Baby squid in olive oil – Mesa

Baby squid in olive oil - Mesa
Sautéed in olive oil and seasoned with garlic and laurel. 270 PHP
Mesa, Boracay PHILIPPINES

Ugh, this wasn’t very good. It had a weird flavor and texture. I don’t know if they just threw it in for garnish, but the dry bay leaf was not appreciated. I hope that’s not how they produced the laurel flavor, by throwing in a crusty leaf afterward! I was excited to order this dish and it fell flat.

Station 2 beach
Station 2 beach.

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Calamares – White Moon Bar

Calamares - White Moon Bar
Deep fried squid serve with chili vinegar sauce. 320 PHP
White Moon Bar, Manila PHILIPPINES

Meh, these were dry and boring, but the punchy vinegar was so sour that it kind of made up for the lame calamari. I do love sour things! Hehe.

Nuestra Senora de Guia
Plaza Nuestra Senora de Guia, Ermita.

Sweet and sour seafood hot pot – Nha Hang Ngon

Sweet and sour seafood hot pot - Nha Hang Ngon
Lau hai san chua cay. Shrimp, clams, fish, squid, cherry tomato, cilantro. 295,000 VND
Nha Hang Ngon, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

Assorted greens and oyster mushrooms - Nha Hang Ngon
Assorted greens and oyster mushrooms. I have no clue what most of these greens were, but I think there were even mimosa (sensitive plant) stems and leaves!

Vermicelli rice noodles - Nha Hang Ngon
Bun rice vermicelli noodles.

Sweet and sour seafood hot pot - Nha Hang Ngon
All the ingredients stewing in the hot pot! The server placed them in there once the pot was hot enough.

Sweet and sour seafood hot pot - Nha Hang Ngon
The end result was a delicious bowl of beautifully cooked seafood in a delicious broth with a little kick.

Hung King's Monument
Hung King’s Monument, Tao Dan Park.

Seafood chowder – Bar Crudo

Seafood chowder - Bar Crudo
Fish, mussels, squid, shrimp, potatoes, applewood smoked bacon. Happy hour $6
Bar Crudo, San Francisco CA

Omg, I loved this chowder! It was probably the “meatiest” version I’ve had a long time. It had SO much flavor and the most perfect, silky smooth texture. The seafood ingredients were delicious and abundant – I loved everything about it. NOMS!!!

7×7 Magazine’s The Big Eat San Francisco: 100 Things to Eat + Drink Before You Die – 2012, 2013, 2014

Bread and butter - Bar Crudo
Bread and butter. Complimentary

Sutro Tower
View of Sutro Tower from the Castro.

Hot pot proteins – Hoang Yen

Hot pot proteins - Hoang Yen
Clams, cockles, beef, fish, squid, and prawns. North-south hot pot 279,000 VND
Hoang Yen, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

This was a pretty good selection of seafood and meat to throw into the hot pot. Everything seemed pretty fresh and well-cleaned. Can you really ask for much more? Noms!

Sauces - Hoang Yen
Mixed sauces.

Sauce ingredients - Hoang Yen
Soy sauce and sauce ingredients.

Martial arts practice
Martial arts practice at night, Cong Vien 23 Thang 9 Park.

Sizzling mixed seafood – Leslie’s Restaurant

Sizzling mixed seafood - Leslie's Restaurant
Mussels, crab, squid, and carrots in a sweet garlicky sauce. 449 PHP
Leslie’s Restaurant, Tagaytay PHILIPPINES

This wasn’t my favorite. There was too much sauce for it to be served in such a shallow dish, and the crab was really hard to eat and break apart when it was slick with sauce. The mussels were also on the dry, overcooked side. I wouldn’t order this again.

Taal Lake and Volcano
Taal Lake and Volcano.

Fried fresh calamari – Yankee Pier

Fried fresh calamari - Yankee Pier
Topped with scallions, served with cocktail sauce and tartar sauce. $12.75
Yankee Pier, San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

Ew, why do I torture myself with bad airport food?! The calamari was super dry and chewy and none of the pieces were any bigger than popcorn. I must have gotten the bottom of the frozen bag or something.

The service was also horrendous and annoying. He was SO frickin’ pushy and he could barely speak English. He was so rude that I wanted to strangle him. Ugh, I miss Terminal 2!