the parlor

over the weekend, a dear friend of mine from childhood turned 30. leighia and i are both big on birthdays. i wouldn’t miss the opportunity to celebrate her. so, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that i absolutely adored the place we started off our saturday – the parlor.

the parlor is in la on melrose and is technically a sports bar. the cute covered patio, neon signs and to die for cocktails definitely made me forget i was in a sports bar. them taking reservations just made it seem less like a sports bar. now for those of you who care about college football, they open early on the weekends when there are games on, there are signs and flags of dozens of teams and about a trillion screens to watch the game on.

now, onto the fun stuff.

i am a sucker for a slushy drink, especially on a summer day. this one is called “peach don’t kill my vibe” and is gin based. what i liked about it was that it still felt light and refreshing. even though i love frozen drinks, sometimes they are too sweet. that wasn’t the case here.

next, we decided to do some cocktails on the rocks. the one on the left is “summer breeze” and the one on the right is “sweet melrose” – both are vodka based but summer breeze was a bit sweeter whereas sweet melrose was more tart. the birthday girl loved summer breeze!

for my entree, i had the eggs benedict florentine and added avocado. it was scrumptious and there was not a bite left on my plate. i think it will be impossible for me to try anything else on the menu at this point. i have included the menu below – it had just enough variety to choose from without being totally overwhelming.

i will definitely be back. i thought our server did a great job balancing a party of nearly 20. he even offered to do separate checks which just made the boozy brunch even easier to navigate. the location makes it easy for it to be one of the stops during a day of day drinking. i can’t wait to go back with some of my girlfriends who are visiting from the bay soon.

thought of the week: it’s not just you

i travel quite a bit whether it be for business or pleasure.  while airports can be stressful for some people, if timed properly, airports can be a wonderful place to be.  one of my favorite things about them are the different art installations.  lax has been undergoing a pretty serious remodel and this piece below is right past security when heading towards the escalators in terminal one.

 

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“everyone’s going through something”

 

what first drew me in were the colors.  it made this particular piece pop off of the wall.  then i noticed how the two girls on the right are just holding and comforting one another.  with me working in mental health at an all girls school, i could really appreciate what that represented. and then, i finally read the message: everyone’s going through something.

 

it is simple.  it is to the point.  it is ridiculously accurate.  it is something i remind my clients of when they are feeling alone/as if no one else understands.  it is something i actively remind myself of on days where i am not being as compassionate and empathetic as i could be.  it is a much needed reminder that no one’s life is perfect, despite what it may look like from the outside/on social media.

 

it’s not just you that’s going through something.  remember that.

 

xoxo,

k. tap

happy birthday, mama bear

if you know me well, you definitely know my mom, felecia.  well, today, this baddie turns 56!

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to celebrate, we did a mother/daughter trip to las vegas with our two favorite girls (my godmother and godsister) – it was a blast. we laughed until we cried, drank more tito’s than what should be allowed in a 72 hour period, ate great food, played a little blackjack and had impromptu dance/karaoke parties in our hotel suite.

what i love most about my mom (aside from how she is literally always down to have a good time) is how huge her heart is. i don’t think i know a more compassionate individual. people just gravitate towards her because her energy is magnetic. she lights up every room she walks into and my brother and i really hit the jackpot when the universe made sure this wonderful woman was ours forever.

happy birthday to my magnificent mama. i love you to the moon and back.

wildcraft

whenever i have friends in town from various places, i really do my best to try and meet them (for a meal, a drink or both) close to wherever it is they are staying.  la is not the easiest to navigate, and i say that as someone who has only ever lived in california.  so when my friend taylor told me she was going to be in marina del ray over labor day weekend, i quickly scanned my mental rolodex and knew just where to take her…wildcraft.

 

wildcraft is this amazing modern italian restaurant in culver city (which is just a few miles from where tay was staying).  i have been for brunch, happy hour and dinner and have a great experience every single time.  from the food to the drinks to the ridiculously knowledgeable and friendly servers, i cannot recommend it enough.

 

we went for brunch and instead of going crazy with their bottomless mimosas (which i would recommend if you do not have plans directly afterwards), we had the le grand courtage with brut rose.  it is an infusion carafe with fresh fruit and mint – you get to choose what sparkling goodness you want inside (prosecco, brut or brut rosé).  as tay said, we are all about the rosé all day life so it was a no brainer.

 

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while their brunch menu is online, the brunch cocktails are not included so i have added a photo below for your convenience.  i know for me, the cocktails being served at brunch are just as important as the food.

 

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we started started with the rosemary bread and wild arugula salad.  naturally, i had to get a side of avocado for the salad.  i will admit, i thought our server may have been exaggerating about how much her mom loved the rosemary bread but once i had it, i understood the obsession.  i mean, who says no to honey ricotta and homemade jam?  the flavor profile was unreal.  tay and i both loved the salad and i just feel like a meal is incomplete if there is not something green being consumed.

 

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for our main course, tay and i were both struggling between a couple of the pizzas.  so we decided to each get one the other liked enough to swap a slice or two.  she got the burrata pie and i got the bacon fontina.

 

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what sets their burrata pie apart from others are definitely the squash blossom and orange oil.  their bacon fontina is just perfectly done and the crust is thin, crispy around the edges and doughy in the center.  i ordered a side of garlic aioli to dip it in and was in heaven.

 

if you want to go to wildcraft, i would suggest making a reservation via opentable.  you will be happy you did.

 

xoxo,

k. tap

thought of the week: compassion is incomplete without the ‘i’

i am all about channeling the same good energy that we pour into others regularly into ourselves.  i think this is even more important for people like me who are either healers by profession or healers because that is the role they were born into (and fulfill in the lives of their loved ones).

 

with that being said, the actual definition of compassion always seemed like it was missing the mark in my opinion – “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.”  why is the only concern about being sympathetic towards others and alleviating their stress?

 

when i saw this quote my friend jasmine posted, i had to steal it.

 

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“if your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” -jack kornfield

 

when reading more about jack kornfield, i was pleasantly surprised that he is a buddhist practitioner and introduced buddhist mindfulness practices to the western world.  every buddhist i personally know comes from a collectivist culture where it is not uncommon to put the needs and feelings of others before the needs and feelings that they themselves are experiencing.  it made me happy to know of the work jack is doing to spread messages like the one above and that he has such a significant platform to do so.

 

the quote made me take a step back and acknowledge that i will not be able to do my job of being sympathetic and aware of the distress of my clients (with the end goal being to aid in alleviating that stress) if i am not channeling that same compassion inward.

 

compassion is incomplete without the ‘i’ – don’t forget that.

 

xoxo,

k. tap