Tag Archives: food

Kim Chuy – Alhambra

Sometimes all you want is a piping hot bowl of liquid and protein nourishment. And Kim Chuy Restaurant, one of my favorite Teochew noodle soup shops in the San Gabriel Valley, offers just that. It’s become my go-to place for a hearty bowl of noodles and soup.

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Rakhine style eats at Yangon’s Min Lan

Min Lan (မင်းလမ်း), perhaps Yangon’s best known seafood restaurant chain, serves amazing and delicious Rakhine-style fare. We paid tribute to this local favorite, dining at the chain’s Sanchaung Township location within hours after landing in Rangoon.

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Throwback Thursday: Spending Winter Solstice in Hong Kong with the Chans

December 22 marks this year’s Winter Solstice. While it’s rarely more than a footnote on Western calendars, Winter Solstice (冬至), the shortest day of the year, is celebrated as a festival by many traditional Chinese families. It’s an occasion for family reunions and practically synonymous with a dessert dish called tangyuan, glutinous rice balls served in a sweetened syrup.

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An almsgiving feast in Yangon

My family’s trip to Burma this past January coincided with my aunt’s and uncle’s. In honor of my grandmother, who passed away 17 years ago, they arranged an almsgiving ceremony at the Tipitaka Monastery in the centre of Yangon. As I’ve said before, the community is interwoven into the fabric of Burmese life. Almsgiving ceremonies, which are really communal feasts, including a donation of alms to the monastery, are just another manifestation of the this generous spirit. And the lunch served was absolutely delicious.

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Rulebook: Eating out in Hong Kong

Some observations I made while dining out in Hong Kong. HK has an awesome food scene, but there were a few adjustments I definitely had to make. So without further ado, here are my top 5 rules for eating out in Hong Kong!
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STREET FOOD 101: Taipei’s Mengjia Night Market

I went to Taipei with the goal of hitting up as many night markets as humanly possible. So our first night in the city, we headed off to the closest one to our hotel, Huaxi Night Market (華西街觀光夜市), which was rather sedated the night we went, with a lot of shuttered shops. So we instead spent a fair amount of time traversing Mengjia Night Market (艋舺夜市) instead. Both are anchored by Longshan Temple, a 16th century Buddhist-Taoist temple located in the middle of Taipei’s oldest district, Wanhua.

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STREET FOOD 101: Taipei’s Shilin Night Market

Shilin Night Market (士林夜市) is a sprawling night market that extends along several streets in the middle of Taipei’s 2nd most populated district of the same name. While it’s widely cited by tourist guides and a great experience overall, if I were pressed for time, I’d pass this one, only because it lacks the signature grittiness of other Taipei night markets. (Food’s still awesome).
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Late night hankering for mohinga? There’s a place in Yangon.

Mohinga is to the Burmese what menudo may be to the Mexicans. It’s the stuff of life, found all across Burma, in homes, street stalls and in restaurants. As a kid, I regularly ate it for breakfast on weekends (there was no way I was going to school with a potent fishy breath). Over the years, I’ve had countless iterations of mohinga. I’ll tell you this: once you’ve eaten enough bowls of mohinga, you realize that no two persons cook the same recipe–every chef makes the dish their own.

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Legendary pad thai at Bangkok’s Thip Samai

Ever since I booked flights to Bangkok, I had my eyes and stomach set on visiting Thip Samai, perhaps Bangkok’s most famous noodle institution, known for one dish and one dish only: pad thai.

Exterior
Restaurant facade, with the Golden Mount in the background.

Who comes to Thailand to eat pad thai, quite possibly the most pedestrian of Thai dishes anyway? But Thip Samai is outstanding, as evidenced by the huge crowds (locals and foreigners alike) that form every afternoon, even before the restaurant opens its doors.

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The OG ‘khao soi’ at Yangon’s San Pya Daw Kyi

I’m not about to start a feud between Thai and Burmese cuisines. But having been fueled by endless bowls of khao soi* while I was in northern Thailand, I beyond excited to grab a bowl of the ‘original’ Burmese coconut chicken noodle soup, aka on no khauk swe (အုန်းနို့ခေါက်ဆွဲ) when I flew into Burma.

*Khao soi just means ‘noodles’ in Burmese. Khao soi is Thailand’s take on the Burmese coconut chicken noodle soup, and has an intense coconut milk broth, on wheat noodles and a curried protein (chicken or beef).

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M Juicery & Creamery – Alhambra

After grabbing lunch at Izakaya Akatora, I walked over to M Juicery & Creamery, a new ice cream shop on Garfield Ave, practically steps away from Borneo Kalimantan Cuisine, an Indonesian restaurant that I’ve reviewed before.

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Julienne – San Marino

Recently my mom’s been asking me about a number of different brunch places that she’s recently come across by recommendation. I don’t eat brunch that often, simply because I don’t always have the time to and also because I’m kind of strange when it comes to breakfast or lunch. I often eat non-breakfast food for breakfast (ex: chimichangas and Marie Calendar chicken pot pies). So, it’s always a treat when we do go out to brunch. I honestly hadn’t heard of Julienne before, but was really intrigued when I perused the menu prior to eating there. It is on the pricier side, so for a student like me, I don’t recommend making it a habit to come here every weekend. Lucky for me, my parents decided to take their staff out for a company brunch and I got to tag along.

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STREET FOOD 101: Tamsui’s Old Street Night Market

Tamsui is a smallish seaside town north of Taipei. Only 30 minutes away from Taipei by subway (it’s at the terminus of the Tamsui Line), Tamsui makes a good day trip for travelers with some time to spare in Taipei. Tamsui is known mostly for Dutch and Spanish settlements back in the 1600s.

It’s also home to the Tamsui Old Street, a historic neighborhood filled with shops, which evolves into the charming Old Street Night Market (淡水老街夜市) as the sun sets.

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Izakaya Akatora – Alhambra

Exterior
Izakaya Akatora’s entrance off Main Street

Izakaya Akatora recently opened up by one of Alhambra’s most prominent intersections, Main Street and Garfield Avenue. Established by Michael Cardenas, a prominent LA restaurateur who has other Japanese-inspired ventures sprinkled throughout LA, this is a Japanese pub-themed restaurant with a good selection of quintessential Japanese dishes alongside more modern dishes.

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Was I in Chicago or in the middle of Burma?

Painting of a Burmese maiden hanging at their home.
Painting of a Burmese maiden hanging at their home.

I won’t lie. There’s a very special place in my heart for Burmese food, because it brings me home. The sound of chilis and garlic ground with a stone mortar and pestle, the aroma of caramelized onions, and the pungency of fermented fish sauce. And I had a obscene amount of it while visiting the Midwest last month.

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