Entourage and Urth Cafe

urth 1

Kevin and I watched Entourage (movie) earlier this summer. We used to be into the HBO show, aka Sex and the City for men, at one point in our lives but we lost interest at around Season 4 and we stopped watching it altogether.

We went to the movie anyway because we had gift certificates to iPic Theatre in Old Town Pasadena and it seemed like this was the kind of movie that we can watch care free, like, if we fall a sleep, we don’t have to kick ourselves afterward. The movie didn’t receive a raving review from the critic but I thought it was fun, and it was a nice way to catch up with our old buddies on the silver screen. It was also nice to see a cameo appearance by the Los Angeles Kings players, although I suspect that noone but Kings fans recognized them.

After we watched the film, Kevin and I decided to catch up on the rest of the TV show, so we purchased the remaining seasons on Amazon Prime and binge watched all the episodes that we had missed (which, by the way, became available for free on Amazon Prime Instant Video only a few weeks after we paid a pretty penny for each missed season. evil)

urth 2

One thing I noticed while salivating over Ari’s super hotness was how much those boys loved Urth Café! They frequented this organic coffee and tea house so much that it should have been the fifth character in the show. Well, the product placement totally worked because I’ve made a trip or two (well, four, but who’s counting?) to its Pasadena location in the last few months alone.  Here are the pictures from my last outing — Green Tea Latte and Egg Salmone.

And here are some from the other outing:

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Darn you boys!  This place is amazing but it ain’t cheap!

Magic Words: Bea Bea’s


The surest way to get me out of bed before noon on the weekend is for my husband to yell, “Bea Bea’s!” from the other room. I don’t usually see a day light until well past 10:00 a.m., (Saturday and Sunday are my days off from the toddler) but with those two magical words, I’m up, dressed, and ready to go.  Time is crucial since the only way to get a table at this super popular breakfast / lunch joint in Burbank without having to wait five hours is if we get there before 9:00 a.m.

The food there is worth it, especially the yummy smoked salmon plate. And I can always go back to bed. And I did.


Here’s Kevin’s Sicilian Omelet with corned beef, pastrami, mushrooms, basil, tomato, and parmesan cheese.

Celebrating Father’s Day with Three Dads


Chirashi, with assortment of sashimi

This year’s Father’s Day was extra special because this was my husband’s first time celebrating it from the other side, as a new dad! It was great to have three incredible fathers and their loving wives all join for sushi dinner at Ichibankan in Woodland Hills on Saturday night – first time all six of us got together since the birth of the baby in February.


Sudako — picked cucumbers and octopus

We had a wonderful time, despite Pon Pon’s occasional screams. redface She cried a little at the restaurant so my husband and I had to take turns walking around and even going outside for a few minutes to calm her down. This was very unlike her, as she’s usually very calm in restaurants, even in late afternoon. But all in all, she was a delight and she definitely made her grandmas and grandpas (and us parents too, of course) very happy.

Despite having done this only for four short months, my husband has proven to be an amazing father.  I always knew that he would be one but he surpassed my expectations beyond imagination.  He is incredibly supportive and unbelievably patient, and keeps me together every day. Words cannot express how much I appreciate everything he does for the family.  Pon Pon and I are incredibly lucky.

Okay, now that I’ve buttered him up, I hope he forgets the fact that the gift I ordered for Father’s Day didn’t arrive in time.   lol


Scalloppacio — today’s special dish

I hope everyone had a wonderful Father’s Day!  Being a father is definitely not an easy job and I’m thankful for all the incredible men out there who take this often under-appreicated but unbelievably important duty of raising a human being very seriously.

Carb, Veggie, Carb Veggie …


Carb, veggie, carb, veggie … that’s been my eating routine lately. Well, it’s more like 80% carb and 20% vegetable, to be more precise. I don’t crave protein much (I can totally go without meat, fish, and eggs for weeks) but I cannot not live without my carb and vegetables. I don’t crave rice but I go crazy if I don’t have some sort of bread at least once a day. I also have intense cravings for uncooked carrots and I have to eat those little pre-washed snack carrot sticks regularly. The not-so-good part about it is that I need to dip those little carotene-packed sticks in dollops and dollops of Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise! I hope the goodness from the carrots offset the badness of the mayo.

I had a wonderful brunch with Shannon this week at our old stomping ground of Old Town Pasadena. We stopped for a quick bite at Le Pain Quotidian before heading over for some wedding dress shopping fun for my soon-to-be married pal. I felt a little bad for ordering the bread basket, knowing that she’s been working out really hard to get into her tip top shape for the big day (and she looks fabulous!) but this pregnant belly needed some good old carb immediately! And I killed Blondie, a white chocolate spread, by single-handedly polishing off the entire jar! redface


And here’s my salad for the morning – Chicken Cobb Salad (with no bacon and cheese).


After finding the perfect dress, Shannon, her friend Marci, and I headed back to Old Town for a celebratory toast at Pita Jungle. My carb craving kicked back up so we shared an extra order of pita bread with hummus and tzatziki to start (with extra cucumber slices), and I had my usual Grilled Vegetable Salad to satisfy my veggie addiction.


I’ve completely lost the will to cook at home. And I mean completely!  I don’t even want to go grocery shopping. I don’t mind driving over to Subway to pick up my usual Veggie Delight sandwich almost daily, but I dread standing in the kitchen to prepare a meal.  It’s not that I feel sick … it’s just that everything else looks more appetizing. I wasn’t sure if this phenomenon was normal but I was surprised (and somewhat relieved) to see that many pregnant woman experience this, even if they loved to cook in the past!

Okay, I’m off to eating the leftover pizza from last night … Oh, and this is my favorite commercial at the moment.

Newfound Love for Breakfast: Bea Bea’s


Kevin and I had a craving for some thick, juicy steak last night but instead of rushing to the nearest steakhouse, we went to a grocery store and picked up ingredients to make a wonderful weekend dinner for two at home. We ended up getting four pieces of flavorful New York steaks, two potatoes, a bag of string beans, zucchini, and a gallon of ice cream for less than $10 per person (with lots of leftovers). This decision saved us a good $80 total. As a reward, we decided to treat ourselves to extravagant breakfast the next day.

We’ve been eyeing on Bea Bea’s in Burbank for weeks now, ever since Kevin found this lovely breakfast join tucked away in a suburban shopping center on Yelp. We attempted to eat there not too long ago, but the line was too long so we had to go elsewhere. This time, we got there early enough around 9:00 a.m. and got seated right away when we arrived.  We got really lucky!


I always ponder on a question – whether a person can change. I’m a believer that one can suppress certain tendencies (like addictions) with some serious effort and the willingness to change, but it’s very difficult to eliminate or “cure” them altogether. One’s taste and preference, however, can be changed more easily if the influence for the change is greater than the reason for one’s likes or dislikes. For instance, I was never a fan of breakfast. Eggs, potatoes, and toasts are okay, but they were never enticing enough for me to want to get up early in the morning to eat, especially on precious weekends. But being married to a breakfast lover and the fun that accompanies the time spent over weekend breakfast eventually made me fall in love with omelets, hash browns, and getting out of bed early. I now look forward to exploring new places for breakfast with my husband!

Our new favorite is Bea Bea’s. For a very casual coffee shop, the price is pretty high. Pancakes and Crepes were each more than $10 per plate, and the breakfast plates cost the upward of $15. But boy, were they worth it! Because of the price, this is probably not the place that we can dine very single Saturday, but we’ll definitely be back for some more early morning goodness. The service was quick and the food was exceptional.

Here’s what we enjoyed:


Strawberry, banana, and Nutella Crepe to share.


Spicy Spring Omelet for me.


House Quesadilla Omelet for Kevin.


Cheers to a great weekend, everyone!

Time for Happy Dance: La Frite


What an amazing Saturday it was! Kevin and I got to hang out with not just one but two expecting couples in one day (more on the second outing on a separate post).

We had a lovely lunch with Kerry and Carmela over some good French food at La Frite in Woodland Hills. It was so nice to catch up, since it has been a while since our last outing at the Kings Championship parade in June. Since then, Carmela and I have both became blessed with bundles of joy! Time for a happy dance!

As for food, I was completely jealous over the Champagne brunch that Kevin and Kerry ordered.


Their brunch came with a selection of salad / appetizer (Kevin selected a generous portion of smoked salmon salad), and a hearty selections of a main dish (this is his mushroom and ham omelet). I would have totally ordered this too, if I can drink Champagne and indulge in Lox!


Instead, I ordered the La Frite salad – greens, walnut, white asparagus, and grilled chicken (extra), tossed in tangy vinaigrette dressing. It wasn’t a plate full of my favorite smoked salmon but I love this salad! Oh, and of course, I had a side of Fries that I downed in less than 30 seconds!

Three and a half more months for Pon Pon to say hello to the world, and six more months or so for Carmela and Kerry’s little bun. I have a feeling that we’ll be dressing our babies up in hockey sweaters together very soon!  Can’t wait!

Year-End Celebration: Gaucho Grill


My friends Roxanne, Mary Lee and I used to go to Maggiano’s for lunch religiously for a few years (not everyday but about once every two weeks), partly because it was a walking distance from the office and mostly because we were addicted to its fried zucchini.  But one day, realizing that we’ve probably had enough share of the family-style Italian fare for the next 100 years, we decided to seek a new place to satisfy our hungry bellies.  Even we habit creatures need to change things up sometime!

So we bid farewell to our local Italian place and welcomed Gaucho Grill as our new home.  I’ve been a fan of this place for years and frequented the Woodland Hills location when I lived nearby because the food here is just right.  It’s nothing fancy but I really like the atmosphere and meat-heavy Argentinian selections.  My favorite is Pollo Deshuesado, grilled chicken breast with Dijon mustard sauce, with side of salad, rice, and extra pico de gallo (pictured above)!

the girls

We met up for lunch this afternoon for our year-end celebration.  It would have been nice to celebrate this special day with a glass of wine, but we toasted to a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2013 with a glass of passion fruit ice tea and diet coke instead!

Cheers to many more lunches to be had with my special friends.  I love you girls!

Wedding Dress Alterations

The wedding dress Serj perfected!

We are almost at a two-month mark since Kevin and I said our “I do’s” in front of the Stanley Cup winning Los Angeles Kings mascot, Baily (LOVE the sound fo that), and 100 of our dear friends and family. Excuse my cliché but it truly is amazing how quickly time flies. It seems like it was just yesterday that I walked down the aisle … yet, on the other hand, it feels like forever (in a blissful way) that we’ve been married. I seriously don’t remember my life before Kevin.

Many people ask me if things have changed since I went from being single to the other half of the amazing twosome … and I have only one answer for them: it’s been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m not sure if I can say the same for my husband, however. It seems like he has more work to do now – cooking, cleaning, and, of course, going on wine purchasing runs for this needy wife!

I’ve been meaning to write reviews for vendors who helped make our dreams into reality, but life got in the way … but now, I’m determined to give credit where credit is due. So, for the next few weeks, I’ll write reviews for each of the vendor who did a magical job. I’ve heard horror stories about how vendors ripped the couples off, or didn’t do the job that they promised. We got incredibly lucky because every single one of our vendors turned out to be incredible … not just incredible but simply the best in their chosen field.

The first hero that I’d like to showcase is my wedding dress alteration guru, Serj, from Serj Costumes and Tailoring in Burbank.

I was happy with my dress purchasing experience but when the dress arrived, it come way too big. I guess that’s a pleasant surprise for a soon-to-be bride but still, the dress needed some major tweaking to make it fit my body properly. I found Serj on Yelp and decided to go with him because 1. he had amazing reviews, and 2. his shop was just a hop and a skip from my place, and boy, am I glad I did. Because of my work schedule, I had to reschedule our meetings a several times but he was so kind and flexible about it. He was incredibly accommodating and never made me feel guilty for pulling a bridezilla on him.

His shop is clean, calming, and serene. There are no fabric pieces or threads on the floor anywhere, and I appreciated that. Serj is soft spoken and a real gentleman … very attentive and listened very closely to my needs. He explained exactly what he was going to do with the dress and the reasons behind the alternation cost. I never felt like I was being ripped off – at all. I have to admit that wedding alternations are not cheap but with Serj and his mad skills, I would have happily paid a million bucks.

I worked with Serj and another seamstress lady. Although I had no idea what there were saying when they were talking in Armenian, I felt comfortable. She and I didn’t have a real conversation, I ended up liking her very much!

On my third and final fitting, I was asked to bring a pair of shoes that I would wear to the wedding, so that they can get a proper hem measurement. I didn’t have the chance to go buy a new pair so I brought a pair of pretty, but not so special black heels. When Serj saw the shoes, he said this to me: “The shoes are nice, but they look like you’re going to someone else’s wedding, and not your own.”

I don’t think I’ve ever been so impressed with the way someone phrased an advice in such a non-judgmental way. He could have easily said that the pair is not appropriate for the occasion, but he selected well-chosen words that got the point across, without hurting my feelings! That’s when I knew that I’ve hit the jackpot with Serj.

I ended up with this pair of Basgley and Mischka shoes, thanks for Serj!

I know that I made a short story long, but in conclusion, the dress came out to perfection. I couldn’t have been more happy with the way it fit. It truly made me feel like a princess! I highly recommend Serj Costumes and Tailoring for anyone looking to transform the wedding dress into one of a kind. Serj worked in the entertainment industry before opening his own shop so you can see pictures of celebrity clienteles that he’d dressed on the wall.

Thank you, Serj, for making me feel like a princess at the wedding!

Serj Costumes and Tailoring
1707 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91506

The Big Bang Lunch

Kevin introduced me to a sitcom The Big Bang Theory recently and I’ve been hooked since. We watch at least one episode every night so that I can catch up. It took me a while to warm up to the show, and I couldn’t stand Sheldon for the first few episodes but that’s an ancient history, because now, I’m completely and utterly Team Sheldon.

So of course, we ended up at The Cheesecake Factory in Americana in Glendale for lunch the other day. Coincidence? I think not.

This Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo was amazing!  Absolutely delicious!  I wish I ordered it myself.

Turkey and Avocado Sandwich from the SkinnyLicious menu selections.  It was … just okay.

Grandma Kim’s Korean BBQ

My BFF Maya and her husband Shaun arrived to Los Angeles on Sunday from Portland! Next Saturday is Kevin and my wedding and they arrived a week early to relax in the California sun. This was also their chance to catch up with their old friends in LA.

It was Mother’s Day and we knew that many restaurants would be packed to celebrate the special holiday, so we went to the un-sexiest place of all – Korean BBQ. We knew that it wouldn’t be too busy and we were right. When we arrived at Grandma Kim’s, Maya and my old lunch joint in Canoga Park, the place was virtually empty! Score!

We frequented this join when we worked together in West Hills many, many years ago.  We would sneak out for lunch and come back with our clothes saturated in garlic funk … but we didn’t care.  There is nothing special about this mom-and-pop joint, but we always found refuge in this little place.

Our favorite: Tofu hot pot, especially delicious on a sizzling hot summer day!

Afterward, Shaun went back to the hotel and Maya and I headed to Encino for some afternoon snack. We went to Coral Tree Café. We were in the mood for hot tea or coffee but it was so hot outside that we settled for mango smoothies, and Godiva chocolate cake.

The drink was good but it tasted like citrusy soap from Lush!

This was a slice of heaven on a plate!

Spending time with Maya made me realize how much I’ve missed her. Six more days until the big day!