N&K Review of Bamboo Sushi (Portland)

Kells, Cutie T & I went on a girls weekend getaway to Portland Oregon🔗, earlier this year (pre-pandemic times). As it was Cutie’s first time, we wanted it to be extra special. We stayed at the ritzy Hotel Monaco🔗.

One evening we chose to dine at Bamboo Sushi🔗 (downtown location). They’ve got 3 locations in The PDX.

Kells has had Bamboo Sushi 🔗 before.

But, it was mine & Cutie T’s first time. Bonus: it was right around the corner from our hotel.

Our order

Garden of Eden roll – Micro crunch, tart, slight sweet,

Chasing the Dragon roll – tempura shrimp, tart at first, soft spicy flavour, chewy rice, elevated dynamite

Eden & Chasing

Soft shell crab bao – soft tempura crunch salt, heaven

Friday the 13th -taste the sweet salt then slow spicy heat (delayed). Table fave.

Kimono -elevated cali roll, complicated, starts apple then sweet crab, chewy rice, salty goodness.

Ocean Farmer Roll-garlic butter with seared salmon, “delicious”, starts soft smoke then rice then fresh.

Itame Roll -Special, cilantro, light flavour, fresh, ideal for those starting to eat raw fish.

Itame

Considerations

Parking: on the street or find a lot.

Pricing: it’s not cheap but it is cheery.

Ambience: Pimped-Up Casual.

Recommendation

Yes! Go stuff your gobs with this fabulous food!

(We do mean after the pandemic precautions have lifted. Also, bring a cigarette cuz you’ll need after you finish this sexy sushi.)

La Quinta Cliffhouse Grill & Bar Review (Palm Springs)

Posey parkers heading out to dinner
#ReturntoEsmerelda 🔗

What does Canada, magic and La Quinta Cliffhouse🔗 have in common?

N&K dining alongside Murray SawChuk¹🔗!

We decided to have a lovely dinner out on a recent girls trip to Palm Springs🔗. And we chose La Quinta Cliffhouse Grill & Bar🔗. It had good reviews… and was also bit more poshy to match our mood.

Our orders

https://www.laquintacliffhouse.com/

K ordered Surf n Turf which was absolutely delightful. Steak was well seasoned, tender. Lobster tail was tenderly delectable.

N took cliffsnotes🔗 (haha) on an old phone. Unfortunately, the old phone died. And now the only menu available is the COVID-19🔗 #socialdistancing🔗 takeout menu. N can’t remember what she ordered, and none of the takeouts quite capture the dish.

The fish was perfectly cooked and well seasoned with amazing sides.

Service

Friendly and attentive but not up in your grill.

Ambience

Reminded us of an old-school mansion, some large round family-style tables, roomy.

Spirited Beverages

Are accessible on their tableside tablet.

Recommendation

Yes La Quinta Cliffhouse is a destination eatery. Check it out, N&Kers!

Footnotes

¹We were tucking into our plates when this flashy dude walks into the restaurant with his mum and pops. K recognized him as Canadian magician Murray SawChuk, who has a residence in Vegas. (Of course we gave him a shout out on IG🇨🇦.)

30 Minute Hit

30 Minute Hit🔗 is a women’s only gym that teaches self defense moves with high intensity interval training.

Each 2 minute station alternates between 15 seconds of power & 15 seconds of speed. Stations might be Jab-and-Cross or Roundhouse Kicks. You start at level 1 then move up to 3.

Because of global COVID-19 precautions🔗, 30-Minute HIT locations are closed.
However, this gym has an awesome workaround. They’ve created a complimentary 30-Minute HIT at Home for members!

Kells has been intermittently hitting it for over a decade. But over the past few years she’s been really consistent.

I tried hitting it for the 2018 fundraiser Kick the F*ck Of Cancer🔗. It was my first time and I felt like puking after. I hadn’t felt that wretched in ages. I thought “Guess this isn’t your jam, missy.”
I’m trying hard to not puke while I smile “pretty”.

New Years promo

A couple months ago, K pointed out that there was a special deal. I hemmed and hawed. I thought, let’s just book a trial session… and I was hooked. You get your own gloves and wraps. Makes me feel like I’m a hardcore boxer.

Initially

I thought this would be great for a quick workout. In the days I want longer training, I’d have the option to go through 2x.

But believe me, you work your entire body hard. Both Kells & I are hot sweaty messes afterwards.

I still have not gone through the circuit 2x. But one of these days, I will.

And less than 2 months later

I feel stronger, energized, got some skills, endurance (I had to take multiple breaks per station in the beginning).

My waist is more defined. People have told me my shape is changing. I’m not doing it for looks… but it’s nice to get positive feedback.

If you’re up for a challenge, and this looks remotely interesting, call to get your free trial!

Review of Fisherman’s Market & Grill (Palm Springs)

When we were in Palm Springs last fall, Kells & I stopped into Fisherman’s Market & Grill🔗.

They have various locations with different tiers of service. The one we went to is self-service, self-ordering. We didn’t want anything fancy on our first night travelling in… so this was perfect.

Ambience reminded us of Vancouver’s 🔗 Granville Island🔗. Unassuming, knowledgable staff, licensed, casual seating, lofted ceilings.

I was craving seared scallops. When I ordered it, the staff said that this would burn the outside while leaving the inside dangerously raw. I usually eat seared scallops or sashimi-style so this was news to N (as well as K). Not sure if it was due to USA’s FDA guidelines¹? But I wasn’t going to argue.

I got the Hawaiian combo with salmon, jumbo shrimp and mahi mahi because it had a bit of everything. Kells got the Surf n Turf with lobster tail and steak. We also ordered a side of charbroiled² scallops. And of course a couple beers to wash it all down with.

The sides (rice pilaf, coleslaw) were nothing to write home about. The fish needed a bit more citrus but good. Shrimp was on this side of being rubbery. Scallops were okay. Lobster and steak were good.

Service

Was friendly. Food came out in a timely manner. (Staff bring orders out to tables.)

Cleanliness

Appeared fine.

Parking

This location was in a strip mall, so parking was a-plenty.

Recommendation

Not a destination eatery. But, if you’re in the area and hungry for a casual atmosphere… sure it’ll be fine.

Footnotes
¹food regulations differ by country. Click for more info: Canada’s Food Inspection Agency🔗. USA Food & Agency 🔗.

Mascara Review: Rimmel’s Wonder’lash

Well N&Kers, it’s time for another Mascara Funday!

Our previous Rimmel review was on the Wonder’fully Real mascara🔗, which is available here🔗.

Today, Miss Nals will be reviewing Rimmell’s Wonder’lash mascara🔗.

Their website states “Do you need a solution to your clumpy mascara?
Wonder’Lash mascara with argan oil is your best secret weapon to perfectly full, smooth, zero-clump volume! …Experience beautiful volume and lash definition in one smooth, easy stroke… and left feeling conditioned”.

Click HERE🔗 for more info

Reviews on their site🔗 are favourable at 4.2 stars (307 reviews).

Makeup Alley reviews🔗 give it 3 stars (75 reviews). Comments are similar as on Rimmel’s site.

Now for our actual review

Lengthener

Yes-ish. Because it separates so well, my lashes looked a bit longer (but sparse).

Separator

yes, like a hot damn.

Volumizer

Nope, not even when paired with a volumizer.

Curl

I curl before and after applying mascara. This mascara initially holds the curl well… then they look wonky.

Thickener

Product colour is black, which you’d think would help the appearance of thickening. In fact, because the separation was so thorough, there was significantly less volume/thickening effect.

Application

This bristled beast of an applicator looked like it meant business. But I guess it was more of an empty promise that never was.

Other considerations

Mascara didn’t interfere with my contact lenses.

×It stuck on like a SOB. Despite triple washing, I didn’t always get all of it off. But it didn’t irritate my eyes.

This is a available in a waterproof version (turquoise tube).

Recommendation:
I’d skip this mascara.

Guess what!

Our next burleque show is March 12 at The Rio🔗.

That’s tomorrow so get tickets toute de suite and come watch us burly across the stage with our fellow babes!

Review of Kimpton Hotel Monaco Portland

We had opportunity to take a girl’s trip to Portland🔗 recently.

It was our friend Cutie T’s first time in the PDX so we wanted to stay in a central area, park then walk everywhere. We chose Kimpton Hotel Monaco Portland🔗

The entrance is magnificent

As you can see, the hotel’s entry is elegant from the outside and… magnificently opulent inside. It reminds us of old gallant hotels for the rich riches but not gaudy or tacky.

The staff and service

Everyone was warm and friendly. Check-in was fairly quick, as we were pre-paid.

As soon as we got to our room, the front desk texted us to say if we needed anything, just let them know. We needed extra pillows, blankets, a straightening iron, suggestions for a night out… and they got back to us!

To the room…

Elevator and walk to to the room was delightful.

… And beyond

This King Suite was sumptuous!

Seating areas

Yes lots of areas to park your sweet booty.

Bathroom

Large, airy, light. Shower, tub, lots of counterspace.

Sleeping areas

The king bed had a sliding door with a huge TV, dresser, comfy chair, night tables with lamps and plenty o’ plug ins. The bed was fabulous firm. I didn’t feel Kells move around at all. In the evenings, the three us snuggled up with snacks and the TV.

Cutie T preferred to sleep solo on the sofa bed. She had her own TV. Mattress looked a bit thin but Cutie T slept fine curled up in the mountain of blankets and pillows.

Lighting & Space

King bed had large windows with sheets and blackout curtains. There were some floor ceiling and table lamps. Seemed a bit dark in the foyer but who cares.

Room felt very airy, due to the vaulted ceilings.

In-room amenities

Mini bar, intimacy kits, snack items and room service are available for additional costs.

Included in-room are animal print robes, landline, basic drinking glasses, bar fridge, hair dryer & delicious toiletries. Other things available upon request (such as Keurig, tea, cutlery and coffee pods).

In-room entertainment

There were 2 TVs. TVs don’t have internet or bluetooth capabilities. There is cable with pay-per-view options.

Hotel amenities and entertainment

With resort fees, you can use the fitness room.

Coffee, tea, swanky hot chocolate in lobby in the mornings.

Wine, beer, amuse bouche are available every evening 5-7 pm for all hotel guests. They also have live music in the lobby.

Concierge service also available by text.

Transportation

Valet parking was included in our package. But we were close enough to walk everywhere downtown.

Recommendation

Yes we absolutely recommend it.

Voodoo Donuts

We had opportunity to take a girl’s trip to Portland🔗 recently.

And of course we had to pop in to sample a bit of somethin’ somethin’ at the infamous Voodoo Donuts🔗.

Voodoo Donut’s crazy decor and outrageous flavour combos go right along with the city’s slogan “Keep Portland Weird”.

for more info on stumptown’s classy slogan, click here🔗.

We got there around 9 pm. The lineup was only about 20 minutes. Warning that it can be as long as 2 hours. Since they’re open 24 hours, we suggest checking in on the lineups… and go later if it’s nutso.

We got:
-guava colada: kapow guava in centre and soft coconut donut surrounds.
-mango tango: yep it’s mango jelly and is fluffier.
-dirty old bastard: PB&C have joined forces, firmer texture like a fritter.
-portland cream: like the Boston cream but not custard. It was an indescribable flavour. We’d skip this.
-maple bacon: yep exactly like it sounds. This will be your jam if you enjoy maple syrup waffles with a side o’ pig strips.
-apple fritter: classic and a goodie.

K&I have healthy appetites. But one Voodoo donut could easily feed 2 or 3 folks.

Go check them out!

N&K Burlesque Update

We’re now into 2020 burlesque year, folks.

2020 is a year of changes. And here is the evidence…

Two VBC🔗 instructors are on preggo leave³. So, the interim instructors² are bringing in new hot exciting classes.

Nals is taking a tap class. Hmm how does tap tie into contemporary burlesque? Excellent question. Guess you guys will have to come out to watch how Cleo Victory🔗 whips us into shape.

Kells is taking chair level 2. Yes you heard that right. Level bloody 2 with Chastity Twist🔗! Kells is learning how to contort in new slithers. The performance promises to be sizzling.

We are both taking a second class which is with newbie Ginger Avenue¹🔗. We’ll be bumping and grinding down under¹, to classic burlesque moves.

So come check us out at The Rio Theatre 🔗on Thursday, March 12, 2020.  

Footnotes: ¹Ginger is a new instructor but has been performing for years. She’s an Aussie! ²The second instructor is Portia de Favro🔗. N&K were itching to try one of her classes but she’s only doing intermediate and advanced. After a year of burlesquing, we feel that we’re past beginner stage but not quite intermediate.³Congratulations to Cherry on Top and Ariel Helvetica on bringing 2 new tinies to the GVA!

Review of Castelli’s Italian restaurant (Palm Springs)

While in Palm Springs in October, K&I wanted a bit of dinner.

We wandered aimlessly for hours, parched and starved. And we finally came upon Castelli’s Italian Restaurant🔗,

Read about our other Palm Springs adventures and reviews here

Ambience

We had no reservation and came at dinner time. We were seated outside the kitchen, but with a view of outside patio. This was a great vantage point for people-watching. Restaurant was dimly-lit restaurant. There was that comforting din of murmurs, cutlery clinking, busy-ery. Walls were decorated with pictures of crooners, The Godfather, other Italian ex-pats. There was also a piano player and singer. Our pony-tailed curliqued friend was really good!

Waitstaff

Efficient, pleasant but not too chit-chatty. They were incredibly observant. As they were leaving or coming back into the kitchen, various staff picked up our excess dishes, or offered cutlery. I love when people work as a team. This makes me feel supported, and like anyone on the team can (& will) help.

Our order

Starter: Crab-stuffed Mushrooms. These were good but not stellar. All dinners also come with garlic toast. This was toast-tastically flavourful, crispy. We had to get a second basket.

Nals’s dish: Risotti Con Funghi. Nals isn’t into shiitake but this dish wasn’t shiitty at all. Risotto was delightfully toothy. “Sauce” was creamy and just coated the rice for perfect separation and flavour. And the con funghi flavour was bang on!

Kells’s dish: Ravioli d’Aragosta: delicious vodka horgonzola cream sauce with 3 large freshly-made ravioli. These monster ravioli were filled with mega lobster. Good flavour contrast of sauce and filling.

Dessert: Chocolate Lava Cake a la mode. Moist, flavourful and rich. Worth every bite.

Recommendation is 100%

Hands down, no question: if you are in Palm Springs and want a delicious Italian dinner: you must go to Castelli’s🔗.