What did I do this spring break? Eat… Here’s the rundown.
First off, when we came back from Malibu, some of us headed to Ramen Yukinoya in Arcadia to indulge in some large serving sizes. We all had the Tan Tan Mein, which was a little too creamy, but decent:
My family arrived the next day, so I finally got to start on my list of “places to eat over spring break” that I had been working on for the whole school year. Straight from the airport, we headed to Koreatown to have some good old soondubu (soft tofu stew) at BCD Tofu House:
It was amazing, and the complimentary fish and egg didn’t hurt. The next day, Sunday, we arrived bright and early at Din Tai Fung in Arcadia, and were the first in line. We had xiao long bao/juicy pork dumplings:
Shrimp and pork shumai:
Spicy shrimp and pork wontons:
And shrimp and [insert green vegetable here] dumplings:
Everything was served promptly, and we thoroughly enjoyed the steaming hot pockets of flavor. The shumai were my least favorite, followed by the shrimp and vegetable thing. The XLB were on point, and the wontons were pretty nice.
Though we were pretty stuffed, we headed to Amara Chocolate and Coffee in Old Pasadena, which I had walked to with my roommate on the last day of finals. We had churros with dulce de leche dipping sauce:
And my brothers enjoyed their rich hot chocolate (Raymond) with roasted salted caramel marshmallows:
On Monday, we headed to Hae Jang Chon in Koreatown for all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue. We’ve had some pretty bad AYCE KBBQ elsewhere, and didn’t even reach one serving per person, so I wanted to bring my family to an AYCE place that has good meat. We did eat more than one serving per person, but weren’t quite hungry enough to eat enough to feel like it was worth it. Afterwards, we went to Hwa Sun Ji for patbingsu. It was a very elegantly decorated place, and I enjoyed the dessert:
On Tuesday, my brothers and I went to Disneyland. We each had a churro, and snacked on healthy snacks throughout the day, like burgers, fries, more fries, and ice cream sundaes. On Wednesday, I believe we had crab, bought live from 99 Ranch. Thursday, we went to Shinsengumi in Little Tokyo for ramen:
I think I prefer the Shinsengumi in San Gabriel. This one was a little too porky for me. On Friday, we headed to Little Tokyo again, and went to Marugame Monzo. I’ve been here twice before, but both times I tried their signature ramens, which were a little too non-traditional for me. This time I had their shrimp tempura udon (tempura comes on the side), and I was amazed by how goodit was:
Monzo is pretty special, because they handmake the noodles, and you can see someone making them while you eat. In the future, I will definitely be getting their traditional udons.
My dad and brothers flew back home on Saturday, so my mom and I went back to Amara for churros and a breakfast sandwich, served in an arepa:
It could’ve used more flavor, but the arepa was quite nice. Later that night, we went to Abricott for dinner, and had the tuna soba salad:
And the shrimp tom yum ramen:
I have to say, both were pretty tasteless, and both had undercooked noodles. If I come here again, I’ll probably go for one of their non-fusion dishes, like pho.
Our last meal was an excellent one, at Monsieur Crepe in Sierra Madre. We were so hungry after church, which may have biased our tastebuds. We had La Normande, which was a savory crepe with turkey, brie, and caramelized onions:
I really liked this one, because it had so much going on, and the flavors balanced out really well. The onions were the highlight. We also had L’Oceane, which had smoked salmon, avocado, and dill:
It was too salty for me (which is saying a lot), and could have used more avocado. It didn’t have the balance of flavors found in La Normande. Finally, for dessert, we had La Tatin, which was caramelized apples inside of a melt-in-your-mouth crepe, smothered in homemade salted caramel sauce, with vanilla ice cream and Chantilly on the side:
Eating, including the time it took to drive there and back, wait in lines, wait for food, etc, took up the majority of my waking hours during spring break. I really enjoyed spending this time with my family, doing something almost all of us love!
It’s been over three months since my trip to the Galapagos, and I am still thinking about it. For seven days, we all woke up at 5:30 am on the boat, ate breakfast together, and went out as the sun was rising on our morning hike to catch frigatebirds mating or iguanas spewing salt from their nostrils. Our days were spent snorkeling with turtles, sea lions, and schools of fish, and our nights were spent sitting on the bow of the ship, talking all together under the stars. It was truly a spring break I will never forget.
Four weeks before graduation! While I’m looking forward to the summer and all the fun it promises, I’m also reflecting on my undergraduate experience over the past few years. This is a blog about my favorite classes during my time here, some expected and others less so. As a Computer Science major, no CS classes actually make my final cut, but my top three favorite classes all fall into the realm of Neuroscience, my other primary academic interest.
I remember being a junior in HS and my APCS partner, Brooke, had just gotten accepted into Caltech. She was looking at the course catalog for humanities courses during class (instead of working on our project) and shaking her head at the offerings. When May rolled around, she told me part of the reason she didn’t choose to go to Caltech was how the humanities courses seemed to be “too scientific,” with classes that integrated history with quantum physics, etc. A year later, when I was in the same situation, I decided to matriculate to Caltech for its strong STEM offerings, but felt some anxiety about how my love of the humanities would be fed during my four years of undergraduate education.
One of the most well-known benefits of being a Caltech student is the infamous 3:1 student to faculty ratio, which implies a personalized, interactive undergraduate experience with world-class research scientists. It was a primary reason why I chose Caltech above other schools as a high school senior. Now as my time at Caltech comes to a close, I can reflect back on my interactions with different professors and consider if this 3:1 ratio really “lives up to the hype.” I believe the answer is yes.