• eat and drink,  explore,  international travel,  portugal,  restaurant reviews

    Portugal: Part 3 – Cold and Rainy in Sintra

    My last free day was spent in a drizzly, windy and tourist-filled town called Sintra. Don’t get me wrong, it was still beautiful, and I saw things that aren’t even close to anything I’ve ever seen before. Sintra is a very easy 30-minute train ride from Rossio Station in the center of Lisbon to the last stop on the Sintra line. This area used to be a summer retreat for royalty and the aristocracy, so the city is littered with huge mansions and estates plus a few palaces. Rossio Station The Portuguese transportation system is very modern, probably due to the infusion of EU money in the last few years.…

  • eat and drink,  explore,  international travel,  portugal,  restaurant reviews

    Portugal: Part 2 – Kicking it old school in Belem

    My second day took me by tram to Belem, where a heavy concentration of historical sites can be found. Plus, it has sweets. I missed my tram stop so I had to back track a few blocks for my first taste of the very popular Portuguese pastry pastel de nata (aka pasteis de Belem). Casa Pasteis de Belem has been making these egg custard treats since the 1820s. They originated at the Mosteiro dos Jeroninmos, which I visited later that day, in the 18th century. To anyone who has ever had dim sum, they might look familiar. Apparently, dantat is a derivative of pastel de nata, which makes sense since Macau was…

  • eat and drink,  explore,  international travel,  portugal

    Portugal: Part 1 – Obrigada: the only word I learned

    I just wrote two papers on Portuguese culture, so why not continue my streak and tell you about my trip to Portugal? I arrived in Lisbon for a few solo days of sightseeing before I needed to get to work. I decided to take it easy my first day since I wasn’t sure how quickly I would become exhausted. That gave me enough time to take some walks around the downtown area. First item of business: lunch! Beer and seafood were calling my name so I found my way to Cervejaria Trinidade, a 175 year old Portuguese brewery on the grounds of a 13th century convent. This is where I…

  • eat and drink,  los angeles

    Visit to Los Angeles: I like noodles

    Now that I’m all growns up, I realize how amazing Torrance is when it comes to Asian food. Yes, I said it. Torrance is kind of amazing. It’s not easy to find a) good, b) authentic, c) nearby, and d) affordable Asian food where I currently live. Torrance has all of the above and a lot of it.  So I pretty much went on a noodle spree when I went home to visit last month.  There were mul naengmyeon (Korean cold buckwheat noodles) from Da Maat.   Then there was zaru soba from I-naba. The last time I had soba was on my honeymoon in Hawaii. I got the upgraded…