I was in such a rush during my last few weeks in LA that I’m way behind in posts. So instead, leftovers:

Broken rice, or cơm tấm: imperfect bits that perfectly absorb all the flavors of fragrant, charbroiled meats.

Nem nuong. I like assembling my own food.

Pumpkin desserts. This pumpkin cheesecake was from Waterloo & City.

I made turnip cake for the first time. None of the anxiety of waiting and wondering if the turnip cart lady will do an appropriate job frying the cakes (these ones hadn’t been flipped over yet so not to worry).

I like braising oxtail.

Why are the simplest hamburgers the best? From the Habit in Fullerton.

Carne asada fries from My Taco in Highland Park. We also had nachos with carnitas and tacos, of course.

Lots of cocktails, including a mai tai from Trader Vic’s. Other LA bars that make great drinks: the Varnish, the Association, Tar Pit, Villains Tavern, Caña Rum Bar and the good old stand-by, Hungry Cat.

Comfort food from my favorite place to open in the last year or so. I don’t even know what it’s called but my parents took me here twice. It’s on the border of Montebello and Monterey Park on Garfield. They have the best rice porridge and there are always lines outside on the weekend. I would take this place over dim sum any day. The Hong Kong style milk tea is awesome.

Just one storefront over is Taihei, my friend’s dad’s Japanese restaurant. Her dad is hilarious (Ann acts as translator) and I trust him to make me things that I will like. It’s a simple family restaurant, but they are very conscientious about doing things well.

The goofiest and most ingenious party I’ve been to all year. Obsessed with the Vietnamese/Louisiana crab shack hybrid, Jen hosted a night of crab, shrimp, corn, sausage and potatoes boiled in Old Bay seasoning. We had to eat everything off the table. No plates, no utensils. Lots of beer. Very easy clean-up, when you use a plastic tablecloth.

First attempt at making macarons. It was supposed to be a group effort, but because my sister is such a good baker, I let her do all the work.

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