1423 california Oh man. I just returned from California a week ago, and I'm so pooped!  My trip was non-stop working, and I barely had time to spend with anyone.  In the future I know not to pack in so many shoots.

It'd only been three and a half months since I lived in California, but bits of my return already felt so foreign to me.  I was immediately tired by the busyness of my old life and the long rides to everything.  I felt like such a stranger in a place I called home just a few months ago.  But it was such a good trip nonetheless.  I loved going back to visit family, especially my new little niece.  But ultimately I was on a mission to eat!!! And eat I did!!

Here are some of the yummy things I ate:

Shabu Shabu. I've been craving shabu shabu.  It's essentially Japanese hot pot, where there's a pot of soup/water that you cook your raw yummies (veggies, meats, noodles…etc.) in.  I thought I'd go to my normal go-to in San Ramon, so then I could follow it up with Snowflake (shaved iced). But Christina suggested a really good shabu shabu place after our styled shoot, so I thought "Why not?"  We went to Nabe in the Inner Richmond in San Francisco, and Christina liked it because at the end of our meal, they serve conji (or jook as I call it) from the leftover soup.  The fixins were fresh and everything we ate was delicious.  We started with kimchi tofu, and I ended up ordering the Shabu Shabu platter with steak in spicy miso.  We followed that up with the jook, which was really, really good.  Then finished up with a mochi cake (like tei or nin go in Chinese food) and red bean ice cream.  Everything was relatively cheap, considering how expensive shabu shabu normally is and how much food we had.  I'd definitely recommend this. Definitely.

Boba. How could I go back to the bay area and not have boba, especially Boba Guys??!! My first full day in California I went to get Boba Guys.  I always get the Lychee Green Tea slow milk tea with boba.  I was tempted to buy two because they don't sell any large sizes, but I resisted.  Like I've said before, Boba Guys is my absolutely favorite boba place.  I went to their shop downtown on Stockton, which I hear makes better boba.  But who knows? A few days later I went to the chain, Quickly, to get my Almond Snow with boba.  It doesn't compare to some of my favorite boba places, but I still love it.  I, of course, got a large.  Then to round off my boba cravings I went to my second favorite boba place, Tea Era.  Located in the Cupertino area, I asked/convinced/begged Alison to take me there when my Dad & visited them.  I've realized my favorite is the peach milk tea with almond pudding, lychee jelly and boba.  Again, I ordered a large.  It was sooooo good.

Sushi. Birmingham does have sushi, but there's not a lot of fresh sushi options nor affordable prices…. and the servings are really small to further disappoint me.  So my dear sister, Meredith, took me to our local sushi restaurant, Rock n Roll Sushi.  We ate the A's roll (my favorite), the Hamachi Lover (another one of my favorites) and Kevin's Rock and Roll. It was soooo good.  I was so happy after I ate this.

Vietnamese Food. I'm not sure the restaurant we ate at or what I exactly ate, but it was delicious.  I had a Bun dish, which is not actually a "bun" but a cold noodle dish with vegetables, meats and fish sauce.  There were several mystery meats in my bun, but it was all yummy.

Sashimi and Rice. Like I mentioned about the sushi, there's not much fresh sashimi/sushi in Birmingham.  So while I was in the city shooting, I snuck into Bamboo and had a quick sashimi and rice bowl.  This is one of my go-to places to eat when I'm running around downtown San Francisco.

Hawaiian Food. Lance and I bought my family Hawaiian food the night before we left California.  We had a feast!! My sister, Terrysue, asked what I wanted to eat for our birthday celebrations, and I picked hawaiian food.  I can't find hawaiian food anywhere here, so eating it in California was such a luxury.  Please wait a sec while I drool.

So I'm curious… if you moved out of state, like me, which foods and restaurants would you crave from California?!


Santa Cruz. December 29, 2014 | Fuji x100s