20150725_181409I visited my friends in the OC yesterday and we went to BurntZilla, a mini-hotdog and burger place using sweet Hawaiian rolls. For such small portions, it’s pretty dense and I was already getting full.

Pictured is the pork belly sandwich, the Dogzilla hotdog, tator tots, and sweet tea.

14413 Culver Dr
Irvine, CA 92604

Rainy Days in SoCal and a day trip to the OC

Yesterday was an unusual summer storm in SoCal. Yesterday morning, I removed more dead grass and weeds and trash from the parking strip and transferred the green grape plant to the ground.

After I was done, sat outside and read. As I was reading, I kept hearing so many thunderstorms, yet no rain. Then there was lightning and I decided it was time to go back inside.

My husband comes back from school and we head off to Orange County to meet up with a friend from the Bay area. We took him to our favorite place in the OC, the 4th Street Market. Then it started raining.

I went to MAR and got their poke bowl and a black rice horchata. 20150718_150216

Stopped by my favorite cookie place called Chunk-N-Chip. They didn’t have the Champagne cookies available but I did get the Rose Almond (left) and the Brioche cookies.

4th Street Market
201 E 4th St
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Then later that day, we met up with another friend at Ritter’s Steam Kettle Cooking, a cajun restaurant in Santa Ana. Perfect rainy day food.


The chefs make the the soups in front of you.

Ritter’s Clam Chowder. I asked for a 5 on the spicy scale and I couldn’t imagine how spicy New England style chowder would be. It was pretty spicy and I kept grabbing bread and water to ease the spiciness.20150718_183039My husband got the Etouffee with a 5 on the spiciness scale. Considering this is a tomato-based broth, it wasn’t as spicy as the Ritter’s Chowder.


DineLA week at Downtown Johnny’s

My husband has been sick for the past few days and we haven’t really gone anywhere this past week. We were planning to check out Night Market at Monterey Park but instead we decided to do dineLA week and dine somewhere closer to home. Downtown Johnny’s has gone through a couple of re-incarnations. Previously it was called Murph’s and the before that it was called Mad Bulls.



If you go here for dineLA you get a three course meal and a complementary alcoholic drink.



Kimchi deviled eggs20150717_190701Truffle Macaroni and Cheese — the winning appetizer dish.



The Downtown Burger – This has to be a half pound burger meat. It was huge!

20150717_192927Spicy Italian Pizza – It was surprisingly spicy and I took some leftovers home.




House-made donuts – I think they should have called it “donut holes”.

20150717_194821Buttermilk panna cotta – For some reason, I think it’s the grapefruit and the mint but the smell made me thing this was a mojito in dessert form. I recommend mixing everything first — the creaminess balances everything out. I think I’ll attempt made this dessert at home.

Downtown Johnny’s
14649 Ventura Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 91403

(Hint: across the street from Laser Tag)

20150717_200712Some public art nearby.


Thursday Sharing

Need to relax, play this! It’s highly recommended to play it on your television. I like the music but I love the scenery more. It helps me relax. One of my girlfriends likes to play these YouTube sceneries on her TV from fireplace to spring meadow and since then I’ve been hooked.

Another Youtube video? Yes, because this Suicide Squad trailer looks awesome!

This post is a nice reminder that the act of doing the cooking is good for you. I need to cook at least three recipes per week — that should be my new years resolution since it looks like we’re not moving anywhere.

This is no joke, we’ve been yawning incorrectly this whole time? Why does yawning have to be so complicated?

Hitting Day 100 on our 100 days of Home Improvement

Today is Day 100 of our 100 days of Home Improvement. No, we did not do Home Improvement related stuff for 100 days straight. Some days we took breaks, took rest days because one of us was sick, did our hobbies, went on dates, went on vacation, and basically just lived.

Not only it’s been a 100 days of Home Improvement but more like 100 days of being homeowners. It’s been an interesting experience and it’s far different from being a renter — that deserves another list on its own.

Lessons learned on doing home improvement:

1. Home improvement is a lot of work (obviously).

2. It’s also very expensive — more expensive than a our wedding which we gladly did not splurge on.

3. Identify your strengths and see what you can DIY and then…

4. Do a cost analysis for every project to see if DIY is worth it or hire a professional.

5. Please, please open your mind and and don’t commit to one contractor, one color, one layout, etc. Get to know ALL your options. You’ll find out it is not about the cheapest price being the best, but the best quality for the best price. We’ve seen some terrible craftsmanship and terrible reviews at high(er than reasonable) prices, so keep shopping.

6. Take your time — The last few days, I finally came up with an idea how our dining area would look like. I already put together what furniture and artwork to buy. The issue is what paint to get.

Upcoming home projects for 2015 (DIY or contract):

1. Landscape the parking strip – This will be DIY. Though LA approved planting vegetables, I got something else in mind. Maybe I’ll leave a tiny section of the parking strip for community garden. I already started by removing a lot of the grass and weeds — however much I can fill the green bin. I’ve got some ways to go. The green bin is too full.


2. Replace all the grass with mulch — we don’t have a lot of grass in either side of the yard.

3. Deck area – Khoi will do 100% of the pavers

4. Do the electrical – This will be a contract work

5. Remove the palm trees – Our front yard is crowded with trees — we’ll keep the Christmas tree and the lime tree. The palm trees look really off.

6. Furnish our dining area – My husband approved my rendering. Friendsgiving at our house!

7. Create an art space – I know the perfect place to hang some art I’ve been eye-ing. It would be even more perfect when we open the wall.

Peach galette and the “boring” weekend

20150712_164041My first attempt making a galette. It’s definitely more free form than a pie. I try not blog anything I made for the first time, but it’s hard to mess up a galette and doesn’t require a lot of fancy ingredients. Eventually I’ll experiment with more complex mixes such as this apple galette with goat cheese, sour cherry, and almonds. 

It’s been a while since I made anything. I forgot how therapeutic it can be to read through food magazines and cookbooks and make something.

It’s been over 3 months since we moved into our house and became homeowners. We still continuing to balance things to do for the house and things we want to do for ourselves and we get caught up with one or the other. This weekend was really nice, I feel I need more weekends like this. On Saturday morning, I did some yard work by taking out the weeds and the dead grass our little strip of land on the sidewalk. I finished until I filled up the green bin. Then I drank some coffee and caught up on my Duolingo (Spanish and Italian) and finally finished reading Ghettoside. When I was done, I ran some errands.

Today was nice too. Again, I started with drinking coffee and did Duolingo and looked through my recipe books and Pinterest on what to make for the week. Then I went out to exercise and did some groceries. I don’t know what sparked the idea for me to bake today. Maybe it’s just been a while since I’ve made anything and it’s been a while since I had a weekend like this.

Confession: I used store bought pie crust…and I don’t think this was enough crust to handle all those peaches. I should’ve used two store bought pie crusts or maybe tried using puff pastry. There’s always next time.


  • 3 peaches, sliced
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla
  • 2 teaspoon of butter
  • 1 egg (for the egg wash)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F degrees
  2. Place the pie crust mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Mix the filling ingredients
  4. Put the mixture in the center of the pie crust dough and fold up the edges
  5. Get an egg and beat it and do an egg wash on the surfaces.
  6. Place the galette in the oven and let it bake for 25 minutes
  7. When it’s done, let it cool, and then serve with vanilla ice cream.

Thursday Sharing

Don’t worry folks, we DON’T pretend we ate that — we actually eat the food featured on this blog. Sometimes we accidentally eat before we take the photo. If we can’t finish, we can take home for leftovers. Here’s an Instagram for more posed food photos. 

Loving this Sara Bareilles version of “Chandelier. It’s so stripped down. Bonus points for her being an UCLA alum too :-).

Don’t forget — dineLA starts Monday! I think we’ll go to Fogo de Chao. We’ll find a reason to celebrate.

A refreshing post about GMOs in a Facebook newsfeed full of GMO aversion. I laugh when salt is lacked non-GMO — salt doesn’t have DNA.

4th of July fun at the Hollywood Bowl

For the 4th of July my friends, my husband, and I went to the Hollywood Bowl and saw the LA Philharmonic and Smokey Robinson. It was a lot of fun and we sang along to all the songs. The night ended with fireworks, of course. The Hollywood Bowl is the best place to watch fireworks for the 4th of July!

I’ve been to the Hollywood Bowl plenty of times when I was in junior high and high school sitting in the very, very back watching the LA Philharmonic — my friends and I got the 1 dollar tickets. It’s been more than 15 years since I’ve been back to the Bowl and it’s been renovated — the acoustics are much better than I remembered and I’m still sitting in the back of the Bowl. Or unless my hearing got better. And I do not remember large screen televisions at the Bowl.

We highly recommend taking the shuttle from wherever you are. We met up with our friends in Culver City and took a shuttle from there. The shuttle also picks up from Sherman Oaks, Pasadena, Chatsworth, Torrance, Arcadia, El Monte, and Rowland Heights (wow, that far?)

Before the concert, we had a picnic at the Hollywood Bowl. We picked up sandwiches and side dishes from the Jackson Market at Culver City.

Our picnic spread: sandwiches, egg salad, potato salad, salad, potato chips, beer, wine, and ginger ale.

Starting off with the LA Phil playing patriotic songs and popular movie tunes.

And ending the night with fireworks.

We took the shuttle back to Culver City and ended our night with tacos al pastor from Leo’s Taco truck. The pineapples are nice touch.