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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.

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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Days 1&2 – Reykjavik
Days 3&4 – West Iceland
Days 5&6 – North Iceland

We’re finally coming to the end of our journey in Iceland! Writing this now almost a year later is making me very nostalgic…

On the morning of the 7th day, we woke up early and drove to Glacier Lagoon. The color of the lagoon and the giant blocks of ice in it makes for a spectacular view like nowhere else on earth.

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We then went to Vatnajökull National Park and hiked to Svartifoss, also known as the Black Waterfall. The basalt columns surrounding the waterfall were so cool!

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In the afternoon we went to Fjaðrárgljúfur, a majestic canyon. It was one of my favorite places we visited in Iceland. The green of the canyon against the blues and yellows of the late afternoon sky made the whole place seem magical. It was unreal.

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We stayed the night in Vik, and we asked the hotel to give us a wake-up call if there were any Northern Lights that night. And indeed there were! We ran outside in the middle of the night and caught a very brief glimpse of the lights, and I was fortunate enough to capture this photo!

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The next morning, we got up and drove a short distance to the black sand beach near Vik. More basalt columns!

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Our next destination took a while to find since it was kind of unusual. I read online about this plane wreckage on the beach and we thought it would be really cool to see it. The plane wreck against the backdrop of grey clouds of the gloomy sky made for some very dramatic photos.

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Next up is another unusual place: Seljavallalaug, an abandoned swimming pool filled with natural hot spring water. It took a short hike to get there and it started drizzling on our way there, but the water in the pool was nice and warm.

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Definitely the coolest swimming pool we’ve ever swam in!

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After that, another waterfall – Seljalandsfoss.

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And then it was onto Geysir, a park with lots of geothermal activity.

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Saw a geyser erupting!

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And then it was yet another waterfall, Gullfoss. Very big waterfall!

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As the sun was starting to set we did a quick drive through Thingvellir National Park, only having time to stop a couple of times.

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We drove back to Reykjavik, where this whole adventure started, and stayed the night at a small hotel near the airport. We were far away enough from the city that we were able to see some more Northern Lights on our last night in Iceland.

Then the next morning, we said a very reluctant goodbye to this amazing country. We had such an amazing time and it will forever remain one of my favorite trips!

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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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Anybody home? Does anyone still read this thing? *Crickets chirping*

Well, this is awkward. I’ve fallen oh about 9 months behind on blogging. Oops. I guess this is what happens when you’re a dental student, even though second year was supposed to be the chillest of all of dental school. Anyways, I’m back and I will try my best to catch up on everything soon! Expect posts on my travels (finishing up Iceland – finally, lots of weekend getaways all around California, Los Cabos, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, Aruba, and most recently Colorado), my food adventures (oh god there are so many food pictures), and what I’d been up to at UCSF.

In the meantime, follow me on Instagram @wendandelion for much more timely updates on all of the things you’re used to seeing on this blog!

This week I’m wearing Zoya’s Flora, one of 3 colors I got from Zoya this year.

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It’s the perfect medium pink: not too bright, not too dark, not neon, just the prettiest Barbie pink.

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Application was great like all Zoya nail polishes. It took me 2 coats to achieve full opacity. It’s a lovely color for spring and summer and I can’t wait to wear it more!

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This is from a month ago but I wanted to share it! It features a bunch of thrifted pieces old and new.

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Top from Crossroads, Faded Glory pants from Walmart, ALDO purse from Crossroads, Naturalizer booties from Goodwill, necklace from Modcloth, sunglasses from a random store in Santa Cruz

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I got this really cute peplum top from Crossroads and I really love it. Peplum is such a flattering cut on any body type! Also got the black ALDO purse that was pretty much brand new. The pants I got – no judgement now! – from Walmart and they’re the best things ever! They’re Faded Glory jeggings and they look like pants and feel like leggings and they are amazing and cheap too. I bought them in like 5 different colors. The necklace is a new purchase from Modcloth and I’m hoping to wear it more with fancy dresses and nice tops alike.

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Days 1&2 – Reykjavik
Days 3&4 – West Iceland

We spent most of the morning driving to Akureyri, a large-ish town in northern Iceland. It’s quite a charming place and we spent some time just walking around town.

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There was a nice little botanical garden and we took a walk through it. We were really surprised to see so much green plants and flowers in the garden in Iceland in September, but the climate is actually really mild in Akureyri for being so far up north.

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Around sunset, we drove out to the nearby Goðafoss, Waterfall of the Gods. It was one of the most majestic waterfalls I’ve ever seen. Add the golden glow of the setting sun to the mix and you get this amazing view:

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For dinner, we went to Rub23, a seafood/sushi restaurant in Akureyri. We ordered a salad, a sushi platter, and dessert. Who would have thought that one of the best sushi we would have would be in Iceland?

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The next morning, we got up early and drove to Husavik for a whale watching tour.

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I had never had to put on so many layers in my life! The huge overall they gave us on the boat were so thick that it was hard to even move around. Here we are all bundled up over the near-arctic waters:

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Unfortunately, we didn’t see any whales that day, one of the very few disappointments of this trip. (New goal in life: see a whale in the wild.) But we still got a nice boat ride out of it, and we visited the whale museum in town afterwards.

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We left Husavik and drove on to Hverfjall, a ring volcano.

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We hiked up to the rim of the crater! It was so windy up there.

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After that, we drove to Lake Mývatn and took a short hike around the area.

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Then we went to Grjótagjá, a lava cave near Mývatn with a thermal spring inside. It used to be a popular bathing site until a couple of eruptions made the water too hot. We still dipped our feet in the water for a bit though.

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We left the area and drove on eastward to Seyðisfjörður, a quaint little town on a fjord.

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It was starting to get dark by this point, so we left and drove to our resting point for the night, Fljótsdalshérað. We stayed at the coolest Airbnb ever – a tiny little cottage on a horse farm. It was super cute and cozy!

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We hadn’t come across anywhere to eat that night, but have no fear – we brought cup noodles! Our fancy dinner that night:

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Here’s a better picture of our cottage taken the next morning. Is it not the most charming thing?

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Days 7&8 – South Iceland

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