Weekend Getaway To Ojai!

Ojai Wine Festival

The past weekend, I went on a lil vacation to the Ojai Wine Festival. We had such an amazing time trying all different kinds of wine, eating finger foods and soaking up the sun. The location for the festival is in this remote area of Ojai filled with mountains and greens - it truly felt like I was far away from LA, even though it was just 2 hours away + I'm looking forward to going back next year! 

Ojai Wine Festival

There was wine (TONS) kombucha on tap (which i went to over and over again!), poke tostadas and even shops like garlic graters (see above. ) 

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casa ojai inn

We stayed at a cute and quaint little bed n breakfast called Casa Ojai Inn, just seconds from the happening part of Ojai. After the festival, we took a short nap (lots of wine + sun just does that to a person haha) and then afterwards went to the Ojai Beverage Company (just 5 mins from the hotel) for dinner where we got fried artichokes with a ghost pepper aoili that were to die for! I am so looking forward to recreating it at home.

Then we spent the night at Casa Ojai Inn, picked up a little breakfast, and we were on our way home. Excited to come back to Ojai and explore more of the food, culture and coming back to the Ojai Wine Festival next year!

My Love for the Los Angeles Restaurant Scene

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Everyone always asks me “how did you start all this?, how did you start cooking, taking pictures at restaurants and how often do you actually go out to eat?”. It normally leads into the conversation about our favorite restaurants and what our favorites foods are, which always excites me and keeps my type of conversation going!

Growing up I always loved photography, I would try to set up shoots with my friends to take photos of their outfits and try to set time to shoot in different locations to expand my photography style and portfolio. Towards the end of high school, I started eating at more “fancy” (+ just overall more delicious) restaurants and started obsessing over anything cooking, restaurant or food related.

When I was in mid-college, I started to really be involved in the Los Angeles restaurant scene, I decided to open a restaurant blog and Instagram. I got so excited sharing food news and restaurants with friends and family, I thought I’d love to share with a community of foodies on Insta too. Where my friends would be spending money on concert tickets, clothes, amusement parks, you name it, I would save my money to go to a new LA restaurant or a highly acclaimed spot that I’ve been wanting to try.

Fast forward a couple years later, I’m still on the hunt and continue to spend my past time eating at restaurants in Los Angeles, but also when I go travel. My travels are now not fueled by activities in a city, but it’s fueled and scheduled by what we’re eating. Which is why I’m interested in the new Uber Visa Card, which earns you 4% back on dining* with no annual fees* and no foreign transaction fee* (something I wish I had when I was in Thailand this past March!) *p.s the 4% back on dining is for restaurants, takeouts, bars and Uber Eats (which I order a lot of, guilty! my top pick is mainland poke!).

Another good pro of the Uber Visa Card is that you can receive up to $600 for mobile phone damage or theft when you pay your mobile phone bill with your card* (also perf when I’m traveling!). Sometimes eating at restaurants and traveling can get a bit pricey which is why it’s so important to find a card that has high rewards.

Not only with restaurants and travel, but I’ve picked up a passion that realized I wasn’t doing as much, cooking. Now when I go to restaurants, it bring a new means of inspiration and helps motivate me in my cooking, recipe development and food styling. It helps me shape different ways I’d like to share news with the people that follow me and inspires me to keep trying new restaurants.

Do you have the new Uber Visa Card? What are your favorite rewards on it?

More info on the new Uber Visa Card can be found here. *Terms and Conditions Apply. *Offer subject to credit approval. This blog post is sponsored by @Uber.

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San Francisco Food & Travel Guide

Uji Time

It was my first time visiting San Francisco. I went for a lil mini vacation, but definitely stuffed in A LOT of attractions but mostly a lot of FOOD! Follow along as I show you where to eat, what to do and where to stay in SF! We swapped into two hotels, one being Argonaut Hotel that was right on Fisherman's Dwarf and the other one being more into the city and "downtown" ish vibes and area. We ate ice cream, thai food, prime rib, seafood.. dessert. you literally name it! Read along for more. 

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Rooster And Rice

The first thing we did when we landed - picked up some hainanese chicken from Rooster and Rice. Although a simple dish, this place did one of my favorite renditions of it. There are two locations so you can definitely stop by on your next trip! 

Blue Mermaid SF 

Located inside the Argonaut Hotel, Blue Mermaid is a seafood driven and focused concept right on Fisherman's Wharf. We went for a leisurely lunch right downstairs from our room. :) We got ahi tuna tacos (because I can never NOT order those on the menu!) Oysters, a seafood feast of cioppino with shrimp, mussels, crab + the works. 

4505 Meats

BBQ PLEASE! As if we weren't eating enough, we added on a BBQ place + OMG. I feel in love with this burger. It had a sesame and scallion bun and gruyere cheese on a grassfed patty. Go here + get that! 

The Argonaut Hotel

Step inside the The Argonaut Hotel! Oh my gosh, this hotel suite was something that I've just dreamed about. Take a look at this TUB! After walking, eating and being on the town all day, there was nothing I wanted to do more than to jump in the jacuzzi/tub and soak up. Not to mention, they had bath salts right on the side of the bathtub to place in. I am now so inspired to make sure I have this in my future house! hah!

I loved everything about this hotel, it was SO close to the water and was right on Fisherman's Wharf. 

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China Live SF

The Vibe at China Live SF was unlike anything I've seen in LA. It was an underground Chinese restaurant with all different booths of chefs making dim sum, to slicing the pecking duck. You can also shop a lot of the products you eat during dinner at their store next door, AH MAZING. Food, cocktails, vibe, 100. come to LA asap! 

The Mill SF 

It was almost time for us to say goodbye to SF, and we were honestly slowing down from how much food we had been eating. :o lol! So we decided to chill out at The Mill SF. We got coffee, iced hot chocolate and 2 toasts, both amazing. You can see them making their bread fresh when you're walking in the back. Not to mention cute AF vibes in here! 

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How could we not visit the Painted Ladies?! :) 

Wrap Up (also featuring a lot we went to not pictured)

Food/Desserts/Snacks:

  • Rooster and Rice
  • Salt and Straw
  • 4505 Meats (Get the BURGER!)
  • Boba Guys
  • Lililiho Yacht Club (make a reservation - we didn't and we actually STOOD and ate our whole dinner. was a very delicious dinner but a very interested one standing the whole meal! :o) lol
  • Blue Mermaid SF
  • Uji time
  • Codmother Fish and Chips
  • China live SF
  • The Mill SF
  • House of Prime Rib
  • Joe & The Juice
  • Ippudo USA Ramen 
  • Super Duper Burgers

Attractions/Tourist: (there is A LOT more touristy things, but I generally stuck to the foods) :p

Hotels:

The Annex Oxnard Food Tour

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I just found a new reason to travel to Oxnard: The Annex at The Collection Riverpark. The first thing comes to mind is that this is the perfect stopping place when you're headed to Santa Barbara, or just want to get away from LA for a day. The Annex is a newly opened food destination with tons of different food vendors ranging from all flavors and cuisines. Food is the center-point here, but there is also a jewelry shop and a soft goods shop with items like Balsamic Vinegar and Oils! Not to mention cute items for your household! Curious to see what's inside The Annex? We outlined our full Food Tour below. 

Oh PHO! Love Pho to start on The Annex food tour. We tried the regular beef pho and an amazing vermicelli beef bowl with peanuts, green onions and the works (this was SO good and filled with so much flavor!) It was a great start to a food-filled day. 

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Now head on over to Seoul Sausage and grab your favorite hot dog and tater tots. Don't forget to pair it with some Bottle & Pint beer, just right next door! There is tons of seating around The Annex so you can go ahead, order a few different things from different vendors and meet back to eat! 

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Next up! Let's first take a moment to note these stunning, bright, vivid and beautiful red plates and cups from Ragamuffin Coffee Roasters. They serve up some gluten free pastries and we even tried a vegan one :o I wanted to take it home for my sister (she is vegan) but I couldn't help but try myself. ;) Stop by here to grab your daily coffee (don't forget the latte art!) What pairs even better with a daily cortado?! A nice big rock and bracelet from the Sueño Jewelry Studio. You can choose from tons of different jewlery options at the store as well, so you can do some shopping while you eat! 

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The poke trend is still hot! But at Poke Ceviche, you can top yours off with something a bit special... Taki's! I remember when I was in high school, I would get these for lunch from our vending machine so it's super nostalgic for me. Yes, I didn't eat the most healthy lunch ;) They have other items on the menu in addition to poke, like these poke tacos! Nom! 

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You can't have a food hall without hand crafted sandwiches and burgers. Head to Scratch Sandwich Counter and get their take on sandwiches and burgers. Including their homemade ketchup, it has a subtle sweet flavor from the fresh tomatoes they use. (p.s you can also pick it up at Whole Foods!) 

The Annex is the best of ALL worlds! There is breakfast, dessert, tacos, sandwiches, poke, jewlery and just a sweet vibe all around. After eating your way through The Annex, head out to the other areas and shop around - outside of the Annex is a HUGE shopping center with all of my favorite shops, so you already know I walked around and shopped a bit... and also needed to walk off all this food I ate! Which vendor would you want to go try?! 

Seattle Food + Travel Guide

We went on a quick trip to Seattle for ABGT, which was a music/concert festival at the Gorge Amphitheater. We camped at the concert for 1 night and the remaining nights, we spent time exploring Seattle - well, mostly, eating through Seattle. ;) Read along for the full list of what we did! 

Dicks

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One of the first places we went was Dick's, pretty much Seattle's version of In n Out. It was honestly OK for me, but if you're looking for easy and crazy cheap fast food that is a Seattle classic, go here! 

GP Doughnuts

There are some of the cutest little coffee shops in Seattle! This was one of them - and they have doughnuts too! This was the first place we went to, the second we flew in. I got my coffee, a doughnut and we relaxed in the coffee shop until our hotel was ready. (then we totally napped bcuz our flight was at 5am) 

Maona Seattle

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Fried Chicken, nuff' said! We also got spam musubi and beer to start off one of our first nights on the town! I heard so many amazing reviews for this place - and it definitely lived up to the hype. If you just want a simple fried chicken dinner, here's your place. They also have other options like a fried chicken sandwich + more! It does get busy, so keep that in mind! 

Pikes Market Place

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A Seattle tourist STAPLE! Step inside Pike Place Market for all kinds of food vendors, flower markets and trinket shops. 

Snoqualmie Waterfalls

On our way to ABGT at the Gorge Amphitheater, we went to stop at this gorgeous waterfall, an hour away from central Seattle or so. There is an overlook that is stunning. We didn't stay for long though, as we had to get to our campsite at the Gorge - but I still got to soak in all the beauty and take a couple pics! 

Pike Place Chowder

We went to the crazy popular Pike Place Chowder inside of Pike Place Market. There was a LONG wait, and we even went right when it opened, but it was delicious! We tried their regular chowder, which was BY far the best I've ever had. + we got a crab and lobster roll. The sourdough bread they give alongside of the chowder was the perfect complement. I was tempted to stand in line again to try it once more before we left... it was THAT good. 

Moore Coffee Shop

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The coffee shops don't stop here - cozy weather, and cute, aestetic coffee shops are the way to go here in Seattle - I feel in love with this adorable cafe! There are a few locations in the area - and they create pretty matcha and coffee art ~ like this pac man and kitty! Ironically, they use the same brand of matcha powder I have at my own - so this was a nice gesture of familiarity. 

Bateau

Oh my god. Beateau was one of the top meals we had on our whole trip - hands down. Inside is gorgeous, service was awesome and the food... well. it was even better. Overall, the whole experience was amazing and definitely on the top of my list for Seattle. If you're ever there, be sure to get their off the menu burger. To me, it really resembled the Father's Office burger in LA, but dare I say, even better and more than that - hands down the best burger I've ever had to date. A MUST. This is a steakhouse - so keep in mind, there are the prices that come with it - but if you're willing and want to try an amazing burger and steak - this is YOUR place. 

Storyville Coffee

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We ended up back at Pike Place to check out Storyville. I think aesthetic wise, this was my favorite. There are MANY of these locations but the Pike Place one overlooks the water, which is a beautiful view! We got a coffee and hot chocolate (bae doesn't drink coffee). 

Elliott's Oyster House $1 Oysters 

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$1 oysters, I am IN! check out their happy hour on the weekdays from 3-5pm for $1 oysters and discounted bites and cocktails. It's right on the water so you're set on an awesome view. 

Shiro's Sushi

I really love trying new sushi - especially when I'm traveling. Different cities have different types of fish, seafood and overall taste and experience. So we went to Shiro's Sushi. It is definitely on the pricier side but good quality fish is always worth it imo. We got all my favorites - uni, fish egg, toro roll salmon + more. 

The London Plane

Another cute af place is The London Place - which is 1/2 marketplace 1/2 restaurant. It's all open inside so there is a lot of gorgeous light that shines through and the food is delicious! We tried the beet hummus, which was definitely one of the best I've had. 

Tourist Stuffs: We spent a sec doing some typical tourist things like the Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass.

where we stayed: a super cute smaller hotel called Hotel FIVE - A Staypineapple Hotel, which was walking distance to mostly everything we did - it was also a really cute and quaint hotel, not to mention super comfortable beds! If I'm ever back in Seattle, I'd probably want to stay here again. 

Have you been to any of the places I went to? Anywhere I should hit next? 

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Weekend at La Jolla (Food + Travel)

Had a quick little vacay to La Jolla the other weekend! I wanted to stay solely in La Jolla so this trip is not about San Diego itself. However, there is a lot to see in La Jolla and a lot left I need to see! I've been here a few times before but this time I stayed in a hotel that was central to everything, Empress Hotel La Jolla. Set right in the happening + bustling part of La Jolla, The Empress Hotel is walking distance to many fine attractions and not to mention steps away from the beach. ;) I found myself leaving my car put and had a nice and relaxing time walking around soaking up La Jolla. 

Empress Hotel La Jolla

Where did we eat first? Of course, Oscar's Mexican Seafood! 

I really love the quality and freshness of the fish in San Diego, it's definitely some of the best fish I've ever had. It's not even that far of a drive away from LA which makes me so happy! Whenever I go to La Jolla or San Diego, I HAVE to stop at Oscar's. We came here on our way before checking into the hotel, about 10-15 mins away! It is essentially a fish taco shop but has a lot of different types of varieties of meat and seafood. We got the traditional fish tacos, battered shrimp tacos and tried the steak taco this time. Definitely a classic to hit up! There is a few locations, in San Diego as well as La Jolla! 

Sushi Ota

Okay, now this place, this is my special place. Only a 10-15 minute drive from that bustling town of our hotel, The Empress, but worth one of the only drives we did over the course of the trip. This sushi is one of the best places I've ever been for sushi and not only that, it offers the quality at an extremely affordable price, in my opinion. It's not "cheap" prices, but for the average quality to price ratio, it is extremely reasonable and a MUST try when in La Jolla. and I mean MUST try. 

Sometimes I find myself wanting to just drive up for the day to go to this sushi place. My favorites are the ikura, uni and salmon belly. Their rolls are also delicious but I normally aim towards just the traditional sushi and get a roll or two. 

Puesto

Saturday came around and we were ready for some more tacos! Because, why not? We went to this super cute and trendy taco place and got lobster, steak and shrimp tacos. We also tried the chicharrones which were my personal favorite. Only have a 7 minute walk from our hotel. Although it's in such a happening part of La Jolla, it is still so calm and peaceful, even on a Saturday. 

The rest of the day we walked to the beach and watched the ocean. We walked back to the hotel and relaxed a bit before heading to dinner. 

The Hake 

It's dinner time! We got ready and again, WALKED to dinner! It's so refreshing, number one, staying in a hotel that is so close to everything and number two, walking around to where we need to go, which is very rare in LA. :) Wowee, The Hake sits atop a view that makes you feel like you're looking into eternity. The view is spectacular, but I'm happy to say the food is top notch as well. As well as cocktails and mixology.

What we got? Hamachi Crudo, Octopus, Shaved Asparagus Salad + Fish of the Day! 

Overall, I think this was a pretty successful 1-2 day trip and if you ever have a short trip like this, I'd be sure to hit these spots and check out Empress Hotel La Jolla. Anywhere else in La Jolla I should hit up on my next trip? Comment below! And keep up with my travels at #llindseytravels

Banyan Tree Bangkok

If you've been following me on Instagram lately, you've noticed I took an awesome trip to Thailand. It was such an amazing time - flew into Bangkok, went to Phuket, Chiang Mai and ended our trip back in Bangkok. When arriving back in Bangkok, I went straight to Banyan Tree Bangkok. Banyan Tree Bangkok is known for it's popular rooftop destination, where you can overlook the whole city. It's pretty spectacular. But alongside that, is also an amazing property, with gorgeous rooms and and overall great hotel experience. Follow along below for more pictures and what we ate! 

Be sure to take a look at my travel hashtag #llindseytravels to see more and stay tuned for a full Thailand Travel & Food Guide. Now let's get into it. :)

First thing's first: Breakfast! 

My room had a gorgeous view so how can I not order some breakfast? It was nice to get to relax at Banyan Tree and stay at the resort and take in the view. Throughout our trip, we were always on the go (in a good way! ;)) so it was nice to come to the property and take a break. One way to relax here is to take a bath, which is just dreamy isn't it! The bathtub had bath salts on the side of it and the room comes with daily essential oils and incense, something that Banyan Tree is very popular for as well, as for good reason. 

Bai Yun

Next up, we went to try their Dim Sum spot, also overlooking a beautiful view. I could not get enough of this view. :p We had a spread of their most popular dim sum dishes, including Steamed Jade Dumplings with Fresh Scallop and Shrimp (below) as well as Steamed Seaweed with Spicy Garlic Sauce and Minced Shrimp + much more! You can take a look at Bai Yun here. 

Afternoon Tea 

Depending on which levels you stay on of the hotel, the higher floors have a lot of amenities. One being Afternoon Tea, (as well as buffet breakfast). Took it all in with some Jasmine tea and some pastries before heading to dinner. 

Vertigo & Moon Bar 

Now onto what Banyan Tree is really popular for. People from all over the world are told they MUST go here to see this unbelievable 360 view of the city. If you are ever in Bangkok, this rooftop is a MUST, just look how gorgeous this is! There is dinner at Vertigo, too, where we tried a wine tasting menu of ahi poke, lamb, mushroom soup and more! Head to Moon Bar for drinks, you won't be sorry. Grab a couple drinks and soak it all in. 

Banyan Tree Bangkok

Banyan Tree

How to Fight Sunday Scaries: Brunch at The Omni Hotel DTLA

It's the weekend - you're looking for something to do, you're looking for things to eat, where do you go? This past weekend I went to the Grand Cafe in the Omni Hotel Downtown LA for their Hangover Brunch! If you're a local, stop by for their breakfast buffet (or have a 1 night staycation like I did!), if you're traveling, stay here for the night and stumble out of bed and indulge in shrimp, mussels, crab legs, prime rib, a dessert bar and wait for it... bottomless mimosas. Read on for the full details on my 1 night stay!

Started off with mimosas and went on with shrimp, prime rib + mashed potatoes and horseradish sauce (MY FAVORITE)! Had breakfast staples, such as fruit, eggs, the whole shebang. Ended with some desserts and macarons from their dessert bar. Don't miss out on the piled high bacon, fruit station and more... it is definitely brunch heaven! 

When I came into my room, there was this gorgeous display of California - depicting the LA drought. What really surprised me were those pebbles were real chocolates glazed to make it look like pebbles - mind blown, they were so good! 

After brunch, I went to the Broad Museum, which is right across the street and was also shown in the view from my room. In addition to the Broad, The Omni Hotel is also a block away from Grand Central Market, where you can get the famous Eggslut or my favorite ice cream ever: Mcconnell's. I'll be back. :) 

Sony Alpha

Cafe Gratitude, Hedley & Bennett and ending the day off at the EP & LP rooftop, follow along as I take a tour of LA testing out the new Sony Alpha A7ii!  

Cafe Gratitude

Love walls, juice - what more could you want? 

Hedley & Bennett

Next up - Hedley & Bennett with many different stations for photo opportunities. Rainbow walls, blow up floats, DIY stations. 

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Ending the day off with some dinner, alcocholic boba, a view and sunsets. 

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara

Welcome to paradise and enter the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara. Not only is it the most gorgeous property right on the beach, it's food is truly not to be missed either. The new executive chef is bringing bold and delicious flavor to this Four Seasons property and I'm looking forward to my next trip!

I started my visit at Bella Vista, their casual dining restaurant overlooking the beach. Then heading to Ty Lounge to check out the cocktail program. Finishing the night at Tydes, an absolutely beautiful view, gorgeous decor and even better food to complement that. Another fascinating item about Tydes is they have an aquarium bar where there is a glass bar filled with fish and other underwater animals, a unique cocktail experience for sure. Read below for photos and more information about my stay. 

Tydes Lounge: 

Bella Vista:

Bringing casual food to another level with flavors and beauty. Bella Vista is the perfect brunch or lunch spot to sit, induldge and relax while overlooking the beach view. Soak up the sun, or in my case rain, (when I went), and have this seafood pasta, along with the charcuterie board. The Four Seasons Resort The Bitlmore Santa Barbara is the only place in Santa Barbara that is actually allowed to cure their own charcuterie. Other highlights was the ahi tuna poke with a unique twist: pine nuts, that immediately elevated the flavors. 

Tydes: 

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Overlooking the sunset at dinner time, Tydes is the perfect finishing meal for your stay at the The Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara. The views are gorgeous but the food owns up to it. We did a course tasting and wine pairing with a level from appetizers, seafood to steak and dessert.

My highlights were the wagyu tenderloin, which melted in my mouth and didn't even need a knife for cutting. The opening appetizer was also a favorite, ricotta and beets two ways, pickled and roasted with house-made granola that gave it a nice crunch. The techniques, flavors and style was all there, especially with the scallop, another highlight. I am personally a lover of raw scallops on sushi or as a crudo, but until this night, I never found a cooked scallop I liked. The texture and flavor have always been off to me, too dry and wierd flavors, however, at Tydes, it sincerely blew me away. 

The Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara is hotel food I can definitely get behind, not to mention a beautiful property and an ocean view. Can you tell me anything better? 

Puerto Vallarta Food Travel Guide

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After a long blogging hiatus, A Life With Peace is back! Starting with a travel recap. Puerto Vallarta is known for it's stunning views and beaches, but what's not to be missed is the food here. There are amazing local spots as well as fine dining restaurants (yes! fine dining) that are a part of Puerto Vallarta. Continue reading for the full restaurant list to help guide your next trip to Puerto Vallarta.

George's 

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As we were sitting in the pool of our condo, a local that has retired to Puerto Vallarta for 21 years gave us this recommendation. He said to walk on the beach for about 20 minutes or so and you will see little shacks of hole in the wall restaurants, right on the beach. We were intrigued so the next morning we set on our *not so little* walk down the beach. We finally found this little seafood spot and the first thing we got were freshhh coconuts. We see them right next to us making the food in a small area with the beach right along the other side. The seafood is fresh and the knife cuts are similar to a trained michelin star chef. The pico de gallo is cut so thin and the produce is so fresh, I'm not sure if there's anything better.

We ordered langostino with diablo sauce, shrimp cocktail and octopus tostadas. The two places in Puerto Vallarta we had octopus, it was so tender. Normally, octopus is chewy, even if it is good quality octopus. But not here. Maybe because they catch it right then and there... But it's unlike any other octopus I've ever had. We took a cab back to our condo because we didn't want to walk back on the hot beach and it was a LONG ride back because we had to go around everything to get back. We went through a jungle-like view where we saw crocodiles and had a bumpy ride, but it was beautiful! Definitely a good locals spot to hit in Puerto Vallarta.

Cafe Des Artistes 

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Cafe Des Artistes is a fine dining restaurant not to be missed. They have a course tasting but you can also order a la carte, and the prices... and not as bad as Los Angeles or other expensive cities for the amount and quality of the food you would get here. The decor is modern and classy with gorgeous floral plates when you sit down. It's located in a cute little town in Puerta Vallarta giving it a really rustic feel.

Highlights were the octopus. Again, the octopus in Puerta Vallarta was just... melt in your mouth, easy to cut, easy to chew and delicious. All the other dishes were plating perfectly, and tasted even better. Items as simple as the traditional bread and cheese were elevated with spinach and seaweed compound butter on ice.

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Other dishes that I loved was the salmon tartare, which was plated beautifully with circle dollops of a type of guacamole mousse. I think I can eat this dish every day for the rest of the my life, because it was the perfect salmon tartare. It wasn't ground salmon where it's all mushy, it was cut pieces of really fresh salmon.

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Another spectacular part of this meal was the dessert. It comes on a full edible tray with macarons, sauces and then the a la carte dessert items. *Pro Tip: When making your reservation, say it's a special occasion to get the full dessert experience.

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*Guadalupe Sanchez 740, Col. Centro, 48300 Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico

Victors Place Tacuba Restaurant & Bar

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If you're looking for a traditional breakfast, go to Victors located in Marina Vallarta. It was so amazing to meet Victor and other business owners in the area and see how sweet and passionate they are about their food and restaurants. I loved the chilaquiles and huevos rancheros.

Hotel Mousai 

Hoping to get our sushi fix, we searched yelp for a good looking sushi place and we decided on Hiroshi, located inside Hotel Mousai which is sitting in the middle of nowhere, right on top of the beach in between a forest-like feel. It took us a while to get to the hotel from our condo but the views were worth the drive. When we got to the hotel, we needed to wait for the sushi restaurant so we went to the rooftop bar to grab a drink and some snacks. The view on the rooftop was one of the most stunning views I've ever seen. Luckily, it was just getting dark so I was able to see the view for a couple of minutes. The rooftop had an infinity pool overlooking the vast ocean (sorry, don't have a great picture). Will be back though!

We ordered watermelon cocktails which were awesome and a crudite and skewer platter. Although this hotel was made more for tourists and not locals, and the price reflected that, it was still delicious food and a gorgeous hotel. It was finally time for our sushi and we ordered sashimi, nigiri and aji kobe. I tried grasshoppers for the first time as well, which was... interesting and crunchy!

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<-Snapchat: llindseyl

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Turkish Market

Seals Food blog-Markets-berlin

By: Cecile Vadas (our new contributor based in Berlin! )

Food being primarily a necessary component of human functioning is also viewed as a shared or universal bond on a global scale. I’m going to take you on a culinary exploration of the Berlin food and beverage scene to share home cooking recipes and Berlin’s passion for food.

Kreuzberg – Turkish Markets

You cannot go past the Turkish markets, held along the canal every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, where local fruit, vegetables, cheese and meat are sold cheaply and extremely fresh. Although these markets may be just outside the centre of the city (Mitte), the attraction to them is growing due to the increasingly diverse population within Berlin and the quality of the produce (not to mention the perfect location).  Although the weather is rapidly cooling down, stalls also accommodate the large Turkish community as well as the international obsession – coffee. Warm up with a kaffee or heiße Schokolade (coffee or hot chocolate) for as little as 2 Euros. Feeling a little peckish? Go no further than these delicious Turkish fried passeles of spinach and fetta (called a gozleme) or mozzarella and tomato. My favorite is the gozleme – only 1.80 euros the flavors are distinct although still remaining light and fluffy.

This is only the beginning of the Berlin food culture. What’s next? Home made paprika cheese fries.

The Importance of Traveling

IMG_3051 Something about traveling is so liberating. I can be anyone I want to be. I feel so alive. I can understand why some call this an addiction.

I am a 20 year old girl from California, and I am studying abroad in the Netherlands for about 6 months, in a small city called Maastricht. Maastricht is located in the province of Limburg, the south of the Netherlands. Belgium and Germany border Maastricht, and so many places are close by. An hour flight got me to Dublin, Ireland, a four hour car ride got me to Paris, France, an eight hour bus ride got me to Prague, the Czech Republic - you can probably get the picture. It truly centers Europe and has became one of my favorite places on this planet. I chose to study here for this very reason - I knew that I wanted to travel and see the world. And meeting people from all over the world comes along with it. I have grown to have a deep infatuation with my life here.

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I learned a lot about Dutch culture while being here. I learned a phrase: "Doe maar gewoon, dan doe je al gek genoeg" which translates to "behave normally, that's strange enough." That's an interesting life expression to me. I don't know how much I agree with it, but I understand where this society is coming from.  This country is so special and beautiful, especially Maastricht. The Netherlands LOVES to celebrate life.  I love that. Life is so short, why not celebrate it to its fullest capacity? And be with people who maximize your happiness. I have learned to remove toxic people from my life because it is not worth it to keep them there. Why not be the happiest person you can be? I have learned so much more about myself on this journey, than I have in my lifetime. I have learned to channel my inner bliss and live my life for me. I needed to learn this.

Life makes sense sometimes. I needed to leave the U.S. to realize that.

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