yoga, art, and hotdogs

Instead of just the weekend, I’m going to cover everything I did this week… this could be quite long. I’m sure I’ll eventually get tired of doing these posts, the whole “kissing and telling” aspect of it is already beginning to turn me off.

//The Week


I’m done with physics finally after having a test on monday, then a final on thursday in the same class. I find it cool that I can apply the light and lenses chapter to photography, with the most obvious application being polarizing filters.

I still have to finish up math, which ends on the 17th. After that I’m going to SF for a couple days to check things out. If you’re in SF, or have recommendations on what to do whether it be tech meetups, events, places to eat, or things to see, let me know. (tweet at me)

-East Side King’s new cold ramen


Went to ESK Hole in the Wall to meet up with Deana and to take pictures of their new ramen specials. Honestly, despite all the hype of an ESK opening up near campus, I didn’t really like the food at the hole in the wall. I know I’m being a tough critic, their fried chicken is indeed tasty… but the ramen and the rest of the menu has always been sort of a miss with me. The problem may be that there’s just too much quirkiness going on without getting down the fundamentals first.

So the new cold ramen that they’re presenting this week are the best specials I’ve had at ESK hole in the wall. Most of the time I recommend eating there only if you’re in between class or close to campus, but I actually think these new ramen are worth taking a drive for.

-Dumpling happiness

dumpling happiness

Dumpling happiness is a food trailer located right outside Whislers, which is an up and coming bar on the East Side. The bar itself is a mixed bag, in the sense that their cocktails are pretty bad, and the crowd is full of Rainey St. yuppy transplants, but it’s quite a cool looking place where you can get a really tall pour of straight liquor for 6~ bucks(which is average).

The trailer apparently has been around for a while, just in other locations in Austin. Which leads me to this point: It’s not worth driving to eat at a trailer in Austin.  Why? You have to eat outside, it’s more expensive than a regular restaurant, and they’re generally really inconstant. Of course there are exceptions… actually I can’t think of any right now.

To put it straight, I think the dumplings taste good. I like the Pork and Ginger since the filling is very soft and tends to melt in your mouth sort of like a soup dumpling. I would also recommend the Glass Gyoza which is a pork dumpling wrapped in chicken skin and fried. The rest I don’t really care for. I respect that they have black vinegar available, never trust a dumpling place that doesn’t have vinegar. 

I know a lot of my friends have already tried this place and dismissed it for being too expensive(to get full you’d probably have to spend $14+ bucks). The thing is, the location is really convenient which is the whole point of a trailer in the first place. You have to admit it’s smart as a business owner to place yourself at a bar full of drunk yuppies with lots of cash that are feeling adventurous since they’re finally getting out to the east side. The cook is hustling, putting forward a decent product with grounded roots. And for that I give this place a thumbs up.

-@dennis_qian visiting


For lack of an image of this, here’s a picture of my bike on the Metro Rail. Which is California-esque anyways.

One of my friends from high school came to Austin from California on Thursday. When he brought the trip up I told him I’d be available for dinner, blah blah blah. Turns out I had a physics test from 7-10pm on the only day he was visiting. I have to get more organized… especially when it comes to friends making trips to my city. It’s horrible but I always intend on crashing at friends’ places when I visit, and I’m always scatter brained with people visit me.

Dennis happens to be a developer(Github), and one that I respect very much. It was sobering talking to him about the job market for programmers. It’s not like dream jobs are handed to you on a silver platter, you have to at least make some effort. The biggest point he made was relying on the fact that a nice cushy, entry level corporate job is waiting for you incase you fail is the wrong mindset to be in. It’s all about the hustle.

By the way, as of today I’ve made headway on Flickr. It’s crunch time to improve my skills before I meet up with the team later this Summer. And for you critics… saying “Wait isn’t Flickr huge and owned by Yahoo?” Photography is my passion, and Flickr has been my favorite photo sharing website for 6 years… to be able to work on the product and have users that I adore and admire would be a dream. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that’s my dream job.

Props to Dennis for landing another job in SF.

P.S There’s probably a reason why I don’t hang out with random people from high school anymore unless they’re close friends. I hate talking about prom(it went pretty bad for me) and reminiscing about those days makes me immediately want to down as much alcohol as possible pronto. I had a terrible hangover on Friday.

-Mission Hotdogs


Oh and here’s a food stand called Mission hotdogs, I can’t find them on yelp because they’re quite new, but I really liked the one I got with green papaya salad on top. It was $5, and beat the hell out of Frank’s hotdogs which are about $9. You can find the cart located outside of The Brixton Thursday-Friday night.

-The Weekend:

For some reason Dennis woke me up at 7am, despite me going to sleep at 5am, still drunk, in this period of lack of sleep/hangover we managed to get food at Habanero which is still the most consistently good Mexican/Tex-Mex place in Austin. And after we went to Summermoon Cafe… where apparently the Americano’s come with 3 shots of espresso on the regular. Started the weekend both wired and tired.

Laid around the house in this zombie like state all day, and eventually kicked myself into going to a yoga event which I probably would have never gone to:


When I tell most people about this type of yoga… they’re like that’s yoga? Well apparently so, if you’re interested in coming here’s the facebook group:

While watching the 3rd season of Portlandia, there’s a scene where someone makes the comment, “Maybe everyone’s just cropping out the sadness.” referring to people online who just instagram or post the fun bits so Here’s me… struggling Mandy’s expression is… well… yeah.

-Random Art


Headed downtown via metro Rail to check out some art exhibits I saw on Facebook. One of which was at Farewell Books, which was formally known as Domy Books. 

As a guy who hasn’t studied art and is still new to the contemporary art scene… I really don’t have much to say about the exhibit named “Jungle.”


What I did find interesting though, was this book called Shoot: Photography of the Moment which has photos that exemplify a candid style of photography I hope to work towards… which is pretty challenging if you think about it since in order to have interesting candid pictures, you have to live an interesting life yourself. 

If you’re in Austin and you’re bored, going to Farewell Books, grabbing an espresso from Flat Track Coffee, and taking a look at the art and their book selection sounds like a fine plan to me.


The second was located at Mass Gallery which I couldn’t find for the life of me. It’s located in the same complex as Mettle which is a new restaurant by the same people who own La Condessa and Sway. Haven’t ate there yet, but it looked like a poppin’ joint from the outside.

They were showing some films that apparently made a commentary on modern social media. I didn’t understand the 2 I saw, and the room was too crowded to go in.

-Ryan’s Birthday party


Back at the house, a bunch of my roomate’s friends came by most of whom are in the service and food industry. Had some tasty drinks, grilled food, and the most amazing salsa I’ve ever had.


Afterwards they went downtown, I went to the arcade to play street fighter for a bit, then headed downtown to join them at The Eastern. Lester was in attendance. Wesley, who now works as a bartender at The Jackalope, asked, “Patrick, do you want to go Swimming?”

“Yeah I’m down.”


Normally if you said that you swam in someone’s apartment complex at 3am, it doesn’t seem that out of the ordinary. Well… yeah, I hope this was ordinary so it happens more.

floating vibes

Fun people. Good times.



I played volleyball for the first time in years. I’ve only played a total of 3-4 times in my whole life, at least I got the ball over the net a few times and got all my serves(noob underhand style) inbounds. The house is now covered with sand, sorry roomies.

-Interesting posts:

Well if you’ve already made it down here in the post, why not indulge in interesting articles I’ve found over the week.


So yeah that was this week.

The Dojo, Austin Izakaya Restaurant

I just went back tonight… a Saturday, during what should have been “peak” hours the food and experience wasn’t good at all. Service was okay, but man that food was terrible. 

Disclaimer: The following review was for the soft opening.


With all the new restaurant openings and food coming into Austin, the ONE thing that I wanted to see the most was a late night Izakaya place. (Picture above was taken at Kenka in New York.)

But why this in particular?

One of the things that I enjoy the most when visiting my friends in Cali, NY, or even Las Vegas for that matter, is going out late at night to an izakaya with a relatively large group of friends, drinking an obscene amount of beer and sake, playing drinking games, and eating a wide assortment of tasty “tapas” styled dishes which I can share with everyone on the table. It’s just fun.

I’m not an expert on Japanese food, I’ve just always wanted to be able to do the same thing in Austin… and now thanks to this place I can.

Even with the influx of new Japanese places here in Austin, The Dojo is unique since it closes at 3AM on weekends and 2AM on other days. That’s pretty awesome.

//Interior and Service:


First thing that stands out when you walk in is the size of the place. It’s really large and spacious, which is sort of different than the other izakayas that I’ve been to.

When I first found out they were going to have teppanyaki (Benhihana style with the chef that does all the knife tricks) I was VERY worried. It seems like they were trying to attempt way too many things at the same time. But the teppanyaki tables are hidden away from the main restaurant, which is nice since having that in the middle of the restaurant would have been an annoying distraction for any of the other tables not doing it.

They have a really inviting bar in the middle of the restaurant. I think it’s perfect for when you’re just going with 1 other person. I didn’t see bar hooks to put your bags (key detail in my opinion), but oddly enough… there are electric outlets at almost every other seat which means you can probably camp out here with your ipad or laptop for a quite a while.

Service was awesome. Our server was comfortable explaining the dishes and the whole concept of the restaurant. This didn’t feel like Michi where I felt like I had to actually explain what food I was ordering to our waitress…



SO is this just another place trying to jump on the ramen bandwagon? Lets see.

The noodles seemed inconsistent among everyone at my table. Mine were overcooked. I think they made a good choice with the noodles… just need to work on the timing.

Egg was undercooked and had mushy whites in the center.

I don’t think the eggs here will ever be as good as Tatsuya’s since they don’t have the chashu juice to cook theirs in, but at least they could be well cooked.

One could say that the broth lacks flavor in comparison to Tatsuya and even Daruma(which is considered to be light), but I think it was acceptable for a Miso broth, you have to keep in mind that Tatsuya’s miso ramen is actually a Tonkotsu broth with miso in it.

I like that Austin is finally reaching a point where we can have a choice for different styles of Ramen. If you don’t like the intense fattiness of Tatsuya’s tonkotsu broth, you can go to either The Dojo or Daruma  if you still want a noodle soup that has interesting toppings and playfulness.

The chashu pork was really good, very similar to Totto in NY.

I think the temperatures in the ramen need to be tweaked so that the toppings, cold egg, and hot ramen work together, as it stands right now… they’re totally off. I don’t know how this is done, but some other places(tatsuya and ramen shops in other cities) have figured it out so it’s possible. It’s also worth noting that I Daruma also lacks this subtle control of temperature.

I think the broth was a tad too hot at first, but after the broth cooled down a bit it was tasted quite amazing with the corn.

There are 2 ramen sizes which is convenient if you’re going to try more stuff. The small comes with 1 piece of chashu, and the large has 2. Just don’t be a pansy and get the large bowl on your first visit to see what it’s all about. I would recommend adding corn ontop.

Here’s the current ramen tier for Austin:

Tatsuya > Daruma == The Dojo > Musashino > Michi > Kome

It’s kind of weird that Kome’s ramen hasn’t gotten better… despite them owning Daruma as well. Hmm. Also I haven’t been to any of the places in Cedar Park yet.


I didn’t take a picture of the menu so I forgot some dish names…

The good:



I actually like The Dojo’s version of fried chicken… more than East Side Kings (blasphemy I know). 1 order has enough pieces so that 5 people can each have 1 piece.

-Yaki Tsukune – Juicy chicken meat balls with a quail egg, quite nice, but perhaps it can have more flavor and be easier to share with more people.

-Fried potato croquette – you get 2 of these for 3 bucks!

-Tuna Avocado Salad –


A bowl of avo and fresh tuna mixed up, quite an honest portion. Could be made better with some crispy rice.

-Assorted Tempura’d Vegetables(forgot name) – A variety of tempura’d veggies. I really like that they included shishito peppers into the mix.

-Cocktails – I actually enjoyed the cucumber drink and the yopuri lemon. I don’t know about the sugar rim on the yopuri cocktail, but the kick of ginger along with the lemon was very pleasant.

Not so great:
-Cucumber Salad (really bland and unmarinated, compare the flavor of this to cucumber kimchi at any of the Korean markets here)
-Kimchi Fried Rice – I actually thought this packed a lot of flavor due to the charred bits, but for the sake of trusting the Korean girl sitting at my table who knows more about such things, I’ll have to default to her opinion that it wasn’t good.
-Drunken Clams – Had an intense sake flavor, but I’m not sure about this dish being on the menu. Didn’t seem substantial enough, and might possibly be too much effort to produce for such little yield.


-Pitchers of beer: I love that the beer comes in a chilled glass, but ordering it by the bottle gets a little expensive and tedious in my opinion. The convivial spirit of the place would be improved if people got either larger mugs of beer or pitchers.

-Beer selection: While they have all the standard Japanese import beer, I think they should explore local options. Perhaps ABW Peacemaker, Live Oak Hefewizen, and 512 Wit, Ommegang (from NY) Hennepin, and even Rogness Yogi(for its gingery flavor) should be added to the list.

-Dishes that are easier to share amongst 4~ people – Perhaps a yakitori sampler?

-More daring dishes – I want to see heart, liver… that stuff Anthony Bourdain would want to come in and eat. Ya know? I really want to come in and find dishes such as collar bone or more types of yakitori on the menu. I think Austin is ready to actually have the good stuff.

-Ramen wait time – despite the restaurant being almost totally empty, our ramen took a long time to come out, and the quality was inconsistent among all of us. Sort of a warning sign.

//Crazy Ideas that could make this place THE SPOT.

-Beer tower: I know that it seems that I just want more beer… but yeah if they had that crazy glowing lamp beer tower that places such as Mad For Chicken has in NY. It could create quite the buzz.

-Karaage bucket: Yeah. I know this is really what all of us want. Make it happen.

-Cut the ramen entirely:. I know this sounds crazy, as they put a lot of work into the recipe. But if they just let go of this crazy time intensive dish and focused more on their other offerings, it would really help the restaurant.

Larger tables: I really want to see more 6-8 seaters… that sounds like a good time.


Initially I thought there was no way a restaurant could handle teppanyaki, ramen, izakaya, and binchotan all at once… but The Dojo might be able to do it. I fear that they will run into a ton of problems as more people come into the restaurant, but I’m hopeful they’ll figure it out and do well in the future.

This is a great place to go to with a party of about 4~ people (most tables are 4 seaters) and maybe even a great spot to go with just 1 friend in which case I recommend sitting at the bar.

As for price this place isn’t cheap, but I feel like it’s of good value. Portion sizes are humble and honest.

  • Apps – 3$~
  • Main dishes – $6-8
  • Ramen – small $6/ large $8, (toppings are needed)
  • Drinks – Beer and cocktails about $4

An average person would probably get 1-2 apps, 2 main dishes, and 2 drinks. Keep in mind that you should order in the spirit of sharing your dishes with the table.

Eating and drinking here with friends then going to Pinballz Arcade or karaoke which are really close by to the place would probably be an ideal night for me!

Score: 7/10

Here’s a link to their facebook page:


Yup, this is who we are. Check out my friends stuff at and


Boston and Cambridge City Guide

charles river

I spent 3 months living in Boston during last Summer. Specifically, I lived near Kendall Square and worked on the MIT campus, so a lot of my recommendations are close to there. However, Boston/Cambridge are very very small, you can actually walk from Harvard all the way to the east coast of boston with very little effort.

I know I’m missing pictures, but I’m quite sure I have them for all the places listed. Just give me some time to get those up.

**Guide after the jump…**

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East Side King – The Grackle Reopening

East Side King – The Grakle reopening.

east side king - the grackle

Here’s a little history lesson for yall. (Hopefully this is accurate, and sorry for the long rant!)

I’m going to make the assumption that if you live in Austin you have heard of East Side Kings.

paul qui

It’s the brainchild of Paul Qui, pretty much our most popular celebrity chef, and the original location at The Liberty bar has been featured on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations.

east side kings - the grackle

Currently, there are 4 East Side Kings, which is comprised of 3 stationary trailers next to bars on East 6th St. and one mobile trailer which they use for special events and catering.

The first East Side King location is at The Liberty Bar, which features pork belly buns, fried chicken (karaage), and beet fries.


The 2nd location, which is now at The Grackle has gone through a lot of iterations over the past 4 years. At first it was located on Rainey St, and they served wonderful yakitori(Japanese shishkababs).

The thing is business wasn’t that great at that location, so they relocated to the East side where did away with the skewers, and had a menu of grilled meat which was similarly prepared, but not as fun to eat. I wasn’t a fan of this change, and I guess the people of Austin weren’t too impressed either as the menu has gone through a revision, which I will go over in a little bit (wait a sec!).

sous vide pork belly

The 3rd location is at Shangrila, which used to serve pretty mediocre buns until they redid their menu to feature AMAZING dishes, including sous vide pork belly and tounge, the best damn shrimp tacos I’ve ever had, and pho buns(that actually work and taste great!).


Onto the preview of the new Grackle menu.

Here’s a link to it

Before I went I discussed it with my friend Jasmin who works for Food & Wine in NY. Immediately we decided that the tongue sando and the quail were the most interesting. I decided to get the mackerel just to see if they did it right, and also picked up the broccoli as well to get some veggies in.


Uzura – Quail and roasted edamame with shrimp paste

This dish is quite tasty, but I really don’t think it’s worth 12 bucks. First of all quail is really tiny… and the edmame/shrimp paste combo, while filling… doesn’t really pair well with the quail overall. Mint, even though not listed on the menu, seemed to be the strongest flavor in this dish to me. Not sure about this one!


Panko fried beef tongue in brioche, kewpie mayo, karashi mustard, served with shira-ae.

First bite into the buns is quite surprising and nice since “karashi mustard” actually tastes a lot like wasabi. Shira-ae is a mashed tofu salad, which kind of pairs nicely with the bun, but in my opinion it doesn’t offer much flavor or add to the dish at all except for adding a smooth mushy texture which contrasts to the crunch of the panko-breaded tongue. As you eat more of the bun, I sort of got the feeling that the tongue could have been more fatty and dense, but this is probably a problem with the beef tongue they had, and not them.

The thing is, the beed tongue at their other location is always pretty darn good and moist. Overall I think this dish is worth it since it’s interesting, and provides a quite a bit of flavor and textures.

saba don

Saba Don – Mackerel, beni shoga, and furikake on rice.

This dish is indeed nice. It’s a great piece of grilled fatty fish with the skin still on. The “beni shoga” pickled ginger is a no brainer addition to the dish, as it adds a ton of flavors that cut the fattiness of mackerel very well. “furikake” is that seaweed  sesame seasoning that you can get at Chinese food marts, it’s a good addition cause it adds a nice bit of salt which goes a long way with the fatty fish. This is PERFECT drunk food.

I do have some complaints about this dish though. It’s advertised as a “don” which in my opinion should be a rice bowl with stuff on top. I really believe they should get some larger styrofoam or plastic bowls, fill them with rice a lot of rice, and then top it off with the mackerel and other toppings. This for one will fill up the person more eating it, and give a better presentation of the dish overall. Maybe add some lemon on top! Or something!


Broccoli Pop – with sweet chili miso

Really flavorful grilled broccoli, would eat again.

-A Side Note…


As I sat down I noticed some really pretty light, as well as a really fashionable girl.


Turns out it was Deana! Who manages all the social media for East Side Kings.


Gettin down to business! Ooh ooh!


Again this is just a preview since I’ve only had 4 out of the many dishes that they have. Overall I think the new menu at ESK – The Grackle is refreshing, but it still needs some tweaking. The ability to get a nice piece of fried mackerel after a night of drinking downtown is an unbelievable thought. (Also this place is like 3 blocks away from my coworking space).

ramen tatsuya

I don’t know how far my word goes for food/ ramen, but this place is amazing.

I literally have knots in my stomach from my excitement for going back to this place to try more, it was that good.

What about Austin’s other offerings?

  • Michi Ramen? Trash. You expect me to finish an entire bowl of tasteless lard? You call this tonkotsu?
  • Musashino? bleh. flabby tasteless pork, unevenly cooked noodles, and tasteless broth
  • Kome? LOL

I’ve only been one time, but in my honest opinion it’s on par with the best ramen in America(Ippudo/Totto in NY, and Monta in Las Vegas).

Before arriving I was debating between the tonkotsu and miso ramen. I ended up ordering a salad, the original tonkotsu, with an extra egg, and something they call a “corn bomber” which is basically a nub of butter with corn in it.


The dishes come out amazingly fast. I would say it only took 10-15 minutes before our dishes started to come out.

Taste / mouth feel

The salad is a great mix of shredded carrot, dikon, and red cabbage with a nice vinaigrette. Perfect for getting your tastebuds going.

For the ramen itself… hmm where do we start.

tonkotsu ramen - ramen tatsuya

The first thing I check out is if the temperature of the dish is right. What do I mean by that? Well you know when you cook instant ramen at home.. and you eat it piping hot right off the stove and you end up burning your mouth? That’s way too hot. Ramen should be of a comfortable warmth, but not hot. 

Actually the real first thing is…

Is you egg soft boiled and cold in the middle? If not, you’re at the wrong place.

There should be a distinct difference in between the temperature of the broth, the temperature of the noodles, the middle of the egg, and the butter if you have it in your ramen. In my limited experience, the noodles should be the most warm, with the broth relatively luke warm. Then the egg and the butter should be slightly cold, offering you a mix of temperatures when you eat it. Literally stick your tongue into the yolk of the egg after getting a portion of noodles/broth in your mouth… it’s quite the experience. Also notice how the coolness of the butter plays with the warmth of the broth, it’s pretty good too.

The noodles should slightly bouncy, and may require a pull upwards (raising your chopsticks above the bowl) which does a few things. It makes a perfect bite sized portion, makes the noodles of a comfortable temperature, and gets the noodles in perfect order to *slurp* up, which should be emphasized.

Am I going overboard? No, since ramen is probably the greatest thing on Earth if done right. And these guys do a great job. Think of a bowl of ramen like any other dish in the world of gastronomy… there should be interesting things, interplay between flavors and temperatures… and most important umami. You need to go “Ahh…” after you eat it.

//One thing though.

Cashier girl? Great. Asian dude? Cool. Our server? REALLY BAD. He had no idea what the fuck was going on. I ordered a kae-dama, extra noodles and he put in a whole order for a tsukumen ramen. If they want to create a legitimate ramen experience, they need to foster an environment full of “Irahsai!!” and “SUMIMASEN KAE DAMA ONEGAISHIMASU.” You have to make us ABC Asians feel uncomfortable, like we have something we need to learn about traditional culture when we go to your place.

In Texas we have a saying that goes “Well that’s all we have here…” when it comes to a lot of Asian food. But this place isn’t a compromise… it’s really fucking good.

On the way back the first thought in my head was, “When will I be hungry next? I want to try x, x, and x on their menu…” Also.. I just wanted to yell out my window at random people to tell them about this place. “HEY YOU ASIAN LADY AT THE BUS STOP. WE FINALLY HAVE ARAMEN PLACE HERE IN AUSTIN!”

monthly ping


//(Warning) This post was intended for my tumblr which is usually a lot more raw/personal than I’m willing to let out into the public. If you find anything confusing, vulgar, or offensive just keep that in mind. 

Recently I’ve been thinking about blogging something.

Like, I’ve been getting this little notion of having to do a write up, but nothing has come to fruition.

Now, after reading a bunch of my friends’ blogs, which are all quite good I must say, I’m going to channel their energy to finally write an update. Thanks friends.

Life is really good. Like… really really good.

I ride my bicycle, see new things, run into interesting people, and eat yummy food everyday.

Proof? Below is a mix of pictures from Austin and SF taken in the last 2 weeks. They’re taken with a special camera… and it’s not micro 4/3.


on top

When people ask me “How are you doing?”

I tend to reply now.. “Good, really good actually.”

“Why? What’s new?”

“I have a bicycle.”

They tend to not understand this statement. But believe me… my bicycle has changed my life entirely.

It’s not like a religious thing or a scam. It’s a fucking bicycle for fucks sake. You buy one, probably off craigslist, and if you like it you can keep it, if you don’t you can sell it. What are the draw backs of getting addicted?

Hmm… exercise… less gas usage… any cons? Iono yo.

-New things

cal train

I recently took a trip to San Francisco. It was absolutely flipping amazing.

The weather for one… was a solid “Hmm maybe I should bring a jacket.” 70 average during the day, 55 average at night. Compare that to the 100 -> 70 weather we have here in Austin… jeeze. As a lover of public transport, I had a great time figuring out how to get around the city. The pic above is of the Cal Train which can take you from SF to San Jose, which I thought was the coolest thing ever.

omada health

To be honest I really had my heart set on moving to New York after graduation, and even though my brother told me that SF was “different than any other place on Earth and amazing for people in tech” I didn’t want to believe him. Well… it turns out he was right. There’s just something about the people in San Fran. There’s just this air of doing things just cause it’s an awesome idea, and designing tech oriented businesses to help people that you can’t find anywhere. People in Austin have warned me about the viciousness of the Valley when it comes to startups. It’s not viciousness… really… it’s just people who are hungry for change, and will be up for doing anything remotely awesome. They are not afraid of failure, which they actually look to as a badge of honor, and because of that the products just turn out better. In my honest opinion, cities such as New York, Boston, and Austin will never be able to catch up to Silicon Valley.


I’m just feeling this new fire for technology and software. And I have no idea where this is coming from. I hated this shit 2 months ago. Now it’s time to play catch up with the people who are already legit and have been in the game for years. The pic above is of a company called Omada Health, who are solving type 2 diabetes with a 16 week program designed with Ruby on Rails. I met a couple of the guys at Nerd Beer, which is one of the many many tech meetups in the SF area. Props to my brother to getting me an invite…

And yeah, I did do a spontaneous interview with Omada... I think I did okay? Actually I didn’t do that great. heh.

-Interesting people

mission workshop

I went to Mission Workshop, which is a bicycle bag manufacturer in San Francisco. Their store is really cool since they actually ship all their orders from this large table in the store front. It turns out I learned a ton about photo printing from this guy since they had a fantastic photo exhibit up in the store, what a weird turn of events.

biking betties

Back in Austin, I went over to Fast Folks, which is a fixed gear/single speed bicycle boutique, to buy a small lock. I couldn’t have chose a better time since they were shooting for their 2013 calendar which features a ridiculously hot girl + bike for each month of the year. I’m sold.


She has a Cinelli frame and a Mission Workshop backpack. I’m in love @_@


Apparently they produce a zine! I think it would be amazing to be in one of those.


Most legit cyclist I’ve met. The bike repairmen at Mellow Johnnies were asking this guy for tips… heh


Fellow Leica user in San Fran:).

-Yummy food


Katanaya, one of the most famous places to get ramen in SF. To be honest it was only okay. I ordered the Katanaya ramen, which was decent… but not the greatest. 3/5? My brother and I tried to go to Orenchi Ramen in Sunnyvale, but there were 25 parties ahead of us so we couldn’t eat there. Insane.

four barrell

As I was walking along in Mission, the most hipster part of SF, I came across this really huge ass cafe with a ton of bikes outside. Yeah… it was pretty cool inside. They don’t have wifi or power outlets! That shit is too mainstream.


Still wondering around Mission, a very familiar smell came to my nose. It was that of a legit bar. I actually passed this place twice, and on the 2nd time decided… why the fuck would I not go in?

I asked for a local IPA… and guess what, Racer 5 by Bear Republic is local in California, which has been one of my favorite beers for the past year. SO COOL.


I rented bikes with my friend Hoan, which we took from 1 neighbor hood the next and back. We had some extra time, so we decided to take a hill for fun, and circle around.. and when we did we saw Absinthe, which was a recommendation from my dear friend Eve. We popped in for a couple drinks and oysters. It was divine!

bacon chicken salad

yumz. Cenote is definitely my new favorite place cafe in Austin. Tasty espresso, beer, amazing sandwiches… and you KNOW a place is going to be good if you see 2+ Surly’s out in front. It takes a certain mentality to own a Surly(LOL).

Mediterranean panini @ hot mama's

This sandwich was surprisingly good. Imagine a muffaletta but daintier and more elegant.

hot mamas cafe

Outside there was a group of people doing hoola hooping. Old men, young women, and kids too. I ended up ordering a custom hoola hoop for my mom.

-My photography

paris texas

The thing is… I think my photography is finally starting to change.

I’m becoming more comfortable with who I am as a person, and it is really showing through my pictures. In the past I would be scared if someone noticed me taking a picture, but now I take it for what is and run with it.


When I notice I’m in an environment where people are hostile to me taking their picture, I leave, and never come back. Fuck them. But recently most people have been really open to me and my pictures.

mirrorball satelite

Again, I really want my images to become more raw… to reveal more and more about who I am on the inside. I went to Spider House to grab some food at love balls, which as a bit meh. There was an awesome punk rock band called Mikey and the Drags… I could only imagine what it would be like to listen to their music while biking. There were these 2 cute asian girls smoking outside… and it turns out one performed later in the night and I missed out. What a bummer!


So yeah… there you have it, my life in a nutshell.

The kicker is that I find myself alone at night and it kind of sucks.



And as a sort of take away from this post… life is absolutely flipping amazing. It’s beautiful, and the subtleties go on to no end. Don’t be comfortable where you are. Keep exploring and find new things. Escape the cycle.

Paul Qui

dat paul qui

I passed by East Side King’s mobile trailer while biking downtown, and I stopped by for a taste test. But it turned out Paul Qui was catering for a private event.

He’s just such a humble and nice guy, gotta love him. He truly deserves his title of Top Chef Austin, and all of the recent fame that he’s been getting.

Winter with the Olympus PEN

I’m not updating this site a lot, I don’t know why. Maybe I don’t think my life is interesting enough to share anymore. Hum.

Anyways I took a trip to California during the week of Christmas. I was with family most of the time, and I had a really good time.

santa cruz
We rented a beach house for the extended family to stay at.


If I could go back and take this shot again, I would have used a shallower depth of field to make it more dreamy. I still think the image captures the mood right… nothing like feeling the waves come in and out with your toes.


Here’s my niece, Alexi, she was quite the entertainment for the whole trip. Very bossy kid.

phil's fish market cioppino

We went to Phil’s Fish Market, famous for being on Bobby Flay’s show Throwdown for their cioppino. I mean… what more could you ask for, a very hearty tomato based soup totally loaded with fresh seafood.



Some of us went to a the aquarium in Santa Cruz. It was aiight.

peeking interest

A lady on her cellphone with a cute dog, in the tourist town next to the aquarium.

Salt and Pepper Crab at R&G Lounge. Apparently this place gets packed very fast for lunch and dinner, so get there early, like around 11AM for lunch or 5PM for dinner. We actually just stopped in to try this dish only, which was totally worth it. The crab, which has a ton of meat, is coated in a very light and flavorful batter. Quite delicious =P.



Near the end of the trip we went to San Fran’s Japanese garden, which is a lot more beautiful than Houston’s in my opinion.


Japanese Maple is so pretty!


Shadows of leaves on a walking bridge.


A friend of mine recommended a Korean restaurant called “Together” which we frequented for pork hot pots and other late night fried goods. Their menu is mostly in Korean, so I naturally only could recognize a very small amount of the items, and one happened to be grilled mackerel. One day I got it and I never looked back.

Growing up, I really didn’t understand why my family enjoyed whole fish so much. Compared to all of the salty junk food that you eat as a child growing in America, steamed or broiled fish seems quite bland, and you have to deal with all of those little bones… so why bother?

It’s just an inherently gastronomic food. You have a contrast between the crispy skin and tender meat underneath. Mackerel is usually on the fatty side, so you’ll tend to get a really rich fat flavor, which you’ll then cut with a citrus component such as lemon. Different parts of the fish have unique textures… and if you get the head you can dig into some nice eye and cheek meat. There is a slight learning curve at first when you’re picking it apart, but overall it’s just a complete package that offers a balance of very extreme flavors and textures.

The best part is you don’t have to feel guilty when you eat mackerel since mackerel is known for having a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, and protein.

I really think that a lot of us college kids in America overlook fish, and maybe we should have it more often as it’s not very expensive, nutritious, widely available at local restaurants, and it’s simply delicious.

I tend to see grilled/broiled mackerel at Korean and Japanese restaurants, which it might also be called “hokke.”

Locations in Austin that I know serve this:

  • Together Korean Restaurant on Lamar (next door to Thanh Nhi)
  • Korea House on Research Blvd.