burger night | rustic canyon, santa monica

lobster brioche rustic canyon santa monicaLobster on brioche toast

rustic canyon burger santa monicaRustic Canyon burger

I am so thrilled to have my old college roommate, Amina, living here in Los Angeles!  She just made the move from Vancouver, and so far, SoCal is treating her well.  It’s been years since we bunked as undergrad freshman, setting off dorm room smoke alarms by stuffing our janky, little toaster with whatever we had lying around to make awesome late night snacks.  Whenever the food mood struck us (which was quite often), we had no problem ditching lectures to hit up our favorite eateries in and around Berkeley.  Ah, memories!

On Monday, we caught up over a Burger Night dinner at Rustic Canyon.  A bottle of rosé, a lobster on brioche appetizer and then b-b-burgers!  RC’s still got it.  I forgot how good the burger was.  Juicy and savory.  Hooray to old favorites that are still just as good as you remembered them!

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gusto | eataly, nyc

eataly nyc retail displaymaking fresh gnocchi eataly nycmaking fresh pasta eataly nycpasta eataly nycflowers eataly nycturban squash eataly nyccheese case eataly nycpizza oven eataly nyc

I had to make a few visits to Eataly while in NYC.  I mean, I just couldn’t help myself.

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tuna auction | tsukiji fish market, tokyo, japan

policeman tsukiji fish market tokyotruck tsukiji fish market tokyotuna auction tsukiji fish market tokyotuna auction tsukiji fish market tokyotuna auction tsukiji fish market tokyotuna auction tsukiji fish market tokyotuna auction tsukiji fish market tokyotsukiji fish market tokyotransporter tsukiji fish market tokyoOh, I’m not done yet!  I still have a ton of pics from summer travels, so I’m going to keep posting as I go through my files (slowly but surely, I know).  One of the “must see” attractions at the top of my list while in Tokyo was to visit the world’s largest wholesale fish and seafood market, so a few days into our stay in Tokyo, we headed over to the Tsukiji Fish Market at 4am and queued up to observe the tuna auction.  Once inside, we watched a lot of dudes bidding for some choice fish.  After the auction, we queued up once more for breakfast at Sushi Dai, which is located in the market halls, which sell produce and other retail goods.  As the sun rose,  the market got progressively busier with transporters whizzing about, loading and unloading boxes of fresh seafood while expertly maneuvering around each other.  It was quite the bustling scene.  I’m glad I got to see it.

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cruisin’ | governors island, nyc

Last Sunday, had a blast cruisin’ around Governors Island with my cousin & buds.

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tasting menu | torrisi italian specialties, nyc

warm mozzarella davero olive oil torrisi italian specialties nycWarm, freshly made mozzarella in DaVero olive oil

sweet corn frittelle with lime torrisi italian specialties nycSweet corn fritelle, lime

grilled rice ball with bacala torrisi italian specialties nycGrilled rice ball, baccala

raw braciola torrisi italian specialities nyc Raw braciola

linguini and clams with tobasco torrisi italian specialities nycLinguini & clams, tobasco

island duck maraschino torrisi italian specialties nycIsland duck maraschino

atlantic fluke francese torrisi italian specialties nycAtlantic fluke francese

cookie platter torrisi italian specialties nycDessert of ricotta cannoli, peppermint truffles, tri-color, celery cookie, apricot cucidati

Got to spend some quality time with my cousin, Christine, this past week in NYC.  All week long, we just roamed around the city, basking in the glorious, late summer sun.  On Friday, we weaved our way through the bustling Feast of San Gennaro street festival in Little Italy to find our table at Torrisi Italian Specialties for a splendid seven-course tasting menu lunch.  This was the best meal of my trip.  I loved every selection off the current menu, especially the grilled rice ball, linguini and fluke.  Next time, I hope I can go back for the twenty-course chef’s tasting menu dinner.  Now, that would be amazing!

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chicken sando | the nomad, nyc

roast chicken sandwich the nomad restaurant nycRoast chicken sandwich at The NoMad Restaurant

After a super fun (and super late!) night out with T, Mia and my favorite east coast cousins, Christine, Ed & Tony, all I wanted to do was stay in my PJs all day, but I managed to roll outta bed and book it to The NoMad for Christina’s bday brunch with my school buds, Shishido, Jane & Nancy.  I was still full from the 4am round of Ktown jjajangmyeon and tangsooyuk, yet I couldn’t resist ordering the most decadent item on the menu, a roast chicken sando on brioche with black truffle and foie gras, which I washed down with a restorative “Caesar” Bloody Mary (tomato, shellfish, lemon, horseradish).  A haute hoagie and hang time with some friends I hadn’t seen in a while… it was a good brunch.

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curry & coffee | efish, kyoto, japan

bacon tomato lettuce blt sandwich efish kyotoThree-slice BLT sando stack

beans & okra curry rice efish kyotoBean & okra curry rice

coffee efish kyotoPost-meal coffee

coffee with cream efish kyoto

A pre-temple tour lunch at efish, a cool cafe located right on the Kamo River in Kyoto.  

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strollin’ | ueno park, tokyo, japan

One Sunday afternoon in Tokyo, I stumbled upon Ueno Park in Taito-ku and ended up having the most amusingly delightful day, frolicking about and playing spectator to all the characters and sights sprinkled throughout the spacious public park.  There was a lot to see, including museums, a zoo, a pond with swan pedal boats, lotus bed gardens, pagodas, gingko & cherry trees, food vendors and people, lots of people.  Major photo snap sesh in Ueno… here are a few of my pics.

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avos & almonds | santa monica farmers’ market

young ginger fuji apples jalapeños habanero thai chilies blistered almonds reed avocadosbee local almond milk santa monica farmers marketCruised through the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market this drizzly morning with Shiri to pick up some fresh goodies, including young ginger with stalk, chili peppers (jalapeño, habanero, Thai), Fuji apples, and a couple of big, bodacious, softball-sized Reed avocados, which are super buttery and creamy with a more golden-toned flesh that’s less mushy and less prone to browning than the more commercially available Hass variety.  We also stopped by Fat Uncle Farms to say hello to Higa’s sis, Emiko, where we scooped up some tasty blistered almonds.  There, we discovered the most ambrosial vanilla-honey almond milk that we have ever tasted.  It was divine.  If you see it, get it.  It’s so good!

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#19 | langers, westlake, LA

langers #19 pastrami coleslawLunch today with Shiri at Langer’s.  I love this place.  #19 (hot pastrami) for me, #88 (corned beef) for Shiri, with cabbage soup and potato pancakes on the side.  After we ate, we both passed out in the booth and fell into deep food comas.  Just kidding.  Afterwards, we moseyed over to Proof Bakery for some much needed caffeine & sweets.  OK but now the coffee’s worn off, and I can feel it.  I really need a nap.

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