Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Indo

Name: Indo
Category: Indonesian, Thai, Fusion

Locations:
3295 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306 | (650) 494-9184  

WEBSITE | YELP  
Why did I go there?:
Someone suggested it when my original birthday dinner location turned out to be closed.

Why you should go there:
✻  Delicious Indonesian and Thai food. Although not totally authentic, everyone really enjoyed it.
✻  Great for large parties with ample seating.
✻  Indoor and outdoor seating.

Recommendations:
✻  Everything!
✻  Curries and Meats. All the meat was fall-off-the-bone tender.

Tips: 
✻  At night this place turns into a lounge.
✻  They have a fully stocked bar.
✻  Birthday treat is a fudge/lava cake with ice cream and mango sauce.

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 Date Visited: 6/29/2014
 
This is where I came for my birthday dinner with friends! I was pretty exhausted after a long day and worried this place would be strict with seats in case last minute friends showed without an RSVP. Luckily, the place was pretty empty inside and the waiters were more than accommodating with pulling up extra tables. Most guests seemed to be seated outside to enjoy the beautiful evening weather.

Another concern I had was that some friends might not be able to stomach Indonesian food. My perception was that it might have intense flavors and be incredibly spicy. Fortunately, nothing was spicy and everything was universally delicious. Although my Indonesian friend did comment that the menu wasn't really authentic Indonesian food- most things were Thai (despite the name of the restaurant) and fusion isn't your typical homeland food.

It was a great place to have dinner.

I sure seem to have had a lot of fusion this year. At least it was yummy fusion and not awkward live-octopus-clinging-to-your-esophagus fusion.

Here are some things we ate.

roti prata

martabak

duck kapitan

Nasi Goreng

bali ribs

Papaya Curried Beef

gado gado

birthday dessert

Bon App├ętit!
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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Gochi

Name: Gochi
Category: Restaurant, Japanese Fusion, Tapas
Locations: 
19980 E Homestead Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014
1036 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94040


WEBSITE | YELP1 | YELP2

Why did I go there?:
Someone invited me.

Why you should go there:
Everything is so, so good. Tapas are small plates so you get to try lots of things and share with others.

Recommendations: 
✻ Pizza
✻ Clay Pots
✻ Everything mentioned above

Tips: 
✻  Make reservations early - the Mountain View location is easier to get a last minute reservation
✻  Bring friends so you can share

Directions:

Date Visited: 6/22/2014

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The Bay Area is perfect for my brother. He is my idea of the ultimate foodie. He'll be in Paris this month and when he asked me what I wanted as a souvenir - I was thinking of something simple to stuff in your luggage like a cute magnet and he was thinking of a Pierre Hermes macaron. See what I mean by a true foodie? I will definitely be amazed if he is able to bring me a perfectly uncracked macaron from France across the Atlantic Ocean and United States back to my belly in California, but I really would be quite content with a magnet or hotel soap.

Every year my birthday is such a surprise. He has great taste so I know we will always end up somewhere good. I always mention I'm a big fan of Wendy's chicken nuggets but we always end up somewhere much nicer. Last year, we went to a Peruvian restaurant near Pacifica called La Costanera. It was the first time had hominy.

This year, imagine my surprise when he invited me to Gochi, a restaurant I had first introduced to him! It's a delicious Japanese tapas restaurant. Think Japanese fusion. They have traditionally Japanese items like onigiri and more creative things like miso pizza. Everything is good, I've never tasted a bad dish there.

They recently opened a Mountain View location that is much easier to get reservations at than the original Cupertino location. This was my second time at the Mountain View location but I think it tastes just as good as the Sunnyvale. The best part was that my parents were invited too so I got to celebrate with all of them, we got to try lots of different things, and I got to eat leftover clay pot kimchee rice for lunch the next day. The microwave never smelled so delicious!

Here is what we ate. I recommend ALL OF THEM!

salads_collage
Daikon Salad was cold and refreshing.
Pea sprouts are always a good vegetable choice.


hamachi_carpaccio_collage
Isn't this hamachi carpaccio pretty? We ate all the colors today!
(FYI, it's raw fish.)


beeftongue_pizza_collage
I'm not a huge fan of tongue but this was still delicious.
The pizzas are my favorite!


chicken_taki onigiri_collage
Fried chicken was very flavorful.
Crunchy onigiri!


claypotrice
You cannot eat here without ordering a clay pot.
They gingerly mix it at the table to tease you a bit. The side crispy rice chunks are the best.


sprinkles
After all that, I even got Sprinkles cupcakes.
 I was extra spoiled and very blessed by this birthday dinner.
Thank you!
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Friday, June 20, 2014

Paper Paris

Did you play with paper dolls when you were young?

Mine was a girl with different outfits. So simple, yet so many possibilities and hours of fun. Here are some cute free templates I came across so you can pretend you are in Paris eating some Pierre Herme macarons.


Je l'adore!

Paper Paris

Print the templates.
Paper Paris

Cut out pieces.

Paper Paris 

Set up your pieces.
Paper Paris 

Wander Paris.
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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fancy - Mom Edition

Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" is such a good song to parody. I'm not sure how these moms and mom-to-be's have time and energy to make these videos but they are thoroughly entertaining. It's nice to see people have fun with these moments like "riding carpool Target to Costco".


Not Fancy Parody



I'm So Pregnant



Enjoy!
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Monday, June 16, 2014

Watermelon Pops

Summer officially starts on Saturday but it already feels summer is already in full swing. I've bought two watermelons in the past week for potlucks and BBQs. What could be more summery?

If you have some extra watermelon, save some for later as popsicles!

Using a rocket pop mold, I cut the watermelon into small bits to fit it into the odd shape. You can also use small cups (e.g. shotglasses, silicon cupcake molds) and stick a popsicle stick in the middle. Make sure you don't fill it to the top, leave some space for when the the juice freezes and expands. If the pops are hard to pull out of the container, let them sit in a cup of warm water for a bit.

Other possible variations could be using juice, other drinks, or other fruit. I'm a fan of root beer float pops. My friend made some pops with white grape juice and included colorful slices of fruit. Not only were they delicious but they were super pretty too!

I decided to give these as a mid-day treat to the dogs. The pups approached them hesitantly but then chomped them down in minutes - they loved it!


Watermelon pops 

If you are extra impatient, you can make frozen pops in as little as 10 minutes.
 
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Friday, June 13, 2014

Happy List - Journals

Last trip to Target, I picked up these little pocket-sized journals. I have such a weakness for journals, especially ones with unlined, grid, or unique paper. These had lined paper, but at least it wasn't the non-college rule lines. Not a fan of the wide-ruled.

My friend once passed on the advice given to her by another wise sage to always carry an idea book. Just a little something to record your light bulb moments when they strike you on a unassuming Friday at 1 in the afternoon. They are brief flashes of brilliance that shouldn't be allowed to escape you. Lucky you if you have a place to store them. Preserve and reflect on them later. Sometimes they will seem silly in retrospect, but sometimes they will remind you that you are quite the genius. 

I tend to record quotes I read, random thoughts, and party ideas.

Special friend had an epiphany this week after a meaningful conversation with a friend, I encourage him to record his thoughts and what he realized in a journal right away. Sometimes when we fall into old habits or feel we experienced something a lifetime ago, it's helpful to look back at our innermost thoughts at a different time in life. 

I read somewhere that you should record your thoughts right after the big moments in life while they are still fresh (wedding, pregnancy, funerals, etc.) so you can always look back and remember it just the way it happened.

Not only do you help give yourself little reminders, but maybe it will aid you in empathizing with others. Trying to mentor a college student? Look back at your own struggles, doubts, insecurities, and priorities when you were a college student or fresh graduate. It's amazing how many hats and lives we live in the span of our lifetime.

I hope to record some travel adventures in these. Happy journaling!


Notebooks
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wedding & Baby Gifts

Lately my paycheck seems to be going four places... rent, gas, food, and showers. So far it has been baby showers but wedding season is starting up so I should really just change my browser homepage to a popular baby and wedding registry site. Amazon, Target, and Macy's are my biggest winners so far this year.

FYI, peak wedding season is May to November.

Everyone has so many unwritten rules about gifting.
  • >$100. My brother recommended I give at least $100 to at least pay for my dinner and other costs of my presence. 
  • Poor and Priceless. In college, when working friends had a wedding in a location that required travel and they were gracious hosts that knew cost would be a limiting factor a handful of us. Since I was a DJ-in-training at the college radio station, the groom asked me to make them their wedding playlist in lieu of buying a gift. I think it really depends on your relationship with the people and how much you are comfortable giving. Don't spend more than you can really give.
  • Services. Sometimes your services are the most valuable gift. A former housemate was having terrible tendinitis issues in her hands around the time of her wedding and I ended up typing up all her to-do lists and timelines, drove her around, and helped her decide on wedding decorations. I still gave a gift but I think those services showered the bride with more love than an extra expensive gift. She and her husband were incredibly grateful. 

If you are purchasing a present, my friend showed me this wedding gift calculator last year that helps you calculate how much you should spend on your wedding gift based on a variety of variables (travel distance, relationship, salary, etc).
The Wedding Calculator
http://www.theweddingenvelope.com/calculator.php

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If all that shiny cookware is making you long for some new kitchen appliances, you could make your own faux registry (I could hypothetically be getting married June 1, 2020...right?) or Amazon wishlist (this is great for knowing what friends want for their birthday!).

Or enter this kitchen giveaway. You could win a 20 piece Le Creuset set, Vitamix, and 6 months of Plated service. Pretty incredible!

Inc(red)ible Kitchen Giveaway
http://partners.eater.com/incredible-kitchen-giveaway/

Ends on May 30, 2014.
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