Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Summer Food Series Part 1: Birmingham and LA

These past few months have been a whirlwind. I finished my third year of school back in May, took a month off to stay with my parents in Birmingham and prep for Step 2 CK, then flew to Los Angeles for Step 2 CS. After exams, Khoi and I took a road trip up to SF before heading back to school. School has been incredibly stressful, as I was working 70+ hours/week during some rotations, but I also had some chiller rotations during which I was able to fit in a NYC trip.

 I've been MIA for some months now, but now I have a conglomerate of photos collected over months to share through several posts. I'm going to be posting them over the next few weeks, since I'm almost done with applications for residency and my schedule is calming down.

Birmingham, AL

TBH there isn't too much fun things to do in Birmingham which makes for a better study environment, but I did get to eat some amazing home cooked food, example above. My mom is the true master chef as she doesn't even use recipes.

On one of my study breaks, Khoi and I ventured out to Saw's BBQ. I've been there before previously for their pulled pork and such, but their ribs are on a whole nother level. Also these are some enormous dudes -- I was hungry and I could only eat one rib before I started to feel full t.t

3+ weeks of studying and 2500+ practice questions later, Khoi and I finally took our tests. My parents treated us out to dinner afterwards at Ocean, which was a pretty snazzy place. We ordered the creme de la creme appetizer -- their seafood tower -- and it was everything I had hoped for and more.

Los Angeles, CA

After we landed in LA, Khoi's family took us out to dinner at Jazz Cat, which is one of my favorite restaurants in the area. It's essentially a combination of hot pot and shabu shabu, in that everyone gets their own little pot with their own delicious broth (unlike shabu shabu, the broth isn't just water). It's one of the most satisfying meals ever, and it's hard to describe the experience unless you live it.

Ice cream for dessert after dinner at Chelo Creamery. This is one of the most unique desserts that I've had, but the wait was insane (40 minutes for ice cream???) so I'm unsure whether or not it was worth it.

And here's how they make it:

A video posted by Helen S. (@helennmelon) on

In the same area but on a different day, we got our korean food fix at a restaurant called Junkabok. They specialize in dishes using sous vide pork, and everything was incredibly soft and tender. They also had hot pot, and since hot pot is one of my favorite foods, I was a happy camper. 

We also got our poke fix at Pokicraze...

Our ramen fix at Ramen Yukino Ya...

And our Thai food fix at Thai Nakorn...I'm getting so hungry reviewing all these photos as I post them.

After a few days of chowing and pretending to study (because let's be honest, CS doesn't require much studying), we took our test and came home to a lobster feast from Newport

Stay tuned for Part 2, coming soon!