Category Archives: thai food

Breaking the Chain: White Elephant

I’m starting a new blog series called Breaking the Chain. There are so many chain restaurants out there in the world that you can eat at anytime, and anywhere. I’m breaking the chain and focusing on local eateries and how they stand apart.

Local doesn’t mean only around my area – it means small establishments that are giving it a go on their own, and producing quality food that rivals, and more than often, beats the taste of large chains that manufacture their foods without giving it a second thought. This will include mom and pop places in Arizona, California, Washington and other places I travel to.

My first break: White Elephant.
I discovered this lovely little Thai restaurant about two years ago when I was taking classes down the street. The owner, Nok, is a sweet woman who goes above and beyond to ensure that her guests are served the best tasting, freshest food possible.
Case in point: I ordered a Thai iced tea and asked if they had any soymilk to substitute for the evaporated milk (dairy-free Lent!). They were out of soy, but our waiter ended up running over to the local Whole Foods and bringing back soymilk so I could enjoy Thai tea! I was in shock! Seriously, AMAZING customer service!
My roommate and I ordered the Tom Kha Gai – a coconut milk-based soup with chicken, mushrooms, lemongrass and galangal root. They lit the hot pot as it got to our table which kept the tangy, savory soup warm while we slowly sipped it.
We also split the pineapple fried rice. We requested that it be made with brown rice, and cooked with as little oil as possible. Instead of grumbling over our substitutions and requests, they brought out the most beautifully presented dish I’ve ever seen. The nutty brown rice was encased in half of a pineapple shell, and studded with tender peas and carrots, juicy raisins and chunks of pineapple, succulent shrimp that were perfectly cooked, and crunchy cashews.

After our meal, we were STUFFED!
Or we thought we were… Then Nok sent out a complimentary dessert of sweet rice and mango! Over the years, she’s learned that this is our absolute favorite dessert, and was kind enough to top off our amazing meal with tender, ripe mango and sweet coconut-scented rice sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.

Okay, NOW were were stuffed!

White Elephant is located at 668 N. Moorpark Road in Thousand Oaks, California. If you want a delicious meal that you know is made on site and not pulled from a freezer and reheated, check this place out – and tell Nok that Becki says hi! This is my absolute favorite Thai restaurant in the Pacific Coast time zone, and believe me, I’ve tried them all!

Is there a local eatery that you absolutely swear by? Please feel free to Break the Chain and write about your favorite one! Let’s support these mom and pop establishments!

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Filed under local cafe, pineapple fried rice, thai food, thai food makes me happy

Cake and Ponies!

     I survived. 
I’m shocked. I was fairly certain that I would either be shot, strangled or die of some infectious disease that I inhaled whilst in the “hotel”, but I’m alive as of now.
     Now don’t get me wrong, the hotel was absolutely awful, but the weekend wasn’t all bad! Here are some things that helped me erase the horrifying images of the “Royal Plaza Inn“.
P.S. Don’t stay there. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
Cake. Need I say more? 
No, no I do not.
Ponies! Even when they’re trying to consume my camera, they make me happy!
Photography skillz. It ain’t much, but it ain’t nothing.
It ain’t no thang.
Don’t ask.
Polo matches! I watched one during a break from the art show. I had no idea what was going on, but it was exciting – especially when the horse pounded their way across the field. 
HORSEQUAKE!!!
Thai tea, thai food – it’s all good!
Other things that helped to take my mind off of this (our amazing view from the “hotel”)
and this (our wonderful “security system” on the sliding glass door that wouldn’t close all the way)…
S’more cupcake. Yep, all the horror is vanquished with one bite of this.
I’m pretty easy to please.

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Filed under cake, Empire Polo Club, horsequake, horses, Indio, polo match, ponies, Royal Plaza Inn, shot, strangled, survival, thai food

Weasel Crap Beer?!?

     I woke up this morning, put on my gym clothes and was on the elliptical at the gym before my brain registered what was happening. 45 minutes at level 9 – I was dying! It was awesome.

I refueled with a slice of Great Harvest Whole Grain bread with peanut butter and some of Trader Joe’s Cranberry Apple Butter! This apple butter is ah-may-zing!
     I went to the library to pick up a book for my road trip tomorrey. I finished “The Girl Who Played With Fire” this morning and wanted more! I had a hold on the final book in the trilogy, but it won’t be in for another month, so I splurged and RENTED the next book, “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” for a whole dollar! I think a buck for a week is worth it, plus it supports my local library, which I would die without.
After all the book renting, I needed a big Kitchen Sink Salad to replenish my energy. This had 1/2 a bag of mixed greens, 1/2 of a chopped bell pepper, 1/2 cup egg white salad, 1/2 cup steamed lentils, 1/2 of a zucchini sauteed with herbes de provence and 1/2 of an avocado with a light balsamic dressing. Many halves make a HUGE salad!
     Since it’s my last night at home for a few days, I went out to a local wine shop to pick up some fancy brews. I found the FANCIEST of fancy beers!
Let me tell you about this beer. Mikkeller Geek Brunch Weasel beer is brewed with the most expensive coffee in the world. This coffee is made by feeding weasels coffee berries. The berries go through their digestive tract and come out the other end, where they’re brewed into coffee: yes, the coffee beans are crapped out by said weasels. This coffee was added into this beer, which was then stamped with a $15.99 price for 15oz. 
Sorry to disappoint you, but I didn’t have the guts to try it…yet. With a 7 hour road trip ahead of me tomorrow, it just didn’t seem like a good risk to take.
Next time!
After the search for beer, MORE refueling was needed! We ordered in thai food, because lunch yesterday just wasn’t enough! We split tom kha gai, pad ke mao, pad thai and pineapple fried brown rice. All the dishes had meat in them, which I avoided. 
Luckily, even though I didn’t get the Weasel Crap Beer, I found plenty to try!
Oh beer, how much I’ve missed you!
First up: The Midas Touch! This one was a sweet pale ale, brewed with honey, muscat grapes and saffron. I’m not a huge fan of sweet beers, but this one had enough hops to keep me happy. I won’t be getting this one again, but I’d definitely recommend it to any wine lovers out there! You’ll love the sweet honey undertones!
     I’d love to write more, but I have to finish packing for the long drive to Scottsdale, Arizona tomorrow for my new job! Woohoo! I’ll repeat for any new readers: I’ll be at the Carefree Fine Arts and Wine Festival from November 5th-7th, working at one of the artist’s booths! 
Anyone in the Scottsdale/Carefree area want to meet up??

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Filed under beer, cranberry apple butter, Dogfish Head, Great Harvest, gym, kitchen sink salad, Midas Touch, Mikkeller Geek Brunch Weasel, thai food, Trader Joe's, Weasel Crap Beer

Pancakes and German Presents!

     I stocked up on canned pumpkin today! I’ve tried Trader Joe’s brand and I’ve tried Libby’s, and I’ve come to the conclusion that Libby’s trumps all! It smells and tastes the most fresh, and made my Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pancakes incredible!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pancakes
Dry Ingredients
1/3 cup whole rolled oats
1/3 cup oat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pumpkin spice
Pinch of salt
Handful of chocolate chips
Wet Ingredients
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened soymilk
     1. In one bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well.
     2. In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients and mix well.
     3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry.
     4. Pour a heaping tablespoon of batter onto a greased skillet and cook over medium-low heat for about 3 minutes, or until the edges look dry and bubbles on top have popped.
     5. Flip the pancakes and cook on the other side for another two minutes.
     6. Plate the pancakes and top with honey and extra chocolate chips. There’s no such thing as too much chocolate!
Adoration. Yum!
     I had to head to the airport on Halloween around 6pm to pick up the roommates and visited the creepiest haunt of them all: LAX! I’ve never seen so much traffic! It took about an hour to find and pick up the roommates from the international terminal. Luckily, I got lots of presents when they returned, so the trip was worth it ;-)!
Wasabi chocolate, kashmir-chilli chocolate, indische chocolate, lavender chocolate, wild garlic and a candle from Munchen (aka Munich, Germany)!
     Yesterday we celebrated with a trip to the local Indian buffet:
Chicken tikka masala, ridiculously spicy vegetables, daal and chana masala. I had a few pieces of chicken and massively regretted it later. After two weeks of no meat, I had a stomachache for the rest of the day!
     Back to hiking!
Ahhh, I love the trails! I’m itching to go camping again!
     Today the roommates were finally starting to feel a little more conscious after recovering from jet lag, so we went out to rediscover the town.
I had a lunch special of pad thai. I didn’t eat any of the chicken after yesterday’s pain! Thai tea helped as well!
I went to the grocery store to pick up my latest freebie: I got a coupon for a free Cottonelle sample in the mail yesterday and picked it up today. I love free stuff!!!
     I went over to the local plaza and read a little of “The Girl Who Played with Fire” before discovering that there was a new bakery!
OH MY GEEZ, CUPCAKES!
This was my first time visiting Crumbs, and definitely not my last!
I’ve tried Sprinkles which tastes exactly like Bisquik with frosting,vand these trump those by far! I had the Boston Cream Pie cupcake that tasted like heaven in a wrapper. No regrets!
Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE where I live?
Red wine at sunset…
…and cumin-scented German chocolate.
It’s a rough life.

I’ll be going to Carefree, Arizona for the Carefree Fine Art and Wine Festival on Thursday! If there are any Arizon-ites who would like to meet up, meet me on the corner of Easy Street and Ho Hum Street (no joke, those are the actual names of the streets) from Friday, November 5th through Sunday, November 7th!

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Filed under chocolate chip pumpkin pancakes, Cottonelle, Crumbs, cupcakes, free sample, Germany, hike, hiking, Indian Food, Munich, pad thai, presents, red wine, thai food

Bar-Hopping and Thai Food!

     I am so tired. Last night was a late/early one for me. I went out with my friend Duck-Duck, Julia and Miles to a mini-dive bar around 10:30pm for a few drinks. We got to this dinky little place where everyone knew each other, and they had four beers on tap. FOUR. This was a problem. The beers on tap were as follows: Budweiser, Coors, Haywire and Firestone. Becki was not a happy camper, but after much deliberation, I got a glass of the Haywire Hefeweizen and settled in for a night of pool, friends and mediocre brews.

(There are no pictures because I’m not big on taking a purse with me to bars. I’m low-maintenance like that :-P)

     We got in one game of pool before the tables were taken, and decided that it would be best to move on, so we headed over to JJ Brewsky, where we split a pitcher of Fat Tire (Yay! Memories!), then hiked up to a ridge overlooking the city and sat talking for about an hour. It was a gorgeous night! You could smell the ocean and the spotlight at the airport lit up the marine layer with pink and purple flashes as it circled around. Mediocre beers aside, we all had an incredible time hanging out :).

     Things changed when I got home at 3:30am and realized that I had to be at work in 7 hours. I slept until about 7:45am, then woke up on my own (ugh) and settled down for a huge mug of coffee and breakfast.

We were out of spinach! AAAAAAAH! Instead, I made an omelette with one egg from the farmers’ market, and a few slices of real cheddar cheese.
I then attempted to round it out with half of a fresh peach. Tasted good, but not as good as an icy Monsta would have!
     I headed off for a few hours at work where I got to wear jeans, a rarity, and went out for Paciugo with Vicky. I got a child size with half amaretto chocolate chip and rocky road. Not much else happened…
     When I got home, the roommates and I decided to order some thai food for dinner.
This bowl had a little pad thai, pad kee mao, and some pineapple fried rice made with brown rice. A glass of Mirassou’s Pinot Noir topped it off.
     I devoured my meal, mopped my brow after the ridiculously spicy food, and sat out back admiring the view and the stars – I can see stars from my house: definitely not something you get living in the middle of LA!
     Tomorrey will be a very long day, but an amazing one! I’m headed to LA in the morning to take some new headshots with an up-and-coming photographer (who you LG15 fans just might recognize 😉 ), then meeting up with some wonderful friends for a Labor Day pool party! I have a feeling I’ll be staying out there, so you may have to wait until Tuesday to see the awesome pictures :).
Happy Labor Day! Relax, enjoy the company of your friends, and most importantly: EAT GOOD FOOD AND DRINK GOOD BREWS!

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Filed under beer, billiards, dive bar, headshots, JJ Brewsky's, Labor Day, lonelygirl15, Mirassou, pool, thai food

Summer Filming: Day 5

     I’m terribly sorry about being so behind on this! I’m recapping yesterday tonight, then I’ll try to find tomorrey to do two blogs and catch you all up on filming.

     Yesterday started off in Orange. We were filming in the backyard of a local house.

Gorgeous yard! Perfect for a party 🙂
The lovely Jenny made peanut butter, nutella and banana sandwiches for crafty. We are all indebted to her awesome chef-ing.
     This was the day known around set as, “the makeout day”. It seriously consisted of me attacking my costar for about two hours and mauling his face off. I didn’t mind. Neither did he.
     Lunch was the most amazing that we’ve had on set to date (at least in my opinion). As you all should know by now, I enjoy having food in cups. It’s more compact, easier to balance, and contains just about the perfect size serving for me.
Chicken in a cup!
This had about 1/2 of a cup of kale (!!!) salad, 1/8 of a cup of wild rice, and a roasted chicken drumstick. After going through life without kale, it’s suddenly begun to rain upon my head! It really does taste like a very leafy broccoli. I dig it.
     After some more making out, we all wrapped for the day and headed up to Burbank where we began filming today. We made a stop at a thai restaurant for a ridiculously late dinner at 11:30pm. 
Arunee House in Burbank.
Jocelyn, our on-set photographer, and Chelsea, set decorator/designer.
Malachi, dolly grip extraordinaire, and Dan, who should be editing our film.
Coco, our key grip, Jenny, our producer/makeup artist/on set mother, and Boa, our DP.
Scott, the writer/director of our film. He doesn’t like any food except for cheese pizza, and was bitter that we’d taken him here.
I got the panang curry with chicken and brown rice. Their recipe was very heavy on the peanuts, and ridiculously creamy, which I LOVED. Plus, brown rice makes everything healthy in my mind.
I enjoy blackmailing Malachi. It makes my day.
We were the last people in the restaurant after they closed, and they were still kind enough to give us all free ice cream! LOVE this place!
At first we couldn’t understand why they gave us free dolls. These are the most random pens ever!
     That sums up yesterday! I got back to the apartment I’m staying at around 12:30am, and found out that my show, “Left at the Altar” had been airing all evening. Luckily I got my parents to DVR it since I don’t have access to a television now. Too bad production didn’t let my costar or me know it was going to be on! Rawr! If you want to see it, it should be doing a few reruns for awhile. My character is “Valerie”, and I believe we’re the last 15 minute segment of the hour on TLC.
     Today was an amazing day, but you’ll just have to wait until tomorrey for me to catch you up, because I’m exhausted and have another early call in the morning. Have I mentioned how much I love my life?
I LOVE MY CREW!

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Filed under filming, makeout, on set, short film, Summer Cambell, thai food

Junk Food Heals All!

     Today was a very rough day. Rough food, rough work, rough headache. I attempted to start the day off right with a Monsta, but alas, there was not enough spinach, so instead I went for another set of…

WAFFLES! Blueberry waffles with agave-maple syrup, and coffee!
     I got to work and wasn’t feeling too hot. Well, actually I was feeling very hot. The A/C at work has been broken for a few months and today, it was really getting to me. Excessive heat makes me feel dizzy and sick. Since I wasn’t at the top of my game, I decided comfort food would be a good choice for lunch. Unfortunately, comfort food = ridiculously unhealthy food. I went for what I was craving yesterday.
HORRIBLE! I had a single entree of orange chicken, which is basically deep-fried fat tossed in a sugary syrup. Awful for me, but it made me feel better.
     After lunch, I didn’t meet up with a friend who didn’t convince me to go get cookies. I didn’t stop at Mrs. Fields to get thirteen bite-size cookies, and didn’t get a variety that included chocolate chip, macadamia nut, oatmeal raisin and M&Ms. I didn’t finish the entire bag by the end of the day. I totally didn’t do any of that. That would be madness.
     The painkillers finally kicked in and the headache abated, just in time for me to head home. I decided not to break the unhealthy streak and dug into some leftover thai food that the roommates had ordered in.
Pad thai and pineapple fried rice. There was no pineapple left – that happens to be my roommate’s favorite part.
     Now, I’m resting comfortably while blogging, and I’ve started to dip my toes into my latest book Up in the Air by Walter Kirn. It’s a slow starter, but I have high hopes. After I’m finished, I’ll be (finally) renting the movie! I’m just a tad behind on all the movies that have been coming out. The last movie I saw in theaters was Avatar. Yeah, it’s pretty bad.
     I realized I forgot to include some pictures of my roommate’s hat from the races, and I have a few others to add on to add some color to this post. 
She titled this: “Avatar Upon My Head” – the flowers have battery-operated lights in them!
     I got a gift yesterday from my pops who was in Arizona last week.
Earrings! I’m obsessed with dangly earrings!
These are my favorites :). I wore them to work today so I could feel fancy while also headachy.
And to end the day…
An ocean camera blocked by a seagull butt. I found this when I was checking out the Del Mar ocean cam two days ago, and it has made my week.
I’m off to work again tomorrow – unfortunately becoming my Sunday tradition instead of church :(. Uncool. What Sunday traditions do you have?

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Filed under Del Mar, earrings, hat, Panda Express, seagull butts, thai food, waffles

Three Day Weekend!

Have I ever mentioned how much I adore days off? I’m guessing I haven’t, since I’ve been blogging for less than two weeks, but I LOVE days off! I try to cram as much activity as I can into my free days, because when I work my day job, I basically stand around and pace. And yes, this Wednesday is the middle of my three day weekend – all the better to avoid the crowds.
I started the morning with a GM (Are you sick of these pics yet? Too bad!). At least I switched up the glass it’s in:

This one had 2 cups of spinach, banana, soy milk, blueberries and ice. I used the remains of the spinach which tasted about half a day past its prime, and forgot the lemon. This drink definitely needs the lemon juice to cut any spinach flavor! Remember that!
After that Monsta came a long hike. The June Gloom has taken over! I loves me the June Gloom! Any morning I wake up to an overcast sky, I do a little happy dance inside. I’m weird: get used to it.
Half an hour into the hike my stomach started rumbling, so it was time to start planning my next meal. I had a coupon to “buy one, get one free” at The Counter, a build-your-own-burger bar. I was psyched for this and then did something incredibly stupid: I looked at the nutritional facts online. A warning to anyone who wants to enjoy this place guilt-free, DON’T LOOK! Instead of a big, juicy burger topped with fresh guacamole, goat cheese and mixed greens, I had two slices of my dense homemade oatmeal-walnut bread with a tablespoon of flaxseed peanut butter.

These were chilling in the freezer, just waiting to be devoured.
The bread kept me satisfied during a trip to Barnes and Noble, and I got hungry just in time to go to my favorite Thai restaurant. We got there with ten minutes to spare before the lunch special deals ended. Phew! Nine bucks nabbed a starter salad with citrus dressing, chicken pad thai and panang beef.

Have you ever gotten so hungry you just devoured without thinking?
I did. That’s why I had to borrow someone else’s pictures. Oops!
The lovely chef sent out complimentary sweet rice and mango! We used to frequent this restaurant every other week and know the owner quite well. I find that when you become a regular at any restaurant, a relationship develops that is profitable for both the owners and the customers :).
I was zoning out from hunger before lunch, then ended up eating so much that I went into a food coma. The only thing that could bring me out is the elixir of life.

I spent a good year looking for a big, ugly rooster mug! I really wanted one where the rooster head protruded in 3D, but I’m pretty happy with this giant.

Next stop was my all-time favorite place: THE LIBRARY!!! I went a little crazy…

Any guesses as to what my current interests are?
I saw the trailer for the new movie, Charlie St. Cloud, last night and found out that it’s based off of a book. I’m obsessed with reading books before they come out on the big, or small, screen. I’ve most recently read Dear John (haven’t seen the movie yet), The Last Song (also haven’t seen the movie), and Julie and Julia (loved the movie, the book is getting better). I read a book a week when I get the time, more if possible! My name is Bexter and I’m addicted to reading.
Dinner was reheated Thai food and a cup of Trader Joe’s kettle corn. Now I’m sitting back watching The Next Food Network Star and craving some of the salmon that Brad Sorenson made. Ummm, I might have a bit of a crush… No, I definitely do. So cute! And now I want to do some funky pushups. Is anyone else watching this or do I just sound like a crazy person?
Happy midweek weekend!

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Filed under Barnes and Noble, Charlie St. Cloud, FOOD, green monster, hike, kettle corn, lemons, oatmeal bread, pad thai, panang curry, thai food