getty center and matsuri

the getty center is gorgeous.

getty center

the garden is really pretty.

getty center garden

pretty getty

for dinner, we went to matsuri, a japanese restaurant really close to caltech. this was my third time going there. i remember the first time i went there, i didn’t like it that much because the tables for two people are much too close together. if you have more people, it is okay though. the food is generally pretty good, but a little more expensive. dinner is probably around $15-20 per person. we started with two appetizers, vegetable croquettes and shrimp tempura.


these croquettes were excellent. very delicious and smooth inside with a very nice crispy, well-fried exterior. these are probably my favorite item at this restaurant.

shrimp tempura

the tempura here is also excellent. nice and light and crispy. some places have much heavier tempura batter, which is not as tasty.

this time i had the tempura and sashimi combo:

tempura and sashimi
this was a very excellent choice. the fish here is very fresh and delicious. my brother had a sushi combination plate:


he said is was very good. my parents and jen had some chicken and beef teriyaki, which they said was not very good. the chicken was kind of dry and the beef was overcooked.

i think matsuri has some really good sushi, tempura, and croquettes, but for things like chicken and beef teriyaki, it’s not very good and kind of expensive. the service is not bad. the only other thing is the two-person tables are too close for comfort. if you have at least four people and like sushi, it’s quite good.
1065 e. green st.
pasadena, ca 91106

knott’s berry farm and bcd tofu house

to celebrate the end of finals and all work, lena, wei, cameron, and i went to knott’s berry farm!

knott's berry farm

here we are with our bud snoopy:

snoopy and friends

after a fun day of rides, we went to bcd tofu house in koreatown.

bcd tofu

bcd is pretty cool because it is open 24 hours a day! one special thing is everyone gets a fried fish, along with the tasty side dishes:

bcd side dishes

i had the pork and kimchi tofu soup:

bcd tofu

mmm, tasty. i like the kimchi here, and the other side dishes are pretty good too. they are usually pretty busy, but pretty fast because they mainly serve tofu soup. bcd isn’t my favorite tofu house, but it does make an amazing late-night snack if you have a car. their side dishes aren’t my favorite, and i prefer how other places let you keep your stone rice bowl so you get the yummy crispy rice at the bottom (here they pour water in right away so it doesn’t get nice and crispy).

3575 wilshire blvd.
los angeles, ca 90010

el torito

this is only my second time eating at el torito, but both times i’ve really liked it. you can’t go wrong with complimentary chips and salsa. nice, warm, fresh chips and salsa:

chips and salsa

i like the food here because it tastes fresh and well thought out. some mexican restaurants have really generic-tasting food, but here the flavors are excellent and more unique. they also don’t load the food with too much cheese and sauce like some other places. i had the sizzling enchiladas:


it had chicken, a little cheese inside, and some excellent tomatillo salsa. underneath were some grilled onions and peppers. the flavors were very well-balanced and went well together. i mean, i also like the very cheese-filled and sauce-covered enchiladas that some other places serve, but this tasted so fresh and different. it also came with some rice, really tasty beans, guacamole, and a scoop of their famous corn bread/cake stuff. i still remember the corn stuff from my first visit. it is perfect. texture, consistency, saltiness, sweetness, the bits of corn, everything.
cameron had the mexican city tacos, and he said those were also excellent. the meat was cooked nicely with good flavors.


i really enjoyed this meal. highly recommended, especially if you want a meal that is not too meat/cheese/sauce heavy, as mexican food can sometimes be.

3333 e. foothill blvd.
pasadena, ca 91107

ditch day! (just kidding)

i’ll post about the real ditch day later. for now, here are our fakes:

1. clue: for this we just made one big stack with all the seniors who could work on it. my awesome idea of having the murder weapon be paper that caused a fatal death to someone with hemophilia was sadly rejected by special k. :(

2. the dating stack: lena and i made this stack that coined the phrase, “herpes slurpees.”

3. peeps: cameron and i took the easter theme and bought lots of half-price peeps. the highlight (?): the peep peep show. not suitable for children.

4. parodius: random things ending in dodgeball!


5. gummi bears: happy druggy bears!

gummi bears

6. chuck norris karate kommandos: IT’S REAL! hands-down, the best thing ever created on television. watch the opening sequence at

chuck norris karate kommandos

i think this was probably our best fake. we just struck gold. cameron found this show when researching for the real stack, and we knew it had to be done. we made them do karate exercises like in the karate kid (wax on wax off!), roundhouse kick ninjas, and play pictionary/charades with chuck norris facts. Did you know that Chuck Norris has to maintain a concealed weapon license in all 50 states in order to legally wear pants?

7. captain planet: this was our all-campus fake. i screwed up the first clue so things got mixed up, but then the stackers kept calling me and saying, “hi, gaia?,” which was funny. thankfully, we had a good ending where their ring-pop’s combined and out came bing dressed as captain planet! then they ran to millikan pond to play there and “remove all the water to save the beavers.” too bad bing didn’t paint himself silver.

captain planet

my beautiful wallboard took a while, so i sacrificed sleeping that night for captain planet.


corfu restaurant
Corfu is a small Greek restaurant in (my hometown) Sierra Madre that serves excellent breakfast and lunch (I’ve never tried their dinner). Sierra Madre is next to some bigger cities like Arcadia and Pasadena, but it’s kept things really local and friendly. There are no traffic lights anywhere in the city, and there is one main street where mostly independent small businesses and restaurants keep shop. The library, city hall, fire station, police station, and park are all within a couple blocks of each other on this street too. We have one tiny KFC and a Domino’s, but I think that’s all in terms of the big franchises. It’s a nice neighborhood – the houses are all not too big and not too new, but people keep up their gardens and it’s very pleasant. I think a lot of retired people live here so that keeps things at a slower pace.

Anyway, Corfu is on the main street (Sierra Madre Blvd.), and it has some nice outdoor seating in front or comfortable indoor seating with a great view of the mountains and the street. Their food is always fresh and delicious. For breakfast, they have a bunch of yummy choices, and almost all come with some really excellent fresh bread they toast and their tasty tasty flavorful hearty home potatoes. I REALLY like the sandwiches they serve at lunch too. The tuna melt is unbeatable. They have that delicious toasty fresh sourdough with melted cheese and a really good tuna mixture that has capers, onions, and some other additions. It’s a really nice-sized sandwich too, and it comes with a nice simple lettuce and tomato salad. I think they must soak the tomatoes or something, because they always are a little softened and juicy with some kind of vinaigrette I think. The Brie Chicken (with BACON, onions, and brie cheese) and Grilled Chicken are my two other favorites.

The prices have gone up a little in the past few years so I haven’t been there much recently, but the food is still great and it’s not unreasonably priced so I still go once in a while with my mom. I took Cameron there for breakfast the other day. mmm… it was so good.

I had the country style eggs (two eggs over-easy, topped with three strips of bacon, basil, tomatoes, scallions, and swiss cheese).

country style eggs

I usually get one of the omelettes, so this was my first time trying this. It was intense but seriously delicious. The bacon and cheese were pretty strong elements, but the tomatoes and basil helped lighten them up, so along with the juicy yolk, it was so tasty. Runny yolks make me so happy.

country style eggs close-up

I think the portion size was just right too. If there were any more, it might have become nasty. Of course, the fresh and toasty sourdough and the home potatoes were great too!

Cameron had the Mountain Trail Omelette (three eggs, bell peppers, onions, diced ham, bacon, and cheddar cheese).

mountain trail omelette

Their omelettes have the egg over the rest of the stuff (not enclosed like some other places make them):

mountain trail omelette close-up

mmm… These photos are making me hungry. Next time I gotta go get some of their sandwiches!

48 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.
Sierra Madre, CA 91024
(626) 355-5993