food

Bay Area Eats Series (3 price ranges)

This food series reviews restaurants in the Bay Area at three price ranges: low, medium, and high (or high-ish?). At the end of this series, I hope to compile a list of the best places to eat in the Bay Area.

Lower Price Range:

Pho Huynh Hiep 6

Pho Huynh Hiep 6, located in Walnut Creek, has quick food service and fresh ingredients. I ordered a seafood pho and taro bubble tea. The broth tasted light and simple. I recommend this spot for a light lunch.

Napa Taco Truck – La Condesa

La Condesa taco truck is just spot on. It has perfect prices, great customer service, and fresh ingredients. There are also plenty of spots to park in the Napa neighborhood to eat. I ordered carnita and lengua (tongue) tacos, horchata, and ceviche.

Los Gallos Taqueria

Los Gallos Taqueria, located in Redwood City, has the highest rated food for this post in my opinion. Super fresh seafood on the tostadas, which are loaded with octopus and shrimp, and topped off with avocado. The tacos (intestines) tasted perfectly crispy and extra delicious with extra spicy salsa. I highly recommend this spot and specifically the seafood tostadas.

Medium Price Range:

Korean Souel BBQ

The seafood pancake was flavorful and not as oily or doughy as others at this Oakland based Korean restaurant named Korean Souel BBQ. I enjoyed the taste of ample green onion, squid, and imitation crab meat. The wings tasted were served hot but they were a bit too sweet and lacking in spice. I do recommend visiting this restaurant for the haemul pajeon (seafood pancake), though it is not packed with seafood, there’s enough in the dish to taste filling. For only $18, the seafood pancake is a nice shareable light meal. The owner is super kind and talkative as well.

Miramar Beach Restaurant at Half Moon Beach

I ate a super light salad at the oceanfront restaurant Miramar at Half Moon Beach. I highly recommend this restaurant for the view alone. It’s a very relaxing lunch spot. I also recommend trying the Bomba dessert made with white chocolate and tropical flavored sorbets.

The day we ate there it was super warm but generally, it is recommended to bring a sweater just in case the water makes the area a little chilly. I had a jean jacket with me that I put on before walking near the ocean after lunch. There is free valet parking. I’d recommend getting valet if the restaurant appears full. We tried to park ourselves and ended up having to loop back because there were no spaces.

Slanted Tree

Slated Tree in Fairfield always seems packed. This restaurant has excellent bottomless Mimosas. I recommend this place as a quick brunch spot if you’re in the area. I’ve found it is one of the best places to eat in Fairfield.

Higher Price Range:

Bistro Don Giovanni

I can recommend this restaurant for the surrounding wine vineyards alone. The restaurant’s Napa Valley location is beautiful. Even the parking lot is pretty as you can see from the last picture. The pizza was very balanced in cheese, meat, and vegetables. The best part was the crust. It was harmoniously crispy and chewy. I only wished the menu had more variety and a seafood pizza option. ❤

food

My Top Three Restaurant Recommendations in Dublin

1.) Celtic Nights Traditional Irish Dance Show

The price is a steal, for only $38 you get a three-course meal and a chance to see a traditional Irish dancing show with a live band. This show and food stood out during my stay as a worthwhile Irish cultural experience. The fish main course I picked from the set menu was fresh and flavorful, especially the buttery fingerling potatoes! The vegetable soup appetizer was served hot. The soup had a turnip flavor and tasted well-seasoned. Additional drinks were available for purchase at the event space. I got confused by the time slots online with my ticket purchase. I thought perhaps many shows were scheduled at different times, but there is only one show. The show begins around 9-10 pm and if you pick an early time slot you eat before the show. If you pick a later mealtime your food is served as the show begins. https://tickets.celticnights.com/

2.) Kimchi Hophouse

This restaurant has Korean and Japanese fusion foods and more (spring rolls, croquettes). I loved my hot tofu and beef stew served with rice and beans. My friend and I also ordered fried chicken to share. That dish satisfied my craving for well-done yet, non-oily crispy fried chicken. This is a great spot to eat the famed Korean combination of fried chicken and beer. https://www.facebook.com/kimchihophouse/

3. )Michael’s Mount Merrion

Micheal’s blew me out the water, what amazing flavor! I’m no food expert, but I know if something tastes expertly flavored and this restaurant has that standard. The kitchen is partly open and the chefs prepare the seafood in the open section of the kitchen. They were super friendly and welcomed me as I came in. There is excellent customer service here. My waitress was also super sweet. The tuna tar tar was simple and fresh. My fries were perfectly salted and addictive. They were some of the best fries I’ve ever had. The warm bread and cinnamon butter tasted like the perfect combination of salty and sweet. I love warm bread and dislike when restaurants serve it cold. The lobster and shrimp main course tasted divine in the rich seafood sauce. I wish I could swim in a pool of that sauce, so delicious! https://www.michaels.ie/

food · travel

Panama 🇵🇦🇵🇦🇵🇦 Recommendations (En español y ingles)

Que bello es mi Panamá, centro del mundo corazón del universo. ¿Porqué Panamá es especial? Porque esta en el centro del mundo donde lo acompaña el océano Pacifico y el océano Atlántico es el único país del mundo con los dos océanos.

Panamá tiene comidas muy deliciosos como el arroz con pollo, tamales, carimañolas, empanadas, Sopa de Gallina, como muchas otras delicias. Puedes disfrutar de frutas muy deliciosas como el marañón, mamey, guayaba, guanábana (jugo de guanábana), pejibaye, entre muchas mas. Puedes disfrutar de estas frutas en los mercados públicos donde también puedes obtener enyugado, koka. La Koka es hecha con coco, azúcar y jengibre. Cuando quieras disfrutar de una noche de música y una cena exquisita, puedes visitar el casco viejo.

En el Casco Viejo hay un lugar llamado Diablicos donde puedes disfrutar y bailar al son del tambor de la música panameña. Un plato muy sabroso el arroz con coco y la ropa vieja, patacones y jugo de Tamarindo. El chicharrón y yuca frita es una delicia y no olvides el postre dulce de tres leches. Panamá cuanta con la bendición de ser una nación que, a pesar de ser territorialmente pequeña, tiene varias de las playas mas hermosas del continente americano.

San Blas compuestas de 365 islas desaminadas en el archipiélago de San Blas. Puedes rentar una de estas islas donde puedes disfrutas de la privacidad y hermosa hospitalidad.

Isla Bastimentos esta ubicado en el archipiélago de Bocas del Toro, en esta playa puedes disfrutar de diversidad de aves marinas y anfibios.

Isla Grande, una de mis favoritas, esta localizada en la provincia de Colon. Se caracteriza por sus playas de arena blancas y arrecifes coralinos.


Panama and Panamanian food (as well as Colombian) is painfully underrated. The cuisine is ignored just like our soccer teams lol. I think Panamanian food is some of the best in the world and I’m not biased of anything, 😉(just kidding).

Fruits and Foods Recommendations:

Toasted cashews and the fruit of the plant (called marañón – my family toasts the cashews at bonfires), guava, and mamey sapote fruit. Tamarindo drinks are amazing! They taste sour and distinct. Panamanians make tamarindo drinks with lemon, and panela or cane sugar. Pejibaye (pronounced pi-va, its a fruit, typically eaten in Panama boiled with salt. My great-grandmother had several pejibaye trees in her backyard, they remind me of childhood), guanábana ( try out guanábana juice, the fruit is slimy and ugly but it tastes delicious and sweet yet tangy. Panama has a zillion fruit drinks, so explore the world of fruit flavors and fresh fruit smoothies.

Other dishes to try include rice and chicken ( arroz con pollo, Panamanian style ja ja), coconut rice with gandules ( don’t disregard plain looking rice and beans, the dish is likely packed with flavor), carimañolas (yucca stuffed with tasty ground beef and fried, empanadas (Panamanians make zesty flavorful empanadas because the meat is cooked well in sauces like a strew before being encased into the corn), chicken soup made with female chicken or hen (hen tastes sweet in my opinion and the bones are harder), the dish is called Sopa de Gallina. Also, try frituras (fried breakfast foods like corn tortillas with Panamanian coffee called Café Duran). ❤

food

Cheap Eats in Dublin – Brother’s Dosirak

Brother’s Dosirak is an inexpensive Korean fusion hole-in-the-wall restaurant. It’s inside of a Chinese supermarket. Food cost ranges from about 6 euros to 15 euros. There are actual Korean men making the food right in front of customers. Fair warning, there’s no restroom here and the nearest place to use the restroom for free is McDonalds or the mall in the neighboring shopping area.

I ordered Dakganjong chicken wings and Korean BBQ beef. The wings were fantastic, perfect flavor and crispness. The taste reminded me of the quality I’m used to eating in Koreatown, Los Angeles. The Korean BBQ beef tasted bland, chewy, and nothing like Korean bbq — I don’t recommend it. My friend ordered bibimbap and loved it. I highly recommend getting wings, especially the ‘special spicy’ or Dakganjong, maybe with a side dish. They have complimentary self-service water for customers and a 10% discount for students with ID. ❤

food

KFC in Dublin & Cheap Eats

For a few months, I pondered the idea of starting a fast food review series. I wanted to compare fast food from different countries to the United States. I used to go to McDonald’s often when I first got to Dublin. I noticed major differences. Here McDonald’s food tastes less salty, sugary, and fatty than American eateries. It’s a good thing health-wise but its just less fun and bland in reality. (Though in general, I dislike McDonald’s, Wendy’s all day every day <3)

This fast food review idea seemed smart, but NO! 🙅🏽‍♀️ I got a huge pimple on my forehead after trying KFC last week, so no more fast food for me lol. Still, I think it’d be cool to try out inexpensive food spots in Dublin and share my thoughts. I have one place in mind for my next meal out, Brothers Dosirak — a Korean food restaurant that’s incredibly cheap.

I think KFC tastes like Taco Bell in Dublin, but maybe I only have this opinion because I ordered a chicken burrito. Surprisingly, the burrito had a whole chicken breast in it; I struggled to finish it. It also had rice, salsa (a sad one), and beans folded into its soft flour tortilla shell. The flavor was sweet and a bit tangy. The fries tasted good, nicely cooked and simple. In truth, they were a little bit of a let down comparatively. KFC fries in the U.S. are flavorful, orange-tinted, black pepper coated wedges of perfection.

Still, KFC beats McDonald’s in terms of flavor in my book. Above all, I’d rather have a healthy hearty meal than fast food. ❤

food

What I Make to Eat At Home

Around three people have asked me what I cook for myself at home so I thought I’d blog about it lol.

I like making mostly vegetarian meals. Fair warning, I’m not the best cook, and I’m averse to cooking and handling raw meat in my shared apartment. However, I’m a proud foodie and I try my best to make things I find tasty. Also, I genuinely enjoy the taste of vegetables that are seasoned properly (except brussel sprouts).

Three dinners from this week are pictured above. I sautéed “Irish Greens” with loads of garlic (I love garlic), sesame oil, butter, Nando’s Peri-Peri seasoning medium, and added that to white rice, and additionally put two spoonfuls of hummus on my plate.

Another day I had microwavable chicken rice with ketchup, an avocado with salt, carrots, and strawberries with a little honey. I was craving both salty and sweet food that day.

A few moons ago, I heated up pre-made rice, lentil, and chickpea stuffed red bell peppers in the oven, and made a salad on the side with two fried eggs, cherry tomatoes, greens, and sesame dressing. That evening I really wanted to eat enough protein because the days before I had little of it.

My main staples I eat include: avocados, chickpeas (both whole and hummus), sometimes canned tuna salads and tuna quesadillas, rice, carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.

I like making salads at home, eating rice dishes with store-bought kimchi, and heating up veggie soups. For breakfast, I typically have yogurt with fruit, or porridge with fruit. Once in a while I’ll have a bagel with cream cheese instead or a larger breakfast with Irish pancakes and eggs. I drink instant black coffee with sugar every morning. ❤

food · travel

Howth Day Trip & Fish and Chips Review

This morning I visited Howth for the first time with new friends. I recommend taking a trip there from Dublin because it’s a fast journey via DART (train) and supremely scenic. The water is a gorgeous blend of turquoise and dark blue. Together, we walked the Cliff Path Loop and then went to The Bloody Stream restaurant.

The Bloody Stream is very Irish — it has a fireplace, pub, and looks dark and cozy. Plus, it’s conveniently right next to the DART station. I ordered fish and chips to review.

The presentation looked as appetizing as it was convenient with the paper bag sheet to soak up the fish’s excess oil. I rate it 5/5. The fish itself was large and fresh, but the batter did not stick to the meat and tasted a bit too oily. I give the fish a 3 out of 5. The fries (chips) were perfect, crispy yet potatoey. I rate them 5 out of 5. Overall score: I added points given that they included iconic mushy peas to the meal, I rate this 14.50 euro meal 4.6 out of 5. I wish the fish had a bit more flavor and less oil. Still, I recommend this restaurant for a visit. It’s the type of place most envision when they think of an “Irish pub” — very classic. ❤