Thursday, August 11, 2011

Crazy, Silly, Happy

Because I spend a lot of time traveling I frequently make startling discoveries in unlikely places, like say, Irvine, CA. I've now been back to the Diamond Jamboree shopping center about 10 or 12 times and it still knocks me out with its crazy Asian vibe. I love it. I adore it. It's located at Alton Parkway and Jamboree although it's easier to enter from the Von Karman side. If you are flying into John Wayne it's only a short detour from Hotel Terrace (Dyer Rd at 55).

You can find a fantastic Korean grocery in HMart, a dim sum parlour at Capital Seafood, a noodle shop at Ajisen (see photo, that's where that crazy, transgendered version of Bob's Big Boy greets you) and especially a totally amazing bakery, 85° C (as in centigrade). The latter always has a long line running out the door. Once you figure out the system, you get in line to get enter, grab a tray and some tongs, pick out pastries that will make you swoon, and get in another line to pay for them.

Each time I go back to Diamond Jamboree it becomes a new, exciting experience. A few nights ago I was dining at the bar at Tokyo Table and two Asian-American guys working in commercial real estate sat down next to me. Great dinner company. One, Tony, gave me a long list of places to dine in Orange County. They also insisted on sharing their sake with me. Did I say I love this place? I can't wait to return because I always discover something new.