11pm supper for one: I call it...'celebration salad.'

Because when I eat it... heck, when I even look at it, I feel like celebrating!

Halved heirloom cherry tomatoes (TJs), slices of Italian eggplant pan-fried with sea salt, pepper and olive oil, absolutely perfect soft-boiled eggs (see how runny the yolk still is?), spring greens ($3.79 for a ginormous box at Costco) and as a crowning gesture, a generous dollop of smoked whitefish salad (also from Costco).  With the richness of the whitefish salad and eggs, and the tang from the tomatoes, I didn't even need any dressing for this.

If you love smoked salmon and have never had smoked whitefish salad, you don't know what you're missing. It's smoked whitefish mixed with mayonnaise.  The flavor is salty, delicious, and perfect on bagels with the usual accoutrements (thin slices of red onion, capers, tomatoes, cucumbers, lemon wedges, etc.).

The Corner: a new favorite restaurant in the Mission.

I am seriously loving Garry's new neighborhood because he lives, quite literally, 2 blocks from almost everything.  Tartine, Pizzeria Delfina, Bi-Rite, Yamo, Urbun Burger... we'll never go hungry in this part of town.

Dropping in near the top of the list is The Corner, an enchanting little space carved out, appropriately, on the corner of 18th and Mission.  The decor pleased me perfectly - not something I usually notice about a place, but I immediately loved the bird-and-branches wallpaper that made it feel like a forest, the natural wood paneling and exposed brick, and the whimsical metal light fixtures.  It had personality without trying too hard, and above all it felt warm even though the evening was cold.

The servers were so so very kind and gracious - also not something I usually care about, but they were informative, helpful, and did thoughtful little extra things like give me ice along with my hot water in case it was too hot.  

The food - very inventive, tasty, and flavorful!  Garry had the slow-cooked pork shank (cheesy hashbrowns, pea shoots, poached egg & maple sauce which gave it a fascinating flavor dimension), I had the chitarra pasta with chanterelle mushrooms (tat soi, purple cauliflower, grana padano & lemon thyme), and we split a sunchoke soup (sourdough croutons, roasted figs).

The best part?  The deliciously low prices!  Between the three things we got, we spent less than $30 including tip (we didn't get anything to drink--it being a 'school night,' and the servers didn't give us any pressure about it at all).  We'll definitely be back as there were at least five other things on the menu that I was keen on trying.

Sorry for the horridly grainy iPhone photos!

It was a modest Lim family Thanksgiving...

Having gorged on Wendy's pre-Thanksgiving feast the week before, and already eaten turkey leftovers all of that week, I was glad my parents kept it simple on Thanksgiving Day.  We just had some family over for Burmese curry chicken rice.  Yum.

I dropped by Taco Nazo with Karin, but somehow the tacos tasted kind of different.  Good, but not quite as spectacular as I remembered.

Saw New Moon at the Grove with Lils, followed by burgers, beer and baskets of fries at Father's Office.

Had some down-home Hawaiian at King's Hawaiian in Torrance with high school friends.  And closed out the long weekend with Mexican eats at Los Sanchez in Santa Ana.

8:30pm dinner for one

Chicken drumstick pan-fried with garlic and parsley, and leftover braised salted-fish eggplant from R&G Lounge (my favorite dish there!) reinvented with some zucchini and chili flakes.  All over coconut rice.

Normally not terribly noteworthy except that--after more than two weeks without cooking at all, smelling garlic sizzling throughout my apartment was amazing.  As was biting into a flavorful, juicy and homemade chicken drumstick as I settled down to watch a cheesy romantic comedy (27 Dresses with Katherine Heigl), washed down with some Mango-Tango Odwalla mixed with sparkling water.  

I think I'm going to finish it off with a small square of Bhumi's birthday cake (homemade German chocolate cake with toasted almonds and coconut, which Candace made from scratch).  This, my friends, is the life.

Eat a Chicken Wing with Little to No Mess - from Food Wishes

Where o where have these instructions been all my life? Thanks to Grant for the tip - though it doesn't have any instructions for those of us who like to avoid the fat as well. I guess there isn't much point to eating chicken wings if you're not going to eat the fat.

My favorite lines: 

“If any meat comes out with it, just, you know, suck it off the bone.”
“You dip it, you eat it, it’s fantastic.”

Brown Sugar Kitchen

I've been wanting to get brunch at Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland for like, ever.  My brother was the first to tell me about this amazing place that serves "upscale soul food" - that is, down-home eats from a classically trained chef.

I thought I was over the concept of chicken and waffles years ago, in LA, when any friend who visited inexplicably wanted to go to Roscoe's.  Eggo waffles + mediocre fried chicken = less-than-transcendent taste experience.  I got tired of it fast.  But enter BSK - delicate "home" made cornmeal waffles sidled up next to masterfully crisp-fried chicken.  A match made in heaven.
Beyond the chicken and waffles though, BSK has an impressive offering of other delicious down-home southern treats.  We got the smoked chicken and shrimp gumbo (with okra!) and the beignets as well.  But I was so tempted to order at least 5 other things including the buttermilk biscuits, cornbread, shrimp and grits, dirty rice and oyster po'boy.  Guess I'll be making my way back to Oakland in the near future.

Note: The best time to go to BSK seems to be soon before it closes, like 2:30pm.  Otherwise you can expect at 45 min. wait on weekend mornings.  Also allow 30 min. for your order of chicken and waffles!