Category Archives: Travel

Abri Tonkatsu Sandwich- Paris

Abri’s Tonkatsu sandwich is a satisfying, comforting weekend lunch option for those seeking a Japanese style, Tonkatsu (Pork Cutlet) sandwich with a slight French touch. For only 13 Euros, Abri serves this sandwich exclusively and this sandwich only on Saturdays during lunchtime with a choice of beverage and their complimentary petite dessert at the end. They have a nice selection of organic beverages including a sparkling lemonade which I ordered and very much enjoyed. The vibe is casual, friendly and comfortable for English speakers and Abri is also conveniently located extremely close to the Poisonnière Metro station. Just take exit 1, turn right up the stairs, walk up the street and it’s a minute away on the right side. When you see the blue framed glass entrance, you’ll know you’ve arrived.

Abri’s exterior with its bright blue framed entrance

I’m about to devour this sandwich. And although I’m in France, still not going to use a knife and fork for this one since it’s way more satisfying to taste all the flavors merged together in one big bite.

Perfectly toasted white bread sans crust filled with a meaty portion of pork katsu with cheese, kewpie mayo, mustard, omelette egg and cabbage.

Don’t you just love the way the sauce drips down the sandwich…

A light and spongy piece of Madeleine is served after the sandwich 

Abri’s Interior Space

Poissonière Metro station is only a minute walk away

ABRI 

92 Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière
75010 Paris, France
+33 1 83 97 00 00

*SANDWICH SERVED ONLY ON SATURDAYS FROM 12:00P.M.- 15:00 P.M.

 

Jacques Genin -Paris, France

Paris is full of lovely pastry and dessert shops, but if you’re looking for a sophisticatedly-designed place to relax and unwind with a friend while satisfying your sweet cravings, Jacques Genin is a nice choice. The photos in this post are from his location in the 3rd arrondissement on Rue de Turenne in the Bastille district, but there is also another location on Rue de Varenne in the 7th.

We ordered the Mille-feuille and the Flan. You’ll notice that the flan is different than the ones we think of in other parts of the world including the U.S. where it’s more of a Crème caramel. The French flan is more of a dense custard tart and it’s delicious. The fresh flowers are also a nice touch!

Chocolate at Jacques Genin. You can purchase them individually or choose various flavors for a signature gift box.

A rainbow of Pâtes de fruits

He is also very well known for his Caramels which come in a variety of flavors including raspberry and mango passionfruit.

JACQUES GENIN

jacquesgenin,fr

133 rue de turenne – paris 3ème +33 (0)1 45 77 29 01

27 rue de varenne – paris 7ème +33 (0)1 53 71 72 21

 

Ricky’s Fish Tacos – Los Angeles 

Whenever I’m in Los Angeles, a visit to Ricky’s Fish Tacos for some Baja style fish and shrimp tacos is a must. I first discovered Ricky’s back in 2009 before he even had his food truck. He used to set up shop in a humble parking lot in the Silverlake area and there’d be a guaranteed line every visit.

There’s limited seating on the colorful, plastic furniture, but on warm days, which L.A. certainly is blessed to have a lot of, you can bring a towel or blanket and have an Ensenada style picnic on the neighboring grass.

I always order two Ricky’s Specials which have a combination of fish and shrimp. Don’t forget to add Ricky’s special salsas and crema to your tacos for that extra flavor and kick.

Not only are his tacos mouthwatering delicious, but they are also a great bargain. He also has fresh aqua frescas available and on my last visit, I tried the sweet and tangy hibiscus flavor.

RICKYS FISH TACOS 

3201 Riverside Dr. L.A.90027

Hours: 11am-4pm Wednesday- Sunday

For updates on hours and whereabouts, follow Ricky on Twitter @RickysFishTacos

Healthy Eating in San Francisco

Food Fashionista Healthy Eating San Francisco

There once was a time when going out and eating healthy meant having to succumb to a feeling of depriving oneself. You either had to skip the good eats on the menu and order that bland and boring salad or had to visit that dated restaurant with the 60’s decor that none of your friends wanted to join you at. Fortunately, this is no longer the reality. With more and more people opting for wellness in their dining choices whether it’s for personal or health reasons, there’s a strong demand for clean-eating out options. You no longer have to be THAT person asking the restaurant to alter to your vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free eating habits. Although not all of these restaurants are strictly plant-based or vegetarian, you’ll find something at several or more of the following to cater to your stricter-dining preferences.

Healthy Eating San Francisco

Greens Restaurant

One of the pioneers of vegetarian and local, organic cuisine in San Francisco, Greens has been around since the first Star Trek motion picture came out – 1979. Located in Fort Mason right along the breezy marina, the dining room offers zen waterfront views while guests can enjoy conversation and a nice selection of first and main-course items reflecting the changing California seasons. Sample entrees include the Mesquite Grilled Brochettes with vegetables and tofu in muhammara sauce or a linguine with Chantrelle mushrooms and slow roasted Juliette tomatoes. For those without time for a full sit-down meal, there is a Greens to Go in the same location where you can order soup, sandwiches, coffee and pastries to take with you.

Visit Greens at: greensrestaurant.com

Nourish Vegan San Francisco

Nourish

The Inner Richmond used to be a place where one would mainly only find tons of MSG and cheap ethnic eats. In the last couple years, the neighborhood, just like the rest of the city has evolved and with those changes has come a welcome addition of new and diverse businesses and dining offerings. Nourish is a tiny cafe in the avenues with an all plant-based menu. Their toast sampler with housemade gluten-free bread is a welcome way to start the day with its choice of ten various toppings. The avocado is a favorite along with the sweet almond milk ricotta with fruit. Nourish is also conveniently located right across the street from a Yoga Tree studio, so it’s a good pre-or post fuel station to enjoy a plant-based bite and drink before or after an hour-plus of downward dogs and planks.

Visit Nourish Cafe at: nourishcafesf.com

Gracias Madre San Francisco

Gracias Madre

It doesn’t matter if you’re a vegetarian or carnivore. Gracias Madre will induce cravings that keep you coming back for more. Organic, vegan Mexican cuisine complemented by a full-service beverage program with an extensive mezcal and tequila list is why you’ll find crowds here every day and night of the week. Start off with the Guacamole and warm house-made tortillas and move on to one of their many flavorful entree choices. Their Uno and Dos bowls are a filling choice and will go well with that extra batch of tortillas that you’ll want to order. If you have a sweet tooth, you won’t want to skip dessert. Their seasonal cobblers are decadently satisfying and are accompanied with a scoop of vanilla bean coconut milk ice cream.

Visit Gracias Madre at: gracias-madre.com

Healthy Eats San Francisco

Little Gem

If I lived in Hayes Valley, I’d probably be here at least five days a week. Opened by TKRG (Thomas Keller Restaurant Group) alums, the restaurant is sleek and modern, yet comfortable. Everything they serve is free of dairy, gluten, and refined-sugar. Chef Dave Cruz has the innate skill of creating comforting dishes that are both aesthetically pleasing while feeding the soul. The Hen of the Woods Mushrooms on Beans & Rice is a dish that you’d like to cozy up with a big warm blanket near a wood-burning fireplace. With all the dishes at Little Gem, you’ll consistently find fresh, seasonal ingredients and farm-raised produce. And although high quality, Little Gem offers a welcoming and affordable menu.

Visit Little Gem at: littlegem.restaurant

Urban Remedy Vegan San Francisco

Urban Remedy

With several locations around the Bay Area and growing, UR has built quite a following for their fresh, cold-pressed juice cleanses and grab and go organic food and snacks which are all certified non-GMO, gluten free, and low glycemic. While most people opt to just grab and go, UR offers a few tables inside to enjoy a healing meal solo or with a friend. The macro bowl with quinoa and roasted cumin sweet potatoes is a fan favorite, and their PB & J meal-in-a-cup with raspberries, almond butter, almond milk, stevia, brown rice protein, coconut sugar, and chia seeds is a quick and easy post-workout boost. The Sour Cream and Chive Kale Chips and the Banana Brittle are so addicting that you’ll second guess if they’re really good for you. Don’t worry, they are.

Visit Urban Remedy at: urbanremedy.com

As Quoted San Francisco

As Quoted

This bright white and minimalist-chic cafe in Presidio Heights offers salads, open-faced sandwiches, pastries, soups, and a multitude of beverage options for those non-seekers of gluten, dairy, nut and soy. Their taco salad is a mound of protein power with jicama, black beans, chicken, romaine lettuce and cumin dressing. Their bone broth by the cup is perfect for those chilly San Francisco days (which are almost every day of the year). As Quoted has become the spot for the stylish neighborhood mom set to meet, eat and catch up. Bring a book and find a seat at the communal tables in the back to enjoy an afternoon latte including their Fresh Turmeric one with fresh ginger, coconut oil, almond milk, sea salt and coconut sugar.

Visit As Quoted at: eatasquoted.com

 

This article, Enjoy Healthy Eating at These San Francisco Spots, originally appeared on Chowhound.

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.

Maguro Brothers Hawaii – Poke and Sashimi in Honolulu’s Chinatown

honolulu chinatown maguro brothers food fashionista

The first time I spotted a photo from Maguro Brothers on my Instagram scroll, I knew I had to visit. So fast forward a month later when I was on Oahu visiting family, I quickly put the address in Google maps and headed there for a late lunch. They close at 3:00 p.m. and it was already 2:15 p.m. by the time I was heading over, so was already off to a bit of a late start. As the GPS boldly announced that I arrived at my destination, I parked the car in Honolulu’s Chinatown, stepped out of the car, and then looked all around. I couldn’t find it. Where was it? It was now approaching 2:40 p.m. and I started to slightly panic. I set my mind and appetite on that unfiltered tempting poke visual for lunch and now there was a chance I was not even going to find this place. Ugh, a literal hidden gem, I thought.

mika-takeuchi-food-fashionista-maguro-brothers

Finally after pulling up a set of detailed directions on the web, I found myself in front of the Kekaulike Marketplace – Maguro Brother’s stand is located inside towards the center, back.

maguro brothers - food fashionista travel blog

As I entered, I let out a huge sigh of relief as I saw a clear ocean blue Maguro Brothers sign and approached a counter with giant slabs of fresh ahi tuna and hamachi (yellowtail) in a refrigerated glass case. There were also several made-to-order types of poke varieties listed on the menu to choose from. Now my only problem was going to be deciding what to order. It all looked and sounded inviting. I wanted to order everything.

maguro-brothers-food-fashionista

Mauro Brothers Junichiro and Ryojiro Tsuchiya

Brothers Junichiro and Ryojiro Tsuchiya originally from Kawasaki, Japan were both behind the counter running their team operation with one taking customer’s orders while the other was preparing the plates. In the tight, adjoining space were several small wooden tables for guests to sit down and enjoy their lunch. And although a modest environment, what came out of the kitchen is far from ordinary. Vibrant sashimi and poke on beds of rice, and cooked items such as grilled ahi belly and togarashi peppered ahi steak graced the tables. Customers looked happy and were digging gleefully into their lunches.

maguro brothers hawaii fresh poke sashimi oahu food fashionista

If you want to truly taste the beauty of what comes out of the local Hawaiian waters, first go for the raw and if you have more room, order the hot dishes. Just don’t take the chance like I did and go near closing time. It’s a hidden gem you surely won’t want to miss and as Honolulu’s Chinatown becomes more and more popular and gentrified, parking is a bit tougher and you want to arrive there early to grab some of the daily specials. On a recent follow-up visit, I added the fresh-caught uni (sea urchin) to my plate and natto (fermented soy beans) as well. The prices at Maguro Brothers are extremely affordable with the high-quality poke, donburi, and cooked items all priced below $11 before add ons. See chalkboard menu below and enjoy! Oh, and please say Aloha to a glorious Hawaiian sunset for me.

maguro-brothers-food-fashionista-2

This article, Maguro Brothers – Poke and Sashimi Lunch in Honolulu, Hawaii, originally appeared on Chowhound.

Maguro Brothers Hawaii

Address: 1039 Kekaulike Street at Kekaulike Market (stall #113) Chinatown, Honolulu, Hawaii

Phone: 808-259-6901

Hours: 

Monday – Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Carrying the Light at Waikiki Beach – Oahu, Hawaii

travel influencer blogger food fashionista mika takeuchi

On this Throwback Thursday, I’m thinking of this quote from Shakti Gawain: “The more light you allow within you, the brighter the world you live in will be.” It’s true. You can’t have a bright life with dark thoughts or outlook. There will always be negative voices even within yourself telling you a dream is impossible, but that’s when you have to dig deep and find the shining light within. We all have it and the more you feed it, the brighter and stronger it will be. But the same also goes for negativity so don’t feed into that. You are more powerful than you even realize and just like the sun sets and rises every day, you have a new day ahead of you today to shine, spread and carry your light brightly. Namaste.

Photo taken August 2016 at Honolulu’s Waikiki Beach on Oahu, Hawaii.

Sanukiya – Japanese Food Cravings Fulfilled in Paris, France

Sanukiya, Paris France

All of us have our certain go-to comfort foods, so it’s no surprise that being originally from Tokyo, whenever I’m on the road or in a different country, I found myself craving Japanese food. I grew up in California so I also often find myself longing for those generously-sized Mexican burritos, but that’s yet to be found here…Thankfully in the world-class city of Paris, there are a multitude of international options if you find yourself in the mood for something other than “typical” French cuisine. One of my favorite Japanese spots for a quick and tasty casual bite is Sanukiya. There are often long queues, so it’s a fantastic spot for travelers who are dining solo, since just like many of the other Japanese restaurants in Paris’ nearby Little Tokyo, there is counter seating and a lone diner can often beat the lines and quickly slip right on in for their meal. Another bonus about Sanukiya, is that they are open straight through lunch and dinner so if you have jet lag or just feel like dining at 15:30 or 3:30 p.m. non-military time, they will be open.

Sanukiya, Paris France

Started off with some Agedashi Tofu

Sanukiya Paris France

After being in France for a while, I can’t even tell you how happy I was to reunite with my beloved katsudon (deep fried pork cutlet with egg over a bowl of steamed rice)

Sanukiya Paris France Food Blog

Japanese Omelette

Udon in Paris France at Sanukiya

Udon noodles are one of their specialities

Sanukiya Restaurant Paris France

View of the Open Kitchen

Tempura Donburi in Paris France Sanukiya

Bowl of Tendon (Tempura over rice)

Sanukiya Japanese Food Paris France

This article, Sanukiya – Japanese Cuisine in Paris, originally appeared on Chowhound.

Sanukiya

Address: Rue d’Argenteuil, 75001 Paris, France

Hours: · 11:30AM–10PM

Phone: +33 1 42 60 52 61

Frenchie To Go – Paris, France

Frenchie To Go Paris, France

Frenchie To Go is located on rue du Nil – the same charming, cobblestoned block as Frenchie restaurant and the same group’s wine bar. The original Frenchie can be a tough reservation if you don’t plan well ahead, so it’s nice that you can experience the team’s vibe and energy at this drop in, casual, takeaway spot in the 2nd arrondissement.

Frenchie To Go, Paris France - Food Fashionista

Lobster Roll (Pain brioché toasté, homard bleu, beurre blanc nantais, céleri) and Hot Dog (Bun a hot dog de Gontran Cherrier, saucisse maison 100% bœuf shorthorn fumée, choucroute maison, sauce savora)

Frenchie To Go, Paris France - Food Fashionista

Watermelon and burrata salad (this was a seasonal special)

Frenchie To Go Pickle - Paris France

A big ol’ sour pickle

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Order at the counter and either takeout, or dine in on one of the high wooden tables and bar stools.

Frenchie to Go - Food Fashionista

Frenchie To Go

Address: 9 Rue du Nil, 75002 Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 40 26 23 43

Nobu- Malibu, California

Nobu Malibu - Food Fashionista

Nobu Malibu is located on the picturesque Pacific Coast Highway and offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. On a warm Southern California day (which is quite often), it’s ideal for a relaxing day of lounging on the patio with a table spread of chef Nobu’s signature drinks and dishes. They also offer breakfast on Friday through Sunday.

Nobu Malibu - Food Fashionista

Glasses of Louis Roederer, Brut Champagne

Nobu Malibu - Food Fashionista new style sashimi

Nobu’s famous New Style Sashimi. See the recipe and make at home here: http://bit.ly/1O3Ojo9

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Lobster Shiitake Salad with Spicy Lemon Dressing – a must-order dish.

Nobu Malibu - Food Fashionista Mika Takeuchi

Being fed lobster isn’t a bad way to spend an afternoon. Just remember to bring sun glasses and wear sunblock if you plan on sitting on the patio. Although breezy, it can get toasty out there.

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Ocean view from the patio

 

Nobu Malibu

Address: 22706 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
Phone: (310) 317-9140