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Happy Hour at Testa – Downtown Los Angeles

As I am now living in Downtown Los Angeles I have embraced the culture of Happy Hours. Both for food and drinks. I love going to new spots when the occasion lets us and my roommate Arielle is off work at 4. We decided to try out a new spot this time, testa. A modern small Italian restaurant in the middle of the South Park are of Downtown Los Angeles. We arrived around 6pm on a Friday night and the restaurant was surprisingly not busy at all. Only a few people were there enjoying the Happy Hour menu. I was only to assume that maybe many were ready to go home on a Friday night to prepare for a bigger evening later on.

The restaurant is small but the decor is everything I love. There is a mix of modern and industrial, art deco and retro. Some walls are just plain concrete, some has different shaped mirrors on them, and one is just a retro flower wallpaper. Its Instagram worthy in all the ways it can be. Seating varies from bar seats, to regular tables, outdoor tables and smaller boots. There is also a small section where there is a couch and coffee table for a more causal experience next to the bar.

As mentioned we were there just in time for happy hour, so that is what we decided to go with. We got three happy hour dishes to share as well as drinks form the Happy Hour menu. All beers are $2 off and the rest of the drinks ranges from $7-$10 including anything from craft cocktails to wine and sangria. I decided to go for a Paloma, a frisky but fresh tequila cocktail. We ordered in the Spring Salad ($10), the Chicken Sandwich ($10),  and the Grilled Burger ($10). The portions were perfect for sharing and the plating of everything was beautiful.

Spring salad $10 – Artichoke, Peas, Romaine, Pea tendrils, sweet pea dressing, goat cheese. 

The spring salad was fresh and light, the combination of the greens, the roots and then the sweet goat cheese was just perfectly blended. Would definitely come back just for this one. Its a light treat. 

Chicken Sandwich $10 – Chicken Tender, sourdough, coleslaw, jalapeños, cilantro. 

The chicken sandwich was OK. Not bad, but not something I would be craving at 9pm. The chicken itself was great, crispy but juicy. The slaw was overwhelming and I wish the chicken itself had more flavor to it. I did not taste any jalapeños or cilantro so I don’t know where they went. The sourdough was meh. I wish the bread for the chicken sandwich had been better. It tasted like it came on a slice of toast. Would probably not get again. 

 

Grilled Burger $10 – Beef patty, iceberg, tomato, onions, cheddar cheese and house sauce. 

We ordered the burger medium rare and the patty was perfectly cooked. the house sauce is delicious, a bit drippy, but delicious. I love that the birch bun it came on was grilled as well. It enhances the flavors and makes it taste a bi smokey. Would definitely recommend but also, get a side salad or some fries if you order this alone. 

We will definitely be back at testa for dinner some time, and I am excited to explore more of their menu. You can find the full happy hour menu by clicking here.

Staying at Loews Hollywood

In the heart of Hollywood, the luxurious Loews Hollywood Hotel can be found. The 20 floor building with 628 guest rooms is adjacent to the Hollywood and Highland shopping center and even have a connecting entrance right to the shopping center. Within minutes of walking distance we also have The Dolby Theaters, TCL Chinese Theater, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Madame Tussauds and tons of shops and other attractions. It is the perfect vacation or staycation spot if you are visiting Hollywood and want to experience everything the city has to offer. Hollywood Boulevard is always crowded with tourists and entertainment. You will never get bored, that is one thing that is for sure.

We stayed in a Double King suite on the 19th floor with an amazing view of the Hollywood sign. The first night we were greeted with a bottle of wine and a cheese plate which was so sweet of them. Our room had 2 king sized beds, a seating area as well as a desk to work on. It was very spacious and perfect for a staycation where you spend most of your time at the hotel and inside the room. The feeling of the room was extremely luxurious and our bathroom sink had tons of space. Perfect for two girls! They have a 24 hour concierge available and all we need to do was text them about anything. We were total pains the first night as we had forgotten toothbrushes, wanted another robe and asked about the best breakfast spot to go to. They texted back within minutes.

Loews Hollywood Hotel offers free Wifi for up to 3 devices per room and you can also purchase premium if you want a high speed or want to add another device. There is also a complimentary coffee machine in all rooms. A bar in the lobby serves drinks and some snacks and bites during the day up until midnight. On the first floor the Bodega is also located where coffee and some pastries are served. It is a Starbucks but they call it the Bodega. On the third floor Prestons is located. This is where we had our breakfast the first morning. You can choose to order from the menu or go for the breakfast buffet like we did. If there is something I love about staying at a hotel it is the lovely breakfast buffet.

Loews also offers a full service spa, fitness center and a rooftop pool on the fifth floor. We took full advantage of both he fitness center and the pool are during our weekend staycation. The gym was not too crowded which was nice but the pool are could get really busy during the day so we had to come early to get a seat. There is also a small bar by the pool that serves drinks and some food.

 

Our spacious Double King suite room at Loews Hollywood with an amazing view. If you look closely you can spot the Hollywood sign! Spotted is also the Hollywood Bowl where concerts and events are happening all the time. Even though we were so central with tons of traffic just outside of our window we couldn’t hear anything that was going on outside which was so nice.

The second morning we decided to order in breakfast. In the room a breakfast menu can be found and all we needed to do was fill out when we wanted our breakfast and what we wanted. Then we smoky hung the tag on our door and someone would pick it up at night to have it prepared for the morning. We got a ton of amazing food and they sat up a table between our beds so we could share. Having a staycation at Loews in Hollywood was definitely extremely relaxing, even if it is located in the heart of Hollywood where everything happens. We were just a few steps away from Hollywood but it felt like we weren’t there while we were inside the hotel. I would definitely love to come back to Loews and try all the things we didn’t have time to try. During the moth of September you can save 10% on all Loews Hollywood stays. Check out all their offers and package deals here. 

 

I received a complimentary stay at Loews Hollywood. All words and opinion are my own.

A Little Bit of Love From Paris with Ladurée

In case you already didn’t know. Ladurée opened their first West Coast location here in LA in December last year. Located at The Grove this two story bakery and restaurant stands out with it’s pastel green exteriors. Right in front of the fountain with added outdoor seating with a Parisian feel. Luxury, glamour and excitement is what I feel as I enter through the doors. Only to be greeted of a sea of macaroons and other delicious pastries. Seems as I wasn’t the only one on a Thursday to go there only for the Macaroons. Which Ladurée are famous for.

The window displays were a work of art. Even walls behind the counter. Which I would imagine is every pastry makers dream. And with a perfect combination of sweetness, luxury and colors that complement each other. Whilst I wish I had taken som photos inside. My mind was too overwhelmed by excitement. I decided to get a box of 6 macaroons and a pastry. If you didn’t know this already, macaroons are my absolute favorite treat. And I also know how to bake them! 

The party I decided to go with was a mystery to me. It still is as I don’t remember the name. But it was a giant macaroon with raspberries and the inside had a lychee raspberry filling that was sensational. For my next visit to Ladurée I will definitely make sure to grab some lunch! (And more photos).  

Visiting L.A LIVE – WP24 Rooftop Patio Bar

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

On the 24th floor of The Ritz Carlton Downtown Los Angeles is the WP24 restaurant located. Trough a locked door, only available for hotel guest majority of the times, is a way to a separate elevator to the 26th floor where WP24 rooftop bar is located, along with the hotels rooftop pool and lounge area. Open for the public Friday and Saturday from 6pm-9pm from June 3 to September 3, this is a must go summer spot for anyone in Los Angeles. However, if you are a hotel guest to The Ritz Carlton you can visit year round by reservation. I got the opportunity to try out this magical place with a friend. After visiting the WP24 restaurant last year my expectations were high.

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With a chill patio wine and a bar this is the perfect little hangout for some snacks and a drink before you head on out in the town. Being on the 26th floor gives you an amazing view over Downtown Los Angeles as far as you can reach both ways to the mountains of San Fernando Valley and on the other side all the way down to the Santa Monica Beaches. The view itself is stunning as the sun goes down during the time you are there. But enough about the amazing spot as it is, lets move on to some of the food that we tried out.

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Yukon Gold Potato Chips $7. Togorashi, Toasted Nori, Yuzu, Sour Cream.

These are by far the best potato chips I have eaten in my entire life. Im not sure how or what they are fried in but they taste amazing. They come with a nice of dill sour cream dip that goes along amazingly. (And you know us Swedes, we love our dill). These are the cheapest item on the menu and believe me, order them because you can not go wrong with them.

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Confit Pork Belly Sliders $12 Caramelized Onions, Argula, Apricot Mustard.

Sliders are one of my favorite things to snack on. These were really good but I wished that these had more of the apricot mustard on them!

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Grilled Jidori Chicken $17 – Tandoori Spices, Cucumber Yogurt, Lime Pickle, Grilled Naan.

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House Made Bratwurst $16 – Grilled Bread, Herb Mustard, Brown Butter Aioli. IMG_5029

Hawaiian Albacore Poke $17 – Seaweed, Sesame, Red Onion, Puffed Forbidden Rice.

Out of all the different items, the Chips and the Sliders were my absolute top favorites. Unfortunately we didn’t try the lobster rolls but they looked so good as well! The Poke was really good with the Forbidden Rice puffs that were amazing. With a few drinks and some of these small meals it makes the perfect spot for a light date or just drinks and talk with the girls!

Where: WP24 Rooftop Bar, The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles. 900 West Olympic Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90015

Open for public: June 3- September 3 Friday and Saturday 6pm-9pm by reservations

Price: about $30-$80 per person (Food and drinks)

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Discover LA: Baldoria DTLA

Newly opened restaurant Baldoria in Koreatown, DTLA offers not only an astonishing and beautifully interior. But, also food and drinks that noticeable has been carefully crafted where every little detail has been accounted for. The dishes are also meant to be shared and are therefore made in several smaller pieces. I was one of the very lucky people to get to visit them and experiencing what they had to offer. This is truly a spot for anything. Whether it is a lazy sunday brunch with your friends or for taking a drink with that cute guy you just met. (And believe me when Im saying that you WANT to show people this place because that is how amazing it is). We arrived at a Sunday at noon. What surprised me the most was that we were the first customers of the day. The two guys that greeted us were so passionated and friendly when talking and explaining everything about the drinks, the food and the restaurant. And we could clearly see why. It is definitely a hidden gem located at the edge of Koreatown below some huge apartment complexes.

IMG_3955Lets start with the drinks. I went for a traditional Bloody Mary (oh god I’m so boring) while my friend went with the Baldorian Cold Brew that they brew in house. How cool isn’t that? It has the special coffee vodka with amaretto and orange bitters. It was pretty strong, but really good! We were both pretty amazed by this huge ice cube and just found it amazing. If you check out Baldorias Instagram (or tags from there) you can see that most drinks are served with this single, huge, ice cube. IMG_3957

Since I had seen a few of my fellow Instagram friends visiting this spot before me I had already seen some of the amazing food that was being served. I already had my eyes out on the chicken waffles that were topped with some special Whistle Pig barrel aged syrup. This was actually my first time ever eating chicken and waffles. It is really not something we would eat in Sweden and the last time I went to a waffle place with my friends I ordered a regular waffle with fruit on while they tried the chicken waffle and claimed it had changed their life. So, of course what better time to try it then now? IMG_3960

We also got the Mrs. Croque pizza with Black forest ham, Grand Cru gruyere, browned butter béchamel and egg on top. It was so yummy! The pizza crust was baked just right and the gruyere cheese gave a great taste together with the ham. You could distinctly taste the yummy browned butter as well. My favorite thing was to spread the perfectly cooked egg and let the yolk soak into the pizza.

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Lastly, the chef sent out a complimentary heirloom tomato and grilled peach salad. Super fresh and very light. Tomatoes and peaches topped with burrata and a 6 year balsamic. So, saying that I loved this place is probably an understatement. Every dish has thoughtfully been cooked and every ingredient has been carefully selected. The dishes are made with only the best ingredients and the guys were so wonderfully passionate about telling us where all the products are from or how they had been made which a lot of places won’t tell you. I will absolutely go back there, and I hope that whoever sees this and can go there do so as well.

Travel comfortably in style

Summer is approaching and we all know what that means. Travel time! For me living in California it is so easy to grab a few friends, take the car and go somewhere – anywhere. Road trips are the best. For one day, or for five days. It doesn’t matter. They are simply the best. Now that I have a new car I am sure that a few road trips here and there will be on the agenda and I would like to share my essential style tips, with some help from TopShop, while on the go.

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Always be comfortable. This I say always. If you don’t feel comfortable in what you’re wearing just don’t wear it! While traveling it is extremely important that you are comfortable in what you’re wearing as you probably will be stuck in these clothing for a longer period of time. And if you’re sitting in a car or a plane you might not be in the best position to wear tight leather pants and a huge hat thats in the way. If you’re going somewhere sunny and warm put on a cute dress and sandals. If you’re going to a special cute place out of town for brunch or dinner dress casual but still dressy. If you’re just going to another town over the day dress in something you know you can wear no matter what the conditions there may be. Bring a jacket if you suspect that it might be cold. And don’t bring too much stuff! That brings me to my next point.

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Be practical. 
Don’t carry with you too many things and dress for the occasion. I like cross body bags that aren’t too big but still has room for the things that I need like keys, wallet, phone, maybe even a charger and of course my favorite lipstick! Did you guys know that TopShop carries a ton of lipsticks and lip pens that are amazing? My camera is always out anyways and I don’t like carrying around big bags if I know that I am gonna move around a lot. I also always go light on jewelry. And always pick super comfortable shoes because if you end up with feet that hurts you’re completely screwed.

For my perfect travel outfit I picked out these items in this post from TopShop. The off shoulder top is really in right now and it is also super comfortable and suits warm weather as well as chillier weather. I paired it up with some boyfriend jeans, a pair of sneakers and a cross body bag big enough to hold the things that I need. I also accessorized with a double buckled belt and some light jewelry.

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 This is a sponsored post in partnership with Topshop and Her Campus Media. All words and opinions are my own.

WP24 By Wolfgang Puck

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Located in the towers of The Ritz Carlton in Downtown LA we find WP24 by Wolfgang Puck on the 24th floor. A modern lounge and restaurant with award-winning modern Chinese cuisine and an amazing view over Downtown Los Angeles as you dine. Inside the JW Marriott LA Live you can also find Ford’s Filling Station.

As you enter the floor and make your way toward the restaurant you first have to pass the “nest” which is the amazing bar lounge area that they have. I could seriously spend all my time there, it looks so amazing with the little “nests” around the tables!  Thereafter you pass a bar area and lastly you walk into the restaurant are which is lit up by several small amazing lights in the ceiling and an 180 degree view over downtown Los Angeles.

Image courtesy of the Ritz Carlton

The restaurant was surprisingly not too busy for a Friday night, which we quite enjoyed. The noise level wasn’t loud and we didn’t have to scream to have a conversation. Perfect for catching up with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. The waiters were extremely friendly and seem to have an amazing knowledge on the items on the menu and were to a lot of help as we tried to decide what to order.

We were seated right next to the windows with the view as you can see on the picture. It was amazing, the view itself made it worthy coming here. We started out with some Chili “Dan Dan” Dumplings and XO Seafood Dumplings (on the picture below). Not only was the presentation beautiful but the food was truly amazing with all the rich flavors. As a complementary from the chef we were also sent Maine Lobster Spring Rolls, Steamed Bao Buns, Marinated Cucumbers and Prawn Toast.

Dragon’s Fire Cocktails with Patron Anejo Tequila, Grapefruit and Jalapeño.

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IMG_0372The amazing view from where we were seated.2015-11-06 20.06.01Main course.

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For the head I decide to go with the Crispy Skin Kurobuta Pork Belly which came with Wok Fried Green Beans, Golden Chives, Chilies and Garlic. I loved the beans because they were cooked yet crunchy inside and the pork just tasted amazing. Michaela went with the Szechuan Style Prime Beef Tenderloin which was made in Smoked Chili Shallot Sauce and “La You” Hot Oil. The beef was perfectly medium cooked and so amazingly tender! With that we also ordered a Farmer’s Market Vegetable Fried Rice to go with the food, and was sent the Stir Fried Summer Squash from the chef which we both loved. Amazing taste and it had sunflower seeds which I loved.

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We finished off the dinner with sharing a Banana Cream Pie with Coconut, Lemongrass and Finger Lime Banana Cocoa Nib Ice Cream. The flavors were perfectly combined and I really liked the coca nibs in the ice cream. We were also sent a few small sweet treats.

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Plan Check X Gudetama Takeover

Thursday night I was invited to a special VIP dinner launch of the Plan Check X Gudetama takeover. I got to try out the special menu that are available at all Plan Check + Bat locations until November 29. The multi-course menu includes a Crispy blanket egg, soy sauce egg, spicy pork belly sausage, miso aioli as a starter. Followed by a Gudetama two beef slider (the mini burgers) sunny fried quail eggs, cheese two ways, bacon two ways, ketchup leather and hot sauce. As dessert you get a chocolate custard pudding with a apricot thumbprint cookie. A orange-ginger egg cream soda is also included in the meal.

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My absolute favorite were the sliders. Holy moly how good they were! The hot sauce just made it so perfect. The little eggs were so adorable you almost felt guilty eating them up, but I’m happy that I did!  If you decide to go and grab this lovely menu it will cost you $39 but included in the meal is also a Gudetama x Plan Check t-shirt.

The whole restaurant were covered in Gudetamas and the Gudetama girls rolled in a big one, can you believe that there was a person inside of there?!

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Sorry if the pictures aren’t the best, but night, lighting. You get the deal. 

Culver City Farmers Market

On Tuesdays there’s is a farmers market set up on Main street in Culver City. I always love to go here even if it’s really small because you can get super fresh produce that is organic. Some places are more expensive but thinking that it is all local and organic grown makes it worth it. I usually don’t buy too much, some fresh fruits and veggies to get through the week. One of the stands has this huge strawberry box for only $5 that I always get, because the smaller one is $4 and that one only has about a 3rd of strawberries.

The flowers are super cheap, for $5 ill get a really nice bouquet which I absolutely love. I don’t always buy flowers but if I do it’s definitely at the market.

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