Archive for October, 2009
In the fiercely competitive Chinese restaurant industry of San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles, new restaurants need a hook to entice diners. Bamboodles has among the most unique, featuring a rare traditional method of preparing noodles called jook sing mein. Rather than kneading dough by hand, the chef repeatedly bounces on a bamboo stick to evenly compress the dough. This produces noodles with a very firm and chewy consistency.
Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” TV show highlighted this special noodle in his Hong Kong episode. He portrayed the technique as a very rare and dying artform in a surprisingly poignant segment (starts 1:20 in this clip). My curiosity was sufficiently piqued to give this place a visit.
People have voiced interest in photos of the Season’s Beatings 4 tournament so I’m dedicating a post to this. Instead of uploading photos to an online gallery, I prefer posting them directly into my blog because I don’t like clicking thumbnails to see photos one by one. This means longer load times but hopefully won’t be too inconvenient. You are free to use these photos on your own site however you wish as long as my watermark is present.
Warning: 5-6 MB of photos
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As I mentioned previously, Season’s Beatings 4 was my first ever tournament experience. I wasn’t expecting to play well for a variety of reasons, so I set a goal of beating just one person. There were 8 pool brackets in total with ~30 people in each. Aside from top players who were seeded so that they didn’t knock each other out early in the double-elimination tourney, the brackets were randomly generated.
Unfortunately for me, my first two matches were against good players who ended up advancing relatively far in my pool. I lost to both players and just like that, I was eliminated. Interesting aftermath: after my losses, I was rooting for both to win and go far in the pool so that I could justify my losses and not feel too badly. Funny how that works.
However, I primarily came to the tournament not to prove myself, but to watch some of the best U.S. Street Fighter 4 fighters battle it out in person. In that sense, this event was a massive success for me and I had so much fun watching the fights. The talent exhibited was breathtaking. I found myself shaking my head repeatedly, stunned by the tricks and clutch performances they delivered. The event was a showcase for the competitors to display the results of dedicated training. It’s hard not to be inspired by the pride and love these players have for their craft.
This weekend I’ll be at Season’s Beatings 4, a large fighting game tournament that is generating a ton of buzz. Not only is there a ~250 person Street Fighter 4 tournament with some of the best players in the U.S. competing, but Justin Wong and Daigo Umehara will be playing an exhibition match, first to 10 wins. They are indisputably two of the best fighting game players in the world so the hype is through the roof.
This is my first ever tournament of any kind. While I’ve been trying to train sporadically, school prevented any serious practice. My goal is to beat just one person!
My second goal was to meet Daigo Umehara and get his signature. I wasn’t sure when he was arriving or whether he would be participating in anything other than the exhibition match, so it was awesome that he showed up on Friday and entered the SF4 3 on 3 tournament. I approached him during a lull in the action and…
Among the numerous Taiwanese delicacies, beef noodle soup (niu rou mien aka NRM) is one of the classics and my standard order whenever trying a new Chinese restaurant. Residents of the San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles are blessed with no lack of restaurants that serve this delicious noodle dish.
Throughout my life, I’ve always had a couple go-to favorites for NRM that updated as old haunts closed and my tastes changed with time. Mandarin Noodle Deli in Temple City, CA has been a consistent top-runner for the past couple years, but a new champion has emerged. Boldly put, the beef noodle soup at Liang’s Kitchen is the best I’ve had in Southern California and would be a top contender in Taiwan.
Now that I’m a medical student in the clinical years, rounding at the hospital is a big part of my daily routine. What we do is get to the hospital early in the morning, check up on our assigned patients and see how they’re doing, and then “round” with the entire team and attending doctor. This involves stopping by each patient on the service and giving a short presentation/update so that the team learns about different patients. That’s how we gain experience and level up.
I take lots of notes during rounds, and I’ve discovered that multi-color pens can be extremely helpful so I can color-code to easily pick out specific information. American office chains like Staples and Office Max stock some multi-color pens, but color selection is limited and the pen designs are bland. This is where I turn to JetPens, an awesome online store with a great design and tons of clear product photos. If you’ve ever been to a Japanese stationary store, surely you’ve gawked at the immense selection of pens and pencils on display. JetPens is a perfect online counterpart that captures the “kid in a candy store” sensation I feel in those stores.
After my cautiously optimistic impressions of the first three Buzzer Beat episodes, this Japanese drama continued to get better, transforming into a genuinely and surprisingly great show. The pacing in particular was impressive. Revelations that might take a few episodes to unravel in other shows were quickly addressed by the characters, forsaking much of the agonizing waiting found in stereotypical dramas. The plot was moving forward swiftly, the characters had great chemistry amongst them… this show was looking like a slam dunk.
But as the finale approached, Buzzer Beat lost its momentum and concluded with an utterly worthless final episode. Where did it all go wrong?