Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Every time I visit LA, its just too short! The days are filled with seeing family and friends, while leisurely visiting some of my favorite foods while growing up. This trip (I am still here) is no different, but I hope I get some sleep. :D

Day 1 ...

1:00 p.m. LAX AIRPORT - I land at LAX and instantly notice the 50 degree weather differential from NYC to here. Its 80 degrees and I ceremoniously begin to take my winter jacket off and enjoy the sun rays. My friend picks me up and we head to the suburbs of Los Angeles!

SPAM WALL OF FAME (left); 442nd Street Combo (right) at Shakas

2:30 p.m. SHAKAS (Monterey Park, LA) We are at Shakas's, one of the first Hawaiian restaurants around our neighborhood, and this was one of the many "chomping" grounds during my high school years... I haven't been here in two years? maybe more? But I am here now because life is not complete without the sesame chicken and spam musubi here! So I ordered the 442nd Combo ($8.95) w/ a side of spam musubi ($1.95, should have gotten the classic Shaka plate -- however, I didn't want the teriyaki beef -- but i forgot I could substitute it -- man, I am rusty!!!)... As I open the box, I learned that they changed the classic sesame chicken drumstick with chicken pieces ... :( ... as I take a bite of it, I knew it tasted all wrong - the flavorings were the same, but the texture and feel of it was not what I had salivated and longed for ... :( However, the spam musubi was as good as I remembered it... sad... :( Would I come again? I think the likelihood just diminished because my favorite sesame chicken is no longer a favorite with these chicken chunks ... however, if I DO come again, I am ordering the Shaka Plate and will have them substitute the beef for chicken cause their teriyaki sauce is yummy! p.s. They have Hawaiian Sun drinks here (my fav is the Strawberry Guava and the Pass-o-Guava) and Hawaiian Shaved Ice!

4:30 p.m. I visit my parents at Rose Hills Mortuary and enjoy the LA sunset with my brother.

6:30 p.m. A MOTHER'S COOKING (Suburbs of LA) -- Now, I'm at a friend's house, where her mother has prepared a classic Vietnamese dish. I can't recall the name of it at the moment, but it was delish... Vietnamese noodles, Crab mixed with dried shrimp and egg, half-sliced tomatoes -- all cooking on the stove for about 2.5 hours... There is nothing like home (click my heels), there is nothing like home (click my heels)... HA HA. I miss a mother's hand in good ole' home cooking.... Thank you for mothers! (btw, I got the recipe for this, so I can cook it at home!)

9:30 p.m. I am driving towards Korea Town to meet my brother and his friends at BCD Tofu House. Is it me? Or does Lady Gaga's song "Pokerface" feel different while listening in a car? It was almost electrifying -- yes, imagine me bopping my head to the song and then singing -- ma ba ba ba POKERFACE ... You and I...da da da ... POKERFACE ... :D

10:00 p.m. BCD TOFU HOUSE (KOREA TOWN, LA) -- um, a little bit of "siu yeh" - aka Late Night eating in Korea Town in Los Angeles. I thought it was funny that we went here This is one of the 14 franchises around the world, with one in New York and another in Japan and Korea! I didn't order the typical Soon Du Boo, as normal people would, instead, I ordered a plate of steamed dumplings - 7 for $3.99 - what a steal! The sauce was delicious! (sorry no iphone photos)

11:30 p.m. CRAZY HOOKS (Korea Town, LA) -- Um, anyone see The Pirates of the Caribbean movie? If not, come to this bar and you'll feel like you're in the hull of one of the ships -- pirates abound (hung from the ceiling), posters of the movie decorate the wall, and the typical skull and bulls (flagship sign of a pirate boat) flag is swaying in the room. This place is not short of "corn-e-ness", but its a chill spot to relax and have a conversation with friends... which is what we did as my brother's friends and I talked about our memories in Hong Kong, our different timed travel adventures in Argentina... and just about life... We ordered a Tower of Beer and since I was driving, I had a luxurious $7 Virgin Pina Colada... (man, food and drinks are expensive in K-town -- and that's not just NYC)

1:45 p.m. HOMEWARD BOUND IN THE DENSE FOG... And, just like I started the trip to Korea Town with a song from Lady Gaga, I ended it with a song from Far East Movement -- Like a G6 ... Like a G6 ... now, i'm feeling so fly like a g6 ....

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