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Laundry On Sundaes

Every beginning is only a sequel, after all, and the book of events is always open halfway through.

Category Archives: San Francisco

I seriously LOVE living in the Bay Area – there’s just so much to do here no matter what you’re into! Here I’ll be sharing some of the fun stuff we did last fall and winter.

Treasure Island Flea Market

A fun place to check out local artisans and grab some food at food trucks! It’s held on the last weekend of every month and entry is $3.

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Cat Town Cafe

A cat cafe in America?! I knew I had to go when I first found out this place was opening in Oakland. The place is pretty small and we needed reservations when we went last year. There’s a cafe area where you can buy drinks and snacks, and a separate play room with the kitties. A must visit for cat lovers!

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Twitter Holiday Party at the Exploratorium

We had been to the old Exploratorium back when it was still at the Palace of Fine Arts, but last year’s Twitter holiday party was held at their new location at Pier 15, so it was the perfect chance to go check it out!

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All the exhibits were open but we didn’t have time to hit up everything with so many people there. Plus, there were delicious food to be had and drinks to be drunk, even ones made by the robot bartender:

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Will have to revisit some day soon!

Sonoma Coast State Park

I am absolutely in love with the California coast, and there’s no better place to see it in all its glory than this gorgeous park! Plenty of trails and beaches along a long stretch of the coast line.

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Devil’s Slide

Another place to admire the beautiful Cali coastline! This one is very close to SF and is an urban “hike” along a stretch of highway that’s no longer in use. Pretty cool place to check out!

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There’s also this cool abandoned bunker at the south end of the trail:

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Calistoga

We went on a relaxing weekend trip to Calistoga last winter. We stayed at the Roman Spa Hot Springs Resort, which had several indoor and outdoor hot springs. We also paid for a couple’s mud bath that was very interesting! A fun way to rejuvenate.

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We also visited a couple of wine tasting rooms, my favorite of which is the tasting room for Romeo Vineyards. The lovely garden setting filled with lights made for a very cozy and romantic evening!

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We also went hiking at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park on this trip. There are some really nice trails and we hiked for 6 miles!

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On the drive home, we couldn’t help it but stop and enjoy these gorgeous yellow flowers all along the road! Napa Valley is such a dreamy place.

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Cartoon Art Museum

A fun little museum in SF! We had a Groupon or some other voucher for it so we went to check it out. I had actually been there once when I was visiting SF back in 2011, but they have different exhibits all the time so it was a whole new experience.

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Sausalito

We went to Sausalito for brunch one morning and took a stroll to see the houseboats! Very quaint and charming.

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I feel like I still haven’t really explored Sausalito very much (seems like we only ever stop there for food haha) so I would like to come back and explore the city some more some day!

Grizzly Peak

Gosh, this is such a magical place. Located in the Berkeley Hills, it offers a beautiful view of the Bay Area. It was cloudy in SF when we went, but you could see the tops of the buildings just peaking out from under the cloud covers, which made it look like the city was floating. I would absolutely love to go back when it’s clear, or to watch the sunset!

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Hopefully this gives you some ideas for things to do in the wonderful Bay Area! There will be more posts like this coming soon because like I said, there’s no shortage of fun here!

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I’m solidly into my D3 year now, but I guess it’s never too late to share some tidbits and highlights from D2 year at UCSF!

Presenting my poster for my summer research project at UCSF Research and Clinical Excellence Day 2014. It was my first poster presentation ever! Had a really great experience.

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My dental frat family at the annual Delta Sigma Delta initiation dinner! We welcomed 4 new D1’s into the family. We’re a good looking bunch if I do say so myself.

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Fun girls night in with classmates. We cooked fresh mussels that were harvested illegally on Ocean Beach earlier that day!

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Group photo after doing dental education, screenings, and fluoride varnish applications at an elementary school in the Mission. For one of our classes last year, we went on 3 outreach events like this. Very rewarding even though we had to get up very early those days.

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Halloween last year! A classmate and I dressed up as Kevin and Russell from the movie Up!

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One of the best things I did last year was to join the board of ADEA (American Dental Education Association) at UCSF. I got to be a part of an amazing group of people and we put together so many great events. Here’s our board photo last year.

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And here we are again at the annual High School Outreach Conference!

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The theme of the conference last year was social media and we had this Instagram photo frame for the participants (and us) to take photos with!

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Another student group I’m a part of at UCSF is the Chinese Health Professional Students Association (CHPSA). Here’s the board at the annual Chinese New Year celebration!

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PaintNite with dental school friends!

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Delta Sigma Delta family dinner!

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CHPSA dental outreach event in Chinatown!

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Last year I had the honor of receiving a Craig Memorial Scholarship from Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU), the national dental honor society. Here I am with 2 of the other scholarship recipients in my class at the convocation dinner at the Cliff House.

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And one more DSD photo: me with my big and little at senior dinner:

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D2 year was definitely the best year in dental school! Not as much work as D1 year, much more free time, and before the stresses of clinic!

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Slowly but surely, I’m catching up on blogging! Here’s another restaurant review summary for this past winter.

We took a weekend trip to Healdsburg at the beginning of the year and ate at Spoonbar. Delicious way to start 2015! The chicken wing appetizer:

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Pork tenderloin and riblet:

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Next up we have Old Mandarin Islamic Restaurant. We discovered this Muslim Chinese place a while ago and it has since become a favorite spot for us. Super authentic and amazing food! The beef pancake and cumin lamb are some of our favorites:

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The crack fish was on point too! Covered in a thick layer of chili oil:

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We also tried their hot pot recently and it was fantastic as well. If you’re looking for authentic northern Chinese cuisine this is the place to go!

For this year’s Restaurant Week, we hit up 2 places. First we had lunch at Spruce. I really liked the space that the restaurant is in! Reminded me of a lot of places back in New York. Food was great and service very attentive. Pork loins:

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Scallops with ham and broccoli Romanesco:

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For our Restaurant Week dinner we chose Isa, a French restaurant in the Marina. Salmon carpaccio appetizer:

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My duck breast entree was fabulous:

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the food was great but we were not too happy with the service. We waited forever for our food and had to ask about our orders multiple times. They also did not discount our glasses of wine on the initial cheque even though we ordered them before the cutoff time. All of this made us think that they simply forgot to put in our order until we checked with them much later. Kind of put a damper on a otherwise great meal.

Next we have the Fly Trap, a Persian restaurant recommended by a Persian classmate of mine. We had a mini Columbia reunion here back in February. The food was all wonderful but sadly the only thing I managed to take a photo of was the baklava:

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Another ramen joint! We had wanted to go to Ramen Dojo but it was closed that day so we decided to go Himawari instead. It was pretty good!

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Lastly, Statebird Provisions! Yufei had been here before but I hadn’t, but I had actually unknowingly walked past it countless times going to and from my dentist! There’s no sign or anything on the outside so the only way you’ll know it’s there is the line that starts forming 2 hours before the doors even open, since reservations are notoriously difficult to obtain. We arrived about an hour before they opened and were still seated in the first batch they let in. The definitely food lived up to expectations and the dimsum ordering/serving style was fun. One of my favorite dishes of the night was this pork belly citrus salad:

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The desserts were great also – ice cream sandwiched and white chocolate parfait:

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Their menu changes all the time so I definitely want to return someday! If only it wasn’t so hard to get a seat there!

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Alright, some of these restaurants deserve their own posts but since it’s been so long since I’ve posted restaurant reviews, I really need to catch up and I’ve unfortunately forgotten a lot of the details from some meals, so I’ll be doing a bunch of summary posts on all the restaurants I haven’t written about yet.

First up is the one Michelin star Japanese restaurant Maruya, which we went to for our 6-year anniversary last fall. We had the Omakase (first time doing omakase!) and it was amazing. All the seafood was incredibly fresh and perfectly seasoned, and they even gave us a complimentary dessert at the end of the meal.

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Next we have one of the many ramen restaurants we’ve been going to over the past few months, Santa Ramen in San Mateo. There’s usually a wait out the door for dinner, but we’ve never had to wait more than 30 minutes (though they do run out of certain broths sometimes). Yufei likes their spicy miso broth:

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While I prefer the black garlic and tonkotsu broth:

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It’s a pretty good ramen spot, the noodles and nice and chewy and the broths are always rich and flavorful. If only it wasn’t so far away!

Alright, back to another one Michelin star restaurant, Coi. We went there for my 25th birthday dinner last year.

Sturgeon caviar with smoked egg yolk and creme fraiche, one of my favorite courses of the meal:

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Fried oyster for me and cucumber for Yufei (he called it the best piece of cucumber he’s ever had) on cracked wheat, tabouleh, fermented chile, and rau ram:

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Coconut mochi bun with kiwi and shiso:

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It was a good meal overall, but for the price it was a bit underwhelming and not all too memorable. I think there are definitely better meals out there in SF for the same (or less) money. Such as the nest restaurant on the list – the one Michelin starred Aziza (it was a good fall). It’s an innovative Moroccan restaurant in the Richmond. We went there on a random Friday night and had the tasting menu and I was blown away. I can’t remember everything we ate but honestly every course tasted amazing. The food was creative and the flavors were incredible. The presentation was beautiful for every course and the service was great as well.

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This was one of the coolest things I ever ate – a soup (?) encased in a gelatinous membrane. It’s literally a burst of flavor when you put it in your mouth! So innovative.

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It turned out to be one of the best meals I’ve ever had and I would love to go back some day!

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Finally have a bit of a lull in D2 year! I have a lot to catch up on on the blog. First I’d like to a quick food summary for the later half of the summer.

1. 5A5 Steak Lounge

Yufei and I went here for dinner after I took my boards! They were running a prime rib dinner special at the time, where for $39 you get a soup and salad, a 10 oz. prime rib, and a side. Really great deal and excellent food!

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We also chose to get desert, which was great as well.

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2. Hakkasan SF

Yufei wanted to come back here for his birthday dinner and I happyily obliged. We tried their Pipa duck which was really good, but I wished that the serving was larger.

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I also got their selection of house made macarons for dessert. It came with 7 different ones! Enough for dessert and breakfast the next day (don’t judge me for eating macarons for breakfast).

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3. Shabusen

We were in Japantown and came across this place when looking for a place to eat dinner. It was just okay in terms of food and service. For shabu shabu I still prefer Nabe, which luckily is 2 blocks from where we live.

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4. Isla Restaurant

Technically it’s in San Bruno, but it’s the first Filipino restaurant I’ve been to (and won’t be the last!). Food was really good with generous serving sizes.

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We were really full already but had to get a halo halo for dessert!

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5. Outerlands

Been wanting to go to this Outer Sunset brunch spot for a while now, and we finally dropped by after a morning run to the beach. As expected, there was quite a long wait. But the food was on-point and I really liked the decor of the place.

Levain toast:
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Yufei’s dish… some kind of egg dish with rice and pork:

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Savory Dutch pancake:

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They ran out of the eggs-in-jail by the time we were seated, so I’d have to go back and try that!

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Can’t believe my super long summer is almost ending! I’m frantically trying to finish up my summer research project, submit the abstract and finalize my poster… because next Friday Yufei and I are leaving for a week in Iceland! It’ll be my last big summer adventure and I’m so beyond excited for it.

Some other news since last time… I passed boards! I started to get really worried when everyone who took it the same day as me (or even after) started getting results in the mail and I was still waiting, and I called them and found out that it must have gotten lost in the mail. So they had to re-send it and I finally got it 5 weeks after my exam. I felt pretty good about it afterwards so I wasn’t too worried about passing, but the wait was agonizing! It would have been so nice if we got instant results like the DAT (man that was so great). But now that it’s done, I can relax a bit and enjoy my D2 year (supposedly the most chill year at UCSF according to upperclassmen).

We celebrated Yufei’s 24th birthday last month! We had dinner at Hakkasan and then drinks with friends at Local Edition. One of the presents I got him was this scratch map where you scratch off places you’ve travelled to. Since we love traveling together I thought this would be a good way to track where we’ve been together.

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Really puts into perspective how much of the world there is left to see!

What else… we went to the annual Twitter picnic last month. It was such a gorgeous day, and since we don’t get many of those in the summer months in SF, I of course didn’t use sunscreen and got burnt.

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Afterwards we went to check out the Wave Organ, which was nearby.

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There was even this nice little stretch of beach facing the city!

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I also got my first haircut since my perm last year. I went back to Betty at Sally’s Salon since I really trust her. She got rid of my dead ends and got some layers in there, and I asked for side swept bangs. My hair now feels much lighter even though it’s still long. I’ve been putting it up in a ponytail more often since it’s not as heavy and the bangs frame my face nicely.

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That’s about it for now. Some upcoming posts to look forward to include a summer restaurant summary, my recent baking adventures, and LA trip!

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Yufei and I had dinner at Firefly back in July. It’s in a neighborhood we don’t go to often, but I needed to pick up the ceramics Jenny and I painted from the studio, so we met up for dinner there.

Complimentary bread with bean spread, very unusual.

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Yufei’s appetizer, a sweet a delicious corn chowder.

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My appetizer of shrimp and scallop potstickers. They were pretty good, but I still find it strange that western restaurants have Asian dishes for appetizer (spring rolls, etc.).

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Fried chicken entree for Yufei. It was a pretty big serving so he only ate half and saved the other half for my lunch the next day.

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My entree of sea bass. It was just okay, a bit bland and under-seasoned. I wished it had a more flavorful sauce.

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Cute little frosted jar on each table.

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Desserts: chocolate crepes and peach tart. They were both really good, a nice note to end the meal.

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Overall the food at Firefly was just average, with the soup and the desserts being the highlight. The service was nice though; they had forgotten Yufei’s beer order and comped it after we reminded them. Probably won’t go back unless we’re in the area again.

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