Lovely Saturday

On Saturday, N and I took the kids to an artists’ studio sale Linnie was participating in. The artists at the sale were cleaning out their studios and selling pieces at a big discounts.

I have a serious weakness when it comes to art (and let’s be honest–crafting books, cook books, and fabric) and enjoy collecting things that I like. We’ve run out of wall space in our house but I tell myself that when we eventually move it will be nice to already have pieces that means something to us to decorate the house with. (That makes sense, right? Or do I just sound like an unwell person on Hoarders?)

Linnie was selling mostly older pieces and I snagged this original on paper that I liked for $25.  The photo I took of it isn’t very clear but the painting’s colors and texture are nice and it reminds me of a Bodhisattva so, score.

We were the only people at the art sale with small children which was a bit nerve-wracking. E and Mimi were both really good though so after the sale we stopped by two bakeries (one vegan for E, one not) and picked up a few treats.

We had been wanting to visit Les Madeleines so we picked up a few macaroons and tried the  specialty, their Kouing Aman pastries which they’re well-known for. 


The top was crisp and caramelized and the inside was soft and pillowy. It was buttery and sweet with just the right touch of salt. It’s a good thing the bakery is over 30 minutes away from our house because my fitness plans might be seriously derailed if it was more convenient.

If you’re local and you haven’t been to Les Madeleines, go! (Except not today because they’re closed on Mondays 🙂

Dinner at Mahider

Ethiopean food

On Saturday night N and I went out for Ethiopian food. We’ve it a few times before but have been wanting to try Mahider which we’ve heard good things about.

Mahider is located in a strip mall adjoining an African market.  It has that cozy, family-run atmosphere that I like in ethnic restaurants.  The staff was friendly and helpful.

We ordered the meat and veggie combo for two.  It was so much food!  The different dishes are served on a big pancake called injera.  Injera is pretty unique from other style of pancakes/crepes that I’ve had; it’s made from a grain called teff and is spongy and tastes very tangy like a strong soughdough.

With Ethiopian food you use your hands to eat, tearing off small pieces of injera and using them to scoop up the different dishes.  It’s fun to try each dish on its own or different combos.  The side dishes ran the gamut from greens and seasoned vegetables to stewed lentils and some deliciously seasoned chicken.  I liked some things better than others but everything was good.

It was a fun dinner.  N and I both like trying new foods and it was definitely different from the restaurants we tend to go to around here.

Mahider is located at 1465 S State St in Salt Lake City.

Hill Aerospace Museum

On Saturday we took the kids to the Hill Air Force Base Aerospace Museum.  My dad is retired Air Force and I have fond memories of going to air museums and air shows on base when I was a kid.  I knew that E would love looking at the airplanes.

E went nuts for the planes.  The museum has about fifteen planes / helicopters parked outside but it also has two big hangers with more planes and displays inside.  I especially liked the display of WWII pilot helmets.  It was interesting and a fun sort of creepy with all the disembodied mannequin heads.

The museum is just outside the base gates and is open 7 days a week from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.  Everyone is welcome.  Best of all, it’s free!  (Donations accepted.)

There’s a gift shop but not a snack bar.  However, there are several tables outside so you can bring your own lunch and have a picnic underneath the wings of one of the planes.

If you’re planning on visiting, I would keep the weather in mind.  It was HOT on Saturday and while it wasn’t so bad when we were outside with the breeze, the hangers were pretty stuffy.  It must be difficult/costly to fully air condition such large spaces and by the time we were finished looking at everything we were all pretty sweaty.

The museum is in Roy, so it’s a little over an hour’s drive from our house.  On the way up we stopped for lunch at a new-to-us restaurant, Oh Mai.  They serve bánh mì and other Vietnamese-style sandwiches.  It was really good!  N and I got a few different types of sandwiches and shared them.  They even have a Korean-style rib sandwich with kimchi on it.  Yum!

Plum Alley

I’m just now recovering from a nasty 72-hour bug.  The most annoying symptom was having the chills while simultaneously being drenched in sweat.  It came on so suddenly that when I woke up feeling horrible on Sunday morning I didn’t have time to get a substitute teacher for the ladies’ Relief Society class I teach at church so I blundered through my lesson with sweat running down my face and some pretty impressive pit stains on my sweater.  I am (obviously) all class.

But that’s not what this post is supposed to be about; it’s supposed to be about the delicious food pictured above.  On Saturday night N and I went on a date to see Moonrise Kingdom (loved it!) and to try out a new restaurant, Plum Alley. 

Plum Alley is a pan-Asian sister restaurant to The Copper Onion which is one of our favorite places to eat in Salt Lake.  It has the same owners and one of the same chefs. Since N and I both love all sorts of Asian food we were excited to try it out.

The restaurant itself is more casual than The Copper Onion, with several communal tables and seats available along a bar at the window and a bar facing the kitchen.  Strings of colorful lanterns cover the wood-paneled ceiling.

We parked ourselves at the window to people watch and studied the menu.  Everything sounded so good that we went a little overboard.  Happily, the prices are lower than at The Copper Onion so the damage wasn’t that bad.  Most small plates were $5-8 and the large plates were $12-13.

We ordered (clockwise from left): beef rendang, two types of steamed buns: pork shoulder with pickled mustard greens and glazed pork belly), the “Angry Birds” noodle special with duck, and to lighten things up, the papaya salad and the red curry beans with crispy shallots.

Everything was very flavorful.  The server had warned us that the noodle special was spicy but I was still a bit taken a back.  I LOVE spicy food (I’m half-Korean, after all!) but I was still gulping down my water.  The pickle-y papaya salad was the perfect thing to take off some of the heat. 

Everything was good but my favorites were the long beans, which were surprisingly rich with red curry goodness and also perfectly slightly crisp, and the pork belly steamed buns (two for $7).  The bun itself was lovely and pillowy and the pork was succulent and perfect.  If I have any complaints, it might be that the rendang was a little too salty on its own, but eaten with rice ($1 for a small bowl) it was fine.

It can be next to impossible to get into The Copper Onion without a reservation on the weekend so we were kind of perplexed to see people standing outside waiting when you can walk fifty feet down the street and find yourself at the happy place that is Plum Alley.  My guess is that it’s only because word hasn’t gotten around yet.

Anniversary Dinner at Forage

For our anniversary on Saturday N and I went to dinner at Forage.  The food was beautiful and unique and delicious.  A few desserts were a bit too floral and pine-y for my tastes, but that egg dish–oh my goodness.  It’s one of the top 10 things I’ve eaten, EVER.  Mmm…

Wonderful food aside, the best part of the evening was being able to enjoy such a luxuriously long dinner (over two hours) alone with my N.  What a lovely treat!

A Delicious Weekend

We had a lot of great food this weekend. On Friday night I grabbed some Indian food with friends and then on Saturday our family stopped by House of Tibet for the lunch buffet.

It’s a good thing House of Tibet is quite a drive from our house or else we would be there ALL the time. Their chili potatoes and momos are so good and most of their menu is dairy/egg/nut-free so it’s great for E’s food allergies.

And then after all that, we also had some birthday cake 🙂

Happy birthday to my wonderful mother-in-law! We love you!

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue

Last week one of N’s friends at work took him to L&L Hawaiian Barbecue for lunch and N liked it a lot. So on Friday we made the drive to Provo to eat there for dinner–worth it!

I’ve never been to Hawaii and I had never heard of this chain before. But I have eaten a lot of Hawaiian and Korean food (Korean BBQ is a big influence with Hawaiian BBQ) and I thought the food was good. The service was unfriendly (bordering on surly) like it is at some small places but all the food we tried (ribs, chicken, pork) was super tasty. And the portions are HUGE; we had enough leftovers for lunch the next day. We will definitely be going back. If you decide to go, go hungry and early (they close at 8pm).

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue
W. 1230 North & N. Freedom Blvd.
Windsor Park Shopping Ctr.
158 W. 1230 North
Provo, UT

There’s also a Salt Lake location:
(S. 700 East & University Blvd.)
358 S. 700 East

Dinner at Takashi

Right now I’m not eating dairy/eggs/nuts (on the advice of our doctor since I’m nursing Mimi and she’s probably prone to food allergies) which meant that for our anniversary dinner a lot of cuisines were off the table, so to speak. We decided to try out Takashi up in Salt Lake and I’m so glad we did–it was AWESOME.

Left to right from top: pork belly with lotus root and purple sweet potato mash, wagyu beef nikumaki, clams with glass noodles in coconut curry, hamachi with jalapenos, the Imagine (tuna) and Spider (soft-shell crab) rolls, AND salmon tataki with some sort of citrus sauce that I would gladly bathe in. (Yeah, we went a little nuts.)

It was an excellent meal. No exaggeration, the wagyu nikumaki was one of the ten most delicious things I’ve eaten IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. The beef was super tender and intensely-flavored, not to mention perfectly grilled, and the thin slices of vegetables it was wrapped around were the perfect crunchy counterpoint. It’s a good thing it came with six pieces because ten years of wedded bliss aside, I’m pretty sure the fight for the last roll could have gotten pretty ugly. But fortunately such crises were avoided and we had a fantastic meal.

If you find yourself in Salt Lake City and like Japanese food I wholeheartedly recommend Takashi. Price-wise it’s more of a special-occasion place (at least for us) but it’s definitely worth checking out if you get the chance.

Haircuts and Hotpots

Yesterday was my sister-in-law Miranda’s birthday so we made a morning of it and went and got haircuts and then had lunch.

My hair had grown past the middle of my back and was starting to annoy me. It felt heavy and when I went to bed I felt a bit strangled by it laying around my neck. So I cut a bunch of it off and added some bangs.

My head feels ten pounds lighter! I keep whipping my head around and swishing my hair from side to side, enjoying the feeling of not being weighed down. I’m pretty happy I made the change before the hot weather gets here.

Afterward then we stopped by Shabu Shabu House in Orem for lunch. I had eaten sushi there before but this time we had shabu shabu which was fun and tasty. Years and years ago when I saw shabu shabu cooking on Japanese Iron Chef I wanted to try it and so when N and I lived in Korea the summer after we got married we had it a couple of times and I became a fan.

Even though I’ve had shabu shabu before I was a little rusty on the specifics but the helpful waiter walked us through seasoning the broth and the cooking times of each ingredient. If you’ve never tried shabu shabu it might be a little intimidating the first time you go, but don’t worry, it’s basically like fondue and fun and easy to eat.

This place is great–my only fear is that it will go out of business as a lot of new restaurants do. Do your part to support great non-chain restaurants in Utah County and check it out!

Birthday Dinner

We’re having a great time here in Pusan but sadly I haven’t figured out a way to download pictures from my camera yet.

But before we left I uploaded some pictures of the birthday dinner N treated me to while we were in Vegas. It was the first time I’d been to a schmancy French restaurant and it was delicious.

Mussel soup

Basil langoustine fritter

Roast Chicken Thai-curry style

The most adorable selection of tarts EVER

I’d like to think that the hours I’ve invested watching Top Chef adequately prepared me to fully appreciate the food which was delicious. I don’t think I embarrassed myself but then again I did keep whipping out my camera to take photos of the food which is pretty tacky. (I told myself that since it was Vegas no one cared–they’ve probably seen a lot worst.) I just wanted to document the occasion because it was such a rare treat.

Hopefully I’ll located a memory card reader and have some pictures to share sometime soon!