Holy Trinity: Carbone, Bardot Brasserie, and Julian Serrano Tapas| Aria Hotel, Las Vegas

The Aria Hotel at the City Center, Las Vegas, is one of those places that has all of the best  offerings for European Cuisine. It has my favorite Italian, French, and Spanish Restaurants – Carbone, Bardot Brasserie, and Julian Serrano respectively.

These three restaurants are not ordinary in any way. They offer a stylistic and modern yet traditional take on its cuisine. Everything about this holy trinity is divine. Hands down the best Spanish tapas that I have ever had! and the most similar to France, French food! Carbone is truly old world Italian.

Carbone | Italian 

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We ordered the lobster ravioli , fettuccine con funghi, and Branzino. All were impeccable.

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I love the retro, glamorous ambiance of this restaurant. It reminds me of 1950s New York. The plates are Italian ceramic and very reminiscent to the ceramic plates in Italy’s Amalfi Coast.

 

Bardot Brasserie by Micheal Mina | French 

 

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We started our meal with a cheese board. The cheeses were imported from France, grilled crostini, candied hazelnuts, grapes, whole grain mustard, jam, and currants. You can choose from an array of cheeses which one you prefer. We opted for a Crémeux de Bourgogne, triple cream brie like, a goat cheese, and hard cheese recommended by the restaurant.

 

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I had the LOUP DE MER AU FENOUIL which is a mediterranean sea bass with caramelized lemon, fennel, and fingerling potatoes. The sea bass was so juicy and emanated an earthy fragrance of fennel.

My dad had the 8 oz Filet Mignon served with Frites and béarnaise sauce ( I tried the sauce and its the best béarnaise I have had in the States)

Julian Serrano Tapas |  Spanish 

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Their non-alcoholic, virgin Sangria is hands down the best drink ever! I don’t know what they put in it but its a symphony of perfection.

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My favorite tapa to order is their Bronzino Donostiarra which has the a crispy skin and sits atop a medley of tomatoes and olive tapenade.

Not depicted because they were too beautiful not eat first are the desserts. My favorites are the Molten Chocolate cake topped with vanilla bean ice cream & the Crema Catalana which is an orange blossom creme brûlée.

 

XOXO,

Shiza

 

Malibu Farm + Zuma Beach// Pointe Dume

Cruising down PCH, wind in hair, Lana del Rey’s 13 Beachesplaying boldly in the background. This is my favorite way to spend a Saturday morning.

My first stop: Malibu Pier, to have an iconic California breakfast at the Malibu Farm restaurant. Everything about this place makes me happy.

From the rustic decor, the plants hanging from the ceiling, the rooftop terrace, and most importantly, the spectacular food!

Not to mention they make the best iced lattes + homemade watermelon juice.

 

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Their Swedish Mini Pancakes are my absolute favorite!

An artful juxtaposition of the most perfectly complementing flavors. The thin, soft yet subtly crisp pancakes, are topped with a tart medley of cooked berries, and then finished with a dollop of light homemade whipped cream.

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I also adore their fried egg sandwich. I ask to sub the bacon for avocado.

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Farm fresh vegetable stand on the Malibu Pier.

 

A quick, breezy drive down PCH later…….

Stop 2 : Zuma Beach : A secluded haven 

 

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Hike trails to Pointe Dume

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Sand in my toes, a breathtaking view- I wouldn’t want it any other way.

 

XOXO,

Shiza

Homeade Strawberry Whipped Butter

Whats better than strawberries & cream? Strawberry Whipped Butter is ❤️Next time you need something quick to whip up with just a few ingredients to spruce up some simple french toast or pancakes , this whipped butter will elevate your dish into something truly spectacular. 

All you need is : 

  • A stick of butter at room temperature (salted or unsalted  it doesnt matter I used salted and it still tasted amazing)
  • A few strawberries (4-5), rinsed and chopped tiny
  • a splash of vanilla extract
  • Tablespoon of Sugar

   
    
    

Place the whipped butter on the center of a sheet of aluminim foil.

  Wrap the butter in the foil in a log and place in the freezer for it to harden. 

Slice the whipped butter and serve on your french toast or pancakes. Bón Appetit

 Xoxo,

Shiza

Photo Diary : Au Natural in Vancouver + Victoria , British Columbia

This is a memoir on my trip to Canada a few summers ago. The charming natural beauty of Vancouver and Victoria left me breathless and in love.  Hope you enjoy. Xx

The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park of Vancouver has by far the most breathtaking nature hike I have ever been on. Yes, it is better than those sunset hikes in Zuma Beach. The park is basically enormous canopies of tall, evergreen trees interconnected through beautiful suspension bridges and cliff walks. All of which overlook a gushing waterfall and river giving off a sweet mist. Adventuring through the park, I literally felt like a frog 100 feet up into the trees.

We took a mini cruise over from Vancouver to Victoria. Here are pictures of the Butchart Gardens, they are truly one of my favorite gardens. There is a vast array of mini gardens throughout this massive garden and a cute tea house where we did a traditional British Tea with delicious scones and clotted cream. This is definitely a must go place.

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Xoxo,

Shiza

Cleo @ SLS Las Vegas

Aloha❤️
This past weekend I went to Las Vegas for a mini-vacation. Las Vegas is known for its flamboyant restaurants and culinary acclaimed cuisine. At my stay , I dined at several amazing restaurants but none compared to the Cleo . This restaurant truly captivated me from the minute I walked in. I felt as though I had walked into an ancient wonderland. The ambiance had a rustic look with a book shelf lining the walls which was filled with an array of vintage images in black and white and numerous books stacked almost messily. To make things feel even more picturesque, there was a massive wood fire oven and open kitchen in the center of the restaurant . It felt as though I was dining with Cleopatra herself.

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Aside from the ambiance, the food was divine . Cleo is known for its Mediterranean inspired cuisine, and it lives up to that. All of the dishes have a sublime flavor from the use of traditional spices and cooking techniques . My favorite dish was the Branzino Tagine , which is cooked in a ceramic dish in the wood oven . A tagine is a Morrocan layered pilaf with a meat and rice or cous cous and cooked in spices. I requested the chef to make it with fish instead of meat or chicken ( fish tagine is not on the menu but they were kind to make it for me) but my parents ordered the chicken tagine and that too was spectacular.

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This is the branzino tagine.

We also ordered a grilled haloumi salad with heirloom kale, hazeulnuts, tarragon, and citrus. This salad had a refreshing flavor and the grilled haloumi was perfect. Halloumi cheese has bedouin roots from the middle east and is semi-hard and has a high melting point which allows it to hold its shape when grilled.

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We also ordered a shrimp and salmon kabob . Both were well seasoned and had an earthy flavor from the dill. The kabobs were served with a spicy chilli sauce that complemented the kabobs well.

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I recommend this restaurant to any one visiting Las Vegas.

Xoxo,
Shiza

LAFW : Style Fashion Week

Hey guys! So yesterday I went to my first fashion show. It was at Style Fashion Week in LA. I viewed shows by Ophelia Song, Coco Johnson, and Tatiana Shabelnik. Unfortunately , I couldn’t stay for the grand finale which was a Red Dress show with dresses by designers such as Oscar de la Renta and Monique Lhuillier. However, I did get to see the dresses backstage and was stunned. Everything felt so surreal. I think the best part about it was that I go to experience both perspectives of a fashion show ; The ramp walk and Backstage where all the action happens. Backstage was so chaotic and productive. Every inch of space was being put to use and everyone was busy. There were hairdressers, make-up artists, designers, photographers, models all preparing for the show. Its astonishing how it takes hours and days to prepare for a 1 hour or less show. You truly gain a sense of respect for all the people who work backstage to make the show possible. However, My favorite aspect of the evening was the ramp walk. It felt like dream come true. I was so honored to be a part of such an event. It was such an exhilarating experience. To sit there, amongst designers and such affluent people to the fashion industry, was an unforgettable experience.

Backstage:

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In the pink is designer Tatiana Shabelnik.

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Ophelia Song
This show showcased clothing that were very soft and elegant. There were many aqua/blue shades, whites, and specks of black in the collection. It gave me a mermaid-y vibe .

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Coco Johnson
This show was very edgy and outgoing, The collection was bold and dark colors such as red and black were prominent throughout the show. I love the cuts and eccentric styles of the jumpsuits and dresses that were a part of this collection.

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Tatiana Shabelnik:
This show was the most whimsical and fun . The collection was colorful and vibrant . It began with a model dancing onto the stage wearing a stunning dress. Then, a man model joined her and they performed a lovely dance/walk. The music was energizing yet traditional. This collection had ensembles with different textures, patterns, and colors. All of it coherently worked well with each other. Some of the looks were a little bit medieval/fairytale looking. Overall, I loved the uniqueness to this show.

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All of the pictures were taken by me on my iPhone 5s unless otherwise stated.

Xoxo,
Shiza❤️