Day 7: Friday 29 Dec 06
Kisu's parents just bought over an American Chinese foodstall called Golden Dragon. It's located in a food court in an area similar to a business park (think Science Park). The previous owners are a Taiwanese couple. So they asked us to go down and take a look at the place..in addition, I think I was supposed to act as a spy of some sort. Since I'm Chinese, lor. Cos they told me that they couldn't communicate very well with the Taiwanese couple. Stress.
We had to be there early because it was the first day of "training" for my mum-in-law, who had to learn how to make eggrolls, orange chicken and teriyaki chicken (erm, not sure how this is Chinese, but well) among other stuff from the chef/owner. I met the owner and his wife, and I spoke briefly with her. Thank goodness I understood everything that she said! She said she was relieved that there was someone to speak to who could understand her. She was quite chatty so all I had to do was to nod and agree. There was only so much of the kitchen and shop to "tour", so the rest of the time Kisu and I walked around the Business Park. There are some FBI offices behind the food court, so we were kidding that if we should be careful lest we wandered into any "sensitive" areas!
Kisu in the foodcourt. He's so bored so he's playing with his "Crackberry"
Kevin and Kiae arrived later, after which (since we had the car) we took off and hit Target. Love Target! There are so many cute things to buy there...there are cheap DVDs there and I also found some really cute stationery - really nice prints and not exhorbitant, like what you expect nice paper in Singapore to be.
Since we woke up early, we went back to take a nap before dinner - which ended up being for 3 hours!!! I woke up kinda disoriented - you know that feeling that you get when you wake up and it's all dark?
Dinner was at a shabu shabu restaurant in K-town - it serves shabu shabu but it's Korean owned. Which means that you get all he side dishes like kimchi at the beginnning of the meal.
(The kimchi was extremely good, btw) At the end of the meal, you make kimchi porridge with the leftover broth in the shabu shabu pot. It's really easy - you add cooked rice, chopped up kimchi and some red chilli pepper powder (I don't know what it's called, but it's Korean of course). When it's almost ready, throw in a raw egg, roasted sesame seeds, sesame oil and chopped up seaweed. Yum! I ate so much of it, I was SO full. I've made this twice since I've been back home!
After dinner, we went by Pinkberry (again!) so that my parents-in-law and Kiae & Kevin could see what the fuss is about. Kiae really liked it - cos she ended up finishing the medium sized cup, which she was supposed to share with Kevin all by herself!
Day 8: Saturday 30 Dec 06
Brian, Kevin's brother is due in today from Seattle. He's going to be in LA for a couple days visiting a friend, but he's going to stay 1 night with us. So it's back to LAX at noon when his flight arrives and we head off straight to lunch at K-Town, for Korean Chinese food.
We go to Pinkberry (3rd time) cos Kiae is craving it! The place is packed. It's filled mainly with Asians, and majority are women.
After dropping Brian at home, Kisu and I head out to do some shopping - we're back at Old Town Pasedena cos there's a HUGE Forever 21 there (this is like my favourite shopping place in the US) . Coffee break at Leonidas (the chocolate place) - my white choc mocha is too sweet, unfortunately.
Dinner is at Pinhaha, a Brazilian churrascaria - we pick a meaty place cos we think Brian (not to mention Kisu) would appreciate it! It's a pretty cute place, and it must be popular cos it's packed. The waiters, who are dresseds as Gauchos (local ranchers of the South), come around with cuts of grilled meat and carve it directly onto your plate. I have some drinks, so my memories of the meal are particularly pleasant!
Brian with his meat!
Outside the restaurant, after dinner
Post dinner, we visit Universal Citywalk - this is the most touristy thing that we've done since arriving in LA. Universal Citywalk is an area of themed shops close by Universal Studios. There are also some bars and a huge cineplex there.
Day 9: Sunday 31 Dec 06
We have sollongtang (설렁탕 - beef noodle soup) at home for breakfast/lunch. Another of Kisu's favourites, which his parents da pau from a popular sollongtang place in K-town.
Kisu and I go to the nearby mall because I need an extra piece of luggage - I need to replace the one that I took on this trip, and there's all that fabric to lug back. Find one on sale at Macy's and we end up buying more DVDs.
Back home, I find out how to make kalbi (갈비- grilled beef short ribs) from my mum-in-law - she dictates as Kisu translates and I take notes. She marinates 10 pound batches of meat at a go! We also prepare mandu (만두 - dumplings) for dinner while watching Dae Jang Geum. It's funny cos we're re-watch the episode where Jang Geum takes part in a kitchen lady cooking competition, and has to make mandu!
Dinner is kabi and the mandu (we have both boiled and fried ones, though I prefer the fried) and watch more DJG....I think we've watched about 10 episodes since coming to LA! Liz and Sora, Kiae's friends come over after dinner. We're going to spend New Year's Eve gambling! Liz brings a poker table that she won in an office raffle - have you heard of such a cool gift? I never received anything like that at office parties :(
Oh and Liz has her 2 dogs, Bella and Choco with her! (Choco named after the Korean snack Choco-Pie). Bella is like a mixed shihtzu breed I think, but she's a little temperamental. Choco is the cutest brown chihuahua. I actually don't like chihuahuas, but Choco was so cute! And she's such a nervous dog, she can't stop shaking when you hold her. Look, look, isn't she cute??
Day 10: Monday 1 Jan 07
Since it's the 1st day of the new year, we have to eat mandu kuk -(dumpling soup) - it's a beef broth with rice cakes (duk), mandu and egg.
It's time to leave for airport, and Kevin and Kiae drop us off.
It's kind of a more painful flight than coming up, because there's no change in the movie selection!!!
As always, we like to eat whenever we stopover in Tokyo 'cos Kisu loves the food in Japan.
Unfortunately the terminal that we were in didn't have a cafe serving Japanese curry / ramen (what I usually like to fill up on) so we had sushi instead.
And finally, back home and Happy New Year everyone!