Birch – Hollywood, CA

It’s been a long while since I had a meal at a new restaurant and was blown away. That day finally came when I tried Birch during DineLA. First off, the deal was incredible, whether or not the food was good. 3 entrees + a cocktail or glass of wine for $39. I easily would’ve done this if it were $49 or even $59, as DineLA menus rarely include wine or cocktails.

Highlights: anything with Curry, Chicken Live & Fois Gras, Salmon, and cocktails (I ordered the #7, not pictured.)


smith’s bakery – bakersfield, ca

I’ve definitely written about these delicious cookies in the past but I felt like I had to re-inform the world about them. If you’re ever in Bakersfield, go to Smith’s Bakery and get happy face cookies and thumbprints. They also have chocolate thumbprints for the chocolate-inclined.

If you’re a fan of pink champagne cake, theirs it to-die-for.

Their frosting is unlike any other- the recipe is super secret. It’s thick but still soft and sweet but not too sweet. You’ll have to taste it to believe it!


buongiorno from eataly!

Hello from Venice! I’ve been here for just over 24 hours and tomorrow I’m getting on a cruise ship to roam around the meditteranean sea. Yesterday was a long day of travel complete with a 1.5 hour flight delay and then a missed connection (and not like the kind you find on craigslist…). After almost 20 hours of travel I made it here in one piece! Our hotel is adorable and used to be an Abbey and a Monastery. One of the best chocolate/nutella croissants I’ve ever had are freshly made each morning at breakfast.

My mom tried some cannoli, as pictured, but I couldn’t handle it post-large pasta dinner.

Today I visited Piazza San Marco aka St. Mark’s Square/Basilica and took a gondola ride from there. I went under the Bridge of Sighs (see our lovely gondolier?) and witnessed couples trying to make sure they’re in love forever.  Sigh. The Sigh actually refers to how that bridge would be the last that a person would see of Venice before going to prison. Would not mind being in prison there! It was beautiful to see all of the “streets” you wouldn’t normally see if you weren’t on a gondola, and Venice is just so dreamy. It almost doesn’t feel real!

Tonight I had dinner with my mom at the Hotel Carlton. I ordered a sea bass with potatoes, tomatoes and olives. It came whole and then they disassembled it for me at the table. Love it! We also got some live music compliments of the two men pictured below. The gelato here is phenomenal- I just finished some stracciatella and cookies flavored! Mmmm mmm good! Now I’m re-packing my suitcase for the cruise. Until next time! Ciao!