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

Manhattan Beach Post (Dinner)

We had a girls day outing today in the South Bay where it was nice and cool. It was great to leave the hot and humid 90 degree weather of the San Gabriel Valley and hang out near (not on) the beach. Dana, Grace, Lena and I watched an afternoon showing of Moonrise Kingdom, which was very good and then had dinner at MB Post. I’ve only had brunch here once so I was excited to finally try their dinner menu.

bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuit (w/maple butter) & fleur de sel pretzel

fee fi fo fum fries

soft shell blue crab lettuce wrap

roasted brussels sprouts (w/emmental, hazelnuts, sage)

asparagus and poached jidori egg

skirt steak w/ grilled broccolini & red chimichurri

vietnamese caramel pork jowl on papaya salad

steamed mussels w/ green curry, Chinese sausage, and rice

I just oh so love the bacon cheddar biscuit. The only thing that I didn’t like was the sausage in the green curry and the papaya salad (too much fish sauce). Actually I’m a little offended that there was Chinese sausage in the green curry. It’s just…wrong.

Manhattan Beach Post

1142 Manhattan Ave.

Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Chotto Izakaya

On Saturday, my cousins and I had dinner at Chotto, an izakaya located in the Marina area of San Francisco. I had wanted to try the food here since it opened (was it early or mid last year?). The dishes were on the pricier side compared to the izakayas in LA, but I was dining in the Marina. It shouldn’t have been a surprise. The food was good so I have no complaints. Okay that was a lie. I didn’t particularly care for the insane amount of cabbage that was sitting on the bottom of my bowl of ramen. Oh and was it weird that everyone in my family ordered their own bowl of ramen? I did quite enjoy the bacon mochi and the gyutan (it’s tongue, don’t judge me) though.

The lanterns separating our private room from the rest of the restaurant.

Hakate Sarada


Kushiyaki Sampler (kamo, kyu, negima, tontoro)

Bacon Mochi

Agedashi Tofu

Karamiso Tonkotsu – I added the egg.

I think I’m going to attempt to make the bacon mochi at home. Wish me luck.


3317 Steiner St. (btw Chestnut & Lombard)

San Francisco, CA 94123


回頭香麵館 – Hui Tou Xiang Noodle House

Thank you Louise for writing about your dining experience at Hui Tou Xiang and then accompanying me for my first meal there. We ordered a cold dish of marinated squid (小魷魚), pork soup dumplings (小籠包), the Hui Tou pork (回頭豬肉), and a pork and leek pancake (豬肉韭菜盒子). On top of serving good food, the restaurant staff were also very friendly, which is rare in a Chinese restaurant located in the San Gabriel Valley. Is it weird that I didn’t order any noodles? I think so. I’m going to have to go back very soon to try the noodles.

Hui Tou Xiang Noodle House

704 W. Las Tunas Dr. Ste 5

San Gabriel, CA 91776

(626) 281 – 91776

Bizarra Capital

A few weeks ago, I had dinner at Bizarra Capital with a couple of close friends. According to Jonathan Gold, they have fried huazontle here. We didn’t order it and I don’t remember seeing it on the menu either. I guess I should have read his article in the LA Times before my visit. Oh well, maybe next time. We did have mole fries though. Don’t judge me, but I don’t think I’m much of a mole fries type of girl. It looked and smelled delicious and my friends seem to really like it though. I hope to make it back to Bizarra again soon. There is so much on the menu that I still need to try.

Grace had two glasses. So I’m assuming this drink was good, whatever it was.

If you can’t take spicy food, don’t order this dish. All peppers and nothing else.

The fish tacos were delicious. I’m craving one right now.

2012 Vacation Part 1 – London

Today was the first time in over two weeks that I had to sit in traffic on my way home. Oh how I miss the Tube in London. It may have been a little warm in there, but at least it moved and I could distract myself with a book while waiting to get to my next destination.

My trip to London was interesting. It was the first time that I had to explore a new city on my own and I loved how London made that so easy. Figuring out the Tube was brain dead, there were maps at nearly every bus station and people in general were friendly and helpful. I only got lost once.

While in London, I stayed with a friend who lived near King’s Cross/St. Pancras station. I developed a morning habit of eating breakfast at the Benugo inside the station.

This was one of the few times that I actually wished I knew how to ride a bike.  They all look so shiny and new.

I didn’t take any taxis in London, but I wouldn’t mind getting into this one. COACH! I think we should probably paint the “Look Right” and “Look Left” on the cross walks in LA too. The hipsters in town can’t seem to follow the traffic lights, maybe they can read.

London has the cutest food trucks. These two were parked outside of the British Museum.

There was a house near Brick Lane that was named after me. I wished it was yellow.

My first taste of London was a visit to Covent Garden. I watched a football (aka soccer) at a Canadian pub. England won. I think I may be in love with Covent Garden. The food looked delicious. For all the macaron lovers out there, Laduree has a shop Covent Garden.

My first tourist attraction was Piccadilly Circus (or was this Oxford Circus?). My friend compared it to the Times Square of NY. I prefer Piccadilly. There were way less people and lot cleaner. Who loves double decker buses? I do.

The British Museum was huge and a little cluttered. There were too much to see. Admission is free.

I was only lost once when I was in London and that was in Regent’s Park after visiting Queen Mary’s Garden.

Aside from fish and chips, one must try the Indian food while in London.  It was pretty good.

Windsor Castle was probably my favorite place in London. Well…near London. I wish I could live here. Queen Mary’s Doll House was amazing. Too bad I couldn’t take any photos.

I did the most touristy thing you can possibly do in this country – I watched the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace then… I took a photo of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament at the other side of St. James Park.

My friend highly recommended visiting the Tower of London. I’m glad I listened to her. It was fascinating and a little gruesome.

On my last full day in London, I visited Kensington Palace and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Warning – there are approximately 250 steps that you will have to climb to get up to the Whispering Gallery at St. Paul’s and about another 160 to get to the Stone Gallery. I don’t believe the cathedral has air conditioning.

The best meal I had in London was at Jamie’s Italian in Covent Garden.

 The gelato in London was pretty good too. Banana Stracciatella. I want some now.