I know this post is belated, but I thought it’d be a cool series so here goes. A recap like this take a while to write so hopefully you guys enjoy it. Moving forward, I’m probably going to publish this at the end of each month, but I’m not 100% sure yet so we’ll see. I’ll let you know once I figure scheduling out. SO without further ado, let’s kick things off with…
Modeling for Elegantees
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Elegantees. I’ve featured them on here several times already because I love their mission so much. They fight human trafficking in Nepal by offering employment opportunities at their sewing center. Katie and Israel (the founders) are doing truly amazing work, and their clothes are cute as well so it’s a win-win. Please consider supporting them this holiday season by gifting friends and fam pieces from their collection. They offer free returns and size swaps so that’s a plus.
This is the third time I’ve modeled for them, and we always have fun. Our first two shoots were in DC, but this time I traveled to NYC for the occasion. We shot 5 pieces together, and I brought my own jeans and shoes for the photoshoot. Changing’s always an issue, but they brought a giant sheet so I could literally undress in a corner. Luckily, New Yorkers aren’t fazed by anything so people didn’t think anything of it. To see some shots from the shoot, check out their “new” tab!
Emceeing for Charm City Night Market
If you follow my instagram, you already know that I emceed Center Stage with my dear friend, Louie Silverio (aka @bmorefood). Although tiring, I was honored to celebrate Baltimore’s unique diversity with the Chinatown Collective. If you live in the DMV, definitely make sure to come out next year. The entertainment’s fire, and the vendors are amazing, like cream of the crop amazing.
You have some of the best chefs in the DMV slinging food there. Think Kevin Tien (Hot Lola’s), Erik Bruner-Yang (Maketto), Steve Chu (Ekiben), Brad Deboy & Masako Morishita (Otabe), and countless others. Leandro, one of the co-founders of CCNM, even got Seng Luangrath (Hanumanh) to give a cooking demo in the VIP area. She’s the chef owner of two bib gourmand restaurants in DC (Thip Khao & Hanumanh) and a prolific figure in the Lao food movement so it’s a big freaking deal. Purchase tickets to VIP to enjoy free food on the hour, fun activities, great entertainment, and more.
Visiting Portland, Maine
Portland’s been on my travel bucket list for a while so I’m glad I got to go. I’ve actually been to Maine several times in the past, but it was for a music festival so I was literally stuck in a room for the entire time aka practicing piano nonstop. My original trip there actually got cancelled due to a freak thunderstorm, but better safe than sorry!
This was my second trip with Mel – we went to Phoenix together for a press trip a long while back – and it won’t be our last. She’s a wonderful traveling companion because she’s so sweet, positive and easy going. We jam-packed our schedule with activities so we were pretty much on the go 24/7.
Portland has everything you’d want in a city, and there’s something for everyone. Love nature? Hit up one of their state parks for views that will soothe your soul. Love food? Their culinary scene will straight up blow you away. Want to get lit? Go to any one of their 90+ breweries to indulge. See more of what we did on the travel guide coming up on the 12th.
Collaborating with Waffie
I love supporting local so I was thrilled when Minje from Waffie reached out to collaborate. I have so much respect for her and Tommy, and their food’s really delicious. They do dessert waffles along with a handful of savory options so definitely make sure to visit their charming shop in Hampden if you find yourself in Baltimore.
They created a delicious waffle sandwich with hand breaded chicken tenders, kimchi slaw, and Korean sweet and spicy sauce and named it their “kim”chi slider after me. It all meant so much, to be able to partner up with fellow Korean-Americans and celebrate a piece of our culture together.
I didn’t have the easiest childhood, and I really struggled with identity growing up. Suburban PA wasn’t exactly diverse, and I found myself wishing I was just like everyone else. Looking back, I’m almost ashamed that I felt that way, but it’s helped me embrace myself that much more. I couldn’t be more proud to be Korean-American, standing tall with my fellow AAPI.
Dining at Pineapple & Pearls
Located on 715 8th St SE in Barrack’s Row, this was my second time dining at a 2 Michelin Starred restaurant. My first experience was at Minibar so the bar was set high – click here to see pics. I went with one of my dearest friends – I’m looking at you @dcfoodfreak – so the evening was bound to be fabulous regardless.
We went with their non-alcoholic pairing, and the whole meal came to a flat $300 pp (includes tax & gratuity). They charge half (for a deposit) when you make an online reservation and the rest after you enjoy. They automatically charge the credit card you list on your account so it’s convenient. The dinner took about 2-3 hours, and everything from food to service was spectacular.
Here are some of my favorite dishes from P&P!
So is it worth the money? Absolutely. If you can afford the splurge, go for a special night out. Their alcoholic pairings are only $15 more so if you have a DD, that’s an option as well. Personally, I loved their NA drinks. I left really impressed, with a newfound affinity for rhubarb soda.
I’m dying to try a 3 star restaurant soon so expect a post on the Inn at Little Washington. And on that note, I’m actually thinking about visiting all the DC michelins & bib gourmands as a project. Is that something you guys would be interested in? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Covering NY for Nomtastic Foods
During my trip to NY, I covered a slew of restaurants for Nomtastic Foods. I actually already blogged about them on NF and on instagram, but here’s a short recap of dishes I loved. Ichiran’s ramen set was awesome! They asked me to go to their Times Square location, which I wasn’t sure about, but it wasn’t as hectic as I thought it’d be.
I lived in NY for a few years so I know the city fairly well, and I avoided TS like the plague. It’s crowded with tourists, and everyone’s always bumping into you, but their location was actually fine. At $26, the set seems expensive, but they give you a noodle refill on the house, and they don’t accept tip so it’s actually reasonable. You eat in an individual stall and pay a cashier on your way out. I personally really liked that their broth was on the lighter side, but then again, I don’t do well with overly salty.
Another highlight was dessert at Alimama. Located in Chinatown, this small but beautiful cafe was perfection. The ube cream puff was heavenly, and the mochi munchkins were to die for. There was just something so special about the texture, and I loved that they weren’t overwhelmingly sweet. In fact, I loved them so much that I’m taking my mom the next time we go to NY.
Dinner at Trademark was also great. They had solid American food that I really enjoyed. Their fresh mozz appetizer was amazing, and the rigatoni bolognese was on point. The pasta was cooked to al dente perfection, and the sauce was delicious. I loved that they topped it with a dollop of soft ricotta, and I’d get it again without a doubt. Their cookie skillet was also a standout. They make it to order so it takes a good 10-15 minutes, but it’s worth the wait.
And last but not least, Thep. It’s located on the upper east side so it was kind of a pain to get to, but my friend had a car so that made things easier. Their kra-pow puffs were insane. Filled with chicken, string beans, mozz and thai basil, they come with a cucumber vinaigrette. I’m not even sure I’d get an entree next time. I may just get 2-3 orders of this app and call it a day. Their khao soi WAS really good though so who knows.
Alright guys, I hope you enjoyed my latest recap! I want to hear all about your adventures as well so leave me a comment below. What’s the coolest thing you did in September? What are you looking forward to this month? For more adventures, browse this tab, and stay tuned for new content coming your way soon. Until next time, friends! Sending lots of love from the DMV.