For my own reference, in the past three days, I have watched the following movies:
1. Liberal Arts
2. Ruby Sparks
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
For my own reference, in the past three days, I have watched the following movies:
1. Liberal Arts
2. Ruby Sparks
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
I’ve just settled down in bed after getting home from watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. The Perseid meteor shower was supposed to peak sometime after midnight, but unfortunately any plans to watch said meteor shower were impeded by the fact that the sky was just too cloudy. And so the last segment of Harry Potter was the replacement. But more on that later…
Let’s back track a little bit to about 12 or so hours ago, when the sun actually decided to come out. Work’s been rather busy lately as we are in the crunching period of our recent project, but the good weather that happened to emerge around lunch time was too good to pass up. BeiBei, Allan, and I decided to walk over to the nearby park and eat lunch there while enjoying the fresh air.
Our current obsession is Mexican soda, sold in glass bottles. Nothing beats soda packaged in the old-fashioned way. I’m not a fan of carbonated beverages, but I must admit the real sugar (as opposed to the high-fructose corn syrup found in most sodas manufactured here in America) highly improves the drink, reducing the overly artificial sweetness typically found in American sodas. I’m still not too keen on Coca Cola, but Sprite will do just fine, thank you.
Fast-forward to post-work time, considering how the sky was not being too friendly to us for meteor shower watching, Allan, BeiBei, Tony, and I decided to go with Plan B – finally watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. Our theater of choice – AMC Marina Pacifica 12 in Long Beach. Tony had two free AMC tickets, and I figured we could easily find some good eats around the Belmont Shore area.
Hungry and determined to eat something delicious prior to our 10:10 PM movie showing, our trusty good friend, Yelp, once again came to the rescue. We found La Creperie Café, located on action-packed 2nd Street in Long Beach. This French restaurant has four stars at a whopping 1082 reviews on Yelp. I love the 2nd Street area and I love French restaurants, so you can only imagine my delight at discovering this venue.
Their menu is extensive, filled with breakfast, lunch, and dinner items all at reasonable prices (they have a $$ price range on Yelp). It is no surprise that the majority of their menu is crepes – sweet and savory. Not to worry for those who aren’t too keen on crepes – they have a great selection of non-crepe foods as well.
Menu aside, I found their interior to be well-decorated to the theme. I was especially delighted to find that they had live music! This restaurant definitely gave off that cute, romantic type of ambiance.
After oo-ing and ahh-ing to myself about the interior of the restaurant and attempting to take decent photos with my point-and-shoot camera in the dimly lit room, I finally decided to pay attention to the menu in front of me. Choosing a dinner item was tough, but I eventually settled on the Dipollo savory crepe – fresh wild mushrooms, herbs de provence and mozzarella with chicken in a sherry cream sauce. I was pretty much sold upon reading “fresh wild mushrooms” and “sherry cream sauce.” I’m a huge fan of food with alcohol-based sauces – love the flavor the alcohol infuses. Tony chose the same dish. BeiBei ordered a side of garlic fries, which comes with three sauces – chipotle aioli, ranch, and ketchup. For her entree, she decided on a savory crepe that consisted of lobster and had a lobster-based sauce. I have unfortunately forgotten the name of the dish, and I can’t seem to find it on their online menu. The presentation of her dish was interesting. Instead of one whole crepe, it was served in mini crepe medallions. Allan ordered the steak sandwich – marinated rib eye, romaine lettuce, chipotle aioli, provolone cheese, tomatoes, red onions and avocado on toasted ciabatta, served with garlic French fries and a Caesar salad.
Pictured above in descending order: Garlic fries, sauces for the garlic fries, BeiBei’s lobster crepe medallions, Dipollo crepe, Steak sandwich. I took a taste of every single item we ordered, and I must say that each item on our table was delicious! I’m not a huge fan of lobster, but BeiBei’s dish was pretty good. You can definitely taste the lobster. I absolutely loved my dish. The Dipollo was infused with the flavor of the wild mushroom and sherry cream sauce, much to my enjoyment. Allan’s steak sandwich was tasty – not your average steak sandwich. The steak marination deserves two thumbs up.
I would definitely visit La Creperie again and give their other menu items a try.
Following our dinner, we headed over to the AMC Marina Pacifica 12 to watch Harry Potter. It was a long movie, as expected. The awkward kissing scenes they put into the film still weird me out. Overall, I suppose the movie was alright. I’m not a huge fan of Harry Potter, really, and the whole time I kept thinking “Why? Why? Couldn’t they just do this? Couldn’t they just do that?” Regardless, the movie was still entertaining.
Summing up the day, I’ve arrived at a few conclusions: (1) I definitely would like to spend more time around 2nd Street in Long Beach and try out all the different little restaurants around there. (2) I love French restaurants. (3) Harry Potter will always just be “alright” to me. (4) I am extremely exhausted.
And with that, I bid you adieu.
After reading Jonathan Gold’s Weekly Restaurant Recommendation for Lucky Noodle King in San Gabriel on the KCRW Good Food blog, I told Tony, Allan, and BeiBei (my San Gabriel Valley partners-in-crime) that we should definitely try it out. How could we not give this place a shot considering it has been featured in multiple publications and has an average rating of four stars on Yelp? We decided to make an afternoon excursion out of it – Lucky Noodle King followed by Source Code, a new movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan.
This place looks like your typical hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant in the San Gabriel Valley, and I don’t mean that as a bad thing. In fact, most of my favorite Chinese restaurants are holes-in-the-wall types. They tend to have the cheapest, tastiest, most-authentic foods. Unlike most hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurants, however, they actually have a website, complete with a menu featuring photos!
Hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurants also tend to have the best decorative items. Check out this Asian baby covered with oodles of noodles! This framed photo sits atop their register counter.
After perusing the menu for a bit, we decided on four dishes.
The dan dan noodles are by far their most popular item, according to several articles and the reviews on Yelp. Personally, my favorite of the four dishes was the wontons in chili oil sauce. I felt this dish had just the right spiciness level and the wontons were a good texture. I was not too keen on the dan dan noodles, although I’m just not a huge fan of savory foods with peanut-based sauces. Everything we ordered was spicy, except for the potstickers. Apparently, for BeiBei, these dishes weren’t even spicy enough!
This place has excellent service, with an extremely friendly waitress. She helped recommend dishes for us and even offered to make the dishes more spicy for BeiBei. I can’t say I would have cravings for these foods myself, but I definitely think this restaurant is worth a try. There’s no doubt you get bang for your buck here – excellent prices. If you enjoy Sichuan foods or spicy foods in general, this is definitely the place for you.
Give Lucky Noodle King a visit at 534 E. Valley Blvd., San Gabriel, CA 91776. Say you heard of the restaurant via a blog! The waitress was happy to hear it when we had told her that’s how we heard of this restaurant.
Following our lunch adventure, we headed over to the Santa Anita Mall to watch Source Code. After discovering that this movie has a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (Yes, it does seem like we’re all about ratings when it comes to everything we do, doesn’t it?), we bumped this up our movie list and decided to postpone our home viewing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I. This movie was just the right length, at one hour and thirty-four minutes. The four of us concurred that we didn’t think it deserved that high of a rating, although it was pretty entertaining. I felt like it was trying to mimic Inception with its “complexity” and general theme/idea. Considering how popular Inception became and how much people were intrigued by the concept portrayed in the film, it is no surprise that other movies would attempt to go down that route in order to gain public approval. Personally, I would probably have given this movie about a 75-80% rating. I would recommend to watch it and let me know what you think!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but boy do I have a lot to post! My days have been filled with catching up with old friends that I don’t see very often. So, let’s begin.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Ryan Hsu & John Zhang were down in SoCal for John’s little sister’s birthday, so I went over the day of the little shindig. John’s house is in Diamond Bar, and I must say, it is huge! For dinner, we went to the Hong Kong Plaza in Rowland Heights. John’s cousin works at the Lollicup there so she knows a lot of the people who work at various restaurants and places at the plaza. I saw 臭豆腐 (stinky tofu), my favorite!, and I had to have it. Thanks to John’s cousin who has the hook-ups, I got some for free! Yum. I couldn’t resist taking a picture with the sign. Haha.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
BeiBei heard of this place called “Iron Grill” in Los Angeles that had a 1/2 off special on sushi, so we decided to check it out. It was great! We shared a “Love Boat.” and the total came out to only $28, split between the two of us! There was way too much sushi for both of us – we even had leftovers!
After sushi, we watched G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. It wasn’t too bad, actually. After the movie, we stopped by Phoenix Dessert to grab some quick desserts, headed back to BeiBei’s to down our desserts, then I went home. Tummy quite satisfied.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Paul and I watched The Time Traveler’s Wife. It was pretty good. I cried! T_T Haha. I had to ask Paul if he had a tissue. Afterwards, we ate at Del Taco. Mmm satisfying.
Paul’s in Boston now and heading to New York tomorrow for architecture school @ Columbia! How exciting! I hope he has a blast there. Can’t wait to hear all the crazy stories about his experiences.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Chinese school reunion! I had Korean BBQ with Pam, Christine, and Dorothy. We hadn’t all hung out in 4 years! (Ever since college). I’ve missed these girls. It was great hanging out with them. We had a lot of laughs, and as Pam said, my abs got a great workout! Hopefully I’ll be seeing more of them from now on since we’ve graduated and are all back in the area. Pam graduated from UCLA & Christine graduated from UCSD.
Thursday was Christine’s 22nd birthday, so we got her a cake to celebrate! The restaurant also gave her that cute little green critter. We couldn’t quite figure out what it was. Haha. :p
Monday, August 17, 2009
Tiffiny was going back to Berkeley on Wednesday, so we had a little lunch date Monday prior to her departure. We ate at China Bistro near her area, El Monte. We also took Cue! pictures – those cutesy asian pictures that you take in a booth and draw on, but I haven’t been able to scan them. Once I get those scanned, I’ll post them up too!
Wedneday, August 19, 2009
Wong Fu Productions, David Choi, and Far*East Movement were having a meet and greet at the It’s A Grind in Cerritos, and my little cousin, Reycel, really wanted to go. So I took her! I really wish I smiled better in these pictures, though.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Long Beach Table Tennis Club hosted their Summer 2009 Tournament. I helped out and participated in the under 1400 and under 1600 rated events, as well as the under 2800 doubles. My partner and I got 2nd in the doubles event! I almost advanced from my round robin group in the U1400; it came down to a tie-breaker for a 3-way tie! It was very tiring, but I had a lot of fun, and I think I played pretty well. Individually, I won three matches and lost three matches; two of the three games that I lost were played up to 5 games (so I lost 2-3), then the other one I lost 1-3.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
My dad, Reycel, and I went to the Beatles Festival, hosted by KEARTH 101 radio station, by the Queen Mary in Long Beach. It was pretty fun! Two groups of people brought their instruments and started jamming to Beatles songs. Crowds started forming around them, including us, and people were getting into the music. It was cool. Here’s a photo of my dad in front of the Beatles Rockband stage. Yes, that’s right; Rockband released a Beatles version of the game!
So that’s what I’ve been up to lately, in addition to slowly putting away my clothes from my move from Berkeley, slowly cleaning my room, and watching and finishing the Taiwanese drama, Devil Beside You, starring Rainie Yang and Mike He.
Today, Paul and I went to UTC (University Town Center) in Irvine and saw (500) Days of Summer, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. Paul had already seen it on Monday with another friend of his, but he had agreed to go again today since I had wanted to see this movie also. Contrary to his opinion of the movie, I enjoyed it a lot. It made me pensive about a lot of things. I like movies that make me think about my own life.
Anyway, onto a more silly topic. Since Paul had already seen the movie and didn’t particularly like it, he brought his knitting stuff and he knitted during the entire movie! Props for knitting in the dark. =p
That was my afternoon. In the evening I went to play table tennis with my dad at the Long Beach Table Tennis Club, our usual activity Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. I played two really good matches and got a good work out! ^^
25 years old [03.07.1987]. Half Chinese (Hong Kong) half Filipino. Year of the Rabbit. University of California, Berkeley (C/O '09). B.S. Electrical Engineering & Computer Science. Always in search of ways to feed my coffee, shopping/fashion, art, literature, and music addictions.
This is my blog of musings and randomness. Welcome to my life.
FYI, my last name, Ngai, is Cantonese (it's Wei in Mandarin). And if you do not know how to pronounce it correctly, "Nye" will do. ;]
See also: http://www.denisengai.com