Kismet was the restaurant I was most looking forward to trying once I knew we were coming to Los Angeles. This all-day café is totally up my alley- the menu reimagines Middle Eastern flavors for modern-day California cuisine- so basically everything I want in a meal. Before relocating to LA, chefs Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson helmed the kitchen at Glasserie in Brooklyn, which is one of my husband's and my absolute favorite spots, so we had pretty high hopes for our meal at Kismet. I can say we thoroughly enjoyed the food, and although there are some similarities to Glasserie in that they both have Middle Eastern influence, Kismet is its own delicious beast. I love their focus on using small, responsible growers, and how much they value creating personal relationships with the farmers and producers. This passion really comes through in the food, as every dish really allowed the ingredients to shine.

My husband and I met another couple for dinner, so we luckily got to try a ton of different things, and honestly it would be hard for me to pick a favorite. The barbari bread by bub & grandmas was nicely doughy and chewy, but got even better when dunked into their super creamy tahini. Kismet creates some really flavorful combinations, like sweet potato with puffed rice and coconut vinaigrette, as well as kabocha squash with peanut and aleppo pepper, and I truly enjoyed all the unique flavors. Scroll through the slideshow to get details on all twelve (!) of our delicious dishes. I'm dying to return for brunch or lunch, as the Turkish-ish breakfast and broccoli toast are absolutely calling my name! The Kismet team also opened a more fast-casual falafel joint called Madcapra, so looks like I'll have to stop by Grand Central Market for lunch too!

golda kitchen

Okay, y'all- I'm going to go out on a limb and say I have a new favorite restaurant in Brooklyn. Golda Kitchen is an all-day New American café with the perfect touch of Middle Eastern flavors that serves some seriously tasty breakfast and lunch fare. Local, seasonal ingredients truly shine here, but one of major highlights for me is the beautiful case of freshly baked pastries! There are tons on offer each day, and the flavor combinations are equally unique and delicious. I wanted to try one of each on my recent visit, but managed to narrow it down to a pumpkin olive oil cake with labne frosting and a plum-soaked brioche with pistachios. Glory, were they scrumptious! Our savory dishes didn't disappoint either, and I loved my charred broccoli rabe plate with sweet potato, figs & soft-boiled egg. The sandwiches are pretty impressive as well, as you can see from the photos below. Talk about a mouthful!

Click through the photos to read more about our meal, as I honestly cannot say enough good things about Golda. Really dying to try some of their other goodies as well- how good does hot chocolate with malted tahini marshmallows sound?! Or romanesco & kale moussaka with egg & flax-pinenut streusel?? Or finally, how about persimmon & gingerbread cake with rye flour, whey caramel & labne?! I'm literally obsessed with all these flavor combinations, and cannot wait to go back to Golda again soon!


Food always plays a big role in any vacation we take- I might even go as far to say we plan trips around eating (perks of being a #chefswife)! On our recent travels to Portugal and Morocco, I have to admit I was most looking forward to the food in Marrakech! After doing some research on local spots in the Medina, I knew I definitely wanted to visit Nomad. The restaurant serves simple, modern Moroccan cuisine with a focus on fresh, local produce. I loved their updated take on traditional dishes, as well as global dishes infused with a Moroccan twist. There's truly something for everyone here, with plenty of options for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike!

Nomad opened a few years ago in an old carpet store just off the famed place de épices, and has a lovely rooftop terrace overlooking the square. You can even see the beautiful Atlas Mountain range during certain times of the year! My husband and I sat outside for lunch and enjoyed a truly fresh and flavorful meal- what a wonderful start to our trip it was! The lamb tagine with prunes and spices and the Moroccan affogato (I got mine with sweet pumpkin & saffron ice cream!) were highlights for me, but everything we ate really impressed us to be honest. Click through the photos for more details of each tasty dish. It was hard not to come back to Nomad for all our meals after this one, but we knew we wanted to see more of what Marrakech had to offer. I will definitely be back on my next trip, as I still think fondly of our perfect al fresco lunch!

six senses douro valley

My husband and I took a magical vacation this past fall to Portugal and Morocco. One of our first stops was the Douro Valley, the beautiful wine country in Portugal. I'd heard great things about Six Senses Douro Valley, and I bet you'll fall in love just by looking at their website. Unfortunately, we were booking a bit last minute, and the resort was fully booked during the time of our visit, so we ended up staying elsewhere. Lucky for me, though, I could still make reservations at The Vale de Abraão Restaurant, so my husband and I made plans for a beautiful fine-dining lunch out on the terrace. The restaurant serves classic regional dishes, but does so in a way that feels fresh and global by using seasonal, market-inspired fare. We were truly blown away by our meal, as each course was perfectly balanced with beautiful flavors. Not to mention completely picturesque! Naturally, being in Portugal, we sampled several aged port wines on our trip, and these were top of the line. Scroll through the slideshow to read details of our memorable meal- I can practically taste each dish again now! After lunch, we were able to spend the afternoon by the pool, enjoying the sun along with more local port. I highly recommend a visit to Six Senses Douro Valley, and now I'd love nothing more than to visit another one of their locations! Where to next???


I love funky sweets, so I was super pumped to try Coolhaus Ice Cream from the moment I discovered them on social media. They started as an ice cream truck, but have gotten so popular that they now have scoop shops in LA and Dallas, as well as several mobile trucks in LA, NYC, and Dallas ! The idea is simple, but delicious: build your own ice cream sandwich from a scrumptious list of freshly baked cookies and housemade ice creams. Mix and match if you want, and there are even vegan and gluten free options available as well! Ice creams come in tasty and unique flavors like campfire s'mores, balsamic fig & mascarpone, and fried chicken & waffles, while the cookie options range from classic double chocolate to peanut butter Captain Crunch to confetti whoopie pie! The sandwiches are named after architects and architectural movements that inspired the design-minded owners (hence the "cool houses" created from ice cream & cookies). Plus, they're served in an edible wrapper, so don't be afraid to get messy as you dig in! I guess you could say I'm a big fan, as I've visited the truck in both NYC and Texas- I guess now I just need to find them in LA :) But good news for me and everyone else: Coolhaus is now sold in many retail stores, as well as available for purchase online! Trust me on this one, get you some Coolhaus ice cream, stat!

cheesecake brownies

My husband loves chocolate and cheesecake, so when I'm baking something for him, those flavors always come to mind. A decadent combination of the two would pretty much be the ideal combo to him, so cheesecake brownies seemed like an easy, but perfect solution! Rich and fudgy brownies are already great on their own, and I like 'em the fudgier the better! But now add a layer of cheesecake to the mix, and you've got yourself one seriously tasty treat. If you want, you can lightly swirl in the cheesecake batter to the brownie batter, creating a cool marbled effect on your brownies! I got a little carried away in mixing, so no picture-perfect marbling, but I promise they tasted great anyway! PS- I like using flatter, wider chocolate feves or discs instead of regular chips, and Valrhona makes great ones!

Cheesecake Brownies:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 3/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, well softened
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F and butter an 8-inch square baking pan. For the brownie batter, melt butter and 1/2 cup chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well combined. Whisk in flour, cocoa powder, and salt until just combined and spread batter evenly into baking pan.

For the cheesecake batter, whisk together cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla in a small bowl until smooth. Dollop large spoonfuls over brownie batter, then swirl in with a butter knife to create a marbled effect. Alternatively, you may mix the two together more evenly.

Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over the batter. Bake until edges are slightly puffed and center is just set, about 35 minutes, then allow to cool. These are equally as delicious warm out of the oven as they are at room temperature or chilled, although the brownies will be much easier to cut if chilled. Makes nine 3" square, thick brownies.

*Adapted from cheesecake-marbled brownies by Smitten Kitchen.