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Featured Friends: Sylvia from Sylvia G Eatery

Sylvia G Eatery Interview - Life in Wanderlust

Sylvia from Sylvia G Eatery is my very first Featured Friend of 2018 and I couldn't be happier about it. I was looking through my Instagram notification feed and saw that she was following along, so I went to her page and was instantly hooked! I've probably watched all of her YouTube videos at this point and her Instagram feed is #goals. She's a foodie, photographer and YouTuber that you're going to want to get to know!

1. Tell us about yourself! 
Hi! I'm Syl, a hafu (half-Japanese, half-White) girl living between LA and Tokyo. I absolutely love food, cats, and mugs.

2. What made you start Sylvia G Eatery? 
Several years ago, I was completely overworking myself (as a freelance photographer and a freelance talent manager for digital influencers). I needed to make some *me* time and do something for myself for once. I love food and cooking and noticed that whenever I posted food on my personal Instagram account or on fb, I would often get asked for recipes or where I was going to eat/food recommendations. Thus, Sylvia G Eatery was born!

Sylvia G Eatery Interview - Life in Wanderlust

3. As a fellow Japanese, if you could bring 5 food spots from Japan to the USA unchanged, where would they be and why? 
1) Mister Donut (which is ironically from the states originally). I LOVE how light their donuts are and way less sugar than American donuts. It's not the best donut spot in the universe but it's really nostalgic for me.
2) Denny's (also ironic because it's an American company but the Denny's in Japan is completely different). Japanese Denny's is also completely nostalgic (the first Denny's in Japan was built in my neighborhood in the 70s(ish). They serve such a variety of good food, offer awesome seasonal menus, and they serve one of my favorite dishes in existence that doesn't seem to exist anywhere else: hamburger steak curry cheese doria.
3) 7-Eleven (also an American company, whoops. Clearly I think Japanese versions of American food establishments are better). Actually, almost any Japanese convenience store can fall into this category (Family Mart, Lawson, etc). The quality, price, and ease of conbini food is astounding. It would make my life so much easier to have access to a real Japanese conbini in the states. 
4) Tori no Minomasa - it's a SUPER small Yakitori street stall that is close to my house in a shotengai (shopping street). I grew up grabbing a skewer or two while walking to/from the train station and this place never fails to make me smile. The food is good, I love that the family who runs it knows everyone in the neighborhood when they go to buy food, etc. It's just heartwarming.
5) Negiyaki Yamamoto - this is an okonomiyaki spot (well, they have a couple of locations) in Osaka. Recently, most (if not all) of the Osaka-style okonomiyaki spots in LA have closed (which is my favorite type of Okonomiyaki) and Negiyaki Yamamoto is one of my favorites in Japan.

Sylvia G Eatery Interview - Life in Wanderlust

4. What is it like being a Foodie/Travel YouTuber for anyone that might be interested in starting? 
It's very fun but it's a LOT of work. Don't expect everything to be fun and amazing all the time, either. Also, don't ever take it for granted. I feel very blessed and privileged to do what I do and I hope to educate and inform others in return.

Sylvia G Eatery Interview - Life in Wanderlust

5. Also as a fellow Angelino, where's 5 food stops in the Los Angeles area you would recommend a visitor to try? 
1) In N Out - it's a classic for burgers. It's usually my first stop when I get back into LA from traveling or being in Japan.
2) TlayudaLA - Mexican cuisine is important to LA/SoCal culture and Oaxacan is one of my favorite types of Mexican food. TlayudaLA is one of my favorite Oaxacan restaurants. It's small, family owned, and the food is seriously delicious.
3) Osteria Mozza - one of my favorite restaurants in LA!
4) N/Naka - for fine dining this is easily one of my favorite spots because I feel like Chef Niki encompasses what being a Japanese/American hybrid is so, so well. It's very comforting for me and also creative while paying proper homage to traditional Japanese food culture.
5) Nagomi Cake House - I'm obsessed with sweets and this is my all time favorite cake spot in the entire universe. 

Sylvia G Eatery Interview - Life in Wanderlust

6. What are 3 things you miss most about Japan? 
1) Number 1 is always my family and friends. 
2) The ease of getting around without driving. The train system there is amazing so you can get anywhere via train. It's so easy to hop from one part of the city to the other.
3) Feeling connected with a culture. While I absolutely LOVE and appreciate the diversity in the states, Los Angeles especially, I feel so very grounded in Japan. I love going to our neighborhood shrine to pray, I love the matsuri/festivals in the summer, I love seeing how much effort puts into their craft regardless of what it is, etc. To see and be a part of a culture with so much history feels really special. I don't think a lot of people in Japan can relate much since it's normal life for them, but since I am back and forth, I really grew to appreciate it.

Sylvia G Eatery Interview - Life in Wanderlust

7. If money or time off wasn't an issue, where are 3 places you'd want to visit and why? 
1) New Zealand & Australia - they've been super high on my list forever. I feel like I would never come back after visiting.
2) I want to take a trip ALL over Japan. From the tip top to the bottom islands. I want to understand even more about the culture and people that I love so much.
3) I also want to take a long road trip to every state in the US. I've been to more than half the states but I want to do a trip hitting everything. The US has so much variety when it comes to EVERYTHING: types of people, food, geography, culture, etc. I want to experience it all in succession so I can learn more about that half of me a well.

8. What's your favorite social media platform to share your food experiences and why? 
YouTube! I love that it makes me feel like I can have people come have a real glimpse of what things are like. I can fit so much information in a video while I can only fit in so much info in a photo and one caption on Instagram. 

Sylvia G Eatery Interview - Life in Wanderlust

9. You take amazing photos of your food! What are some tips and tricks you can share with us when taking food shots? 
Thank you so much! I always try to shoot in good, indirect natural light. I'm not a gear whore and I also don't like to be a bother to other customers so I try to find ways to be able to work with my surroundings rather than bringing a bunch of skrims/reflectors/lights. Luckily, I went to university for photography so I can look at surroundings and figure out what can work or not work for a photo. I definitely recommend learning about natural light and how different surroundings will change imagery.

Sylvia G Eatery Interview - Life in Wanderlust

10. What do you hope to accomplish through Sylvia G Eatery?
I hope to provide a platform where people can learn about Japan & Japanese food culture, especially to those who are interested but don't necessarily have access to traveling or other information where they live. I want to help widen peoples' perspectives about the world and a culture that may not be their own (or for some people, to provide information on a culture that they have lost touch with). 

Follow Sylvia everywhere!
Blog: www.sylviageatery.com
Instagram: @sylviageatery 
YouTube: Sylvia G Eatery
Facebook: FB.com/SylviaGEatery
♡♡♡

I had such a great time getting to know Sylvia! I'm also personally pretty stoked that I've run into someone in the Los Angeles area that I can talk to in Japlish and commiserate in the fact that the 7-Elevens or Denny's in the United States are crap compared to the ones in Japan! Thank you so much Sylvia for being my guest on the blog! Looking forward to meeting you soon! XO         

Want to read other Featured Friends? Click here.  

Want to be the next Featured Friends? Due to overwhelming response on interviews, I now have a section dedicated to bloggers wanting to work with this blog. Click here to find out more.

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