Oh Joy

{oh joy eats} pine and crane... 10 Apr 2014

Pine and Crane / Los Angeles

Pine and Crane / Los Angeles

Pine and Crane / Los Angeles

Pine & Crane is my newest go-to spot. I've been there four times in the last ten days. It's a casual, quick, and super tasty Taiwanese-Chinese restaurant in Silver Lake. I almost don't want to tell you about it in fear that it will get too busy, but you guys know I want you to eat well, too ;)

Pine and Crane / Los Angeles

Pine and Crane / Los Angeles

Pine and Crane / Los Angeles

Most of the produce is sourced from the owner's family farm, so everything is super fresh and local. Some of my favorites include the spicy shrimp wontons, the trumpet mushrooms, and the scallion pancake. Oh, they also have boba milk tea which is a rare find in Silver Lake!

Pine and Crane / Los Angeles

And by the way, it's super kid-friendly. I've gone with Ruby every time I've been there and our crew of friends that consists of both toddlers and tiny babies. Pine and Crane just feels like a spot you can just show up to and get an authentic and delicious Chinese meal. 

Pine and Crane | 1521 Griffith Park Blvd. | Los Angeles, CA 90026 | 323.668.1128

currently snacking on... 11 Feb 2014

Bramble Bakeshop in Echo Park, Los Angeles

Bramble Bakeshop in Echo Park, Los Angeles

After yesterday's announcement, I seriously cannot thank you guys enough for your support and excitement! Short of my wedding day and the day Ruby was born, it was one of the best days ever.

Now back to regular programming...I'm not vegan, but living in LA I've come across more and more vegan bakeries that are surprisingly good. There's a new bakery in Echo Park called Bramble Bakeshop who makes the prettiest vegan baked goods I've ever seen. My favorite are these lemon linzer cookies—tart, sweet, and crunchy—they're like a lemon pie all scooped up in a perfect little cookie. And these smoked almond brownies which are so fudgy and delicious...

{Photo by Oh Joy}

{oh joy eats} breakfast at république... 27 Jan 2014

Oh Joy Eats / République in Los Angeles

Oh Joy Eats / République in Los Angeles

It can be really hard to find good breakfast spots that are open during the week. So when the new L.A. hot spot, République, decided to offer breakfast in addition to dinner, I had to see what it was all about. And, guys, I am hooked. While they don't serve savory breakfasts yet, the sweet breakfast they offer is off the chain. These are some of the best pastries I've had in Los Angeles. Period. Crème brûlée donuts, canelés, cookies, éclair, homemade breads...all so fresh and melt-in-your-mouth good. Get ready to drool...

Oh Joy Eats / République in Los Angeles

Oh Joy Eats / République in Los Angeles

Oh Joy Eats / République in Los Angeles

Oh Joy Eats / République in Los Angeles

Oh Joy Eats / République in Los Angeles

The space itself is gorgeous, too. It's light and airy and full of beautiful, architectural details...

Oh Joy Eats / République in Los Angeles

Oh Joy Eats / République in Los Angeles

Oh Joy Eats / République in Los Angeles

They also have some of the most comforting morning beverages like Hong Kong Milk Tea, Vietnamese Coffee, and a slew of others that aren't your everyday coffee and tea selections. I've been there twice in the last week if that says anything...

République | 624 S. La Brea Avenue | Los Angeles, CA 90036 | 310.362.6115

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy} 

my favorite lobster rolls in {los angeles}... 15 Jan 2014

Son of a Gun lobster roll

Lobster rolls are probably my favorite kind of sandwich. It can be really hard to find a good lobster roll on the West Coast, so once I find a good one, I keep going back for more. Here are a few of my favorite lobster rolls in L.A. right now...

The tiniest lobster roll in all the land is from Son of a Gun. It's bite-sized, buttery perfection and should not be shared.

Son of a Gun | 8370 W. 3rd Street | Los Angeles, CA 90048 | 323.782.9033

Blue Plate Oysterette lobster roll

I tried the lobster roll from Santa Monica's Blue Plate Oysterette at a lobster roll showdown called the Lobster Rumble a couple months ago, and they had my vote for best lobster roll that night. The roll has the perfect mix of butter, salt, and creaminess with just the right touch of herbs and spices.

Blue Plate Oysterette | 1355 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90402 | 310.576.3474

Salt Air lobster roll

Finally, a great lobster roll to share is this bun of goodness from Salt Air in Venice. It's a pure and simple lobster roll that tastes fresh, light, and just creamy and buttery enough. Get it with the mushroom toast, and you'll have a meal that's seriously legit.

Salt Air | 1616 Abbott Kinney Blvd. | Venice, CA 90291 | 310.396.9333

So, are you guys drooling yet? Do you love lobster rolls as much as I do? And if so, what are your favorites where you live?

{Photos by Oh Joy}

{oh joy eats} hinoki & the bird... 7 Nov 2013

Hinoki and the Bird | Photo by Bonnie Tsang

Hinoki and the Bird | Photo by Bonnie Tsang

Hinoki and the Bird | Photo by Bonnie Tsang

Living in a great food city with new restaurants popping up weekly, it can be tough to keep up with what's hot and new here in Los Angeles. While I'd love to visit a new place every weekend, life takes over and it's just not possible. I've been wanting to have dinner at David Myer's new restaurant, Hinoki & the Bird, since it opened earlier this year but reservations aren't easy to get or the only reservations times available are just not doable (dinner at 10pm—no thanks!). My solution is to go at lunch instead—it's less busy, a great sampling of the dinner menu, and so much easier to get in!

So Bonnie and I went to have lunch at Hinoki & the Bird to see what all the buzz was about. My favorite dishes of the meal included these two appetizers (above)—a lobster roll with green curry and Thai basil and the chili crab toast with spicy cucumber and coriander. Each bite was full of Asian-inspired flavors, yet light and savory.

Continue reading " {oh joy eats} hinoki & the bird... " »

family-friendly spots in los angeles... 16 Oct 2013

Oh Joy | Family-Friendly Los Angeles

When I first moved to Los Angeles, someone told me, "L.A. is what you make of it." The city is rich in so many different things—food, culture, music, shopping, nature, etc. that it really can be whatever you want it to be. For me, I've made L.A. into a town full of great eats, amazing local and indie designers, and a place where my daughter can learn and thrive from all the things L.A. has to offer. Today, I am sharing four of my favorite family-friendly spots in this city—all of which are free or inexpensive to enjoy.

Oh Joy | Family-Friendly Los Angeles | LACMA

Oh Joy | Family-Friendly Los Angeles | LACMA

Oh Joy | Family-Friendly Los Angeles | LACMA

Oh Joy | Family-Friendly Los Angeles | LACMA

LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) | While I love art, I find so many museums to be too precious and too quiet. I need to be able to take my family to a place where kids are allowed to roam free and enjoy their surroundings just as much as the adults do. Ruby loves the giant noodle exhibit at the LACMA so we often find ourselves going there to visit that exhibit. They offer free art classes every day in the children's gallery. And on Sundays, the LACMA has Family Day where families can tour the museum for free.

Oh Joy | Family-Friendly Los Angeles | LACMA

Oh Joy | Family-Friendly Los Angeles | LACMA

Afterwards, we love getting a bite to eat at Ray's at Stark Bar. It's fresh, healthy, delicious, and has items that feel fancy yet still totally kid friendly.

Oh Joy | Family-Friendly Los Angeles | Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round

Oh Joy | Family-Friendly Los Angeles | Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round

Oh Joy | Family-Friendly Los Angeles | Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round

Oh Joy | Family-Friendly Los Angeles | Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round

Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round | Griffith Park is full of so many amazing little adventures. As you may have seen from our trip to Paris, Ruby loves merry-go-rounds, so we love bringing her here. It's only 10 minutes from our house and such a nice change from our usual afternoon playground trips. They also have popcorn and treats a plenty to add to the fun.

Continue reading " family-friendly spots in los angeles... " »

oh joy in france / part 3: what we did in lyon... 9 Oct 2013

Oh Joy in Lyon

Oh Joy in Lyon

During our trip to France, we spent five nights in Lyon which is just a couple hours of outside of Paris by train. Bob had a conference for work there, so it was mostly Ruby and I hanging together most of the day, and Bob joined us in the afternoons when he was done work (hence why he is wearing such fancy outfits in most of these photos).

Oh Joy in Lyon

Oh Joy in Lyon

We rented an apartment in the 6th district in Lyon through airbnb. It was perfect for what we needed—spacious, cozy, relatively toddler-safe, and close to grocery stores, parks, and restaurants. Since it was on the 6th floor, we made sure that it had an elevator so that we wouldn't be huffing it every day. However, the elevator was comical. It just barely fit the three of us when all squeezed together.

Once we crammed ourselves in and out of the elevator, here's a what we did while in Lyon...

3rd District

Oh Joy in Lyon | Les Halles de Lyon

Oh Joy in Lyon | Les Halles de Lyon

Oh Joy in Lyon | Les Halles de Lyon

One of my favorite places to visit in any city is an indoor food market with various vendors and purveyors of every kind. Similar to the Reading Terminal Market in Philly or the Ferry Building in San Francisco, Les Halles de Lyon is a food lover's dream with stalls aplenty. We bought some amazing cheese and charcuterie there that topped any cheese and charcuterie we've ever had in the States.

Oh Joy in Lyon | Les Halles de Lyon

Oh Joy in Lyon | Les Halles de Lyon

We even found the tiniest macarons in all the land at the Richart shop there. Ruby loved them because they were just her size!

Les Halles de Lyon | 102 cours Lafayette, 69003 Lyon

Continue reading " oh joy in france / part 3: what we did in lyon... " »

oh joy in france / part 1: what we ate in paris... 1 Oct 2013

Oh Joy in Paris | What We Ate

Over the next couple weeks, I'll be sharing photos from our recent adventures in Paris and Lyon. Since we did so much, I'm going to break it up into three different posts starting today with...what we ate! I went to Paris with the plan to gain 10 lbs. from croissants alone. The food in Paris is certainly indulgent and amazing so I had no intentions of leaving anything on my plate. We took Ruby out with us to every meal, so our eating experience this trip did not involve any super fancy restaurants or fine dining but instead a lot of pastries, lunches, and early dinners.

Here are a few of our favorites spots during the trip—with everything organized by the arrondissement (or district) they're located in...

3rd District

Oh Joy in Paris | Merci Canteen

Oh Joy in Paris | Merci Canteen

Oh Joy in Paris | Merci Canteen

Oh Joy in Paris | Merci Canteen

We rarely saw French kids out to restaurants in Paris and were often the only ones seen with children while dining. So our trip to The Merci Canteen was a true exception as it was the only restaurant we went to that had a high chair. We met up with my friend Julie from Famille Summerbelle and her daughter Ophelia for a lovely lunch. If you can believe it, this restaurant (located in the design store Merci) was one of my favorite meals of the whole trip. Everything was fresh, flavorful, and so beautiful.

Merci | 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris

Continue reading " oh joy in france / part 1: what we ate in paris... " »

{oh joy eats} milk jar cookies... 8 Jul 2013

Milk Jar Cookies | photo by Bonnie Tsang

Milk Jar Cookies | photo by Bonnie Tsang

Milk Jar Cookies | photo by Bonnie Tsang

I'm always on the lookout for special treats to give as gifts for when I don't have time (or the ability) to make them as good myself! So I stopped into Milk Jar Cookies in L.A. recently for a dose of homemade cookie goodness.

Milk Jar Cookies | photo by Bonnie Tsang

Milk Jar Cookies | photo by Bonnie Tsang

Milk Jar Cookies | photo by Bonnie Tsang

Milk Jar Cookies | photo by Bonnie Tsang

Some of my favorite cookies included the Banana Split, Rocky Road, and Chocolate Pecan Caramel. They're the soft and chewy kind of cookie that make you feel like you just came home from school, and your mom surprised you with a special treat!

One of my favorite things about the shop is the story behind it. The owners left their long-time corporate jobs to pursue their dream of opening a cookie shop. Maybe it's because I love entrepreneurial stories or just that it makes me happy when people have a chance to do what they really love. Either way, there is so much joy baked into each and every pillow-soft cookie you'll find here...

Milk Jar Cookies | 5466 Wilshire Boulevard | Los Angeles, CA 90036 | 323.634.9800
(shipping outside of LA available, too!)

{Photos by Bonnie Tsang. My outfit: Dress by En Soie, netted bag c/o And So It Goes, vintage belt, necklace by Anthropologie (past season), shoes from ShoeMint (past season).}

{oh joy eats} marugame monzo in little tokyo... 3 Jun 2013

Marugame-monzo-udon-little-tokyo-los-angeles-1

Marugame-monzo-udon-little-tokyo-los-angeles-2

Noodles are kind of one of my favorite things to eat. So when there are places that make the noodles fresh to order, I'm there like a kid at a candy store. Marugame Monzo in L.A.'s Little Tokyo makes piping fresh udon noodles, which has long been one of my favorite comfort foods...especially when I'm feeling under the weather.

Marugame-monzo-udon-little-tokyo-los-angeles-3

Marugame-monzo-udon-little-tokyo-los-angeles-4

Marugame-monzo-udon-little-tokyo-los-angeles-5

Marugame-monzo-udon-little-tokyo-los-angeles-6

The food at Marugame Monzo is simple yet so tasty. And it's a nice comfortable change of scene from the fast pace of a certain long-lined ramen shop next door. While the udon noodles were super fresh and just the right combination of chewy and firm, my favorite dish was actually the pork belly. It was sliced super thin and grilled with a hand torch for the perfect crispy edge. My mouth waters just thinking about it...

Marugame Monzo | 329 E. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 |213.346.9762

{Photos by Bonnie Tsang. My pants are by En Soie, necklace c/o 31 Bits, yellow flats by Target.}

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