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!
At Caltech it is a graduation requirement to take a “menu” class, courses which introduce you to areas of study outside of your major. This year, there were three courses offered in the third term: ESE 1, Ay 1, and Ge 1. I took Ge 1: Earth and Environment for two reasons. First, ever since the first term I have been interested in the idea of minoring in geology (I might major in it instead!) and the class piqued my interest. Second, the class has an awesome multi-day field trip. While I’m not usually a fan of the outdoors, preferring to stay inside and read books or watch anime, this trip was the highlight of my term. As we went up the 395 along the Eastern Sierra’s, the geological makeup of California was revealed before my eyes. So come on a journey across California with me through my Ge 1 field trip photo gallery.
I’m starting a new miniseries on the blog – Film Club! Each episode, I’ll share a short clip from a popular piece of media, and then completely dissect and overanalyze it, because let’s face it, I’m doing it in my head already anyway. You say “buzzkill.” I say “science.” We’ll kick things off with a clip from Gravity Falls I discussed a bit in my previous post: Season 2 Episode 12, A Tale of Two Stans. If somehow you haven’t watched this show yet (?!)… spoilers incoming!
It’s crazy to think that I began applying to college almost three years ago. I still remember spending hours looking at college websites, admissions blogs and reddit pages to try to get a sense of what college is ACTUALLY like. To help you get through these stressful times, here are a few tips that I wish I had listened to. Hopefully, these will ease your worries and maybe even make the process more enjoyable!?