Category Archives: art

Mission Chinese Food in SF

I was in SF for a wedding last fall and tried Mission Chinese Food (MCF) in the Mission District. My friend was kind enough to treat me to a delicious lunch after church on a bright Sunday afternoon. The funny thing about SF is that summers are overcast/chilly and fall may actually have better weather. ¬†You can tell who the tourists are because they’re usually wearing shorts and t-shirts (and freezing) and the locals are dressed in layers. Thankfully, it was a beautiful Sunday walk-the-dog kinda afternoon in October.

Cupid’s span in Embarcadero; has backdrop of the Ferry Building (my fave)

From the outside, MCF looks like a nondescript Chinese restaurant. Prior to MCF, it was a food cart called Mission Street Food and became so popular they hosted pop-ups at this location. Check out this article for the full backstory.

MCF fascade

MCF dragonWe came around 1:30pm or 2:00pm for lunch and were seated right away. My friend was telling me that dinner can be a bit of a wait. I recommend that you come during the day and avoid the waiting game. Also, there are so many good eateries in this area including Bi-Rite ice cream, Tartine bakery, and Mission Beach Cafe (great brunch spot).

MCF fried rice

salt cod fried rice ($12)

MCF fried wings

Chongqing chicken wings ($11)

MCF lamb dumplings

grandma’s spicy lamb dumplings ($9)

I enjoyed their funky, salty interpretation of Chinese food. Overall, I found the food to be on the salty side but their flavors were very addicting. I particularly enjoyed the chicken wings which were buried under a pile of Sichuan peppers which looked spicy but wasn’t overly spicy (like Southern Thai food). The seasonings were an intriguing blend of salty/sweet hint of brown sugar, spice from the peppers, and vinegar flavors that were dancing in my mouth. The fried tripe was also a nice surprise. The salt cod fried rice was also delicious and very addicting. The lamb dumplings I wouldn’t order again. They weren’t memorable and left me with an oily aftertaste and not much flavor. In the tradition of Chinese restaurants, I appreciated that they provide you with a pot of tea to help wash down the oily, salty food.

Given that I’m not a huge fan of Chinese food, I found this interpretation a good twist (although on the salty side). I would go back to try their pork belly and a few other dishes but it’s a bit on the heavy side.

Check out another blog post documenting my Bay Area visit where I talk about the Ferry Building and other good eats.

lacma: art imitating life

This past spring, my friend and I visited LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) for a break from our usual routine. Considering I live down the street, it was a long overdue visit. I was particularly looking forward to seeing Metropolis II (2013) by Chris Burden, an Angeleno of international fame. This large kinetic structure was so intriguing. Being a Sensor (using my MBTI language), I initially observed the materials used like painted Jenga pieces, bathroom/kitchen backsplash tiles, steel beams, mirrors, and toy cars (1,100 in total). I stood in awe of the intricacies, lost in the details.

up close shot


Considering It was only until I was on the viewing platform that I had an aerial perspective of the piece that it dawned on me. I was missing the forest for the trees. This piece is depicting Los Angeles as an urban jungle.

The following week, the depiction provoked more questions than answers. What does it mean that as an Angeleno, I spend a good chunk of time each week riding in my car getting from Point A to B, from B to C, etc? What impact does the noise have? Can I hear myself think and feel to be introspective or am I continually distracted? What does it mean that there are so few and restricted forms of public transportation in the city?¬†Needless to say, it left me introspective and contemplating the built environment’s influence individually and collectively.

aerial shotBut that all thinking and wandering gave us a serious case of the munchies and we wandered over to c+m, the museum’s coffee bar.

lacma c+m shot

lacma carrot cake

To my surprise, their delicious carrot cake went perfectly with their iced coffee (intelligentsia). And with happy stomachs and introspection, we bid adieu to the iconic lamposts until our next visit.

lacma street lamps