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3 Places To Check Out In Bend Oregon

Our friends in Seattle had been raving for over a year about how amazing Bend, Oregon was. When we got a weekend away, we happily joined them to see what Bend was all about. I was so glad we did because it’s a charming high desert paradise with mountains, rivers, pine trees, sunflowers, food, beer and a real sense of community. These are three spots (out of many) that are worth going back for.

Spork

Spork started as a globally-inspired green-conscious mobile street food kitchen housed in an Airstream that served creative delicious global cuisine. It’s expanded into a full size restaurant with dishes from across Latin America, Africa, and Asia that are remixed in the best way. We ordered to share: Mexican corn, Spicy Korean Fried Chicken with kimchee and pickled cucumbers, Carnitas Tacos, Spicy Pork Noodles with fish sauce caramel pork, Burmese Fried Cheese, and other small bites (that were consumed too fast to photograph.) The fried chicken is beyond addicting, spicy and sweet, and has been on my mind ever since… We cooled off the spice with a Thai Collins made with vodka, mint, basil, lime juice and soda. Check out their amazing menu here.

Sparrow Bakery

Photos Courtesy Of Sparrow Bakery

Sparrow Bakery’s breakfast sandwich is one not to miss with its house smoked bacon, avocado, arugula, aioli and a poached egg. On a croissant. Yes… It’s just as much perfection as it sounds. We had to also try their world famous Ocean Roll, a buttery pastry filled with cardamom, sugar and vanilla, pairs perfectly with coffee.

Barrio

Barrio is another food truck turned brick-and-mortar restaurant drawing inspiration from Mexican, Spanish, and South American cuisines. We dug into Carnitas street tacos, Shrimp Ceviche, Cuban sandwich, Watermelon gazpacho, Chips/salsa & guac, with a pitcher of great margaritas. It was a great ending to a short getaway with our good friends.

There was plenty more to see than food… there are so many breweries to sample beers from, you can rent a tube and float the Deschutes River or go for a long walk or hike.

Have any favorites in Bend? Let us know in the comments! We look forward to another visit.

Hotels Korean Los Angeles Travel

24 hours in LA

Ever since hearing Roy Choi’s story and reading his cookbook, I’ve wanted to check out The Line hotel. We got that chance when J was booked to DJ in LA. We’re so glad we did.

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We checked in after a 45 minute Uber ride from LAX. (Ubers seem to be cheaper in LA👌) We loved the industrial-chic rooms with concrete-patterned walls, funky original art, floor-to-ceiling windows, and chairs upholstered from vintage Mexican fabric.

We were starving and ready to try their restaurant Commissary overlooking the pool. We were greeted with a friendly welcoming smile by the host and sat in their greenhouse dining room. It was filled with the most lovely filtered light that gently hit the tables that were covered in sweet vintage linens for napkins. J ordered the French dip and I ordered the Pan roasted scallops with green sauce, pea shoots and a glass of rosé.

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We decided to grab a happy hour cocktail at Lobby Bar. We again were met with a smile, thanks Raphael! Boxes full of toy water guns and colorful glasses, big bowls of fruit, Mexican candelas, lollipop roses, tamarind sticks and bowls of candy line the bar. The vibe is laid back with huge booths for kickin’ back. Super fun.

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We pondered about going for a walk as there’s many things to do nearby like Grand Central Market, the art deco Wiltern Theatre, Downtown or Koreatown. It was 96 degrees and climbing so we decided to enjoy the AC and take a nap. 

Our highlight was dinner at POT, Roy Choi’s modern Asian spot. You walk down a dark hallway and are met by a glowing green POT sign and the sound of bumpin’ old school hip hop. We ordered way too much food from their newspaper-like menu but it’s easy because everything sounds delicious; Duck fried rice, Korean spicy chicken wings, and Steak ssam with crispy rice and lettuce wraps. The servings are pretty big, so keep in mind though leftovers are always awesome, right?

The rice was served in a volcanic-hot pot so the rice crisps up on the bottom. A soft egg is added on top and you stir it up and enjoy. Incredible. The Steak Ssam with crispy rice was excellent. Served with assorted lettuce wraps and kimchi to make little bundles of joy.

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The highlight for me was the Korean spicy wings. Crispy, sticky, spicy and sweet. Worth the mess that comes along with it. I’m on a mission to find a recipe that comes close so I’ll post it here when I do.

After J DJ’d, we came back to the room and feasted on late night leftovers. YES!

The next morning, after a coffee and croissant, we lounged while listening to the smooth soul and hip hop from the Stones Throw pool party happening below.

Always a fan of unique magazines, I checked out this great little one created by the hotel called HERE that features people and places nearby, encouraging you to get out. You can sample it digitally here.

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I would’ve loved to stay another day and explore the neighborhood. Great staff, delicious food and some sunshine- quick trip win! If you have favorite LA or Koreatown spots, feel free to list them in the comments!

Austin Food trucks Hot dogs Korean Mexican Tacos Travel

I love you Austin, but I need a salad

Yep, we did sushi in Texas. But it was a jalapeño and cilantro roll!

I’ve always loved Austin for it’s being so different from other parts of Texas. The food trucks, the friendly people, and all the music venues. J and I were excited to venture down once again for SXSW. We walked all over the city, checking out bands for my day job, meeting with industry friends… and eating. Tex Mex and fusion dishes like Chi’Lantro Bulgogi tacos, Mexican sushi rolls with crunchy jalapeño and cilantro, smoked pork tacos, Frank’s hot dogs with BBQ sauce and burgers too big to admit you consumed. I think there was a poblano caesar in there, but it was underwhelming, probably because it was trying to be a salad. At the end of the week, we had blisters from walking from one side of the city to the other, but reinvigorated hearing great music. Ok, I won’t lie, we enjoyed ditching our normally clean diet for some Frito pie. But we were happy to be headed home… I love you Austin, but I need a salad.