Wednesday, February 29, 2012


not sure what to eat for lunch?
how about something 'quick' and...cheesy!

yup. you will love this place if you love cheeeeeeeeese
 obika offers fresh cheese from their mozzarella bar & other cheese based dishes-
i personally thought their fresh burata cheese was definitely one of the yummiest! 
for more of their menu, you can click right here

additional the perks of going to obika for those fashion lovers is that both of their locations are at a shopping center! one at century city & the other at beverly center
so drop by for some fresh mozzarella bar while shopping! 

beet salad with burrata
sausage open panini which came with too many capers 
panna cotta

i was going to hold on this post until i revisit to try more & to take more photos, but decided that i should just write more posts for you even though they might not be as thorough as my recent post like happilyfull: bottega louie!

so do try obika, cheese lovers!!!
and if you are lactose intolerant, i am sorry. maybe this isn't the place for you ;)

i am now happilyfull ♥ 
see you on my next adventure!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

fly away

this week has been very tough on me-
. . . definitely full of emotional downhill on a roller coaster while struggling to go up, up & away

so, i'd like to share a short story from sweet life which really encouraged me
hopefully this can energize anyone else that might have had a dreadful week as well!

”a man was walking through a forest when he came upon a butterfly freeing itself from it’s cocoon. he sat and watched the butterfly's struggle and fight to get it’s entire body through a small hole in the cocoon. then, it seems to stop making any progress. it appeared as if it had got as far as it could and it could not go any further.

so the man decided to help the butterfly; he took a pair of scissors and opened the cocoon.
the butterfly then emerged easily. but its wings were limp and its body was mushy and weak.

the man continued to watch because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would open, enlarge and expand, to be able to support the butterfly’s body, and become firm.

neither happened!

in fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a withered body and shriveled wings. it never was able to fly.

the man was indeed kind and had tried to help the butterfly. but in his kindness, he did not understand, that the restricting cocoon and the struggle was required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening. in order for a butterfly to have strong wings and a solid body it needs to struggle and fight it’s way out of the cocoon. it needs to slowly and gradually squeeze through the small hole in the cocoon because that process transforms it’s body. squeezing through the hole in the cocoon squeezes all the fluids from the body into the wings making them solid and strong and creates a strong body.

sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our life.
if we were allowed to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us.
we would not be as strong as we could have been and never been able to fly.

i asked for strength...
and i was given difficulties to make me strong.

i asked for wisdom...
and i was given problems to solve.

i asked for prosperity...
and i was given a brain and strength to work.

i asked for courage…..
and i was given obstacles to overcome.

i asked for love...
and i was given troubled people to help.

i asked for favors...
and i was given opportunities.

i received nothing i asked for...
but i received everything i needed."

live life without fear, face all obstacles and know that you can overcome them."

ending it with men that stole my heart with their amazing voices :)
"people are just as happy as happy as they make up their minds up to be"
so when you are going through rough patches in life,
look up, see the bigger picture, smile & fly away from all the troubles
even though it might be a temporary fix & you will still have to face all the problems, having a positive mindset will make you a happier person!

"one day at a time is enough...
don't look back & grieve the past, it's already gone...
don't be troubled about the future, it hasn't arrived...
live in the present & appreciate this day,
pray and be grateful to god and he makes life beautiful that it will be worth remembering"

or . . .
if you are really down & all these words of encouragements are not working for you,
go to a shooting range & break all the shackles that have chained you up, like i did yesterday ;)

 that's it for today-
from "happilyfull-on-life" 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

michael voltaggio's ink & inksack

you may know chef michael voltaggio as the winner of sixth season of top chef

here's a little background on the chef for those who are following 'celebrtiy chef's
for more on chef michael voltaggio & the team, you can click here
for more information on the voltaggio brothers, you can click here

at 31 years old, michael voltaggio follows in his older brother's footsteps in the way of being a highly accomplished chef at such a young age, in such a short period of time. he has worked in restaurants since he was 15, and he has studied under several celebrity chefs. the majority of his training has been in european fine dining kitchens with an emphasis on modern technique, flavor, and presentation. he has helmed such kitchens as the historic greenbrier in west virginia, charlie palmer's dry creek kitchen in healdsburg, and  garnering a four-star review for being executive chef at bazaar by jose andres in los angeles. he has also worked as the chef de cuisine at the dining room at the langham, huntington hotel & spa in pasadena, california. michael describes his style of cooking as sophisticated american cuisine utilizing modern technology and classic disciplines of cooking.

voltaggio was a finalist for the james beard "best new restaurant" award in 2009. that same year, he also earned the title of top chef on bravo tv's emmy-award-winning show. he has established a reputation for what critics heralded as "serious" food that is playful, visually stunning and flawlessly executed. he was also named "best new chef" by angeleno magazine in 2010, cementing a place withing the los anegeles culinary community.

ink. is chef michael voltaggio's first signature restaurant. alluding to the idea of permanence, ink. endeavors to create an indelible impression with flavor profiles that are inspired by the myriad of cultures that make up the city of los angeles. thusly,  he describes the food at ink. as "modern los angeles cuisine" and aspires to create an experience that will repurpose the term "fine dining" for angelenos.



he also opened ink.sack, a sandwich shop a few doors down from ink. the concept is driven by classic flavor profiles that are elevated by premium ingredients and refined techniques. with sandwiches priced and sized to satisfy a palate craving options, ink.sack has established itself as a lunch staple in los angeles

so let's begin with ink
although their menu does change, if  you are like me who likes to review the menu prior to checking out a restaurant, you can find them here
all of the food as amazing presentation & some crazy food chemistry involved-
i for sure want to go back so i can try the chef's course menu next time!

carrots, coconut ice, cardamom soil, carrot juice curry
tuna, dashi sponge, radish, grapefruit
crab, charred avocado, whipped fish sauce, mushroom chicharron
octopus, ink. shells, young fennel, pimenton
poutine, chickpea fries, yogurt curds, lamb neck gravy
sea bass, cauliflower, smoked raisin, caper, brown butter
pork tenderloin, charcoal oil, young leeks, macaroni and cheese
steak frites, beef skirt, potato, flavors of béarnaise

& the ink sack
this casual sandwich shop wins my heart with their top-notch sandwiches!
mind you, i am not a big sandwich lover & i prefer not to eat them unless i really have no choice-
but if ink sack was next to me, i would go here all the time for lunch!

this was half of the line, first weekend it opened!!! 
the menu
hey there, chef michael voltaggio! you can see his side view ;)
. . . and yes, i do regret not thanking a pic with him because there
were too many people that were watching;; haha! 
love the use of chalkboard! 
casual funky chic 
they lunch-baggy your sandwiches! aren't they cuuute! 
love the black paper lunch bag & silver marker 
maryland crab chips
cold fried chicken
house-made ranch cheese, gindo’s spice of life
the jose andrés (aka the spanish godfather) serrano, chorizo, lomo, manchego 
spicy tuna miso-cured albacore, sriracha, mayo
banh mi
pork butt, pork bell, chicharrónes, pickled vegetables
sandwichese are small ~4'' but they are FILLING!
mexican chocolate chip cookie
watermelon chile y limon

i also got a taste of c.l.t which is the chicken liver mousse, curried chicken skin, lettuce and tomato & "reuben" which is corned beef tongue, appenzeller cheeze, kraut, russian dressing
but my favorite? definitely the banh mi because of chicharrones, especially with pickled veggies and jalapenos!
i love lee's sandwiches but they've got nothin' on ink sack's banh mi's . . .
in addition, i tried the penut butter sea salt cookie, but mexican chocolate cookie is  my pick!

the fact that both of these spots are right next to one another
& that it's next to one of my favorite cake places sweet lady jane
makes the trip worthwhile ;)

i am now happilyfull ♥ 

see you on my next adventure!