Gulu’s Guide to Eating Out

Welcome to the first issue of my guide to eating out! I’m not a James Beard anything but I do love eating out. It’s such a treat! My rules for eating out are:

  1. The food is something I think I will like.
  2. The price is budget-friendly! $5-$12 for singles, no more than $25 for AYCE.
  3. Bonus points for non-chain restaurants.

Here are some examples!

1. Lobsterdamus @ LA Smorgaburg / Lobster noodles! Pretty cool that they take fancy-eatin’, lobsters, and combine it with garlic noodles for a food stand affair at Smorgasburg. Who said you need cloth napkins and seating to eat lobster?


2. Spoon & Pork @ LA Smorgasburg / this was super yummy! My favorite sources of protein might just be fried egg and pork belly. This is “modern Filipino food” and I’m a fan. Also, jasmine rice can be the base for everything, please.img_2431.jpg

3. Mighty Bowl @ NYC / You might notice that I really love bowls. Mighty Bowl is basically pan-Asian Chipotle and pretty tasty! It made me wonder, if I had all these ingredients and prepped them (chopping, dicing, make them cook-ready) at home, perhaps I would never need to eat out… Once again I got pork belly as my protein. img_2315

4. Uji Time Dessert @ DTLA / I got tofu ice cream with kinako, or peanut powder and it was so good! It really does taste like tofu! Japanese flavoring is MAGIC. Tofu ice cream, yum. When it comes to ice cream, I lose my words.img_2433

5. Minus Celcius @ NYC / It was cool to see the mega-dessert / Frankenstein dessert trend taking place on the East Coast. I went with puff waffles, rolled ice cream, and fruity pebbles. You could be as extra as you like on these ice cream creations as you’ve surely seen on Instagram. The puff waffles are super chewy and good.  I had this in lieu of my birthday cake!img_2314

6. Ai Pono @ Costa Mesa / This is a really Hawaiian cafe! It’s hidden in an industrial kitchen near the airport in Costa Mesa. You get a bunch of food with each order but it is a tad more pricey than your poke joint. I had pesto chicken here! It was super tasty and I love green beans and the side of veggies. You’ll never be hungry after eating a Hawaiian meal.img_2268

7. Jan’s Health Bar @ Costa Mesa / Acai bowls have been a thing for years but it doesn’t get old because it’s pretty tasty. Trick me into eating fruits in the form of smoothie and shredded fruits, please! Coconut flakes optional.img_2267

Hope you enjoyed and found something you might like to try! More to come.

NYC! and Kweli19

I recently went to New York and it was a lot of fun! This is actually a really important trip for me because the first time I went to NYC was summer 2012, right after I graduated from college. I was in a really bad place in my life–I hated everything, I was annoyed at everyone and I didn’t appreciate the great opportunity I got at all 😦 . This time, I was going for Kweli 19, a children’s writer and illustrator conference at CUNY Graduate Center. I signed up for the conference on literally the deadline!

Seven years later, I’m at a point in my life where I actually WANT to be there because I finally found a career path that would require me to be in New York, book publishing. But there are a lot of red flags and anxiety associated with that too:

  • What if I don’t like NYC? the city life is too chaotic for me.
  • What if I don’t make any friends there?
  • What if publishing isn’t right for me? just like teaching

Going there was kind of a test run for myself. It’s sort of like NYC is this boss I have to battle. If I face it for two days and I actually like it, maybe I could actually work and live there. In the end, I’m so glad I went. I loved Sunnyside, Queens, the place I stayed at. I loved Kweli obviously!!!!!! I loved going to McNally Jackson, Mighty Bowl, and thisrolled ice cream place in Chinatown. It was to be honest, fun and manageable. This means everything for an anxious person like me!!!!

No matter what happens, I think I can do it. I can make a life for myself in NYC if I get the chance. After everything I have gone through in teaching, this was going to be doable and definitely more fun.