The Tea House on Los Rios

Northwest Pearls: Tea Room on Los Rios While in California I went out to tea at The Tea House on Los Rios. The cute tea house is on what is one of the oldest streets in that area. Located in San Juan Capistrano, it's not too far from one of the train stations where you can board to go North to Los Angeles, or South to San Diego.

My aunt and I both ordered The Los Rios Tea from the menu. It came with finger sandwiches (the cucumber ones are always my favorite,) fruit, a scone with cream and preserves, and tea. I forget which type of tea we ordered, but it was one of their popular black teas.

Northwest Pearls: Tea Room on Los Rios

It was so nice to sit on the covered porch outside and have tea. Going out to tea is one of my favorite things to do. Tea by itself is fine, but having the finger sandwiches, desserts, and/or scones is so much fun!

The tea house is located on a narrow street that's mostly filled with foot traffic. Other shops on the street sell art, plants, food, and more. It's a street I enjoy visiting when I'm there.

Where do you like to go out for tea?

Anaheim Packing House

Northwest Pearls: Anaheim Packing House While in Anaheim, California, I got to go to the Anaheim Packing House. It's a little hard to explain, but essentially it's a gourmet food court inside an old fruit packing house.

It was so amazing. They asked that no pictures be taken inside, so here's a picture of the lava cake I took home with me! :)

Northwest Pearls: Anaheim Packing House

Besides the lava cake from one vendor whose name I forget, I also ate gourmet grilled cheese from The Black Sheep, a gourmet food vendor. It was so delicious. It had goat cheese, grilled onions, and more on it. I was in heaven.

But the best part of the Packing House was the speakeasy. The Blind Rabbit is located on the bottom floor. It's behind a secret door. It was probably one of the highlights of my whole trip to California because how often do you get to go to a hidden speakeasy restaurant?

The drinks there were good and the atmosphere was pretty cool. It was small so they recommend reservations for some days and times. If you go to the packing house, I'd highly recommend finding The Blind Rabbit.

Have you ever been to The Packing House? What have you thought?

The Harmon Restaurant

Northwest Pearls: The Harmon The Harmon is a restaurant and a brewery in downtown Tacoma. I've been there three times, and I've really enjoy their food and atmosphere.

This latest time I ordered the pulled pork sandwich with fries. It was good; it was enough food that I took home enough leftovers for another whole meal. I've also had their caprese chicken sandwich, and their mac and cheese and I really enjoyed both. But who doesn't love mac and cheese?

The Harmon is in an old brick building on UW Tacoma's campus. You can access it from the main street, or from an old stairwell out back.

They have a few locations scattered around Tacoma and Gig Harbor. If you're ever looking for a place to eat, you should try it!

Where do you like to eat?

The Rock Pizza

Northwest Pearls: The Rock Wood Fired Kitchen I'd never been to The Rock Wood Fired Kitchen before, but last weekend my friends and I stopped there for dinner. The decor was cool. It was very urban and shipping-port-like. Graffiti, bricks, shipping containers etc.

Those of us who hadn't had dinner yet each ordered a personal 9'' pizza. It was hard to choose from all of the menu options but I like veggie pizzas so I ordered the "Crazy Little Thing" pizza. I really liked it! I would definitely go back to The Rock again.

What pizza places do you like in the PNW?

Araya's Place with Friends

  Northwest Pearls: Araya's Place

My favorite food right now is probably Thai food. The other day we went to a great Thai restaurant we've been to before: Araya's Place. It's a vegan Thai restaurant, and while none of us are vegan, we really enjoy the dishes served.

I ordered my favorite, Panang Curry, but had a taste of my friends' Pumpkin Curry, Asparagus Curry, and Pad Thai. We also ordered the Tom Kah soup to share. All the food was great and I had leftovers for the next day!

What are some places you like to eat in Seattle?

Ivywild School

Northwest Pearls: Ivywild School While we were in Colorado Springs, we ate at the Ivywild School. Ivywild School was formerly a school and now it's a conglomeration of stores and restaurants.

We had dinner one night in the Teacher's Lounge, located inside the Ivywild School. I ordered the French Onion Soup with a side of Roasted Vegetables and a Ginger Beer (non-alcoholic) to drink. The ginger beer was amazing.

And we had lunch another day at Bristol Pub, also located inside the school. For lunch I ordered the Warm Bacon Vinaigrette Salad and a Ginger Beer. The salad was so good. I ate every last bite. We also passed around a small bowl of toasted almonds which had garlic oil, red pepper flakes, and some other yummy ingredients on them.

The food at both places was fantastic. And on one of the days we were there, they had a farmer's market outside. I didn't buy anything but one of the bridesmaids bought some of their goods.

If you're ever in the area and looking for food, Ivywild School has some great selections!

Downtown Tacoma

For my BFF's birthday, we went to Barnes & Noble, The Minion Movie, and to The Social Bar and Grill. Because she was in desperate need of a corkscrew and some reusable corks, I got her a corkscrew, two reusable corks, and a bottle opener. I think that this was the first time I've bought minor appliances for a friend for a gift. At Barnes & Noble I had to take a picture with the cardboard cutout of Jamie Fraser from Outlander. The book series is really good, I've only seen a couple of the TV episodes. There's a lot of explicit scenes in both, but skipping over those it's great entertainment. The cutout was disappointingly short, he's supposed to be really tall and since I'm under 5'3'', I don't think that they made him tall enough.

Northwest Pearls: Jamie Fraser

After The Minion Movie, which was cute, we parked in downtown Tacoma and walked across Chihuly Bridge of Glass down to the waterfront and over to The Social Bar and Grill. My favorite part of the bridge is where the glass objects are in the ceiling and it feels as though you are underwater. Sadly I didn't take any pictures of this. The bridge is really cool though and if you're in the area, you should check it out.

Northwest Pearls: Chihuly Bridge of Glass

Down the steps and towards the restaurant are clear glass creations. I was told what they're supposed to represent but I can't remember it anymore. Nevertheless, they're very pretty. There's other art down in this area too. Northwest Pearls: Glass Artwork

The Social Bar and Grill was really good. We sat outside, it was a little cold but the atmosphere and surroundings were fantastic. We could see the waterway, some of the glasswork, and everyone walking by. Instead of bread, we were given popcorn, so that was cool. We were there during happy hour, I got the Blackened Rockfish Tacos and a side of Sweet Potato Fries and both were incredibly delicious.

Have you ever been to that area of Tacoma? What did you think?

Araya's Place and University District

Some friends and I met up for dinner at Araya's Place, a vegan Thai restaurant in Seattle. I'm not vegan, but the food was really good! One of my friends ordered Tom Kah soup. It has mushrooms and lemon (I think.) I had a small bowl of it.

Northwest Pearls: Tom Kah Soup

I ordered Panang Curry with brown rice. A former roommate turned me onto Panang curry and since then I've had a jar of it in my fridge but this was so much better!

Northwest Pearls: Panang Curry

And I had enough to take home and eat the next day for lunch!

After dinner two of us went to University Village.

We grabbed drinks at Elemental Pizza; I had a virgin EMP, which was a mojito, and she had what was called a Rain Drop, and was basically a Lemon Drop. Both drinks were great.

Here's my EMP.

Northwest Pearls: EMP

And I thought that the sign for the bar was clever.

Northwest Pearls: Bar Sign

We walked around, went to Anthropologie, J. Crew, Fran's Chocolates, and so many other places. I love University Village. One of these days when I've got more time (and more spending money) I'm definitely going to go back!

Have you tried any new restaurants lately?

Birthday Weekend in Downtown Portland

For my 21st birthday, my mom, aunt, and I went to downtown Portland for the weekend. We stayed at the Benson Hotel, which is beautifully restored. The marble and iron staircase at the Benson Hotel


A picture of me, standing in front of a mirror on the staircase at The Benson Hotel

We had a meal at the Ringside Steakhouse, where the pastry chef wished me a "Happy Birthday." It was really pretty.

Creme Brulee at the Ringside restaurant. "Happy Birthday" is written on the plate.

We had high tea at The Heathman. The room we had tea in was amazing. And the pastry chef there also wished me a "Happy Birthday." This plate was also fantastic. I love having afternoon tea. It might be my favorite thing to do.

A huge painting hung on the wall at The Heathman Hotel

Chandelier and wood paneling at The Heathman

Chandelier and wood paneling at The Heathman

Desesrt at the Heathman at afternoon tea. "Happy Birthday" is written on the plate.

Also, while we were in Portland, got to do quite a bit of shopping. We went to Nordstrom and picked up a few things at their Anniversary Sale. My aunt bought me two jackets for my birthday, a beautiful brown leather jacket, and a pretty black rain jacket. When we went to Anthropologie, I found a necklace and earrings that I pinned to Pinterest a few weeks ago and my mom bought them for me.

Three shopping bags, two from Nordstrom, one from Anthropologie.

We also went to Powell's Books. It was incredible how many books they have. For one of our dinner, we had some Indonesian food from Satay Indonesia, a food truck nearby.

There was much more we wanted to do in Portland but didn't have the time for. Maybe next time!