After trying the “Pig Meets Ramen” at Tajima last time, Tiffany and I got into a ramen phase. We’d been hearing really good things about Menya Ultra since it opened earlier this year so we thought we’d give it a try. Menya Ultra 8199 Clairemont Mesa Blvd Suite M San Diego, CA 92111 Worried about having to wait hours for our ramen, I decided to take a half day on a weekday and go for lunch after we ran some errands. We got there a few minutes before it opened, yet a line had already formed outside.
Tajima is a well-known Japanese restaurant in San Diego, touting a 4-star rating on Yelp with over 3000 reviews. Tiffany and I have both been there over the years, but it’s been quite a while since we’ve eaten there. The reason we went back this time is because of a special collaboration for the month of June between Tajima and Carnitas Snack Shack, another one of our favorites here in San Diego. Even though it was hot day, not even the heat wave could keep us from our pork belly ramen! Tajima 4411 Mercury St, Ste 110 San Diego, CA 92111 (858) 278-5367
Time for another San Diego food post! To mix things up, we decided to review a restaurant that’s good for a casual weeknight dinner. Pho Ban Mai 8991 Mira Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92126 (858) 271-7199 One could say that we live in the part of town where there is a pho restaurant on every other block. It can sometimes lead to decision paralysis when there is such a plethora of choices. However, ever since I came here for the first time few years ago, Pho Ban Mai has slowly become my go-to for some classic Vietnamese beef noodle soup. It checks all the boxes and I really can’t find much to complain about this place. The food is good and conveniently close by, making it a perfect spot for a quick and inexpensive weeknight dinner.
I can’t believe it’s been three months since we got back from Taiwan. The past couple months have been quite busy for us, making it difficult to process all our photos and write posts about them. But we’ve finally come to the main focus of our Taiwan trips: food!
When we travel, we enter into a different dimension—one that peels back the layers veiling our eyes—those layers that tell us our worlds are the only worlds. We bring ourselves—all of our hopes and dreams, disappointments and sorrows—all of our humaneness into a new world. And when we do, we find that though the world is the same, it is we who have changed.
After a busy month, our April date was a chance for us to relax and unwind. For this month’s date, we had brunch and then visited a cat cafe! Even though Tiffany is allergic to cats, she took Benadryl and planned this outing for us anyways because I like them. I’m truly blessed to have such a loving wife. Content: Money for coffee and another sweet card from Tiffany. Cost: $40
On a recent trip to Taiwan, we got to take a mini road trip to Alishan near the southern part of the country. After landing in Taipei, we dropped off some luggage and headed straight towards 阿里山 (Alishan / Ali mountain). We took a few food detours along the way, so it was pretty late at night when we finally made it to our hotel at 奮起湖 (Fenqihu / Fenqi lake). I was super impressed by Tiffany’s cousin’s driving skills as he navigated the narrow and winding mountain roads at night.
In recent years, new and hip coffee shops have sprung up everywhere in San Diego. Well, everywhere except our neighborhood, apparently..but anyways.. Discovering new coffee places is always an interesting experience, especially as most try to have some unique trait that sets them apart from all the others. However, it seems to me that Communal Coffee has beaten them all, with their innovative combination of a flower shop within a cafe.
One of our first dates together was cooking a meal at home. Neither of us had much cooking experience at the time, so we decided on a nice, simple pasta recipe. As fragrant smells of basil and tomato sauce filled the kitchen, Michael decided that the recipe didn’t include enough sausage. He heroically took it upon himself to give the rest of the unused sausage some meaning in life by throwing it all into the pasta, nearly doubling the amount the recipe called for. As you may expect, sausage completely overpowered the dish, and I henceforth developed a mild fear of deviating from given instructions, thereby quashing any would-be creativity I may have later discovered in the realm of food-making.
About two hours away from our home base of San Diego lies an expanse of cacti, sand, and yes–tumbleweeds. It was here, where the wind swirls up colorful paintings with billowing sand, that Michael uncovered his fascination with the cactus. An interesting discovery, considering he spent most of his life in southern California, where there is no shortage of these funky-looking plants. On the other side of the spectrum, I freely admit that I have no great love for the desert; my heart is instead drawn to the cool shade of lush forests. However, I found an eerie, quiet beauty in the vast openness of Joshua Tree. Something about national parks seems to transport one into another dimension.