Monday, August 29, 2011

Partying & Eating

The remainder of August really flew by! There are still some days I can't believe that just a few weeks ago I was biking through narrow back alleyways in Bangkok... The shock of going back to work and sitting in a chair for 10hrs has been ... Shocking. Haha. But I actually feel a notable difference in my attitude about a lot of things in my day to day life, and it's been really wonderful and enlightening continuing to grow into this new mental state and perception. I just feel so thankful for everything... And I feel so light and happy! Life feels good. It feels good to be living life :)

Annnnyway, I went to my friend Lakshmi's wedding. It was my first Indian wedding! So interesting and so colorful!

I curled my hair and drove on the right side of the road :)

Then there was an earthquake in NYC. Incredible! Earthquake in NYC!? And not just an earthquake, a hurricane too!! This summer I really got to see mother nature at her extreme... Flash floods in Seoul, deep freeze in Australia, typhoons in Japan, and now all this chaos in NYC.

All the grocery stores were getting cleaned out! Everyone stocked up on canned food, bottled water, batteries, flashlights, anything they could get their hands on.

Mark's apt turned into a refugee camp for our friends who were forced to evacuate. So glad we were able to take them in! Luckily there was little to no damage in NYC. Areas around NYC in NJ and NY got some flooding and my mom's car drowned... But overall, we were prepared but unharmed. Here's Katie reenacting what we thought it was going to be like. Haha.

We had to postpone little Masa's birthday party due to Hurricane Irene, but no matter! When we did get together, we still partied out - ninja style!!

Omg I love my little kiddies!!! They loved all the ninja lego stuff Chiaki and Mark picked out :) Masa even wore his new ninja head thingy to bed!

Happy 5th Birthday, Masa!

We love you!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Brooklyn: Crif Dogs

Crif Dogs
Driggs Ave (bw 6th & 7th St)
Very Casual
Recommend: Cheese Tots!

Many a nights have ended at our beloved Crif Dogs establishment in LES. We are now lucky to be able to continue this tradition in Brooklyn since they opened a second location in Williamsburg! We took Mark's friends, Rino and Jeff who were passing through town on their way to Canada to prepare for their wedding - who can pass up chili cheese tater tots?! :)

Mark had the Red Neck (bacon wrapped hot dog with cole slaw with spicy stuff). I tried to be adventurous and tried a bacon wrapped dog with pineapples ... But it wasn't very good. This is a prime example of why you should eat with other people: If your dish sucks, steal a bite of someone else's! :)

Oh man ... Can't forget the tots. If you don't know what tater tots are, they are little deep fried balls of minced potato. I discovered them in my elementary school cafeteria in Texas - and my life has been wonderful ever since. Tots are great - but they are heavenly with chili and cheese wiz (which is not real cheese; wiz comes in a can - heck yeaaaah). Mmmm I'm drooling writing this post haha. Ok until next time... Happy Eating!

NYC: Shake Shack Attack!

Shake Shack
44th & 8th Ave
Very Casual

California has In&Out. NYC has Shake Shack. And it is delicious. Long gone are the days we would have to wait out the long winter months until spring time when the original flagship location would open for business in Madison Square Park. Even with multiple locations around Manhattan and even the world now, Shake Shack has maintained their successful balance of grease and deliciousness.

Simple menu, fresh food. Worth waiting in line! I tried an Arnold Palmer (lemonade + iced tea) for the first time - pretty good.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Testing Testing... 1... 2... 3...

Hello.  If you are one of the 5 people in the world reading my blogs, can you help me test the comment function?  Some people seem to be having trouble commenting and I don't know what's wrong :(  If you try and are not able to comment, could you please let me know what happened when you tried?  Please email me:

For those who do not know how to comment:
1. Click "0 comments" on bottom of any post
2. A pop-up window will appear
3. Type a message in the box
4. Retype the funky letters in the "Word Verification" box (this is for security)
5. "Choose an Identity":
- Select Google Account: If you have a email address
- Name/URL: If you want to just type in your name; you can leave URL blank
- Anonymous: If you wish to remain a secret reader

Thanks for your help!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Lazy Soba

Easy Medium Hard
Cook Time: 10 min

This is terrible, but I really haven't cooked since I've returned to the States.  I think I'm still in the process of summoning the energy to make anything elaborate.  I guess after eating out for 3 months, I just got used to buying meals off foodcarts or ordering off a menu.  Haha.  I promise to try harder this week!

The furthest I got this week was making Lazy Soba.  Hey - In my own defense, it wasn't SUPER lazy because I had to make my own soba sauce since I didn't have any instant stuff in the bottle.  AND - I cut up seaweed.  Thank you.
1. Boil water and soba noodles according to instructions (usually 4 minutes)
2. Rinse noodles thoroughly in cold water
(Mom's Tips: Really scrub the goop off the noodles, not just run cold water on the noodles.  Makes it extra chewy and gives a clean taste.)

3. If you have the instant bottled stuff, use it
4. If you don't:
- 5 parts yamaki shiro-dashi (middle bottle; aka Japanese seasoning soy sauce)
- 1 part soy sauce
- 2 part kotteri mirin (aka sweet mirin)
- 2 parts water

5. If you want to be fancy, cut up some dried seaweed, shave some daikon, dice some scallions

6. Eat and Be Happy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

NYC: A Different Kind of Korean

Various locations (Truck Finder)
Very Casual
Recommend: Porkinator Burrito

As you may know, to some people's excitement and to others' chagrin, there is a food truck craze skidding across America.  I think it's fantastic.  I love that meals on wheels is giving culinary entrepreneurs a chance.  While I was away, Allie had mentioned the Korilla BBQ truck.  So, I stalked them down for dinner in Union Square.

Unfortunately, they were out of the pork option "Porkinator", so Mark and I each got the "Ribeye of the Tiger" burrito ($7) haha.  Love the names.  (Edit: I went back a few weeks later with Allie and ate the Porkinator with veggies and it was AWESOME).

We forgot to order it with veggies, but tried the Korean Spicy and the Korilla BBQ sauces.  I preferred the Korilla BBQ sauce, but both were DELICIOUS.

Only thing is, after I devoured my burrito I longed for another... They're a little on the small size.  Probably 70% size of a Chipotle burrito.  I tried to get a free hug instead, but I couldn't find a female hugger.  Sad!  Next time...  :)

Anyway, everyone should try a burrito from the Korilla truck.  Really yummy!  BTW, we were all pronouncing it Korilla (like Gorilla), but Dalen had a great point: maybe it's supposed to be Korilla (like Kor + illa like Torilla = Sounds like Korea!)  Man, that's clever.  Seriously, clever :)

Monday, August 15, 2011


Kal BQ
Lexington bw 23rd & 24th St
Recommend: TBD

Ever since I left Korea, I've been craving Korean food. But real Korean food... Oh man... It was so delicious. I think I miss ddukbokki the most. The sauce ... the dduk ... the fried stuff in the sauce ... Oh I miss you ddukbokki!  I know I'll never find anything here that'll come even close - especially in the ddukbokki category, but I'm not gonna give up!  The first step was my decision to find some new options for Korean food. So, I went to check out a new fast food joint specializing in bibimbap just down the street from my place.

The owner partnered with Atomic Wings, but I didn't see anyone ordering wings. On the Korean side, they have bibimbap and kalbi and spam ramen on the menu. Haha love it.

Bibimbap - I loved how they didn't skimp on the toppings at all. They had everything right. Buttt, the marinade for everything was too sweet... Maybe that's why I didn't see many Koreans there?

Kalbi Platter - Again, looked right but the marinade was pretty much totally off. Like a non-Korean marinaded it... It was way too salty, and not sweet enough :(

This is so bad, but the eager beaver in me wants to help them get it right. Mostly because I really like their idea and I want them to succeed - but also because it's so close to my house and I would like to go there again. I don't think it'll work through Yelp. Maybe I can slip a note under their door ... I'm not joking.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Mommy!

Purim and Hoek planned such a perfect day for Mom: Bought reading glasses, watched 'The Help' at the theatre, and ate a delicious dinner at Rosa Mexicana in Union Square.
 We had tuna ceviche, chicken enchiladas, beef tacos, and steak & shrimp.  It was great to celebrate our beautiful mom and get the whole family together.
Happy Birthday, Mom!  We love you :)  Here's to another year full of love, happy memories, bountiful blessings, and loads of happiness.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Home Sweet Home

What a great welcome home :)  Thanks to Mark, we headed straight from the airport to NJ to have lunch with my mom and say hi to my dad.
 Mom cooked us a delicious meal of refreshing kong gook soo (soy bean noodles) and bulgogi (marinated beef) w/mushrooms and lots and lots of banchan (side dishes)!
 Thanks, mom!  Thanks, Mark!
Lunch with Katie and Grace, who just happened to be in town before law school semester starts next week.  What a treat!
And then, surprise surprise!!  Mark planned a big 'Welcome Home + Surprise Bday Picnic' for me in Central Park.
It was so great to see everyone that I missed so much.  It was so cute how far Mark went to keep it all a secret.  I thought we were on our way to watch a show ... but walking through the park was suspicious - and then 'Surpriseeee!'!!  :)  So cute.  Complete with cute party favors :)  He knows me so well - heehee.
 Great friends, delicious food, wonderful weather ... Just perfect :)  Love you guys!