Tag Archives: gen korean bbq

My 31st birthday

My 31st birthday was a week and a half ago, and it was pretty great! My birthday landed on a Monday, so I planned a birthday dinner at Gen Korean BBQ with some friends for the Saturday before my birthday. Here’s Antonio, Kaleigh, Anela, gem, Edward, and me after enjoying delicious KBBQ.

I’m getting ahead of myself. Before dinner, I saw Little Shop of Horrors performed live at Musical Theatre Village in Irvine with gem and Anela. I’m so glad gem found out about the show. I love the movie and had never seen it live. It was awesome! I loved the puppeteering of the Audrey II, and the actors performing both Seymour and Audrey were wonderful.

gem gave me these taco / dinosaur socks, which are perfect for Taco Tuesdays.

The Hursts had me over for dinner on Sunday. Look how big Meredith is getting! She’s adorable.

Henley picked out this delicious carrot cake for me. He informed me that the carrot on top was made out of frosting and that I had to share the cake if I wanted it. He also told me that I could lick the frosting off the candles, but I let him do that too. That kid’s one wonderful little person.

The following weekend, gem took me on a surprise trip. I knew she had something planned, but I didn’t know what. We went to Lions, Tigers & Bear, a sanctuary near San Diego. It was amazing!

I fed a bear! Yes! Seriously! This is Albert, a wonderful and gentle boy who loved his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Yep, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! What an awesome experience. We got a tour of the sanctuary and each of us had a ticket to feed one animal. gem and I both chose this beautiful grizzly bear!

The animals here are never bred and are never touched by humans unless under sedation. Guests feed them by using long tools so that they don’t get too close. The cats would all jump at the food, but Albert just lazily took the food. I love him!

Here are two of the sanctuary’s lions. The lion in the foreground was pretty aggressive. He really wanted all of his dinner at once and didn’t like how long it was taking. You should have seen him tear into his turkey leg.

This is Maverick, the tiger formally owned by Tyga the rapper. He was pretty awesome and definitely jumped for his pieces of meat! There was another tiger that was pretty crazy. He was super aggressive and would surely have torn us to pieces given the chance.

This gorgeous white tiger was cleaning himself just like a house cat.

This spotted leopard was willing to climb for his lunch. We also saw bobcats, a chicken, some peacocks, and Tom, a house cat who likes to wander around the premises. It was such an awesome experience.

Now, I know I already mentioned this, but I have to say it again…

I fed a bear! I fed Albert the grizzly bear! Look how cute he is! Thank you, gem, for the wonderful trip. And thanks too all my friends who helped celebrate or wished me a happy birthday! 🙂

Anela’s birthday at the Alpaca Hacienda

The Alpaca Hacienda

For Anela’s birthday, I arranged a tour of the Alpaca Hacienda in Temecula. She loves alpacas, so I thought it’d be great. When I was first feeling her out about it, the conversation went something like this.

“Have you ever been to an alpaca farm?”

“Nope, ugh, that’d be terrible!” At this point, I felt confused. She wouldn’t enjoy it? Would I need to find a different gift? At the moment, I thought maybe I’d give her a travel to a quiet and relaxing villa from the exclusive YourKohSamuiVillas on Thailand? But then she continued. “I’d never want to leave!” Perfect.

The Alpaca Hacienda

If you didn’t get invited, don’t blame Anela. I organized it, so you can get mad at me. I promise I’ll ignore you and not care.

Anela, gem, Claudia, Tram, and I met early so we could be sure to get to Temecula in time for our tour. Claudia brought some delicious cupcakes. I’ve had banana muffins, but have you ever had a banana chocolate cupcake? I have now, and it was delicious. I also brought some orange juice, water, and homemade egg muffins for everyone.

The Alpaca Hacienda

We gave her gifts and cards too. I like making handmade cards, but this was my first attempt at one with a slide and moving parts. The little alpaca jumps the fence. It took a while to figure out the best way to do it, but I’m pretty pleased with the result.

The Alpaca Hacienda

We reached The Alpaca Hacienda about 10 minutes before our scheduled time, which was pretty perfect. Oh man, look how cute these girls were! Tina, the Ranch Event Coordinator, met us and started our tour with a little presentation about alpacas. She was wonderful. I’d been e-mailing with her since December, so it was nice to meet her. These are all female alpacas in this pen that was right next to where we were having our presentation.

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Next it was time to feed Crown Royal! We learned that alpacas don’t really like to be touched, so the best way to get to pet him is to approach slowly and pet him gently while someone else distracts him with food! Luckily we were each given a bag of delicious (at least according to Crown Royal) food!

The Alpaca Hacienda

Thanks for the photos, gem. Feeding Crown Royal was so much fun! I’ll admit, my hand was pretty slobbery, but it was worth it. And hey, if you’re interested in having your alpaca breed with him, he’s available! I’m not sure why I decided to Google him, but I did.

The Alpaca Hacienda

After feeding Crown Royal, we learned a little about felt. One way felt is made is by applying water, pressure, and rubbing. I got the craft add-on to the tour (because of course we want to craft), so we got to make felt – or hairy soap I suppose. We were given some alpaca hair that we opened, cleaned, and then wrapped around a bar of soap with some water. We massaged it and spread it around the soap before finally using string to finish with some flair. We could use it as soap, and as the soap gets used up, the hair will continue to shrink and tighten around it, becoming felt, or we could use it as decoration. I’m going to keep mine as decoration.

The Alpaca Hacienda

Next it was time to see the males, but we took a detour to pet Dakota. Dakota is a sweet doggy that was all tuckered out. Dakota’s been protecting the alpacas from a coyote! Apparently the coyote has been coming to the ranch regularly.

The Alpaca Hacienda

The Alpaca Hacienda homes a single llama that we got to meet as well. Llamas, unlike alpacas, are quite friendly around people. This one really wanted kisses. He’d press up against our faces. I love him.

The Alpaca Hacienda

Tina was nice enough to take a photo of our whole group with an alpaca and the llama! What a good-looking bunch, eh? I had a ton of fun at the Alpaca Hacienda and definitely recommend it. We ended our afternoon in the gift shop. They had some fun finger puppets, so I bought a couple for gem. There was also a little alpaca wearing a hat. An alpaca with clothes?! I had to send Anela home with it.

I found a tea place that seemed nice on Yelp, so we headed to Snow & Crab after our tour. It was quite the eclectic restaurant – Cajun food, tea, coffee, and shaved ice. We got a round of drinks and enjoyed some conversation. gem ordered hot horchata coffee with boba. It was actually pretty good!

The Alpaca Hacienda

After our little break, we checked out the Ricardo Breceda Gallery & Sculpture Garden! It was twenty minutes out of the way but well worth it. These sculptures were amazing. Check out that octopus in the above photo!

The Alpaca Hacienda

Look, gem joined a mariachi band!

The Alpaca Hacienda

I asked another person at the sculpture garden to take our photo. There were so many different kinds of sculptures from small insects, to life-sized people, to large dinosaurs. They were all very cool. Ricardo Breceda, the artist, said they could take anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months to create depending on the size.

Ricardo Breceda

Next we headed back to Orange County to meet Daniel for dinner at Gen. It was time for delicious Korean BBQ! I ate so much, which is obviously customary at KBBQ. We were seated between 5:30 and 6:00 – once again perfect timing. Everything went so amazingly smoothly!

The Alpaca Hacienda

After discussing the video Tiny hamster eating a tiny pizza earlier, gem felt inspired to make a tiny taco. It was cute, but I don’t think it’s quite as a cute without a tiny animal eating it!

Next we rounded out the night at the nearby 7 Leaves Cafe for our second tea lounge of the day. You know what I just noticed as I wrote this post thanks to last years post, Happy birthday, Anela? We went to Gen as well as 7 Leaves Cafe last year for her birthday!

Everything we did that day was fun, and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and getting to know my three new friends! Most importantly, Anela got to have a fun birthday. Happy birthday! I hope you had fun! 🙂

Happy birthday, Anela

Anela's birthday dinner

Last week was Anela’s birthday! She was too busy on her actually birthday to do much, so gem, Anela, and I had dinner on Sunday night. We went to Gen in Tustin for delicious Korean BBQ. To pass the time, we went to both Kean Coffee and 7 Leaves Cafe. The wait was about an hour and a half, but it went by quickly while we enjoyed chatting.

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gem gave Anela some macaroons with interesting flavors. She opened the French toast one and shared it with us!

The dinner itself was super tasty. We had hardly eaten that day, but we managed to put away a lot of delicious food. We did spend about two hours there, so I guess that’s no surprise.

Anela's birthday dinner

We even had dessert! I didn’t know Gen had macaroon ice cream sandwiches.

Anela's birthday dinner

I ordered the cappuccino flavor and wasn’t disappointed! I also tried the strawberry one, which was good too.

Anela's birthday dinner

We split the bill two ways, so here’s half of what we ordered. It was a really good evening!Anela's birthday dinner Korean BBQ

Look how full of meat we are.

Anela's birthday dinner

And here’s a bonus picture of Sumo.

Happy birthday, Anela!

Birthdays, Restaurant Week, and more

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There were lots of things happening last week! Saturday the 22nd was gem’s birthday. I baked her a turtle cake, which I talked about previously. She and Edward came to my place for cake before we went out to celebrate. gem wasn’t sure what she wanted to do ahead of time, but she decided to go to Color Me Mine.

Horde plate and mug

I painted a Horde (from World of Warcraft) plate to go with my Horde stein. I had actually painted the stein years ago, but it broke during the firing process and I never got around to fixing it. Luckily the people at Color Me Mine this time told me that if I brought it, they’d glue it together for me, which they did!

After painting, we wen to Gen Korean BBQ. We got there just before last call, so we were trying to order a bunch of food. The waiter was nice enough to just pick stuff for us, and he placed a big order. We were all stuffed, but we managed to get through it.

Sunday morning Collin and I went to Newport to eat at Zimzala. It was fairly empty, but that just meant that we got to hear some rocking tunes from Danny Maika and make a lot of requests.

Later that night, I went to Zenko Sushi with Anela and gem for the weekend’s second all-you-can-eat meal. We had a nice time!

By Monday I had gained 4.70 lbs since Friday. That was expected. Unfortunately, I felt a little sick, but I didn’t think much of it. Monday night Duncan treated Collin and me to Chipotle. It was fun eating with them. We brought it back to the house and watched… uh… Twitch Plays Pokemon on the living room TV.

I guess Chipotle was the last straw for my stomach. Something made me pretty sick, and I was up most of the night. I ended up calling out sick Tuesday and Wednesday. On the plus side, I lost all that weight I gained and much more! Tuesday morning I still tried to eat normally, but my stomach rejected everything. Even my mouth rejected normal foods! I chipped a tooth eating a protein bar. I should note that the protein bar isn’t crunchy in any way.

Get well soup

gem recommended I make soup, so I did just that. My stomach didn’t seem to hate it, so I ate it Tuesday night, all day Wednesday, and early on Thursday.

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I was still incredibly bummed about Harold Ramis dying as well, so I decided to spend some of my limited waking time watching Ghostbusters. Let’s not dwell on this, because I’ll get depressed.

I was feeling a lot better although not perfect by Thursday. I finished the soup for my lunch that day. Late that night, gem came over because it was my birthday and she had a gift for me. She bought a cast iron skillet! I had been wanting one for a while, so that was pretty cool. We also decided to order pizza. It was a terrible idea since I was getting over food poisoning, but it was also my birthday and I love pizza. Luckily my stomach accepted it without complaint.

Friday I celebrated OC Restaurant Week by going to Marrakesh for Moroccan food with Collin, Duncan, and Mimi. The food was delicious, just like I remembered it. I had a tasty salad, lamb, baklava, and tea. I also had a Lebanese beer and some mixed drink called a Belly Dancer. It was tasty, but I can’t remember what was in it.

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After dinner, we all headed back to our place to hang out, watch Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and have some wine. There might have been an extraordinary amount of Snapchatting as well.

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On Saturday I went to The Melting Pot with gem and Edward to celebrate my birthday. I’d been there a couple years earlier for my birthday and really liked it. It didn’t let me down! First there was a tasty salad. Next there was a Wisconsin cheese trio with bread, veggies, and apples. For the main course there was a nice broth with chicken, steak, mushroom ravioli, shrimp, and lobster tail. There might have been a glass of wine and dirty martini in there too!

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For dessert we had dark chocolate fondue with marshmallow cream and crumbled Oreos. We dipped Rice Krispy treats, brownies, pound cake, bananas, strawberries, cherries, and cheesecake. The cheesecake dipped in the chocolate was so amazing! Because it was my birthday, they also brought me a chocolate covered strawberry with a candle. The waiter told Edward to sing for me because he wasn’t going to do it. He mentioned something about how it’s too bad nobody had a ukulele. Unfortunately, we didn’t have gem’s ukulele with us.

So that was my week! Being sick was pretty miserable, but I had a nice birthday and enjoyed celebrating gem’s as well.