President’s Day 2012 – San Francisco (Again)

It’s true. I love SF. I love the city so much I went there twice already. However, this was my first SF trip ever with Lena aka Amazing Sapphire Eyes.

On Friday afternoon, Lena and I took the scenic route up north because the damn Bay Bridge was closed. We were determined to eat at the Shabu House in Burlingame, so we starved ourselves for 6 hours to save room for dinner. Well kinda starved ourselves. Lena had some blueberries, I ate some dried seaweed and then we split a banana during drive. We were a little ravenous by the time we were seated for dinner.

After we picked up Peian from the airport Saturday morning, we met Judy and Hubert at the Farmer’s Market for lunch. Roli Roti, Namu, Boccalone, Blue Bottle Coffee – we had it all.

After stuffing ourselves at the Farmer’s Market, we did a little bit of shopping at Union Square. We heard the bras at the GAP were super comfy. I didn’t find one I liked this time around, but that’s okay. There is always next time. Later, we had afternoon tea at the Samovar Tea Lounge. We sipped tea, Lena signed autographs and Peian conducted some business.

We were sleep deprived, so we took a short nap (sorry no photos) before heading to dinner at Tropisueno, which was across the street from the tea lounge.  The food was delicious. The service was meh.

After watching the Knicks game Sunday morning we had brunch at The Brixton, which was the only place that would take a reservation for 12 people. We had to pace ourselves so that we had room to eat crab at Fisherman’s Wharf afterwards.

I think I let a crazy person take this picture for us. I was pulling out my camera and this dude just popped out of nowhere and offered to take the picture. He could have just ran off with my camera. What the hell was I thinking?

Sunday evening, I made dinner reservations at Thai House 530. It had some decent reviews on Yelp so I decided to give it a try. Luckily Yelp did not fail us this time.

The restaurant was right by Bi-Rite, so we dropped by after dinner for some ice cream. I chose the roasted banana and salted caramel. I can’t wait until the balsamic strawberry is season again.

Before we left on Monday, we stopped by Golden Gate Bakery for some egg tarts. It’s so fattening but so good. *sigh* I need more three day weekends.

Las Vegas – Wynn, Tryst and Dragons

Last weekend, Nahae and I took a last minute road trip to Las Vegas. Last minute for me means that I booked the hotel the Friday prior instead of a month in advance. I actually found a pretty good rate for the Wynn on Hotels.com, only $160/night. It was quite an adventure while leaving Los Angeles due to the strong winds – car swaying and debris floating about. We finally made it safely to the Wynn around 1:00 am and checked-in with Danny at the front desk. He found us a bigger suite at the Encore, but since I’m not that fond of all the red decor in that hotel, I decided to just stayed at the Wynn.

After a much needed night of sleep, Nahae and I had our first meal at Max Brenner inside the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. I introduced her to my three favorite items on the menu, the mac n’ cheese, waffle fries and the golden latte.

So that Nahae can have the Ocean’s Eleven experience, we did a walk through of the Bellagio hotel. Naturally we had to snap some pictures at the Conservatory with all it’s dragons, tangerines, and chrysanthemums. We’re looking very tall huh? That’s because we found a slightly shorter person to take our picture.

Before taking the tram to Aria so that I can introduce Nahae to my favorite gold fish slot machine, we made a quick caffeine stop at Jean Philippe. I ordered a white chocolate mocha (it’s amazing here) and exercised a lot of self control by not ordering any brioches or croissants. Ooh we also bumped into the ladies of The Red Hat Society. The focus of the picture below were the red hats, not the split between my bangs.

I like to take a moment to rescind my love for the gold fish slot machine because while at Aria, I fell in love with the Sex & the City slot machine. Oh it was so much fun!

After Aria, we went back to Wynn and we found a gift basket filled with Chinese snacks and chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us. I wish there was a fridge in our room. We couldn’t finish all the strawberries and had to tossed them the next day. What a waste. Perhaps the strawberries were Danny’s way of apologizing for not getting us the room with the view of the golf course and waterfall? Oh but thanks to Danny, I stained my white shirt with chocolate.

Our next stop was the atrium at the Palazzo. After seeing the insane amount of Chinese New Year decorations in every hotel that we had stepped into so far, it was no surprise to also find a dragon at the atrium. However, this wasn’t just any dragon, it was a fire breathing dragon. I’m not joking.

I still think the CNY decor at our hotel was the best though. My god Nahae and I are tall.

Anyhoo. Time for dinner! Nahae and I met up with my sister, cousins and some family friends at Postrio for an early dinner at the Venetian. We split a calamari and rock shrimp appetizer, the wild mushrooms agnolotti with black truffle butter and a side of roasted cauliflower. My sister and my cousin split a prosciutto pizza and crab cakes. Oh and there was bread. Unfortunately, it wasn’t warm.

On our way back to the Wynn, we stopped by Espressamente Illy for an affogato. Later in the evening, I met my sister, cousins and Christina at Tryst for an evening on the dance floor. Grandma would be so proud.

My party buddies later left me to go to Lavo so that they can see J.Cole. I didn’t know he was the guy that did the “Work Out” song. On my way back to the room, I snapped this photo of the pretty roses at the elevators. Why were these not delivered to my room?

The next morning, Nahae and I ended our Vegas trip with brunch at the Tower Suite Cafe. The virgin Bloody Mary healed Nahae’s headache and our hunger was sated by the elk sausage and the duck hash that we ordered. We had a perfect view of the garden/pool area too.

I must start planning the next Vegas trip!