SF Restaurant Week 2016

I had recently been chosen once again as a Gogobot Pro for this year (5th year and counting!), and had the honor of being part of their first Pro event, which included dinner for SF Restaurant Week. Funny thing about it is, we actually bypassed the actual set menu and ordered from the regular one. But I digress, it was delish. The dinner took place at Gaspar Brasserie in downtown. Very exciting for me since it was my first full on experience with French cuisine

The evening started off with a few cocktails since our reservation overlapped with their happy hour. A handful of us chose their Pimm’s No. 3 Cup, which was a mix of Pimm’s #1 liqueur, brandy, lemon, ginger, cucumber, mint, and seltzer.

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We were soon seated not long after placing our drink orders. Once we were settled, we got a few small plates to share before our main courses arrived. Yes it’s a French restaurant, but if they have pomme frites (aka fries), we’ll take them!

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Despite others being hesitant to try them, one of the group and I enjoyed their escargot. These were prepared with parsley garlic butter, pancetta, shallots, carrot, and topped with brioche croutons.

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My favorite out of the apps was the Roasted Bone Marrow. I usually wouldn’t touch the stuff, but topped with parsley-anchovy breadcrumbs, carmelised onions, and capers, the flavors in this were amazing.

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For the main course, I chose their Citrus & Saffron Poached Salmon. It was served atop a bed of butter lettuce, with baby beets, pickled red onion, and crumbled egg yolk.

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I’m not sure where I heard about French food having “small portions”, but this was not at all a small meal! Most of us were on the verge of full, if not already there. But for some, myself included, there was still room left for dessert! My order of their Petite Tart Tatin was garnished with streusel and malted honey ice cream, and was a great way to cap off an evening of fine dining.

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Overall, I loved the restaurant’s ambiance, their use of organic ingredients (e.g. micro greens and lots of beets), and of course the food. Not to mention the company of people I see a few times during the year, if not often. I think it’s safe to say that my food adventures for 2016 are off to an incredibly good start. I look forward to featuring more of my pheNOMenal finds in the near future.

To find out more about Gogobot, a mobile city and travel guide app, feel free to check out their page here.

 

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NYX Valley Fair Opening Weekend

I was a bit late in terms of becoming a fan of this brand, but soon started to keep tabs on this event around the middle of last year once I subscribed to their email list. They already have 3 other locations in Southern California. As the date drew closer, I had initial thoughts to head there early, but due to rainy weather and the fact that I’d rather not get up early on a Friday unless I was working made me change my mind. I did manage to check the place out on its first day opened later on in the afternoon. Glad I bypassed the line that had extended outside the mall entrance! People had been there since around 2 am in order to be amongst the first 250 people to receive an exclusive giveaway and makeup bag. 2 am? Nope, not going into SDCC mode for makeup.

Once I made my way to its location (1st floor next to Macy’s women’s wing), there was still a queue formed, but just a few people deep. I only waited less than 10 minutes before they allowed me inside.

The newest @nyxcosmetics store is open and I'm checking it out! #nyxvalleyfair

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As expected with any opening day, it was indeed a bit crowded. Plus the store itself isn’t too big of a space, which is reason for the line and letting a few customers in at a time. I already knew the items that I wanted, so it was easy to navigate myself to find them.

Here’s my mini haul.

 

This place is a nude/neutral lip color lover’s dream! I could have spent more time swatching product, but I didn’t want to risk feeling claustrophobic. I can always come back on a less busy day.

 

Although they have a much wider selection of products compared to other stores that sell them (e.g. Ulta, Target, etc.), the price points are a bit more. Of course, that won’t stop makeup lovers from visiting. Do check it out if you’re in the South Bay!

Interview That Blogger With Rhia From R Cubed.

Just celebrated my birthday yesterday! It was low-key and had lunch with the family.

Here's to another year. #happybirthdaytome 😄🎉🎂🎁

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I’ve also joined BeginnerBeaute‘s “Interview That Blogger” series, and was informed this morning that she posted my interview a few minutes ago. Thanks very much for the opportunity! Please feel free to check out the entry below.

Source: Interview That Blogger With Rhia From R Cubed.

 

Hope most (if not all) of you are enjoying an extra day off. I know I am!

Beauty Shout Out – January 2016

It’s barely half way into the first month of the year, but I wanted to put a spotlight on a few items that simplified my beauty routine while I was out of town in Vegas last week.

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IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream – I had purchased a travel sized tube of this after Christmas to try out. This was an absolute god send and drastically cut the time I used to get ready. It’s a full coverage foundation, anti-aging hydrating serum, color corrector, primer, dark spot corrector, and has an SPF of 50. When using this during the evening, I only had to set it with powder and setting spray and it held up until the wee hours of the morning. Such amazing stuff! I plan to upgrade to the full size very soon.

Up & Up Exfoliating Wet Cleansing Towelettes – I’ve used them before and often come back to them because of the price (thank you, Target). They also do a great job with removing makeup or as a quick way to refresh my face. One side is smooth while the other side has small exfoliating beads. Love it!

EOS Visibly Soft Lip Balm in Blackberry Nectar – This latest addition to my EOS collection was used quite often during my trip. The weather was very cold during the early morning and evening, and this kept my lips from drying out.

Tony Moly Panda’s Dream So Cool Eye Stick – Basically an eye serum in stick form, this saved me from looking like a zombie during the convention I attended. It has a fresh scent, and immediately cools the under eye area upon application. That and it’s the cutest beauty item I probably own.

*quick edit* I forgot to add one more item to this list. D’oh!

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Batiste Dry Shampoo – Clean & Classic Original – Another travel sized gem that I brought along with me on my trip. Again, I now know why this is such a cult favorite. A quick spritz on my roots and after at least 30 seconds I massaged it through. Voila, hello good hair day!

Have you tried any of these items? Feel free to share your thoughts on them. Speaking of beauty shout outs, I gotta give one to stashmatters for hosting a giveaway on their favorite items. Do check it out, they could be yours too!

RIP David Bowie

The music of Mr. Bowie aka David Robert Jones has been weaved in throughout my years growing up. Whenever I’d see a music video or behind the scenes show about him, basically whenever I watched VH-1, I wouldn’t change the channel. I’ll admit that I haven’t watched Labyrinth from beginning to end, but I’ll surely add that to my to-do list. Hopefully it’s on Netflix. His first hit “Space Oddity” was made when he was only 22. His rise to popularity in the US came about in the mid 70’s with “Fame”.

I’m still in a state of shock after seeing multiple social media posts by friends and followed accounts about his passing last night. No one really knew about his suffering other than the ones closest to him. Still, he was a legendary artist and performer. Any of the younger generation that has any knowledge about this man ought to know and appreciate this. I saw the following video this morning and got a bit emotional. It was filmed in space by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, and is Bowie’s favorite tribute.

 

“The stars look very different today.”

To a PheNOMenal New Year

Ended 2015 and kicked off 2016 on a rather tasty note. I arrived in San Diego early afternoon on Thursday. Prior to my trip, I had already developed a craving for a lobster roll. A friend recommended Supernatural Sandwiches and whatever I wanted was on them. Sah-weet! Their menu of sandwiches is amazing. I wish I lived down there so that I could try them all (in due time, possibly). Of course my choice would be the Cthulhu due to my craving. It consisted of a buttery roll filled with lobster claw and knuckle meat mixed in with chives, umami butter, crispy garlic, and house made garlic aioli. This surely brought the lobster party to my mouth. The shrimp chips that came with it had a bit of a kick from their seasoning, which made the meal complete.

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Behold, the mighty Cthulu.

My NYE celebration with food didn’t stop there. I had dinner later that night with another friend at an old favorite, Tajima. Ordered my “usual” of their Tonkotsu ramen, with an extra half egg and pork belly. So good, but they added more noodles than I had expected. We also ordered lychee nigori (unfiltered) sake, which tasted like juice. Deceiving stuff, that is. Again, my meal was paid for. I felt so spoiled!

New Year’s Day led me and my stomach to Breakfast Republic. This has become one of my favorite 1st meal of the day spots in San Diego, and for good reason. Not only do I love their Breakfast Mac and Cheese, but they also have some amazing shrimp & grits.

Good food with good friends, and lots more to come. What a great way to start the New Year!