Sep 11

Din Tai Fung

LA and Seattle are the only locations in the U.S. We went to the Din Tai Fung in Seattle on our recent trip up there, and I can’t wait to go back to the LA (Arcadia) location. “Xiao long bao,” hubby and Harold kept saying over and over all day. Yes, it’s fun to say, but I had no idea what they were saying. I thought they had discussed a movie and were referencing a line in the movie or an actor. Nope. “Xiao long bao” is the term for small buns steamed in small bamboo baskets. They are loosely referred to as “dumplings.” But they are not your average Joe dumplings. Besides whatever filling you order, it has a little bit of soup inside that results in the perfect delicious bite. The place is Michelin Guide recommended. Need I say more?

As you enter the restaurant, you can view workers through glass windows preparing the little morsels. I thought that was pretty cool…no shady business going on.

I never would have thought. But the julienned ginger with the 3:1 ratio of soy sauce to vinegar (as performed by the waiter) was absolutely divine with the xiao long bao. You know I’m gonna try this at home, but mine will probably be a 1:1 ratio of soy sauce to vinegar. I heart vinegar.

These green beans were fantastic. Can’t you just tell from the photo?? Mmmm…

We ordered baskets on top of baskets of the xiao long baos…literally. It was a never-ending supply.

Then this bowl of plain white noodles came out, but little did I know that this was so far from plain. Upon mixing, you get a yummy mixture of seasonings that I wish I can taste right this moment.

Here’s a closer look. :)

Then this unsuspecting bowl of plain wontons or dumplings came out. I’m sorry I don’t know what they were. I don’t mean to offend you guys. (I’m talking to the food.)

Ahhh, but of course. These ain’t no plain Jane wontons. Look at that perfect bite. Looking at my photos, I realized that we had fried rice as well, but I failed to get a good shot of it. :(  It’s difficult to stuff your face and take photos at the same time.

After a long meal, it was time for dessert. To the left is the taro dumpling, and to the right is the sweet red bean dumpling. Oh so yummy! I preferred the taro. Hubby preferred the red bean. But I’ll take either!

Then this giant bowl of shaved ice with various goodies on top…it was big enough to feed our party of nine.

My share. :)

And sadly it came to an end. I can’t wait to go back! I hear there are lines outside the LA location sometimes. But I’d wait in line. Din Tai Fung, thank you for an awesome experience!

Anyone else notice the Hello Kitty card? Not mine, but cute!

Sep 11

Flying Fish

When in Seattle, one must indulge in oysters. Harold took us to Flying Fish for drinks and oysters. He planned dinner elsewhere…but more on that later. We had two non-oyster fans, but after trying them here, they were converted. In fact, one of them went for thirds, and the other went for oysters a couple days later (I saw on Facebook).

We ordered the sampler, and I wish I could remember what kinds they were! But the best part was the mignonette sorbet…yes, that pretty pink slushy centerpiece. I’ve had mignonette before but never in sorbet form! I could have eaten that just by itself!

We were pleasantly surprised when the waiter pointed out that Sundays were Half-Price Wine Night! Every bottle on their wine list was 50% off! How awesome is that??

Scallop and sea bean salad, morel mushrooms, orange glaze. Very delicious. I’m an unconditional lover of scallops.

Thai crab cake, citrus salad, lemongrass aioli. Very crabby…taste buds approved.

What’s wrong with this picture?

A friend had placed his wine glass on the table, and it broke! It was the weirdest thing. He didn’t even slam it. My hubby joked to the waiter, “Excuse me, his glass is dirty.” The waiter was not amused.

In the end, we had a great time! Oysters were the star of the show. No dinner here…we went somewhere else for that. That’s how we roll.

Sep 11

Seattle’s Pike Place Market

Wow, it’s good to be back home…kind of. I was in Washington for almost a week and had such a great time with family, friends, and food. MK and I went at the best time of the year…no rain and temperature in the 80s! I spent the entire time there in shorts! I go there about once a year, and I never experienced such great weather. Good eats, good company, good times…

On the day of our departure, we stopped by Pike Place Market in Seattle. I’ve been there a few times, but I always love going back. It’s bustling with so much fun stuff and never gets old! San Diego feels so “blah” now…

Harold first took us to a place called Piroshky Piroshky (800+ reviews 4.5 stars on Yelp!) and got us a…piroshky. It’s Russian, and it’s basically a baked or fried bun with stuffings inside. They look like giant dumplings, don’t they? They also have a lot of sweet pastries. Sweet and savory…can’t go wrong.

We had the Smoked Salmon Pate Piroshky. You can’t really tell in the photo, but it had just enough salmon…sooooo good! I want one right now!

One thing I love about this place is that you get samples everywhere! These beef jerkies were some of the beefiest I’ve had…very thick and tender at the same time.

Marionberry…it’s a northwestern blackberry. :(

Elephant garlic…that’s my type of garlic.

You can taste different flavors of honey. That bee tried to get a taste too. Do you see him?

Where else can you get seafood, chocolate pasta, and some colorful sticks all in one place?

Crab and shrimp night, anyone?

Smoked Salmon in Seattle = Money! Look at that giant piece hubby got to sample.

Those peaches really deserve the name. They were delicious!

Pickles, fresh produce, and some funky vegetable…

Oysters in Seattle are to die for. I always eat oysters on Washington trips.

I feel healthy just looking at these!

Those are jars of Ikura Salmon Caviar on the right.

I love those peppers. We got one for my mom years ago, and they dried beautifully.

This is what seafood heaven must look like. Please take me there right now.

I wonder how many smoothies one can make with all this stuff.

Til next time, salmon friends…