Sunday, September 30, 2012

{ Los Angeles / San Francisco : Day 4 }

on our last day in LA, we were rudely awakened by a fire alarm at 8:30am at the hotel. not able to go
back to sleep, we checked out hours earlier and drove down southbound toward long beach airport, out of which we were flying out to SF that afternoon. 

we drove around for a place to eat, having some failed attempts at stopping by a japanese flea market - and ended up at this soon dubu restaurant, cho dang tofu in torrance - at the crack of 10:30am. 
living in nyc, we forgot how authentically korean korean food is in so cal. all the banchan feeling homemade and the tofu stews just bubbling over with different flavors. so delicious, even for the first thing in the day to eat.

then after our flight into SF, and heading over to my sister-in-law's place, we stopped to feed our hungry bellies in the mission - at taqueria cancún. the photo fails to depict just how that huge burrito
(the wet one with all the sauces) is. it was the largest one on the menu, still only at $6.75.
i got a "regular" sized grilled chicken burrito, and it was still so humongous.
we were filled to past the gills to the tops of our heads, and it only totaled out at $13.50.
ahhhhh california, you always get me with cheap authentic mexican and asian foods!!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

{ Los Angeles | Day 3 }

we woke up early with not much appetite - after roaming around sawtelle on a super hot day,
we ended up at nijiya supermarket - i have fond memories of the place, which provided me simple,
cheap, good lunch for years while i worked near by up until about 10 years ago.
it'd been a long long time since i'd been there last but they still had the same kind of food, albeit a dollar or two more per lunch box. we got some inari sushi & futomaki mix, and a some spicy tuna rolls.
unfortunately, they weren't as delicious as i remember them (or maybe i forgot which were good), having too much gummy rice packed in them. but still, a simple, fun lunch. 

then next door, where there used to be a then-brand-new japanese bakery, was a beard papa's.
which we hadn't seen in nyc in years - somehow they'd all disappeared.
i got an eclair with vanilla filling and some "french" thing with chocolate filling.
the eclair won hands down - the french donut looking thing looked promising but wasn't very good. 

then after our opening that lasted several hours (so much fun, the best opening i've been to in a while,
with lots of friends and lots of fun people in the crowds!) - a bunch of us (13+!) walked over to father's office, for some drinks, food, and talks. m & i shared some duck salad and butter fish with crispy kale.
so delicious - all tender and crispy, droolllll. 
it was such a fun night - i felt so blessed and lucky to be in such good company with such an amazing opportunity. thank you!!!! 

Friday, September 28, 2012

{ Los Angeles | Day 2 }

we found this hidden (although seemed well known to locals in the know) diner via yelp, named
Ronnie's Diner. i loved their classic LA diner looks (so different from NYC diner feel), and the clean
west coast style food. m got eggs, sausage and grits, which were excellent, especially the gritty grits.
i wanted to get something lighter and more californian, so got this eggs over grilled tomatoes with 
avocados, rice and beans. coffee was good, food was good, it was a very satisfying morning.

then later, we headed out to the sawtelle area to meet up with an old friend/coworker of mine, Pat.
at first we were going to have coffee, but she suggested we try the shaved ice next door, at a joint
named Blockheads. that isn't noodles up there.
and omg what a life-changing experience!! i've been eating shaved ice all my life (korean patbingsoo, taiwanese bao-bing, hawaiian shave ice, etc) but never have i tasted anything like this before! 
pat got the "original flavor" shaved ice (milky) with custard pudding and almond jelly - a classic combination. i got a huge bowl (these are so huge) of black sesame flavored ice, with lychee, sweet red
beans, and mochi. both bowls were drizzled with condensed milk (although they had a slew of other 
flavors to sprinkle on). the difference is in the ice shavings - not made from water base, but from milky
creamy base of some kind of magic!!! it was so creamy and delicious - something in between ice cream
and ice. it was a hot day, so this really helped us cool down.

then later in the evening, we met up with other artists and our gallerists at another art show, a solo show of new works by Jen Stark at martha otero gallery. we went across the street after for some pizza at pitfire. it was a table full of food but m and i shared some chopped salad and "the bur rata pie" (with burrata cheese, arugula, pesto, hazelnut, caramelized onion over tomato sauce). so glad we went with this pizza since we almost went with the regular margherita - it was a very unusual combination of flavors but so good together.
mmm so so good~! who knew LA had such good pizza!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

{ Los Angeles | Day 1 }

finally in california (my first trip this year) for my show.
our usual stop when we first land in Long Beach is spoon house in gardena on our way up
the 405 to LA. 
m got the mushroom & uni (sea urchin) pasta and i got their spaghetti bolognese, and each got
a $1 salad. i forgot how much less our bellies could be filled with now that we're older, so
we were stuffed from this meal for hours and hours, that this is the only meal we had this day.
the uni pasta, as always, was the winner. so so great!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

our last day before our trip to california, we were up so early for some reason.
we walked over to john's for breakfast - and got 2 of the same thing! waffle, sausages with eggs,
and coffee. this never happens but both of us were in the mood so there it goes.

their sausages aren't my favorite, but their waffle was so crispy and good, that it totally hit the spot for me. plus it's so much fun sitting there early in the morning with all kinds of neighborhood people that i rarely see during the evening time (i suppose).

Monday, September 24, 2012

despite being under the weather a bit, since i actually felt like i was out of the woods (re my show)
so we took a late night bike ride into chinatown since most of the food we felt like in our
neighborhood were closed by then. after seeing that our first couple choices were closed as well,
we went back to ny noodletown, where we hadn't been back since the night we came back from london last year.

we got our usual favorites - roasted duck & pork over rice, chinese broccoli in oyster sauce, 
and some piping hot seafood congee. they were all so good, and filled our hungry tummies perfectly.

then on our way home, m got a flat - which wasn't too bad since we had this clear view of brooklyn
bridge/lower manhattan/dumo from the manhattan bridge!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

m came back from a bike camping weekend just in time for dinner - and we headed back to
cafe 232 for some comforting korean food.
we ordered his favorite, spicy dak gui (grilled chicken) and i ventured out of our norm and got
us a big bowl of spicy "kalbi tang" (normally made clearer brother, not spicy). the soup was so
good, almost reminiscent of shin ramyun, in a good way.
the grilled chicken wasn't bad either, but we both agreed that their quality used to be much better

Friday, September 21, 2012

took a long stroll to get some banh mi at hanco's (even though we'd just had vietnamese last night).
got a classic (dac biet) and a grilled chicken banh mis along with summer rolls.
mmm so good. these used to be our go-to banh mi place, but after tasting some in sunset park a couple
months ago, no banh mi has measured up so far. T__T 

then on our way back home, we finally caught a glimpse of the almost-finished barry mcgee mural wall (though i'm sure this isn't painted on by mr. mcgee himself) : 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

dinner at cong ly has become a ritual on thursdays after our CSA pickup.
this time, we both got pho - just slightly different "toppings" and size from each other...
still both with brisket, eye of round, tendon, tripe (omosa), etc... so good and comforting.

then we searched for whatever is left of egg tarts in chinatown (since it was after 7 most 
bakeries were closed or sold out of egg tarts), and finally found a couple left but only in
macau style (portuguese style - meaning scorched top), which i had with tea at home for dessert!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

late dinner at cafe 232.  we got soondubu & bibimbap, wanting something simple and basic.
these are always pretty reliable here - but somehow soondubu felt a little less spicy (though not
a bad thing), and bibimbap felt a bit... less in quantity. otherwise, very satisfying.
(the last photo is of bibimbap post mixing)

and might i add, i'm finding this new blogger interface very irritating. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

m craved a burger and we're both neck deep in work & projects that we couldn't eat till 9pm.
most of our favorite places were farther away or closed, so i just yelped for a burger,
and we ended up at maggie brown - which is never on our top choices, though we like its sister
restaurants (olea & pequeña), due to their overall mediocrity in most things we've had there.
tonight it was a cheese burger (which they claimed was the best this side of the mississippi)
and a veggie burger. the cheese burger turned out to be probably not the best of anything,
though very basic - and my veggie burger was definitely on the middle to lower half of my
imaginary veggie burger totem pole, though not bad either.
that's the thing that irks me about this place - nothing's great, but they're not bad, though it
looks as if it should be decently good. damn mediocrity!!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

a round of birthday ramen bowls at chuko on a super busy saturday night.
i got a shoyu (soy sauce) ramen with amazingly tender chicken, 3 veggies got vegetarian
miso broth noodles (with corn & tomatoes?!?), there was another shoyu ramen with pork
(the last photo) - not pictured is a bowl of kimchi pork noodles.
they were really good, especially the shoyu ramen - kimchi pork ramen was good, but it was
a bit too rich with all kinds of flavors - which we should've remembered.

then after some biking off some of the dinner, we headed to eat some dessert!

home made butter cake with milk chocolate butter cream frosting.
yummy!! :D