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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Xmas Vacay in Shanghai!

This is what I am gonna look like when I walk through security at LAX ... wearing nothing but some strategically placed Xmas tree pine needles... Raawwwrr!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ikko Sushi: Part Deux

Ikko Sushi in Torrance is having an omakase special for the holidays... make sure you call at least one day in advance of your special holiday dinner :)
Isn't this a beautiful picture? This is seafood chowder with a puff pastry top.
Sashimi with seaweed that tasted like perilla leaves... I was so puzzled when I first tasted it. I was like, I know this flavor... where did I taste it before?
Star of the evening, foie gras and kobe beef meatloaf... sorry the picture isn't so clear but it was so flavorful... mmmmmmm....
Taro and crabmeat...
Dessert: sweet potato pudding with sesame and chestnut.
Love the decor too. They have these simple cotton screens between the tables, gave the place a sense of mystique and also afforded diners privacy. Highly recommended :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bufala Cheese

As I was looking at the menu, I asked our waitress, what is Boo-Fa-La cheese? Oh, it's buffalo! Mmm... look at all the yummy prosciutto ham hanging on the wall...
Lots of cherry tomatoes... can you see my reflection?
My lunch, burrata cheese, grilled sweet potatoes, grilled chestnuts, crushed berries drink...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Report Card

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has released the results of its 2009 Program for International Student Assessment test of 15 year old students in 65 countries. America is ranked 23 in Science, 17 in Reading and 31 in Math. Doh. Not good. To add insult to injury, I see this comment: "Now I see why the US always says 'we're number 1.' It's not arrogance, it's the highest number they can count to." Ouchie! We are not dumb, really, we can count to more than 1. Let's see, 1, 2, 3, 4... arrrgh, running out of fingers on my paw. Let me try again, 1, 2, 3, 4... arrrgh! We are not dumb! We are number 1 and we can see Russia from Alaska, can you, huh? Eatcha heart out.

Monday, December 6, 2010


As I flipped through a Target flier today, I was amazed at the incredible array of toys children have these days. If I were still 5 years old, I think I would've really become Princess Cat and shrieked -- I want everything NOW! Hmph!

But I spent my early years in China and it was poor. I clearly remember all the toys I had -- a pink plastic tea set, a set of colored blocks, a doll with early female pattern baldness cuz Baby Cat had pulled its hair out -- and those were it. We had to use our imagination to play, to make the most out of the limited resources we had. We'd build castles, homes, palaces with the blocks. Then my sister and I would draw the princesses with their puffy dresses and empresses in their imperial gowns.

We had to proactively create fun for ourselves. If we get tired of playing with the blocks or tea sets, we had to come up with another way to play. We didn't have the option of discarding them and tell our parents to buy new toys. In a way, I am glad we didn't. Because when you have so little, you actually start to take the time to appreciate things. If I had all the toys at my disposal, the pink tea set would probably be lying somewhere in the bottom of a huge toy bin and forgotten. But instead, I see a little Chinese girl sitting in the corner of the room with her pals, sipping tea with their little pink tea cups.

Photo courtesy of

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Meowry Christmas y'all :) K's Christmas tree... so beautiful.
Silent night, holy night... Peace on Earth.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


"Similarly, life is a tennis tournament. We may become exhausted by each strike from the opponent and each losing point. But what separates the winners from their opponents is their ability to keep a positive, determined mentality no matter how hard the blows hit them, because ultimately, the few points we lose during the fight do not matter when it comes to winning the entire match."

--- S.S.

I was helping S with an essay she is working on, and got a bit teary eyed when I read this line. Who would know that the words of a seventeen year old would lift my spirit up. S, you are a wonderful young lady and we are all so proud of you.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Bubbly soon tofu, perfect for a cold day... burrrr... S, best luck with your applications :)


One of my happiest memories in college was a fieldtrip to Gettysburg with Professor M and a group of classmates. It was a crisp autumn morning and J and K had woken me up at the crack of dawn. I remember us standing in front of the dorms shivering in the cold waiting for the school van... Prof M showed us the geography along the way, we saw the major battlefields (couldn't believe the two sides were that close! Would I have been brave enough to march into the enemy fire?), then we had a picnic in the hills near the battlefield, the foliage was beautiful, there was a little stream nearby and beavers had built up several dams... K died a few months later. K, are you doing okay? We are fine here, fumbling through life as usual, but we are fine...
Unattributed image of Gettysburg found on the web

Monday, November 29, 2010

Brunch on the West Lake

A brunch with a view...
Butterballs... sorry had to show off my photography skills :)
This is called the Hunterman's Breakfast... piggy-hood here i come!
Beautiful day, beautiful lake...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tomato and Egg Noodle Soup

Ahhh, nothing beats a bowl of homemade tomato and egg noodle soup on a cold winter day... warms the body and the soul.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Belated Thanksgiving

Look at this beautiful table setting! Lobsters and corn on the cob for thanksgiving... Mmmmmm.
Photo courtesy of L

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cat is Bad

Whatcha looking at? Ever seen a grouchy Cat? Yeah that's me. Give me your turkey, your stuffing, and your pumpkin pie... NOW! Argh, tired of being nice, sweet Cat, I am gonna be a bad Cat from now until January. MEOW...
Sadly, when New Year's bell rings, the evil Cat spell will be broken, and I will be transformed back to sweet Cat again. Boo. I wanna be evil forever! But alas, I have no choice but be super cute and sweet and shriek Kawaaiiiiiiiii! Sigh, the fate of an Asian chick.
But in the mean time, the turkey is mine, all mine!!! Meowhahahahah!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


This has not been a good November. I had several unhappy things happen to me recently. They particularly hurt because I truly gave my all, and yet my good will was not appreciated or reciprocated. When I was younger, I may have been tougher on myself and started asking -- what could I have done differently? But I know better now. It's not me, it's life, there are all sorts of people in this world. So I shall cleanse my wounds, put cute little baid-aids on them, and in time they will heal.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


After a long stint in the ICU for the severely sleep deprived and overworked (i.e. my bed) and lots of ZZZZZ, your dearest kitty cat has finally come back to life... Hear me ROAR!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

'Tis the Crab Season

Autumn is upon us, and this is the best time to eat Shanghainese hairy crabs. We started out with Shanghainese xiaolongbaos made with crab oil...
Then drank some conch soup...
And here is my meanie looking hairy crab...
Lots of roe inside...
Kuo Zai Rice! The Cantonese are famous for this dish -- they steam the rice with cured meats on top, so the rice is infused with the aroma of the cured meats, mmmm...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Building with a View

View of central from the Prince's Building. The Hong Kong legislative building is in the foreground.
View of the HSBC Building and Bank of China Tower... see the worker bees in the HSBC Building?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


It's 3:45AM here in Hong Kong. So many things on my mind... Sigh.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Lab

The Lab is an interesting dining/shopping area in Costa Mesa...When you drive into the area, it looks like a wearhouse turned chic trendy new age-y shopping mall... here is the fireplace/fountain area... the water runs off from the vintage barrels and people can sit around the fire pit to chic chat.
Here is what we had... paellla, with the special lighting from blackberry, it looks positively heavenly.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cat OD's on Shrooms

'Tis the mushroom season... and I got some aromatic Mitsutake mushrooms, after eating three, I felt a bit light headed... are these by any chance related to the Magic Mushroom... I see stars and psychedelic swirls...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dat Thanh

After reading a glowing review of the place in the LA Times, I knew I had to go there! But alas, seemed like the entire LA read the article too and showed up at the same time on Saturday night... it does not look too crowded, but mind you, there were only two cooks, mom and pop, and one server, meimei (ie little sister)...hence the hour long wait.
Wow, the food is finally here! Foooood! CHOMP MUNCH CHOMP MUNCH CHOMP...
Here is BC's food... looks kind of similar to mine, mine was grilled chicken and BC got grilled pork chop... FOOOOOOD! We were that hungry.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Disney and Dudamel

M graciously invited me to dinner at Kendall's and concert at the Disney Concert Hall... ahhh, terrific food, terrific music, terrific night...
We got the best seats, look how close we were to Dudamel and his wild hair!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tasting Kitchen

In my continued journey towards Piggyhood, S took me to Tasting Kitchen in Venice tonight. Ate so much! But alas, it was too dark, and my hands were too busy eating to take food pics. But I did manage to snap a shot of the upper level dining area... yep, it's kind of library-ish, at least I'll be an intellectual piggy -- (in a faux British accent) so, what is the meaning of life? Oink Oink!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ikko Sushi

Ikko Sushi is located in a non-descriptive strip mall. I would never even think of going in there had BC not recommended the place to me. We got there right at 5:30 as the restaurant opened. It's dark and serene inside... and we got the US$60 omakase meal.
First course, oysters with ponzu mousse, amberjack (it's so pretty) with mango salsa and white wine jelly, and chicken liver pate with parmesan crackers. It was so good. The oysters were fresh and bursted in my mouth with all the oyster goodness, the pinkish amberjack, oh my, the texture, the presentation, and the chicken liver pate, it was just right, I like pate, but often find them to be too liver-y, this was light and airy with a subtle hint of liver. But in all honesty, no words can do justice to this magnificent plate of food, you've got the try this yourself.
The first course was followed by a simple daikon salad. Where did they find such juicy daikon? Perfect dish to clean the palate.
White fish tempura. Where did they find this pretty little piece of white fish? It was thin and flat, and the meat was flakey and tender.
Steamed abalone with daikon. This is what good abalone should taste like. It's el dente without being too rubbery. And the meat sort of exuded a subtle buttery-ness.
After the meal, BC asked me whether I had had better nigri. After a trip down sushi memory lane, I reached the conclusion that this was the best nigri I'd ever had. The quality is phenomenal. The cut of each piece was fantastic. You can't see the large clam here very well, but it was presented like a bow. Many sushi restaurants give you humongous chunks of rice topped with tiny pieces of sashimi. Here it was different, the ratio of the sashimi and the rice was just right. The rice doesn't dominate, but complement. And the toro at the end simply melted in my mouth. Ahhhh.... must go back!