Arepas Para Mi

I originally wrote about The Palace when I tried their “baller on a budget” tasting menu. Um, five courses for $50? Sign me up.

A few weeks ago, I heard through the grapevines that they were opening for brunch and I wanted to check it out. I am a fan of Chef Manny and was interested in what he was going to bring to the table.

You should already know that I had to bring my tasting team with me.


I gave away what we ate in the above picture, but the first dish to come out was an eggs benedict with pork (I cannot remember which cut for the life of me) and arugula. No brunch is complete without a runny yolk somewhere in the mix.


See? How magical does that yolk look? The best part of eating runny eggs is cutting into the albumen and having the yolk flow all over your plate like hot lava.


The menu leaned very Argentinian and their focus are arepas. We ordered two, one steak with avocado and the other one chicken. I never had an arepa before so I could not compare it to anything but I thought they had good flavor. It hurts me to say but I think it could have been executed a little better.


I read somewhere that they were offering steak tartare but did not see it on the menu. Katerina, the wife of Chef Manny, took care of our table and I asked her if they would be offering it soon. I was so happy when she informed our table that the chef might be able to accommodate my request.

Chances are that it is going to be a good day when I get tartare before noon.


The Palace has an open kitchen and I love watching the talent behind the counter. Here is a picture of the owner/chef Manny and a member of his support staff.


Us girls spent the rest of the day BBQing and I could not help but show off my godson. I really do not care about dogs at all (especially little dogs) but he is just so sassy.


How do you feel about runny yolks? Could not live without them.

Have you been barbecuing lately? I would normally answer no because my hair smells like meat after but we actually have been taking advantage of the grill in the backyard lately.

About Me

thomas keller and me

Hello world! My name is Tara and I want to welcome you to my little bubble of the internet. I find it very hard to talk about myself without feeling overwhelmingly narcissistic, but after blogging for a year I came to a realization that my about page is uncomfortably dry and not really descriptive of the person I am. With that in mind, I hope you learn something new about me by the end of this read!

I was born and raised in the beautiful (and in my opinion, the crème de la crème of cities) San Francisco! I would not mind living here forever if everything goes my way. In fact, I love my town so much I even wrote a virtual tour guide for you readers.

Can you guess my ethnicity? I am a Eurasian mix of Chinese (mom) and German, French and Polish (dad). Yes, I know I look Latin or Middle Eastern and it is so fun to always see the shocked expressions on people’s faces when I start talking in Chinese!

I’m currently going to school for Nutritional Sciences/Dietetics in hopes of becoming a Registered Dietitian. I have about a year left of undergrad and then I am off to do my Masters. I would love to share more specifics but even a 1% chance of jinxing myself makes me nervous. 🙂


When asked about long-term goals, I can only think of three things in life that I really need. A rewarding career, a happy partner and my child(ren) to grow up with good morals. Everything else will fall into place if it is meant to be.

My bucket list ranges from little things like walking the Golden Gate Bridge (I seriously need to get on that) all the way to seeing the Aurora Borealis and doing a TED talk.

I am the self-dubbed Ikea master. Some people like running or meditating to relieve stress. Me? Building dressers and bed frames is all the zen time I need. Just hand over the Allen wrench and power drill and I am ready to go.

To say I eat out too much is an understatement. In fact, this blog would be very empty if it was not for all the fantastic restaurants I get the pleasure of dining at. As a person who has taken the secret food-lover oath, I promise to treat each and every plate with dignity, and love each and every carb, protein and fat the same. Well, hopefully they are whole grains and unsaturated fats but that is a topic for another day.

I have enough baggage to fill a whole room and it is hard sometimes but I am inspired to fill my life with joie de vivre and make time to stop and smell the flowers. It really makes a difference. (okay, that is enough with the clichés)


Like everyone else in the world, I like to travel. Surprising, right? I have not explored the world as much as I would like, but here are a few glossy pictures for you to look at since I started writing posts-
-China: Guangzhou (where my family is from), Chengdu & Jiuzhaigou (one of the wonders of the world), Leshan & Mount Emei (biggest Buddha in the world)
-New York: In Aug ’13 and Jan ’14
-Southern California: Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.

I am also so humble to be able to do pretty cool things because of this blog, such as…
-Being able to attend the Nespresso Grand Chef Rendezvous event where Michelin starred chefs from around the world prepared a six course dinner. Also being gifted this beautiful Gran Maestria.
-Attending food events like the Burritt Room tasting and Smashburger opening.
-Reviewing products like Morning Rounds and Zabada Cleaning Supplies.
These are just a few of many opportunities that have come my way and I am so grateful to have you. Without everyone reading and being interactive, I am honestly just talking to myself in an empty room.

If there are too many posts to go through, I give you a TL;DR version of my whole 2013 year. You are welcome.

I cannot really think of anything else but feel free to e-mail me or use the contact page! I answer everyone’s e-mails and love hearing from my readers. Cannot say thank you enough for letting me rent at least a second of space in your brain!

Some Explaining

Can we pretend it is last Monday? That way, this post will make a little more sense and not seem so stuck in the past. I feel really bad about not blogging last week but my real life always comes first. Truth is, I have a Biochemistry exam tomorrow and have been studying for it like it is my job, I even got an A level chemistry tuition to help me with this. Not to mention all my other obligations such as 10+ hours of volunteering every week, working and my three other classes. This semester being overwhelming is a bit of an understatement.

However, I know that all work and no play works for very little people, so I wanted to share some of the cool stuff that I have weaving in and out of my crazy schedule.

I think I mentioned in my Chinese New Year post that our celebrations lasts for two weeks and we ended the night with one of the best CNY parades in the nation. I was lucky enough to not have to stand in the cold outside and watched it above from an art gallery that had a great view of Post St.

Pictured below is the finale with the 250 ft dragon and the lions helping scare off the bad spirits for the new year.


Abby and I stayed warm with our open-bar plastic cups.

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We also passed time by looking at all the cool pieces that were hung on the wall.


The best part of the night was having the pleasure of sitting on this awesome rocking chair made out of wine corks and yarn.

The title of coolest chair in the world is probably my 1971 Herman Miller original Eames lounge chair and this is officially the second.

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On President’s Day, I snuck out of school in between classes and had lunch on the beach with one of my favorite people in the whole world.

Our beaches are nothing like SoCal’s, but they are not too shabby either.


This extremely spicy Bloody Mary was probably not the best decision before heading back for a three hour lecture on “What is Health?”, but it felt so right at the time. I usually do not order cocktails, but this hit the spot and helped calm down the mild anxiety attack I was having about school.


A classic American burger with white cheddar cheese and garlic fries was another thing I needed.


Also just one bite of these crispy beer battered fish and chips.


Great views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Palace of Fine Arts (daytime view here) from Jacq’s roof also helps out when having a long day


and a cheese plate being put together by Maresa never hurts either.


Or it could be the wine. It is probably just the wine.


I am hoping to have a recipe posted on Thursday because it is long overdue. I am excited. 🙂

Also a congrats to Bobbie S. for winning our last giveaway!

What are your favorite things to do when you feel over your head?

Made any crazy concoctions lately?