Hip Hot

My sister and I had dinner at Hip Hot, a new restaurant that serves Sichuan cuisine. I love the decor. Red bricks, floor to ceiling windows, and hanging snowball lights. It looks like something you see in one of those Chinese idol dramas. Some of the tables have these little furnitures sets under the table top glass. The friendly hostess seated us at one of these tables.



We ordered a lot of food. My eyes are always bigger than my stomach. Personally, I think that is one of my finer qualities. Just think how lucky my friends and family are when I order food. Everyone leaves the table satisfied. We had a lot of leftovers.

Dongzhikou Style Green Bean Jelly(洞子口旋子涼粉)


Boiled Fish (水煮魚). Oh my god. Just look at those chilis. Love it!


Spicy King Crab (香辣帝王蟹). Please note, it’s not cheap.


Garlic Roasted Oysters (2 for each us). One was plenty.


Black Sugar Rice Cake (黑糖糍粑)


Do not be fooled by all the red chili peppers, chili oil, etc, the food really isn’t that spicy.

Hip Hot 

500 N. Atlantic Blvd. Ste. 149

Monterey Park, CA 91754

Boulette’s Larder

The Ferry Building is one of my favorite places to eat at when I visit San Francisco. In addition to the usual coffee from Blue Bottle and the meat platter from Boccolone, I had lunch at Boulletes Larder during my visit in January. My cousin and I ordered the seafood salad, the lola sempre pizza (tomato, burrata, mozzarella, marjoram, wild oregano), and the beignets. All three dishes were pretty good. I wish I could say that the service was good too, but that would be a lie. Let’s just say I don’t appreciate being charged for beverages that never made it to the table, beignets that come after we paid the bill, or having to ask three times before our glasses were refilled with water. Oh and how about no apologies whatsoever for any of the above? *sigh*

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Boullettes Larder

1 Ferry Building, Ste 48

San Franciso, CA 94111


Tina took me out for a belated birthday dinner this weekend at Mar’sel at Terranea. She really is like the older sister I never had, always directing me to many a delicious meals. I missed those days when she would pack me lunch. No more beef noodle soup or Asian sandwiches anymore at work. Anyhoo…

We chose to sit outside for dinner, hoping the clouds would clear and we would be able to see the sunset. No such luck.



I don’t drink much, so when our server asked us about bubblies and such, I politely declined. Then she offered us mocktails. I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone actually offer to make me a mocktail. I liked her.



Mar’sel, they do good bread. Really good bread. I like a good bread.


Santa Barbara spot prawns? Umm…if you say so. I don’t like having to peel the shells myself at a nice restaurant.


Dungeness crab toast. BRIOCHE!


Bone marrow may not be for everyone, but I love it.


Roasted duck confit. CONFIT!


Hangar steak :)


We were going to skip dessert, but our server brought us salted caramel pudding and cookies. How could we say no?


Thank you Tina for a wonderful birthday dinner!


100 Terranea Way

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Sushi Sasabune

My favorite meal in Oahu was dinner at Sushi Sasbune. Casual atmosphere, friendly service and some of the best sushi I’ve ever had. Thank you for taking notes Betty.

Canadian albacore tuna and Japanese blue fin tuna.


California squid stuffed with Louisiana blue crab.


Fatty toro and medium toro. I prefer the fatty toro.


Japanese red snapper and North Carolina halibut.


Japanese skip jack tuna




Salmon with seaweed


Hokkaido scallop with green chili


Oysters three way



Japanese snow crab


New Zealand abalone


Finely chopped toro. Melts in your mouth.


Alaskan King crab, sashimi grade.



Uni aka sea urchin


Sushi Sasabune

1417 S. King St.

Honolulu, HI 96814

(808) 947 -3800

Oahu 2014

Wind + rain = no skydiving. Damn you Oahu and your crappy weather. I understand this is your Winter, but couldn’t you have given us one good morning with sunshine that wasn’t on the day we were leaving? What does a girl have to do to jump out of a plane? Geez. *sigh* I suppose this means Betty and I will  have to plan another trip to Hawaii. Bad weather aside, we still had a lot of fun exploring and eating. See pictures below.

We arrived on Sunday and checked into the Moana Surfrider in Waikiki. The hotel was beautiful, historic, almost like something out of a movie. Although it was consider low season for tourism in Oahu, the place was still bustling with people. I wish housekeeping weren’t so stingy with the hair conditioners and so overly generous with the body wash.


Our first stop after check-in was Iyasume Musubi. Ever had a spam musubi? No? Why? Because you think spam is gross. Well I think you’re pretty gross. You’re missing out. It’s delicious.


I ordered mine with egg, bacon and cheese.


After our musubi stop, we ventured over to the Ala Moana Center, explored Kalakaua Ave a bit, stopped by King’s Village and finally decided to have dinner at HI Steak. The chimichurri was great, but the steak was a bit over done for our taste.

We bumped in Doraemon at King’s Village. Insane right? I know.


Next time I want to order the chimchichurri with just a side of rice, but I don’t think that’s an option.


On our way to our first and only hike the next morning, we stopped at Diamond Head Market & Grill for some breakfast. We ordered the loco moco and the salmon and egg on fried rice. Of course we added the sriracha sauce. It’s never too early for sriracha.



The Diamond Head hike was easier than we had expected. I would’ve taken a picture from the top, but I was distracted by all the mosquitoes that were congregating up there. Oh and we climbed a lot of stairs.


Whale watching was one of the highlights on our trip. This is the view of the island from the boat. I was surprise that the whales were so close to shore.


We saw like 10 different whales on this boat trip because it was Betty’s birthday. It was confirmed in the video below even though it only features one whale that you can barely see.

We stopped by Shirokiya for a late lunch.

Squid okonomiyaki(?) and takoyaki from Takoyaki Yama-Chan. You don’t like squid? Well I don’t like you much either. I am judging you right now.



We also ordered a pork katsu from Kimukatsu. What’s so special about this particular katsu? Well the katsu is made from quality pork, sliced thin and stacked into 25 layers. At least that’s what I wrote in my Evernote. Fancy, but the pork was a bit dry. I think they might have a shop in Culver City.


We had dinner at Alan Wong’s, but I didn’t get a chance to take any pictures. Our whole entire dinner was interrupted by a pair of brand name dropping brothers/doctors from Atlanta. Oh you walked into Ralph Lauren? Big deal. I walked into Louis Vuitton and Burberry!

We had scheduled skydiving for Tuesday morning, but it was canceled due to the bad weather conditions. So we decided to visit Pearl Harbor. Neither of us wanted to take the ferry to the memorial after the short film. I was good at holding back the tears when I visited in high school, but not now. I think I would’ve freaked everyone out if I started balling uncontrollably. Betty probably would’ve smacked me. After Pearl Harbor, we spent the rest of the day walking around Kalakaua Ave. I recommend getting your caffeine boost at Gorilla In The Cafe. Just do it.

I’ve always enjoyed a nice bowl of soup noodles on a gloomy day. Marukame Udon was delicious.



After a relaxing day of doing absolutely nothing that requires any type of physical exertion, we woke up early the next day so that we can grab breakfast at Nico’s Pier 38 Fish Market, go ATV at Kualoa Ranch and then hopefully do some skydiving in the afternoon. Yea…that last part didn’t happen. The weather was not our friend. So instead we visited the Dole Plantation, had some shaved ice and checked out one of the beaches in the North Shore area.

Betty and I are probably the only two people that would eat octopus and shrimp for breakfast. I didn’t get any pictures of our breakfast. A girl can only do so much while she is eating and driving. For the safety of the citizens of Oahu, I opted not to take any pictures. Yes I know that’s quite considerate of me, but well…I also only have two hands.


The Renniemobile. I named it 2 seconds ago. She is an all terrain ATV.


We kept our helmets on the whole time.



That’s not just any puddle, it’s a footprint.


There were many deadly land mines. I didn’t step on any.


A prop left over from some movie. I wasn’t really paying attention to the guide. I was too focused on trying to avoid the deadly land mines aka cow poop.


Kualoa was beautiful. No mosquitoes either.


Woohoo for spontaneity. We spotted this truck, did a u-turn and found one of the best meals on our trip. The roasted shrimp and chicken combo from Mike’s Huli Chicken was delicious. We didn’t even Yelp it ahead of time.


Best coconut banana smoothie ever. We should’ve ordered two.



I was bug bite free until we got to the Dole plantation. My right hand still itches now.



Dole Plantation advice #1 – skip the garden tour. Dole Plantation advice #2 – cut through the trees in the maze.



Matsumoto Shave Ice


I prefer Taiwanese shaved ice.


Whoa I just noticed that I have a photo bomber in my beach picture. WTF?



The best meal we had in Hawaii was at Sushi Sasabune. It was so insanely mind blowing that it gets its own post.

The last meal worth mentioning was breakfast at Boots & Kimo’s in Kailua. The pancakes  with macadamia nut sauce was SO GOOD!


So that pretty much concludes our first vacation together since Thailand 2004. I hope we don’t have to wait another 1o years to go on another trip together.

The Bazaar

My only DineLA reservation this round was at The Bazaar. I’ve heard some interesting things about the food and I’m glad the DineLA menu wasn’t a disappointment, because sometimes it can be. Actually sometimes it can be a total fail.

Have you ever seen such a long list of water?


Philly Cheesesteak. Air bread topped with wagyu beef, and filled with cheddar. Time sensitive but totally delicious.


Dungeness Crab. Umm… perhaps a bit too salty?


Jicama Wrapped Guacamole. Tasted like jicama and guacamole. Looks cute though.


I’m not 100% sure that this was the wagyu beef chorizo thing that I ordered. Perhaps they messed up my order? I hope it really wasn’t sausage made of wagyu beef because that would’ve been a waste. This was just meh. The egg was perfect though.


Wild Mushroom Rice. Tasty but I think my friend Dana’s is better.


They did good with the scallops.


Can’t say that I’m a fan. Sorry.


Pon Con Chocolate. I’m not a fan of flan, but in my opinion, this was quite tasty. That’s probably because the flan wasn’t in typical flan form (you know that glob of yellow thing that reminds you of jello).


Suenos de Chocolate. Yep that’s a chocolate martini with toasted marshmallow on top. Amazing!


The Bazaar

At the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills 

465 South La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Tasty Dining

I tried the dry hot pot at Tasty Dining in San Gabriel last night with Louise and Will. I think I like how the Wuhan people do their dry hot pot. The food was good and I didn’t smell like my dinner afterwards, but that might be because we had dinner early and there weren’t that many customers yet. Louise and I shared the lamb pot and Will ordered the vegetarian. I know the lamb was supposed to be the main focus in our pot, but I didn’t much care for it. MY MAIN FOCUS was the non-expensive stuff, the potatoes, celery, cauliflower, tofu and wide vermicelli. They soaked up the flavors well and were delicious. I’ll never look at potatoes and celery the same way ever again. Ok maybe that was a little exaggerated.


Tasty Dining (where that one Lollicup used to be).

301 W. Valley Blvd., Suite 101

San Gabriel, CA 91776