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Los Angeles, CAPosted by
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Los Angeles Eats: In-sīt Coffee

If you are a huge fan of beautiful Korean cafes, I have just the coffee shop recommendation for you. Located in Buena Park in an Asian plaza, In-sīt Coffee is probably one of my favorite places I visited during my time in Southern California. After looking at the pictures on Yelp, I wanted to check out In-Sit because of how cute their cups are since they come in small pitchers! Their menu has a great selection of drinks for the coffee lover but they also have breakfast and brunch items like avocado toast, salmon bagel, salads, and more. All the ingredients they used are high quality and they make everything in front of you. I can see this place popular for people to study at or hang out with friends before the pandemic. In-sit currently has outdoor seating and you can also order delivery or takeout.
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Los Angeles, CAPosted by
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Los Angeles Eats: Bumsan Organic Milk Bar

If you are looking for an Instagram-worthy ice cream place to check out and beat the upcoming summer heat, you must check out Bumsan Organic Milk Bar in Koreatown. Located on S Western Ave, Bumsan has a small parking lot in the back. It is an adorable ice cream shop where it was smaller than I expected. Their menu is quite small and they rotate the ice cream flavors throughout the week. Most of the ice cream usually comes in their signature vanilla-flavored cones with different color sprinkles. If I didn’t see this place all over Instagram, I probably wouldn’t have known about it. After hearing great things, I am happy to confirm that Bumsan is a solid ice cream place and is slowly making it to the top of my list.
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Los Angeles, CAPosted by
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Disneyland Eats: Oga's Cantina for Alcoholic Drinks

Oga Cantina is one of the few places in Disneyland where you can order drinks from at the Disneyland Park instead of California Adventure. Located in the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, this was a very coveted place and you have to make reservations before you go in. If you check often, you can find open spots if people cancel. Unfortunately, they are currently temporarily closed but make sure to keep an eye out for when it opens since they are rolling out their opening process. Oga’s Cantina has the typical bar vibe but something that stands out is a robot DJing which is something you don't see often. Disney's attention to detail with everything is insane - the interior feels like I stepped into another world. You can only order 2 drinks each which is the maximum per person. If you are not a fan of alcohol, there are also some drinks where they offer mocktails so you can still enjoy the ambiance and drinks.
San Francisco, CAPosted by
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Seattle Eats: Pike Place Chowder

When you are in Seattle, you must try out the chowder in the city! I've heard endless compliments on how delicious Pike Place Chowder is and wanted to try their chowder flights. Located at the Pike Place Market, you can find the original flagship location on Post Aly Lane. Regardless of the time, there is always a line that wraps around the restaurant but it actually goes pretty fast and they have plenty of outdoor seating outside. They have a bunch of clam chowders and I wanted to try all of them so I decided on the chowder flight and a lobster roll. You order first then find seating outside and wait until they call out your number when it is ready. Since the line goes fast, this was more of a 'eat quickly then leave' type of place. They weren't kidding when they said it's the world's best clam chowder. It is way better than the ones I had in San Francisco or Monterey. I wish I could take some home with me instead of ordering online which they do offer shipping all over the state.
Seattle, WAPosted by
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Seattle Eats: Xi’an Noodles for Hand-Pulled Noodles

Hand-pulled noodles are one of my most favorite dishes and every time I come to Seattle, I always have to stop by Xi’an Noodles for authentic hand-pulled noodles! I found Xi'an Noodles on Yelp randomly when I came to visit. Before the pandemic, you used to be able to order and pay first, then grab a table with a number. However, they are now focusing on takeout and you can order online for pickup or call in. Focusing on Xi’an cuisine, they have a great selection of items on their menu ranging from things like their house specialties, street foods, rice noodles, and of course their noodles with soup or without soup. You can get hotpot or mala tang here which is a dry hot pot since there was an ingredients/sauce station. Most of the items start at $10 but their starter items are under $10.
Castro Valley, CAPosted by
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Build Your Own Ramen Bowl in Castro Valley

There have been more Asian restaurants opening in Castro Valley and I was excited to find a ramen shop that you can customize. Located on Redwood Road and Castro Valley Boulevard, this is a location with tons of other restaurants but Ramen 101 stood out to me. They currently have indoor and outdoor dining but you can also order takeout or delivery from all the third-party delivery apps. The concept behind this restaurant is similar to a fast-food ramen restaurant where you can build your ramen bowl from scratch. From choosing the ramen soup base, spice level, protein, and toppings, everything is customizable and up to the person ordering. They also order a variety of Japanese street snacks like takoyaki which are octopus balls, spam musubi, chicken kaarage, and more.
Berkeley, CAPosted by
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Berkeley Eats: TP Tea

When TP Tea opened up in Berkeley a few years ago, I was very excited since the only place you used to be able to get it was in San Jose which is quite a drive. Located in downtown Berkeley near the campus, you’ll find this boba shop on the street with Cream Ice Cream and Super Duper Burgers. There is not a lot of street parking around the area so you can either find a parking lot nearby or park further away. They have a good drink selection ranging from tea lattes, flavored tea, their mango series, cheese crema, milk tea, and they also offer non-caffeinated drinks. The majority of the drinks are over the $5 price range and can cost more if you get additional add-ons. My recommendations are usually pearl milk tea and strawberry milk tea. The drinks came out rather quickly and there are only about 5-6 tables in the entire shop but has been closed off during the pandemic. You can also order online by downloading their app if you want to beat the line.
Oakland, CAPosted by
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Oakland Eats: Chai Thai

Chai Thai has been my go-to for a few years now if I am craving Thai cuisine. Located on International Boulevard in East Oakland, they do not have a parking lot so you have to find street parking around the area. They currently have indoor dining but not outdoor dining. If you would like to avoid dining in, they also accept phone orders and you can order online for takeout and delivery. The ambiance of the restaurant is very chill and home-like, filled with cute statues and decorations. It makes you feel as though you are in a different era and makes the food much more enjoyable.
Alameda, CAPosted by
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Alameda Eats: Monkey Thai

If you are looking for a great Thai restaurant in Alameda, Monkey Thai is one of my favorites if you are looking for a lunch combo that is worth your money. Located on Main Street, they have a parking lot outside. The restaurants used to look like a hole in the wall but they seem to have gone through some renovations which make it look more modern. I love visiting here for their lunch combos since it comes with an appetizer, a variety of entrees to choose from, a choice of meat, jasmine, or brown rice (doesn't come with it if you choose a noodle entree), and a drink. They have a great selection since you can choose from items like pad thai, pad see ew, garlic noodles, curry, and more. With the protein, the more expensive options are shrimp and seafood but you can still stay within the $13 range with just chicken, pork, beef, or tofu.
Concord, CAPosted by
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Concord Eats: Sushi Momoyama

If you are looking for a place that has affordable sushi in Concord, Sushi Momoyama is a great place to check out if you are in the neighborhood. During the pandemic, they were only available for takeout but now there is indoor dining. It gets busy during dinner time so make sure to come early! Before the pandemic, the wait for two people was around an hour, and there's not a lot of room to wait beside the front so I would assume it is probably busier now with the limited seating. There's a parking lot outside, but the plaza is quite sketchy so I would recommend hiding or keeping your belongings with you. Sushi Momyama has an extensive menu with classic Japanese items like sushi rolls, rice plates, nigiri, sashimi, appetizers, and more. I ordered the beef sukiyaki and the meal usually comes with a complimentary side of salad and miso soup. Each time I've been here, the chef gave us a complementary roll for free before the pandemic although I am not sure if they are still doing this now. It was usually test rolls they were thinking of adding to the menu which is very kind of them. The ambiance is pretty chill and the food takes a while to come out but it is understandable since everyone is doing the best they can as they adjust to the current situations.
Los Angeles, CAPosted by
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Los Angeles Eats: Vox Kitchen for the Best Garlic Noodles

The Vox Kitchen has been on my list for a while and I finally got a chance to visit them after a long day of exploring the city. Located in Fountain Valley, they have indoor or outdoor dining seating now along with takeout or delivery on all the third-party apps. They are taking the proper precautions with the pandemic and I felt safe dining in. I came here on a Saturday night around 8:30 PM and it was packed even during the pandemic. I would recommend joining their Yelp waitlist before you come or make reservations via Yelp ahead of time. The Vox Kitchen is a great Asian fusion place but they are most known for their garlic noodles which I have been dying to try. I opted for the rib eye steak and garlic noodles with the elote as the appetizer.
Las Vegas, NVPosted by
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Las Vegas Eats: Gäbi Coffee & Bakery

If you are looking for a super cute Korean cafe, Gäbi Coffee & Bakery is a great spot to check out in Las Vegas located off the strip. My friend and I came on a Friday afternoon after finding this place on Yelp. Don't be surprised when you see the exterior of the cafe since it looks like a large dungeon door - it only adds to the charm of the place and I loved that it was different and unique. The interior is next level since it is decked out in every nook and corner of the shop. I've been to Korea and went to plenty of cute cafes and this is comparable to them! Honestly, I would say whimsical would be the perfect word to describe it. Every corner is decorated with antique couches and chairs. One of my favorites was the chairs that look like a birdcage or the back area where there are stairs to a small book area where people can enjoy or read a book. I've been here twice and my experience has been positive each time and would recommend this place to others.
Berkeley, CAPosted by
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Berkeley Eats: Happy Lemon for Salted Cheese Milk Tea

After hearing all the hype about cheese tea, I had to try it out, and luckily there are plenty of Happy Lemon locations all over the Bay Area. This location is located in downtown Berkeley which is close to the Bart station as well as the UC Berkeley campus. As I was curious about what the cheese tasted like, the workers were extremely nice and made a sample of tea with salted cheese for me to try. Most boba places don't do this - so I was really happy that they did and appreciate the effort. I also love the interior design of this boba shop since it is filled with colorful colors and they have fruit designs everywhere. Happy Lemon has a sign with their popular drinks so I decided on A2 which is the black tea with salted cheese. You get a cute lemon sign with a number on it for the order. There is also a large TV that shows the progress of your drink.
San Jose, CAPosted by
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San Jose Eats: Gen Korean Barbecue

Gen Korean Barbecue is always a staple in my book when I am looking for a delicious all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue. They have a few locations all around the bay area, especially in the South Bay. I usually go to to the San Jose location since they have a parking lot which is convenient but the wait is usually pretty long so make sure to come early and have reservations before you plan on coming.
Oakland, CAPosted by
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Oakland Eats: Cookiebar Creamery

Now that summer is right around the corner, I’m sure everyone is looking forward to the warmer summer nights to grab a cup of ice cream to enjoy their day. I am a huge ice cream fanatic and Cookiebar Creamery has one of the best ice cream and cookies in town. I am not kidding when I say I used to come here almost every week since they have amazing flavors and they make all their ice cream in-house. They have creative Asian flavors like pandan, Vietnamese iced coffee, jasmine milk tea, and even an interesting one like egg custard which I have been dying to try soon! Cookiebar used to have a location in Alameda but that has shut down during the pandemic so I believe their only location is now in Old Oakland near Broadway and Chinatown.
San Leandro, CAPosted by
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San Leandro Eats: Hanoi Chicken Noodle

I've heard about this place for months and finally got the chance to check Hanoi Chicken Noodle out in San Leandro. Located in a plaza, there is plenty of parking so you don’t need to fight to find parking or locate it on the street. They currently have indoor dining but I didn't see any outdoor dining. You can also call ahead to place your order so you can pick it up instead of dining in. Upon visiting the restaurant, I was surprised to see how modern this place is; unlike your standard Vietnamese restaurant since I thought it was a mom-and-pop shop!
Richmond, CAPosted by
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Richmond Eats: Mi Southeast Asian Eatery

Located in the Pacific East Mall with 99 Ranch Market and other Asian cuisines in Richmond, Mi Southeast Asian Eatery is one of my favorites to visit in the plaza. They have a similar restaurant in Oakland Chinatown with the same items on the menu. When I am in the Richmond Area, I always make it a habit to stop by Mi no matter what since I love eating Chinese comfort food. They are known for their Teo Chow ho fun but their menu has plenty of options for appetizers like oyster pancakes, other noodle options like dry noodles, stir-fried noodles, and more. You can’t go wrong with a hearty bowl of noodles with delicious broth. I came here recently and grabbed my usual noodles along with an oyster pancake for an appetizer. The service was extremely fast and if you speak Cantonese, the staff is very friendly and responsive.
Alameda, CAPosted by
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Alameda Eats: i-Tea for Mango Sago and Boba

As a foodie, I have pretty much tried all the boba shops in Bay Area unless there are new ones that opened recently. One of my favorite all-time shops in the Bay Area is I-Tea in Alameda. Compared to the one in Oakland, there are plenty of tables so you can sit down and hang out with friends whereas the Oakland location is a small shack located in Chinatown with barely any space to hang out. Before the pandemic, their happy hour is from 8-10 pm which is usually their peak time. The drinks would cost $3 and snacks are $3.50, with some exclusions like their M series although they might have halted it during the pandemic. The line is always long and takes a while for the orders to come out so I would suggest calling ahead or making an online order. For the price range, the drinks average around $4 which isn’t too bad since I have seen some places charge $6 and up recently. Located in the parking lot with Walgreens, there is free parking in the back or street parking in the front which is convenient.
Berkeley, CAPosted by
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Berkeley Eats: 900 Grayson for Chicken & Waffles

If you’re looking for a great chicken and waffle place, 900 Grayson is a nice place to try in Berkeley!. I admit I wasn't dying to try out this place since I find the concept of chicken and waffles a bit strange. How can something savory and sweet be paired so well together?! Since 900 Grayson has such great reviews, I decided to pop my chicken and waffles cherry here! Located in Berkeley, they do not have their parking lot so you will have to find street parking. If you come during the weekdays, it’s not too bad but gets especially crowded during the weekends. They currently have indoor dining but come early since this isn't a very big restaurant. 900 Grayson is a great spot if you are looking for brunch with your friends or a cute date spot to check out. On their menu, they have a great selection of appetizers, burgers, breakfast items, and more but I will be focusing on their chicken and waffles in this review. I ordered the 'Demon Lover' which is your typical chicken & waffle with the option to choose either maple syrup or gravy. I decided on the syrup and my friend chose the gravy so we can try both.
Oakland, CAPosted by
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Oakland Eats: Champa Garden

If you’re looking for a great place for Southeast Asian food, Champa Garden is one of my favorite restaurants in Oakland! Located in a residential area in East Oakland, you’ll have to find street parking since they do not have their lot. During the pandemic, there is still no indoor or outdoor dining and you can only order online or phone ahead for pickup. While you don’t get the experience of dining in, their food-to-go is just as delicious so make sure to stop by and support Champa Garden.