Category Archives: Fab Finds

Festive Finds at Nespresso Boutique and Sur La Table

‘Tis the season for an abundance of holiday entertaining, gift giving and much-needed energy, so why not start planning earlier than later to avoid those crazy crowds AND the stress of that last-minute holiday rush.


If you happen to be spending time in cities such as San Francisco, New York, or Beverly Hills, the Nespresso Cafe and Boutique is the ideal spot to grab a comfortable bite and coffee with a friend either before, mid, or after your shopping excursion. My friend Kathy and I met at the Nespresso Cafe in San Francisco’s Union Square and fueled up with a Grilled cheese, Mediterranean pita sandwich, a Mocha latte and a seasonal Honey Spiced Latte. If you’re trying to eat on the healthier side, but don’t want to skimp on taste, the Mediterranean sandwich is a winner with its soft pita stuffed with cucumbers, avocado, hummus and tzaziki. I had a bit of food envy and wished I had ordered that over my grilled cheese.

food fashionista - mika takeuchi - nespressoNespresso Cafe - San Francisco - Food Fashionista

Caffeine and Carbs at Nespresso Boutique, San Francisco

In addition to catching up, we plotted our necessary purchases for the upcoming holidays. After our meal, we zipped on over to Sur La Table and browsed through all the walls and aisles of offerings. There really is something for everyone on your gift list there. Make it a simple holiday on yourself and do some one-stop shopping. 

Here are some of the  Sur La Table festive finds that we found. Hopefully, they’ll make your holidays abundantly bright and cheery.

Nespresso Sur La Table Festive Finds Food Fashionista

Clockwise (L to R)

1. This Caviar Christmas tree ornament is just one of the many fabulous food-related ornaments you’ll find at Sur La Table. They even had macarons, ice cream sandwiches and a food truck.

2. Canning is already done with love, but make it even more so with these heartfelt labels.

3. These rose gold twisted spoons add a touch of chicness when you’re mixing those cocktails.

4. International cocktail napkins – très chic and also no added bundle for the washing machine.

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5. From knife skills to baking workshops, cooking classes are a fun and useful hands-on gift most everyone will appreciate.

6. A high-quality hand soap is a must – both in the kitchen and bathroom. Compagnie de Provence’s liquid soaps are hypoallergenic and the bottle can be either recycled or refilled after use.

7. Nespresso’s Aerrocino Plus is the most convenient at-home milk frother and steamer. I use mine every day for my lattes or a touch of milk for my English Breakfast tea.

8.This red and white candy cane apron is almost cute enough to go out in.

Nespresso Virtuo Line - Food Fashionista

Nespresso’s new VertuoLine offers a large single-serve coffee or espresso at home

For locations and hours, visit Sur La Table

For locations and hours, visit Nespresso 

The Fare Trade Guest Editor + Interview

Mika Takeuchi - Food Fashionista

What came first your love of food or passion for fashion?

My earliest memories always centered around food. Whether it was my mother preparing and surprising me with my favorite bento items for school-time lunch, or enjoying ikura at the sushi bar with my father, these moments always make me smile.


You grew up in Tokyo! How does their approach to food and fashion differ from that in the Bay Area?

I was born in Tokyo and have lived and spent a lot of time there, but I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Both places hold a very special place in my heart. In Japan, a focus on pristine ingredients and minimalist composition have always been an ingrained part of the culture and therefore is prominently evident in the food, presentation, design and so on. Throughout the years, it’s been fun and interesting to see the Japanese aesthetic and ingredients I have known so well since childhood, become new and adopted here in the U.S. As far as fashion, the biggest difference is that Tokyo is a fashion-forward city. San Francisco isn’t.


With Fall upon us, what ingredients are you excited to see back again?

I always look forward to the return of Kabocha in the late summer, early fall. Pumpkin, when prepared correctly can be highly enjoyable in both savory and sweet preparations.


What is the one clothing item appropriate for any restaurant?

Shoes are a must-have. Unless you’re smack dab right on the beach or you are Michael Franti, there’s just no excuse to be barefoot in a dining establishment.


How do the worlds of food and fashion intersect?

What to wear? What to eat? These are questions that we ask ourselves daily. Both food and fashion can express an individual’s unique sense of thought and style. Chefs create and showcase their own personal style in everything from how they plate their chosen ingredients to the selection of dish ware they use.


It’s Happy Hour. What’s your drink of choice?

Give me a nice, crisp, cool glass of Champagne or a Kir Royale and I’m happy.


Do you have a favorite local artisanal treat?

A spoonful of raw Marshall’s Farm Honey both by itself and in my cup of tea or coffee is how I start my day. I purchase the Bay Area blend weekly and believe it’s also assisted in toning down my local, seasonal allergies. We are pretty blessed here in the Bay Area with the multitude of artisanal choices.


If you could choose one of September’s featured ingredients to cook with, what would you choose and what would you make?

The Pure Oregon Flake Sea Salt would be the perfect pantry staple. A high-quality salt is an essential item in any kitchen. But, one should never over salt. That’s a salty sin.


What chef is always on your “Best Dressed” list? Which restaurant?

The last time they were in the U.S. from Copenhagen, Denmark, I had the pleasure of dining with the chefs from Geranium on several occasions. Executive Chef Rasmus Kofoed, Assistant Head Chef Will King-Smith and Will’s wife Sarah were always impeccably and stylishly outfitted.


What’s up next for you? Any exciting culinary travels or ventures to share?

I have several upcoming adventures planned, but coming up soon includes a visit to Oregon to explore the local dining scene and the Feast Portland food festival. I’m excited about that! I’ll also be in New York at the end of the month for the 2015 NYC Michelin Guide launch.



The Fare Trade connects at-home cooks and gastronomic aficionados with the America’s top up-and-coming chef talent and culinary artisans through curated baskets coupled with exclusive recipes and video tutorials. Their purveyors are chosen based on criteria including artisans with small-batch efforts that create their products by hand. The majority of their purveyors are not found outside of regional markets within their area and have limited distribution channels. 


Learn more about The Fare Trade at


I’m Aquarius by Metronomy – Mika’s Playlist

I’m a Capricorn but I’ve sang, hummed, jammed to Metronomy’s I’m Aquarius more in the last few months than to my own astrological sign. The beat is hypnotic, and Joseph Mount’s voice sinks into your soul when listening. It’s my recent go-to tune for blasting in the car while zipping around the city or playing on my iPhone when sweatin’ it on the bike after eating a pound of “crack and cheese” and a “vegan” doughnut (no, the vegan doesn’t make it healthier). But yup, I fell for that marketing trick earlier today…ate two in fact.

fillmore san francisco

The incredible wall of musical past at The Fillmore

Oh, and I recently experienced Metronomy live at the Fillmore. If you haven’t been, the venue is historic with the likes of Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd having performed there in the past. Next time you see a show at The Fillmore, arrive to the San Francisco neighborhood early and visit Fat Angel for some pre-show comfort food including the chicken pot pie or the gruyère, cheddar, parmigiano-reggiano, cayenne mac and cheese. Be sure to wash it down with one of their signature cocktails, bubbles, or their generous selection of beer. Shoop-doop-doop, ah…

fat angel san francisco

Dine at the bar under the sparkly chandelier at Fat Angel – just hope there’s not an earthquake

Learn more about Metronomy at

Learn more about Fat Angel at

Learn more about The Fillmore at

Nespresso Maestria Machine + Coffee Giveaway

Mika Nespresso USA

Ever since I became the official San Francisco blogger for Nespresso USA, everyone always asks what machine happens to be my absolute favorite. It’s a tough question since each of them are sleek, contemporary, high-tech, and efficient. They are all unique and each hold a special place in my caffeinated heart, but today it’s all about the mean, lean, and sexy Maestria machine.

I’m so excited to announce that one of you lucky Nespresso fans will soon be the winner of a black standard Maestria machine. It retails for $549 and believe me folks, this is one fabulous coffee machine. This Nespresso model will bring an expert, professional, barista experience right into your home. I predict that once your friends and family know that you have this new addition to the household, you’ll be getting a lot more guests coming over. I’m no fortune teller, but that same scenario kind of happened to me.

Nespress Barista - Food Fashionista
 The luxurious Maestria machine includes a hands on, elegant, retro design, featuring high-quality materials and a full aluminum body. Versatility, capacity and expertise will allow you to prepare milk froth like a true barista with a new and improved steam pipe. You’ll be doing your own impressive coffee art in no time!

Nespresso Americas Cup Machine


And although we now know who won the 34th America’s Cup, everyone in San Francisco and many around the world are still buzzing about the thrilling twists and turns that occured with this world-class sailing event. Nespresso was the official coffee for the America’s Cup races and has been a dedicated supporter of this international sport of sailing for nearly a decade. They also sponsored Emirates Team New Zealand who fought an incredible race, but in the end it was Oracle Team USA who defended the cup here at home in the U.S.

Nespresso - Food Fashionista-

americas cup - nespresso

To celebrate America’s Cup, Nespresso even created a Limited Edition America’s Cup version of the black Maestria. The Limited Edition America’s Cup Maestria machine is embellished with the America’s Cup logo and International Maritime Signal Flags. It’s truly a collector’s item and a dreamy gift for the coffee lover and sailing fan. The giveaway is for the standard black Maestria machine, but the Limited Editon America’s Cup Maestria machine is truly a functional conversation piece and it’s available for a limited time at Nespresso Flagship Boutiques (New York, Miami, Boston, and San Francisco), Nespresso Boutique-in-Shop locations, through the Nespresso site.  

Nespress Grand Crus - Food Fashionista

Okay, now to the juicy contest details. To enter to win the standard black Nespresso Maestria machine with a set of Nespresso coffee capsules, leave a comment below expressing why you would love this black beauty in your life. Also, make sure to follow Food Fashionista on Twitter or Facebook or both. 

Winner will be chosen at random. Good luck, everyone!

Comments must be received by 11:59 pm PST on November 4, 2013, winner will be notified by November 6, 2013.

The machine is the exact same one (in black) as the one Penelope Cruz is daydreaming about below, but for a full description of the machine that may soon be yours, visit Nespresso USA.

 penelope cruz - nespresso - food fashionista