Friday, December 31, 2010

Arroyo Chop House - end of the year dinner

A couple times a year you have to splurge and just enjoy a great meal. Tonight was one of those times. My friend Barry and I wanted to celebrate the year with a great steak. So we went local to the Arroyo Chop House for a fat ass steak to end 2010 with a bang.

 Pancheta wrapped Scallop was so good!

 Bibb salad and the best part was the goat cheese. Sooooo good!
 Lobster Mash....
 Mac and Cheese with Black Forest Ham.  Waaaay much you can barely eat it.
 Lyonnaise Potatoes
 French Green Beans
 Cowboy ribeye

 Grand Marnier Soufle

 Fresh berries

great meal...and I am so ready for a great 2011!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010 - 9AM "Fitness Challenge" class

This is DEDICATION!  Who the heck shows up at 9AM on Friday, Christmas Eve to work out?  Well, I guess we do.  We are crazy to wake up early and get our sweat on. But yes it was a great class as usual.  Scott is in the center and he is our trainer.  Here are random names no one will know but are in the pic.  Sorry to those I dont have the names of...Mike, Doris, Pam, Cheryl, Rebecca, Mark...and the rest. LOL.  What a great way to start the XMAS weekend.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Tong Hua (童话) Full Chinese Cover by J Rice and Jason Chen

A nice cover of one of my favorite Chinese songs. Tong Hua or "Fairy Tale" is a great song. The video is also pretty DRAMA ala most Chinese/Asian videos. But yeah man Jason Chen did a great job and surprising J Rice did a good job too for singing in Chinese.

Dog Haus - Pasadena, CA

I have heard about this place from a couple friends.  Finally got to try it out today.  I met up with Norvin, Gabe and Leelana for a lunch gtg and to try this place.  Man oh Slaw Dogs is literally down the street, maybe 2-3 miles away on Lake.  Not far at all and everyone thought Slaw Dogs was the shizzle.  But this place definitely will give it a run for the money.  #1 - KINGS HAWAIIAN BREAD.  That is all that needs to be said.

 yeah baby....homie dont play.  This is the GRAND SLAM.  Which is a 100% beef skinless hot dog, with tater tots, a fried egg, bacon all inside King's Hawaiian rolls that serve as the bun. oh wow.  The Chili cheese fries were ok too...but seriously, after reading the Yelp review, I thought to myself, what is the big deal with KHB right? A few other places use it like food trucks etc so I was not expecting too much.  BUT DAMN.....
 Those toasted rolls are AMAZING for the hot dog.  It gives just enough sweet before you hit the savory.  I am a believer now.  Everything pretty much tastes better with a fried egg on top and King's Hawaiian Bread.  Seriously....

 damn that is one good hot dog.  Like my friend Norvin tastes like breakfast....100% agreed.

Tater tots...who know they could make a hot dog so great?

Dinner with Chris and Nan - Jake's BBQ

Last night, Sunday, the day after Xmas, I was able to sneak in a little visit with my pals Chris and Nan right before they head off to SCOTLAND for a week! How crazy is that?  Spending New Year's in Scotland? I am def very jealous.  It should be so much fun for them.  We met up and had some BBQ in Monrovia at Jake's BBQ.

 So this was my dinner....yeah boy.  What real MEN eat...real FAT MEN...
 it was 1/2 a chicken (which I did not eat and brought it home) brisket, a hot link and a couple ribs with corn, fries and a muffin. Yowza! 
Chris and Nan, have a safe trip and have lots of fun! I had a great time hanging out and grubbing with you 2.  See ya in 2011.

Spam, Rice, Nori = Happiness

THANK YOU to my awesome pals Norvin and Tami for this extremely thoughtful little gift!

Anyone that knows me, knows I love me some spam musubi. Pretty much the perfect protein snack. LOVE IT.  I always order one whenever I eat Hawaiian food.  Now I have my own maker, I will have to give it a try and see how I do at making my own!  I cannot wait to try it.  I have to go buy some Nori I have spam and rice all day at home...yummy!  I will definitely have to post up as soon as I do make some.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Eve Chinese Hot Pot

I celebrated Christmas Eve with mom over some traditional Chinese hot pot.  Mom wanted to try this place nearby that has AYCE Chinese Hot Pot, so we figured tonight would be a perfect night.  Plus it is cold as a witch's tit in a brass bra right now so the warmth of hot pot was welcomed.

Here is a shot of the great 'secret sauce' I guess it is not much of a secret as its probably onions, soy and jalapenos.  But it is yummy for sure.

Here is the broth. It had carrots, some lotus root, corn and pork bones.
This is what we ordered. Veggies, clear noodles, beef, lamb, napa cabbage, fish, tripe, some liver stuff, I think.
I wanted some noodles and wontons.  The wontons were kinda fake as they were not normal wontons rather they use fish cake as the meat vs shrimp and pork. Oh well....
Cooking the clear noodles.
Beef cooking,

finished product!
This is the fresh rock cod which was so good.
Gotta have tofu.
Round 2...needed more green, some more beef, tripe and some more wontons.


Friday, December 24, 2010

LeBron vs Kobe -Kicks War?

I guess LeBron thinks his shoe is better than Kobe's.

As anyone who knows me, I am not a fan of either.  But if I had to choose, I would go Kobe's.  I think Kobe's shoe looks better, I can only judge from a purely looks criteria, since I am no athlete so I cannot comment on the performance.  Purely on style I would definitely go Kobe's.

LOS ANGELES -- Might LeBron James be starting a shoe war with Kobe Bryant?

Nike announced this week that three NBA stars will be wearing special shoes on Christmas Day. The cheapest of the three is Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant's Zoom KD III, which has a suggested retail price of $88 primarily because Durant doesn't want a super expensive shoe.

The others that also will hit the stores Sunday are James' LeBron 8 V/2, which has a suggested price of $160, and Bryant's Zoom Kobe VI, which retails for $130. So the natural question is: Why in the heck does the Miami star's shoe sell for $30 more?

"Yeah, it's a better shoe,'' James said Friday after a practice at UCLA on the eve of Miami's Christmas Day battle with Bryant's Lakers at the Staples Center. "But we're all one Nike family.''

So why is it a better shoe?

"Because it is,'' James said. "Because it's LeBron's shoe. It's got my name on it. I take pride in my shoes every year and I've always taken pride in having the best shoe. So they're going to cost a little more if you decide to wear them.''

As to what Bryant thinks of this shoe battle, it's unclear. He declined to talk to the media Friday for the third straight time after his ejection late in last Tuesday's 98-79 home loss to Milwaukee. The guard didn't talk after that game nor after a Thursday practice, which followed the Lakers being off Wednesday.

James said his shoe (right) costs $30 more than Bryant's (left) "Because it's LeBron's shoe."

Footwear aside, as far as there being a rivalry between James and Bryant, the Heat forward doesn't see it. This despite the two having combined to win the last three Most Valuable Player awards, Bryant getting the trophy in 2007-08 and James the past two years with Cleveland.

"No, I don't think so,'' James said of a rivalry existing with Bryant. "I think rivalries are created in the Finals, in the playoffs. We have never went against each other in that case.''

No, they haven't. Bryant has been in seven Finals, winning five. The only one James made it to, his Cavaliers fell in 2007 to San Antonio.

"It's got my name on it. I take pride in my shoes every year and I've always taken pride in having the best shoe. So they're going to cost a little more if you decide to wear them.''
-- LeBron James explains why his shoe costs more than Kobe Bryant's
Now, James will be facing Bryant for the first time in a uniform other than Cleveland's. Of course, he has a much better supporting cast, namely fellow Heat stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Wade sat out Thursday at Phoenix due to a sore left knee. But he went through practice Friday and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is hopeful he'll play.

"My plan is to play,'' Wade said. "I just want to continue to get better and continue to do my treatment therapy, but my plan is to play.''

Bryant will be matched against Wade. Still, plenty of fans will be more curious to see how Bryant fares as opposed to James.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson believes there's a rivalry between Bryant and James. He went so far as to say Bryant was trying to upstage James when Bryant announced he would become a free agent in the summer of 2004 on the day James was taken No. 1 by the Cavaliers in the 2003 draft.

"He took the headlines away from LeBron in a way,'' Jackson said. "So, obviously, I think he had him in his sights right off the bat. ... They managed to be teammates (for the 2008 Olympic team). They congratulated each other. (But) there's a deep competitive fervor going on between them, and that's natural. And that's just the way it's going to be.''

James, though, shrugged when asked if he believed Bryant was trying to take any headlines away from him 7 ½ years ago.

"I don't know,'' James said. "I have no idea.''

As for Jackson's take on James announcing his decision to leave Cleveland on the ESPN show "The Decision,'' Jackson said he didn't watch. But Jackson agreed with some of the criticism that has surfaced about James joining Wade and Bosh in the manner it happened.

"My thoughts after that is what Michael Jordan and some of the other guys would say, that they would never have done something like that,'' Jackson said. "They would have anticipated their team would have built up a talent so they could battle for the championship. So I think that's what kind of everybody expected is not too many players would have gone to the Finals like Cleveland did (in 2007 and) would lose a player in this manner. They'd want to redeem that opportunity or whatever. But that's his choice, and we'll all live with it.''

Trying to stop James on Saturday primarily will be the task of Lakers small forward Ron Artest. He's already got his strategy in order, and it seems like an odd one. But it is Artest we're talking about.

"I like to get him mad,'' Artest said. "He plays better when he's upset.''

Then why would Artest want to get James upset?

"It's best to get people's A game,'' Artest said. "That why I talk a lot of trash in the media. I just be myself. I think I was talking trash to (Vince Carter) one time. He got pretty upset and he played pretty well. It's good for the fans to see people's A game.''

Artest was invited then to say something that would make James upset. He said he'll let things "happen naturally'' and will "think of something'' Saturday.

"I think I just play better when I'm having fun,'' James said of Artest's claim he plays better when angry. "There's nothing (Artest) can say to me that can get me angry. If he was in the stands at Cleveland (when James made his return Dec. 2 to a hostile crowd), he could have made me angry.''

Artest, though, figures to make somebody very happy Saturday, when his championship ring from last season gets a new owner. He's auctioning off the ring for charity, and says about $600,000 has been raised so far.

James, as has been well documented, doesn't have a ring. If he ever wins one, James was asked if he would auction it off in a similar manner.

"Me, personally, I wouldn't,'' James said. "I'm not knocking what he did. I think he auctioned it off for a good cause. So any time you're thinking about someone in need, I have no problem with it. I don't think I would do it personally, but I don't think it was a bad thing to do either.''

For now, it's Bryant's Lakers who have hogged all the championship rings the past two seasons. But James still thinks his shoe is better than Bryant's.

Christmas Eve Lunch - Kids!

What is that old saying?  Kids are fun and great when they are not yours and you can give them back!  LOL!  Well, OK maybe that is drastic, but it is fun to play with my friends' kids and be able to come home solo and not have to worry about feeding and diapers and all that.  So yeah....

Today, I met up with my pals from the Southbay, Stef and Joe. I have not seen them in a long time and it was great to see them and see their new baby and their daughter Emi!

Another great surprise was that my good friend Nowa was in town.  Nowa is living in TN and was in town and she and her kids will be leaving on xmas day so it was so great to see her before she left.  She and her kids Mason and Miya.

This is little Emi!

This is cutie pie Miya!
And this little man is Miya's brother Mason.
and this little precious one is Emi's new sister...Kylie.
It was so good to see my friends as we never get to hang out much anymore.  Living farther away and kids can keep you busy.  Even a couple of hours is so great.  Nice start to a long weekend of celebration.