Food & Drink
When I first moved to LA (over 13 years ago) the thought of going downtown repulsed me. Fast forward to now and I’m dying for excuses to make the trek. Sexy restaurants are popping up everywhere and I have a long list of places I’m desperate to try. I’m happy to report that I can cross Zinc Cafe & Market off my list. I went twice actually, once for dinner and once for brunch. Holy shizballs. It’s a vegetarian paradise.
I’m really into lists right now, so I’m going to make a list of all the things I love about Zinc.
1) The outdoor patio. It’s so airy and chic with a fire pit and twinkling lights. I could spend hours there.
2) This place is 100% Vegetarian and the food is delish.
3) The menu is unique and offers things like Mushroom Nut Loaf, Stuffed Peppers and an Asparagus Sandwhich. (YUM to everything)
4) There is a variety of fresh cocktails and a great beer and wine selection.
5) The service is friendly and welcoming. No snobs up in here!
Last Friday was the first time I spent the night away from my baby. Big moment for me! He was in excellent hands with my mom and my goal was to kick back, try to relax with the hubs and drink tons of great wine. We were also celebrating our five year wedding anniversary (a week early) and wanted to do something extra special. We stayed at The Carneros Inn- my new favorite place. The pictures should speak for themselves, but just in case they don’t, here goes… The property is stunning. Each room is it’s own cottage with a private patio, indoor/outdoor shower (amazing), wood burning fire place, lux bed and every amenity you can think of. The service was phenomenal. Upon check in we were greeted with a hefty pour of fabulous pinot- why doesn’t every hotel do this!?! The pool overlooked a vineyard, (genius) and the spa… oh the spa. Mind blowing massage. 60 minutes of pure relaxing heaven. I will definitely be going back for more.
We checked out Etude and Artesa tasting rooms (pictured above). Great experiences at both and they’re right next to Carneros Inn. Bam. Perfect mini vacay.
I’m constantly looking for ways to make healthy versions of my favorite foods. Allow me to introduce you to zucchini pasta. I promise it’s delish, especially when served with the right toppings. Today I decided to go with vegan walnut pesto, organic cherry tomatoes and a fresh farm egg. Keep scrolling for the vegan/raw version.
You’ll need 2 medium sized zucchini’s sliced into “pasta” using something like this.
1 Fresh Farm egg per person
1 cup organic cherry tomatoes
For the Vegan Walnut Pesto you’ll need
1/2 cup walnuts
2 cups basil
2-3 cloves raw garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of one small lemon
Salt & pepper to taste
Blend all the pesto ingredients in a food processor
Lightly sauté the zucchini with olive oil spray (or leave it raw)
Slice several cherry tomatoes and top everything with a fried egg and salt & pepper
One of my first weekend trips with Michael was to Santa Barbara. At the time we were doing long distance (LA-Chicago) and when he would come visit I would plan the most magical weekend getaways with the hopes of convincing him to move here. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. It wasn’t difficult! As I’m sure many of you know it’s easy to fall in love with the beautiful state of California. When you drive along highway 101 (or The 101) you’ll notice that there are picture perfect beach towns every few miles. We decided it was time for another fabulous getaway up the coast, so we packed up and headed out. Halfway up we stopped at the Jolly Oyster. A MUST if you’re into oysters, the beach and fun. (Note-only open Friday, Saturday, Sunday) Arguably the most perfect of all the beach towns is Santa Barbara. It takes about an hour and half (depending on traffic of course!) to get there from LA and it feels like paradise once you arrive. We decided to stay at the Four Seasons and were in a state of pure bliss the entire time. The amenities for Idris blew my mind. He was greeted with a stuffed animal, his own robe, hot wipe dispenser, diaper genie, crib AND a set of baby friendly toiletries. Talk about your LUX FAMILY VACAY. I Like! In true Sharzad fashion, I headed for the spa. You guys, it was UNREAL. I know I may say that about a lot of spas, but this one was spectacular. I had an 80 minute stone massage with the ocean breeze wafting though the door and the sound of waves crashing in the background. #WorkHard #PamperHard is my motto! Enjoy the photos and video below ; )
P.S. The dress I’m wearing is from Lucy & Lyla
Helllllooo Monday! Michael and I recently became obsessed with Blue Apron. What’s Blue Apron you ask? It’s a meal planning and grocery delivery service. Sounds like it would be really expensive right? WRONG. It’s $10 a meal per person. Shall I repeat that? Every week you receive a package with the ingredients for three different meals. The recipes are extremely creative with a focus on seasonal items, like Thai Pumpkin Curry. (I made that last week and it was SO F*CKING good!) Each meal takes about 40 minutes to prepare and has anywhere from 500-700 calories. I think my favorite thing about Blue Apron is I don’t have to think about what’s for dinner or go to the grocery store. This service is definitely for the person who wants to cook, but doesn’t want to plan or shop. That pretty much sums me up! In the video below we prepare a fabulous Salmon dinner…. and devour a bottle of wine. Enjoy!
CLICK THIS LINK for TWO FREE MEALS when you sign up with Blue Apron!
*Sponsored by Blue Apron, all opinions are my own
I’ve been hearing about Crossroads Kitchen for some time now and I finally made the trek over. It’s a completely plant based (aka vegan) menu with a focus on Mediterranean cuisine. We went for dinner and I was pleasantly surprised to see the decor is very sexy, dark and perfect for date night. I think people have a misconception about vegan food being hippy-ish or bland… not at all the case here! Let’s talk about the food shall we? I tried the artichoke oysters, the kite hill cheese plate, pappardelle bolognese, oven roasted kabocha squash and some other favorites. Umm, hi delish. I loved everything. I wanted to eat so much more, but the babe was getting squirmy so I have to save it for next time. Chef Tal Ronnen is the creative force behind this unique dining experience. He’s one of the most celebrated vegan chefs and it’s obvious why. He cuisine does not disappoint! I highly recommend it, whether or not you eat meat, you can find something tasty to enjoy. Food porn below…
I truly can’t believe it’s been three years since I started my online journey! When I began my blog my makeup career was in a transitional place and I knew I no longer wanted to do it professionally. I longed for something more exciting….but I wasn’t sure what or how or when. In high school I wanted to host a show (specifically one like Wild on E!) and somehow along the way that dream seemed like it would never come to fruition. Doing makeup allowed me to be part of the exciting world of entertainment without really putting myself out there… but it wasn’t my true passion. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the beauty industry, but I wanted to be on camera! It took me a really long time to admit that to myself.
I am so thankful EVERYDAY that I started chasing my dreams when I did. I can’t imagine not doing what I do. It’s opened up doors and opportunities I truly only dreamed about. I’m not trying to toot my own horn, I’m trying to encourage people to go after what they want. There is a saying in farsi “Whenever you get the fish out of the water, it’s fresh” basically to me that means that no matter where you are in your life, it’s not to late to start something new and go after what you want.
I love my job and have worked harder than ever. I have no clue where I will be next year or in five years and that’s what is so exciting about what I do. There are endless possibilities and the sky truly is the limit.
I want to take a minute to say a sincere THANK YOU to everyone who has followed my online journey with me. Without your support I wouldn’t be able to do what I do.
Last thing before I end my rant- I am giving away ONE ticket to come hear me speak on October 7th in LA with a ton of other major movers and shakers online. To qualify, just send me an email telling me what your dream job is and why you want the ticket. It’s that simple. I will pick a winner by Friday!
Email Me For A Chance To Win: Sharzad@LuxLyfe.com
*Must be able to get to Los Angeles! I can’t fly anyone in yet… sorry! One day!
Last night I was invited to a press preview dinner at The NICE GUY LA, which officially opens to the public today. Woohoo! This sexy new spot has a total modern 60’s vibe… I know that sounds like it wouldn’t make sense, but just trust me on it. It’s the newest spot from the H.Wood group, who also own Bootsy Bellows and Shore Bar to name a few. The NICE GUY, located on La Cienega in the center of West Hollywood, serves up fantastic food like pizza topped with figs, caramelized onions, gorgonzola and thyme. In addition to their killer food they have TONS of specialty cocktails and live music on most nights. It’s reservation only, even for the bar (which I love) so it won’t ever feel packed or too crowded. Enjoy the photos below and make a ressie ASAP for a ritzy night out.
Get my look!
*The four center photos are courtesy of h.wood
A few weeks back Michael, Idris and I hopped in the car and headed up to the good’ol Bay Area. It was the baby’s first road trip and we had a blast. I will say that breast feeding on the side of the road off highway 5 in the sweltering heat is not my idea of fun, but luckily we only had to do it once during the 7ish hours it took to get up there. We got to spend two glorious weeks frolicking around the Bay from SF to Carmel and everywhere in between… and I gotta say, The Bay is BOOMING. Dang. One of the highlights of the trip included Idris meeting his Iranian great grandma. Enjoy the pics and video below!
As I mentioned, I grew up in the Bay Area, but every time I go back I try and squeeze in some new restaurants. On this last trip some of my favorite dining experiences include La Mar in SF for amazing ceviche and a killer view. I suggest going during the day so you can really soak in the scene. The Paragon Restaurant and Bar in The Claremont Hotel in Berkeley was awesome. They serve delish upscale California cuisine in a historic hotel with an amazing view of SF. Dametra Cafe in Carmel has the best dolma EVER and the owner always plays the guitar and sings for his customers. It’s so fun!