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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ha Noi Avenue - Westminster (Little Saigon)

Ha Noi Avenue - Westminster (Little Saigon) 1

In December 2011, LT, a commenter on my Golden Deli - San Gabriel post suggested I try Ha Noi Avenue for Nem Ran Cua Be (Vietnamese Crab Egg Rolls), made Hanoi-style in a big square and then cut into quarters to be eaten. Now, that's the kind of recommendation I can get behind!

Although, I have to mention that I've eaten crab egg rolls at multiple places in Hanoi, including at the reputedly best in town, Bun Cha Dac Kim at #1 Hang Manh, and I have never been served square egg rolls before. My favorite crab egg rolls in Little Saigon are at Vien Dong Restaurant - Garden Grove (Little Saigon) and Quan Hy Vietnamese Restaurant - Westminster (Little Saigon), but those aren't square either.

I've driven past Ha Noi Avenue numerous times and was always amused by the signage which seemed to scream, "Notice me!" I asked my friend DP, my source for Little Saigon gossip, about the restaurant and she said that the original owners of Hanoi Restaurant sold their business and then opened Ha Noi Avenue.

It took me almost six months after the tip for me to finally visit. It's a little removed from the main drag of Little Saigon and closer to the freeway, a convenient stopping off point on my way to San Diego to visit lil' sis, so I asked Tony of SinoSoul if he wanted to check it out with me.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Guess Where I'm Wandering 4?

Am I making these too hard? This one should be very easy? A major international award is presented each year at the city hall building here.

Guess Where I'm Wandering 4

Today, my cousin and I went to a festival on the waterfront in front of city hall. Panjabi MC was performing on stage when we arrived so it was packed! I ate Pakistani Lahore fish (lovely spices) and chicken tikka and a chickpea kebab wrapped inside naan, finished off with a mango lassi.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Guess Where I'm Wandering 3?

Guess Where I'm Wandering 3

After four visits to this country, I finally got to see this area.

The day after I got into town, my cousin suggested that we leave that very evening since the weather today isn't supposed to be as bad as it's forecast for the next few weeks. I saw tons of waterfalls and cute towns, and about 10 minutes before the boat was about to dock, rain gushed down. Just in time!

Guess where I am now?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Guess Where I'm Wandering 2?

Guess Where I'm Wandering 2

By far, one of the coolest things I've ever done. After going out on a boat to see the powder blue icebergs closer, I got to touch them where they washed ashore downstream.

I topped off the day with the most amazing, and controversial, meal. And earlier had another first, the oldest thing I ever ate.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Guess Where I'm Wandering 1?

The night before I left, my brother's wife asked if I could blog in real-time because she didn't want to wait four years to read about my adventures.

Guess Where I'm Wandering 1


I'm still working on Portland March 2011 and need to backtrack to blog Portland Christmas 2009 too. There's still several other trips too.

It takes me forever to sort through photos, especially of big events or trips. So, in an effort to organize myself more, and because of repeated requests from friends and family to upload photos so they can see what I'm up to, I thought I'd let you guess where I'm wandering.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

35 Car Loads Later

Thirty-five car loads and almost as many moves later...

35 Car Loads Later 1

... I finally said good-bye to my cousin's little house that I'd been living in for the past five years.


It's the end of an era! (Bonus points if you caught the pop culture reference.)

It was bittersweet to leave the family compound, where my aunts and uncles literally all bought houses next door to each other. After living so far away for several years, I really enjoyed having my oldest uncle or youngest aunt drop by to chat, the frequent egg rolls and dumplings that my oldest uncle's wife sent over, seeing my cousins walking their dogs, and just in general basking in having family around. Even though I've only technically moved a few minutes away, it's a world away in daily interaction.