Tender Greens

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!

 

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Lemonade

When Hannah told me she was going to visit Orange County, I got super excited because I haven’t see her in so long! Also I was excited because she suggested that we hit up Lemonade, a cool-hip restaurant at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. It’s a type of restaurant where you stand in line cafeteria style with a tray, pick out what you want, pay at the end of the line, they give you a number, and they deliver the food to you.

I heard mixed reviews about Lemonade but it wasn’t going to stop me from going! When we got there, the line was pretty long because it was lunch time but mainly due to lack of efficiency within its logistics. Lemonade has too many items on the menu that it slows down the line. I know it sounds ridiculous for a restaurant to have too many items but because there was no one cohesive theme within its food, it seemed like it made customers indecisive and slow to get the right order.

In the beginning of the line, you can order sides of various mixed vegetables pasta salads which they call “Marketplace”. Everything from the Marketplace looked fresh, very green, and healthy. If you don’t want anything from the Marketplace, you can order traditional sandwiches, Land + Sea which consisted of chicken or fish entrees, or get some of their homey food like Beef Stroganoff from the Braise section of the menu. They have gluten free desserts and various refreshing fruity drinks.

Hannah and I ended up getting the same order of a traditional sandwich. It had SW turkey club, blue cheese, avocado, chipotle chili-bacon mayo with a side salad.

We got our food before we were even seated. Like I mentioned before, the logistics at Lemonade was a little off. I mean, it’s good that we got the food pretty quickly but we should’ve gotten it once we were seated. So you can tell that the line to order was so slow and inefficient that we got our food before we were even ready to sit down!
Hannah at Lemonade!

So the food was ok. It wasn’t strikingly amazing or even close to it. The chipotle chili-bacon mayo spread was light in flavor and the SW turkey club was quite dry. Overall, the sandwich itself was pretty bland. The salad was too healthy that I felt like I was just eating grass. I’m not sure what dressing they used, but I think it was just a sprinkle of water. Ok, I don’t think it was water but it was close to it. I couldn’t really figure out the flavor of the dressing because it was so light making the salad itself bitter. Hannah and I had to eat it with the sandwich to make the salad taste less bitter.
Traditional Sandwich

We both agreed that we wouldn’t come back here. The concept at Lemonade is like Tender Greens where it’s about that green life but I think Tender Greens’ execution in their menu and logistics are more satisfying for me and Hannah.

Sorry, Lemonade. You were quite a disappointment.

Hannah, I’m sorry that we both didn’t enjoy Lemonade as much as we wanted to. When you’re back, we’ll hit up Tender Greens where we feel more at home. I’m glad we got to catch up on a lot but I feel like there’s still more to catch up on! Next time, it’ll be you, me, and Briana!

Tender Greens

After I got back from Boston, I felt like I had to get some healthy food in me. So I went over to Tender Greens for lunch. It wasn’t 100% healthy but I’d say that it was healthier than any usual lunch. I got a BBQ Chicken Sandwich with a side salad. The sandwich and salad were freshly made in front of me. The sandwich was juicy and not so heavy on the grease at all. They gave me more than enough salad to fill me up.

Tender Greens

I also got their refreshing Acqua Fresca which is a strawberry and pineapple drink. I was hesitant about getting it because of the pineapple part since I’m not a huge fan of pineapple. But I definitely didn’t regret getting the drink because you could barely taste the pineapple and it was just really refreshing.

Tender Greens is a little more on the pricier end because of its quality. I paid about $15 for my whole meal but it was all darn worth it. I suggest everyone checking this out at Irvine Spectrum when they get the chance. I’m planning to go to Tender Greens again sometime soon!