this was created as a running blog. instead, it's about eating and traveling, which i guess is what i'm about.
this was created as a running blog. instead, it's about eating and traveling, which i guess is what i'm about.
bay area, california
top: mini unagi-don at dan izakaya (formerly tanto)
row 2: peter drinks beer now (singular)!, dosa’s fried chicken
row 3: bottle cap’s fried chicken, butterscotch pudding
row4: pastrami sliders and truffle fries at yardhouse, ovila club members
beer and fried foods. that’s what my life has become. also, getting addicted to coffee again.
the last week has been furniture shopping and eating for the most part. friday night we braved rain and wind to try out dosa. sadly because we had a large group, we could only do the dine about town menu. the fried chicken was really good, but the white truffle dosa was a little disappointing.
sunday we got to see amy poehler and andy richter at one of the sf sketchfest events: upright citizen’s brigade in conversation. actually quite hilarious! dinner after at bottle cap gastropub. the fried chicken thighs were super good! and the butterscotch pudding was yummy too, but everything else kind of fell flat.
we’ve also added weekly late night happy hour to our rotation. god bless yardhouse for having 10pm-12am happy hour sundays-wednesday. i’m always surprised at how tasty (albeit greasy) the food is there. shiitake garlic noodles and truffle fries are my go-to items. i should try at least one new beer each week!
on that note, brother’s getting pretty into beers lately. in addition to the beer of the month club i curated for him for christmas, i woke up early today to go to whole foods since they were having 20% off all their beers today. just me, and a ton of dudes. bought three 6-packs for superbowl sunday and then 17 other single bottle varieties for my brother. we’re amassing quite a healthy collection of fancy beerz.
sad news. alexander’s no longer serves ramen in the bar at lunch. BOOOOO. instead, went to dan izakaya with my mom and brother for lunch. never came to this tanto location, but heard dan was good too. same items, but expanded lunch menu. there was sooo much to choose from! got 4 entrees to share, including my beloved asari clam ramen.
been having lots of coffee again after being mostly on hiatus during my honeymoon. philz, red rock, blue bottle, barefoot, bellano… trying to control how much i drink and avoid it after 4pm.
oh!!! we bought some furniture finally!!! couch, rug, and some bookshelves on the way! also, pretty much decided on coffee and dining tables. yaaay! hopefully our place will be presentable by march! :D
honolulu—>salt lake city—>san jose
palo alto/mountain view, ca, usa
whoa. i’m home! the last day in honolulu, we went to ono’s for a final hawaiian meal and then waiola for our last shave ice. so sad. spent most of the afternoon just packing up and then we went to the airport. we had dinner there and boarded our red eye to salt lake city. yes, salt lake city. this way, not only were we flying into san jose instead of oakland, we were saving $300 per ticket.
it was 16f in salt lake city. unfortunately we had to go outside for about 15 seconds to board our small plane back to california. i sent “hello” vibes to my godbrother, who lives there making high-quality, high performance skis: wubanger. mention my blog for a discount on your first pair!
it was really weird being back when we got to the airport. my mom picked us up and we dropped walter off at his place. i took a short nap when i got home and when i woke up, i felt as though i’d been back for weeks already. i looked at my ceiling, at all the travel posters i stuck up there.
for the first time as a married couple, walter and i were apart for over…i wanna say 5 hours. he stayed at home cleaning his room, packing things. i was at home, most things packed, having dinner with my family. it seemed like things were back to the way it was before, like walter and i were still just dating.
friday i got in n out for lunch. mmm!!! i missed you so! ooh and i remember how to drive stick! even though i’ve been driving stick for 7 years, i always think i’m gonna forget. i had an eye doctor appointment and got my eyes dilated; good thing my mom drove. in the evening, i went over to will/irene/jon’s place to tour my future home! i saw my bathroom for the first time. squeee! it’s big! :D
we took will out for dinner one more time before he moved away to new york *sob. more burgers!!! at steak out. sad that my burger was changed from caramelized onions to cornmeal fried onions but still good. at tea era, we ran into justin and tiffany! we just found out that they were moving back in a month!
tired, tired after but lin, takuya and will insisted i meet them at yardhouse so walter went home and i drove my ass to santana row. linnypoo!!! tak and will! my uc davis babies :D after yardhouse closed, we walked to safeway to buy haagen dazs and stood inside eating, very ghetto and high school style. lin and will argued taiwanese politics and i tried to translate to takuya. entertainment at its finest!
due to too much caffeine after having none for a long time, i couldn’t sleep until 8am. went to pho with my mom before the move began. we basically moved walter’s bed and all my boxes in and that’s it. thought i was getting super sick again… turned out i was just super exhausted and really allergy-y.
cafe baklava for an early dinner cuz naminami didn’t open until 6pm ;_; we were taking my mom to see michael jackson’s immortal cirque du soleil. i was really excited cuz i love mj! since receiving a laserdisk of his music videos from my dad as a kid. unfortunately, the show wasn’t good. it was pretty boring and it was insanely loud. like, REALLY loud. louder than any club or concert i’ve been to. i actually made me, my mom and walter tissue earplugs. and, we left early. sad.
super duper pass out time when i got home.
left: heart attack inducing loco moco
right: heart attack inducing corned beef hash
last full day in hawaii. woke up and let walter sleep in. i had leftover pizza while surfing the internets and mentally packing my suitcase. i like space management. weird, but i like to think of a space, see the pieces and think about how things should go in order to fit. usually it works out perfectly, or with room to spare and i get a little too excited. in college when i was helping my friend change his strut bar to a heftier one, neither him nor his brother or his neighbor was able to angle the new strut bar in. finally they thought to give me a try. i stared at it, then wiggled in on the creeper and set the bar in place. take that, men!
anyway, when walter finally got up, we went to waiola for more shave ice. i will be looking forward to spring when i buy my shave ice machine… we went to the hot tub after getting back, then headed to the beach so that walter could try to catch the green flash (i am both disappointed and delighted that the actual term is “green flash”). we found a good spot on waikiki beach and settled in for a relaxing sunset. however, there were a lot of people walking in front of us and a lot of boats swerving in and out in front of the sun. walter got pretty frantic each time another boat headed for the recently cleared sun.
there was a thin layer of clouds right on the horizon when the sun set. the flash was there, but it was tiny and barely noticeable if you weren’t looking for it. a little bit sad, but at least walter caught a glimpse, however fleeting.
we went to rainbow drive-in for dinner. sadly, they sold out of the tuesday spaghetti special riiight when we got there *shakes fist. we tried their chili (better than zippy’s despite the beans), the loco moco (yummy! but not as good as sueoka’s on kauai) and the corned beef hash (mmm… hawaiians really do corned beef hash right. always a nice crust). we were good and got white rice with our dishes instead of french fries. the mac salad was really good and portions really generous, but it was a little bit salty with too much mayo for my taste.
we waddled to zippy’s after to get a slice of chantilly cake for walter. it was misting on the way home. after two weeks of perfect sunshiney days, the weather has reverted to being a little overcast, windy and drizzly. i think hawaii is sad that we’re leaving, too. ):
started packing when i got home, trying to make sure the check-in luggage is under 50lbs, even if it means we have to hand carry a lot of weight. polished off a couple more bubbie’s mochi ice creams. got in bed and finished the sojourn, which i ended up liking a lot, particularly because we had been in austria & the czech republic for almost two weeks not too long ago.
i stayed up reading until almost 4am. i didn’t want to go to sleep because then it’d be tomorrow and we’d have to leave ): after turning out the lights, i rolled around and wasn’t able to drift to sleep until after 5am. i am happy to be going home and going back to work soon but part of me wants to jet off again after a month or two. i am pretty excited to see everyone, to go home and move into my new place and for all the things we have lined up already.
i wonder what will become of this blog. every day with just be, palo alto, california, usa or mountain view, california, usa with some san francisco thrown in. still, great places to live and i can’t complain. love the bay. (:
top: what time is it? crazy nails adventure time!!!
bottom: walter nonchalantly drinking all of my orange julius
we woke up today to do our old stand-by routine: kotteri ramen from tenkaippin for lunch, then walk to waiola for shave ice even though we’re already too full (always with ice cream and condensed milk!). somehow, it doesn’t ever get old. i could wake up every morning and walk down kapahulu in the scorching sun or drizzling rain, holding walter’s hand and always feel like i did over three years ago when we came to hawaii for our first trip together. it seems almost proper to begin and end our trip on this trail.
after a quick break at home, i went off alone and walked to the other side of waikiki to get my nails done. even though i really liked mariko, anri and the girls at salon cherie a lot last time, i still wanted to go to nails by adrienne because i read that it was cheaper and she seemed much more into doing silly custom things.
adrienne has a table in avance salon, which is the second floor of a building full of random stores. you have to call up to be buzzed in. adrienne used to be a snowboard bum in japan before doing nails. she has some background in painting too, which you can definitely tell if you get crazy nails.
first, she showed me a good way of taking shellac (gelish/cal-gel same) off since i’ve never done it and didn’t want to soak my fingers in a bowl of acetone for 15 minutes. she put a little piece of cotton wit acetone on each nail and wrapped my fingertips in foil. less than ten minutes later, almost all the shellac scraped cleanly off with my fingertips nice and safe. my fingernails did feel a little sore? stingy? though so i’ll probably limit shellac/gelish/cal-gel to a minimum even though it’s amazing!
then, i talked to her about what i wanted and got to mix a custom color for my glitter gradation because i was feeling picky. from a box full of awesome stickers and decals, i chose some simple bows and for the lolz, a 3d stone bow. i also chose some holograms for my nails, one color only. again, i went less crazy than i initially thought i would. i guess super insane nails are just not me. ah, and lastly, i had her paint finn and princess bubblegum from adventure time on my nails (: (: (: i would’ve preferred marceline to pb but her black hair didn’t go with the color scheme haha view the end result! a different kind of girly than my last nails. i kind of love it, though i could have done without the stone bows.
after, i walked to ala moana to meet walter. since i was early, i decided to see if there were any good sales at neiman marcus*, expecting nothing. super sale!!! per usual, there was almost nothing good in my size but i did find really cheap orangish paige denims!!! i’ve been looking for orange/rust and wine/aubergine/burgundy denim for so long but there was either nothing good or i wasn’t to put down th money for something i’ll probably only wear for one season. i also got a super cheap but relatively boring theory top. i do need long sleeve shirts though.
for dinner, i did two laps around the food court, thinking i’d try something different but in the end, we carried out our routine and shared a large orange julius to go with our coco ichibanya curry. oh, did i say “share? i meant, WALTER DRANK ALMOST ALL THE ORANGE JULIUS AND LEFT ME WITH ORANGE FLAVORED SLUSH!!! i got a few sips here and there before looking up to realize it was almost all gone )’:
at home, we meant to go to the hot tub but were too late and it closed. we didn’t actually think the pool area would be locked at 9pm but from the lanai, i watched a few people turn away, dejected. the gate is actually less than 4 feet tall but we decided not to jump it. and so, we stayed in and i was pinning on pinterest for a couple hours and rearranging boards. i created some general boards, not realizing how sucked in i would get and now i am slowing breaking down and creating new, more niche boards. then i have to move my pins. bah. wish there was an easier way to edit!
before bed, i continued reading the sojourn, which is turning out to be part war novel, which i didn’t expect because i forgot what it was about. i haven’t really read a war novel since high school, even though i really loved all quiet on the western front. i should read a couple more… any recommendations?
hundred day honeymoon
i have been gone for one hundred days. my honeymoon will cap at 105 days. i can’t believe it’s actually finally winding down. i hope these last few days crawl by but i know they will fly.
went to afternoon tea with cheryl at the westin moana surfrider. not bad, but tea at the ritz is definitely way better for roughly the same price. they only had about seven tea choices and while they all smelled nice, most were too fruity for my taste. the sandwiches were yummy but a little coarse/big and the pastries just ok too. one thing that was really good though is that they give you a cup of the soup du jour. it was clam chowder today and it was actually really, really good. one good thing, or bad depending how you look at it, is that there were just clams in there. lots of tender clams. i do wish there was a little potato though. they also gave us another cup free of charge. it was fun but i probably wouldn’t bother having tea here again.
it was nice to catch up with cheryl. we closed down the restaurant and then watched the sun set before i went home. we ended up going to marukame udon with cheryl, adam and their friend derek too. strange to think that i’ll see them back at home in less than a week.
spent the evening thinking again about what i want to do when i get back and browsed online to see what was open. after a few hours, i went to bed meaning to turn in early but wasn’t able to fall asleep until 4am despite the benadryl i took at 1am. too much thinking and hypotheticals going on in my little head. meanwhile, walter blissfully snored the night away haha
howard left this morning )’: after , walter took a nap while i sat around and had lunch. was supposed to go snorkeling with adam today, but they were too slow and too late picking me up so i had them go ahead or they wouldn’t get there until sunset.
instead, walter and i walked to waiola for some more shave ice! i tried new flavors today. the haupia was kind of disappointing and had kind of a strange sour tang but the green tea was really good with the condensed milk! i love you waiola! i will try to visit you every day for the rest of my time here. we’ll probably delay our shave ice machine purchase until spring since it’ll be too cold in california until then.
my leg was pretty gimpy today so we decided to order pizza. i made more corn soup and we watched adventure time. this is the best kind of night in with the hubbeh :D managed to upload some more pictures and nag walter into sending his ski trip email. we got sleepy pretty early, maybe from too much pizza so we were in bed before 1am. yay!
top: giovanni’s shrimp truck, shrimp scampi
middle: matsumoto’s shave ice < waiola
bottom: brothers exploring, about half a second before we wiped out, toro kalbi
escaped death again today. really, i need to just stay at home and sit in a soft chair. |:
howard and i had some of my porridge for a late breakfast while walter slept in. then we went to get our rental car and headed to the north shore! our first stop was giovanni’s shrimp truck. i’ve been here once before but neither walter nor howard had been. i myself am not a huge shrimp person and walter pretty much dislikes most shrimp so i was a little nervous since this place has been pumped up. to my surprise, walter got a shrimp scampi plate too, along with a mediocre garlic sausage. there were an insane amount of flies buzzing around so we ended up eating in the car. i happily sucked on the shells before eating the fat, garlic smothered shrimp. i like the scampi because they use more olive oil than butter here so i can eat MOAR. walter actually gobbled down all his shrimp super fast.
next, matsumoto’s shave ice. came here once, wasn’t too crazy about it but loved all the shirts. my shirts have since shrunk/gotten old/been donated so i got a new one. i wish waiola had cute shirts. anyway, though walter and howard should try matsumoto’s for comparison since it’s so popular. verdict: waiola »> matsumoto’s. matsumoto’s ice is just so much more coarse and though it’s bigger, they only have cones and the ice cream is completely melted by the time you get down there. and the line is super long.
after this, we went to lanaikea beach hoping to see some sea turtles. however, it was too late in the day. it was low tide though and it was super pretty. there was rock shelf tide pool thingie that went about 40 feet out before it dropped off. walter and howard went out to go check it out. i was a little dubious since i know nature hates me (even though i adore it!) so i stayed on the sand. it was pretty calm for the most part, save for one wave that broke mid-shin, so when they came back, howard took me back out to check out some deep holes and the edge.
this was a mistake. why, why oh why couldn’t i just have controlled my curiosity for once? i usually say, “mediocrity killed the cat” a la forrest gump, but i’m really starting to believe that curiosity will be the death of me one day not too far from now. this reminds me to have walter take out a life insurance policy for me when we get home…
about 2/3 of the way out, a wave came. didn’t look too high but as it rushed up, it splashed up to mid thigh. we should have just turned around at this point but for some reason we pressed on. right near the edge, there was a deep looking hole that howard pointed out to me. we started to turn around to snap a quick photo, but never made it all the way around. out of the corner of my eye, i saw a big wave coming. there was no point trying to run. the best thing would have to get low and push into it, but i didn’t. i grabbed howard and might have mumbled something like, “shit, we’re fucked haha”.
since we were on the edge, the wave broke and hit us, sweeping us over. i was able to get on one knee and catch myself with my hand and only swept a bit. unfortunately, the uneven rock was pretty painful so i got some small cuts right under my knee and a huge bruise. also tweaked my right thumb. howard was less lucky and got swept up, scraping his foot along the floor. he got some pretty bloody little cuts on his little toe and the bottom of his right foot and landed on his butt pretty hard. also, his cell phone was in his pocket so that’s dead now and his sunglasses were swept away.
considering my injury track record, i got off super easy. my main concern was get swept out and then being dashed back onto the rocks. i couldn’t help but giggle all the way home, though i think walter and howard were less amused.
a lot of people say that there’s nothing like sex after surviving a life threatening event. those people are wrong. i say there’s nothing a seven course yakiniku meal with 4 courses of beef, 3 of which are wagyu/kobe. after cleaning up a little, we went to yakinuki hiroshi for dinner. we got the platinum course which a great deal and way too much meat. beef tongue, australian wagyu ribeye, us kobe toro kalbi and us kobe kalbi shortrib. throw in some miso butter scallops, salad, really good kimchee and frozen creampuffs for dessert. walter came really close to not making it and my head was clouded from all the fat afterwards. would’ve loved a cab ride home, but we thought it better to walk. we made a very slow hobble home and had some nice hot showers.
top left to right: malasada heaven, morimoto with the mister, super cute mini toro tartare in the omakase
bottom left to right: one of my favorites foie gras chawan mushi, big man tiny teapot see why it’s funny?, my other favorite kakuni with congee
woke up at 10 again. since walter and howard were still sleeping, i laid in bed and quietly played tiny tower until 11am. heated up my leftover katsu-don for lunch. after walter woke up, it appeared we would not be doing anything or going anywhere so i decided to nap for an hour until surfing.
went to our last surf lesson: howard’s second, my third and walter’s fourth. walter’s gotten pretty pro lately! his pop up looks legit. walter and i mostly tried to do our own thing, but erik still helped us out. howard caught two good waves! i managed not to get my hair wet at all!!! but i didn’t really try too many new things. after about 5 good waves, i somehow tweaked my shoulder so i called it a day. i started a sad one arm paddle back to shore and walter came to tug me halfway. haha
after we got back, howard made a beeline to leonard’s for malasadas while i showered. he came back with a boxful of them. howard doesn’t eat much, but he can eat a whole lot of malasadas hehe we were late for diner by this time so we took a cab across waikiki instead of walking.
morimoto waikiki is in the modern, where cheryl and adam were for a few nights. we walked through the lobby and second floor just briefly and while it was minimalisti and modern and newly remodeled, i can see where the poor reviews were coming from: the front desk wasn’t even staffed and they really lacked signage.
similar to the napa morimoto, there was a ton of staff milling about here, but very few actual servers. it was also pretty loud, but not as loud as napa’s. however, it was pretty spacious and pretty inside and chef morimoto was in the house tonight! i was excited and hoped to meet him later on. also, elton john rolled in with his entourage, powder blue suit and all. i couldn’t help but think of dumb and dumber. he’s shorter and stouter in real life.
3 omakases t the table and walter and i ordered a la carte (i had told him which items i would order and the prices ahead of time so that we could also go to yakiniku horishi!). i mainly wanted the tuna pizza and my two favorites: foie gras chawan mushi and kakuni with congee. mm!!! we ended up lso gettnig the oxtail soup (good, but tasted like beef noodle soup. a little too heavy on the star anise too) and a haupia green tea meringue dessert. overall, it was pretty good. morimoto in general isn’t mindblowing, but it’s nice. i liked that there were hawaii specific items, but sad that some of the portions were smaller here.
ah, we didn’t get to meet morimoto. towards the end of dinner, all the kitchen and wait staff disappeared into the back room to get yelled at by morimoto and then he left. welp. i guess it’s good he upholds standards. by the time we were done with dinner and done saying our goodbyes, it was already midnight. we strolled home and had some more malasadas. i made congee with leftover rice and laulau and then went to sleeps.
top: howard working on his tonkatsu sauce
bottom: cream crab croquettes, the perfect katsu-don
woke up around noon today and was looking at a refinery29 article on amour vert. i was feeling quite proud because how many fashion labels are there in palo alto? how many of them actually produce semi-cute clothing and are eco friendly to boot? then, i saw this dress from their spring 2012 line. wait a second… those rolled sleeves, that v-neck, the ruched twist at the hip… the choice of nude fabric. i know that dress. or rather, i know THIS dress. i had actually bought (and returned, due to ill fit) it from kain label’s spring 2011 line. i’m all for homages and nods to inspirational figures, but the blatant ripping off of others has always bothered me. faux designer purses, steve madden’s fake toms… ugh. so i took some screenshots and sent them in.
anyhoo, nobody cares. walter and i had a small spat and i decided to have an afternoon alone since it’s been quite a while since i’ve had alone time. i think the last time was in paris? i value and cherish my alone time. i love my alone time. while walter took howard to try puka dog, i had a nice shower and had a late lunch at marukame udon. i started reading the sojourn but the first few pages were not very captivating.
after lunch i walked down kalakaua to go “shopping”. we hen’t really gone into any stores except out of necessity since i’m trying to save money, especially since i’m getting a new purse soon. i decided to scout out the sales at prada, chanel…etc. nothing good though. i rarely deal with sales because 1) they’re a mess and i just can’t, 2) there’s nothing good and i just think to myself “i know why you’re on sale…”, or 3) anything good is sold out in my size before it even hits the sales. still, every now and then i try. barney’s in sf and occasionally on shopbop are the only times i have any luck.
it’s been pretty hot and windless the last week and being in the sun just wears me out. when i got home, i laid down to rest but didn’t plan on napping. however, walter had just done laundry and rolled up a warm towel and gave it to me to hug. i fell asleep in about 6 seconds. :3 it was almost dinner when i woke up so we got ready and walked to tonkatsu ginza bairin.
yup, we’re back! we got the cream crab croquettes which was pretty good (i don’t really like regular potato croquettes). i was a little dismayed by the nonuniform sizes but was happy to see little pieces of kani inside. taste and texture of the filling was better than gochi’s, but gochi’s crustis better. i decided to get a katsu-don today instead of tonkatsu. i love katsu-don! whenever i’m working north of palo alto, i sorely miss the wonderful lunch sets at tanto and goshi. i got the special bairin katsu-don and mmm!!! so perfect! and huge! i had almost half leftover and i was stuffed.
walked home and had some bubbie’s. played a couple short games of starcraft with takuya because i love him so. we went 2v2 today so i could learn to micro. hard-hard was fine but hard-very hard presented some troubles. probably would’ve been fine if they hadn’t taken tak out early. whoops.
went to bed and started a new storytime book with walter, the cat’s table (guess both these books are boy coming of age books, don’t know why). sometimes listening to walter read a new book had the opposite effect it’s supposed to have because i want to stay up to hear and process the story. especially today, i was pretty excited because we haven’t had a book in a while, though walter’s been making up stories for me still sometimes. eventually drifted off to bed.