Event, Family & Friends, Vacation/Trip

Hanging Out with OC Friends

We stayed at a hotel near John Wayne Airport last night after attending the wedding. Around 3:30am, I work up and couldn’t go back to sleep. Oh no! I drank too much and gave a boost with coffee. Now I remember I shouldn’t drink more than two glasses and definitely no coffee at night. I finally went back to sleep around 5:30am. Around 6:30am, he started waking up and waking me up too. Please! I felt so sick and tired. On the other hand, he was so ready and hungry. The hotel offered breakfast buffet, but I couldn’t eat much.


After taking a nap for a couple hours in the room, we checked out and drove to Balboa Peninsula.

At 11:30am, we got together with friends, husband & wife. I worked with him in the same team more than 10 years ago.


His: TURKEY, AVOCADO & OREGON PEPPER BACON $12.95


Mine: SLOW OVEN ROASTED TURKEY SALAD $15.50
I wanted either PLUMS FAMOUS DUTCH BABY or RASPBERRY PANCAKES with coffee, but my body couldn’t take it. To feel better soon, I had food to detox.

This place was packed with a hundred people or more. Food is pretty good. Service was great too. It is just too noisy to talk 😦 Ambience is ok too.

Plum Cafe
369 E 17th St Ste 7
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(949) 722-7586
plumscafe.com
$$
★★★


I heard that a pastry chef I had an opportunity to interview has opened his own shop and discovered he’s been married with a daughter of our friends. So why not trying!?


Mont Blanc $7


Unfortunately, both of them were not there. We enjoyed tea time with wonderful cakes and chat with friends in the patio.

ST Pâtisserie Chocolat
3321 Hyland Ave Ste H
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 825-0180
$$
★★★

At Home, At Work, Vacation/Trip

Omnom Icelandic Chocolate


Breakfast: Instant Miso Soup with Shijimi Clams


Breakfast #2: Banana, Pomegranate, Blueberries


Breakfast #3: Icelandic Chocolate + Coffee


Cool Package


It’s a cool design but tastes funny. I don’t know what it is but it has a character. Could be Tanzanian cacao.


Lunch: Oden, Tomato, Kimchi Fried Rice


Dinner: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Goat Cheese, Leftover Chinese + Chardonnay


1/2 portion of soba noodle with boiled egg and vegetable tempura


Had a tiny glass of sweet sake (甘酒). Japanese call “drinkable IV.”

At Home, At Work, Restaurants, Vacation/Trip

Souvenirs From Iceland

We flew back from Iceland yesterday and I went back to work today.

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Breakfast: Banana, Blueberry, Yogurt, Chocolate Fingers + Coffee

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Lunch: Sansai Karaage Bento from Bentoss $7.49
During the trip, I was not on low carb diet at all. Had a lot of bread, dessert and even a little bit beer. I missed Asian food, especially Japanese so much. Bento was perfect.

I haven’t weighed myself yet. Too scary to know. I will start my make-ahead meal aka low carb diet this weekend.

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Tonjiru $2.50
It’s a huge bowl!

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Dinner: Veggie & Pork in Ponzu

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Souvenir from Iceland #1: Coffee Cup by Icelandic Artist 3,500 krona each (=$30)

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Various Icelandic Chocolate & Salt @ Duty Free Shop, Reykjavik International Airport total $52.76

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Sea Salt from a local supermarket 399 krona (=$3)

Event, Restaurants, Vacation/Trip, Wine/Cheese/Sake/Beer

Valentine’s Day Dinner @ Food Cellar

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A co-traveler/friend made a reservation for another nice dinner on Valentine’s Day. The restaurant is situated in a 160-year-old building in the center of Reykjavik.

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Wine List – Red

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Wine List – White
I realize that no California wine is available here and most places in Iceland.

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Single item is very expensive but set menu looks reasonably priced.

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I wanted to enjoy Icelandic lamb once again for the last time. Surf & Turf Iceland looks good since all other goodies are included.

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Starting with raisin nuts bread and whipped cream cheese
I always enjoyed bread at restaurants in Iceland.

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Chateau D’Ourbenac Malbec 2010, Cahors France 6,900 kr.
I liked this lighter malbec. I finished his glass too.

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Slow Cooked Cod, green asparagus, smoked lamb, langoustine-hollandaise
Soft and rich cod with creamy sauce. Just delicious.

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Steak Plank & Langoustine, beef, lamb, pork
Heavenly. Lamb is as tender and juicy as always. Pork is crispy. Beef is perfectly cooked.

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Two guys couldn’t finish their plates. I had one slice of his steak too.

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Chocolate “Lion Bar,” raspberry, hot salted caramel

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The server drizzled hot caramel sauce. Sweet. Tonight, I feel so content and happy.

Food Cellar
Matarkjallarinn
Aðalstræti 2
101 Reykjavik
matarkjallarinn.is/en/
$$$$
★★★★

Restaurants, Vacation/Trip

Chips, Fish Spa and Pool in Reykjavik


Breakfast Buffet @ 8am @ Foss Hotel, Baron


Funky options such as fish, pate and blue cheese on rye bread

Walking down on Laugavegur street. There are so many cute shops.


Cool barber shop


He almost got haircut here.


Lunch time around noon!


This place sells only fries and drinks. 11 different sauces available.


Set of Chips & Beer 1,490 kr.
We chose the most popular Buffy, garlic sauce. Mmmm. Interesting to eat by using a long stick because it’s too hot to use fingers.

Reykjavik Chips
Vitastigur 10,
Reykjavik 101, Iceland
http://www.rvkchips.is
$$
★★


He bought this sheep as souvenir for himself.


We tried something new, Fish Spa!


1) Wash your feet thoroughly


2) Soak your feet in fish tank and relax

They are eating dead skin and give you a massage. First it feels ticklish but eventually become loving them. Everyone leaves with smooth feet and smiles 🙂

20 min fish spa for two: 8,980 kr.

Fish Spa Iceland
Hverfisgata 98,
Reykjavik 101, Iceland
http://www.fishspa.is
$$
★★★★


Harpa, Concert Hall


Design is inspired by Northern lights. It gets more beautiful at night.


The cafe we got together with our Portuguese friend and his friend


Today we came to the hot dog stand across the street.


Hot dog with potato salad & Coke
So yummy!


Public Pool our local friends recommend


We dipped ourselves in hot tubs here instead of Blue Lagoon. Less crowded and a lot less expensive!

Family & Friends, Restaurants, Vacation/Trip

Icelandic Feast @ Sushi Social

After a week of road trip around Iceland, we finally came back to Reykjavik, where we started our trip. When flying here, it seemed such a small city as capital. But now, it looks so big with some traffic on freeways and a lot of houses/buildings because what we saw on the other side of country was only nature such as mountains, oceans, rivers, fields, lava rocks, snows, water falls and horses.

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We had talked about this restaurant offering Japanese & South American cuisine with exotic ingredients since day 1. So here we are.

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Icelandic Feast, 7-course meal 7,990 kr.

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Bread with Aji Amarillo Sauce
Bread in Iceland is pretty good. I am not supposed to start with carbs but can’t hold myself…

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Aperitif: A shot of Brennivín, Icelandic national spirit
37.5-40% alcohol. Smells nice but burns your throat.

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Trio of appetizer: Smoked Puffin, Seared Whale, “Torched” Arctic Charr
Smoked puffin is like a jerky and good with sweet blueberry. Whale is like a nice beef tataki. Charr is delicious as always.

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Icelandic Roll: Gravlax, Brennivin, avocado, mango, cucumber, dill mayo, rye bread crumble
I liked the sushi rice. It’s moist and different from Japanese one but good. Fish is kind of small tho.

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Market Fresh Ling
Miso & Yuzu marinated spotted ling with zucchini, chorizo, apples, tostada and Beurre Monte Sauce
Fish version of nachos. Spicy. Couldn’t finish all.

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Rack of Icelandic Lamb

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Perfectly cooked. Tender and juicy. Lamb is definitely my favorite food in Iceland.

Before dessert served, we decided to take off to see our friend from Portugal who now lived in Reykjavik.

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Mocha @ Kaffihús Vesturbæjar

He invited us to hang out in a pool, but we couldn’t make it. So we did chat at a cafe. It was nice to catch up one last time. I promised that I would be a tour guide when he visit US or Japan.

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Around midnight. At the hotel room. We enjoyed the dessert, Skyr yogurt with berries that we missed at the restaurant and co-travelers brought back for us.

Sushi Social
Þingholtsstræti 5,
101 Reykjavík, Iceland
http://sushisocial.is
$$$$
★★★★

1 Icelandic Krona = 0.0091 US Dollar as of February 2017