Monday, March 24, 2014

The Points Guy: Smyth Tribeca Review

Another trip to New York, another stay extended beyond my original dates - so it was Hotel Tonight to the rescue when my travel plans changed and I needed a hotel reservation for an additional two nights.

This time we scored a great rate at a Thompson Hotel in Tribeca called the Smyth. It was small and cute, and only slightly poncey in that boutique hotel kind of way.

Read my full review on The Points Guy here: Hotel Review - Smyth Tribeca on Hotel Tonight

Remember, when you sign up for Hotel Tonight and use my promo code EROSEN11, you get $25 in credits.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Points Guy: W Downtown New York City Hotel Review

I spent the first week of the month in New York City to attend the New York Times Travel Show along with Team TPG, and while there, I got to stay in one of Starwood's newer NYC properties, the W Downtown.

It's across from the World Trade Center site and the new Freedom Tower, all the way down in the financial district, so it's definitely more of an option if your business keeps you downtown.

I thought it was decent if not that remarkable, but it was still a pleasant stay overall. Check out my full review on The Points Guy here: Hotel Review - W Downtown New York City Cool Corner Room

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Los Angeles Confidential: Herringbone at Mondrian Sunset

With a few fits and starts, Brian Malarkey has fast been cultivating a restaurant empire down in San Diego (with outposts in Scottsdale and Austin as well), and now the chef has made a triumphant return to his old stomping grounds in LA with a new location of his Herringbone brand at the Mondrian Sunsent.

For nearly a decade, the Mondrian was synonymous with Asia de Cuba, but with changing times come changing tastes, and it was time for something new. Enter Brian Malarkey and his fish-meets-field concept where everything from both farm and fishery is fresh, seasonal and served with an innovative SoCal twist.

I sat down to talk with the chef about his new restaurant, what we might find on the menu and more in my article in LA Confidential: Brian Malarkey Reels in Success with New Herringbone Outpost.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Points Guy: American Airlines A321T Business Class Flight Review

Earlier this month, I got to experience American Airlines' new A321T Transcontinental plane in business class when I flew back and forth to New York.

The A321 is the airline's new flagship transcon aircraft with all-new business and first class cabins, so I was excited to take it out for a spin - especially because I was upgraded to business class!

Read my full review of the lie-flat seats, meal service and more here: Flight Review - American A321 Trascontinental Business Class LAX-JFK

Monday, March 10, 2014

Jetsetter: Castell Son Claret Mallorca

This past summer while I was on Mallorca, I stayed at a gorgeous new Leading Hotels of the World property called the Castell Son Claret.

This luxury resort is housed in a 19th-century manor house in the island's unspoiled hinterlands (you can hear sheep bells in the evening as shepherds guide them back to their paddocks) that boasts a Michelin-starred chef, an exclusive spa, and some of the most beautiful rooms I've seen.

No wonder it made it on to Jetsetter! Read my full article on it here: Castell Son Claret.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Los Angeles Confidential: Where to Eat Oysters on the Sunset Strip

Back to oysters again!

This time my roundup was for LA Confidential and stuck to the hottest spots on the Sunset Strip to enjoy these seafood savories.

Included are the new Rare by Drai's, Al Bacio and Herringbone at the Mondrian, as well as Sunset Tower, Katana, Eveleigh and more.

So pass the mignonette and pour another glass of Prosecco, because we're going oyster-diving! Read the full article here: Sunset Strip Chefs Reimagine Oyster Dishes.

Friday, February 28, 2014

JustLuxe: Menorca Luxury - Hidden Mediterranean Gem and Torralbenc Resort

For my most recent JustLuxe article, I drew inspiration from my trip this past summer to the bucolic Balearic island of Menorca.

Smaller and more mysterious than neighboring Mallorca, and quieter and more elegantly understated than flashy Ibiza - Menorca has idyllic secluded beaches, azure Mediterranean waters, charming Baroque towns, a thriving food and wine culture, and well over 300 days of sunshine a year, making it the perfect destination for the beach portion of a longer European trip, or just a quick weekend getaway if you're based on the Continent.

In my article, I cover all the usual things to do including boat rides, beach trips, wine (and gin!) tasting and more as well as the gorgeous new luxury resort that opened this past summer and where I got the chance to stay, Torralbenc.

Torralbenc is a private resort set on a sprawling 19th-century farm with totally renovated buildings decorated in a beach-chic Mediterranean aesthetic, a fabulous restaurant, and a crystal-clear pool you'll never want to leave.

For all my picks on what to do and full review of the resort, check out my article on JustLuxe: Spain's Charming Island of Menorca - Europe's Low-Profile Jetsetter Getaway.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Points Guy: Virgin Australia Business Class

It's been a long time since I flew V Australia on my first trip down under, and I had such a good time then that I was looking forward to repeating the experience this time around - and I wasn't disappointed...especially after the stressful circumstances under which it came about.

But once I had gotten past that and stepped onboard, I relaxed instantly (glass of Lanson champagne in hand), made friends with the delightful flight attendants, got a great meal and a good night's rest, and arrived Melbourne happy and relaxed - who could ask for more?

Read my full review of the experience here: Flight Review - Virgin Australia Business Class LAX-MEL

Monday, February 17, 2014

Jetsetter: Fairmont Mayakoba

I love Mexico - it's one of my all-time favorite destinations. It's easy to get to, the people are wonderful, the resorts are gorgeous and you can always count on beautiful weather, delicious food and an all-round amazing time.

I had the chance to stay at the Fairmont Mayakoba, a beautiful resort in an exclusive enclave along the Riviera Maya, a couple years ago and wrote it up for Jetsetter this past fall. So find out all the fun things to do here from a chocolate body treatment in the spa to a one-on-one course at the golf school in my write up.

Jetsetter article: Fairmont Mayakoba.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Points Guy: Miles to the Rescue When LAX Flight Plans Go Afoul

For the amount I travel, it's actually kind of amazing how rarely things go wrong and my flight plans get messed up - but when they do, the really do.

Case in point - my flight up to San Francisco to catch a big flight down to Australia was canceled and I had to try to find another way down there within a matter of hours while stuck at LAX. Luckily, I'm the managing editor of The Points Guy - and miles came to the rescue in this instance.

I canceled my United award down there from SFO-Sydney we were able to book me on a flight from LAX to Melbourne on Virgin Australia in the time it took me to walk from one terminal to another at LAX. It was truly amazing and an example of how valuable points and miles can be.

Read about the whole stressful experience and happy ending here: Delta SkyMiles To The Rescue After Travel Plans Go Awry

Monday, February 10, 2014

Frontiers: Romantic Los Angeles Restaurants for Valentine's Day

It's that time of year again where everyone is scrambling for last-minute romantic Valentine's Day dinner reservations. Adding even more pressure? It's on a Friday this year, which means you've got a whole, leisurely evening to plan out...and a weekend to recover!

To help anyone looking for that perfect meal out to impress their honey or rekindle the flame, I' put together this handy list of romantic restaurants in Los Angeles for Frontiers and it includes some old favorites like Hatfield's, The Larchmont, Pace and Cliff's Edge, as well as some newcomers like Acabar and Rivabella - plus some tryst-worthy spots like Downtown's The Perch and charming little Papilles in Franklin Village.

Check out the full list, descriptions and menu highlights in my article: Eat Your Heart Out - LA's Most Romantic Restaurants.
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Eat Your Heart Out at L.A.'s Most Romantic Restaurants - See more at:

Friday, February 7, 2014

Frontiers: Republique Restaurant Review

I've been following chef Walter Manzke's career for a while now since he was chef at Bastide, then left to open Church & State in Downtown LA (part of the restaurant renaissance down there about 5 years ago) and then more recently he opened a Tijuana taqueria-inspired restaurant called Petty Cash on Beverly, which is delicious.

This past winter, he took over the old Campanile space on Beverly, which in turn had taken over a historic building that Charlie Chaplin had built in 1929 to house his offices, and turned it into a refined yet laidback French-inspired brasserie called Republique.

It's a little on the pricy side, but as usual with Manzke's menu, the food is absolutely delicious, the ingredients and dishes are ultra-seasonal and local, and the ambiance is convivial and welcoming. All in all, it makes for a great evening out in LA.

To read more about it and my full review, check out my article in Frontiers: Vive La Republique!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Los Angeles Confidential: Artichoke Affinity

I love artichokes. I don't know why. They're not the prettiest vegetable, nor the most tasty, and they're certainly not easy to eat. In fact, I often wonder who figured out you could eat them in the first place.

Apparently I'm not alone, though, since chefs around Los Angeles are incorporating this hardy edible blossom into gourmet dishes that have diners coming back for seconds.

Some of the restaurants I include in this roundup - Girasole, Rivabell and Fig & Olive. Want to see what they're doing with aritchokes? Check out my article: Artichokes Garner Star Status.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Frontiers: Plan Check Kitchen & Bar

Chef Ernesto Uchimura made a name for himself at the original Sawtelle location of this innovative Americana-inspired gastropub, and his creative cuisine - which includes hallmarks like "ketchup leather" and enormous burgers that have become some of the most popular in town - developed a following quickly, leading to the recent opening of a second location on Fairfax in what used to be Vodvil.

New dishes introduced at this location include the salmon "pastrami", but you should also go for signature plates like the pastrami poutine of fries with gravy and melted Swiss, and the Plan Check Burger with dashi cheese, caramelized schmaltz onions, mixed pickles and ketchup leather.

For more on the restaurant and my favorite dishes, check out my article: Plan Check - Comfy Cuisine and Cocktails.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Jetsetter: Four Seasons Hualalai Hawaii

I love Hawaii. I used to travel there all the time as a kid, but then my family and I traveled to other parts of the world for about two decades. It's only been recently that I've fallen back in love with the islands, and the island of Hawaii itself in particular - and that's thanks in part to this gorgeous hotel.

The Four Seasons Hualalai is on the Kohala coast and has beautiful rooms, an array of pools to choose from, great restaurants, and pretty much everything you'd want from a tropical luxury hotel.

Read about all my favorite aspects of the resort and what you should get up to in my latest Jetsetter article: Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.