dinner

Brodard’s Restaurant

I took my mom out on a date to Brodard Restaurant in Garden Grove. I had to take her here since she has never been! This Vietnamese restaurant is known for their spring rolls. It is mandatory that you order them as appetizer before chowing down on your pho. I repeat, mandatory!

For $7, they will give you 4 rolls or you can get 3 rolls for $5.25. They are called Nem Nöôùng Cuoán aka pork spring rolls. It has grilled pork sausage wrapped in rice paper with lettuce, cucumber, carrots, cilantro, chives, daikon and mint served with house special sauce. That sauce is amaze-sauce. It does not hurt to dunk and drench your spring rolls into it because it is sweet but light in flavor. It is not overwhelming on the palette at all!

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I wasn’t feeling pho that day and I just didn’t want to feel so greasy so I got myself vermicelli with a side of the fish sauce that you pour over. Somehow that fish sauce goes a long way!

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I feel like at all the Vietnamese restaurants I’ve been to, they tend to stuff the vermicelli bowl with a lot of noodles, vegetables, and meat! I even think that I have too much meat left and not enough noodles which is a great thing! With this one, I loved every slurp of the noodles.

I didn’t think I was going to be able to finish the bowl because I was pretty full even from the spring rolls! I couldn’t waste the food and it wasn’t a good idea to take it home because the noodles would get too soggy. So I just had to finish it!

I’ve been to Brodard’s Restaurant numerous times and I have never been disappointed of their food! My mom definitely loved her spring rolls experience. Yelpers love this place as they currently stand with 4 out of 5 stars and with 3500+ reviews! Wew!

Wow, thirty five hundred is a lot. Good for Brodard’s Restaurant!

Side note: Don’t go to Brodard’s Restaurant on Tuesdays because they are closed. My friends and I went there on a Tuesday and found the parking lot surprisingly empty because they were closed. It was one of the most upsetting food adventures ever. You can always go to the fancy one called Brodard Chateau but I would say it’s not worth it. Stick with the regular Brodard’s Restaurant.

After dinner, we walked over to 85 Degrees Bakery within the same plaza. I got myself some bread with chocolate. I don’t even know what kind of bread it was but I saw chocolate chips in them and had to get it instantly. I’ve been loving chocolate chips for some odd reason. Actually, I love sweets in general.

I enjoy taking my mom out to new places and I can’t wait to take her somewhere new again! Any suggestions? Please include dessert or coffee!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Eat Pray Love Journey – Day 6 – Minneapolis, Minnesota

I woke up little before 5 in the morning to get ready for my next adventure. I washed up, packed up, and took some food from the continental breakfast room for to-go. Christian picked me up at 5:45am to take me to Bellair Shuttle station.

Huge thanks to Christian for waking up so early to drop me off! Thank you, thank you!

The shuttle was taking me from Bellingham to Seattle-Tacoma Airport. I thought about flying out of Bellingham to go to Minneapolis but it was about a hundred dollar difference. I was like nah-ah, not paying that much. Instead, I paid $37 for the shuttle to take me to Sea-Tac airport at 6am.

The bus ride was about 3.5 hours long in the rain. We made some stops to pick up more passengers. I felt that I chose a pretty good seat where I could get my own space and no one would sit next to me. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. The bus was pretty empty with less than half the seats filled but somehow, some lady just had to sit next to me. She was harmless but I just wanted my space early in the morning. I’m usually a morning person and enjoy socializing but like I said, it was early. I ended up knocking out majority of the bus ride. At one point, I tried to stay awake but I failed to do so. My head just kept bobbing. I only knew one thing to keep me awake. Listen to K-pop.

I’m not a huge K-pop fan in general but there was this one K-pop singer who’s American and did a remix of a classic American song with a lot of swag that I really enjoyed. I knew this was going to keep me awake so I listened to it on repeat. Here’s Jay Park singing When A Man Loves A Woman by Michael Bolton:

After listening to it a few times, I was finally at Sea-Tac airport by 9:30am. I went over to Sun Country Airlines to check-in my baggage.

FYI: If you check-in online 1-24 hours before your departure with Sun Country Airlines, you can save $5 for your check-in baggage.

If you’re a SoCal native like myself, you may not know anything about Sun Country Airlines. I was hesitant about flying with them because one, I had never heard of it. Two, it was cheap that it was too good to be true. From Seattle to Minneapolis, it was only $74. Three, I read some bad reviews about this airline. Some compared it to Spirit. If you know about Spirit, you know that it’s not good.

As I was boarding my flight at 10:15am, I noticed that someone was sitting in my seat. I guess the passenger who was in my seat wanted to sit with her family since they were sitting in that same row. As I approached the passenger about the situation, a flight attendant came to the rescue and asked if I could sit somewhere else since there would be some empty seats on this flight. I stood in the back until everyone was seated. Next thing you know, I got the whole row to myself!

I knocked out pretty quickly on this 5 hour flight. I don’t remember much about my flight except missing the opportunity to get some water from the flight attendant. I got really thirsty after my nap.

I landed in Minneapolis, Minnesota at 3:20pm. My friend, Mark, picked me up from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The real adventure began from this point on.

I booked a room through AirBnB with a Chinese family. I thought it would be interesting to book a room at their house because I was curious about how they got to Minneapolis since there aren’t a lot of Asians in Minneapolis. The journalist side of me made me eager to learn their story. According to Wikipedia there’s only 4.9% of Asians in Minneapolis!

I texted the girl who I was communicating with from AirBnB that I was on my way to her house. She responded that her uncle should be home to let me in. So Mark dropped me off at the house. I rang the doorbell and an older Chinese lady opened the door. Immediately, she started talking to me in Chinese and pointed at Mark’s car.

Let me remind you that I am not Chinese. I’m Korean.

I was so caught off guard by the whole situation that there was definitely an awkward moment. I quickly told her that I wasn’t Chinese. She said, “Oh! Ok!” We both kind of laughed it off. I think she was trying to tell me that Mark should move his car to the driveway but I told her he wasn’t staying. So then she carried my luggage to my room and that was that.

I unpacked a little bit and then went to explore Minneapolis with Mark! He showed me around downtown Minneapolis and gave me a thorough history of it. The area reminded me of the cleaner and less congested version of Los Angeles.

We went to the Gold Medal Park in downtown Minneapolis. It’s a spacious park to walk around or sit down and relax to enjoy the view.

Yelpers comment that it’s a great place to jog or grab some fresh air. When I was here, there was definitely fresh, cold, and crisp air. On top of that, it was so windy that my hair got all static-y and I had to tie my hair into a ponytail! Even though it was messing up my hair, I still enjoyed the Minnesotan weather!

I loved this park since I was able to see a bunch of autumn leaves. Apparently the week before my arrival, all the leaves were on the trees but majority of them were all on the ground by the time I got there.

Right next to the park is the Guthrie Theater. Yelpers love this place as it currently has 4.5 stars with more than 100 reviews. We didn’t watch anything here but walked around it. I highly suggest you to check out the beauty of this facility. They really know how to publicize and honor well-known entertainment figures from the past. These photographs make this theater like an outdoors kind of museum.

Here’s a better exterior view of the theater:

Aren’t those large photographs amazing? Do you see that rectangular portion of the building sticking out to the left? It’s actually a balcony at the end of it! The balcony is something to check out because it has a perfect view of the Mississippi River.

From one side of the balcony, you’ll see an iconic sign in Minneapolis, Gold Medal Flour.

This historical sign is the predecessor of General Mills, one of the largest food companies in America. There’s a lot of history about General Mills that dates far back as the late 1800s. This building is no longer a flour factory but it has turned into Mill City Museum that is opened to the public. With 51 reviews, Yelp gives the museum 4 out of 5 stars.

On the other side of the balcony, you’ll see an aerial view of Gold Medal Park that I visited earlier. There’s a trail that circles around the hill located to the left of the picture. The trails leads to the top of the hill where you can also see the Mississippi River!

It got pretty chilly hanging outside in the balcony but I loved it. I was enjoying every moment of the coldness because I knew that I wouldn’t ever experience that kind of weather in SoCal. Afterwards, we left the theater and walked closer to the Mississippi River where I had to get one last closer shot of it.

Seeing the Mississippi River was really something. It made me reflect on my elementary days when I opened up my blue history book. I remember looking at the US map and seeing how long the river stretched down from Minnesota to Louisiana. It was the one river you just could not forget because of how historical it was. I really never imagined that I would see it in real life but I sure did that day!

The walking and the cold weather made us hungry. So for dinner we went to The Freehouse. I would compare this restaurant to a hip and an upscale version of Yard House. They’re known for their brewery selection and the fusion of different cuisines for their entrees. I got the Pesto Pappardelle that had asparagus, spinach, tomato, and basil pesto for $12. I love pesto so this meal just hit the spot. I think pesto is one of those sauces that can do no wrong.

Though Yelp rates them 3.5 stars with 142 reviews, it wouldn’t hurt to give this place a try. The ambiance here is upbeat where everyone’s enjoying their time even if it’s busy and loud. I wouldn’t mind coming back here and getting the same thing or even trying some of their unique plates.

After dinner, we went to a Target Express in Dinkytown. What’s Target Express and is Dinkytown real? Target Express is a like a convenient store that is located near a university. This store in particular only carries products that are necessities for college students. And yes, Dinkytown real.

Did you know that the Target Headquarters is located in Minneapolis?

There was actually no real reason to check out this Target Express in Dinkytown but just to see something different from the norm!

To end the night, we went to one of Mark’s favorite spots, Izzy’s Ice Cream. It is literally right next Gold Medal Park. After a long walk around the park, it’s a great idea to treat yourself to some Izzy’s! This little ice cream parlor has 4.5 stars with 64 reviews on Yelp.

You know an ice cream shop is a keeper when they change their menu of flavors on a daily or weekly basis. Izzy’s has 150 different flavors but they always have 32 flavors available. For that time being, I got two of their most popular ones on a Kiddie + Izzy waffle cone for $4. It’s a little more on the pricey end for ice cream but keep in mind that these are some unique flavors. For the Kiddie, I got the Norwegian Chai and for my Izzy, I got the Salted Caramel.

Say what? Who or what is Kiddie and Izzy? Kiddie is the larger or normal scoop of the ice cream and Izzy is the smaller and cuter scoop that goes on top of the big one. Cute concept, huh?

Ever since I tried the Apple Pie ice cream from my trip to Bellingham, Washington, my life has changed. Just kidding, not my life but my ice cream life has changed. So going to Izzy in Minneapolis got me all excited. The Norwegian Chai had a subtle spice flavor to it. According to Izzy’s, “…norwegian chai is finely ground, sweet orbs of Norwegian cardamom toast.” The Salted Caramel had a light sweet and savory taste to it which was perfectly balanced.

For a short amount of time on my first day in Minneapolis, I feel like we accomplished a lot! Thanks Mark for picking me up at the airport and showing me around Minneapolis! What a great start to my Minnesotan trip!

SacTown

Eat Pray Love Journey – Day 3 – Sacramento

I woke up early in the morning to get to the Greyhound station in San Jose. Huge thanks to Stacy and Yesie for waking up early to drop me off at 7am!

I was at the station to get a ride from San Jose to Sacramento for my next stop. It was $18.50 for this ride! So I was probably one of the first few people who arrived at the station early. So I just read and played on my iPad until the bus came.

Note to future self: You don’t need to get there an hour before your departure time especially if it’s early in the morning. Maybe get there 30 minutes before departure.

Right when I got inside the bus, I knew that this bus traveled many places with many kinds of people. It just smelled in there in the beginning and I’m sure I blended in with the smell so I couldn’t smell it anymore. I should’ve brought Febreeze. Oh well, next time.

Anyway, the bus had WiFi! I was so surprised how technology has advanced in that way but unfortunately, the WiFi was a little spotty. It wasn’t the best WiFi but hey, better than nothing, right?

So I checked my email and read some more. Then there was a stop in Oakland. I thought that we were picking more people up from Oakland but I quickly realized that they were dropping us off there! I was thinking to myself, “Oh man. I’m back in Oakland. Here we go again…” I was at the Oakland Greyhound station for an hour and time flew by quickly! Luckily, nothing shady happened. Wew!

So then after Oakland, we were finally on our way to Sacramento for an hour and a half drive! There were probably less than 20 people on the bus and the ride was not bad at all. It still smelled but I was just glad to be out of Oakland for my own safety.

Briana, my best frenemy, picked me up from the Sacramento Greyhound Station. By the way, Briana is one of the most punctual friends ever. I’m really thankful to have a friend like her who values time like that! Go Bri!

It was so surreal to see her in SacTown! We talk on the phone quite often so it felt like it was no big deal to see her there but then again, I couldn’t believe that I was visiting her in Sacramento!

Since I arrived in the afternoon, we grabbed lunch at Jack’s Urban Eats in downtown Sacramento. I told Briana that I didn’t care what I did in Sacramento but all I wanted to do was eat as healthy as I could.

This place is like Pluto’s where they make salad in front of you. They currently have 3.5 stars with more than 400 reviews on Yelp. Even though this place may be all about salad, one of their popular items is the garlic fries!

I got the Santa Fe Chicken which is like any other Santa Fe Chicken salad for $10.04. It had grilled chicken, romaine, fire-roasted red bell pepper, jicama, corn, black beans, tomato, tortilla strips, and tequila lime dressing. I don’t know why but I really like Santa Fe Chicken salads. I think it’s because I like how it has soft and crispy textures mixed in.

Jack’s Urban Eats is overall a simple salad and sandwich restaurant. It doesn’t hurt to check this place out but you’re also not missing out on much if you can’t stop by.

We were probably there for a few hours catching up. We tend to talk a lot in person and on the phone. Especially on the phone, we can easily talk for an hour minimum!

So we went over to her place and relaxed. Actually, she had to study for a bit which worked out perfectly because I wanted to work out! Yes, I worked out during my travels and it felt good!

Like I mentioned earlier, I told Briana that I didn’t really care for much what we were going to do. I didn’t Google what to do in Sacramento because I honestly didn’t mind taking it easy since I was only going to be there for a little less than 24 hours.

We did some errands as if we were just hanging out together in Orange County and picked up some food at Kabob Palace. This restaurant is an Afghan restaurant with 4 out of 5 stars and 58 reviews on Yelp. Though it currently has some decent reviews, this place was bare on a Friday night. Actually, the area we were in reminded me of South Orange County where shops close early and the town gets dark and quiet pretty quickly at night.

I enjoyed the chicken kabob I got for $12.95. It wasn’t greasy at all and had some spices to bring out the flavor of the chicken. The bread and the rice that comes with the kabob were pretty darn good. You can easily get addicted to it but I had to have some self control to not have so much carbs.

After dinner, we went over to one of her friend’s place to watch a movie. It was my first time watching any movie in a long time! I’m not much of a movie person unless it’s a documentary. Weird, I know. That’s a whole different story. Anyway, so we watched Insidious. It was fun watching it because I do enjoy scary and thriller movies. At one point though, I knocked out. I’m not sure if it was the loud noise from the movie that made me fall asleep or because I was already tired from traveling or that it was past my bed time. I did wake up just in time to see how it ended! But ugh…I knew there was something wrong with the dad! I just knew it!

It was definitely really late after watching the movie and my contacts were dried out! So we ended our Friday night with a scary movie!

Side note: Scary movies have no affect on me except to make me fall asleep. Just kidding-ish. I enjoy getting scared and don’t get nightmares after watching them. But! When people scream during the movie, it makes me jump out of my seat even though nothing actually happened in the movie. I’m usually pretty calm. And that’s what happened when I watched Insidious. People were screaming and it scared me. The end.

Thanks Briana for picking me up at the station and making it a chill visit!

The Bay

Eat Pray Love Journey – The Bay – Day 2

For my time in the Bay area, I actually did not plan anything. The only plan was to just go with the flow! I just wanted to hang out with the people there. It’s the people who make NorCal homey.

The first activity we did in the morning was to go hike! Michelle, Yesie, and I drove over to the Almaden Quicksilver Park in San Jose. Yelp gives this park 4.5 stars with 133 reviews!

We started the hike a little late in the morning since we slept in. The hike was tough with the heat creeping in but those uphills made the hike more of a challenge.

I thought those uphills were never going to end but the beautiful view on the way up was never ending!

The view of the fields, clear sky, and trees reminded me of Lion King. Specifically, the first 20 seconds from the clip below:

I should have played The Circle of Life song while I was hiking. I’ll have to do that next time! So after forty minutes of hiking uphill with the scenic view of mother nature, the hike started to get easier. We finished within an hour and fifteen minutes of hiking around this park! We made it alive!

For lunch we headed over to Ike’s, a popular sandwich shop in the Bay area. There, Yesie and I met up with Pastor Sam and his wife for a mini reunion!

Yelp reviews give all Ike’s locations a 4 star! That shows you how good this place is! For sunny SoCal residents, there is one that just opened up in LA!

They have all kinds of unique sandwiches on their menu and they all sound good! I got The 49er which had buffalo wings sauce, cheddar, halal chicken, and honey mustard! I would definitely not mind getting this again!

Isn’t that a beautiful sammich? I wish you could take a bite of this right now because the spread and the halal chicken went perfectly together! This was one thick halal chicken sandwich with a juicy spread! I was so full from one half of the sandwich that I had to save the other half for dinner.

Because we ate so much, the four of us walked around downtown San Jose for a little bit. Then Yesie and I headed over to Santana Row. This a fancy outdoorsy mall in San Jose. I would compare this place to The Grove or The Americana at Brand in LA or Fashion Island in Orange County. There are a bunch of stores and restaurants to check out, and spots to just sit down and relax!

Yesie and I had some real talk here as we waited for more of our friends to join us. I’m always encouraged when I talk to Yesie. She has an optimistic view in life that can easily bring anyone up!

Michelle and Grace joined us for dinner! We all went over to Pluto’s in Santana Row. It’s a make-your-own salad kind of restaurant that is only found in NorCal. For SoCal residents, I’d compare this place to Tender Greens. I didn’t get a plate of salad because I still had my other half from Ike’s but I just got a small plate of vegetables. It’s always good to have some greens in you!

Majority of the different Pluto’s location have 4 stars on Yelp. The one in particular we went to had 3.5 stars with more than 900 Yelp reviews. If you’re craving something clean, this is definitely the right restaurant to check out! Everything is made fresh right in front of you!

Connie joined us in the middle of dinner. It got merrier once she arrived!

The five us here have known each other since 2007! Seven years later, we are big kids who are still able to come together and pick up where we left off!

After a healthy dinner at Pluto’s, we went over to Peet’s for a warm drink on a cold night! Stacy was able to finally join us there! It was more time of fellowship with these girls where we encouraged each other, laughed, and helped Stacy use Instagram on her new iPhone 6!

We ended our night here with a prayer of gratitude and joyfulness! Many thanks to many friends who came out to eat and hang out with me! Thank you to Pastor Sam & Yehee SMN for providing lunch and challenging my faith at Ike’s! Thanks Grace for coming out after work! I’m glad that we were able to have a quick catch up session! Connie! It was good seeing you even for an hour! Thanks for making time for me even for a little bit! Michelle, I’m thankful that you were able to take time off and play with me! Again, thank you so much for picking me up from Millbrae! Stacy, I didn’t think I was going to see you because of your work situation but I’m so glad that we were able to spend the night together! And Yesie, my Yesie! I’m sorry you were stuck with me all day and night but I learned so much from you in such a short amount of time spent with you. Thank you again for opening up your house as always!

 

OC Block Party

I found out through Instagram that there was going to be a OC Block Party aka a night market in Orange County hosted by KTOWN Night Market! They were giving out free tickets to the first 1,000 people so I quickly signed up for one and penciled it into my schedule. General admission is usually five dollars max.

Note to readers: This is a late post, a really late one! But hey, better late than never, right? Right!

Phil, John, Ann and I carpooled over to the Angel Stadium of Anaheim by 7PM. Around that time, the crowd wasn’t too bad. I was a little scared that it would be jam packed to the point where you wouldn’t even be able to move and enjoy the atmosphere. I’ve heard that that happens quite often at these night markets.

When we entered the venue, we saw a lot of food trucks, vendors selling clothes and accessories, carnival games and rides, performances on stage, and of course plenty of booths for food! Some of the lines for food that were extremely long were for the ramen burger, fruity drinks in mason jars, potato twists, and Mexican-Korean fusion food.

We weren’t willing to wait in line for the ramen burger because I heard it’s overrated. Even if it is, I’d like to try it one day when the line isn’t too long at a night market or at the actual restaurant. We started our adventure with a potato twist! It was fresh and well seasoned. It’s surprisingly  addicting to eat! Potato twists are pretty much available at a lot of boba shops. If you want one, I would suggest checking out Lollicup where it’s cheap and good!


Ann was eager to get a drink in a mason jar so we headed over to a food stand called Main Squeeze OC. She shared her lemonade with everyone since it was huge! It was sweet and not too tangy just the way I like it! There were pieces of lychees in there too!

Main Squeeze OC doesn’t actually have a shop that you can stop by to pick up a drink. It seems like they’re only available at food fairs or night markets. Make sure to check out their Facebook or their Twitter to locate them at their next appearance!

As we were walking around, we picked up more food like some sausages and popcorn chicken. I think we inhaled those pretty quickly because they were so good!

If you ever go to these night markets, make sure to not wear your nicest clothes! You’ll definitely smell from all the meat they’re grilling all around the night market!

Just imagine as if you’re going to an all you can eat KBBQ restaurant. What would you wear? Something light so your clothes don’t soak up the smell but also loose so you can eat a lot! That’s how you should dress accordingly to a night market!


Phil got himself a Pork Belly Pocket -Crispy for $5.

For a small pocket, they knew how to stuff it with the pork belly!

It took me awhile to figure out what I wanted because I wanted something easy and clean to eat, affordable, and of course there had to be meat! I ended up going to a Mongolian food stand and picked up two skewers of chicken and pork for $5!

Actually, it wasn’t too easy to eat it because once you’re in the middle of the skewer, it’s kind of hard to take a bite of the meat. It was definitely a challenge that I overcame! I slightly regretted getting these skewers because I was pretty full from the lemonade, potato twists, and all the other snacks we shared. But hey, YOLO!

After eating so much, we walked around and watched some talented people from the Asian American community perform! It was great to have some entertainment though the crowd was a little dead that night. We walked over to the carnival side and it was sadly a little bare. Hardly anyone was playing games or going on the rides. I think everyone was focused on the food!

After hanging out at the OC Block Party for a few hours, we were ready to head out for more food…Don’t judge!

We went over to a fairly new 85 Degrees Cafe in Garden Grove to get some cake for Ann’s birthday! We celebrated her 25th birthday with an awesome strawberry cake!

Happy (now belated) birthday, Ann! I’m thankful that we were able to celebrate your 25th birthday together! Also, thanks Ann, John, and Phil for checking out OC Block Party with me!

Spontaneous Road Trip: Day 1

For a few months, Kat and I were talking about exploring and traveling for a few days. We thought about setting time aside to go to the airport and buy the cheapest flight. Somehow that didn’t work out. We then decided on Antelope Canyon in Arizona. That didn’t work out either. Then, finally we decided to go somewhere a little more local, Santa Barbara. The day before our adventure began, we met up to figure out our plans. We looked at hotels, motels, Couch Surfing, and activities in Santa Barbara. Our research wasn’t very successful since it was all last minute. We decided that we would just figure out then and there by downloading traveling apps on our phone. All we knew was that we were going to first stop at State Street because it has seven miles of stores and restaurants to check out!

Next day, we met up at 9AM, picked up some snacks, and were off to Santa Barbara!

It took us about 2.5 hours to get there which wasn’t too bad. The drive there was so scenic and beautiful especially because of the ocean!

Once we found a parking spot on State Street, we were off to the beginning of our seven mile shopping journey.

We first grabbed some food at Savoy Cafe & Deli which had positive reviews on Yelp. It showed 4 stars with 162 reviews. There was so much on the menu and on top of that, there was a salad bar!

I decided to get their popular Turkey Fritter that has been on TV before thanks to Guy Fieri from Food Network.

Kat and I both got the same thing, the turkey Fritter.

It reminded me of the savory Korean pancakes called buchimgae or neon. The fritter had a homey taste to it with the fried batter mixed with turkey and vegetables.

When I’m traveling, I tend to my lose my appetite easily for some odd reasons. So this fritter filled me up perfectly!

Afterwards, we walked over to The French Press to get some coffee for a tiny boost of energy. This coffee shop is pretty small but has a nice feel to it because of the hospitable customer service.

So I got a small Iced Vanilla Latte for $4 or $5. It was a little expensive for me but when you go to a hipster coffee shop like this, lattes are a little more expensive than your normal Starbucks.

We sat outside and relaxed a little bit before actually beginning our shopping excursion.

Actually, we found a historical courthouse nearby that we went to check out. It was so beautiful because of the architecture and the paintings all over. Though it may seem like a museum because the artwork and the many tourists inside, it’s still an actual courthouse!

Can you tell what the picture below is?

It’s a spiraling staircase! I’m in the middle of the spiral where it’s just hallow and took a picture looking up! Pretty cool, huh?

We found a courtroom that is more used as a display for historical reasons. There was a window that was perfect for a dramatic scene in a Korean drama. So Kat graciously took a picture of me in a pensive state as if I’m looking out the window to find the love of my life.

This window was awesome because it had natural sunlight just beaming into the dark courtroom. It was almost breathtaking to see such powerful rays coming into the room.

The courthouse is two or three stories high. On our way to the top, we found this tiled seating area that perfectly matched Kat’s outfit!

We got to the top and was able to see a good view of Santa Barbara.

While we were hanging out at the top floor, we wanted to take a picture. I asked a fellow stranger to take a picture of me and Kat. He respectfully responded with a yes. I thanked him and decided to start up a conversation with him since I enjoy meeting new people! So I asked where he’s from. He said South Korea and I excitedly responded, “I’m Korean!” With a little confused look, he said “Really?” I said yes and said hi to him in Korean. Still in disbelief that I was Korean, he continued to speak in his broken English to me and Kat. I don’t think he believed that I was Korean at all. Oh well but thank you stranger for taking a picture of us!

Afterwards, we finally went shopping. We both got something from Gap because they were having a 40% off sale! On State Street, there’s a lot of stores you’ll recognize from your usual malls but there’s also mom and pop shops where they sell little trinkets and such.

We were pretty tired from walking around for several hours. We sat down for a little bit and tried to figure out the rest of our plans for the day. By this time it was around 5PM and we still didn’t know where we were going to spend the night. I suggested to Kat that we should go to NorCal since we were only 4 hours away. My friend, Aaron, actually suggested it to me before I went on the road trip. He advised that I should maximize my time while I’m traveling since Santa Barbara is pretty close to San Jose and San Francisco. So I brought it up to Kat and she was down to go up north!

I started calling all of my friends (Stacy, Yesie, JennJi, Michelle, P.Sam) in the San Jose area and no one picked up! I told Kat, “Ok, we should just drive up even though no one picked up. Someone is bound to call us by the time we start driving.” So we got to our car and then miraculously Stacy called me back! We asked if we could stay at her place and she said yes without hesitating! We told her that we would see her in 4 or 5 hours.

We went to a Mexican restaurant to grab dinner but noticed it was too expensive so we walked across the street and went to a small burger joint called Chubbies Hamburgers. Cute name, huh? It was pretty cheap and good. I wasn’t expecting anything too fancy. My cheeseburger filled me up and I was content with that!

Once we had our Chubbies cheeseburger, we were off to a San Jose. We only made one stop because we had to take pictures of the open field.

Of course, we took a selfie by the 101 sign before getting back on the road!

We got to San Jose close to midnight! Praise God that the whole drive up north was a safe one and we were able to keep each other awake!

Pokinometry

I need to be honest with everyone about myself. Here we go. I’m not a huge fan of sushi. I know, I know. Please don’t judge me. BUT! I’m slowly starting to like it now mainly because of Pokinometry. Pokinometry is in downtown Anaheim on Harbor Boulevard, located walking distance from Center Street Anaheim. This place has been getting quite a lot of attention as everyone is looking for any sort of place that has poki. Yelp rates Pokinometry 4 out of 5 stars with 838 reviews. The concept of this place is like Chipotle where you go down the line to choose what items you want for your burrito. At Pokinometry, you first pick the main base of your bowl whether it’s rice, chips, or salad. Then, you pick how many scoops of fish you want. A medium size is 3 scoops and for a large is 5 scoops. If you’re indecisive or want variety of fish, you can pick and choose 3 to 5 different kinds of fish. If you only love salmon, then you can have all scoops be salmon. Afterwards, you can choose a ponzu, soy sauce, or a mayo based sauce. Finally, you want to top off your bowl with smelt eggs, onion, or sesame seeds. Then wah-lah. You have a pokibowl!

I surprisingly enjoyed my poki bowl a lot because of how fresh the fish was and the smooth texture of it just melted in my mouth. The medium bowl might look like it’s not enough to fill you up but don’t let the size deceive you. Pokinometry knows how to stuff the bowl with its poki!

I have to say that I prefer a poki bowl over sushi. Pokinometry is more on the affordable end where it’s a little over $10 for a medium bowl compared to eating sushi at a restaurant can cost almost $20 including tax and tip.

Thanks Briana for being my co-host on my Tastemade appisode of Pokinometry and thank you Christian for your assistance on recording!

For more of my Tastemade appisodes, click here!