Sunday, December 27, 2009

Burma Superstar - San Francisco

From what we read on, this place is da bomb. It was notorious that patrons had to wait for up to one hour just to get a seat in the restaurant. To make it worse, they don't take reservations.

We left early around 10 to catch the early brunch. Reached there around 11:45 and it was half full already. Some people seemed to be there since 11 ! it that good ?

Based on the reviews, we have determined what to order. Their specialty seemed to be Tea leaf salad and Samusa Soup. I like calamari so I chose Wok roasted calamari and threw in garlic noodle just to see whether it's similar to the one from Thanh Long. I thought heck..we'll be there most likely only this time, so might as well try a few things all at once.

Tea leaf salad was a combination of chopped tomato, lettuce, different kind of nuts (pine ?, soy bean ?, peanuts, and broad bean ?), tea leaf, lemon grass and squeeze of lemon juice. The nuts gave crunchiness and lemon made it so refreshing. They could have used younger lemon grass because the one they used was a bit tough so we ended up picking them out.

The calamari was totally different from what we expected. It didn't have the look or even taste of any roast or smoky flavor. It look more like blanched. Though the calamari was very tender but the whole dish was more like a salad than appetizer. I guess I expected more calamari instead of a bunch of lettuce/cucumber.

The samusa soup was actually vegetarian. But for a vegetarian soup it totally exceeded expectation. This soup was supposedly featured on Food Network and Bay Area Backroads. We did notice that this soup along with the tea leaf salad were ordered on quite a few tables beside ours. The soup didn't present itself that well but once we had a sip, it totally changed our opinion. The potato fritters in the soup and lentils did fill us up. We actually had two bowls of the soup because the order I think should be enough to serve four people.

Our last order was garlic noodle. Which was perfect considering by then we totally needed some carb and protein. The first few dishes were pretty light and were almost like teasers. The garlic noodle though wasn't as rich as the Thanh Long version was actually tasty and not as garlicky as I expected. So don't let the 'garlic' drives you away from trying this tasty noodle.

Oops almost forgot about our drink. We tried Burma cooler which was a blend of beer, ginger and lemon. It was light especially after mixed with ice. For the price I think it deserves more alcohol.

Total we spent about $48.50 before tips.

309 Clement St (between 4th Ave & 5th Ave) San Francisco, CA 94118

Monday, December 21, 2009

IRIS - korean drama

Started watching it about a month or two ago. Finally coming to the last episode today. It's about friendship between two men and a woman. This is not your regular korean drama, boys meet girls kind of thing. These two men (Kim Hyun Joon and Jin Sa Woo) were in the special forces before they got recruited to join NSS where a beautiful woman, Choi Seung Hee was one of the team leader. Both fell for the same woman. Who will get Seung Hee's heart ?

Beside love triangle, there was also a bunch of terrorist under an international group named IRIS. This group's purpose was to prevent any talk of reunification between North and South Korea. They used different ways to do that, from assassinations, explosions, nuclear bombs, etc.

With a budget of almost 20 million USD, IRIS could easily be the most expensive korean drama ever made. Some of the settings include Hungary, China, Japan and of course Korea. Starting a bit funny on the first episode but getting very intense after that. There's no dull moment at all. Once you start watching it, you just want to continue to the next one and next one.

Cast :

Lee Byung Hun as Kim Hyun Joon
Kim Tae Hee as Choi Seung Hee
Jung Joon Ho as Jin Sa Woo
Kim Seung Woo as Park Chul Young
Kim So Yun as Kim Sun Hwa

Wondering where to watch online ? Just google IRIS korean drama. :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pho Binh - Sunnyvale

I've known this pho establishment at least almost ten years. I'm sure it existed a lot longer than that. Hubby's coworker took him there and he introduced it to me. But over the years I think their recipe for the soup had changed. I remember the tai bo vin (pho with rare meat and meat balls) used to be a lot more spicier. But today I sensed that the soup actually had become saltier than usual. I also noticed that the owner seemed to change too.

We usually order the one with rare meat and meat balls. But today I tried the house special combination. It came with rare meat, meat balls, a bit tripe (not enough in fact) and a lot of fatty meat (which I don't really like). The egg rolls are still good. Pho Binh is actually the only place we ever order our egg rolls because they only fry the egg rolls when you order. They always come out extra hot so beware !

1274 Persian Drive
Sunnyvale, CA 94089
(408) 734-3066

Friday, December 18, 2009

Read this message before you set up your voice mail.

If you were in the same line of work as mine that requires you to call clients. One day, you'd want to slam the phone down and yelled WTF. These are the top three reasons why.

3. You dialed the number and then on the other end somebody said 'hello'. And you said hello, this is so..and so.. from here and there. Guess what...the other end said have reached XXX and we're not home. That is one lousy answering message.

2. You dialed the number and then it sounded like it got through but instead of a voice. You heard a loud music..SO LOUD that you had to take the receiver further from your ear. Waited..and waited..finally five minutes later then it got to the part where you could leave a voice message.

And the top numero UNO.
You dialed and nobody picked up. It got to the voice mail and you got ready to leave a message. But then the message said : sorry, the voice mail is full. WTF. Don't you know that you need to check your messages ?? Don't you know how to delete your messages after you listen to them ? Or don't even bother to set up your voice mail if you're not going to even check it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Planning a trip to Saigon

This idea just came in last minute after we decided to go back to Indonesia. Hubby said maybe we should go to Vietnam. You's like you go to Disneyland, you might as well pay a bit more and check out Disney's California Adventure. It's just in the neighborhood.

But Vietnam is still a very foreign country to us. Luckily it has become a very popular destination among Indonesian tourists. By searching the Jalansutra mailing list at Google groups I found a lot of articles on recent trips to that country. Travel books like Frommer's or Lonely Planet are only useful up to a certain degree. Those places recommended there would most likely be very touristy by now. I took down a few names just for back up while looking for any new recommendation by other travellers online.

Surprisingly Wikitravel has good up to date information on Ho Chi Minh City. ( Another good resource was And for good places to chow I like to check out blogs. Better coverage and more pictures.

We'll only be there for 2 days and 2 nights so I limit the area to be around Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City. Hubby is not really into doing tourists thing like visiting Cu Chi Tunnel or visit Mekong Delta. To be honest I'm not really into crawling in a tiny space like the tunnel either. So I totally agreed with him on that. But hey..crossing those two spots out, I don't see anything else around that area. For now, I left that option open and see what we can find out when we reached there.

We already got our tickets through Tiger Airways. I roughly know which hotel we wanted to get through Agoda. All I need to do right now is to pack my suitcase.. :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Immortals - Evermore

First time I saw this book in Costco and it got me curious. Part of the title said " The Immortals". So not having the continuation of the Twilight series I thought this book could fill in the gap. I'm the cheapo type. I don't buy my book if I could get it from the library. So I did the search and reserve it. While waiting for it, I looked for the reviews on Amazon. It wasn't that good. Most of them mentioned the similarity between The Immortals and The Twilight. That didn't stop me from actually reading it. Because The Twilight series didn't get all 5 stars across the board from the reviewers either. Everybody has their own opinions. Some of them we may not agree at all.

I got my book last Monday and started reading it. The main character is Ever Bloom who is around 17 years old. Her family died in a car accident along with their family dog, Buttercup. She felt guilty because she was convinced that she caused the accident. That the accident won't happen if she didn't whine to her dad to turn around and get her sweater. She then moved to a new school because she had to live with her aunt. One day came a new student, Damen Auguste. Damen can move so fast that it's almost a blur. Hmm..sounds familiar ? Yeah..I couldn't blame the other readers saying there's too much similarity between those two series.

I'm waiting to read the second book. I'm still open to see if for some reason or whatever that might happen in the second book could change my mind at all about this series.