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Taste of Home

2 Apr

I celebrated a special birthday the other week at Palisade. It was my first time there, but overall the experience was excellent; aside from the gorgeous views of Elliot Bay and the Seattle skyline, the attentive and friendly service, and the warm atmosphere, I almost felt like I was home for a moment or two. First off, the menu is Pacific-inspired – that is, the dishes incorporate ingredients from around the Pacific rim and Northwest. Items on the menu such as Seared Ahi (pictured below), Dungeness Crab Stuffed Mahi Mahi, Applewood Grilled Chinook, and Macadamia Nut Chicken allude to the flavors and foods of the regions. I was reminded of Alan Wong’s restaurant – my favorite place to celebrate when I’m home.

The seared ahi I shared was part of a trio of ahi appetizers (pupus) including Ahi Poke and Spicy Ahi Tostada (second picture) – yum yum! The poke brought back images of potlucks back home – family and friends gathered for a picnic at the beach, tako and ahi poke accompanying the boiled peanuts and other snackies. Of course the food at Palisade was more deluxe, but savoring each bite seemed to evoke the nostalgia of home. Even the physical menu itself had some Hawaiian print patterns on it….

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Grindz (part II)

2 Feb

Ohhh yum. I just made a batch of chicken curry udon for the first time and was reminded again of my enduring love for Japanese curry. Sadly, I don’t have any pictures to show for this delicious meal, but my stomach can testify that it was indeed nom nom nom : )

To make up for the absence of curry photos, I’m posting some drool-worthy images that I’ve been meaning to upload for awhile; these were from my trip home during Christmas.

The first few are from my family’s new year’s day lunch. Hamachi (yellowtail) and Maguro (tuna) sashimi:

Onaga (red snapper):

Garlic shrimp:

Okay this one is a tribute to fans of natto, the stinky, sticky fermented beans that you either love or hate (I side with the latter). My friends love this stuff, and this is just one iteration of these beans in curry:

Spam and egg sushi (now this I find appetizing, mmm mmm):

And last but not least, my favorite shave ice from Ice Garden (#16 with oatmeal – tapioca + mochi balls + chocolate syrup)! Sounds gross but it’s soooo good; you just need to try it:

hONOlulu grindz

31 Dec

Being home means eating well, and this break is no exception. I was lazy and hadn’t taken the camera out for food photos lately (thus the lack of posts), but after eating out almost every day for the past week, I’ve captured plenty of drool-worthy material. My stomach has never been fuller (not to mention in pain from being filled to its limit!), but I’m not complaining too much 😛 Here’s a sampling of some of my recent eats:

Camellia Buffet (all-you-can-eat korean BBQ):


Pepper’s Place (mushroom + pepper philly cheesesteak):

Curry House Coco Ichibanya (mabo tofu curry):

Ichiriki (dinner nabe and ujintoki [green tea shave ice]):

Genki Sushi (ahi poke nigiri – would’ve posted the spicy ahi but ate it too quickly to get a pic):

Goma Tei (tan tan chicken ramen):

Alan Wong’s (crab cakes):

I have more to post, but for now will let your eyes take a break…

Simple Soup for the Seoul

9 Oct

As the temperatures dip and the leaves turn shades of deep red, orange, and yellow, I’m pulled (against my will) into the crisp, fall season (soon-to-be winter, its chilly cousin). Gone is the warmth and sunshine of summer, now replaced with a cool new air (or should I say ‘heir? : P). Autumn is queen, and though I can’t contest the changes of Mother Nature, I can adapt as I’ve done year after year. So where’s the best place to start? While I do enjoy the opportunity to snuggle up under a warm blanket or to crank up the heat in my apartment, my stomach begs to differ, and I feel best warmed by a nice hot meal…My dish of choice in times like these? Hot pot.

Last year, I flew down to LA to visit the bro for Thanksgiving. He introduced me to a Korean restaurant called Seoul Garden, which specializes in a dish called “Jing-Gee Skhan.” Seeing the pictures on the wall, I was reminded of Japanese shabu shabu, one of my favorites. Of course we had to get it.

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Essentially a hot pot of sorts, the “Jing-Gee Skan” starts off in a pot of boiling water, into which goes an assortment of thinly sliced beef, tofu, enoki mushrooms, kamaboko (fish cake), and mixed greens (I wasn’t sure exactly what this was comprised of, but something along the lines of napa cabbage and green onions). The contents are quickly cooked by the scalding water and ready to eat in just a matter of seconds – this is the beauty of hot pot; that everything is ready in a flash, and there isn’t much prep work to be done beforehand. I proceeded to scoop out a big serving of the beef+veggie combination, then dipped everything in the tangy ponzu-like sauce that came with the meal…delish! The flavors melded in my mouth so nicely, and I voraciously chowed down.

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After finishing off the vegetables and meat, my tummy was quite content…yet there was more. The waitress proceeded to place a batch of udon noodles into the pot, which (surprisingly) we were able to eat all of. I thought for sure this was the last. Yet to my surprise, a final round of rice, egg, and nori (seaweed) strips went into thet pot, forming a gruel or porridge. This was an ingenious end to a meal, and perhaps my favorite part. What’s brilliant is that nothing went to waste.

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I left the restaurant feeling warm and content to the soul.

And now as I embrace a new season of fall, I am reminded that with the change in temperature comes a return to hot meals, and I am excited. Though I can’t recreate the “Jing-Gee Skhan” exactly as I had it in LA, I can make something equally as filling and warm on my stove at home with just a few veggies and some meat. Mmm, bring it on, Mother Nature!