Shanghai Local Eats and Zoo

Besides the one time I ate yoshinoya and secret recipe, I usually opt for small hole in the wall eats.

Today I found a fish noodle soup place…and I’m including some photos from the shanghai zoo. I spent 4 hours in this place, my goal was to see pandas play and I definitely met my goal.

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Questions To Ponder

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I have been drawing a lot. Here’s a house I drew. It has 8 rooms. I feel the inspiration coming back. Inspiration comes when we are restful and not worried. Which leads me to a few questions.

  1. What is so fun that you would do it for free?
  2. What was something you used to do as a kid that you no longer do but want to start doing again?
  3. What “shoulds” did you adhere to even though if you really think about it doesn’t make much sense?
  4. If you had all the resources and money in the world, what would you do?

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PS- The book was given to me for an honest review.

XOXO BEX,

Instagram 

Art Prints 

Ebook

 

Far Afield: Rare Food Encounters

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Far Afield is a beautiful book full of rare food encounters from around the world. The authors are Shane Mitchell, a Saveur (to which I also subscribe) contributing editor and James Fisher, an Australian portrait photographer and film director based in London. With both their expertise and narrative, the book is filled with stunning photos from around the world, Japan to India to Hawaii. What makes the coffee table book intriguing is the array of adventures narrated by the authors. I felt like I was eating around the world with Shane and James. Take me next time!

This book was presented to me in exchange for an honest review.

Extraordinary Ordinary Moments

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I had a few nightmares last night and woke up in the middle of the night to cut down the small skeleton garland outside the porch, I walked to the trash can and tossed them. Somehow I needed to do that to cut ties with the spirit of death that was haunting me.

Good thing my dreams didn’t stay there. It continued on with someone making me spaghetti.

11:40am- take the bus to Pasadena

I eat at Sushi Stop, and I am not pleased with the sushi. Something has changed, the owner maybe. I don’t finish the carpaccio or whatever you call it, spirit tells me the end of it will make me sick.

I need to poop. I go inside Intelligentsia and ask for the code, but is given the wrong code. Good thing some guy comes and gives me the right code. I am defecating and the energy saving lights turn off. Now I have no light to wipe. Great. I’m sitting in the dark, trying to use my tablet light. Someone finally comes in and there is light. I yell “THANK GOD”. Girl laughs. When I exit I yell “thank you for saving my life”.

I proceed to fill my metro tap card. I wait for the 501, first time taking an express bus and within 15 minutes I’ve arrived in Burbank. I need to pee. I go to the hospital which the stop is near. I see a basket with “prayer request”, grab a slip and write down my request….please pray as I’m going to an audition, nothing to do with being sick or ill. I go back out for some tea, I go back in to pee and brush my teeth. I look like a hippie with my Mexican bought purple and pink hippie backpack.

I finally walk over for my audition. I am told that I have to impersonate a specialist of something I have no idea of. In the audition, I am suddenly struck with that tv show I once watched and am captivated in speech. How did I become so intelligent in this area?

All is done. I exit and meet a stranger at a bus stop. We talk about work and life. Within 15 minutes I’m back in Pasadena. I am hungry, for something. I don’t know what. But suddenly I realize it is French Fries. I walk over to the Taco place for french fries and drop loads of raddishes and salsa into the bag. I’m sitting outside and sees the owner of that bar across. I’ve stuffed myself. I walk over for some boba. I’m really in a rush, and I don’t know why. But as I’m peeing I realize, I just want to get home and watch netflix already. 

When I finally get home there is a package awaiting me.

Extraordinary Ordinary Moments. I squeal when I open it. Just what I needed in this really particular day and moment. I’m captivated by the drawings and the introduction. What was moments of free time for Jorey (the author), became expressions of love and ordinary moments that turned extraordinary. I’m in love, with those ordinary moments, like when a stranger walked into the eco-saving bathroom and created light for me to wipe my ass. 5 out of 5 as I will be using this journal to write down moments of pee and poop. It is SO affordable in my opinion, everyone should have one. 

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Ps- I did receive this book to give an honest review. I’m honest as can be right?

My Love Relationship With Food

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I confess I’m obsessed with good food.
It’s uncanny, strange. Today I called ban mi to ask when they open, it was 6:30am, I was jet lagged but I had been dreaming about a real bowl of pho since Paris. I’ll be in la for a week and I’ve already lined up my list of must eats. I must have pho, I must have tacos, I must have hot pot. When I eat a good bowl of soup after a month of deprivation, I start to thank God for the day I was born, I thank my mom for giving birth to me, I thank the noodles, the beef, the ingredients, I thank the hands that prepared it and I thank God for being alive.

I start to tear up, I make weird noises.

My relationship with food is unusual. I’m a bitch when I’m hungry, fears loom larger and I lash out faster. When I full with good food I’m nice Rebekka, I’m loving. I can tell you I had the most dramatic fights when I didn’t eat with my ex.

I am like the happiest person when I eat what I love. Sometimes I’m super healthy and eat salads, but sometimes I eat magnum ice creams and Cheetos.

I’ll just smile more when I have ice cream.
I also don’t believe in depriving yourself or dieting, I think if you are feeling good you should eat what you want, you won’t go overboard when you feel good about who you are.

The only reason people go overboard is when they are not dealing with the emotions inside.

I never say “tomorrow I’ll fast because I ate too much today”. Even if it’s thanksgiving I’ll eat until I’m full, I don’t go overboard now because I don’t like that feeling….food should be euphoric, not a punishment. I’ll save the left overs and eat it while watching my favorite Netflix show.
Why not, it’s happiness.

I’m so thankful for food, and especially the fact that I was raised with a mother who knows how to make good food and appreciate good food.
I’m Taiwanese so we enjoyed the best of the world’s food….

I had to finish all my food at the table so sometimes I’d sit there for an hour because I had bad teeth. Also my mom would finish before me and leave the table.

Somehow I’ve learned to see food as a pastime, a hobby, because I knew I had to otherwise it would seem like a punishment. So I ate slow. I learned to cherish it.

I also learned to enjoy food alone, my favorite pastimes is going out to eat by myself. I enjoy focusing on the flavors instead of talking to people. When I eat with other people I often talk too much and can’t enjoy the true flavors of the food. And they often finish before I do, then I feel rushed.

I have several favorites:
1. Enjoying a day at the Korean spa then eating Korean food, tofu pot to be exact. It’s the most nourishing day, my body feels relaxed and the food nourishes my being.
2. Sitting at a cafe for hours and just drinking coffee. Sometimes people watching.
3. Tacos and horchata is the perfect combo
4. Tuna tartare
5. Mojitos and margaritas
6. Dark ales and fries or anything fried
7. Sushi, fish eggs, sashimi, scallops
8. Rich chocolate cakes, ice creams, magnum ice creams, truffles, Lindt truffles

My dislikes:
1. Waiters asking if I’m okay ten thousand times or taking my food before I’m done. This has happened many times because I’m a slow eater and sometimes the last bite looks small but I’m literally still eating.
2. I don’t dislike steak but I’m not a huge meat eater because I chew really slow and then I get tired.
3. Surprisingly I don’t think macaroons are that good, they’re quite dry for me.

I believe good food isn’t about eating “healthy” per say, because I’ve met the most unhappy and unfulfilled “healthy” eating people. They are a drag to be around. Asian culture believe food is the center of soul and heart, it’s about love and family, friendship and nourishment. A good soup is slow cooked for days and it is cooked with love and heart. A salad isn’t healthy if it doesn’t make you happy.

I Believe food should make you smile, it should make you happy.

It should have rich flavors at times to celebrate your inner health, but lightness at times too. It should have an expression of who you want to be.

Food is that way to me, it heals my heart when I’m feeling hopeless in life, it gives me more energy and zest to take on my dreams.
It is refreshment to my heart.
Food marks my times of triumph, my times of process, my transitions, my celebrations, my times of unknowing and even fears, it consoles me and speaks to me….like eating beach side with my friend in Hawaii, talking about boys, like making friends with the sushi chef at my favorite sushi spot, like watching the rain as I drink coffee and journal, like remembering intimate conversations with my friend at our Korean spot, like hot pot with my Taiwanese friend, like eating with my mom….

Food is my expression and conversation of love, it’s how I express gratitude for life, every time I eat I feel gratitude for the life it gives me, the energy to keep going in my dreams, it builds relationships in my life and it is a commonality I have with people when I mention food types…and a glow spark in their eyes, “you too? You love ramen too?” A wide smile spreading across our faces, like the feeling of remembering a long lost best friend or a favorite experience in our life.

Fast friendships have formed in my life because of food. I’ll always feel gratitude for the depth of love food makes my heart feel.

Souk Shawarma {Restaurant Review}

“If you find yourself in a foreign land for the first time, and want to learn about the culture and the people, find you way to the local market and you will expose yourself to the food and culture of that foreign land in the best possible way.”– Matt , Celebrity Chef and Avid Traveler.

As a traveler myself I had to try the newest Middle Eastern foodie paradise, Souk Shawarma (opened on November 30, 2015) . The restaurant is located in Downtown on 1111 Wilshire Blvd, close to the neck of K-town.

What is unique about Souk Shawarma is that the owners/chef are passionate about the food they create. As a 20 year expert chef, Matt has lived and traveled in the Caribbean and all over the middle east. His co-founder is Andrew, also a chef and food enthusiast. The delectable dishes are inspired by tastes of Eastern Mediterranean, North African, Moroccan and the Gulf Region (duck) and flavors from Lebanon (chicken) and Turkey (beef).

“It is a journey home for those with childhood memories laced with family trips down to the souk, you eagerly await the meat as it is shaved and layered into piping hot pita bread, topped with chopped salad, tahini, fries, pickles. It is a trip inside your scrapbook for the traveler, the explorer who took a moment to rest and refuel, while navigating the never-ending maze of the souk, and the tried shawarma for the first time. It is the perfect balance of timeless tradition and modern fare for those experiencing the flavor of the Middle East for the first time, just a small window into the vast culture and the flavorful cuisine of the region.”

After 4 years of planning, Andrew and Matt successfully founded and opened a restaurant with delicious and savory shawarma, meat roasted over open fire, wood-fired oak.

When I visited, there was a huge line of people.

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http://www.soukshawarma.com/

1111 Wilshire Blvd.
Suite 104
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 935-8373

 

 

 

Tabbouleh- tomato, parsley, mint, scallions, cucumber, olive oil, lemon juice, spices. My favorite. Fresh salad sides are ready to go and are a great refreshing side to the shawarmas.

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Popcorn Fallafel image2

Hummus

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Shawarma fries, this is one of my favorite dishes, green onions, your choice of shawarma and some cheese with their signature sauce. image5

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Different meats with signature sauces and grilled veggies, remember only Souk Shawarma actually roasts meat over open fire created by oak wood, while most restaurants use gas. The fire creates a special chewy texture which makes the meat even more tasty and adds to the unique spices. A + for making my stomach happy and my taste buds fired with love.

Whiskey Wednesday @ Next Door Lounge {Restaurant Review} 

If you have never been to a speakeasy, Next Door Lounge (on Highland in Hollywood) is a great spot to get your whiskey on on a Wednesday.  

“Next Door Lounge embraces LA’s revered cocktail culture without the velvet rope policy and funny mustaches. Our award-winning venue hosts weekly events for all the senses, from intimate whiskey tastings and food pairings to live musical performances. We like to keep it interesting and hit on all sixes.” – Next door lounge 

 
Fried spaghetti and radishes to entice you. 

I was given a password and upon entering around 7:30pm, was embraced with live jazz by a spectacular band. 

 
4 different whiskeys to pair with a main dish and a desser.  Larceny was my favorite because of the tingly undertones. A bit of spice.
  The calamari is off the charts delicious
Avocado pizza, crusty but chewy crust made for a perfect combination.   
  The burger. Wow. 

Not so heavy that you need to sleep after. Actually it was light because the patty had bacon mixed into it. 

 
Cheesecake and chocolate

Check out Next Door Lounge, founded by a family man with a great heart for great food. 

Tuesday to Thursday

5:00 pm to 12:00 am

Friday: 5:00 pm to 2:00 am

Saturday: 7:00 pm to 2:00 am

Sunday — Closed

Monday — Closed

1154 North Highland Ave

Hollywood, CA 90038

(323)465-5505

info@nextdoorhollywood.com

NDL DRESS CODE: Casual Chic, Men, please no shorts, flip-flops, baggy pants, or baseball caps.