Conquering Life One Bite At A Time
by: Penelope
● April 16, 2024

Hey there, hungry hearts! It’s your girl, Pen, tummy full and taste buds satisfied from weeks of navigating the glorious, chaotic world of food in Los Angeles. Let me tell you, between all the variants of açaí bowls with enough toppings to rival the most maximalist jewelry stash and the juice cleanses that promises everlasting youth and glow, a girl can get whiplash.

Just the past week alone, I have eaten the best pastrami sandwich on sourdough bread that I’ve ever had while drinking a mind altering dirty chai latte (authentic, I tell you) high up at Café on 27 in Topanga. I discovered the best and freshest array of nigiris a Japanese-craving foodie could ever ask for (Plantain Nigiri, Hamachi Chocolate Nigiri, Unagi Monkfish Nigiri aaaandd Otoro Nigiri) at Santo in the  Silverlake area, while at the same time finding myself surprisingly enjoying an $8 bottle of red wine from Trader Joe’s. Not to forget the unlimited amount of wagyu beef brisket shabu shabu I ate at Mikaya in Alhambra and the mouth melting thick cut wagyu beef tongue at iWagyu in the City of Industry. SO MUCH GOOD FOOD all in a span of days made this foodie so happy I can’t even describe it. (LOL, yes, food is my fuel… and perhaps my reason for living? Hmmm…)

CAFE ON 27: Nestled in Topanga, the great views come with superb food! XL Pastrami is one of the best – highly recommended!

SANTO: Japanese precision combined with Mexican flavors = flavor bombs! A must try!

MIKAYA: Unlimited Australian wagyu with added bonus of a seafood platter and bone marrow slab. What else could you ask for?

IWAGYU: Quality Wagyu beef is the latest find one late night in the City of Industry.


Don’t get me wrong, I don’t eat out on a regular basis (ahem, inflation in L.A… I know that you all understand this) and I also don’t eat red meat 24/7 (hello, balanced diet). It’s just that I acknowledge that food in L.A. is worth discovering and worth enjoying. It does not have to be the swankiest and most expensive food or the trendiest “Instagrammable” plate. It is about finding the places that make you question your life choices once you’ve taken a bite, or a sip (or gobbled a whole plate) but you get my meaning, right? It is always about finding that bite of a place that feels like home, that love in a spoon, that makes you smile.

I am fortunate enough to work in a company that provides us with our lunch (and even breakfast, or dinner… and for sure snacks) on a daily basis. Our bosses make sure that we are all fed properly and even indulge more than once in a good while with food – from trays of the crunchiest calamari, to blocks of crispy pork belly, grilled mackerel, stuffed milkfish, fried chicken, and endless homemade soups and stews – we are never wanting for good food. We even have hotdog (yes like L.A. street hotdogs), pizza, taco, and bagel parties! Take note that these are only the regular work days. When we have special occasions to celebrate, like birthdays or holidays – there comes the sushi, the Korean BBQ, kebabs, dim sum, etc… Our tummies are always full (it’s a good thing I walk more than 10k steps a day huh?).

Everyday is a celebration at work – a feast meant to satiate hunger and convey care, nourishment and love. Food is always best when shared.


Yes, I am spoiled. I admit that I have been very spoiled (and fortunate enough) with good food lately. I am not a lifelong foodie though. Back when I was young(er), my relationship with food was quite complicated. There was a time when food was not pure joy, it was a constant battleground of calories, latest diet trends, restrictions, fasting (and basically killing my gut health) in the hopes of achieving the thinnest body I could ever have… Because I wanted to look good (by alleged size standards of an Asian society). The mirror, my clothes, pictures – all of these became harsh critics. It had to take a life altering series of events (to be told for another article perhaps?) to change my whole perception and relationship with food. Then the understanding came that the key was just listening to what my gut (literally) says.

Ever so slowly, my relationship with food mended. I learned to listen to my body’s needs, honoring its cravings without succumbing to self-destruction and self-loathing. I learned how to nurture myself without judgment, not punishing. In hindsight, I really did come to this point as I reached my 40’s… Ironically when it was supposed to be harder for women to battle the weight (allegedly), is when I learned to love myself enough to understand that food isn’t the villain.

The journey is far from over. There will be days when the guilt creeps in, the self-doubt whispers, and the mirror seems unrelentingly critical. But with each bite, with each conscious choice, I am building a new relationship with food—one built on respect, compassion, and the understanding that food is a part of who I am, not a definition.

This isn’t just about fitting in a smaller size (or two?); it’s about fitting into my own skin, comfortably and with grace. It’s about finding the joy in nourishment, the connection in shared meals, and the love for myself reflected on a plate, not just in the mirror.

So, here’s to the next chapter in my food odyssey – continuing the journey to reclaim the pleasure, the comfort, and the simple joy of a life well-fed, at any age.

Now, let’s eat.

K.I.T (keep in touch)

(because we make kits, DUH)



Unicorn whisperer, miracle believer, and master connector of people and ideas for the greater good. Behind every success, there’s a friend like Pen. With kaleidoscope color-changing hair, Pen is a total MOOD with an eclectic flair for fashion, jewelry, and design. A lover, a traveler, and a happy, smiley wanderer. With her, shopping addictions are enabled and totally justified, so consider yourself warned. Always ready to embark on a wild adventure with friends (both furry and human) and family, Pen will literally work for food and look aesthetically pleasing doing it.