Imperial rolls – PPQ Beef Noodle House

Imperial rolls - PPQ Beef Noodle House
Cha gio. Crispy fried rolls with ground pork, taro, carrots, and silver noodles. Served with lettuce, mint leaves and cucumber with nuoc mam. $6.75
PPQ Beef Noodle House, San Francisco CA

We don’t order the fried Imperial rolls very often because they’re less healthy than the fresh spring rolls. They’re so much tastier and fun to eat (since you get to wrap them in all the greens) though! I’ve always like how the wrapper gets super crispy and hard and blistered. Noms!

Tea - PPQ Beef Noodle House
Tea. Complimenatry

Rattlesnake grass
Quaking grass/rattlesnake grass (Briza sp., Poaceae), Bon Tempe Lake. I was surprised that I was able to get a clear shot of this tiny subject with my iPhone especially in the wind!


Arepas de pernil – Pica Pica

Arepas de pernil - Pica Pica
Grilled sweet yellow corn pocket stuffed with slow cooked pulled pork, avocado, tomato, pica’pun, ajo aioli. Served with Pica slaw and taro chips. $10.75
Pica Pica, San Francisco CA

This was really tasty and very filling. The texture of the grilled corn arepa was fantastic and I liked that there were whole kernels mixed in too. The pulled pork was flavorful, and the crisp fresh Pica slaw was a great accompaniment.

Sangria - Pica Pica

Sangria. Red wine, passion fruit, apple, and Adriana’s special spices. Glass $7

Noe Valley
This is how people decorate their trees in Noe Vally, lol! Ok, maybe just this house.

Korean bbq skirt steak salad – The Tropicale

Korean bbq skirt steak salad - The Tropicale
With peanut ginger vinaigrette, napa cabbage, bean sprouts, taro root chips, carrots and scallions. $21
The Tropicale, Palm Springs CA

The flavors in this dish were great, but the skirt steak was overcooked and super charred. It’s not fun eating a stick of black ash. 😦


The Crispy Tofu banh mi – Dinosaurs

The Crispy Tofu banh mi - Dinosaurs
Shredded fried tofu, rice noodles, and taro with Vegenaise, pickled carrot and daikon radishes, cilantro, cucumber, jalapeno, and mayo on a French baguette. $4.75
Dinosaurs, San Francisco CA

Hmm, this was fun to eat but it wasn’t really my kind of banh mi. I definitely prefer the more meaty variety. The tofu shreds were also really small so it didn’t seem substantial enough for me.

Orange Aloe sp
Orange Aloe sp. (Xanthorrhoeaceae) flowers, West Field Road.


Bun cha cio – Little Saigon

Bun cha cio - Little Saigon
Imperial rolls (deep fried stuffed with minced pork, taro root and carrot) with rice noodles. Served with shredded lettuce, carrot, mint, bean sprouts, green onions, peanut, and house fish sauce. $6.75
Little Saigon, South San Francisco CA

Mmm, I love Vietnamese imperial rolls! I enjoy the crispy, almost hard texture of its fried wrapper and the salty fish sauce that it always comes with. Almost as good as lumpia, hehe.

South San Francisco Bart Station artwork
Artwork at the South San Francisco Bart Station.


My first Hawaiian luau!

Ali'i Luau buffet
Kalua pig, teriyaki chicken, fish, purple yam, noodles, pickled vegetables, salad, braised greens, etc.
Ali’i Luau, Laie HI

During my previous trips to Hawaii, I somehow managed to avoid attending a “cheesy” luau. Well, I made it my mission to finally go to one of these popular tourist attractions during this visit and what better place to attend one than at the Polynesian Cultural Center! Their website advertises the Ali’i Luau as Hawaii’s “Most Authentic Luau”, but I’m still not convinced of its authenticity after sitting through it. It seemed pretty cheesy to me. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the experience and the chance to check a Hawaiian luau off my bucket list. The food was ok as buffet food goes, and the entertainment was enjoyable. I don’t think I’d do it again, but I would still recommend it for those who haven’t tried it.

Taro roll - Ali'i Luau
Taro roll. This was pretty good, especially slathered in butter, lol!

Ali'i Luau entrance
Entrance to the luau.

Ali'i Luau dining area
The dining area.

Ali'i Luau entertainment
Luau entertainment. The show was actually pretty long with many dancers. The little kid dancers were SO cute to watch!


Hawaiian ahi nachos – Anthony’s HomePort

Hawaiian ahi nachos - Anthony's HomePort
Ahi tuna ceviche on taro chips topped with aioli and chives. Happy hour $5
Anthony’s HomePort, Seattle WA

These were delicious, refreshing bites. The ahi mixture was a little sweet and perfect to enjoy on a bright sunny day.

Puget Sound view, Anthony's HomePort
View of the Puget Sound from our table at Anthony’s HomePort. It was SO beautiful during my last visit to Seattle. It was great to sit at the Anthony’s back patio and enjoy the sun and water.