coachella – party in the desert or haven for food lovers?

I just returned from a weeklong trip to Southern California that included the Coachella music festival, Joshua Tree National Park, the Salton Sea and Orange County. Whew, I’m beat!

I’ve wanted to experience Coachella for a long while. The three-day party in the desert intrigued me because of the top-notch bands, camping aspect and desert heat. The festival always sells out in two hours, and you have to be persistent to get your hands on tickets. Lucky for me, my husband loves a challenge and set aside a few hours on the morning tickets went on sale back in February. Alas, I finally made it to Coachella.  Continue reading coachella – party in the desert or haven for food lovers?


“gourping” part one

In recent years there have been many references to “glamping” which for me, good or bad, conjures a specific image. Picture a wealthy couple rolling into a beautifully decorated canvas tent with a private cook on hand ready to attend to their every need for their weekend “roughing it” getaway. When I camp, I prefer to use the term “gourping” which is a word that encompasses the gourmet side of camping. I like to rough it, but I don’t like to eat freeze dried food or Oscar Mayer hot dogs.  Continue reading “gourping” part one

veg reform

Last spring I traveled to Japan for two weeks, and very unfortunately, got a bad case of the flu. Anyone who’s been sick while on vacation can relate to the horrible feeling of not being in your own bed, and missing out on the things you should be doing on vacation. Lying on a tatami mat writhing in pain is not my first choice of activities. Luckily, I got sick toward the end of the trip, however, after arriving home, it was like the clock reset itself and I was sick all over again for another week. During that time, I decided to power through the Netflix queue and I ended up watching an innumerable amount of food documentaries.  Continue reading veg reform

the burrito lives on

Circa 1987. A gawky, lanky, adolescent girl frequents El Toro Taqueria at least once a week with her mom who lives up the street on 17th and Dearborn in the Mission district of San Francisco. This was back in the days before the Mission was filled with hipsters, cool bars and top notch restaurants. In fact, it was a bit scary back in ’87. Some of my memories include my mom and I getting harassed on the way to and from the 16th Street BART station, and the big neon 500 Club martini glass sign at the corner of 17th and Guerrero represented a scary business to keep away from, not a cool dive bar with a photo booth. How the Mission has changed.


El Toro Taqueria in the old days

Continue reading the burrito lives on

culinary crush

Some people swoon at the sight of actors or musicians, I’m enough of a food nerd that I get nervous and cagey around food luminaries. I ran into Cecilia Chiang two days ago at B. Patisserie and my husband had to push me to go say hello. I should mention that Cecilia is someone with whom I’ve interacted numerous times and have dined with, yet I transformed into a socially awkward 13-year-old at the thought of having a conversation with the “mother of Chinese cooking.”  Continue reading culinary crush

done is better than perfect

Post number three and I’m already diverging from the overarching food-centric nature that I envisioned for this blog. But I can’t help myself, I have success on the brain. Last night I went with my friend Kerri to a Commonwealth Club presentation hosted by Arianna Huffington and Sheryl Sandberg. The two women spoke about how to redefine what we think of as success. Arianna Huffington has written a book about the subject called Thrive. Part of me thinks that it’s easy (ok, not easy, but easier) to write about redefining something you have already, by our society, achieved. Yes, I’m a cynic.

Cynicism aside, overall the subject matter was aspirational, and the women went into detail about the book. The gist? Remember that there is more to life than wealth and power. Arianna provided practical tips on now to have a more meaningful life, how to be less stressed, have a better balance, sleep more, meditate and give to others. Sounds obvious, right? But the reminder to thrive is exactly what I need right now.

My favorite takeaway of the evening: done is better than perfect. I know I get caught up in the endless cycle of tinkering with something until I’ve taken so much time with it that I no longer see straight and end up not finishing, making mistakes and jumping to another project. In fact, last night I was telling Kerri about my blog and I started over explaining that it was a work in progress, I haven’t set up and organized everything the way I want yet, and so on. She replied with, “done is better than perfect.” Thank you, Kerri for putting things into perspective.

And now, back to food.




exploration in the kitchen, and restaurants near and far.