My Travels to Vancouver!

Hi all! โค I hope everyone’s day is going well! ๐Ÿ™‚ So not too long ago I went on a short and sweet vacation to Vancouver with my boyfriend. We just recently graduated and wanted to go somewhere that wasn’t in California. We were looking around for the cheapest plane tickets and ended up planning a week to see what Canada was like.

We did AirBnb for our stay in Vancouver and it was the best decision we made. The cost for a week was around $700 which comes out to $100/day. We were located in Downtown Vancouver pretty much 2 minutes away from the train stations and a large mall to do all our shopping. We ended up not renting out a car to save money on transportation so the being located near all the train stations was a big plus! Upon arriving I was excited to be in a new place but unsure of how the week would go ๐Ÿ˜€

Our week consisted of constant walking and exploration of the city. We both agreed that the highlight of our trip was to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. From our apartment, we had to take a 30 minute bus ride which led us to the attraction. The cost came out to around $70CAD with our student discounts. It was incredible to be on a bridge that was hanging 200+ft above a small creek. My boyfriend was acting like a baby the whole entire time we were on the bridge xD If you enjoy the outdoors and like seeing things that you don’t typically see elsewhere this is a great spot to check out. Although it is a big tourist attraction, it is one that should not be missed!

Another spot that my boyfriend and I enjoyed was the Aquarium. When planning the trip, this was another spot that many people suggested tourists to go. This aquarium is supposedly the largest one in Canada and one of the top 5 largest in North America. This was a place we had to go to. We came here on a rainy day and loved everything we saw. They have a huge collection of different species of jellyfish, an area to touch the backs of sting rays, and much more. The cost to get in per person was around $30CAD (student discount) and if you wanted to grab a snack or eat lunch, they have a cafe located inside.

This trip was a great getaway from my usual life. Although Vancouver had a similar vibe to LA, I would say that Vancouver was overall much more greener and tried its best to get its citizens to recycle and do their part in helping the environment. The streets in downtown were a lot more narrower compared to LA and walking down the block was quick and easy. We were sad that we had to leave but it was time to start planning our next trip ๐Ÿ™‚

I cannot wait to be able to travel to other countries and see what else lies out there ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you Canada for the awesome time and I hope to come back soon! โญ

โค liz

My Top 3 Favorite Restaurants in the 626

Hi all! โค

In this post, I’ll be writing about my favorite places to eat in my hometown. Now for those of you who do not know, the 626 is merely an area code for the general area of the San Gabriel Valley (SGV). The SGV include cities like Arcadia, San Gabriel, El Monte, and many other cities. I grew up most of my life in Rosemead and recently moved to Alhambra, so I’m pretty familiar with all of the 626. Like I said before, these are my top 3 personal favorites. There are so many more places to try and so many other places I wish I can include on this list, but if I were to give my suggestions to someone who could only have 3, the following will be on my list:

#3 Boiling Point

If you know the 626, you probably have heard this place before. Boiling Point is one of the most popular Taiwanese hot pot restaurants in the SGV. If you arrive at busy hours, be ready to wait at least 30-60 minutes. In the SGV, there are like 5 or 6 BP restaurants and all are different sizes. Once you’re seated, you’ll have an option of 10 hot pots. My personal favorite is the #4 which is their beef soup. They have other options like the House Special, Korean Bean Paste, and their most popular, Taiwanese Spicy. Unlike other hot pot restaurants, this place cooks the meat and veggies inside the bowl for you so you won’t have to worry about it. They place a coal-like object underneath the bowl and light it up to create a fire that keeps your soup warm.

Not only are they popular with their hot pot items, they also have tea to drink down with your meal. Hokkaido milk tea is a popular item but my boyfriend and I enjoy their Fresh Milk tea and their regular green tea.

Overall, this is a great place to eat if it’s cold out or you’re just craving some hot soup. I always suggest this place if I’m out with friends because the prices are reasonable. Each hot pot would cost around $15/ person and if you want to add more meat or add any other additional toppings, it will cost you $1-$5 per item ordered. The teas are priced like any tea house at under $5 with toppings being extra. You can easily walk out of this place spending $20 (including tip) if you don’t order extra toppings or tea. Come in before 3PM for their lunch special and that $15 plate will include a green or black tea.

#4 Beef Soup

#2 Yama Sushi

I love sushi. And really, it is so hard to not include this in one of my favorite places to eat. Now this place is not really a restaurant but more like a take-out sushi place. When you enter, you’ll find refrigerators with sushi including california rolls, unagi rolls, salmon nigiri, and other sushi options packaged for you to pick up and go. If you can’t find the fish you’re looking for, you can head to the fish cutting area. Now this may or may not take a long time, it really depends what time you arrive. Once you get to the front, you can pick what fish you want to cut or just buy the fish and cut it later. If you’re looking for a great selection of different fishes, this may not be the right place for you. But if you like salmon, yellow tail, tuna, scallop and octopus, you’re in the right spot.

Once you pay for everything, be ready to enjoy super delicious fresh sushi. I typically don’t have time to wait and get my fish cut so I always hope that they have what I like packaged for me to pick up. My favorite items are the unagi rolls ($6/12pieces) and the salmon nigiri ($7/5pieces). I love salmon and can legit eat it everyday. And Yama Sushi has fresh salmon every week. Another thing I like to pick up is their seaweed salad. At Yama you’ll find this and other little side items like fish cake that are less than $3.

I typically spend $20 on myself whenever I eat here. And I am never disappointed with spoiling myself. If you are in the SGV and want to pick up food to bring home or take to go picnic, this is a must-try!

Unagi rolls (bottom left), salmon nigiri (top left), tuna rolls (right), and seaweed salad (bottom right)

#1 Green Zone

Yaaaaassssss!! It is finally down to my number one place! It was really hard picking between this place and Yama Sushi but Green Zone slightly won due to the variety of items available. Green Zone serves Organic Asian Cuisine and its main location is in San Gabriel. Green Zone is expanding their restaurants and also serves Pasadena, Temple City, and Diamond Bar. Let me just say, the food is just really bomb. They have appetizers that range from dumplings to egg rolls and entrees that range from rice dishes, salads, to pasta dishes. I tend to come to this restaurant with my best friend who introduced me (thank you Yvonne!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and we order at least 5 items whenever we come. Because this is my top place, I have a good number of favorite items here.

The Hainan chicken is one of their most popular items and is simply delicious. It’s not too heavy and I enjoy the three sauces (sweet soy sauce, garlic chili sauce, and a ginger scallion paste) that you may add on when eating. Their grilled pork chop is also another great item and can easily be shared and it is served with rice and a sweet salad. I can go on with many of their main entrees but these two have been my go-to plates. If we’re going to talk about appetizers, you can never go wrong ordering the salmon triangles (I told you the love for salmon was real XD ). They serve this dish with a magical dipping sauce that they call honey mustard with a hint of wasabi. If salmon is not your thang, their pan fried dumplings and their murasaki fries are pretty good.

Overall, Green Zone is just one of those places I wish I can always eat at but don’t have the money to always eat at haha ๐Ÿ˜ฅ A plate can range from $10-20 depending on what you order. Their most expensive item is their pasta dish that cost close to $20 so be prepared to spend a little more here. The cheapest dishes are their appetizers and they range from $5-$10. Although it may seem super pricey, this place is really nice to share with a friend or significant other. Either myself or the other person I go with will order a safe item and then we try out another dish. So far, there is nothing I haven’t liked and I tried a good amount of their items ๐Ÿ˜€

Murasaki fries
Hainan chicken and salmon triangles

If you are in the SGV, try out some of these places! I know I mainly picked Asian food but this is what is expected in a heavily Asian area.ย  Although I feel out of place in some places, I feel comfortable at these three restaurants. I may not be Asian and may not know the language much, but having lived in this area all my life, I would have never picked another place to be and love.

Thank you for reading and I hope you all get to try these places! โค

โค liz

Others who didn’t make my list:

  • Mama Lu’s – Monterey Park
  • Din Tai Fung – Arcadia
  • Young Dong Tofu House – San Gabriel
  • A Ri Rang Tofu House – San Gabriel
  • Saigon Eden – San Gabriel
  • Summer Rolls – Rosemead
  • Golden Palace Mongolian BBQ – Pasadena
  • Sushi Kuni – Monrovia

 

Ktown Adventures

Hi all! โค

I know I have not been writing in this blog for quite a while now ๐Ÿ˜ฆ With graduation coming up, it’s been a struggle to balance school, work, relationships, friendships, family, and sleep ๐Ÿ˜ณ But I do hope that I can write in here at least once a week and would love to share my world with whoever reading this~

Any who, I seriously cannot believe that the Fast & Furious series is already on movie eight ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I thought 7 was where it would all end but apparently I was wrong. Like all movie series, I really had to go and see this one and who better to go with?? Obviously my ๋‚จ์ž ์นœ๊ตฌ ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

We decided to watch the movie at the CGV Cinema in Koreatown. For those who do not know what that is, it’s a small Korean movie theater that plays around 2-3 different movies a day. I’ve seen a variety of Korean movies here like ๋ถ€์‚ฐํ–‰ (Train to Busan) and ๋งˆ์Šคํ„ฐ(Master). It’s my first time watching an American movie here and it was different seeing Korean subtitles on screen lol XD There were a lot of twists in the movie but the movie was nonetheless awesome! ๐Ÿ˜€ I will not spoil the movie so do not worry okay?? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here in Koreatown, you’ll notice a lot of cafes and dessert places. One poppin’ place near the CGV Cinema’s is Somi Somi. After our movie was done we thought we should get dessert here~ I ended up getting the milk & green tea swirl with nutella in a ๋ถ•์–ด๋นต (fish-shaped bread). They have other ice cream flavor options like chocolate and banana and other fillings like red bean if that is more to your liking ๐Ÿ™‚ The line could be a little long at times so be prepared to wait. But you will not be disappointed in the end with your new Instagram picture~ โญ

Oppa babo
Somi Somi with Oppa โค
Somi Somi
Milk & Green Tea swirl!

If you are in the LA Ktown area, try to come out to the CGV plaza and enjoy the restaurants and theater it has to offer. My only advance is to beware of the parking structure! Finding parking can be difficult, and if you forget to validate you will have to pay when you leave~ Hope you all have a great day! Oh and Happy Easter! ๐Ÿป

โค liz

Lunch in LA, Dessert at the Loft~

Woke up this morning and tried to add a class to take for summer school, it did not work ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Oh well, I may have wasted gas and time to travel to school but I ended up getting a delicious lunch afterwards! ^___^

Today marks the 15th month anniversary with my boyfriend. We both did not realize this until the afternoon and thought it would be a good idea to celebrate with a nice lunch. I have always wanted to try KazuNori and I was so happy that this was our destination. KazuNori is a less expensive alternative to Sugarfish by Nozawa. The only difference between the two is that KazuNori specializes in their hand rolls while Sugarfish has hand rolls and nigiri sushi to offer.

Just like always, downtown LA is prettyย  shitty when it comes to parking. No matter where you go, you will have to pay something to park, and it is really ones preference if they prefer to scout out the parking meters on street or just park in one of the parking lots. We both decided to street park it but had a 30 minute parking spot. Being our first time there, we were surprised at how crowded it was to sit and dine-in. We thought it would be best to order the food to-go and eat it at his place.

Luckily the wait for the order took around 10 minutes. While waiting, my boyfriend wanted to take a picture of me at this cool artwork right next to the restaurant. I decided to also take some pictures of another piece I saw. 10 minutes past and now we’re headed back to his place to see what the craze for these hand rolls are about.

Lunch as expected was delicious and I can’t wait to go back and eat some more sushi ๐Ÿ™‚ My favorite would have to be the blue crab hand roll and my boyfriend seemed to like the yellow tail hand roll the most. After our food coma, the boy needed to study again so we went off to the Loft (Cafe Loft in K-Town). This was also our first time here at this specific cafe, and I am so happy that they have their own parking lot that doesn’t charge!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ We came around 6PM and easily found a table with an outlet to do our work. We ordered our usual, iced milk tea for him, and an iced peach tea for me. As for our dessert, we decided to order the butter waffle with strawberry and vanilla ice cream. ๋ง›์žˆ์–ด์š”! (Which is delicious in Korean~)

Overall, the day could not have been any better. Well adding the class would have been nice~~ Who is planning to take summer school this year?? What classes are you going to take? I wish everyone a great rest of their day wherever they are! Stay happy! ๐Ÿ™‚

โค liz

Last Day of Finals at Cafe Maji

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Shrimp Tomato Linguini

So today is the last day of finals. But before I get to that 7:30 ISDS final, I thought it would be a great idea to get some food at Cafe Maji in Artesia to calm my nerves and make my belly happy.

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Cafe Maji

I have always loved Cafe Maji. From the moment you walk into either of their two locations, you feel instantly calm and happy with soft Korean music in the background. I have been to many other Korean cafes, but Cafe Maji has always stood out the most. Unlike the cafes in Koreatown, this cafe is conveniently located in the 626 and in Artesia. Luckily for me, the voyage to either locations is easier than to Koreatown. However, there are major differences to both locations. The Arcadia location is on top of a gym and serves limited food options, while the Artesia location is in its own place and serves a larger variety of food that includes the Maji Burger and various pasta dishes. These twoย locations serve the same desserts and drinks and I would overall say that everything on the menu not only looks delicious, but actually tastes delicious.

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Cheesecake with Grapes

Both locations are unique in their own ways and becomes one of the best places to catch up with an old friend, go on a date, or just simply study with a latte with a special artwork on top. Whatever the reason you go, enjoy it!

โค liz