Monthly Archives: September 2013

ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen

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Disclosure: I was invited to a tasting event along with a select group of bloggers – all opinions are my own.

ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen is a fast casual restaurant that features a menu that is gluten-free, as well as dairy-free. The concept is simple – you get a noodle or rice bowl, fill it with your choice of meat or tofu, then pick one vegetable, one sauce & a garnish. The set-up of the restaurant is similar to Chipotle (who happens to own ShopHouse), in that they create your order in an assembly-line style.

My favorite meat item is the pork & chicken meatballs. They are so flavorful & juicy – not dried out like at some places. A close second is the steak laab – the spices they use make it so yummy. For a vegetarian option, you can get organic tofu, which I really liked as well. The texture of the tofu is crispy & it’s tossed with cilantro & other spices. You are allowed to do half & half, so I chose half steak laab & half meatballs for my entree.

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All of the veggies are pretty spicy. I was told that the green beans were the spiciest veggie on the menu & they weren’t kidding! I really liked their charred corn, which is seasoned with garlic & sesame seeds.

For those of you who want to add even more heat to your entree, they have plenty of sriracha to choose from.

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ShopHouse also offers a nice selection of ginger ales made by Bruce Cost. I really needed one after all of that spicy goodness! I chose the original flavor, but they also have pomegranate, jasmine tea & passion fruit flavors.

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The ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen that I visited is in Hollywood. It’s right across the street from ArcLight Cinemas. Tip: park in the structure behind the restaurant & ShopHouse will validate it for 1-hour of free parking.

They will be opening up two new locations before the end of the year – one in Santa Monica (at Third Street Promenade) & one in Westwood. I also understand that two more will open in 2014, but the locations are TBD. Keeping my fingers crossed that they put one in the San Fernando Valley!

Fall TV Season

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It’s Fall TV premiere week! I happen to be one of those people who watch a lot of television. All I can say is, thank goodness for the DVR!

There are a lot of TV shows (both old & new) that are starting this month. It got me thinking, what are my top 5 TV shows that I am looking forward to watching? Here’s my list (in no particular order):

  • Modern Family – Everyone on the show is hilarious. I think the little girl on the show who plays Lily is cute & talented. Mitchell & Cam’s relationship is very funny & sweet. I can’t wait to see what happens this season with their characters.
  • Homeland – I loved the first season of this show. The second season ended with a bang (pun intended). I can’t wait to see how this third season starts out.
  • Top Chef – This is my favorite food competition show on TV. This season’s show takes place in New Orleans, which is a fun town with great food. I can’t wait to see what kind of food creations the chefs make.
  • Amazing Race – My husband & I love watching this show. It’s been around for a long time, but never seems to get old for us. My international travel has been limited to 6 countries, so I get to live vicariously through these contestants, taking in the sights & doing crazy challenges.
  • Law & Order: SVU – I’ve watched this show since it started many years ago. I’m always fascinated by the storylines that are ripped from the headlines. I’m anxious to see how they resolve last season’s cliffhanger.

What shows are you excited about seeing this season? Do you have any new shows on your list or are they all returning TV shows like mine?

Lulu in La La Land Book Signing

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This past weekend, Elisabeth Wolf held a book reading & signing for her book Lulu in La La Land. I had heard about the book & thought it would be a perfect activity for me & my daughter to attend. On a warm afternoon, we headed out to the Barnes & Noble book store at the Americana in Glendale.

Lulu in La La Land is an adorable story about a young girl who lives in Bel Air & doesn’t feel like she fits in. The book is set-up like a screenplay, which is fitting since Lulu’s parents are in the entertainment industry. Lulu’s mother is a director & her father is an actor. From the outside, Lulu’s life looks wonderful & very glamorous. However in reality, Lulu is a “Not Fitter Inner.”

The idea of being a “Not Fitter Inner” is very important to the author. Much like Lulu, Elisabeth Wolf grew up in sunny Los Angeles – Beverly Hills to be exact. During the book reading, the author shared a personal story of how she would ride her bike around the neighborhood. However, she never saw other young kids her age playing in their front yards. When she finally asked a girl in her school, her response was “I’d rather wear pretty dresses & you can’t ride a bike with a pretty dress.” Elisabeth wrote this book because she wanted kids to know the importance of being yourself & that it’s ok if you do not fit in.

One of the things that I loved about this particular book reading is that the author invited several young girls to join her on stage to read excerpts of the book. Elisabeth was very engaging with the audience, asking the kids questions throughout the reading. She even raffled off a Drybar (hair blow-out salon) gift card to the person in the audience who had the best answer to the question “What place in LA would you take an out-of-town friend to visit?”

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Some of the ways that the author is similar to the character Lulu in the book include: her love of cooking, baking & gardening. Elisabeth is so enthusiastic about gardening that she brought in tomatoes from her own garden to share with the audience!

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At the end of the reading, my daughter & I stood in line to get our copy of the Lulu in La La Land book autographed (which we had purchased that morning). I even got to take a picture with the author, Elisabeth Wolf!

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I love the message of the book – that it is important to be true & authentic to yourself. It’s a fun book for all ages, even adults! I’d have to say that based on the audience at the bookstore & also the subject matter, this book might be best for tweens. I’m reading the book with my 7 year old daughter partly because some of the words might be challenging for her, but also so that we can discuss some of the themes of the book.

If you’d like learn more about Lulu in La La Land, please click here for additional information.