Tuesday, April 26, 2011

weekend getaway: vancouver bc

J & I decided to head up north to Vancouver BC after we made the decision to cancel our Japan trip. After the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear crisis hit Japan, we debated, thought long and hard and decided it was in our best interest to just stay put (for now). So off to Canada we went. Vancouver is no Tokyo, but it's a little gem of a city within driving distance with great food and a decent price (depending on the exchange rate).

Unlike many of my previous trips to Vancouver that were consumed of eating, shopping and more eating, we decided to venture out a bit and see the Vancouver Aquarium. I've got a soft spot in my heart for aquariums and have an almost child-like fascination when I'm there. And like a child I devour every word of random knowledge the little signs or trainers tell me. In short, the Vancouver Aquarium was a pleasant one. The buluga whales are what captivated my interest first, but they turned out to be a little boring. My favorite were the dolphins. Their spunky high energy and crazy acrobatics served to be the most entertaining and something I didn't expect to see outside of Sea World.

I planned our trip with intricate detail centered around food. Where we wanted to eat dictated the majority of the trip. First we ate at Sun Sui Wah in Richmond for dim sum, but we were starved and I forgot to take any pictures. Then for dinner we ate at Vij's for Indian food. We ordered the samosas, braised short ribs and pork tenderloin. It was amazing! The flavors were so well balanced in spice, flavor and texture, J & I were so full but could have devoured another dish. The service is top notch, upon seating we were greeted with chai, then tray pass of various appetizers, every thing I tried was just as delicious as the last. The next day we at breakfast at Medina Cafe, had some sinful waffles that were so yummy and crispy they tasted like waffle-croissants. Then off to lunch at Japa Dog, for a few Japanese Style hot dogs, we got the turkey miso, katsu dog and okonomi. All of which we're tasty, but my favorite was the okonomi.

All in all a delicious and much needed weekend getaway from Seattle :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

the hi hat

This past week marked the end of an era for my family. After 56 years of business, my family's restaurant Hi Hat closed it doors. The restaurant was founded by my grandfather in 1955. And not once has it stopped to amaze me what an accomplishment this was then and even now. At the humble age of 44 he had already become a booming restaurateur who provided for his family and brought his American Dream to fruition.

As the final day came and went I could not help but repeatedly think of my grandpa. He was one of those people that you meet and the warmth from within them just exudes outward. Truly a marvelous man, husband, father, grandfather and friend. I can only hope that I inherited a bit of his ambition, passion for family and genuine kindness toward others. Although the restaurant may be closed now, his legacy will still live on. That signature smile of his and gentle humor will forever be woven into the history of Hi Hat. He will always be remembered by the loyal patrons and forever in the hears of his children, twelve grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

So there you have it, my little tribute to my grandpa and the Hi Hat Restaurant.

Monday, April 4, 2011

SOUTH by Andy South

Last Friday I attended the South by Andy South fashion show hosted by the Lao Heritage Foundation. Two of my sisters of Chi Sigma Alpha were models in the show, they did such a great job, walking the cat walk and keeping a straight face the whole time. The show itself was amazing and the collection absolutely beautiful. Here are a few pictures that captured the night: