Here are a few of the things that we did during our stay in the beautiful Los Alamos.


Full of Life Flatbread

On our first evening, we wanted to take it easy by staying in and picking up food from Full of Life Flatbread. If we weren't that tired, we would have definitely opted to eat at the restaurant, which has a lovely patio with a couple of tables and a welcoming dining room with a full bar and a great natural wine list with many local highlights. We could not help ourselves, so We took a couple of bottles to go.

Our picks: 1) A small batch collab by Full of life & So fresh (Stolpman) 2) Viognier by Final Girl.

The menu consists mostly of seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. To start, we had their Charcoal Grilled Little Gem, Maitake Mushroom, and Poached MCR Farm Egg. Roots Farm Heirloom Tomato and Blackened Eggplant Salad with Burrata, and Blistered Shishitos with 'Quivering' Shaved Tuna.

As for the flatbreads, there were so many good options, but we ended up settling for the following three: The Summer Zucchini and Preserved Lemon Flatbread with Bottarga, the Smoke-Dried Tomato, Mushroom Flatbread, and finally a classic Seasonal Margherita Flatbread.


Full of Life Flatbread

225 Bell St Los Alamos, CA 93440

fulloflifefoods.com


Lo-Fi



The day after, we were rested and ready to hit the road! Our first stop was only a short 2-minute walk from our AirBnB: Lo-Fi! We were so thrilled to know their wine bar was in Los Alamos, as we were already big fans of that producer.

Started in 2011, Lo-Fi is a story of the partnership between two good friends. Their idea of wine is less is more: "embrace a nothing added, nothing taken away philosophy that gives birth to wines that are young, vibrant and alive".


The tasting consisted of 5 generous pours. Each of them came with a detailed description and background given by the passionate Crosby. Accompanied by funky and soul music, the ambiance was is peaceful and unhurried. I should also mention that the tasting fee is waived with a 3 bottle purchase. Needless to say, we already had in mind to leave with multiple bottles, including the Riesling magnum.




No reservation is needed, this is a first come first served. Please note that if your party is bigger than 5, you should head there early in the opening, as their tasting room is small and intimate! Definitely worth it!


Lo-Fi

448 Bell St. “B” Los Alamos, CA 93440

lofi-wines.com


Beckmen Vineyards


Alright, this one is not in Los Alamos...but, it's only a 15 minutes drive! Surrounded by vines and a pond, you get a beautiful view during your tasting session or picnic. Pro-tip, from a friend that's been there before, you can bring your own food (think charcuterie board!) to go with the wine. It is also dog-friendly!


Beckmen Vineyards is a family business that craft wines from two different vineyards (one in Los Olivos, and the other one in Ballard Canyon)



Make sure to reserve before you go, as the seatings are limited during covid. You can find all the information below on their website.


Beckmen Vineyards

2670 Ontiveros Road

Los Olivos, CA 93441

beckmenvineyards.com


Solminer


Again this one is also located in Los Olivos. Being a bit familiar with their wine (we had the Blaufränkisch deLanda Vineyard in the past, and it has a taste of gummy bears!) we stopped by to grab the Skin Fermented Grüner Veltliner.


Certified Biodynamic® & Organic, Solminer (which by the way translates to mining the Sun) was created based on conscious farming and experience the magical process of exchange from the dirt, plants, fruit, wine, humans, sky, moon, sun, and stars. Dedicated to giving 1% back of their sale to the environment, (1% For The Planet) this family business, run by couple Anna & David deLaski, is has been established since 2009.


Solminer

2670 Ontiveros Road

Los Olivos, CA 93441

solminer.com


Bodega



Back to Los Alamos, where we held a bosch ball in one hand and the other, a glass of wine.


Bodega is a big space, with a multitude of sections. You have the bar section, the little shop, the garden and finally the greenhouse.



In the greenhouse, sheep’s milk ice cream in seasonal flavors from Negranti Creamery of Paso Robles. You can also purchase plants and other gardening essentials.


Surrounded by fruit trees, the garden was big enough to host a wedding or any private event.



And if there wasn't enough, they have their own little shop where you can find a curated selection of wine, beer, and cider (that you can try at the bar!) to local jams, vintage items, candles, and much more.

Fun fact: they have their own AirBnB that you can stay at! Here's the link to their Bodega House that you can rent.


Bodega

273 Bell St,

Los Alamos, CA 93440

bodegalosalamos.com



Campover

Let's talk shopping! We found the cutest store in town. Campover is a store that curated local goods, from unique ceramics to canvas prints, homemade fruit vinegar, you will definitely find something for a friend or yourself. We love supporting small businesses!


Sadly, I didn't take any pictures while in the shop! But you can take a look at their store through their Instagram profile below!


Campover

235 Centennial St Back Unit,

Los Alamos, CA 93440

instagram.com/campover_shop



Updated: Sep 4

To celebrate my 35th birthday, my friends and I hit the road and headed up to Los Alamos for a wine trip.

For a fun weekend getaway under 3 hours of driving from Los Angeles, you get to experience one of the best and most underrated wine regions that California has to offer.

I designed a robe for the occasion, of course. Check out SVgraphics for all your printing needs!


For our stay, we booked the Centennial House through Airbnb. This elegant farmhouse meets mid-century modern aesthetic was what we needed to have a good time and lay back.


With three bedrooms and six beds, the Centennial House can host a group of 8. The space is so beautiful that you could also stay in and enjoy take-outs (we had pizza from Full Of Life Flatbread on the first night!) or cook in their beautiful and well-equipped kitchen (the house has a BBQ). Their indoor and big outdoor dining area will make you feel at home.


Located in the heart of Los Alamos, it was the perfect place to have everything within walking distance.


Here is my recommended itinerary:

  • Start your morning with fresh pastries and coffee from Bob's Well Bread Bakery. Please try their Pistachio Croissant, it's to die for!

  • For brunch, you should head over to Pico's. Their menu will certainly satisfy every appetite or cure that hangover of last night.

  • Before dinner (after that nap), grab an appéritif and play some bocce at Bodega, (natural wines and craft beers).

  • After Bodega, head over to Bell's for their prix-fixe menu.


*Bonus: Bar le Côte, a beautiful wine and seafood bar, was in the middle of last-minute touches for their grand opening. I suggest you check them out because their space and food look spectacular on their Instagram profile!


Up next: wine-tasting and winery visit post!

Picture credits: Kat Hirsch, Davor Nikolic and me.



Updated: Mar 11

This soup is one of my favorite dishes that my mom would prepare for me. So when I moved out, I had to learn and recreate it. In Cambodian, we call it Somlor Machu Youn, which translates to Vietnamese Sour Soup. The flavors are all over the place, you have spicy, sweet, sour...simply U-M-A-MI.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of chicken stock

  • 2 tablespoon of tamarind paste or tom yum paste

  • 1 lemongrass stalk

  • 2 celery stalk (halved in diagonal)

  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)

  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon of chili oil

  • 1 teaspoon of salt

  • 2 tablespoons of sugar

  • 3 tablespoons of fish sauce

  • 1 ½ cups of cherry tomato

  • 1 ½ cups of pineapple (sliced into small chunks)

  • 1 cup of shiitake mushroom (diced) or canned straw mushrooms

  • Coriander

  • 2-3 chicken thighs (diced into pieces)

  • 8-10 large tiger shrimps (optional)

  • 1 Thai chili pepper (optional)


Instructions:


1. In a pan, stir fry the garlic until it turns crispy golden. Set aside.

2. Prepare the shrimp: I like to keep the head, shell and tail on, as it gives a bolder flavor and a rich color to the stock. Devein the shrimp and set aside.


3. In a large pot at medium-high heat, pour the chicken stock and add the chili oil, salt, sugar, fish sauce, and the tamarind paste. Once it starts boiling, add the pineapple, celery, and mushrooms. Let everything simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes minutes. Add the chicken and let it cook.


4. Add the shrimp and tomatoes into the pot and let simmer for another 6-8 minutes. You may want to do a taste test and judge if you want it to be spicier (add more thai chili) or sourer (add more tamarind paste).


5. Finally, garnish the soup with the fried garlic and coriander.


6. You can enjoy the soup by itself or with a bowl of rice.


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