Sunday, August 25, 2013

Japan trip June 2012

Sushi for breakfast? sure..

Eric and Jeff accompanied us in Tokyo

amazing sushi restaurant.. I need to remember the name

Tsukiji fish market

Visiting the tuna auction section

Yummy yummy tuna

 A really delicious mochi place! It is super fresh and only last for a few days

I got smart this time and took the card! I went here back in 2008 and could not remember the name before this trip

Paris and his thundershirt

Paris hates his thundershirt. I can't tell if he is calmer because of the thundershirt or because he hates it so much. He refused to move when he is wearing it.

I'm sure this is how Paris feels:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Scarpetta Beverly Hills

I'm going through my old picture and uploading them now. This is back in 2012 for Scarpetta in Beverly Hills

Solely based on the duck and foie gras ravioli.. they only have it for dinner.. i was there for lunch and only want to try that.. they accommodate and have the chef made it for me.. i was there probably with one other customer.. the ravioli itself was a little rich and thick..  it was okay.. i probably wouldn't return to this restaurant again.. i believe it's $23 for the ravioli. The bread basket was amazing as well as the choices of butter, olive oil.. service was impeccable.. thus increasing the rating to 4 star from 3

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Paris May 2013

After St Remy de Provence, we took a TGV train from Avignon to Paris. We rented an airbnb apartment in the sixth arrondisement and met up with the owner's mom who showed us the apartment and passed us the key. The apartment is small but it is very near to Notredame, St Chapelle church in Ile St Louis, as well as the Louvre. They are all about 10-15 minutes walking from our place.

Street view from our building

Walking towards the Notredame

Went to the Louvre on our second day in Paris

I really love this Winged Victory statue from 2nd century BC from an unknown greek artist (better than Venus de Milo in my opinion)

Arthur's favorite painting in the Louvre. There are so many people in there it is hard to get a good shot

Another great painting of the coronation of Napoleon. Another painting depicting the same view is shown in Versailles (I believe it was in a different size)

Arthur and I also visit the Mummy/egyptian area in the Louvre.

With the spinx.

Another building by the Louvre area

Chilling by the fountain near the Louvre after much walking.

Arthur decided that Arc de Triomphe did not look far from champ elysees so we decided to walk to Arc de Triomphe - it is farr... especially we had walked from 6th arr, to Louvre then to champ elysees. There were 284 steps to go up to the top of Arc de Triomphe and there is no elevator. Yes that is 2-8-4 steps, which we did not know before taking the first step. When I look up the spiraled stairs, I'm about ready to plop down in the middle of the stairs and not move (I just calculated, we had walked 3.3 miles to get to one place to another, not counting the time we walked in the Louvre). Of course it is also a one-way up so there is no way to back down. We made it - we made it - and another 3 miles to walk home after that - in the rain.
Arthur underneath Arc de Triomphe

The view from Arc de Triomphe

On our third day we went to St Chapelle church in Ile St Louis, which is gorgeous!! I really love this glass work here compared to in any other church in Paris. It is outstanding. My picture really does not do justice.

Another glass window in St Chapelle

We also went to Notredame. A week after we went an old Parisian man shot himself right on the front stage inside Notredame. Security is lax in Notredame because they are open to church members who want to pray.

I believe this is a window panel from Notredame


Gorgeous building on the bridge when we cross over from our apartment to Notredame. Why cant LA have more buildings like this one?

Centre Pompidou 

Really enjoy this painting in Centre Pompidou

Dinner at Chez L'Ami Jean. My favorite restaurant in Paris. Ok some of the dishes are a tad salty, but the atmosphere, the waiters, the chef and some of the other dishes are outstanding!! I really love it. Note this restaurant is filled with English speaking people - but I would definitely return. Call ahead one month in advance to make reservation

Chez L'Ami Jean desserts plate. That eclair is amazing

Chez L'Ami Jean is near the Eiffel tower so after we stuffed ourselves with the amazing dishes, we went to walk to the Eiffel tower where they have lights on the tower and it looks gorgeous at night. 

Our one of few pictures together posing in a frame in France.

Arthur's work 

Some bridge I forgot the name, on our way back from Eiffel Tower to our apartment on 6th arr. That was a long walk!

A view from some neighborhood

I believe this is the building where they house many important figure's body/casket such as Victor Hugo and the likes

The marbled coffins of some famous French figures

We also went to a 'flea market' on the outer arr.

Versailles. Great for one time only. I really went and planned this trip like I planned going to the war since everyone (online) wrote that the lines are badly managed and there are thousands of people waiting to get on. Tips: make sure you get ticket before the day you plan to go to Versailles or else you will line up a few hours to buy the ticket and then a few more hours to get in. We arrived in Versailles at 8am I believe and the line opens up 30/45 mins after and we were no 5 in line.

So grand!

Halls of Mirror

What do you think if I have a livingroom decorated like this?

Garden in Versailles. On the weekends in the summer time, there are certain hours where they play music in the garden and turn on the fountains (only for 1 hour or so). They also needed a separate ticket when they have this musical fountain on but the line to get into the garden was not too long.

Versailles Garden

Somehow, the only picture I have of Musee D'Orsay

Le comptoir du Relais - where we had two meals there

Some cute bookstore that carry english books in Paris.

Went to a visit a very tiny flowers market in Ile St Louis

This is how foggy and rainy and cold it was the day we had out Eiffel Tower tour

We went to visit the Eiffel tower during the day time where I bought tickets online (see here) for it so I don't have to line up for hours. Remember to buy the tickets a few months in advance. I don't know if it is a smart idea or not. For one I did not have to line up for hours, but ! I couldn't predict the weather for the day I picked and so that day ended up to be very cold, windy and foggy. I was really shivering on top of the tower and we did not even go all the way up!

We get to check out the inside of the Eiffel Tower to see how the elevators work

Shivering on the second floor of Eiffel tower

Arthur's most favorite restaurant at Le Comptoir du Relais.

I believe this is the Louvre

We also went to Guy Savoy for a pre fix 110E lunch that includes appetizer main and dessert - which is good since they are a 3 michelin star restaurant. My appetizer was the truffle soup that Guy Savoy was famous for. It is heavenly, along with this mushroom pastry that almost steal the lime light away from the soup. My entree was just ok unfortunately. I have a special uni, some fish and mushroom, which is good but not great. My dessert is the Mille Fleur which is AH MA ZING! I went to Pierre Hermes and had their Mille Fluer but I have to say Guy Savoy's one is even better!!
Truffle soup Guy Savoy

Mushroom pastry so good... ugh i want to return just for this

My so so main course

Amazing Mille Fleur - Guy Savoy

Pierre Herme - I will be back one day for the Saint Honore!

Pierre Herme Mille Fleur

Forgot the name of the restaurant it's a beef bourguignon. Near Basicilica church

We went to a tiny restaurant called Les Papilles. Its good but not great.

In terms of dessert, did not get to try too many but I did love the croissant from Pierre Herme the most, along with their jasmine macaron - to die for! Had Laduree, which is good but Pierre Herme is at another level! 
Pierre Herme's macarons. Definitely more exotic flavour combo. I will return for their jasmine macaron