A passion for food + fashion

Posts Tagged ‘Ace Hotel’

Puppy Love in PDX

In Drink, Food, Out of Town on October 15, 2013 at 10:01 am

Brittany spaniel

For those of you over on Instagram, it’s been indulgently documented that our family brought home a new Brittany spaniel puppy a couple weeks ago. Meet Aengus, featured here with his favorite Orvis antler chew toy! I’m so in love with this little guy! Britts are a hunting breed and are more pointer than spaniel, which means they’re active and need a lot of exercise. They are also spectacular family pets, and very loving and gentle with children. Our boys could not be more smitten.

photo 5

We found Aengus through a breeder near Portland, Oregon. When the time came to bring him home, I packed a bag and boarded a flight that arrived in PDX in the evening, just in time to dump my bags at the Ace, and head out to dinner at Pok Pok.

pok pok pdx

When I was wine and spirits editor at Bon Appétit, I found myself in Portland and the Willamette Valley pretty regularly for work. Perhaps what I miss most about Portland are the bartenders. I was reminded of just how much when I cozied up to the bar at Pok Pok and ordered a Tennessee Stud cocktail with bergamot-infused bourbon, fresh lemon and Peychaud’s Bitters.

tennessee stud cocktail

It was a perfect companion to the plate of Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce fiery wings, one of Pok Pok’s signature dishes. My mom grew up in Buffalo, NY, and so when I see wings on the menu, I feel it’s my filial duty to order them. These were outstanding, tossed in Phu Quoc fish sauce,  dipped in a rice flour and tempura flour batter and fried in rice bran oil.

ike's vietnamese fish sauce wings

If you thought things couldn’t get better, think again. Enter a plate of Muu Paa Kham Waan, which was wild boar collar meat with garlic, coriander root and black pepper in a spicy chili lime sauce. It comes with a side of sticky rice, and you take a pinch of rice and then pick up the boar meet. There are no words…

muu paa kham waan

Not shockingly, I woke up the next morning in need of coffee. And even though Stumptown is in the lobby of the Ace, I knew that a superior cup could be found a short drive away at the newest location of Ristretto Roasters. I’m in love with Ristretto’s new café on NE Couch Street and loaded up with several pounds of El Paraíso beans from Colombia. For the drive, I also pocketed a fig buckwheat scone baked by former Spago and Campanile pastry chef Kim Boyce. (When I got home, I discovered that the figgy scone recipe is included in Boyce’s awesome cookbook, Good to the Grain. Yeehaw!)

ristretto roasters

The drive out to Wind Mountain Kennels from Portland, Oregon, to Carson, Washington, was pure beauty. We snaked along the Columbia River, crossing the steel truss cantilevered Bridge of the Gods as we approached state lines.

bridge of the gods

Looking over at our new sleeping puppy on the drive back to the airport, I thought how lucky we are to live on the West Coast. There is so much beauty in the world, much of it a short road trip away, and I for one need to remember that life is about finding the time to stop and smell the coffee, savor the Northern Thai street food, and cuddle up with a new friend.

brittany spaniel

Another Ace Weekend

In Drink, Food, Out of Town on September 19, 2010 at 9:42 pm

We are back from a dreamy weekend in Palm Springs—100 degrees by midmorning each day, hot summer nights. A seriously relaxing weekend. Sun, sleep, sleep, sun. My parents came down from Napa Valley to stay with Tiny G while we snuck off to the ACE in Palm Springs. More on all of this later, including paddle tennis with Mr Foodinista and a dip in the pool at the former home of Christina Onassis, which friends had rented for the weekend for a birthday bash, but in the meantime I leave you with summer’s perfect snacks.

Hadley’s Okra Chips with sea salt. Go ahead and laugh. They are really quite reminiscent of … something. And they are also my new favorite cocktail fare.

White wine spritzer, plenty of ice. When the temps get over 100, there is nothing more refreshing than a splash of white wine, club soda over slushy ice, enjoyed in the shade of our garden patio room.

Already planning next escape.

¡Felíz año nuevo!

In Baby Love, Out of Town on December 31, 2009 at 8:09 pm

Earlier this afternoon we got back from a few heavenly days in the desert—a perfect end to an otherwise imperfect year. Tiny G and his dad went out with a splash in matching Vilebrequin swimsuits, a Father’s Day gift from my parents’ earlier this year. In an hour we will be joining some of our best friends to ring in the New Year at Lucques. While there are many reasons to happily close the books on 2009, there are just as many reasons to be thankful for all that has transpired in the past year, not the least of which is my sister, Claire, moving to Los Angeles, the health and happiness of our family, being crazy in love with my husband and—this one brings a tear to my eyes—Tiny G’s first steps. Look at him go! Adios, 2009. ¡Felíz año nuevo!

Ace is Aces!

In Design, Drink, Food, On Location: Out and About in L.A. on May 11, 2009 at 6:37 am

AceOn Friday we headed to Palm Springs for a weekend of relaxation at the new Ace Hotel and Swim Club. If you book using the Easy Rider special, you get 20 percent off on the room, dining, bar and spa treatments. Formerly a Howard Johnson, the hotel has been totally renovated with an emphasis on being eco-friendly from the organic poolside menu to the solar power rooftop panels to the complimentary bicycles for “green” travel into town. Also, much of the furnishings are vintage. How much do you love the lobby?


I also love the contrast of the stark white and orange against the dessert backdrop:


Our patio room had a fireplace outside, which was great late night after Tiny G had fallen asleep. We ordered room service from the King’s Highway diner and it was really good, generous portions and CHEAP! Here’s a grilled brie sandwich with pickles, and the “pot” brownie for dessert:


Thanks to east-facing windows, Tiny G got us up at the crack of dawn so we got a super early breakfast and went for a morning swim. Below, the Kings Highway Diner (before reasonable people have gotten out of bed) and their ricotta pancakes.


menuHere’s the main saltwater pool, again, before the crowds have hit (read: woken up). 


And here’s a fabby $6 (less 20%!!!) white sangria that I ordered later that afternoon poolside, along with some refreshing ceviche:


The soundtrack that pipes through the outdoor speakers is amazing, as is the playlist inside the spa. I got a massage and for once was spared creepy Zamfir pan flutes, and instead treated to Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Ray LeMontagne and Supertramp, which was far more relaxing. Rooms start at $80 for a single, so get on it! Here’s a peek inside ours: