My First Place

I’ve officially joined the homeowners club!

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Two months of searching (yes, I’m lucky) culminated into a 3037 day close. Being that this was my first experience, I freaked out at every step of the way…from getting a pre-approval letter to the final walkthrough.

Did I offer too much? Is this agent on my side? Do I have to read this whole contract? What’s a contingency? The seller wants what?! Wait.. How much are closing costs??!?! Can I back out? Am I going to regret this?

Now that I have my keys, I can honestly say, no, I don’t regret my decision at all. I love my place and I can’t wait to decorate it! Timing couldn’t have been better with Black Friday coming up. But first things first, this place needs a new paint job!

I eat: From OC to LA

October was a crazy month. My birthday, a wedding, a half marathon, and almost a house! Even though my birthday was at the beginning of the month, we continued the celebration a few weeks later with dinner in LA with B and P.

On the way up to LA, we stopped by Anaheim Packing District, basically a large food court, for lunch. I love this concept as it allows me to try a variety of things without having to drive to and park at different locations. We circled the entire food court before stopping at our first destination: Kettlebar. In order to not get toooo full, we shared a pan roast and mussels. We continued with two of the most popular items of the whole place: poutine from The Kroft and popsicles from Pop Bar. Given their popularity and the rave reviews, I wasn’t impressed. The poutine was overly salty and I’m just not a big fan of dipped popsicles, or maybe dipped anything. My green tea popsicle had a really bitter taste, his hazelnut was OK.

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Another stout that’s yummy!

The highlight of our day trip to LA was dinner at Maruhide Uni Club, which I’ve wanted to try for a while now. If you love uni like I do, this is the place for you! They have uni EVERYTHING! B & P recommended the uni club don and uni cream pasta. The uni club don even came with soup that had pieces of uni in it. We were really tempted to bring some uni home but decided against it. SD has some pretty good uni options anyway.

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We ended the night by checking off another place on my must try list: HoneyMee. The ice cream is good on its own and the honeycomb adds just the right amount of sweetness. The green tea milkshake is delicious as well!

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Verdicts:
Kettlebar 4/5
The Kroft 3/5
Pop-Bar 3/5
Maruhide Uni Club 4/5
HoneyMee 4/5

We Run SF, We Eat SF

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Ready, Set, Go!

I’ve wanted to run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in SF for a few years now. The first year, I seriously considered it. Like, seriously. The second year, I actually signed up for random draw, but was rejected! The third year… well, I guess it’s true, 3rd time’s the charm! I had 14 weeks to prepare for my goal of sub-2, but unfortunately, life got in the way as it always does. Given that I only trained for about 3 weeks, my time of 2:14 isn’t so bad. In fact, it’s actually a PR! The view was not as beautiful as RnR Seattle’s marathon, but overall, I still liked the course.

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That last hill though…

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All for this blue box!

My preparation in the days leading up to the race involved a lot of eating. I shamelessly took full advantage of the necessary carbo-loading by stretching it over a couple of days. All for the race, guys. All for the race.

First stop off the plane was Limon Rotisserie for some Peruvian food.

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Ceviche Mixto… SO GOOD! One of the best ceviches I’ve ever had

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The infamous Pollo a la Brasa (half)
This dish comes with 2 sides… if you’re planning on ordering the Lomito Saltado, I would suggest not picking Papas Fritas and Vegetales Salteados for your sides like we did

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Lomito Saltado

Even though we were already stuffed from ordering too much food, we had to have dessert. Next stop: Bi-Rite Creamery.

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The usual… salted caramel and some kind of coffee, this time being Blue Bottle

For early dinner, we headed to Fort Mason Center for Off The Grid, a gathering of local, mobile vendors.

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From top left:
(1) Lobsta Roll from Lobsta Truck
(2) Tender Pork Belly Bao from The Chairman
(3) Lemongrass Chicken w/ Garlic Noodles combo from An The Go
(4) Boom Plate w/ Shrimp from Hula Truck
(5) Vanilla Creme Bizmark from Johnny Doughnuts
(6) Golden Ticket from The Creme Brulee Cart
Everything was really good except the Boom Plate. I found it unappetizing. Sorry, not sorry. What a waste of $9!

The following day we met up friends in San Mateo and had some bomb bruschetta at B Street and Vine.

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From left:
(1) Fresh mozzarella with tomato and basil
(2) Salami with feta and pesto
(3) Prosciutto with figs and mascarpone
(4) Hummus, tomato & avocado

And for my official carbo-load dinner, we had roasted garlic crab and garlic grab noodles at PPQ Dungeness Island. I know, I know… this isn’t your traditional carbo-load dinner but whatever, I do what I want. The crab was delicious, but I preferred the garlic noodles from An The Go.

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Best meal of the trip!

When I ran the marathon in Seattle, Atlas Genius’ When It Was Now carried me through the last few excruciating miles. This time, it was Chvrches’ new album Every Open Eye and the lady at mile 11.5 with the “bRUNch” sign. Not gonna lie, all I could think about was what I was going to eat afterwards…

First stop post race was Mr. Holmes Bakehouse for some pastries followed by Hong Kong Lounge for dim sum.

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Mr. Holmes Bakehouse was already sold out of the their infamous cruffins by the time we got there. Lame! Of the six pastries we ended up choosing, my fave was the ham and cheese danish

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The XLBs were so plump and juicy!!!

Stuffing my face with dim sum sent me into a food induced nap and when I woke up, it was time for my celebratory dinner at State Bird Provisions.

Getting a reservation at this place was almost as difficult as getting one at French Laundry, Alinea, etc. Seriously, WHY?! I went on Open Table, 60 days in advance, at 12:00AM ON THE DOT. I was ecstatic that my preferred time was available, but first I had to enter my CC info to secure the reservation. After I did so, the system basically said I took too long (which I did NOT) and lost my time slot. I tried again and got the “No Availability for State Bird Provisions within 2.5 hours of requested time in next 8 weeks” message. What. The. Fuck. I wanted to cry and throw my brand new phone at the wall. After I took a couple of deep breaths, I tried again. And I’m honestly not sure what happened… Maybe someone changed their mind or maybe there was a glitch in the system. I don’t know, but 8:30PM was available! It was actually the only time available so I went through the whole process again and this time my reservation went through! Why you gotta play with my emotions like that Open Table?!

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Even though I’m still not a fan of alcohol, I’ve actually been enjoying dark beer. Stouts are delicious!

State Bird Provisions has a standard menu consisting of small bites (Toasts & Pancakes), main dishes (Commandables), and dessert. The provisions come in trays/carts and you select whatever you want and they mark it down at the bottom on your menu based on price, dim sum style. I remember the prices ranging from $3 to $15.

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From top left:
(1) Kung pao beef tongue and sweetbreads (Commandable)
(2) Rabbit meatball (Provision)
(3) Pork belly pluot salad (P)
(4) Hog island oyster (P)
(5) CA state bird with provisions, half (C)
(6) Miso glazed cod collar (P)
(7) Guinea hen dumpling (P)
(8) Duck liver mousse with almond biscuit (P)
(9) Charred octopus (P)

Overall, I enjoyed the meal but left underwhelmed. My favorite was the kung pao beef tongue and sweetbreads – the beef tongue was so tender and I’m just a sucker for sweetbreads! Besides this, nothing really stood out. The state bird, although flavorful, had too much breading. Perhaps I expected too much based on the 4.5 star rating on Yelp.

We ended the night with ice cream at Swensen’s and a night time view of Coit Tower.

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‘Till next time, SF ♥

On Relationship Advice

An excerpt from The #1 Question To Ask Before Getting Married

What to look for in a partner: I once interviewed a psychologist for a column, and I asked him readers’ questions about what to look for in a mate. Without fail, his answer to almost every question was “choose someone kind, choose someone kind.” It was like a broken record, and I was annoyed. But you know what? Being with somebody who is fundamentally kind — to children and waiters and dogs — means that at the end of the day, they will be kind to you.

Knowing when to cut your losses:
Studies show that women who feel doubt before their weddings wind up significantly less happy. My plea to anyone feeling doubt would be to think about the future you want, not the past. Some people think, “I’ve invested so much already, how could I turn back?” But if you look at the future with this person and feel a significant kernel of doubt, you have to listen to that.

When reading this blog post, these two particular pieces of advice stuck out to me. “Choose someone kind, choose someone kind.” While this seems logical, is it really realistic? Am I cynical to think that someone who is kind to children, waiters, dogs, can absolutely not be kind to you? And regarding when to cut your losses… does it work the same way if you think, “I haven’t invested enough time, I should continue and see what happens”? When is enough, enough in this instance? How do you prevent crossing that thin line between I haven’t invested enough time and I’ve invested so much already?

Double Fakeout

Ever since I broke out my vegetable spiraler, I’ve been kind of obsessed with zoodles. I’ve made it for lunch numerous times, all with red meat sauce. Buuuttt, I’m really not supposed to have tomato based sauces since, ya know, that acid reflux thing. I’d like to say I’m a “fuck it, I do what I want” kind of person, but in this case, heartburn is a real bitch and something I’d like to not experience frequently. So, of course I was super excited to find a healthy recipe on Instagram that would allow me to have my beloved zoodles without the burn!

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Creamy Chicken Zoodles

The sauce is just mashed avocado mixed with almond milk and pinch of salt and pepper. If you wanna kick things up a notch, add red pepper flakes and Sriracha (I put that shit on everything, screw Frank’s).

Banana Pancakes

In my almost 30 years of existence, I’ve only made pancakes twice. The first was for an ex, who I was trying to surprise with breakfast in bed. I forgot the occasion (valentine’s birthiversary or whatever), but it doesn’t matter because the pancakes were terrible. Just God awful. Needless to say, I didn’t exactly rush to try again.

As I browsed the internet for breakfast recipes last week, I came across a recipe for flourless pancakes. And the best part? Only 2 ingredients: eggs and a banana! Sold!

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My 2nd attempt…TADAAAAA!

Ok, so I did tweak the recipe a bit. I added powdered peanut butter and ground cinnamon into the “batter” and then opted to smear TJ Speculoos & Cocoa Swirl instead of light butter. Can’t make it too healthy, ya know?