Torafuku: Dine Out Vancouver 2016

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A few friends and I went to Torafuku on Tuesday. The only Vancouver Dine Out reservation time that was available was 8PM, so you can bet I was starving by the time I got there. Continue reading

LA for Christmas! Pt. 2

Hello y’all,

So finally posting part 2 of my LA trip. And it’s actually not that overdue if you look at some of my other posts.

After Anaheim, we went back to the city of Los Angeles. We were exhaused on the first day and decided to skip some of the stuff we had planned so we can go straight to Little Tokyo. Some things I learned about LA:

1. Little Tokyo is the best place ever

We ended up skipping another few things on our list just to re-visit Little Tokyo on the third day. They have a million ramen places to choose from and we ended up going to Orochon Ramen and Hakata Ramen. We had to wait at both of them but Hakata’s wait was almost 2 hours! They both served great ramen, but the bf and I both agree that Orochon’s soup was better. We like spicy and Orochon gave you the option to make it super spicy.

Another thing Little Tokyo was amazing at was mochi. I think the mochi lato at Mikawaya Mochi has forever changed me. No mochi will ever taste as good 😦 They had regular mochi too, but the lato ones were creamier and the skin wasn’t as hard. It was so perfect!

2. K-town isn’t trashy

From what I’ve seen of the webseries K-town, I had expected Koreatown in LA to be trashier and greasier. It really wasn’t. Instead we found super cheap restaurants! They were quite famous for their Korean BBQ all-you-can-eats and we ended up settling for one that was $11.99 at Sanya Korean BBQ Buffet. So much meat. So worth it.

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Tell me this isn’t cheap. The $11.99 menu was more than enough for dinner.

We had lots of beef brisket, thinly sliced. We let it grill just a little longer than necessary, giving the outside a slightly crispier exterior. It was amazing. We also had some pork belly and there were a lot of other things on the menu. But we were quite full from the side dishes they provide you as well.

Koreatown also had lots of shops that sold Korean products. I hopped into one or two cosmetic shops just to see what they have and their collections are quite complete. If you’re looking for asian snacks, this also was a good place to go!

3. The Getty is far

I was annoyed by LA’s transit system to begin with, but getting to the Getty really was something. We had to take two busses, and the schedules were horrible. It took forever to get to the Getty via transit (about an hour and 20 minutes?), whereas driving would’ve taken 19 minutes.

$100 million. Right there.

$100 million. Right there.

One thing I did enjoy was seeing the paintings. I’m no art expert, but at the Getty I got to admire the works of some big artists. It was the first time I had seen a Van Gogh, Monet, and a Picasso in real life. Or any famous paintings in real life I guess. Irises by Van Gogh was the featured exhibit for the period that we were there. A hundred million dollar painting. I didn’t even want to breathe near it.

4. Hollywood is only glam for about 4 blocks

Exiting the metro station for Hollywood, I took a few seconds just to marvel at how alive and amazing Hollywood looked. Bright lights, crowds of people, music everywhere. We hit up a few souvenir shops, went to Madame Tussauds and at night, spent new year’s eve at Hardrock Cafe counting down with other patrons in the restaurant.

Madame Tussauds shenanigans. They had a Marvel exhibit!

Madame Tussauds shenanigans. They had a Marvel exhibit!

But then we went to explore and walked down Hollywood only to realized that the glam only lasted a few blocks. Beyond the main strip of Hollywood that we always see on TV, the street was lined with mediocre restaurants or shabby looking pubs. The Walk of Fame also deteriorates drastically, the names of actors/actresses being none that we recognize. But I guess to be a tourist attraction, you don’t need to show everyone the full picture before their arrival.

5. The TCL Theatre is beautiful

My boyfriend and I saved The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies for the TCL Theatre! We saw that they were showing it and decided we’d hold off until we got to Hollywood. Plus, we’d get to check out the TCL Theatre!

I could not believe how nice the theatre was and that it is accessible to the public. I’m so used to seeing award shows and events happening there on TV I never thought it would be open for regular movies. They also played movies in IMAX and the quality was so good it was almost disorienting at first watching the characters so clearly.

I thought the price was amazing. It was $19 a ticket for IMAX in a gorgeous theatre. In Vancouver, we pay $15 for a shabby theatre seat for IMAX. It was so worth it watching a movie there. If you do go, visit the washrooms. It’s ridiculously big.

So that’s it for my LA trip! I’m proud of myself for having written pt 2 so quickly 🙂

– Karen

Automatic updates enabled. If only.

Hey all,

Don’t you wish you had an update hub so everyone can just be filled in with what’s going on with your life instead of you having to repeatedly tell people or different groups individually? But then again, I guess that wouldn’t make for much conversation or seeing each other I suppose.

Not being in school this term was a big change for me. Never have I ever missed a term of school and done something else, but here I am doing co-op while I see pictures of everyone back at UBC. Do I miss it? Yes. But at the same time, it’s a nice change. Plus, work is letting me get a glimpse of the real world— it’s not the most exciting and makes me wish I can stay in school forever, but it’s manageable. Or maybe I’m still waiting to find something I’m uber passionate about.

Working also means that I’m no longer just seeing my friends randomly around classes or on campus, and I realize it meant that I had to reach out in order to see people. I’m glad I realized this sooner rather than later, because I’ve got many dear friends that I would hate to lose contact with! The past few weeks have been me filling my schedule up so that we could check in on each other’s lives and also just talk in general! It also meant that I got to try out lots of new food places 🙂 It’s Vancouver and it’s currently fall/winter time. If you’re not at the movies or in a restaurant, where else would you be?

I finally tried Gyoza Bar with my friend Amy. Heard about it over the summer when it first opened, but never got a chance to go! I must say, their ramen broth really is something else! It’s thick and really flavourful! The egg isn’t as good at Marutama Ramen’s, but everything else was quite nice! We also ordered their special which was a chickpea karaage. It was very interesting since the chickpea was soft and warm on the inside, with its crispy karaage exterior.

Carmen showed me this dessert place near where I used to live in Marpole. It’s relatively new and it’s called Doolami Dessert. The mango pomelo sago was delicious and my friend got the durian one. It’s not easy finding Chinese dessert places in Vancouver, especially in the Vancouver West area, so this was great to know about! This place also makes their own pints of ice-cream (I know it’s winter, but hey, ice cream) with interesting flavours. Carmen got a pint of durian ice cream and I was contemplating the blueberry lavender. But apparently, the blueberry overpowers the lavender and I’m more for the lavender.

I also met up with my ex-supervisors from work (they had both moved on to pursue other opportunities!), and we went to Bella Gelateria’s new location in Yaletown! I ordered a meat-filled pizza (I remember salami on it, but don’t remember its fancy name), and one of the other girls ordered one with eggplant. I never liked eggplant, but thinly sliced then stone oven baked made it delicious. This may be a turning point between me and eggplant’s relationship. Overall, the place is kind of expensive, but you can get away with sharing 2 pizzas between 3 people.

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Doesn’t this look super artsy? A shot from the interior of The Greedy Pig. My hand shook when I took the photo and it blurred. So pro.

Last but not least, I met up with C, a fellow blogger here! Well, technically no longer on WordPress since he actually has his own domain now and blogs from there, but it was through WordPress that we had met. Talking to him made me realize that we had actually known each other for three years. I had first started my blog when we came across each others’. He had also moved away from Vancouver for a while, but now that he’s back we managed to meet up and chill. He had suggested this place called The Greedy Pig. Sadly, my appetite was crappy that day, but their mushroom soup was still good! C chowed down his mac and cheese fairly quickly, so I’m going to assume it was good. I’ve been by that place before, and was even going to eat dinner there once, but the line up was so ridiculous my friends and I ended up going elsewhere.

Of course, there’s other updates in my life. Another first for me was updating my Facebook relationship status. Never done that with a boyfriend before, so he’s something special 🙂 But that’s probably another story for another time.

– Karen

Done Exams — Now For Some Me Time

Hey all!

So it had been a while since my last post, but that is all due to school, commitments and basically me not having anything really interesting to say.

But I must say, having been asked out by a 34 year old was either a high…or a low of my life? He knew how old I was too, I am pretty sure. This made me question what age is my upper limit when it comes to guys. But you know what, 34 would probably be fine, if that guy didn’t ask me in a semi-creepy way.

I am finally done exams and ready to type away! I apologize to everyone who is subscribed to me, as well as the people I am subscribed to! Believe me, I wish I had time to scroll away on my Reader on WordPress and read your lovely posts, but finals just did not allow me to do so!

To celebrate my freedom, I booked an appointment at Hive Hair Spa to do my hair. I used to go to Chura, but they are always booked, so I have to book weeks in advance. Also, Chura would require me to bus all the way downtown, whereas with Hive, I lived blocks away!

First time visitors get 20% off! I really liked the atmosphere of the salon. It was small yet modern, but very cosy. They had leather armchairs that you could melt into while they dealt with your hair. They also offer you complimentary drinks (various teas) and Pocky! I thought that was very cute and definitely a good way to differentiate their business! Pocky and Japanese stuff? You basically instantly make the connection to what they sell.

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After they were almost done with my hair, they also offer you a massage. Overall, it was a great experience and I managed to finish off my novel, Slaughterhouse Five, during my sitting. So great to have time to read something other than a textbook!

Although their hair stylists/barbers do not all speak English, they have one or two staff on hand who does! So at one point, my hair stylist could not understand my question so she went to get me someone who could explain stuff to me. So obviously, I did not really talk to my stylist, but it was totally fine because I am not particularly talkative anyway, and really wanted to read. 😛 But in all, she was still very nice and professional!

Anyway, I am going to put this holiday to good use– catch up on TV shows that I have been meaning to watch! So basically, that would include finishing off the rest of Supernatural, starting Merlin (so sad they cancelled it though!), and I cannot wait for the new Doctor Who episode!!

This was just a short update, just so I get a feel of what blogging is again. I am serious, it is that foreign to me now.

Here’s to hoping that everyone else out there is enjoying the holiday!

 

-Karen