A Very Austin Thanksgiving

by Koko on December 1, 2014 · 1 comment

in Restaurants, Travel

This year we decided to do Thanksgiving a little differently… we traveled to Austin to meet Q’s family for a food-filled weekend. Since Q’s family is spread across the US (and Ireland), we decided to meet “in the middle” and all go to a city we had never been to before. Since his sister, mom and I are all foodies- Austin was an obvious choice.


We arrived Wednesday evening and had dinner all together. On Thursday, we headed out for a bike ride and a visit to the first ever Whole Foods before cooking our own Thanksgiving feast.



On Friday, we went on a food tour led by Austin Eats. It was SUPERB. We started out at one of the best BBQ trailers in Austin (the best is up for debate): La Barbeque. I am not a meat gal, but this was some of the best bbq I have ever tried. And Q, my meat expert, said it was the best ever. We then headed to an American fusion restaurant, Hightower, and had some chicken thighs, and brussels sprouts. The third stop was at a famous food trailer park, The Picnic, where we had a Shinerbock deep fried Monte Cristo – heaven. The last stop was at one of Austin’s trendy new restaurants, Odd Duck, where we had fancy bar food and delicious cocktails. We were so stuffed, but made it out to dinner that night at La Condesa, a fancy modern Mexican restaurant.

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food tour 2

fod tour

Saturday morning we headed to the LBJ Presidential Library (so cool), Mt Bonnell (great views of Austin) and Southern Congress, or SoCo. We had an authentic Mexican lunch at Guero’s followed by the biggest donuts I’ve ever seen. Gordough’s is a MUST for an Austin visit. These donuts were covered with toppings and heavenly. Saturday night Q and I met friends out on Rainey Street. Rainey Street is a street where all of the bars are located in converted craftsmen homes. Such a unique and fun spot.




We stayed in a great house that we got through AirBnb and loved being able to spend quality time together.


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Quick Weekend Trip

by Koko on April 22, 2014

in Restaurants, Travel

This weekend I went home to celebrate Easter with my family and friends. It was a quick trip packed with appointments, dinners with friends and family time. It is still so weird to me that I have been gone for almost 18 months.

During this trip, I stopped at the newly opened Georgetown Cupcake (YUM, and in my opinion better than Sprinkles), Gracias Madre (great atmosphere, so-so food), and Connie & Ted’s (the lobster roll is to die for).


We did Easter with my family and friends at the spot of our wedding. Oh the memories!IMG_1703


PS Dress is Modcloth and one of my favorites (very similar style here).


While in LA for our girls dinner, I made my favorite caprese summer pasta and this fantastic  kale & quinoa salad from Elise. HIGHLY recommended for an easy dinner.

Happy Monday y’all!

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Hello Chicago!

by Koko on March 10, 2014 · 3 comments

in Restaurants, Travel, WCR

Hi friends! On Saturday, I hopped on a plane to the Windy City for the annual Women’s Chefs Conference (last year my mom and I went to it in San Francisco). WCR is an organization of women in the food industry (chefs, restaurant owners, writers, farmers, sommeliers, bartenders, front of the house people) who support each other in this mainly male-dominated industry.  It is an AWESOME conference to attend and I always leave so inspired.


I came in a day early to have dinner with my best friend from college and meet her 9-month-old daughter for the first time. It was love at first sight. We went to a lovely restaurant called Tavernita in the city and had delicious American-style tapas.


Yesterday, I signed up to go on a food photography tour. The tour took us to Stephen Hamilton‘s photo studio in the heart of the city. We had a fun lunch before learning about food styling, photographing food and the challenges that come with food and photography for restaurants (diners taking photos of your food under bad lighting and what it does for the PR of your restaurant- interesting stuff).


Then we stopped by a local apple brandy distillery, Rhine Hall, where we toured the distillery and learned how to make alcohol from apples. The company’s story is a so sweet- a daughter and her father opening the family business after learning about the process in Austria. Oh and the daughter is only 26 and owns and manages the distillery on her own- very inspiring (although the brandy business isn’t for me, I had about one sip and that was it).


And then last night, my mom and I ventured across the street to The Purple Pig, a hip local restaurant that features what its name suggests: wine and pig- the food and drinks were superb!


Today, we have some sessions on keeping the food industry green financially and economically and also on creating a brand for yourself. Tonight is the big gala dinner at the Art Institute of Chicago- looking forward to it.

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Girls Night

by Koko on April 8, 2013

in Clothes/Shoes/Bags, Fashion, Restaurants


On Saturday night, my girlfriends and I went out to one last Saturday girls dinner before the big wedding. We choose an LA staple, The Ivy, to celebrate. The Ivy has hands down the best cocktails in LA. The Ivy Gimlet is what they are known for, but I’m a big fan of their margaritas. The food is a mix of healthy (grilled vegetable salad) to not so healthy (fried chicken, lobster ravioli, enchiladas) and is truly superb.


I miss my girlfriends so much when I’m not here, so when I am in LA I make the most of it and try and see them as much as possible. Our dinners make me so happy and as you can see, we smile a whole lot when we are together!

Another fun thing about being back in LA is revisiting all of my fun clothes that I left in LA. Hello new outfit inspiration!


Jacket: Tibi (similar $275)/ Shirt: Madewell  (similar Equipment $188)/ Necklace: J. Crew (similar $168) / Leggings: Lululemon Wunder Under ($88) / Boots: Jessica Simpson (old, similar $328)

Why I love it? An all black outfit with a little leopard is always fun. My new J.Crew necklace peeking out of my black top is a little sparkly surprise. Five days until the wedding and getting SO excited!

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