Hello I Love…Ella Dining Room & Bar

So I realize that my blog has become not only a place I can share my jewelry but also my foodie adventures. I really love traveling and finding new restaurants so from now on I will be focusing on food a lot more. In general, I am trying to blog more but honestly I spent the last few days in Wine country after Sacramento using every moment to eat explore, thus I was too full to blog. Seriously. I love my life.

Now that I am home, I cannot wait to share the restaurants I enjoyed. But first, let’s complete that trip to Sacramento. I did a lot of Yelp research before making a reservation for our final night. With the plethora of good restaurants in Sacramento, I wanted to make sure I picked somewhere special. Ella Dining Room and Bar seemed like the perfect choice. I know it seems that I love and gush about every place I talk about here, but seriously–this place was amazing! From the decor to the service to the spot-on execution of fresh dishes, the entire experience was magnificent.


Ready to go!


State Capitol Building on our walk to the restaurant.



Love the outside seating here. One thing I noticed about Sacramento though–where are all of the people? It seems like no one lives downtown at all. No biggie, I just thought there would be more “action.”


Old pastel shutters lines the bar and the ceiling. It was like having dinner in an Anthropologie store–and I mean that as the highest compliment.


How cool is this?! Not only was it beautiful and creative, the stacked tables were highly functional. Love!


I started with their signature cocktail, a Gin & Tonic. This is no ordinary Gin & Tonic though. They combine their own Homemade Rainforest Qui Ni Ne Tonic, 209 Gin, Sugar Cane Syrup, Sparkling Water and Fresh Citrus Juices. This baby is so good that even if you are not normally a fan of Gin & Tonics, this version just might convert you. It happens to be my favorite cocktail so I was in heaven.

*Fun fact–Our server told us that the powder used to make the homemade tonic is normally used to cure Malaria!


Lovin’ it!


Wood Oven Meatballs with Roasted Tomato Sauce and Sheep’s Milk Ricotta. This appetizer was spectacular. The meatballs were perfectly moist and actually very light. The sauce had an amazing depth of flavor (three cheers for roasting the tomatoes!) and the sheep’s milk ricotta was fluffy, creamy perfection. We could have ate just these for the entire meal.


This salad was a mixture of Watercress, Endive, Pancetta, and Point Reyes Blue Cheese. I have had a love affair with blue cheese since I was about 6 (no joke) so this salad was perfect for me. The salty pancetta paired nicely with the sweet strawberry-rhubarb dressing and the watercress and edive were chopped perfectly.

I don’t know about you but, for me, there is nothing worse than receiving a salad with giant leaves and then making the awkward attempt to fit the entire leaf in my mouth in a polite way. I always look like I have never eaten in public before. Hot! I suppose I could cut it up, but that would take away from my eating time and at the end of the day I just believe every salad should be chopped, thank you very much.


My husband ordered the Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Sauce Diane, Pommes Parisienne, and Creamed Blomsdale Spinach. The beef was cooked perfectly (Medium Rare, please) and the sauce was rich without overpowering the meat. Honestly, the highlight of this dish was the little potato pillows from heaven on a bed of creamed spinach. Amazing!


I ordered the Pappardelle, Poached Egg, Crispy Prosciutto, and Preserved Lemon Butter Sauce. After snapping this photo, I cut the egg, allowing the yolk to mix in with the rest of the dish. I have to be honest. As much as I love to eat, I rarely finish my entire plate because most restaurant servings are too large for me. I always end up taking the rest home, because I hate waste but this time was an exception. I cleared my plate. Everything about this dish was executed to perfection. The pasta was homemade (makes all of the difference in the world). The lemon butter sauce combined with the egg to make a sweet, light, and creamy sauce which combined magnificently with the salty prosciutto. My husband and I both agreed this was the best dish of the night.


We ended the night with the Salted Caramel and Chocolate Tart with Homemade Coffee Ice Cream. Incredibly rich and “disappeared” before I knew it. What. A. Meal.

Bottom line: Ella is a restaurant where simple, fresh food is done flawlessly, without pretension. Please visit this lovely establishment if you are ever in the area. You will not be disappointed.

I can’t wait to share the other places I tried! Stay tuned…



P.S. I am thinking of compiling mini guides to different cities and the restaurants I have visited. Is this something you might be interested in? Let me know!

Buttermilk Truck

In the Los Angeles area, food trucks have dramatically increased in popularity. However, the days of the basic taco are long gone. We are talking about some serious eats here. Just by utilizing twitter , you can find just about any kind of food in a gourmet lunch truck. Locations and sometimes menu items change daily but the food has always been delicious.

I love the concept so I have decided it is only right for me to try all of the trucks in the area. I started with Kogi BBQ–which is amazing and yesterday morning I finally tried The Buttermilk Truck. Think breakfast comfort food with a Hawaiian Twist.


I checked out some reviews on Yelp beforehand to see what items should not be missed. The red velvet chocolate chip pancake bites were popular–and for good reason. Check these out!


That would be (what tasted like) cream cheese whipped cream on top and it is even more fabulous than you can imagine. The pancakes themselves were incredibly light too. Completely lived up to the hype.

We had to try the blueberry pancake bites too and they were equally as lovely. The blueberries were fresh and abundant. Yes, we ate them all too!


As if you need more of a reason to visit this truck, the breakfast sliders should also not be missed. Not as aesthetically pleasing as the other items but every bit as delicious. Shoyu scrambled eggs, portuguese sausage and caramelized onions on 3 hawaiian sweet rolls. Not too greasy, as a lot of portuguese sausage can be in my experience and disappeared before I knew it. 😉


Finally, the chicken apple sausage biscuit sandwich. The biscuit was buttery and flakey. One of my favorites for the day. Per-fection!


We ate every last bite and it was so worth it! Everything in moderation is my motto. I highly recommend tracking down this truck if you are ever in the LA area. Follow them on twitter here.

How was your weekend?



Hello I Love….Ramos House

Ramos House, for me, defines whimsical, cozy charm. I love it so much that if Reggie and I could have gotten married there, I would have. My family did have my bridal shower there, which was definitely a highlight of the wedding events.

Built in 1881, Ramos House is located in the Los Rios Historical District of San Juan Capistrano on the oldest residential street in California. The owner lives in the house (which also houses a commerical kitchen) and his constant presence is part of its charm. My initial impression of him is that of a no-nonsense foodie who cares about the details–the things that make people happy. You are always greeted like an old friend. Plush blankets are available to keep you warm on chilly days. During my bridal shower, he opened the windows to the residential part of the house and played my favorite type of music. Did I mention that the food is exquisite? Because it is, truly.







It also happens to be located right next to a train station…I know, I am in love too.


Checking out the menu, which changes seasonally. Really simple concept-you choose two courses and a beverage. More on that later…


Complimentary amuse bouche-I believe it was toasted pound cake with homemade cinnamon hazelnut butter and fresh banana.

The heart next to the amuse was quite serendipitous—and describes my feeling perfectly when it comes to this tasty bite.


An array of brunch beverages. The white mug on the left is an Adult Coffee (Espresso, Baileys, Homemade Whip Cream). A pomegranate mimosa sits on the right and up front is a Grapefruit Fizz ( a sassy grapefruit mimosa with huckleberries and grapefruit sorbet). Get the Fizz, trust me.


Cinnamon-Apple Beignets. Not a traditional beignet but these are INCREDIBLE. They are surprisingly light with the perfect amount of doughiness.


Since I ordered the beignets, Reggie ordered the Strawberry Pound Cake. It was buttery and, for lack of a better word, moist. (Side note: I really hate the word moist.) But it really was. The strawberries were in a light vanilla cream sauce that added the perfect amount of sweetness. Come to think of it, we pretty much had dessert before our meals. I heart brunch!

My family and I each ordered an entree that we all wanted to try so we could try several different dishes. The menu had changed since the last time we visited and we are a sharing family, what can I say?


Corn Bread Pain Perdu with Huckleberry Sauce, Homemade Lemon Curd, and Fresh Whipped Cream. Rich and delicious.


Spring Vegetable Scramble with Mushroom Risotto Cakes. This dish was probably my favorite entree. The asparagus was so fresh and the eggs were cooked perfectly with a hint of creaminess (marscapone?!) that set it over the top.


Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Vegetables. In addition to the flavorful vegetables, there was some definite truffle butter action here and I was loving every minute of it. Keep in mind that I am a child that spent the majority of her youth eating nothing but macaroni and cheese (I was an incredibly picky eater as a child) and now spends the majority of her adult life eating the same, slightly fancier version (I just really like mac and cheese, okay?). This just might be my favorite.


Almost every dish is served with a homemade buttermilk biscuit and cinnamon apple butter. The biscuit was perfectly flakey and rich without being too dense. I wish I could eat one of these every morning. Who is with me?


My father provided the entertainment. Love this shot of him mid-story.


And just because he is so cute, I had to include a picture of my husband. ❤

It was the perfect Sunday brunch with my family, minus my beautiful sister Molli who goes to college in Colorado. I can’t wait to take her when she returns home for a leisurely Sunday Brunch at my favorite spot.

Have a beautiful day everyone!



“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”

-Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story