Thursday, July 31, 2008

i'm so spoiled

The Boy and I had dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant tonight, Koi Palace, and we did some damage! The Boy normally doesn't eat as much as I do and I was surprised he wanted to order an extra dish in addition to our usual three. He must have been pretty hungry, or he skipped lunch or something.

Anyway, we ALWAYS order the Honey Walnut Prawns. Whoever invented this dish deserves to go to heaven if they're not already there. Whoever thought shrimp, mayonnaise and honey walnuts would taste so well together? When I first heard of this dish many years ago (summer of 2001 in Taiwan), I did not think mayonnaise and shrimp was a good combo, mostly because I hate mayo. Was I wrong! I became addicted after my first bite, and have been a loyal fan of the dish ever since. However, there are places that can still screw up this dish, so we normally don't order this dish unless we know for certain the restuarant knows how to cook it. We have a list of restaurants where we don't order this dish because it's not prepared correctly and just tastes fishy and bad.
Okay, on to our next dish...we usually get Chicken Chow Mein, but The Boy was in the mood for fried rice tonight, so I ordered the Yan Chow Fried Rice, which is just basically combination fried rice with shrimp, chicken, bbq pork, fried eggs and green onions. It was light and not greasy, and it was yummy in my tummy.
The extra dish we ordered tonight was the Potstickers. Everytime I order potstickers, The Boy always ask "what's the difference between a potsticker and a wonton?" And I always reply that there's really no difference except that wontons are in soup and potstickers are fried, and they're all really some form of dumplings anyway. These potstickers were made of pork and mushrooms, and tasted even better when dipped in vinegar sauce (and chili sauce for me!).
And finally, our usual Peking Porkchops. Crispy, sweet and tangy all in one dish. I love this dish, but I always have to have floss on hand whenever I eat this dish because I always get meat stuck in my teeth and I really hate having things being stuck in my teeth for too long. Thank goodness for individual floss packets that fit neatly into my purse (or even a wallet!).
You're probable wondering if the two of us actually ate all of this. Don't be so surprised (*insert sarcarsam*) but we didn't finish it all. About half of the fried rice and a third of the porkchops were packed up in a doggy bag. Still, we finished the entire plate of potstickers and honey walnut prawns, which is A LOT for two people, especially when one (The Boy) eats like a bird.

I am going to have major food withdrawal when I go back to KC in two weeks. I'm going to miss all this good food.

vietnamese fast food

After ten weeks of interning in Oakland, I finally discovered "Chinatown" and this wonderful Vietnamese fast food restaurant. Another law clerk led me to this restaurant when he told me he knew where to get Vietnamese sandwiches. Not only is the food good, it's pretty cheap too. I went back to the restaurant for lunch today to see what other yummy foods to get my maw on.

There was a line out the door today!

After staring at the selection for what seems like hours (I was only standing in line for about ten minutes), I decided on spring rolls and fried rice. I initially just wanted the spring rolls, but the steaming pan of fried rice was practically seducing me with its scent to buy some.
The fried rice was really good, and surprisingly, not one bit greasy. I especially liked the pieces of Chinese sausages in it.
These pre-made springrolls were very fresh also, especially the veggies in it. The lettuce, cucumber, mint and chives were exceptionally crunchy, and each bite I took had a strong minty taste. There was also an equal balance of vermicelli noodles and veggies, unlike the ones that normally have more noodles than anything else. I like a lot of spice, but since I didn't have my bottle of rooster sauce, the peanut hoison dipping sauce was pretty good too.
All that for under $5! What a deal! Of course, I immediately suffered a food coma after stuffing my gut, but I couldn't take a nap at work so I had to go get myself a Red Bull.

(side note to T - You have got to go to Hau Giang in Dorchester because they have THE BEST banh mi thit. I am still searching for a place in SF that serves a comparable sandwich.)

flattery or ignorance?

Guy in elevator at City Hall: "Are you an intern?"

Me: "No. I'm a summer law clerk."

Guy: "Oh. So you're still in highschool?"

Me: "Um, thanks for the compliment, but I'm in law school."

Guy: "That's not highschool?"

Elevator: "Ding"

Me: "That's my floor. Have a good day!"

I don't know if he was serious or not, but I was flattered to know he thought I was a highschool student.

I used to hate it when people thought I was younger than I actually am. Now, I get really upset if the waiters don't card me when I order a drink.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I was in a store and saw these frogs (or toads?) in a bin...
...I wasn't in a pet store. I was in a market in an Asian populated neighborhood of San Francisco (heck, the majority of SF is Asian populated)... make your own conclusions.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

a lesson about fig fruits

Me: Honey, guess what your mother taught me today.

The Boy: What'd she teach you?

Me: How to tell when a fig fruit is ripe and ready to be picked from the tree.

The Boy: Oh yeah? How do you tell when a fig fruit is ready?

Me: When it's dark colored and "drops like an old man's balls."

The Boy: Say what?

Me: Word per word, that's what your mother told me.

The Boy: I think I also heard that before too.

Me: I've never heard of it. So she showed me what a ripe fig looks like.

The Boy: Oh yeah, what does a fig that dropped like an old man's balls look like?
Above -- Ripe fig. Below -- not quite so ripe fig.
These figs haven't "dropped" yet, so they're not quite ready.
Same as these, they haven't dropped...

Below -- Here's one that's ready!

This one below still needs to drop a little more... This one below is getting spoiled, so it dropped a long time ago and needs to be fed to the birds.
A fig that has dropped but the color doesn't look right so it could stay on the tree for another day or two.
The Boy: Interesting. So now you have an idea of what old man's balls look like.
Me: Eww, that is so out of context. I can't look at a fig the same way ever again.

bitter melon

I needed to write a separate post about this dish we had during my dim sum brunch, particularly because this was the only dish that I did not like. Why? It contained the icky bitter melon.

T recently had a post about making soup out of the bitter melon gourd. I made a comment that I hated eating the bitter melon as a child, and would rather starve than obey my parents when they force fed me the bitter thing. I don't recall the last time I ate it, but I'm sure it was a very long time ago.

Anyway, so while we were picking out dishes for our brunch, I wanted to select the Shrimp Rice Noodle Roll, but my friend said that I should try their specialty noodle roll dish. She pointed to it on the list and I swear I thought it said "Winter Melon with Chicken in Rice Noodle Roll", so I said, "Sure, what the heck, I'll try it."

When the dish came out, I immediately thought to myself that this is not winter melon.
And indeed it was not. It was "Bitter Melon with Chicken in Rice Noodle Roll". Before I could say anything, my friend served me a heaping portion of this bitterness onto my plate. This is one of my friends who is older in age and she used to help me with apartment stuff when I first lived in SF, and I would return the favor by helping her translate her issues and writing letters in English for her. So, let's just say she's not one of those friends where I can freely say "HELL NO, I'm not eating that crap!"

I did not want to be rude, so I ate the serving of bitter melon chicken rice noodle dish, down to the last piece of bitter melon that was on my plate.

And you know what? I still hate it. I hate the strong bitterness taste. It brought back painful memories. I tried to mask the bitterness with dollops of chili sauce but that didn't work. I tried not to chew it too much and swallowed quickly without choking myself so that I could just smile and say "um, not bad...but it's not my favorite." So thankfully, she didn't serve me another heaping portion.

I think I drink a whole pot of tea just to get that bitterness taste out of my mouth so I could go on enjoying the other dishes. Yuck, I still shudder at the thought that I actually ate the bitter melon again.

gorging on dim sum

A friend took me out to brunch on Saturday at her favorite local dim sum joint. I'd tell you the name of the restaurant, but the only thing I remember about it was that it had "Hong Kong" in it. We got there at 10:30am and there was already a line. However, we were seatedly quickly, and instead of waiting for the servers to walk around and shouting out the name of the dish on their trays, we just selected what we wanted from a list and waited for the food to come to us.

As usual, I ate way too much too much dim sum, more than I should have eaten, but it was yuuuummmmmy.
BBQ Pork Turnovers
Shrimp Dumplings (ha gau)
Pork Dumplings (siu mai), Braised Pork Ribs, my favorite chicken delicacy Fung Chao (braised chicken feet for those not faint of heart or stomach)
Shrimp and Scallion Dumplings
Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf
We also had some Egg Custard Tarts (Portugal style - with caramelized sugar on top) and I ordered some baked pork buns to go (for The Boy), but I think I was so full from eating all the above that I forgot to take a picture of the tarts and buns.

Friday, July 25, 2008

got crabs?

We went to Fisherman's Wharf at Pier 39 for our outing tonight and had dinner at the Crab House. The busboys were wearing black t-shirts with the words "got crabs?" on the front, and "Crab House at Pier 39" on the back. I wonder if the t-shirt has the same meaning if one were to wear it outside of San Francisco, let's say in Kansas City?

Anyway, the resturant had really cute, okay more like funny, decor inside. There were painted crabs everywhere, hanging all along the walls and even on the ceilings.
Each crab was a unique, creative design... see, this one is a fairy crab.
We started out with an appetizer of crab cakes, which were $14.95 (holy crap that's expensive!!). In my opinion, the crab cakes would have been better without the white sauce on top (I think it was supposed to be tartar sauce but it didn't quite taste like that to me -- it was more mayonnaise). The Boy, however, really like the white sauce, so I just lopped the sauce off of my crab cake and let him dip his in it. The pickled veggies underneath was delicious though.
The Boy doesn't like seafood much, so he ordered a burger and garlic fries. Boring, yes I know, but he was indulging my cravings for an eight legged crustacean creature (the fries were really YUMMY - nice and cruncy!).
I ordered the 1 lb killer dungeness crab roasted in garlic butter sauce. I was so excited for my crab dinner. I had my very own plastic bib! I was super anxious to see how big the crab would be...
...and to both The Boy's and my surprise, this was all that came out. We both looked at each other and asked, at the same time, "Where's the rest of the crab?"

You see, I'm used to eating crab dinners at Chinese restaurants, where they serve the crab whole, entire shell and all. And they usually sell by the whole crab, not the pound (they charge by the pound, but you order by the crab). So we were a bit surprised when an actual 1 pound of crab came out. I figured this was only half a crab because there was only one claw and four little legs.

It was still finger licking good, nonetheless. And since it wasn't an entire crab, I didn't take five hours to finish picking out every single piece of meat.


Our sunset view of the Bay during dinner...isn't it pretty?

After our meal at the Crab House, we wanted to get some Kara's Cupcakes at Ghiradelli Square but I wasn't sure if the store was open until 9 or 9:30, and it was close to 9pm when we left the restaurant. We decided to walk over there anyway with the hope that the cupcake store closes at 9:30.

We did a really fast walk over to Ghiradelli Square, which still took about 10 minutes to walk over. As soon as we got there, the doors to Kara's Cupcakes were locked and the two workers inside were packing up the cupcakes into boxes. I signalled to them to open the door, but they wouldn't -- they made hand signals that they were closed. I gave them my puppy dog eyes to see if they would make an exception, since it was ONLY ten minutes after closing and they were still there WITH cupcakes still available - you'd think they'd want to make a sale. But no, those two workers just would not open the door for me.
**side note -- The Boy's firm at one time ordered 500 cupcakes from Kara's Cupcakes. Yep, 500. They were celebrating 500 attorneys or something like that. He tasted one and actually LIKED them, and he's not one for sweets. So he recommended that I try their cupcakes. I bought half a dozen cupcakes from there one time last year, but they were a gift for a friend and so I didn't get a chance to taste them (time constraints or something that prevented me from eating one). And now again, I missed a chance to try their specialty cupcakes. I've got two more weeks to make another attempt at purchasing them...
So we walked over to Ghiradelli's Ice Cream and Chocolate shop and got some free chocolate samples. Cupcakes will have to wait until another day.
And now I'm ready for my food coma.
Good night!

scary lady in the window

Every morning on my descent down the hill towards BART, this head bust in the window scares the daylights out of me.
You would think that after the first few times, I'd get used to it and would "know" that it was coming up on my walk, therefore making it less of a surprise each time I see it. Nope, not the case. I still jump back whenever I look up and see the mannequin in the window. It's probably because whoever owns it changes the hat every few days, so it looks like a new lady is always looking out at me.
Something else happened that almost made me shit my pants -- as soon as I finished taking this picture, an actual person from within the house opened the front door and looked at me. The moment I heard the door open, I thought the mannequin came to life and was coming out to get me. The lady was still in her hair net, with curlers and all, and was not quite put together just yet. She scared me so much, I mumbled something like "I'm sorry, I just wanted a picture of the mannequin" and ran away as fast as I could without rolling down the hill.

Now I'm really terrified that the real lady will sit in the window looking out for me when I come walking down the hill, and at the very moment I turn to look for the mannequin, the real lady will jump up and go "BOO!"

lawyer job interview translator

I came across an article about a law firm poking fun at job interviews. Read article here.

If you just want to go straight to the job interview translator site, click here. There's a list of questions you can select from to get an answer, and then a translation. Too bad it wasn't designed to allow the user to type in a question - I wonder how it would "translate" the answers then.

I especially enjoyed the translation regarding a competitive salary.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

that is not a chocolate bar

The Boy and I were driving down to one of his baseball games today and he needed to eat something before his game. His choice of food was this powerbar. (I had fluffy pancakes and a deliciously sweet mango for breakfast - sooo much better than this powerbar, but according to him, one can't fill up on pancakes before a game.)
The Boy took a bite of this powerbar and commented with surprise, "Wow, this is a really tasty powerbar. It tastes like a real chocolate bar."

I look at him suspiciously because no powerbar ever tastes good, and so I ask, skeptically, "Really? It's that good?"

The Boy: "Yeah, just like a real chocolate bar. Wanna try?" Then he holds out the powerbar for me to bite (because I'm driving) and I take a nice chunk of a bite because he said it tasted like 'a real chocolate bar.'
I made a face with a look of disgust as soon as that chunk of a powerbar touched my tongue. Still grimacing, but still chewing the damn thing, I ask The Boy - "What the hell kind of chocolate bar do you normally eat?!"

The Boy responds: "Well, this one is a lot better tasting than all of the other powerbars that I usually eat. If it tastes good, then it's not healthy for you. And powerbars are not supposed to taste good, but this one tastes really really good."

Poor guy, he doesn't know what real chocolate is anymore. We need to do something about that. Like feed him Ghiradelli's newest creation - Milk Chocolate with Peanut Butter Filling.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

joke re lawyers and cops

A lawyer runs a stop sign and gets pulled over by a sheriff's deputy. He thinks that he's smarter than the deputy because he is a lawyer and is certain he has a better education.

He decides to prove this to himself and have some fun at the deputy's expense...

Deputy: "License and registration, please."

Lawyer: "What for?"

Deputy: "You didn't come to a complete stop at the stop sign."

Lawyer: "I slowed down, and no one was coming."

Deputy: "You still didn't come to a complete stop. License and registration, please."

Lawyer: "What's the difference?"

Deputy: "The difference is, you have to come to complete stop, that's the law. License and registration, please!"

Lawyer: "If you can show me the legal difference between slow down and stop, I'll give you my license and registration and you give me the ticket. If not, you let me go and don't give me the ticket."

Deputy: "Sounds fair. Please exit your vehicle, sir."

At this point, the deputy takes out his nightstick and starts beating the ever-loving crap out of the lawyer and says, "Do you want me to stop or just slow down?"

Sunday, July 13, 2008


The Boy took me out to lunch before he had to go to work today. We decided to walk to a local cafe and ended up at Toast Eatery. He wanted to try this place out because there is always a long line of people waiting outside, so it must be good to have all those people waiting.
And boy were people waiting. There's a sign-up sheet at the door, and we were like 15th on the list. It wasn't too long of a wait though, probably only 15 minutes for us today. The place itself is pretty small and cramped, but there's also outside seating and it was a corner resturant so there were two sidewalks to plate tables and chairs. Although it was sunny day and I would have enjoyed sitting outside, we got an indoor table when our name came up, and since The Boy was starving, we sat inside when they called us.

We ordered the "Nutella Madness" - a short stack of pancake with nutella, bananas and powdered suger. The Boy added syrup to it too. Can someone say sugar high? I love peanut butter nutella and banana sandwiches, so this Nutella Madness pancake dish was just right up my alley. If they could have spread some peanut butter on there, it might have been even better.
The other dish we ordered was the BLTA with french fries. The bacon was extra thick and extra crispy, just the way I like it. The french fries were extra cripsy too.

After a half hour of eating, we both had to stop because we were so full. As shown below, we could only finish half of the Nutella Madness and we were only able to finish one half of the BLTA (probably because I filled my gut with fries).
So there were leftovers for me to take home as The Boy sped off to work. And while he was slaving away at deposition transcripts, I had myself some Nutella pancakes for dinner.

It's a good thing that I walk the hills twice a day, five days a week. Otherwise, I think I'd blow up like a balloon.

dog eats cupcakes

One of my favorite bakeries is Teacake Bake Shop, in Emeryville, CA. I especially love their specialty cupcakes. So everytime I'm in the neighborhood, I make a point to stop by Teacake for some cupcakes.
There was also another reason why I purchased these cupcakes -- I wanted to give The Boy a nice little surprise treat when he got home from work (yes, he worked all day on Saturday and is currently working as I type). The Boy has been working long hours for a trial so I thought I'd cheer him up with some cupcakes. When I told him I got the cupcakes, he was excited and couldn't wait to come home to eat them with me.
The pretty little box holding the yummy yummy cupcakes.
Aren't they pretty? Looks sooooo sweet and delicious too!
My selection of cupcakes included: left - peanut butter chocolate cake with peanut butter buttercream; right -- pink velvet cake with cream cheese frosting...
...left -- Madagascar Bourbon vanilla cake with chocolate buttercream; and right -- banana chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream.
Okay, normally at this point in the post I would start describing how I devoured the cupcakes and ended up with chocolate frosting all over my face. And since I bought them as a pick-me-up gift for The Boy, I'd describe how he would only take a bite of each cupcake to taste, and then he would let me eat the rest. I did eat one cupcakte, the vanilla one because it was the most boring of the bunch and I needed a snack. Vanilla is vanilla, but the chocolate buttercream was to die for -- it wasn't too sweet or rich.
Unfortunately, I can't tell you how the other specialty cupcakes tasted because the dog below ate it all. Seriously. The dog ate my cupcakes.
This is Lexi, beloved dog belonging to one of The Boy's aunts who was visiting this weekend. The remaining three cupcakes (peanut butter chocolate, banana chocolate and pink velvet) were inside the box. The box was closed and inside the bag. The bag was sitting on top of a dresser that was about knee high.

I must not have pulled shut my door, because the next thing I hear is The Boy's baby cousin yelling "[Q-PIG]!!! There's someone in your room!"

I run to my room and see Lexi standing on my bed with her nose in the Teacake shopping bag. I let out a scream: "YOU ATE MY CUPCAKES?!?!?!" Lexi still had not gotten her muzzle out of the bag so I shooed her off my bed and examined the damage. The pink velvet cupcake was completely gone -- cupcake paper and all. The frosting no longer existed on either of the other cupcakes and Lexi had started biting into one of the two remaining cupcakes.

Needless to say, I was a tad pissed off. Just a tad. But what can you do?

The Boy later called me to give me a heads up on when to expect him to come home from work so we could watch a DVD together and eat the cupcakes. Sadly I told him, "Honey, the dog ate your cupcakes."