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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wakasan Omakase

Wakasan Restaurant: I like the rustic interior, matches the type of food they serve perfectly... Cat's imagination in over-active drive again -- once upon a time, there was a Geisha named Meowko. She liked to eat, and Wakasan was her favorite hang out place where she would wink at cute samurais... kekeke.
Anyhoo, first course, sashimi & spinach, some sort of meatball & shrimp & edamame, tofu with okara topping.
Second course: sashimi. I loved the tuna sashimi, so much better than what's sold in supermarkets. This one is rich and buttery (and not toxically looking red), mmmm.
Toro tartare and crab meat tartare on a bed of crispy rice.
I forgot which kind of fish this was, but it was really yummy.
Shrimp tempura with potato strings (loved their version of the shrimp cocktail sauce)
We had a choice between steak and duck shabu shabu as our main entree course, so we chose one of each...
The shabu shabu was so good... they even controlled the fire so that you wouldn't overcook. The broth, I could drink like a huge bowl of that... and the duck meat was so tender.
Steak... pretty color huh? I don't know what they did with the asparagus, but it was so watery and tender.
While we had the steak and shabu shabu, our rice dish was cooking away...
So pretty ... not a huge fan of salmon roe though, but I know they are good for me.
Yay, such a refreshing palate cleanser... I swear I've had this kind of yogurty dessert somewhere, maybe during my layover at Narita Airport?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ride of the Piglets

Imagine Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries is playing in the background... dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun... except this time it's five piglets who have descended upon China Gate Restaurant (a Korean style Chinese restaurant in Ktown)...First up: this was really good, kind of similar to a Chinese cold noodle dish, you get an assortment for shredded veggies and meats and some clear noodles and throw in some mustardy sauce, then voila, yummy! Btw, the portions here are enormous (easily twice the size of most restaurants).
Then the sugar glazed shrimp and our veggie dish came up...
Jjajangmyun (JJM). Culture works in funny ways. JJM is a northern Chinese dish, and per Chez Pei, it is popular in China and Taiwan. Around 100 years ago, some Chinese immigrants took the recipe to Korea and the Koreans made some tweaks here and there and now it's also super popular in Korea. Btw, this bowl alone can feed like three to four ppl, so to be on the safe side, we ordered three bowls for five of us.
JJM after it's properly mixed.
We then went into a eating frenzy: CHOMP MUNCH CHOMP, OINK OINK, SLURP... chopsticks, JJM, glazed shrimp flying everywhere... When the dust settled, H, P and E were happily talking about the art of snow boarding videotography, and L was ever so elegantly still trying out a few JJM noodles here and there... and Cat was in a food coma. I think L waved a few fingers in front of me to make sure I was still alright... Then I snapped out of my stupor, and we paid, went outside to the parking lot, checked out Baby Catmobile, and called it a night...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Girls Brunch at S's

S cooking scrambled eggs in her new kitchen.
Brunch spread...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Noodle Soup at Ding's Garden

It was a cold and rainy night, and I was generally up to no good. Anyhoo, suddenly I was like, hungie, so we headed over to Ding's Garden in Rowland Heights. Look at this bowl of beef noodle soup... Mmm, perfect comfort food while the rain poured outside.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Go Go Matsui Bowl

All this for 12 bucks (yes both meals)! Go go Matsui! Go go Wallet!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Happy Lantern Festival

Today is the Lantern Festival (元宵節). It is the day of the first full moon of the Chinese New Year and marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebration. Traditionally, we eat tong yuan on this day (mochi balls filled with sesame paste) and children would carry colorful lanterns to light the night.
So from all of us at the MeowMeow Family (Cat, Puddles (鴨鴨), Ching
Ching Jr. (清清娃娃), and Baby Catmobile), we hope you have had a joyous Chinese New Year season and we wish you a happy and prosperous New Year :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Seikoen and the Blue Bib Brigade

Seikoen is a completely unpretentious Japanese BBQ place in Torrance. The decor is homey, the waitresses (appeared to be a mom/daughter pair) are homey, but the quality of the meat is anything but. I was shocked when I had the beef tongue. I had thought it was a given that beef tongue = tough, chewey meat, but not this one. Maybe they found a genetically altered cow, I don't know, but it was tender and yummy. Oh yeah, notice the blue bibs?
Close up of the Blue Bib Brigade. Thanks C for the treat.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Baby Catmobile

After years of loyal service, Catmobile is retiring into the sunset (collecting social security, etc...) So here I present to you, drum roll please -- Baby Catmobile! Yes I got a Beemer 335! Woohoo, love it... I also got free crystal Princess license frames from the dealer. Yay! If you happen to see Baby Catmobile speeding wildly down the streets of Santa Monica, please move aside and make way, cuz I am mean, very mean... Rawwwrrr.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Good-Bye Prague

Me, myself and my U-Gee-Gees... Bye-bye Prague :)
Trumpeteer at the Old Town Hall Bell Tower waving at the crowd...
Saw a nice looking restaurant (seemed reasonably priced too) so stopped felt, so, European, like the Europe in Cold War spy movies or something :)
We didn't realize this was actually a hangout place for Prague's high society... later on, we saw several fashionably dressed Prague-ans coming in with their little pooches to grab a bite and have a chat...
My Caesar Salad...

Old Town and Lesser Town

Prague is divided by the Vltava River into two parts, Old Town and Lesser Town. I love how the city is so stroll-able. All this is within a 15 minute walk from the hotel. Took a pic of the Charles Bridge from a different side of the city before I headed to Old Town's alleyways.
No wonder they shoot lots of period pieces here, the ambiance is very eh --period piece like. I can imagine myself as a Victorian maiden strolling through the lanes of Oldtown and winking at cute boys along the way. Yoohoo :)
There are so many historical buildings and churches everywhere you turn...
And of course, there are so many Japanese tourists everywhere you turn... There, a group of them huddling next to a hotel. Ah, my BFFs, I can always counting on bumping into you when I travel.
Entrance to Lesser Town from Charles Bridge... promise, this is not a pic I took on a trip to Disneyland.
A picturesque square... looks slightly like a movie studio back lot.
Now headed back to the Charles Bridge...
Entrance to Old Town within view...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Black Pasta

Gasp. The leaning tower of... Prague?
Looks pretty straight from this angle... this is the Oldtown bell tower. Notice it's almost six o'clock there. When the time came, the bell rang, then a trumpeter came out, and after he was done, he waved the city flag, very medival-like.
Tourists galore! And btw, it is the dead of winter...
And of course, Starbucks! And two Chinese tourists... yeah nowadays I am seeing more and more Chinese tourists overseas. Before, the Japanese were like the only camera trigger happy Asian tourists...
Dinner time. The hotel concierge recommended a Czech restaurant frequented by locals. We liked it so much, we went there two nights in a row. I love the presentation here. It is beef tartare with spices and condiments on the side. Don't you think it looks like a painter's palette?
One of the most delicious salads I'd ever had... it's hard to describe but the vegetables tasted so good. They exuded freshness and had, eh, flavors, unlike the mass produced produce in the US.
Black Pasta. I didn't order this. When my dinner companion offered it to me, I was like, sure, maybe I'll try one noodle. So I tried one, and it was so delicious. The texture was perfect. The Italians always say -- El Dente! And deep down I was always like, yeah, whatever, it's just some noodle, how good can it be. But this black pasta is delicious, it had this subtle fragrant flavor. Anyways, after I tasted one, I immediately requested another noodle, and another... and after a while I was tempted to say, why don't you have my BBQ ribs and I'll have your black pasta. So good. Major paws up.
My BBQ Ribs. It was good, make no mistake, but I've had many good ribs before, so while I nibbled on the ribs, nom nom nom, I passed longing glances at the black pasta... still craving it now.