LA: Santa Anita hiking & eating (Nov 2016)

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Started off the morning with some baked goods from Duke Bakery. Their buns are huge. Look!

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They’re like buns for giants.

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We drove to Santa Anita Canyon.

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Los Angeles 2016

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Pretty easy hike to the waterfall (note: since there is a drought, there is a very little stream and not as much water as it used to have). Only 1.8 miles to Sturtevant Falls!

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Los Angeles 2016

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Los Angeles 2016

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After hiking, we went to the Westfield Santa Anita mall nearby for food.

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Side Chick had these Hainanese chicken over rice, but what I really liked was their soy sauce egg… The yolk was golden. I can’t stop thinking about it. I’d come here just to order some eggs.

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Los Angeles 2016

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Also inside the mall is Sweet Lab, which makes nitro ice cream and cereal balls infused with nitro.

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“Dragon’s breath”

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LA: Arts District, Korean ice cream, and finding angel wings (Nov 2016)

Uber and Lyft were SO cheap in LA (compared to NY). If you want to avoid looking endlessly for parking or spending a lot of money on parking garages, just take an Uber. I took one to Downtown LA.

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Chimney Coffee House.

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BEST. BURGER. EVER. They call this the “Rogue”.

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The “Rogue” sandwich has 2 eggs in it. TWO. Scrambled eggs and thai style fried egg, separated by juicy sage-black truffle pork sausage, cheddar crisp (omg crispy cheese), and sriracha yuzu mayo on a toasted house made milk bun. This combo is bomb. I was amazed at how all the flavors complemented each other and surprised my tongue at every bite.

After that, I was stuffed, but I had to get ice cream at Ihwamun.

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I got the citron and ingeolmi (their signature flavor). They’re known for their Korean flavors — try Choco Pie! Their matcha is also really good. Some of the best ice cream I’ve had.

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I always seek out wall murals wherever I go.

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The Arts District Co-Op reminded me of Chelsea market in NY. Lots of vendors selling their own unique clothing and jewelry.

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Finally found my wings.

After that, I took an Uber to Rowland Heights (20 bucks for 1 hour in traffic, crazy affordable right?!?!) and serendipitously found another set of wings.

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Zero Degrees.

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Boba ice cream.

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LOVE the unique bubble tea flavors here, and they come in a glass bottle as an option (+$1.50). Everything is so fresh and they don’t use powder.

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Water drop cake with matcha.

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Next up, Korean food at Junkabok by Mokkoji.

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They offer 3 set menus in addition to a la carte options: the Piglet, the Piggy, and the Pigzilla. I got the Pigzilla, of course.

It comes with: small stew or hot stone + small BBQ dish + seafood pancake + braised pork cartilage. It’s enough food for 3-5 people…

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Los Angeles 2016

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SOOOOO GOOOOOOD.

LA: tacos, santa monica, claw machines (Nov 2016)

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Top left: Tokyo Shrimp: tempura shrimp | avocado | spicy mayo

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Crispy Fish: panko crusted fish | blackened onions | garlic mayo

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Ya Mon: grilled fish | pineapple relish | jerk sauce

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Taj Mahal: coconut shrimp | curry sauce | diced red bell pepper

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Southern Decadence: fried chicken | bacon | BBQ sauce | ranch dressing | diced tomato

After eating these unique tacos at Mondo Taco, we headed to Santa Monica Pier.

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I got pooped on by a seagull after this.

Got some bubble tea (without the bubbles) at Macchiato.

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Went to Round 1, my favorite place for claw machines!

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Helluuu my babies.

LA: Irvine, Laguna, LACMA (Nov 2016)

My first stop after getting out of horrendous LAX traffic: Irvine.

Sit at the sushi bar at Taiko and tell the chef what you want. The sushi there was amazingly fresh and I loved everything we ate! Very affordable too.

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Los Angeles 2016

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At the Irvine Spectrum Center:

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Check out Honey & Butter and their unique macaron flavors!

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The matcha one was so good!

Right inside the same shopping center is Hello Kitty Cafe.

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Los Angeles 2016

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We drove to Laguna Beach, just in time for sunset.

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Stumbled upon a wedding shoot!

Back to LA…

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Fat Sal’s — I love that everything here is “fat” and it’s good to be fat. My fat sandwich had cheesesteak, chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, crisp bacon, fried eggs, fries, mayo, ketchup, etc. How could you resist?! Best sandwich ever. Also got the milkshake but it was too thick to sip.

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We headed over to LACMA to take pictures with the “Urban Lights”. If you’re only there for this outdoor exhibition, you can just park your car temporarily right outside where the signs are. We didn’t know this and looked for parking forever.

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Travelogue: San Francisco (Day 1 of 4)

It was the week between my mom and my birthdays. Perfect for a girls only getaway! We went from Monday to Thursday; I can’t imagine the amount of tourists that would crowd around the city on the weekends.

This was my first trip EVER to SF, and I learned many things along the way. I’m already planning my next trip out here!

Mistake #1: At SFO (San Francisco International Airport), I purchased two one-day muni passes ($14) for both of us. It was later that I rendered them useless; you would have to take public transportation at least 7 times in a day to get your money’s worth. In other words — NOT worth getting! We walked everywhere and took the cable car only once, just for s&g. We did take the buses maybe 4 times, but they’re only $2 each way!

Mistake #2: From SFO, I decided to take a cab ($60) to the hotel in Union Square only because I was with M. We could’ve taken the BART for $8.25 and it probably would’ve taken the same amount of time. I specifically chose a hotel close to the BART and cable cars for this reason, but I didn’t want M to complain on the first day.

After we checked into the hotel, we started our adventure!

First stop: Chinatown.

We walked from Union Square to Chinatown, which took only 10-15 minutes.

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We took some obligatory Chinatown arch photos and walked down Grand Street.

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Festive decorations everywhere due to upcoming Mid-autumn Festival in September!

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You can sneak a peak at the Bay Bridge.

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Yin Du Wonton Noodle
648 Pacific Ave
(between Columbus Ave & Beckett St)

M always reminisces about the wonton noodles in Hong Kong — New York noodles just aren’t the same. San Fran came pretty close!

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(Random lady sitting across the table from us eating delicious noodles)

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Next stop: Ferry Building/Pier/Embarcadero

We walked East towards the water — about 20 minutes. This was a farther walk, and not very scenic. But we got there with no damage!

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The Ferry Building Marketplace reminded me of Chelsea Market in New York, tons of little shops out in the open, blue bottle coffee, restaurants.

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We waited a bit for the F to get to Fisherman’s Wharf, but decided to walk along the Embarcadero instead and enjoy the view!

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Got some chocolate from TCHO along the way.

Stop #3: Pier 39

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It’s actually worth checking out — more shops, restaurants, and of course the famous sea lions! Just go past the carousel and follow signs to the stairs:

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Found them!

Stop #4: Fisherman’s Wharf

Walking further, we got to the wharf. It was chow time. Rather, clam chowder time…

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Walk up the stairs to Bistro Boudin:

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We got the famous bread bowl New England clam chowder — too much bread, too little soup.

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One of the best crabcake sandwiches I’ve ever tasted.

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Really tasty crabcake inside!

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Stop #5: From the Wharf, we walked over to Ghirardelli Square.

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We went into the chocolate store, aka chocolate galore:

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In addition to the ice cream and chocolate shop, there are also cute little boutiques that sell gift items and mementos.

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Jackson and Polk — I absolutely adore this gift boutique! They have really cute, endearing jewelry, bags and trinkets.

Next to Ghirardelli Square is the main stop of one of the cable car lines — Powell-Hyde. You can see huge lines form and wrap around.

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We saw the line for the cable car and decided to walk the rest of the way back to our hotel in Union Square — I don’t recommend this for those with weak knees; SF hills are no joke!

I underestimated my mom. She walked the whole way without complaining. We stumbled onto the other attraction that I hoped to see, Lombard Street.

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It was a beautiful walk, thanks to the great weather in SF. It was 70s and sunny everyday that we were there!