Tag Archives: Sunnyvale

Joie de Vivre!

I’d like to introduce you to a happy place. To some *cough* the couple who was getting “frisky” next door *cough*, this place may be happier than it is for others. Either way, the Domain – a Joie de Vivre hotel, in Sunnyvale is a lovely place to be.
Once you enter the unassuming building, you’re greeted by a blast of deliciously icy air conditioning and an equally luxurious scent that wafts about the lobby. If you’ve ever been to one of those fancy hotels like the “W” in Beverly Hills or the Aria in Las Vegas, you know what I’m talking about. They actually create their own “lobby scent” that you can purchase in the gift shops! I didn’t look to see if the Domain sold their scent… I wish I had.
The inside is basic, but full of character and unique touches. For the rooms that have windows facing the lobby, there are sheer curtains, rustic wood slats and woven tapestries to give privacy and filter out the soft glow of the lights.
The rooms are spacious yet cozy with different quotes adorning the walls in each suite. “Real genius is nothing but the supernatural virtue of humility in the domain of thought.” The Sleep Number beds (once you figure out how they work) adjust to your specific comfort needs. The alarm clock holds a docking station for your iPod so you can wake up to the tranquil sound of your own quiet music as opposed to the blaring sirens that most hotel alarm clocks utilize.
The wall that leads to the balcony is covered by blinds, giving the illusion that it is covered with windows. The window and door allow in just enough of the streaks of light from the sunset to bathe the room in a warm glow.
The bathroom features a quaint little rock garden in which the bamboo and lemongrass scented shampoos and soaps are set, enhancing the relaxing spa feel of each suite.
The cafe downstairs features a breakfast buffet in the morning…
…and an extensive dinner and beverage menu featuring cocktails such as “Technopolitan”, “Esc”, “iDrink” and “Social Media Refresh” to reflect the technology that is Silcon Valley.
I went for the aptly named “Joie de Veev” – acai liqueur, ginger ale, lemon juice and pomegranate juice over ice. I was indeed full of joy after finishing this delicious drink!

If you ever are looking for a hotel in Sunnyvale, I highly recommend the Domain. The staff is eager to assist and incredibly friendly. While you can’t control who your neighbors will be, or what they decide to do from midnight to 7am,  the entire experience in this hotel will more than make up for it!

I’d recommend it MUCH more than this hotel, that’s for sure!


Filed under hotel, Travel

Faultline Brewing Company

I’m in Los Altos for the 32nd Annual Arts and Wine Festival this weekend, and got a chance to hang out with my friend Grayson at a brewery that he used to work at (as the brewer’s assistant).

We met in college. Grayson was a senior, living in a house of senior guys. I was a freshman, living in the dorms with my two best friends. Gray and “the Brew” as we so aptly named their house full of boys who brewed beer, basically took care of us the entire  year, and we ended up becoming amazing friends to this day. Gray, have I told you how awesome you are?
We went to Faultline Brewing Company in Sunnyvale.
I ordered a style of beer that I’d never tried before – Best Bitter. I didn’t read the description before I ordered and had no idea it was nitro-pushed until it arrived.
Stupid evil bad camera blurriness.
That’s better! It was so pretty, watching all that gas as it seemed to cascade down the glass, dissolving into crystal clear beer. I have to say, I’ve never been a huge fan of nitro-pushed beers. I’ve found them to be bland and watery when they’re served on nitro, but this was amazing! Beautiful creamy head that lasted the entire glass, smooth body with a slight caramel note on the tongue, and a very mild kick of bittering hops. I have been converted!
Return of the evil, blurry camera. Apparently it didn’t appreciate my selection of food – I got fire roasted veggies tossed in a fresh basil pesto. They came with mashed potatoes, which I requested have tons of garlic and bacon in them. Needless to say, those potatoes were the first to go…
Gray ordered the tri-tip. My camera approved of his selection apparently…
I finished with Faultline’s IPA – very mild on the IBUs (50), but still delicious. I’ve yet to find a hoppy beer that’s too intense for me. Stone’s Ruination didn’t really blow my mind. I actually found Amazon Imperial Red to be more intense. Any suggestions?
Gray, being the genius brewer that he is (and also a Cicerone Certified Beer Server), has been helping me with my studying for the Cicerone Certified Beer Server test. I don’t want to half-ass this thing – If I get a question right because I guessed on a multiple choice, that’s not good enough. This is information I actually ENJOY learning about! Anyway, Gray was incredibly patient last night, teaching me about enzymatic mashes and how they’re needed for converting the long strands of starches into fermentable sugars. He also walked me through decoctions and kegging. Awesome.

Good food, great beer, one amazing friend.
Then I tried my first macaron and almost gagged on the sweetness! I finished it though. I’m not one to waste food.


Filed under brewery, Drinks

Rabbit’s Foot Meadery

On Friday, I headed up north to Sunnyvale in the San Jose area for another show. We arrived around 4pm, with plenty of daylight left to go explore the area. Since I am a food/brew research-aholic, I’d already found the place to explore, just minutes from the hotel.
Rabbit’s Foot Meadery. Ora and I arrived at this unassuming building, wedged in the middle of a business district, and parked our gigantic van on the street (the parking lot is quite dainty). I didn’t get a picture of the building or entrance, so let me paint you a picture with words: Once we found the tinted glass door, we walked into a cozy, inviting space. The tasting room consists of a long bar, one slightly tattered fabric chair in the corner and a dartboard hanging unnoticed on the wall. Seeing that it was Friday night, the place was relatively full, and had the slightly stale smell of sweat and sugar. Not the most appealing, but that’s what you get for visiting an extremely popular local brewery on a Friday night.

We stepped up to the bar, hung our purses on the handy hooks that were hiding underneath, and were greeted by Mark, the friendly and knowledgeable Australian wearing a Utilikilt. He is my hero.
Although he was incredibly busy, Mark immediately started us off with a tasting, free of charge. All of their products, except for the port, is made onsite.
First was the original Sweet Mead. Mead is a honey wine made from water, fresh honey and yeast. It’s possibly the easiest “brew” that you can make: Heat some water, add honey and stir, then reduce it to 70-75 degrees, pitch the yeast and wait. I’m tempted to get a mini carboy just to give it a try!
After we tasted the sweet mead and the raspberry mead, Mark moved on to the Melia – an ice wine. This and the sweet mead were my personal favorites. They taste light and flowery, not syrupy sweet like I expected. The raspberry mead was a little too acidic for my taste. Apparently, I’m a purist.
We moved on to the ciders next. Pear and raspberry were the ciders on tap, and while I absolutely LOVE their black cherry cider that I’ve tried from BevMo (the one place they distribute to in my area), the pear and raspberry tasted very light and almost bland.
BEER! We tried four of their beers on tap.
First was their Biere De Miele. This is a VERY  light golden ale that has honey added to the boil in addition to the malts. A good beer, but as I said before, VERY light.
The Honey Red came next. I wouldn’t quite call this a RED persay, but it had quite a bit more malty flavor and a hint of more hops. My personal favorite was their Diabhal (not pictured thanks to blur) – a Belgian-style ale made with rock candy. We liked it so much that we ordered a full glass post-tasting. After that came their stout (also not pictured)- a rich, full-bodied stout that tasted very toasty and full of coffee.
Finally – the Chocolate Raspberry Love. This port is POTENT. I could actually smell and taste the chocolate coming through the alcohol. I don’t have much experience with ports, but this one was very tasty. More than this taster would have been too sweet and overpowering to handle.

I came home with a bottle of their original Sweet Mead to share. Well, MAYBE I’ll share it… It’s pretty freakin’ good…

A BIG thank you to Mark for being so willing to answer all of my questions about the process, history and brewery!

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Filed under Drinks