Tag Archives: Food

Gordon Ramsay and MasterChef Junior cast attempts World’s Largest Cupacake… well.. sort of..

26 Sep

Yesterday, I popped out to see the media event for MasterChef Junior at The Grove, which boasted that Gordon Ramsay himself and the cast were going to unveil the World’s Biggest Cupcake in an attempt at a Guinness world record.

There was a decent amount of media there, and crowd of tourists.


I guess the cupcake was supposed to be int his giant box??


Some members of the MasterChef Jr cast came out (And Dara wore my red Hello Kitty x Chubby Bunny bow! <3), with Gordon Ramsay popping out right after.

He gave a little speech thanking guests, then revealed that… oops… they tried to make a giant cupcake, baked it for 36 hours, then found it had been leaking and weren’t able to complete the cupcake….! How sad! Instead, he revealed a very tiny cupcake that they were able to salvage from the big one…


(Photo from DailyMail.com !)

After the reveal, Gordon flicked it into the crowd… haha.

DSC_0169 DSC_0170


I snapped a quick photo of Dara during one of her interviews wearing the bow, but had to run after that…!


But not before grabbing one of the free Sprinkles cupcakes they gave to the crowd! Were they FOX-flavored? haha.


Hope you enjoyed that senseless Gordon Ramsay post. I love his shows, and am stoked to see the premiere of MasterChef Jr. tomorrow!

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Japan Day 11/LAST DAY!: Koenji is my new love

8 Sep

After a pleasant bullet train ride, I made my way to Koenji to spend my last day in Japan with Tavuchi!

She was kind enough to let me stay at her place for one night before I headed back to America. She was pretty amped to show me more of her town and all the fun things to do. thankfully, it was a nicely overcast day where I wasn’t melting in the Tokyo heat for once!

As I mentioned before, Koenji is a great little place just 2 stops west of Shinjuku station on the JR Sobu line train. It’s calm and friendly, and sort of like not being in Tokyo at all!

Tavuchi helped me lug my heavy suitcase up her 3 flights of stairs to her apartment, and we prettied ourselves up a bit for a stroll through her hood. Tavuchi also blogged about our date day, too, so you can look at her post and pics there ❤

Before we left her place, I saw this amazing thing on her coffee table. Tavuchi said it was her roommates'.... IT'S AMAZING.

Our first stop wast to visit Tavuchi’s friend Toko (who I met on Day 3 in Japan), who runs the store Hikari in Koenji! Hikari is full of great vintage, remade, and original clothing from all over. It’s super quirky in there, I love it!

A mini shrine in the middle of the store. All of the photographs are either customers or Toko's friends she snapped while out and about.

Knickknacks and paddywacks galore!

How cute is Toko? She is giving us a proper farewell ❤

More of the day and pics after the jump!

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Japan Day 3: Harajuku Time Sales, Grimoire Store Tour, & SPANK! store tour!

9 Aug

Day 3 for me was Monday, July 25, and definitely the worst jetlag I experienced on the entire trip. Weirdly enough, I didn’t feel tired at all on Sunday, since it was a constant GO GO GO battle for us, but I had small bursts of downtime on Monday which made me almost fall asleep in the weirdest places.

I woke up early and headed out before Caro for some meetings for work-related fun times. Later on, I was able to grab lunch with 6%DOKIDOKI‘s Sebastian and Mika, his assistant, and catch up on things. Lunch was delish!

Steamed pork, with ponzu dipping sauce. SO DELICIOUS and summery!

Casual Sebastian! And Mika (right) during lunch.

After that I scooted over to the Harajuku 6%DOKIDOKI shop again to say hello to my buddies there and pick up a few cute things I had spotted the day before but didn’t have time to get. I like that they have a good range of prices, from some select goods that are cute and small, like little rings for 800yen, to their custom made clothing which is.. well, a little out of my range at the moment, hehe. I did a quick pic with Yuka and Vani after that, maybe you can see the sleepiness in my face? haha.

Yuka’s (left) shoes are SO KILLER! She said she got them off eBay..! I’m looking a little derpy here, but at least my girls’ is cute! Oh yeah, I made my skirt, too! Hard to see, but there are a bunch of hearts fluttering off of it heh..

Caro was busy in a different part of town, so I took the opportunity to poke around my old haunts in Harajuku and dip into some of the craziness that is the Japan Summer Sales (the last day of which, for a lot of stores, was this day). Summer Sales usually start the Saturday before the Obon vacation, which is good timing for the general public because 1) school kids get off for summer vacation right around then so they have free time to buy things and 2) the general public can buy nice cute things to wear during their 1 to 2 week long Obon summer vacation.

I went to a bunch of smaller stores, but the biggest hoo-ha in the area was definitely the huge sales going on at LaForet, the big fashion department store on the corner of Omotesando crossing.

The crowds just outside the department store. I remember sitting down on a bench for a second, finishing a lemonade, and taking a deep breath before plunging into the darkness known as SUMMER SALES.

So, not only are most products in the stores on a huge price cut- i was seeing up to 80% discounts! – but there is also the demon known as the TIME SALE in Japan, where for a limited time, usually 30 minutes to an hour, there’s an ADDITIONAL discount on top of what’s already advertised. Once the girls start screaming “TAIMUUU SEEEE RU,” customers begin to RUN, not walk, into the department advertsing the discount, and push and pull each other around until they grab their desired items and hop into line. It’s the most unruly I’ve really ever seen J-peeps, and it’s not even THAT bad.. just… CROWDED.

Inside the madness, the great terror known as the TIME SALE begins.

I did, in case you were wondering, pick up some AMAZINGLY cheap things from these time sales. I believe I got:
2 necklaces: 1000yen
1 pair jeans from World Wide Love!: 1000 yen (used to be 8400yen!)
1 scary looking USB mouse from Swimmer: 800Yen (previously 1500yen)

I was on kind of a tight budget while in Japan, so being able to buy gifts for people or things I needed for 1,000yen or less was pretty awesome.
I love having an easily concealable camera so I can take ninja photos of things I really like, but don’t feel like buying. Window shopping is insanely satisfying for me.

Here are some other random photos I took while putzing around Harajuku:

Panda pockets, my friends. It’s a thing, and I love it.

Jam pants. They’re a thing. Tell your friends. I really wanted a pair of these cray things but.. yeah.. just too crazy.

An Evangelion + Lotteria (a fast food burger chain) campaign. Uhmm. What the hell? Why not, I guess… haha.

Right around the time I was pondering whether to get an Evangelion burger, I got a text from Caro to meet her in Shibuya to meet some of her friends and take photos of Grimoire. I scooted over there and met up with Caro and her friend.

Grimoire is recognized as one of the premiere brands that brought Dolly-kei fashion to Japan (and is often confused for Mori-girl fashion) that stocks unique vintage items from Europe and the US, and creates original accessories and remade items in their store. What is so amazing about this store, however, may not be the products themselves, but the atmosphere of the decor in the store itself. Grimoire is a store that has taken great pains to create a magical forest wonderland that absorbs you and makes you forget about the outside world when you enter their doors. Simply shopping in the store is a cathartic experience, and I can see why so many girls flock to their two branches in Shibuya. There’s a more complete article about Grimoire and its founders here on TokyoFashion.com!

Their second, and larger location, in Shibuya.

Really great displays for the clothing, so romantic!

Superfluous pic of me in one of their gorgeous mirrors they use for the dressing area

Proper shot of the dressing area. These magnificentlyheavy curtains come down when you untie the super fancy rope tassels

Can you say LUSH? Our TASSELS got TASSELS in ’em yo!

In any given corner you can see cute vintage shoes and cute vintage.. squirrels playing the piano with an acorn. OBVIOUSLY. This is super cute.

More beautiful displays

Some of the cute original accessories made by the Grimoire staff. These are pretty flowers-in-flowers with small gears or antique keys attached to them to make hair fascinators.

After that we hoofed it over to Koenji again (YAY!) to meet up with Tavuchi and so that I could finally see the SPANK! store! I am a terrible person and have not actually BEEN to a SPANK! location before! Currently there are 2 locations, one in Shibuya, called “Spank me!” and one in Koenji, if you ever wanna check it out 🙂

A quick intermission… this is a pic of a weird bilboard on the train platform… WHATTTT?

Now get ready for a completely different sort of store tour! SPANK! is located in a cool shoutengai (covered shopping street) in Koenji, about a quick 3 minute walk from the station, and up a small flight of stairs. When you open the door, you’ll hear the store playing cute pop punk music of Tavuchi’s choosing, and often, you’ll hear Mademoiselle Yulia’s tracks playing, as Yulia and Tavuchi are good friends from way back (so cute!)

Get ready for the visual candy!

SO CUTE! I love their handmade penguin guys! ❤

Spank’s Look is VERY DIY.. I love it! It’s so cute and playful!”

Hello Barbie salon head!!

Adorable earrings, necklaces and barettes are hand made and one of a kind!

All of these vintage shoes… WANT!

One wall space decorated to look like a SPANK! bedroom! I love how Tavuchi likes to throw wigs on top of th enecks of dressforms.. it’s so cute yet weird!

Unicorns, rainbows, stars, and cute girls. LOVE IT, LIVE IT!

Hey hey! The dress I wanted from way back!! I TOTES bought this (my only big purchase this entire trip!) to show my Spank love and, DUH wear a unicorn with sunglasses on it. I looove it!

Tavuchi met up with us shortly after the crazy photo/shopping spree we did in SPANK! and we hopped down to Baby King Kitchen!
This restaurant is really cute, because it 1) caters to young children (there are crayons and kids books, and big benches/couches so you can sit with your little ones, and a baby swing!! There’s a little bell to ring at the bottom of the stairs too so the staff can help you carry up strollers) and 2) makes really cute kids cafeteria-style food for ADULTS too! Whee! We met Tavuchi and her friend Toko there (who co-runs the store “Hikari” in Koenji) and, as my jetlag pulled into full gear, made small talk while I slumped into the corner of the couch and started to fall asleep 😦 I SUCK AT EVERYTHING OH GOD! I felt SO BAD because we were supposed to hang out all night this night and I totally died! the heat and the jetlag were too much for me 😦 Lame! At least I was able to hang out with everyone for a bit and eat the yummy food though ❤

We are trying to be robots. AWESOME ROBOTS. Tavuchi (left) and me (right)

Caro and Toko!

The Princess Set! Caro and I both got one, and it came with a free pin! We got to pick out of a box of pins hehe so cute ❤

Tavuchi ordered the Baby Pudding Set… so cute =D I love how there’re faces on everything!

Today was the must jetlagged/sleepy day I had, unfortunately, BUT! I was able to shake it for pretty much the rest of the trip. We had a wonderful time hanging out and meeting new friends this day!  It was only about half work related which was good, too!

I’ll do my best to continue updating about my Japan trip!

For now…!

SPANK!’s “closed” sign is even adorbale!

Culver City Adventuretimes! City Tavern, Tavuchi, and COOP at Corey Helford

18 Jul

On Friday, July 15, I continued my busy weekend with a “Welcome (back)” dinner that I organized for our buddy Tavuchi, owner of the brand SPANK!, who is visiting from Japan for some work projects. Tavuchi is a really fun gal to hang around, and I was lucky enough to get to know her during the Magical Girls’ exhibition weekend back in April, since my co-owned company Bubble Punch was working on projects in conjunction with her and Sweet Streets that weekend 🙂

I picked a fun gastropub place near my place called City Tavern, that I had been to before. I was excited because I was able to reserve a Beer Tap Booth for us! It’s… exactly what it sounds like. Three beer taps are installed into the wall next to the booth, and the small screen under the taps keep track of how much beer you consume, at 50 cents an ounce. Super fun!

I guess the only downsides to this would be: 1) you can only pour the 3 beers they have loaded up into the taps (but you can still order from their full drink menu), and 2) you look like an idiot when you fill your cup with foam because you’re not tilting your glass properly, haha.

Delicious beer fresh from the tap!

More from City Tavern, as well as COOP’s opening show after the jump!

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Food is a Friend; or, Fixing Food Amnesia.

30 Jan

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.

Pork liver pate with something else.. it kills me that i can't remember and that it's not on their online menu! See what I mean about food memory? It was delicious btw.

Lamb with a spicy banger. Nomnomnom.

Special of the day, Bone Marrow pot pie. SO GOOD. The little lump on top is the bone sticking out ❤

Seafood pasta dish. Sooo many mussels!


In the heart of Koreatown scoping out their super fun grocery stores.

Ridiculous sale on dungeness crabs the day we were there! $1.99 per pound and fresh and kicking from the the tank from this guy!

Heukmee makegeolli for sale.. I'd never seen the pink variety before! The awesome cartoon whale on the front promises you epic drunken times, I think. Haha...

THEY SELL GEODUCK POKEMON!!! haha. No, just regular geoduck, but I sure LOLed when I looked at this and wasn't sure if it was a joke or not. GEODUCK IS REAL, NOT JUST A POKEMON IT TURNS OUT =0

God forbid you put your hang in the tank. This fish puppet will steal your soul.


A tiny corner joint in Koreatown, our friend Nicole’s favorite place to get lunch during the work week:

Such a nice fresh barley tea ❤

So many side dishes come with whatever you order! Looove eating out at Korean places.

My raw fish salad. Delicious and wayyy too filling!

Will's deep deep dish of unagi!


Food-themed adventures at Target!

I regret not getting these things… but at the same time I don’t…

Left: Donut maker. Right: Cupcake maker. So cute looking o.o

What a cute way to display your food! Mickey-shaped bowls and plates!


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.

The photo doesn't do it justice. It was literally the best bahn mi I have EVER HAD. This is a real vietnamese person saying that, so PLEASE ENJOY THE AUTHENTICITY OF MY COMMENT.

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.

I'd like to think that LOVE is Twinkie's thought bubble haha.

Really cute shabby chic decor.

I usually hate these tiny chandeliers, but when you put a bunch togeher with some glass strands, well, NOW it's cute.

Hairy's corned beef hash omlette thing. It was delicious and calming.

Twinkie's peach covered french toast croissants!

Banana custard-stuffed french toast with whipped cream and mangoes was mine for the killing. SO deliciously dense!

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.

Corn Fritters!

The inside of said fritters...

The coconut rice from this dish was amazing. Everything else was good, too, but still prefer Simpang's version of this.

Epic fish! THIS was very very good,and for $12, we fed both of us, and still have half the fish leftover for dinner tonight! yay!

After that meal, we scuttled home in the rain.

Thanks for sticking with it for this entire post! More fun times up ahead!



Day 1: Love Thy Daily Life

22 Dec

WARNING: If you cannot bear to be reminded of the mundane, and hate to read about it and hear it spoken of in good graces, you should probably stop reading. My journal. Forever. Haha.

So I have just arrived home in snowy, grey Pittsburgh.

About 9 months out of the year it looks like this. Pretty grey, sort of like Gotham City minus the Batman, dark most of the year, and in the winter, boatloads of snow. Flying into Pittsburgh this morning, it was nice to see the usual coat of snow over everything. I dusts pretty often here, but I’m pretty sure the buildup I was seeing was from the snow storm they had a couple of weeks ago. And we’re due for another one soon, in time for a very white Christmas!

I’m not very attached to this city, but I’m trying to at least appreciate it. Being raised here as opposed to SoCal, I am pleased to know I am comfortable dealing with cold weather, snow, sleet, and hills (not that I’ve left the house today haha).

And now I am on the ultimate vacation. One of the reasons I do like to come home is that my parents are lovely, even if we fight a lot, and my mom is the best cook in the world. The other, is that it is a COMPLETE escape from work. I’m still on the internet and on my phone from time to time, but at least I can officially say I’ve “checked out” of work. Although working from home sounds really fabulous, it’s not like I can just lay in bed and mope when I don’t feel like working. Mostly, I don’t have set break times, so I end up working from the moment I wake up until the very minute I lay down to go to bed. Here, I can relax and feel like I’m at “home” minus the office.

Additionally, I think a lot of people in Los Angeles are very concerned with throwing away the shackles of their “ordinary” past, perhaps it was growing up in a small town, or not feeling like the cool kid in school. I find that weird, because I like telling people where I’m from, where I’ve been, and most importantly for me, how nerdy I am, haha. I don’t know if people really get that image from me, though, since I do still like to dress pretty and go to parties and complain about work a lot, like most other Angelenos and people my age. Also, I find that people who are from the East Coast sort of do that wink and nod thing, where we acknowledge the awesomeness of our birth-coast, and at the same time, do not make any false claims about wanting to live there right now.

However, the next week is dedicated to showing more about my past, who I am because of it, and why I really miss being a lazy slob, but I don’t. (I’m sure by the end of this week I’ll be ecstatic to get back to work. About 3 days of idleness really gets me in the word to be productive again, and I could use the reboot.)

And so, this post is titled “Love Thy Daily Life.”

God how I’ve missed the mundane of laying in bed and watching TV from it! Long gone are the days of reading manga, taking a nap, reading more manga, eating, taking another nap, watching tv, then eating more. Okay, maybe I did 1 work email and did 1 work phone call in between all that but it’s still vacation to me! I am even pretty excited about putting on some pounds. I lost some weight due to stress and not eating and it weirded me out. I am now filling that void with food. A LOT OF IT.

Here is the super-important breakdown of my day:

Home cooked items eaten:

  • Beef, tofu, egg rice combo (pictured above)
  • wonton soup
  • 1 raisin cookie
  • 1chocolate chip cooke
  • 1 pieces nut roll cake
  • 1 piece pumpkin bread
  • 2 bacon covered scallops that my mom made to “test” her recipe ::droool::
  • 2 glasses of OJ (My parents think it’s the only thing I drink, which is weird because I haven’t drank it since.. oh yeah, college.)

Random television I have absorbed:

  • Snow Buddies movie
  • 4 – 9 episodes of Mythbusters. I have lost count. Including the 2010 Christmas special and the Green Hornet special. Wow, must have been watching for a while, because Christmas episode is beginning to repeat haha.
  • 2 episodes of Ghost Hunters (I only watch the part where they first enter the building then I have to turn it off when scary stuff happens. I don’t know what is wrong with me).
  • Half an episode of Hannah Montanna
  • Half an episode of iCarly (Miranda Cosgrove has the face of a 40 year old woman, wth)


Literature/Manga read while in bed (hooray to my lovely boyfriend Will for giving me a Kindle for Christmas this year!):


  • 2 chapters of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • 11 chapters of Full Metal Panic Sigma
  • 6 chapters of Mei-chan’s Butler
  • 2 stories in Japanese Fairytales

I feel so lovely and media saturated and fat and warm. I have no really plans while at home here except seeing some old friends, seeing my neice tomorrow, and probably drinking heavily at some point. Life is grand.

And I leave you with this, my last gloating point, of which I think I deserve to gloat considering how much work I put into classes this year: my grades for second quarter despite my going crazy with stress over my 2.5 jobs plus classes on the side (I guess it’s not really “on the side” when you’re registered as a full time student, huh?): STRAIGHT A’S! BWHAHAHAHA.

Get on the Bacon Train.

17 Oct

Because the bacon train is a happening.

The whole bacon boom has gotten kind of out of control here in Los Angeles, but I am glad to be part of a society that creates things like bacon cupcakes, bacon waffles, and bacon whiskey.

I recently tried out the Lardon truck! It is… a BACON FOOD TRUCK.

As soon as we walked close to it, we could smell the sweet wafts of BACONY GOODNESS. If the smell of grilling bacon isn’t the ultimate advertisement, I don’t what is.

The crew were very friendly, and the food, while it took about 20 minutes to come out after ordering, was so worth the wait!


Lining up for some bacon times!



The bacon brownie! SO RICH and THICK and DELISH!


I ordered the item below. I probably won’t get it again, since it came out sorta burnt and took a long time for them to make, but c’est la vie! The other items on the menu look interesting enough that I’d like to try everything eventually.


Brioche french toast with bacon inside and bacon bourbon maple syrup. The toast was a little on the burnt side :/



The inside of the french toast. A little burnyyyy!



Will got "The Lardon", which was a pretty fancy BLT.



This thing was insane! it was the "baco" (the owner pronounced it like "taco"), with potatoes, 3 different kinds of bacon (boar, maple glazed, and something else I can't remember).



Totally heart attack city! Here's a cross section view of the Baco!


Thus ends my review of the Lardon Truck. Though a tad disappointed with the French Toast (can’t really recommend it at all, tbh), everything else was AMAZING and I would definitely suggest you go and try out their other stuff!

You can see their full menu here, and follow them on Twitter!