Shanghai pan fried noodles – Xiao Long Bao Kitchen

Project 365: Day 119

It was so weird being back at work today. I guess I wasn’t in Europe for very long, but I feel like I need a few days to get back into the groove. I tried out the new-ish restaurant The Dancing Pig tonight with David against advice from friends, and the reviews I’ve heard were correct – it’s not very good! The service was HORRENDOUS (it was super slow and sporadic and the server forgot our drink order) and the food was just ok. Don’t think I’ll go back.

Shanghai pan fried noodles Xiao Long Bao Kitchen
Fried egg noodles topped with beef, chicken, shrimp, scallops, bok choy, carrots, and mushrooms.
Xiao Long Bao Kitchen, South San Francisco CA

I read somewhere that using egg noodles in a dish like this actually makes it Cantonese instead of Shanghainese. I learned something new! You really need lots of sauce in this dish to help soften the fried noodles. This tasted pretty good and I’m glad they don’t skimp on the proteins.

Lamb keema omelet – Dosa

Project 365: Day 118

Wow, morning traffic in London is crazy! It took us a while to get to London Heathrow Airport with D driving. It seemed like got on 10 different highways and all of them crammed with cars. I was super tired so I kept falling in and out of sleep.

The direct flight back to San Francisco wasn’t too bad although Hubbs and I were in different rows. He sat directly in front of me. I had this annoying Russian girl beside me and a pleasant older couple on the other side. I ended up watching 3 movies and trying to nap a little bit.

Now I’m back in my sunny apartment and SO excited to be sleeping in my own bed tonight. I have to head into work tomorrow but that doesn’t seem to bad right now. David and I are having a Cinco de Sonoma weekend so I’ve got something to look forward to, yay!

Lamb keema omelet Dosa
South India omelet filled with minced lamb, peas and diced potatoes. Served with coconut and tomato chutney, sambar (a lentil dipping soup made with vegetables and spices), masala (a traditional filling of spiced mashed potatoes), and salad. $12
Dosa, San Francisco CA

I came here alone for brunch and totally over-ordered. I had this and a paper masala dosa – way too much food! This omelet was really good though! It had a soft texture and the filling was absolutely delicious. I also love all the extra sauces and toppings.

The Mint Karaoke Lounge, Market Street
The Mint Karaoke Lounge, Market Street. I love this karaoke bar! I’m not a big singer – CORRECTION: I love to sing but don’t have the most melodious voice (hehe). This is a great place to start or end an evening out with a group of friends. Beware of the professional karaoke folk, but I guess you’ll find some at every karaoke joint.

Eggs benedict – Jones

Project 365: Day 117

We ended up having Chinese food last night, then staying in and watching White Girls on TV, lol! I’d never seen the movie and it was ridiculous, in a good way.

Today was another full day of sightseeing and shopping: Green Park, changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, Burlington Arcade, Piccadilly Circus, The Monument, London Bridge, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Covent Garden, and Oxford Circus. I bought some great tops at Topman and a cute decorative tile for David at Covent Garden Antiques Market. I still can’t believe how much we’ve fit into 2 days! D has been an amazing host and tour guide.

Tonight we’re going to eat in, then head out for drinks at The Black Cap in Camden with one of D’s roommates Dan. This will be our last night of an amazing London visit!

Eggs benedict Jones
Black forest ham, sauteed spinach, hollandaise, smashed/fried fingerling potatoes, and side salad. $12
Jones, San Francisco CA

A brunch standard, but very good. I liked the smashed and fried potatoes – so good with ketchup, hehe.

"Ring of Fire" annular solar eclipse 2012

“Ring of Fire” annular solar eclipse. On Sunday May 20, 2012 we experienced a rare solar eclipse. Of course, I was out drinking with friends but I was reminded by people outside the bar with black viewing films, ready for the occurrence. My iPhone camera wasn’t equipped to handle a glaring photo, but it did have a cool optical/lens effect. In the photo, the eclipse is actually projected back onto the sky (upside-down and backwards?).

Chicken enchiladas – La Tortilla

Project 365: Day 116

Oi vey, it was another difficult morning, lol! Last night, we had gone to my “cousin” Kris’ apartment to celebrate his birthday with some of his friends. Then we headed to Soho and went to several bars – I remember Ku Bar and Lo-Profile. 🙂 A couple of D’s friends met us out and we ended up at one of their apartments and doing more shots, ouch! It was a great night.

D went into full-on tour guide mode today and we walked around central London to see many of the touristy sites: Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, St. Margaret’s Church, Trafalgar Square, National Portrait Gallery, Hungerford Bridge, London Eye, Westminster Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Millennium Bridge, Tate Modern, and Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. PHEW, that was a lot of walking and Tube riding! Even though it was rainy and dreary most of the day, I have to say that I LOVE London!

We also got to meet D’s boyfriend Alex who was really cool. Tonight we’re gonna head to a restaurant closer to D’s place. He lives in north London near Burnt Oak Station on the Northern Line.

Chicken enchiladas La Tortilla
Grilled chicken wrapped in corn tortillas, topped with cheese and enchilada sauce. Served with salad, sour cream and guacamole. A la carte $7.80
La Tortilla, San Francisco CA

Mmm, chicken enchiladas are my favorite! This one at La Tortilla is ok, but I do like their (limited) salsa bar so I can get more to put on top!

Chips and salsa La Tortilla
Chips and salsa. Complimentary.

Chicken enchiladas - La Tortilla
April 5, 2014. A la carte $7.80
Graffiti artwork, Market Street
Bright graffiti artwork in an alley off Market Street. The alley is located between Valencia and Gough Streets, next to Delessio Market. Very cool!

Turon – Baby’s Eatery and Palabok

Project 365: Day 115

Last night was kind of a bust. The variety show at Pantibar had a lot of bad acts so it was hard to watch at times. We spent most of the night at The George but the majority of people didn’t show up until 1 or 2 am so we were tired by then. We still had fun though!

It was a pretty relaxed morning. We had breakfast then packed our bags before checking out. Kryan and David are switching to a 2-person room since they’re staying for a few more days. I guess they’re going to rent a car to explore the countryside. That’ll be fun!

Hubbs and I are at the Dublin Airport for our flight to London, yay! I’m super excited because I’ve never been there and we get to stay with Demetrius. He’s picking us up at Heathrow, and then our London adventure will commence!

Turon Baby's Eatery and Palabok
Deep fried lumpia wrapper filled with plantain and jackfruit.
Baby’s Eatery and Palabok, San Francisco CA

Turon Baby's Eatery and Palabok
I like to think of turon as a dessert lumpia – it’s sweet and delicious. I bought a tray of these for a party and they were a hit!

San Francisco dawn
A beautiful San Francisco dawn from my balcony. I love the vibrant colors on the horizon.

Mejillones en salsa verde – Toro Salao

Project 365: Day 114

Happy birthday, Kryan! This morning we were all pretty hung over, lol! We had met a group of friendly lesbians at The George so we ended up drinking with them for most of the time. I had to take Hubbs home last night because he had a little too much fun. I guess Kryan got lucky and didn’t get back to the guesthouse until super late in the morning, slut! It was difficult getting to breakfast downstairs before 10:30 but you can’t pass up a free meal! I was still feeling horrible after breakfast so Hubbs and I walked to Starbucks in the shopping center on Henry Street.

The weather was actually really nice today, yay! We decided to take the green Dublin Bus Tour: Hop On Hop Off around the city since it was our last full day and we wanted a fast convenient mode of transport. It took us to most of the major tourist sites around the city, and guess whom we found stalking us again? Good ol’ Susie Boyle, lol! I think my favorite place we got off at was St. Patrick’s Cathedral. That church is really beautiful!

Omg, the worst place we visited was the Old Jameson Distillery. The tour was a frickin’ joke and an utter rip off! You’re required to take the tour in large groups and listen to a guide who is obviously reciting a script complete with sad, tired jokes. I swear our tour guide was retarded! At first you’re forced to watch a movie (read: a long, blatant Jameson whiskey commercial) then they cram you into these tiny rooms with cheesy miniaturized displays and listen to a bunch of Jameson whiskey propaganda. They even managed to make the whiskey tasting at the end of the tour seem like a chore. DO NOT ever go on this tour! If you want a fun alcohol tour, save yourself some time and go to the Guinness Storehouse instead.

Tonight, I think we’re gonna grab some food then head back to Pantibar and The George. It’s our last night and we need to celebrate Kry’s bday!

Mejillones en salsa verde Toro Salao
Mussels with green pico de gallo. $8
Toro Salao, Old San Juan, PUERTO RICO

Mejillones en salsa verde Toro Salao
The mussels were tender and tasted great with the pico de gallo salsa on top. Very flavorful!

Castillo de San Cristobal San Juan
Looking north towards the water and the Castillo de San Cristobal (San Cristobal Fort). I love the colorful basketball court in the foreground with the random truck parked in front of it.

Taquitos de camarones al ajillo – Toro Salao

Project 365: Day 113

Omg, the bathroom in our room is SO small. I’m not a big guy, but even I feel claustrophobic in it! I wonder how Kryan and David do it!? The complimentary breakfast at the Abbott Lodge Guesthouse is pretty decent. You get coffee, juice, toast, eggs, bacon, sausage, and cereal. The service is kinda slow but there were only 2 older ladies serving all the guests so I don’t want to complain too much.

Today we took a bus to the Guinness Storehouse which is an awesome museum with a great bar (Gravity Bar) at the top of the building. It’s self-guided so you can go at your own pace. I liked the displays and everything was super clean and interesting. We also took the Guinness “Perfect Pour” class and it was actually really cool. I learned a lot about the beer and our instructor was nice and friendly. He was from Michigan though – I would have preferred an local Irishman with a cool accent, hehe. Later in Gravity Bar, we saw none other than Susan Boyle! Omg, that was SO random. I was just about to go politely ask for a photo with her when a group of 15 school kids mobbed her. I was able to snap a blurry photo of her anyway.

Later, we had a late lunch/early dinner at the Bachelor Inn with a decent looking server with straight teeth (lol), then headed back to the guesthouse to relax. I think tonight we’ll hit up Front Lounge for drinks, then The George for a drag show!

Taquitos de camarones al ajillo Toro Salao
Crispy garlic shrimp taco rolls with a citrus aioli. $10
Toro Salao, Old San Juan, PUERTO RICO

Taquitos de camarones al ajillo Toro Salao
These were SO good! They were nice and warm, and perfect with the citrus aioli. Noms!

The Plaza of the Heritage of the Americas
The Plaza of the Heritage of the Americas with sculptures by Jose Buscaglia. Statues from left to right: Heritage of Faith, bronze, 9’ high, 1975; Heritage of Blood, bronze, 9’ high, 1976; Intellectual Heritage, bronze, 9’ high, 1975; Hispanic Heritage, bronze, 9’ high, 1995.