X Marks the Spot | Trove, Seattle

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Trove | Seattle

The first time I saw the big, red X was on the day that my office moved from Fremont to Capitol Hill. It hung proudly on a Pike Street facing wall next to several giant, almost floor-to-ceiling windows. The sun poured inside and I could see a sleek, white counter facing an open kitchen, something that looked like an ice cream truck in the corner and a menu boasting various dishes whose ingredients triggered my curiosity. “Trove?”I read out loud from the sign. What was this place?

After a few weeks of being in our new digs, rumblings about the restaurant could be heard in my office. “There’s Korean BBQ in the back,” someone said excitedly. “AND they sell parfaits!” I didn’t know what Korean BBQ was yet, but I did know that I had to go.


What you need to know
Trove is broken down into three* main parts:

  1. The Counter
    Asian-fusion will never have tasted so good as when you watch it being cooked over a giant flame. The air is thick with aromas that hold promises of imminent umami-bombs, and the menu items change regularly. Believe me when I say that you’re going to want to try the sauces that you’re offered by the chef.

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    Trove | Noodle Bar


  2. The BBQ
    While this isn’t your hole-in-the-wall Korean BBQ joint, it sure does make a strong case for itself. The quality of the meats at Trove is evident from the get-go, and the chefs are happy to cook them for you if you’re feeling a little timid about your tong technique. I’d recommend trying a variety of things from different areas of the menu. Our server (who was fantastic, BTW) was happy to help us in our selection of items, and gave us an honest opinion about how much food would be the right amount of food. He was dead on.

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    Trove | Korean BBQ

  1. The Parfaits I have had the parfaits at Trove more than I have had anything else. I will say this: if you don’t have a sweet tooth, these might not be for you. If this is the case please go inside and get yourself a sake. However if you fall into the Sweet Tooth category I’d recommend following your heart and trying as many as you can while the flavors last. They change them every season and I’ve hardly ever been unimpressed. Bonus: If you bring back the branded glass jar that they serve your parfait in you can get a dollar off your next one! (As if I needed more motivation to go back…)

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    Trove | Parfait


Still need convincing?

Here’s 10 Reasons You Should Go to Trove This Summer

1. Who doesn’t like to grill on the dinner table? It’s like the adult-friendly version of playing with your food

2. ESPECIALLY WHEN IT’S WAGYU TRI-TIPS. Honestly, they marbeled to perfection

3. The parfaits alone give you at least ~6 reasons to stop by. I tried the cookies and cream with homemade Oreo last weekend, and I had a taste of the Tea Lime Pie (with Matcha custard). Both were divine and I NEED to go back from the peanut butter cup…and the other Matcha one.

4. NOOOODLES. While the noodle bar’s menu changes pretty frequently, I’ve always enjoyed a savory, flavorful, and satisfying meal there.

5. AGAIN WITH THE PEA VINES. They had smoked cashews on them and a hint of a vinegar taste. A perfect side dish to our meat selection (My other favorites so far this season were at Ma’Ono)

6. THERE IS A  ALSO BAR. There’s an  international beer list, a great sake/shochu selection, unique cocktails (of which I want to try MANY), and six beer taps pouring cold, local beer. Happy hour from 4-6!

7. Because there’s not only meat to love, but also veggies dishes. The asparagus and mushroom entree was SO flavorful. Please eat as much of the sauce as possible.

8. Impress your date (or your crew) with a beautiful Asian fusion restaurant on capitol hill

9. Because a Netflix binge of 90’s movies is 300 times better with to-go noodles from their counter (pro tip: favorites right now are the rice cake/curry/kale, the Pad thai/ chipotle/pork belly/yu choy/chili peanuts, and the kimchi pork dumplings)

10. Because, truly, you’ve got to see what all the fuss is about:

Other restaurants in the Trove family include Revel and Joule. I could go on and on about both of them, but I’ll save that for another day.


Please feel free to send any hot tips my way, whether it be a hole-in-the-wall or a trendy place that lives up to the hype (in Seattle, OR ANYWHERE ELSE). Key items I look for on menus often include: Shrimp and Grits, Manhattans, Burgers with Creative Toppings, and Complimentary Baskets of Warm, Salted Tortilla Chips.

Follow me on instagram or snapchat to keep up with my never ending snack journey in real time!

instagram: @lacunningham  —  snapchat: lacunningha

Golden // May Playlist

On Saturday afternoon I made a visit to the local beach with my boyfriend. We spotted a large, driftwood log overlooking the Puget Sound and made it our perch while we watched the waves bob against the backdrop of the Olympic mountains. The air was rich with the ocean’s salty aroma, and the sunlight couldn’t have been more golden. It felt like the early onset of summer—a new season. Not just for Seattle, but for me too. I feel like I’m entering a new phase of my life and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it.  A phase of exploring new interests, honing new skills and meeting new people. I’m not sure what it will bring yet, but—like a summer sunset—I’m eager to watch it unfold.

 

07FIFTEEN | Jams

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5 New Things in My Life that are Worth Celebrating:

  • I guess I’m one of those people who “likes rice cakes” now (namely the Cinnamon toast ones with lots of ricotta cheese, a handful blueberries and a drizzle of honey)
  • I’ve started listening to podcasts during my morning commute and it’s a lot more enriching than I ever anticipated. Currently loving: 99% Invisible and RadioLab.
  • We got a dog! He’s a 1yo Boxer rescue pup and he makes coming home THE BEST.
  • The grapefruit flavor of La Croix is a gamechanger.
  • All the songs on the following playlist

Milan, Italy | Photo Diary

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The moment when I realized I’d left my cell phone on the table was a moment that was full of emotion–first silently and then loud. Profanities bounced off the walls of our tiny AirBNB apartment as I paced and retraced my steps of the afternoon in my brain.

Finally after going through my mental rolodex of curses, I determined that the only place it could possibly be was at the tavern with the slightly-too-sweet tiramisu. We were all the way back across town in our apartment and for a moment I thought “I can do this trip without my phone.” Then reality swung a punch and I realized “no, you absolutely cannot you fool.”

With a pit in my stomach and eyes to the ground I saw the pavement blur by as began to run (with little to no dignity or faith and a shortage of breath) to where I hoped my phone still remained.  Back down into the metro I’d go, barreling onto the train and then back off again; speed walking under the shade of the duomo, across the piazza, down the narrow alleys and finally stumbling into the kitchen of the tavern.

I probably could’ve come across less panicked (it probably seemed like I’d left my child there) but the servers understood, even through my broken Italian, what was going on. After the longest two minutes of my life, the owner finished his phone call, reached behind the counter and handed it to me with a smile. I have never been so happy in my life. Bless you sweet, sweet Italian man. May you be forever blessed with lots of happy customers to your restaurant of checkered tablecloths and delicious lasagna. Please take care of your bee problem on the patio. Sincerely, Lauren.

There will never come a day when Italy does not hold a special place in my heart. Since my first visit there in 2011 I’ve known that the Italian lifestyle is one I can get behind. Schedules are more relaxed, there’s always pizza (or calzones), sentences sound like songs rather than statements, being surrounded by centuries old architectures with one million stories to imagine, dinners that run late into the night, wine continually flowing and.. the men. The Italian men, ya’ll. My kryp-to-nite.

 

And next time I’m in Italy? The south. I’m aching to see the Amalfi coast, Sardinia, and the secret panini places hidden in alleys in the smallest towns. They’re always the best.

Speak to you soon!

 

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Findlay Market | Cincinnati OH City Guide

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Top 10 Reasons you should visit the Findlay Market in Cincinnati:

10. Buckeyes. If you’ve been to Ohio before, then it’s probably been recommended to you to try these sweet, ohio-specific, treats. Buckeyes start out with a creamy, peanut butter center that is dipped into chocolate which then hardens into the perfect shell. (It’s better than Reese’s, guys.)  Not only are there buckeyes available, but other sugary surprises like macaroons, homemade fruit tarts, and SO many cookies.
9. Fresh Flowers. One of my favorite parts of any farmer’s market are the buckets of fresh flowers set out for people to admire and purchase. The bright colors are so hard to resist and the temptation to buy some for the table is always too much to fight. The cool thing about the Findlay market was the selection of air plants and unique, decorative plants. I was really taken with this little fellow who had purple chiles growing off of it’s vines and I hope to find another one like it some day.
8. Butchers. You’ll never have more desire to throw a backyard end-of-summer BBQ than you will when you see what these guys have got for you. So many brats and steaks that looked like prime cuts.
7. Produce. There was such a wide variety of fruits and vegetables available at Findlay! I was truly impressed by how many different things each of the venders was offering.
6. Local artisans. On Saturdays at the market the fun spills out the doors of the main building and into an outdoor area that houses artists from all over the city! You’ll be able to find cool mementos, decor and vintage items that you otherwise might be rare to run across.
5. Belgian Waffles. I was specifically told to find “the waffle place” in the market, so you better believe that (after finishing a slice of to-die-for bacon+spinach quiche) that I did. The menu was written on a chalkboard hanging on the wall above the waffle irons: nutella waffles, waffles with fresh fruit on top, crepes…all of it sounded like the best decision. I settled on one with fresh fruit and a dollop of whipped cream. The verdict: delicious. The texture was a marriage of crispy, sugary cinnamon roll and hot, crunchy waffle.
4. You’ll feel like you’ve somehow escaped to Europe. Surrounding Findlay Market are streets lined with houses that are painted in the brightest of hues. Flowers cascade out of window boxes making the buildings, that were once run down, come to life.
3. Cheese. One of the first food counters I saw inside the market was selling fresh cheese. This wasn’t your ordinary cheese display case, though; it was filled with cheeses from all OVER. Through the glass I saw manchegos, bries, mozzerellas, goudas, parmeseans…all sourced locally or from around the world. The selection offered was diverse, the man behind the counter was well-versed and the overall prices were super affordable, just in queso you were wondering.
2. The History. Findlay Market was built in 1852 and has been a running market since 1855. Throughout the market bits of history are inlaid within the mosiaics, the table tops and the walls themselves.
1. People watching. Get yourself out there on a Saturday, grab a coffee and watch the floodgates of Cincy burst wide open with people from all over: parents and kids, out-of-towners, farmers,  old, young, artsy, business, everyone from everywhere. Local musicians performing their sultry saxophone solos on corners and the hum of friendly conversation make up the perfect background noise for such a diverse and bustling place. Sit there all day if you want, not a second of it would be wasted.

One more Cincy recommendation and a full city guide coming to you later this week!

Speak to you soon!

 

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Saturday Morning Mood Board

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Just a few things that have caught my attention this morning:

1. Got the beach on my brain. The coastal color scheme and the easiness of this composition are making me ache for the breaking waves and days spent with my feet in the sand.
2. Calligraphy numbers always deserve to be on a mood board, especially when they are as charming as this.
3. Cherries have been my summer fruit craving this year, closely followed by red currants and watermelon. (Allllll of the watermelon).
4. Gold leaf + script font + words to live by
5. Does it get better than a glamourous metallic jumpsuit?
6. Loving the style of this illustration of the flat iron building. Miss you, New York.
7. The lines that the tile creates all over this room are so pleasing to my eye. Anything with a grid pattern is a friend of mine.

Speak to you soon!

 

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Krohn Conservatory | Cincinnati, Ohio City Guide

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Cincinnati may boast beautiful architecture and an up and coming restaurant scene, but it also boasts some of the most beautiful parks I’ve been to. After spending the morning snaking through the city’s allies, Rachael and I were longing for something a little more alive than a concrete jungle, so we opted for a real one instead.

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Krohn conservatory is a greenhouse, about five minutes from downtown, that houses over 3,500 plant species from around the world. The building, another example of the recognizable art deco style that so boldly ornaments many other buildings in the area, is fully glass and surrounded by an army of flowers dressed in every color of the rainbow. The conservatory is a site in itself, but it sits right in the middle of several other parks worth spending time in, as well.

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I think my favorite part  was either the room full of succulents or the room with tropical vegetation. If you know me at all, then you know how I feel about desert plants–I have five and they are my nearest and dearest friends plants; so you can imagine the amount of time I spent oggling the many species of cacti and aloe. The tropical room housed so many bright colored, interestingly shaped flowers that I was simply entranced by it all. I know this post has a lot of photos, but really…this wasn’t even the half of it.

Highly reccomend checking out the Krohn conservatory if you’re in Cincy! Beautiful way to spend a day (especially a rainy or hot one). More tips on visiting the city/photos come in the next week!

 

Speak to you soon!

 

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For a Good Day | Monday Playlist

For a Good Day | Monday Playlist
Monday again and I know we’re all ready for a new week + new tunes. Here’s your Monday Playlist!

Had an incredible weekend in Cincinnati! Looking forward to sharing all of that with you all this week!

 

Speak to you all soon!

 

 

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[Up]Beat the Heat | Monday Playlist

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Things I learned this weekend that might be helpful to everyone else in the world:

-Running outside is great; running outside when it’s 95 degrees is a great way to feel like you’re living your last moments.
-If you like Pina Coladas, then you’ll love the way you smell for 48 hours after using coconut oil to moisturizer your beach-ready legs.
-According to Instagram, Paddle-boarding is the new black.
-If you’re still anxious to learn how to twerk, pay attention to what your body does next time there’s suddenly wasp flying near you.
-Surprisingly enough, the “World Cup” isn’t a souvenir pint glass that you receive if you successfully visit all of the villages in Epcot.

And the final thing I know after this weekend:
-Listening to this playlist will get you amped
 

 
Hope you guys got a little bit of a laugh on this Monday morning!

Speak to you soon!

x

Thursday

Thursday

 
 
What a week it is been. As you may have gathered from my lack of posts–it’s been incredibly busy. Between jobs and packing up my house and preparing for upcoming trips I haven’t had a whole lot of time to take a breather, let alone take my camera out for an adventure.
 
I’m incredibly grateful for these times in my life because they are when magic happens. In the midst of the buzz and the quick conversations and iphone calendar reminders and the meetings that feel like client speed dating…things start to happen. Pieces come together that have been in limbo until now and you start to realize how working hard is going to start paying off.
 
Leaps of faith and dreams and things are more than just the initial jump, but the journey before and after them. Leaps of faith are what keep life exciting, and no matter how scary they may seem at the time–remember that whether succeed or fail they will be worth it in the long run.
 
Hopefully I’ll have some more exciting photos for you all soon! Cincinnati next weekend, the beach next month, europe, and..other things on the horizon. Things are about to get real interesting.
 
 
Speak to you soon!
 
 
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