A Year in the Life of Delicious – 2005 in Review

It’s that time of year.

It’s time to review everything we’ve done over the last 12 months or 52 weeks or 365 days, or if you’re a little obsessive like me, 31,536,001 seconds. Thank God for that leap second tacked onto the end so I can finish everything! :) We smile and get nostalgic and sentimental about the wonderful moments and file those away in our memories for posterity; we cringe and shake our heads as those embarassing experiences unfold in this moment of sobriety and we try to dump those miserable moments out with 2005’s pasta water, vowing that we will never, ever, I promise on my empty bottle of Stoli, never be that stupid again.

(Until, *ahem*, we find ourselves being that stupid again, most likely starting with some New Year’s Eve afterhours party – LOL!)

I thought about picking my favorite post from each month, but really now, that’s like asking me to name my favorite child. Could you imagine the hurt feelings now and the therapy that would be required years later? Wait a second…I don’t have kids, and blogs don’t have feelings. Damn, maybe I need therapy. ;) Besides, sometimes the best posts, i.e. the blog entry itself, i.e. photos, writing, etc., are not necessarily the best food moments.

Really though, every Delicious food moment that I’ve had this past year is worthy of mention. Even the experiences that did not taste very good always ended up teaching me something. Lovingly including every single post in a warm, fuzzy, hand-holding circle around a giant campfire would just be way too koom-bah-yah, so I’ve selected just three highlights from each month.

Delicious Life, Year in Review - January
My 2005 New Year’s Weekend went from a three day new year’s weekender bender in downtown Los Angeles, to spending a day of reflection at home with family.

There were a few birthday bashes, one of which included setting Spongebob Squarepants ablaze.

My sister got engaged, which was the moment my loving relationship with Benito had to end.

Delicious Life, Year in Review - February
When Hahl-muh-nee (grandmother) visited from Korea, I did a lot of Seoul Searching, and it was from then that I started paying a lot more attention to my roots.

I learned how to appreciate pork belly, bamboo fungus, and baby eels in celebrating the Chinese New Year with my sister’s in-laws.

Argentinean empanadas taste like giant Chinese wontons.

Delicious Life, Year in Review - March
An evil Girl Scout disguised as one of my co-workers hoodwinked me into selling my dieting soul, reminding me that Thin Mints freeze very very well.

My Korean American identity crisis completely fell apart at Sagan in Buena Park

We discovered a secret feudal Japanese hideaway in West LA, Nanbankan.

Delicious Life, Year in Review - April
An indecent proposal blossomed into a regular monthly orgy.

I had my first pizza-gasm at Abbot’s Pizza Company.

Matzoh ball soup was my first pass at Passover.

Delicious Life, Year in Review - May
3 Sprinkles cupcakes in 1 sitting were way 2 sweet.

Flattery will get you everywhere, even a recipe for bibimbahp

My family preferred Cheesecake Factory over my white chocolate ricotta cheesecake

Delicious Life, Year in Review - June
Though Zip Fusion scored a big fat zero with me, the nasty comments about my post made me just a little bit tougher, so I love this entry.

It’s the month of firsts: day of summer, uni spaghetti at Blue Marlin Japanese Bistro, much-talked-about Mario’s Peruvian, ooh-la-la Moroccan at Chameau, making my first souffle, and ricotta gnocchi!

Amuse Cafe didn’t amuse me at all, and not a few days later, the restaurant closed down! (Not related, I swear, but that would be kind of interesting – LOL!).

Delicious Life, Year in Review - July
It’s all about Westside small plates when my first absolutely miserable experience at Orris was redeemed on the second visi
and I fell in lust with the chef of Violet while telling him his cream of onion soup sucked. Stupidstupidstupid!

It was Ladies’ Night for Liz and the four Jenns and myself

Fourth of July in Hermosa Beach was naughty, baby. Naughty!

Delicious Life, Year in Review - August
It’s the season for summer vacation travel, so I trekked through the Himalayas via Katmandu Kitchen, dodged flailing flesh and finger cymbals in Morocco via Koutoubia, and followed Harry Potter and his wizard friends to Ibiza on their summer off from Hogwart’s.

I met some ladies in red velvet in preparation for a bridal shower of historic proportions.

It’s also a trip down my childhood memory lane, re-creating my five childhood food memories and saying good bye to the man who joined us for dinner every night via a tiny glowing box.

Delicious Life, Year in Review - September
I met a blind date out at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market and continued the fun in K-town.

Katrina kicked me in the ass with a heavy dose of reality, and my old employer kicked me in the ass with a pinkslip.

My sister got married and boy, is that whole week full of fun.

Delicious Life, Year in Review - October
My fame timer started ticking, with 60 seconds of my fifteen minutes in an interview.

Hot Thai spices and a very large Vietnamese sausage planted the seeds of a change-in-heart toward southeast Asian food.

As my working life in Culver City gasped for its final breaths, my last gastronomical requests were granted at Honeys Kettle Fried Chicken and Mori Sushi.

Delicious Life, Year in Review - November
My vacation in Chicago kicked off at Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill

I got absolutely demolished by a whole army of histamines. Twice. (Still waiting for an appointment with my allergist – damn HMO bureacracy.)

We had a baby just a few days before Thanksgiving.

Delicious Life, Year in Review - December
I got to count down another two minutes in my fifteen minutes of fame…with a nod from the LA Times and a nomination for Gridskipper’s URBs (congratulations to Chez Pim for the win!)

My final executive summary of my Midwest Vacation

As is always the case around this time of year, I overdid it a little with the Holiday spirits.

So that’s 2005 in a few tasty highlights. With a glass of champagne in one hand and the whole bottle in the other, I’m looking forward another delicious year!

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 mel ch January 3, 2006 at 1:08 am

Excellent review!


2 sarah January 3, 2006 at 2:03 am

last football day?!?!

no, l.a.c., that’s wednesday, when texas kicks some trojan ass!!!

thanks, mel ch!


3 U January 3, 2006 at 3:59 am

Happy New Year, and may your next year of blogging go as well as the last, but without wheals!


4 Eddie Lin January 3, 2006 at 4:45 am

Here’s to an even more delicious 2006!


5 sarah January 3, 2006 at 4:55 am

u and eddie! thanks for the well-wishes!

(what is a wheal?)


6 Kirk January 3, 2006 at 5:44 am

Hi Sarah – Our best wishes for a most delici-yoso New Year!


7 U January 3, 2006 at 7:09 am

Wheals are the transient red skin splotchies from your uncooperative histamines…


8 Troi Toy January 3, 2006 at 3:40 pm

Impressive blog! Because I’m from Chicago, I had to read where you went when you came out here…it’s a food mecca out here that I unfortunately don’t get around to writing about. Perhaps I’ll add that to my resolutions this year…


9 sarah January 3, 2006 at 4:04 pm

thank you, kirk. and a happy new year of food and fun in SD to you, too!

u: aaaAAAaaah. i see. i call them hives :)

troi toy: hi! welcome and thanks for stopping to read! add it! add it to your resolutions! but once you start writing down your thoughts about food, you’ll become addicted like me!


10 Jason January 3, 2006 at 6:25 pm

Recent visitor. First comment. Big fan.

Thanks for making my dull repetitive boring lunches at my desk during work (they don’t let us out to lunch very often here) taste better. Keep those entries coming! Best wishes.

P.S. If you ever want great yakitori there’s a fantastic place in Gardena called Shinsengumi. You should check it out. Unless you are grossed out by chicken organs on a stick. Yum.


11 sarah January 3, 2006 at 6:39 pm

hey jason! thanks for visiting! and reading! and commenting! i love comments :)

and funny that youmention shin sen gumi. i just recently went there, but have yet to write an entry for it. my blog has trouble keeping up with my mouth. LOL!


12 jason January 3, 2006 at 9:42 pm

Oh you did? Cool! What did you think? You gotta hurry and write that blog entry!

That place is my temple. Favorite restaurant in LA hands down. (If you didn’t like it, that’s ok, I’ll still read your blog. Maybe.) Those special hearts are like little fat-laden chunks of heaven. With arteries embedded it them. Mmmmmmmmm. Life is good (and possibly cut shorter from the saturated fat) in the middle of a stick of special hearts.

SIGH. I’m going to huddle underneath my desk with the rest of my veggie burger and cry a little.


13 sarah January 3, 2006 at 9:48 pm

here’s a little appetizer re: shin sen gumi…i don’t eat organs. that’s why i don’t eat fois gras, tongue (even though techincally it’s a muscle), etc.

BUT…i was convinced to try the chicken hearts.

um, they were VERY chewy. and i sort of cringed on my first bite, but strangely, they taste pretty okay. if i forget that they are HEARTS, then i could eat more, but still, dude, they’re chicken hearts


shin sen gumi – probably be up within 2 weeks. that’s how far behind i am

(besides, i HAVE to blog my support various bowl games this week)


14 craig January 3, 2006 at 11:10 pm

sarah-discovering your blog was certainly a highlight for me this year…one quick nanbankan story – a few months after the Patriot Act was enacted, a friend of mine and I were eating at the bar at Nanbankan and were discussing the Patriot Act among other thing. Apparently the man sitting next to us overheard us and voiced his displeasure at one of the comments made (I think by me), and called us among other things, a candy-a**ed asians (at least he did not call us orientals lol). That of course did not sit kindly with us but ultimately he resulted in moments of dead silence while he hurriedly paid his bill, thanked the staff (which is made up of candy-a**ed Asians) and left.

We have gone back since then but now when I hear Patriot Act, I think of skewered meats.


15 sarah January 4, 2006 at 6:04 pm

lol! how very oddly appropriate – patriot act and skewered meats. LOL!

thanks so much, craig, for stopiing in and reading every once in a while!


16 jason January 4, 2006 at 7:29 pm

2 weeks?? Good gravy…. Well, late but worth the wait. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for that entry.

I hope you didn’t have the regular hearts instead. They’re not nearly as good as the special ones. Hearts are where the essence lies! I mean, if you’re gonna gas/decapitate/electrocute/pistol whip/grab-by-the-feet-and-smack-the-head-against-a-wall/however-those-zany-farmers-are-whacking-chickens-these-days a poor, defenseless, but tasty chicken, you might as well do a thorough (sans genitals) and spiritually respectful job of consuming it (sounds like something out of Dances With Wolves). Besides, once you’re amidst all the Last Samurai-esque shouting in Japanese and up to your armpits in beer, you won’t care what the heck you’re eating- all you know is that it’s good. Though you must’ve left that place somewhat hungry… that menu is 90% organ and beer. I do certainly hope you at least had a good time there.


17 sarah January 4, 2006 at 9:01 pm

don’t you worry, jason. i had an AWESOME time at shin sen gumi. with the exception of the chicken hearts (which weren’t horrible), everything was fantastic!

i want to try the other shin sen gumis in teh area – someone told me they are all different.


18 jason January 6, 2006 at 7:46 pm

Glad you liked it! I love bringing newbies to that place. Most of them end up loving it. The ones that don’t… well….. I try not to associate with them. (jk)

I’ve been to the other robata yakitori shin in the OC. It wasn’t as… well.. festive… not as much yelling going on, and the food was a bit overcooked in my opinion. I hear the ramen shins are pretty good though.

I want to get one of their armbands!


19 richard January 9, 2006 at 8:19 am

Ooh…adding Shinsengumi to my to-eat list. I was going to ask if you guys have tried the Yakitoriya on Sawtelle. I tried Nanbankan this past week after reading your review, and I thought it was good although my yakitoria seemed overcooked. Comparing the dark meat chicken from Nanbankan to Yakitoriya, I’d have to say the latter is more succulent. Though I haven’t been to Yakitoriya in over a year because they’ve almost doubled their prices from back when I used to go. I know you don’t like organs, but the chicken gizzard, heart, and neck are the best, in my opinion =)


20 richard January 9, 2006 at 8:19 am

Ooh…adding Shinsengumi to my to-eat list. I was going to ask if you guys have tried the Yakitoriya on Sawtelle. I tried Nanbankan this past week after reading your review, and I thought it was good although my yakitoria seemed overcooked. Comparing the dark meat chicken from Nanbankan to Yakitoriya, I’d have to say the latter is more succulent. Though I haven’t been to Yakitoriya in over a year because they’ve almost doubled their prices from back when I used to go. I know you don’t like organs, but the chicken gizzard, heart, and neck are the best, in my opinion =)


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