Friday, May 31, 2013

had it not been for our appointment/errand we had to go into manhattan for today, we'd have stuck around a cool a/c'ed coffee shop in the neighborhood ducking the crazy heat yet again. but somehow riding our bikes in the shadows of the building made the excursion surprisingly pleasant and not heat-strokey. we stopped for some coffee (and to cool off) at la colombe then headed out to get some cold noodles at menkuitei - m got his usual hiyashi chuka and i wanted to try something new, so got ten-zaru ramen (cold ramen with dipping tsuyu sauce with a side of tempura). i was imagining something that looked a bit more like this but the tempura BRICKS came out to our surprise, and luckily it was really tasty! although i could've just been fine with one of them. hiyashi chuka there, just as tried and true as it has been for the last 9 years we've been coming here, was delicious. and their tsuyu for my zaru ramen was also super refreshing, even with the tempura dunking in and out of it.

then later at night, to cool off, we went for a walk to escape the heat trap of our apartment, and ended up with a popsicle in my hand and later pizzas in our faces at il porto. we'd forgotten how delicious their pizza was - luigi's makes excellent pizza but il porto seems to be at yet another level above - super tart tomato sauce and creamy, homemade cheese. mmmm~~~~!!!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

we tried to go to olea last week for their happy hour tapas, but realized it was already past the happy hour and there was a long line for dinner instead. so today, after ducking from the unseasonable heat today at a coffee house, we tried again and made it safely within the time limit and happily ordered our 4 regular dishes - celery & peashoot salad (with apples, walnuts, and feta), whole wheat pita with romesco dip, fried fish sticks with spicy aioli, and one not seen here, their crack beef meatballs. 
all seen here in close-up details from our last time there as well. pretty dang satisfying.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

i love the janky ass japanese joint, sakura tokyo, for a lot of things on the menu but every time i get their sushi rolls, i'm always impressed at how decent they made them there - not too heavy on the rice (not that there are perfect amount of air pockets in-between all the rice grains, but not gummy or over packed), fresh fish, and good flavor! today i got the salmon combo - salmon maki, salmon skin rolls, and "alaska" roll - avocado with cooked salmon. m got the tokyo fried chicken bento, which was also delicious, with juicy chicken and yummy california rolls.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

rainy day dinner (and fridge clean-up) : kimchi fried rice & kale miso soup. 
i had kimchi fried rice on my appetite radar recently but realized that i didn't have any gochujang or eggs to make the kimchi fried rice really legit (like these before). but i decided to make do with what we had... just kimchi, kimchi juice, tinned salmon, and roasted seaweed flaked about.
also made some super simple kale miso soup to use up the surplus tofu and wilted kale in the fridge.
old favorite, insanely simple (anchovy & kelp broth, miso, tofu, seaweed, nothing else!) but so satisfying.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

m made his famous kale & bean stir fry for me tonight, since i'd been feeling unwell since being out in the cold last night (with a lingering cold that just won't go away) and having fallen off my bike last night. it was so so delicious, i loved the cannellini beans with kale - the only downside was that m mistakenly bought this wheat gluten veggie sausage, which tasted like dry grain bars - even this was saved when soaked in the earthy yet lemony juice of all the stir fry.
mmm kale~! <3 p="">

Friday, May 24, 2013

it'd been forever since i'd been into the city from being out of town and being sick, so despite it being a super cold rainy day from this insane schizophrenic weather week, we still made it into the city to share some bowls of hot ramen noodles with some friends. we went to the good old trusty spot, menkuitei, where we're always guaranteed a seat, even on a friday night. 
m got his favorite non-noodle dish, mabo-don, j some vegetarian miso ramen, a got tonkotsu ramen (not pictured), and i got my usual go-to, tokyo (shoyu) ramen. 

all so satisfying, except the desserts we got at chikalicious to-go afterwards was just so-so. but we had to duck in somewhere, it was freeeeezing.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

probably one of our cheapest yet filling-est meal we've had at castro's, that didn't leave us feeling all stuffed up and gross afterwards. m ordered a half chicken platter, which delicious and was only $7!
i got 2 fish tacos, and although this didn't compare to the last few tacos i'd eaten, it was still good.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

i don't know why it's been so hot and humid, but all i wanted to eat today was some cold noodles.
but also didn't really feel like venturing out into the city or anywhere far...
so instead i sweated myself to a puddle while cooking up some noodles & soft cooked eggs, and chopped and sliced all kinds of veggies to make ourselves some cold bibim-myun  (noodles with mixed veggies & seasoning). i didn't have enough mungbean noodles or any other type of noodles that would be good as a cold noodle dish, so i just used what we had in the pantry - ramen noodles sans the soup powder. (my mom used to do this once in a while when i was a kid, although not the bibim version.)
i added some cucumber kimchi in lieu of fresh cucumber and it was pretty dang refreshing for sure.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

it'd been a while since we last went for burgers at clinton park café, and although it hadn't been quite half year since then, lots of things seemed to have changed - mostly regarding the menu and the pricing.
we ordered our usual, m's mushroom swiss merium-rare burger and my veggie burger, but instead of having an option to add fries (french or sweet potato, same price) or leave it out as un-deluxe, they lumped all together and raised the prices by a buck or two. and ordering sweet potato fries (my favorite there) was another dollar! grr.... 
i ordered it all nonetheless, and still enjoyed my veggie burger and fries.
and m ordered fancy onion rings, but turns out a pile of onion rings is just a bit too much richness with mushroom swiss burger, rich on its own already.

Monday, May 20, 2013

after m finally tried a gyro last week at the falafel house that we've been walking by for over a year, we were convinced to go back and try some more. this time, he ordered a huge lamb kafta platter, which came with a plate of rice and minced & grilled lamb meat, another plate of salad, hummus, beans and other condiments, and a basket of huge pita. i tried to conserve some of our belly space by getting a half/half (chicken/lamb) shawarma wrap - this was such a huge meal, we barely finished it.
somehow we liked this place better than zaytoons down the street - jankier, tastier, cheaper and throw in a backyard seating, and we're sold.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

i finally got off the bed (feeling a bit better) and was able to cook a little for us. since m got us a huge batch of korean groceries last night, i decided to made some brothy, refreshing, kimchi miso soup for the rainy day, along with some gyeran-mari (omelette rolls) with perilla leaves layered in between.
m also got some cucumber kimchi (oi sobagi) - which i apparently can't stop eating (had loads with kimbap last night too) - and with other banchan and perilla leaves for ssam, this became a very simple but homey meal for us.  

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

i got super sick from a cold that m brought home the other day -_- and have been living on boxes of soup and bananas, pretty much - because i am too sick to cook, m has been too busy and i am also unable to taste anything much, sadly. m cooked up this delicious pasta with what was in our pantry & fridge, and it was perfectly what i wanted. we only had quinoa pasta (gluten free kind) at home but it turned out to be pretty good still - not gummy like some other gluten free pastas.
wish i could've tasted more of it - i seem only to be able to taste 60% of things right now. :(

Monday, May 13, 2013

m got a little bit of a cold over the weekend and craved some yummy food - even though what i really wanted was nong's khao man gai times 10, but national thai just had to suffice. we got some scallop spring rolls, tom yum kung, som tim (green papaya salad), and pork green curry with brown rice. the scallop spring rolls was amazing, with some kind of fish sauce based dressing on it. unfortunately, one thing m really wanted for his cold, tom yum kung, fell a bit flat - lukewarm at best, both literally and figuratively.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

chicken katsu curry & salmon teriyaki bento at sakura tokyo. sometimes we need some janky nourishment. still very yummy!

Friday, May 10, 2013

after shopping at trader joe's we decided to try california taqueria down the street, which we'd been eyeing for a long time but never had the chance to try since we so frequently got mexican elsewhere. finally remembering this place, we gave it a go - i got 2 tacos, a carne asada and a fish (tilapia), and m got a HUGE burrito with carne asada. 

they were pretty dang good but the tacos were a bit on the expensive side (fish taco being $4.50 each, the highest i've ever seen).

later at night i made myself a late night snack of dukboki, with some collard greens thrown into it to make myself feel better (since this is almost a korean junk food). i also put some cheese in it to balance out the spiciness and thought it'd add some protein -_-.
very yummy but with dukboki, collard was a little weird - kale is definitely a better match for something sweet and spicy.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

m made this amazing dish again - kind of like a fancy, healthy english fry up.
chicken sausages we had left over from the last time he cooked something similar, kale & beans, all sautéed together with some kind tart & savory flavor. with soft cooked eggs and fresh tomatoes, these were so good in my belly - just what i was craving.

for dinner, we couldn't decide what we wanted to eat and after a long walk and sitting at the park, remembered that we could eat middle eastern food at zaytoons. i got a grilled veggie kebab platter, and m got a shawarma wrap. pretty dang good and fresh too.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

after my appointment, we went to our usual post-appointment spot, hanco's in park slope.
it's no west coast vietnamese joint but this place is pretty dang good for close-in brooklyn place.
we also got a classic and a grilled pork banh mis but i was too busy eating to photograph them. -_-

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

since we can't compare korean food to anything we had in portland, we got ourselves a good meal at café 232 - spicy squid (ojinguh bokum) and tofu maeuntang. both very delicious and nourishing today.

Monday, May 6, 2013

after a long brutal trip back home, and barely getting any sleep on the redeye, we cleaned up the house and after the cats and headed out to get something fresh to get the airplane out of us. still bummed that we couldn't get fresh food nearby (and missing cheap and amazing portland food), we just walked around the corner to pillow. got a salad and a garden bagel sandwich each. they were good but we still couldn't stop comparing them to portland food! ahhhhh~!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

{ PORTLAND TRIP : Last Day }

 we checked out of our airbnb early (or slept in late and checked out right away - _- ) and headed to alberta to say hi to a new friend who owns antler gallery on it. afterwards we walked down the block to get some coffee at random order pie bar - i tried their "best pie" as some article called out, salted caramel vanilla apple pie - unfortunately, maybe because they didn't heat it up, it was just so so. nothing amazing for me - too bad, i was looking forward to having this slice after reading about it.

for lunch, just because yesterday's khao man gai was unforgettable, we went back to nong's khao man gai again! we went all out and got the pork and rice dish (with khao man gai style rice and sauce) and the regular chicken and rice khao man gai. ahhhhh they were both amazinggggg! the only thing was that we ordered liver with the chicken but they forgot. :(
the chicken also came with this amazing clear broth soup, and with coconut water we got together, it was so perfect - we drove out until we found a little grassy area to sit on and had a great picnic with these.

the flight back was brutal - redeye, delayed layover, squeezed seats, nausea - and erased most of the wonderful energy we absorbed while lying around the grass in laurelhurst park. but we sure came back with some amazing memories of this city!

Saturday, May 4, 2013


 after all the doughy food (besides mexican) we ate yesterday and so far, we were definitely craving something light and fresh. we had spotted laughing planet on mississippi so we headed over there and got kale salad and a burrito bowl special with pork. somehow these two mixed together were just the exact thing we were both craving. so delicious and not over-filling.

after, we decided to go check out velo cult, a bike shop / bar / coffee bar. 
the bike shop part looked really great - but unfortunately the coffee bar is pretty bare and new and didn't have iced coffee either. even the hot coffee got a little sour after a while, kind of a bummer.

we were invited to a bbq in the evening but decided to have a little snack - monica had told us about this amazing food cart place, nong's khao man gai, and was she right!!!
i can imagine why she'd eat here all the time and why they would do well only serving this one dish for as long as they did (now they do a few more). this is kind of like a thai hainan chicken, with rice cooked in chicken broth and probably some kind of amazing magic. chicken was cooked perfectly, but the best part was the sauce - some kind of crack out sauce that made everything amazing and covered in rainbows.

the bbq was so great, amazing local meats and sausages, but i was too busy stuffing my faces to be documenting it. :/
my belly and mind remember them perfectly though.