Something Fishy

I was really excited to get back into a normal blogging schedule but sometimes life just gets in the way. I mentioned last post that something small happened to one of my family members. Well, last week my grandpa was admitted to the hospital after falling outside of his house. He suffered from a subdural hematoma and had to get Burr holes to help drain the hemorrhage. Good news is that he is doing so much better now and finally got moved from the ICU. My mom came down a few days ago and it was nice to have a helping hand in regards to hospital visits and etc.

After we took care of all the hospital stuff, I drove her to my aunts house in Marin where we had a fantastic dinner.

My mom brought down fresh box crab from Oregon and it honestly looks like something out of a Alien vs. Predator movie. My auntie Helen and my mom went to work and cracked open the meat out of two crabs so my cousin and I could make homemade sushi (!!).

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We also got this little fella ready to make for dinner. (just kidding, we’re not that Asian). (ps: I hope nobody gets offended by that comment)

Chewy is a grumpy bunny and is not too fun to hang around. I let him have his space.

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Annie and I have been friends since we were three years old! She moved across the street from our old houses and our moms became best friends. She is basically family and I love coming over and hanging around her house although I do not do it as often as I would like.

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I also just wanted to quickly show off these rolls we made. The triangle shaped ones are box crab + cucumber + avocado (basically a California roll) and the other ones are salmon + avocado.

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Since my mom has fresh access to salmon and crab, we had a seafood feast. I actually ate the salmon sashimi (which is a huge deal if you know me) because it did not have any fishy taste. Also, the wild-caught salmon came straight out of the water two days before it was on our plate. Baby steps for me!

Cannot forget the Chinese veggies either, they are so delicious with a little bit of salt and garlic.

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It is rare that my mom and I get any alone time together, so we had a nice afternoon after visiting my grandpa the day after. Normally we are on the move when she comes down to visit, but a few hours of downtime before dinner led us to grab ice cream cones at Bi-Rite (she got a scoop of ginger, yuck) and snap a tourist selfie at Twin Peaks.

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La Cocina

I had something important come in the mail today.

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But I can’t tell you about it until next Monday, sorry! To make up for my vagueness, I will show you something else that came in the mail!

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I have an obsession for books. Not just the stories in the books, but physically having a hard copy of a book. This is a reason why I don’t ever see myself getting a Kindle, no matter how convenient it is. There’s nothing like finishing the last line, closing the book and then letting out a big sigh. Right?

My sidebar has been showing the same book since I created this website. It haunts me every time I look at it because I forgot about it for three months and then got really lazy about updating it. It is next on my mental to-do list, I promise.

Since you are so interested in my history with books (read: falling asleep), I had to put a bunch in boxes because my small bookcase only allows me to showcase my newest or dearest ones. 🙁

I’m just going to wrap this up and tell you that my dream library has one brick wall and the rest of the walls are covered with books from floor to ceiling. That is all.

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Moving on, my coworker surprised me and bought me a bunch of my favorite Asian snacks. They’re probably filled with lead but they remind me of my sweet, sweet childhood. Have you ever had the pandas?!

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La Cocina (the kitchen in Spanish) hosts a food festival every year to raise money for their community kitchen. This is actually my second time going and it’s my favorite festival ever. It makes sense because food+friends+more food+seeing drunk people dance is an equation for a good time.

They hold a vote every year for the public to decide which vendors are going to be at the fair, which I think is really fun and gives a great turn out. There is a variety of food trucks, restaurants and sponsors that set up their booths and give us an option for a little bite, big bite or drink.

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I started with a small bite, tostadita de tinga.

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Delicious, but it only got me pumped and ready to eat everything in site. I didn’t get to snap a picture of everything I ate, but I did also enjoy a Korean taco (which had seaweed instead of a tortilla) and a bite of some ceviche.

Not going to lie, it did get a little hectic moving around. It took around 20 minutes to move one block and the whole fair was seven blocks total.

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With over 80,000 people in attendance, food being sold out is bound to happen. Luckily Abby an I only waited in line for ~30 seconds before the scissors came out.

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We really wanted to try the ramen burger (the next Cronut) but the line was ridiculously long. I’m actually surprised it took them so long to sell out!

Instead, we used and abused these bad boys.

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The drink tokens were so nice that I wanted to take one home as a souvenir. However, for $5 a pop, it made more sense to let it go and enjoy the outcome.

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To be honest, this darling coconut was one of my favorite things there. Thank you Whole Foods, for the hydration.

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We really lucked out with the amazing weather, all the delicious food we ate and ridiculous side show attractions. Text me to see videos, please, they will make your day. 🙂

Oh, and can’t forget the pho rolls. Stop it.

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Sunday was a little less intense, I went on my long run in the morning and picked my mom up from the airport in the afternoon. She had a layover in SF for a few hours AND it was her birthday! Talk about lucky for me.

After my run, I went to my friend T’s house because she did a little personal shopping for me. On Friday night, we met up for late night drinks and I grumbled about how me working early on Saturday interfered with my Saturday Farmer’s Market food run. She practically forced me to let her buy my groceries and to pick them up during the weekend and I obliged. Okay, she didn’t force me but she was very insistent and it’s hard for me to say no when people are stern with me. 😉

Kale, baby bok choy, mushrooms, eggplant, avocados, peaches, grapes, tomtatoes, pita chips, hummus, bolani and peanut butter.

FOR. $12. DOLLARS!!!! I hit the Farmer’s Market jackpot! She’s been going to the Alemany FM for over five years so she knows where all the deals are and made friends with all the workers. Talk about my role model!

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Last but not least, a picture of my family. I took my mom to Limon and she had a blast.

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Aren’t those sunflowers gorgeous? She absolutely loved them!

Ramen burger, what are your thoughts? What’s your dream library (pictures are always welcome!)?

Public Works

I finally received all my admissions decisions and happy to say I got into four out of five schools I applied to, with two of them being the ones on top of my list! I was driving home on Thursday after a long day of lab, when I opened my e-mail at a red light and saw the beautiful words:

“Congratulations, we are excited to welcome you to our school for the Fall 2013 Nutritional Sciences/Dietetics program!”

I did an embarrassing happy dance in my seat all the way home. The schools I applied to aren’t anything close to Ivy League, they were just State schools. However, California has such a budget problem with universities and all schools are so impacted. I thought I wasn’t going to get into any of them even though I worked my ass off the past 2 1/2 years. Now I have to choose between staying in San Francisco and going to a slightly less ranked school or moving down to LA to go to a more recognized school.

My day grew exponentially better when I came home to find out that Public Bikes was having a weekend sale! The bike I was lusting over was on sale for $200 less, it almost seemed like a sign from above that I had to go and buy it. I had a few days to decide, so I thought really hard if it was a smart decision to buy the bike and decided to just check it out on Saturday to see if I loved it in person.

After I got off work on Saturday, I dragged my poor boyfriend (who worked for 26 hours the day before) along so we can use his truck to bring my bike home if I ended up buying it. This was my second time going bike shopping since we went two weeks ago.

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Don’t mind if I do! Public shares it’s Valencia home with a cute furniture store. They were really busy with the overload of sale loving customers, so I looked around before I was helped. I ended up chatting with the founder of Public, it’s nice to see him still hanging out and helping customers.

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I decided on which bike I wanted, but didn’t get to bring it home. I had a minor surgery the week before that didn’t allow me to test ride any of the bikes, so we couldn’t figure out which size worked well for me. I ended up just paying for it to lock in my price, and will come back next Saturday to pick up my beautiful new bike. Swoon

After we were finished, we drove down to SOMA and ate at Holy Grill for tasty burgers.

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I’ve never heard of this place, but Chi’s friend owned it, so I figured I’d give it a shot. All the burgers are religious-inspired names, mi gusta!

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I ended up getting the Trinity, to much deliberation. When I opened my box, I must admit I was a little bit startled. This burger was huge!

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I should of put a quarter next to it for size proportions. It came to a surprise to both of us when I finished the last bite, I never finish burgers. This vanilla shake helped wash down all 1000 calories of that bad boy.

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Chi started getting cranky so we went home and I put him down for a nap (just kidding, babe) for two hours until it was time for dinner! My mom and her husband were in San Francisco during a seven hour layover from Oregon -> Hong Kong/Thailand, so it was great to see them before they leave out of the states for two weeks. We picked them up at my grandparents house, and took them to Cha Cha Cha‘s (on Mission St) for tapas.

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We got parking right across the street (!!). I feel like I always mention parking, but for anyone who has ever lived in or visited San Francisco, you know it absolutely makes your day when the parking gods are on your side.

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I love their exposed brick and hope to have it in my future house one day.

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Cha Cha Cha’s is a definite San Francisco staple, I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t heard or visited this restaurant before. They are famous for their Cajun Shrimp, which is a FAOT (Food and Other Things) must try! I could come here and just dip my bread in their cajun sauce all day and all night long. I found the recipe online, but I’m afraid to attempt it at home, fearing that it won’t come out as good.

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My second favorite tapa, the mushrooms. These are sautéed in some sort of white wine sauce. Excuse the blurry picture, the lighting in Cha Cha Cha’s is beautiful to hide a red face from their delicious Sangria, but horrible to take pictures in.

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My third favorite, the calamari, which my mom’s husband states is the best calamari he has ate in a long time. Let’s keep in mind that he is a fisherman, and has had his fair share of calamari.

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The chicken paillard, which also boasts a delicious sauce, comes in a close fourth. I never thought I would write so much about sauce, but each of these dishes seriously has amazing taste. Bread and sauce, baby.

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Last but not least, the spanish rice and beans.

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We got them to the airport in time, and Chi and I finished the night off with D’Jango Unchained. This movie continues to prove why Quinten Tarantino is my favorite director of all time.

PS: I randomly checked my RSS feed and saw I got my first subscriber sometime last week! So whoever you are, thank you so much for subscribing! It’s such a small accomplishment, but it seriously made my day 🙂

Hasta miércoles!

If you ride, what kind of bike do you have? What’s your favorite hometown restaurant?

A Visit From Mom

Valentine’s Day is coming up in the next two days, and love is in the air. I’m in-between the beginnings of a cold and an upcoming Microbiology exam, so I left all planning up to my boyfriend this year. I’m usually against all things cheesy, but there is something so undeniably sweet about Valentine’s Day that I can’t help but fold into tradition.

My mom came to visit last week and we had a blast. She is busy in Oregon raising her chickens and taking care of her new husband, so it is always a treat to get to hang out with her. We made it a tradition to eat at The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus once a year for as long as I can remember. It’s always nice to eat in the historic San Francisco building. (My favorite time to go is when they have the 80-foot Christmas tree inside the store during the holidays).

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Our lunch started off with an elegant complimentary chicken consommé and a flakey puff pastry. This little cup is traditional in French cuisine and was a nice way to warm myself up before we started eating.

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What made The Rotunda so special to me when I was younger was this popover and strawberry butter. It use to be the perfect, warm, flakey, melt in your mouth starter, but my expectations fell short this time. I hate to think that maybe I over imagined it in my head, but my mom agreed that it wasn’t what it use to be.

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My mom and I shared the hot pastrami sandwich and wild mushroom ravioli with edamame. I liked the pastrami more, even though I am not much of a sandwich fan. The food was good, but we agreed that we would end our yearly tradition this year; there are too many places in San Francisco that we haven’t gave our attention to. This meal wasn’t something to put in the books, but I will always hold a special place in my heart for The Rotunda.

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A bonus picture of my mom that she wanted me to share!

Any special plans for Valentine’s Day? Is there any restaurants that you have an attachment to?