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#Travel, Food

[Los Angeles vs. Manila #2] Hollywood’s famous Pink’s Hot Dog


This is one of the famous must-eat destination in LA, and I was extremely curious why a chili dog can be this famous for 66 years! Paul Pink started this hotdog stand in 1939 and it stood on the same spot, giving the same quality of hot dog for years. I’m glad that Atty. Joseph Joson who was kind enough to accompany me to eat in this so-called hot dog to the stars. The hot dog heritage is a great marketing sell and they have photos to prove it (amazing)! I’m not really fond of hotdogs and I’m eating a vegetable rich diet lately, but this one is a must try (not to mention my weakness is chili). In the Philippines, we don’t really have something equivalent to this and Ogie Doggie would be the closest but far from the heritage that Pink’s hotdog built over the years.

The verdict: The chili is phenomenal, polish dogs are the best! Read on…

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#Travel, Food

[Los Angeles vs. Manila #1] Inn of the Seventh Ray! Creekside Dining

This is the ONLY restaurant I love while I was on vacation and I visited Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, and Chicago. The Inn of the Seventh Ray is L.A.’s most romantic restaurant and in fact, when we were eating on a Saturday Lunch, there was an engagement proposal with the beautiful setting — 12 red roses bouquet, a carpet of petals and dining beside Mother’s flow ( in other words, creekside :). I felt that most of the US restaurants are either man-made, full of dead food (steaks, white bread, etc.), pretentious service and too commercialized. This creekside dining experience is a dining made in heaven indeed and this is a must-eat destination for all of you who will have a chance to visit L.A.

(Note to Jay of Kinabuhayan Cafe: Jay, Kubli Springs can be a lot nicer than the Inn of the Seventh Ray. You just need to have excellent food and an overall concept. Check out the photos… )

Let me pause for a bit here before we go to the rest of the review, it just occurred to me how lucky the Philippines is with the kind of world-class nature inspired restaurants that we have and I can already count seven easily…
1. Antonio’s Restaurant, Tagaytay
2. Sonya’s Secret Garden, Tagaytay
3. Nina’s Kusina Salud, San Pablo, Laguna
4. Ugu Bigyan’s Pottery Garden, Tiaong, Quezon
5. 85/15 Restaurant, The Farm @ San Benito, Lipa, Batangas
6. La Cocina de Tita Monings, Manila
7. The Prana Restaurant, Mandala Spa, Boracay

I LOVE THE PHILIPPINES! I missed it during my vacation and I’m glad to be back. I’m creating this series of [Los Angeles vs. Manila] to challenge your own mental models that the Philippines is the best place to be in. I felt like Neo in the matrix scene where he suddenly realized that all of the reality he is seeing is computer generated, and I suddenly felt that visiting the US, everything is man-made. Enjoy this series…

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Sunset Over LA :)


I’ll be on a blog leave until the end of March. I’ll surely miss updating this blog regularly and I’ll surely miss exploring the culinary delights of Manila. It’s been fun over the last few months, specially when I receive comments and feedback from my readers. I love the conversations! This blog is very fulfilling for me in making connections with other people and in the process, I learn more secrets 🙂 I leave you with this beautiful sunset picture of LA taken during the landing of our PAL flight. My brother was teasing me about some insider secrets of Los Angeles and I might have some posts on our LA adventures. Stay tuned…

Anton

#Travel

Shopping, Thai Massage and Amazing Thailand Subway!

I’m back again from another trip, but this time it was a business trip to Bangkok, Thailand. I was flabbergasted when I saw Bangkok now has their own Subway!! Can you believe it?! It looks like and feels like the subway of Singapore and it is designed for huge volume of people traffic. This is a good move specially to decongest the main streets of bangkok which reminds me of Avenida Ave. and Taft Avenue where the streets are narrow and MRT (metro rail transit) above the street. The subway was very convenient to move from Pat Pong to the Suan Lum Night Market and I was amazed that Thais started to commute now vs. using cars because it is convenient and you avoid the traffic. I do hope that I get to see the day that Philippines would have our own Subway, people would prefer to commute vs. bringing their own cars, and start the culture of walking!

It was a refreshing trip because I get a dose of Authentic Thai Massage and never-ending Shopping! Of course, I don’t like shopping very much but I like visiting new places either to eat, shop, or have a massage!

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Sunset View


Equinox Sunset View, originally uploaded by antondiaz.

Magnificent view of Singapore dusk taken from the tallest building in Singapore 🙂 I’m glad I had the chance to eat in Equinox Restaurant in Swissotel The Stamford. I’ve been traveling the whole week so I’ll leave you with this photo from my travel 🙂

#Travel, Food

My Singapore Adventures 1: Are you a Chili Crab or Pepper Crab lover?

Asia Band 3 College, Singapore ( September, 26-30, 2005 )

Singapore has been my second work home. All of my trips this year have been in Singapore and this week is no exception. We had a leadership training for all the senior managers in our company in the asia region. Whenever I travel, I bring my hobby with me: Photography, Badminton and Culinary Adventures.

Night Photography. My first attempt at night photography of Clarke Quay, Singapore. I wished pasig river could be as beautiful as this. This place have always been a tourist winner ever since.


Chili Crab or Pepper Crab? I’ve always craved about these singapore favorites that nobody can match in the Philippines resto. For some reason, ever the Palm Beach in the Fort or Singapura Rasa cannot even compare to these authentic dishes from Jumbo Seafood Restaurant. The JUMBO chili crab has always been a winner over the JUMBO pepper crab because of its rich yummy sauce with fried or steam buns! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re missing on one of the culinary adventures of your life.

I can’t imagine that I’ve eaten in a Jumbo restaurant on two consecutive nights both in Clarke Quay. Their most famous restaurant is in East Coast — most of the taxi drivers know this place. Recently, I learned that there are other recommended dishes that are sooo delicious in Jumbo. Don’t forget to order Bamboo Clams with minced garlic and Crispy Baby Squid!! Equally Yummy!


Badminton. When visiting Singapore, I always make a point to play Badminton. Also, I always bring my badminton racket when I travel. It affects my game if I don’t use my Armortek 800. There’s a certain feel to it that I’m able to make excellent drop shots or control the flick of my wrist.

RC Airplane. On my way to Jumbo, I saw these Singaporeans flying RC plances that look like UFO sightings in the photo above. One day, I’ll take up this hobby 🙂


Official Photographer. The problem with having photography as your hobby is the fact that people will leverage your hobby during meetings and ask you to be THE official photographer. One of my difficulty is asking a group to do a fun shot aside from the normal formal shots. I’m happy that I was able to talk some sense into the team and inspire them to have this wacky pose. (I’m the middle person on the first row)

Anton

#Travel

Singapore Travel Hacks!


Nama Chocolates from Sapporo, Japan
Originally uploaded by pinoy.

I would normally go to Singapore about three (3) times in a year, and during my latest trip last March 9, I learned three (3) travel hacks (Great tips to make your trip enjoyable):

1. Best Pasalubong from Singapore — Royce Nama Chocolates! I first learned of this chocolate secret from an article from inquirer written by Reggie Aspiras (Jan. 6, 2005) and she is right it is Sinfully delicious! I spent some time looking for it, but finally I was able to find the two retail outlet: one in basement 2 of Takashimaya where the Cold Storage is located; the other one is in Tower 3 in front of Carrefour. The first time I visited Taka, the Nama Chocolates were out of stock. I’m glad I was able to purchase the next day, I bought the Champagne and Mild Cacao flavor (S$12.80). Your not a certified chocolate connesiour, if you haven’t tasted this. If you can read japanese, visit Royce Website. NOTE: The nama chocolates is packed with dry ice that is good for 5 hours so you need to put it in the ref in your hotel and in the airplane, you could ask the stewardess to store it for you in a cold place.

2. Reserve the best seat in the plane 1 day before! Are you the type of person that have a favorite seat in the plane? If you are like me, who would like to reserve the aisle seat in the front exit row, then calling a day before to reserve your seat is a must! Remember this Singapore Air Check in number: 65-6243-2546. You can also visit the singapore air website to check-in.

3. Free cable Movies from Movielink! This hack is a little complicated, but if you are the type of traveller who want to watch movies in your cable and you don’t agree with the price of one movie (S$16 + gst), you can try this out. The ondemand or schedule movies is controlled by the movielink or cable box that connects the cable outlet and the TV. It is so easy, you just need to bypass this box and connect the TV directly to the cable outlet. I’ve tried this at the Grand Hyatt hotel which uses Movielink services. Enjoy!

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