La Fondue

My brother was visiting town for Memorial Day weekend, and our family decided to head to La Fondue to have a late Mother’s Day dinner. We had a three-course meal: cheese fondue and salad for appetizers, Le Freak which is a taste of all the meat/seafood they offer (i.e. 2–3 pieces) for the main course, and chocolate fondue for dessert.

4 Cheese
4 Cheese

We chose Four Cheese—which consists of Ementhaler, Gruyere, Fontina Surchoix, and Champagne—and Spinach salad. As the name suggests, the fondue is absolutely cheesy. I think if it had less cheese, it might have been perfect for my palate.

Spinach salad
Spinach salad

The Spinach salad contains an assortment of chopped and sliced vegetables with feta cheese. It’s delicious with or without dressing. Lemon Tarragon complements the salad well in my opinion.

grilling meat meat meat
grilling meat meat meat

The meat/seafood could be cooked in a variety of methods. We went for the lobster bisque and grill. The Lobster Bisque is an extra $20, but it looks tasty judging from my mom sneaking spoonfuls of the soup. I lost count how many times she did that because I was too busy staring at the meat cooking on the grill.

Le Freak offers a lot of exotic meat/seafood. I can finally say I tried kangaroo, alligator, elk, venison, and antelope, which to me, all tasted like steak. I guess that is because I overcooked all the meat. It’s quite difficult to tell if the meat is done in the restaurant’s dim lighting.

With the meat comes six different sauces: teriyaki, BBQ, mango chutney, teriyaki with a hint of wasabi, garlic butter, and sour cream with chopped chives. We used a lot of garlic butter to grease the grill and it gave the meat a wonderful flavor. My go-to sauces are mango chutney and BBQ.

The Decadent One
The Decadent One

We chose The Decadent One for our chocolate fondue, which is Milk & Dark Chocolates,
Espresso, Kahlua, and Creme. I think the subtle bitter taste of kahlua and espresso balances out the sweetness of the chocolates. This fondue goes well with the cream puff, fruit, marshmallows, and cinnamon covered cheesecake balls.

Overall it was a wonderful experience and I’m eternally grateful for Groupon because without it, this meal would have cost $300. The cost is quite high, but I still recommend going to La Fondue if a groupon offer arises, or if you want to share a romantic experience with your companion/significant other/partner (who can say no to chocolate fondue?!).

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Tea-rific Berkeley Adventure

Many have told me some of the best food in NorCal is in Berkeley, so my two buddies and I decided to head up there Sunday afternoon. Other than getting boba, we had no set plan on where to eat. It was an adventure nonetheless walking around downtown Berkeley.

Continue reading Tea-rific Berkeley Adventure

Beauty in Captivity

Yesterday was my first time going to the zoo. I honestly was a bit apprehensive of zoos ever since I watched Blackfish and the atrocities of captivity on sea creatures in Seaworld, and I felt like that documentary extends to animals in zoos. I still wanted to experience seeing exotic animals because how long will it be until I go to other countries to see these animals? Several years from now or maybe never. I understand that there are positive attributes of zoos such as maintaining endangered species, rehabilitating animals, and informing the public. However, the latter seems more and more unnecessary as the Internet is becoming more and more prevalent, and there are ongoing debate of the first two attributes.

Anyway, some animals my friends and I saw like the giraffe, meerkat, red panda, and penguin are super adorable. Other animals like the polar bear, rhino, and kangaroo are so depressing to look at. Hopefully they were either sunbathing or in a food coma, otherwise they looked absolutely miserable in their cages. In my opinion, the living quarters looked quite measly. I feel torn because I was so excited to see an animal pop its head out of its den or nest, but I was so disgusted with us finding enjoyment in watching some of these animals out of their natural habitat (e.g. the polar bear). There was one polar bear with its head inside a cardboard box; it looked so sad!

Since I have never been to any other zoo before, I can’t say San Francisco Zoo is the best or worst, but I feel like the admission cost was a bit of a rip-off considering we weren’t able to see any lions or snow leopards. Heck, it has one sea lion in captivity. Why?! Simply go Fisherman’s Wharf to see a pack of sea lions barking their heads off; it’s annoying and smelly but it is not depressing as that one in the zoo. We finished walking around the park within 3 hours. I wished the zoo offered student admission, but it does give discounts to residents, which I guess seems nice for families.

What are your opinions of zoos? Have you been to one? Leave your opinions in the comment section as I would like to read what you think.

Lisa’s Tea Treasures

I guess it’s becoming a tradition for to go somewhere we’ve never been before my brother has to go back to Los Angeles. My mom wanted something light and a place where we could chat, so my brother decided to take us to Lisa’s Tea Treasures, which is located in Campbell.

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We ordered Lady’s Respite with Earl Grey Floral, English Breakfast, and Blackberry Jasmine. You know you drink loads of tea when you are able to finish three pots of brewed tea. I think I may not sleep tonight. The finger food are very simple but it balances out the sweetness of the free biscuits/cookies provided. I think my favorite is the scone they offer, followed by the quiche.

Blackberry Jasmine tea
Blackberry Jasmine tea
Lady's Respite
Lady’s Respite
tea biscuits with lemon curd
tea biscuits with lemon curd

Blackberry Jasmine is quite tasty with or without milk. Earl Grey Floral has a strong lavender or some type of floral taste to it, which didn’t appeal to my palate. You can never go wrong with traditional black tea like English Breakfast.

Dessert we picked Raspberry Tart and Mango Panna Cotta. Both are incredibly delicious and not too sweet, so I think it’ll satisfy anyone’s tastebuds.

Raspberry Tart
Raspberry Tart
Mango Panna Cotta
Mango Panna Cotta

The ambiance is very over-the-top with its porcelain bells to call for the waitress (what), victorian chairs, floral wallpapers, and miscellaneous trinkets displayed on the side of the room.

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I definitely recommend going for the experience. Otherwise, I suggest you have afternoon tea in your backyard—like children who play tea parties with their (imaginary) tea set—because most of the finger food offered seemed like something a novice such as myself could make, and did not seem worth its ~$25 value.

Hog Island Oyster Co.

Off to the north of San Francisco, past the forest of sequoias, and up a winding path by Tomales Bay, we—my brother, his friends, and I—arrived at a charming place called Hog Island Oyster Co. Given that it was July 4th weekend and a Sunday, there were a lot of people already there relaxing, eating BBQ, and shucking oysters. I am allergic to seafood but even I was tempted to slurp one. Chatting with old friends and eating delicious BBQ food whilst enjoying the lovely view makes one such as myself realize and appreciate the little things in life.

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shucking oysters is srs business
shucking oysters is srs business

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in good company
in good company

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Time seemed to have eluded us because around 4:30 or something, the workers yelled out it was closing time. It was a pity because we had just finished barbecuing beef and were only halfway through barbecuing giant New York oysters. We packed up our things and drove home on Highway 1. Frightening yet stunning because we were literally on the edge of the coast. My photos do no justice.

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