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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.

Tag Archives: french

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:


Pork tenderloin and riblet:


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:


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


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:


Scallops with ham and broccoli Romanesco:


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


My duck breast entree was fabulous:


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:


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!


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:


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


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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Portland – Part 1

After spirit tasting, we stopped by a little bar/cafe/grocery store to grab a beer and watch part of a World Cup game. Then we took a bus to the International Rose Test Garden, a huge garden filled with blooming roses of every kind and color. It was beautiful.


It was still much too early for our dinner reservation then, so we stopped by Powell’s City of Books for a while.


It was a huge bookstore that takes up a whole city block, and we just browsed the books and read on a bench to kill time. Then we headed to dinner at Le Pigeon. We decided to get the 5 course tasting for a pretty reasonable $75 per person. Some of the highlights of the meal include the first starter, the Hawaii-Foie-O, with smoked foie gras, shoyu chicken, pineapple, and macadamian nuts.


One of the entrees, a pork chop with endives, goat cheese, a delicious mustardy vinaigrette.


And the second part of dessert, their famous foie gras profiteroles with caramel sauce and sea salt. It seems strange to me at first to use foie gras in a dessert, but it was really good. Glad Gotta take advantage of foie gras whenever I leave California!


And I just had to share these cute little chocolates with a pigeon print we got at the end of the meal. How adorable!


We were totally stuffed at the end of the night. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much in a day before (and not very healthy either, with doughnuts, fried chicken and waffles, and foie gras). We decided to work off some of the calories and walked back to our hotel across the river.


The next day was our last day in Portland, and we had a few hours in the morning before we left. We walked to see the statue Portlandia, the second largest bronze statue in the US after the Statue of Liberty.


Then we walked around a mall for a bit, bought some souvenirs for my parents, and got frozen yogurt. Then we packed up and went to Union Station because we were taking Amtrak back to SF! Yufei is kind of obsessed with trains and had been really looking forward to the journey back. We had a roomette, which had a bed on the bottom that converts to 2 seats, and bed that folds down on the top.


The train was pretty nice, with a lounge car with windows for views, a dining car, and even a small theatre. The food onboard was just ok (breakfast was probably the best meal I had) and I didn’t sleep very well on the top bunk (I felt like I was about to roll off the narrow bed whenever the train turned even though there were barriers preventing falls), but it was an interesting experience overall.


Our Oregon trip was a wonderful getaway and I was so sad when it was over. Thankfully it won’t be our last travel adventure this summer. Stay tuned!

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I bought a Travelzoo voucher for Chouchou Bistro a while ago and finally made a reservation for dinner a couple of months ago (so behind on restaurant review blogs!). It wasn’t too far from our apartment so we walked there. It was warm and inviting inside:


For appetizer, Yufei got the Assiette de Fromages, which came on the cutest palette plate. It was so adorable I wanted to steal it.


I got the salade de crabe, which had avocados, one of my favorite combos with crab. There was lot of chunky pieces of crab in it and it definitely satiated my craving for crab for a while.


For his entree, Yufei got the filet mignon with truffle mashed potato and zucchini in green pepper corn sauce.


And I had the Cuisse De Canard Confit Wellinglton: duck leg confit with mushrooms duxelle, diced potatoes, cherry tomatoes in garlic, shallots, and parsley, with maple vinaigrette. It was interesting in that the duck was wrapped in this puff pastry (almost like a duck confit en croute?). It was delicious and the serving size was huge (but I finished it all!).


And we shared a dessert of crème brûlée:


The food and service were both pretty good, but without a coupon I’m not sure I would come back since I’ve had better French cuisine in the city.

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Day 1

Day 2 in NYC was quite packed indeed. Two years ago, Yufei and I had lunch at Nougatine and for this trip, we decided to try Jeans-Georges.


We both decided to get the 2-plate tasting of spring. Before our first course we got a trio of amuse bouche, the specifics of which are escaping my mind now a month later. But I do recall them being very delicious. In the background you can see my house made passionfruit soda.


Yufei’s first course, butternut squash soup with black trumpet mushrooms. It was really good and I stole quite a few spoonfuls.


My first course, Nishiki risotto with peekytoe crab, nori and key lime. It was really savory and delicious.


For the main course, Yufei got the beef tenderloin with brussel sprouts and mashed/pureed something.


I got the black bass crusted with nuts and seeds with sweet and sour jus. I really liked the flavor of the jus and the fact that it also came with a nice medly of veggies. The fish was also cooked to perfection, and the crust was a nice addition.


We decided to get a dessert to share and chose the tasting of chocolate: white chocolate ice cream with yuzu sorbet; milk chocolate custard with piedmont hazelnuts, and candied orange; and their classic warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.


And of course there’s always more food after the last course – petits fours. House made vanilla bean marshmallows and a selection of candied fruits, chocolates, and macaroons.


Everything was delicious at Jeans-Georges and the service was impeccable too. The only regret I have is that, now, looking back at my post about our meal at Nougatine, I realize that we ordered a lot of similar dishes. For instance, Yufei also had a butternut squash soup and I also got a bass at Nougatine, and we also had the warm chocolate cake. If I had reviewed that meal before we went to Jean-Georges, I probably would have ordered dishes that I hadn’t tried before. Oh well, I guess this means at least we’re consistent in what we like!

After lunch, Yufei went back to the hotel and I walked across Central Park (partly to walk off some of my big lunch, partly because it was tricky to get to via transit, and partly because I miss walking in Central Park) to meet some college friends at Alice’s Tea Cup. I got distracted by some street performers on my way:


We went to Chapter III on 81st and had to wait a bit for a table of 4 at 2:30 in the afternoon. I decided to get a small pot of tea and 2 scones. The passionfruit black tea was really good. I got a sweet scone and a savory scone – blackberry and parmesan and capers. They were good too but really big; I thought they would be more dainty, but I guess I shouldn’t complain about getting more food for my money. My friend Jin was a big more hungry and got the Nibble, which was a pot of tea, a scone, a sandwich, and a platter of cookies. There was definitely more food than just a nibble.


We had a really great time chatting and catching up on each other’s lives. You’re looking at 4 future health professionals right here!


After we left Alice’s Tea Cup, we walked around a bit and checked out a grocery store, an H&M, and a Goodwill nearby. Everyone was pretty tired so we parted ways and I went back to the hotel. Yufei was having dinner with some of his friends so I just rested in our room for a couple of hours.

It was getting late when Yufei got back and I was getting hungry again, so we decided to go to the nearby Pony Bar for some food and beer. It was surprisingly empty for a Sunday night


They had a pretty interesting beer selection (listed on the scoreboard-looking screens in the picture above).


We got a couple of beers and also some small bites to eat and called it a night!

Day 3
Days 4 & 5

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Yufei and I had a lovely dinner at Chapeau last Friday. It’s a cute little French bistro in Inner Richmond, a short bus-ride away from where we live. The dining room is lively yet intimate, and we got seated at a nice little table in a corner.


We both decided to get the prix fixe menu, where we get to choose our own 3 courses. After we placed our orders, we received bread and complimentary cauliflower soup served in expresso cups.


For Yufei’s appetizer, he got the creamy roasted chestnut soup, with duck fat croutons, crème fraîche, and white truffle oil. I had a couple of spoonfuls and it tasted really good (I’m a huge fan of chestnuts but had never had it in soup form!).


I got the trio of salmon (gravlax, tartare, and caviar), with egg mimosa, fried capers, crème fraîche, and micro herbs with lemon dressing. It was absolutely delicious and beautifully presented.


Our glasses of wine and pretty fresh flowers on the table.


For entree, I got the canard au miel & aux épices, which was a duck leg confit and pan seared duck breast, with celery root, braised bok choy, honey, and spiced duck jus. Yufei had the filet mignon, with pommes de terre Landaise, king trumpet and oyster mushrooms, and sauce à la Périgourdine.


We both enjoyed our entrees and I loved how mine had 2 different kinds of duck in it.

And for dessert, Yufei got the warm Valrhona chocolate cake with banana flambée, rum-raisin ice cream, and caramel sauce.


I got my go-to dessert at French restaurants, the Tahitienne vanilla bean crème brûlée.


I was so stuffed from the meal that I couldn’t finish my dessert, even though it was so scrumptious.

I thought it was so cute that they send the check to your table in a hat (Chapeau means hat in French).


All in all a wonderful dinner. I would love to be back!

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Part 1

The next morning we got up early and got breakfast at the inn, then headed out to Point Lobos State Reserve. It was a gorgeous day and the coast was beautiful.



We saw a lot of wildlife, such as harbor seals, sea lions, and sea otters, in their natural habitat, which was really cool. After hiking around for a bit, we left and went to the nearby Gravity Garden, which was basically the garden of this artist who stacks rocks. It was pretty interesting.


After that, we got lunch nearby and went back to Carmel to explore the town a bit. It’s such a charming little place, full of quaint little alleyways and courtyards.


We also had a voucher from the inn for wine tasting at the tasting room of Schied Vineyards, so we stopped by for a tasting and bought a bottle.


Since we missed the sunset the day before, we made sure to go down to the beach early this time. Unfortunately, it was super cloudy and so we got another sunset fail. Oh well.


We rested for a bit back at the inn before going to dinner at Andre’s Bouchee, a little French bistro. We each got an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert. I decided to get the appetizer special of the night of wild mushrooms, pine nuts, and artichoke hearts. It turned out to be a good choice because I loved this dish. It was so simple but so delicious.


Yufei got the cream of mushroom soup with white truffle oil.


For my entree, I got the grilled sea bass with lime and thyme sauce. This was a bit underwhelming after the great appetizer and was just ok.


Yufei’s ribeye was good though. (Side note – I still have never ordered a steak for myself. I always just steal bites of Yufei’s steak. I need to get myself a steak someday!)


For dessert, Yufei got the cream puff with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.


And I got the duo of crème brûlée, one vanilla and one chocolate. Both were amazing.


We ate every last bite of everything and were stuffed by the end of the meal.


It was a wonderful dinner to end a great trip!

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So here’s something I thought I’d never say: I joined a fraternity! To be more specific, I’m now a member of Delta Sigma Delta, the largest and oldest international professional dental fraternity. I learned very quickly that at UCSF, almost everyone joins one of the three frats on campus, not only for the social aspect but also because they offer a lot of academic help and support. So me and most of my close friends at UCSF joined Delts because they’re awesome.

We had our initiation dinner at L’Olivier about a month ago. It was so nice to see everyone dressed up all fancy after seeing them in scrubs all the time at school.




My Delts family! My big sib Jenny couldn’t make it that night, so here I am with my grand-big and great-grand-big, and my “cousin” (we share the same grand-big).


My extended family! It’s a pretty complicated family tree that I still haven’t quite figured out haha.


Notice Dr. Ho in the last photo. I talked about his absolutely amazing keynote speech at our white coat ceremony here, and I feel so proud and fortunate that Dr. Ho is a Delts member! Apparently everyone else also feels the same, which resulted in the photo below:


Dr. Ho with almost all the D1 Delts!

After dinner, a bunch of the D1’s went to the movies to see Catching Fire (which was awesome and so much better than the first movie). It was such a fun night!

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