Ikko

Last night I had dinner at Ikko in Costa Mesa with Peian and Branden. My advice to all that decide to have dinner at Ikko, call ahead to make reservations. The restaurant is small and I noticed that people take their sweet time eating and chatting, including my friends and I. We heard the proportions were small so we ordered a bunch of dishes to share.

Edamame Mousse Stuffed Fried Potato Tube
Stuffed Chicken & Brown Rice With Ginger
Stir Fried Black Pork Sausages & Japanese Peppers
Asparagus Wrapped Jumbo Shrimp Tempura
Our Sushi Platter
I like how they add a thin slice of radish on top of the some of the sushi.
Red Snapper? I'm not a fan.
Panko Fried Calamari With Mango Jalapeno Salsa

One of my favorite dishes, which I couldn’t figure out how to take a nice picture of, was the steamed egg custard with crab meat. It was very smooth or “滑” and it reminded me of a time when my grandma used to make her steamed egg dish plain. Unlike now, grandma decided that she needs to add vermicelli or anchovies. I disagree with the new additions, but what can a granddaughter do? Tell her 92 year old grandma “no”. Well I did tell her “no” and she ignored me. *sigh* I thought the dishes were quite interesting so I think I’ll be coming back again. I just wished Ikko wasn’t so far away from where I live.

Quadrupel Brasserie

My friend Emily and I had dinner at Quadrupel Brasserie, a French/Belgian restaurant in Pasadena. The menu included a long list of beers that neither of us took advantage of. Emily was being responsible for work and I was just being my usual light weight self. We did order an abundance of food to make up for the lack of alcohol consumption though. We probably should have split the an entree and a dessert since the proportions were so generous, but we didn’t. We ordered two appetizers, two entrees, and two desserts. I had enough leftovers for lunch the next day.

Steamed Black Mussels w/ Mediterranean Sauce
Pomme Frites
Steak Frites
Duck, Duck, Goose - Right Side
Duck, Duck, Goose - Left Side
Croissant Bread Pudding
Orange Creme Brulee

I had made reservations in advanced because I thought there would be a lot of people. After all they did have some really good reviews on Yelp, but this was not the case last night. Maybe because it was Wednesday? From the moment I walked in to when we left, there were two tables including ours. The food was decent, the left side of Emily’s Duck, Duck, Goose was delicious, my steak was tender, and the service was great. Maybe it has to do with the location. Union Street is a little quiet on the weekdays.

California Gift Show & Urth Caffe

I had the opportunity to do some serious shopping at the California Gift Show at the LA Convention Center today. I don’t always buy jewelry, but when I do, I buy in bulk. I bought four rings, a pair of earrings, a bracelet and two charms. My favorite booth was the one selling vintage repurposed jewelry. I found the coolest recycled steampunk spinning ring there.

recycled steampunk spinning ring

After shopping around for almost 4 hours, we decided to have an afternoon snack (my lunch) at Urth Caffe. Yes. This was my first time there and I think I kinda liked it.

My panini caprese was good, but they can ease off on the pesto just a bit.
Eloise's tuna sandwich
Jen's salad
Jen's soup. Looks like pumpkin, but apparently it wasn't. I'm not really sure what type of soup this is.

Stuffed Peppers

I was inspired by my coworker’s stuffed pepper lunch today, so I decided to make my own for dinner. I used a simple recipe that I found on Allrecipes.com, but substituted the beef with turkey instead.

Preheat oven to 350 F
An hour later. Should have left it in the oven for another 10 minutes.
Taste pretty good with a bit of tabasco sauce. I think next time I am going to cook the rice filling with chicken broth.

Thai Noodle Salad

Yesterday I printed a recipe from the Epicurious website for Thai Noodle Salad, but due to some unexpected circumstances (spider) I was unable to make it until today. I tweaked the measurements for each ingredient listed to accommodate what I had already had at home.

13.5 ounces of thin spaghetti (wheat)

4 tbsps of sesame oil

6 green onions, chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp of minced ginger, peeled first

1/4 cup of honey

1/3 cup of crunchy peanut butter

1/3 cup of soy sauce

3 tbsps of seasoned rice vinegar

2 1/2 tbsp of chili-garlic sauce (I like spicy)

2 cups of mung bean sprouts

1 cup of shredded carrots (the shredding not so successful on my part)

I added a little more of almost everything that had to do with making the sauce, which turned out to be just the right amount. However, next time I think I’m going to add a bit of toasted sesame seeds and get rid of the bean sprouts and carrots altogether. I really don’t care for either vegetable.

Thai Noodle Salad

Peian’s Bridal Shower

My one major event for this weekend was Peian’s bridal shower. It’s a lot of work planning the perfect bridal shower and I thought the MOH did a great job. Everyone that attended helped with the decorations and food. It was a lot of fun and was happy to be a part of it. Now I can’t wait until the bachlorette party in Vegas.

Cute party favors filled with yummy Godiva chocolates.
Center Piece
Jane's pad see ew.
bow tie pasta
I love spinach dip.
I like the cow🙂
Lena's cheese plate. She brought them back from Wisconsin.
I'm not sure what this dessert was, but it was good.
Berry blossom cake from Susina. Delicious. I should've ate another slice.
Getting up close and personal with the cake. Yummy.

Sugarfish

I rarely dine in the downtown LA area because parking is a real b***ch, there are way too many pedestrians, and an over abundance of stupid drivers. I’m glad I didn’t argue when my friends suggested to have lunch in downtown because otherwise I wouldn’t have had a chance to try the sushi at Sugarfish. The restaurant had a casual atmosphere with very comfortable chairs. The dishes were simple and traditional, there was none of that modern, fancy fusion stuff that I’ve been eating way too much of lately. Ooh and I like that the rice was a little warm.  I could become a regular at Sugarfish.

I like the lights🙂
tuna sashimi
I'm pretty sure this halibut.

The Luggage Room

I had dinner with Soo San, Nasya, and Lolo at The Luggage Room tonight. It’s a little loud in the restaurant but the wood fire pizza (I love) and the bacon wrapped dates made up for it. I wish I had remembered to bring my regular camera with me. Oh well…my iPhone didn’t do too bad right?

bacon wrapped dates w/ goat cheese
margherita pizza

My 4th of July Weekend

My 4th of July weekend was somewhat eventful…I guess. I took last Friday off and moved my sister and her stuff back to her apartment in Berkeley, which was surprisingly filthy. How hard is it to keep a tiny apartment clean? A little vacuuming here, some dusting there…simple. Is that too much to ask?

Now let’s get down to business. I had a soy latte and blueberry scone from Starbucks before we left LA and nothing else during the drive to Berkeley. Naturally, my mind was getting foggy from the lack of food consumption during the drive. So what’s my first request when I picked up my other cousins from downtown SF? Food. I dropped off my cousin Lina on Jackson street in Chinatown to pick up some $1 something dim sum and then dropped off my cousin Jessica around the corner on Grant to pick up some egg tarts from Golden Gate Bakery. Sorry I was so hungry I didn’t bust out my good camera to snap some pics, but trust me, the egg tarts were delicious. The dim sum…not so much. Per my request, we had dinner at PPQ in the Richmond area. If you want to see pics, you can view it on my old blog.

On Saturday, I had brunch with a few friends, some cousins, and a baby at Stacks in Hayes Valley. The savory stuff were decent, but their waffles and pancakes were delicious.

bacon waffle
banana macadamia pancakes
eggs Florentine

After brunch we stopped next door at Miette for some sweets. The place was too cute and too pretty.

Miette

When we finally purchased enough sweets at Miette we found a neat little ice cream/coffee shop call Smitten across the street. I had originally thought it was some kind of food truck, but it wasn’t. One side of this small building (or structure or whatever) served coffee and the other side served fresh made ice cream. We each ordered a scoop of malted vanilla and it was delicious. I need to go back and try the other flavors.

Smitten
oh yea...we're smitten alright
malted vanilla

We decided, well actually, I decided that the best way to burn off all the calories was to spend some quality play time with little Marcus and then do some serious shopping at Daiso in Daly City.

This is little Marcus. He's so cute.

My aunt and uncle’s friends invited us to have dinner. We said “yes” because we wanted to see these cute babies.

Aya
Aya's little brother. I forgot his name.
Oh and there was shrimp. I love shrimp.

I was seriously considering staying another day in SF, but the thought that I would have to sit in traffic on the 5 fwy by myself for probably 10 hrs on Monday was enough motivation to get me out of the Bay Area on Sunday morning. I did have a delicious dinner at Park’s BBQ with some friends visiting from SF once I got back to LA though.

I do love the side dishes🙂

seafood tofu
seafood bibimbap

Well that pretty much concludes all the festivities for my long weekend. I actually did nothing on Monday, July 4th. Okay I did do some stuff…like have dim sum with my family and shaved ice at Sinbala with Louise and Will. It was hot in LA and I really did need that shaved ice. I’m glad Louise got the hint from my FB status.