Food + Friends: From LA, SD, SF, to NYC (& Uber $15 credit)

After a month of traveling for both work and pleasure, I wanted to share some photos of the good food and great company along the way. I initially planned a trip to go see family in LA, then extended it to visit some of my favorite West coast ladies. My good friend Wendy heard and was quick to suggest doing a video together. I have to admit, I was a bit apprehensive due to the amount of time videos take (sadly approaching a 1-year hiatus from my channel), but how could I say no if the talented WLB team was doing most of the work?
After some brainstorming, we decided to do a “From Office to Casual” segment that would play off of our individual interests, and let us style each other in looks that we would probably not put ourselves in. I hope those of you who watched enjoyed the video!

Planning work on the video was made easy over delicious meals. Below Left: Signature ramen from Daikokuya. Portions were generous – I thought 2 people would’ve been full off of 1 ramen + rice bowl combo. The shredded pork rice bowl was actually quite tasty. I feared it would be that bland dried shredded pork (“rou song”) like I had growing up, but it was generous pieces of marinated and seared pork with flavorful rice toppings. The only downside was it felt about 90 degrees inside the little shop with no AC, but even that can’t keep me away from a hot bowl of noodles! Right: Korean BBQ at Genwa – the 25 banchans are a meal in themselves!
LA eats
Below Left: Met up with lovely ladies Kelly and Jen for drinks, ice cream, and playtime with Jen’s sweet puppy. Wearing a Target jacket & Coach heels borrowed from Wendy. Right: Behind the scenes at WLB’s “studio.”
LA friends
San Diego:
Our trips here are rarely complete without a hearty Dim Sum meal at China Max. It’s not exceptional but is always satisfying, so we keep going back to the same place. Any other food recommendations in SD would be appreciated!
San Francisco & Napa:
When my younger brother decided on school in the Bay Area, I was selfishly thrilled that I’d get to come often and enjoy all the good eats. I sent him off proudly then went to visit friends Ping & Tim. We were so lucky to have Ping plan our touring & food itinerary so that not a moment or meal was wasted!

Below: At William Hill Estate winery to get Ping’s favorite Chardonnay. This winery was secluded and peaceful, and you could sip your flight outdoors with a view.
willilam hill winery
Below left: Nick, myself, Sydney, and our gracious hosts Ping and Tim. Right: At V. Sattui Winery, which was a zoo compared to the first one. The tastings were indoors along a lengthy counter, and were a good value at $10 to $15 for a flight of 6. The guy was very generous with pours and kept on whipping out new suggestions for us to try. When he brought out the “smile wine” swiftly followed by the “baby maker,” we knew it was time to go! I liked the attached shop where you can sample & pick up charcuterie, cheeses, and fresh loaves of bread for a little picnic to enjoy with your wine.
sf napa

Wearing: Yellow cutout dress made by Ping, PLV “Mai” wedges (code “SALE” for extra 20% off)

Left: Both of us in Ping’s handmade dresses. I keep trying to convince her to make pieces for sale – each item I’ve worn and inspected has been of incredible quality (especially for someone who just started sewing this year!). Right: The boys poring over the dim sum menu, making sure we didn’t overlook any goodies.
sf pingdresses
Left: Half portion of Hog Island clam chowder – yummy fresh clams, but extra work! Right: 10-Tacolicious plate
sf eats
Left: Love playing in the closets of similar-sized friends, especially since my own suitcase was crammed with work clothes for the pairing video. Wearing Ping’s DIY-sleeved jacket and Wendy’s Express quilted skirt (fit nicely in sz 00). Right: Got to play with SewPetiteGal‘s darling little Baby E! We were also joined by blog friends Cee, Aubrey, and Elle.
SF outfit
Below left: Twins with the sweet & talented KTR, after getting our Chinese desserts on at Golden Island Cafe. I’ve never seen so many variations of sago, mango, red bean, tofu, and coconut milk in my life! Right: Our favorite meal in SF, at Izokaya Sozai. The wait for 4 on a weeknight was over an hour, and this dark, grainy photo doesn’t do the meal justice. I loved the variety – ramen, yakitori, sushi, and other interesting bites – surprisingly, all of which were done very well.
sf KTR
New York City:
Below left: We ate at quite a few places, but a highlight was trying “dipping” soba noodles for the first time at Cocoron. The liquid sauce stays hot over an open flame, to swish bites of fresh noodles into before they head into your mouth. Once the noodles are gone, the waitress fills the little pots with broth so it becomes a soup. Right: Not the most appetizing photo, but the Kare Kare (Filipino braised oxtail in peanut sauce, served with garlic fried rice) at Maharlika was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I can’t wait to go back for their brunch dishes that come with a perfectly fried egg over garlic rice, plus a side of meat or fish.
NYC soba
I wanted to mention that while traveling (haven’t yet tried this abroad, but plan to) and also while in Boston, a service that is pretty much indispensable for me is Uber. If you haven’t heard of this before, it’s a smartphone application that lets you quickly request taxis or private cars from your phone. I started using it almost 1 year ago as a way to get home from work late at night, or during times when an empty cab is pretty much impossible to hail (which is nearly all the time in NYC!). Even though I have a car, I still use Uber now at least once a week because it’s become cheaper and more reliable than taxis, and more convenient than driving and parking in the city.

Aspects I love compared to a regular taxi:
– After you enter your location (Step 1 above), it shows you the cars on the road nearby, and lets you know how long the wait is for each type of car (move Step 2 button from left to right for the different “tiers” of cars). I go with UberX for the cheapest option, or SUV if we have more than 4 passengers. I have rarely ever had to wait more than 5 minutes for a car.
– Once you request a car and get assigned to a driver, the photo of the driver, his/her rating (by other customers), and car model pops up, and you can watch on the map as the car drives towards you. No more waiting around for cabs that don’t show up b/c they decided to pick up other customers instead.
– I can’t count the number of times that taxis have taken me on a “long” route around town. This has not yet happened with Uber, probably because customers get an email receipt drawing the exact route taken, plus drivers get rated by customers after the ride is over.
– The uberX (bargain tier) cars I’ve rode in have consistently been clean and well-maintained.
– The app charges the fare directly to your card on file after the ride, and rounds down to the nearest dollar. No more fumbling for cash or arguing with a driver who refuses to accept credit cards. There’s also an option (before the ride is over) to easily split the fare with friends in your car who also have the app.

I’ve been such a happy customer that I reached out to the Uber team to see if they could offer a better signup deal for any readers who are interested. I originally signed up with their standard $10 refer-a-friend deal, and they have agreed to an increased $15 new user credit (disclosure – I receive $10 credit just like anyone who refers a friend) if you use code extrapetite at signup. You can enter the code after downloading the app on your phone.

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Leave a Comment


  1. Chi wrote:

    Hi Jean, I'm totally obsessed with those PLV wedges which "look like feet" but haven't been able to find them anywhere in extended sizing. I'm a 5.5 and wondering if you're using some magic tricks to make the sz 6 fit!

    Posted 11.16.13 Reply
  2. Amanda Oey wrote:

    I love your video! Would you be able to post the individual outfits as photos or pins on pinterest?

    Posted 11.8.13 Reply
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    I signed up for Uber but want to know if you still need to tip? It has my credit card but do I need to tip with cash? TIA.

    Posted 10.17.13 Reply
  4. Everything look soo yummy! 🙂

    Maggie A
    Love Mavin

    Posted 10.8.13 Reply
  5. J wrote:

    I am obsessed with food and I've totally bookmarked some of these places! We're doing NYC in a few months and the Uber app will come in handy for sure! Thanks Jean!

    Posted 10.4.13 Reply
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    oh yeah gooo redskins!!

    Posted 10.4.13 Reply
  7. KTR wrote:

    Goodness, you are the sweetest thing ever! It was really nice to finally meet you and hang for a little bit. 🙂

    P.S. I just love your posts! Always so detailed, so helpful and I love seeing all the candids! KT

    Posted 10.2.13 Reply
  8. Candice wrote:

    Hi Jean,

    Loved your collaboration video with Wendy. You both are two of my favorite YTers. I love Izakaya Sozai too. Next time you're visiting San Francisco again, you should try Ramen Dojo in San Mateo. ^_^

    Posted 9.30.13 Reply
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    I loved your video.

    In San Diego try these:
    100 Wines, Cucina Urbana, Spread, Rakiraki, Seersucker, Pizza Port, Project Pizza,Wine Vault and Bistro, and Hexagone.

    – Muriel (

    Posted 9.30.13 Reply
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    do you eat bagoong with your kare-kare?

    Posted 9.30.13 Reply
  11. Ayb wrote:

    Lol! San Francisco is not a big city. You will probably be fine on foot most of the time.

    Posted 9.30.13 Reply
  12. looks like you had great time. the video is really cool. its nice to see you do good stuff with wlb. i am fan of both.

    Posted 9.30.13 Reply
  13. Anonymous wrote:

    very nice video. loved watching it.

    Posted 9.29.13 Reply
  14. miffia wrote:

    Hello! Love the video! 🙂
    Are you back in Boston? I think I saw someone like you in Brookline Village this morning, was that really you? 😛

    Posted 9.29.13 Reply
  15. Liana wrote:

    All the food you posted looks so delicious. I'm going to New York in a few months and have added Cocoron to my list of places to eat.


    Posted 9.29.13 Reply
  16. JamieGems wrote:

    Love the jacket you were wearing when you met Kelly and Jen for drinks! Mind sharing where it's from and the price? Thanks!

    Posted 9.29.13 Reply
  17. Anonymous wrote:

    Okay, you guys are too effing cute! Adorable.

    Posted 9.29.13 Reply
  18. Carol Li wrote:

    It's lovely to see you with the other petite bloggers! It looks like you had a great time 🙂

    Posted 9.29.13 Reply
  19. Mary Zhang wrote:

    NOOOOOO, you chose the wrong kinda food to eat in San Diego. SD is known for it's depravity of good Chinese food. But our Mexican food is bomb diggity. Rigoberto, Vallarta, Cotixan, Tacos El Gordo, give those a try next time!

    Posted 9.29.13 Reply
  20. You are so cute w/E! And cute all around your state trotting trip. lol Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Posted 9.29.13 Reply
  21. MizzJ wrote:

    It's fun hearing about your food adventures! I've never heard of a Korean place with 25 banchan!! Amazing!

    Posted 9.28.13 Reply
  22. Jen, I absolutely LOVE you two filming together, you girls are so cute inside and out! 🙂

    I really enjoy reading this post, love seeing the priceless and precious friendship among bloggers come to live. Jen, you're really inspiring 🙂

    Posted 9.28.13 Reply
  23. Anonymous wrote:

    You both are so adorable, I love the video!

    Posted 9.28.13 Reply
  24. IH wrote:

    I didn't you and Wendy are friends. I read both of your blogs religiously and have benefited a lot;-) Would love to see more videos with you and Wendy in it.

    Posted 9.28.13 Reply
  25. For Dim Sum in San Diego, I find myself gravitating towards Jasmine Seafood Restaurant. Its setup is reminiscent of SF Chinatown's dim sum places, with ladies rolling around carts of steaming food. This could result in good or bad service, depending on where you are seated. In comparison to China Max, however, I feel that Jasmine has a wider, more authentic selection with fairer prices. I also enjoy practicing my Cantonese with the Dim Sum ladies 🙂
    Glad you liked Golden Island in SF, it's my favorite place to go catch up with friends while in the Bay.

    Posted 9.28.13 Reply
  26. jp303 wrote:

    No post about your trip to Seattle? ;(

    Posted 9.28.13 Reply
  27. Anonymous wrote:

    I love this post! Looks like a great time! I love those red pants. Where did you get these? I would really like to get a pair of red crops. I tried BR sloan crop pants but they just don't fit right.

    Posted 9.28.13 Reply
  28. Jenny B. wrote:

    I love your trip recaps because it feels like I am right there next to you sampling all the great food and amongst the great company. Looks like you had a wonderful trip up here! Next time you're visiting, let me know and I will provide a list of delicious must-eats depending on what you like.

    btw I cannot believe Ping made that jacket! It looks superb, just like from the store!

    Posted 9.28.13 Reply
  29. Kai-Li wrote:

    Great video! Looks like fun!

    Posted 9.28.13 Reply
  30. Oooh I love this post so much! Love seeing you and all my other favourite ladies 🙂 The video is great – I will admit I don't really watch youtube videos – I just don't have the time! But I watched this one from start to finish. It kept my attention AND was very informative 🙂

    Posted 9.28.13 Reply
  31. Crystalin wrote:

    Okay, looks like you had so much fun! So sad you were in my neck of the woods and I didn't get to see you. Next time you head this way, email me 🙂

    Posted 9.28.13 Reply
  32. Olyvia wrote:

    and also glad you shared the Uber thing…I have a trip to San Fran next summer for a friend's wedding and was trying to figure out how to get around by myself since I'm usually lost in big cities. I'm definitely downloading this app!

    Posted 9.28.13 Reply
  33. Olyvia wrote:

    My favorite outfit from your trip is the one with Ping's jacket. Can't believe that's one of her DIY's! I second she sells her creations!

    Posted 9.28.13 Reply
  34. Judy wrote:

    i agree with what other readers have said on your IG – would love you to do a meetup sometime when you are traveling! OTOH, it looks like you had quite the full and fun itinerary already!

    Posted 9.28.13 Reply
  35. Jessy wrote:

    I really enjoyed the video with you & Wendy. Great outfit choices! I loved the blazer & leather leggings Wendy styled you in. So jealous of all the food you ate in Cali.. and you met a lot of amazing women! Definitely saving this post for my future visit. : )

    Posted 9.28.13 Reply
  36. I used Uber in Paris over the summer and it was just as quick and affordable! We were trying to meet up with friends in Montmartre…there was no metro stop nearby, the taxi line was 20 people long, the taxis were scarce, and it was raining. Uber totally saved the day! Btw, loved your video with Wendy and following your travel food diary via Instagram.

    Posted 9.28.13 Reply
  37. Anna wrote:

    Jean, thank you so much for the thoughtful Uber discount! I currently am a student in NYC and love that you were able to share that with your readers. As always, I look forward to your blog posts (:

    Posted 9.28.13 Reply
  38. Anonymous wrote:

    What's the name/brand of boots that Jen (I think) is wearing in the picture of you holding frozen yogurt? They're amazing

    Posted 9.28.13 Reply
  39. haha, i loved the video. great styling ideas and you all are the cutest. 🙂 that food looks really good too!

    Posted 9.28.13 Reply
  40. Michelle wrote:

    Always fun to see so many familiar faces all in one post. 🙂 The winery looks especially gorgeous! You are making me hungry just before bedtime. :p

    Posted 9.28.13 Reply
  41. Tram wrote:

    I live in SD. What kind of food do you like?

    Posted 9.28.13 Reply
  42. I loved your video with Wendy SO much, it is honestly my most favorite Youtube video ever (how could it not be with my 2 fave bloggers in it?).

    Was so inspired by the pairings – am going to try one of the casual outfits this weekend (the one with the boyfriend jeans).

    Posted 9.28.13 Reply

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