I can’t begin to express how often I’ve heard the phrase, “I’ve never had Indonesian food.” As a kid, it was hard for me to describe Indonesian food and to have people actually understand my description of it. No matter how hard I tried to describe it, it always came back to “is it just like Chinese food?”
Here comes my second Universal Yums Box featuring snacks from Brazil!
3324 Steiner St.
San Francisco CA 94123
I am one lucky gal. My boyfriend actually forwarded me San Francisco Restaurant Week and insisted I chose a place for our anniversary date. I chose Isa Restaurant based on its popularity and wide range of choices on its 4-course prix fixe menu ($40 each). The restaurant is located in the northern part of San Francisco, a little more than an hour from where I live. Parking was available in garages nearby. There was street parking, but I did not want to risk it due to the heavy traffic in the area. We arrived earlier than our 6:30pm reservation so we walked around the neighborhood to window shop at some boutique stores and check out other restaurants in the area. I want to try Saiwalks (Vietnamese Street Food) restaurant that’s right next door to Isa. We arrived a couple minutes early for our reservation but they had no problem seating us right away. It is a very packed and crowded restaurant with a small dining area in the front, kind of like a bar area, and then a larger tented area in the back that reminded me of a cabin.
I have a problem – I’m addicted to subscription boxes. There, I admitted it. I began shopping for Christmas presents and stumbled across the idea of gifting boxes, which I did for some friends. I then decided I would indulge in a few boxes myself. One of the two is Universal Yums, which I was able to subscribe to at a discounted price of $10/month (Regular is $13/month) for the small Yum box, which comes with at least 6 snacks. The larger option is the Yum Yum Box, which is $25/month and comes with 13 or more snacks. The idea is that every month, you get a box filled with snacks from a different country.
D Bar Restaurant
3930 5th Avenue
San Diego, California 92103
My weekend getaway trip to Southern California was graced with the fact that I would be coming down during both DineLA and San Diego Restaurant Week. It was a great surprise and I was not going to let the opportunity slip away. Recommendations from friends lead me to D Bar for dinner on a Sunday evening in beautiful San Diego. The $40 Pre Fixe Dinner Menu was enticing, but even more so was the Cocktail Flight for an additional $20. I was on vacation, why not?
Nano cafe is one of those things I’d like to call a hidden gem. Now I’ve never really been a brunch type of person, but Nano Cafe made me into a believer. Located in Monrovia, this cafe currently has Chinese owners that definitely stayed true to the All American breakfast. Always busy with a staff that treats you like family, you can find yourself either sitting indoors, or at the counter, or even outside on the patio.
Koi Palace (鯉魚門御膳茶寮) is one of the Bay Area’s most well known higher end dim sum restaurants frequented by immigrant crowds. There are actually two of them, one in Dublin (on the outer fringes of East Bay, and the original in Daly City, south of San Francisco. It’s quite popular, so expect a wait get in for brunch during the weekends.
Caffe Bene is a cute Korean cafe 26 miles east of Korea town in the City of Industry. It’s located in the same plaza as Jazz Cat and has been gaining some popularity on instagram due to their large pat bing soo desserts and more. Just like their other store in Korea town, this location also sports the beautiful wooden furniture and quiet, mellow feel.
Cafe PappaRich is a recent addition to LA Koreatown’s dining scene, serving Malaysian fare, alongside signature baked “roti” pastry buns. It’s actually the first American location of a Malaysian restaurant chain by the same name (papparich.com.my). If anybody knows me, Southeast Asian food is my favorite, so I was excited to try this place out.
Benten has become Golden Deli’s new neighbor! Located in the same plaza as the original Golden Deli, this new ramen shop opened up within the past year and has gained some popularity. It’s a quaint little restaurant with a menu to match. I have never seen a ramen shop that boasts only four different types of ramen on their menu, along with a few appetizers and complementary roobois tea.
The most famous night market north of Taipei is in Keelung, a sleepy port town of about 400,000. The Miaokou Market (廟口夜市, literally “temple mouth market”), begins at the entrance of Dianji Temple (奠濟宮) and is home to a variety of interesting street foods.
Fujin Ramen is always busy no matter when I go. I frequent this restaurant whenever I’m in the area and also recommend it to friends when they’re in the area as well. It’s located in the same plaza as the HK market, where a small Indonesian food court exists adjacent to it. I’ve never had to wait too long for a table, however, the service there can sometimes be hit or miss.
Men Oh Tokushima was one of the 10 Best Ramen Shops of Los Angeles as listed by LaWeekly. It’s one of those restaurants located in Little Tokyo, but not in the part of Little Tokyo most tourists would walk through. Like many places in Little Tokyo, you have to pay for to park in the same plaza. My company and I parked in a different part of Little Tokyo and made our way to the restaurant.
Ramen Hayatemaru prides itself with serving the best Hokkaido style ramen, with its specialty ingredients straight from Hokkaido, Japan. They serve ramen noodles made from goma (ごま) seeds and Okuhara sauces from their factory in Hokkaido. It seems like a lot of effort for such a small, hole-in-the wall over on the Westside, but their efforts are not in vain. I still dream about their flavorful ramen and can’t wait to go back.
Ramen Yukinoya in Arcadia is one of three of Ramen Yukinoya stores located all around Los Angeles. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve driven past this place on the way to the 99 Ranch Market in Arcadia. It never really caught my eye, due to its humble appearance from the outside. But I finally gave this place a chance.