Category Archives: Fashion & Style

Manolo Valdés at Place Vendôme – Paris, France 

You never know what you’ll stumble upon while strolling through the majestic streets of Paris, so it was a delight to turn a corner and run across these huge, magnificent sculptures by Spanish artist Manolo Valdés.

It was a very hot day in Paris approaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit and I was tempted to take shade under the large aluminum hat.

The recently re-opened Ritz Paris sits in the background. And just to note, even when there’s no artwork in this historic square in the 1st arrondisement, the Place Vendôme is awe-inspiring so these stunning works by Valdés were an added bonus. 

This public exhibition of Manolo Valdés’ sculptures lasts from September 8 through October 10, 2016.

Kendra Scott Jewelry Comes to Northern California


I was just off a flight from Paris and needed to fight the jet lag, so headed down south (from San Francisco) to sunny San Jose’s Santana Row. Kendra Scott fashion jewelry was touring California with their airstream, and dropped by for a one day show. I wasn’t familiar with Kendra Scott previously, so was excited to check out their accessories and learn more about them. I was especially intrigued by their Color Bar in which you could design your own jewelry. You just pick out the stone and accessory style of choice, and voila, they make it right there for you. It’s a fun and quick way to create a unique, personalized piece that’s all your own. And, it’s very affordable with most price points in the $50-$75 range. I’m big on the power and energy of crystals and natural stones so was pleased to see some of my favorites including pyrite and rose quartz in the mix.

kendra scott - santana row

Just put on a tee and pair of denim and throw on one of these Kendra Scott necklaces and you’re good to go…

Mika Takeuchi - Food Fashionista Santana Row Kendra Scott

Nothing beats jet lag like a good dose of sun rays with that vitamin D and some exercise to get the blood pumping. Just remember to wear your daily sunscreen.

Santana Row Kendra Scott Village California Bistro

One also needs fuel to shop, so I grabbed a tasty lunch at Village Bistro – which is located smack dab in the center of Santana Row with its breezy courtyard seating. This is their Tomato Bruschetta with fresh mozzarella pearls, Franchessi bread, basil pesto, baby heirloom tomatoes and balsamic reduction.


This Phyllo Baked Brie isn’t the most photogenic, but was seriously satisfying with its mix of sweet and savory with caramelized apples and toasted almonds. I could not stop eating it.


Although the Kendra Scott airstream was a one-day visit, they will be opening a permanent store in Santana Row this year. They also have plans to open up in Walnut Creek and eventually in San Francisco.


Thank you, Santana Row for helping fight the jet lag. You definitely succeeded. I’ll see you again soon.

Visit Kendra to see all their fab jewelry styles


Eat and Drink Charitably this Holiday Season

Mika Takeuchi, Food Fashionista GEV Magazine Cover

Thank you to GEV Magazine for featuring Liam Mayclem (CBS), Leslie Sbrocco (Check Please! Bay Area), Joel Riddell (Dining Around), Marybeth LaMotte (Red Carpet Bay Area), and I in this month’s holiday issue focusing on charitable giving. We all share a passion for dining, but we also believe in the importance of giving back to the community.


 Love the comfy, casual vibe and cashmere-blended fabric of Kit & Ace

The photoshoot took place in San Jose’s Santana Row and it was a festive time filled with lots of laughter, stylish threads, and the ultimate glam squad from Atelier Salon.  Photographer Vinnie Gotti did a fabulous job of making the day as comfortable and fun in front of the camera as well as off.

Mika Takeuchi Food Fashionista GEV Magazine

Ted Baker Dress and extra big hair…it’s all mine though! 


When you’re a child, it’s so exciting to see what presents Santa Claus is going to deliver down that chimney and if he’s going to indulge in those cookies you baked and left out for him. As you grow up and fast forward to life as an adult, the holidays have a whole different meaning and become much more about what you can give rather than what you will receive. The end of the year is a time when the weather is crisp, leaves are shedding and you naturally become more reflective. Like the changing seasons and foliage, I find myself looking back at life and the past year and seeing how much change and growth has occurred. The holidays are a reminder that another year is coming to a close and while we’re here, life is about giving, loving, sharing and having tons of gratitude for all the blessings surrounding us. Being grateful for the special people in our lives and all that we’ve been blessed with is so key. The holidays come so quickly every year, and in this day and age of cell phones, social media and the internet, everything happens so quickly, but it’s so essential to slow down and remember what’s truly important. The holidays are a reminder that giving isn’t an exclusive once a year, end of year kind of thing. It’s a necessary and contagious habit that we can easily incorporate into our lives all year round.

Read more about what the holidays mean to me and why I’m so passionate about giving back to the community in this issue of GEV Magazine.


Join us at Cuyana Conversations: Gastronomical Delights 5/21

Cuyana Fewer Better Gastronomy Panel

If you’re around this Thursday, I’ll be moderating a thoughtful, food-focused panel at the ultra-chic Cuyana showroom in San Francisco’s downtown Union Square. The name Cuyana means “to love” in Quechua and this gastronomy panel is one of the featured topics in the Fewer, Better Series. The panelists include an incredible group of food folks from the Bay Area. Hope to see you there!


Dom Perignon - Food FashionistaNext time you finish off a bottle of your favorite champagne, instead of throwing it out after consumption, use it as a jewelry holder for bracelets and bangles. It will clear the clutter from the top-of-your dresser and add a bit of nostalgia to relive those sparkling memories.


Jurlique To The Rescue for the Holidays and New Year – San Francisco

Jurlique Fillmore Street San FranciscoDid you know that Christmas is less than a week away? Yes, you heard me right. The 25th is here in six days, and 2013 will be here in just about two weeks. With the year end and the holidays fast approaching, I’m sure most of you can relate to the twelfth-month stress syndrome! During this time, we are trying to connect with friends and colleagues at holiday parties, while coordinating those last-minute travel and family-visiting plans. On top of all this, we’re still not done with holiday gift shopping, and we’re attempting to tie up all those loose ends to start the new year off fresh.

Jurlique-san francisco - fillmore
With all this going on, it’s no surprise that we aren’t looking quite as fabulous as we could be. With late nights come festive times, which translate to lack of sleep, and not-so attractive dark circles. We’re also probably not drinking as much water or getting as much sleep as we should be. I know I’m guilty of this. And like Madonna, my skin is screaming…”Rescue Me”.
Good news, is that there is a helpful solution. For those of you who live in or near San Francisco, you can visit the Jurlique Wellness Day Spa and store at 2136 Fillmore. Enjoy a spot of tea and lavender cookies, while browsing all the holiday gift sets, or enjoying a much-needed beauty treatment. Jurlique gift sets are a true token of love, and your gift recipient (and their skin) will thank you for it. In addition to a flexible price point for every shopper, the gifts come beautifully wrapped and make quite the luxurious statement.
Now that I’ve helped with those last-minute gift ideas and beautifying-treatment tips, you’ll have to figure out who’s giving you that much-needed ride to the airport. Sorry, can’t help you there.
Jurlique San Francisco - Holiday Gift Sets
Holiday Sets are specially priced from $39-$225 (Regularly $56-$473)
A top seller includes the Age Defying Set
Purely Age-Defying Essentials

What every woman wants… luminous, more youthful-looking skin. Treat your skin with high performance anti-aging plant botanicals and potent natural ingredients to help to smooth wrinkles, firm and strengthen skin to deliver you youthful, even toned and luminous skin.
• Specially Priced at $125.00 Valued at $180.
The Set Contents:
• Facial Serum, 30ml
• Ultra Firm and Lift Cream, 50ml
• Eye Cream, 15ml
Key Ingredients:
• Beech Tree Bud Extract is rich in peptides, helps to strengthen the structure of the skin creating a firmer, healthier looking complexion.
• Rock Samphire Extract is rich in mineral salts and essential vitamins, is known for its retinoid-like ability to help support skin thickness and  reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
2136 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 346-7881

Chevron Design Metallic Gel Nails – Mika’s Manis

If you're going to get gel nails, you might as well rock a design that you won't get tired of looking at after a few days. Since my salon doesn't often do the fancy nail designs; I brought in a photo, chose three different metallic colors including a frost white base, gunmetal center, and a sparkling gold tip. My manicurist topped it off with a black outline to highlight the chevrons. 

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illy Coffee + MonoArabica + Marcus Samuelsson Heat up SF Chefs 2012

Marcus Samuelsson Illy Cooking Demo SF Chefs - Food Fashionista

Thank God for illy coffee this past weekend. The crowds came out in full effect to Union Square for the fourth annual SF Chefs – San Francisco’s most anticipated culinary festival. It was non-stop action and the caffeine definitely came in handy. It’s hard to believe that it was already four years ago since then Mayor Gavin Newsom and Bay Area-local Tyler Florence were cutting the ribbon on opening night. Back in 2009, we didn’t know what would become of SF Chefs, but fast forward to 2012 and I’m happy to report that it has gotten better, even more delicious than ever.

illy’s Master Barista Giorgio Milos

SF Chefs is no longer just a celebration of local chefs, but a gathering of food and beverage industry talent from near and far. In fact, one of the first events to sell out this year was the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony hosted by Scandinavian-raised, New York-based Chef Marcus Samuelsson with Italian illy Master Barista Giorgio Milos. You can’t get more international, culture club than that. Samuelsson noted that Ethiopian coffee has recognizable citrus and floral notes, and it’s a must that you cook coffee beans at the correct temperature. If not, they will burn. Drinking coffee in Ethiopia is taken seriously, and it’s not just a quick 5-10 minute occurence which you often see here in the United States. In Ethiopia, Samuelsson says that it’s often an hour or more beginning with the process of washing raw, unwashed coffee beans and then roasting them on a fire.

Illy Coffee Ethiopian Ceremony - Espressamente Illy Cafe
Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony at Espressamente illy Cafe

At SF Chefs, Samuelsson also hosted an illy’s Explorigin event with San Francisco star chef Chris Consentino. They, along with a chef from the CIA prepared courses incorporating illy’s MonoArabica coffee with local ingredients and the result was absolutely divine. The morning crowd was wide awake and hootin’ and hollerin’ “Yes, Chef” and oohing and aahing while tasting the prepared dishes – which included Consentino’s Prather Ranch Veal tartare with coffee, mushrooms and dried blueberries, and Samuelsson’s coffee-cured duck breast with Matsumoto peaches.

Illy Coffee Tartare - Chris Consentino - SF Chefs - Food Fashionista
Consentino’s veal tartare with illy coffee, blueberries, mushrooms

Marcus Samuelsson's Illy Coffee Duck Breast - Food Fashionista

Samuelsson’s illy MonoArabica -cured duck breast

Throughout the weekend, the gracious, fashionable Samuelsson -the new illy MonoArabica Brand Ambassador was decked out in signature illy red either in button-up leather vests or high-top chucks (Converse). He credits his fashion-industry wife for assisting him with his outfits and it’s no surprise, he was named one of Vanity Fair Magazine’s Best Dressed. Despite the bright and colorful crimson clothing and accessories, Samuelsson’s generous spirit and infectious energy is what makes him a constant standout. In addition to being a James Beard Award-winning chef, and author of several cookbooks, with a recent memoir, Yes, Chef, he is also a philanthropist who finds it a priority to give back to the community.

Marcus Samuelsson - Illy Ambassador - SF Chefs - Food Fashionista
Decked out in YSL & Gap in San Francisco’s Union Square

The collaboration with illy seemed a natural fit, since both Marcus and the origins of coffee were born in Ethiopia. While interviewing Marcus, he noted that “Illy is committed to finding the best coffee beans in the world and their MonoArabica line is the best of Brazilian coffee, Guatemalan coffee, and Ethiopian coffee.” He was happy to see Ethiopian coffee finally “getting the recognition it deserves with a brand such as illy” and although he moved away from Ethiopia after he was adopted as a young child, he mentioned that he and his wife still go back every year with the various charities they work on.

Food Fashionista Interviewing Samuelsson – the new illy ambassador

During SF Chefs, the illy Lounge was the hot place to be. At any given moment, you’d find the industry’s most-notable talent getting their conversation and coffee fix on in the stylish illy Lounge. Spotted in the chic, contemporary gathering spot were industry folks such as Charles Phan, Consentino, Thomas McNaughton, Drew Nieporent, Dominique Crenn, Martin Yan, Tyler Florence, and the legendary Cecelia Chang.

Cecelia Chang - SF Chefs -Illy Lounge - Food Fashionista

Cecelia Chang – a woman who definitely lives happ(illy)

Tyler Florence Marcus Samuelsson - Illy Lounge - Food Fashionista

Tyler Florence chatting with Samuelsson in the illy Lounge

With illy-coffee desserts prepared by local patisseries and illy single-origin coffee being brewed all day long, how could you resist. I mean, when someone is offering you a Devil’s Chocolate Cake with illy-coffee frosting and a whimsically-decorated latte, are you going to say no. I don’t think so.


Devil’s Chocolate Cake with illy Coffee Frosting


Even if you didn’t make it to SF Chefs this year, you can still discover the excitement of illy’s new MonoArabica coffee which consists of three single origin beans from Ethiopia, Brazil, and Guatemala. They are each unique and come alive with distinct characteristics born of region-specific soil, altitude, rainfall, sun and cultivation profiles. The notable Aroma, taste and body vary from origin-to-origin, country-to-country, to create a wonderfully satisfying effect in the cup. As an appreciator of beautiful aesthetics and great taste, illy has been a brand that I’ve chosen to experience around the world and even in my own home. Their collaboration with contemporary artists have resulted in some gorgeous masterpiece coffee cups. With illy, it’s not just about drinking a cup of coffee, it’s the entire experience – from smell, taste, touch, sight, and sound.


If you are in San Francisco, you can sample the new MonoArabica coffee at:

espressamente illy

123 Battery Street
San Francisco (CA)


Learn more about the exciting world of illy HERE

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Food Fashionista’s Fondness for All Things French

Only after I glanced at day before yesterday's Instagram did I realize that everything I posted had a French theme. No surprise there. J'aime la France. Happy Bastille Day, my friends.

Food fashionista - grand cafe san francisco

Moules Frites (Mussels and Fries) with a baguette and a glass of Beaujolais at Grand Cafe. Although the Orpheum is in a sketchy neighborhood, Grand Cafe is a good spot to grab a quick, pre-theatre bite followed by a brisk 10-15 minute walk to the play to burn calories. *Note the French newspaper. 


Food fashionista mika takeuchi chanel shoes

Chanel my belle – canvas peep-toe pump

Les miserables 25th anniversary orpheum theatre

The 25th of Anniversary of Les Misérables is now showing at the Orpehum Theatre. I attended the Opening Night performance this week and fell in Les Mis love all over again. You can catch it now through August 26th. Dream the dream.

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