Early Lunch @ Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai

Slept in again at friend’s place and finally headed out for home. It was 10:45am and Ban Nai would open in 15 minutes, so I stopped by for early lunch. Then, there were already 20-30 people waiting. Privilege of being alone, I was able to skip a few large groups before me on the list. So no wait. Yay!

Kitakata Ramen $7.85, Pork broth, shoyu base, toro chashu, menma, green onion

Last time I ordered something else and regretted. This original is the best. Broth is so flavorful but light. Wonder how they could make it out of tonkotsu. Noodle contains high % of water, so it’s smooth and easy to get blended with broth in mouth.

Kitakta Ramen Ban Nai
891 Baker St B21
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 557-2947

Event, Family & Friends, My Cooking

Girls Party in the Kitchen

My girl friend and I were supposed to cook California Osechi (Japanese New Year’s Meal) at her place all day on December 30. All day here means from 9am to 5pm like work hours and I was going home by 6pm.


We stayed up till 5am to create and order a Shutterfly photo book of our Paso Robles trip. Of course, it was impossible for us to get up early. Our day started at 11:30am.

She decorates for New Year around the house. I figured it would be Monkey year 2016.

After relaxing with coffee and chocolate, I started making scallop terrine. Without seeing or tasting the actual dish, it’s hard for me to follow the written recipe.

Brunch: Mini Vegetable Bao x 3

Another girl friend showed up with Mumm Pink. Our first toast on the day. Yay!

Decoration for Girls Day (March 3) and Boys Day (May 5)

She’s cooking beef wraps.

Came out perfect!

Second bottle: Magnifico Grapefruit Sparkling Wine
Two of us kept cooking and other one kept pouring into glass. All of us enjoyed drinking and sampling food.

Squid Ink Lotus Root, Scallop Terrine, Smoked Salmon & Turnip, Potato Chips
Are we sampling or started fully enjoying food and drinks!? This is so fun anyway! I wish they lived closer to me, so I could’ve done this with girls more often.

Pan Rosted Beef with Soy Sauce & Wasabi, Shio-Koji Shrimp
More food to come. These recipes are so amazing. It takes Japanese Osechi concept and turn into something American people (like my husband) could enjoy.

When wanting another glass at this point, I realized it was already 5pm and I should stop here to wrap up if going home on time. But, I felt more drink and we still had a few more items to cook, so I called him and he nicely said I could stay one more night with my friend. Really? Sure!

Marinated Italian Vegetable, More Smoked Salmon & Turnip

She opened another bottle of white, 2012 Austin Hope (100% Roussanne). My favorite. OMG, I had had how many glasses???

We went to bed earlier this night around 1:30am.

A lot of girls talk and good food & drinks…what a bliss!

At Work, Family & Friends, Restaurants

Girls Night @ Pueblo in OC

Get together with girl friends in OC

Starting with Spanish White, Verdejo Nisia 2013 $12

Queso Fundido $9
Charred goat cheese, black truffle, honey

Montadito de Costilla $14
Short ribs in two ways, mustard seed, toast

Croquetas de Bacalao $10
Creamed cod croquettes, potato, manchego, romesco

Pulpo a la Gallega $13
Grilled Spanish octopus, fingerlings, olives, pimenton

We love this cozy tapas place. Our server was so attentive but not annoying to say “are you guys doing ok?” too often. He is left us some space but kept eye contact so that we could fully enjoy our conversation without interruption. Since he looked so caring and reserved, I started wondering where he was from. My guess was he was born in a well-educated family in Mid-West. But, his answer surprised us. “I’m from Indonesia.” He totally looks caucasian besides darker skin. Suddenly everything makes sense about his way of service. I was comfortable and happy to see Asian side of him.

Second glass: Cariñena/Syrah Cellars Can Blau ’13 | Monstant MC $11

Coles de Bruselas $10
brussels sprouts, carrot, chistorra sausage, morcona

Reasonably priced.

Dessert on the house: Creamy Cheese Cake with Sherry Grapes
So delicious.

3321 Hyland Ave Ste D
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 340-5775

Chocolate & Coffee at friend’s house

La Maison du Chocolat
They have a store in NY.



At Home, At Work, Restaurants

His Chicken Curry

Went back to work after 4 day weekend. Hard to get up at 7am 😦

Take out for lunch from Khun 9 Thai Kitchen
Som Tum Papaya Salad

Beef Pad See Ew

Walnut Cookie

My boss spent a whole day to bake this deliciousness. It doesn’t look like it, but she calls it cookie.

His Chicken Curry
He already finished for the year. Went grocery shopping and cooking for me today. How nice it is that your meal is on the table when home.

Event, Family & Friends, Restaurants

Star Wars 3D @ Chinese Theater

Lunch: In-n-out #2 Combo with Arnold Palmer
I got up around 10am again and went to get takeout at 11am.

Three friends from OC came over and did carpool to Hollywood. On the way there, stopped by La Cevicheria for dinner.

Fish Taco with 2012 Austin Hope Roussanne, Paso Robles
They don’t serve alcohol, so you can bring your own drink. Nice 🙂

Chapin $12, Guatemalan Style Ceviche

We had two more ceviches and seafood stew.

Here we go! Hollywood!!

Jimmy Kimmel Show Theater

Inside of Chinese Theater

3D Movie and beautiful ceiling

At Home, Diet

Daikon Cleanse

Sex and the City marathon continued today.

Since I stayed home alone all day, I tried Daikon Cleanse diet.

Simmering one large daikon in Konbu dashi with umeboshi

Have all broth and daikon

It’s supposed to clean up colon, but nothing really happened to me. Maybe my colon is already clean.