An Afternoon at Arrowood

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend an amazing wine and food pairing in Sonoma. Hosted at the ever charming Arrowood Winery in Glen Ellen, myself and fellow Bay Area bloggers were whisked away for the day to wine country, and I can honestly say I am really truly grateful for the experience. I’ve heard raving reviews about the delicious food served at renowned restaurant, Girl & the Fig. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw that the event would be catered by their lead Chef.

I’d like to thank Kristina Werner, wine maker at Arrowood. She herself is quite the inspiration, who went from a BioChemistry and Agricultural Economics degree to pursue winemaking full time. Something I took away from listening to her that I’d like to share:

“Taste everything you can get your hands on.

Never stop learning and never get bored.”

I couldn’t agree more. Cheers to an amazing day that I don’t take for granted. My eyes and stomach are very full :)

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First Course: Roasted Carrots, Saffron Crema, Honeyed Almonds
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2nd: House Ground Polenta, Braised Oxtail, Cocoa Nibs, Squash, Sage Pesto
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Final: Black Pepper Ravioli, Triple Cream Mornay, Black Truffles

I have found a new appreciation for wine, what goes into making it, and how it really can transform a meal and your senses. If you’re in Sonoma one of these days, be sure to visit Kristina and the Arrowood staff and taste for yourself. I personally would go back in a snap.

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For those who are interested in Arrowood wine but can’t get to Sonoma anytime soon, I’m offering 15% off anything on their site using “ARROWOOD15” here. I had an amazing time and can’t wait to go back.

Overwhelming thanks to:

Arrowood Winery for the hospitality

Girl & The Fig for an incredible meal

Emily E Martin Communications for this amazing trip

Cheat Day (A food and fashion roundup)

If you follow me on Instagram, you’d see the influx of food posts as of late. @Twelfthknight and I are very much centered around eating together. Nothing crazy or pretentious, just good food. Whether it is noshing locally, eating our way through a new city (we loved eating thought Denver), or cooking at home, we love our eats. I should note that we will never be seen waiting for 2 hours + for overly priced and over hyped restaurants that is common here in SF…no sir, we have things to do.

Enjoy my month’s round up of a few of our favorite food posts as well as my new “Cheat Day” pullover that I find appropriate to wear on repeat…because let’s face it. Cheat day is technically every day.

Outfit photos taken by: Rachel Radcliffe

Food photos and point of view’s: Taken by me :D

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Fred’s Coffee Shop, Sausalito. We’d recommend their Millionaire’s Bacon and Lemon Ricotta pancakes.
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How cool are these shoes? BoohooUSA
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The Siren Canteen, Stinson Beach. We had a spontaneous day trip up the coast and this restaurant is such a gem!

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We made it in time for Taco Tuesday, their fish tacos and pale ciders are absolutely  delicious. Stuff that reminds me of SoCal and SD.

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On an off day, we went to the new SF Moma. 7 floors of art and we were hungry so on our way home we ate at the New England Lobster Market in Burlingame. Not pictured are the oysters!

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My favorite, Santouka Ramen located inside the Mitsuwa center. In Los Angeles, anytime I was on Sawtelle Blvd, I’d sit here and order a combo all under $12 and would satisfy any sort food craving. This was taken at the Santouka in San Jose.

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For our friend’s birthday, we came to Pacifica for seafood. Their favorite restaurant on the Penninsula side of the Bay, and I’d have to agree with them. Moonraker has the best view whilst eating some of the freshest seafood around!

 

What I wore:

Pullover: Missguided

Denim: Asos

Booties: Boohoo

Restaurant List:

Fred’s Coffee Shop

The Siren Canteen

New England Lobster Market

Santouka

Moonraker

 

Napa Getaway

Christmas came early for @Twelfthknight and I earlier this week when we took our little “Moobie” with us to Napa for an early Christmas/NY/2 year Anniversary trip :) It’s fun to go during offseason, you can beat all the traffic and the lines and eat and walk around as you please without the crowds. It was splendid, and we ate and ate like fiends.

Have a great week everyone, stay warm and be well.

~ Lauren

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Keeping warm in a knit by The Knot Sisters
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The famous doughnuts at The Boon Fly Cafe @Carneros Inn
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Vineyards at Castle di Amorosa
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No filter at Castle di Amorosa

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Crunching in a faux fur vest by 6 Shore Road

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Moobie meets his goat friend at Old Faithful Farms
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Baby goats :D
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Brownie the lama at Old Faithful Farms. Go visit her, she has the best eyelashes :D
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His and Hers
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Typical Bouchon Bakery fare, this is their gingerbread muffin
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A brisk walk around downtown Sonoma
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Keeping warm in a BB Dakota parka
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Bone Marrow appetizers at my Mom’s favorite French bistro: Bistro Jeanty, Yountville. Not pictured, their to die for tomato bisque baked under a puff pastry shell

Instagram: @shoes_and_sashimi

Aloha! Hawaii Part II

Happy Labor Day everyone, what are you doing for this long weekend? I’m missing being on vacation mode, but hopefully you can travel with me through these next batch of photos from our recent trip.  Between the waterfall hike to sipping drinks on the beach, splashing through the breathtaking views, and eating our fair share of musubi and shaved ice, I think it’s safe to say that we milked our short stay on the island to it’s max relaxing capacity. We hope to explore elsewhere too in the near future, so for those of you who have been to the other Hawaiian islands, what are your favorite places to eat, see, and stay?

As always, thanks for reading and enjoy your 3 day weekend!

Lauren

On Waikiki from our hotel :D
On Waikiki from our hotel :D
No filter, the ocean is this pretty.
No filter, the ocean is this pretty.

Built in 1952, we had to get our Leonards fix.

Leonards, known for their famous malasadas and pao doce.
Leonards, known for their famous malasadas and pao doce.
What's a malasada? It's basically a Portuguese custard filled donut.
What’s a malasada? It’s basically a Portuguese custard filled donut.
Waimea Falls, it's a nice 1 mile stroll through the botanical gardens to the waterfall. And when you reach the waterfall you get to jump in and swim.
Waimea Falls, it’s a nice 1 mile stroll through the botanical gardens to the waterfall. And when you reach the waterfall you get to jump in and swim.

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Cheers!
Cheers!
It was so humid...Luckily this Tiare Hawaii dress kept me comfy.
It was so humid…Luckily this Tiare Hawaii dress kept me comfy.
Poke bowls and musubi from Musubi Cafe. I think we we went there 3 times...I could eat there every day.
Poke bowls and musubi from Musubi Cafe. I think we went there 3 times…I could eat there every day.
Last sunset of the trip.
Last sunset of the trip.
Until next time. Aloha!
Until next time. Aloha!

What I wore:

Dress: Tiare Hawaii

Aviators: Le Specs

Where We Ate:

Leonards

Musubi Cafe

Barefoot Bar

Neutrals in Noe Valley

It’s already been a busy week and I’m still thinking about the lovely brunch we all had to celebrate my boo’s 35th birthday :D What’s our favorite brunch spot in SF? We head to Noe Valley of course. This might be a bold statement, but I would voluntarily wait a good hour or more for Griddle Fresh‘s souffle pancakes, and if you know me then you know how I feel about waiting excessively for things. Anyway, I highly recommend their fired banana mascarpone souffle stack while their lemon ricotta pancakes are equally as delicious.

What to wear to brunch on a fine Saturday morning? It was warm by SF standards, so I paired a cream BB Dakota sweater that I got from Shopbop.com with my favorite Lovers + Friends denim shorts. Heels might sound a bit crazy on such a steep incline combined with limited parking, however these ones by Chinese Laundry were good to my feet. And my cream & black bag, I’d like to tote with me everywhere now thanks to Deux Lux. It’s a great bag, and I’m a sucker for tassels.

After brunch, we roamed Noe Valley’s farmer’s market and grabbed some green juice from Juicy Lucy. There was even face painting action for the birthday boy (he’s a kid at heart) who I’m sure will be embarrassed if I give more detail. So let’s just say he’s my Batman :)

Thanks for reading, you can keep up with me on Instagram @shoes_and_sashimi

It's always sweater weather here. But with shorts and a basic heel, you can really dress up a casual look.
It’s always sweater weather here. But with shorts and a basic heel, you can really dress up a casual look.
Some of this week's newest neutrals: Deux Lux Bag, Epona Square Bracelet courtesy of Cradle Jewelry, Vintage Gold Bracelet, and of course may cup of joe.
Some of this week’s newest neutrals: Deux Lux Bag, Epona Square Bracelet courtesy of Cradle Jewelry, Vintage Gold Bracelet, and of course my cup of joe.
Neutrals & a Juicy Lucy filled with spinach and a lot of ginger.
Neutrals & a Juicy Lucy filled with spinach and a lot of ginger.
Fired Banana Mascarpone Souffle Pancakes....*drools
Fired Banana Mascarpone Souffle Pancakes….*drools
This incline...I should know better.
This incline…I should know better.
Pluots at the Farmer's Market.
Pluots at the Farmer’s Market.
Wind action..
Wind action..

What I Wore:

Sweater: BB Dakota

Shorts: Lovers + Friends

Bag: Deux Lux

Bracelet: Cradle

Heels: Chinese Laundry

Necklace: Vanessa Mooney

Photos taken by @Twelfthknight

Bye, Bye Miss American Pie

Happy Birthday ‘Murica. Did everyone have a good 4th of July weekend? As usual, I look forward to our big family reunion on Great Uncle Jack’s almond farm in Modesto, CA. It’s the highlight of the summer as far as family events are concerned. My Japanese American side of the family (Dad’s side) literally planted their roots in California’s farming country (as did many Japanese Americans after the war) where they raised almonds, strawberrys, and peaches. Without giving you a history lesson since that’ll be it’s own book, I’ll just round up the highlights of this year’s festivities.

We grandkids have a very close relationship with our Obachan, aka “Granny.” So even with all that has happened to her this year, at 92 years of age she was able to enjoy the day (wheel chair and all with the special thanks to my mom and Auntie Kioko.) The boyfriend came with our fur baby Boo to meet the entire family which was incredibly fun. It was great to show him the farm and countryside as he’s never been before. Everyone adores Boo and everyone agrees Tracy fits right in with our big fam. And to verify acceptance, Great Auntie Fumi said “oh my, he’s so handsome” *winks*..so there’s that hehe :D

All us cousins are grown up now and as we’ve gotten older we’ve become much more connected, i.e playing multiple rounds of a boardgame called Tsuro. It’s challenging, and we were all really into it. Old photo albums were out to look at, most of which were from the 60’s-70’s, some earlier. I love looking through those polaroids, Granny and Auntie they were quite fashionable with their cat-eye glasses. Eerily, there’s a lot of facial expressions Auntie Kioko makes in these photos, and they are quite distinct so apparently it’s genetic as I have those distinct expressions as well…yep the older I get, I’m becoming more like my Aunt. Hmph.

It’s not a party without food, and we take it very seriously here. We’re all bakers and cooks, at least the women are. So every year we have an array of grass fed burgers, polish sausages, salmon patties, sushi, Japanese fried chicken, at least 5 different salads, and cousin Barbara’s 3 different homemade ice creams to accompany some sort of pie or cake. By the time everyone eats and rests and eats again, the sun is setting and we light some firecrackers and call it a mighty full day.

Family is really everything here and any third party observing can see just how strong our personalities, genetics, and sense of humor really trickles down to each person and generation. My Dad grew up in Modesto and he’s instilled this great sense of work ethic into my brother and I. It’s incredibly humbling and the respect for our parents and grandparents are of the utmost, that never goes away.

From my family to yours, we wish you the best :) As always, thanks for reading.

Greylin Collection Overalls and Kombucha on this very hot 4th. Cheers!
Greylin Collection Overalls and Kombucha on this very hot 4th. Cheers!

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Cousin Cyndy's rice crispy treats
Cousin Cyndy’s rice crispy treats
Great Uncle Jack's Barn. Many a basketball game played here.
Great Uncle Jack’s Barn. Many a basketball game played here.
Ever seen an almond? This is an almond, they're kinda furry.
Ever seen an almond? This is an almond, they’re kinda furry.
Observing the orchards :)
Observing the orchards :)
Auntie Kioko's Coconut Cream Pie. She's an assassin in the kitchen.
Auntie Kioko’s Coconut Cream Pie. She’s an assassin in the kitchen.
We got a bit festive this year, last year we didn't have these.
We got a bit festive this year, last year we didn’t have these.
Overalls, because I'm in the country but still chic. yes.
Overalls, because I’m in the country but still chic. yes.
We like our organic ginger beer. yes.
We like our organic ginger beer. yes.
The Farm
The Farm
Cousin Barbara's Homemade Ice Cream. Peach on left. Strawberry on right.
Cousin Barbara’s Homemade Ice Cream. Peach on left. Strawberry on right.
Alrighty, time to go back inside. Until next year!
Alrighty, time to go back inside. Until next year!

What I wore:

Sunnies: Le Specs

Overalls: Greylin Collection

Shoes: Teva

Memorial Day Weekend: Santa Cruz

Did everyone have a fun relaxing Memorial Day weekend? Excellent, I thought so :D

As for me, the beau and I along with our fur baby headed down the coast an hour out to Santa Cruz for the day. For starters, we ate brunch at the Sea Breeze Cafe where they make home made cinnamon rolls which were full of warm nutty buttery goodness. We stopped for some Verve Coffee at their roasting plant behind the cafe. Serious lattes are churned outta there, they are top notch and even have one in Los Angeles. Driving up a bit more, we stopped to walk along the coast ridge and then walked all the way down towards the Boardwalk. After looking at a beach side open house going for a cool 2.5 million we decided that we only like the idea of being near water or seeing it from afar. So with that being said we hopped in the car and drove to downtown Santa Cruz for ice cream at the Penny Creamery. A nice pick me up from walking the coastline before we headed north to Scott’s Valley. What’s in Scott’s Valley you say? Sushi at Otoro, which was a superb way to end our day trip.

Thanks for reading :)

P.S. If you’d like to stay current with me during the week, be sure to follow on Instagram: @shoes_and_sashimi

West Cliff Inn, Santa Cruz
West Cliff Inn, Santa Cruz
On the Verve. Roasting Plant.
On the Verve. Roasting Plant.
Latte Me. Verve Coffee
Latte Me. Verve Coffee
Beachside Living
Beachside Living
Boardwalk
Boardwalk
*looks down* ooh. New skirt by Stateside :D
*looks down* ooh. New skirt by Stateside :D
Penny Ice Creamery x Earl Grey
Penny Ice Creamery x Earl Grey
Otoro Sushi, Scott's Valley.
Otoro Sushi, Scott’s Valley.

Sweatshirt: Brian Lichtenberg

Skirt: Stateside

Aviators: Le Specs

Verve Coffee

Penny Ice Creamery

Otoro Sushi

OOTD Photos Taken by @Twelfthknight

Wine Country

People are always shocked when I say that I’ve never really experienced Napa Valley, simply because as an adult I’ve been in Southern California the majority of the time. My parents go often, either for themselves or to entertain guests so I end up living and eating vicariously through them. Bouchon, The French Laundry, Ad Hoc…It seems like everyone and their cousins have been except for me. So to my surprise last Sunday after being bed ridden with what seemed like the plague, the beau decided to pack me in the car and drive on up to Napa for the day. Sweet, right?

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Trip highlights:

Perusing all the vendors at Oxbow Public Market. There’s just so much going on and so many wonderful smells of all kinds of cuisines permeating the place. It’s overwhelming, but in a tasty sensory overload kind of way.

Making a pit stop at Vallarta Market to try their famed burrito. Who goes to Calistoga for a burrito? We did…and it was divine….it’s hidden in this tiny little Mexican grocery store, luckily you can get directions to such establishment here: 1473 Lincoln Street, Calistoga, CA

Going to Bouchon Bakery to pick up gingerbread muffins for Mama and Papa. It’s a bustling little place that I call bread heaven: 6528 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

Ending our trip with a surprise dinner reservation at Ad Hoc by Thomas Keller. Each night is a different prefix menu and I’m still full just thinking about our meal. In all honesty, the Cream of Mushroom Soup was my favorite, served with a gruyere cheese crostini. The main dish was Veal Scallopini served on whipped gold potatoes and broccolini romanesco. And finally for dessert, Vanilla Ice Cream Sundaes with butterscotch, pecans, and strawberry sauce. Needless to say, I am back at the gym and hot yoga to work all of this off!

Model Behavior at The Model Bakery in Napa. How cool is their planter box sign? Little succulents make up their signage. http://www.themodelbakery.com
Model Behavior at The Model Bakery in Napa. How cool is their planter box sign? Little succulents make up their signage. http://www.themodelbakery.com
Had to try Model Bakery's world famous English Muffins. You'll never settle for store bought packaged english muffins again.
Had to try Model Bakery’s world famous English Muffins. You’ll never settle for store bought packaged english muffins again.
The Oxbow Wine and Cheese Merchants are inside the public market in Napa. I'm a big cheese fan, so of course we had to try their charcuterie and delectable cheese spread. The ideal lunch, really.
The Oxbow Wine and Cheese Merchants are inside the public market in Napa. I’m a big cheese fan, so of course we had to try their charcuterie and delectable cheese spread. The ideal lunch, really.
Pit stop to take in the view at Robert Mondavi Winery. Beautiful estate, and by this time we got there as the sun was about to set.
Pit stop to take in the view at Robert Mondavi Winery. Beautiful estate, and by this time we got there as the sun was about to set.
I love this view. It was very cold, but luckily my Lovers + Friends Moto Jacket kept me warm. Check out those endless rows of grapevines!
I love this view. It was very cold, but luckily my Lovers + Friends Moto Jacket kept me warm. Check out those endless rows of grapevines!
I was surprised by a wonderful dinner reservation at Thomas Keller's famed Ad Hoc. Every night is a different prefix menu, I think I'm still full from it all. Just perfect.
I was surprised by a wonderful dinner reservation at Thomas Keller’s famed Ad Hoc. Every night is a different prefix menu, I think I’m still full from it all. Just perfect.

>>>The Model Bakery<<<

>>>Thomas Keller<<<

What I wore: Lovers + Friends Babe Moto Jacket

 

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That means wearing my favorite plaid flannel like this one, made by Rails LA. Tis the season after all. http://www.railsclothing.com

Keeping warm in my Rails LA flannel on a wet day in downtown's Little Tokyo Plaza.
Keeping warm in my Rails LA flannel on a wet day in downtown’s Little Tokyo Plaza.
Little Tokyo Plaza
Little Tokyo Plaza, the lanterns are always so pretty here.
Walk it Out
Walking rather swiftly to lunch…eating is my favorite part of the day :)
#Selfie
#Selfie: We spotted this Dad and his two little boys all bundled up taking a selfie in the courtyard. And if you look closely, they’re eating one of my favorite types of street food, takoyaki (Octopus rolled into a tiny ball covered in a flour based dough and drizzled with sweet sauce)
Just passing through
Just passing through…this little clothing stand is home to Japangeles, a street wear company that bridges Japanese Culture and LA lifestyle into each of their designs.
Lunch: Shin Sen Gumi Ramen for a post shoot meal.
Lunch: Shin Sen Gumi Ramen for a post shoot meal. I can’t rave about this place enough, it’s one of my favorite places to park myself for a little bit and slurp some seriously rich ramen broth. Fun fact: Shin-Sen-Gumi was a name taken from a famous Samurai Clan whose commitment for excellence was of utmost importance to the nation during Japan’s Civil War. That commitment to serving excellent food shows every time I come to eat here.