered this night. Not a strike out in sight.

These brown sugar pork ribs were perfectly sweet and savory and fall of the bone tender.


Cheesy truffle fries with perfectly cooked and perfectly seasoned hanger steak.


This was probably my least favorite of the bunch but only because I think mussels and I are just not good friends. The clams, sauce, and block of bread were so so good.


Wowzas the spice on this hot chicken sandwich is no joke but I LOVED IT. Crispy chicken that will burn your throat and sweet soft bread with some pickles.


Not pictured but also ordered: kale grit fritters (fake healthy fried things – yay), edamame shishito peppers (couldn’t stop eating ’em), and chocolate chip cookies (perfectly chewy with some bourbon milk on the side).

Hudson House has a very extensive drinks menu (it’s actually also a bar) and I enjoyed some Maui pineapple beer with my meal while my friends had some whisky based cocktails. We arrived around 7pm on Saturday and there was no wait for 4 people. There’s a cut chalkboard on the wall if they’re busier.

Hudson House: 514 N Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA


eating > eatalian, gardena

Next up on our day of gluttony in Socal: Eatalian.

I really, really loved this meal. The restaurant is in a kind of industrial area which is a bit random but the inside is really nice and airy while still being casual.

Flaky, chewy thin crust pizza with spicy salami. So perfect.


We also shared a salad of cabbage, onions, kalamata olives, oranges, and olive oil. I’m totally going to recreate this at home. It makes for a very light and refreshing salad.

And, because we have no shame, we also had the tagliatelle with ragu. Rich and savory meat sauce and toothsome pasta.


This was good for two hungry adults that eat their feelings. 😀

Eatalian: 15500 S. Broadway St, Gardena, CA

eating > eggslut, los angeles

Happy Saturday, friends! After a super long week at work I’ve been in slug mode ALL DAY TODAY. I figured I should do something productive so here we are churning out some blog posts from my trip to LA last week.


I’ve wanted to try this place for ages and my godson is an early riser so me and his parents used our toddler alarm clock as an opportunity to trek over to Eggslut when it opened at 8am. There was already a considerable line which took 30 minutes to get through.

I ordered the sausage breakfast sandwich and it was…


… good.

Probably not wait-in-line-for-30-minutes good or hey-let’s-have-that-again good, but still good. The brioche bread is nice and soft. The sausage is fine but could use for some extra herbs and spices.

My egg was nicely runny but really poorly placed on the very bottom edge of the sandwich so I was just eating egg white for most of it. When I did get there, the yolk burst and I made a huge mess all over myself. #usererror.

IMO, not quite naughty enough to live up to the name.

Eggslut: 317 S. Broadway Stall D-1, Los Angeles, CA

eating > ipoh garden, millbrae

This Malaysian food has received the stamp of approval from 5 ex-Singapore expats. [mic drop]


I’m lucky enough that a few times a year I’m able to reconnect with the old friends I made during my 2 year stint in Singapore. What results in meeting up with them is always fun, often loud, and sometimes delicious. For this round us Bay Area peeps (your faithful narrator, Jek, and Jeanie) were joined by Therese (from NYC via Manila) and Pat (from Tokyo via Bangkok).

Going to a Southeast Asian restaurant is always tricky since we’re a tough crowd! Luckily Ipoh Garden delivered on our nostalgic craving.

Here’s what we ordered:

char kway teow (above, foreground): Legit! It’s sans cockles but those are a bit weird anyway.

chicken and beef satay (above, middle): I didn’t have this since I’m not a huge satay fan but given here were a few bites left it was probably just so-so.

fried calamari (above, background): Very yummy. Super crisp on the outside and tender on the inside with lots of salt and pepper.

nasi lemak (below): Such a pretty plate. Chicken curry was meh, everyone inhaled the peanuts, the wings met their demise, but the other veggie sides were barely nibbled.

roti canai (not pictured): Bomb. I wanted an extra order of this but refrained from going overboard.

Hainese chicken rice (not pictured): Pretty good, very gingery. Wish they had the thick soy sauce though. I can’t have my chicken rice without ALLLLL of the dipping sauces available.

kangkung belachan: SO GOOD. You can really taste the smoky flavor from the wok and the salty funk of the belachan. We were all raving about this one: “SO GOOD LAH!” “QUITE TASTY AH!” You know it’s real when we all start sounding like we’re back in Singapore again.


The service is typical for Asian restaurants – a bit rushed, requires some proactiveness on your part, but generally nice. Parking is horrific (aka street parking only) and the place was super busy on a Friday night at 7pm so make a reservation if you go.

Ipoh Garden: 100 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA 94030

reading > tokyo on foot

I’m planning a trip to Japan this year and have found so many cool travel guides.


This one is not quite a travel guide since the author had actually moved to Tokyo when his partner got a job there. I think this one won me over with the hand drawn maps. I could stare at them for aaaaaaaages trying to take in each detail.


There are also people posts.


And landscapes. And food. And room cutaways (another favorite of mine).

So fun to read and gives you another view of the place that you won’t get from glossy travel books.

Tokyo on Foot: Travels in the City’s Most Colorful Neighborhoods by Flourent Chavouet (Amazon)

wearing > grana silk pants & tee

The rainy weather is really ruining my wannabe all-silk style.


These look like fancy hospital scrubs or emo pajamas and I love them. The all black is tres chic and makes a perfect palette for crazy bold lipstick and/or jewelry.


This was my first time trying Grana and I will definitely be going back for more (I’m eyeing those silk pajamas forreal). The material has a nice weight and feels so luxe. The short length required no hemming and the price is very reasonable for 100% silk.

I grabbed this Baublebar necklace because I was looking for a Dylan Lex-ish piece without the insane price tag. Score.

Grana silk tee | Grana silk ankle pants | Vince Camuto Lilliana flats (Amazon) | Baublebar Amazon bib necklace (sold out, similar)

wearing > ulta hair haul

How tired are you of product posts? #sorrynotsorry

Ulta is having its annual sale on jumbo hair products and if you’re someone  who uses salon shampoo and conditioners this is the best time to stock up.


I got the Biolage Matrix ScalpSync shampoo which I mentioned in my recent empties post and the Joico K-Pak conditioner which I picked up about 2 months ago and have been loving. For reference, that Joico conditioner is normally $33.99. It’s on sale for $14.99 and you can also use Ulta’s $3.50 off $15 coupon on top of it. I ended paying $13.49 for the bottle. YAY!

I also grabbed these three smaller things: Peter Coppola Just Blow Blow Out Spray (on sale for $5, got this from a deluxe sample set and really like it), K-Pak RevitaLuxe Restorative Treatment ($5.99, my current deep conditioner is not cutting it so wanted to try this out), and Poo~pourri Toilet Spray ($4.99, lol – thought it’d be good for traveling).

Here’s to good hair days!

faves > 2016 review

Happy New Year!


8 of my 2016 wears

reading // july // when breath becomes air by paul kalanathi
Did you read this one? Breaks you down and lifts you up at the same time.

eating // november // thien long, san jose
Why did I wait so long to eat here? I need to round up the friends and make another visit.

wearing (clothes & accessories) // january // sorel joan of artic wedge
I’m still loving these and they’ve gotten a decent amount of action this cold season thanks to a little more rain in California. They always always generate conversation and compliments.

wearing (beauty) // march // batiste dry shampoo
This is da real MVP of my routine – esp since I colored my hair red and I can see the beautiful color rinse away every time I wash my hair. I went from washing my hair every day to every other day to being able to go 3 days. That’s a feat, my friends. A sort of gross but very necessary feat that would not be possible without a dry shampoo.

Hope you all had fun, delicious, and restful holiday seasons. Here’s to (a better) 2017!

wearing > december 2016 empties & abandons

Some of the usual suspects and some newbies this round.



Matrix Biolage Scalpsync shampoo $17 from Ulta // This is my go-to shampoo because I get the flakies like nobody’s business AND it’s suitable for color treated hair AND it smells awesome. This bottle lasted from January to August. Already repurchased.

Redken Color Extend Magnetics conditioner $38 from Ulta // This was my first ever conditioner post-coloring my hair for the first time. That’s right, I bought this bottle back in January and it lasted until the end of October. In true kismet Ulta was having a sale on hair stuffs so I paid around $22 for this huge bottle. I generally liked this and it smells great but prefer my current Joico K-pak conditioner so no plans to repurchase. (Note: the cap is different because it’s from my current conditioner.)

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Cherry $7.99 from Ulta // My addiction to dry shampoo continues to grow since I only wash my hair every 3 days or so now. (Achievement unlocked: super *lived-in* hair.) I usually buy this at Marshall’s for a dollar or two less.

Caviar Anti-Aging Moisture Intense Oil Creme Pre-Shampoo Treatment deluxe sample // I got about 5 uses out of this and it smells lovely. I used it whenever I did the full deep conditioning shebang on my hair. I would probably not go out and purchase the full size but I definitely would not mind another sample.

Kenra Nourishing Masque $23 from Ulta // Also bought this after I first colored my hair (and paid a few bucks less). I used it probably once a month or so to deep condition my hair. It did its job but wasn’t earth shattering. I will probably try other deep conditioners before settling on a go-to. Won’t repurchase yet.

Skincare & Body


Heroine Make Eye Makeup Remover $10 from Amazon // No. Doesn’t work any better than the Rimmel makeup remover which is cheaper and easier to get my hands on. Would not repurchase.

Dermalogica Solar Defense Booster $50 from Ulta // I dunno how I ended up with 2 of these. I think I had one in my travel pouch. I’m really digging the Shiseido Aneesa sunscreen that Jen got me so will probably repurchase that instead.

Kirkland Signature Daily Facial Towelettes $14 for the box on Amazon // Finally the last batch of these! Good for taking off make up, but not my favorite smell. Would not repurchase.

CeraVe moisturizing cream $15.99 from Ulta but cheaper from Costco where mine is from // I come back to this every once in awhile but never… crave it. Is craving lotion a thing? I’ll probably repurchase at some point.

fresh Soy Face Cleanser $15 from Sephora // My new favorite. I love the gentle tingling on this. My face feels clean but not too dry and it has a nice fresh smell. Already repurchased the enormous sized version.

Sephora Lingzhi sleeping mask $4 // I think these are only supposed to be single use but I used it 3x and didn’t finish it. I ended up putting it in the empties basket since it was open for longer than I would like. Felt lovely on my face, didn’t smell too strongly, would purchase.

Korean towels $6 for a pack of 8 from Amazon // Love these for some vigorous exfoliation. Would repurchase.

Dermalogica Essential Cleansing Solution $37 from Ulta // Ye olde staple. Prefer my new cleanser though so will probably not repurchase for awhile.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant $55 from Ulta // This is an old favorite but I have about 1/5th of the bottle left. The powder inside had turned so I had to throw it out. Already repurchased.

Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant in pure vanilla $14 from Sephora // My fave. Already repurchased.



NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen $5.99 from Ulta // Love this deep, blood red color but this tube was pretty old and the cream didn’t look quite right (likely separated). I’m not a huge fan of this formula as I prefer either the traditional liquid lipstick that dries matte or a standard bullet that stays creamy but not slippery.

Stila All Day Liquid Lipstick in Caramello $24 for the full size at Ulta // One of my fave formulas but holy cow this color looks horrible on me. Obviously not a repurchase.

Heroine Make Mascara Long & Curl $18 from Amazon // Forever. Have an embarrassing number of backups…

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard $29 from Sephora // My HG. Already repurchased.

beautyblender $20 each from Sephora // UGH. I hate throwing these away but I took them with me traveling and now they each have a black stain that I can’t get out. Since I’m scared it’s mold or something, I’m not keen on putting it back on my face. Don’t worry I have 5 other BB’s that are holding down the fort. Don’t do the math on how much I’ve spent on sponges.

Whoa that was a lot!