It’s not a trip to the Bay Area without a trip to Din Tai Fung. I know that I have one in LA, but who can resist going to one of the best chains ever. DTF in the Bay Area is in the Santa Clara mall, which is much nearer to San Jose than San Francisco. The mall itself is a Westfield (interestingly, the same brand as the one in Arcadia) and is huge, with both fast fashion and high-end brands such a Gucci and Prada there. I went with my intern friends who also love Din Tai Fung.
The restaurant had a super long wait, as always. So in the intervening time, we walked around an empty mall at 7 at night. It wasn’t super interesting, because all of the shops were closed. What we did get were dragon balls. Or dragon breath. Whatever the name is, it was my first experience having them. For those that don’t know, they are essentially puffed froot loops that have been chilled with liquid nitrogen so that they are super crunchy and let off cold air. Although they don’t have any taste, it was quite fun to shove them in my mouth and have all the cold air come out through my nose. Like a real dragon!
As for our meal at Din Tai Fung… what else can I say but that it was delicious. My only problem with the Bay Area DTF is that although the Xiao Long Bao are the same price, you only get 6 or them instead of 10. What a disappointment. I always want more of those delicious bao to eat.
We’ve all heard that the stomach is the fastest way to someone’s heart^. I never fully understood this until I got to college. While Caltech Dining Services (CDS) does its best to diversify the lunch and dinner menus, sometimes nothing can quite fulfill the craving for your mom’s home cooking. Having grown up in between Venezuela and Texas, home cooking for me looks like arepas, tacos, and brisket (among other things). Thankfully, Caltech’s location, just outside vibrant LA, makes attempts to find close seconds (to my mom’s cooking) easy and exciting. Often, I don’t even have to venture more than a mile or two from campus to find reliable favorites. Here are just a few within walking distance:
On May 8, the Washington Nationals came to Los Angeles Angels for a lovely Mother’s Day Game. I, being a D.C. native and avid Nationals fan, of course had to attend– the Nationals play the Angels very rarely because they play in different leagues and on opposite coasts. My dad and I have a goal of going to all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums, and we had to take advantage of our home team being in L.A., so my mom and dad both flew out for the weekend.
On the weekend of April 16th, my friends and I participated in the first ever Southern California College Poker Tournament! The tournament was for college students in the SoCal area with a $0 buy-in that doubled as a recruiting event for quant and finance firms. A senior friend of mine (Vanessa, a fellow blogger) put together a team of five girls who had no interest in being recruited and just wanted to have fun playing poker.