LA!

Sat, Dec. 11th, 2010 11:03 pm
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In LA! So far, I have had some really good 떡볶이 (ddeokboggi). I am not exactly sure what it was called, since the entire menu was in English, but the 떡 were cut into quarters and then glazed with a sweet and spicy sauce, along with slivers of sweet potato. So good! I have also had an excellent dinner with [personal profile] rachelmanija, my sister, [personal profile] coraa, and Cora's SO at Street, in which the highlights included its famous version of kaya toast: sandwiches of coconut jam that you dip into an intensely salty soy sauce and egg yolk and eat with a bit of egg. The coconut jam is almost too sweet and the sauce is almost too salty, but together, they are perfect. All the sauces at Street were in fact amazing; Susan Feniger is really good at blending a variety of tastes that I don't necessarily think will go well together but do. The little snacks in the beginning were bits of puffed grain, and the progression of flavor from salty and a bit spicy to fruity reminded me a lot of Chinese salted plums.

I have also been watching lots of kdramas with both my sister and Rachel (Secret Garden with my sister, Capital Scandal with Rachel), along with the previously mentioned Peking Opera Blues.

Rachel and I also went to Hole in the Wall, a tiny burger place nested behind a random suburban-style strip mall. The burgers were so juicy my hands were drenched by the end, and they served homemade ketchup and ranch sauce. We also had Chego's for dinner, which is a tiny take-out place randomly located in yet another strip mall opened by the guy who did the Kogi taco truck. As with Kogi, the menu is a great fusion of Korean and Mexican, with items such as "kochujang-lacquered kurobuta with fried egg, pickled watermelon radishes, water spinach, cilantro, cotija, and peanuts." Also, the tres leches cake with tapioca pudding is to die for!
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I note that the title refers to Chez Panisse and rats as two separate topics, not rats in Chez Panisse!

[livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija and I decided to splurge and go to Chez Panisse while she was visiting me, and while it was expensive, it was also really, really good.

Giant food pictures )

The last two pictures of Ren were taken by my roommate, who has a much fancier camera than I do. I am hoping to trick her into taking beautiful photographs of my knitting! And alas, these pictures of Bya are the last ones =(.

Giant rat pictures )

Shanghai

Fri, Sep. 5th, 2008 05:22 pm
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Alas, I am not in Shanghai, just months late in posting these.

I'd been to Shanghai once before, about six some years ago. It was on the same trip I'd visited Hong Kong on, but when I returned this year, Hong Kong was largely the same, very recognizable, whereas Shanghai had completely changed. Everything there is under construction: subway lines, department stores, sky-high apartment complexes, the next Tallest Building Ever. Everything is being torn down: labyrinths of courtyards and alleyways, old houses and neighborhoods. Things are half-done, like the maglev train going from the new airport to somewhere in the middle of Pudong, but the city is growing so quickly, that soon, it won't be the middle of anywhere anymore.

There are expats everywhere, lots of rich investors buying the newly-built apartments that many of the locals still can't afford. In many ways, it feels a lot like Taiwan did fifteen years ago, when you couldn't depend on clean bathrooms or toilet paper (and still can't always, but it's so much better now), when going to a US chain was still a status symbol (only in Shanghai, it's Japanese and Taiwanese chains as well).

My mom said that the city is trying to finish everything for the 2010 World Expo, and it's so odd to realize that visiting the city next year or two years later means visiting an entirely different city all together.

Giant pictures of Shanghai )
oyceter: Pea pod and peas with text "peas please" (peas)
My sister and I are up in SF with her friend! Yesterday, we went to the Ferry Building and got bread at Acme (herb slab, pain ein, sourdough cheese), cheese at Cowgirl Creamery (Abbaye de Belloc, which is sheep milk and tangy and slightly buttery and nicely interesting; and Cowgirl's fromage blanc, spreadable and tangy and lighter than cream cheese, with a slightly grainy consistency), beef pot pie and mac and cheese from the Golden Gate Meat place, and wasabi potato salad (it's so lovely and green and vegetable-y!) and an onigiri from Delica. We also went around the farmer's market and splurged on fresh pasta for tonight's dinner (lemon ricotta ravioli and sundried tomato and mushroom ravioli), dried heirloom tomatoes, and this roasted garlic in oil thing. I then got a fruit pocket and nectarine-plum conserves from Frog Hollow. So tasty! We were extremely stuffed.

But then, for dinner, we went to Cafe Jacqueline, which I have been dying to go to for about a year now! It's this tiny little soufflé place in SF that's been open for about thirty years, and the chef (the aforementioned Jacqueline) makes all the soufflés herself. We had a chantarelle and garlic soufflé as a main course, and while it was amazing, the strawberry soufflé for dessert was AMAZING. As in, we all took a bite out of it and instantly declared it the Best Thing Ever. I am not even sure I can describe how it tasted -- it had heaps of chopped strawberries on top, and some more baked in, and the base was sweet and not-quite-creamy and light and fluffy, and it was just divine. And then, when you got to the bottom of the dish, the bottom bits were creamy and sweet but not too sweet and just tasted of strawberry and I have no idea what. I am not even sure if I am getting it right! It was just so amazing! It was gone about five minutes after it hit the table.

Today, we helped my sister's friend shop for presents, and I got Nana 8 and Sand Chronicles 1 (b/c I think David Welsh said he really liked it). I am wondering when Honey and Clover will finally come out, esp. since I think it and Sand Chronicles debuted in Shojo Beat around the same time.

Later on, we went to the Asian Art Museum to see the Stylized Structures exhibit on modern Japanese fashion, which was very cool, and then wandered through the collection of later Chinese jade carvings (Ming and Qing dynasties) and I finally got to see the museum's Korean collection. I love love love the Goryeo celadon porcelain. And! There was a modern painter doing scenes from Bai Juyi's "Song of the Pipa," which I had to memorize in 8th grade (it's a freaking long poem!) and each scene had two lines from the poem. It was so cool looking at them and remembering the lines and remembering my Chinese teacher from 8th grade talking about the poem.

Then we went a little overboard and got nine cupcakes from Kara Cupcakes. I couldn't help it! We couldn't decide! They were so cute and we were overwhelmed by the pinkness!

And now, fresh pasta for dinner...
oyceter: Pea pod and peas with text "peas please" (peas)
Argh! My computer ate my first post!

I'm still behind on comments and behind on LJ; I suspect I will be for a good few months, as real life has started to get very busy.

Avenue Q )

Max Brenner, take two )

After lunch, my sister persuaded me that buying (yet more) peas at the Union Square market and lugging them around while shopping would be a very bad idea. Given that we got home around 7, I think she was right. Though I still miss the peas...

We wandered around Soho because I wanted to visit Purl Soho (a yarn store) and stopped by around 18 different clothing stores along the way. I didn't manage to find any clothes that I liked, but I did find a pair of ten-dollar flats that I got. I think I can wear them dancing. Also, they are pink!

We also managed to trudge over to BookOff at the very end of a long afternoon. Yay Bookoff! Sadly, I couldn't find more cheap $1 manga that I wanted, but I did manage to get some other stuff. I also persuaded my sister to get Emma vols. 3 and 4, so I feel the trip was rather successful.

Stanton Social )

New York, Days 1-3

Mon, Jul. 9th, 2007 03:40 pm
oyceter: Pea pod and peas with text "peas please" (peas)
I arrived on a red-eye and basically collapsed into bed for the next few hours. After that, my sister and I went out for lunch and some random shopping, except I was very grumpy because the sky was grey and it started raining on and off halfway through.

I think I'm officially Californian now; I was so baffled by the concept of rain in summer. I feel I shouldn't be, as I grew up with summer typhoons and the warm, wet rainy season, but I glared at the grey skies like they were a personal insult. It's summer! Skies should be vast and blue and sunny, the weather should be hot and dry, and the nights should be cool and refreshing. This hot, wet, muggy thing doesn't work quite so well.

On the first day, the food was good but not particularly spectacular, though I did get to sample cheddar grits, which are very interesting. My sister and I both agreed vehemently with each other that sweet, porridge-like substances (oatmeal, cream of wheat, etc.) are extremely strange, and that we prefer savory porridges (polenta, congee, etc.) intsead. Of course, this is because we grew up with congee. I remember being particularly startled when [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija once told me that she couldn't eat congee because it weirded her out, as she has grown up with cream of wheat. On the other hand, I can actually eat oatmeal, but only with fruit or jam. Adding brown sugar makes my brain freak out a little.

I feel I should stop being shocked and eminently amused by small things like this, but it's like the first time I saw a non-Chinese kitchen and realized that... they had no rice cooker!

You may all laugh at me now! I am a bit obsessed with things like junk food and Twinkies and meat loaf and street food because I find different people's concepts of "normal" food extremely interesting. For example, I find tuna, ketchup, mayo and cucumbers on waffles tasty and normal but was completely surprised to see people eating waffles with fried chicken and maple syrup (I suspect that would be tasty, though I haven't tried it).

Ratatouille and Korean food )

I blogged about Max Brenner and the Union Square farmer's market previously, so I'll leave that off. And I'll write up all my book loot when I get home.

Park Avenue Cafe )

Soup, peas, and Shoujo Manga Dark Angel (spoilers for DA 2x11) )
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Note: This is an entry I am typing up from notes I just found, with a few edits. Aka, I am sadly not in Italy now. Anything in brackets are comments from now.


Sept. 11 (brief notes) )

Sept. 12 (Palazzo Pitti!) )

(no subject)

Sat, Nov. 18th, 2006 09:44 pm
oyceter: Pea pod and peas with text "peas please" (peas)
Wow, I feel like it's been a while since I wrote up a food post.

Food highlights of last week include meeting up with [livejournal.com profile] cofax7, [livejournal.com profile] laurashapiro and other people not on LJ, watching Buffy S7 (alas, the beginning of the long slogging part). Everyone brought food, mostly lots and lots of cheese and bread (yay!). One person made a Moroccan pie with filo dough and butter and chicken and spices and OMG it was so good except I don't remember the name of it. But it was tasty! And I brought over heirlooms (I cannot believe there are still heirlooms at the market), bread, praline spread, and [livejournal.com profile] jonquil's marvelous raspberry jam, which everyone agreed was quite divine.

At work, I discovered the joys of Hershey's Special Dark Truffles, which while not being fancy and Swiss are still very good. I also discovered that eating approximately five in a row makes me slightly sick to the stomach. On the other hand, this didn't prevent me from doing the exact same thing the next day. Truffles trump learning curve?

Today, I went to a little sushi/izakaya place with excellent sushi and izakaya food ([livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija, I will take you there next time you are in the area! You will like it!), in which I had kabocha croquettes, yaki onigiri, assorted sushi, roasted gingko nuts still in cracked and salted shells (really good), kimchi tofu soup, and something called age mochi. It's basically agedashi tofu, except with sticky rice instead of the tofu, and it's hot and flavorful and sticky and chewy and so good! I was quite happy.

Unfortunately, I seem to be getting sick (again), so my nose isn't working so well. Otherwise, I would probably be raving about the food even more than I am now.
oyceter: (Saiyuki: Goku live live live)
And now, the last of the Italy pictures, unless I decide to upload some that my dad took. Anyway, no write-up for these, since by this time, I was extremely sick, it was extremely hot, and I was extremely grumpy.

Giant pictures )

Yay!

Sat, Oct. 21st, 2006 12:35 am
oyceter: (midori happy)
Yay! [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija is here! I managed to drive around Millbrae, despite the complete confusion and not get honked at too much. We ended up having dinner with [livejournal.com profile] greenapple2004 at Fook Yuen, aka, the place with the amazing Chinese food. Among much discussion of manga, we consumed Peking duck (very tasty), which was served first in the traditional way, with bits of crispy skin laid out with pillowy buns and green onions and plum sauce, and then with the meat stirfried and turned into a mix served later in individual lettuce leaf cups. We also had squab, despite an initial fear that there would be too much fowl on the table. Rachel was ok with the squab head but attempted to cover the head of the duck, possibly because [livejournal.com profile] greenapple2004 made a comment about Princess Tutu and the duck head.

There were also stir-fried gai lan like veggies, along with two (2!) orders of sesame mochi. Just like last year, the waitress stared at us incredulously and attempted to make sure that we actually wanted two orders. "But there are four mochi in an order!" she said. "Are you sure?" We all looked at each other and nodded emphatically.

Also, just like last year, when I went to the bathroom and walked back to a conversation on amnesiac angels and androids, this year, I got up and came back to a conversation on pedophilic porn (ah yes, Loveless...). There was also much wibbling overSaiyuki Reload 5 and the fact that 7 would be coming out only a few months after six.

All in all, it was excellent, and I have watched another episode of Fullmetal Alchemist (I'm rewatching all of it, since I stopped at ep. 26ish last year and don't remember much). We have played with the rats, who are as insane as ever, and! I made Rachel read the first page of Godchild 2, which is the completely on-crack summary of the series that is more cracktastic than the entirety of most manga series.

Italy pictures!

Fri, Oct. 13th, 2006 10:30 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (alton brown grinds pepper)
And now, what I'm sure you've all been waiting for... picture spam!

It's taking me a while to upload everything, because I took over a hundred. So it seems like you will all be peppered with random Italy posts months and months after I've been back.

But more importantly: Here are the first pictures of the FOOD! I know where your priorities are, largely because mine are in the same place.

For anyone who's interested, these correspond with being in-transit to Italy and the first day in Ravello.

Lots of pictures )

NYC Days 3 and 4

Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 10:33 am
oyceter: (midori happy)
(pictures behind the cuts!)

I spent all of Monday with my sister, since it was her birthday. We started out with pedicures. )

After this, we moved on to lunch at Le Pain Quotidien, an extremely cute, very organic bakery. They don't really have individual settings, just one, long table that everyone sits at. Also, they have the Best Bread Ever. We got a Tuscany platter, which had a tapenade, pesto, ricotto, parm and prosciutto, all of which were delicious on the bread, along with apricot preserves, 4 berry preserves, and a very, very delicious hazelnut praline spread. Better than Nutella! Also, I got Belgian waffles, since I've been craving waffles for forever, and they were extremely good. They came hot off the press, delightfully crispy on the outside and steaming and tender and soft and chewy on the inside. Mmmm.

Then we headed off to the Met to see Anglomania, but on the way, I was distracted by a fat pigeon perched on a ledge. )
I like pigeons. Well, I like scaring pigeons. Really, it's almost the same...

There was also a very stunning house with a nicely gargoyle-y gate-keeper ).
He was accompanied by a draconic gate-keeper ).
The dragon looked very dignified. Yay Park Ave.

I took some pictures of the door to Anglomania, which was an exhibition on tradition and transgression in British fashion, as exemplified by a bewigged mannequin in livery, paired with a punk rocker with torn livery and a very tall, very colorful mohawk. Sadly, my pictures were extremely out of focus, and we weren't allowed to take any pictures inside the exhibit. [livejournal.com profile] chi_zu's description is quite nifty. I just wish that there were more of the exhibit, particularly since it ended after a few rooms. I think my favorite piece was the turn-of-the-century Worth gown, absolutely gorgeous.

We also schlepped through the arms and armor section (swords!), and I was particularly amused by one piece of samurai armor. )
The large noseguard rocks.

We also spent a good deal of time in a wing that sort of reconstructed an Egyptian temple rescued from flooding.
Pictures )

This gallery of the Met is just lovely and relaxing, and you can look outside to see families playing soccer in Central Park. Though there is a completely random hole in the window... I kept imagining it was some bullet hole from some sekrit assassination attempt in the museum, which just tells you that I have been reading too many museum-conspiracy-theory-type books. Ok, just Da Vinci Code a while back, but that's enough for anyone!

I really loved the contrast between the old and the new, giant expanses of glass next to worn-down stone, shiny geometric planes next to curvy hieroglyphics.

Random subway sign )
Random subway sign. I thought it was a Chinese surname with an Indian given name, which would have been cool, since it was the Canal St. station, but my sister reminded me that first names go first here. Duh.

The next day, me and the sister person ventured out to St. Mark's, which is an awesome little district. Sadly, the izakaya-like place we were going to go to was closed for lunch, as were many other interesting looking places. However, somewhere down the street, we saw a giant pink storefront )
It's this place called Bamn!, which is a ginormous vending machine/store for food! It is very awesome, very pink, very automated, and very Japanese.

Just for fun, we got a mac and cheese croquette )
It's basically deep-fried mac and cheese. How can you go wrong with that? Ah, Japanese takes on Western food, how I love you! After that, we wandered down further in the rain and ended up at Pommes Frites, a little hole-in-the-wall Belgian fries place that seriously has the Best Fries Ever. I say that lots of things are the Best Things Ever, but these really are the Best Fries Ever. Ever!

They are wonderfully light and crunchy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside, and I could just eat them by the bucket. But they come with a multitude of sauces that you can pick from, from rosemary mayo to "war sauce" (peanut satay, mayo and raw onions) or mango chutney. We ended up getting peanut satay, since the mayo, raw onions, ketchup and malt vinegar are free sides, and oh, so good! I was also quite amused by the very Bavarian interior, and the fact that all the tables and counters had little holes in them for you to place your paper cone full of fries in.

After that, we headed off to run errands with the idea of maybe going to the Strand as well. But it was pouring rain, and my sister remembered that there was a Beard Papa's around the area, so off we went! Sadly, they were out of the green tea ones and the pumpkin, but they still had mocha cream puffs. We split one, and they were quite good! Also, [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija, there's one or two in LA, and I am so excited because apparently one just opened in SF and one will be opening in Redwood City as well! So I will be able to get them without schlepping to NYC or Taiwan!

That was basically the extent of lunch. But even though I had delicious food all throughout my NY stay, this may have been the best fooding day, just for the randomness and the little hole-in-the-wall bits.

And on the other side of the continent, my rats were having fun with the rat-sitter. Rattie picture spam )

NYC day 2

Mon, Sep. 4th, 2006 12:03 am
oyceter: (midori happy)
Today, I slept in and dragged my sister to meet [livejournal.com profile] chi_zu and [livejournal.com profile] coffeeandink for lunch at Cafe Lalo (apparently where You've Got Mail was filmed, but Mely said she found it before the movie came out, so she is allowed to keep going there). I was quite impressed that I did not have subway troubles, even though I abandoned my sister in the shower to try and get there on time.

Also, it was sunny today! Yay! It was quite lovely!

Within the first five seconds of meeting [livejournal.com profile] chi_zu, I decided that I desperately coveted pretty much everything she was wearing. Including the glasses.

Cafe Lalo )

We were all too full for the very lovely looking desserts, and instead of venturing out to assorted yarn and vintage stores as was originally planned, we ended up going to Bookoff. Well, I may have had something to do with that. Especially since it was so lovely outside and I didn't get to go yesterday!

On the way, we got sidetracked by Borders and Mely's local comic book store.

At last, we made it to Bookoff, but I will blog about that later, because it warrants an entry of its own. Also, I bought so much that I should leave that off to another entry just for space reasons (er, yes).

Park Avenue Cafe )

And now, we are going to watch a cheesy ice skating movie!

I am so full.

Also, I sit and pet my new stacks of manga.

NYC!

Sun, Sep. 3rd, 2006 03:12 am
oyceter: (midori happy)
I am in New York! Yay! I took the red-eye in and managed to sleep the entire way through, despite being in the row in front of two extremely unhappy babies. It was also funny because I sat between two people who were just starting at the college I graduated from, and when I took public transport in to the city, it was the same old landscape from years ago. I haven't been to this airport since I graduated, and honestly, I don't miss much of it at all.

Due to extreme stupidity, I didn't bother to check the weather before leaving, and arrived to find that everything was grey and wet. Alas and alack, pretty much nothing I've packed is good for the rain, particularly not my open-toed shoes. Oh well. I find I missed California dreadfully, particularly when taking the train in. Things are too green! Skies are too grey! I am confused!

I went to Pala Pizza with an old high school friend, which has really good pizza (we got a plain tomato/buffalo mozzarella/basil one), very good carpaccio, and very good desserts as well. Mmmmm.

After that, I went up to [livejournal.com profile] coffeeandink's place, and we both decided not to venture outdoors, given the truly miserable weather. I am quite proud of myself; I didn't get lost once. (Of course, now that I've typed this, tomorrow is sure to be a disaster.)

I got to watch VVC 2006 vids, including several Supernatural ones, as that is Mely's obsession du jour (du... month?), and I stood to the side as she handily prepared a meal of roast chicken and potato leek soup. I need to write up more vids, but suffice to say, [livejournal.com profile] sdwolfpup's "Fix You" still makes me grin like an idiot and e^y's "Have You Heard" makes me miss Angel dreadfully. I sadly don't remember that much from the SPN vids except that there is a great deal of fire and that Dean slams Sam against a wall a whole lot. Oh! Except the fun Wincest-y vid (look! I even know terminology!) in which I learned that Sam has very nice abs indeed.

After dinner and much ogling at Mely's wall of books and wall of manga, Mely then had me watch an episode of SPN, which ended up with me cowering on the sofa, since I am a complete and total wimp when it comes to anything even marginally resembling horror. On the other hand, she has also convinced me that Dean is awesome, not in the least because he is utterly practical and not one for emotions. Except, you know, slamming his brother against a wall. I may end up watching very slowly, with the rats, in the daytime.

After that, I very much did not want to take the subway down by myself (dark! loud noises! it's exactly like a haunted asylum, really it is!), I made Mely put in several episodes of Yami no Matsuei to make things better. It's not exactly cheerful and fluffy, but the Pure and True Love of Hisoka and Tsuzuki cheers me up no matter how much angst they are going through. In fact, the angst rather cheers me up in an embarrassingly OTP sort of way. We fast-forwarded through all the Muraki scenes, since there was no real need for his complete and total insanity (not the good kind, either) to ruin Moments of Pure and True Love.

I am very happy and very full and on vacation! Tomorrow, lunch with Mely and [livejournal.com profile] chi_zu, and dinner with sister and friends, and maybe a movie, or lounging around, or whatnot.
oyceter: Pea pod and peas with text "peas please" (peas)
I went to my market today, only to find rows and rows of parked cars where tents and vendors should be. "Ok," I thought, attempting not to freak out, "maybe they are in the next parking lot over."

I checked the next parking lot over.

More cars. No vegetables. Much trauma.

Thankfully, I wasn't the only one standing around with an empty canvas bag and a woeful expression. After thinking a bit and realizing that people were still walking by with full bags of fresh produce, we turned around to notice a six-foot-long, rather helpful sign that proclaimed "Farmers' Market Now in New Transit Center Location!"

"Ahhhhh!" said the lot of us, as we trekked our way over to the new place.

Then I had my second freak out of the day, as I realized.... I had no idea where my pea vendor was! Trauma! Woe! I walked around the entire market very slowly, getting a little calmer as I saw familiar stalls in a different context. Mushroom guys, check. Honey guys, check. Cheese guys, check. Acme Bread, check. Finally, I made it to the peas, and the guy still had some. I also grabbed a pound of cranberry beans, which I have no idea what to do with. Joy tells me that they can be steamed or boiled, and I figure steaming will be less damaging to the structural integrity of the beans, which is good, since I was planning some sort of bean salad. Since I did not plan ahead and was constrained in grocery shopping (I am going to go to NYC next weekend!), I have very few ingredients. I was thinking champagne vinaigrette (as I handily have champagne vinegar), cooked beans, diced tomatoes (heirloom, of course), and... uh. Some dried herbs, since I am sorely lacking in anything else.

Plus, fresh heirlooms make everything better.

Obviously, I got more heirlooms (yellow-green little stripey ones and the really ugly red-green ones; I don't know any variety names, woe!). I also got more peaches, some yellow raspberries that I saw the lemon vendor eating, lemons, a blackberry galette (tasty!), and some very fresh goat cheese. Oooh! I will put goat cheese in the salad as well!

Chez Panisse )

I have decided I very much like Berkeley and wish I could spend more time there; it actually reminds me a great deal of Madison. Very indie college towns, and of course, Berkeley endeared itself to me with the scads of restaurants everywhere, several used and indie bookstores, several used and indie music stores, and assorted randomness and lots of dogs on the street.

Aside from Berkeley, I also watched Laura at the old-fashioned theatre here that has an organ (sadly, my friends and I missed Gilda, which I adore, because... Rita Hayworth! Rita Hayworth taking off her gloves!). And I ventured out to check out the art and wine festival going around, except I got distracted and randomly found a library sale going on and got around 12 books for $7.50. Er, book embargo? What book embargo? I will not even mention the piles of Heyers that I found at the used bookstore on Friday, or the very bad yaoi manga I bought for the heck of it (used).

Truly, I cannot get shelves soon enough.
oyceter: Pea pod and peas with text "peas please" (peas)
My dad is here on his quarterly business trip, which means free food for me! We first went to a so-so Japanese place. I've now become the ordering person and tried very hard to persuade my dad that he wanted to get the beef tataki instead of a more boring bento combo of tonkatsu and yaki niku. Alas, no. I think we would have been better off with the beef tataki. We also had a very strange roll with something like General Tso's chicken on top. Again, quite odd. But I also got hirame usuzukuri, which I adore! It's very thin slices of hirame with a tangy ponzu sauce poured on top. It wasn't the best I've had, but I never get to have it much anyway. And agedashi tofu.

After that, I desperately wished that I were in LA so I could go to Furaibo and have real izakaya food, as opposed to a somewhat pale imitation of it. I need to find out if there are any izakayas around here, because for some reason, it feels more "real" than sushi places do. I also need to find a good Japanese curry place as well. It's just funny, because when I did homestay in Japan, we ate more of that type of thing than sushi, largely because we were trying to save money.

Then I complained to my dad for a good four hours about work! Poor dad.

Weekly market run )

After that, my dad and his friend for some reason decided to have brunch at the new Four Seasons hotel around here, and I gladly tagged along (read: leapt at the opportunity). It was very tasty. More food babbling )

Then I went shopping and ended up getting two cute new coats (one is red crushed ... something that looks like fake fuzzy velvet) and a very girly short-sleeved fitted coat with a sort of deep, round collar, and a pair of pants. I can't decide if the pants are pajama pants, exercise pants, or just very trendy, because they are made of super casual material but flare out like a giant skirt. But it was on sale, so I figured for $9, it could work as any of the above, and I wouldn't feel bad. Everything was super on sale!

I have also discovered my deeply coveted item of the season: vampy red peep-toed stilettos like this (Nine West has a red suede-ish one that would go with my new jacket too!). They would be the most painful things ever to wear, but they are so cute! And I could actually wear them a lot, since most of my outfits are black and white, and a touch of red would be nifty and fun. Oh well! I shall wait till the new season comes in and see if any are left on the sales racks.

For dinner, I had carpaccio, some warm goat cheese salad, a bit of poached fish, and pesto pizza. And then pistachio and tiramisu gelato for dessert! Not all by myself, of course: I stole a ton of stuff off my dad's plate and his friend's.

So I am well-fed and happily imagining myself in black and white and red. For some reason, that is my new color scheme, though for a while I veered away from it to go more toward baby pink and grey (I am sure this is because of the subliminal brainwaves that the fashion industry has been injecting into my subconscious, but I will pretend it is because I am actually stylish). I still avoid the browns in general, for no real reason that I can fathom. Well, except for pretty brown fifties-style halter dresses with white polka dots. But then again, I will go for any fifties-style halter dress with polka dots. Fun!
oyceter: Pea pod and peas with text "peas please" (peas)
Yesterday I dragged Rachel, [livejournal.com profile] canandagirl and [livejournal.com profile] knullabulla out to Din Tai Fung, despite the insane hour-long wait. Din Tai Fung is the famous Shanghainese dumpling place from Taiwan; it has katakana next to the store name specifically for the Japanese tourists. Despite the touristy association, it's still one of the best Shanghainese dumpling places that I've been to, and I've been dying to have some for quite a while.

We got Shanghainese pork soup dumplings, which are these little, thinly-wrapped dumplings with tender pork meat, so juicy that they actually produce broth inside of the dumpling (ergo, soup dumpling). You dip them in black vinegar, and the vinegar cuts through some of the velvety meatiness, and eat them very slowly, so as to not burn your tongue. I was very pleased to see that everyone liked them.

We also had vegetable and pork dumplings, which weren't quite as good as the ones in Taiwan (less veggies, more pork), but were still tasty; fish dumplings, which I had for the first time; chicken noodle soup Chinese style, in which the chicken is cooked to pieces so that it flavors the soup; dumplings filled with pork and sticky rice; sticky rice cakes with pork and cabbage; sesame buns, which Rachel and I gobbled up; red bean paste dumplings, which are absolutely delicious and in the incredibly thin skin; red bean paste filled sticky rice things (zhong ze); this red bean cake type thing and.... I think that's it.

Needless to say, we were absolutely stuffed.

After going to another Japanese bookstore (I got a random manga that seemed to feature people from Tang Dynasty China), we ended up vegetating and watching more Escaflowne. Actually, Rachel watched Esca while I apparently dozed off, thanks to the prone position, the heat, and the dark room.

I am amazed that I managed to sleep through all of Dilandau's insane cackling of "MOERO!! MOERO!!" (translation: "Burn! Burn!" though I personally think "Burninate! Burninate!" is much more accurate).

Then Rachel took me to Zankou's Chicken, which is indeed awesome. It looks like a fast-food place, but it has really, really good rotisserie Greek chicken. Unfortunately, we got there about half an hour before closing, which is why I think the breast of my chicken was just a little dry. But I still had tons of dark meat, spread on pitas with their garlic sauce, which is creamy and extremely garlicky and amazingly good, piled on the skin, and pigged out.

We then watched the first episode of Last Exile, which I have already decided that I adore. It is steampunk with airships. Also, just as I commented that it was just like Temerarire/His Majesty's Dragon, except with airships, someone in the anime went, "Oh no! The Temeraire has been hit!"

Awesome.

I've also been reading a metric ton of manga, which I shall soon blog on.

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