[Food] Christmas Eve Dinner 2013

I know that posts have been inconsistent due to finals and other business, but I promise, new content and perhaps a major website overhaul are in the works! Until then, my family and I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Here are some photos of this year's annual Christmas Eve dinner. Pumpkin Soup

A pumpkin chestnut soup to start.

Tomato Arugula Salad

Tomato and arugula salad.

Filet Mignon

Filet mignon, kale and raw gruyere stuffed portobello mushroom, snow peas, and sweet potato hash.

Again, we wish you all a fantastic end to 2013. Merry Christmas!

[Food] Thanksgiving Dinner 2013

I hope that all of you had a fantastic Thanksgiving and partook in the gluttony that so commonly happens around this time of year. Here's just a short post sharing how my (big) family celebrated. Hope you enjoy, and happy holidays to you and yours! IMG_8684











How does your family celebrate Thanksgiving? Feel free to share!

[Food] The Crack Pie Collaboration

I recently did some work with my good friend Michelle over at à la Micho, creating the afauxgato (I oughta copyright that). This time around, we were joined by two of our other friends, Tong and Kai, and recreated the Crack Pie from Momofuku Milk Bar. Here are some photos from our adventures in baking! Ingredients


Oatmeal Cookie

Hands Cracking


Crust Press

Egg Drop



Filling Pour



Here's a nice behind the scenes shot. Check out the video over at à la Micho!

Behind the Scenes

[Photo] Adventures in Seattle

I feel like I'm always neglecting my blog and I feel absolutely terrible. Nonetheless, here is a long overdue post on my trip to Seattle this past summer. The moment I landed, I fell in love with this city. There's something so special about it that I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe it's because the weather was perfect while I was there (save for a gloomy day in the middle of my stay), but everything just felt right. The food was delicious, the coffee was amazing, and the people were so beautiful! I may just have left a little piece of my heart out there. Here are some photos from my trip, hope you enjoy!! IMG_4216


















IMG_4468 This is Willi, a baristo that I met at Victorla. This guy is super friendly and is obviously passionate about what he does. He also made me a mean gibraltar.









IMG_4618 I caught this guy celebrating the lack of a line at Paseo, a rare occasion.

IMG_4620 The holy grail of sandwiches, Paseo's Caribbean Roast.

IMG_4621 This thing is amazing and lived up to all the hype (everyone and their mother told me I had to try it) and then some. It's also quite a disaster to handle and quickly turns into a fork and knifer. You can't tell too well in the photo, but my vision was clouded by grease.

IMG_4623 The aftermath.



IMG_4448 I got a chance to see Shane and Shane play while I was there!

IMG_4829 Another gem, Uneeda Burger.

IMG_4826 I had forgotten that burgers could be exceptionally delicious. Then I met Uneeda Burger and was reminded that burgers can indeed be great.


IMG_4822 After striking up conversation with Willi at Victorla, he gave me a list of coffee spots to check out. Milstead & Co. was among them.

IMG_4819 Yep, another fantastic spot that totally fits the hipster coffee-camera lover in me.


Milstead Dipdych A fine cup of Aeropressed Bows and Arrows Guatamela Finca El Tambor to end the post.

Goodbye, Seattle! Until next time.

[Photo] Bolivia and Argentina Medical Missions 2013

Wow, I've been away for so long! Forgive me for my extended absence here. This summer, I took a two week trip to Bolivia and Argentina on a medical mission trip with an organization called 4 Christ Mission. A group of about 50 young adults/college students from all over the US and Latin America travelled with doctors and dentists to provide medical care and ultimately, just love the people of Bolivia and Argentina with the love of Christ. I went as a part of the media team and captured all the sights and sounds with my trusty 5D Mark II (still a very capable and rugged camera!). In Bolivia, we stayed mostly in Santa Cruz and the outskirts of the city, while in Argentina, we stayed around Iguazu Falls and Buenos Aires. I can go on and on about the trip with my words, but I'll let my photos speak for themselves (and perhaps, interject with captions for context and other pertinent information). Here is just a very small sampling of the photos I took while I was on the trip. Because of the amount of photos in this post, I've opted to go with a gallery layout. Enjoy!

[gallery ids="2081,2082,2083,2084,2085,2086,2087,2088,2089,2090,2091,2092,2093,2094,2095,2096,2097,2098,2101,2102,2099,2103,2105,2104,2106,2100,2150,2107,2138,2139,2110,2109,2080,2111,2151,2112,2113,2114,2140,2115,2120,2116,2117,2118,2119,2121,2122,2123,2152,2124,2125,2143,2141,2128,2153,2130,2129,2127,2131,2133,2132,2134,2135,2136,2137"]

[Food] TrueBurger

TrueBurger I had been hearing great things about TrueBurger. Some said it was basically Shake Shack on the West Coast. Though I've never tried Shake Shack, I hear great things about them as well. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to go to TrueBurger with some of my friends.

TrueBurger Storefront

We rolled into TrueBurger on a Saturday for lunch and it was packed! The crowd was a good sign. Surely, this had to be a great burger!

TrueBurger Menu

The prices on the menu scared me a bit. But I had just finished finals and was feeling pretty good. I decided to treat myself. I ordered a Cheesy Trueburger with griddled onions, an orange creamsicle shake, and got chili cheese fries to share with a friend.

TrueBurger Kitchen

The place had a very modern, hip feel to it with beautiful wooden counters and a long communal table. The clientele was a mix of everyone from the elderly to young hipsters talking about their newest bands and local, organic foods. TrueBurger definitely had the feel of a community hub that brings Oakland together.


Now, the moment of truth. Is this a burger that lives up to its price tag and all of the hype? We'll see. The burger was on the small side comparable to size. But how did it taste? Well, the challah bun was fantastic. It had a slight crunch from being toasted and was a tad bit chewy. The garlic aioli was delicious as well; garlicky is always good. But the burger itself, where was it? It got lost in the mix of everything. It was kind of like being at a concert with a really bad sound engineer. I couldn't taste the meat, which was disappointing to say the least. I thought I was eating a garlic aioli sandwich with grilled onions on really good bread.

The chili cheese fries were just so-so. The fries themselves were spot on, crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. However, I had my gripes with the chili. It had an odd sweetness to it...and it had beans. But I'm a stickler when it comes to chili. My opinions on chili are probably stronger than the average person. Most people seem to really enjoy them.

TrueBurger Shake

This orange creamsicle milkshake was the high point of the meal for me. Think about a liquified orange creamsicle. This took me back to my childhood and I loved every moment of it from the impossible-to-drink beginning to the melted down mess at the end. It was beautiful.

TrueBurger Pickles

Their pickles were surprisingly very, very good as well. They were fresh, crisp, and bright. Oh, and did I mention, free? Or at least these sliced pickles at the condiment bar are. I went back a few times to grab more. Don't forget to munch on these with your burger!

Overall, TrueBurger was good, not amazing. Would I ever go out of my way to eat here? Probably not. I'd honestly go to the ever consistent and delicious In-n-Out over TrueBurger any day. I could get a whole meal for the price of a Trueburger and thoroughly enjoy every bit of it - every time. If you are in the area, definitely check it out, maybe you'll have a better experience than me. Just don't forget to get a milkshake.

TrueBurger 146 Grand Ave Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 208-5678 www.trueburgeroakland.com

[Food] Gregoire (or at least their Poutine)

Gregoire Poutine In my opinion, poutine should be a food group of its own. If you don't know what poutine is, it's a simple dish of fries, cheese curds, and brown gravy originating in Quebec. Though simple, it's ridiculously awesome. Poutine in its basic form is also often used as a blank canvas for a plethora of different toppings. In the September 2012 issue of Esquire, Chris Jones is quoted saying, "If bacon ate, bacon would eat poutine." Genius. Now that you know how much I love this Canadian export, you probably have an idea of why I went to Gregoire solely for their poutine.

Gregoire Berkeley

When one thinks of this quaint North Berkeley landmark, one thinks of potato puffs. Oh yes, those lightly crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside treats...a must have for sure. But for the month of February (oh dear, this post is late), they had poutine.

Gregoire Poutine

Upon seeing the poutine, the pretentious foodie in me cringed a tad bit. The fries were yellow. If you know a thing about poutine, you know that the fries are typically orangish-brown. Once I suppressed the monster that resides in me, I dug in. Pretty good. The fries were perfectly crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside (seems to be a winning combination for potato based foods). The gravy was salty and peppery, very reminiscent of KFC gravy. That's no insult either. Darn good. However, the cheese curds were a bit disappointing. They were crumbly rather than being solid with a "squeaky" tooth-feel. They also pretty bland. Overall, not bad. There's a sore lack of poutine stateside, so any poutine I can get my hands on is appreciated.

On a side note, the Empire Cola was fantastic. You get the great classic cola taste without all the sweetness.

Gregoire Potato Puffs

An obligatory photo of their legendary potato puffs. Seriously, you have to try these before you die.

Gregoire 2109 Cedar St Berkeley, CA 94709 (510) 883-1893 www.gregoirerestaurant.com

[Food] Sliver

Sliver Pizza There was once a little place in North Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto called The Cheese Board Collective. There, the cooperatively owned shop sold various cheeses, bread, and what they are probably best known for, pizza. However this wasn't your average Joe pizzeria. They specialized in one kind of pizza every day and cranked them out all day (or during their lunch and dinner services). And the pizzas were vegetarian. WHAT!? I know, "How can a vegetarian pizza place make any money?" Well, first of all, it's Berkeley (yay for stereotypes) and second, they were delicious.

Editor's Note: The past tense was only used for story telling effect, The Cheese Board Collective is still alive and kickin'.

Sliver Pizza

Now, a trio of former Cheese Board employees (owners? I'm not sure what the proper term would be here) left and set up shop in Downtown Berkeley. This new place is called Sliver. The first thing that anyone that's eaten at Cheese Board will pick up on are the obvious similarities between the two restaurants. Just like Cheese Board, Sliver makes the same style pizzas with the same practices - one vegetarian pizza a day (albeit, done damn well), at the same prices ($2.50 a slice, $10 for half a pie, and $20 for a whole), in the same weaved baskets or plain brown boxes, with similar salads, live music, and various other similarities. However, that's not a bad thing at all.

[Edit] And don't worry, Sliver also gives out half slices as lagniappes just like Cheese Board!

Think about it as getting two varieties of awesome pizzas to choose from and two locations. Actually, let's just stop comparing the two because that's what everyone will inevitably do on their first visit. Let's focus on Sliver and what makes them so great.

Sliver Pizza

First, the food. Please note, I'm an absolute sucker for pizzas with potatoes. When I saw that the day's pizza had roasted marble potatoes, pasilla chiles, yellow onions, mozzarella, Bulgarian feta, cilantro, Mexican key limes, garlic olive oil, I knew I had to take my virgin voyage to check it out. The pizza may seem loaded, but it was so well balanced. You get starchy potatoes, some slightly crunchy on the edge, sharp feta, and bright cilantro and limes that really make up the bulk of the flavor profile. Everything else plays a solid supporting role to create a symphony of amazing flavors.

Sliver Pizza Sauce

On top of all of that, you have this. They say it's a mild serrano hot sauce. I beg to differ. This still must be loaded with some addictive, possibly illegal substance. Upon trying it, I wanted to squeeze all over anything I ate. Heck, I would put this on white rice and enjoy it. On the front end, you get a super bright, slightly acidic hit with a smooth, subtle heat on the back end. This cut through the big flavors of the pizza while not being overpowering. I would honestly buy this still by the bottle...or gallon.

Sliver Pizza

A few things that Sliver has on Cheese Board (I know I said I would stop comparing the two, but I'm sorry) come in the form of their facility. Sliver has a spacious interior with plenty of seats and tables and a full (though a bit small) bar. I know a lot of people like to eat on the street median at Cheese Board, probably because they're all rebels, but sometimes, you just want to sit at a table and not have to fight for one.

Sliver Pizza

On top of all that, the Geechi Taylor Combo, a fantastic little jazz trio, was playing that night. Good food, good company, and good music. How can you go wrong with that, right?

Sliver is not just a pizzeria either, though they make an amazing pie. They stand for something bigger. They stand for the fight against human trafficking, one of the biggest injustices in our world today. Sliver donates a portion of their profits to organizations and works to spread awareness. Not to put a downer on this post, but according to the U.S. Department of State, there were 12.3 million slaves worldwide in 2010. If you would like to get involved in the fight, there are many organizations out there like the International Justice Mission (IJM) and Not for Sale just to name a couple.

I highly, highly suggest that you all go check out Sliver. I'm serious. Like really.

Sliver 2132 Center St Berkeley, CA 94704 (510) 356-4044 www.sliverpizzeria.com

[Food] Juice Detox

Juice Detox So, as most of you probably don't know, I recently concluded my week long juice detox. "Why the heck would you do that?" you may ask. To be healthy, of course! After 7 days of fresh vegetable and fruit juice, I feel great! This will just be a quick recap of my week away from one of my loves, food.

As with most things of this sort, starting was the hardest part. To be honest, the first three days were grueling. I was hungry and constantly thought about food; it was strange to not be chewing anything. The run I took on the first night was probably the hardest one I took in a while, I felt a complete lack of energy.

The above photo in the header shows what went into a typical meal. I mixed it up between meals and days. Other vegetables I juiced included broccoli, spinach, and bell peppers, among others. Your juices should be made up primarily of vegetables with just a little bit of fruit, usually apple. The apple does a fantastic job of sweetening up the juice and makes the whole detox bearable.

Juice Detox

About once a day, I would take a shot of garlic and ginger juice, cut with just a little bit of apple, and I chased it with my regular juice. That stuff is strong, but healthy. There's plenty of information out there on the specific benefits of different vegetables and fruits, so feel free to do some research.

As I progressed, my body became acclimated to the diet. I was no longer hungry between meals and because my body didn't have to spend energy breaking down food, lack of energy no longer became an issue. I had lost about a pound per day (but that's not the point of the detox, I'll come back to this later) and my blood pressure dropped, though it was normal to begin with. Other people I know that were on a juice diet (much more long term than mine) enjoyed various other health benefits.

Juice Detox Kale Macro

Before going into juicing, you should know that a short term detox like this will naturally cause weight loss. You're probably going to gain most of that weight back when you get back on food. Just don't do this with weight loss being your motivating factor. Also, you're not getting the full nutrients out of the vegetables. You're getting all the sugar water out of them, but missing out on the all important fibers. Don't think you're getting the full benefits of the vegetables this way. Nevertheless, a short detox like this is great every once in a while. Look into it for yourself and consider taking a week out of your year and doing it, but do consult your doctor if you have other serious health issues first.

[Food] Tacos El Gordo

Adobado Tacos Happy New Year, everyone! To start 2013 year off, here's a quick post on Tacos El Gordo. When in San Diego, you eat Mexican food. Seriously. When you're that close to the border, you could get some ridiculously good Mexican food without having to cross over. In fact, Tacos El Gordo came to the states from our southern neighbor.

Tacos El Gordo

The tacos at Tacos El Gordo are reminiscent of the tacos you get when eating on the streets of Mexico. There's a certain charm you don't get with the taco trucks in LA that you do get here (definitely not downplaying those tacos, they're delicious as well).

Adobado Tacos

These are the famous tacos de adobada, basically al pastor. They start with 2 corn tortillas, slice pork off the spit, cover it with onions and cilantro, then top it off with salsa and their creamy green sauce. In all my years of loving Mexican food, I've never really been able to figure out just what's in this thing. My guess would be a crema base with the possibilities of cilantro, tomatillo, lime, and/or avocado. Did I just name the major green elements of Mexican food? Probably.

The big corn flavor from the tortillas, meaty pork, and the sauces give the taco a huge flavor and the onions and cilantro cut through. Everything just works so well in this taco, but that crema sauce is what really makes it. It has a distinctive tang to it. Just writing about it makes me want to make a trip down. I do wish there was a sliver of pineapple on top. That would perfect this taco.

The lack of pineapple is not the only downside. The tacos are $2. Mind you, these are of the small street taco variety. Maybe I'm spoiled with tacos that range from $0.50 to $1, but $2 is a bit steep for what you get. Still, these things are great.

Oh, and for you first timers, the ordering system may be a bit confusing. You walk in past the cash registers, stand in the line for the respective meat you desire, get your food, then go back and pay for it. Usually there's a line for adobada and another line for everything else (asada, cabeza, lengua, etc.).

Next time you're by the border, stop by Tacos El Gordo. There are multiple locations, but this is their most popular one.

Tacos El Gordo 689 H St. Chula Vista, CA 91910 (619) 691-8848

[Food] Christmas Eve Dinner

Merry Christmas to you all! Here at our home, we don't mess around with food. This year, we had filet mignon, twice baked potatoes with bacon, creamed spinach, homemade onion rings, and a slice of my mother's sponge cake with a berry sauce and homemade whipped cream. Again, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! Christmas Eve Dinner

Christmas Eve Dinner

Christmas Eve Dinner

Christmas Eve Dinner Dessert

[Food] Thanksgiving 2012

I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving yesterday! I know our family most definitely did. Here's how our family does Thanksgiving dinner.

One fried turkey.

And one bacon wrapped turkey. We've been doing this since forever. Before those meatheads on Youtube did this "next level" stuff.

Dessert. Also because I didn't get a chance to snag photos of our "American" desserts.

I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgivings and are continuing to enjoy your leftovers... I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you, my readers. You all are awesome. What are you thankful for?

[Food] Roe

Roe is a fairly new seafood restaurant and fish market in Long Beach. As of the time of my visit, they were working on their sit-down area/location and only had a few seats inside and outside tables.

We started off with some calamari fries to share. They had a flavor that was reminiscent of popcorn chicken from a Chinese boba shop. That means that they were pretty darn delicious. The creamy dipping sauce served alongside the calamari was acidic with a nice amount of spice. My only gripe with these beauties was the lack of a satisfying crunch.

I had the ahi tuna burrito. To sum it up, I should have definitely gone with the plate. I learned my lesson the hard way, these burritos are bland. Seriously. The flavor of the fish was completely masked by all the rice and beans. It was a complete shame because this was seared ahi tuna, one of my absolute favorite kinds of fish. Well, now I know and you do too. Stick to their plates and avoid these burritos like the Plague, unless you like the taste of rice and beans with some Cholula or Tapatío.

This. This is what you should get. I didn't get to taste the fish alone, but I'm sure it was delicious. Seared ahi tuna is always delicious.

The salmon was also a big winner in my book. There was a subtle crust that developed on the surface which provided some great textural contrast. Besides that, I'm pretty sure you know what salmon tastes like. The brown rice was surprisingly pretty good, although it didn't have the bite that brown rice typically does. The slaw was a tad bit disappointing. I like my slaw vinegary, and this slaw could have used some more.

Finally we tried some of their ceviche. It was a mix of both fish and shrimp, and had some citrus notes and was pretty mild. It didn't taste like a typical ceviche you would get at a Mexican place, but it was definitely delicious. Many other patrons seemed to enjoy it as well.

Overall, I enjoyed Roe, it's a great place to get some quality seafood in a prime spot on 2nd Street (if you don't mind all the traffic while you sit outside). Definitely check it out if you love seafood and look out for their new sit-down restaurant.

Roe 5374 E 2nd St Long Beach, CA 90803 (562) 434-2763 www.roe-fish.com

[Photo] Fourth of July

Gotta get those coals white hot,

and celebrate freedom with steak and potatoes, and a Mexican Coke.

Because just one barbecue is not enough.

And you're not celebrating freedom without a kid in a Captain America mask...and a piñata.

Two celebrations are better than one.

Hope you all had a fantastic, safe Fourth of July!

[Food] Mother's Day Dinner

First of all, happy Mother's Day to all the beautiful mothers out there! My sister and I decided to do a tag team dinner for our mother.

The main course consisted of a seared Ahi Tuna steak with a soy ginger glaze, wild rice, and an arugula salad with a light citrus dressing.

For dessert, we made individual pies/tarts. I'm not sure exactly what to call them, but they started with a pie crust filled with custard, then were topped with fresh blueberries, bananas, and a slice of candied lemon.

Everything was homemade and delicious.

[Food] The Chairman Truck

On a whim, I stopped by Off the Grid, a Bay Area food truck meetup, in Berkeley. I had heard great things about The Chairman truck and it was at tonight's event. You can't miss it; it's big, bright red, and has a long line of hungry people. The line was long relative to the other trucks, but nowhere near what the lines were like when the Kogi Truck first opened up in LA. I remember waiting at least 2 hours for a few tacos, but that's beside the point.

The Chairman features baos, which are basically Chinese sandwiches on steamed or baked buns. They were out of baked buns, but that was not a problem because I love steamed buns. I was going get straight pork belly, but for the sake of journalism, I also ordered a Coca Cola braised pork bao.

I tried the Coca Cola braised pork bao first. This bao was packed with goodness - braised pork, a cabbage slaw, mustard seeds, and sauce. The pork was moist and tender. The Coca Cola they braise it in definitely lends great flavor to the pork. You get the great savory elements of Coke, but without the sweetness. Everything else in this bao complements the pork nicely and the mustard seeds really brighten everything up. It was good, but quite frankly, after eating the pork belly bao, I don't remember too much about this one.

This bao lived up to the hype. Dare I say, the pork belly was succulently sexy. Not only was it tender as the name says, it had a bit of a crunch from getting finished on the flat top. There was just enough fat left, post-rendering, to give great flavor and juice. Maybe my mind was over exaggerating the greatness of the pork from sensory overload, but this was one of the best pork bellies I've ever had. Everything was perfect from the textures to the flavors, and I was happy. The pickled daikon cut through the fattiness of the pork and acted as a breath of fresh air, not that the pork belly was bad in any way.

Everyone has to eat a pork belly bao from The Chairman. Preferably more.

The Chairman www.twitter.com/chairmantruck (415) 813-8800

[Food] Phil's BBQ

This post has been a long time coming. I'm surprised it took me this long to get it up. But alas, in all its glory, Phil's BBQ. For many Southern Californians, Phil's needs no introduction. The 2 hour waits to get in testify to that. However, if you are not familiar with this San Diego institution, it was founded in 1998 by owner, Phil Pace. BBQ in California? Barbecue purists are probably calling heresy. Calm yourselves, perhaps this isn't "real," but this is good stuff. Really good.

On a side note, there's some great BBQ in SoCal. There's always Bludso's Texas style BBQ in Compton.

Whenever we make a trek down to San Diego, it's usually for our pilgrimage to Phil's. As I mentioned before, the lines get long. However, if you get there before the rush, say, around 4 pm, you'll get your food in no time (relative to the typical 2 hour wait). Just remember, they are closed on Mondays. If you're at Phil's for your first time, you'll have plenty of time to wrestle with your heart in regards to what you'll order. My typical order is the half rack baby back dinner with fries and slaw. Some swear by their sandwiches, beef ribs, or chicken, but I stick to the tried and true baby back ribs. Also, don't you ever dare forget to order onion rings. Just do it.

If you survive the wait, successfully procure a table, and wait a little longer for your food, you'll be greeted with something like this. As I said, this is my typical order. And it's perfect. You have your mesquite grilled baby back ribs, fries, and some sort of vegetable, if you want to call it that.

The cole slaw is essential. You need some cool, creamy veggies to cleanse your palette between mouthfuls of tangy, slightly spicy meat and fried potatoes. The slaw is actually not too heavy like some other slaws you'll have. It's light and refreshing. Perfect. The fries are the quintessential carbohydrate. They aren't particularly crispy at Phil's. They kind of remind me of thicker In-n-Out fries. Don't let that drive you away, I know some people hate In-n-Out fries (I don't). The fries are perfect for sopping up all that extra sauce. Oh, and the portions. Dear lord, the amount of fries and slaw you get is almost scary. You'll be more than happy.

You didn't forget those onions rings, now, did you? These are some of my favorite onions rings. Ever. They have a light, crispy crust with a sweet, tender onion on the inside. Absolute perfection (I'm using that big word quite a bit here). Maybe I've developed some unhealthy affection toward Phil's onion rings, but I don't care. They are some of the best I've had. Please do dunk these in the buttermilk ranch they serve them with. Moving on.

Here is the main attraction. These are the tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs you hope to have when you eat BBQ. Yes, great. But do you know what's better? The sauce. The sauce really brings these ribs to life. It's definitely a unique sauce in the world of BBQ. It has the viscosity of a Kansas City BBQ sauce, but with a flavor akin to a North Carolina BBQ Sauce. Thick, vinegary, and a slight bit spicy. Oh, and Phil created this sauce when he was 15 years old... You have to try this. It's really that good.

On our trip in December, the table we were sitting at had these awesome sticker labels on the malt vinegar. The Korean in me was proud and a slight bit embarrassed. Who even thinks of doing this?

Anyway, there you have it. If you live in San Diego, are visiting San Diego, or don't live anywhere near San Diego, you have to go to Phil's. Please. For me.

Phil's BBQ 3750 Sports Arena Blvd San Diego, CA 92110 (619) 226-6333 www.philsbbq.net

[Food] Noshi Sushi

Oh, Noshi Sushi. I'm going to keep my words to a minimum here as I don't know how necessary they will be. Let's just say that this place was packed on a Wednesday night. This place has a great reputation in Los Angeles of having high quality, fresh sushi. Places like this are getting harder and harder to find as most of your sushi places serve cheap, fishy (in a bad way), frozen fish. That's definitely something you won't be getting here. Of course, you get what you pay for. Good sushi is pricey, but relative to other higher-end sushi places, Noshi Sushi is fairly cheap. Look to spend around $20 per person. One last note before we get to the goods, be aware that this place is cash only! However, there is an ATM at the back of the restaurant.

The tuna, salmon, and yellowtail nigiri were all excellent. As mentioned earlier, super fresh and no fishy aftertaste. The cuts of fish here are also very thick, which is something you don't see too often. The sushi chefs expertly grace each piece with a small amount of wasabi (and certain fish with soy) as any self-respecting sushi chef would do. I think this is a good time to take a quick break to learn how to properly eat sushi.


Okay, so that wasn't completely serious. But if you're eating good sushi, you should be using your hands, not chopsticks, and you shouldn't need to dip your sushi in that soy sauce-wasabi mix that sushi purists would cringe at. If you want to learn how to properly eat sushi in a slightly douchey CHOW video, check this one out. If not, skip ahead.


The assorted sashimi was great as well. I don't know what else to say...moving on.

They offer some more premium cuts of fish, like this one, salmon hara, or salmon belly. The belly of the fish has the best cuts and are generally fattier. However, in this case, I preferred the regular cuts of salmon. This salmon hara had some tough tissue that didn't have the greatest texture.

This, my friends, is chu-toro, or medium-fatty tuna. They ran out of o-toro, or the fattiest cut (that is sold in restaurants), so we had to settle for chu-toro. Even though it was the primo cut we wanted, it was still amazing. Seriously. This stuff melts in your mouth. Just try it. Don't look at the price, just try it. Please. Oh, and get o-toro if you can.

The money shot AKA Get in Mah Belleh.

Here's one last glory shot of some assorted nigiri.

If you are looking for delicious, fairly priced sushi in Los Angeles, be sure to check out Noshi Sushi. There's a reason that it's packed on weekday nights and (from what I hear) hard to get a seat on the weekends.

Noshi Sushi 4430 Beverly Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90004 (323) 469-3458 www.noshisushila.com