Cheers to a much needed mini vacay with Pammie and Donna! The last time we vacationed together was three years ago in Kauai, so this trip was long overdue!
On Friday night, we missed our Nobu rooftop res because it took us 45 minutes to be driven 2 miles. Downtown Chicago traffic is no joke, especially during Lollapalooza weekend.
We ended up at Booze Box, a secret bar in the basement of a sushi restaurant. Right when we walked in, this japanese lady pulled open a side gate and led us down some sketchy ass stairwell into the coolest little dive bar ever. The music, drinks and late night maki def hit the spot.
I couldn’t go to Chicago without going on a river boat tour à la My Best Friend’s Wedding (that scene gets me every. damn. time.). While there was no slow dancing or tearful realizations, I honestly was so impressed by the beautiful architecture. The only other time I visited Chicago was over a decade ago for a weekend in the dead of winter. All I remember was that it was St. Paddy’s Day and they dyed the river green. It was too cold to really do anything back then. Even though it rained the day before I arrived this time, the weather was absolute perfection.
Donna: Why is my heart racing??? Me: Maybe it was that flight of espresso martinis you downed? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I’m that friend who only orders california rolls at sushi restaurants.
While Pammie and Donna enjoyed the (mostly raw) tasting menu at Nobu, I feasted on this glorious 28-day dry-aged prime ribeye.
If my A5 wagyu isn’t prepared this dramatically, I don’t want it.
The best thing I ate at Nobu (and possibly my entire life) was this whisky cappuccino dessert. Holy shit, you guys. Once that whisky foam hit my lips, I left my body, floated up to heaven, saw my grandparents, came back down, and finished off the remaining layers of espresso gelato, toasted cinnamon crunch and cardamom cream. Their recipe is posted online, but why go through all that trouble when you could just take me to the Nobu in Malibu??? 😏
Since we all binge-watched The Bear, we wanted to try an authentic italian beef sandwich. One of our uber drivers, Kendrick, told us that the best one was at Clark Street Dog. We could kill two birds with one stone and get a chicago dog there, too. He warned us not to ask for ketchup, as if he knew about that one time I asked for it at a steakhouse and was shamed by my entire table. As he drove us around, he also pointed out where people had been recently shot and what areas to avoid walking at night unless we wanted to get popped! So full of useful information, this guy…
We ordered our food and headed over to the attached bar for picklebacks, mules, and quite possibly the worst thing I’ve ever put in my mouth – Jeppson’s Malört. According to our bartender, Evan, it’s a Chicago tradition for out-of-towners to take a shot of what can be accurately described as “rotten grapefruit with the lingering after taste of a tire fire” (among other things). He also suggested we hit up the nearby L&L Tavern where Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy used to troll for victims. Who doesn’t love a good murder bar??? I’ll have to come back when I’m not stuffed with italian beef.
We woke up at the butt crack of dawn to stand in line for an hour before this restaurant opened (sorry for anything I said before I got some cold brew in me 😅). Kasama is the only michelin-starred filipino restaurant in the world, and respect had to be paid.
This trip couldn’t have come at a better time. I got to celebrate an unexpected promotion at work and have a little fun before conference season starts up this week and I’m blacked out for the next couple of months. Excuse me while I cry into my empty Garrett Popcorn tin…
My sister’s husband is convinced that I secretly have a poster of Joey Chestnut in my apartment, and I can’t confirm or deny that.
Red, white and blue (cheese) – I was that asshole at three different grocery stores looking for that slice of heaven that is humboldt fog in the artisanal cheese aisle to complete my board.
Views and ‘cue – two of my favorite things. This private rooftop is a dream.
Not pictured: me almost lighting my hair on fire after some lunatic let me be in charge of the short ribs
Listen, sometimes you have to choose between buying a box of costco king crab legs or paying your rent. Luckily, Pammie bought these babies and afforded me another month in my studio. Ha.
Is it even a party if you don’t stock your wine fridge with white claw???
Alicia got me this icee machine for my birthday a few years ago, and I don’t know why I waited so long to bust it out (besides diabetes and the lack of counter space). I’m pretty sure Shi and I had more icees than the kids did!
Christine came through with the Crumbl cookies!
Added bonus: The rooftop has a clear view of the fireworks from the olympic training center.
I hope everyone’s 4th was as lit as the illegal fireworks we bought on the side of the road!
Thanks to Pammie for hosting the best party ever at her new digs! Same time next year???
I doordashed dinner tonight and just received someone else’s order (a hazard of contactless delivery). Even though I was hangry as hell, I think we can all agree that the real victim here is Kathleen M., who ordered 8 scoops of ice cream from Handel’s and received my salad and brussels sprouts from Tin Roof Bistro instead 🤣
Who needs a husband when your bestie Jessie’s husband sends a bottle of champagne to your table during your girls night out and picks you up a 4-pack of sours on his beer run because it has your name in it??? Not this thirsty bitch! Ha.
Celebrated Chel’s birthday with the girls (@ Pop Pie Co.)
After Pammie shared her big news that she bought a new house over the weekend, Shi revealed that her only update was that she got a tooth extracted and was going through a mortgage refi—that’s two more things than I got going on! Ha.
A year ago, I would have never thought that eating at a restaurant and spending time with friends would be such a rarity. This is the first time I’ve hung out with the bestie or been back at Grand Ole BBQ since my birthday weekend last year. It was nice to feel a sense of normalcy again, but when I saw that drunk girl dancing offbeat at the bar with no mask on, I took that as my cue to leave!
Back in the day when we were allowed to dine inside restaurants, I had an amazing meal at Jon and Vinny’s. I loved everything we ordered, from the marinara braised meatballs to the LA woman pizza, but the real star of the show was their spicy fusilli alla vodka (what’s not to love about carbs and alcohol?). I’ve been dreaming about it ever since, so when I came across Jon and Vinny’s recipe on Bon Appétit, I knew I had to make it for dinner.
This dish was surprisingly simple to make. I mean, did I have to ask the guy at Trader Joe’s what a shallot was? Yes. And did I see my life flash before my eyes for a split second when I flambéd that vodka? Also yes. But it turned out just as delicious as I remembered it being. And what was already an amazing dish was made even better by the fact that I didn’t have to schlep over to Fairfax in LA traffic or make a reservation a month in advance to eat it!
I made these cupcakes once when I was dating my bestie’s brother, and their grandpa couldn’t get enough of them. I haven’t seen him in years, but his family would always tell me he still asks about the ‘cupcake girl’ even though my ex is married to someone else now. Sorry, Quinn LOL.
Sadly, their grandpa passed away this week, so I made his favorite cupcakes for my best friend and her family in memory of him.
I had a lot of random jobs in my twenties, and for a brief window in 2004, I was a barista at Starbucks. It was a second job I picked up during the holidays for extra cash, and not one I stayed at very long. That was probably the last time I made my own coffee, and definitely the last time I woke up at four in the morning on purpose! Ha.
I mostly caffeinate with canned cold brew these days, but sometimes I’ll indulge in my most favorite iced coffee ever—Blue Bottle New Orleans. At $4 a pop, it’s not something I have on my everyday shopping list (a girl’s gotta pay her rent, after all). But they sell their cold brew kit online and are offering free shipping right now, so I thought why the hell not? What else do I have going on six weeks deep into this quarantine???
This homemade cold brew turned out way better than any coffee I ever made at Starbucks, and I didn’t even have to wake up before the sun to enjoy it. Win-win.
On my flight to Seattle, the flight attendant was walking down the aisle greeting everyone happy valentine’s day when he stopped in front of me and asked, “Are you traveling alone?” I said that I was, and he was like, “Can you switch seats so that this couple can sit together?” I meannn.
This museum was across the street from our hotel and so worth the visit! I’ve always admired Chihuli’s sculptures in Vegas, but his featured work here is incredible. The way he transforms glass is pure poetry.
We stood in a long ass line that wrapped around the building for this chowder… or shall I say Pammie stood in a long ass line while I was off buying crab claw pens at a souvenir shop (@ Pike Place Chowder)
I actually forgot that I had eaten here during my first trip to Seattle… We only tried the New England style chowder, and I didn’t think it was anything to write home about. If you’ve had the chowder from Boudin’s or Blue Bayou or even the cafe downstairs at my work on Fridays, you aren’t missing much.
Earlier this week, my coworker Ben walked in on me eating a pb&j uncrustable in my office (yes, I bought the multipack in the ‘kids meals’ aisle at Target, and yes, I have no kids). He told me that he makes pb & honey ones for his daughter who hates jelly, and I said I’ve never had that combo before. This morning, he made an extra sandwich for me when he packed his kid’s lunch! He even cut the crust off lol!
(I’ve also never had wagyu beef, white albino caviar, or fourchu lobster if anyone reading this wants to bring me something, too.)
I missed pre-BBQ beers at Alpine because of stupid LA traffic, but I made it before they sold out of ribs this time! Can all my friends celebrate their birthdays here??? I would get on the 405 during rush hour for BBQ you.