If you are in the Los Angeles area, the best burger on the westside is located at this West LA institution:  The Apple Pan.  Come and grab a seat at the wraparound counter on one of the red, vinyl barstools.  Sit elbow to elbow with tourists and locals.  You will love the old school charm at this burger counter with burger patties sizzling off the griddle, iced cold soda pop served in paper cone cups and waiters that have been serving here for years.  Enjoy the basic menu of burgers, sandwiches and fries and some of the best pies ever!

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We don’t just live on alcohol alone – we love our coffee too!  There are two kinds of coffee shops:  one that you can pop in to grab a quick coffee to take with you: these places often have uncomfortable and cramped seating to discourage lingering – I’m looking at you Starbucks; then there are the places that just scream welcome.  I love those coffee shops and I have had a bit of a hard time finding one that I really like.  But Eureka!, I finally found a great coffee shop that has ample seating with bright, natural light. The wifi code is posted at the counter, and you can borrow a portable charging station!  Decent pop music played at a medium loud volume that can be heard above the pleasant hum of other customers.  

Cool Coffee Shop Vibe at The Lost Bean

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Someone recently asked me: How do you make a “DIY Michelada“. That got me thinking. We’re back from our summer travels so lets get right into it with some fav summer drinks for these hot days!  I don’t necessarily have a favorite drink; but rather, it kinda depends on where I am and what I’m doing.  Dive bar: Makers and Ginger; nice bar:  Bombay Sapphire martini extra cold and extra olives; Italian vibe:  Negroni first, then red wine;  Japanese vibe:  always both sake and Asahi beer; Thai vibe:  either an ice cold Singha or Heineken (yes, in Bangkok, everyone drinks Heineken) or an icy glass of whiskey and soda over ice, I can go on and on but you guys get the idea. 

Sooooo, summer time means lots of outdoor activities, and an old time favorite is going out to a baseball game.  We are so lucky to have some awesome ball parks within driving distance.  Our hometown park is of course Angel Stadium; Dodger Stadium is just a short jaunt away, and our family makes several trips during the season to Petco Park in San Diego.  

Michelada at the Ball Park

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We love female business owners, and Brittany Reenan has created a cool salon vibe on the East Side of Costa Mesa.  Brittany is the salon boss, stylist, and creative colorist leading her talented team.

Woman Crush Wednesday Brittany Reenan of Salty Blonde Cut Co

She has been cutting and styling hair for 15 years.  She started when a friend invited her to share a retail space.  Brittany started with 3 chairs, then continued to expand.  She eventually took over this space and filled the place with many more chairs by bringing in other cool and hip stylist and colorist.  She kept the shared commercial concept alive by inviting pop up boutiques that rotate in.

Woman Crush Wednesday Brittany Reenan of Salty Blonde Cut Co

I found The Salty Blonde Cut Company last year and have been very happy with my cuts.  Brittany keeps her cuts are fresh and current.  She is friendly and takes her time to make sure that you are happy with the services.  

My reasons why I love this salon:

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As a Thai gal, I doctor up every dish I eat with some kind of sauce, chili, or condiment.  For my everyday cooking, I keep it simple and quick.  Here are my favorite condiments that I use frequently.

Top 3 Thai Condiments for Everyday Cooking and Eating

Golden Mountain or Maggi Sauce

This is kind of the Thai version of soy sauce or seasoning sauce.  Both are pretty easy to find in any Asian market and in most traditional markets.  Costco actually carries giant bottles of Maggi Sauce!  It is used to flavor many stir fries and egg dishes.  Splash a few drops into a stir fry or fried rice for extra flavor.  Try marinating some pork or chicken in this sauce before throwing it into a stir fry!  My son’s favorite omelette is what he calls, his Thai omelette.  Whisk up some eggs and drop several splashes of Golden Mountain or Maggi sauce into your eggs.  Beat well.  In a frying pan, heat up 3-4 tablespoons of oil (canola, vegetable, or avocado) until hot.  Carefully pour egg mixture into hot pan.  Wait for it to start setting, don’t stir.  Then while lifting an edge of the eggs up with a flat spatula, gently tip the pan in that direction, allowing the runny parts to glide into that spot; repeat on other side. This allows for your omelette to rise and add some layers so that it is not so flat. When the bottom is nice and golden, flip your omelette.  Allow to cook until golden brown.  Note:  a Thai omelette is not cooked the way you would cook a French omelette.  Here, you would use a higher flame and you want the omelette to turn golden brown.  Serve it as is or over rice.  I also like mine with Sriracha hot chili sauce all over it!  And of course that leads me to my next favorite….

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