Friday, September 21, 2007

Lil' Sis Abandoned Me :( and Why We're Such Daddy's Girls

Letters from Lil Sis 4
Letters from Lil' Sis
When I left for college a long, long time ago, my dad escorted me. One, because I had never been to Chicago before. Two, because we had no family there so my parents were worried that I had no one to watch over me. My dad even managed to track down our former neighbors in Vietnam, whom he hadn't spoken to in 15 years, just so I'd know someone. He helped cart my luggage into my dorm, and then waved good-bye so I could make friends without my daddy hanging around. I was too excited about being in college to really think about how hard it must have been for my dad to let me go as he walked to the train station alone. My mom said when I first left for school, my dad often sat in the backyard just staring into space. My dad said my mom would sleep with lil' sis in my old bedroom. A few years after that when it was my brother's turn, and he chose to go even farther away, all the way to the East coast, my dad again took him off to school. Daddy asked my brother what he needed to settle in, and went out to buy clothes hangers for my brother. And before he left, he took my brother to a nice restaurant near campus. Daddy said he didn't want my brother to pass by the restaurant during all four years of school and wonder what it'd be like to dine there. My brother said he doesn't remember the restaurant being particularly special. But since our family only went out to eat at Chinese or Vietnamese restaurants, it must have seemed very posh to my dad. Many, many years later, it's lil' sis's turn to leave for school. And while my brother and I are perfectly capable of helping her move in (she's only a few hours away after all), lil' sis wanted to continue the family tradition and have daddy take her off to college too. Luckily the airlines also had a huge sale the month before, so my mom insisted she come too. We loaded up my and lil' sis's cars, moved in her stuff, my dad and brother assembled lil' sis's loft bed, then I drove around campus a bit so my parents could see her school. Then it was a quick dinner before we waved good-bye. All the while on the drive home, daddy fretted about how lil' sis will settle in, whether she'd get along with her roommate, whether she should have gotten the other closet, whether the loft bed is too close to the ceiling, etc., etc. Is it any wonder lil' sis and I are such daddy's girls? :) Anyway, the next series of posts are gonna be what I call, things I make that lil' sis doesn't like to eat, and what I end up cooking for her instead. She's soooo spoiled! And very excited that I'm dedicating a week of posts to all her favorite foods. I also packed a little cooler with some frozen spaghetti and meatballs, arugula pesto, and nem nuong (Vietnamese grilled pork patties), and a jar of very spicy Baechu Kimchee (Napa Cabbage Kimchee). She also asked me to make some kalbi and bulgogi (Korean marinated short ribs and beef) for her to bring back the next time she comes home. Sigh. The things I do for you lil' sis! Before she left town, lil' sis wanted to visit some favorite restaurants. Yes, we're gluttons. But we didn't eat all this in one sitting. I finally got Dungeness crab! And oh my god was it good! So meaty and succulent. My previous post on The Boiling Crab - Alhambra.
Boiling Crab - Alhambra 13
Boiling Crab - Alhambra 14
And since lil' sis and her best friend wanted to see just how good Korean barbecue could be, I took them to Chung Kiwa Korean BBQ Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown).
Chung Kiwa Korean BBQ Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 20
At first, lil' sis and her best friend weren't too impressed with this display of panchan. But we weren't done yet.
Chung Kiwa Korean BBQ Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 21
Then comes the salad, rice noodle sheets, and daikon sheets, and dipping sauces.
Chung Kiwa Korean BBQ Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 22
The black angus kalbi went up in price, so it's now $29.99. Eeek! But lil' sis and her best friend said they could definitely taste the quality of the beef. A non-black angus order of kalbi is in the low $20s?
Chung Kiwa Korean BBQ Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 23
The bulgogi was somewhere in the low $20s.
Chung Kiwa Korean BBQ Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 24
Then came rice and soup.
Chung Kiwa Korean BBQ Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 25
And cold noodles. Oh man, we were stuffed.
Chung Kiwa Korean BBQ Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 26
On another night, actually around midnight, lil' sis and I ran out for some Mexican grub. My previous post on Carnitas Michoacan - Los Angeles (Lincoln Heights).
Carnitas Michoacan 12
Carnitas Michoacan 13
Ha! Don't you wish you were home now lil' sis? :)


  1. Hey WC - Its nice to have family traditions. I hope your sister has settled in at school!

  2. YESSSS I GOT THE POST ALL ABOUT MEEEE!!! aww i teared up a little bit there, im such the baby :) haha but i miss our late night runs for food!

  3. what a nice entry. my eyes were welling up a little bit. and those are my FAVORITE're making me drool. you have no idea how much i miss nachos. al pastor and lengua are my fave kinds of tacos too! so yum. of course nothing beats your carne asada...super lemony just the way i like it.

  4. Hi Kirk,
    Lil' sis has settled in just fine. Thanks for asking!

    Lil' sis,
    Haha! I made you miss daddy!

    I didn't know you liked lengua! Next time you come home, we can make another batch of carne asada. I like lots of lemon too!



  6. Aww, that's such a nice tradition! My older sister and lived at home while we were in college, so we never experienced this.

    Today I wrote about my own lil' sis (my late dog who recently passed away), and couldn't help but wonder where else I had read about someone talking about their "lil' sis." It was your blog! haha. I didn't know that your sister was that young!

  7. t,
    Well, your dad still has two more chances to lug things around. :)

    I'm so sorry about Robin! :( I left a comment on your blog.

    Yeah, my "lil' sis" is real little compared to old fogey me. :P

  8. what a warm family you are.. :) makes me really happy to read this...

  9. Hi Tofu Minx,
    Thanks for such nice words! :)

  10. You and your family are so cool. Can you guys adopt me? :)

    I am having a hard time reading all your delicious restaurant posts - it's killin' me! But I did like reading about how nice your folks are. I've never been to any of these places and I'll have to make sure I go next time I'm home.

  11. Christine,
    Ha! You're the married lady. I should be asking for you to adopt me. :P

    If you liked this, you should read lil' sis' letters. People really get a kick out of that post.

  12. so sweet and to be honest, i have a very skewed view of asian fathers. i see them as distant and stern. it is rather foreign to me altho i know realistically, they do exist (obviously, as evidenced by your lovely ode to your dad!)

    when i went off to school, i never looked back.

  13. Lan,
    I'm spoiled. My mom said she married my dad because of his gentleness. And really, despite his traditional ways, he's always been loving and wonderful.


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