Food Adventures #6

Got my Singaporean fix from QQ Kopitiam in Pasadena. The Laksa was super authentic and delicious, just like it would be at home! It was a really generous serving for a super reasonable price (two main dishes and one bubble tea was $21 with tax).

Website: https://www.yelp.com/biz/qq-kopitiam-pasadena

Pricing: $

I know I may be a little late to hop on the bandwagon, but I am beyond obsessed with Halo Top. For those of you who don’t know what it is, Halo Top is an extremely low calorie, high protein ice cream (not that you can tell, it’s amazing!). The calories range from 240-360 calories depending on the flavor, so one serving is never more than 90 calories. A few of my favorite flavors are Birthday Cake, Sea Salt Caramel and Mint Chip.

Website: https://www.halotop.com/

Pricing: $4-5

This beautiful spread is from the Granville at the Americana in Glendale. They have a menu full of modern yet homey dishes that are absolutely delicious! This was the bacon & blue burger with a side salad, the Santa Barbara chicken sandwich, a side of sweet potato fries and the uptown mac & cheese. I would also highly recommend the chicken and blue flatbread (not pictures). A perfect stop for lunch or dinner during a day of shopping!

Website: http://www.granvillecafe.com/glendale

Pricing: $$

*As seen on BuzzFeed* Sushi Stop is a super affordable (and yummy) location in Pasadena (they have other locations too). At $3.25 for most of their dishes, it’s hard to spend more than $16 a person (and that’s if you are eating A LOT). Ranging from sashimi sushi to baked rolls to udon and tempura, they have everything you would ever want. To be honest, after eating so mush sushi in Japan, I was a little skeptical of this, but it did not disappoint!

Website: https://sushistop.com/location/sushistop-pasadena/

BuzzFeed: https://www.buzzfeed.com/stevenlim/we-tried-3-sushi-and-250-sushi-to-see-if-its-worth-the-price?utm_term=.roOxJedpE#.wulLQNqV0

Pricing: $

Just throwing this in here because I miss Disneyland. A beautiful mickey mouse-shaped beignet (and some Mint Juleps) from New Orleans Square at Disney.

One of my favorite things about living in LA is finding all the small (what I like to call) hidden gems of the city. Gloria’s Cafe is a small Mexican-inspired breakfast/brunch restaurant tucked away in the back streets of Highland Park. Pictured above is the savory waffle (amazing!) and the breakfast taco. I would also highly recommend their breakfast sandwich which comes on a burger bun with pulled pork and scrambled eggs. For a main dish and (a big a**) iced coffee, I usually pay $14 (including tax and tip).

Website: http://glorias-cafe.com/

Pricing: $$

Where should I go next? Comment your favorite LA spots down below! And if you try one of these places, let me know what you think:)

Food Adventures #3

Celebrated National Taco Day with some fish and shrimp tacos at Senor Fish. 

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 Not exactly Singapore Dim Sum, but pretty close! This was soy sauce noodles and carrot cake from Lunasia Dim Sum House.

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Crab dip, stuffed mushrooms and a blue cheese burger for brunch in Santa Monica at Plan Check (and me trying the crab dip! Plot twist: it was AMAZING!)

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Mussels in a red curry sauce, grilled octopus with chorizo and dressed lobster roll with mac and cheese at Blue Plate in Santa Monica.

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Fruit bowl, bloody mary (for my dad:) and fried chicken with biscuits and gravy for lunch in Beverly Hills (living the high life!) at Market Provisions. 

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One last dinner for the break, and of course it had to be Asian. Korean BBQ in Korea Town at Chosun Galbee. 

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Food Adventures #2

The original “charburger” from The Habit. (https://www.habitburger.com/)

Poke from The Poke Dot. Shrimp and tuna with a mix of the cilantro twist and spicy mayo sauce. (http://pokedotlove.com/)

My go-to summer breakfast from Starbucks. Peach infused white iced tea with egg white bites. (https://www.starbucks.com/)

Warm asian chicken salad from Bardot. (http://bardotrestaurant.com/)

Super delicious and healthy lunch from Lemonade (our favorite location is the Lemonade at Fashion Island). (http://www.lemonadela.com/)

Fish and shrimp tacos from Senor Fish in Eagle Rock. (http://www.xn--seorfish-e3a.com/)

Tsukemen ramen from Tatsunoya in Pasadena. (https://www.tatsunoyausa.net/)

Delicious Greek/Middle Eastern dinner from Cafe Santorini in Pasadena. (http://cafesantorini.com/)

Compassionfruit donut from Donut Friend in Eagle Rock. (http://donutfriend.com/wp3/)

A Table and 4 Chairs

I was sitting at the dinner table the other night with my family. We had made paella, and all we did during dinner was talk about the paella, Spanish food, and how my we loved food. That seems to be all my family does; either talking what we’re making for dinner that night, thinking about that amazing meal we had in Walnut Creek, or actually eating. Now, I think it’s safe to classify my family as extreme foodies. If there were to be a scale from 1-10, our foodie level would be about a 17. I don’t quite understand how or why, but I never really gave it much thought. When I think about my friends and other people around me, I notice that nobody has the same love for food that I do, or even than my HS freshman sister does. So we were eating our paella (which was so good btw, recipe coming soon), and as we began to wrap up our long food conversation, I started a new conversation. This conversation was still about food, but a little different than normal. I started talking about how different I was from my friends for loving food so much. I mean seriously, I was so confused. There isn’t much difference between us. We all come from different but similar cultural backgrounds, but we all have lived as a TCK, we all go to the same school, and we all eat at basically the same restaurants. So what was so different. My dad finally came to a conclusion that it was all about one simple piece of furniture in our house. It didn’t have magical powers, in fact I’m sure other families have this exact same piece of furniture in their house, but it was the way my family used it that made it so impactful. This piece of furniture was our dinner table. As soon as my dad said that, it all came back to me. I remembered all of those times I had told my parents that my friends usually eat dinner by themselves in their room doing homework, or that their parents go out every Saturday night, so they rarely have a meal together. At that moment I knew why I was so different from others. My family has always prioritized each other, and made it a rule to eat every meal we could together. It’s something I’m sure my parents have been doing since they were little, and so have I. I never thought twice about it. We would get home from swim practice, we would finish making dinner, and we would all sit down at the same time and spend about an hour eating dinner and talking about our day. In the morning, although it is early and rushed, the four of us spend at least 10 minutes together at the table and talk about what we have coming up that day. We don’t eat our meals at different times, if my dad has a conference call, we start our homework first, then eat with him after. If I have a really late practice on evening, my family waits for me to come home before we eat. Every single day, even if it’s just for one meal, my family will sit at that table all together and talk. So how does this really affect how much we love food? Well the answer to that is pretty straight-forward. Simply by taking the time to sit at a table (with no devices!) and take our time to eat and talk about our days and the food were eating allows us to appreciate what we are eating. We talk about the food we just made; what should we add next time, were the carrots too sweet, did we over cook the steak? We have this conversation at least once every meal. We think about the food were eating and what we like and don’t like about it. We prioritize family time to sit there and talk to each other about how our days went, what we have going on. Everything is connected. We use food as a source to bring us together, through shopping, cooking and eventually eating, we do it all together. Food is the simplest way to bring your family together. It all comes back to the table; take time to sit there and look and talk to each other. Talk about your day, talk about your food and eat. I promise it’s all worth it.