A Healdsburg Weekend Itinerary

One of my best friends, S of Fork & 5th, decided that she wanted to escape frigid NYC and spend last weekend in wine country prior to our annual bonding week in SF for work.  We decided to do the girls weekend Healdsburg rather than Sonoma or Napa this trip to give ourselves the opportunity to explore a new area a bit further northwest of our usual wine country haunts, and IT WAS PHENOMENAL.

We stayed at an adorable Airbnb in Glen Ellen given that we’d planned to stop over at Ad Hoc in Yountville, where the daily-changing menu included a fried burrata we had to try.

Our itinerary included some lovely new wineries including Jordan Winery located on 58,000 beautiful acres and Lambert Bridge winery, which was amazingly pet-friendly for Baloo (my 3 month old puppy).

The tasting at Jordan Winery had lovely food pairings with their Burgundy style Cabernet & Chardonnay.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Walking around the Jordan estate is a must. The main building pictured below is where the end-to-end winemaking happens – grapes come in, bottles come out.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

what i wore:
| cos cape (similar) | goorin hat (now on sale) | everlane chelsea boots | citizen of humanity jeans |
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The lovely garden on the Jordan estate is where their kitchen sources many fresh ingredients for their pairings and parties.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This adorable dream-house nestled away atop a hill overlooking the Lambert Bridge Winery. Look. At. That. Wrap-Around. Porch. #slay
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wine weekend squad at Lambert Bridge (minus the boys).
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ever been to Healdsburg? Have any other suggestions for where to go?
xx, Huckleberry Kim
…hold on to everyone good…

Huckleberry Travel Guide: The French Riviera

I was lucky to spend Thanksgiving week in the French Riviera or Côte d’Azur with some of my family this year – and it was such a magical time! Here’s a quick post to share some photographic highlights and quick tips from the region:

Nice, France

Enjoying le Promenade des Anglais in Nice on a sunny day!

| asos jumpsuit, soldout (similar) | westward leaning sunglasses | club monaco cardigan, soldout (similar) | black on black birkenstocks | everlane petra crossbody |

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Gorgeous beaches like this line the coast, steps from the Promenade des Anglais (above); here’s my father enjoying the lovely Mediterranean Sea.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Everyone in France seems to have a scooter – it sure made me miss mine.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Le Negresco is a lovely hotel situated right on the Promenade des Anglais – common to spot celebrities like Madonna, Julien Lennon, Prince Albert, Elton John here.  I really loved their holiday décor!

| minnie rose fringe poncho | boots from italian shoemaker in venice (similar) |

IMG_2127

Le Chantecler is “worth a detour” per Michelin review sites; I’d especially recommend it though if you get excited about food adventures and gastronomic experimentation.  My wonderful parents took me to a belated birthday dinner here – such a treat!

Quick tip: Not likely one is thinking about frugality in a restaurant as this, but a bottle of water costs 12E here, so might as well drink champagne and opt for that wine pairing to enhance the culinary experience ;P

IMG_2063 IMG_2068 IMG_2070

The Musée Massena is located on the Promenade des Anglais – right next to Le Negresco, actually. It’s filled with ornate art and artifacts of the French Riviera and houses Napoleon’s death mask.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Musée Matisse was one of my favorites in France.  Not only do they have a great exhibition of every imaginable media of Mr. Matisse’s work, but the building’s façade and grounds are a beautiful site to admire as well.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Musée d’archéologique de Nice-Cimiez is a a nice stop after the Matisse Museum – after being indoors enjoying artwork, it’s a nice break to explore the archaeological site outside!  By the way, it’s definitely worth getting the French Riviera pass if you’re into site and museum hopping around the region – it grants you access to a lot of these cool places (kids are free, students discounted).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Saint Paul de Vence

One of the oldest towns on the French Riviera, Saint Paul de Vence is a must-see for art-lovers.  It is full of history and seemingly endless art galleries.  Many well-known artists – including Marc Chagall, Jacques Raverat, and Gwen Raverat – spent parts of their lives and are buried in the local cemetery here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here’s a photo of my father with our friend Stephane outside of a gallery.  Stephane who is from Saint Paul de Vence & showed us around the area.  He runs a private car service across the Côte d’Azur, and I’d highly suggest booking his services if you’re in the area; he’s extremely knowledgeable, honest, kind, and accommodating.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s easy to get lost along the cute cobblestone streets here!

| everlane anorak | citizen of humanity rocket | adidas stan smiths black leather + leopard sold out (similar) |

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This beautiful “bonsai” iron sculpture was actually created by Stephane’s friend and is exhibited outside of a historic church on the street in Saint Paul de Vence.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Monaco

Wondrous and opulent Monaco features many of the lavish experiences one stereotypically expects – luxury boutiques, incredible cars, beautiful casinos (below is a photo of the world-famous Monte Carlo casino).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What’s also rather amazing – and family-friendly – about Monaco are the many sites to visit, including the Musée Oceanographique de Monaco (below) where you can get lost among the large aquariums and learn some cool things about marine life for a few hours :)

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Struggling against the wind with a map outside of le Cathédrale Notre-Dame-Immaculée or Saint Nicholas Cathedral of Monaco.

karen walker harvest with mirrored lenses, soldout (similar with regular lenses)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There are beautiful views along the walk up to the Place du Palais where you can go see the royal guards.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The family was actually in Monaco for american Thanksgiving, so we celebrated a French brasserie-styled Thanksgiving with a feast at the Cafe de Paris on the Place du Casino.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cannes & Iles de Lérins

I snapped this shot of my parents at sunset in Cannes after we returned from the touring Lérins Island off the coast.  They’re hands-down the best people I know.  Their love inspires me.  And they are just so adorable.  I love them to pieces.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sunset in Cannes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s only a short ferry ride from Cannes to visit Île Sainte-Marguerite and Île Saint-Honorat – the first on which there is a huge fortress prison you can tour (where The Man in the Iron Mask with Leo DiCaprio was filmed).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Getting the kids into Céline early 😉 special edition navy/tortoise color (similar)

IMG_1508 IMG_1505

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

By the way, if you enjoy seafood, it’s AMAZING on the French Riviera.  I had so much fresh, tasty sea urchin.

IMG_1511

Cap Ferret

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild: OMG this gorgeous pink mansion seems unreal and gave me a whole new appreciation for the color pink.  Definitely a place one should stop for a few hours to tour the extravagant history and take in the beautifully manicured gardens whilst listening to beautiful symphonies timed to the water fountains in the courtyard.

IMG_2050 IMG_2052 IMG_1995

Ok guys, I’m exhausted for now.

Tell me: have you been to any of these places on the French Riviera?  Let me know what you think!  I’m definitely going back to the Côte d’Azur sometime soon and am open to more recommendations <3

xx, Huckleberry Kim

home is…

Cowardly Lion

eep… back to reality… it’s been a great #HuckInEurope #eurotrip (you’d know if you’ve been following my Insta-diary), but alas, I have to return to #realLife :'( I owe y’all some post details, but until then, I spent my last evening in Berlin trying to get myself back into the shakes and grooves of creative things that make me feel good – no matter where in the world I’m at – like songwriting…. #SorryForTheSlurs #enjoy #loveYou #byeFelicia


xx, Huckleberry Kim

Rub Rub Rub

Lush recently released in a solid bar formula of one of their best exfoliants, Rub Rub Rub.  In its solid form, Rub Rub Rub is the best exfoliant I have ever used.  I loved the original tub form of Rub Rub Rub – it works so well and smells amazing; but the solid version is super easy to use, still smells amazing, and….look how pretty (!)

cheers to soft, sweet, smooth skin baes!

 

xx, Huckleberry Kim

Avocado Toast

So here’s the thing…

nothing needs to be that complicated.

Sure, there is value in complexity, though if you can achieve a goal via a simple solution, why not?

Here’s a fool-proof recipe for one of my favorite breakfast snacks: avocado toast.

Even if you’re a complete meshugenah

it’d be hard to mess this one up!

Avocado Toast Recipe:

  1. First, identify a ripe avocado. (Good trick is to not simply fondle its sides but also to check if its stem-nub pops off easily as well…then, you’re probably in good shape. You know, like if I was to actively agree to make plans to get smooshed with you, I’m down.)just avocado
  2. Then half and pit the avocado and slice it up into a bowl (because what other next step would you take here? #basic)slice avocado
  3. Add the juice of one lime (And honestly this is semi-optional. I’m only asking for a toothbrush, not for a key to your apartment. You can toss it when I leave. Don’t make a bit deal about it.)add lime juice
  4. Add a sprinkle of maldon sea salt (aka thoughtfulness #basic) add sea salt
  5. Add a crack of black pepper (also optional… if you’re feeling ‘serious’ about our connection) and smoosh it all together!add pepper
  6. And if you want to really go for the gold… a sprinkle of crushed red pepper.

(Clearly you paid attention that one time at dinner when I ordered a spicy dish; and obviously, I won’t notice that you just opened a packet of dried peppers from the delivery pizza you had last week).avocado toast

It’s not like I’ve ever expected 1989 roses to celebrate my album release, ya putz. 

Officially Autumn | What Do You Mean? CHVRCHES |

We’re officially into autumn 2015, guys; but problem is: I’m still smitten for summer.

No, not this summer – I poured myself into work this summer and left little room for much else..

(I wish I had some dreamy story to tell you about this summer #eyeroll)

What do I mean?  Summer.  Not a summer; I mean the idea of that summer, that vulnerability of summer, that endless feeling of possibility that comes with summer.

The feeling that makes you overly adventurous, so uncomfortable, naked & afraid, swooning so hard, blissfuly happy, dangerously curious.

THIS SUMMER IS OFFICIALLY OVER.

but I’m not mad about it…because it has only just begun for me :)

IMG_4804

_________

Autumn is here to lead us into layers, bundled with warm beverages and familiarity.

snore, snore, snore; not interested.

LET’S KEEP ADVENTURING

WITH SUMMER IN OUR HEARTS

UNTIL OUR TOES FREEZE OFF IN BERLIN OR MOSCOW

BECAUSE AT LEAST THEN

WE CAN SIT AMIDST CRACKLING FIREPLACES

& SWOON OVER OUR MUTUAL LOVE FOR THE WANDERLUST

THAT SUMMER INSTILLED IN OUR HEARTS.

_________

| Slapper of the day: What Do You Mean? CHVRCHES Justin Bieber cover (a little more adventurous, naked, and raw compared to the original) |

IMG_4815

| mirrored sunglasses | neoprene bikini (similar) | sandals | poncho | hat | bag |

IMG_4810IMG_4803

so long sweet summer, i stumbled upon you and gratefully basked in your rays

IMG_4832

and enjoyed your beautiful colors

IMG_4683

IMG_4646IMG_4681

and yummies

IMG_4841

and merriment

IMG_4920

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, see you soon <3

IMG_4688IMG_4921

Creation Perv: Touching All of the Parts

If Else Loop Practice from lux lurker on Vimeo.

Earlier this year, my absurdly stylish and smart fairy godmother told me that in relationships that truly matter, in the big picture, there should be no reservations nor doubts in my mind; though things will never be perfect in any relationship, it doesn’t mean that there should be uncertainty.  And tonight I saw the light. #wwmdd

Like many beings trying to find meaning and happiness in life – I have been struggling a lot with a number of uncertainties, and I have come to realize it’s because I am a “creation-perv”: I want to touch all of the parts… in creating things that I find meaning in.  Before you get creeped, hear me out…

#anecdote-alert: I’ve always been passionate about fashion.  I taught myself how to sew as a kid, and after college – in lieu of taking on $300k in debt for matriculation into the Masters program I was looking into – I spent months working at a small sweatshop in Nha Trang, Vietnam to learn the technical fundamentals of patternmaking and garment construction.  And while working in Vietnam, I learned the skills that I’d sought out to, spent time with relatives, enjoyed some dank food….ROI, baby.

The light, this night in August:

While heading home after dinner, listening to Taylor Swift, I realized something: 

I would not want to design something without knowing how to create the pattern for it, and I would not want to create a pattern for something without knowing how to construct it myself; because having to rely on others to architect and build things I’ve designed with so much of my own blood, sweat, and tears would feel so much less meaningful.  I want to touch all of the parts. 

This is not to say that I’m necessarily a control-freak.  I believe in and understand the values of the division of labor, specialization, and collaboration, and I do not necessarily want to do all of the things, let alone do them myself.  But I need to know how.  Because then perhaps I could do it – or at least communicate those segments to others, as impassioned as I am, about specifics part of the creation process.  And this is where I realized this evening where so much not-rightness, doubtfulness, and uncertainty has been bubbling up for me.  

I so deeply value all of the parts that lead individuals along the path of creating – turning ideas into realities, and I believe that in order to most effectively communicate details following deep ideation is to understand all of the pathways through architecture and construction.

So then I went home and practiced my if else loops.

xo, bye Felicia.

test test

Lost | Kiss : Kiss Seafood Omakase Review

I was feeling a bit lost the other day, so I stumbled into a restaurant in San Francisco’s Lower Pacific Heights neighborhood that I’ve been wanting to try for a while per the suggestion from a serious food-appreciator I know [#acinader]. It’s called Kiss Seafood (1700 Laguna St. (at Sutter), 415-474-2866).

The small 11-ish seat, truly “mom-and-pop”, restaurant is run solely by a husband and wife couple – Takao and Yoko Nakagawa,  where he prepares the food, she serves the clientele.  They’re in their 60s now, cutting back hours from 6 to 4 days a week…  “almost retirement,” I overheard them say in the most modest and genuine way.   The couple moved to the United States after about 30 years in Japan – where Takao had been working in “less ingredient-focused” restaurant atmospheres.  Takao mentioned that he was excited to open a restaurant where he could really focus on the best ingredients – from their produce and tofu to where their fish was sourced from.  The care for the food they served was so apparent with the first appetizer (a small bowl of crisped tiny anchovies tossed with mirin-marinated threads of daikon skin).  I had the “special omakase” – a version of their chef’s tasting with their favorite fish choices for the evening; and I’d have to say that I’d without a doubt give it a 5 of 5 stars.  I dined alone; the entire experience was surprising, enjoyable, and delightful.  I took a few of the following snaps to share my experience and highly encourage not only awesome sushi-appreciators but also those of you looking for unique intimate dining experiences to go by to check them out! (There were only 2 couples there while I dined – one couple on a Tinder date seated at the modest bar and a friend-duo at an adjacent table.)

Here’s the first appetizer course of the special omakase – the crisped tiny anchovies with daikon threads – that I enjoyed with a nice dry Asahi!

Kiss Seafood "Special Omakase" 00

Next was a three part appetizer (left to right), a cold salad of Japanese mustard spinach with tofu (very mild and refreshing), a pickled cucumber salad (also mild and refreshing), and one of THE BEST ankimo (or steamed monkfish liver) with daikon I’ve ever had.Kiss Seafood "Special Omakase" 01

Here’s a zoomed in look at that ankimo with shaved daikon, thinly sliced scallions, and ponzu sauce.Kiss Seafood "Special Omakase" 01.5

 

Following was the sashimi plate – chockful of their best fish of the night!  The toro (fatty tuna) was some of the best I’ve ever had.

Kiss Seafood "Special Omakase" 02

The next dish astounded me with its creative use of ingredients, preparation, and cohesive depth –  a ground fish sausage in a fried tofu skin, with ponzu-marinated radish, seaweed, soy-marinated green onion accoutrements, and a tasty miso dipping sauce:

Kiss Seafood "Special Omakase" 03

Next was a piping hot ceramic crock of chawanmushi – a version of a delicate egg custard flavored by mirin, bamboo shoots and exotic mushroom. Yoko made sure to warn me that there was perfectly cooked halibut at the bottom and to “enjoy scoop by scoop”, not to mix – and oh boy, did I enjoy scoop by scoop :)Kiss Seafood "Special Omakase" 04

The beautiful nigiri plate was next wherein the marinated tuna, abalone, and wild sockeye Alaskan salmon really stood out to me.

Kiss Seafood "Special Omakase" 05

Finally, the cleanest, most delicate yet powerful mushroom soup ended the omakase on a perfect note!

Kiss Seafood "Special Omakase" 06

This was not a part of the omakase, though on the specials menu, a wild uni (sea urchin) fresh from Hokkaido that evening, I just had to try.  It was absolutely perfect.
Kiss Seafood "Special Omakase" 07

The meal ended with a sliver of the perfect melon that I saw Takao delicately select to serve for the evening. So scrumptious!

Kiss Seafood "Special Omakase" 08

I left this meal full, satisfied, and a bit more comfortable with the environmental lost-ness I’d entered the experience with.  I’d highly recommend trying this restaurant before the Kiss Seafood team fully retires :)

xo, Huckleberry Kim

delightful star alignments & dirty drinks

A friend introduced me recently to the wonderful merits of a classic dirty martini. The basic recipe for a dirty martini includes: vodka, olive brine, dry vermouth, and a green olive garnish (see following). dirty martini ingredients
…though I’ve never been the most keen of basic..recipes. So a few days ago I soaked 6 green olives, a slice of pickled jalapeño, and a slice of pickled beet in about 1.5 cups of Hangar1 vodka. It gives the vodka a lovely blush color!
dirty soaked vodka
And this is the recipe I came up with after a few nights of experimentation for my ideal super dirty martini.

Huckleberry Kim’s Super Dirty Martini

  • 4 oz. of soaked dirty vodka
  • 2 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1 oz. olive brine
  • olives to garnish (I like 3 olives in my dirty martini because yum.)

Good tips for mixing your drink:

  • Vigorously shake the ingredients with ice for no more than 45 seconds; if you’re going to stir, use a large hunk of super cold ice so it doesn’t melt too fast; don’t stir for more than 30 seconds.
  • Freeze your martini glass ahead of time to keep it all super cold.
  • Use a fine strainer when pouring the drink from the shaker into your glass; lots of olive/pickley gunk should be filtered out :)

dirtiest martini

New favorite Major Lazer jammy; thanks for the share T.

xx, Huckleberry Kim