Tag Archives: food
Day 2 of our San Diego trip started with us getting a quick bite of breakfast at 7-11, and then it was onto the bus to take us to SeaWorld! We did most of the rides (except for the really kiddie ones).
The Skytower offered great views of the whole park and the surrounding areas:
We also saw almost all of the animal exhibits, like this cute beluga whale:
And this walrus:
And this turtle:
There was this cute duck couple walking around while we had lunch. The male was following the female the whole time. So adorable.
As for shows, we saw Blue Horizons:
And Sea Lions Live:
The sea lions were so cute and funny!
And of course One Ocean with Shamu! (Fun fact: I play Shamu during a skit in English class in grade 12. I cannot recall what the skit was about and why Shamu was in it.)
We stayed pretty much until the park closed and took a bus back to our hotel. By then it was getting pretty late and I was starving. Good thing Yufei booked a dinner reservation at Salvatore’s that night, since it happens to be our 4 and a half year anniversary.
Salvatore’s is a very nice Italian restaurant. We were seated next to the piano player and we really enjoyed the music throughout our meal. We were also given 2 glasses of complimentary Prosecco after we were seated! Such a nice surprise. Their bread was also nice and warm and crusty.
We shared an appetizer of tomato, avocado, and mozzarella cheese, which they actually put onto 2 separate plates for each of us (a nice touch):
For my main dish I ordered a linguini pasta with crab:
It was hearty and spicy and really yummy. Yufei got veal:
We were too full at that point for dessert, so our meal ended there. It was a wonderful dinner – great food, service, and ambiance!
Yufei and I took a quick 3 day, 2 night trip to San Diego a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been wanting to go since the baby panda was born at the San Diego Zoo, whom I had been watching on Pandacam since the very beginning. So on the second week of April, we finally flew down to San Diego for a little vacation.
After we arrived, we took a bus to our hotel, dropped off our bags, and headed out. We had a quick lunch and then walked over to Balboa Park. We took the day pretty easy and just walked around the park, enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful scenery.
We thought about visiting one of the many museums in the park, but it was rather late in the afternoon at that point and we didn’t want to pay for admission then have to rush through the museum. In hindsight, I’m glad we didn’t do the museums and just relaxed.
In the late afternoon we took a bus back to our hotel (the walk was pretty long on the way there) and checked into our room. We stayed at the Keating Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter. The location of the hotel was pretty convenient, close to bus stops and has lots of restaurants and nightlife around the area. Our room was pretty barebones, what I would describe as industrial chic. They had all the necessary amenities though and served its purpose for a short trip.
After we rested a bit in our hotel, we headed out to get some dinner. I was in the mood for Mexican food, and we went to Fred’s Mexican Cafe, which was within walking distance to the hotel. The decor was interesting, very tropical and resort-y.
We had to wait for a booth, so we sat at the bar and ordered some blended margaritas. They were okay, a little weak and watered down. We got a booth a little while later. They brought some warm tortilla chips with salsa and they were delicious. Yufei ordered a carnitas burrito for his dinner:
And I got the baja fish tacos:
Both were pretty good and satisfied my Mexican craving for then (I’m kind of obsessed with fish tacos right now). After dinner we walked back to our hotel and rested for the night to get ready for day 2 of our San Diego adventure!
Since getting our own apartment and not having to deal with school after graduating from college, I’ve been cooking and baking more than ever before. Even then though, I’m kind of a lazy cook. If the recipe requires too many complicated steps or asks me to buy too many ingredients that I would never use again, I probably won’t make it. Despite these limitations, I’ve tried and succeeded at a lot of new dishes over the past few months. If you’re like me and enjoy simple, delicious, and wholesome recipes, then you’re in luck! I’m going to share a few of my favorite things to make and eat lately (in no particular order).
These are so delicious and baking is a great alternative to deep frying. I don’t have all the spices specified in the recipe, but you can season these fries however you want!
I got this recipe from my friend Jin, and I’ve made it a couple of times already. Yufei really likes this dish too. They’re a little labour intensive to make, but I find it fun to make these cute little cabbage packages.
And they taste so good! Very homey and perfect for a cold day.
I LOVE peanut butter. Kraft is my favorite brand but they only have them in Canada for some reason. Wahh. Sad face. Anyway, the recipe of course works with any kind of peanut butter. They get kind of crispy on the outside when baked, so good.
All foods are cuter when they’re tiny, right? These mini apple pies baked in muffin tins are no different. They’re actually kind of time consuming to make (especially if you want to make them all pretty like I do), but they’re so worth it! Best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yum!
I would make these way more often if portobello mushrooms weren’t so darn expensive. I don’t know why I have a fascination with pizza dough alternatives (see my previous post on this subject), maybe because I love pizza but am trying to eat healthier? Anyway, these portobello “pizzas” are so delicious. I skipped the leek in the original recipe and added some Italian sausage, but you can use whatever topping you like.
I baked cupcakes (ok so I cheated and made them from cake mix – but they were on sale!) and wanted to make a simple frosting without using powdered sugar, which I didn’t have. I found this recipe that uses regular granulated sugar, flour, butter (I replaced it with margarine), milk, and vanilla. It was easy to make and tasted pretty good! I think it tasted even better the next day for some reason. The texture and flavor were just better.
I also don’t have a piping bag so I did the old ziplock back with a corner cut out trip. Turned out pretty good, right?
Anyway, I hope you enjoy these recipes! Let me know if you try any of these! They’re all tested by me for their simplicity and deliciousness. If you want more recipes like these, follow my recipe board on Pinterest! I only pin stuff that I would actually consider making, so anything on my board passes my criteria for lazy yet health-conscious chefs. Happy cooking!
A few weeks ago, Yufei and I had a wonderful dinner at Pasion, a Latin American restaurant on Irving Street. I have ridden the train past Pasion countless times on my way to work, and I’ve always been intrigued, so it was nice to finally go eat there. Inside the restaurant, the atmosphere was cozy yet modern. A little after we were seated, we were presented with free jello shots. It turns out that they have different specials each day of the week, and Thursdays happen to be free jello shot night!
We started off with some drinks. I ordered a house sangria and Yufei got the Pasion colada mojito, but we ended up switching drinks because I loved Yufei’s cocktail. It had passion fruit puree in it and I’m a huge fan of passion fruit. It was just delicious. I liked it so much that I ended up having two of these throughout the meal. Just writing about it now makes me want to go back and have one right now!
We got an appetizer to share, a salad with dungeness crab, avocado, and potato. It was pretty good; I had my crab fix, haha.
Both of our entrees were fantastic. I took our server’s suggestion and ordered the grilled ahi tuna, with coconut risotto, sautéed spinach, pineapple chimichurri, and aji amarillo beurre blanc. It was so good. The fish was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The risotto was creamy and the pineapple give the dish a nice fresh kick. All the flavors and textures went really well together and it was such an indulgent and satisfying dish.
Yufei ordered the grilled estancia rib eye steak, with plantain chorizo hash, fried egg, cabrales demi glaze, and chimichurri. Can you tell he likes his protein? Haha. It had some of the steak and it was delicious. Yufei cleared his plate so I assumed that he liked it as much as I liked my entree.
Overall the meal was amazing. Loved the food and drinks, great service, and free jello shots. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back again soon but the prices are a little expensive. But I definitely think that it’s worth the splurge once in a while!
Yufei and I celebrated Valentine’s Day on the Monday after this year, and it was fantastic! I made us brunch with pancakes, eggs, toast, and chocolate covered strawberries in the morning:
Yufei got me flowers. Aww…
And at night we went out to Dixie for dinner. We had a voucher for a 5-course dinner with wine pairings for two, which was a great deal. The restaurant is located in the Presidio, surrounded by trees. It was dark when we got there, but I can imagine that it’s a pretty setting. The interiors of the restaurant was warmly lit. It was also really spacious, which I liked, and we got seated in a booth.
The kinds of food they serve I guess can be classified as new American with a southern twist. We started off with some canapés, which included hush puppies, deviled eggs, cured ham, and pickled okra.
The first course was a sunchoke panna cotta with smoked oysters, crispy fried brussel sprouts leaves & dandelions. Since Yufei does not eat shellfish, they made his without oysters. We were a little disappointed that they did not substitute something for the oysters, but oh well.
It was an interesting dish, unlike anything I’ve ever had before. I liked the crispy brussel sprout leaves, which kind of reminded my of kale chips. It was an interesting blend of textures and flavors. In the back of the photo you can also see their bread service of the night, a wild rive lavash flatbread served with black eyed peas. It was really good!
The next course was acorn grits with a soft poached egg, duck skin crackling and sea urchin butter. This time they replaced the sea urchin butter with regular butter for Yufei.
I should have taken the photo a few second earlier before the butter shavings all melted. They looked really pretty. It was a pretty good dish, not too memorable though.
Here are the first of the two wine pairings, a sparkling wine and a sherry. The last wine we got was a Malbec (not shown).
The next course was my favorite, the chicken fried quail with king trumpet mushrooms, spiced pecans, and bourbon butter. It was crispy and delicious and left me wanting more. But it was a 5-course meal after all so I guess the serving size was perfect.
And the final savory course for the night, grass fed beef with a red wine, mushroom & coffee sauce.
This was Yufei’s favorite course (not surprising since he’s a big fan of beef). I don’t really eat a lot of red meat but the portion was small and I enjoyed it. It was tender and pretty flavorful.
After the savory courses, we were presented with a small citrus granita palate cleaner before dessert. I kind of wanted a full serving of this, haha. So sweet and refreshing!
The dessert course, a banana foster soufflé with malted milk chocolate ice cream.
It was a nice light dessert to finish the meal. The little espresso cup the soufflé came in was too cute!
The meal overall was very good. The food was great and the service was very attentive. We tipped generously and even with the voucher, it was a pretty expensive meal. Everything was great, but I’m not sure if I would pay full price to come again.
After we got back home, we exchanged our presents for each other. Yufei got me chocolate truffles and these super cute foldable figures of us from foldable.me! Aren’t they adorable and funny? (Foldable Yufei is even wearing the same purple shirt as in the previous picture!)
Thanks to Yufei for spending this awesome day with me celebrating our 5th Valentine’s Day togehter :)
Just some stuff I did this month that I thought I’d share.
Chinese New Year lunch at my parents’ house. This is the first time I celebrated CNY with my parents in 5 years! Year of the Snake, which is my sign, which apparently means that I will have bad luck this year. Yeah, I never understood that either.
After lunch that same day, we took a walk in the Hayward Japanese Gardens nearby. It was a gorgeous day and the ground were really pretty too.
Finally rode in a streetcar after living in SF for 8 month! Yufei’s parents were visiting us and I got to do a lot of really touristy things in the city with them that I never got to do, this being one of them.
Beautiful sunset by the ocean.
Vista Point. A really nice place to view the Golden Gate Bridge from the north side.
Alcatraz! Another touristy visit.
Alcatraz offers some absolutely amazing views of SF. I like how you can see the streets go up the hill :)
We had some really nice warm sunshine last week, as you can see from the photos. But this week has been rather cold and yucky. I hope we get the sun back soon!
Last month, Yufei and I went skating at the Union Square Holiday Ice Rink right before they took it down for the year. Afterwards, we decided to have dinner around the area. It was Dine About Town that week, which is SF’s version of Restaurant Week in NYC. We looked up participating restaurants in the area and settled on Anzu. We didn’t have a reservation, so it was about a 45 minute wait. Luckily, Anzu is located inside Hotel Nikko, so we sat in the beautiful lobby and talked while we waited for our table.
Anzu is described as serving California cuisine with Asian flavors, whatever that means. The Dine About Town menu has a few different choices for each of the three courses. For appetizers, Yufei and I both got the seared ahi tuna. It was pretty good, though the serving size was really small.
For my main course, I decided on the oven roasted king salmon, with scallion gnocchi, Japanese eggplant, pickled turnips, and kaiyaki sauce. I really liked this dish. The salmon was very crispy on the outside and very flavorful.
Yufei chose the grilled hanger steak with mushroom ravioli and port wine reduction. He replaced the side of broccolini with garlic fries (so typical of him…).
For dessert, I got the pomegranate crème brûlée with macaron cookies. It was an interesting take on crème brûlée since the pomegranate taste made the usually sweet dessert more tarte and sour. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t the best crème brûlée I ever had.
Yufei dessert was a chocolate indulgent cake with grand marnier crème anglaise sauce.
Overall, the food was okay. Service was lacking a little (forgetting to bring my drink order, not refilling our waters, etc.). Even with the Dine About Town discount, we felt it was still a little expensive for a just-okay dinner, and we probably won’t be back again.