LA eats


Let’s get to the real reason why you’ve come to my blog, to see what I’ve eaten and to put it on your must -try list. Here’s my LA must-visitsor best eats from this past our time in SoCal:


  1. Wish dish refers to the dish you wish you could have in your mouth, like, now. Skip my nonsense about how delicious the food is and order what I think is the cream of the crop.

  2. My general food writing: emotionally driven. Unapologetic. May induce salivation and hunger pains. Warning: please do not read if hangry (Jon).

Class 302 - SW LA

Wish Dish: strawberry and mango shaved snow (don’t insult this delectable treat by calling it shaved ice - shame on you for thinking it)

This is the TOP of my list. This is the treat that I dream about in Dallas on a hot day, or sometimes while I’m driving, or sometimes when I’m at home watching TV….it’s really kind of sad how often I crave/desire/desperately Class 302’s shaved snow, and yet if you’ve had it, you get it. The melt-in-your-mouth texture of the shaved snow in combination with the subtlety its flavor and the sweetness of the strawberries and mangos is sheer perfection in your mouth. It’s far from LA, but gosh darn it, it’s worth it.

Porto’s Bakery - several locations around LA


I’ve been to Porto’s on multiple occasions now and it’s become an LA staple for me because it’s affordable, delicious, and you can get in and out within a reasonable amount of time. I also love that it’s always, always bustling! I go for their sweet pastry cream cheese filled cheese rolls, but their selection is incredible and their 3500+ reviews with a 4.5 star rating on Yelp will give you a long list of other fan favorites from this Cuban bakery. This is definitely a place you don’t want to miss out on!

Umami Burger - multiple locations in SoCal

Wish Dish: Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Fries

Yes, the burgers here are wonderful, but I’ve just experienced my fave umami side dish that will taunt me for a year or two until I make my next LA visit: their maple bacon sweet potato fries. Oh man, they’re good. Mix that with their truffle burger and a root beer and you’ve got a killer combination on your palette.

Grits Fullerton - OC

Wish Dish: Pork Shank and Grits + The “Boring” Pancake Balls

Big props to my hubs for finding this gem just two weeks after they opened. It was well lit, had a nicely designed interior and their food that was just as delicious as it was attractive. We ordered the pork shank which was braised in dr. pepper with dried cherries over white grits. It wasn’t an affordable dish, but it was unbelievably good and the cherries were an insanely good compliment to the dish. The pancake balls (also known as ebelskivers) were perfectly cooked and a wonderful sweet dish to go without savory pork and grits. We left full and utterly satisfied.



Malibu Seafood - Malibu

Wish Dish: Fish + Chips and their Strawberry Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich x 5

The best fish and chips in LA, no contest. You can try to argue with their 1300+ Yelp reviews and four star rating, but why try? Also, they sell a Santa Monica-made organic ice cream cookie sandwich called Beachy Cream. My brother got the balsamic strawberry ice cream sandwich with sugar cookies and it was so good, I bought another 10 minutes after we devoured the first one and I want one, like, now. Do you think I have a food problem? You’re not alone. Let’s pretend it’s a pregnancy craving (but we both know it’s a perpetual craving).  

The Packing House - Anaheim  


I won’t lie, I wasn’t crazy about the Indian dishes I got, but the atmosphere and the awesome selection of food cannot be beat. A little background on the awesome lunch date babe who's with us: Jon and I were nannies for the loveliest family in college and they’ve since become good family friends. The kids we once nannied as 8 and 12 year olds are now taller than us and basically full-fledged adults and Lauren, the oldest, is now living in LA. SO WEIRD and so wonderful at the same time. We were fortunate enough to take Lauren to The Packing House for lunch and frolic through its light-filled, well designed awesomeness. I can’t testify for the rest of the food (except for Pop Bar which we’ve had in NY, totes yummy) but if you’re in or nearby the area, it’s completely worth the experience of visiting. Also, there's an Umami Burger conveniently next door. 

I'm sorry, are you talking to me? I'm busy holding some ice cream and eating a cupcake. #typicalprego

I'm sorry, are you talking to me? I'm busy holding some ice cream and eating a cupcake. #typicalprego

LA Street Food Festival - Pasadena

Wish Dish: Local Ice’s Banana Foster’s Ice Cream and LA Siracha’s Reverse Ceviche

It was so much fun to get to work the first day of Renengade Craft Fair and then head over to the Rose Bowl to eat our hearts out at LA’s Street Food Fest (big thanks to my brother who was a judge for the festival and invited us to eat). The two things I loved most from the festival were Local Ice’s Banana Foster’s ice cream and LA Siracha’s reverse ceviche bite. Local Ice gave away coupons and after the second day of the festival, Jon and I definitely capitalized on the coupon for some additional B-Foster love! The picture above basically captures my posture for the trip: have food in both hands as often as possible. 

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream - Food Truck

Wish Dish: Brown Butter Almond Brittle with Salty Caramel sauce

Jeni’s ice cream was one of the food trucks at the fair and they provided us with the most amazing mid-afternoon craft fair pick-me-up ever. Jon and I were trying to share our single ice cream portion kindly with each other, but secretly hoping the other person wouldn’t see the extra-large spoonfuls we were both taking. Needless to say, the ice cream didn’t last long.

Son of a Bun - Food Truck

Wish Dish: any burger?    

My incredible hubby braved the long line to get the Son of a Bun burger I was craving on our last day at the fair. We both loved our burgers and we loved, loved the buns. Totally worth a try!

Some fun group shenanigans at Bambu drinks and desserts for the only night we actually got to hang out with Danni! We surprised her at the airport with her husband Nick and she cried and it was SO sweet! So thankful we at least had one evening of overlap together (back story: Danni had to go work a trade show in Atlanta super last minute, so the day we flew in to LA was the same day she flew out for we just stayed at her house….with her husband Nick….and packaged cards together and played video games….it was glorious).

We love this couple! Yes, Danni and I are aware that our hubbies kind of look similar and they're both married to asian wives....who are a little overly energetic (crazy). Can't wait for that baby in my belly to meet the Keiths in person! 

So tell me, what are your must-have LA eats? Where do I absolutely need to go the next time I'm in the area? 

the road to renegade - LA part I


It's true, Jon and I went out of town without a precious Zoë for an entire week for the first time in almost two years of parenthood. And it was....

pure magic.

Okay, totally a line from Sleepless in Seattle (aka my fave chick-flick ever), but it really was a wonderful week. The vacation was a perfect balance of missing our fave little person in the world while getting to spend a week together with our other favorite person in the world.

The idea was planted in my head in early March. I had just booked my tickets to New York for NSS and true to my character and love of travel, I schemed how Jon and I could possibly get away to enjoy some time together while also trying to figure out how I could work to pay for the trip and plan for my parents and possibly friends to help watch Zoe. Selling at Renegade Craft in Los Angeles was the answer to my wanderlust-filled dreams, but when you apply for a legitimately awesome craft fair that is selectively hosted in only the coolest cities in the US (think NY, Chicago, SF not to mention London...obviously not in the great US of A) you know that it's completely possible that you won't get accepted. But if there's anything I've learned from my last year of juggling the joys of motherhood and my love for designing, it's that I'll never know unless I try (or apply in this matter). So....I applied. And in May I was accepted!

Danni knows how to make a house a home. Everyday I'd discover something new and lovely.

Danni knows how to make a house a home. Everyday I'd discover something new and lovely.


We planned. We budgeted. We redeemed miles. And even though planning a trip is no small expense, it certainly didn't hurt that I was working as well! But what really made the trip financially feasible was a combination of planning, budgeting and receiving the help of my brother and sister-in-law (who kindly lended us a car so we didn't have to rent one) and a LOT of help from Danni and Nick who were beyond generous to us with their home and craft belongings . I was even allowed the opportunity to teach a lettering workshop at her gorgeous gift boutique, Oh Hello Friend (OHF). If you live in Orange County, go NOW! Support small businesses and trust me, once you walk in OHF, you won't need my coaxing to convince you to buy something. Everything is so well curated and lovely!!!!  

Students getting their lettering on | Fun showcase of paper goodies to encourage sign-ups

Students getting their lettering on | Fun showcase of paper goodies to encourage sign-ups


It was the bomb. I'm serious. It was so much fun and I'm so thankful for the group of women who signed up for the class. They were fun and energetic and excited to learn and having a class like that makes teaching such a joy. The two hours flew by and I appreciate Danni and Desiree for all their help and support which basically made the class a reality! Hoping to get another Dallas (and one day Houston?) workshop together soon, stay tuned.

Our little home for two days | Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles

Our little home for two days | Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles


Jon and I woke up early and got out the door by 7am. Picked up coffee and breakfast and were geared to set up by 8. It was incredible. We're not necessarily the most timely people, but thanks to Jon, we had three hours (all completely necessary) to set up our tent, table, and products and a spot for us to check out customer transactions and take pictures of what inventory sold. Getting to interact directly with customers is such a joy and a really fulfilling experience for me.  Of course I love the time I get behind the computer, but it makes my work 100 times more rewarding getting to connect and chat with people whether or not they make a purchase! On that note, here are some notable customer purchases:

  1. One customer came and looked through our entire inventory for about 10-15 minutes. Afterwards, she chose the card “You Get Me” and said “This is the card I’ll be giving my fiance the day of our wedding.” Her final decision to purchase this card, made her thoroughness all the more worthwhile. She had seen everything and this card was exactly what she wanted for her future husband!

  2. Another customer purchased a set of cards including our “Sending You a Bear Hug.” When purchasing the card, she mentioned that her friend had just lost her mother and the card was the perfect sentiment to mail to her during this time.

I love what I do and getting to serve people in this very, very small where something I create will have the opportunity to uplift or encourage or love on someone else is a tremendous gift. Thank you Lord for the chance to make small paper goodies that can possibly love on others! So grateful for this job. 

We were also fortunate to have the COOLEST booth-mates and shop owners next to us including Lesley, a New Orleans jewelry maker who was such a kind soul to share a booth with, the lovely Motoko Smith (who is the most impressive woodworker!) and the radest husband and wife couple of t-shirt company No & Yo.  Motoko definitely endured the extreme of my crazy loud extroverted personality, thanks Moto! Also, you were kids were so wonderful! 



I could literally write a book on how wonderful my husband is. But instead I’ll say this first, Jon is far from perfect and our marriage is even further from that. But at the end of the day, we are grateful for each other and grateful to do life next to eachother. I hesitate to brag on him too much because I know FIRST HAND how hard it is to read that someone else’s marriage or life seems so wonderful when you’re having a crappy day or you’ve been in a rough season in your marriage or life. I want to mention Jon’s support and unconditional love because I want to express my gratitude for him, but I never want to discourage you or deceive you into thinking life is smooth sailing for us (are you kidding me? please.). So there it is. That’s the most round-about way I can express that my husband rocks and if you’re a place where you’re hurting, know that I understand that place too. All too well. Sorry for any awkwardness. Also, if you get awkward easily….I’d suggest you don’t read this blog! Ha! #awkward4life



Yes, I went to LA 6 months pregnant. Yes, I worked two long days and a taught a workshop. What I can say? I’m just thankful I don’t have difficult pregnancies, and fortunately nothing scary happened while we were out of town! Zoe was in the loving care of my parents and I tried not to overdo it on vacay (except in the area of food). We took a good number of naps on the trip, so if that doesn’t paint a good vacation, I don’t know what does.

Expect another blog post or two about my LA must-eat list and spending time with our fave Angelinos. Until next time! Thanks so much for reading, all of 5 you (Hi Amy!!!!).

It goes without saying, but just so we're on the same page Jon and I missed this cupcake quite a bit! How could we not? She's the BEST!