eating > boba bar, san diego

I am still thinking about this dessert 2 weeks later.

An egg waffle (crispy, not too sweet) shaped into a makeshift cone, Dole whip and vanilla custard swirl (soooooooooooooo good), strawberries, mangos (a bit overripe), and bananas with a drizzle of honey (perfect). This is the paradise puffle from Boba Bar. It’ll set you back $8.50 but it is so worth it. I honestly considered going back twice in one day.

This place is super cute but is next to the super busy Shanghai Saloon/Dumpling Inn so parking can be a bit of a mess. There’s a new parking structure nearby which is pretty cheap (like $1 an hour or something) so save yourself the headache and park there.

Sadly, while the egg waffles in the Bay Area are pretty good the Dole whip/vanilla combo with honey continues to allude me.

Boba Bar: 4618 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111

eating > republique, la

You guys, Beyonce eats here.

republique5

SO CUTE.

It’s like this place was built for Instagram. The photogenic dining area. The natural light. The fake old world charm. The vanilla almond milk latte art.

republique4

This place is very delicious and well deserving of all of the hype.

republique2

LOOK AT THOSE KOUIGN AMANN LAYERS. I got the pistachio raspberry one sooooooo perfect. You get that traditional caramel-y bottom and croissant-like layers with the added bonus of tart fruit and crunchy nuts. YAY.

republique3

I also had the mushroom toast with the hollandaise on the side. Fluffy scrambled eggs, earthy mushrooms in a red wine sauce, thin slices of (Parma?) ham, and wilted spinach. All on a crusty slice of bread. Perfect weekend food.

This place is beautiful and delicious but also expensive and popular. We waited in line for close to 30 minutes at 8ish on a Sunday and I paid $28 (+tip) for the 3 things above. My face at the register: O_O.

Still, I’d do it again. I really enjoyed it.

Also, good luck trying to get past this and not picking up a pastry or two.

republique

Republique: 624 S. La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA

 

eating > hudson house, redondo beach

I’m feeling extra smug for eating at this place given the famous-factor of the chef. This meal topped off an absolutely gluttonous day in LA. #yolo #pantsdontfit

I really enjoyed everything we ordered this night. Not a strike out in sight.

These brown sugar pork ribs were perfectly sweet and savory and fall of the bone tender.

hudsonhouse1

Cheesy truffle fries with perfectly cooked and perfectly seasoned hanger steak.

hudsonhouse3

This was probably my least favorite of the bunch but only because I think mussels and I are just not good friends. The clams, sauce, and block of bread were so so good.

hudsonhouse2

Wowzas the spice on this hot chicken sandwich is no joke but I LOVED IT. Crispy chicken that will burn your throat and sweet soft bread with some pickles.

hudsonhouse4

Not pictured but also ordered: kale grit fritters (fake healthy fried things – yay), edamame shishito peppers (couldn’t stop eating ’em), and chocolate chip cookies (perfectly chewy with some bourbon milk on the side).

Hudson House has a very extensive drinks menu (it’s actually also a bar) and I enjoyed some Maui pineapple beer with my meal while my friends had some whisky based cocktails. We arrived around 7pm on Saturday and there was no wait for 4 people. There’s a cut chalkboard on the wall if they’re busier.

Hudson House: 514 N Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA

 

eating > eatalian, gardena

Next up on our day of gluttony in Socal: Eatalian.

I really, really loved this meal. The restaurant is in a kind of industrial area which is a bit random but the inside is really nice and airy while still being casual.

Flaky, chewy thin crust pizza with spicy salami. So perfect.

eatalian2

We also shared a salad of cabbage, onions, kalamata olives, oranges, and olive oil. I’m totally going to recreate this at home. It makes for a very light and refreshing salad.

And, because we have no shame, we also had the tagliatelle with ragu. Rich and savory meat sauce and toothsome pasta.

eatalian

This was good for two hungry adults that eat their feelings. 😀

Eatalian: 15500 S. Broadway St, Gardena, CA

eating > eggslut, los angeles

Happy Saturday, friends! After a super long week at work I’ve been in slug mode ALL DAY TODAY. I figured I should do something productive so here we are churning out some blog posts from my trip to LA last week.

eggslut

I’ve wanted to try this place for ages and my godson is an early riser so me and his parents used our toddler alarm clock as an opportunity to trek over to Eggslut when it opened at 8am. There was already a considerable line which took 30 minutes to get through.

I ordered the sausage breakfast sandwich and it was…

eggslut2

… good.

Probably not wait-in-line-for-30-minutes good or hey-let’s-have-that-again good, but still good. The brioche bread is nice and soft. The sausage is fine but could use for some extra herbs and spices.

My egg was nicely runny but really poorly placed on the very bottom edge of the sandwich so I was just eating egg white for most of it. When I did get there, the yolk burst and I made a huge mess all over myself. #usererror.

IMO, not quite naughty enough to live up to the name.

Eggslut: 317 S. Broadway Stall D-1, Los Angeles, CA

eating > ipoh garden, millbrae

This Malaysian food has received the stamp of approval from 5 ex-Singapore expats. [mic drop]

ipohgarden2

I’m lucky enough that a few times a year I’m able to reconnect with the old friends I made during my 2 year stint in Singapore. What results in meeting up with them is always fun, often loud, and sometimes delicious. For this round us Bay Area peeps (your faithful narrator, Jek, and Jeanie) were joined by Therese (from NYC via Manila) and Pat (from Tokyo via Bangkok).

Going to a Southeast Asian restaurant is always tricky since we’re a tough crowd! Luckily Ipoh Garden delivered on our nostalgic craving.

Here’s what we ordered:

char kway teow (above, foreground): Legit! It’s sans cockles but those are a bit weird anyway.

chicken and beef satay (above, middle): I didn’t have this since I’m not a huge satay fan but given here were a few bites left it was probably just so-so.

fried calamari (above, background): Very yummy. Super crisp on the outside and tender on the inside with lots of salt and pepper.

nasi lemak (below): Such a pretty plate. Chicken curry was meh, everyone inhaled the peanuts, the wings met their demise, but the other veggie sides were barely nibbled.

roti canai (not pictured): Bomb. I wanted an extra order of this but refrained from going overboard.

Hainese chicken rice (not pictured): Pretty good, very gingery. Wish they had the thick soy sauce though. I can’t have my chicken rice without ALLLLL of the dipping sauces available.

kangkung belachan: SO GOOD. You can really taste the smoky flavor from the wok and the salty funk of the belachan. We were all raving about this one: “SO GOOD LAH!” “QUITE TASTY AH!” You know it’s real when we all start sounding like we’re back in Singapore again.

ipohgarden1

The service is typical for Asian restaurants – a bit rushed, requires some proactiveness on your part, but generally nice. Parking is horrific (aka street parking only) and the place was super busy on a Friday night at 7pm so make a reservation if you go.

Ipoh Garden: 100 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA 94030

eating > thien long

One upon a time I had a meal in Hanoi that I loooved.

I have mentioned this dish to Vietnamese friends and have asked for recommendations to any places that serve this dish in the Bay. I heard about Thien Long and made some vague goal to try it out next time I was in the area.

Theeeen the friend that took me to the original place in Hanoi moved to the Bay and gave his full fledged endorsement to this place and the vague goal turned into a clear target.

thienlong2

It’s glorious! So glad that I finally tried this place and have a go-to for this dish that I love so much.

You get the sizzling plate of turmeric fried fish with dill, onions, and peanuts and an enormous side of lettuce, herbs, vermicelli noodles, shrimp paste, and spring roll skins.

The other dish we ordered, a beef fried noodle thing, was just meh. Stick with this fish dish and you can’t go wrong. Go early because this place gets busy. We arrived around 12:30pm on a Sunday and had no wait for 3 people but parking was already a nightmare. By the time we left there was a crowd of people waiting for tables.

Service is a bit hard to flag down but generally fine and pretty run of the mill for these Asian-food-in-a-strip-mall type of places.

Thien Long: 3005 Silver Creek Rd #138, San Jose, CA 95121

eating > locavore, bonifacio global city

Locavore, how I love thee.

This was my favorite meal while we were in the Philippines. There’s a lot of Filipino fusion that’s just meh but this is Filipino fusion done so incredibly right.

locavore

If I had to live in the Philippines I’m picking a place that’s walking distance of this restaurant.

locavore5

Buttery, garlicky, humongous, tender prawns with more parsley then you thought you’d ever need. That’s mayo all over the top because it wasn’t rich enough with just the butter.

locavore4

Sizzling sinigang: the traditional sour bite of sinigang soup but reduced to a thick sauce and served on a hot plate. Green beans that still have bite, roasted garlic for a little sweetness, and juicy tomatoes round out the beef short ribs. EVERYONE told us to get this and they were right.

locavore3

Oyster and lechon sisig: crispy, fatty, briny with bits of onion and a velvety gravy.

And my favorite..

locavore6

Kare kare wings: all of the goodness of crispy chicken wings and the peanutty, salty richness of kare kare sauce. All with a side of bagoong funk.

Locavore: Forbes Town Center, Burgos Circle, Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines

eating > alcove chocolates

These are hands down my favorite chocolates in all of the land. I rarely see them so usually grab them (at an exorbitant price) when I’m passing through the International Terminal at SFO. I *think* you can also grab them at most Whole Foods.

alcovechocolates2

Alcove is based out of Socal where they even have a little cafe/bakery.

Jingleberry Crunch is my favorite flavor. I don’t even like white chocolate that much but it’s so yummy here. The cranberries and almonds are pulverized so you get lots of texture in every bite.

alcovechocolates

I can finish this entire bar in less than a week (with me rationing it after lunch and dinner) which is basically unheard of in the history of my chocolate consumption.

Other good flavors: banana cream crunch (milk chocolate, crisp rice, bananas) and dark chocolate brownie (dark chocolate and crisp brownie bits).

Meh flavors: red velvet (good but nothing special), coconut mango milk chocolate

Alcove Chocolates

eating > wildflour, bonifacio global city

Back from Manila and 10 lbs heavier, yo!

This was one of my first meals (after a late night Pink’s Hot Dog to get me through some last minute work – yes, THAT Pink’s).

wildflour

Ah, the age old war between savory and sweet. They reached a truce with this cornbread waffle + bacon + fried eggs + blueberries combo.

Sooooooooooo good. So good. Waffles = crispy edges, soft crumbly interior. Eggs = perfectly runny with more crispy edges. Bacon = not nearly crispy enough but still yummy. Blueberries = fruits are HEALTHY. SO YAH.

Wildflour (Zomato): G/F Netlima Bldg, 4th Ave cor 26th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila