Memosne: July 2012

Kat Von D: Everlasting Love Liquid Lipstick Review and Swatches

The last time my sister and I had a chance to run into Sephora, we also accidentally ran into a Kat Von D signing. Unfortunately the wristlets required to see her up close in person were already "sold out." Sephora was having a promotion that day, that if you bought some Kat Von D makeup products they would give you a wristlet for free, but by the time we arrived they had already given them all away. As you can imagine at such a high profile signing, Kat's makeup line was heavily featured in all sections of the store. I've bought some products from her before, but they were nothing to write home about. However, her new "liquid lipsticks" piqued my interest, especially following my intense obsession with YSL's Glossy Stains and the "opaque liquid lipstick" trend. I bought two colors: Berlin (warm rose) and Outlaw (brick red). 

Top: Outlaw, Bottom: Berlin
The packaging is pretty characteristic of the rest of Kat Von D's line, lots of black with silver tattoo enamel accents. Unlike the Painted Love Lipsticks, these Liquid Love Lipsticks are not rubberized and instead are just hard plastic. The tubes were narrower than I thought they would be, but have an elegant thin shape that allows you to easily slip them into a handbag or a clutch.

The applicator for the Lipstick is a traditional doe foot applicator, that are primarily used in lip glosses, and I think it applies the thin, watery formula of the Liquid Love Lipstick well. However, because of the shape of the applicator, I think it's difficult to really get into the corners of your lips to clearly define your lipshape, without really taking one's time. The formula is so thin, once you apply any little bit of color on your lip it sets immediately and is there for the rest of the nightIn the photos below, I really took my time with Outlaw, as opposed to my slathering approach with Berlin, and I think you can really tell the difference in application. The Everlasting Liquid Love Lipstick isn't really one of those lipsticks that you can apply on the go, but requires a mirror for the initial and touch up application.

Berlin to the left and Outlaw to the Right
Like a mentioned before, the formulation of this lipstick is quite watery and applies as such...just like a thin layer of acrylic paint. Although it applies glossy it dries down to matte. The colors appear as they appear in the tube, so no surprises there. The staying power is impressed me, when I drinking and talking no color transfer happened, but be warned...when eating all the lip color comes of in a weird "ring" around your mouth. It's as if you only applied lipliner by the time you've finished eating. Lots of lip products never pass the eating test, but because of the intense pigmentation in Kat Von D's Everlasting Love Liquid Lipstick the effect that you get on your lips after a meal is almost clown like. Reapply immediately!

I'm sorry. My face is really gross, but I think these sort of lip swatches are the most informative. Please ignore my volcanic wasteland face.

In certain lighting, the two lipsticks look very similar in color. However, you can tell the difference in the photos below and in person. I believe in darkness and twilight light levels, the two hues of Outlaw and Berlin can sort of resemble each other. I liked the color opacity of both lipsticks, the application and texture for both lip colors, and the matte dry down of both lipsticks. It was actually the matte finish that originally drew me to purchase these. However a huge con of these lipsticks is the fact that they are so, so, so drying. The matte effect looks nice, but it seems like they actually like wick moisture away from you lips and the end result is super dry, craggy, dead skin lips. Joker lips. Or dry lakebed lips. I added on a balm to re-moisturize,...but when I kissed boyfriend the color smeared both on him and me. It looked like we shared some sort of terrible disease. 

I would say that the "staying power" of the lipsticks really depend on whether you add a balm or not. With the addition of a lip balm, not only does the color pigment slide all over your lips, but the durability of the color drops intensely. Most recently on a night out, I wore Outlaw without any balm (I had forgotten it) and it stayed without any reapplication or slipping. Surprisingly that time my lips didn't look like a dry lake bed, but they felt really dry.

Ultimately, I don't think I'll repurchase these again. Although I really like the colors, the drying sensation isn't very fun to deal with.

- Opacity/Pigmentation
-"Staying Power"
- Beautiful matte red and a dainty "rose pink"
-Price $19 dollars compared to other "high end" brands at Sephora

- SO Drying
- Can transfer
- Thin formula (It was a weird texture for me)

Purchase: Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Love Lipsticks

Thanks for reading!

The House ~ San Francisco

Oh man, oh man! Has anyone else received discrimination for being a food blogger? Today at my boyfriend's favorite restaurant, the table next to us wouldn't stop talking about how weird I was for taking pictures of everything and commented how they hated tourists and just wished they could throw chilies at them. Later on we discovered that they were from LA and in comparison....I was born here. By the end of the night, they too were Instagramming and taking photos of their dishes with their iPhones! They also made a couple of disparaging comments about how my boyfriend and I could "afford" to go to such a fancy place dressed the way we were. It made me terribly uncomfortable and made for a more than unpleasant dining experience. Luckily for me, I wasn't alone and the food was tasty. I guess...I always just wonder why people can't be nice to each other.

The house is a small, casual restaurant on Grant Avenue in San Francisco that serves "Asian American" food. I was really excited to try this restaurant, because it's my boyfriend's favourite and he felt really strongly about it. Usually when it comes to eating dinner together, it's always an awkward battle of "I'm not feeling like anything in particular, what do you feel like?" "Oh nothing, what do you feel like?" Haha, but this time boyfriend was like "We're goin' here." The restaurant actually sort of reminded me of a small shop, instead of a restaurant. The entirety of the floor space was taken by guest seating. The menu was only one page long, divided evenly between the appetizers and and the entrees, with supplementary seasonal special options for the appetizer, entree, and dessert.

The first thing I noticed about The House it was very small and seating space was incredibly limited. If you want to dine here, I highly recommend reserving a table in advance. The decor was clean and simple and there were no booths for large parties, but instead the entire restaurant was filled with tables that were able to seat two to four patrons at once. The staff is less like a well oiled machine and more like a bunch of ninjas. Our waters were refilled, our orders were taken, and our food was delivered, but after completing all these tasks the waitstaff disappeared into the shadows. For the most part, my boyfriend and I had a very enjoyable time to ourselves on one of our first "date nights" in a long time. The one drawback I would have to say is that there is really no privacy, the tables are really spaced closely together, and there's a lot of sound pollution within the restaurant. You have to raise your voices a bit to converse with your table mates.

Now onto the meal!

Pickled Cucumber Starter
The House staff gave us a little freebee to tie us over until we finished reading the menu. It was pickled cucumber with some toasted sesame seeds thrown on top. It was very, very, very tart and had more of an unadulterated "vinegar" flavor than the usual briny, sour flavor that pickling usually imparts onto veggies. I've heard that sour things get the appetite going and I was really excited to start the rest of the meal.

Blue Lake Bean Tempura with Pickled ginger soy
This was the appetizer that boyfriend was like "We're getting this." That was that! I have I was a little thrown off by this appetizer's description on the menu. I'm not a terribly big fan of green beans (steamed, blanched, stir fried, etc.) and I much prefer them as a side,but I have to say I wasn't disappointed. This dish was also probably one of the most popular off the menu and I saw a stream of criss-crossed bean towers emerge from the kitchen and brought to almost every table. 

As you can probably tell from the picture above, the tempura was like a light flour exoskeleton to the green beans and served as a wonderful complement to the fresh, firm green bean "innards." The sauce was so good and paired with the tempura perfectly. Surprisingly, I could taste the sharpness of the ginger mingling with the tartness of the vinegar and the combo cut whatever oiliness was left within the tempura casing. There's a good reason why every table ordered it and after finishing our serving I really was craving more.

Charred baby octopus salad, crispy pork skin, and a red chili vinaigrette 
Both the boyfriend and I were sort of disappointed with this particular appetizer. After all the title made it look so promising. The inclusion of charred baby octopus (yum) and the sinfully delicious crispy pork skin (double yum!) really piqued our interests and we were enticed to order salad dish because we needed some vegetables in our diet so we didn't get scurvy. What you see in the photo above is an individual serving on my plate, but if you multiply my serving by four and imagine the salad in a bowl that's how the dish was presented.

I was hoping for really lightly diced pieces of baby octopus, but you really had to hunt for the pieces hiding between all the bits of shredded veggies. The salad itself was also very vinegar-y, not surprising from a vinaigrette, but instead of a tossed salad I felt the flavours in this dish were more reminiscent of the pickled vegetables that come inside a Vietnamese bánh mì sandwich. The predominant flavors were sweet and sour and I didn't really taste any "kick" from the red chili. The crispy pork skin was delicious, but if you throw bacon or crispy pork skin on anything it usually has the propensity to be pretty good. Overall, boyfriend and I were a bit disappointed with this dish. 

Warm Wasabi House Noodles with Angus Steak
This is what boyfriend says he gets every time he comes here and honestly, I can see why. The angus steak was a very tender medium rare, that was juicy and succulent. The steak mixed well with the kimchi and cucumber slaw that was presented on top of the dish. The slaw had that sweet spiciness that's common in Korean dishes, the sweet spicy, as opposed to a burning, painful one and I really liked the combination of the starchy udon with the crunchy slaw and the tender, juicy meat. The udon noodles were well done and had a nice bite with a sort of "al dente" chewiness that was really addictive. I didn't really taste the wasabi, which was strange because from the name is seemed like wasabi was a key component to this entree, but I liked the dish the way it was. I feel like wasabi might be a little too acrid for all the components within the noodles.

The Special of the day: A miso braised black cod, with wasabi oil, hoisin sauce, and a  California Roll
When the waitress was talking about the three daily specials they had for the night, it was to loud in the restaurant I couldn't really hear her. However, from the scant descriptions that I did hear I picked up a "black cod braised in miso" dish and that's when I made my decision. We ordered immediately after. The black cod did not disappoint in anyway shape or form. The fish was moist and delicious and blended with the miso crust perfectly. The almost buttery nature of the black cod was complemented by the many sauces below: which included a sweet hoisin sauce, red chili oil, and wasabi oil. All this was placed upon a little bed of "gai lan" with some shaved fried plantains for decoration.

The only real "cons" about this dish was that I felt the wasabi oil was really, really strong. When I was cutting the fish into pieces I would inadvertently load the fish up with so much wasabi oil, by scooting the fish off its safe bed of greens into the sauces below, that it really, really cleared out my sinuses every time I took an overly large bite. The California rolls were made with real dungeness crab and sweet, fresh avocados, but the roll sort of seemed out of place on the plate. Perhaps I just loved the fish so much that I just wished there was more of it instead of the "starch filler" California roll. Usually my boyfriend out eats me and we have to take some of our dinner home in doggie bags, but this time we finished everything on the table and were so completely sated we didn't have room for dessert. It was lovely and I had a great time.

I strongly recommend The House if you're ever in San Francisco and knackering for Asian Fusion food. The restaurant was loud and crowded, and I was told by boyfriend that sometimes the line is out the door, so I would definitely make a reservation one to two days ahead of time. For two entrees and two appetizers we paid about $80, including tip, for large portions and delicious food. I heard numerous remarks around the restaurant that the value for the quality at the House is unbeatable. Overall, I would say that my first experience at The House was a delicious one and that I would definitely return here with friends and family. Thanks for coming!

PS Sorry for the skewed photos, I let my self consciousness get the better of me under the scrutiny of the couple sitting next to us. ><

Price: $$ out of $$$$$
Kid Friendly: Yes, saw lots of kids there. Including some that spilled dishes.
Repeatability: Yes

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XOX Betsey Nail Polish Review and Swatch

XOX Betsey
This is somewhat new! Haha, I know I've done many a restaurant review for my blog, but never anything really regarding to beauty. However, much like food and fashion, I am also obsessed with makeup. I'm still pretty amateurish about it, but I think I can tell the difference between good and bad. =) Anyway, this XOX Betsey is a limited edition nailpolish, exclusively for Sephora, that was designed by Betsey Johnson.

The color, although described as an opaque sandy nude, is a nude that reads just a touch lavender and when applied it dries down to the color inside the bottle. No surprises there. ;) The bottle and the brush are the usual to OPI and it was very easy to apply the polish to the opacity that I had wanted. Although I needed two coats of nail polish to get to this level of opaque, I was genuinely surprised at how pigmented the color of one coat was. I've tried many, many nudes before and I've always needed four or five coats to reach a state of color that wasn't sheer and see through.

As usual I've been lurking on the internet and using my keyboard a lot and for the most part XOX Betsey hasn't chipped at all. The only "chip" that you can see on my pointer finger in the photo above is probably most likely from painting over my cuticle which is more my own fault than the polish's.

As for a more personal note, this polish is actually "my" perfect nude. The nudes that I've tried before this have always read "too warm" or too similar to my own skin tone so instead of a nicely manicured nails, it looked like I was a mutant whose skin grew over my cuticle bed. The lavender color within it just really sets it apart. Also....when applying this nail polish I didn't apply a base or a top coat. >< Not because I have anything against it, but because I couldn't justify purchasing more base and top coats when I have perfectly good bottles at home. I just forgot to bring them down to California. *sigh*

I recommend XOX Betsey for its opacity, wearability, and price. It retails for $9.50 at Sephora and although it's not the's pretty cute.

Purchase: XOX Betsey

Thanks for reading!

The Pineapple Room ~ Honolulu

Hello All! Today I'll be reviewing Alan Wong's Pineapple Room, the casual dining extension of the fancier Alan Wong's, located in Ala Moana Mall. I have to say, as a diner that has eaten at both restaurants, the atmosphere of each restaurant is very different. Where Alan Wong's is a smaller, more intimate establishment the feeling I get from The Pineapple Room is somewhat reminiscent of Morimoto's restaurant, in the terms of both restaurant's atmosphere and capacity to hold lots of diners. There is an enormous dining area in addition to two bar seating areas, one surrounding the alcohol and the other bordering the open kitchen. I can't imagine very many seating issues with that much space, but if you definitely want to eat here you might as well make a reservation. My family and I went on a weekday, with a reservation, and the seating areas probably were at 1/3 their capacity. Despite the differences in atmosphere, the themes behind their cuisine are the same: "tasting Hawaii", the "Aloha Spirit", and modern Hawaiian sustainability. 

Honestly, my family and I had a bit of trouble finding the place, it's located inside the Macy's section of the enormous Ala Moana Mall, and I didn't really expect to walk through the women's wear section to find the maitre'd stand. As you an tell from the photo above the aesthetic is somewhat reminiscent of the interior of a Tommy Bahamas store. The Pineapple Room utilizes the same color scheme from Alan Wong's, dark woods, light greens and creams, and some choice light fixtures and accent walls suggestive of tropical seas and sea life.

The light is a fish
As for the service it was quick, polite, and the waiters and waitresses were very friendly. I didn't have to ask for water at all, they were very attentive to our table, and the maitre'd got us seated within minutes. They were the sort of "hummingbird" waiters that always flutter around your table for refills on drinks, a friendly chat, or questions on how your food is tasting.

Now onto the meal!

Our meal started off with some complementary bread, which was very addictive. The bread had large pieces of sauteed garlic baked inside of it and had really nice dense, spongy texture. The starter bread was actually sweeter than normal white bread and was ten times more enjoyable than sourdough bread (to me at least). I tried to resist eating a lot of it though, because I didn't want to get full on starch filler before the actual meal.

Ahi Chili Nachos: Avacado Salsa, Chili Sour Cream 
A secret food fetish that I hole away in my heart is chili. My mom, dad, and sister don't particularly like it....but I...I love it. You can ask any of my friends, I always ask for chili on dinner nights. I was super psyched when my parents ordered this, after all they never willingly order chili, and I was eagerly anticipating stuffing my face. When the plate arrived it was very prettily presented, one can imagine the difficulties in making a brown chunky substance look appetizing, with an additional serving of nachos waiting in the wings on a different plate. Unfortunately, the chili was good, but wasn't anything particularly special. It was well balanced with lots of chili flavor, heightened by the tart sour cream and the rich buttery avocado, but I do feel that the Ahi was lost in the dish. With the chili flavours so strong, the chunks of Ahi tuna were physically lost in the chunky chili and the delicate tuna flavor was masked by all the strong herbs and spices. My mom, dad, and I all had trouble in differentiating the fish from the other bits and bobs in the was so finely chunked that we could hardly find the fish meat. Then again, I'm not sure how much fish meat was actually in the chili....
Shrimp Cocktail: Spicy Wasabi Cocktail Sauce 
Shrimp cocktail, a dinner party classic! I think the stereotypical presentation of shrimp cocktail is usually in a martini glass, but a plate is perfectly fine as well. I didn't really find this dish very impressive or ingenuitive. It was well executed, the shrimp were boiled to perfection and the cocktail sauce had that tangy, addictive flavour it uses to sucker people into eating glasses and glasses of cocktail shrimp, with the extra kick given by the wasabi. This dish was just a fancy shrimp cocktail and I can't really say much more about it. It was a dish where "what you see is what you get." I think it was an appropriate size for an appetizer, but I felt that the price didn't match. Unfortunately, they don't list the price online...but I do remember the feeling of surprise when seeing the price then seeing the portion.

Fries with Foie Gras Dip
Our waitress that night was telling us that the Foie Gras Dip was a new addition to the menu that they were currently testing out to see if it deserved a spot on the main menu. However, by the looks of it...this menu item lost out. Unfortunately, this was going to be the dish that I would most strongly would recommend. It's really simple in idea and execution, but it's so addictive and delicious. The potatoes were fried to crispy, golden perfection and were seasoned with a light dusting of salt. Already fries can be extremely delicious and addictive, but the addition of the foie gras sauce really pushed it over the edge into craving territory.

I don't know the exact components of the dip, on the menu it was simply listed it as Foie Gras dip, but you can see the drizzle of olive oil and the chive sprinkled on top. The texture and consistency of the dip was thin, but viscous enough that it coated a dipped fry perfectly. The sauce was like a deconstructed seared foie gras appetizer...the seared foie gras was already perfectly blended with the sweet fruit (for example pears, apples, or peaches) that were usually paired with pan seared foie gras and the fries added the starch needed to deal with a "rich fat." I'm very pleased to report that the fatty nature of the foie gras didn't just add to the oily nature of the fry. It could have been a horrible greasy fat mess, but that didn't happen. It was an extremely addictive appetizer and I really wish they placed it on the permanent would be something that I'd go back for.

Unfortunately all three of these entrees are no longer available on the updated menu on Alan Wong's site. I'm very apologetic to provide outdated information, but I hope the quality and execution of The Pineapple Room's dishes are clear in these photos and my descriptions. However, I think it's great that Alan Wong's Pineapple Room changes up its menu depending on the seasons and what's locally available.

Grilled Chicken Breast with Hollandaise Sauce and a Crab Cake 
I asked our waitress what entree on the menu was the "lightest", because I wasn't particularly hungry and the waitress recommended the chicken breast because of its small portion size. It was a lie. It was medium sized and it was so rich that I could only eat a third of it. It was good, but it was just so enormous the portion size actually detracted from my enjoyment of  the meal. The crab cake and the chicken breast were a surprisingly good combo, I wouldn't really have paired those meats together, but the combination was a savory umami meat sandwich. The chicken and the crab were both well cooked and moist, but I think some of the perfection in the meat was covered up by the rich hollandaise sauce. So much so, that it was difficult to pick out the individual flavors that composed the dish's entirety. It was all very rich and hollandaise-y. If I had been hungrier, or perhaps hadn't eaten all of those foie gras fries, I would have enjoyed the dish way more.

Big Island Steak with a summer salad
There's a version of this steak on the menu at the moment, called Kiawe Grilled Big Island Steak, but this old dish leans more to the traditional "steak and salad" dish. My dad wanted to take the photo, so unfortunately the more detailed shot is on the summer salad. The meat was rare, just like my father liked it, and I also had a bite so I can attest to its grilled perfection. The salad was very "Hawaii" and tropical as well and contained a myriad of ingredients from the pictured greens to shimeji mushrooms to red and yellow cherry tomatoes, and purple onions. It was not a boring salad at all and I loved the way the cherry tomatoes chimed in ever now and then to add a burst of sweetness to the salad.

It was well executed and simple, but my dad definitely also had a problem with the portion size of the whole meal. For me I did really enjoy the execution of the steak dish, but that was it for me. It was just a steak. I thought there were more interesting items on the menu that showcased Alan Wong's originality a bit more.

Seared Scallops with Hash
This is what my mom ordered, a seared scallop dish that came with four scallops atop a vegetable rice porridge/hash sort of combo at the bottom. My mom gave me a scallop and I tried a bit of her hash and they were both very good. The scallop was sweet and tender, but had a nice sear on each side...truly Hawaii is a paradise for seafood lovers. The mash I wasn't a too particularly fond of. I think I would have liked the scallops paired with something a little lighter, rather than a wet starchy, bean, corn, squash, rice party. I think the bottom's starch sort of overpowered the delicate seared nature of the scallops. Just give me the scallops and the bit on top and that'll be fantastic. My mom really liked the dish, but also shared the same concerns as my dad about the portion size. I didn't feel particularly excited about this dish, but it was well executed.

Ultimately, the Pineapple Room hasn't burrowed its way into my heart like all of the other restaurants located in Waikiki that I've shared with you. I think my main concern, as well as my mother's and my father's, was the portion control of all the dishes. Although we only each only ordered an appetizer and a main, we were all completely uncomfortably stuffed by the end of the meal. My father said that we could have probably fed four people with the quantity of food that we ordered. Even though I do like Alan Wong's main fancy restaurant I'm beginning to waver in my stalwart loyalty to the Alan Wong's brand from my last lackluster meal at their main restaurant to the sort of "meh" quality of The Pineapple Room...I dunno. The food was good and well executed, but just not very memorable to me. Since we're not native to Hawaii, I can think of other places that I would rather go than The Pineapple Room. My father also made the comment that the food here, for what we got, was more expensive than he previously anticipated. I'm just thoroughly "meh" about this meal and I don't think I'll return here. 

Thanks for coming!

Price: $$$ out of $$$$$
Kid Friendly: Yes
Repeatability: No..... ()-__-

Beep Boop

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to have my "I will kill you" face on.
It was 109 degees today, Fahrenheit of course, and I wanted sweat out all the liquids in my body. Whooo~ gotta love me some AC, but onto the outfit. ;) This combination is something that I wear often and enjoy wearing out in the summer weather. The orange and grey sweater is very old and from Urban Outfitters, while the white ruffled dress is equally as old but from H&M. I wish I had gotten it in a larger size though...the dress immediately shrunk down after I washed it. I think it's still quite wearable, as long as I don't sit in the position like the picture above...pretty sure I was showing my cooch to everyone, but the white and ruffle-y combination is still one combination that I'm always drawn towards.

That lone guy at the back. 
I didn't really dress up this ensemble, I usually wear a thin leather belt around the waist, but as usual I left the belt up in Canada, so I went pure. Just the sunnies I've been wearing all summer and a couple of modest pieces of jewelry. I've been trying to build my jewelry collection up to include statement necklaces, cocktail rings and bracelets, but my skin is so sensitive I always need "hypo-allergenic" everything or else I break out into rashes on my fingers, wrists, neck and earlobes. Gross, huh? I'll definitely share anything I find with you guys here on my blerg, but if you have anything particularly sensitive lady friendly I'll be more than happy to check it out. =) 

As for the Sam Edelman Yelena Sandals, which are quickly becoming one of my most complimented items of footwear, I originally saw them on Buy Now, Blog Later; Laura, the lovely lady of Lollipop26 fame, and I loved them to death (I think she's actually wearing them in her most recent post as well, she looks very glam). I had bought them on sale from Nordstrom's, but I think now they're on sale for even cheaper. The chunky block heel and the marriage between the metallic and leather just screamed the perfect summer shoe. 

Unfortunately, Laura is right in saying that these shoes take a while to break in. They're still a little bit uncomfortable for me, but I have high hopes the leather will gradually mold to my dagger shaped feet. Thanks for coming and reading guys. =)

I have a question for you though, what are the best ways for you to break the summer heat?

Sam Edelman Yelena Sandals


Opaque ~ San Francisco

I love gimmick-y restaurants. Especially themed restaurants. I think I'm just a consumer that way. So what's the gimmick to this restaurant you ask? From the sign above you guys can probably postulate that you're probably eating in the dark. I know of several restaurants that advertise dining in the dark, probably most prominently O, Nuit in Toronto, Dark Table in Vancouver, and Dining in the Dark in Boston . However, my sister and I have been reading about Opaque for awhile and we probably won't be going to Toronto/Boston for a long time. That and my parents hate themed we probably won't have a very good chance of going in Vancouver either.

The dining experience is truly unique and I feel that I'll be talking to you more about the experience than the food. I'll take this opportunity to tell you now that it is kind of in $100 per person expensive. Originally, the boyfriend and I mistakenly made a reservation, saw the price, tried to call and cancel, and then subsequently realized that it cost $50 dollars per person to cancel. Although we may not have fully intended on going....the experience was a good one and my sister, boyfriend, and I all had quite a bit of fun in the dark. No hanky panky between the boyfriend and I though! That shit is gross.

This is a long post, here's a photo of my dog looking disgruntled.
Before you go into the restaurant I suggest you wash your hands, I gave up using utensils during the appetizer dish and I feel that your hands will be accidentally dipped, dragged and inserted into your food. You'll also want to wear clothes that you don't mind staining....

I don't want to ruin the surprise of dining in the darkness for everyone, but I'll rate the service, discuss the food, and share my experiences. For the food I'll give my impression of it, but for the completeness of this post I'll return to the sister restaurant, Indigo, and order some dishes to further analyze them with sight. =) I think concentrating so hard on eating and actually getting the food into your mouth, took away some of the brain power one would usually use to "comment" on the cuisine. All of it was tasty and well executed, but I think, as I said before, dining at Opaque was about the experience.

Here he is hiding behind my mom.
As for the service, it was A+. They were polite, efficient, friendly and always there whether you needed them or not (which was helpful in the super dark environment you were in). As for the ambiance and decor....I couldn't tell you much. When they mean pitch black, they mean pitch black. It was really interesting to me the way that the servers "adjusted" to the darkness. Some people might tell you that the waitstaff there have "night vision" or "infrared goggles", but our waiter, who was very kind and friendly, said that Opaque only really hired people with existing vision problems. Our waiter bussed and carried food on a cart, refiled our waters to the perfect amount by listening to the ice cubes tinkle in our glasses, and in case we needed him he just popped up now and then to check on us. Genuinely, probably one of the best nights of service I've ever received in a restaurant...which was good, because we were completely helpless in the dark. I have to say though there were some issues with the rate our food was coming out of the kitchen, for once it was actually too fast, and one of the reasons we might have received impeccable service is because the restaurant wasn't particularly busy that Wednesday evening.

First walking into the restaurant you'll be guided into a lighted corridor, seen above, and you'll be able to pick three dishes: an appetizer, a main and a dessert, from a set menu. I chose the Ahi Tuna Tartare with the taro chips, the steak with mashed potatoes and green beans, and a warm chocolate cake with minted strawberries and vanilla ice cream. After ordering your entire meal, you'll be directed to wait until your server comes out to lead you to your table and reminded that cell phones, cameras, glow in the dark watches, and any glittery jewelry are strictly prohibited within the dining room. At Opaque there are two types of tables: booths and the open dining room. Luckily enough, my boyfriend, sister and I were able to sit at a booth so we could chat and embarrass ourselves privately. Given the chance to settle and take in our surroundings I drew a picture to give you guys an idea of what the main dining room looked like.


Tommy Hilfiger Chain Print Dress, Sofft Shoes, Uniqlo Basics Cardigan
Haha, get it? In reality, this sundress is probably one of the more conservative outfits I have in my "summer essentials" wardrobe. It's also one of my favorites and most worn outfits of the entire summer. The top half of the dress is a soft, stretchy cotton spandex blend, while the blue lower half is 100% cotton. Coming upon this dress was a meeting of pure chance. At the Tommy Hilfiger store I'd literally tried on most of the summer dresses offered for their Summer 2012 collection and none of them fit me...even in the extra small sizes. The saleswoman was bringing dress after dress out and I was feeling incredibly guilty about wasting her time. Then she brought out this one and it totally fit!

I've previously bought American Apparel color block dresses to achieve the same aesthetic I'm looking for here, but I've had terrible experiences with them. I found that the second that anything AA gets washed the colors bleed together almost immediately, completely ruining the dress!

I had the same qualms about this dress, but the store manager assured me that if the colors bled I could return the dress for a refund. The store manager in Vancouver was actually incredibly accommodating and I'm not sure if you'd get the same guarantee at other stores. The good news is, I'm sure you can see, that the colors didn't bleed! 

I loved the chain print on the bottom half of the dress. I thought it was very vintage and reminiscent of those vintage Chanel scarves that used to fill my mom's closet. Seeing the chain design still makes me smell my mom's perfume and reminisce about playing dress up in her closet. =) I don't like to wear too much jewelry and, for space purposes, I didn't bring too much of my jewelry collection down from Vancouver, but I did bring my favorite ring from Agnes. B and my most worn pair of earrings from Just Gold. 

Of course, how could I wear a sundress without accessorizing with a badass pair of sunglasses? <3 I didn't think I looked too repulsive in this last photo so I threw it in. I hope you guys are doing well!   

Purchase: Tommy Hilfiger Sundress



Recently I had the enormous pleasure of dining at Morimoto in Waikiki. The name Morimoto might sound familiar to you and it should! Masiharu Morimoto is the chef that has gained infamy across the globe from his stints on the original Iron Chef as the successor to Koumei Nakamura, and on Iron Chef America. He has three restaurants in the United States, located in Philadelphia, New York, and Florida--and has two in India, expanding his reach to both Mumbai and New Delhi! My family and I were super excited to try the famed Iron Chef's recipes and experience his aesthetic.

The overall decor of the restaurant is very fresh and clean; the aesthetic of the restaurant utilizes a palette of fresh celery greens, creams, off whites, and turquoises. I think the restaurant did a great job of embracing Morimoto's modern cooking style and fusing it with the "Aloha spirit." The restaurant was really beautiful and I could easily imagine it being in some swanky movie with a couple of high powered executives having a relaxed lunch, but in reality there were a lot of casual diners! In a sweeping panorama of the whole restaurant, there was many a Hawaiian shirt and chino pant to be seen. The restaurant itself is very, very large with ample indoor and outdoor patio seating. The space is clean, modern, fresh, and well designed (some of the beautiful vessels and plates that our food came served in was even custom ordered by Morimoto himself) and it seems like the restaurant itself is built for "high traffic."

The hostess was friendly and seated us at our table very quickly, while the waiter that served us the entire night was friendly, talkative and never forgot to refill our waters. There was a small incident that I completely blame our waiter for and I will shamefully tell you the story. My family and the waiter were having a friendly conversation and I told him how I have watched Iron Chef ever since I was a child and how I loved Morimoto. It turns out, in a freak coincidence, that Morimoto himself was visiting his restaurant and working at the sushi bar. Our waiter had told us that he doesn't mind taking photos with patrons and my father and I eagerly rushed over to the sushi bar to snap a photo. However, we learned after the fact that Morimoto doesn't like to be disturbed when working. He obliged us with a photo, however gruffly.  Even though the restaurant itself was pretty empty, it was clear that he did not want to be disturbed when working behind the sushi bar. I was pretty embarrassed and Morimoto looks pretty gruff, but here's the photo nonetheless.

Now onto the meal! My family had decided to order more of Morimoto's cooked and "innovative" dishes versus simply choosing the sushi "omikase." So you might not see as much sushi and sashimi as I usually post in a Japanese restaurant review. ;) I hope you still enjoy!