Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hamamori Sushi

James Hamamori is a sushi god.  There.  I said it.  Fans of sushi in Orange County have been going to Wasa Sushi in Newport Beach and Tustin for ages, and when James opened Hamamori Restaurant and Sushi Bar in South Coast Plaza at the old Bangkok Four location, devotees followed.  Sleek white wall with bubble chandeliers and white leather chairs made this the prettiest sushi joint in OC. 

James goes extremely early most mornings to the fish market in LA to get his seafood offerings.  But despite the fresh flavor of his fish, it's his homemade sauces on his "sushi gems" that will make you a loyal fan.  His ponzu, made with no less than 12 ingredients, is the star.  If I could bottle it and take it home, I'd slather it on everything, from fish, chicken, noodles, rice, to pancakes!  (Okay, maybe not pancakes, but I was wondering if you were still paying attention. hehe).  No less tasty are his wasabi sour cream, miso sauce, or simple sea salt with yuzu zest. 

Sit at the sushi bar in front of James if you get the chance, and just tell him to give you the freshest offerings of the day.  Do NOT order Americanized sushi rolls from him though; it's like asking Monet to fill in your coloring book.  Try new things that you normally wouldn't.  I became a fan of uni and Spanish mackeral because of the quality of products used here.  Buy him a beer during dinner and you'll probably make a friend too.  :)  Happy eatings!

Albacore tuna with crispy onion and homemade ponzu

Seabream with lime zest

James Hamamori

California Roll with Blue Crab
Uni with fresh Wasabi
Lobster with Miso sauce

Live Sweet Shrimp

James being goofy

Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna

Hamamori Restaurant and Lounge
3333 Bear St., Suite 320
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 850-0880

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christian Louboutin 3rd Anniversary Party

Christian Louboutin celebrated their 3rd anniversary at South Coast Plaza in the former Sergio Rossi space on the third floor in front of St. John.  Well heeled guests drank Veuve Cliquot champagne and nibbled on treats from AnQi as they shopped for new shoes with the famous red soles. 


Infamous shoes just like the ones that JLo wore, that ended up cutting her feet

Anyone have a spare $3000???

with Kristen Bell

Pumped Up Kicks
Christian Louboutin
3333 Bristol St., Suite 3010
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 754-9200

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Marc Jacobs

I'll be the first to admit that I have the stereotypical Asian body type of long torso/short legs.  My heel height of choice is a minimum of 4", and I was thrilled when the trend moved a few years ago to the super high 6-7" heels that you normally wear when you work a pole and love to spin in circles, if you get my drift.  (Not that I have anything against pole dancing; took lessons for a year until I admitted to myself that I look like an Asian female Urkel, but less sexy.)  I steer clear of flat shoes of any kind, unless my objective is to look like a turtle.  But if I ever did wear flats, these Marc Jacobs would be it.  The velvety outside material with its blood red hue and plush sheepskin lining would make my tootsies happy and cozy, not to mention as cute as its distant cousin, Mickey (da Mouse).


photos via Net-a-porter

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Are you the Great Pumpkin?

My outfit for the Bond No.9 Luncheon.  Thrilled that it was slightly sprinkling, as I got to wear a coat, instead of my usual warm Orange County weather outfit of jeans and a blouse.  Orange isn't a normal color for me, as I tend to wear the "insect colors" more often; black, brown, tan, green...  I reminded my self of a large pumpkin, but that's not always a bad thing.  ;) 

Vintage Shop dress, Prada shoes, Hermes scarf as cumberbund,
Henri Bendel necklace, Hermes cuff, Hermes purse

Love wearing scarves unexpectedly

Maxmara coat, House of Harlow sunglasses

Bond No.9

I have to admit that for such a big perfume lover, Bond No. 9 hasn't been on my radar.  Sure, I've seen their counters at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, but after a particularly aggressive perfume spray decacle, I categorized it as a heavy scent that didn't match my personality.  We've all had that happen; we're minding our own business, shopping for that special something and then bam!  You've been sprayed and now you smell like a musky (musty) old cigarette-smoking Grandma that's sporting Coty from the local drugstore.  Thanks, but I like vintage clothes, not vintage smells. 

With some trepidation, I accepted an invitation to meet the creator of Bond No.9 at a luncheon in Saks Fifth Avenue in South Coast Plaza.  Laurice Rahme was a charming, petite lady wearing a chic orange jacket, and she seemed just as spunky as her beautiful bottles.  Row after row of perfumes were laid out, named after New York locales like Park Avenue, Bryant Park, Madison Avenue, and Coney Island. 

Laurice Rahme
Laurice and her helpful assistants listened to my concerns about not smelling like a geriatric grannie, and helped me pick out a scent that was fruity and lightly floral.   And no, it was not the obvious "Chinatown", although many chuckled as I rolled my eyes at that.  Great to come away with another new favorite perfume, but I'll still be wary of perfume sprayers in the future.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rockstar Yeti

image via net-a-porter

I've got fur on my mind.  More specifically, this gorgeous white lamb fur coat.  Nevermind that Orange County is so warm right now that I'm wearing shorts as I write this post.  But in my head, I can see myself arriving at some cool party like a rock star in this exquisite white fur coat (and as a mom, wearing anything white without getting a stain on it is as likely as spotting a real Yeti in the back woods of Balboa Bay). The LA girl in me still persists in this dream, wanting this little bit of furry goodness, like a petulant child about to throw a temper tantrum without another piece of birthday cake.  So off I go on a little shopping adventure (aren't they the best kind??) to find this elusive creature. 

Oscar de la Renta fur & ruffle capelet
Ella Moss shirt,  jeans, prada shoes, vintage owl necklace
 Hermes belt, cuff, and wrist scarf, YSL ring

 I tried on this white mink and organza ruffle capelet from Oscar de la Renta in South Coast Plaza.  Very pretty and detailed, but maybe a bit too girly for me.  I felt like I should be in an episode of Toddlers & Tiaras with my own mini-sash and crown.

oops! Got distracted by this gorgeous
Oscar de la Renta diamond ring.
Vintage white fox coat, armani shirt, uniq pants, lanvin shoes,
henri bendel necklace, oliver peoples sunglasses

Spotted this 1960's vintage white fox coat while browsing one of the many vintage shops of Old Towne Orange.  This particular coat was found at Elsewhere Vintage, but I've also had a lot of luck at Villains Vintage and the Orange Circle Antique Mall.   This reminds me of an old school rockstar, or more specifically, Ginger from Casino.  Do you think this looks like a cross between a Yeti and a 60's Vegas mob boss's wife?  Both the LA and OC girl in me are happy!  Now if only the weather would cooperate...

hermes scarf in hair


Lanvin python and mongolian lamb fur shoes

Rockstar Yeti off to a Party - with champagne, of course!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Le Pain Quotidien

Every day at around 1:30pm, I do a little panic-filled dance.  I pick Knolton up from school by three, but before I do, I need need need to get him a snack.  "Why are you being so weird about food?", you ask?  Because my child has been absolutely spoiled by the Afterschool Snack Wars. 

It all started harmlessly enough, with little premade packages of goldfish and string cheese at pickup.  Then came his little voice the next day, "Johnny's mom brought him s'mores after school."  Huh??  Wha??  We're introducing sugar into this??  Alright.  Bring it on.  She brought s'mores?  I brought chocolate covered strawberries.  She brought cheese pizza?  I brought rosemary sourdough grilled cheese.  She brought brownies?  I brought macaroons made fresh by Amelia from Marche Moderne.  Booya!  In yo face, sucka!!!  

I eventually figured it was going a tad too far when I was calling Hamamori Restaurant for to-go orders of sushi for an afterschool snack between lunch and dinner...  Perspective, anyone???  I finally learned to tone down Knolton's snacks, but still have to admit that he's become used to something more than the average graham crackers and carton of milk.

I recently stumbled across Le Pain Quotidien, a new bakery that opened in Fashion Island.  They drew me in with their glossy storefront, and intoxicatingly warm scent, wafting at me as I strolled by exercising (aka shopping).

Their breads and pastries are made daily, and reminds me of a little Boulangerie in Burgundy.  They serve breakfast items, salads, quiches, and sandwiches made from their housemade breads.  Their menu consists of many organic selections, including various vegan items.

Their strength is still in their baked goods.  Being half French, Knolton is a fan of all things bread.  First day for snack was their crusty baguette.  Second day was their pain au chocolat.  Third day was the Pièce de résistance; a chocolate cookie the size of his face.  Holy smokes, Batman!  He thought it was the best cookie ever!   So what did we learn from this?...
That thanks to Le Pain Quotidien, I win, Johnny's Mom. 

Le Pain Quotidien
401 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA  92660

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Brunello Cucinelli

Brunello Cucinello at South Coast Plaza had a Grand Opening party (6 months after actually opening. huh. ok) benefiting the Camino Health Center, an organization providing affordable healthcare for the medically underserved in South Orange County. 

Gorgeous knits, fab fur detailing, champagne was pouring, people were mingling...  Quite a coup for a brand strong on the East Coast and in Europe, but still relatively unknown in California.  The name may not be familiar to most people here, but their clothing is.  Prince William and Kate Middleton wore Brunello Cucinello for the engagement photos seen around the world.  Well, if it's good enough for Will & Kate, guess it's good enough for me. 

party people

With the lovely Suzan Paek


lovely salegirl
dressed in Brunello Cucinelli


Franck Mueller watch, gifted Brunello Cucinelli bracelet,
Hermes Bracelet
 Brunello Cucinelli
3333 Bristol St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626