Oh Joy

happy friday + oh joy eats this month... 13 Nov 2015

Trois Familia / Los Angeles

Happy Friday guys! After our recent survey, those of you not living in LA said that sometimes I tease you with photos of the food that I eat here. I totally get it and photos of food tease me, too (especially if I can't have those things like RIGHT NOW). But, I love food and love sharing my favorites. I'll still share some Los Angeles spots with you from time-to-time, but instead I'm going to share a few of my favorites each month all in one post. So every month, those of you who are in LA or those who plan to visit soon can still get a round-up of new spots to eat at in Los Angeles if/when you are in town next ;) Click below to see my favorites from this month...


apple pie adventures... 12 Nov 2015


It's finally feeling like fall here in LA in the last couple weeks, and I'm just loving it. As a child of immigrant parents, we never did seasonal things like apple picking (my parents just weren't aware of it because it wasn't a part of their culture). So it's been fun starting new traditions like this with my own family. Since we all love apple pie so very much, a few weeks ago, we took the kids apple picking so that we could show them what goes into (eventually) making an apple pie. Click on the video below to see our Apple Pie Adventures and subscribe to the Oh Joy channel for more videos!

And if you want to recreate my favorite apple pie, see more below!


{oh joy eats} hong kong egg waffles! 22 Oct 2015

hong kong egg waffles

OMG. Have you guys tried these before? Yesterday, we took a out to San Gabriel (an area East of Los Angeles with a large population of immigrants from China and Hong Kong) to get some Hong Kong egg waffles at a little spot called Fresh Roast.

hong kong egg waffles

hong kong egg waffles

We got the regular egg waffle filled with chocolate. They pretty much taste like waffles and pancakes had a baby in the shape of jumbo packing bubbles. You can pull them apart and just pop those suckers right in your mouth. They are just SO FUN to eat.

hong kong egg waffles

hong kong egg waffles

We also tried a green tea (matcha) waffle filled with coconut which has a nice texture and tasted more savory then the sweeter chocolate version. It was warm and chewy in the middle with light crispy edges. And really just a nice, fun breakfast to have. 

If you want to try and make them yourself, it looks pretty easy if you have the right pan. I found this one from Williams-Sonoma that looks perfect and makes me want to try them at home (like right now). Or, next time you're in the LA area, check out this little spot!

Fresh Roast | 308 S San Gabriel Blvd. | San Gabriel, CA 91776 | 626-451-5918

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

what i did in vancouver... 8 Oct 2015


A couple weeks ago, I traveled to Vancouver for a few days to speak at IDS West's Social Sessions and to do a morning TV show. I had previously planned to bring my family with me and make a long weekend out of it, but it was turning into more of a work trip then I had expected so we decided to have the kids stay home and that come back again as a family next year when I could have a bit more leisurely time. I sadly couldn't hit as many spots from all your amazing suggestions this time (don't worry, I'm saving it all for our next trip!). But I did get to hit a few, very cute spots that I wanted to share with you...



Chocolate Chip and Caramel Sandwich Cookies... 1 Oct 2015

Chocolate Chip and Caramel Sandwich Cookies

In honor of National Homemade Cookie Day today and as a Part 2 to yesterday's post, I wanted to share this very delicious recipe for Chocolate Chip and Caramel Sandwich Cookies by the ladies of Sweet Laurel Bakery...


what we ate in seattle... 7 Sep 2015

Oh Joy Seattle

I hope you guys are having a great, long weekend! I usually don't post on holidays, but I have so much I want to share after being away that I decided to post today ;)

Before I had kids, I would eat like five meals a day when on vacation to take advantage of all the amazing food in a new city. We couldn't quite go on a non-stop food tour of Seattle with the kids but we did make sure to have some fun meals, snacks, and a loooot of ice cream...


{oh joy eats} ohana seafood company... 1 Sep 2015

Ohana Seafood Company / Los Angeles

One of the things I missed most during my past pregnancies wasn't alcohol, but sushi and other forms of raw fish. It's one of my favorite things to eat. I know raw fish isn't for everyone, but if you're into it, then poke (which is very popular in Hawaii) is one of my favorite ways to eat tuna. One of my favorite local restaurants, Black Hogg, recently closed and turned into Ohana Seafood Company. While I was sad to see the original restaurant go, Ohana's version of poke is out of this world and I now crave it daily. They offer options with rice, kale, kimchi cucumbers, glass noodles, edamame and other toppings with the tuna for a healthy and filling meal.

Ohana Seafood Company / Los Angeles

You choose a base poke and a bunch of sides that come all together in a simple bowl. Add an aqua fresca, and you feel like you just drank straight out of a watermelon or pineapple while sitting on the beach.

Ohana Seafood Company / Los Angeles

And my favorite combo is the tuna with chili mango...a little tangy, a little spicy, and so so good! There are two locations for Ohana—one in Silver Lake and one in Downtown LA— and is a must if you're a poke lover. I've been here three times in less than two weeks (insert embarrassed emoji face).

Ohana Poke (Downtown LA) | 130 E 6th St. | Los Angeles, CA 90014

Ohana Seafood Company (Silver Lake) | 2852 W Sunset Blvd | Los Angeles, CA 90026

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

{oh joy eats} howlin ray's fried chicken... 25 Jun 2015

Howlin' Ray's Fried Chicken Truck / Los Angeles

Fried chicken is probably one of my favorite indulgences on earth! So when I heard that a fried chicken truck had recently opened in our area, we had to go. 

Howlin' Ray's Fried Chicken Truck / Los Angeles

Howlin' Ray's Fried Chicken Truck / Los Angeles

Howlin' Ray's is a husband and wife team who take their truck around Los Angeles spreading fried chicken cheer wherever they go. Chef Johnny, an LA native, has worked professionally under Thomas Keller, Gordon Ramsay and Nobu Matsuhisa. Amanda grew up with her grandparents in the heartland, growing, hunting, fishing, harvesting and preserving most of their food supply and spending summers in East Texas learning about southern soul and hospitality. After spending some time in Nashville last year, they were introduced to Nashville Hot Chicken and wanted to bring that flavor and speciality to LA! And, dang, is it GOOD! It's so good that I've had it three times since they opened just weeks ago...

Howlin' Ray's Fried Chicken Truck / Los Angeles

Howlin' Ray's Fried Chicken Truck / Los Angeles

Howlin' Ray's signature is spicy fried chicken. I love spice, but the hottest of the hot (The Howlin' Hot) is actually too much for me, so I tend to go for the Medium or the Hot which offers a nice tingle of spice without making it so you can't breathe or see straight! And, if you can't take any heat or just like the classics, there's always the traditional Country Fried chicken, too.

Fantastic Donuts / Los Angeles

To accompany those spicy bites, every month Howlin' Ray's partners with a local baked goods company to offer some sweets to cap off the meal. During this visit, these cutie pie animal donuts by Fantastic Donuts were part of the arsenal. Have you ever seen cuter donuts?!

If you're in LA or visiting LA soon, and you like fried chicken, Howlin' Ray's is a must. You can see their weekly schedule here and their menu right here

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

career day / an ice cream maker... 25 Mar 2015

Jeni's Ice Cream / Career Day Field Trip

If you’re from the Mid-West (or if you’re a huge ice cream fan like me), then you may have heard of Jeni’s Ice Cream. Jeni Britton Bauer (aka “Jeni”) is one of those entrepreneurs to appears to have a job that anyone would want—making ice cream, coming up with flavors, and creating joy for people all over the country with her sweet concoctions.

Jeni’s Ice Cream recently opened up a new shop right near me in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, so Ruby and I stopped by to chat with Jeni and get a behind-the-scenes peek at what it’s like to live and breathe ice cream. And (of course), to eat a little ice cream, too!

Jeni's Ice Cream / Career Day Field Trip

Here's a look at our visit to Jeni's for a Career Day field trip. I’ve also asked Jeni to share a bit about her history, growing an ice cream empire, and what she’s hoping it’s all leading to some day...

Jeni's Ice Cream / Los Angeles

When and why did you start Jeni's? / In the early ‘90s I was messing around with ice cream, collecting scents, and studying art at Ohio State. During a figure drawing class one day, a model I didn’t like to draw walked in. So, I got up, left my portfolio and all my supplies at my desk, and just walked out. I thought, ‘I don’t want to do this any more. I want to make ice cream.’ I quit everything else, too—school, side jobs—just threw myself into making ice cream and figuring out how to create a living doing that.

Within six months I started my first ice cream business, which didn't work. So, I took time off, traveled, lived, learned, and studied customer service. The thing that didn’t work at my first ice cream business was surprising people with new menus all the time. When I opened Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in 2002 in the North Market in Columbus, I made sure to offer signature flavors along with just a few surprises. 

Jeni's Ice Cream / Career Day Field Trip

When did you know you had something good? / The day we opened for business in November 2002—the day of the OSU/­Michigan football game. We thought we’d open that day to give ourselves a little warm up, to open softly, you know. OSU/­Michigan game day in Columbus is a holy day. Every man, woman, and child is glued to the TV on that day in Columbus. But much to our surprise there was a giant line all day. We’ve never looked back.

Jeni's Ice Cream / Los Angeles

If there were two of you, what other type of business would the other Jeni have? / I grew up in Peoria, Illinois, in the cradle of the greatest sandwich on earth, the breaded pork tenderloin. Other Jeni would open a joint that served from­ scratch breaded tenderloins on tiny white buns, served with dill pickles, homemade mustard, and potato salad. One pilsner on tap to wash it all down. 

Jeni's Ice Cream / Los Angeles

Do you take off on the weekends? / I’m never not working. I’m working the same way today as I did when I started making my own ice cream in the mid ‘90s: pretty much every moment I’m awake. I’m not bragging or complaining—whatever I’m reading, watching, listening to, and doing goes into whatever the next ice cream flavor is.

Sometimes I feel like a character in a comic book, like I fell into a vat of magical ice cream a couple decades ago and emerged with ice cream fused to my DNA. I go to work everyday thinking of how to improve the texture or body of my ice cream. Or how to get one flavor just right. I think about it constantly. And when I’m not thinking about it actively, there is a little spot on my brain that is always dedicated to only thinking about ice cream. It’s on no matter where I am or what I’m doing. It’s even on while I sleep. 

With 20 stores currently, what is your dream for your brand? World ice cream domination?  My only dream for this company is for us to make better ice cream tomorrow than we did today. One day at a time, that is what we’re trying to do here. As far as shops go, the goal has never been and never will be to open a chain of cookie-­cutter, look­-a­like shops. We own and operate our shops and I have my hands in every detail of the way each one looks and feels. I can’t imagine just opening a bunch of clone shops and just sitting back. I like the work too much. 

Jeni's Ice Cream / Los Angeles

Favorite ice cream? / I’ll never get tired of Lemon Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt. It’s so creamy, tart, and refreshing. I also LOVE it on pies in the summer!

Worst part about your job? / The existence of deadlines. I always think I can improve whatever ice cream we’re about to release! 

Best part about your job? / Being able to create something out of everything I absorb every day. This job didn’t just fall out of the sky for me. I had to make choices to create the opportunity for myself, but I’m proud and thankful I’m able to earn a living by creating something I dream up.

Jeni's Ice Cream / Los Angeles

One thing that has happened in your career that you never expected? / Giving speeches. It still floors me that people want to hear me tell my story. I’m always flattered.

One thing that has happened in your career that you completely expected and had hoped for? / When I was first messing around with ice cream, I mixed cayenne essential oil into regular store-­bought chocolate ice cream. I let it melt slowly on my tongue. It was cold, tasted like chocolate, and about five seconds later it burst into flames in the back of my throat. It was like the sky tore in two and light enveloped me. Right then I knew that ice cream would be my life. I didn’t know how I would do it, how long it would take, how many people, how much money, but I knew it was my path. For some crazy reason, I always thought there could be a place in the world where art, perfume, and ice cream could get along. I always thought that. And I guess it appears to be true. 

Jeni's Ice Cream / Career Day Field Trip

Jeni's Ice Cream / Career Day Field Trip

Even with a huge, booming business, Jeni remains kind, humble, and deeply grounded and loyal to her Mid-West roots. Thanks so much to Jeni and the team at Jeni's Ice Cream for an inspiring visit! I'm pretty sure Ruby enjoyed this Career Day field trip when she said afterwards that it was "the best day EVER!".

Jeni's Ice Cream | 1954 Hillhurst Avenue | Los Angeles, CA 90027 | 323-928-2668

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy} 

{los angeles} top 20 bites of 2014... 18 Dec 2014

Salt Air

As my mind and body prepped for a new family member this year, 2014 included a ton of places I simply craved (which meant lots of sweets and lots of carbs). Here are my Top 20 Bites of 2014 in Los Angeles {in no particular order}...

1. The lobster roll from Salt Air is like the runway model of lobster rolls. It's not the meatiest out there, but it sure is pretty.

Good Girl Dinette

2. The blistered corn from Good Girl Dinette. I don't know what they do to this corn, but it has this amazing mix of crispy, sweet, and soft that is unlike any corn on the cob I've ever had.

Black Hogg Cookies

3. The Cap'n Crunch Chocolate Chip Cookie from Black Hogg (recipe here) has become my favorite chocolate chip cookie in the city.

The Hungry Cat

4. For a meatier lobster roll, the version from The Hungry Cat with those amazing fries surely satisfies (we love their Sunday brunch!).


5. The best waffle I might have ever had is this one with a poached egg and bacon from Dinette.

Hart and the Hunter

6. Because toasts are the new black, this Trout Toast from The Hart and the Hunter is one of my favorites.


7. The "slut" (a coddled egg over potato pureé) from Egg Slut makes for a comforting and cozy morning meal.


8. The double chocolate cookie from Republique (middle) is gluten-free but you'd never know it was missing anything—it's chewy, sweet, crunchy, and simply out of this world.

Faith and Flower

9. The kimchi deviled eggs from Faith and Flower take deviled eggs to a whole new level.

Sweet Rose Creamery

10. Cinnamon Buttermilk Sherbet from Sweet Rose Creamery offers a fun twist on a cold treat.

(see the other 10 below the jump...)



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