Welcome to my blog where I document my adventures in travel and food. Hope you have a nice stay! And don't forget to follow me on Instagram here

The San Gabriel Valley can be quite the daunting and intimidating place to visit. Sometimes clad with only all Chinese signs and sometimes far worse, all Chinglish signs, outsiders to the area can find this microcosm of Asia a scary place to venture to alone.

I’ve always thought that if my journalism career didn’t work out that I’d create my own type of tour guide. I love history and shopping like any other person, but I go anywhere for the food. I don’t want to see any landmarks, show me the food, then more food, then more food! Trust me, ask my friends that I’ve taken on “tours” of Hong Kong or LA. They ate from morning to night and were not given any of those boring experiences. Oh no, this was the Kristie experience.

So what did I do when my non-Asian besties came for a full day of visiting me in the SGV? Food show down. We ate for hours straight. I squeezed in some Asian shopping for them in between, but other than that we ate from lunch to dinner, layered with lots of snacks and more snacks, and shopping and snack shopping. That’s how I do.

 We started the day off with some Taiwanese style Shabu Shabu aka hot pot. Everyone get their own mini pot where you can choose whatever soup base you want. I chose the Japanese Spicy Miso. You also get to choose what type of meat you want. I chose beef. Your order also comes with some sides like veggies, noodles, etc. Try it yourself at Jazz Cat.

At this point, I knew it was time for dessert. We drove all the way to Rowland Heights for some shaved snow from the famous Class 302. Their sign is only in Chinese. They have a minimum of $3 per each person if you want to sit so we got it to go and ate in the car. This was our mango and strawberry with condenses milk snow. It was like the ice I have in Hong Kong, which is hard to find in the U.S.. I’m not wowed like all the yelp reviewers though. I’ve had better. If you do not live near the San Gabriel area, I’d recommend trying Hawaiian shaved ice from Get Shaved. They have a food truck that drives all through the Los Angeles area.

Next we went to the Atlantic Times Square for some Ten Ren. Their boba is really good, but pricy. It’s about $4 for a small. There’s also some fun shops in the area. They  enjoyed the Japanese makeup shopping available there. Make sure not to get their slushies though. Only get the teas here. You have been warned.

By this time we were stuffed like no other. But that only means we had to move on to the next stop. Bakery time! I love bakeries. I’m extremely picky when it comes to pastries and bread. This is the pineapple bread from Kee Wah bakery. There’s actually no pineapple in it. It tastes like a Hawaiian sweet bread, but better. It’s just that the crust looks like a pineapple. Anyways I Kee Wah is only good for their pineapple bread at 80 cents a piece. I would not recommend any thing else from them, no matter what their yelp pages says. You want better bakeries? Just ask! I have a list of my top 10.

Then for the true Asian experience, I took my friends to the 99 Ranch Market to check out some Asian fruits. Of course, I had to show off the horrendous smelling Durian. My sister says durian smells like rotting trash that has been stashed somewhere for a week. It’s definitely an acquired taste. Great photo opp though.

They ended up buying some lychee, dragon fruit, mangosteen, and star fruit.
And then came dinner time. My biggest secret is Boathouse. As many of you may know, Boiling Crab is a cajun place that has waits of upwards of 2 hours for their food. Boathouse is a great alternative in Alhambra that has no lines and is much cheaper.
Our raw oysters.
Our mussels, corn, potatoes, shrimp, and clams.

The battlefield…
We went to four cities: Pasadena, San Marino, San Gabriel, Alhambra. We meant business. So did you agree with my food choices?

Balut, Anyone?

Balut, Anyone?

Steak, Bread, Lobster Mashed Potatoes, Oysters, & Cake