I’m not weird.
Myself and countless others around this tiny globe of ours whip out our cameras the minute interesting and tasty looking food appears before us. Eating is a blessing which I count every day, not in calories, but in happy moments.
Apologies to all who are starting diets/are calorie counters/think food is evil for whatever reason, for this post is dedicated to food.
Like many other posts I’ve made, yes, this one features photos of food. Some people think I’m crass or strange for taking photos of food before I eat it. Some people call it “an Asian thing” (of which I was not aware of as being a “thing” associated only with one ethnicity??). But to me, it’s common sense.
We take photos of things we want to remember, of visual pieces of information that our aging minds will surely forget. So, why NOT take a photo of something delicious? Once you consume it, it’s gone forever! Sure you can order it again, or recreate it at home, but that moment, that singular experience, is left to your memory once you eat that pretty little dish. Unlike buying a piece of clothing, you have nothing tangible with which to remember your food by. Photos are a necessity, to me!
I love eating out at interesting places, and trying new food. Sure, I like to taste delicious things, and make the segue from “hungry” to “full” or at least “satisfied,” but choosing, receiving and devouring food are all steps that help to understand where the food comes from.
Whoever created the dish learned it from somewhere else, or were inspired from a sampling of other techniques or ingredients they’ve recently tried or tasted to create a new dish. Their recreation or establishment of a dish is their art. This isn’t just true of “fancy” foods, but also of our everyday eateries like chain restaurants or food cooked in the home. The original recipe had to come from somewhere, and the person who made it learned how to do it from someone else.
When I travel, I love to eat as many kinds of food from as many kinds of places as possible. I make sure to switch it up from total dives to high end eateries. Eating is something that everyone needs to do throughout the day to get by, and eating alongside different kinds of people is how I most enjoy “experiencing” a place when traveling.
If I’m within the U.S., it’s nice to experience that the food culture from one city to another is decidedly different if you go to the right spots. Outside of the country, experiencing food culture is always truly different and always awesome. A way of life that is different from your own is most easily expressed through food; the way they eat it, how they eat it, when they eat it, and with whom they eat with.
Every bite to me when I eat out is exciting. The worst case scenario for me is to travel to a new city or country, and not know where to eat! I’m pretty adamant about researching where to eat before heading out for the night, or traveling to a new locale. One of the worst things I can think of is wasting an opportunity for a fun food experience.
This is not to say that I don’t give in to McDonald’s or ye olde Olive Garden from time to time, but to me, those are notes of nostalgia that I play most often when I go home to Pittsburgh. In my youth, my parents always took us to those kinds of places, since there’s not much in the way of food culture where I lived. Plus, my parents owned a Vietnamese/Chinese restaurant when I was young, so their food was always the best to me. Everything else I ate that wasn’t my parents’ cooking was some novel thing that was only meant to fill in a blank when my parents’ were too busy to cook, or it wasn’t convenient for me to pop home for a meal during my busy high school days.
And so, of course, here are some food pictures from the last week or so.
From Waterloo & City, a wonderful English food eatery in Culver City. Delicious and innovative menu, and classy atmosphere.
In the heart of Koreatown scoping out their super fun grocery stores.
A tiny corner joint in Koreatown, our friend Nicole’s favorite place to get lunch during the work week:
Food-themed adventures at Target!
I regret not getting these things… but at the same time I don’t…
And now, for a taste of Xoia, located in Silver Lake!
I had a banh mi recently that was really extraordinary. It combined the flavors in pho and made the bahn mi into a french dip style of sandwich.
In an atmospheric lunch date with my buddies Twinkie and Hairy (not his real name is not “hairy”), we traveled to 26 Beach Restaurant, in Venice for an epic French Toast adventure. They had one FULL page dedicated to French toast, y’all.
And the last stop on this food filled post is our first try at Indo Cafe, which is walking distance from my new place. It was pretty good! I still say Simpang Asia is my favorite for indonesian in this area though. This place was just as good, with a larger menu, and a bit more atmospheric decor, but the prices were higher by a few bucks. Simpang is more chill, with a more limited menu, but has an attached Asian market which is fun to romp through while you wait for your food.
After that meal, we scuttled home in the rain.
Thanks for sticking with it for this entire post! More fun times up ahead!